I met a woman once at Gallery Night in Fort Worth who told me with obvious joy she was running away to join the circus. A gymnast in college, she had gotten married, divorced and now wanted to fulfill her dream of soaring high in the big top. I told her she had to get back in touch and I’d write a story about her. She never did … get back in touch, anyway. In my mind she’s still living her dream soaring thru the air with the greatest of ease fulfilling her dream. But my latest runaway acquaintance will be easy to find. I met Rachel Vogel when she was named a Great Woman of Texas in 2009. She was young, enthusiastic and as involved in the community as you can get. She had, what can I say, an undeniable determination.
Rachel is a consultant and business coach with more than 20 years of experience working in architecture, engineering and construction industries and she’s brought that determination with her wherever she’s been. So when she called me to invite me to a Society for Marketing Professionals Fort Worth event, I wasn’t surprised. SMPS is a group of marketing and business development professionals who work in the architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) industries. That’s her world.
But I was surprised when Rachel Vogel – now Marker – also told me that she and her husband, Steven, were selling everything and heading out to travel the world. “Wow,” was about all I could muster. The question “Why?” lingered in the air, unasked but obvious. Bubbling with enthusiasm, Rachel said she and her husband made the decision to launch a journey around the world for the sake of discovery, learning and experiences in other cultures while they are still healthy and able, she said. They headed out in early February, landing in Faro, Portugal. But unlike my circus trapeze artist, modern technology has made it easy for Rachel and Steve to maintain contact with the whole world via their website and Facebook page. To support themselves financially, they’ve developed a unique business strategy – scuba diving and business consulting services. Yes, you read that right. They’re both experienced divers, so the couple plans to assist diving schools during their travels by providing support and filling in for dive shop owners while they are on holidays.
Rachel will be taking her new business consulting company, Emraes Consulting, on the road with her. That means her clients in Texas could be chatting with her in Ireland one week and Thailand the next. A great conversation starter I’d say. She now has three Fort Worth clients who have agreed to “take our business relationship” virtual, she says. “They’re thrilled to be coming along for the ride,” says Rachel. What contributes to her drive and determination? I don’t know for sure, but at 24, Rachel was diagnosed with a rare form of polio that left her unable to walk. A year’s worth of rehabilitation eventually helped her regain her mobility. It left her with a commitment to live life to its fullest.
As she told us in 2009, “My motto is ‘never underestimate the power of determination.’ It’s played a huge part in my life. Knowing that from a determination standpoint, they didn’t know if I would walk again. I knew I would.” Now she’s walking around the world.