This year Empowered Women International is celebrating our 15 year anniversary and excited to introduce a retrospective collection of success stories from previous EWI alumnae. One of EWI’s board members, Howie Feinstein, is the contributing writer for these series. Join us as we celebrate our 15 year anniversary and continue empowering women.
For some, business success — even personal empowerment — arrives with a flash of inspiration, or a sudden stroke of luck: a “Eureka” moment. More often, it is a result of patience, tenacity, and consistent focus. It is a lengthy process, rather than a one-time revelation. Laura Ramirez-Drain, C.E.O. of Random Words Marketing Group, is a classic example of the power of persistence.
Laura came to the United States from Mexico in 1999, and worked in the corporate sector for several businesses. Not long after arriving in the Washington area, she was planning to start a women’s support group, when she was first introduced to EWI, in the organization’s own early days. She was impressed, by both the possibility of business mentorship, and the potential for the female support and camaraderie she had been seeking. However, while she had considered entrepreneurship as an eventual goal, she lacked a business of her own. She continued her employee status, but never quite forgot the spark which EWI had kindled in her, even if she had to put it on the back burner until some future time.
In 2015, Laura became victim to a confluence of events which would have thrown most people into a tailspin: she lost her job, and also separated from her husband. Four years earlier, she had started Random Words Marketing, an endeavor aimed at providing marketing and technical expertise for new, independent businesses. Now, she faced the urgent task of making that business profitable. Recalling her previous positive experience with E.W.I., Laura resumed the connection.
She was desperate to learn how to turn her business around: “I was very depressed. My company wasn’t doing well, so I applied to Grow My Business. Marketing my business was going fine, but managing it was the problem. I didn’t k now how to value myself and my work. So I was selling things at very low prices, and giving services for free. Having a trainer and mentor helped me feel good about myself. Sometimes, you just need someone to believe in you and tell you you are good enough.”
Random Words Marketing continues to grow, providing a wide range of client services, including web and logo design, radio, television, and video production, and e-marketing advice. Laura has become a tireless networker, participating in chambers of commerce, community organizations, college and university groups, and other avenues for business development.
True to E.W.I.’s credo, Laura has found that increased personal empowerment goes hand-in-hand with business success. “Grow My Business helped me to understand how to segment the market; understand finance; and focus on what was important. By the time I finished the classes, my business grew 130%. I wanted to prove to everyone that I could succeed and provide for myself.”
“E.W.I. helped me to improve my business. I am amazed; my life has changed. Before, I felt I was a loser, but now, I feel I am getting better and better. I will always be thankful to E.W.I.”