Change Maker: Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life

Ashley Hockney

| Feb 12, 2016

Rebecca Tracey's life has been anything but the status quo. From living in a van for a year rock climbing around the USA to working on a banana farm or teaching in South Korea, it's no surprise that the business she's built is called The Uncaged Life.  

Helping coaches and consultants run their businesses, Rebecca Tracey has built an online community that's as passionate as she is. From her 4,000 person facebook group to her popular online courses, we have to say hats off, or pants off, to Rebecca (that will make sense if you read on). 

Here's what she has to say... 

1. Tell us what you do in 2 sentences:  

I work with coaches and consultants who want to run businesses with just their laptop, and I help them learn what it really takes to get clients in the online world. 

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2. At what point did you decide the traditional 9-5 office job wasn’t for you? 

I’ve never worked the 9-5! When I graduated University I had NO idea what I wanted to do – so I travelled (which I highly recommend by the way!). I spent 2 years working odd jobs abroad, taught English in Korea, and tried my hand at a few different jobs when I came back to Canada. It wasn’t a clear path to figuring out what I wanted to spend my time doing, but I KNEW right from when I was a little kid that sitting at a desk pushing papers wasn’t what I wanted to do. Funny, now I spend more time at a desk than ever in my life, but I’m doing it with a big mug of tea, no pants on, my dog by my side, and on my own terms! 

3. What did you do next?  

I was leaving for an 8 month rock climbing road trip and decided it was time to start – I’d had this idea in my head for SO long but hadn’t taken any action on it, and the trip kind of forced me get my act together and get started! I built a basic website, started coaching clients, and things took off from there. I remember taking clients calls from the old campervan I was living in, on the side of the road, in hammocks by the side of cliffs – anywhere everywhere I could get signal! 

4. What was the hardest part? 

The hardest part of starting was that I was doing it all alone – I wasn’t in any other business groups, I didn’t have friends who were entrepreneurs – It was just me and my laptop figuring everything out. 

5. What has been the best part of running your own business?  

That I don’t have to wear pants to work. 

6. What are your plans for the future? 

I’m definitely moving more towards teaching courses and less one-on-one coaching. I’ve thought about licensing and training other Uncaged coaches, but that feels BIG to me right now and I’m not quite there yet. The beauty of having your own business is that plans can change, and right now the plan is to expand my team so that I have more support! It’s been all me for most of the time, and it’s time to get the help I need! 

7. Why online courses?  

Because the internet has made the entire world accessible – which is an amazing thing for both business owner and consumer. Someone in small town Canada can take some of the top business training in the world without leaving their home. I can teach classes to people in the US, New Zealand, and Dubai, all at the same time. Information is SO accessible right now and all businesses and their customers should be using that to their advantage! 

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8. Uncaged Life takes an awesomely blunt tone - were you ever shy about putting yourself out there?  

I have never been shy about voicing my opinions, but definitely took a while to really figure out what my opinions were and how to use that voice in a way that would serve people instead of just sound ranty! I have definitely mixed up the two in my business, but it’s all a learning experience. I have always felt like someone with something to say, and I think the trickiest part about being a business owner is that you are responsible for the impact you have with your words (good and bad, intentional and unintentional), and you have a responsibility to your clients and readers. This can be scary for new businesses, and I think that’s why it can take so long for businesses to “find” their voice. There are so many more factors to consider than if it’s just YOU ranting to your friends and family on Facebook. I encourage everyone to play around with voicing their opinions early on in their business – your point of view is what clients and customers buy into, so have one and use it! 

9. When you were traveling the country rock climbing, did you ever expect you’d end up here?  

Not ever. I wondered if this whole thing was going to work. Truthfully, I thought I was too lazy to have a successful businesses. It sounded like a lot of work, and the whole point was to enjoy life – kind of counterintuitive! Through the years I’ve found that I enjoy the work – it’s much different working hard when you are building your own thing, and I’ve come to love the hustle of it! It’s fun to me, and I’m so proud of what I have accomplished since those vagabonding days in the rock climbing van! 

10. What resources do you suggest for other people wanting to ditch their day job?

I neverrrr recommend just up and quitting UNLESS you are very ok with risk and uncertainty. If you know you can pick up more work easily if need be, or you have a huge buffer of $$$ to live on, then go for it! Otherwise, make a plan and stick to it. It’s unlikely that you will be replacing your full-time income in the first 3-6 months (or even the first year), so do some planning first!  

My friend Shannon has created some amazing financial courses for business owners, and one specifically called Make That Money that helps you do this kind of planning, so you can make smart choices about when to ditch the job. 

I would also recommend joining some free Facebook groups and connecting with others in your in your industry – you’ll get a really great idea of how your first year in business will look, and you’ll be inspired to get your butt into gear. I run a free community that is full of other online business owners – you can hop in here

11. What advice would you give to someone starting to generate income independently? 

See above! And give it time. And don’t give up if things aren’t “working” right away. It can take some time to figure out what you’re doing and time to build up enough recognition that people are buying from you consistently. If you’re giving up before 3 years of effort, you’re giving up too early.

Read the full interview with Rebecca Tracey of The Uncaged Life for the full story of a free spirit who teaches others how to run a business from a laptop.

Ashley Hockney is a Content Marketer & Writer. Her background is in food & beverage PR i.e. she wants to talk to you about single malts.