Suzy Wraines discusses the transition from high stress corporate job to The RV Entrepreneur lifestyle.
If you’ve ever transitioned from a high stress corporate job, such as one steeped in protocols and life or death situations, over to the entrepreneurial space, this episode is for you. On today’s show, I (Kimberly Crossland) am talking to Suzy Wraines about her journey from the medical field into entrepreneurship and full-time RVing.
You’ll love this episode where she talks about how to simplify your business, from finding ideas through a proactive and personal brainstorming approach, to giving you the courage to talk about your fresh idea and still hold boundaries as you pursue that goal so that you can live the RV lifestyle with more freedom and flexibility.
From High Stress Corporate Job to RV Entrepreneur
with Suzy Wraines
Your Host: Kimberly Crossland
Follow Suzy to continue learning from her here:
- Website: https://suzywraines.com
- Podcast: https://suzywraines.com/page/podcast
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzywraines/
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THE RV ENTREPRENEUR
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The RV Entrepreneur #316 Full Episode Transcript:
From High Stress Corporate Job to RV Entrepreneur with Suzy Wraines
RV LIFE: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur podcast. The weekly show for Nomads, Work campers, RV ers and entrepreneurs looking to earn a living or build a business while enjoying the RV lifestyle. This week’s host is Kimberly Crossland. Let’s settle in and enjoy the RV Entrepreneur podcast brought to you by RV Life.
KIMBERLY: Welcome to another episode of the Entrepreneur podcast. I’m your host for this week, Kimberley Crossland, and I am so excited to be bringing to you Susie Reins. Susie Reins is an entrepreneur coach who has dedicated her career to helping women transition from medical careers such as nurse practitioners, registered nurses, energy healers and veterinary technicians, just to name a few, to starting a successful service based business. She has an absolutely incredible story with over ten years of experience in both human and veterinary medicine, and now she is a business coach and a full time arvier and you are going to absolutely love her story. She does a much better job of sharing what that story is and I could do. So why don’t we get right into this episode where you’re going to hear from her how she has taken these high stress environments and help people who are used to working in those high stress, high protocol environments and then navigating their way into the entrepreneurial world, which is anything but high protocol. And it is also high stress, but in a whole different way. You’re going to hear that story. And then she’s also going to share some few tips about how you can simplify your business so you not only can remove some of those layers of stress and perfectionism that we all seem to struggle with, but also to make and design a life that’s full of freedom. I know you’re going to absolutely love this episode, so let’s get right into it. But first, here is a word from one of our sponsors.
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KIMBERLY: Susie, thank you so much for jumping on with me. I’m absolutely thrilled to talk to you because we have a mutual connection. Jackie, who is on the podcast here at Entrepreneur Before and introduce the two of us. And I’ve absolutely loved getting to know you. And so I’m really, really excited to dig in a little bit more to your story. So why don’t we start there, Susie, Why don’t you explain to us your lifestyle today and how you kind of fell into this lifestyle?
SUZY: Thanks so much, Kimberly, for having me, first of all. And our story was very much planned, which kind of goes along with what I do. My husband and I actually bonded over the idea of living the full time RV lifestyle. So our first date, we were talking about different trailers that we’d like to live in, which is not usually the typical first date talk, and so it just blossomed out of that. We really tested it out with his parents RV So we had a fifth wheel that we took his parents fifth wheel out for. I think it was like a year and a half and like lived in it to see if we really could handle it. We got married while we were living in their fifth wheel and then we’re like, Yeah, we got to start saving. So it was a five year journey of saving and planning and researching, and we finally did it two years ago in November, actually getting close to that time frame. We purchased our fifth wheel, so we’re in a toy hauler and we like to travel to western part of the United States.
SUZY: Another piece of that was I was working a job that I worked remote, so even before Covid, I was working remote and my husband would just work where we lived. So we ended up living in an apartment. We lived in Arizona. You and I had that connection to to save money. So we lived in an apartment as we were working. And then when we finally purchased our fifth wheel, we had a plan for me to launch my business. So I do everything online. And that’s another tricky thing is the was no Internet. Being able to get on the Internet. But yeah, so so with my business, I actually, I work online and I am an entrepreneur coach. I work with women that are leaving a medical career that want to start a business. And I coach them through all of the beginning stages of writing their business plan and creating that foundation and roadmap for what their business is going to look like and what they need to do in order to move forward with a service based business. And I do that all remotely.
KIMBERLY: I love that. Gosh, that’s such a good story about how that was your first date having that conversation. And it’s just kind of been infused in your lifestyle even before you had bought your first travel trailer or fifth wheel, I guess you said you’re sorry. I’m saying all the different models now you’re in a toy hauler, right? You lived in a fifth wheel, now you’re in a you’re in a toy hauler, correct?
SUZY: Yes. So the plant and we went back and forth. So for those of you listening that are like, don’t know what to do, we were in a fifth wheel that his parents had. It was theirs. And we lived in that. And we thought, you know, we looked at toy haulers and I was against the toy hauler. At first. I was like, What are we going to do with that big open space in the back? We don’t have any toys. But lo and behold, where I’m sitting right now is my office in the garage. And it’s actually something that I like because I can shut the door. He can be in the main part of the trailer, watching TV, making food, doing stuff. And I’m a podcaster, so I need quiet. So it’s helpful for me to have my own working space. So both of us ended up having a conversation and deciding on the toy hauler when we decided to purchase.
KIMBERLY: Oh, that’s so smart. I’m a lot like you actually. So we had a date day. My husband and I just kind of fell into some childcare opportunity with a surprise visit from my in-laws and we’re like, okay, we have a date day, nothing planned. Where do we go? We went and we toured RVs just for the fun of it. We have no plans of buying a new one. We love the one that we’re in. I mean, eventually we’re going to buy a new one, of course, but we’re not any time soon. And we’re like, Let’s just go check them out. And it was so much fun. But I was a lot like you in the toy haulers because we also don’t have toys aside from mountain bikes, but you can put those in the back of the truck and we have a bumper pull right now. So that’s exactly where they go. But we were looking around at the toy haulers. I was like, Gosh, this would be a really good office. So I love that that is your office and you’ve turned it into your office space. So speaking of your office and speaking of you working online and doing everything online, can you tell me a little bit more about why the medical industry, specifically, why are you choosing to work with people who are leaving the medical industry to move into entrepreneurship? Was there something that drew you to that particular space?
SUZY: Yeah, I love this question. This is one of the questions and I get asked it all the time. I actually was a medic in the Army, and so I have experience in field medicine as well as the hospital. And then when I left the Army, I did veterinary medicine and that was what I was doing when I met my husband before I decided to be an entrepreneur. And so prior to the Army, I did get my business degree. And so I worked in corporate business, understood what it was like in a big corporation and how things work that way. And when I left veterinary medicine, I wanted to do my own business. I’m like, I want to do my own business. I have a business degree. How hard can it be? I had no idea the difference between working in a corporate with all kinds of departments to, Oh, now you’re by yourself and you have to do everything. Had no clue. And so it really got me to thinking the medical profession, we’re coming not only from structure, so we have directions, we have protocols, we have procedures. We went to school. We know exactly what to do in every situation. It’s high demand and it’s stressful.
SUZY: But there’s a component there. And I do share this with other people that are in the medical industry. We’ve talked about this. The one component that most high demand, high stressful jobs don’t have that medical personnel do is that we have life or death situations. So when we’re working, it’s not just about it’s stressful, it’s stressful, and it could be a life or death situation, depending on where you’re working. Not all medical jobs are like that, but that was the one piece that I really felt I could resonate with my clients on that when they’re coming out. So we are we are wired as medical professionals to be stressed out in every situation. It’s like it’s like you can’t turn it off. So starting a business, when I get stressed out, I have to remind myself, Susie, it’s not life or death. You’re okay. And that’s that’s actually something that you have to learn how to do as an entrepreneur. So that’s something that I feel I can bring to my clients that’s different and it really resonates with them because they have the same impulse to be really stressed out about a situation, but it’s not life or death.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, it kind of brings to light that that whole concept of entrepreneurship advice that you see scattered everywhere when some coaches online and some people online are like, Oh, just do it messy. And I myself have caught myself saying that, just do it messy. But when you’re in the medical industry and it is life and death, do it. Messy is not something you do that is just that’s not okay because the outcome is so catastrophic, potentially catastrophic or potentially, you know, hopefully on the other side of it, not catastrophic. And so that would be a huge mindset shift. Do you still have to remind yourself of that as you’re moving through business and entrepreneurial world? I’d imagine that’d be an ongoing thing.
SUZY: It’s wired in our nervous system because everything is wired under that fight, flight or freeze. And that’s the one component that I believe I can bring to that industry of women that are coming out of medical that if I didn’t have that experience, it’d be hard for me to understand, well, why can’t you just throw something up on the Internet? Who cares what it looks like? You know, I understand that if they’re they’re going through that process of like, I can’t just do it messy. Like, it has to follow every protocol and every if this happens, this has to go. And like you get caught up in the making it exactly how it needs to be because in your nervous system, without knowing it, subconsciously we’re thinking if it’s not perfect, it’s going to fail. I can’t fail. I have to do everything to the best of my ability to make sure the outcome is a positive outcome.
KIMBERLY: Yeah. I feel like you need to write a book that’s called like When Failure is Not an Option. Starting a business when failure is not an option because in the entrepreneurial space it’s such the polar opposite. So it’s really, really interesting. So I also love, though, particularly about your story, Susie, is that you moved from such an intense high anxiety, big industry where you where you need to bite those, like you said, the fight, flight or freeze feelings in every situation to something that is traditionally very do it your own way use a lot of creativity very loosey goosey and think that you bring such a great middle ground in you can have both. It’s almost like a yes and yes. You can be creative and yes, you can let your ideas go out into the world. Yes, you have permission to do it messy. And you also don’t have to be imperfect. If you want to button things up, that’s okay too. And I don’t think that we’re here. We hear that permission slip enough. So I would love to hear from you what your process is for building out that business plan because you have this double layer that’s just so fascinating. The medical industry and the perfectionism that you’re that you’re up against all the time mean And it’s not just in the medical industry. There’s a lot of entrepreneurs who feel that. So I know it’s going to resonate with a lot of listeners who are maybe not don’t have that experience in the in the medical industry, but still can relate to the perfectionism. And you’re also your lifestyle, the freedom based lifestyle. So that it’s just a double whammy for our listeners. So I’d love to hear how you’ve approached that to simplify everything, to make it feel really good in the process and to kind of help move past those emotions as they arise. Do you have a process for that?
SUZY: I do. And I love that you asked this question. That is what built my business. It was the idea that I had because I was in that exact position. I was coming from veterinary medicine. I came from an emergency hospital. So we’re open 24 over seven. They did everything. It was like a human hospital for animals. It was crazy. And so there was that constant and I worked the night shift. So I was always poised for what’s going to come in the door, you know, that kind of hypervigilance. And and then I went to, Oh, you’re going to start your own business. You’re sitting at your desk, here’s your laptop and absolutely nothing. Okay, What do I do now? So what I did in that situation is I was like, there needs to be a guide. And so I took my business brain and my business learning that I got my degree with and thought, you know what? They made us write a business plan we had to fake a business in when I was in in college. And so I was like, You know what? That needs to be stripped back. It needs to be simplified and and written in like a workbook or a guide or some way that when somebody like me comes out of a situation and we sit down and we go, I want to start a business, it’s a step by step with stripping out all of the extra business.
SUZY: I want to go get a loan from the bank or I need to get investors. I’m pitching this to people to have partners. Like we’re not doing any of that as solopreneurs. Let’s strip out all the stuff that pertains to that. But we still need a roadmap. We still need to know what are what’s the service that we’re providing, Who is it that we’re talking to? Who are the people that need my service? What do I like to do? And all the things that go with building a business from the idea all the way to finances, money coming in, money going out and all the things in between. And so I thought, I’m going to write a book. So I wrote a workbook that stepped it out and I filled it out for my business and I thought, this is my business. So when I work with clients, I basically walk them through and I love that. You said coming from a structured environment and again, I came from corporate, so that wasn’t life or death, but I worked with contracts. Contracts can be life or death to a salesperson, making sure everything’s accurate on a contract to be able to get billed properly, to get commission properly, like that’s important. So again, you can have that nervous energy around really any high stress job.
SUZY: So I built in worksheets and assignments with my coaching. So not only are they using their creative side and thinking, Oh, I want to start this business and I want it to look like this and this is my idea. But they actually have a physical worksheet that helps to transition from a structured environment where they’re used to getting. They went through schooling years and years and years of schooling. And so that that mindset of I need to write it down, I need to have it written somewhere, I need to have, you know, I need to do something. It’s not just creative. So I bring that into my coaching. So people are filling out their ideas on paper and they’re actually brainstorming. And then I work with limiting beliefs with them in the coaching process. So that’s where we can talk about, Oh, when I was filling out my marketing worksheet and I saw social media on there, I all of a sudden started freaking out because I’m scared to be on social media. Okay, well, let’s talk about that. Do you even want to be on social media? Because you don’t have to be. Let’s talk through that and just really coach and get through those those emotions that might come up when they’re actually starting a business. So I combine the two.
KIMBERLY: That’s really good. I love that you do combine the two and I love that you kind of peel back those layers like it’s almost like an onion where we’re working through all the different things that are popping up. It’s not simply the logical side of starting a business. You also really honor and hold space for that emotional side, and I don’t see that done often enough. So I think it’s excellent the work that you’re doing. I’m thinking about our listener, too. So whoever’s sitting here listening, thinking, I’m feeling overwhelmed in my own personal life because I’ve come from that high stress environment, whether like you said, whether it’s it is literal life or death or it can feel like my my paycheck life or death, like my paycheck is on the line. If I don’t make these sales or, you know, there’s all these different industries where a lot of I believe a lot of our viewers come from and entrepreneurs come from that has that high stress. And so thinking again about our listener and they’re sitting there maybe thinking, I want to start a business or I have a business and I’m still feeling nervous about some of these first steps. What would your advice be? What would be those first steps for them to take? Because they’re like, I want to get out there, put my business out there, but I’m nervous and I’m fighting that perfectionism and I’m feel I can tell that I’m holding myself back, but I don’t know how to work through those emotions and I don’t know how to step forward bravely, especially when the Internet is telling you 5000 different ways to do it. What’s the right path for you? How do you navigate that with your clients, and what advice would you have for that listener?
SUZY: Great question. So I like to simplify everything. That’s what I try to do is let’s make it simple. The first thing is figure out what service you want to provide. So from the lifestyle and actually I’m going to talk not only just from service based, but if you do have products because you can do it. I don’t work with people with products, but you can do it from the lifestyle to have products as well. You want to list out the ideas that you have. So set a timer and don’t limit yourself. So don’t edit yourself or anything. Just start writing as many ideas as you possibly can think of that you would want to do as a business service. Or if you want to do products and just write it out. And then the next step and I always tell people, do this step and then wait 24 hours, just put it away, do something else, move on with your life so good and then come back to it. And I want you to set a timer and I want you to pick the top three. Circle them, and then you’re going to take each one of those and you’re going to ask these questions. Is it something that I can talk about 24 over seven and never get tired of? And the second question is picturing yourself doing it every single day. Not and that’s what you do if you’re doing a job right now, picture that replacing your job. So that particular service that you’re offering, you’re going to be doing that instead of your job.
SUZY: So just picture it as like your every day. And can you picture yourself doing that every day? And the third thing is, if you are able to share it with people without any type of fear, like I don’t know what I’m doing or I don’t understand, like if you can just be like, I know enough to be confident, those three questions will actually get you to where you’ll pick out what it is that you want to do, something that you like doing. You talk and talk about it all day long. I can talk about business all day long. I love it and actually bore people on purpose. That means that it’s something that you are actually going to want to wake up in the morning and open your laptop and do and share with other people. So that would be the first very beginning step just so you can identify what you want to do. And then from there it’s just start talking about it. You don’t have to have social media account, especially as an ear. We meet people all the time. You pull into a park and you’re like talking to people. Just tell people, even if you haven’t started it yet, tell them that’s what you do. Just try it out and just talk about it. Repetition is my next key thing is to always be communicating and do it repetitively to the point where you can do it in your sleep.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, and I think that that’s really a good a good point to highlight because I’ve found myself recently, I just came through a business pivot of my own, which we’ve talked about offline. Through that pivot, I found myself recently saying to someone, instead of I own a coaching business, I now own a stationery business. And the minute that it rolled off my tongue when I said I own a stationery business, I was like something inside of me. Like there was just something visceral that happened that I could feel this like light, just kind of like the fire. You just threw something, some lighter fluid on the on the fire. And it was like, yes, it feels so good. And I was like, Oh, my goodness, that’s mean. And I was also very excited about my coaching business. So don’t get me wrong there. I loved what I did. But to feel this new thing when you can have that kind of reaction. So when you’re saying talk about it, there’s something to be said for how you feel as those words roll off your tongue and you almost have this like out of body experience, you’re like, Oh, I’m doing it. This, this really happened. And it’s a very, very exciting and the more you say it, the more you’re going to believe it.
KIMBERLY: And the more you believe it, the more you’re going after it. And you’re like committing yourself to doing it. So love, love, love, love, love that advice. So let’s say you are at the campground and which most of us are, and we’re talking about our business or meeting people. We are having these conversations. I’ve heard people say, I will say what I do, but then I don’t know how to actually go and do it. And especially when because you’re so good, Suzy, at simplifying business, I’ve really seen people just kind of jump into a business model because they should be doing it. And I know you work with service providers and that’s a particularly sticky point when you’re Irving because you have deadlines or you’ve got meetings to show up for. So do you have a way that you advise, especially service providers, to structure their day so that they don’t get overwhelmed or they don’t they don’t feel trapped inside their RV or having to cut their hikes short or, you know, whatever adventure they’re on? Is there a particular way that you like to advise them to structure their business so that they can have that freedom filled lifestyle?
SUZY: This question is so personal to me. This is something that I, I work on all the time, but at the same time, I have really strict boundaries. So for example, we talked about I work in the garage that was on purpose. I didn’t want to carry my laptop into the living room and or outside. We have a side patio on our toy hauler. Sometimes I’ll go out there, but I don’t work out there. It’s like, that’s a no work zone. That’s a place for me to relax and look at the scenery and listen to the birds, you know, have time with my husband. Like if I take my laptop and I move it everywhere, then I feel like I’m chained to work. And there’s other people who that they love to do that They take their laptop and they’re like, That’s freedom to them. Oh, I can just do it from the beach and I can do it from the woods, whatever. That’s just not my boundary. I would say, Coming up with your own boundaries, I don’t have anything on my phone that is related to work for notifications, so I make sure that I have to go check it on my computer. I have working hours and I make those clear. I work Monday through Thursday. I have three days off and I stick to them.
SUZY: I tell my clients that I make sure that the people I work with know that and it’s just really communication and making sure that people know this is when I work, this is when I don’t work. And it’s also an internal process. So the calendar for me is challenging. And what I do is I will look at my calendar every Sunday. I look at the future week and the week after, and I will block anything. That is, if my calendar looks like it’s getting full, I’ll just throw a block in it so that I make sure that I’m not overextending myself. My husband sent me a text today, actually. He’s like, Make sure you’re taking breaks. And we have we have two dogs. So I take the dogs out for a walk and it gets me up and out and things like that. But that is a really good question because it’s something that’s personal to everybody. We all like to work different and part of freedom is that working however we want to. So if somebody wants to take their laptop and work anywhere, that’s great, but just make sure you have your own boundaries. And I work with my clients when they start their business to help them develop what works for them.
KIMBERLY: Yeah, that’s really important at the beginning, like you said, and to communicate them, as you also said, to make sure everybody knows I’m offline. I have a friend who has a very successful online course and every Friday she reminds her students, We’re offline for the weekend. We are not answering any questions over the weekend. And it’s in a kind way, but clear is kind. And so when you’re clear with your boundaries, then people know and it’s okay and they don’t have to to expect a response. And and I’m also someone who works differently than most people. I’m up very early in the morning, but that’s what I love, like the creative time. And so it took me a while to give myself permission to have that kind of a structure in my day because I thought, Who am I this weird that I like writing, but man, are the ideas flowing at 4:00 in the morning? Let’s I’m sipping my coffee. It’s quiet and it’s still. And I feel fresh because I had a good night’s sleep and that’s just when it works. And so finding your personal rhythm is really, really, really important. So that’s such, such, such good advice. Okay. Susie, is there any other advice you want to leave our listeners with before we wrap up?
SUZY: I would say just to add to the boundaries and calendar is one tip I can give the listeners ask for the other person’s calendar link if they have one before you give out yours. So really what you can do is then you can choose when you want to schedule that. So a lot of times I’ll give people my my calendar link, but there’s many, many times that I’ll ask for theirs just so that I can really look at my calendar and go, Oh, I’m going to hike this morning. So let me just schedule at a different time then. They’re not putting their their stuff on my calendar.
KIMBERLY: That is a really good idea. I like that a lot. And then such an actionable tip. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for coming on. So I can imagine that people want to follow you, get all of your tips and just get to know you better because you’re such a delight and such a gem. So let me know or let our listeners know where they can follow you. And I’ll also link to all of these in the show notes. Of course.
SUZY: Yeah. The best way to reach me is to go to my website, which is suzerains.com and that will be in the show notes. I have a podcast and it’s all over my website, so you can totally find it there. I’m everywhere that there’s podcasting, so you’ll be able to find that it’s starting a business. Simplified is my podcast and my favorite social media that I really love being on is LinkedIn and you can get that link on my website as well.
KIMBERLY: Perfect. Thank you so much. It was really great talking to you and I’m so grateful that you came on with us. Thank you.
SUZY: Thanks, Kimberly, for having me.
KIMBERLY: That episode was so good, wasn’t it? I absolutely loved my conversation with Suzy. She is such a gem and really she is just so full of ideas. I loved her. First idea about how to actually find that idea that you’re going to have for your business and how her approach to this is so simple, yet so powerful to brainstorm ideas and then step aside for 24 hours. I don’t hear enough people talking about giving yourself that space to and that breathing room to really absorb those different ideas that are coming at you all the time. Then she also talked about finding one that you can talk about 24 over seven and visualizing your life in that role. So as you’re deciding what business you want to have or if you’re making a pivot with your business, really look at what life is going to look like on the other side of that decision. I also loved how she said to just go out there and start talking about it and then repeat it over and over and over again. Stake your claim. Say what you’re doing and say it with so much enthusiasm that people cannot help but listen to you. And then finally, she also talked about the importance of holding your boundaries. She has a space in her where she works and she does not take her laptop. Other places if you like to take your laptop, other places, by all means, you absolutely can.
KIMBERLY: But it’s all about finding those boundaries that are important to you. So really looking at what that looks like, that is going to really simplify your business. I know you’re going to want to go and follow Susie, so definitely check out the show notes to see where she is located. She’s got so much to share. And also go ahead and hit subscribe on her podcast too, because you’re going to want to listen to both the Entrepreneur podcast and the Starting a Business Simplified podcast by Susie. They’re both excellent ways to stay focused. Put up those guardrails with all the different noise and ideas that are coming your way and really move towards this life of freedom in a way that feels so, so good. It was excellent to be with you this week, and I would love to hear what you thought about this episode. What was your golden nugget that you’re taking away with you? Come and share with us inside the Entrepreneur Facebook group. We would love to hear from you and I’d love to just add some color to this conversation. So come on over, share your ideas. Tag me so I’m sure to see it. And I would love to continue this conversation with you over there. Have a great week.
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