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Meet Rachael Parker-Chavez of Defining: Good in Playa del Rey

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachael Parker-Chavez.

Rachael, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I had no idea what I wanted to “be” when I grew up. To be honest, I’m still not completely sure, but I think I’m getting closer! I knew I loved exploring new places and cultures and that I wanted to be in the sunshine, so I moved from Michigan to California a few months after I graduated high school. I took two years off before starting college and when I did I still wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, which led me to a Bachelor’s in Communication (the perfect degree for this scenario) and a certificate in Event Managment from a study abroad program. This led me to a job in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) because the person who ran the department (my soon to be boss) also happened to be tasked with creating the annual corporate conference, which I thought sounded like a great events opportunity. Not to mention the fact that he also traveled around the world in the CSR capacity, another interesting possibility for my inherent love for the aforementioned passion for exploration. I was blessed to fall into that role which, over almost six years, grew my the heart and head for social impact.

Near year four, I began to get the entrepreneurial bug (something I never intended) and created a little side-hustle pairing my side-gig of teaching fitness classes with philanthropy. Zero experience in business led me to start attending a lot of events at a co-working space up the street from my office to try and figure out what the what I was doing. People were semi-interested in my little “push for purpose” endeavor, but what they really wanted to know about was CSR. How they, as small business owners and entrepreneurs, could also create impact. And as I worked with them, I realized is it definitely doesn’t have to be “corporate.” You don’t have to have a huge budget, a big team or a giant budget to make a significant impact on the world. You simply need the desire and a solid strategy. I was seeing plenty of business owners with the former, but lacking the strategy piece. That’s why I started Defining: good.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Creating the first side hustle helped me learn that the “if you build it, they will come” belief is false and when I launched DG I was prepared to work really hard to reach people. Thankfully it’s getting easier, but this was and still can be a huge challenge. There is only so much time in a day and so I have to find the balance between working in my business with clients and working on my business; marketing, networking, etc. As the saying goes, you should be working way more ON then IN, but it can be really hard. I also I had this vision that working from home in a messy bun and stretchy pants would be my best life. I do thoroughly enjoy those two benefits, but what I didn’t know was that working alone would also be extremely isolating. I spent the first four months rarely speaking with anyone but my pets and my husband when he’d get home from work. That’s tough. Not to mention that getting a handle on my schedule was not something I’d anticipated being such a challenge. It was and still can be.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Defining: good – what should we know?
Defining: Good exists to equip passionate people to generatea positive impact on business. Which means I help business owners create social impact strategies that produce purpose-filled brands, authentic nonprofit partnerships, engaging initiatives and strong businesses too. I work with business owners one-on-one to create custom strategies, provide digital tools and resources and contribute to the conscious business community through events and thought leadership.

One of my favorite free resources is Good Matters, DG’s online video show featuring interviews with social entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and social good experts + quick video lessons on how to build a business that makes the world better.

I believe passionate entrepreneurs can change the world and everyone should have that chance, regardless of their circumstances, which is another element that sets DG apart. For every project I complete with a business owner here, I support three or more entrepreneurs around the world working to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families. To date, we’ve supported nearly 50 entrepreneurs in 19 countries through Kiva.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband deserves so much credit for the success of Defining: Good. He’s been my biggest supporter, teacher and advocate since day one (before he was even my husband), I also owe a debt of gratitude to my former employer for the experience and my former boss for allowing me to grow like crazy while I was there. Lastly, I’ve been blessed to find amazing support through a few LA groups focused on supporting female business owners and the incredible women in those groups.

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