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My Career: From Start to Finnish

Carmen found supportive communities for entrepreneurs in Finland

Get to know more about Carmen via her website, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Carmen Lorenzana

Carmen Lorenzana, Mexico. Menstrual Cycle and Fertility Awareness Educator

From a communication professional in Mexico to a menstrual educator in Finland. The past eight years have been quite a ride for Carmen Lorenzana. In 2015, she relocated to Helsinki when her partner enrolled in master’s studies in the city. It was meant to be a two-year stay, but when Carmen's partner secured a promising job opportunity, the couple decided to stay. 

Initially working as a copywriter and head of communications, Carmen soon discovered her true passion. She was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in her 20s and was put on hormonal birth control as treatment. After her body began to reject the pill eight years later, Carmen started researching other treatments. Her interest deepened as she learnt more about her body, hormones, the cycles around them and how they impact overall wellbeing.

This marked Carmen’s entry into entrepreneurship. She obtained certifications as a menstruality mentor and fertility awareness educator in the UK and established a company in Finland to help others to understand the biology, physiology and hormones involved in their cycle. Now, she offers coaching, online courses and workshops for individuals and businesses alike and contributes to a better understanding of menstrual health. 

Carmen shared her career journey at the Conscious Entrepreneurs' Community Festival in Helsinki in March 2023.

Carmen Lorenzana

I started my own company because… I want to help fill knowledge gaps and demystify taboos around the menstrual cycle, making it accessible for everyone to learn about it and gain tools to improve their experience with it.

Menstrual cycle and fertility awareness education is still very new in many ways, and there are not many opportunities in the job market for it, so starting my own company was a natural path for me.

Entrepreneurship is a wild ride! It's challenging, exciting, humbling and cyclical too. There are many ups and downs, but it's been incredibly rewarding. I love that it's giving me the freedom to honour my cycle every day and not have to push against it (as much as possible, of course), grow, explore my creativity, and, most importantly, contribute to a higher purpose.

My typical day starts with… breakfast, followed by a short meditation with journaling and checking my to-do list for the day. 

However, this may change depending on the cycle phase I’m in. In the first half of the cycle, when oestrogen is present and I have more energy and mental bandwidth, I jump into work right away. On days like these, I enjoy things like work meetings, recording videos and working long hours. 

Later, in the second half of the cycle, after progesterone has kicked in, I might feel more tired and introspective. If my schedule allows, I take a longer morning before starting work. These days are perfect for quieter activities, such as content creation and writing. Of course, I don’t always have the flexibility to adapt my to-do list to my cycle, but I try to do so as much as possible.

Finland has 41 national parks, and Carmen aims to visit them all.

Carmen Lorenzana

My advice for anyone considering starting a company in Finland is… to surround yourself with a community of like-minded folks. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, and having peers cheer you up, support you in difficult moments and inspire you can make a huge difference.

Always remember your WHY. It's easy to lose sight of it in the everyday hustle, especially as a solopreneur. However, remembering why you're doing what you're doing will give you a sense of purpose and direction.

Starting a business is a trial-and-error process. Not everything will work out at the beginning, and you will make tonnes of mistakes, but the only way to learn is by doing. The earlier you accept this, the easier it will be.

The main difference in working life in Finland compared to other countries where I have worked is… probably the work-life balance, which in Finland is highly valued. Working hours are reasonable here. There is a culture of trust and autonomy, vacation time and a strong emphasis on employee well-being. Things are more chill here. For instance, it’s okay to address your superiors on a first-name basis. 

One of the most surprising things for Carmen after moving to Finland was experiencing all four seasons.

Carmen Lorenzana

What people often misunderstand about menstrual education is… there are so many misconceptions about the menstrual cycle. One of them is thinking that the cycle is just about having your period once a month and having (or not having) babies. 

A lot happens between one period and the next. Our reproductive hormones create a four-phase cycle where we experience different physical, mental and emotional changes. In other words, our energy levels, mood, creativity, productivity and many other things are affected by the phase of our cycle.

Finally, I would highlight the fact that menstrual education should not be limited to women. It’s important to acknowledge that not all who bleed are women — trans and non-binary people have periods too. Understanding this will create a more inclusive and empathetic approach to reproductive health, contributing to a more informed and compassionate society. In addition, men and non-menstruators should also actively engage in learning about the cycle, as they can play crucial roles as allies in supporting their peers, friends and partners.

Carmen’s business offers coaching, online courses and workshops on menstrual health.

Carmen Lorenzana

What has helped me during my career journey in Finland is…  besides training to become a menstrual educator, I've had to gain the skills necessary to become a business owner, and The Shortcut has been a tremendous help. In 2020, I participated in their B.Y.O.B. (Be Your Own Boss) programme, which gave me the basis to open a business in Finland and put me on the right path. I also participated in The Shortcut’s Spark Academy in 2022.

Also, community has been key in shaping my career journey in Finland. A couple of years ago, I joined The Conscious Entrepreneurs Community, a network of international, impact-driven business owners based in Helsinki. I’m currently serving as a board member.

This year, I also enrolled in the Tech Nordic Advocates programme to transform my business into a viable, scalable entity that can genuinely impact those who need it.

All these opportunities have allowed me to connect with inspiring people and expand my network.

What I enjoy most about living in Helsinki is… the opportunity to experience real nature, even in the middle of the capital city. Whether it’s the sea, the forest or the beach, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy it and connect with it.

Central Park is a 1 000-hectare park in the middle of Helsinki.

Heiko Müller

The hobbies I have really enjoyed practising in Finland are… as I love spending time in nature, camping and hiking are my favourite activities. 

I appreciate how easy and safe it is to engage in these activities in Finland. Finnish national parks, for instance, are well maintained and have clearly marked routes that facilitate the exploration of their beautiful scenery. So far, my partner and I have visited 19 of the 41 national parks, and our goal is to see them all.

Published on 04.01.2024