Rachael Jansen – You can have it all and thrive in a complete life

Meet Rachael Jansen

Rachael Jansen is a journalist and health coach who focuses on helping women who want to have it all AND thrive without the overwhelm, to live a balanced and complete life. She is fiercely committed to women’s visibility, especially as we move into our power years, and is the Founder of The Complete Life digital program. She’s warm, insightful, witty and inspiring and I’m delighted to know her as a friend and colleague.

We all have previous chapters in our stories – Tell me about your working life/business experiences before now?

I set my sights on a journalism career when I was 14 and plowed head-long into that with total confidence and determination, working my way quickly through the ranks as a senior reporter, columnist, chief-of-staff and acting news editor for some of Australia’s leading newspapers. My career took a detour when I had children – working mothers who wanted flexible working arrangements weren’t overly welcome in the newsroom I was in at the time and so I started reporting and writing from home. As my youngest child neared school age, I knew working fulltime in newspapers still wasn’t going to work for my family, and I started to look for something new – I studied to be a health coach because of my interest in health and happiness, built my first website and my next chapter opened from there.

Please provide a snapshot of your business

My business is a multi-faceted beast, where I combine my skills as a journalist and reputation strategist, with health coaching knowledge to help women rise in business and life – midlife women especially as I’ve found it’s the most intensely transformative time.

My reputation agency for women in business, Visible Women Media, is where I help women communicate their message for greater impact and influence. Our society needs more women in leadership and women’s voices are desperately lacking – without them we are only hearing one side of a conversation. Women have so much to offer the world, and my deep, deep passion is to help foster more balance.

And then I have courses and a membership – The Complete Life Project – that helps women live healthier, happier more balanced lives.

Assuming you are now in “Your Next Chapter”, what led you here? Tell me about your purpose, your why, the difference you want to make, who you are called to serve?

I absolutely and resolutely believe women should have it all – or what I call a complete life: one where they are fulfilled, healthy and balanced – and not sacrifice their own personal fulfillment or wellbeing because they have children.

I found that my devotion to motherhood had stripped me of my own life and sense of purpose as an individual. I had sacrificed my much loved career and profession, and also my health to an extent, and the realisation was deeply traumatic and involved years of finding out how to fix it.

When I looked around, I saw it wasn’t just me. So many women enter their 40s with the realisation or feeling that they’ve somehow let themselves down, and yet they have so much more to offer!

Fortunately, the time has never been better for women to reclaim their individual vitality and power – the internet has given us a freedom to strike out on our own, or speak up, or find the information we need to heal and rise.

Girls and women have always been told that having a reputation isn’t a good thing but I’d like to say bollocks to that! We’ve been conditioned to be good girls and seen but not heard, and so women who want to step up in their career or business, or even just take some time back for themselves, often find it hard to communicate their message with confidence.

If gender equality and equity is ever to be realised, and I am determined that it will, we as the current generation of female leaders can forge the way through creating a more balanced existence at home and professionally. This means taking up space as an individual – through sharing your knowledge and wisdom, and also protecting your own dreams and sovereign right to health and wellbeing.

What did you find most challenging about getting started/moving in a new direction?

Hahahaha, oh, so many challenges it would be hard to choose just one!

I’ve interviewed thousands of people, from Prime Ministers to people living on the streets. I’ve confronted bikies, been stalked and threatened, and called many, many names during my career, and nothing was as challenging or caused as much fear as trying to do this business thing.

So fear has been a huge beast to understand and tackle – fear of looking silly, being judged, getting something wrong, being criticised, stuffing up. I realise now it’s always going to be lurking in the corner of my psyche, and I’ve learned to deal with it much better because I’ve also learned it’s pretty much always false.

I think all the other challenges stem from fear of some sort: mindset, procrastination, indecision – all fear-based.

What have you found most fulfilling?

Oh again, so much to choose from but ultimately, there is nothing better than hearing from a woman that something I’ve written, said or helped them with has made their lives better in some way.

Have you experienced self-doubt? What causes it to flare and how do you work through it when it hits?

Of course! We live in an extremely judgemental society, and by that I mean we’re constantly judging and comparing everything around us. It’s how we make sense of things and where we fit and what we like. So of course, we judge ourselves and compare ourselves accordingly.

I also come from a professional background where I had to make judgment calls every day on people’s legitimacy – did they have any gravitas or authority to be quoted or included in the days news? So I found myself applying that same judgment process to everything I did and always coming up short. Over time I learned to think instead about the fact I have skills and experience most people don’t, and to just get in and do it anyway. Action breeds confidence.

How do you feel you have grown since you started?

Well, after around eight years in the online biz space and questioning my worth, value, and abilities daily, I’m now very, very certain that I am, in fact, a rock star. Affirming yourself daily like this might be uncomfortable, but it sure builds confidence and resilience.

What has been most effective for you when it comes to sharing your message and attracting clients?

Being authentic – showing who you really are, as you are – and having a point of difference, or an angle really helps people identify with you and how you can help them.

Have you developed any particular habits/strategies that facilitate getting things done in your business?

Oh sadly, nope! It’s haphazard and imperfect, depending on who is doing what in the household. Flexibility is the name of the game.

Why do you feel women in the 40’s and beyond make fabulous entrepreneurs?

Can you remember your 20s, and how back then, we thought we knew everything? It makes me really laugh now, because I am SO much wiser now in my 40s. We have lived ladies, we have so much more wisdom – lived experience and expertise. We’re more aware, can apply greater context, and have been-there done-that. We should really be rising into our power at this stage of life. It’s only society’s (false) obsession with youth that tells us otherwise.

What would you say to other women who are standing on the edge of their own Next Chapter, not sure if they can take the leap?

Well, if a leap feels too hard, just dip your toe in and continue to inch your way forward. Life is going to pass regardless, and I’d rather be living it doing something that gives me enormous satisfaction and a daily opportunity to learn and grow, than feeling like it’s all just fading away or lost in a daily grind.

What’s next for you? Share your vision!

I’m working on becoming a leading voice in Australia for gender equality, through supporting women to lead fulfilling, balanced, lives. I’d like to start a Midlife Revolution – where a woman’s 40s is the beginning of her most radical, most powerful, most satisfying chapter of life.
When I’m facing something new and challenging I…
overthink it until I frustrate myself into action.
I know my greatest strengths are…
communication and writing and strategic thinking
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
life is what you make it. (Thanks to mum, when I was a teenager).
One of my favourite books is…
just one! Eek. Women who Run with The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
My favourite Podcast is…
the James Altucher Show (one of them)
My favourite business tool or resource is…
other people.
My favourite quote is…
I don’t have a favourite – there’s inspiration to be found in many, many people’s stories.
Not many people know that I…
can crochet. My grandmother taught me when I was a child, and although I can only do a couple of stitches and make blankets, I feel connected to her whenever I do it.

You can connect with Rachel here.

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Angela Raspass

Mentoring women in their 40's and beyond to build sustainable businesses blending contribution, fulfilment and financial reward.

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