✨ ”Done is better than perfect. Because you're never gonna get anywhere if you tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak until it's perfect […] It's never gonna go out if I don't just launch it!" 💫 — Rachel LeRoy
How to bring joy to your guests? Easy: through personalized maps! What maps? Curious?
Tune in to this delightful and fun conversation where Rachel explains her unparalleled and unique business HipMaps.
Moreover; Rachel brings her perspective of what an authentic personal brand is and she has got some great tips on how to strengthen it.
Rachel also gives some pieces of advice for women who want to start their own businesses, who want to be the face of their own company and their best.
📹 Watch us live: https://youtu.be/GJ_3PYRkoUA
Rachel LeRoy, the founder of HipMaps, is a custom map designer who uses a fresh approach to bring joy through personalized maps for any occasion. Rachel specializes in maps where hosts share their favorite places to eat, drink, and play and Rachel creates their personal map in their style. HipMaps is unique because hosts share their custom map with guests via HipMaps’ free smartphone app, where guests see their location right on the host’s map. These personal and informative maps are a great way for hosts to enhance their guests' experience at business events, retreats, weddings, reunions, vacation rental homes, inns, & more.
book suggestion: Playing Big by Tara Mohr: https://www.taramohr.com/the-playing-big-book/
Get in touch with Rachel LeRoy:
Get in touch with Brigitte Bojkowszky:
Today I have an interesting guest with an unparalleled business and who has a truly innovative product. Rachel LeRoy, founder of hip Maps is a custom map designer who uses a fresh approach to bring joy through personalised maps for any occasion. Rachel specialises in maps where hosts share their favourite places to eat, drink and play, and Rachel creates their personal map in their style. Heat Maps is unique because hosts share their customer with guests via heat maps free smartphone app where guests see their location right on the hosts map. These personal and informative maps are a great way for hosts to enhance their guests experience at business events, retreats, weddings, reunions, vacation rental homes, inns, and more. Rachel is based in Sonoma, California and makes maps all around the world. I want to welcome Rachel Leroy, welcome to BrandsTalk. Thank you so much. I'm so happy to be here. I'm also very happy you are my guests today. Rachel, before we dive deep into hip maps, could you tell us a little bit about your background, about your life journey professional journey that brought you right here where you are now? Sure. I'll go way back to when I was a kid and I have always loved maps, I was the kid who just pored over the Atlas, I just loved looking at places I would spend the globe, you know, I was just really obsessed with maps, especially aerial photographs, which were pretty rare in the late 70s, early 80s. You know, it was very novel to see an aerial photograph. And so fast forward a little bit. And in college I did, I got a degree in environmental science. And so I'm very connected to the earth, I grew up on a farm. And in that in college, I learned how to make maps with other mapping software. And this was back when it was a very new thing. And I fell in love with it. And I just thought it was the coolest thing that I could make my own map. And out of out of college I had two, two or three jobs in a row where I either used that mapping software because the job was already using it. Or I brought it into the company. And I ended up working doing vineyard design in Napa, which is a great place to do vineyard design, because it's a lot of wineries, a lot of vineyards there. And I use that mapping. So I was there for 15 years. And I used that mapping software more and more as as I progressed in the company, and a lot of it was technical. But I still I realised that my best days were the days that I was using this mapping software. I just loved it. And when I decided to leave the company and go out on my own, I thought you know, I can do a lot of different things. But I know maps need to be one of those things. Okay, that's interesting. And then, yeah, you started your own company in 2019. You became your own boss, you started your company called Rachael Leroy consulting. So what made you do that bold step to becoming your own boss? Why did you start your business? Well, I always like a challenge. I I had never had my own business, where it was my sole thing I had tried a little you know, some some and find little offshoots during college and things like that. But I never had my fully owned business. And I thought I would really like to try this. I wanted to be, you know, a consultant, because a consultant can do lots of different things. And I, at that time, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do. So I could keep it broad. And I, you know, the mapping part of it came through where I was designing maps for winery tasting rooms, to show their people who are coming in to taste their wines where the vineyards were. And I still do that. And I love that it's, it's such a great connection to have with the wine industry that I used to work solely in, and it's always gonna be part of your life, I suppose. It's like with me with the airline industries. As a former flight attendant, you're always about aviation airlines and flying and travelling. So I also like to be on the globe, you know, and see that the big maps were very this very sad and and having been here and having been there. I'm also a Maps guy. So back to your transition into solopreneur. Ship. How was that for you? Was it over? There are challenges or surprises? Was it easy peasy. So what I did for you, it was it's funny, because I thought that I knew how to run a business because I had been running that vineyard design business with my partner at that for a couple years. And so I thought I know how to run a business. What is very funny is that once I got into it, I realised that I had some pretty big gaps that I was not even aware of things like marketing and sales, huge gaps that I just never done, that it wasn't even on my radar that I needed to do. And so I really dove in and, and I'm still diving in and, you know, learning about the pieces that I was missing, and and especially the pieces that I don't like, you know, those are the ones you need to work on the most. And so I'm still, you know, years later, still working on them. And yeah, yeah, it's it's fun. And I think another thing that I wasn't really, I Well, where would happen is that I'm working a lot more. Because it's my own company. But because I love it so much. And it feels so right. It doesn't feel like work. Yeah, so I'm not getting burned out. I'm not getting exhausted. Or if I was doing this for some other company. No, no way. Yeah. So that keeps us going. And what else kept you going? I mean, you love it so much. There is something like the big why that you have why you are doing that? What is the purpose? And what is the version that you're going for? What is the legacy you want to leave behind? For me, it's all spreading joy. That's it that it all boils down to spreading joy and every every decision I make it's about is this going to spread joy? Is this going to help people is this going to you know, the the cool thing about hit maps is that the this idea of spreading joy actually has a domino effect. Because the host who is creating the map has joy in the creation of it. Right? They see their own map that is so cool. Then they have more joy because they give it is the joy of giving. And then of course the guest the joy of receiving a gift that's personal, unique and thoughtful. And the joy that it's making their life easy. Like the practical side of it is like it's really saving them time. It's it's it's just easy. So it's I love that there's this domino effect going on. And also the guests I suppose they're spreading the joy because it's who Wow, I've been to eventing And now listen what happened and what what we got there and there was a map and it told us where we can go and so it's it's really a snowballing Yeah, I love that idea. And you also learned marketing, because you rebranded in one VA said in 2021. Right. It became then the hip maps, right. So Wow. Yeah. Because of marketing. Yeah, efficiencies. Well, you know, when you hear someone's name and consulting, right, that could mean everything. And it really means nothing. All it really means is you can pay me to do something. Yeah, But, and that is still true. Yeah. But with heat maps, it's a completely different story. What is that? So is there a brand naming story behind heat maps? Yeah, yeah, I do I. So I, originally when I was trying to come up with a name, I knew I wanted maps to be in it. Because this is such a unique thing. And people don't think about maps as a way to enhance their guests experience or, you know, to as a way to, to take it up a notch for whatever they're doing. They just don't think, oh, I should do a map, right. So I wanted maps to be out there more. I love spreading information and joy of maps. And so when I started this naming, coming up with names, I initially came up with some names. And my wonderful friend who is a professor of marketing, sat down with me, and she said, I think you need to read a book. And she said, It's called The book is called, Hello, my name is awesome. It's this very short book. It's by Alexandra Watkins. And basically, I open up the book and and this book starts with basically, you know, what you shouldn't do is pick out a bunch of names by their domains, and then ask your friends which one they liked best. I was like, literally exactly what I just did. That book was really, really helpful in getting the creative juices flowing and thinking about different names and how to come up with them and what they are going to spark and people the whole branding thing. And I chose hip. Because I let I think hip is a great word that signifies fun, and cutting edge. It's, it's both of those things. And those are the things that have maps is going for it is a fun way. It's cutting edge. Nobody else is doing this. And it's happy. It's upbeat, it's bright. And that's, yeah, that's what have nots. Who are your clients? Exactly. That must be happy people because you appeal to happy people. So you usually connect to, you know, with what you're doing, it's so powerful and emotionally loaded, that you have to connect with happy people, and mostly happy people aren't getting married as well. Like, so, who are your clients? Exactly? And what are all their benefits with you with heatmaps? Well, they're all going to be people who are interested in giving something extra to their guests, it's always going to be about the person who's wants to, you know, differentiate themselves. And if it's from if it's a business, they want to differentiate themselves from competition. And if it's a personal event, like a wedding or a reunion, they want to just, you know, not be the same old wedding or reunion that other people have gone to. They want to, you know, stand out from the crowd is what I like to say. So they there's a couple of different specific clients. One is, of course, weddings. This is so great for weddings that have people coming in from out of town. And personal events like reunions and Bar Mitzvahs, same thing. Another group are businesses, that host meetings or conferences or festivals, any you know, again, people are coming in for a purpose, but they need to know what to do in the downtime where the actual event is not happening. And then the third one is the travel industry specifically vacation rental homes like Airbnb ease or cool lodging like a bed and breakfast or an inn, you know, where they they really want to give their guests something unique that they might not get at a larger chain hotel, which, you know, these these folks are probably not able to compete with on a level that the larger chain hotels can. Yeah, that sounds so exciting. Perfect. Yeah. And Rachel with what you are doing, you are definitely in your sweet spot. Yeah. Because you are shining. Like a strong personal brand. You're totally authentic. So what does it mean to you being a personal a strong personal brand, and in specifically an authentic personal brand? I think as personal brand as what are what do people say about you when you're not in the room? That's always my guiding light. You know? Hopefully they're not going to say I'm a jerk, right? They're gonna say, oh my gosh, Rachel. She's everything she does, is it makes people happy. She just has this great motivational energy, you know, like they that's what I think of is, is, what are people talking about when I'm not around? And I think, you know, I think the way to get there is to find a way to do what you love. I really do. And it's sometimes it's really hard. And it takes a long time. And it's got a weird, a very weird roadmap to get there very squiggly. Do you have one? Do you have a roadmap to get there? Do you have some helpful advice to help people strengthen their personal brand and become more authentic or to become truly, truly you? You know, so I want to know this map, from your perspective. I love that I think I think it's about reflecting, reflecting on your choices, and and you make these tiny little decisions every single day. And one example is, before I post something on social media, even on my personal account, not my business account, but my personal account, I always pause and I say is this spreading joy? Because I don't want to post something, I might be passionate about something that is the polar opposite of someone else who is passionate about it, and it causes them great distress. So why would I do that? So I like to make sure it's always positive, always positive. But you know what, I also think that you cannot make everyone happy with what Yeah, you are saying what your opinion is about this or that. It might also be something that is negatively associated with some people. And as well. And I think it's also being authentic to say, I cannot make everyone happy, I cannot bring joy to everyone. That's why we also need to focus on that people that are within our reom that are share the same values and have the same expectations or see the world in the same way that we do. What do you think about that? Yeah, yeah, I think that one of the great lessons to learn, and hopefully you learn it in your 20s, because it's tough to learn it later than your 20s is that you don't need to click with everybody. And you don't have to be everybody's friend. And it's totally fine. Totally fine. Yeah. It's stressful, to think you have to make everyone happy. And that is just not possible. And that's why it's so impossibility. Yeah, that's so important that you know, who you connect with, and that you surround yourself with all these like minded people that support you that you can support you are lifting each other up, and eventually, are in the state of being more happy than anything else. Yeah, yeah. Any any other helpful advice to strengthen our personal brand or to help us make shine even brighter? Well, I think that I think you've kind of nailed it, honestly, you know, surrounding ours, one of the things that I learned from growing and establishing my business is that when it comes to business, decisions and choices and moving forward, your friends are not the best people to consult with. They're wonderful to have a supportive group. But when you need honest feedback, you really need to establish, I like to call them advisors, because, you know, they come in many forms, it can be a mentor, it can be a coach, it can be someone you pay, it can be someone you don't pay, you know, there's I think it's it's really important to surround yourself with strong people that you really trust will tell you. Thank you should rethink that. Or are you sure you want to go in that direction? You know, and and I think some of the best guidance that I've received in growing and evolving has been from the people who were able to say, No, I really think you should look at this. And in whatever they're talking about. It's something I'm resisting. It's a critical feedback. But it's also the question of how you get the feedback of how you receive the feedback and how the feedback giver is actually communicating. If it's in a very helpful and in a very polite way, then it's also easy to take it even though it's more critical than anything else. And it helps you It helps you to go forward. It helps you as you say, to grow. The worst thing that can happen is to have I mean it's wonderful to have your friends around. But if they are not giving you this critical feedback It really doesn't help you to grow, getting better becoming a better version of yourself. And that's what we want. Yeah. Oh, yeah, definitely. Yeah. And conversely, what would be some mistakes that shall be avoided when you are starting your business when you are growing your brand when you try to become your better version? Well, I think that waiting until you think you're ready, is one of the biggest pitfalls. And I, I, you know, I think that a lot of people, especially women, are do this, I think they, they say, Well, I can I can do this, once I get this degree, or I can do this, once I get this certification, or once I get this experience, or once I, we are, we are our own. I don't want to say our own worst enemy, because that's really strong. But we hold ourselves back by thinking that we aren't ready when we really are. And I'll mention another book that just popped into my head that was really helpful. It's called playing big by Tara Moore. Yeah, I love it. I love it. It's it's a book everyone has to read. Every woman has to read this book, especially when it comes to holding back, right? Yes. And you have to do the exercises. Because I read the book on my own. And I skipped all the exercises because I was like, oh, go back and do them. Well, of course I never did. And then I read the book with a with a wonderful accountability partner. And we met every week. And every week, we did a chapter and we did the exercises, and we held each other accountable to do the exercises. And I got a million times more out of that book, by doing it that way, was really remarkable. And, you know, I think I think it's also the kind of book that you can go back to, and, you know, a year or two, and do it all over again, and say, you know, your situation is going to be different. But maybe some of the same questions are going to react, you realise? Oh, well, the reason I haven't gotten to this point is because of this same old little thing back here that's holding me back. Yeah, so it's a really good tip. And I will also put it into the show notes. And our Thermore is also giving this Sunday workshop hours. So it's also nice to get together on Sunday. Sometimes I have time on a Sunday to be part of that, because it always brings you back to your own shortcomings and what you need to work on. It always comes at the right time. Yeah, I think so. Thank you for bringing that up. We are really good in holding back and putting limits to ourselves. And we are ready, we are more than ready even though we think we are not. We just need a little notch. And then we are ready to go and taking action kind of makes all the bit limiting beliefs to dissolve because then you're so focused on on doing your job and to getting things done. That everything else is secondary. Yeah, yeah. And I think keeping the phrase Done is better than perfect in mind is really helpful. Because you're never gonna get anywhere if you tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak and tweak until it's perfect. I that that was a hard that was a jagged pill for me to swallow. I won I, every time I put something out that I am. And it's always for me, it's never for my clients. It's always for me, you know, when I talk about some sort of promotional thing or something where I'm like, oh, like if I had only tweak this tweak that it's never gonna go out if I don't just launch it. Yeah. And it's it's the fear of failing. It's the fear of failing. And how are we perceived in the world when we fail? What are others thinking about? And what really happens if we are having a setback? It's not a failure. It's a setback. It's a detour. It's something that you learn, you pick it up on the way and you move forward, you continue your walk. Right. So that brings me to the next question. So are there any detours or setbacks that you had in life that were so important for you that you could, you know, really leap from it's something that was such a major learning that shaped your life and continues shaping your life going forward? Yeah, when I left my 15 year A company that I was with, I wasn't ready to leave. I didn't, I didn't expect to leave, the situation was out of my control. And I was, you know, I had to leave. And it took me a little while to land on my feet. And I think it's very similar to, you know, a bad breakup with a boyfriend. When you're in your 20s. Right, you just, you're just kind of, oh, my whole life is not what I envisioned it was going to be, and it takes a little while to get to work through it. But then you realise that was the best thing that could have happened to me. Because now my life is so much more and then fill in the blank, right? So in my situation, I wouldn't have hit maps had I not left that company. And I was so comfortable. I think that's the thing is like you don't, it's hard to leave it something when you're comfortable to go into this unknown scary place, but the reward of what you get when you do what you really love, and you're shining, and you're thriving, so much, so much worth it. Yeah. And now you are feeling comfortable in the uncomfortable because now you are in the knowing you made it your own. And you can grow from here. So that's so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that with us, Rachel. So we are almost at the end, there is one thing missing. It's the road wrap. Are you ready? I love I love this part. I love this part of your podcast. All right, so first one is personalization. Original uniqueness. Memorable. Wow. Yeah, that's great. Then strong. Yeah. And wine tasting. I'm very experienced at this one. I would say I gotta do two, I gotta do two. One is delicious. And the other is informative. I always learned something. I love that. I love that. And brands. Ah, identity. Great. Cool. Thank you so much, Rachel. Good. And I'm sure there's a lot of people out there that want to connect with you. Because everyone wants maps now. So where can they find you with hip maps? The best place is my website. And it's HiPma p s.com. It's got this is a you know, it's such a unique concept. It's much easier to go to the website and watch a couple videos explaining what this is and showing an a demo of the app. You'll I always want people to see those visuals because it's so much easier to understand what this is and and how it works than just trying to describe it. So hipmaps.com There's links to social media, I'm on you know, Instagram and all those fun places. You can email me and call me but hit maps.com is the best place to go to find all those pieces. Perfect. Good. Rachel, thank you so much for being my guest today on Branstad life and it was a pleasure having you here to learn how you help your clients to wow their guests and save them time as service for people who really want to stand out from the crowd with a memorable, useful map that takes their thoughtfulness to the next level. Thank you, Rachel. Thank you so much, Brigitte. I love your podcast and it was an honour to be on yours. Thank you so much. And that was my conversation with Rachel Leroy.