Alumna Nicole Rhone was rising in the corporate human resources world, landing a six-figure job at a major company. Working full-time, raising a child, being everyone’s go-to — the overwhelming stress sent her to the intensive care unit in 2019.
The Roosevelt University HR graduate called the experience a wake-up call. She took a risk and started her own business to help other women understand their work-life capacity.
Rhone offers potential clients her free capacity calculator. Step by step, they consider everything on their plates: the feeling that there aren’t enough hours in the day, why they’re feeling drained or unfulfilled.
“I'm hearing repeatedly from my clients that they didn't even realize they were operating at max capacity,” she said. “Are we spending time on the things that we value? Or are we running around, filling up our capacity with things that don't necessarily matter?”
As a capacity coach, Rhone has given clients the tools to realize they were in a toxic work environment and to address problems in their personal relationships.
The Roosevelt alum answered questions about her signature approach to wellness and how her human resources degree became a foundation for her entrepreneurial career.
What brought you to Roosevelt?
I wanted to be at a University that was tied to my values. Social justice clearly stood out. I wanted to be somewhere where I could have more one-on-one attention than a traditional university. I didn't want to just be a number.
Roosevelt University is one of the best universities on the planet, not only because of the affordability, but just the overall experience: the classroom size, the care from the teachers.
Many of the professors were actually doing the work in that field. They had real-life experience.
What inspired your leap to capacity coaching?
I needed to create a space where women could come and understand how to navigate between their work and personal life. The mindset to do it was one of the biggest challenges I faced, because who in their right mind walks away from a six-figure job?
Getting into this space and focusing on the entrepreneurship side has required a mindset shift for me. I'm proud of being resilient and continuing to do what I'm doing, even though it's scary as heck.>
Tell us about the five “flows” of your work-life balance strategies.
I developed each of the flows through what I learned in my own personal and professional experience, as well as coaching my clients this last year. And these areas are intertwined. If you're struggling in one flow, you may not be showing up as the person you want to be as a mom, as an employee, as a friend.
- Heart flow is about all of the things that impact your heart: your family, your relationships, the people that impact your decisions on a daily basis.
- Work flow is about your fulfillment in your career. Sometimes, if you have things going on in your heart flow — for instance, if parenting is a struggle, or you're challenged in a relationship — it prevents you from being present and excellent at work.
- The health flow focuses on three areas: your mental, physical and emotional health. Check in and see how you're doing mentally and emotionally, because when you don't do that it shows up physically, which is what led me to the hospital.
- Cash flow is about making sure that you're managing money from a budgeting and emotional perspective. How you spend, how you manage your money, your self-esteem, your confidence — all of that's tied together.
- And then, last but not least, is your faith flow. It’s a nondenominational belief in a higher purpose as you go through these pillars of flow.
How did your HR background help you launch your business?
Oh, tremendously. I call HR my training ground because it helped me to develop not only the people skills, but the organization: being able to multitask and to tap into self-awareness.
An HR perspective helped me build policies and understand the dynamics between leadership and entry-level employees. These skills have impacted my ability to create this business, to have it grow, and to build an organization where other people want to work with me.
Human resources has been the cornerstone of my being able to build this business.
What advice would you give Roosevelt students?
Trust your gut. So often, as women, we tend to dismiss what we're feeling or discount what's going on in our heads and our hearts.
And it's never too late to start. Never. It’s always a good time to start understanding your capacity. Being aware is the first step and can unlock so much for you, personally and professionally.