By Elaine Rau
Former National Wedding Sales Manager, Elaine Rau lost her brother-in-law, her job, and her home all in one week. Stuck in a developing country with no job opportunities, she had to learn how to make an income online, so she invested the last bit of her savings in a blog: LadyBossBlogger.com. Since its conception, LadyBossBlogger has garnered a massive audience of 150K followers worldwide in under 2 years. It’s a platform that helps women learn how to start, grow and scale their own businesses and blogs and become online influencers.
LESSON #1: Never work for someone who doesn’t value your family.
Before starting LadyBossBlogger, I was in the wedding industry. I worked hard to climb the corporate ladder and within two years I was in charge of national sales. My job was my life and I worked 24/7, but I didn’t mind because I loved my job.
However, one phone call changed the trajectory of my career path and life forever. My boyfriend called me from Honduras and told me he had just found his brother’s body. He had been missing for a week and had been murdered. I was stunned.
I immediately called my boss and asked if I could attend the funeral and his response shocked me. He said NO… because it would affect SALES. It was booking season and he said this “event” would hinder my ability to sell. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
So I quit, or at least I tried to quit… my boss refused to let me quit. He then started piling on false legal accusations to threaten and scare me into staying. He literally said, “If you leave, I will no longer be able to protect you.” I was terrified!
I hired my friend who was a lawyer to help me out of this crazy situation. In retrospect, I could have just left, but I didn’t even realize I was in a verbally abusive and manipulative environment until I left. I cried for a week after that from relief. Then I packed up my life in a suitcase and moved down to Honduras.
LESSON #2: Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.
The transition was a lot harder than I thought it would be. First off, Honduras is an extremely dangerous country. You can’t just walk around whenever you want, especially as a foreign girl, and if you do, it’s best to be done before 8pm without any valuables. Secondly, I didn’t speak Spanish, so I wasn’t able to communicate with anyone other than my boyfriend. It was extremely isolating and I started to get really lonely.
Additionally, I wasn’t able to find work in Honduras, all my “wedding industry skills” were useless there, so I knew I had to work remote jobs. However, I did them all without passion and wasn’t able to maintain them. I knew I had to reinvent myself and figure out what my passions were outside of the wedding industry, but I had no idea how because I felt both passionless and purposeless.
So I decided to start a blog to learn who I wanted to BECOME. I named it LadyBossBlogger.com because I wanted to become a lady boss and a blogger. I bought my domain name for just $12.18 and started reaching out to women asking to interview them. I was the most avid reader of my own blog and learned everything about entrepreneurship through them.
My blog gave me a reason to wake up in the morning and I worked on it from 6AM to midnight every single day. My hard work payed off and within a few weeks of launching my blog, I started making money from it by selling my services. Now 2 years later, after receiving the same questions over and over again on how to make money blogging, I decided to create a course on exactly how to monetize a blog from week one.
LESSON #3: Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.
A year after starting LadyBossBlogger, I was on a call with a business mentor and was sharing all my ideas about the new year and everything I had planned. I was super excited and honestly believed that he would love my ideas, however all he said was “So what? How does your business help the WORLD?”
I was taken aback. I thought I was helping the world by helping women all around the globe realize they have options to work from home by starting a business online, but he opened my eyes to the bigger picture of what he meant by the ‘world’. That night I couldn’t sleep and at 2AM I decided to dedicate my business to serving The Micah Project.
The Micah Project is a charity in Honduras that helps boys get off the streets, by giving them a home and education. My husband was once one of these boys and it was because of their generosity and love that he was able to make it to college where we met.
Additionally, the Micah Project was where I stayed when I moved down to Honduras before my fiancé and I were able to get married and find a place of our own, therefore it was the place where LadyBossBlogger was founded!
Being around so much death and suffering has made me realize that you can only live for TODAY. You can’t predict the future, you don’t even know if you’ll be around tomorrow, so make the most of what you can do today and make sure you’re living so that that other people benefit from your actions.
Elaine Rau, founder and CEO of LadyBossBlogger, has been featured in the Huffington Post and Thrive Global among 100’s of other magazines, books and publications. She has helped 1000’s of women start, grow and scale their own online businesses and blogs. She is on a mission to help women learn about the options that are available to them to work from home and uses her blog as a platform to highlight the every day boss babe.
Stay in contact with Elaine and LadyBossblogger:
Instagram @ladybossblogger, @elainerau
Facebook @ladybossblogger, @elainerauofficial
LinkedIn @elainerau, @ladybossblogger