From Freelancer to A Full-Time Business Owner: How Chief Lemon Rachel Kelly Turned Life’s Lemons into Lemonade.
Rachel Kelly is the founder and chief lemon of Make Lemonade, a co-working space for women, located in the heart of Toronto. With an inspiring work environment and a welcoming community, Make Lemonade is on a mission to make everyone feel like a boss no matter their position.
Rachel was a freelancer who worked remotely for a long time which made her lonely. She sat on the idea and finally decided to act on it in 2016.
She tells a story of when life handed her a lemon and she had to officially take control of herself without letting a job title or a plane ticket define her. Her passion for helping people led her to start Make Lemonade and working with women seemed like the best way to go about it. She had to make the working space unique to be an inviting place for women.
As a way to plan, she wrote every single detail, regardless of how small it may have seemed.
She had volunteered at a working space a year prior to starting hers which gave her an idea of how things should look, but she also confesses to using Google a lot. She reached out to people who could help her set things in motion. The hardest part of the process was finding the “perfect” place for the community she wanted to create.
The journey was not easy but she persevered and did not give up. She now wishes she went slower than how she did initially when her responsibilities were minimum. She talks about where the funding for the business came from, how it took her a year to get everything up and running.
She fell on her first team of eight members that were family, friends, and people who wanted to support her. She later worked with a publicist a couple of months after starting which helped get the word out and more people. She had also started touring even before opening to get people to see renovations. The renovations gave her stress and she describes some of the hard moments where she had to use her dad to talk to male contractors who would undermine her authority. The experience made her even more empowered to give women a working space where they can empower themselves.
She describes some of her lowest darkest times being an entrepreneur:
- She wasn’t ready for the pressure of answering questions that were thrown to her as a brand-new entrepreneur.
- She experienced a lot of loss when she began and had to look for help to run the business to find time to attend to the losses.
She started to outsource for temporary help when things got difficult to handle and have hired permanent help since.She describes some of the best moments she’s had in her entrepreneurial journey.
She talks about her Front Desk Gang Program, what it means and the benefits it offers to the members.
Things have now gotten better that she doesn’t have to learn lessons the hard way. It was also beneficial that her parents offered their entrepreneurial experience to her which came in handy.
Some of the things that being an entrepreneur has taught her:
- Take time for yourself- it doesn’t make you less committed.
- You can do anything but you cannot do everything.
- There’s a difference between being strong and using your strength.
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Trudie here, certified personal trainer, speaker and podcast host.
Born in Jamaica, currently residing in Toronto, Canada, I find it hard to start my day without a dose of coffee in my system, I mean, life begins after coffee, right?
I love eating healthy foods, but I do not enjoy cooking. On a Friday night, give me a great book and a glass of Moscato wine, and I’m one happy girl!