Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m a success coach and PR strategist – I work with ambitious professionals who are ready to create a life and career on their terms – which can range from corporate gals who want to get a promotion, stand out in the workplace or are ready to start a passion-based business but need the guidance and strategy to get started. I also write for Huffington Post and Goalcast and a number of other global publications, as well as traveling the world every chance I get with my husband! I spent 12 years working in PR and over a year ago created my success coaching business ‘Life On Her Terms’ where I get to work with incredible clients all over the world.
Q: When you originally moved to London, you had no job or a place to live. How did you keep faith that it would all work out?
I think the hardest part was actually making the decision to move to London. Once I did, I really didn’t have much doubt. That is a personality trait as much as it is experience – I had relocated from the US to Australia, so I knew, practically and emotionally I could do it again. Whenever I did feel that doubt creeping in, I would go back to my purpose. Pray and meditate and explore what I was really feeling: was it real? Or was that just fear of the unknown? I felt SO called to move to this city – and all signs were literally pointing to London in my life – that I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I think sometimes life makes us so uncomfortable that we feel we HAVE to do something, and that’s how it felt for me. Once the decision was made, I went straight to the practical pieces and broke it down into weekly actions I needed to complete – which included applying for places to live before I even arrived in London. I didn’t just ‘hope for the best’ – I saved money, I knew what needed to be done, I did everything I could to make sure I was as prepared as I could be. That word FAITH is super important here. There is NO way I would have gotten on that plane without my faith – I relied on that as much as I did my London explorer guide. I always say to people when they have a big decision to make, just take the next step and see how it feels… then the next… and that can add up to an exciting journey for you, as long as you keep walking towards that one thing you feel called to!
Q: Before you finally landed what was your “dream job” at BBC, many people had told you that it was impossible. How were you able to land such a job when so many people doubted you?
Two things: I remember clearly when a colleague told me I would be lucky to get temp work when I moved to London. I smiled at her and inside my head, I remember thinking ‘You just wait and see’. That comment literally motivated me to prove her wrong (so I should thank her LOL!). But actually, I just dismissed the negativity and doubts. I didn’t let it even pass in my head as a real thought. And I made myself incredibly busy taking action – I probably sent about 30 emails and made 20 phone calls before I even landed in London introducing myself to potential recruiters and organizations. Also – this was huge – I literally imagined landing that job every. Single. day. I talked about it to myself like it was a done deal. I also had very supportive friends and family (I remember my sister telling clients that I worked for the BBC before I even got to the UK!). I was happy when I got my job as a news publicist, but I had been preparing myself for it for 6 months (and it was my niche, I didn’t go over trying to start over in a new career). That’s when opportunity and preparation (and God!) come together perfectly. And even if I had not landed that job, I just knew – and believed – that I would be able to land something incredible in London. So, it was a combination of mindset, a clear focus on what I wanted and literally dismissing other’s doubts and ideas about what was possible for me – and taking massive action every single day. I always say it’s no one else’s business what I am capable of – that’s up to me and the grace of God!
Q: After working years in your dream job, you began feeling unfulfilled. How did the job you loved become the job you wanted to leave?
I have a confession to make – I knew I was done with my publicity career before I left for London. I had been working in TV for 5 years (PR for 7). But I thought (practically) if I could just move to London and land my dream job at the BBC that would be enough of a change…I thought maybe that was the change I needed and would quelch my boredom. I felt I had learned all I could in publicity and wasn’t challenged anymore. I was also tired of the ‘on’ culture and feeling like I was always responding to other people’s dramas. What used to be exciting was exhausting me. And my job was always in a news culture (as a news publicist) and I knew something wasn’t right when I didn’t even want to read or watch the news anymore. The thing I was so passionate about no longer interested me. But, I didn’t have an idea of what else to do – so going for the ‘dream job’ in my career just made sense at the time (I also didn’t want to start over my career in a different country at the time).
Q: When did you realize that your career was no longer meant for you, and what was that realization like?
I had been pining to get to the BBC since I started working in TV. Especially in news, it was the holy grail of journalism. So, when I had my first day – it was a terrible first day – I remember walking out at 7 pm and thinking ‘this isn’t what I want to do anymore’. My first day. This isn’t a reflection on the BBC – it was me, I was done with publicity and I had brainwashed myself thinking I just needed to be in the ‘best of the best’ and then I would be happy again in this career. But I was done with TV. I stayed a year – and I am so grateful I did. I learned a huge amount and was able to hone my writing and negotiation skills as well as scratch that dream job ‘itch’. I assumed that going to a different industry (healthcare) and getting a promotion, managing a team would make me happier… but the cycle just repeated itself. It was like I had to go the longest way around to get to the point where I was done with my professional career (in the traditional 9-5 sense). I would not recommend taking the long path that I did! I manufactured a lot of misery and ‘feeling stuck’ that was so unnecessary in my life – but there you have it – and I wouldn’t change my journey for the world – because it gave me incredible experience and when I finally took the leap to start my own business, I was ready.
Q: What would you tell women that are craving a change in either their life or career? Do you think anyone can create a life and career on their terms, and if so, how?
I KNOW that anyone can create a life and career on their terms – but not everyone is willing to put in the hustle and sacrifice to get there. People see the shiny, laptop lifestyle, Instagram pretty shots, but they don’t see the hustle. It really starts with a decision – I speak to potential clients on and often hear myself saying ‘when this becomes a must for you, let’s talk’. It has to be a must. Me, I couldn’t not start this business. And I did it in on the side until I felt ready to resign from my full-time job – I didn’t jump all in straight away. I built it steadily on the side. And the how isn’t as important as the why – when you are clear on your WHY – the purpose behind your career and business, the rest just follows. When I knew I wanted to be a coach and build an online business, I hired a coach who could help with the how. But this I have learned – when something is a MUST in your life, you just figure it out – or find someone who already has. As far as advice, I can only say this: follow your interests and passions – they are clues to what you really want to be doing. And give yourself permission to explore. I made it my part-time job to find out what I really wanted to do, and I think you have to be aggressive in that pursuit. Life is too short not to invest your time and energy in what you really desire in your life. If you are looking at making a big change, take the next small step and see how it feels. And go from there. You can’t go wrong.
Q: I imagine that there would have been challenges that you faced when creating such a drastic life change. What were those challenges, and how did you overcome them?
There are obstacles every day we all have to face. I just think that when you are choosing to create something new it’s to be expected – but I think the main obstacle was managing time at first (I now live by my online calendar) and having to sacrifice precious time with family members and my husband (who have been incredibly understanding) so I could do what I needed to do to build the business. That’s hard. But when you have supportive people in your life, it’s the freedom to do what you feel called to do. I also think mindset it’s important here – which is really just getting out of your own way and getting control of your thoughts every day. I choose faith over fear every day – and yes, it’s a choice!
Q: In your opinion, what does ‘success’ mean to you, and what does it take to achieve it?
Success for me is inner peace. I used to put a title, office, and number in my bank account on that definition – but now it’s just inner peace, which I had to fight harder for than any of that other stuff. I think it takes pure courage to attain it and keep it – I had to let go of my own traditional version of success because it wasn’t lining up with what was making me happy – which is where a lot of my clients are when they come to me – they are living in the ‘shoulds’, not in the ‘purpose’. I personally believe you can only achieve inner peace when your life, time and actions are in line with your purpose. I know I am successful because I am doing what I am meant to do with my life, not what my 21-year-old self thought I should do, or what anyone else told me I should do.
Q: You also believe in putting in the work to change your ‘money mindset’. Why is that so important to you?
I grew up with little money. And when I started doing well in my career, I finally stopped being ‘afraid’ of money conversations. So many of us (especially women) are conditioned to not think about or talk about money – when really, the truth is if you don’t have a good relationship with your bank account your life will always be a lot harder. And it doesn’t have to be. Money mindset is the start of all wealth – like anything in life you need an awareness before you can make a positive change in that area. So I strongly encourage my clients to address this issue – because every confident woman I know gets the money. When you experience life without money (like I did) you know how much it can help you and those around you – one of the reasons I was so motivated in my own career was to have financial stability, which I did – but money mindset work opened me up to even more possibility – I know I don’t need a 9-5 job to get money. We can all create wealth for ourselves, and I really want people to understand these principles. They have literally changed my life (and bank account!).
Q: What’s your favorite wellness habit or hack?
Does sleep count? This may sound lame, but I seriously need at least 8 hours of rest (sometimes I read beforehand) – but I know when I get enough sleep, I feel well the next day and can bring my complete self. I have a 10 pm curfew ( I have an alarm on my phone) so I know when to go to bed. This one hack (which I stole from Arianna Huffington in Thrive) changed my nighttime routine and ensures I Am at my best when my alarm goes off in the morning.
Q: What does “Living Well” mean to you?
Living well for me means a happy and whole life. For me, this is getting paid to do what I love while not having to compromise on my health or family to do it. It also means giving back, being part of a community and being in charge of my time, energy and health so that I am showing up as my best self every day to myself, my family and my clients.
Want to learn more about Rachel? You can find her at: Life On Her Terms