Dear Me: Rachel Service

This month we shine light on fierce business woman, director + founder of Happiness Concierge Rachel Service. We’re inspired by Rachel’s  work ethic + story behind starting her own company. Rachel’s global training company Happiness Concierge is all about keeping your mojo in check, with helpful takeaways about trusting your gut, reminding yourself how valuable your time is + one we’re still trying to master- How to put yourself first by saying No (Without putting anyone offside). It’s super refreshing to be surrounded by like minded women who are determined to make a difference + are all for supporting other women. Kick back, pour yourself a glass of bubbly  + take a peak at what Rachel would say to her younger self. 

 Dear Rachel,

 At age 19, you’ll convince your parents to let you spend money on a trip to report on fashion week for a magazine that isn’t paying you. “It’ll be a great opportunity”, you tell them.

You spend four days with the who’s who of the fashion world in small town New Zealand, talking your way into most of the events under the guise of being a journalist. You might have looked like a young girl but this one trip turns you into a 24/7 opportunity detecting machine.

 At 26, you’ll move to Germany in the middle of winter to become a singer. Your German is non existent. You’ll ditch plan A, and make plan B, moving to London. You’ll arrive in London in 2009, the GFC. Coincidentally it's the Rachel Financial Crisis too.

 No one will hire you. You make a plan C.

''No offence or nuffin”, your hiring manager at your next London interview will say, “but your so called ‘NZ experience’ doesn’t mean jack. You can start at the bottom.” You make a plan D, working for free and get comfortable having no idea when your rent money is coming from.

You work three jobs to pay the bills while you work on fancy campaigns at an advertising agency. You take a day off, exhausted. “I don’t give a toss if you’re tired”, says the boss. “The client needs it and you started this.” You learn taking ownership is important. You also learn clients don’t give a toss about why it’s late, it just matters it isn’t late, so you might as well get on with it.

 You end up over the years interviewing movie stars and musicians, offering to do it for free for the experience. You realise showing up, usually unpaid, and offering to help, is how opportunities and connections are made.

 At 27, you’ll move to Melbourne and become a PR.

Your job will be to call hundreds of journalists from publications you’ve never read and pitch in your client's story. You’ll get rejected on average 50 times a day.

You learn to think on your feet or lose an opportunity. You also learn not to take rejection personally.

You’ll be made redundant nine months later. You’ll learn no job is ever really secure, nor is it for keeps. You learn to be OK if something doesn’t work out and it's really useful you learnt that thing about rejection not being personal!

You’ll start freelancing. Your therapist will tell you efficiency is a value of yours.

You’ll get up at 4am to deliver your first clients workload by 8am, then go to work at 9am to do a days work at an agency, then start your third shift at 6pm with another freelance client.

You learn that ‘making it look easy’ is a bit tricky but the client doesn’t seem to want to know that, or know what is happening behind the scenes. They keep hiring you.

You will then turn 30 and life gives you a great birthday gift in the shape of an insult. After hosting an event, a panelist will say “you could be a talent wrangler”.

“Fuck that”, you think. “I am the talent.”

You start to focus your attention on public speaking.

You will call a spade a spade on stage and people will call it authentic. Companies decide they’d like to pay you to be authentic with them.

Good eggs see what you are creating and see the possibilities. They offer to help and give you suggestions on how to grow.

You get wrinkles and people start taking you more seriously. Go figure.

Clients call you on a Monday and ask you to present that afternoon for an event on Tuesday. You’ve never been happier.

Despite all the good stuff, some people also expect you to not be successful. Some will assume you aren’t smart because you’re good at people. Ironically, people are your business. You realise that perception is their problem.

You also realise that gumption, making alternative plans on the fly and staring rejection in the face every day is the part of entrepreneurialism that people forget. These traits, acquired through your earlier years are now coming in handy.

So dear Rachel, in moments when you feel exhausted, through the jet lag and working at airports, to hand washing outfits at 2am the night before a client presentation, to making it happen on the fly, to moments of reminding yourself every day you can do this, remember the promise you made to yourself when you started this business.

I trust myself to make the right decisions. I love myself and respect myself enough to say no.  If I don’t know something, I will ask for help.

Don’t ever apologise for what you have spent a lifetime earning.

Instead: I want you to enjoy it.

 Rachel Service


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