Who are you and what business did you start?
I am Rachel Wells, career coach and executive resume writer, and I am the founder of Wellspring Coaching & Recruitment.
What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
In 2014, I was asked by my church to be a youth mentor, in which time I mentored the youth to help them build their confidence and discover what career would work best for them. Then in 2019, I walked out of my part time job as it was not conducive to my mental health. At that time, I was literally broke and had no idea where the next paycheck would come from. 2019 was a very traumatic year for me and my family.
In that year my family and I were about to be evicted as we had piling rent arrears, and my uncle died which revived a family feud with my distant relatives, which was very messy to say the least. My mother, brother, and I were dragged through court proceedings which were very hurtful as everything was based off lies, and we received abusive threats from our relatives as well. In that crisis, I had to deal with suicidal thoughts which I thankfully didn’t succumb to.
I had to do one of two things: Kill myself/get depressed; OR use this situation as fuel to help others.
The second option is exactly what I did. My mother told me, Rachel you have gold within you, you just need to dig inside to get it out.” So I dug within me and started advertising my career coaching service as a business. That very day I landed my first paid client.
Describe the process of launching the business.
The next 6 months were a rollercoaster. Finances were still tight but things got way better. I multiplied my income 5 times throughout this period, through advertising online, word of mouth referrals, and repeat customers. At one time I had a client who asked me to create their CV for them to pitch to a potential new employer; I did and they were so pleased that they referred 3 of their colleagues at the same company to me, so nearly a whole team at one company were my clients in one month!
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Since then word of mouth and plenty of testimonials and five-star reviews have been my best methods of attracting customers. Also right at the beginning, my mother who is an avid digital marketer designed my business photos for ads and set up my entire photoshoot from makeup to photography and final editing. I also owe her plenty of credit for designing my website which I definitely could not have done on my own.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
I’ve been fortunate to be working on the JETS programme in the UK as an employment coach while working on my business at the same time, helping those who have been umemployed due to the pandemic. At the moment I am expanding to deliver the iCan Career Workshops in shools and colleges across the UK. I believe young people need to understand the hidden potential they can tap into within themselves, and need to be equipped with employability skills so they can make the best start to their career and experience their life calling. That’s my primary focus while coaching my clients for job interviews and doing CV makeovers. I’m looking forward to seeing my workshops transform the career outlook for thousands of teenagers and university students, not just in the UK, but expanding internationally too!
I’ve also added recruitment most recently to my coaching business, focusing on recruiting for tech roles in the UK
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
One thing I have learned is that as a business owner, you are responsible for continuous self-development so your enterprise can grow. If I didn’t keep myself current with the trends in the UK job market or continue to train myself in the technique of coaching and motivating clients to achieve their career goals, I wouldn’t be where I am today with my success rate of getting clients into their dream jobs.
Second, the reason I have five-star reviews from my coaching clients is because I always go above and beyond with my service, go the extra mile, and provide them with more than they paid for. That has always been my motto.
Last but not least, as I am a Christian, I made my faith an important part of my business. In my quiet time when I am not working, I make it a point to pray for my clients especially if they have an interview coming up which they’re really nervous about. Every time I’ve done this they’ve passed with flying colours and received multiple job offers!
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I heavily rely on my CRM and Office 365 to manage my client data which is extremely important to me as we have to be GDPR compliant and preserve trust with so much confidential information that I handle every day. I also have a WhatsApp group for my coaching clients to connect and motivate each other while looking for work.
For my meetings with clients, I used to use Zoom but not anymore, I prefer using MS Teams.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
The very first business book I ever read was First Steps to Wealth by Dani Johnson. My mother gave me this book when I was about 12 years old and I read the entire book cover to cover in less than a week. It helped me incredibly with my interview skills when I landed my first job, and I carried the lessons I learned into various commercial contexts such as at work when working with my managers, serving customers, and then into business. My favourite chapter is chapter 3, which teaches you how to connect with people on a deeper level which is one of the secrets of building a successful business.
I’m currently reading the book Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore as part of my professional development as a coach and it has helped me motivate my clients more and understand their motivations when I have sessions with them.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
My biggest piece of advice would be to keep educating yourself on the job, it’s a journey, not a destination. Also it’s easy to second-guess yourself when you’re acting on your own and don’t have colleagues to bounce ideas with. Being an entrepreneur means taking a leap of faith in yourself, so it’s incredibly important to believe in your abilities and that you have what it takes to make your venture a success, instead of doubting yourself. You’ll never know unless you try.