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Inspiration and Success: Meet Rachael

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Jocelyn Anne

 

It’s not often (if ever) that I have encountered someone online who inspired me as quickly, readily and thoroughly as Rachael McCracken.  When I first found her not long ago, I was simply a content writer for an online heating & cooling company, looking for something new and different to write about.  On a whim, I read through some product reviews and found one by a bubbly, vivacious woman claiming to have purchased a heater of ours to provide heat and comfort in her home daycare.  I was intrigued – mainly by her tone, but also by her ambition.  So I did some Google work and tracked down a Rachael living in a small town Indiana, and I shot her a message to see if she was the one and the same, and if so, could I learn a little bit more of her story?  And she, in spite of 22 sets of parents, two full-time day cares, 3 of her own children, a home and of course, a husband, all demanding her attention, she sat down and took the time to answer some of my curiosity’s questions.  In my mind, she’s the epitome of what an inspiration to women everywhere really looks like.  Her core being seems to be rock solid ambition, and ambition from a heart of gold at that.

I’d love to share a little of Rachel with you because I think she’ll inspire you, just as she did me.  Here’s to Rachel, an inspiration for mothers everywhere to find success and find it for a truly meaningful purpose.

The Background

In 2002, Rachel was making a minimal salary at a customer service job in a small town in Indiana.  Every plan changed when she gave birth to her son, Nathan.  Her sadness at letting him go, her fears of anyone else watching her son, the idea it wasn’t really even feasibly affordable to pay the majority of her wages to daycare, these were the tipping points that brought her to a place where she decided to give up her job and stay home.  But, she needed a solution to a now serious lack of funding.  No problem.  She decided to “watch” children (a term she cringes at now because what she did encompassed so much more).  She did this for 7 years in her conviction that she loved her job with a passion, in spite of the loneliness, in spite of a lack of adult interaction, and in spite of not having what she would have felt were “job accomplishments” to share with others beyond things like changing 20 diapers in a day.  But, as passionate as ever, she knew she loved her day job enough to turn it into a career.

To accomplish this, she needed a bigger area.  Their family bought a bigger house where she could take on many more children.  She started marketing avidly, in addition to plowing through the classes needed to become state licensed.  Five years later, she was ready to grow again.  They rented a second home location and she turned the garage into a 400 square foot playroom equipped with heat and insulation to deem it usable for year round daycare use. 

The Success

She now runs two fully-functional state licensed daycares and employs 8 full time employees.  She took over leadership for a local daycare group, TheChildCare4U Association and helps to promote and encourage other daycares to maintain the highest quality of standards, complete with monthly meetings. 

The Reality

But enough of my commentary. Here’s Rachel in her own words, in response to some of my questions:

“Are you glad you did it?” 

I am SO glad I made the decision 10 years ago to ‘take the plunge’.  It was truly a leap of faith that has turned in a labor of love.  {My daycares} are like two additional children in my family.  I nurture them, give them my time, and pray that they will continue to be strong as they grow up.  … I am proud to be a hard-working member of my community and to be able to provide 4 full-time jobs at each daycare location.  In fact, my ability to employ people has been one of my proudest accomplishments. 

What Motivates You?

At the core, my motivation is local families.  I know the struggle, concern, fear, worry, etc. that parents go through when looking for childcare.  I want to be the solution to their concerns.  I want to offer them and their children a place to not only be part of a family, but to feel comfortable and confident in the care their child is receiving. 

What does life look like now?

After almost 10 years in the daycare business, I can finally say that I make a good income.  It has taken a lot of hard work, personal investment, time, and sweat to get to this point…but I finally made it….I am thrilled to have a business that I am proud of and that many families are happy to be a part of! 

The Future?

Don’t think for a second that “making it financially” is going to cut it.  Her heart’s desire now has extended to help create a reputation for home daycare providers that allows them to be “embraced, loved and appreciated” in their communities.  And, given her motivation, I think she’s going to make giant strides in that area .  (You might wanna keep an eye out for her.)

I may have met her over a garage heater, I may have stolen some of her precious hours asking silly questions about the ways she transformed a garage into a daycare and a handful of questions about “how” and “what then,” but in the little I have gotten to know her, I’ve been downright inspired.  She’s got some liveliness and some spunk and some perseverance I think we could all use a dose of! 

The Moral

So, the moral then?  No matter where you’re at now, whether it’s searching for the next career path that connects to being a mom or simply trying to balance it all, remember what motivates you.  You can get through anything and get to any level you want.  It doesn’t take more funding than you have, but it is going to take heart.  And guts.  And a whole lotta hard work. 

 

Freelancer Jocelyn met Rachael over a discussion of the G73 garage heater Rachael used in her garage renovation.  For more information on Rachael’s daycares, please visit: http://www.rachaelsdaycare.com/.

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