It was 2007, and I {Rachel} was pretty miserable. I blamed my woes on the fact that I was halfway through my freshman year of college, and had chosen the wrong school.

I had been accepted to one of the best (and hardest to get in to) schools in Virginia. It had everything I had ever wanted — a historical campus, wonderful classmates, and a heap of prestige — but was sorely lacking in my new boyfriend and best friends from high school, who had all gone to another school in Virginia.

So, six weeks in to my college experience, I made my mind up to transfer. I blamed the school for not having anything I wanted to major in, which fooled approximately nobody. I told my best friend from high school I was coming next year, and to include me in her plans for living off-campus.

Mindwinters 08
The first documented photo of us (that we could find)

The next time I came to visit her, she introduced me to my future roommates: Her freshman dorm-mate, as well as a random girl from across the hall because we needed a 4th person for the apartment {Kristen}.

We all moved in together the following fall, and for the next year and a half, my roommates had to witness my complete spiral into unhealthy co-dependence with the boyfriend I had not-so-subtly transferred schools to be with.

My best friend and two new friends had multiple intervention-like sit-downs with me, trying to make me see how emotionally fraught and stressful my relationship was. They bore witness to endless on-and-off breakups, fights, and hysterics. They let me sit on the floor of their rooms, curled up and crying and wondering how the world would move on (which is the natural, dramatic thing to do at 19, I guess).

And then, one day, I just … woke up. I stopped going back to the ex-boyfriend, and finally started paying attention to my friends. I watched my best friend from high school have a really solid, healthy relationship (with the guy she ended up marrying). I listened to Kristen tell me about her first relationship, which had been just as emotionally fraught and eye-opening as mine had been, only a couple of years earlier.

A couple of nerds at college graduation

It was in those early conversations about how naïve, unhealthy, and emotionally off-the-charts our first-loves had been that Kristen and I became business partners.

In fact, I remember the exact moment it happened. I was riding in the passenger seat of her old Jeep Cherokee (R.I.P.) on a sunny spring day in 2009, and one of us half-joked that we should write a book for other college girls, so they could learn from our mistakes.

And I think at the same moment, we both realized it wasn’t a joke. We both wanted it to be real; didn’t see why it couldn’t be real. A few days later, we didn’t exactly have a business, but we had a hand-written book outline.

We didn’t start seriously writing until the fall of 2010, when we were both equally bored at different desk jobs. We used to G-chat back and forth, planning our book and emailing each other the latest drafts. It was the only thing either of us looked forward to during the workday.

We worked on that until we realized that writing a book wasn’t the best plan for financial freedom. The book gave way to the idea of being therapists, which evolved again into becoming coaches.

At our friend’s bachelorette party in 2012

Our partnership, and friendship, works because we have evolved (and devolved, and evolved again) at a very similar pace. We came to realizations at the same time, hated a lot of the same things, loved a lot of the same things, and both wanted more than the status quo.

But more than that, we’ve always shared the same deep drive: A desire to raise the world’s level of consciousness, and be in charge of ourselves while doing it. That singular motivation has fueled everything from the first epiphany in Kristen’s Jeep to creating The Passion Plan.

Of course, we’re both pretty stubborn and motivated to get what we want, too. Case in point: Long after I transferred schools, I found out that if Kristen’s first boyfriend had gone to my original college (which he had been planning on), Kristen would have probably followed him there, because she had gotten into that school, too.

So one way or another, I think the Universe had decided that we would cross paths while one of us was stubbornly pursuing a boy. Thankfully, 7 years later, those boys are long gone but the two of us are still together.

Over to you: Do you think you could go into business with your best friend? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments!

Much Love,

Rachel (& Kristen)

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  1. Hi there!

    I am miserable. I recently left a job that I was 100% focused on people pleasing everyday. I would work 7 days a week no less than 13 hours a day for weeks and weeks on end. I loved the field that I was in, but I got burnt out.

    Now I’m at a job that I’m miserable in and that I have to get to 2-3 hours early just to mentally prep myself and pray and read my Bible to get through.

    I have ulcers and I get stress headaches and I feel like a total and utter failure. I want to just go home, curl up in a ball and watch Netflix and eat my weight in food and sweets.

    I look on social media and it seems that everyone I know is living an amazingly fun life and I’m just a stagnant loser.

    I do start law school in a few months and I am sincerely hoping that it is exactly what I want to do, but I have no idea.

    Do you have advice on how to start off– I took the quiz and it says that I am Firestarter. I just don’t know how to get that fire started.

    Lost Dazed and Confused.

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