Meet Elaine Rau
Meet the Founder of LadyBossBlogger Elaine Rau. The purpose of her blog is to highlight the WHO & WHY behind female entrepreneurial BRANDS. "We are in the business of storytelling and humanizing brands" says Elaine, "Contemporary way of advertising. Print is out, blogs are in. No one clicks on google ads anymore, but they do read blogs!" Blogging was never on the "to-do" for Elaine as she was a National Wedding Sales Manager beforehand. To date, her network has grown to over 70,000! Read all about this amazing #BossLady as she shares her secrets to success of growing a PROFITABLE and SUCCESSFUL business.
1. What made you transcend from the wedding industry to becoming one of the most influential female bloggers?
Thanks for that kind introduction! Yes, 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, yea 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 if I could got to Honduras (where my fiancé was living at the time) to attend the funeral… and HE SAID NO.
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! Or at least I tried to quit. HE WOULDN’T LET ME QUIT. He started accusing me of all these outrageous things and threatened me saying if I ever left his company I would never find my way back into the wedding industry again… he would make sure of it. I was shocked.
My entire career I was building and everything I had worked so hard for flashed before me and he was just sitting there smugly dangling everything before me. He even told me that he would “no longer be able to protect me” if I left the company and “who knows what charges he would bring down on me”.
I was terrified. I knew I had done nothing wrong yet he made me seem as if I had. I didn’t realize 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!? But I was 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!
Finally when I was “able to” quit, I cried for a good week from relief. I was so ashamed that I was in a verbally abusive environment and honestly had NO IDEA. But 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 there even if I wanted to - not to mention the lack of employment opportunities there even if I spoke Spanish.
So I was stuck at home, jobless, purposeless, friendless, and I had also spend the majority of my money getting down there and getting settled, so I was moneyless 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 realized 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to get featured on my blog or guest post for it!
2. What and/or who does your blog focus on and what services does it provide?
My blog is FOR female entrepreneurs with content BY female entrepreneurs. It’s a hub where ladies come to get interviewed to share their insights and get their businesses highlighted, it’s also a place where ladies obtain the resources they need in order to continue thriving in their entrepreneurial journey. They do this by reading our guest posts written by other female entrepreneurs to gain insight on various business related topics from a female perspective.
In a nut shell, Ladybossblogger is a contemporary way of advertising. No one clicks on google ads anymore, but they do read blogs! If people connect with you on a human level, they are much more likely to invest in your services - that is why we highlight the WHO behind the BRAND. We currently have 15,000+ monthly readers and 70,000+ followers worldwide.
Here is how to get interviewed: https://ladybossblogger.com/how-to-get-featured
Here is how to guest post: https://ladybossblogger.com/guest-post
You get 20% off all services if you mention that you read about LadyBossBlogger on this blog!
3. Have you always had a passion to start your own business?
No. I didn’t even know it was an option until I was forced to come up with a plan in Honduras. Both my parents are professors so they have had their entire academic lives laid out for them. I was always on the artsy and creative side and liked to go with the flow and not in a million years did I dream that I would be my own boss! I studied to be a ceramicist in college lol!
4. How important is women empowerment to you?
Extremely important. My desire is to fill the media with stories about powerful every day 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.
5. How did you grow your audience from 0 to now over 70,000 followers worldwide in such a short time?
By being extremely consistent. I haven’t failed to post at least one blog post every single day since the day I launched a year and a half ago. Here is how I stay motivated: Imagine going home and being excited to eat up the content from your favorite TV show just to learn that it didn’t air that day. If it kept on being inconsistent, you would eventually lose interest and find something else to do with your time. By being consistent, I have been able to maintain and grow my audience consistently. They go hand in hand.
6. Have you come across any road blocks on your journey to success? If so, how did you overcome them?
I am currently up against a roadblock! I just moved back to the states a few months ago and have been trying to scale my business quickly since the cost of living is so much higher than in Central America. I only have a certain amount of time in the day so I needed to come up with a plan to help me earn money passively.
My business is completely service based right now, which is good for a while, but is not sustainable. If I took ME out of my business, there would be no business. That isn’t a good business model if my definition of success is having freedom with my time and money. So I signed up for a class to learn about e-commerce. Once I’m done setting up my store and have it running efficiently, I can simply manage it instead of it managing me!
7. What does success mean to you?
Having freedom with my time and money.
8. Do you have any mentors that you look up to?
I aspire to be like Arianna Huffington, she is a game changer. She isn’t my in person mentor per se, but what she has done in the media is what I aspire to do. 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 prioritize 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.
9. How do you manage the work-life balance?
My husband is good about forcing me to watch a movie with him every night to relax and be entertained haha! I also make sure to hit the gym at least three times a week. The group workout classes offered at my gym are my favorite! In regards to hanging out with friends, I am very intentional about setting up trips and always saying YES to travel. In November I went to Taiwan and Thailand, in December I went to Houston and San Antonio, and in a few days I will be going on a road trip to Canada with some of my besties to celebrate my friend’s birthday!
10. Do you have any upcoming projects or events that we should know about?
Yes! I am currently building the LadyBossBlogger store where I will be selling entrepreneurial goods to better assist ladies along their entrepreneurial journey.
11. What advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs that would like to thrive in the media industry?
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.
Stay Connected with Elaine!
Instagram: @ladybossblogger & @elainerau
Interview by: Lee Whetstone, Founder and Editor-in-Chief