After completing her MBA, Rhonda Swan started working for a Fortune 100 company, where she climbed up the corporate ladder quickly to become the head of sales and marketing. She spent nearly a decade working in PR and marketing for multimillion-dollar brands and startups until she realized that she was building someone else’s dream and not her own. Then, Steve Jobs entered and connected the dots for her. “What led me to set up my first business is I watched a documentary with Steve Jobs. And he said if a business is not moving online finding a way to develop online, they will be lost. This was over 15 years ago. And this is the moment when I decided to quit corporate,” recounts Rhonda Swan, who is – as Fobes describes – the CEO and Founder of the Unstoppable Branding Agency (UBA), international speaker, and bestselling author dedicated to helping her clients create “sexy” brands that are profitable, credible, and PR-worthy.
It is not just Steve Jobs and the gaining popularity of the Internet that pushed Rhonda to become an entrepreneur. During her corporate life, she had an interesting moment where she witnessed a woman placing her six-week-old baby into daycare. That day, Rhonda vowed that she would never do that to her family. She says, “I decided to become an entrepreneur so that I can control my freedom. I can control my hours, I can control my income, and I was building my own family’s future and not someone else’s.”
Onces she decided to become the master of her own destiny, Rhonda followed what Steve Jobs said. She dove in deeply to learn digital marketing and mastered Google AdWords, copywriting, and advertising so that she could thrive in this new digital era. “I started my own branding company and firm because I realized that people needed to learn how to actually do this. Since I had already started before social media, I was helping people develop websites and their own personal brand online before it was really talked about,” shares Rhonda.
A First-Mover Advantage
The pandemic has caused an economic shock. Businesses that were not digitally prepared had a major setback during this time. “There was a lot of stress, and I’ve watched industry leaders fail because they didn’t prepare themselves for the digital emergence. Even though the world is digital, their systems were not properly set up,” shares Rhonda. When the world stopped working, UBA operations continued with no delays as they have been exclusively online for the last 15 years. “We have our operational systems set up to onboard clients. We utilize applications like Slack and Notion to deliver and to communicate with our clients. So, our business doubled overnight,” adds Rhonda.
Specializing in public relations, design, multimedia, and communications, UBA is the first female-led company to operate completely online. UBA utilizes storytelling, SEO, and brand messaging to grow its clients’ personal branding. It employs experts from all over the world (from countries such as Malaysia, New Zealand, Germany, the UK, Singapore, France, America, and so on) in related fields such as digital marketing, graphic design, UI/UX, and content production as well as publishing. “What makes the UBA so unique in our industry is that we guarantee our results. We will go the extra mile to ensure our client gets the work that we promised. Most PR agencies never guarantee. But that’s something that we do. Our vision is to be the number one PR and branding firm for entrepreneurs,” pinpoints Rhonda.
A Leader in Charge
Rhonda is more than a founder for the UBA family. She is a leader of integrity and honesty. A hardworking and committed individual, Rhonda always helps her team discover who they are and what they want to be for the world. “I remain very neutral in my emotional intelligence, which is how I’m able to deal with daily situations that happen inside of a large company with a reach around the world. Especially being a woman business owner, we’re constantly taking hits from others that may not happen to men. However, my resilience is what inspires others to see me as a leader,” says Rhonda.
The resilient nature of Rhonda is a result of many hardships and setbacks. Within three years since the inception of UBA, Rhonda’s family lost everything after investing in real estate. She recollects, “We had to get very clear on who we were and what we wanted in our life and also who we wanted to be to the world into our clients. Those mistakes have become the greatest wins that we’ve ever had.” Rhonda now looks at problems that she faces and changes in the marketplace as growth lessons for her to pivot and navigate, just like Coronavirus. “I’m always looking to steps ahead with trends, which is why I was prepared in the end. I would suggest any entrepreneur to look two steps ahead and know that everything will change,” she adds.
Today, Rhonda knows that we may have to fail many more times than expected to get to where we wanted to be. In fact, leading with the heart and caring about the clients is one of the most unexpected lessons that she has learned during her career as an entrepreneur. On the other side, the most significant milestone during these years as a leader for Rhonda has been her personal growth and doing the inner work. “When you do the inner work, you begin to see who you are as a leader on the outside, which also shifts how you lead. These milestones of me growing as a person have also led to my company’s growth. Every three months, I go away for five days. I water-fast in the middle of nature, no amenities whatsoever, and I get in tune with nature and who I am, and listen to the messages that I have,” shares Rhonda.
On a typical workday, Rhonda would wake up at 4am, meditate in the morning, exercise. She would then go to the hot and cold pool spas on the cliff’s edge in Bali. “I get very present before I actually start my workday. I handle pressures and stay calm by taking time out throughout the day to stop and to meditate to balance that masculine and feminine energy so that I can get a clearer head and focus on what I need to do to handle daily tasks, daily pressures, and growth of my company,” explains Rhonda.
Rhonda is now working on publishing a series of books. The first one, Women Gone Wild: The Feminine Guide to Fearless Living, is already launched and getting good reviews from regular readers and critics. Rhonda shares, “We’ll be launching the next book in the series, April 2022. I am on a mission to create a support system and a container for women to work together to support each other and showcase to the world that women can be top leaders worldwide. They don’t need to compete.” Her advice for young people looking to make a successful career in branding and or PR is to create relationships. “You get the best results by having great relationships and people that you can trust so that when clients come to you, you know that you can deliver,” pinpoints Rhonda.
With a goal to become a global brand that is known as the top PR and branding firm for entrepreneurs, Rhonda, and her team UBA are working hard and looking forward. They want to serve the world by turning the best-kept secret into world-renowned brands. “Our business will not change much post-pandemic; it will continue to grow and thrive and elevate. We always say that we Zig when everyone is zagging. So, I’m looking for my next zag,” concludes Rhonda.