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Life & Work with Rachel Sobel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Sobel.

Hi Rachel, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today.
After following the “expected” path – college, career, marriage, baby, I had a few wrenches thrown in my plans and started what I know now was my evolution. After a divorce with a toddler in tow, I did some soul-searching to figure out what I wanted personally and professionally. I took time getting to know myself outside of being someone’s wife and honed in on MY wants and needs while I poured most of myself into my daughter.

I also never realized how much all of these personal experiences would become a part of my new career. I met and married the love of my life, took a leap and made a major career change, and had another baby 2 weeks before I turned 40. I left the corporate world after serving in public relations roles for more than two decades, bought a domain name, created social media profiles, and started blogging without having a clue what I was doing.

In what feels like a lifetime and simultaneously the blink of an eye, I carved out my little corner of the internet and started an amazing community built on vulnerability and filled with supportive and fierce women. We are all different but share so many parallels from parenting to marriage to every type of life circumstance. We all see pieces of ourselves in each other’s journeys and it makes everyone feel seen and less alone.

After taking one of the biggest risks of my life and leaving the confines of a cubicle, I have been able to build a brand/business with my own two hands with two little girls watching from the wings and it feels pretty special.

Now, I am an award-winning writer, author, speaker, do-over wife, mom to two girls, short-order cook, laundress, lunch packer, boo-boo kisser, and chauffeur, I was awarded Romper’s 2020 People’s Choice Award at Mom 2.0 and am a two-time finalist for Parenting Blogger of the Year in the South Florida Blogger Awards.

I’m the creator and cohost of the lifestyle podcast, Friends Without Benefits with in-arena Miami Heat host, Uptown Dale. I have work published in two anthologies, including Jen Mann’s New York Times Best Seller, I Just Want to Hang Out With You. I have written for HuffPost, Romper, Today Show Parents, PopSugar, ScaryMommy, Filter Free Parents, MommyNearest, and more.

I have appeared on NPR, The Doctors, The Tamron Hall Show, and The Kelly Clarkson Show (I’m still not fully recovered from Kelly calling me hilarious on national television). I live in South Florida with my second (and final) husband, my two feisty daughters, and two dogs that make me lose my mind regularly.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Nothing worthwhile is ever really smooth in my opinion. There are always fire drills and hills to climb to get somewhere. I think when you leave the safety of a steady paycheck and start something of your very own from scratch, the struggles are inherent. That’s what makes you grow and forces you to make tough decisions and take bigger risks.

I had to get used to not having a direct deposit show up every two weeks that would cover my bills. Some months I overshot my corporate salary and some I had to pull from emergency savings. It’s still an ebb and flow and it’s a constant hustle. If I am not out there securing brand partnerships, speaking engagements, and getting paid for articles in big online publications, I’m not making money.

I also think that many people don’t realize the constant pressure to stay relevant on social media when you create a very public page/brand based on your vulnerability. You have to always be authentically engaging with the people you’ve brought to your account and look for ways to grow, otherwise, the monetization aspect suffers as well. The wheels are constantly in motion and you have to stay invested or it doesn’t work.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a storyteller at my core. My writing started as a fun, light family stories filled with relatability and entertainment. As I started to dig deeper and share the messier stuff (divorce, miscarriage, insecurities), that’s when the real magic started. My work started getting accepted on big sites like Scary Mommy and I became a contributing writer for HuffPost, PopSugar, and the Today Show Parenting Team.

As I grew, so did my social media accounts and that’s when the brand partnerships started to flourish. I started a show, live on Instagram, from my closet, because it was the only place my kids would leave me alone. And several years later, I am still there every Monday night with different guests each week. I have been the featured speaker at The Mother of All Baby Showers events across several markets where I get to talk to expectant moms, give them a dose of hilarious reality and share my own experiences in motherhood.

This year I launched a podcast with my friend of 30+ years and in-arena Miami Heat host, Uptown Dale, called Friends Without Benefits. I think what makes me different is that I’m not afraid to share the tough stuff and be vulnerable. I don’t use filters and I don’t do fake. I know that no matter what I or anyone else is going through there is someone else having a similar experience. This was never more evident than when I started posting anonymous confessions on my Instagram stories every Wednesday.

It’s taken on a life of its own and I can’t even keep up each week with the submissions. People need to get things off their chest and for many, Wednesdays have become that place for them to purge. Sharing my life so publicly, has taught me that everyone just wants to feel seen and heard. They want to feel camaraderie and community. I feel strongly about the community I have created and do everything I can daily to keep it a safe space.

If we knew you growing up, how would we have described you?
I’m told I have always had a big personality. I have never met a stage I didn’t like. I danced from the time I could walk, cheered through high school, taught kids hip hop in my 20s, and had some television appearances under my belt before I hit my 20s. So, I’m not shy. However, I did go through some stuff in my 20s and 30s where I became more closed-off. More censored. I lost my spirit in a sense.

After my divorce, I went full throttle to get it back (and then some). I’m the “therapist” in my friend group and I am the do-er in my home. I have a badass mother who made my bed as a child before I was fully out of it in the mornings and have become tangible proof of the apple not falling far from the tree.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Katharine DeFalco Skolnick of DeFalco Design

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