Irina Castellano has lived in 8 countries and her background is in hospitality and aviation.
Once she settled down with her husband, her passion focused on helping kids in need of a safe home.
Along the way, she started her family and they have adopted two kids from the out of home care system. Together with her family, she has taken in over 70 kids in a 23 year period.
As a co-author, she has raised awareness to the subject of fostering and adoption. Irina has been featured in articles, on podcasts and radio shows and she will appear in a second book in April.
Thank you for joining us here at The Corporate Escapists. Please introduce yourself to our reader. They love to know about you, your passion, and how you came to find and follow your passion.
At the age of 15, I read a book called ‘A child called it’ by Dave Pelzer. It was about a boy being abused by his mother. It shocked me to the core and I decided then, to one day have my own kids, foster and possibly adopt.
Once I had found my soul mate, we did just that. Right after covid, the situation to find homes for kids under 5 got worse. That’s why I decided to do something about it by offering education, awareness and guidance on how to go about becoming a foster carer. Giving people a chance to ask questions and have them answered by a carer, not an agency. I don’t sugar coat things, I tell you as it is.
I am passionate about finding homes for kids who can not live in their own homes. We have 46,000 kids in care in Australia and we currently need 4,000 more homes.
Kids are sitting in motel rooms under supervision.
Bob Proctor once quoted ‘To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all. But to believe in the unseen is both a triumph and a blessing”. How important is it to you to have the belief within one’s self?
Very important and if you are starting out, our belief system will get in the way at times. Our inner voice will try to reign us back in. Our values (play safe, don’t leave your day job just yet) can get in the way too. You need to visualize your success; you need to see yourself holding that book you have written and you need to visualize money coming into your bank account.
Tell us what the word “Entrepreneur” means to you?
To follow your passion; to create something that is truly authentic to what you want to achieve in your life. Doing something that gets you out of bed easily, something that you get excited about on a daily basis.
What has been one of the biggest business ideas you have had and how did you have the trust and hope within yourself to implement it?
To advertise differently in order to find carers. Having had a miscarriage and a stillborn myself, as well as IVF cycles, I do believe that working with IVF clinics is the way to go.
Not everyone is successful with IVF, not everyone can afford it. So working with IVF clinics is the way to go in my opinion, as well as raising more awareness for everyone to understand that adoption has become more streamlined in Australia.
Running your own business can be scary. Success requires moments of trust and hope to push through to the next level. Tell us one of the moments you have had to push through to take your business to the next level?
To get onto social media.
To create an instagram account and to start posting.
To invest in yourself is scary as you wonder if you will ever get anything in return for it.
Once I signed up to the coaching certification, it all became clearer and I was on a roll.
What is your favourite quote about inspiration?
Everything happens for a reason, we sometimes just don’t see it right away.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
To trust your instinct. If you believe you have a niche market, believe in yourself and go for it, but surround yourself with mentors and give it your all.
Practice positive mindset; visualize your success and do something every single day towards it.
It’s not about doing it perfectly, it’s about getting it started and doing small steps each day towards your goal.