How I Went From Boring Corporate Job To Blissful Boss In Less Than 1 Year

Or, how I quit my corporate job in 2015 at the age of 27 with $7,000 in my bank account, NO clue how to start an online business or make money online and had only 3 months to figure it out until I’d run out of savings.

And figure it out, I did. Read on…

To tell you my whole story, I’d probably have to go back a few years.

It started in college when I studied abroad in Seoul, South Korea. I took a few technology entrepreneurship and international management classes. Inspired by one of my professors, I started a blog.

My goal was to interview entrepreneurs. It quickly turned into a lifestyle blog. I was never able to really figure out how to monetize my efforts though.

So, it was more of a hobby. Regardless, it was back then, when my softly blossoming entrepreneur buds started to originate from.

Fast forward a few years and I found myself in a corporate job as an operations manager at an international corporation.

Okay, it wasn’t my awesome peeps that I worked alongside with that made my corporate job miserable.

Cornelia and fellow AON employees, 2015

Instead, it was the sheer monotony of it.

The fact that I did not use anything at all that I studied and was passionate in (diplomacy and sociology) or, my other creative talents.

You see, I grew up playing the violin professionally all throughout high school.

Cornelia Pauline, 2010

Not only that, I graduated from a special Arts high school before moving to the U.S. to study.

I always thought that there was more to life.

I did not want to get stuck in a corporate job, pretty much having the same routine day in, day out.

I did not want someone else to be in control over my own time.

To me, being the boss of your own time means freedom.

Life is life, though. Plans don’t always work out.

There comes a time when it’s not just about those plans. It’s about your future and it’s about what purpose you decide your life will have (and has).

In other words, how do you want to spend your time?

For me, I knew I wanted to build a legacy.

I wanted to inspire people and wanted to help them break through form the constraints they impose upon themselves and live a life on their terms.

In other words and the only way you can do that is by figuring out what SKILLS and SKILL-SETS you already have (or that you’d love to develop), what innate talents/strengths and figure out how to package them in a way that they become valuable to the overall economy.

Understanding that and figuring that out for yourself will result in – you’ve guessed it, income.

Which, in turn, means you will never have to send out that resume again – hoping someone else will choose you and turn your life around.

No!

Make the choice today to turn your life around.

It all comes down to that, a choice. And that is what I did.

I decided.

So, I started scouting out freelancer websites upon a friend’s recommendation.

My favorite site that I used to experiment with the kind of value I could add to the economy and other businesses was Fiverr.

From when I first used it, it has changed and developed quite a lot.

However, throughout the next six months, I was able to replace the monthly income of my corporate job completely with the kind of money I earned from doing gigs on Fiverr.

First success, right?!

Side note: Yes, I do have a course on Fiverr and even wrote a book on the hacks I used to get those kinds of results. You can find out more about that here: https://fiverrwithfocus.com/welcomefwf

Now, once you get to a certain point, you quickly realize that you need to leave the mothership. It truly felt like that.

Though, I had hit a wall.

I realized that if I really wanted to start growing a successful business (and not only be a freelancer, which is totally fine if this is what you want. it all depends on what you want), I needed to start to figure out how to position myself outside of Fiverr.

So, that’s what I did next.

Once you start branding yourself and positioning yourself correctly, it is pretty straight-forward how to get new business.

And after a ton of trial and error throughout the next few months, I developed a system for this as well.

Hence, I wanted to share it with other aspiring or beginning business owners and entrepreneurs that still struggled with that stage ;). Born was CONNECT, Facebook Networking For Entrepreneurs.

Throughout the beginning and even nowadays, I get about 90% of my clients from being active on Facebook, without spending any money on paid advertising.

The next success!

Don’t get me wrong.

There was a LOT of trial and error involved. There still is. That never stops.

I had people tell me that I was, for example, crazy for ever offering services on Fiverr.

Though the thing is that if you have never before made real money online before to where you can imagine it completely replacing your regular ‘job income’, it’s hard to find the inner attitude and mentality to get and close new clients.

All in all, you have to figure out what works for you.

Though,most beginning business owners and entrepreneurs are either (or both):

(1) Sabotaging themselves because they do not think they have what it takes to live the laptop lifestyle so to speak.

I was the same.

Not only that, I did not know what to sell. Fiverr helped me figure this out without, for example, hiring an online business coach that would have charged me (rightly so) a few thousand dollars a month.

At that point, I was not ready to make that kind of investment.

Maybe I would have achieved my diverse small successes much faster if I had invested in a coach or program though.

What can I say? I can be a bit stubborn at times and want to figure things out on my own.

Nowadays, I’ve realized to not hold on and let go of my stubbornness much sooner. Thanks goodness ;).

(2) Overthinking things. 

You can figure everything out.

Just take it one new information at a time.

Relax.

No one has it all figured out at any given step in their journey.

That’s part of the mystery of life ;).

(3) Too slow when it comes to pivoting.

Yes, there is a difference between following every hottest new shiny object AND pivoting if something is truly not working.

I believe that every single person out there (and if you’re reading this you are certainly one of them), can create the life for themselves and their families that they always dreamed of.

You just got to take a chance on yourself.

Try something.

If it does not feel right after you gave it your best shot, pivot and try something else.

Eventually, you’ll get there.

And some things which might be not right for you anymore tomorrow, are important and true and right in this very moment for you.

It is all an experience you have to go through to grow.

Don’t be afraid of trying.

Don’t be afraid of putting yourself out there.

After all, what do you have to loose?

You can always go get another job.

If you have a job right now, you can skip going out with friends for Happy Hour and dedicate some hours during the week to start taking action towards your dreams.

Life can change A LOT in one year.

Heck, you CAN change your entire life in just 12 months!

Think about that.

When I first started, I still worked from a cubicle in an office doing the same thing every day.

12 months later, I developed into a business owner, traveled around the world with my husband and two dogs while loving the work I do for my students and awesome clients and intentionally, building my online empire.

 

Surprise yourself.

You’ve got this!

Oh and don’t forget to spread the love and share this article on your social media if you’ve liked it <3.

Let’s do this!

~ Cornelia Pauline

P.s. For daily hands-on online business and digital marketing tips, be sure to join my free Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/socialmediafunnelhacks/

P.s.s. You might also enjoy this related article of mine: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/03/can-realistically-make-100k-online-12-months/

30 Things I’ve Learned About Life Before Turning 30

Yesterday, I finally turned 30!

And boy, I’m feeling so grown up now ;).

But seriously, I’ve been sort of fretting this day for the past few months.

There is a lot of stigma that society puts on you for turning 30 – especially, as a woman.

Though little rebel that I am, I disregarded it as much as I could.

Instead, I wanted to focus on the things I was already able to learn in this life.

I love reading these types of posts that genuinely share another person’s experience with their readers.

So, in honor of my 30th birthday, here are 30 things I’ve had the honor to learn throughout my 30 years on this planet thus far.

Some of you might have already discovered them for yourself some, you might still experience, some might surprise you and some might make you laugh.

Enjoy <3!

  1. The term ‘success’ is subjective. Define it for yourself and don’t let anybody else’s definition of it define you.

  2. Love isn’t easy. If you think it is, you won’t ever be in a long-term relationship. Love is raw and real, hard and beautiful at the same time.

  3. If you’re trying to get somewhere by yourself – follow some goal – it will take you that much longer if you’re trying to do it all by yourself. It always takes a team effort to achieve any type of goal.

  4. Take risks. Embrace the fear that you feel before taking them. It won’t ever get any easier. But, the discomfort will serve as a reminder that whatever awaits you on the other side of that risk, is worth experiencing.

  5. Self-development is all about stretching those comfort zones. And damn, that can be hard. You will have to push yourself and it won’t ever get any easier either. However, you will develop stronger muscles to push through them. Practice. Don’t shy away from experiencing different things.

  6. Time is an arbitrary concept. Turning 30 and looking at how far I’ve come in my life compared to how much further I thought I’d be at this point when I was mere 20 years old, made me realize that to achieve things faster, you have to fail faster. You have to take faster actions. The action does not have to be perfect, though you do need to take it.

  7. Go through the process of elimination as fast as you can. There are SO many things in your 20s you think you want. You won’t know, unless you actually TRY them out. Say you think you want to become a digital nomad and travel the world, do it. Only then, will you realize if that lifestyle is something to strive for or, if you only want to experience it for a few months before settling down. Too many people spend a lot of time thinking they want something which they actually do not want, nor need.

  8. Self-awareness can not be learned. Self-awareness needs to be practiced. You need to fill up your time here on earth with experiences to learn faster about the kind of person you are and who you truly want to become.

  9. You can achieve anything in life if you stay focused on achieving it and continue to be consistent. Most people give up when it comes to the consistent part and because they seek instant gratification. Don’t. Realize that is is simple math. If you keep being consistent and make sure that you are making tiny progress every single day, there’s no way you wouldn’t get where you truly want to go.

  10. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It never is. Because you are you and you are unique in your experience of how you see the world. As such, the grass you are standing on right now is the only grass you should tend towards. Stop looking at other people’s grass’s 😉 .

  11. You can make a ton of money and still not be happy. Money does not equal happiness, nor the other way around. Money is just a tool, an energy, we use in this world. Knowing this, you want to make sure to find fulfillment and purpose through the kind of work that you do. Don’t do things just for the money. If you do, you will end up feeling depressed, unsatisfied and lost.

  12. Don’t follow your passion. Passions light up fast but can blow out just as fast. Follow the things you love. Love is what matters in all things in life and business, not passion.

  13. Practice not to make judgements based upon somebody’s appearance. Appearances can change and can be fake. There are many layers to a person. Focus more on learning about and uncovering those layers of a person than to judge them based upon their appearance.

  14. Prioritize the things that are important in your life. There are so many things that will pull you in different directions and distract you. However, you will turn 30 and 40 and 50 much faster than you can possibly perceive right now. Be sure to make the most out of every day and make time for the things that are important to you.

  15. Refrain from giving in to peer pressure if a situation doesn’t feel right to you. There’s no reason to do so and your true friends will respect your decision. Otherwise, you do not need those types of friends.

  16. Have the courage to stand up whenever you witness or face injustice. We need way more people like this in this world.

  17. Be kind. For if you are not, what purpose is there for being in this world?

  18. Dieting sucks and there are so many different opinions on how you should eat and live your life. Everyone is different and unique. Figure out what feels right for you and your body after trying out different things. Do more of that. You are the only one occupying your body, you know deep down what’s best for you.

  19. Do not push your opinions and truths onto other people. There are many truths. There is no point for that and it just takes away from the precious time that you do have in this world. If someone wants to learn more about your opinions and truths, they will ask you.

  20. Life is tough. It is not easy, especially if you want more out of life. Don’t be scared of it. Don’t shy away from it. Jump head first into the wild ocean that is life and learn to swim.

  21. The things that you are trying so hard to gain (if it is money, a romantic relationship, kids, etc.) are going to be too scared to come to you if you put too much pressure on obtaining them. Let things flow.

  22. There are different story patterns that are pre-determined and woven throughout your life. You will understand them looking back. Don’t try to figure them out in advance. Stick to what you can control and have faith that you make the right decisions.

  23. Chances are, you are severely underestimating yourself and the power that you have over changing your life (and other people’s lives) at any given moment in time. Believe in yourself more. Practice doing so.

  24. It’s okay to feel blue, alone and down sometimes. I do too. Quite often actually. The important thing is to let those feelings run through you and acknowledge them. Don’t shy away from them. Accept them but do not let them define you. You still have control over the types of actions you set each day.

  25. Life never works out the way you have initially planned and that’s how it’s supposed to be. There’s beauty in this mysterious uncertainty. Since you can’t control that, just relax into it.

  26. 99% of the things you worry about never happen.

  27. If you’ve been having a tough day, the best way to relax is with a great glass of red wine (or two), a great smelling bath (hello essential oils and Lush bath bombs <3) and a fantastic fiction book or movie.

  28. It’s important in life as well as business to pivot if things are just not working out.                                                                   

  29. It’s NEVER to late to change your life. I thought that because I would reach the 30 milestone and haven’t become a multi-millionaire yet, produced a movie or published several books, I was a failure. You are only a failure if you give up on yourself. Don’t ever do that! Even though you might be 40 or 50 or 80 already, there is still time to make different choices. Let’s do this!

  30. Travel! Until this day, I can best connect with people who have traveled or lived in different countries (or states) before in their lives. Reason being is that they are some of the coolest people that I’ve ever met and some of the most tolerant. They understand how small our own very unique experiences are in comparison to how vast the world is. The more you get out of your own ‘bubble’ you live in, the more you realize what life is all about – whatever that is. Hey! I’m just 30 and still searching ;).

Thanks for reading and be sure to share this blog post if you’ve enjoyed it <3.

P.s. You might also like: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/14/people-succeed-life-others-dont/

The Paradox Of Following Your Passions

And How To Really Get Paid For Doing What You Love!

I’ve been super naive.

You see, when I was this young dreamy Pisces girl, growing up in Vienna, Austria,

My head in a book most of the time (romance novel that is *cough, cough*),
Heart in the clouds,

I thought that I would never do something in my entire life that I wasn’t truly passionate about.

I couldn’t have been more wrong for a number of reasons but to that later.

Fast forward a few years and I had the opportunity to make money from playing the violin professionally while growing up in Austria.

At first, it had been a blast.

Though, it was getting more and more in the way of my high-school studies.

The passion for music – as I was getting paid for it – seemed to become less colorful and it was eventually replaced by the desire to go travel the world; to fully experience what life was all about.

The thing I had not realized until that point was that passions change.

Yes, for some people there are passions that last a lifetime.

For many others, passions change quite frequently, or every few years.

As I am writing this, I am still figuring out why that is so in case you have an opinion about this, be sure to leave a comment down below ;).

Back to my story…

I made the hard decision to stop playing for money.

I cried on the day I quit playing the violin professionally and informed my teachers about it.

For years, I pondered about this decision. Though, would I be thrown back to this very point in time, I would probably do it all over again.

So, I concentrated on getting accepted to an American university and off I went, studying in Hawaii.

There, I realized another passion and talent of mine – writing. I set a new goal for my life – to become a published author of fiction books.

The thing that I do not even mention a many of my friends was that I failed.

I failed to become published and it stunk.

I wrote three entire novels and sent out hundreds of letters to literary agents and publishers.

None of them wanted to publish my novel.

I got one rejection after the next.

The more rejections I got, the further I found myself falling back into this dark whole of not knowing what to do with my life.

Maybe I should start to listen to my father who grew up quite poor during war-ravished Europe after World War 2 and went on to follow a strict corporate career path?

Maybe I should stop dreaming and start taking responsibility for my life?

And you know what?

It was then and there that I realized that even though, I was working and writing and trying to get an agent… I was not really taking responsibility over my life.

I expected something of life, rather than showing the world that I deserved to achieve my goals.

For many more years to come though, I fell back into the same cycle.

A cycle of trying to be responsible and taking on a corporate job to quitting said corporate job and working on living life on my own terms.

Regardless, it seemed like I could still not figure out how to get paid for something I was truly passionate about and it made me wonder about what ‘passion’ really means to us as humans.

My romantic heart started to slowly stop dreaming more and more.

I barely recognized the little girl and romantic teenager I once was.

My heart hardened. I became more angry at life!

Depression and anxiety set in.

The depression I think and the anxiety resulted out of this complete loss of identity.

You see, growing up my mom always encouraged my brother and I to dream bigger. To not be afraid to ask for the moon and the stars.

An orphan that nobody wanted, she was the complete opposite to my father. She desperately needed to dream to be able to survive.

The problem was that we still struggled financially growing up.

I asked myself, what was the purpose for me to ask for the moon and the stars and to dream about them, when those dreams don’t pay the bills?

After all, in this society and culture we live in, we need to make money to survive and to make a fairly decent living.

Yes, money is just a tool for the decisions we are able to make throughout our lives (big and small) but the older you get, the more you can’t help to measure your achievements based on the number in your bank account.

So, I continued to feel stuck and oh, so confused.

What was the next logical step for me?

I tried to be smart and figure out what skills I had that allowed me to add value to other people in exchange for money.

From doing random English-German translation work to teaching the violin, to doing some social media work and copywriting, dang, I did it all.

However, you see, the interesting thing about us humans is that just because we are good at something because we have developed certain skill sets with which we can add value to people and get paid for it in return is like DOPAMIN on steroids,

It does not necessarily mean that we are also in love with said transaction.

In other words, the passion subsides fast.

If you’ve ever been with a hot guy or gal just because you thought they were hot and wanted a quick fling… you know what I mean.

No way would you be able to build up a serious life-long relationship and commitment off of a fling.

This understanding and knowledge, however, did not translate for me into my professional life.

So here is where I got naive.

I thought that reaching the point in my adult life of where I only had to answer to myself (aka, the famous ‘be my own boss’ mentality) and not to some manager that is part of a big corporation, that it would make me satisfied.

Happy.

Passionate with life.

Well, it did not.

Not all of it.

How so?

Because I often times focused so much on the hot guy or gal in the room that was great for a short fling when all I finally wanted was a long-term, meaningful and romance-novel-deep relationship.

Guess with what you can identify a ‘fling’ in the professional world?

Money.

Crazy, isn’t it?

So if you’re just going after the money and you are in it for the money for the money’s sake – boy, you’re doing it all wrong.

If, instead, you’re focused on building up the relationship, the money will come to you and just flow ;).

What a paradox, isn’t it?

But it’s true.

So, what should I have focused on?

I should have focused on the things that light me up inside;

That make me get out of bed in the morning;

That make my heart feel all giddy and intoxicated with purpose.

In my crusade to “be free”, I have yet again trapped myself a bit.

This was a realization that I have come upon this past year.

Now, I am making the intentional steps to move my business and my life step by step to something that I feel strongly about and committed to.

One of the things I use to help me do so is to be one hundred percent honest with myself, take weekly self-inventory and be as authentic as I can possibly be throughout my content creation and business operations.

That is the paradox of following your passions.

First, you need to identify a passion in regards to its level of ‘hotness’ and ‘long-term commitment capability’.

Sometimes, you just know before even acting upon a passion.

Other times, you have to act on it first to know.

There is no right and wrong answer ;).

Second, you have to become smart during the process of self-discovery so to speak.

In order to fully discover yourself,  I found out that you have to forget about purely ‘making money’ while at the same time, managing your existing money in order to truly create that life of your dreams in the long-run.

I say, challenge accepted.

Regardless, I do believe that there is some truth to the statement that you should follow your passions.

Ultimately though what I think it comes down to is love in its purest forms.

Like I mentioned before in this article, passions so often times subside while when you truly love, you love forever <3.

In order to differentiate one from the other, we are in this constant state of discovery, identifying if we are lieing to ourselves in the ‘heat of the moment’ or, if certain endeavors are really true passions that we want to dedicate ourselves too.

One last realization I want to leave you with, just making a good income is not enough.

Trust me, I know.

There were (and still are) times I make a multiple 5-figure income per month and I still feel somewhat hollow inside.

So, I want to make a new commitment to myself.

And that commitment can be summed up in two words:

BE INTENTIONAL.

Let me know your thoughts about this topic in the comments down below.

I can’t wait to chat more about this with you <3.

 

P.s.: You might also like: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/02/14/people-succeed-life-others-dont/

Why do some people succeed in life and others don’t?

What makes the difference between a person succeeding and failing?

Because some people understand not to leave crumbs behind while others don’t.

Let me explain.

For example, remember that error alert that kept popping up whenever you downloaded something from the internet onto your laptop?

You continued to ignore the warning signs.

3 months later, your laptop goes to sleep – only to never wake up again.

The hardware crashed and it will take you weeks to get it fixed.

However and since you didn’t back anything up, all your files are gone.

The crumbs you left behind and didn’t clean up properly have caught up with you.

Do you remember seeing that one guy, shopping at your local grocery store?

That same guy that back in college you owed money to for rent you never paid?

You see him at that grocery store and you know he’s still pissed at you because you kinda pulled one of those disappeared-during-the-night moves on him.

You go and hide because you don’t want him to see you and get in a fight with him.

However, he already spotted you…

Again, the crumbs you left behind caught up with you.

Do you remember that one time you know you really shouldn’t have given in to temptation,

Gone on that girls’ trip to Vegas with your girlfriends to escape being a mom and wife for a weekend,

Only to hook up with that stranger from the club because it felt good in the moment and ended up spending the night with him?

Well, your husband just found out…

Bad way to leave bad crumbs behind.

All these examples, are examples for bad crumbs you’ve left in your life.

Crumbs that you haven’t ‘cleaned up’ are ALWAYS going to come back to haunt you.

Life has a way of always returning your investment,

Regardless of whether it was a wise one or a dumb one.

Now you gotta ask yourself…

How, where, with whom, doing what… are you going to invest your time in to get the ROI (Return On Investment) that you want to be collecting in the future?

Successful people understand this concept.

They don’t mind delaying instant gratification and they are VERY careful not to leave any crumbs behind but clean up their s*** as they move through life.

So, live your life by design and never forget:

One shan’t leave any crumbs behind.

Unless they are crumbs that will give you a positive return on investment.

Most crumbs though, are crumbs you need to simply clean up to ensure a successful future for yourself in every area of your life.

What do you think? Why in your opinion do some people succeed in life while others don’t? Comment down below and let’s continue this chat ;).

P.s.:

You might also like this article:

1000 Times Goodbye – The sacrifices of an expat

Countdown to 2018!

Oh, what a year it has been!

2017, I have to say I’ve been quite in love with you <3.

However, you’ve also been a year during which I’ve learned a few of the most important life lessons yet.

Let me share a couple of the most important mistakes as well as take-aways that this adventurous year has brought with itself:

💡 You don’t always know what you want unless you try it.

I could have also titled this one as, “life consists of different seasons.”

When you get older, there are different things that are important to you than when you, for example, start college.

As a result, I thought that what I truly desperately wanted at the beginning of 2017 was to travel the world.

Don’t get me wrong.

I STILL want to travel.

I IS one of my biggest passions in life.

However, I realized that after coming back from a 3-month Europe and South Korea trip, what I wanted EVEN more than traveling the world was…

To build a legacy of my own.

I always felt that I was meant for more than dying a slow, potentially very uninspiring, corporate death.

That was one of the reasons I got into entrepreneurship.

I almost felt called upon to do so.

I’m an entrepreneur, an artist and creator to my very core.

It was important for me to travel to find out that this is not what I would want to be doing my entire life… so, in essence, to be a digital nomad.

How come?

Because I truly believe especially after the experiences of this year, that you need to set roots in order to let that legacy blossom and bloom.

You need to focus.

You need, most importantly, time.

As much time as can get in a day.

You need to look to multiply said time.

So that you truly can grow to your full potential and positively, touch as many people as you can throughout your lifetime.

When you decide to travel the world instead,

You continuously are looking for flight connections, hotels or AirBnBs to stay at, you want to reserve time for sight-seeing, you are dealing with jet leg and more.

What I decided I want to do is to find a better balance with more of a focus on building a legacy while reserving time to travel ;).

And this brings me to my next point…

💡 Instant gratification will only take you so far.

Oh, we truly live in a world where instant gratification is available to us where we look!

One thing that I am struggling with is to resist that call for instant gratification…

If it is focusing on the long-term vision for my life and sacrificing small joys in order to reach my goals,

If it means stop traveling for the moment in order to take my business to the next level and build that legacy,

If it means not spending all my revenue on like clothes or concert tickets, etc. but instead invest it right back into my business to further grow it…

I’ve learned way more in this year than any other to focus on opportunity costs.

I hope you are able to do the same.

Life is made up of small moments.

Each and every decision you make at any small moment (for example, am I going to pick a vegetable bowl over fried chicken and fries for lunch) is going to decide your future.

You are this powerful.

Act accordingly.

💡 Don’t spend more than you earn.

And yes, this has also somewhat to do with instant gratification.

After talking to quite a few entrepreneurs and business owners this past year (as well as people actually in general), I’ve become aware of the fact of how little people are skilled at managing their money.

Heck, me included.

I would say that both of my parents had a completely opposite view on money – an unhealthly one – and so, I have never learned or adopted smart skills around money.

Guess what?

It does not matter if you make $500/month, $2,000/month, $20,000/month, heck – even $250,000/month in profit.

If you are not putting focus on budgeting and managing your money, you are going to end up spending more than you earn.

And it is very easy to spend a lot of money fast ;).

You probably have a few ideas on your own.

So, the main mistake I have made is that I could have saved up and invested a lot more money from all of the money I have made in 2017 than I have in my accounts at the moment.

Yes, it hurts.

And yes, it’s slightly embarrassing to reveal this.

However, I want to shed some light on it because I think there needs to be a LOT more talk on this topic.

I have met a few entrepreneurs these past few months who’s business makes multiple 7-figure revenues.

However, they themselves, are still struggling to get by each month because of all of their expenses.

Anyway, I’m definitely thinking of writing a separate blog post on this topic and talk a bit more about about my own experiences so if you would be interested in that, just drop a comment down below and let me know.

💡 Stop caring so much about what other people do or think.

I am a nice person.

I like people and generally, I’m a very likeable person myself.

However, when you start reaching a certain level in your business – you inevitable are drawing to you some unpleasant characters or you are even going to piss some people off.

It’s truly inevitable and I am still a bit taken aback by how true this is.

It’s like so many things in life.

You keep hearing about some things but you don’t really want to believe it until you have been experiencing it yourself.

Oh, well!

I think this is one of my biggest lessons for 2017 and one I am still going to be taking into 2018.

To stop giving so much about what some people think.

And to stop also focusing on what other people in my industry are doing.

After all, you should be first and foremost concentrating on improving yourself as well as your business.

So if there is one major take-away I can give you it is that consuming content from like influencers, experts, ‘celebrities’, etc. in your industry – ONLY goes so far.

At one point or another you have to shut off all of the noise and just start CREATING.

Put yourself out there, the real you with all of its angles and curves.

💡 Celebrate those sleepless nights.

Growing up, I slept like a marmot.

Cute little suckers, aren’t they :)?

The older I get though, the more I seem to suffer from insomnia.

I lot of other entrepreneurs and business owners do too.

I usually got all panicky when I experienced those.

It seems so… unlike me.

Though this year, I have been trying to embrace them whenever they came.

This year, whenever I experienced a sleepless night,

I wouldn’t just lay awake.

Instead, I got up and out of bed and got to work.

To me, I’ve started seeing that there is a reason to why I could not sleep.

There most often is.

And guess what competes insomnia the most in my opinion?

Taking consistent action.

It quiets the demons.

The further I get in my business, the more strategic I have to be about how my use my time as well as the actions I take.

What moves the needle the most?

What action will have the most impact?

These are questions constantly playing in my head.

And they probably always will.

💡 Stories sell.

Finally, if there is one thing that I’ve come to learn throughout 2017 it is that stories truly sell.

Not only that, if you are open and honest about the way you are telling the stories of your business and life online,

Structure them accordingly,

And publish them on the correct social media platforms,

They can have the power to propel your business to unforeseen spheres.

Since experiencing this myself,

And since working with a few new awesome clients on increasing their visibility,

Upping their sales and revenue game as well as brand awareness through the kind of stories they publish on social media,

I have been playing around with the idea,

On creating a new digital program around just that (and more!).

If this would be something you are interested din and would love to me develop in 2018,

Let me know in the comments down below.

Phew!

So now, that we’ve got this out of the way…

I wanted to share a bit more abut my 2017 highlights as well:

<3 Trip To South Korea.

I’ve missed Seoul SO much since studying abroad in South Korea about 4 years ago.

I’ve been dreaming to go back, to revisit Yonsei University (my old school), go to all of my favorite places, see my lovely friends again that live there as well as attend the wedding of one of my fellow exchange students ;).

It was a blast and it brought up many memories.Things that I wanted to achieve, things that I have achieved but haven’t thought of doing while I was there.

Friends that I have stayed in touch with and others, not so much because our lives have developed so differently.

Feelings I’ve had and how different my impressions of Seoul were only 4 short years after.

Accepting and adopting to change.

Reflecting.

What a beautiful trip and I will be back soon.

<3 Celebrate my 10-year wedding anniversary together with my husband.

I got married when I was just 19 years old.

Not many people know this of me.

It is actually not something I like to advertise.

For years I have received the oddest questions to the fact that my husband and I got married so young.

We are not religious or anything like that.

We did not get pregnant by surprise as teenagers.

We just fell in love.

And it was a powerful deep love.

A love that freaked me out from the first moment it caught a hold of me.

I still remember it to this very day.

Take me back to this moment all those years ago,

Heck! A decade!

And I still would end up making the same choice :).

Note: You can read more about our story here: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/11/25/38/

<3 Going on a trip through Europe with some dear friends of mine.

When you are an adult and especially one that runs a business, you do not have that much time available.

Most entrepreneurs and business owners know that.

So, reserving some time for social activities and simply, to hang out with friends becomes vital.

Friendship, just like anything else in life, requires work.

It does not just happen or is maintained on its own.

You have to put a focus on it.

Stay in touch.

Talk.

Offer advice.

Land a helping hand.

Connect.

Let us all connect with the people we love in 2018 a bit more.

Deal?

<3 Believe in the kindness of strangers.

If you’ve followed me on my Facebook Page or Instagram, you know that I have lost my laptop on a train in Poland.

It was an overnight train at that and well, I just forgot it after not sleeping the night before.

Note to self: Never take an overnight train again lol!

Moving on.

So, after receiving some help from my dear Polish friend Aga and lots and lots of patience,

I had my arms around my laptop again in no time :).

Yes, it hadn’t been sold or taken apart as I had feared,

But I received my fairly new MacBook back from the train staff, exactly how I had left it.

Miracles do exist!

<3 Spend some quality time in Austria. 

Oh, how I love my home country!

It’s filled with rolling hills, endless fields, flowy rivers, still lakes as well as romantic European cities and cute traditional villages.

Since I built up a digital service-based business as well as this blog, I have been able to fully be in control over my own time.

I am able to work from wherever I please and that, to me, is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.

Even though, I am not going to be traveling as much this next year (because as you’ve read I am focused on building my legacy hehe), I still love to know I have the freedom to go back any time I please <3.

And do you know what makes my time in Austria always sweeter? Visiting my cute little niece.

<3 Starting this blog.

I love to write…

And this is finally something that I have decided I am going to be doing a whole lot more of in 2018.

Telling stories.

AND, teaching my clients and students how to do the same to effectively create a life and long-term, sustainable business that they love.

Watch out for an innovative new program on social media and content marketing coming to you in 2018.

Note: Be sure to subscribe to this blog to be the first one to receive future updates <3.

<3 Hitting a new revenue goal in my business.

Finally, my team and I were able to break the $20,000/month mark in revenue.

My goal in 2017 was definitely to surpass the 5-figure income/month mark and I feel pretty dang good that we were able to get this far.

Now on to passing that 7-figure revenue mark in 2018.

Note: In case you’d want to read more on what a $20,000/month revenue for your business looks like accounting-wise and were some of the money goes, check out my blog post on it here: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/24/true-behind-scenes-look-making-20000-revenue-month/

 

What have been some of you major revelations and take-aways as well as experiences in 2017??? Comment down below and I am already looking forward to reading more about them ;).

Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr!

~ Cornelia

More to Life.

I was sitting in my school’s church and the song textbook slipped out of my fingers.

It fell to the ground with a loud bang in a moment where everything else was silent.

And that’s when it happened.

My heart started racing.

I couldn’t breath.

All the blood felt like it was first rushing to my head.

Then, drained out of my body.

My body felt wobbly.

Above all else, I had this urgent powerful desperate need to get out.

To leave.

Though it seemed as if I could not escape.

I mean, how can you escape day-to-day life?

 

Most of my life I felt numb inside.

It was as if I was living and having all these experiences but I never felt them.

I tried to analyze my feelings to their core and it was never enough.

Joy, didn’t feel like real joy.

Happiness was not there either.

And also sadness and pain didn’t feel real.

After all, what was I supposed to be sad about?

I had quite the normal life.

Sure my parents divorced but that is not out of the ordinary in our day and age.

Still, I started having panic attacks when I was ten years old.

I remember them so well.

 

I learned how to deal with them.

Without any type of medication or drugs.

I learned how to control them.

How to push through and thrive.

How to utilize the power of my mind.

Another thing that was like an escape to me, was to play the violin.

I could loose myself in one of Shostakovich’s melodies; while painting a copy of Monet’s Water Lilies; reading Agatha Christie or writing the next international bestseller (okay, this one has yet to happen 😉 ).

 

From all those things though, it was writing which offered me a resemblance of sanity.

Particularly writing about things I knew there was no immediate answer for.

Or maybe there was but I would not find it.

Not in a million years.

 

It took me a few more years – seven to be precise – to accept this.

To tell myself that it was okay to not know.

To instead, have faith in whatever was out there that determines our lives.

 

It took me a few more years to realize that that was not enough.

That you had to have faith in yourself.

Sometimes – and because I want to be honest here – I still struggle with that.

I struggle to not feel dull inside – to feel alive instead.

I still long to experience and explore life to its fullest – whatever that means.

I don’t want my life to be mediocre.

 

That is one of the reason the entrepreneurial heart beats so strongly inside my chest.

And I don’t believe what most people say that life is supposed to be.

I mean, how do they know?

No one knows me better than I do myself.

I know what I need and want.

Most of the time at least :).

 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always easy to go for that.

You have to go against social stigmas, deal with the occasional troll and feelings of feeling like an outsider.

People are always scared of things or people they don’t understand.

People that are different.

I guess it makes them question their own lives.

But I can’t stop and probably never can in my search for ‘there has to be more to life than we know‘.

Who knows what kind of answers I will find on my journey?

But no worries :).

I’ll keep you posted.

And who knows, one day you might decide to follow my journey of discovery?

1000 Times Goodbye – The sacrifices of an expat

I’m just about to hug my dad for the second time after he dropped my husband and myself off at the airport together with our two little dogs.

The final farewell is fast approaching.

That bittersweet time when we hug each other for the last time and have to say goodbye to each other…until the next time we are going to see each other again – if everything goes well.

1000 times I have said bittersweet goodbyes already to my family and friends throughout the past 9 years while living abroad.

That’s 10000 or so tears we have shared together.

And, furthermore, 1000000 or so social media messages and/or emails we have exchanged with each other.

Everyone talks about how awesome it is to live abroad. What an adventure it is supposed to be!

It is true.

I would not want my life to be any other way and am even planning on living in even further countries and places around the world as I dearly love to explore new cultures and meet new people.

Though, rarely, it is talked about the ‘dark side’ of being an expat, the bittersweet farewells you have to go through on a regular basis.

Each farewell breaking your heart just a little bit, one goodbye at a time whenever you visit your family and friends in your home country.

Furthermore, you start becoming different when living in a new country as you adapt to it and most likely, start changing some of your habits and characteristics.

Though I urge you to see this as an advantage as you can bring new perspectives to occurrences – like political, economical, personal, or otherwise – in your home country.

There are more and more expats due to globalization and a more diverse work force nowadays than ever before.

Social media and the internet has luckily made it easier and easier to stay in touch with your loved ones and to stay connected through various medias on an even daily basis.

Though, one thing that I am always reminded of when I visit my family back in Europe is that no social media, no technological communication advancement can ever substitute the kiss of a mother or, the hug of a father or the laughs that you share with your siblings.

This is something that will unfortunately never change and just needs to be accepted when choosing the life of an expat.

If you are like me, already an expat, you are most likely aware of all of this.

To you, I just want to say – be grateful!

Gratitude and love are so important and are the only things that will help sustain your heart throughout all of these 1000s of goodbyes.

Cherish the friends and connections you start making in your new country and stay connected with your friends in your native one.

All of these global relationships form you into who you are and who you will become – an expat: a blend of cultures, mindsets and colors, a product of globalization, a pizza with all sorts of ingredients on it, simply truly unique.

A Letter To Aspiring Entrepreneurs

This is for all you aspiring entrepreneurs…

I call bullshit on anyone saying that entrepreneurship or becoming an entrepreneur is easy.

If that would be the case, everyone would do it.

However, in today’s economy, entrepreneurship is the ONLY ‘safe way’.

It is the only way to realize your dreams.

It is the only way to achieve control over your life – financially, spiritually and, most importantly, over your TIME.

Now, this might sound like a paradox to you because why then is not everyone doing it already?

Well, it’s because people don’t know any better, they are afraid, they do not believe in themselves, or they are too lazy.

Trust me.

It is one of those things.

I’m guessing that since you guys are reading this letter, you are neither of those things or if you are one or two of them, you’re trying to get better.

You are attempting to get over your fear.

You are attempting to develop discipline.

And that’s good.

You’re right there with us.

But I also have news for you and you might know this already.

There will always be days where you’d rather stay in bed and not work.

The fear will never quite go away.

This feeling of not knowing how certain actions you take today will play out tomorrow.

But this is also the beauty of it!

Because you have complete control over those actions!

Don’t like an outcome?

Change something.

Pivot.

Ask a person you look up to for advice.

Whatever it is, never stop being in motion.

With each new step you take and action you set, you’re one step further on this journey called life.

I truly believe that entrepreneurship in all of its beauty is THE only thing you can do in tomorrow’s economy that will allow you to create and lead a life you WANT TO LEAD.

Something like ‘job security’ doesn’t exist anymore.

Employment is moving towards hiring individual freelancers who have specific skill sets that are needed for a specific job and entrepreneurs creating jobs.

The big corporations with all their ancient bureaucratic processes are moving way too slow.

They can’t keep up with the constant changes that are not only happening in the economy but also from a socio-economic standpoint.

Anyway, if you are or want to be an aspiring entrepreneur, I say you are on the right track.

Not only that, you’re ahead of the pack.

So, don’t give up.

Never give up!

Now, the only thing you need to do is EXECUTE.

Make.

Some.

Progress.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Oh, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride ;).

How one plane ride to Hawaii changed my entire life

My hands were clammy.

I brushed them off against the fabric of my washed-out denim for the like millionth time.

I was nervous.

Not because I was stepping into the airplane to start my thirty-five-hour journey to Hawaii, but because I was leaving the place I was born in.

I was moving away.

Across the world.

By myself.

Some of my friends kept telling me I was crazy.

Why did I need to move 7,700 miles way, almost half across the world, to study something they couldn’t even quite pronounce ‘Anthropologie and Film Studies’ (truthfully, they knew film studies of course).
My father thought I was crazy too.

I was way too young with eighteen years old, he stated.

And, above that, a girl.

This statement as a self-confessed feminist always made me cringe.

He was old-school, my father.

Growing up during a time of poverty and hardship after the Second World War.

It had defined him and he did not trust new modern notions of how the world was supposed to work.

My mother was more supportive. Although, I could tell that it would break her heart – me moving away that is.

But there are certain times in your life where you just have to do what you have to do.

That time in my life, nine years ago, was certainly one of those times.

Sure, I could have made all sorts of different decisions and there were plenty of options for me.

However, something inside of me urged me on.

And it continued to urge me on until I could think of nothing else than my vision for my life for the next few years.

Whenever you reach a time in your life where you get this kind of conviction about something that you just need to do, some action that you need to take, don’t wait.

Don’t analyze it and try to figure out the why, or continue to doubt yourself.

Just go for it!

See what it is that you need to experience when taking that action and committing yourself to what your heart is telling you to do.
Every decision you make in your life, ever action you take and every reaction of yours is interconnected with each other.

They are there to bring you to a certain point in your life.

The here and now.

This moment.
The future?

Well, that is up to you.

But remember to always listen to yourself.

It won’t be easy.

If it would be then there is nothing for you left to learn or experience.

If you don’t feel challenged you won’t become stronger, nor wiser.

For me, that moment when I stepped into the plane was one of the most significant episodes of my life.

One anxiety attack after the other rushed through my young body, while I continued telling myself that I must be crazy for doing what I was doing.

Nobody else from my past environment had ever taken action to do what I was about to do (at least not at that point).

But that was exactly the reason why it was so important for me.

I felt that I needed to break out from what was comfortable to me.

I knew I needed to leave to be able to find myself.

And finally – even if I got the listening-to-myself-part down – I knew that I needed to learn to believe in myself too, in order to reach that vision I had for myself and my life.

I am still on a journey to get there.

And I believe, so might be you.

We all are.

But I am excited abut my life with all its ups and downs.

And so I wish, you are too.

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