Ellza has been celebrated as a leader in the startup ecosystem and a global marketing innovator. She is currently the CEO and founder of Blue Monarch Group.
Ellza was also the co-founder of Creatif Nine, a Business & Marketing Education Academy, and Istoria Ventures an investment group for new European entrepreneurs. Through experience of Ellza in the startup ecosystem, growth engineering, and consulting, Ellza has worked with early-stage startups to large organizations and companies and brings a unique lens.
For more details, visit their website here.
Here we sit down with Ellza, to know a bit more about her journey as an entrepreneur.
Q. Tell us a little more about your journey as an entrepreneur – how did you get started? What inspired you?
Ellza: so my background is initially around data analytics. I used to build marketing attribution models and data, sales data models to really understand how sales and marketing teams were performing.
After a while, I started consulting, which was the entry point into entrepreneurship for me. And from there, we really focused on like, how to build great funnels and which funnel works for what audience, and so on.
But after a while, I got tired of telling people this funnel works without giving them a reason why. So then I went into the psychology of marketing, and that’s really where BMG began as an agency. We started a pinpoint into how, you know, what are the eight pillars of trust? And how can you on a psychological basis, influence people in the way that you want them to behave based on the language that you’re using.
Initially, we started off with digital and now we’re moving to we’ve moved into in-person experiences as well. But that’s really the core of what BMG does, it’s that art plus science component.
I’ve always had a creative background, you kind of have to when you’re in when you’re you know, managing sales operations teams to like figure out how to get a deal closed. The analytical side just gave you the evidence that you needed to validate your instincts and also find new ideas that were not possible because of it.
So for the past, you know, almost eight years, that’s really what I’ve been working on is getting through it. And my journey to entrepreneurship was more of a consult here and there. And then it became a full-time role. And then I joined projects on, it’s not very linear. And I don’t think anyone’s entrepreneurship experience is linear. I think it comes with ebbs and flows and changes, especially in the last few years when I think people have realized that there’s an opportunity for them to become an entrepreneur.
Q. What are your long-term goals in business? Paint a vision for the future
Ellza: This is going to be a long one because I do have BMG that continues to grow – right now we have a data science division, and we have a marketing division. We are opening up a sales Agency, Department as well.
So we’re covering the entire revenue cycle. From, you know, our clients aren’t known by anybody, nobody knows them. Nobody cares about what they say, all the way down to, you know, creating performance models and creating proposals that are going to help them land their clients. I would say about a good chunk of my business is in real-life sciences and tech space. It does the mix between b2b and b2c.
But for the b2b side, we’re really trying to hone in on how we can help clients close a lot of these deals that are coming in. And what is the what is how can we apply the psychology of marketing to those in that space? So at some point, I call BMG a business agency, because it does take the business vision and roll it all the way through to your growth goals. And then with the sales one coming up, it’s going to be that’s the nearest future. So we’ll probably have that dial pretty well before the end of the year. And then from there, we’re really looking into hyper-segmenting markets.
There’s been a huge migration, especially in the United States, with people and like, how does that impact where people are driving to so we’re going through some more research phases moment just to make sure we’re on top of our insights, and in partnering with a few or a few research organizations to help us through that.
So that’s probably you know, year two, and then from there, continuing to open new channels, web three and is really coming up and we’re trying to understand how human behavior is going to change online. Because that’s where people kind of do all their research. So we’re playing with a couple of them at the moment, in order to have really consistent packages around. If you’re an organization that is looking into marketing in a decentralized environment, where should you go? and become that trusted resource.
Q. What motivates you?
Ellza: I like to figure things out, that’s probably my biggest motivation. It’s the reason why I moved into consulting in the first place, I wanted to like poke and prod, the projects that I wanted to poke and prod on. And when you’re in a nine to five, sometimes you don’t have that opportunity.
But when you’re consulting, especially, and then when you move on to the agency side, you get to pick and choose the curiosity side. So most of my team will see me like, just say, Hey, I’m gonna go down this rabbit hole, I’ll see you guys in a few days. I have CEOs and support teams to make sure that they’re all completely supported. But I am definitely one of those people is like, I need to go down, I need to go figure out how these chicks, and I love that. I also really, really love mentoring and building people up. I think that in a world where, especially today, where we see people tearing each other down, and pretty much every avenue, it’s nice to go to work.
I feel appreciated and feel like you’re accomplishing something important. This, my team, does not live. Actually, none of them live in Illinois. Everybody else kind of lives scattered across the globe.
So it is that flexibility of that nice hybrid of working work in whatever space and piece that brings you while being mentored and doing really, really cool projects that, yes, our resume boosters, but then you could say like, Yeah, you see that ad. I did that.
Q. What business-related book has inspired you the most, or, what is your favourite book?
Ellza: I don’t know if I have a favorite. I used to be really into a lot of this is going to I’m a very like, because of that curious mindset. I like to figure out what people like and what ticks. And the first book that I read when it comes to really managing client experience was Dr. Guest.
When I was an experiential marketer, it was a Disney book, and we know how Disney operates. Then I moved into books like Leading with Empathy, The 48 Laws of Power, and how people need to how you can steer the direction, especially when you’re in executive-level roles, which I was in the past, and how you can steer through that some of that policy, like the bureaucracy of it.
Those have helped me in ways that I didn’t actually expect, which was interesting. The BR guestbooks really helped me understand like, how to manage clients. But the more business management courses gave me the insight of if a client is feeling weird about something, there’s probably an underlying condition there. So that coupled with a lot of research that we go through, I’m more of a digital reader. So half the like, all the books I have are like somewhere on my Kindle, that I’ve probably maxed out on space. And because I can’t add any more.
Q. What strategies do you use to optimize your performance or mindset?
Ellza: I start the day removing any biases that I have for the day. So if our team always goes around, it’s like, anytime someone says, I don’t know if we can do that, or I don’t think that client is applicable to this.
We go back into the why do we think it’s because it’s a client behavior? Do we think it’s because their ecosystem, like their technical ecosystem can’t support it? Or have do we have like the mental blockage of like, we’ve kind of biased ourselves into that space. So I start that actually consciously every morning. And then, you know, when we have client meetings, we go through of like, oh, let’s like, if we had if nothing was stopping us from doing it.
What would we do to get to this goal? And then we say, okay, what are the roadblocks that we actually have when we get back to reality? And then we figure out how to remove them. Now, I will say, you know, we live in a world where there are obstacles and challenges, and some of them are not, not easy to overcome, or just not feasible in the time period that we have.
But when you start with, you can do anything in the world to get to this particular goal, it makes it a whole lot easier to remove your work roadblocks, as opposed to already compromising your creative thought behind it.
Q. If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Ellza: probably the girl that went down the rabbit hole.
I’m one of those people. So my life actually started in a tiny country called Kosovo. And I emigrated here as a refugee. So my entire life was really around, like, reinventing everything from scratch. Because yes, I was a kid what had happened, but like, went to a school that like, didn’t even speak didn’t all I knew was high. And did not go to school for the first year, because I thought we were going back. So that’s, that’s the type of kid I was, I was just very stubborn.
I’m like, so when are we going back? Because my, you know, my entire family lives there. Everybody lives, everybody, in my closest family lived within a few miles. So it was all about, like, adapting to the change that we were going through. And that, that allowed, actually, the break-in space allowed me to be much more creative than I had probably allowed myself in the past of like, you know, what, I’m just gonna, you know, escape reality for a few days, I’m gonna go down this rabbit hole, you guys have fun. And then I would lift my head up, and it’d be like, I just read like, 30 books this weekend, and I’m going through it. Whereas in Kosovo, that would never happen, I would be too busy with family and friends.
That is to say that I did miss them. But it was just a really interesting period in my life, and then the recession hit. And then you know, there was just a series of things that caused me to constantly evolve myself, and allow myself to go down this, you know, metaphorical evolution, that’s actually why bloom on our group is called Blue moniker, it’s based on the butterfly, and we go through the stages of if you go down and work on yourself a little bit, you can evolve into something else when you come back.
Q. What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Ellza: I guess the categories because I’ve done it a couple of iterations of there’s, there’s a whole lot of books that will tell you on how to create boundaries and to and coaches on how to do that.
What I say what I would say is that I took the most out of those occasions, because I did invest in a lot of like, learning, but also figuring out myself, I’m a very big self-learner in a lot of ways where I’m like, this is a problem, I’m going to figure it out. And I think that giving yourself the mental liberty of, I could work on this project that I kind of want to work on, or I could actually figure out, you know, a little bit deeper of like, why am I so bent into figured, like working on this project, I could take the word that the period that I have to whitespace myself into my own personal motivations. And, and sometimes that’s a draw like you have to make certain sacrifices in order to allow yourself to think about that sometimes it’s you know, every other weekend, which I used to do, when I first started having my it was a side business, and now it’s a full business and, and those are the things but you can’t continue to keep yourself busy. You have to think before you execute.
That costs money at the end of the day like you can either work for, you know, spend five hours working on something and just executing or you can spend half the time thinking about it, and then executing it and half the time. It’s it but when you’re first starting out, it’s really hard to like to justify the white spacing period and it’s so worth it. I know it costs you but it’s worth it.
Q. Where do you see the future in your niche/industry 3-5 years from now?
Ellza: I personally think BMG is a business agency, and it’s specifically a visit marketer does a business agency because we do more than just marketing. And I think marketing agencies, in general, are evolving into becoming much bigger than just, we do SEO, or we do so and so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. But if you can tie it back to the business, that business problem that someone that’s trying to solve, it gets you. It moves you lightyears ahead. However, I think the entire industry, especially given the current market, is going through its own personal evolution, where the tried and true methods aren’t working anymore.
So you have to figure out how you go about it. And those that can adapt, and really, like set themselves up for a much more innovative, agile, nimble strategy, both for themselves and for the clients are probably going to be the ones that succeed. And those that fall behind are, are going to have a hard time. Well, you know, we live in a world where things change, literally in a blink of an eye.
We used to say that decades ago, but now I’m like, No, seriously, we don’t even do annual marketing plans anymore. at BMG, because it’s it doesn’t make sense. Why would you plan for a whole year when you don’t even know what that square is going to look like? So we reverse engineer the whole year, for sure.
We say, you know, we’re going to accomplish XY and Z for this client, and this month, and that month, through our, with our data analytics team, but we have to be, we have to be faster and better, and much more, but at the same time, much more thoughtful about the things that we do.
Q. What is your ‘one-sentence’ piece of advice you’d like to give to someone who wants to become an entrepreneur, coach, or business owner?
Ellza: The thing that I always actually, the mantra that I always tell my team is, if you want to do it, just go. Like, just run with it. That’s actually a common term where people will have ideas on like, run with it and come back to me go through your own learning curve, that you need to in order to produce what you think is comfortable.
It’s kind of a vulnerable space. But that’s, that’s, that’s the one I’ve like, got an idea, run with it. And then we can circle back and we can perfect. But that’s a really important one. Because if you don’t try, you’re never going to learn.
There is no such thing as failure in my organization, everything is always a learning opportunity. Are there human mistakes? Sure. But that’s like, that’s a mistake, not a failure. But when you try something and it really didn’t work, you get a whole plethora of knowledge off of it. Way, way more than any success story that you have because success stories are things that you keep, you know, they’re like, if you have a recipe book, these are the recipes I can believe by but how many times did you cook that cake or like bake that cake to get to that recipe? And you know, what are the weird changes that you made?
Like I dropped the temperature down by five degrees or if I’m making tiramisu, I made the mascarpone this way. And so it’s always about a trial. We are getting to a point in data where like AI is helping us get through that trial period a little bit faster. But the hybrid I think it’s gonna be really crucial. Like, just run with it. If you got an idea, go for it.
To keep up to date with Ellza and her journey, connect with her on LinkedIn.