Today is International Women’s Day, and to mark this special day we’ve compiled a series of blog posts celebrating the achievements of some remarkable Australian women. Often through adverse circumstances, these women have set goals that have lead to some extraordinary accomplishments. We look forward to sharing their journey with you…
Julie Rainbow is the Director and Founder of Clarity Road: an organisation dedicated to impacting the lives of women through realistic information, support and advice. Julie’s journey began with financial betrayal and a breakdown of trust in her relationship. However, this traumatic experience was the catalyst for the creation of her business, Clarity Road.
1. Tell us your story:
My name is Julie Rainbow and I live in Brisbane. In 2013, I achieved my goal of creating Clarity Road: an organisation dedicated to providing women with solutions for life changing events. But the idea for Clarity Road was triggered by my own life almost a decade ago.
Like many other women, I trusted my husband to manage our finances while I focused on my business and raising my young family. But life soon began to spiral out of control when I realised that my husband had been misrepresenting our financial position. There were multiple debts to members of my family, as well as a long list of lenders I had never met.
Needless to say, my children and I experienced a complete change of lifestyle after I kicked my husband to the curb. I declared bankruptcy, lost my award winning business and was hounded by debt collectors demanding that I pay back my ex’s debts. My self-esteem plummeted, and I found myself consumed by worry for my children’s future.
Refusing to let my ex-husband’s actions rule my life, I worked numerous jobs to educate and provide for my children. With unwavering support from my family and friends, I was able to rebound emotionally and financially. I am now very happily re-married, financially stable and have found fulfilment in my life. Through Clarity Road, I have achieved my goal of helping other women to do the same.
2. How did you identify the goal/s you wanted to achieve?
While experiencing my life changing events, I was continually frustrated by the separation of information I needed across different sources. For every question answered, it felt like two more arose. From this frustration, my idea for a one-stop-shop for everything to do with life changing events was born.
3. How did you work towards achieving your goal – did you have a plan and a deadline to achieve your goals?
Although I thought of Clarity Road years ago, it wasn’t until recently that I was equipped with the resources to make it a reality. In the meantime, it took an extraordinary amount of time and patience to establish the business. I researched extensively to construct a referral network of services for women and focused my attention on building an online database of information, support and advice. I was able to build from this to create workshop and mentoring programs, and to expand Clarity Road’s to reach as many women as possible.
4. What was the biggest challenge you encountered along the way?
Undoubtedly, budget has been the primary challenge in creating Clarity Road. Despite multiple investment offers, I have always maintained that I want Clarity Road to expand organically. But this can be easier said than done when the women I aim to help have little time or money to devote to themselves. Resisting the temptation to throw all of my energy into Clarity Road prematurely, I kept my day job and devoted hours to Clarity Road at night. I saved, I budgeted – and eventually it paid off.
5. What inspires you and keeps you going when you encounter obstacles?
I reflect on my original inspiration for Clarity Road and remind myself that it is always darkest before the dawn. My family and friends have been unconditionally supportive of my goal to create Clarity Road. Whenever I feel deflated, they give me the confidence and motivation to push through and realise that tomorrow is a brand new day.
6. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to achieve a goal?
To take risks, believe in yourself and trust your instincts. In short, be fearless.
7. What are the next goals you hope to achieve?
My main focus for the future rests firmly upon helping as many women as possible by establishing a national presence for Clarity Road. By so doing I aim to encourage a community of women supporting women, and to bring awareness those who would otherwise slip through the cracks.
Visit www.clarityroad.com.au for some great advice and options when dealing with traumatic situations such as separation and divorce, bankruptcy, problems with children and other domestic issues.