Brian chats with RHEA Services founder and “accidental business owner” Sarah Kendrick. Sarah started her career as a music therapist for children and adults with developmental disabilities but later realized the need for care and support in the bereavement process while helping her family after the death of her grandma. Bringing together the skills she developed during her years as a therapist, she founded RHEA Services to simplify the life transitions pre-planning and estate closure processes.
On the episode, Sarah walks listeners through her journey of becoming an entrepreneur, including the struggles that turned into stepping stones. She also shares how she’s iterated and developed RHEA Services by listening to the needs of her customers and reads a blessing for business owners.
Mission-driven businesses make the world better.
Sarah says mission-driven businesses do work that makes the world better than it is now. She started her mission-driven business, RHEA Services, in 2020 to help families and small business owners gather essential information in case something were to happen to them.
“You’re the only person who knows what’s in your head, which is usually a good thing, but it gets troublesome when you are the one person who knows all of your most important pieces of information.” she said. “I help people basically make a map of that information so that if something happens, somebody knows where to go and look and get what they need.”
She stumbled upon her line of work after reading an article about a woman in her 40s who struggled with the “business of death” after her husband died of cancer suddenly and unexpectedly. She immediately knew that helping families with the administrative pieces of losing a loved one was exactly what she wanted to be doing, but she couldn’t find another business doing that kind of work.
“I am very much an accidental business owner, and I think that’s sometimes how mission-driven businesses start,” she said. “They see a problem and what they can do to help that problem. That was my situation.”
Your customers will tell you what they need. Listen to them.
The type of administrative work that Sarah set out to do in 2020 is just a small portion of what RHEA Services offers today. While Sarah didn’t intentionally set out to grow her business, it has naturally evolved as Sarah uncovers her own needs and listens intently to customers’ needs.
“I am hearing what people need,” she said. “That doesn’t mean that I have to just do whatever people want me to do, but if it feels right to me, too, that’s a really lovely way to honor their faith in me.”
Being a business owner is exciting and terrifying.
Sarah describes herself as the type of person who prefers predictability and a schedule, which is not the life of a business owner. As she’s created and grown her business over the past three years, she’s learned to adjust her mindset about being an entrepreneur. She may never love the lack of predictability, but she’s grown to like the challenge of solving problems.
“Being a business owner is exciting, exhilarating, and terrifying, and I am far more open to it than I ever was before,” Sarah said. “I’m more capable than I thought I was, and I’ve developed this newfound confidence in myself.”
Resources + Links
Sarah’s Social Media: LinkedIn
About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast
Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.
On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.