If she wasn’t so freaking down-to-earth, grounded, genuine and impossibly likeable, I’d be disgusted by Rachel MacDonald! Instead, I loved meeting this even-smarter-than-she-is-hot (and-holy-fudge-she’s-crazy-hot) babe! In fact, I could’ve happily chatted to her all day long. Rachel is joyful. As in literally radiating happiness. As in completely engaged with the brilliance and beauty of life. Seriously.
If you’ve checked out her blog, In Spaces Between, you already know Rachel is busy with a capital B. She gives her all as a digital comms exec during business hours, and after hours you’ll find her blogging up a storm, and laying the foundations for something truly exciting to come. But you know what? During our chat, Rachel was completely present, generous with her time, and calm… an unusual way to be able to describe someone who’s REALLY excited about life. As we talked I caught myself relaxing into an almost audible ‘ah’ (‘ah’ of course is the sound of me feeling at home and connecting with someone).
What I’m digging most about this babe is how insightful she is. Rachel completely gets that we’ve gotta switch off to switch on, and that sometimes we’ve gotta say NO to get to an authentic YES. To me this represents wisdom way beyond Rachel’s years.
I just know you’re gonna love this interview!
Tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship so far.
In the past, I’ve worked in product development and watch design, which taught me to truly respect the creative process. I’ve earned my stripes in PR, which taught me how to craft stories, work with the media and manage people. These days, 8 hours out my 24 are spent punching the keys as a digital communications exec – a job that allows me to hang out on Facebook and attempt to understand the bumbling beast that is social media marketing.
It’s all been an essential part of my journey towards entrepreneurship. Erecting the framework, bit by bit.
Mid-last year I knew it was time to embrace my “next step.” Combining everything I’d done and everything I loved, I carved out my own positive pocket of the web, In Spaces Between, because I knew creating that space would bring me closer to my goal of empowering women through words… and in the not-too-distant future, coaching.
I committed myself to my blog like I would a business from the beginning and after getting married in June this year, I enrolled in B-School on a whim – something that has DEFINITELY expanded all sense of what’s possible for me in business, and has taken me even closer to the biz of my dreams.
What’s been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced on your entrepreneurial journey so far? How did you overcome this challenge?
I think the biggest challenge for me at the moment is managing my ambitions and being realistic about the energy I can give to everything in my life.
I’m a big-thinking, optimistic, overly-excitable creature which means I like to say YES! to pretty much everything, but the fullness of this year has taught me how important it is to check in with myself regularly and say “Whoa there tiger, don’t forget you’re working full-time, as well blogging/ tribe building/ laying the foundations for that future biz of yours.”
Sometimes a gentle “No, but thank you so much for asking” is called for, and I’m getting better at saying that (to myself and others!) Learning to own that potent two letter word has been hugely liberating.
From where do you draw inspiration?
I feel like most of the inspiration I need lives inside me, but – and this is the clincher – I have to create spaciousness to allow it to percolate its way to the top.
From an external perspective, I read a lot, surf the web, exercise for clarity, ask questions, seek out new experiences and connections – all of which inspire the pants off me – but there’s a difference between gathering the fuel, and actually throwing it on the fire and setting the whole beautiful thing alight.
When I’m uninspired, which happens when I do too much or take in waaaay too much, and I forget to make space for things like lazing around with my husband, hanging in nature, taking photos, meditating in the park and long giggly lunches, unfortunately very little inspires me externally. All the posts in my Google Reader fall flat, my own words sound lacklustre and strained and I daydream constantly about escaping to an island paradise for a few weeks!
Moral of the story: inspiration is simply inspiration (not its fancy big sister, CREATION) until it’s met with the right energy.
What are 3 practical steps you’d suggest for women entrepreneurs looking to up their joy levels?
1. Invite it in. Start with a clarity-finding sesh and ask: Where are my energy leaks? What am I currently doing that I resent? What am I itching to get rid of so I can create more ease, comfort, a simpler life? Let the answers form your Things I Need To Phase Out list and get to work on your Things That Bring Me Joy list.
After you’ve nailed your list of what you want more of in your life, buy yourself a beautiful notebook and go crazy with writing your ideal life statement, powerful affirmations and whatever else lights you up.
2. Practice gratitude. This one gets bandied about so often but I thought it was worth mentioning here because active appreciation definitely adds a dimension (or 10) to my daily happiness. Few things uplift me as much as reflecting on what I already have in my life – particularly when I’m stressed or depleted or up against the dreaded “not good enough’s.”
3. Give it away. Spread light, help out, make someone laugh, ask “How can I serve? How can I add value? How can I add more LOVE to the world?” Guaranteed joy-maximiser.
You can find out more about Rachel [here].
What I love about this girl is her smarts. Ok, she’s not in big-cash-generating business for herself just yet – but she’s putting down strong foundations for something super cool. Rachel’s innate tribe building talents are out-of-this-world impressive!
When this hottie does decide to step into the entrepreneurial world full time it’ll be an easy, safe-feeling step across an almost invisible border, as opposed to an all mighty leap into an unknown abyss.
I love the idea of laying down the foundations for your business in advance, and by doing so getting rid of a whole lot of the scary unknown that meets so many young entrepreneurs. What do you think? Are you able to do something like this yourself? What practical steps would you do to grow your business from a glimmer in your mind’s eye to something solid so she’s ready and waiting for you when you’re ready to make the move?
PS I thought you’d love knowing that in real life Rachel’s voice sounds even lovelier than it does in my head when I’m reading her blog posts!
PPS Have you signed up for BettyLove yet? You can sign up [here]. Do it now and you’ll go into the draw to win a $500 gift voucher to spend at your local Apple Store. Don’t miss out hottie!
Betty loves you baby xo