Bestselling author, speaker, and orchestrator of daring publicity campaigns, Luana Riberia helps coaches and entrepreneurs to connect with a larger audience. If you have something you want everyone to see and talk about, or a great idea you want to develop, Luana will help you to rise to the top of your game and become known as the leading expert in your niche.
With appearances on FOX TV, ITV, BBC, and Channel 4, Luana is as comfortable in front of the camera as she is in a one-to-one situation. After becoming one of Forbes’ Top 21 Emerging Females to Watch in 2018, she developed relationships with many media outlets, including NBC, ABC, the Miami Herald, and The Huffington Post.
Luana’s latest book, Game of Phones, is set for release in 2020. The book is a light-hearted yet practical guide to aligning yourself with the leadership mindset, in order to create your very own online kingdom. Luana is an international speaker, who mixes inspirational wisdom and advice with contemporary culture and a healthy dose of humour. She’s warm, funny, and uplifting, whatever the topic. Some of the topics you might encounter in her talks are why you should be completely outrageous, how Game of Thrones is more like being an entrepreneur than you might think, and what to do if your husband suddenly turns into a woman. She’s 100% pro-diversity and pro-equality, and aims to help everyone find their own path towards fulfillment and success. When she’s not on stage or on the ‘phone with a client, Luana can be found in Portugal, setting up a sustainable animal sanctuary. Somehow she finds the time to play the occasionally twisted psycho in a horror movie, which might come as a shock if you’ve met her usual smiley self in real life. She also has two homeschooled daughters and a house full of cats and dogs!
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Luana to discuss her journey in the industry and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I started my journey because I knew I had an important message to share with the world but, at the time, I felt invisible. Little did I know it wouldn’t be long before things would explode in ways I’d never imagined!
I’m a former actress – a Scream Queen. I started working with a director who became my publicist and was booking features and interviews in the press. Then it came to light that he was a master manipulator and fantasist. I had well and truly been conned and my hopes and dreams came crashing down.
After being in despair for a while, it hit me that this had all happened for a reason. I realised that what I gained from the experience was an insane knowledge about PR. I carried on solo and the local press turned to national. I was booking documentaries, guest spots on panels, TV interviews, magazines, and every single national newspaper in the UK!
But, with journalists and TV producers now turning up on my doorstep and my personal life splashed all over the news, I didn’t know how to handle it. So I ran off to Portugal and lived in a ditch! This was where I wrote my first bestselling book and suddenly, I was back in the media but this time, I had learned from my previous experience and was fully in control of my media. My brand-new business exploded!
Now I help leaders to get major publicity for their brands. My clients have been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Telegraph, on FOX TV, The Today Show, the BBC, and more… consistently being booked on platforms reaching audiences of up to 33 million in one swoop and repeating that over and over again. We’ve had clients become so in-demand in the media that they’ve gone from earning 2k a month to selling 25k packages as though they’re hotcakes!
When did your entrepreneurial flair first reveal itself?
Way, way back when I was in primary school, I used to live in a sweet shop. I would take sweets to school and sell them out of my desk. I remember the teacher on the last day of the term opening up the drawer and asking me how I’d got a drawer full of cash! (I then spent a load of it on books). In addition, I ran a Dennis the Menace club because I was obsessed with the Beano and wanted to lead a tribe of people into shenanigans, which is kind of what I do now (laughs).
How did your life look like before being an entrepreneur?
I was skipping from one job to another, typically within nightclubs, the catering industry, and fitness. My first business was after I’d worked in a gym. I decided to go into fitness from there, working for myself as a personal trainer. We’d just had a new manager come in, a lot of things had changed and I remember it being a really sunny day and just thinking to myself, ‘Why am I inside on a day like this?’ So I set up my own business so that I could have the freedom to work when I want, where I want, with who I want.
As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
This is quite a hard question for me to answer because, in all honesty, I don’t know. I do what I do because I can’t not – it’s just something deep within me that keeps pulling me forward. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve come crashing down, how many times I think it’s all over and I’ve felt like I’ve had to rebuild from scratch and my mind is saying to me, ‘Look, you could take the easy way out, you could go work at a supermarket checkout or back to the clubs!’ There’s something deep within me that keeps me going, that keeps me heading towards my purpose, which is to help to give people a voice, a platform to get their message out there, to start that ripple effect that impacts the world.
In one word, describe your life as an entrepreneur and explain why.
Fulfilled – because every day I get to live in a way that’s aligned with my purpose.
What were your top three motivations for starting your business?
My first motivation was to create something that I felt I really needed, something that’s a whole package – getting people booked for media, helping people with their mindset throughout the whole process: beginning, during, and after. Helping people with their delivery and to then be able to monetise that media, build their brand, and get results from being featured in the media. Another motivation is that I want to live a life of freedom, abundance, and on my terms. I want that for myself, for my family and I want to help other people get the same.
What do you put your success down to?
Any successes that I’ve had and keep having are down to me not being afraid to fail. I’ve failed over and over and over and over again, and that’s why I’ve had some pretty awesome wins.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful business?
Focus, dedication, commitment, and consistency. These things are absolutely vital. If you think that you’ve tried everything, you haven’t. There’s always another level to go to, and it doesn’t mean to do more or to work harder – it means to work smarter. To do the things that work, to do the things that scare you, to take a step forward in a way that’s dauntless.
What are the three biggest challenges you have faced growing the business and how did you overcome them?
1) Trusting other people ahead of myself and putting other people on a pedestal instead of trusting my inner knowing. I’ve overcome this challenge by doing a tonne of mindset work.
2) Dealing with judgment and criticism from angry trolls. I’ve overcome that by making sure that I’ve got an absolutely huge platform so that I can reach millions of people in minutes with my truth – which is to control my reputation and control my own message.
3) Being absolutely crippled by shyness, low self-confidence, low self-worth, and fear. I manage to overcome these by, again, focusing on the inner work, and also taking action because confidence and strength don’t come from planning and preparation; they come from actually going out there and doing the things that make us uncomfortable, and that’s where we grow.
Does the loneliness of the entrepreneur really exist?
It’s something that definitely can exist because entrepreneurs think in a way that’s different, and we’ve chosen to live a life that’s different from most people. It’s not something I experience because I surround myself with people who are on the same mission as me.
As you grew the business, what have been some of the most important leadership lessons you have learned?
Always stay strong in my ideas and opinions and always be standing in my truth. To trust my inner knowing as opposed to always looking to other people. I can look at other people to inspire me, but I need to trust my inner knowledge so that some people will get me and will be on board with my message, and others just won’t get me, or they’ll actively dislike me – and this is all perfect.