I love to talk to female entrepreneurs who are embracing the journey. Hearing their stories is inspiring and they often share insights about entrepreneurship that may be a bit different than what we have learned in traditional leadership and business courses. So I’m thrilled today to talk with Ruby Cole-Ellis, founder of The Maby Studio and the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce 2021 Businesswoman of the Year. Ruby is a powerful woman and we explore the powerful women in her family who helped shape her as we talk about generational business.
Ruby’s grandmother was an entrepreneur, a businesswoman and an investor, who raised four children alone in the 60s. I can only imagine the toughness and composure she needed to succeed in a man’s world. Her ability to pivot and always move forward informed the lessons she passed on to her family. Ruby’s mother supported and encouraged all her dreams from the start, understanding that entrepreneurial drive. Generations of women encouraging each other in their goals.
There are so many powerful lessons to take away from my conversation with Ruby. The importance of inspiring new generations. The vital aspect of the attitude with which you conduct business. But Ruby also leans into business from a female perspective. She listens to the external seasons and the natural cycles of a woman’s life to inform how she does business. How can we harness our cycles for success? How much are we listening to our own needs?
03:49 Learning about Ruby’s grandmother
13:56 Recognizing we are mirrors and why we should reflect calm
27:39 Ruby explaining rhythms and cycle syncing in business
- Why the saying “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn” from Ruby’s grandmother is so powerful
- The ability to pivot is part of success
- Having it all is possible if everything is taken one step at a time, allowing for cycles
About Ruby Cole-Ellis:
- Ruby Cole-Ellis is the Owner, Founder and Principal Designer of The Maby Studio. She has almost a decade of design and management experience in Guatemala, El Salvador and Canada.
Ruby holds a Bachelors in Architecture, a Master’s in History and a Master’s in Architecture & Design from the Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala. She also possesses a Postgraduate Degree in Management from the University of Calgary and the IEDP ™ Designation (International Event Decorating Professional) by the QC Event School in New York. She recently earned Creative Professional “Mickey Ears” from the Disney Institute™.
In late 2016, Ruby was asked to decorate a friend’s wedding. Immediately after that event, she was asked by the Bride’s sister and Maid-of-Honor to help design their upcoming weddings. Seeing the Event Decor industry as an outlet for her creative mind, Ruby founded, “Maby Rentals” on June 1, 2017. The name was inspired by her wedding’s hashtag: #maby (Matt + Ruby). In 2018, the company changed its name to, “The Maby Studio,” evoking a place where design and art are created.
The Maby Studio has just celebrated its 400th Event Milestone with clients all across Central Alberta since its inception. The current Company’s Portfolio includes Weddings, Fundraisers, Baby Showers, and Anniversaries. In 2020 The Maby Studio opened its Experience Design Division which includes Corporate Events, Brand Activations and Gifting Design Services.
Contact Ruby Cole-Ellis | The Maby Studio:
Contact Kari Lotzien | Be the Anchor:
Kari Lotzien: [00:00:01] Welcome to Be the Anchor, the Podcast. I’m your host, business and leadership coach, Kari Lotzien. When the seas of life get stormy, and they always will, it is not up to us to captain anyone else’s ship or to try to calm the waters of the ocean. It’s up to us to set our own destination for what we really want, and to learn how to navigate those waves of life together while finding that place of security and stability with others. I call this being an anchor. If you are a dreamer, a visionary, an entrepreneur, whether you have an idea, big or small, that you think might just make the world a little bit better, kinder, gentler place, you are in the right spot, my friend. We are going to talk about everything from big ideas to mindset and strategy, and sometimes just how to get through the day. I don’t want you to miss an episode, so be sure to follow and subscribe to the podcast so that we can stay connected and keep doing this journey of life together. Thanks so much.
Kari Lotzien: [00:01:10] All right. Welcome to Be the Anchor. I am so excited to introduce a dear friend and just rock star entrepreneur, Ruby Cole-Ellis. Ruby Cole-Ellis is a businesswoman, designer and business coach originally from Guatemala and has lived in Canada for the last 11 years. She is passionate about women’s empowerment and teaching women how to manage that work life while business partnering with God. She had her first million-dollar evaluation with her first startup at only 25 years old. She was named businesswoman of the year by the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce in 2021, and is a Proud Girl Power Alliance ambassador. She was the winner of the 2023 Spirit Award, a peer-nominated and peer-voted award for members who personify that Spirit of Girl Power Alliance. Welcome, Ruby. As you can see, what a powerful woman. And I’m just so excited to have you here today.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:02:11] Well, thanks for having me. The pleasure is totally mine.
Kari Lotzien: [00:02:14] To start in entrepreneurship in your early 20s. And I mean, if you had $1 million valuation by 25, that tells me you didn’t start at 25. You started young. And you and I have had some conversations around women in business generationally, and I’d love to hear more about your story and what brought you to wanting to be an entrepreneur, and just what contributed to that? Is there a personal little bit that you can share?
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:02:44] Yeah, you bet. I think I’ve always had that entrepreneurial bug and I always think that, you know, we’re kind of a different breed. You kind of have to be able to do this. But I think from a very early age, I was very encouraged by both my parents to pursue pretty much anything that I wanted to do. I think with my dad being an economics professor, business was always something that, there was always The Economist and the Wall Street Journal at home, you know, that he would be reading and I would read too since a very little girl and then The New Yorker. At first originally it was for the cartoons, but I loved reading those magazines from a very early age, which is not very common. But then on my mother’s side, her mom was a self-made millionaire and entrepreneur. She started her journey at a very young age as a single mom of four in the 60s and 70s. So I think, you know, I, from a very early age, was inspired to to do that. And I think, you know, yeah, I definitely started young, that’s for sure.
Kari Lotzien: [00:03:49] Tell me more about your grandmother. Did you did you get to spend time with her? What was her personality like? I mean, I can’t imagine what life would have been like as a single mom of four and an entrepreneur at that time in the world.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:04:03] Yeah, and completely self-made. Like, she didn’t even finish high school. And so I didn’t really get to interact a lot with her. Unfortunately, she passed fairly young just when, you know, she was in her early 60s. And so I didn’t really get to spend a lot of time. But what I do remember is that she was a tough cookie. And so as a little girl, I would never necessarily say, like, mom, can we visit her? Right? Because I always wanted to go to my other Nana, that was loving and, you know, the typical grandma that would have treats for us. But I do remember her being very stern and definitely to the point. And as a little girl, you know, you don’t really get it. And so I didn’t really want to hang out with her a lot. You know, I’m a little embarrassed to say that as now, you know, an adult. But I can understand where she came from. You had to have a tough skin back then. I mean, I can only imagine negotiating, you know, deals with businessmen in the 60s when you’re on stilettos and dresses and have four little girls behind you, you kind of have to have that tough skin. And so she was a little bit, I would say, rough around the edges. She was definitely a lady. She was beautiful, always well-dressed and very graceful that way. But I would say definitely she had a tough character and she started very young. I think she originally started by trading, so she would buy and resell, buy and resell very little things, you know. And so that’s the whole concept of bootstrapping, right. So I actually built The Maby Studio bootstrapping too. So I guess I copied and you know, got inspired by her. And then, you know, she grew into investing and then funds and then she would be an angel investor for other projects. So people would come to her and pitch The Godfather style.
Kari Lotzien: [00:05:48] Oh my goodness, I love it. I have this vision that, like, your grandmother was like the first Shark Tank.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:05:54] And a mean one too.
Kari Lotzien: [00:05:56] And I mean before her time. I can imagine you talk about the thick skin and just, she must have had a lot of faith in herself. I mean, to be able to raise four girls and to be dealing with businessmen and doing her own sales, but then also having that discernment of what are good investments. I mean, I can imagine her level of self-awareness and trust must have been substantial.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:06:22] It was. I think, the biggest thing I remember, and that is something actually I heard her say, this was not coming from stories of my mom, which she has lots, she told me, you know, sometimes you win and sometimes you learn. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone, she had made an investment in some farming and something happened and she lost quite a bit of money, and she was just so poised and composed. She wasn’t happy, but you would think anyone else would like, you know, be extremely upset. And, you know, when my mom was like, you know, my mom was worried, like mom, like, we need to sue this person. And she’s like, no, you know, sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. So, you know, she was like, well, now I know what not to invest next year. And she went on with her day. And I remember that stock like, I must have been eight years old. And I was like, holy. Like, that’s pretty badass.
Kari Lotzien: [00:07:21] I think of your mom being probably a little bit concerned about her mother and being taken advantage of.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:07:28] Because she was older, right? Like, this is already her being in her like, 50s, right? So, you know, my mom was seriously like, you know, your money, right? Like your retirement money or things like that. And yeah, she was just like, sometimes you lose, right? That’s it.
Kari Lotzien: [00:07:44] What a gift. What a message. I mean, to hear that at eight years old and then have it stick.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:07:49] I still remember what she was wearing, where we were like, it really stuck to me how, you know, she was so, like I said, it’s not that she was happy about it, but how she literally just took it as like, you know, that’s that’s the rule of the game, right? If I don’t do those risky investments, you don’t win as much as I win. That’s what I took from it, right? It’s like you don’t get to win how I win unless you do that. You want to win safe, you know? And that’s a whole thing that I’ve carried a lot now, right? Like it’s, you’ve got to be bold if you want to win big. If you want to, you know, if you want to do slow and steady, well then don’t get upset, and yeah, for sure. But if you want to win like her, you got to do it.
Kari Lotzien: [00:08:37] You got to play big. The other thing I hear in this is how you said, you know what? She played big. She was stern, she was strong. She had thick skin, but she was poised. And I think what I hear, you know, I talk a lot about regulation and managing your own nervous system and how, I mean I am sure that internally she was not thrilled. I’m sure that, you know, internally, her blood was probably boiling for losing that much, but she didn’t give everything over to that situation. She didn’t attach herself to, you know, beating herself up and really taking it, but could hold this place of staying poised in the moment and saying, Okay, like the logical part of my mind is I’m going to take this as a lesson. But that emotional social connection part, I’m not going to lose it on you. I’m not going to show you my anger and my, you know, losing it. I’m going to stay poised and I’m just going to call my next shot.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:09:36] Yeah. And for me, the other big lesson was she moved on. She didn’t go and pursue and sue and, you know, went on and on and on and tried to, you know, she’s just like, Okay, that’s it, let’s go, next. Right? And so that is, I think, pretty cool. Yeah.
Kari Lotzien: [00:09:54] In your own journey as an entrepreneur, talk to me about how that lesson has shown up for you.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:10:01] I’ve been very adventurous from the very beginning, and I have taken a lot of risks. I’ve had to start from zero a few times. For me, it has always been extremely important to, quote/unquote, make it on my own. So, you know, everything that I have, I’ve done by myself without the help of anyone or my family. And so I think that kind of has come along and say, okay, well, you know, what would she do? Or what would, you know, what would she say? Right? I think sometimes I’ve had projects that have worked and projects that have not. I have had business partnerships that have worked and business partnerships that have not. And so I think that whole, you know, letting it go has been really helpful for me to keep going. I’m fairly young still. I’m only 36. And so I think, you know, people could still be stuck with something that happened ten years ago very easily. Whereas for me it’s, you know, move on. And so I think that is something that I definitely have to credit to her.
Kari Lotzien: [00:11:12] I feel a bit like you’re being a bit humble. And so I really, I want my audience to just clearly understand the power of how this is actually showing up. Because I’ve seen you in action. And I remember so clearly, actually, the very first time that I saw you in action, it was at a very large event, and you were with The Maby Studio. You were helping to set the room, set the experience for all of the participants. And as someone who is in the audience, I noticed you. Now I tend to be the person that I always look for the people behind the scenes, like who is making this experience run so smoothly? And this is what stood out to me with you, is you never ran. You never looked like you were stressed. You had this appearance on your face, you had a smile on at all times. And you moved with grace but purpose. And you just danced through touching base with the organizers. Things were just coming together behind the scenes, but they were coming together smoothly. And when I noticed it, I reached out to you that day and I was like, who are you? And what is happening here? Because I feel like you are the one that is just making this happen without anyone really even noticing you’re there. Now, your business, you work with brides on what can be the most stressful day of their lives. And I think emotional regulation is not something that probably a lot of your customers come with, that you really are that point of stability, and just no matter what’s happening. Talk to me about that. And I feel like this is your secret sauce and I want to talk more about that.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:13:13] I think it’s that thick-skinned, soft heart that we were talking about with with my grandmother. I’ve learned from a very early age to be very mature emotionally, that that’s the easiest way to relate to all genders, all ages, all ethnicities, all cultures, is to truly be able to meet them where they’re at. And you can’t do that if you’re not in a state of calm and just being in a state of receiving. A lot of people focus so much on the giving side, they’re forgetting that, you know, the best way to actually give back is to be a soundboard, right? Most people are mirrors, and so they will give you what you they see reflected back in you. And so, you know, with brides, it’s a lot of that. You know, I always joke that people in the wedding industry have a guaranteed place in heaven, which I think is true. And so when you’re dealing with a stressful situation where you’re the producer, like you were saying, of a big event, or you’re dealing with a wedding or things like that, you know, at the end you have to be able to pivot. And I think that’s, you know, when you were talking about, you know, what are the things that you could learn from your grandma. She pivots so quickly. You know, when you hear stories of how she was already on the next best thing when she was on the cusp of something big, she was already thinking of something else in case that didn’t work out.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:14:48] I just love that. That is my modus operandi. Right? Okay, in case that doesn’t work out, this is plan B, and if that doesn’t work out, this plan C and I already have it. And so, you know, you go and you show up and, you know, the whole room flooded? Okay great. Now we do this. So I think, you know, having that open heart to be able to pivot and to be able to really to receive, right, receive anything, you know, if you’re stressed out and you come to me and I’m willing to receive it and not judge you and meet you where you’re at, chances are you’re going to calm down. I’m not going to make you calm down, you’re going to make yourself calm down by you being reflected through me, back at you. And so if that, if there’s any secret sauce, is that it. It’s just to be able to meet people where they’re at and to be able to keep yourself poised and, you know, things are going to happen. Like you were saying, it’s not like inside you’re like, holy, you know, cuss words. You know, you still get stressed, you still get mad, you still get frustrated. But if you let others see it, they’re going to mirror it back. And then nothing good comes out of that. So that goes with team, that goes with family, that goes with staff and clients and projects too.
Kari Lotzien: [00:16:03] What a beautiful message. Like just think of yourself as being able to reflect back and that you’re not absorbing, kind of the tension of the room or what’s going on, but that you’re really holding that space.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:16:15] It’s not your responsibility.
Kari Lotzien: [00:16:17] We’ve got this. We’ve got this. It’s all, you know…
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:16:20] Yeah. It’s not your responsibility to change that person’s feelings. And, you know, you can’t take it personal, right? You can’t take it personal. You know that bride is not mad at you. They’re going to be just fine after the wedding, right? Or that client is not stressed or frustrated at you, they’re frustrated at the situation. And so it takes a lot of practice. I, you know, for sure it doesn’t come easy.
Kari Lotzien: [00:16:48] I wanted to circle back. You said tough skin, soft heart. Right? And when I think back to how you described your grandmother, it sounded like there was times where, although she had a tough skin and could operate in that position of being very poised, that maybe it was a little bit more challenging for her to find that soft heart. Talk to me about, how do you feel being now third generation female entrepreneur. How do you think that concept of tough skin, soft heart has changed or has it over the generations? And where where do you see it going from here?
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:17:31] Yeah, I think my grandma didn’t have the luxury to be able to be feminine. She was the minority. She stood out everywhere, right? Everywhere that she went. And so I think, you know, we now, third generation, take it for granted that, you know, you can be powerful and feminine and you can be poised and graceful at the same time. Right? I think, you know, some people still feel that there is this glass ceiling that they need to break. And the only way that they can make it is if they are a b—, right? Like the movies, right? It’s the only way you can make things happen, it’s the only way that you can be cutthroat in Wall Street or the financial world or construction world. And I think if anything, you know, embracing that femininity, it is a super tool and a power that we get to be able to leverage on. And so I think there’s a huge difference, you know, between her and me that way. You know, maybe the the core concept of being able to pivot and being able to self-regulate is there. And I think maybe it’s in our DNA, but I think our approach is completely different. Like you were saying, you know, I like to smile and I genuinely smile because I mean, like, I want to smile. It’s not just to, you know, out of flattery, where I barely saw her smile. And so I never want to be like that. And so I think, you know, that definitely has changed. And if anything, if it hasn’t, then I want to be that example that it can change.
Kari Lotzien: [00:19:10] Oh, so good. Tailing on to that, so I know, I mean, you… Actually, I don’t know, I’m guessing that you don’t build businesses of your size all by yourself. You referred to having a team and clients and business partners. And over time, I’m guessing that teaching this skill of regulation and being the calm in the storm – couple of weeks ago, we had an episode talking about conflict, and one of the things that I said is just because you have conflict in your business, just because you’re dealing with customers or team members who are upset, does not mean you’re doing anything wrong. And I think in your industry, like you said, with brides, it’s just, it’s a challenging time. And you trust, with your experience, and I know that we get through this, and I know we do a great job., I know you’re going to love me afterwards. How do you teach that to your employees? How have you passed on that messaging?
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:20:15] It’s funny because like when we do our kickoff every season, we’ve had girls who have come a few times. It’s a fun summer job. So we have a lot of very young staff too, that it’s a cool summer job. It’s the first thing that we talk about, right? And I say, you know, like, smile. You know, anything that we do is a ticking bomb, right? Like our presence, our poise, our text, you know, our posture, how we do things, how you use your hands, how we pack things, everything is part of the experience. Right? And so literally, you know, from the moment they come, they are ready to fight. And so you can be the difference between them having a moment to breathe or not, or even when they come back, right, sometimes it’s the family members who return things on their behalf. They’re tired, they’re stressed or hung over, and so I say, like, the first thing you do, you know, what do you do? How did it go? Do you have any pictures? We haven’t even talked about all the paperwork and this and the balances and, you know, the incidentals.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:21:22] Like, we let them calm down and you have a big smile and, you know, you go through their gallery and sometimes they’re there at the garage door for 30 minutes. Right? But I want to explain it to them that their actions truly can change everything. And so it is the best experience sometimes, you know, when I am maybe in my desk and I kind of overhear what’s going on, right? They take care of it, you know, I don’t have to be there. And you see, maybe like the team leads, right? You forgot to smile, right? To tell, you know, telling the other girl or like, you know, next time, you know, maybe like, talk a little slower and calmer, because if you talk fast, they talk fast, right? And I’m not even teaching them that. They are taking it on their own. That truly, how we do like you know, I teach them how we we don’t run. We don’t run at the day of the event, we might be late, but we literally just like glide. We glide fast, we glide.
Kari Lotzien: [00:22:22] I’m taking that, we glide fast.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:22:27] Because you can’t run, if you run, then you know it literally, you just set this almost like butterfly effect of something is wrong. Right? And sometimes you get there and vendors have messed up and things that are out of our control. But we are that, like, regulation of, Ooooh the Maby team is here. And so, you know, I think a lot of it is by example, a lot of it is explaining it to them even after an experience saying like, you know, next time try this. And if they do and they see it worked, you know, they’re going to do it again, you don’t even need to mention it to them again. But you are right, it is part of a corporate culture. I’m extremely proud of that, especially because, you know, some of these girls, this is their first job, right? So then they call, you know, after they’ve graduated and, you know, we’re a reference or something for their next job. And you bump into them and they’re like, it’s not the same. Wherever they’re working now or whatnot. And that’s the best compliment that I can get, right? Or being like, you know, you teach us this and they don’t even talk about that at Boston Pizza.
Kari Lotzien: [00:23:37] But I want to pause there, and I really, I want to let this sink in for the listeners, because you’re right, I don’t think a lot of businesses are talking about this. I think a lot of businesses are relying on task lists and job descriptions and roles and responsibilities. And when we talk about soft skills, it almost gets this like, oh, just toss that in the backseat. That if you’re nice and you smile, then people will like you. And I think you’ve chosen an industry that this is a critical piece of. But I want my listeners to hear that this is a part of every service business that exists. And even product-based businesses projects. Yeah, like, this is not a soft skill. This is not a back seat. This is how you lead your company. This is how you lead strong teams. And this element of being able to be that mirror for your clients, it’s everything. And when you, when you’re talking about, you know, being the first job for some of these young ladies and how they come back, you referred to the butterfly effect, and I hear this – it’s giving me goosebumps, honestly – because what I’m feeling in this is what your grandmother was to you in one way, think of the impact that you’re having on this next generation of young women who are going, hey, wait, like, what could I do? What business could I have? And how can I use all of who I am and how I show up, and how fast I talk, and how I connect with people, and how I can solve problems that maybe are not my own, right, if it’s a vendor issue or something with the location. I mean, there’s so many different things that can happen. You don’t need to own it, but you can absolutely create such a change in the way that experience happens. And I just think what a profound gift that you’re giving to those next generations.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:25:40] Yeah. No, thanks. You know, as I said, that’s the biggest compliment we can have, right? We have girls that have been with us for four summers and then literally, you know, moved to Japan and can’t work with us after that. But, you know, they’re like, if I could, I would stay here forever. That’s the best compliment that we can get. And so if they can do that and transfer it, then to their other things or, like, their own mothers, their own mothers will tell me, you know, like what a transformation from, you know, the beginning of the summer to that. That’s the best compliment that I can get for sure. For sure.
Kari Lotzien: [00:26:13] Oh, what a gift. I’m going to pivot a little bit, because a few years back, you and I had a networking meeting, and at the time I had – and I honestly, I thought I was the only one who did it – I was tracking my own rhythms, and I was very in tune with when I took on new projects seasonally, I really noticed the effect that I had of when my highest levels of productivity were, when I just wanted to be free and not have any responsibilities, and you and I had an in-depth conversation about using rhythms in your business. And I think that in a lot of leadership books, a lot of the trainings that we hear that are, let’s be honest, written by men, we hear a lot about consistency. That you have to slay the day, and that it needs to look the same every day, and that when you can show up consistently, that is the path to success. And I think that introducing the idea of rhythms feels so much easier. Talk to me about how you use rhythms in your business. I mean, obviously, the wedding industry has a rhythm to it, especially when we live in a country like Canada where our winters are very cold. Talk to me about all of that, personally, business-wise.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:27:39] I was very curious about rhythms or cycle syncing, especially when I moved to Canada. I realized that, it really hit me, the whole, you know, seasonal depression and, you know, the winter thing and the winter blues and things like that. And I realized, you know, okay, I’m clearly not very productive. You’re right, a lot of gurus that you hear about productivity and process management talk about this linear productivity. And so you have like the whole year flat. And then, you know, you pretty much start and then end and reset. And it’s all very linear and it’s very about processes and things like that. But the truth is that as women we don’t operate like that. We are definitely cyclical, not only with our hormones and menstrual cycles, but, you know, cyclical in terms of, you know, even when we are pregnant, right? There are cycles through that as well. Then with us, you know, we go through menstruation and then menopause like we literally truly are in tune with the seasons. Right? And in Guatemala, we don’t really have the four seasons as marked, we pretty much have two seasons a year, I would say. And so I hadn’t really experienced what completely having different cycles through the year. And so I started looking into that, and I realized that our cycle in a month is pretty much like the seasons in a year. And so there are points where, you know, there’s the whole, you know, you reap and you know, you sow, right? And so you start literally doing all the prep work.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:29:22] And then there’s times to hustle and go and harvest time. And then there’s times to set and, you know, rest and then there’s times to reset. And so what I realized is that you can use that to your advantage. Like I was saying, I truly decided to embrace my femininity. And instead of fighting the whole idea that every day needs to be the same, you know, kind of playing it by ear. I started researching about pitching. And so I have done quite a bit of pitching competition, especially in the early 20s, I did a lot of crowdfunding and also angel investing. And so, you know, you have to pitch and so, you know, even picking what day of the month to do that, you know, there’s days that you can like go into a room and everybody’s going to turn and look and see who’s that. And then there’s, you know, you’re bigger than life. And so those are the days that you want to probably do sales. And so I started incorporating that to my daily routine. I use it now for client consultations. I’ll make sure that on my ovulation days when I see clients and when, you know, this is the time to enamorate them and, you know, present and to be able to be creative and, you know, hopefully for them to see a proposal and then make a choice and hire you. And so I bundle them once a month. I don’t do them very often. I usually do consultations once a month.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:30:52] And I make sure that I pick that it’s a good time. And it has worked for me. And so any woman has their own cycles. We’re not all in sync. And so when it comes to teams, you know, it’s important to recognize that, you know, especially if you have a lot of women in your team, everybody’s going to be at different cycles. And so, you know, to embrace that they might not be in tune with yours, which is a very male thing to do. Right? It’s very like this is where we all, like because Ruby is in go time means we’re all go time. I think recognizing that that might not be their season has been really helpful as well. Just being, once again, just being able to receive information, ask, right, are you okay? You know, and being comfortable, right? Are you on your period, like are you feeling okay? Do you want to go home? Do you want to work from home today? Should we reschedule this for tomorrow? Right? All those things are little things that add up and that can significantly improve, you know, working the whole concept of working smarter, not harder. And so when you and I talked about it, I think if we can embrace it instead of resisting it, especially as self-employed. And get rid of this expectation that we’re supposed to be go, go, go, and the hustle and grind and all these things, you know, we’re able to incorporate things like that and be more in tune with what works for us.
Kari Lotzien: [00:32:20] What I want to just layer on to that is, like you said, I mean, we have the benefit of being self-employed and I can hear, you know, from my listeners, you may not be in an industry where this works for you, whereas it’s as easy to work with those rhythms. And please know we do understand that. And what I want to highlight as well is that if you are in a position of leadership and maybe you’re just starting to get more comfortable in this concept that, hey, wait, everyone here is working in rhythms and we have a very female dominated team and therefore, you know, it’s not likely that we’re all in the same place. I think in the past we’ve, you know, when we talk about generations, when I was in my early 20s, it was, we talked about PMS, that that was the time that you were hard to get along with. And, you know, sales wouldn’t go well. But we never really talked about how that time is also really good. So if you need someone to be discerning, to really kind of look at the details of a situation and go, I don’t know that this is going to work or to poke holes in it and to do that safely and still with respect. But if you have someone who’s in drive mode, who’s super creative and is going, and then you have someone on the same team who can sit in that discernment space, and then when you go into this kind of like rest, reflection, okay, what do we do next, how do we come up with a plan? To be able to follow that, it is remarkable what that can do in business. And like you said, instead of hustling through it, trying to just hustle, drive, push through when it’s not working, this can be, I think, such an incredible strength to businesses.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:34:08] Yeah. And even if you’re in a position that you’re an employee, you can use this too. Right? And like as I said, like my team, they’re employees of mine. So, you know, you can use this in terms of having grace for yourself of maybe, you know, going to bed earlier, maybe, you know, pushing things or not filling up your cup after work, maybe of what you’re eating or not eating, maybe just telling people how you feel. You know, I have cramps, I don’t feel great right now. Right? Like you can use all these things as well to your advantage and also to give yourself grace. So, for example, if you’re in commission sales, right, you know, you can start planning your whole month and saying, okay, well, this is the time I call and set appointments, right? I don’t feel that great. And so, you know, I organize, I follow up on paperwork, invoicing all the things. And so I make sure that the week that I, you know, I feel the best, that’s when I go. And I don’t worry about paperwork and I don’t worry about catching up. It’s go time, it’s networking, it’s meeting people, being that social butterfly, doing the presentations, doing the sales, following up. And then you go back into a cycle. Right? And so you can still use that regardless of the industry you’re into.
Kari Lotzien: [00:35:24] One of the things I’ve noticed, so being a little past 36 myself, now, I think what we have in common is I also started my entrepreneurial journey in my early 20s, so I knew what that felt like. And when you’re in your 20s, you have all kinds of energy. And I remember, you know, to blast out a 14, 16 hour day, it didn’t feel hard, right? I had all of this abundance of energy. And I think there’s also some seasons when we look at our own age and what the other things that kind of ride along with it, when I had kids. My energy level and when I did certain types of work changed, even during the daytime. Right? So I adjusted my schedule a little bit so that I could be there for my kids and I could run them to appointments, and then I would sometimes come back to work and do more of that paperwork and or admin in the evenings. And I’ll tell you that when I hit my 40s, and my kids are now moved out, I had this assumption on myself that I thought, okay, well, I’m going to I’ll go back to those long days and I’ll have all this extra time in the evenings and now I’m not having to worry about feeding a whole family for meals.
Kari Lotzien: [00:36:39] And I’m tired. I don’t have the same level of energy that I did before. And when you talk about working smarter and not harder, I think some of that also comes with recognizing just the stage of life that you’re in and that hustle and go that is often associated with entrepreneurship, it’s not a good long-term plan to assume that the energy you had for your startup when you’re 20 is going to be the same 20 years later, and we need to start thinking about succession planning and having good systems so that we’re not carrying as much of that hustle weight in the business and in the home life. And now I know you’re you’re at a different stage. So when you think about kind of what’s next for you, in terms of, I know that you’re multi-passionate, I know you’ve got so many kind of wonderful ideas and how you’re moving through. Any exciting things coming up for you?
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:37:35] Yeah. Well, I mean, I’m pregnant with twins.
Kari Lotzien: [00:37:39] Oh my goodness.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:37:41] So, you know, that’s coming up. So they should come sometime in spring. So I think a lot of right now has been to restructure where my energy is going to be at. And so being able to see from a perspective of leadership like, you know, if I need to hire or team members that I need to be able to take care of, certain things that I’m involved with, but also on my own personal side, where I want to spend my time and energy moving forward. I think I’m more intentional about projects that are going to fill my cup and, you know, try to be a little bit more selfish on that end. I know they’re going to, there’s going to be a lot of me giving, right, with newborns and things like that. So I want to make sure that I have things that are going to be exciting for me, that are going to fill my cup. So right now, for the next three months, there’s a lot of planning and restructuring and delegating and it’s all exciting. But definitely next year is going to look very different.
Kari Lotzien: [00:38:42] A huge congratulations. And of course, I mean, my listeners know, Ruby and I did talk about this ahead of time, I didn’t bounce that on her like the Jerry Springer Show or something. But I think what I wanted to highlight is I feel like there are a lot of entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs that think that it’s one or the other, that we’re either able to be there for our families and that we give to them, or we’re these strong, especially corporate type business women, like you are building seven figure businesses. You’ve got multi different things going on. This isn’t a side hustle for you. And what I loved hearing is that you are not having this perception in your own mind that says, oh, I’m just going to do it all. I can still run my business exactly the way that I always have, and I’m going to be nurturing these two newborns in my home. That you’re really planning strategically for that to say, okay, what projects do I want to take on? How do I want to move into this next space and phase, giving myself grace while not just letting it all go, shutting down my team and saying, okay, we’re just going to be on hiatus for a while. But your plan is that that business is still going to operate and operate beautifully while you’re in a place where your personal tasks are going to look a little different or a lot different. And I just, I wanted to give space to that, that you can run multi-seven figure businesses and have time with your family. It’s through delegation. It’s through having a strategic plan for that.
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:40:30] That’s right. And just recognizing it’s a season, right? We go back to cycles. This is a different cycle for me. And I’ve always worked in that mindset. And so, yes, my off-season right now is happening with the [00:40:45] Maby studio. [00:40:45] And so usually this time I do a lot more coaching and a lot more planning that way. Or, you know, I work more on my architectural projects or my properties that, you know, that we’re working on. But, you know, for now, I just have another season, right? And so next year, some of them are going to have to get pushed and shuffled. This one might be a little longer, right? I’m hoping to enjoy maternity leave. I’m actually taking an extended maternity leave, so I’m starting in January so I can really enjoy it. And so, you know, you just, you just have to give yourself grace that, you know, you can do everything, just not all at once.
Kari Lotzien: [00:41:24] Oh, I love it. I want to kind of move towards wrapping it up. I love how we’ve moved through this conversation, starting talking about your grandmother and just what a power of strength she was, and how we’ve talked about your mom and how that, you know, she was just so encouraging and supporting of you. And now you coming forward with your own beautiful children to bring into the world. If you were going to talk about giving back to that next generation of entrepreneurs, when you talk about the advice you got from your grandmother, right, you win or you learn, what advice would you have for that next generation?
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:42:13] It’s one of my favorite quotes. I tell it to my clients, I tell it to my family, I tell it to my husband, I tell it to everyone. It’s kind of a joke, but, you know, Kari, how do you catch ten bunnies? What’s the fastest way to catch ten bunnies? One at a time. That’s how the fastest way, you just focus on one, you have it in the cage and then you go to the next. And so I think that would be my advice. You know, kind of this, you know, let go of the fact that we can’t have it all. We can. Right? I think, like you were saying, I think we’re bombarded with making choices and decisions and labels and stereotypes. We can have it all. It’s just we got to focus on one thing at a time, right? And then, you know, you get that it’s in the cage, it’s the bunny, you’re going to nurture it and love it. But now you go on to the next and catch the next one. And that’s how you do business. That’s how you do projects. That’s how you do life. I think that’s how you create wealth, friendships, and relationships, is just one at a time.
Kari Lotzien: [00:43:13] Beautiful advice. Thank you. In closing, I love to ask all of my guests, how do you stay anchored?
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:43:24] It has to do, for me, with releasing expectations. You know, I think we are our hardest critics. We are, you know, we put ourselves in the highest bars that our clients don’t, our team doesn’t, our family doesn’t. However, you know, we give grace to everybody except ourselves. And so for me, it’s just catching myself trying to avoid an emotion, you just make it bigger. So, you know, Okay, clearly this is frustrating me, clearly, this is making me stressed out. Where is it coming from, right? Do I really need to answer right now? Or is the client really going to notice? Or did my husband really ask for that? Or, I think that’s like what a good wife is supposed to do, right? I think just catching myself and then you’re just like, okay, that was a waste of 20 minutes or a day or a week and, you know, and just releasing it. And so I think just managing my own expectations is the fastest way to just identify what it is that’s going on and just moving on.
Kari Lotzien: [00:44:26] Thank you so much for being here and sharing your beautiful wisdom through the generations, and just all the things that you bring to your teams, to your colleagues, to your business partners. You are truly just such a gift to the world. And I thank you so much for being here. I want to make sure that people know where to find you. Where is the best place that you hang out where people can follow along?
Ruby Cole-Ellis: [00:44:54] You bet. You can follow me on all major social media platforms @RubyColeEllis, all together, that’s where you can find my adventures. And again, I think the same of you, Kari. I appreciate the time and thanks for the opportunity.
Kari Lotzien: [00:45:08] You’re very welcome. And all of Ruby’s contacts will be in the show notes as well. You can go and find them there. And I just want to remind everyone, if you have not liked and subscribed yet to the podcast, please make sure that you are doing that so that you don’t miss an episode. We want to make sure that we’re building this community together. I want to bring you more incredible people like Ruby, who are just building amazing businesses, but also building community. That’s what this is about for me. That’s what I want this podcast to be about. So be sure to like, share, subscribe to the podcast and we’ll see you next week.
Kari Lotzien: [00:45:49] Please know that this podcast is meant for entertainment purposes only. It is not a substitution for medical or professional mental health advice. If you require support, please do reach out. Thanks so much.