The Feature is Female: Emily Reuschel

“Once women learn to trust themselves, and see what’s possible for their lives, and then confidently step into it, it’s a ripple effect.” – Emily Reuschel

What do a teacher, a non-profit Program Director, and a podcasting, life coaching, all around powerful woman with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to help have in common? That’s simple. They’re all Emily Reuschel. 

If you asked a ten-year-old Emily Reuschel what her plans were for the future, odds are her answer wouldn’t have revolved around agriculture. Growing up in southern Illinois, Emily knew of the importance of agriculture, but what she didn’t know was that fate would one day plant her in the middle of a rural, Illinois farm, knee deep in as much agriculture as one can imagine. “I didn’t grow up in agriculture, so I never necessarily thought that was the direction my life was going to go, but as luck and fate would have it, I met a farmer. And farms don’t move, people do. So that helped to put me in the position that I’m in today,” states Reuschel.

When Reuschel entered college, she did what the mass majority of students do when they aren’t really sure what they want to do with their lives. She majored in business. All it took was an Economics course and an Accounting course to help her realize that maybe this wasn’t the path for her. That discovery led her to teaching. “I started my career as an elementary school teacher. I taught 4th grade for five years in southern Illinois, and then I moved up here and began teaching at Southeastern,” says Reuschel. 

As much as Emily loved her job, there was something in her gut telling her that it wasn’t the right fit. “I always thought that I would never do anything besides teaching, but as I was sitting in my parents kitchen right after having my first child, I saw an advertisement on Facebook for [a non-profit organization]. They had a Program Director position open, and it was just the strangest feeling, but I got full body chills. I knew I had to apply, and I ended up getting the job” recalls Emily. 

Her new job was as rewarding as it was exhausting. As the Program Director, Reuschel took on a little bit of everything. From accounting to marketing, and everything in between, Emily was being put to the test in her new job, and it helped her to realize just how valuable she is. “It was the point in my career where I realized Wow! I can do so much more than I ever thought I could,” Reuschel recalls. “About half way through my time there, I had my daughter, and that really launched me into my health journey, which introduced me to this world of personal growth, so all of the sudden I was starting to understand habits and goals and really just the bigger picture of what this personal development space looked like.”

With multiple career paths under her belt, Emily was starting to discover different areas in her life that needed more attention. One of those was her ability to adjust to being a farm wife. “Even though I have really good friends from high school and college, none of them were living the same style of life as I was. So I really had to try and find representation of other women who get the unique nuances of living in a small town, of having a husband who’s gone during harvest, and of all the things that come along with this life,” recalls Reuschel. 

As Emily began thinking through some of the more complicated things in her life, she came to one major revelation. “I felt like I was living in two worlds. We were living this small town life that we love and don’t want to leave, but I was also having the realization that I can do so much with my life and want to. But what’s the intersection between those? At the time, I wasn’t seeing anything at the intersection of the two, and I knew I couldn’t be the only one living in a small town or a rural area who is feeling like that. So I did what any sane person would do during a pandemic, and I started an Instagram account” said Emily with a laugh. 

Her desire to start her own Instagram account came from a very organic and curious place. She simply wanted to have conversations with people who were sharing a similar life experience as her. She also was looking to defeat an age old narrative about small town life. “I feel like when you grow up in small towns, you’re oftentimes fed this narrative that in order to have success and achieve things in life, you have to leave. You have to go to the city and strive for success, but I don’t think that’s true. I didn’t know what my path was going to look like, but all I knew was that I wanted to pursue really big things for my life, and I didn’t want it to be at the cost of moving my family,” remembers Emily. 

In June 2020, Emily started her Instagram journey with her page Raising Reuschel. The original intention of the page was to show what it’s like raising a family on the farm, while also giving people a safe space to feel like they could raise themselves up to the level they want to be. “Along the way I started building connections and my followers started growing, and as cliche as it sounds, one thing led to another, and here we are,” Reuschel stated proudly. 

After starting down the path of Instagram, there were many things in Emily’s life that began falling into place. There was one major thing that wasn’t feeling quite right, however. “I had started to recognize that this dream job I had at [the non-profit organization] wasn’t fitting anymore. I began internalizing that, because I thought something’s wrong with me. I can bring my kids to work, my programs are growing, but I just kept thinking that something didn’t feel right anymore,” recalls Emily. Hindsight is 20/20 for many individuals, and Emily is no exception. Looking back at that time, the reasoning behind why she was feeling such a sense of misplacement came from a place of growth, and she sees that now and is thankful for that time.

With feelings of discontent continuing to boil beneath the surface, Reuschel began seeking out other opportunities to help her feel more at peace with what she was doing. Being a full-time influencer wasn’t necessarily what she was looking to do, so she attended a retreat with every intention of walking away with a better understanding of what path she would take in the realm of agriculture. “I was at this retreat, and we began talking about ourselves. I started telling about this fun side project in my life, and they were the ones that pointed it out to me. They said ‘You do realize you’re kind of running a business, right?’, and I just thought Oh no. I didn’t!” states Emily with a laugh. A few short months after leaving the retreat, Emily quit her job as the Program Director and began her journey as a full-time influencer. 

In the beginning, Emily Reuschel recalls it being a major learning experience. “I’m certainly not one of those entrepreneurs that is like ‘I always knew what I wanted to do.’ I took a completely different path from what I thought I would, and so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. People ask me all the time what my game plan was, and I always have to tell them I didn’t really have one. I just jumped straight in.”

After getting settled in, the goal of Emily’s newfound influencing career became women, but more specifically rural women. “The throughline of my business is guiding women, specifically rural women, in their personal and professional journeys,” states Emily. Since beginning her business, Reuschel has found many ways to reach these women where they are. Between her Instagram account, her Gather in Growth Podcast, 1-on-1 coaching, her mastermind groups, as well as her retreats, Emily Reuschel has reached women on all corners of this country and beyond. 

Something that has become abundantly apparent to Emily in her 3 years of doing this work is that many women thought they were alone in the way they were feeling about certain aspects of their lives. Her work has helped show them that not only are they not alone in their feelings and thoughts, but that they have a community to lean on. “So many women tell me ‘I thought I was the only one’ or ‘I feel like no one else in my community thinks the way I think or feels the way I feel’, and we’ve helped them realize they’re not alone” states Rueschel. “So many of them are on this growth journey, so they’re looking for support, and accountability, and validation in that, and sometimes that’s hard in a small community.”

Something that Emily talked very openly about, was the topic that women have been told is taboo for many years, and that’s the feeling of being unfulfilled with your life. “I really look to help those women who have put in the work. They’ve graduated college, they’ve gotten married, they’ve had babies, they’re in their careers. Things are good, and they’re very grateful, but something is missing. A lot of women internalize a lot of shame around that feeling. They think Why can’t I just be happy? I’ve done all the things, but a lot of them don’t know who they are, because everything they’ve ever done is something that someone else expected of them” says Emily. 

For Reuschel, one commonality between the women she helps, is the expectations they come in with, aren’t necessarily the realities they leave with. “It’s so funny. Especially in regards to the retreat, people come in expecting to get one thing out of it. ‘I want to grow my business. I want to do this. I want to do that.’ They all leave with completely different realizations. We sometimes joke that you’re going to leave the retreat either ready to leave your job, start therapy, or start a new business,” Emily jokingly states. “That’s not always the case, though. I love the diversity of what people are working toward through the things they’re working on with me. I don’t just work with entrepreneurs or professionals. In my masterminds, I have everyone from stay at home moms to women who are running companies or hospitals to women who are running a small business, but it’s the commonality that women live in the middle of nowhere, who are oftentimes connected to agriculture who find that they want to do life on purpose, but there are tons of other people who are open and willing to do the same.”

The journey of becoming an entrepreneur for Emily has been nothing short of eye opening for her. “So much of building a personal brand is like this, but the majority of this has been my own journey. The last year was hectic. I was launching a podcast, and starting masterminds, and getting into speaking. I was getting into this and getting into that, and I’ve always been such an all in person, so it was so exciting, but I hit burnout really fast. In retrospect, I had done that in my previous careers as well, but I didn’t have the self awareness around it. That combined with the fact that entrepreneurship is a magnifying glass for all of your [problems] had me starting therapy and unpacking all of these limiting beliefs and stories that had been ingrained in me” states Emily.

It was Reuschel’s openness and willingness to share her therapy and growth journey that really helped to bring a large number of followers to her page. “I very openly shared my journey with my community. It helped me realize that so many women that I attract are just like me. Part of the reason that they’re so frustrated and so discontent is because they’re constantly chasing the approval of someone or something. The more I untangled the very unhealthy attachments within myself, the more I was able to bring more people in and have them ask themselves the tough questions” recalls Reuschel. 

For Emily, the entire experience of starting this journey has been enlightening and rewarding. “I know that I am in the purpose that I am supposed to be in in this season of my life. I’m comfortable with that evolving and changing, so I know that I feel the most rewarded knowing that I need to take care of myself, and I have so much more confidence in the way I help others” states Emily. “When I first began this journey, I had a lot of Imposter Syndrome. I kept thinking, Who am I to coach people when I don’t even know what’s going on? But now I get to see these women grow, and I get to know that I was a little piece of that, and I feel rewarded in that.”

The future for many people is a wide open, scary place. It comes with a lot of uncertainties, and for Emily Reuschel, she was open about what she hopes the future holds for her. “The first 2 years of my business has been all about bringing ideas to life and doing all the things, and I’ve done most things that I set out to do. Now I’m at this interesting place where I have to ask myself ‘Where do I go from here? How do I evolve?’ When I think of the end goal, which there never really is because it’s a constant journey, but when I think about my ultimate goal, I would love to be known as the thought leader for what personal growth looks like for rural women” states Reuschel. 

As someone who is well-versed in helping guide women on the path to self discovery and personal growth, when asked about what advice she would give to women wanting to go into business for themselves, Emily had a lot to say. “I think that anytime any of us are getting ready to start something new, there is this element of perfectionism that takes over and holds us back. The best advice I can give is that it won’t be perfect and you will fall flat on your face. That is just the honest truth. There is no amount of planning or preparation that can prevent that,” says Emily. “Just know that you won’t have it all figured out before you dive in, in fact, you will figure it all out as you dive in. I would not be doing what I’m doing today had I tried to calculate everything on day one. Clarity comes through action, not the opposite.”

Emily also touched on a common theme amongst women, and how to overcome it when you’re starting your own business. “I see a lot of women who begin to panic about ‘What are other people going to think? What’s my mother-in-law going to think? Will my friends from high school think this is stupid?’ Here’s the thing, people who spend their time talking about what you are or aren’t doing clearly have something going on with their life that makes them feel that they need to do that. People may or may not talk about you, no matter what you do or don’t do. You may as well be doing what you like, and let people talk about that!”

Reuschel’s motivation for building her brand and business comes from a major theme in life that she’s always known is a part of her. “I’ve always been an impact driven person. I used to be unhealthily motivated by other people’s perspectives of me, and I still have a little of that, but with a good amount of therapy, I feel much more rooted in the fact that at the heart of what I’m doing is helping to transform what it looks to live in rural America through the hearts of rural women” proudly states Emily. “Change really happens one person and one heart at a time, and that’s what I’m here for.”

For many rural women, there is a rut you can get stuck in. You get married, you have the kids, you go to work, and you get caught on this hamster wheel that can feel a bit suffocating at times. That’s where women like Emily Reuschel come in. As a rural woman herself, Reuschel understands the unique nuances of what it is like being a woman living in rural America, and that’s why she has made it her life’s mission to help other women living a similar life find their path and make space in their lives to grow. Through a whole lot of podcasting, Instagram posting, and therapy, Emily Rueshel is achieving her dream of helping to transform the lives of rural women one heart at a time. 

Check out Emily’s podcast Gather in Growth below:


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