Happy Friday, boss! A day of lazily closing out the week, chatting with your co-workers (aka your pets) about your weekend plans, and hopefully closing up shop juuuust a little early. Each Friday, we'll be doing a feature on an amazing creative business owner in the Big Sky State, so that we can all learn a little bit more about the struggle and the awesomeness of being a business owner. Click here to read other interviews with amazing women from around the state!
Hey girl hey! Introduce yourself and tell us about your biz!
I'm Jackie Rainford Corcoran from Core Health and Rainford Art. I'm a health coach who does private coaching as well as onsite corporate health coaching. I'm also an oil painter who teaches private art lessons as well as hosting Art Parties (canvas and cocktail type of events).
How did you start your boss lady journey?
I started teaching painting lessons 17 years ago because painting is what I love to do, there was no one offering private lessons to tourists visiting Big Sky and the wages in Big Sky and Bozeman were ridiculously low.
Health coaching grew out of being a personal trainer. I became a personal trainer when I decided to study art--to support my art habit. After training for many years (the last 5 of training were at the Ridge Athletic Club), I became acutely aware that my clients needed nutritional guidance as well as exercise coaching. This led me to filling that role myself. I love health coaching so much, I chose to spend my hours with clients as their health coach rather than trainer.
Have you gone full-time with your business?
My combination of careers keeps me busy 24/7!
Okay, let's talk about the DNA behind your businesses. Were you one of those women with entrepreneurship basically in your blood that we always hear about?
I think it is in my DNA. But that's not to say I knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. I started out in college as pre-med with the intention of being an optometrist. I envisioned graduating from SUNY Optometry school in NYC and then opening up a cool eyeglass shop in downtown Manhattan. Half way into organic chemistry (and my college years) I switched my major to English Lit--and had absolutely no idea what the hell I was going to do with the rest of my life. Starting my own businesses has happened out of what seems to be pure necessity.
How do you build an income and a life through Core Health and Rainford Art?
I host art parties, private health coaching (my clients work with me for a minimum of 6 months for 60 minutes every other week) and onsite corporate health coaching and it's all fairly even in terms of income percentages. Other ways I make money is teaching private art lessons (mostly to tourists visiting Big Sky in the Summer) and selling original paintings and prints.
What was your most expensive mistake?
My most expensive mistake was thinking I should be an architectural renderer. It was bad timing on so many levels--mostly we were entering the digital age. I got a job at a local high end architectural firm and was mentored by a genius in his field but two critical things happened. First, the economy tanked and lots of people affiliated with building were laid off (me included). Second, and most important, I realized that even if I was making art, going to the same office from 8-6 and sitting at a desk wasn't aligned with my personality and energy. I also spent a lot of money on a large fancy Mac Book Pro and software programs and education because I thought that I needed that to be successful in the business.
What's the biggest misconception that women have around business ownership?
I think it's common knowledge that new business owners/entrepreneurs are going to work many more hours than having a 9-5. We are also acutely aware that we have to wear many many hats, and they don't all fit very well. But I don't think that reading about it and hearing it from others does justice to how much life changes and how engrossed in work we become.
I also don't think that you can imagine how much you will grow--in communication, leadership, business, time management, finances, networking, marketing, writing, creative problem solving and social media. That's not to say we have to be or will be experts in all of these areas, but we blossom beyond our wildest dreams. It brings us closer to self actualization and living our purpose.
Where would you like to be in the next year? The next five years?
In the next year, I would like my corporate well-being business to have legs--strong athletic endurance legs. I would like it to evolve from the fledgling onsite health coaching business that it is today into a business that helps companies re-work their business strategy to incorporate wellness as part of their culture.
In the next 5 years, I plan on working with large organizations (like hospitals), writing a book on changing the culture of wellness in the US--in an attempt to turn the health of America around by 2036--at which time we are ranked the #1 healthiest country in the world and doing a lot more public speaking to a much larger audience on health and wellness.
How would you define a Boss Lady?
I would define a Boss Lady as a woman who is not afraid to step up and create change. She has learned from past mistakes and doesn't cower or bail because of them--instead she grows because of them. She will take the lead but will also immerse herself in teamwork with the same enthusiasm.
She knows that the old business model we've been operating under is outdated, repressive and dysfunctional and she finds new innovative and functional ways to get work done, contribute to society and make a good living. Giving back gives her pleasure. Seeing others thrive makes her heart happy. She will laugh and cry with anyone because she is connected to humanity. She loves life.
What one piece of advice would you give yourself in your first year as a biz owner?
Year 1: Let go of your fear of being rejected (hearing the word "No"), of not being perfect and of the unknown. You got this! You're stronger and smarter than you think.
Year 3: Writing a book takes discipline. Even if no one ever reads this except your editor, the learning you will glean is going to be invaluable to you down the line--and not very far down the line either. Just do it.