Elaine Rau is the CEO and Founder of LadyBossBlogger.com, a platform designed to highlight female entrepreneurs. Media is the most powerful tool you can use if you want to change the world and she is on a mission to change media’s representation of women. Elaine’s story has been picked up by the Huffington Post, been published in the book Starting Over by Eileen Doyon, been on the cover of READY magazine and on 30+ other websites. She currently resides in Chicago and loves connecting with her local community.
What is the story of Lady Boss Blogger?
Before I started LadyBossBlogger, I worked in the wedding industry in Chicago. I worked my butt off and swiftly rose through the corporate ranks to obtain the coveted position as the National Wedding Sales Manager for a global company. My job was my life and I loved it! I was always on my phone talking to clients or meeting them in my office and making sales. I held an 86% book-on-the-spot ratio, I was pretty good.
Then one day my fiancé called me and told me that his brother had just been murdered. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do, all I knew was there I needed to be there for him during this time. So I asked my boss at that time if I could go to Honduras (where my fiancé was living at the time) to attend the funeral and he told me I couldn’t.
I couldn’t believe it. After years of slaving away to build up his company, rarely taking vacations and even if I did go on a little break, I would still be working remotely, to then have him say no to a simple request to bury my fiancé’s brother. That was the exact moment I knew I had to get out of there. So I quit!
I was terrified. I knew I hadn’t done nothing wrong yet he made me seem as if I had. I didn’t realise that I was actually in a very unbalanced place emotionally due to working with him for so many years. Imagine having your thoughts and ideas devalued at every turn and your genuine desire to help the company constantly questioned.
I always thought of myself as a strong and independent woman but after working for him my self-confidence was on the ground. I couldn’t stand up for myself at all and had to hire a lawyer to help me quit, not knowing that I honestly could have just walked away. I wasn’t under any legal obligations to stay. However, I had been brainwashed into thinking that this job was the end all be all for me and allowed him to have that kind of control over me.
I picked myself up, packed my life up in two suitcases and moved to sunny Honduras the next day. The transition wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped since I literally went there without a plan and I started to feel extremely lonely and isolated and started to feel the weight of being jobless. My job had honestly become a huge part of my identity and had taken over my life so without it – I was lost.
Not only did I just move away from everything I knew, I didn’t factor in the extreme change in environment (third world country) and shift in language. I didn’t speak Spanish so I couldn’t even get a job even if I wanted to – not to mention the lack of employment opportunities even if I spoke Spanish.
So I was stuck at home, jobless, purposeless, friendless, and I had also spent the majority of my money stabalising myself, so I was penniless too. It was quite a terrible combination! Self-pity and self-doubt crept in it was a very low point in my life.
In order to give myself the motivation to wake up every morning, I knew I needed to find purpose again. So I started a blog to help sort out my thoughts and give me something to do. I spent my last few dollars on obtaining my domain and set out to learn about “entrepreneurship” whatever that meant! I named it LadyBossBlogger because I wanted to become a Lady Boss and I also wanted to become a blogger and then I wanted to blog about Lady Bosses so it seemed like a good fit!
I started reaching out to ladies who were killing it in the world of businesses and sent them an interview to fill out so I could learn from them. With every interview I got back, I learned something new and I would post it on my blog. I saw how many views and shares my blog was already getting and I realised I was creating something of value not only for myself but for others as well.
I knew I needed to make money somehow and it couldn’t stay a hobby forever so I mustered up some confidence and using my background in sales I crafted a sales packet and sent it out to some leads to see if people would pay to get featured on my blog. It came back a big hit! I couldn’t believe it! I had made my first entrepreneurial dollars online and I was absolutely elated.
That first $5 was all the encouragement I needed to continue my journey as an entrepreneurial blogger. I celebrated this victory by interviewing myself on my blog, which you can read here: bit.ly/ElaineRau. I didn’t mention all the emotional hardship in that interview since I hadn’t fully processed it and it was hard for me to admit it to myself honestly, but looking back at how much this hardship has brought me, it was worth every last tear.
Now a year later, LadyBossBlogger has almost 80,000 followers worldwide. It serves as a resource for ladies who are either just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey or looking for resources to continue their education. Remember that diamonds are formed under pressure – and they are also not formed overnight! My journey has just started and I can’t wait to see where it will take me! I hope we can join forces and grow together.
Reach out to me to here if you’d like to get featured on my blog or guest post on it!
What motivated and inspired you to start this?
My desire is to fill the media with stories about powerful everyday women and change women’s mindsets about themselves. The media plays a powerful part in how we see ourselves, what we think we can achieve, and what limitations we put on ourselves. The more women are properly portrayed, the more women will rise up in leadership and push past their self-limiting beliefs. That is the goal behind #LadyBossBlogger.
What outlets do use to market this?
I post on my blog every single day at 6pm, then I share it on my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Medium, Google+ and Pinterest accounts. Don’t expect traffic to just flow to your website if you don’t advertise what is on there. It’s one thing to have great content, it’s another to make sure it’s seen, digested, liked then shared.
What are the top 3 social media platforms you use that are the most effective tools for you?
Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.
1.Facebook is great because people love reading and sharing articles on there, which is great for bloggers.
2.Instagram does well with powerful images and motivational text so I post pictures of the ladies we feature with their quotes beside them. Your images need to make an immediate impact in order to drive people to follow or like your stuff.
3.Google+ is great because even though it isn’t the most social channel and has gotten a bad rep for being spammy, it works wonders for your SEO. If you look up “Elaine Rau” or “LadyBossBlogger” you’ll find me everywhere because of how I’ve optimised my Google+ account to work for me.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I get the best advice from reading the interviews on my blog that I edit every day. Recently we featured the wonderful founder of Critics Clothing and BEYOUROWN Samanah Duran, who said “Be authentic to yourself, you owe it to yourself to be unapologetically you”
When you become unapologetically you, four things happen:
1.People can and will label you easier
2.People will make assumptions about you
3.People will call you stubborn or hard headed
4.PEOPLE WILL NOT LIKE YOUR CONFIDENCE
It’s not easy to be you, people will try to tear you down.Being unapologetically you comes with a price, you always pay it.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs wanting to start a business?
This is the number 1 piece of advice you’ll get from just about every entrepreneur. I know this because I read interviews all day every day from female entrepreneurs all over the world. The only thing that is stopping you is your inaction. The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing. If you want things to change, you must do things differently.
Even if you have no idea what you want to do or where you want to be, know that if you do nothing, nothing will change. One easy step you can take is to attend a class to learn about what you can do! There are tons of resources out there for you, checking out local classes through the Small Business Association near you is great. Check out SCORE mentors if you live in the states. Another great option is attending online classes. Education is key, invest in learning about yourself then invest in learning about your craft.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“How To Attract Corporate Sponsors” https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/217913
Which female leaders do you feel are breaking the mould?
I aspire to be like Arianna Huffington, she is a game changer. She knew that media was the way to change the world and she is doing just that! Recently she started a new company called Thrive Global which focuses on three core components – Corporate, Content and Commerce.
“Thrive Global’s mission is to end the stress and burnout epidemic by offering companies and individuals sustainable, science-based solutions to enhance well-being, performance, and purpose, and create a healthier relationship with technology. Recent science has shown that the pervasive belief that burnout is the price we must pay for success is a delusion. We know, instead, that when we prioritise our well-being, our decision-making, creativity, and productivity improve dramatically. Thrive Global is committed to accelerating the culture shift that allows people to reclaim their lives and move from merely surviving to thriving.”
I think this is particularly relevant in American culture where people revolve around ‘burn out culture’. We don’t want to burn out, but we elevate this idea of “hustling hard” which is good to a certain extent, but not if it starts to affect your health. Without your health, you have nothing. Why is it so often that we as entrepreneurs put that last on our list of things to do
Arianna has created a platform that addresses this issue and in turn will change the way we think about “hustling”. She is a game changer because she is changing the way we see the world. Every single post her company produces is helping change media’s landscape and in turn, change the way we think. Media is a powerful weapon and she has learned how to wield it to benefit us all.
Lastly, what is on the horizon for 2018 for you?
I am starting an e-commerce store to help ladies get the materials they need to bring their business to the next level. Not only will this help them, it will also help me! My business has been service based for a year now and I’m starting to feel that my business is running me instead of the other way around. If I took myself out of the equation, my business would collapse. I’m hoping to form a store so that I can free up my time and earn that passive income once I get the store up and running.
Twitter: @ladybossblogger | Instagram: @ladybossblogger