Originally featured in Voyage Denver
Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Williams.
Rachel, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I grew up in a small town where I learned to value hard work and put myself through undergrad and grad school.
After completing my education, I spent the first half of my career working in large accounting and consulting firms.
However, my career took a pivotal turn when I was hired as the CFO of a client, an Indian tribe. This was a wonderful opportunity and a huge learning experience for me.
Mid-career, I decided to take a different path and became an adjunct professor and started the executive education department for Pepperdine. It was through this experience that I discovered my true passion as an entrepreneur. About 12 years ago, I transitioned to the startup and early-stage space and have been working as both a consultant and in-house CFO, taking on responsibilities across the organization such as COO and leading sales and CE.
I have a deep love for working with startups and entrepreneurs and believe in supporting women and diversity in the workplace. I have worked for a few fractional finance firms and have found that there is a better way to do fractional work. I realized that the key to success is hiring and retaining top-quality talent. With this in mind, I decided to start my own firm to do things my way.
In my personal life, I am an avid lover of the outdoors and all that Colorado has to offer, including skiing, hiking, and spending time outdoors with my three golden retrievers. I also love to travel the world and am actively involved in volunteer work, including in Africa. I am deeply committed to making a positive impact on the world and strive to make a difference in everything I do, both professionally and personally.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The finance world is never a smooth road, with long hours and hard decisions being a constant challenge, especially in the startup space. Throughout my journey, I’ve faced plenty of bias and have had to work harder than my male counterparts to prove myself. Even today, I often find myself as the only woman in the room or on the team.
However, over time, I have learned to stop worrying about trying to prove myself and instead let my work speak for itself.
Starting and running my own business has also had its challenges. It is never easy, and there have been times when I felt uncertain about decisions and how best to grow the firm for the future. But through it all, I have stayed resilient and focused on my goals, determined to make my business a success.
There are always going to be struggles and obstacles along the way, but the key is to not let them discourage you. I believe that if you are passionate about what you do and stay dedicated to your goals, you will eventually overcome any challenges that come your way.
We’ve been impressed with ScaleUp Financial Solutions, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I founded ScaleUp Financial Solutions about a year ago, and our company specializes in providing high-touch fractional finance and accounting services. Our services are customized to fit the specific needs of each business we work with, and our goal is to help our clients understand and improve their businesses.
One of the things that set us apart from others is our data-focused approach. We believe in building the right measurements to understand and improve performance, which allows us to provide real value to our clients.
At ScaleUp Financial Solutions, we also believe in having fun while working hard. We are committed to working with fun and interesting people, and our team-first values are reflected in our better compensation and benefits model. This, in turn, allows us to attract and retain top talent.
Additionally, we are proud to be 100% women-owned and operated. We believe in diversity, and strive to support and uplift women in the workplace. We want our readers to know that we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best possible service, and are always looking for ways to improve and innovate. If you’re looking for a reliable and experienced partner to help you scale and grow your business, ScaleUp Financial Solutions is here for you.
What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is of a spontaneous road trip my mom and I took through Switzerland and France when I was 8 years old. My parents loved to travel and we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to explore new places together. The trip was unplanned and we were traveling with friends who had to head home early, so my mom and I decided to continue on and explore on our own.
One of the highlights of the trip was when we stopped at the top of the alps in Switzerland and had the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. My mom still has the mug we bought as a souvenir from that trip. We also visited France and stayed in an inn in Beaune, where I had escargot for the first time, and took a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards.
That trip and the travel my parents brought me on helped me develop a sense of curiosity and adventure. It taught me that you never know where a road will take you if you don’t seek it out in the first place. I will always cherish the memories of that trip and the impact it had on shaping me into the person I am today.