Rachael Shelton has been an Account Manager with Leo Direct since October of 2019, pushing herself and her team further towards entrepreneurial success each day. Born and raised in Grayson County, Kentucky, Shelton has been destined for success since day one. A former pageant contestant, Shelton credits her childhood experiences with her depth of professional confidence and ability. “I started pageants when I was twelve years old, and they gave me so much confidence,” says Shelton, “it was essential because middle school is very hard for girls. I learned how to do interviews, and oddly enough at twelve years old, I was learning how to network, how to get my name out there, and make friendships with people that could help me reach my goals. Now I have no issues doing that, only eight years later, when some people are just learning about networking and marketing yourself in college.”
Rachael Shelton has followed a unique personal journey to reach the current level of career success she has found. The entrepreneurial spirit is anything but selfish, and on that note, Shelton was kind enough to share her tips and tricks with any future leaders in business.
Take us back to the start. What do you remember from your early years?
“I remember very little of my childhood, but I remember being spoiled. My parents gave me anything and everything I needed to succeed- within reason. I remember one time I was in fourth grade and needed to print one piece of paper for class, so I managed to talk my parents into buying me a whole printer, ink cartridge, and all. I started golf for my high school playing varsity when I was in fourth grade. If I had a letterman jacket, I would’ve run out of room. I played for eight years, before signing a scholarship to Midway university. Other sports I loved growing up were soccer, volleyball, and football. My coach, Mr. Dan, will sometimes still see me out and about and tell me what an all-star I was back in the day. I played running back on his football team as a child and was the only girl. A 5’5 4th grader is hard to handle, so I went on to have over 1,500 rushing yards, and yes, Coach Dan kept stats and remembers them to this day!”
Is that when your competitive edge was born?
“Sports made me who I am today; it taught me structure, it taught me work ethic, and it taught me how to respect authority. During my sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school, I drastically improved to receive a scholarship. Going into my junior year, I played a course at the beginning of the season and shot a 100. I knew we would go on to play that course at the end of the season for our regional tournament, so I decided then I was going to make the necessary changes. To shoot what I wanted to, I needed to get up at five in the morning to practice my short game, practice until dark after school, and workout four days a week. With consistency throughout that year, I would come back to that same course at the end of that year and shoot a seventy-five, draining a fifty-foot eagle putt to win.”
Was this a dream career for you?
“Yes, I’ve always loved sales. My uncle owns a jewelry store, and at sixteen, I started working there and always enjoyed talking to new people and setting them up with the perfect diamond ring.”
Tell us about your college experience thus far.
“I’m a sophomore at Midway University. I signed a golf scholarship during my senior year of high school. I also received an academic scholarship, which was financially life-changing. My major is business; I started as a biology major but quickly learned after one semester that was not for me. My golf team has won conference four years in a row, once since I’ve been there. I was the only person in my class to play on the conference team and at nationals, which was in Oklahoma City.”
What is your favorite thing about Leo Direct?
“Everyone’s so positive and happy to be there! We’re positive and motivated but laid back. It remains the perfect opportunity for me. I can go to class while also getting experience in my field and learning from successful people.”
What have you gained from your work?
“A sense of confidence that I, at twenty years old, can provide for myself with financial freedom.”
What has been the proudest moment in your life and the office?
“The proudest moment in my life has been balancing this position with school and golf. I’ve lost a lot of sleep, but know I’m doing it for a better future.”
It’s never too late to learn a new skill, what would yours be?
“Speak all languages. I love talking to people, and it upsets me that there are people I cant talk to just because I don’t know the language!”
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
“You’re going to make it, and you’re going to be awesome.”
What does success look like to you?
“Happiness! There are a lot of different ways to be successful in your career and your relationships. Still, I think just being happy, and making the most of where you are at in life, and always pushing to do more, no matter where you are, is a great measure of success.”
What is your favorite thing about working in the business industry?
“Working with so many people who want to lift me and see me succeed.”
Who inspires you?
“I’m inspired by people who didn’t give up when it got hard, or who started from the bottom and made it to the top.”
What business advice would you give to people hoping to start a career?
“When asking for advice, ask for it from people who make more than you, or are more successful; obviously, they are doing something right. Oh, and get a mentor.”
Rachael Shelton has brought an entirely authentic sense of positivity and drive into the Leo Direct office. At the very young age of twenty, she has displayed promising motivation and encouragement to the team around her. How does she motivate herself each day? By reminding herself that there are a million people who would kill for the opportunity that she has at her fingertips.