Dreams are a huge part of who we are. What we strive to accomplish, the hopes we hold for our future, these are the things that mould and shape us, that set us on the journey of life. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, our dreams come easy and we snag our perfect partner, job, house, or car. Other times, we fail. It’s the failure we have a hard time accepting. What happens when you want something so desperately only to have it slip away from you? Some of us give up; we throw the towel in, and change direction. It’s easy to slink away and can feel more productive to think of a new dream than to toil away at the old one. Especially when those life goals fall through your fingertips not once, not twice, but three times!
My name is Natalee Rhodes and I am a big dreamer.
Now that business is in full swing at Generations Laser, I finally have a moment to sit down and properly introduce myself. More so, I want to talk to you about my journey and how I got here. I believe anything is possible, but my refusal to take 'no' for an answer certainly helped me along the way. Sure, everything happens for a reason, but sometimes if you want something you have to aggressively pursue it, even in the face of failure.
This story actually starts in 2005, when I first became an aesthetician and started a small mobile business doing pedicures and manicures. If you are picturing me going door-to-door with a little suitcase, offering my services to strangers, then you aren’t too far from the truth. My first attempt at business wasn't exactly a huge success, but I came out of it knowing I wanted to focus on building lasting relationships with its guests and offer unparalleled services.
When I came to rent a small space in a salon, I was ecstatic to have a working address and a second chance! This was a turning point. Failure came shortly after when the owners sold the salon, thus ending my second attempt at entrepreneurship. However the experiences, skills, and knowledge I gained along the way proved to be invaluable and allowed me the privilege of being hired at a medical aesthetics clinic. During this time, I worked my way up from reception to laser technician and, finally, to manager. While I certainly was proud of myself, my ambition to be more took over and I made the decision to go back to school.
Once I finished my schooling, I worked at a hospital until I found a medical spa I felt would be a good fit. At first, it felt like my dream job, but after three and a half years and being promoted to assistant manager, I still felt as though I wasn't using all of my potential. This is when I learned something crucial – I wanted to be my own boss. I felt as though I owed it to myself to create my own dream, not run someone else's.
So, in 2010, Generations Laser was born. Except, it wouldn’t open its doors for another five years!
I worked tediously for a year and a half to come up with a business plan and model. Just when I had the finances needed to start up, I secured a place to rent, and guess what? It fell through! I was absolutely devastated. I started to question whether opening my laser clinic was a good idea. Over the previous decade, I’d learned so much and taken every opportunity to grow as an aesthetician and didn’t want all my hard work to go to waste. It would have been easy to walk away. Instead, I continued to toil away, but I took a position as a caregiver and managed a successful hair boutique while I tried to come up with another plan. Then, out of the blue, a good friend messaged me and told me she was opening her own spa. She wanted me to join her and make my dream come true. The passion was reignited, but was it possible this time? There was still a seed of doubt in the back of my mind. Thankfully, I didn't listen to it.
All it took was a chance encounter with my best friend’s boss to put the ball back in motion again. I had a meeting with a wonderful man that changed everything. Suddenly, my plans were back on track. A loan was secured, I had a place to rent, and almost as if by fate, I had an investor (who would later become my mentor) who believed in me without a doubt.
December of last year, Generations Laser opened its doors and my dream finally came true.
When I think back on this journey, I am amazed at how many detours I took along the way. With all the ups and downs, I kept moving forward, even when it felt as though I was standing still, unable to go anywhere. I clung to my goal and refused to let it go. Now, I get to wake up and drive to my dream. I get to build relationships with my guests and help them achieve their skin health goals. To make people feel good inside and out is a gift!
Yes, it took work. Yes, I failed. But I get to say, “I did it.” And you can too! The key is not giving up. One must look failure in the face and view it as a challenge. I am forever thankful for all the experiences I have had to grow as a person and as a professional perfecting my craft. The people I worked with and the kind, loving souls who supported me along the way were right - everything happens at the exact moment it is supposed to. The speech I gave at graduation when I became a care-aid contained a Maya Angelou quote that stuck with me over the years and changed who I am as a person.
Today, I am excited to share with you a project we have been working on for quite some time. Take a look inside my clinic and learn what it is I do and what I offer. Thank you!
Natalee at Generations Laser