What Pregnancy Taught Me About The Art & Science Of Business Goal Setting

This article is about how pregnancy and preparing to give birth to my first child taught me about goal setting in business.

I also hope to encourage you to prepare for any other big goal you have this year like a mom prepares for labor AND giving birth to a baby during pregnancy!

9 months.

39 weeks.

273 days.

That’s approximately how long it takes to grow a human inside your body.

A pretty magnificent feed if you think about it, granted that that’s a relatively small period of time in a normal human’s life.

But magnificent, regardless :).

What is equally amazing is that it took me about the same amount of time to prepare for this big goal I have – birth.

That’s right! As a first-time mom (and I’m sure many second and third and fourth time moms too), preparing myself for this event called ‘labor and birth’, was on my upmost mind these past few weeks.

Today, while sipping away on an Iced Almond Milk Latte, I realized that I don’t think I’ve ever quite prepared the same way for any other goal I had in my life!

Especially, in business.

And I am an entrepreneur and the owner of the digital marketing agency, FunnelGal!

Let that sink in for a second.

It honestly shocked me when I started to draw comparisons in my mind and quickly, started to journal about it. That’s when this article came into existence.

Sure, there were high school and college tests and graduations in my life, the wedding to my husband Ben, countless moves, trips, business revenue goals, etc.

Though, nothing – and I repeat NOTHING – has innately made me prepare with such an explicit carefulness to detail and towards one goal, as my pregnancy.

Lemme explain and if you’re a guy reading this right now, this is for you too!! I promise it will be worth your while and after you finish reading this article, I know you’re going to have a completely different perception around goal setting as well.

For starters, the prospect of pushing out an insanely huge thing – a baby – out of one of your body’s entrances is motivation enough to learn more about it. I think we can all agree on that.

But what can we take away from that about business goal setting?

Well, to begin with, we need a why.

A big, mother-fucking…

W-H-Y.

If your ‘why‘ ain’t big enough, your innate drive to prepare the best way you can and accomplish your goal that is related to your why, is diminishing significantly.

So, how can we develop an equally big why as ‘pushing a baby out of your vulva‘?

If we think about the comparison between pregnancy/birth AND business, we can come up with a refreshing new framework of what makes a great WHY.

Now, we’ve already established that a WHY is needed because it’s the gas that helps continuously operate your engine to drive you forward.

Copyright Simon Sinek

As such, a great WHY needs to have/be:

+ Urgent. It needs to have a due date.

+ It needs to have some form of emotional connection related to it.

You need to be able to feel the creation and development of your goal into existence. For example, for a pregnant soon-to-be mom that is the thought of knowing the baby is growing & developing every day plus imagining it.

+ It needs to have a fear related to it, say if ABC ain’t happening, XYZ might occur – this in turn again, creates an innate need to figure things out.

Say, you eat tons of sweets all day, every day during the duration of your pregnancy, you might get pregnancy-related diabetes which in turn can harm you and your baby.

+ It needs to have a simply wonderful outcome that is filled with love.

The outcome for pregnant women is the thought of holding your beautiful baby in your arms one day. When you’ve achieved the goal, what is one wonderful thing you’re going to be able to experience?

+ Your WHY needs to be so big to have potential life-altering effects on you and your family.

A baby changes everything in your family.

Say, you get featured on Forbes or invited to do a TEDTalk, etc. all of these things, alter the course of your life going forward in some way as well! If your WHY does not include a life-altering change, it is not a big enough why.

Dream bigger! Think bigger!

Copyright @CorneliaPauline

If you had established this strong of a WHY, could you imagine how radically different you’d achieve any and all goals?

And I betcha your business would look very different right about now.

Let’s move into the second important piece of achieving any goal:

EXECUTION.

For those of you that have never been pregnant, I want to bring you quickly up to speed on ALL the things that are suggested you do as a pregnant woman.

All of these things essentially are there for prepping you for the big day – labor and birth.

Here’s the list:

  • Daily meditations or mindfulness training.
    • This help you start developing the right mindset to make it through hours of labor filled with probably and surely excruciating waves of pain, also known as contractions.
  • Daily breathing exercises.
    • Practicing deep breathing – so inhale until you can’t fill your lungs with oxygen anymore and then slowly let the air slip out of our body again. This is scientifically proven to lower stress levels when faced with any sort of challenges.
  • The right nutrition.
    • I know that not every one of my friends have gone crazy about their nutrition when pregnant and have splurged a bit every now and then – myself included. However, there are a clear set of suggestions you want to be following when pregnant. Your diet changes. After all, you are creating a human being – all while going about your day!
    • Nutrition for pregnant women is very similar to the kind of strict nutrition lifestyle, athletes, high fashion models, a vegan or someone that is lactose-intolerant follows.
  • Pelvic floor exercises.
    • In case you don’t know what they are, don’t fret about it. It’s something that starts becoming important when you get pregnant because exercising your pelvic floor muscles will make actual birth and postpartum healing so much better.
  • Exercise.
    • Oh my gosh, exercise has been awesome to maintain a healthy, positive mindset during pregnancy and to feel strong and beautiful throughout each passing day of being pregnant. Healthcare professionals are suggesting everything from yoga to cardio and weight training.

  • Education.
    • I’ve watched documentaries pertaining to labor and birth like ‘The Business Of Being Born‘ plus Youtube videos, read books on how I can ‘improve’ my labor and birth outcome, attended child-birthing classes like the Bradley Method Class, etc. I feel like I could give a course on pregnancy right about now haha :).
  • Labor preparations.
    • Here, I’m going to include everything from choosing the right care provider to deciding where to have the baby, etc.
  • Etc.

In short and during the timeframe of nine months, your FOCUS is on creating the BEST environment for your baby to grow, thrive and be healthy.

My question for you is:

Can you say you are preparing in the same meticulous way for any type of business goal you have at the moment?

OR,

Is this something you could approve upon? 

I am one hundred percent positive that if you are not happy with your business at the moment or, if you have failed to achieve your goals (in the past and in this moment),

There is something about your execution and action list that can be improved upon.

If you go back to the list of all the action items that women do on a pretty regular basis during pregnancy, it should inspire you to look at your own daily list of business execution items as well.

Also, are they all connected to your WHY we talked about before and moving you towards achieving one, definite GOAL.

You need a different ‘list of execution items’ for different goals!

It is easy feel overwhelmed in your business, if you have not set a CLEAR WHY, defined ONE CLEAR GOAL and worked out an execution list on how to get there.

You can find a great further read on ‘business goal setting’ on INC. Magazine here that goes into detail on the different components of a goal you want to be focusing on as a CEO for your business.

I can guarantee you that once you worked out an ‘action or execution list’ – similarly, to a woman that has just found out she was expecting a beautiful baby – your imminent achievement of your goals is a given!

Side Note: You might also enjoy this related article on how to achieve $1 million in revenue in your business: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/08/08/4-big-milestones-to-reach-1-million-in-sales-with-your-business-online/

Furthermore and regardless, how tired you might feel, if you experience emotions of doubts and worries, if you feel demotivated because you don’t feel your best on a given day,… whatever it is!

Your WHY on why you are doing what you are doing every single day because you’ve got a clear, definite goal with a set due date – WILL KEEP YOU GOING!

Just like it helps a woman during her pregnancy ;).

If you think about anything that you’ve achieved in the past that was worth-while achieving, you’ve probably invested months – even years, at times – prepping for it.

Preparing for this life-altering event of giving birth and becoming a parent takes time. And it should!

If you find yourself impatient because you haven’t quite hit your business goals yet – be patient.

  1. Reflect on why you haven’t hit your goal yet.
  2. Work on re-developing a stronger WHY for you.
  3. Create a new plan and prepare yourself better for your goal now that you’ve read this article.
  4. Have an unwavering faith in a positive outcome.
  5. Let go and do your daily dues to put yourself in the best position to succeed.

Here’s to not only birthing healthy babies but also, birthing successful businesses :)!

If you’ve enjoyed this article, be sure to go ahead and share it online. Oh and don’t forget to subscribe.

Let’s do this!

The 10 Best Books Every Girl Boss Should Have on Her Shelf

This one thing you probably don’t know about me yet – unless you watch my Instagram Stories where quite occasionally, I post sections of the books I’m currently reading.

And boy, I usually don’t just read one book at a time. I have 2 or 3 that I rotate around based on my mood and needs that day.

My husband Ben constantly makes fun of me because of that. He’s more a one-book-at-a-time-kinda-guy. Oh well, opposites attract, right :)? But what we do have in common is our love for reading.

Lately, I’ve found a few books that especially resonated with me as a female entrepreneur, a girl boss so to speak. And I wanted to share them with you.

Dream Wedding (1)

My little Maltese-Dachshund mix, Lucky, is curled up next to me right now as I’m writing this. His head is resting on the book I’ve just put aside when inspiration hit to write this article.

So, let’s get to it. Are you ready? Here we go…

These are some of my most life-changing, perspective-shifting, inspirational books I’ve read this past year:

The 10 Best Books Every Girl Boss Should Have on Her Shelf

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis – I’ve rarely read a book that felt so authentic. Rachel truly uncovers some raw and rather unspoken aspects of being a successful female business owner AND mother AND wife AND speaker AND… I still don’t know how she juggles everything. You will find yourself laughing out loud, nodding profusely and maybe even crying.

Captivate : The Science Of Succeeding With People by Vanessa Van Edwards – This book is like the bible for introverts and recovering (or still in the process) recovering awkward people… aka me :). Really. I wish I would have discovered this book YEARS ago. It would have helped me SO much in my business. Can you feel my passion for this book through this paragraph. Go get it now here.

Becoming  by Michelle Obama – Need I explain why you should check out this book? It’s truly inspirational from a smart, inspirational woman. I think you’ll love it as much as I did.

Dare To Lead by Brene Brown – How to step up and lead with heart. Mrs Brene Brown is one of those people on my list of people I must meet in my lifetime :). She’s that good and I love her humor and flair that she always injects her writing with. This book is best read with a nice glass of Rose and some music on in the background.

Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel – Every answer is inside of you. I personally truly believe that. If you feel stuck right now or confused or like you’ve hit a plateau, this book is for you. I’ve felt this way a LOT a few months ago and the thoughtful journaling prompts inside this book (which, okay, is more like a journal but still) have helped me find clarity with a lot of things.

Financial Intelligence by Karen Berman – If you are or want to become a business owner and have not graduated with a business diploma where you’ve probably learned all about this stuff (I wouldn’t know since my degree is in Diplomacy and Intercultural studies ^^), you need to read this book. Yes, finances are not sexy but they can AND should be. You will thank me later once your company is close to hitting seven or eight figures that I made you read this book ;).

Writing For Bliss by Diana Raab – Have you ever heard this saying that stories sell? Yes? Then you need to go read this book now. Period.

Train Your Brain: How To Build A Million Dollar Business In Record Time by Dana Wilde – Mindset is everything, darling. It truly is. It can make or break your success, regardless of how good you are at what it is you are doing or how advanced your product is. If you want to succeed you need to train your mindset like a muscle. This book will guide you in how to do this.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – A must read for any girl boss that is looking to live a successful, creative life.

Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand In The Age Of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy – If you are a fan of content creation businesses and want to make a name for yourself as the brand, this book is for you. It’s your blueprint for how to manage AND monetize your influence online.

FOR REALS

The thing is though… this list can seem really overwhelming to some of you, especially if you’re not a big reader. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like there is so much wisdom to be gained from reading books. You are essentially getting access to the experience someone has made for years and what they have learned from it. To me, there’s true value in that.

Regardless, I don’t want this list to hold you back from taking action NOW. You probably already know the next step that you need to be taking to get some momentum going. So, go ahead and take that step now. Read those above books along the way whenever you have time and for continuing education.

And don’t forget, these are all just perspectives of one person’s life and that person’s experiences. If something does not feel like it aligns with how you feel and it just does not seem to make sense for you, disregard it – regardless, of who wrote it. Even me!

You want to be forging your own path. Trust yourself the most whenever you get that feeling… you know which one I’m talking about ;).

And finally, and for fun…

HOLIDAY READS FOR THE BUSY GIRL BOSS TO RELAX

Do you remember how I mentioned I read 2 or 3 books at a time? Well, one of them is ALWAYS a fiction book (in addition to all the non-fiction books I read).

I just love stories. Heck, I’m totally addicted to them and I think that even a smart business person can learn a lot from reading popular and not so popular fiction books.

It’s about learning and understanding what moves people. Often times, the things that move us span entire continents and touch peoples hearts, regardless of gender or ethnicity.

So, I want to encourage you to not forget how fun reading can be! I often times stare at a computer sooo long that I am excited to get away from it and I do this with one heck of a good fiction book. Without further ado, here are my faves…

  1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (looove her writing style and character development!)
  2. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (juicy. did I already say juicy hehe)
  3. Love And Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (who doesn’t love gelato, right?)
  4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum (simply a cute novel)
  5. Shelter In Place by Nora Roberts (for those who love mystery and suspense)

One final tip before I go, those educational non-fiction books? Try them out on Audible. I love listening to an audiobook while doing my morning workout.

And from one Girlboss to another – tell me – what books have you been loving this year that I should add to this list? What books are you excited about that are being released in 2019?

P.s. Enjoyed this article? You might also like this post: https://corneliapauline.com/2018/10/11/the-ultimate-entrepreneurs-toolkit/

What is the most touching act of kindness you have ever witnessed or experienced?

What is the most touching act of kindness you have ever witnessed or experienced?

So this happened about 5 years ago.

My husband has just been relocated to Southern California for work and I was transferring schools in order to finish my degree close to where he worked.

We had been struggling a bit a few years prior to that and were still struggling financially, especially after trying to settle down in a relatively (for U.S. average standards) pricey area.

Long story short, we barely could make ends meet for the first few months and until I finished college.

I took on two other part-time jobs next to attending university full-time.

I needed to finish school as soon as possible because University was also way more expensive than in the previous state I had attended college at.

My husband was in sales and still had not staked out his new sales territory yet so to speak and built up a reputation for himself.

So some months we were doing okay and others, we could only survive because we had a little bit saved up.

Our 4 year anniversary came up (yep, in case you’re wondering, we got married really young) and I’d already agreed upon with my husband that we would just celebrate it at home amongst us.

Nothing fancy and no gifts.

However, he totally surprised me and took me on a surprise afternoon car ride to Beverly Hills.

He said, “Babe! I know you’ve been working really really hard these past few months and you deserve this. I know we will make it through this rough patch eventually but for today, let me just do this for you, okay? I need to do this.

I nodded because I could feel it was important to him.

He pulled up in front of a restaurant.

I remember it was the same fancy restaurant I had seen while driving by on a road trip that we took once through Los Angeles and Southern California with some friends of ours a couple of years back.

A restaurant where I had seen several elegant couples emerge and come out and I had jokingly declared that I wanted us to be this way one day and to eat there once we would fulfill our dream of moving to Southern California.

Side note: I’m a big foodie ;).

Anyway, we pulled up in front of the restaurant and went inside.

The waiter was very nice and friendly. The place didn’t feel stuck up or anything like that at all of what you might have thought of when dining at a fancy place in Beverly Hills like this.

The middle-aged garçon guided us to our table.

We were seated on a side corner of the restaurant.

Almost right next to us was a dad and his about eight year old daughter.

They looked tired somehow, I remembered.

I also remembered how I thought that they looked just a little bit sad.

Another waiter came up to our table and congratulated us on our anniversary.

We smiled and even giggled a little bit.

However, when I saw the prices on the menu I honestly almost had a little heart attack.

I never in my life ate such an expensive meal before.

I stared in shock at my husband who just nodded at me calmly and squeezed my right hand.

He leaned over to me and whispered into my right ear,

“Please relax. I’ve saved up for this for the past few months.”

My stomach was still in knots but I didn’t want to spoil my husband’s surprise that he had planned for me so sweetly.

So I put on a smile and we went on to enjoy a truly AH-MAZING meal.

In case you want to know what it was, here is a pic from it :):

I kept glancing over at the dad and his daughter and they glanced over at us as well a few times. 
We sat so close so it kind of happened frequently.

Then, I saw the dad and his daughter get ready to leave.

I also noticed that he whispered something into the waiter’s ear when he received the check from him.

As they were about to leave, he smiled at us one last time. His eyes still carried a certain sadness.

He took his auburn hair daughter by the hand. His daughter turned around one more time as they almost approached the exit and shot me a secretive look.

She was one beautiful girl.

I shrugged and remember thinking I wish I knew how to make the sadness from their eyes go away.

At this point my husband and I got ready to leave.

My husband asked for the check.

The waiter came and handed it to us.

Though before he let go of the brown leather folder that held the bill inside he said,

“The gentlemen and his daughter that have just left have paid for your bill. He said his daughter wanted to gift this to you both for your anniversary because the two of them thought you were such a nice young couple.”

My husband and I literally gawked at him.

We could not believe it!

When my husband and I opened the leather folder with the paid check, there was a little crunched up paper on top of everything.

It was written in ink:

“Love is everything. Don’t ever let money or the lack thereof dictate the happiness you can share between the both of you.

Regards,

A kind stranger and his daughter.”

What a keen observer. What a sweet little girl. What a great lesson.

P.s.: I wish I still had that note. However, sadly, I lost it during our last move. Regardless, I will never forget the kindness that this one family bestowed upon my husband and I and every time we hear about or notice a couple that is celebrating their anniversary, we try and give back through little acts of kindness <3.

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

Funnel Hacking Live 2018 – 27 Key Takeaways

I want to make this a bit of a different kind of recap than the usual ones you can read out there about an event conference such as Funnel Hacking Live is.

I’m not going to tell you all of the operational things or how I liked the venue, the hotel, the food, etc.

Instead, I’m going to share with you my most important takeaways that I was able to take away from the conference in terms of value and you can decide if you think this conference was worth my while.

Deal?

The value that I can’t describe in words, I made sure to add by adding pictures with some of my most favorite people I was able to snap a picture with during this past week <3.

Just so you know, images and takeaways are random and not in order.

Enjoy! Here we go ;).

SIDE NOTE: In case you have never heard of Funnel Hacking Live, it’s one of the biggest digital marketing conferences in the world where the premier folks in the digital marketing world brainstorm over sales and marketing funnels and share industry updates and a bunch of other value.

The founder of this conference is none other than Russell Brunson. He is the creator of the world’s fastest growing funnel building software CLICKFUNNELS. (where you can build like sales funnels, webinar funnels, landing pages, eCommerce funnels, etc.). 

In case you haven’t tried Clickfunnels, yet, you can try it out for FREE for 14 days by clicking on this link: bit.ly/cornelia_clickfunnels

(1) The 2 Most Important Things To Ask Your On A Daily Basis As An Online Business Owner:

–> What am I selling?

–> How am I selling it?

(2) If You Haven’t Hit $1 Million In Revenue, Your Focus Should Be On:

–> Focusing on your CORE FUNNEL that sells your CORE PRODUCT. Get that one to work first before you add on tripwires and backend offers.

This is not to stay that you should not have your entire value ladder of your business in your head planned out already. However, your focus should not be divided. You’ll reach your revenue goal faster that way.

(3) There Are 3 Ways To Grow A Company:

–> More customers.

–> Get those customers to spend more money.

–> Get them to spend more money more often.

(4) The Best Instagram Story Ad You Can Run Is:

A click-bait style ad. These can look something like this…

Copyright by JCrew.

Currently, these types of ads convert the most.

(5) Handpick who you want to work with.

You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you make great money, millions a year even, but you’re just so unhappy with the types of clients and/or customers you have.

Create your ideal customer and client avatar in order to attract the right people to your business, the ones were it’s purely a joy to work with them.

(6) What Causes A Customer To Buy Over And Over Again?

Besides having a great product – naturally – it’s fostering and nurturing a culture around your brand/business.

How do you do that? Well, if you know how you do that utilizing Facebook and just Facebook alone, check out my CONNECT program on organic Facebook marketing for entrepreneurs:

Click image to learn more about the program!

(7) People Can Smell Inauthenticity.

If you keep one thing in mind and one thing only that will help you succeed with your online content strategy and distribution, is to be vulnerable and real.

Be the authentic you and don’t try and imitate anybody else. Yes, you can model the same strategies that other entrepreneurs and business owners are doing. However, you have to make them applicable to and fit you.

Vulnerability is the ultimate human connector.

(8) Don’t Ever Rely On 1 Distribution Channel For Your Message.

Decide on the social media channels you want to be using that you can be a star in and make sure your message is everywhere on those.

(9) Always Be Growing Your Email List

Your email list is THE livelihood of your online business. Constantly, figure out ways to grow, nourish and improve the content you share to your list.

(10) Fail Fast.

You’ve heard this one before, I’m sure. However, it’s still so important to keep in mind.

The first time you put something out there, 99% of the time it usually won’t work!

As a result, fail fast to get to the 1% that will work and keep in mind, business is never about you. It’s about people.

(11) CPA < ACV

Whenever you run any type of paid advertisement, you always want to make sure that your Cost per Acquisition (or CPA) is lower than your Average Cart Value (or ACV).

This is the key to growing a profitable business.

(12) Only Listen To The Market.

Put your ego completely aside.

The only opinion that matters is the opinion of your market, how they respond and if they deem your offer valuable enough for them to pull out a credit card.

(13) The Average Lifetime Of An Online Ad.

Can you guess what it is?

The answer: 3 weeks.

(14) If A Funnel Page Isn’t Converting.

It’s mostly because your hook isn’t clear enough. So, you need to double down and make sure you really clarify your message.

“What’s the hook behind why someone would want this offer?”

Answer this question and you got it.

(15) The Best Tool You Have Available When It Comes To Marketing:

Building up CURIOSITY.

(16) Funnel Hacking 101.

If you decide to model your funnel after a successful funnel, you absolutely need to make sure to model ALL of the elements on each funnel page. Even the smallest detail and color of the Call To Action button. There’s most likely a reason for everything.

(17) How To Publish Consistently On Social Media?

Just make a commitment to doing so. It’s sometimes really that simple.

(18)  Clarity Trumps Persuasion.

Clarity trumps persuasion.

Clarity trumps persuasion.

Clarity trumps persuasion.

Got it :)?

(19) Money Is Spiritual.

In order to operate on a higher spiritual plane, you MUST focus on someone other than yourself.

(20) Action Creates Traction.

Most people don’t push forward though because of fear.

However, change the story you tell yourself and start asking yourself, “What if I can…?”

(21) Create Content In Context With Your Day.

This way, you can keep your content unique and real.

(22) Always Sell The Vacation, Not The Plane.

Guess what most online entrepreneurs out there do? They try to describe and sell the plane, instead of focusing on selling the transformation of the experience you’re going to receive when going on that vacation.

(23) How To Get Rid Of Self-Doubt?

Outwork your self-doubt :).

(24) Prospects Judge You Based On Your Free Stuff.

As a result, make sure your free stuff rock and in alignment with what you offer in your paid programs and services.

(25) The Best Way For Sales To Happen Online?

Display of an almost overwhelming amount of social proof.

(26) Selling = Serving.

You can make someone’s life better by selling your product/service and helping them with something they are struggling with. Don’t deny that power you have. Don’t look down on ‘selling’. Selling is awesome.

(27) Energy Comes From Psychology. 

You get most of your energy from the state of your mind, or your mindset – NOT from sleep, food, etc.

Have you ever slept for only 3 hours but were super awake the next day? Or, have you slept for 9 hours but felt super groggy and tired the next day.

The difference = mindset.

Work on yours and you will win that game that is business.

 

Hope this blog post inspired you! If it did, be sure to show some love and share this article with your community ;).

Questions? Just comment down below and I’ll be sure to answer them. 

P.s. You might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/12/24/true-behind-scenes-look-making-20000-revenue-month/

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/

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

You can’t have a rainbow without a little rain. (A Short Story)

Part One.

The inspiration for this short story came while walking on a grey and gloomy November day during the streets of Vienna…Enjoy ;)!

 

A bleak streak of silver rushed through the clouds like a rare spec of light in a barren sky.

I lifted up my face and fell in line to the rhythm of the rain drops, taking one step after the other.

Dok. Dok.

My high heels clicked on the concrete floor.

Tik Tak.

I could hear the rain fall onto the windshield of my Chevy.

Tip. Tap.

I turned around to make sure that I had locked my car.

Beep. Beep.

I took a deep breath and moved further forward.

And that was when it happened as I lifted my head up towards the gloomy sky, watching the big white pool of… somethingness descend from the heavens.

Pluck.

I turned and looked over my left shoulder. A white spot had now begin to cover the left shoulder of my black blazer. My eyes widened.

Quickly, I gazed away and continued to stare into the rain.

I was late already.

So late.

And I did not even know what this next hour exactly had in store for me. I just knew I could not be late.

Why did this son-of-a-bitch bird just have to take a crap on me now? Right above me? Right now?!

I sighed.

It was one of those days. Those stereotypical days that started out like this or that and were oh-so-hard to turn around.

Of course, I knew very well that it all just had to do with me. I could have turned it around.

Could have.

Long ago.

I could have taken on a different route.

I didn’t understand for the life of me why I had just taken on this one.

Maybe I am a masochist?

Maybe it was fate?

I shrugged.

Why I was lead onto this one faitful road, I would always fail to understand.

That one road that appeared to be just so much rockier and uglier then all the other ones I had ever tried to walk on.

And how I failed, walking it with my head held high.

How utterly I failed.

Though I couldn’t fail anymore. I already did. And my fate had been decided on that one rainy afternoon.

Once I’d thought that walking was similar to breathing.

Easy and automatic.

But I’d never wanted to accept that while I was walking along my path, so many other things could happen to me… like a bird shitting on my shoulder when I was already late for something.

Something so important… I just couldn’t be late to.

I’m almost there!

Barely registering the shapes the clouds in the sky were taking on.

One by one they were forming into an ant and a bird and oh! “There was an elephant as well,” I thought.

I should go back to my car to open up the new box of leather seat cleaners that I’d bought a couple of months ago or at least dug around in my old bag for tissues.

But who am I kidding?

I much rather watched the clouds with the rain sprinkling on my face that gave me some sort of resembling feeling of being alive, then cleaning off dirty bird poop from my shoulder.

A thought shot through my mind. I dropped my shoulder bag and let it fall to the ground.

The black of the bag mixed kinda nicely with the grey of the street.

I unbuttoned my blazer.

One button after the next, until I had managed to free all three buttons.

One arm out of the blazer, then the other and the blazer glided to the floor. I didn’t care that it got wet. It had been too tight anyways. I hadn’t wanted to wear such a tight one but I didn’t have another one for the hearing.

When wearing the blazer, you were able to determine the exact curviness of my breasts and that was not always a good thing.

I sighed and bent down to pick up my purse. The leather felt wet now and somehow not as comforting as when I let my fingers glide over a smooth dry handle.

But nevertheless, it felt good to hold on to something. It always did.

Maybe that was one of the reasons why women wore handbags and guys put their wallets in their pockets?

To not feel so alone.

To know that they had some worth, depending on the dollar amount in their bank account.

Suddenly I could feel my nipples rising underneath the grey schoolgirl sweater and the blouse I was wearing underneath it. I started frowning. That could only mean one of two things.

I decisively walked back towards my car to grab my brand-new khaki anorak from the backseat. The cognac colored synthetic leather seats of the car were ripped at parts.

Molly had done that when she had been a puppy.

Suddenly I hoped she was alright, there where I left her. She knew the drill and I could always count on her.

Well, most of the time,” I thought when I looked at the disheveled fake leather.

I had liked this car once.

Lots of memories. Quite pleasant ones.

But now I didn’t like it anymore.

Like so many other things.

Life’s irony. Sometimes you didn’t know why you stopped doing things or seeing people or other stuff, because you just remembered the good things and forgot the bad ones.

The good times. The good memories.

Not that bad stuff. At least not the really bad stuff.

I guess people’s brains just erased things that were unimportant, that they could live without ever remembering again. Like part of some survival instinct.

Not me.

I always remembered the bad things. The things that I could have changed.

And then it hit me. And it hurt.

I lifted my chin after selecting the green ball of fabric out of the mess of all the things that were randomly thrown together in the back of my car. I put it on the way I always put on a jacket. Organized.

One arm after the other went were it belonged and after I was done, I pulled the jacket together and dared to take a look at my watch.

My heart didn’t even stop, even when I realized that I was already two minutes too late to the place where I had to be. I would have felt anxious a few years ago but not anymore.

I just didn’t care as much anymore even though it was the kind of thing you just couldn’t be late to.

I shrugged and walked towards the spot I had dropped my blazer at. I looked down and pondered about it for just a minute before I decided to move on.

It hadn’t been good enough anymore and in some way I should thank the bird.

I walked across the parking lot roof until I couldn’t go any further. I stopped right in front of the grey concrete wall. It only went up to my knees which seemed odd to me.

I bent a little further forward and looked down at the hustle and bustle of the street that seemed so far away. It was somehow quiet up here. You couldn’t smell the odor of the running engines or hear the honking of some driver who couldn’t control his emotions and got pissed off.

I put my hand over the place where my heart was and counted the beats.

Dadum. Dadum.

I felt it beating. Sometimes I forgot to feel it. Forgot, that I was the one who was still alive.

I took it for granted, that my heart beat and I was still able to inhale oxygen every single day in order to keep going.

Was that what gratitude felt like?

I doubted it because I didn’t feel grateful. Just astonished. When my ravished and torn body was the one that should be underneath the ground.

I pondered for a quick second if I should step up onto the wall that was about ten inches wide. I bent down even more to feel it. The cold concrete felt so seductively smooth underneath the palms of my hands and I started petting it the way I would pet my sister’s cocker spaniel.

Tentatively I lifted up my left leg…

– TO BE CONTINUED –

How do you think the story will go on?

What will happen next?

The Second Part is following shortly, so stay tuned ;)!

P.s.: In the meantime, you might also enjoy: https://corneliapauline.com/2017/11/20/1000-times-goodbye-the-sacrifices-of-an-expat/

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?