Rachel Flower – Leadership Mentor
I’m Rachel Flower – a leadership mentor and speaker, advocate for female entrepreneurship. I’m not a huge fan of titles…I’m a woman of many talents, so you may have heard others describe me as a lawyer, a legal consultant, a business coach, or maybe a guardian angel or secret weapon. I’m a seasoned entrepreneur and I’m a working parent, and above all I champion business with integrity. I believe in doing the right thing, that truth is the currency of business, and that a new style of compassionate leadership is what will save the world.
I want more people to lead businesses which do good and feel good in equal measures.
I have an online community “The Greenhouse” for leaders to collaborate, co-create, practise self-awareness and work on their growth within a safe space.
I’m a speaker and in particular I love talking about compassionate leadership, resilience and how to overcome adversity. My book “The Law of Intrepid Greatness” is due to be published in 2020, championing the 12 attributes that I believe amount to powerful and values-driven self-leadership.
With a background as a commercial lawyer, I also have a legal consultancy business Serenwood which provides jargon free, practical contracts advice to small businesses looking to grow and do business the right way.
You might have noticed I’m what they call “multi-passionate”. One of the best things about running your own business is that you can serve whoever you want, however you want, and create success on your own terms. How good is that?
I’m a full time lover of life, non-traditional wife, mum to two gorgeous girls, recovering former-suit-wearing lawyer, almost actress, singer, constantly curious question asker and loyal friend.
But despite all that love of do-ing, I’m steadfastly anti-hustle and committed to connection, collaboration, community and living a slower life. I’ve done my time running at a million miles an hour and my mission now is to help people slow down, focus on what matters, and find the unique definition of success which works for them. Not conforming, ditching the #shoulds, living life in colour.
More than the Law
On paper I’ve achieved huge professional success (you can read my Professional Bio here) but if I’m honest – that wasn’t my dream. When I was younger I loved music, drama, writing poetry & reading books. As a straight A student & Head Girl, my careers service gave me the choice to be a lawyer or a doctor. Once my working class parents got wind of that, my dreams of being a West End actress were thrown aside. It was expected of me to go make some serious money doing a serious job. I hate the sight of blood so off I went – landing myself a much-coveted solicitor training contract and eventually qualifying as a commercial lawyer. In my 20s I powered my way up the career ladder.
I’m always at pains to say that I don’t regret my time spent in Big Law. I acquired masses of experience, stacks of knowledge, financial security and lots of fabulous friends. For a girl from a small town in Wales, I did good. And along the way I banked resilience by the bucket-load, did the inner work, and taught myself to step into my power and make difficult choices. I was head-hunted out of private practice law and took a senior Commercial Director position in-house, which gave me a great grounding in business growth, financial management, sales, HR and team management.
Importantly, I became a young, feisty, female leader in a predominantly man’s world and this fired my passion for empowering other women. It’s how I became a mentor to women in business and made me determined to push the equality agenda and explore ways to create more flexibility in the way we work.
I established my legal consultancy business (Serenwood) in 2009 when I was pregnant with my first child. My mission was to create for myself the perfect work/life balance – and to create opportunities & coach other women (and men of course, because the answer lies in equality) who wanted to work flexibly with their hard-won legal skills.
With the rise of technology, it is a unique time in history when we can reach and impact people like never before.
I build my Serenwood business to six figures within 12 months and scaled it slowly and steadily, increasing revenue 20% year on year whilst retaining a great work life balance. It was a disruptive offering, and I learnt first-hand the very principles of growth and business success which I’d been lawyering for years. I turned my attention to coaching and mentoring, and found ways to share my knowledge and educate others in legal issues and growth strategy.
Alongside that career history, life threw a fair few spanners in the works too. Along the way I’ve been knocked down countless times, through personal tragedy, relationship challenges, health issues and financial crises.
Our life experiences determine who we are and how we show up in our businesses and career.
I know that my ability to inspire and coach others stems from the fact that I’ve become somewhat of an expert in overcoming adversity and seeking joy and happiness through the darkest of times. Business or career success is intrinsically linked with how happy you are in your personal life and how well you can express yourself, every day, free from judgement or obligation or censor.
The 12 Cs
I’ve developed a framework for supporting leaders, based upon the 12 attributes or values I believe are most needed for 21st century leadership. The things that we need to cultivate in our lives if we’re going to grow. They include courage and curiosity, confidence to ask for and get what you need, and cheerleaders to push you on. Compassion, of course. Oh yes – and challenge because this is how we keep learning and reaching greater heights. This is what we work on together in The Greenhouse, as I inspire my community to become ever more powerful female leaders.
Every day I meet people who are stuck in overwhelm or feel they are living a half-life. Not knowing how to shed their corporate personas to let their true selves out. So many business leaders are experiencing massive success on the outside, but are held back by internal doubts, issues around gender inequality or an inability to combine their career with balancing family life.
I’m not saying ‘you can have it all’ in a way that’s exhausting, all consuming and measured in traditional success terms. I’m steadfastly anti-hustle.
I am saying you can choose how to structure your life and how you show up and speak up for yourself.
If you’re a business owner, I want you to have enthusiasm, energy and creativity to do your thing. I want you to be able to access trusted advice at the right times, and be supported by a community that encourages and challenges you.
If you’re a parent, I want you to cherish and laugh with your children, to remember that they’re watching your every move and hanging on your every word, so you choose your actions and words carefully and together we inspire our next generation to better things.
If you’re a change maker, I want you to be seen, be heard, find your voice and make your difference in the world.
I’m a huge fan of the power of connection. Finding like-minded people who want to contribute and make a difference alongside you is a great way to live. I seek out people to work with who truly appreciate the value of collaboration and helping others – because together we can build lives of purpose and freedom (and not burn ourselves out on the way).
So that’s me. Now I want to hear about you. Choose any one of the ways on this site to connect and let’s talk.
That’s my mantra, by the way.
Life’s short and each moment is a gift so let’s make each day matter.