After five years as an entrepreneur and small business owner, Rhoda Baty has had her fair share of trials and struggles. She can relate to other women in her same shoes. “There’s the struggle to stay profitable, the struggle of time if they also have another job, and the struggle to believe that they can do it,” Rhoda said. As a charter NACWE member, Rhoda has benefited from many of its training programs and challenges. The most recent program, Diane’s Five-Day “Be Brave Today” Challenge in February, made a big impact on Rhoda. “‘Be Brave’ has helped me get out of my ‘comfort zone’ mentality and take some risks,” Rhoda said. “My theme for myself this year is ‘Become Comfortable Being Uncomfortable’, and as an introvert, that is risky! But I’m doing pretty good so far!”
Rhoda’s business, Hopeful Heart Coaching, allows her to serve as a life coach to women from all walks of life. “The women who seek me out need ‘hope,’” Rhoda said. “They need to know that their lives still count, that there is nothing they can do to make God love them more and nothing they can do to make Him love them less. He loves them—period. I help them see that. I help them enjoy God’s Word.”
When Diane founded NACWE in 2010, Rhoda knew she wanted to be one of the first members. “I joined right away because Diane had been an instructor in my coach training in 2008,” Rhoda remembered. “Her inspiration and ‘act fast now’ attitude was—and is—infectious. I wanted to be a part of that!” Since then, NACWE has served as a platform for Rhoda to improve her professional skills, gain prayer and support, and network with helpful colleagues who, over time, have also become great friends. “NACWE provides a place for me to ask questions, get training, and vent, only to find out I’m not the only one experiencing the setback or the unknown or who doesn’t know how to do something,” Rhoda said.
Rhoda loves the freedom and opportunities that come with being an entrepreneur. “With God’s help, I can decide what I want my business to look like,” Rhoda said. “I can create classes that others say they need or want, and most of all, I can do what God has called me to do, and that is ‘encourage’!”
To Rhoda, the “Christian” in “National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs” is the most critical part. Without her faith in God, she doubts she would still be in business after all these years. “Faith is the only reason I am still doing this,” Rhoda said, citing 1 Corinthians 9:24 as her inspiration: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” “I know what God has called me to do,” Rhoda said, “and I want to run the race to win so that at the end of my life I hear, ‘Well done!’” Rhoda uses scripture as she runs her business, and she is involved in email devotional groups, book studies, and classes.
One verse that stands out to her is 1 Thessalonians 5:11: “Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another…” Her involvement with NACWE pushes her to apply this verse to her everyday life and bless others. “This is what NACWE does for me,” Rhoda said. “When I am encouraged, then a river of encouragement flows out of me.”
Rhoda has several pieces of advice for those considering starting a business. “It takes longer than you think, so don’t get discouraged,” she said. “Small steps are better than no steps or big steps you can’t keep up with.” She also believes planning ahead and making goals is important. “Know and believe in what you are doing, what end result are you wanting,” Rhoda said. Finally, she encourages others to find an organization like NACWE to help them keep on track and follow their dreams.
As for someone considering joining NACWE? “Do it now!” Rhoda exclaimed. Her decision to join NACWE five years ago changed her life. She only hopes to see even more growth when NACWE reaches its ten-year anniversary in 2020—among other things. “It would be nice if they moved closer to Washington state—ha ha—purely selfish!” she laughed. “Really, I just want NACWE to keep going and growing.”
Written by Callie Revell