Movers and Shakers | Davinia Tomlinson | rainchq
We love sharing the entrepreneurial stories of women of colour. Davinia Tomlinson is the founder of rainchq, a company that helps women take control of their financial futures through an annual membership programme comprising of: financial education, qualified and
regulated financial advice and events focused on all aspects of holistic wellbeing.
What drove you to start your own business?
Growing up, I always harboured entrepreneurial ambitions because I recognised the importance of being in control of my own destiny. That said, after years in the corporate world, it took me a while to pluck up the courage to leave it behind.
After having my second daughter in 2017, I knew that if I went back to work after maternity leave I would never leave so at that stage I leapt!
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
I spent 15 years within the investment management industry, starting on a graduate scheme at one of the world’s largest global asset managers.
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
While I have a vision for each year in terms of broad areas I want to accomplish, I plan and set priorities in 6-12 week sprints because things change so quickly, as this pandemic has proven! My driving force is the ability to live life on my own terms and set my own rules.
Can you describe a typical working day?
My days are dictated by the rhythm of my two daughters so I’m up and dressed by 6:30am, schedule some social media posts, get the girls up by 7am before giving them breakfast and getting them ready for school and nursery by 8am.
At 8:45 I’m ready to start the day. I time block in hourly intervals to maximise my time and stay focused. I listen to podcasts most of the day. My favourites are Brendon Burchard or Oprah’s Super Soul conversation.
I try to avoid responding to emails all day and instead block out time to do them at a certain point during the day. At 3pm, I stop for the school pick up then try to pause work until the girls go to bed at around 8. I then work for a few more hours depending on how much I’ve got done during the day, before bed at around midnight.
Three times a week I’ll do a home HIIT class and I do a yoga workout daily before bed.
What has been the most amazing day in your entrepreneurial life so far?
Without question, the day I signed up my first customer who then six months later recommended a friend. Securing your first paying customer (who isn’t a friend or family member!) is such a euphoric moment for any entrepreneur. As we all know there is no higher praise than a referral so it was a real highlight.
What has been your scariest moment?
Prior to launching rainchq, I needed to recruit a female financial adviser with whom to partner on a pilot in order to test the proposition and see if there was adequate demand. After a seemingly fruitless initial search, I was so pleased to meet the woman who eventually came on board as the first rainchq financial adviser. If I hadn’t met her when I did, the launch would have been delayed indefinitely.
How do you work on making your business grow?
Given resource constraints, I try to invest my time in activity that enables me to maximise my reach with the target audience. This includes building my mailing list and running email marketing campaigns, speaking at events and running corporate workshops where I can reach hundreds of people simultaneously.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
Being able to manage my time around the needs of my young daughters.
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them?
The main challenge is having to do everything on a shoestring while the business grows with limited resource to do everything I’d like to. Ruthless prioritisation and establishing where my time is best spent in driving the business forward vs those tasks that can be delegated to reduce the burden, is the only way to survive!
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration as a business owner?
I am a huge fan of Rihanna’s reinvention from pop star to business mogul. Through her lingerie and makeup brands in particular, she has adeptly tapped into huge markets by focusing on the many ways diverse women have been marginalised or under served. It’s a great example of knowing your customer and developing products that deliver a winning experience.
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?
The best advice I received was from my publicist, Lucy Werner who basically said: be authentic – people are buying you as much as the service they are offering. Don’t be afraid to be visible and be you!
What are the three books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?
Brendon Burchard, High Performance Habits,
Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki
Principles by Ray Dalio – for a combination of mindset, motivation and business/financial acumen
What other passions do you have away from your business? How do you relax?
Yoga is a new love, so one of the silver linings of lockdown during Covid19 is an opportunity to hone my yoga practice at home, so nobody sees me when I fall off balance!
Use @rainchq to connect on all social media platforms.
Rainchq won the Start up Business of the Year at the 13th Annual PRECIOUS Awards.