Rachael Coates

Surgeon and Business Owner, Redcar

Sector: Care

Rachael Coates was laughed at during her school years for wanting to be a doctor. Today, alongside her successful medical career as a surgeon, she also co-owns two businesses – Una Nannies and The Serviced Accommodation Company.  

Where do you call home? 

I’m originally from Redcar but home to me is having a loving family – my three daughters and husband whom I love unconditionally. Home is arriving from a long shift in the hospital to cheers of “mummy” followed by hugs like there is no tomorrow. Home is the place where I can invest in my businesses and my family’s future and take comfort in the fact that I have an awesome nanny to help develop my children’s education and growth while I cannot be present. 

Tell us about your role?  

I am a full-time surgeon by day, working within the local hospitals looking after and operating on patients. Alongside my job, I also own two companies – a serviced accommodation company and a nanny agency which operates across the UK. I’m a mother to three young females who I hope will grow up confident to choose their own futures successfully and not be undermined by anyone or anything. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

I grew up in a single parent family. I was laughed at/bullied for wanting to be a doctor at school, where I spent most of my school life sitting between someone pregnant at 15 and someone who aspired to be a drug dealer. I had lots of money challenges and part-time jobs before qualifying as a doctor. But when I decided medicine wasn’t the magic answer to having what I wanted and didn’t lead to financial freedom and wealth, I decided to take control of mine and my family’s future by investing about business and continuing to be uncomfortable and grow. 

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

I have faced many struggles along the way, both as a director but also in my medical career. I’ve faced lots of money challenges and had many part-time jobs, which all contributed to my journey into qualifying as a full-time doctor. I have faced gender discrimination in the hospital setting, where I’d always be presumed as the nurse and a male colleague the doctor. Also, many successful people in property are male, therefore increasing the difficulty of me setting up the serviced accommodation business. 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

I don’t think I will ever feel satisfied as I always strive for better in everything I do. However that doesn’t stop me from feeling the impact of mine and my team’s success. In terms of my medical career, I get moments of success when I complete an operation or do something that I have never done before and have just recently learnt. It makes me feel fulfilled that all of my hard work and studying is gradually paying off. In terms of my two businesses, I feel success every time we get a positive review, or a member of staff feeds back some great information from within the office. When my SA company got an enquiry to manage a property down in Kent which is now turning over profit each month, I felt so proud. And the nanny company is registering over five new families a week and even more nannies – that makes me proud, seeing the vision become reality. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring young females? 

The advice I would give to my daughters would be to always go for what you want to do – don’t ever let anything hold you back, no matter how big the obstacle may seem at the time. There always seems to be one way to success in your head, which you map out and the minute you get to a barrier in the way, you feel the only way is to go backwards and give up. I have experienced that myself, and it’s important to teach yourself that there are multiple ways around things – it’s never going to be straightforward and sometimes you may have to take two steps backward to leap five steps forward. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

The things that made me tough as a youngster have very much helped propel me as a grown-up. Poverty gave me the hunger to have more and have choices. Don’t settle for where you currently are – always strive for better. Do not let anyone tell you that you can’t, or you won’t. 

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Prioritise, persevere, overcome.

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