Today we are interviewing Rae Majors-Wildman. She is an award-winning business strategist, a sought after speaker, a bestselling author, and the CEO and President of Rae Majors-Wildman International. The reason this interview is interesting is that she shares her story of how her life was feeling very unbalanced when she had her son and how she went through several different careers to find the thing that lights her up and created a business around that. She highlights the importance of having that work/life balance. As entrepreneurs, it’s very easy to go totally work mad and just work all the time. That is really not the best way. I think this interview highlights that better than any we’ve had thus far.
Meredith: So, Rae, you started your business in order to spend more time with your children. Can you tell us a little bit about how you made that decision, and how it all played out for you?
Rae: Absolutely. I really consider myself an accidental entrepreneur. As a matter of fact, when my youngest son was six months old, my husband at the time and I made a decision that I would go back to work. It was primarily because I was the major bread winner. So we made that decision, but it was difficult because I really wanted to be at home with my baby.
Jasper: What kind of work were you doing then, Rae?
Rae: At that time I was working in corporate for an advertising company. It was interesting because I was working for a CFO and he had no children. When I would sometimes be one minute late for work, or I had to take my baby to doctor appointments, or I wanted to go to a play or program, my boss had no concept of that. So it was always a battle with him if I needed to take time off. But I just dealt with it.
I had found a really great woman who ran a family home daycare. She kind of reminded me of a grandma. I felt like I could turn my baby over to her and that he would be safe. What it would look like is I would drop my baby off, hand him to her, and drive about a 45 minute commute. And I would be sobbing all the way to work because I wanted to be at home. Then one day I went to pick Christopher up and he looked a little bit different. As a matter of fact, his nose was busted, he had a fat lip, and he had a rug burn on his chin. Now keep in mind he’s 6 months old.
Meredith: Oh, my goodness.
Rae: Yes. Needless to say, I was upset, and I made the decision then that I was going to quit my job. So I grabbed my baby, went home, and told my then husband, “You know what? I can’t do this anymore. We need to do something differently. I’m not going back to work. We’ll figure it out.” I quit my job, and the first business that I ran was a family daycare.
Meredith: You’re a hero to me. Interestingly, my first job out of graduate school was encouraging people to open family daycares.
Rae: It really is a lot of work. However, I would say that out of all of the things I’ve done in my life, it’s probably up there as one of my most rewarding, and some of the best memories that I’ve had is taking these little babies under my arm. I watched some of them walk for the first time, so I had the opportunity to catch it on camera for the mom. For some of them, I was their advocate because their parents weren’t what I would consider good parents. Sometimes I would have to contact the state to intervene, which was never an easy call. But it was an amazing experience and I truly was blessed by doing it.
Meredith: So what made you give that up and move to something else? I mean, I know it’s hard work, but beyond that.
Rae: Well, it actually it served a season. Remember, I did it primarily to support the income that I was just leaving. So when Christopher became school age, I made a decision to shut it down. At that point I got clear that I was not employable. I thought, “I don’t think I could work for anybody.” Then I asked myself, “Well, what can I do?” And I was introduced to real estate and became a real estate agent for about 3 years.
The one part that I didn’t like about being a real estate agent is that you would put somebody in your car, drive them around to all these different houses, and they would choose the house that they want. You would then put them under contract and have to turn that bill over to a loan officer, upon whom you would have to rely to get that deal to the closing table. At that time we had a lot of interesting things going on with some of the loan officers, a lot of predatory lending, a lot of bait and switch. I had some very frustrated clients and was frustrated myself because I wasn’t getting my commission check, so I made a decision to jump and become a loan officer. I actually became really successful. As a matter of fact, when I left the industry, I was doing 20 to 25 loans per month. On average, I’d work about 30 to 35 hours a week, and would consistently take off one week per quarter.
Let me share with you, that was not where I started. When I started doing loans, I was probably working about 60 to 80 hours a week. At that time I got divorced. When I was at home with my children I was always thinking about the deals, and my clients, and what can I do next, and all the stuff that I left on my desk at the office that I needed to get done or that I didn’t get done. Then, when I was at work, I was thinking about my kids, and I wasn’t able to go to their softball games. I was so out of balance.
It wasn’t until Christopher, my youngest, came up to me and — did you ever watch Charlie Brown? You know, Charlie Brown’s teacher who was like, “Wah, wah, wah”? Well, that’s what I was hearing from my son because I was so in my own head. When I realized what was happening, I snapped out of the trance I was in and said, “Oh, baby, come here. Come tell Mom. What is it? What do you want to tell me?” And he looked up at me with those big brown eyes and said, “Never mind. You never listen anyway.”
Meredith: Oh, ouch!
Rae: Yes. Knife in chest, turn, and twist. That’s when I realized I was missing the mark, and I made a conscious decision to shift the way I did business.
Meredith: That’s exactly why I decided that I wasn’t going to pursue a full time job out of the home when we moved from Fairfax to Albuquerque. It was the same thing. I didn’t feel like I was “there”. I felt like I was broken in two and neither of the halves were doing really well. How did you decide to go into business for yourself at that point?
Rae: Oh, the story gets longer.
Meredith: That’s okay. That’s what this is about. We want to hear your story because you’re going to inspire somebody else.
Rae: Thank you. I was living in Detroit at the time. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the feeling that there is more, that this is not where you’re supposed to be, that you’ve done well but feel like God is calling you to do something greater. That’s how I felt. I was reading a bunch of books on personal development and mindset at the time, and, oddly enough, the author of every book I read was from San Diego. I thought, “Wow, that’s weird.” So I ended up relocating from Detroit to San Diego. I literally moved here with no job. I had no family here. Just faith.
I had been dating a man from Montreal at the time of the move. We loaded up his truck in Montreal, crossed the border into Detroit, and loaded up the rest of the truck with my belongings. Then we drove to San Diego, threw all of our stuff in the garage, hopped on a plane, and got married on the beach in Maui – third time’s the charm, ladies! While we were on vacation, I was calling places because I thought, “I’ve got to get a job” since my husband couldn’t work due to immigration reasons. I got back into mortgages, which was very easy to do because real estate was still hot. Then I realized that chapter had closed and I was getting kind of burned out.
I didn’t feel like I was making a greater impact and I wanted to get into coaching. My husband saw how miserable I was. On his own accord, he did some research online and found a coaching company that was hiring coaches. I worked for that organization for about four years before launching my own company. It was the best blessing and gift that I could get because I got to see what a huge organization did in regards to coaching. When I worked for them, I carried an average of 90 one-on-one coaching clients. People couldn’t believe the number of clients I had, asking,”You had 90 coaching clients?!” I would say, “Yes. What? That’s not the norm?”
Starting my own business just looked like the next step. I wanted to do more. I wanted to have a broader range as far as who I served, because at that time I was just serving realtors and loan officers. I really wanted to serve small businesses and women entrepreneurs.
Favorite Books: The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkerson; Outwitting The Devil by Napolean Hill
Favorite Resources: michaelhyatt.com; Schedule Once; Infusionsoft; ScoopIt
Want to get a free audiobook version of the book recommended by this week’s guest? Click here to download it.
Rae’s top tips for a healthy work/life balance
1) Scheduling – people don’t prioritize – they become reactive vs proactive. So plan your year, schedule your month, prioritize you day.
2) Make sure you take care of yourself – have yourself a power-hour. build time for you to fill up your tank, because if you are depleted it is not going to help you.
3) Find people who can support you – find a team – even if that is someone who can collect the kids from school.
4) Have realistic expectations – you will NEVER get it all done. Be okay with that.
5) Start with the end in mind – know what success looks like for you. Because if you don’t you are going to keep running on that perpetual hamster wheel.
Guest: Rae Majors-Wildman – Rae Majors-Wildman International
Rae Majors-Wildman is an awarding winning business strategist, sought after speaker, best-selling author and CEO/President of Rae Majors-Wildman International.
Rae has been trained and certified by some of the best in the business from Chet Holmes to Anthony Robbins and John Assaraf.
With over 15,000 coaching hours under her belt, she has successfully coached every business from start-up at the ground-level to Fortune 100 companies. Rae’s commitment to empowering, educating and expanding women business owners is exemplified in her newest business venture “The International Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals (IAWEP).
She is affectionately known by her clients as the “velvet hammer” because of her commitment to helping them achieve RESULTS while building a business that they absolutely love.
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