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About Me

About Me

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Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Here’s the Essence of What I Tell Everyone I Coach

Posted on June 20th, 2016

Every month I work with dozens of young people from around the globe who have no idea what they’re doing with their lives (truth be told, most of us have no idea what we’re doing, yet we’re still here, doing it anyway), and I spend half an hour once a week telling them everything I know. 
 
I find a lot of common threads in these conversations and want to share my top takeaways with the hope they may help more people than those who choose to step into my virtual office.
 
Here they are, just 7 key words, and I hope they stick to you and start transforming your life, too. 
 
1. Wants.
 
Most of my dear clients have no idea what they want. Some have a story they tell themselves about what they’re doing or what they’re planning to do next, but really they have no idea what they REALLY want.
 
What we really want can usually be identified once we stop censoring ourselves, trying to come up with an answer that sounds prestigious or glamorous or reflects what we think is economically feasible or what our family wants. I tell everyone: get all those things out of your head and then give yourself to the count of three to answer as quickly as possible “What do I want in life?” and 9 times out of 10, that’s your answer. 
 
Until you know what you want, no one else can help you get there. Everyone wants to help. If you have a dream, everyone will get behind you. If you know what you want, you’ll find a way to get it. But the first step starts in ruthlessly identifying what that is.
 
2. Fear.
 
If you still can’t come up with what you really want out of life, a good place to start is by examining what you’re scared of. I strongly believe that fear tells us what we should be doing and the most successful people proceed directly into what scares them.
 
Like most humans, everyone I work with is very scared of something, of many things actually. Instead of backing down in the face of those things, we tackle them head on. We look at it like, this is a lot of good stuff to put on your radar and start learning about how you roll in the fear zone. 
 
Go where you’ll grow, and you’ll grow most when you’re really freaked out about something.
 
3. Service.
 
If that doesn’t get the ball rolling, look for opportunities to give. What do I have that I can share with the world, regardless of monetary compensation? What can I teach others? Where can I volunteer this week? Where can just my physical presence be a gift to someone in need? 
 
Most unhappy people are living selfish lives, without looking at the simplest question of all: what can I give to someone else? Today. Now. Whenever you feel lost, give, share, and love! 
 
4. Connection.
 
I find that everyone who feels stuck in life isn’t actively and strategically connecting with others. Once I identify what someone wants, the next step is to make a list of all the people who can help him or her achieve it and then start methodically connecting with all of those people, personally asking each one for help or otherwise shamelessly putting their talents out there in front of them. 
 
Again, most people are terrified to do this. And of course we figure out how to do it appropriately and with a value proposition and to work on the self-confidence to make it a reality, but being scared of connecting with important people in their field is another obvious sign that this is precisely what they need to be doing and exactly how successful people make it to the top and get what they want every single day.
 
5. Stillness.
 
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is that everyone seriously underestimates the value of silence and stillness in their lives. They run around at 100 miles per hour every day, driven but directionless, like all of us basically do, ingesting so much information and stimulation but never giving time for all of it to settle in and for their own being to make sense out of all that noise.
 
I tell each and every person I work with to sit and be completely still for half an hour every night before bed, a sacred time to turn off all the devices, get into pajamas, prepare the mind for rest, reflect on the day, and let the mind digest how the day shifted things around in its inner chambers. The heart can’t speak while the body is moving and the mind is restless, so we have to take these three steps: still the body, quiet the mind, and listen to the heart. Every day.
 
6. Acting.
 
Most people are faking it. Anyone you admire is totally and completely faking it, 99% of the time. You have to do the same. You will feel one way — and most of the time it’s your animal brain screaming out in fear or laziness — but you have to act another way for your life to go anywhere. If you just do what “you feel like” doing your whole life, you won’t go anywhere. So you have to become an actor and act like the person you dream of being, regardless of what you feel like or who you feel like you actually are. And eventually you’ll get there.
 
7. Miracle.
 
Science estimates that the likelihood of YOU being born to your parents, with your set of DNA, in this particular moment in history — considering all the history of warfare and natural destruction and utter chaos — is about 1 in 400 trillion. Everything that has ever happened in the UNIVERSE has brought you to this moment now. Once you wrap your head around that fact, it’s hard to sit back and feel sorry for yourself or let fear stop you from delivering on what you’re very clearly here for a reason to deliver to us. Your life is a miracle. So is mine. Now let’s act accordingly.

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About Me

About Me

IMG_5937

Hi, I’m Elaina and I want to help you live life on your terms, find a career you love, and travel as often as you want. 

 

I’ve lived, worked, and traveled to more than 60 countries, including some pretty off-the-beaten path destinations like Mongolia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Paraguay. I’ve also lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for the past 4.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York back in 2013 when I landed an international role at a media company that sent me all over the world to work. You can read my full story here

 

What makes my story unique is that I’ve traveled AND built a professional career, working for companies like IBM and Uber over the years. I’ve also spent long stretches of time freelancing and traveling adventurously through South America, Asia, and Africa. I’m currently freelance writing, coaching professionals through career transitions, and working on a few small business ideas while splitting my time between Berlin, the US, and India. 

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding REAL jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living more purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’m not a full-time digital nomad and I’m not a full-time corporate professional: I’ve done things a bit differently and I think it’s feasible for more people to live “off the beaten path” this way. I hope my blog lets you see that it’s both possible and practical.  

 

I started this blog because I want to help you find an exciting career, travel the world, break the norms, and develop yourself both personally and professionally. Read on or get in touch to set up a 1:1 session with me: elaina@lifebefore30.com.

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

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Five years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don’t know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what’s ahead?

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Currently in: Malawi

 

 

Previously in: Berlin

 

img_6015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Step into my office!

 

Five years ago, I changed my whole life in 30 days. I scored the job of my dreams, quit my job in New York, sold everything I owned, moved to West Africa, and never looked back. Read about it here.

 

Now I use Office Hours to help my clients do the same.

 

Do you want to travel but are scared to quit your job?

Do you want to find a job overseas but don’t know where to start?

Do you wake up in the morning dreading what’s ahead?

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

Like Me On Facebook

Follow me on twitter

Follow me on twitter

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Elaina on Instagram