Meet The Feminist Founder: Rachel Wynn
It was the beginning of June in 2016 and I was an Associate Community Manager at a large coworking company where I worked a minimum of 50 hours a week without overtime. This was the kind of place that encouraged a work culture of “hustling hard”.
My senior manager asked me to meet him in the Community Manager office at 5:00pm…on a Friday…and I had a bad feeling that I may be in trouble, but had no idea why. I walked into the office and he’s sitting at a table with paperwork on one side and a cell phone on speaker on the other.
I sit down and immediately felt a sense of dread, which was warranted, since he immediately told me that this was my last day at the company and that HR was on the phone to walk me through the exit process. After that, he literally gave me a box and asked me to pack up my things before I was escorted from the building.
I numbly packed up my stuff, the whole time all that was going through my head was any reason they could have fired me. I asked him on the walk out of the building why I was fired and he said he was not at liberty to say. To this day, I still have no idea why I was fired and will probably never know.
Folks, I’ve always been a Type A overachiever and have never been in trouble, so I was shocked that, despite my loyalty to WeWork and how hard I worked, I was still discarded like a gross snotty tissue with no explanation offered.
I don’t know if anyone of you have been fired, but I’m sure that almost everyone has been unemployed at some point. It’s an awful feel of uselessness, so naturally I cried in the Uber ride home and I cried that night in my boyfriend’s lap; I had no idea what I was going to do next and couldn’t stop wondering what I had done wrong.
Saturday morning I woke up and wasn’t sad anymore. I was MAD. And when I say mad, I mean I was livid. I realized, for the first time, that I was not in control of my career and my success and that working hard and following the rules had gotten me absolutely nowhere.
Instead of wallowing in self pity and self criticism, I changed my mindset that weekend and decided that getting fired was a gift because I was at a point where I had NOTHING left to lose. So, at the age of 25 and 5 days after I was mercilessly thrown out of that company, I decided to take a risk and start a company so I could be the boss of my economic future.
I decided social media was something I could figure out since I had a background in communications and had sold social media marketing software back in 2012. Of course I learned a lot from Google on starting a business, but in my research noticed a lack of of resources and guidance on how to actually be an entrepreneur, especially information geared toward women.
That fall at the Blogalicious blogging conference, we did an activity with popsicle sticks, gumdrops, and little umbrella to uncover our passions. I definitely don't remember the purpose of the props, but I certainly remember the outcome!
I looked at my sticks and was shocked to see social media was missing from my list of passions! That's when it hit me: I should develop resources for women who want to start a business and learn how to be their own boss. It was something I wished I had when I was starting out, so why not help other women learn from my mistakes?
In October of 2016, I founded Feminist Founder: "The Circle" (formerly known as Solopreneur Circle), an affordable, inclusive, and collaborative community for those who self-identify as women and who quit their day job to make their passion project their full time career. I wanted my freedom, but I also wanted to lift others while I climbed because being the boss of my own life was amazing, but having a community of trusted peers was even an even better path to success.
Now, I have a fantastic team of 5 women who work remotely for Starlight Social (y'all, delegation is crucial) and am very proud to say that I’ve doubled my revenue each year since 2015 with 2017 hitting a benchmark of $65,000. That's right, I SAID IT: I'm proud of the money I've earned and I'm not afraid to talk about it!
In the past 3 years of running a business I’ve learned that when life comes at you and aggressively punches you in the face, instead of wallowing on the couch, you HAVE to slap on an ice pack, or some foundation, and throw yourself out back out there and fake it until you become the boss woman you always knew you had in you.