Rachel Hays just incorporated her new business, Walter Grace LLC, and will be moving into the Parkway Plaza, 4471 41st Ave., on Nov. 1.
Right now, she said it’s scary and uncomfortable, but also exciting. Her business will focus on empowerment and accountability coaching, as well as business relationship consulting, the former of which she needed to really get started.
“This is where empowerment coaching is so important because even as an individual myself, I kept finding reasons not to do it right, like ‘Oh, I don’t know how to do this’ or ‘I don’t know how to do that,’” said Rachel, a Columbus native. “One day I texted Renee Mueller if she had any office space in town that I could look at.”
Within 12 hours, Mueller, broker and owner of kwELITE in Columbus, had her looking at a place. Mueller owns Parkway Plaza.
Now Rachel has office space, which means no more pushing her dogs out of her office when someone calls, and the physical space allowed her to start pulling together the necessary pieces, like a website and name. The name, Walter Grace, is her son’s middle name and her daughter’s middle name put together.
As for the business itself, she said she wants to help people grow whether it be personally or professionally. On the business side, she said she can do things like sales practices but at the core, she is focused on customer relationship management strategy, such as how a leadership team manages relationships with customers.
She came up with the idea while thinking about her strengths as well as the leadership classes she and her husband, Brandon, are taking through their executive master's of business administration program at the University of Nebraska – Omaha.
Rachel decided to go through that program due to a bout with post-partum depression.
“When Emma (Rachel's youngest child) was born, she was born two months early. So she spent a lot of time in the NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) and then we brought her home in the middle of winter,” Rachel said. “I stayed home for quite a long time and then went right back to work and was traveling non-stop. Like the day I went back to work, I had to be in Minneapolis.”
Rachel said she really struggled with post-partum depression. She needed a change.
“I really wanted to start retraining my mind … I needed to get back into different and more challenging thinking patterns … that’s what prompted me to start my executive MBA program when I did,” Rachel said. “There’s not a specific way to get out of it.”
She said she wants people to know they are stronger than their circumstances.
“Without all of those challenges, it would have never led me to this,” she said.
There have been other challenges faced along the way, noted her husband, though he said the biggest challenge was the decision to go for it.
“Just the amount of work that has to be done to get this going is definitely a challenge,” Brandon said. “She is regularly reaching out to people and her network.”
Brandon said his wife has always wanted to focus on helping people and making them understand their potential.
“That was (what) she liked most about her last job and actually all of her jobs, so developing people has always been something she’s liked to do,” he added. “She had the opportunity to go back to her old job or kind of take the jump and she decided that she’d be happier and she’d be doing what she loves by taking this jump.”
Rachel said she was excited about this move, after always working in corporate America.
“I’m in the very initial startup phase,” she said, and added she is talking to a few companies and individuals about potential opportunities.
She said she will complete her help and life coach certification in April 2021.
“There’s no road map for starting your own business,” Rachel said. “So you kind of just have to do it and then take each step at a time.”
Carolyn Komatsoulis is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at email@example.com.