Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hi, I work with world-class female coaches and entrepreneurs to unleash their most iconic version, and translate it into a luxury brand with a magnetic premium online presence, so that they can transform from the world’s best secret to the sought-after icon in their field, attract high-end clients, and elevate their authority, celebrity, income, and impact online.
My signature ‘Luxe Femme Brand’ system integrates holistic high-end brand strategy, creative direction, and mindset and soul work to translate the essence of a woman’s soul into a luxury brand to help clients increase their perceived value, expand their influence and impact. My approach involves inner work (mindset), outer work (strategy), and higher work (energetics) so they can create and embody their soul-aligned luxury brand.
My mission is to help female coaches and founders become the most iconic version of themselves, turn their dreams into reality and visions into visuals, one luxury brand at a time. I believe that as women embody their luxury icon and leave their legacy, however large or small, the world is touched by our presence. It’s shaped by our light and the ripple effect we are creating.
I have been featured on The Australian Business Journal, LadyBoss Asia, This Women Can and has been seen on ABC, CBS, Fox and more.
What's your personal history and the inspiration for your business?
There’s a song on repeat in my world and whenever I play it, it reminds me of the time I started my own business and finally left my corporate job.
“I spend too much time thinking about
who I’m supposed to be
I play by everybody’s rules
that don’t seem right to me
Should I even care?
They’re all sitting there
and everyone’s staring at me
If I step out in the spotlight
maybe I’ll be set free
What if I back down now
’cause I’m afraid of what might happen
What if they turn away
when I show them who I truly am
What if I lose my breath
when I throw those big doors open
What if I shine?
I was that girl playing by everybody’s rules, playing small at the corporate world and not daring to stand up as who I truly am.
Maybe you can relate too. If you are also a female entrepreneur, you’re someone who has chosen to take the risk of building a business that expresses who you are and allows you to live in your genius zone and do the things you love …. then somewhere along the line you felt like you didn’t fit in the 9-5… somewhere along the line, you felt like you were different from everyone else around you. If you’re like me, you know deep inside that there’s something more, there’s something different, there’s something better.
I grew up being a “good girl” for my parents, playing the good “successful” daughter, studying at the top university and then living in the “successful” corporate world. But that life was never meant for me. Every morning from my office window I would look up at the blue sky, wishing I could grow wings and fly. Every morning I longed for something else. A different world. A beautiful world. One where there was freedom, inside and out.
Eventually, in 2010 I packed my bags, left my hometown Shanghai, and moved to Australia by myself hoping the world would be different. It wasn’t … because I was the same. Every day in my office cubicle, I continued playing the good girl. I kept my head down and I worked hard. I played it safe, but deep down I still dreamt of something else.My life was forever changed when I was introduced to the wonderful world of women entrepreneurs at a business networking event. I saw glimpses of confident beautiful women who were running their own business with a lifestyle to match. It was like getting a blue Tiffany box from the Universe.
I saw the beauty I was looking for.The beauty of choice.
The beauty of another way.
The beauty of a business as the path to truly living a life that has it all.
I was enlightened. I had a choice.
I was no longer willing to accept my desires as just a daydream.Dare to be different. Dare to be courageous.
I started building my side hustles, immersing myself with personal development, working with business coaches and mentors, connecting with inspiring people…
I’d be lying if I said building my business and brand was easy. The journey is “beautiful”, but it’s not always “pretty”. I have my doubts, fears and insecurities popping up from time to time. When that happens and things get rough, I always remind myself why I started in the first place.
I started my personal branding business because I adore designing beautiful things and nothing brings me more joy than creating a beautiful brand for other female entrepreneurs and help them turn their dreams into reality, one brand at a time.
I quit my high-paying corporate job as a Chartered Accountant because I want to wake up every day with passion and excitement, do what lights me up and utilize my full potential and talents; have the flexibility and freedom to do it whenever and wherever I want; surround myself with like-minded talented and inspiring people.
I am so grateful that I am able to quit my full-time job and that my business gives me the freedom and fulfillment, makes me feel passionate, inflow and lights me up every day.
Describe the process of launching your remote business
I started building my side hustle while I was working full time in my corporate job. I tried several business ideas until I found my “Sweet Spot Business Idea”. Whether you realize it or not, you have your special “zone of genius”. It’s that gift, talent, skill or ability that sets you apart from everyone else. It’s the thing that no one else can do quite like you.
I found my sweet spot business idea, which is the perfect intersection of what I love (creating beautiful things and turning visions into visuals), what I am good at (luxury branding) and what the world needs (branding and design services for female entrepreneurs).
Launching a side hustle is not a small project. So I break it down into bite-sized projects with timeframes. I also treat my side hustle as a “business”, not a “hobby”. I mapped out a proper business plan, including the finances and taxes part. As I was launching my side hustle while I am still at 9-5, I specifically planned how to make my day job work for me.
Everyone’s situation is different. I was working full time as a Chartered Accountant while building my side hustle for several years before I finally left my full-time job. I decided to do that because this way, I have a steady income to support myself while building my side hustle and I don’t have to spend all the time and energy to find a new job and fitting into the new environment.
When I start stepping into my new entrepreneur identity and building my dream business, I realized how vital it is to stay in action. Doubt and fear are a normal part of the process. But I can’t let these emotions paralyze me; I need to get into action anyway. I worked with mentors and coaches to follow the proven success strategies to keep myself moving forward no matter what — and begin building a habit of massive daily action.
What has worked to attract customers and earn their loyalty?
We focused on creating a luxury client experience from on-boarding to completion of the project, and even after the projects are ended (e.g sending launch gifts and birthday surprises, etc). And then creating and practicing an effective referral system.
Our growth is also a result of our premium branding and position, partnership, SEO, and PR strategies. Our services are packaged at 5 figure premium pricing and targeted towards high-end clients. Elva Li is now ranked the top organic Google search for “luxury branding coach”. Elva Li is selected by The Australian Business Journal as one of the 20 Australian Personal Branding Experts to Watch in 2022.
Knowing what you know now, are there things you would have done differently when first starting out?
My biggest learning is to do my business in an aligned feminine way, to use a holistic framework, and infuse feminine ritual to my soul-centered business. I have been working with my business mentor on a mental, material, emotional and spiritual level, allowing me to find alignment between myself and my business and tap into my natural state of flow: where I found the opportunities, material successes, and a deeper sense of fulfillment. I have leant how to balance the masculine (“go” or ”Yang”) and the feminine (“flow” or ”Yin”) essence in my business. I now allow more “flow” into my business and let go of a business model that is based on extreme effort, people-pleasing and burnout. I set my boundaries and choose what I am available for and what I am not available for.
One of my favorite rituals I use is my “Goddess Hour” every morning. I learnt it from my business mentor Victoria Fox and now I do it every day. I start my mornings of 1 hour to myself each day, just for me. It is a time to feel my vision coming to life, to move, create, go inwards and connect with the magic of my body. This hour sets the energy for my entire day, and is a devotional practice. I do whatever creative and feminine practices I like in this time: art, meditation, yoga, dance, writing, walking, time in nature. It’s not a time for consuming content from the outside world such as internet, social media messages, or books — it’s a time to express what is in me. I dance at least one song every morning to allow my body to move me. Embodiment (being in our body and particularly our womb space) is an important part of feminine-led living.
What has been the best part of starting a remote business?
I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of building my online empire and work with global clients and my remote team.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
I use the following across all facets of my business:
Google G suite: professional email.
Acuity Scheduling: scheduling my appointments.
Asana: project and team management.
Screenflow: Make videos, record my screen.
Wave: Billing and accounting.
Adobe Creative Cloud: design software.
Wistia: Video Hosting for Business: video hosting.
Planoly: Instagram scheduling and posting.
Zoom: online meetings.
Dropbox: sharing files.
What have been the most influential books, networking groups, podcasts, or other resources you've found?
Books “8 Secrets to Powerful Manifesting: How to Create the Reality of Your Dreams” and “Nothing In The Way: Clearing the Paths to Success & Fulfilment.”
I applied the energetic shift and the spiritual factor to infuse my luxury brand with a deeper meaning and soul alignment.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to build a remote business of their dreams?
When I come back to my alignment, I find my power. If there’s one thing that I’d like to share with other female entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business, it’s that you have in you the power to create something incredible. There’s nothing wrong with you, and all of the investment you make in yourself is not wasted. You just need to step into that alignment and figure out your next level brand, one that is true to you, feeds your desires and allows you to make the changes you want to see in the world.
The Universe is never “testing” you. If you are feeling out of alignment right now, it’s the Universe showing you the “vibrational gap” between where you are now and where you want to be. It’s showing you the contrast… for a reason. Because the contrast contains all of the clues to bringing your vision to life. Life is lovingly guiding you towards all of the areas that need to be released, removed and healed… in order for you to step into your highest vision and mission. True success and abundance is never an accident: it always leaves clues. And those clues are already contained within you.
Finally I would love to leave you with these three questions:
How can you honor your true desires and show up as who you are so that you can inspire your audience to be who they are?
How can you channel your best self through everything you do so EVERYONE you meet can feel your passion and your inspiration?
How can you live your brand and model your work in the world so that your audience can see the possibilities for themselves when they say yes to working with the one and only YOU?
The way and the only way to receive what you desire is to be aligned with who you truly are.
Where can we go to learn more?