I’ve had the pleasure of working with Rebecca a couple years ago when she was looking to get a fresh set of images for her website and overall brand.
Over the last 10 months, we’ve been working on a special project to help people get a start on making those first steps towards starting a business. What started as a slow process of figuring out whether or not it was a feasible idea soon turned into weekly meetings and it’s been such a fun ride as we progressed through the creation of the materials.
Not only did we manage to get this off the ground, we did all this 100% via Zoom and Rebecca even moved from Vancouver all the way to Whitehorse. She’s been a constant inspiration to me as a fellow business owner, peer and now friend and I admire her bravery, courage and curiosity.
I’m so glad Rebecca agreed to do this interview as I love her vibe and what she’s all about. Without further ado, here’s Rebecca!
What is your business?
As a career coach, I support people who are dissatisfied with their job to get clear and create the kind of career and life they want, so that they can make both an impact and money.
How long have you been in business?
Just over 8 years.
What was the start of 2020 like for you and your business?
Business was the busiest it had ever been – my biggest challenge at that time was coming up with a way to filter and manage all of the people contacting me to work together!
What happened for you when March came and the pandemic hit?
When the pandemic hit, my business completely dropped off for about a month. Clients who had agreed to work with me already (but hadn’t paid yet) backed out, and I heard crickets in terms of new people interested in working with me. Fortunately, this only lasted a month, and then things went pretty much back to where they were before – I was surprised so many people were still wanting to explore their careers and make transitions. Through the pandemic, I really learned how resilient my business is, especially because I run it all online.
How did you handle it? Did you pivot? Did you hold your ground? Did you make any changes?
I was quite fearful at first. I had no idea during that first month if my business would even survive – I even reached out to a friend who runs a marketing agency to see if he’d be able to give me work if need be (and kindly, he was). Fortunately, it didn’t come to that – in fact, the prospect of having to work for someone else again was what motivated me to start thinking more creatively about my business and how I might adapt. Rather than offering high-end one-on-one coaching only, I started to think about diversifying and creating some online group programs that would be more accessible to people. I had been dreaming about creating the Side Biz Starter Program for years, and the pandemic seemed like the perfect opportunity to get it going, as I knew a lot of other people were also looking to “pandemic-proof” their income by diversifying. I’m now developing another online group program built around career clarity, as well.
Did you notice any change for you emotionally and the confidence in your business being ok by the end of 2020?
Absolutely. I realized that even during a pandemic there are still people ready to change careers, but even more than that, I was reminded of my own creativity and resourcefulness. I’m happy to have my own business, that’s just me, so it’s super easy to shapeshift and adapt with the changing tides.
What’s one tip you can share with fellow business owners who may have gone through the same thing or people considering starting businesses in the gig industry?
Embrace uncertainty like it’s your friend and don’t cling too hard to specific outcomes.
We tend to live life like we’re on a train track, headed straight towards a destination. We may occasionally look out the window and observe the views around us, but more often than not, we put on our blinders and look to our destination. Then, when we get knocked off our train track (like with a pandemic or various other things in life), we’re gonna feel like a train wreck. But these are also the moments where we can look around and see what else is available. Maybe we put on snowshoes and trek across the tundra, or build a raft and go down a river, or buy a sailboat to sail the oceans. The train wreck moments may be our greatest fear when it comes to the uncertainty of business, but these are often also the moments of greatest potential and growth. Embrace the train wreck when it happens or maybe, you don’t even want to get on the train in the first place.
Rebecca works with clients from all over the world helping them find fulfilling careers while making an impact and money doing what they love.
JAMIE POH | BURNABY PERSONAL BRANDING PHOTOGRAPHER
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