Julie was very excited this week to be interviewed by The 8 Percent – an online community bringing together entrepreneurship and art. You can read the original article by clicking here, or read on for a copy of the article in full……
Julie Rainbow launched Clarity Road in 2014, inspired by a dedication to impact the lives of women through realistic information, support and advice, that will enable them to make informed choices that will help them get ahead in life.
The company provides solutions for all types of life-changing events, including divorce, bankruptcy, and job loss from a position of experience, whilst also support women business owners grow their business and be successful. The team also engages in guest speaking, social commentary, and events and business mentoring.
“At Clarity Road, we also realise that a personal crisis isn’t always brought on by a specific life event,” Rainbow explains. “Self-esteem issues or loss of life-purpose can strike even the most outwardly confident and happy woman. Our workshops are designed to help women from all walks of life to overcome fear, forge clear goals, and take empowered steps towards realising their ambitions.”
STARTING THE BUSINESS
What makes Clarity Road so unique to your industry?
I think Clarity Road is unique in terms of being a bit of a ‘one stop’ shop for women for many reasons. I think when a woman is in trouble, or has a life changing event, it can impact all areas of her life, and quite often there is no one place to head for answers or support. Clarity Road’s philosophy and approach is simple; we believe that knowledge is power, and to make good decisions you need to be informed. Clarity Road is about realistic advice from someone that has walked a day in the shoes of the ladies who need help. It’s also about offering real world advice and support for business women, from someone who has been successful in their career and wants to share that knowledge and recipe for success with others.
What were the toughest challenges you faced when first starting out?
My toughest challenges are actually what made me start my business. Due to a debilitating divorce and deceit from my ex-husband, my ex took off and hasn’t been seen for over 10 years, leaving me with a ‘surprise to me’ life of debt and deceit. I lost my award-winning business, I lost my investment properties and my nice house and luxury car and I had no choice but to go bankrupt. I basically had to start my life over again, whilst also having two children in very expensive private schools. So my toughest challenges started with having a lot, then have nothing and being bankrupt, and then rebuilding my whole life both personally and professionally. During this process I had very little money, but I had a strong sense of self and determination that my life and the life of my children would not be altered. So I worked hard, became successful, and rebuilt my life from scratch, and the blessing came in the form of Clarity Road, a business I love and I am very passionate about.
What do you wish you’d known when first starting out that you had to learn the hard way?
I wish I had backed my own ideas more, and worried less about researching and seeing what everyone else is doing in business, and trying to compare. I think that these days we get so caught up in the ‘gurus’ and how everybody else does it, that we forget that we are unique and have our own set of skills and expertise to bring to the table. I also learnt the hard way that as business owners and leaders we should ‘stick to our knitting’; we don’t have to be jack of all trades and become master of none, we need to stick to doing what we are personally very good at, acknowledge and educate ourselves on what we don’t know, and the areas we are really not great at, or not passionate about, outsource. I would have drunk less wine, eaten less chocolate and had less grey hair, had I taken up my own advice earlier!
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
What’s the most important aspect to keep in mind to stay at the top of your industry?
The most important thing for me is to stay on top what’s going on around me, listen to the issues in the community, give back as much as I can, and always be authentic and true in all aspects of my work. Remaining at the top can be perceived in many different ways – to some its financial, to others PR recognition, to others its awards and awareness. For me, it’s more personal; I dance to the beat of my own drum, and if I am confident I am achieving my goals and growing my business whilst also empowering women, then that means I am at the top of my game, regardless of the market or what anybody else is doing.
How do you see the industry changing over the next 5 – 10 years?
I see the industry changing over the next few years in an enormous way. People are investing in themselves now more than ever, in either personal development, training and education, or health and well being. We are now, more than ever, a society that is willing to ask for help, willing to share issues and concerns, and willing to embrace change, so all of these elements will ensure continued growth in all of the key areas Clarity Road offers, so I am excited to see and experience that growth.
How will Clarity Road adapt to this change?
Clarity Road will be evolving and offering more of an education arm to the business. We are getting involved in more issue-specific areas such as financial advice and help centres, workshops for women in the workplace, resilience programs for young women, business mentoring and an elite success club to take things to a whole new level for career women or business owners. We will continue to evolve our position in the marketplace, so that we can be a voice for women. We will enhance and offer more social commentary and awareness for key issues and success strategies, for women everywhere to get ahead. We also hope to develop our brand and continue to be an influencer across a large community network, across many demographics.
What is your ultimate vision of success?
My vision of ultimate success is fairly simple: waking up every day doing what I love, and what I am passionate about. In practical terms, my ultimate success is Clarity Road being a household brand name that people know and trust. My goal is to have Clarity Centres where women can come and speak to various professionals who can help them, they can come to fill their happiness cup with inspiring stories, whilst learning and growing to reach their full potential, and we also hope to make the same strategy work for our online community with international reach. My ultimate dream is to employ a team of women much more talented and inspiring than me, to help me execute the vision and plans for Clarity Road over the next five years, we have a lot to achieve and no doubt in my mind that we won’t do it!
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs who want to follow in your footsteps?
I believe to be successful you have to have a few key things:
Passion – passion for your business, passion for your dreams, passion for the way you live your life. Fearlessness – don’t listen to the negative people; believe in yourself and follow your instincts. Focus – eat, sleep, and breathe what you want to achieve, because when you start out, that’s the key to making the business take shape and start to thrive. Understanding – read books, talk to people, look at different lives and cultures. Network; learn about life in traditional and non-traditional ways.
Finally, you have to be a trailblazer. We are not sheep. We don’t have to follow the flock. Back yourself and your business, and don’t be afraid if the end picture isn’t what the drawing first looked like.
For more information on Clarity Road, visit the website at www.clarityroad.com.au
Our thanks go to Julie for taking part in this interview.