Vanessa Rende is a Speaker, Writer, Entrepreneur, Consultant, and Podcaster. She is a former corporate consultant in the mortgage-backed securities industry, helping private, public and government agencies with risk, management, leadership, and business strategies.
When her career as a corporate consultant with a cushy paycheck, fat bonus and a false sense of freedom offered her an all-expense paid relocation to Denver, CO to work from a cubicle when she wasn’t traveling, Vanessa knew she wanted MORE. And she knew it was time to go all in.
A new homeowner and mom, she turned down the offer and launched her consulting firm in 2011 to help businesses and entrepreneurs with leadership, process improvement, marketing, business development and other business strategies.
Using her 12+ years of experience, formal training, and life lessons, Vanessa is among the rare few business champions who is truly results and impact-driven. It is her mission to turn the hundreds she has impacted into millions.
StarCentral Magazine recently sat down with Vanessa to find out more about her journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down.
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I am a former corporate consultant who worked with the US Federal Government and hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs across the globe before turning down an all expense paid corporate relocation to Denver, CO in 2010 to start my own consulting firm. Within one year, my firm hit multiple six figures, but I let my mindset get the best of me and shut everything down to deal with a messy divorce, domestic violence, and even child abuse. I came “back” in 2015 and had dedicated my life and business to helping others climb out of the mental, emotional and financial hole I was once in. I have been featured in Fast Company, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Fudding, and am about to have a spread in a popular entrepreneur magazine in Australia.
Can you describe your journey to success? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?
I started like a lot of people, with a comfortable corporate job that wasn’t giving me what I wanted out of life. I’ve been an “entrepreneur” since I was nine years old, helping a lady in the neighboring flea market spot market her items to kids my age. But I didn’t decide to take the leap and go all in until the false sense of freedom from my corporate consulting job came crashing down after my son was born. I love Denver, CO, but I wanted real time and money freedom, especially since I was a new nursing mom.
What is your main source of income?
I have seven streams of income, and my main ones are my consulting/writing/speaking business (mostly online and some offline) and my real estate business.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
I am working on publishing two books this year. I am focusing on helping more people by collaborating with awesome media sources like you! I also blog for Thrive Global, The Huffington Post, and my own website. I have a podcast and live on Facebook and Instagram (for business, but I also love it).
How did your brand stand out from the rest of the other brands out there that is similar to your niche?
Same as above: the content I create is phenomenal. I don’t hold back when I’m sharing what I know, what I’ve learned and how someone can help themselves improve.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Great question! I trashed my 2018 business plans and burned my business model to the ground. I got caught up playing the online entrepreneur game, and I lost sight of the impact I’m meant to make. So I re-designed my business model, edited it extensively, removing anything and anyone who wasn’t conducive to the new plan and boom! Specifically, this meant closing down two paid group programs (that were full), and a free Facebook community I had been cultivating for over two years.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
1) I started doing paid ads way before my business was ready. This left me struggling and more lost than I’d like to admit.
2) I fell into the online entrepreneur game. I became a launch queen, releasing one thing after the other to stay afloat without keeping my eye on the real prize: alignment. My new business design includes only what feels good, right and aligned with my purpose. If it doesn’t feel good, I no longer do it – no matter how scary it is to me or odd it may seem to the world that I don’t partake.
What have you learned in the process of becoming wealthy that others can learn from?
I have learned that wealth is a state of mind. I know money isn’t, but I understand now that I didn’t have to wait for my bank accounts to look fat to feel taken care of, wealthy and amazing. All of that started within myself, and if someone had told it to me, I would have attained it much faster.
What new business would you love to start?
I would love to open up a local yoga and juice shop! It may be selfish, but I want fresh juices and yoga every day, so why not offer it in my community where there is none of that yet.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I would have invested in a coach or mentor when I first opened my own consulting business. When I had to file for a restraining order and subsequent divorce, I closed myself off. I didn’t have someone to call me out on my bullsh*t and help me see that I was shrinking for no reason. I know that if I wouldn’t have tried to do it all alone, I’d be at multiple seven figures by now.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were first making a name for yourself, what advice would you give yourself?
Vanessa, you think it’s about strategies, revenue, budgets and constant progress, but really it’s about something much bigger: loving, trusting and believing in yourself. The moment you decide that you matter more than anything, your life will change forever (and it has!).
Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
OMG, yes. I have read The Big Leap several times, and I highly recommend it to every business owner, creator, and visionary. I also recommend Think and Grow Rich, Blue Ocean Strategy and E Squared (Pam Grout).
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
It doesn’t matter what people think of you, what matters is what you think of you.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Before you start planning, plotting and thinking up strategies, focus on your mindset. Do it daily, do it first. Those other things can only take you so far. Your mind is what truly pushes you through the limits you have and will create for yourself.