Doreen Rainey | Taking a personal risk to empower others


Doreen Rainey knows it takes courage to reach a destination of success. Based in Washington, D.C., Rainey has slowly built an empire after having worked in the corporate world for more than a decade. Fresh off the plane in Atlanta to work with Steve Harvey, Rainey recalls a few experiences that helped shape her career from a consulting practice into a full-service firm. She reclaims herself while living between both cities as she begins to build an infrastructure that will enhance the internationally known lifestyle firm under Steve Harvey and also expand her personal consulting practice to reach thousands of citizens worldwide.

Hope had the chance to talk with Rainey about her triumphs and trials toward success.

HOPE: How did the opportunity present itself to work with Steve Harvey?

This is actually a great lesson for any entrepreneur who wants to move up and create a career or business. This came about from me working my business and seeking mentors or coaches who could help me move my business forward. Doing this allowed me to reach other people who were doing great things in moving their business forward. One of my coaches, Lisa Nichols, is partnering with Steve Harvey in developing some of his programs. As Steve began building a personal development division, Lisa recommended me to his vice president as a person who could run that part of the business.

Opportunities like this that most people want most times will not be in a job posting. It really is all about networking and doing what you do well. We get so caught up in trying to make something happen by talking our way into something when we should really be working our way into something. Another reason Lisa recommended me was because of the results I got in my own business. I think people need to combine networking with the right people and being committed to mastering their craft.

HOPE: So what will you be doing through Steve Harvey’s program exactly?

I’m currently his vice president of operations for this division. In addition, I will be helping him create or design some of his services that he will be offering and getting his message out there. I just want people to know his story and to know that any successful person that you may admire went through some things to get there. If you’re not willing to go through some stuff, then you’re not willing to get there. We want to be able to help you get through those things and help you avoid some of those same mistakes. What might take someone 20-30 years, goodness we can show you how to do in five to 10!

This, for me, was a hook up, but I knew what it took to get here. It took years of working my own business, making mistakes, and doing well working and serving other people. It took all of that! Then the recommendation came. So we’ve got to be willing to invest in our success.

HOPE: How did you know your calling was to be a “radical” life coach?

When people talk about gifts, they often confuse that with their occupation. But your talents and gifts are [what are] innate in you that show up no matter what you do. So when I was in my corporate job working in HR, I found myself coaching people about what they wanted out of life. I would begin to share with them that they have a choice by asking them what they needed to do to change their circumstances. I would force people to take a look at that fact that we always have a choice. You are never a victim, and you’re never stuck. So when I transitioned out of corporate America, I was seeking a way to continue doing that. I didn’t even know what coaching was! That’s prompted me to find this profession and do so within a business. I think that my gift is being able to cut to the chase, laser in on the issues that people are actually dealing with, and then help them see what their own solution is. It’s their job to execute that solution.

HOPE: Sum up your style in three words.

Just inside and out, I am bold, courageous and radical! I am a risk-taker for sure. Someone once told me that we live in a capitalistic society, and the only reward it gives is a reward for risk. If you choose to play it safe, this type of system will not benefit you. So the only way to win is to take a risk. The bigger the risk, the bigger return. But, with a risk, there is no guarantee. I think my style is also that of a risk-taker.

HOPE: Name three things you can’t live without.

My Starbucks unsweetened minty green iced tea! I don’t think I could live without my iPad, unfortunately. And I don’t think I could live without vacation. You’ve got to have those vacation times, even if it means not answering the phone or looking at a computer for a day. I just can’t live without that downtime.

HOPE: What’s the best speech you’ve ever heard?

Tyler Perry shared a video about how to be successful, and it was 10 minutes long. That was memorable for me, because he talks about the power of planting a seed but not being in control of the storm around it. He talked about focusing on: what can you to do to make sure that seed sprouts? So I would have to say that that was a powerful speech for me.

HOPE: Name a defining moment in your career.

I think this is definitely a defining moment for me being able to work with Steve. I think defining moments have the ability to shift you into an unfamiliar place but also have the potential to be very powerful, whether that’s personal or professionally. Professionally, my Get Radical Women’s Conference that I did for six years was also defining for me. The event brought in big names and celebrities in a way that showed their commitment to changing people’s lives. They were able to show their success but also be willing to open up about what didn’t work. These conferences always took me to the next level, whether it was about getting more clients or exposure. I was also able to give people what they needed and more than a good time.

Personally, last year I had a medical emergency and almost died. So that was also a defining moment for me. Since then, I really made conscious decisions about how I was going to live my life—about how I was going to work and spend my time. I think both of those have helped shape me in the next season of my life.