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Why Breaking the Rules Pays Off

Today is a huuuuge milestone! My friend Anne (founder of Girl Gone International) and I just launched our inaugural Roar to Riches Business & Mindset Accelerator, brought to you by RAWFEM, a global collective of badass women, who are experts in their niches.


The Story behind Roar to Riches

I'm the least likely person to create an in-person accelerator / retreat. So let's start at the beginning...


The Rules of the Game

I never said much as a kid. In fact, I never said much until I was 18 and had a TV crew stick a mic in my face, for a historical win at a national science competition. #geekingout

I never said much because I was raised in a culture and society that laid out these rules:

  • Children are not meant to be seen
  • Children are not meant to be heard
  • Girls are worth less than boys
  • Kids are meant to be their parents' retirement account
  • Students have 4 career choices: doctor, lawyer, accountant or failure
  • Women are meant to be door mats for men to wipe their feet on


You're supposed to... they said

When I was born, I was already teetering on failure. I mean, I turned out a girl in a culture that worships boys and drown baby girls...

When I studied engineering (on a full scholarship, no less!), I was teetering on breaking the rules. It's doctor, lawyer, accountant, or failure, in that order. Remember? The Rules? You're supposed to choose the highest earning career, they said.

When I quit my lucrative engineering job and followed my heart to Rwanda for humanitarian aid work, I broke the rules. You're supposed to choose money over heart, they said.

When I left my lucrative humanitarian aid job in NYC to start my own consultancy, I broke the rules. You're supposed to choose security over freedom, they said.

When I left my narcissistic ex-partner, even though I could have been a comfy kept woman, I broke the rules. You're supposed to be married or you are nothing, they said.

When I left my lucrative consultancy to start my coaching practice, I broke the rules. You're supposed to procreate or you are nobody, they said.

When I left my ex-partner for emotionally cheating, I broke the rules. You're supposed to pay the bills with a guy (any guy) until you die. What is this 'fulfillment' nonsense?, they said.

When my dad suddenly died at the beginning of my 16-country Exquisite Freedom Tour, three days after his funeral, I pulled up my big girl pants and continued on the remaining 13 countries. I broke the rules. You're a pathetic excuse for a daughter, they said. (Um, I guess you forgot the part where I put a down-payment on my parent's house and have been looking after them since age 3...)


It is no wonder!!!

IT IS NO WONDER women's greatest fears are:

  • The fear of being seen,
  • The fear of being criticized, and
  • The fear of roaring their greatness!!!

I don't come from money. There's not an ounce of entrepreneurial DNA in my lineage. No husband paid my bills while I built a six-figure location-independent coaching business.

Slap onto that:

  • introversion: massive need to spend massive amounts of time alone
  • high sensitivity: every sound, light, smell is overwhelming
  • being empath: feel and soak up every one's every emotion and energy

... I wonder how I'm not in a dark corner in foetus position 24/7.


What I did have...

My parents are pack rats, so I became a minimalist. I also wasn't raised a princess, thank all that is holy. So what I did have... was a suitcase and two legs. I said f*** you to the rules and jet-setted off to 104 countries and counting!

Above all, I had sisterhood:

  1. A helped me leave the narcissist...
  2. Which lead me to Vancouver...
  3. Which lead me to S who revealed my coaching calling...
  4. Which lead me to interview F...
  5. Who invited me to a fundraiser...
  6. Where I met yoga pals...
  7. Who introduced me to a great group of gals...
  8. Two of whom became roommates...
  9. One of whom introduced me to Girl Gone International (founded by Anne Scott)

That's 9 degrees of separation with Anne. Can you imagine if I hadn't gone to that fundraiser, taken that yoga class or moved in with that roommate?!?

Sisterhood falls from the sky.


  1. G and M helped me clear ex-partner out of my life...
  2. M gave me a soft place to land to heal my heart...
  3. Which gave me the freedom, time and energy to go on that 16-country Exquisite Freedom tour...
  4. Which was cut short because I had to return home to manage my dad's estate...
  5. Which could only happen thanks to S giving me a soft place to land to heal my PTSD...
  6. While M and her angels helped me clear out my parents pack rat hole for sale...
  7. Which allowed me to complete another 20 countries tour...
  8. Which included Spain and Barcelona...
  9. Which was a hop to Mallorca where the 2016 GGI Global Meetup took place...
  10. Which is where I got to meet Anne Scott in person.

Another 10 degrees of separation! Can you imagine if M and S hadn't given me a soft place to land, if M and her angels hadn't come help me clear my dad's estate, if... if... if...?


How Roar to Riches Came to Be

That's a lot of degrees of separation!!! All that rule breaking, the above 19 degrees of separation, a flurry of 30 more countries after Mallorca, plus half a year later, our Roar to Riches Business & Mindset Accelerator was born. So many twists, so many turns. The best, best, best things in life take time!

Sometimes, sisterhood falls from the sky. Just when you need her. Other times, you need to do the leg work, follow the breadcrumbs that the Universe has laid out for you and make your way to your sisterhood.

After 10+ years each in business, clawing our way out of "the rules", Anne and I created a powerful, hilarious, loving and kickass space to shave years and years off your "leg work." A space where you can put your superhero cape down and tell the truth. The sisterhood is right here.

Will you join The Original Pack? Seats are selling out, register early!

Women who are free will set the world free.

Freedom on!

xo, Ella

Ellany LeaABOUT THE AUTHOR • Hi, I'm Ella, founder of Guide to Grace. Having lived in 100+ countries, I invite you to freedom at the intersection of: entrepreneurship, enlightenment, and enchantment.

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