Lorraine C Ladish is the prolific bilingual author of 17 books, writer, editor, speaker and social media maven. She recently launched her new book REACH!, an story of triumph over hard circumstances that inspires women going through difficult times.
In her own words, “Lorraine found herself separated from her husband, unemployed, broke and in debt with two young daughters in tow. Just days from being homeless, she was forced to sell her family heirlooms to pay the rent and had to apply for welfare and accept charity from friends and acquaintances.”
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Inspiring women by sharing her own story in her new book REACH!
In her new book REACH!, Lorraine tells her story in harrowing detail, and how, at the age of fifty and with a $500 investment, she launched Viva Fifty!, an online magazine that celebrates bicultural women 50+, which became profitable within a year and is now her whole source of income.
Told in a friendly, conversational tone, her new book REACH! is a journey shared with those going through a difficult time in their lives and are in need of inspiration, as well as for anyone starting a digital business.
An accomplished business woman, fabulous mother and advanced yoga practitioner
Lorraine is the Founder and CEO of Viva Fifty! a bilingual community that inspires women of a certain age and celebrates the ups and downs that go hand and hand with aging gracefully.
Lorraine and I met for the first time at Hispanicize 2015, after a period in which we had developed an e-friendship. She kindly accepted to be a Madrina in our Editorial Board and has contributed to our pages and supported social media channels.
She is now writing for NBCNews, Huffpost, AARP, Babycenter and Mom.me. She is a advanced yoga practitioner and lives in beautiful Sarasota, FL with “my quirky blended family” she says. You can keep in touch with her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
An exclusive interview with Lorraine C Ladish
- Tell us about you and how did you come to discover writing was your passion and also your path to success.
I was born into a family of writers, so I thought it was normal to write for fun. My father wanted me to be a Marine Biologist because he believed that there was no money in writing. But I became a writer anyway and I wouldn´t change it for anything else. Success is what you say it is, and for me it´s being able to make a full-time living doing what I love. That is inspiring women through my books, blog posts, and social media. In that sense, I am successful. My path to success was always riddled with challenges, from financial strife to personal obstacles such as divorce and its aftermath. But if I have one quality, that is grit. Nobody can ever honestly say about me that I don´t try to find solutions to life´s problems. We all encounter obstacles, it´s how we handle them that makes the difference. So far I´ve published 17 books with traditional publishers and REACH! is my first self-published book. It will soon be available in Spanish as ¡EMPRENDE! It is the story of how I lost it all the year of the recession in the U.S. and how I rebuilt my career and took it from print writer and journalist to the online world.
- You have become a social media influencer in the Latino and women’s markets. When did you realize social media was the way to go about in your business?
When I started writing for About.com six years ago and I noticed that the page views of my website would go up when I
tweeted posts. I then read everything I could about social media, and created my own systems to make it work for me while serving an audience. Now many of the opportunities I get writing and creating online content are because of my social media reach and engagement. I am on almost every relevant social media platform that exists today. I´m not as active on all of them and I spend more time on the ones I love the most, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Oh, and Periscope! I just love the way social media can connect us with likeminded people who often live far away from us and whom we´d never meet otherwise.
- Every successful person has people in their lives that have been influential or played a mentorship role. Who are those people in yours?
So many, it would be hard to say. From my father I learned work ethics and persistence, from my grandfather, to be a free thinker. From my husband who is also a writer, grit. And from many female digital entrepreneurs, I learned to harness my strong points and ask for help when I need it. There are women who are busier than I am if that is even possible, who are always there to answer a question or look over a contract or to just listen to my latest good news. The best part is that I know that there are other women for whom I play that role too. Mentors come and go, but they change us forever.
- If you could change one thing you have done in your life, what would that be?
I would go back and give one of the editors who considered my first book 24 years ago the time they requested to read the manuscript. I was 29 and filled with angst. I wanted the book to be published so badly that I accepted an offer before knowing what all the other publishers considering it had to say. When they told me they wanted to publish it I had already signed with someone else. I will never know whether I made the right decision. But I learned from it and never made that mistake again! I am much more patient now.
I had not been so excited since I launched my publication VivaFifty.com two years ago — or since I published my new book REACH! from single mom on welfare to digital entrepreneur.
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