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Career

  • March 22, 2019 So What Happens When I Turn 30? The Full Scoop   LB30 followers,   I have some big news to share!   Many of you have been joking with me for YEARS about what happens when I turn 30.   And now it’s happening. I’m just 6 months away from the big 3-0!   I started writing and sharing my story with the world when I was 21. It’s been a hell of ... READ MORE
  • January 19, 2019 Doesn't This Way of Looking at The World and "Our Path" Make More Sense?   After 6 years of writing about purpose, dreams, and lives of freedom and adventure — and helping thousands of people to change their lives — I’ve finally developed a new paradigm for how it’s done. It makes so much more sense to me and I think it’ll make more sense to you, too.    I’ve realized the ... READ MORE
  • December 7, 2018 How To Face The Practical Challenges Of Leading An Awakened Life   The hard part about waking up and knowing deeply that you’re called to something big and important is also knowing that you need time to figure it out.   Yet society strives to manipulate and program your time in such a way that you have no time to figure it out, no time to turn off all ... READ MORE
  • July 3, 2018 If the Trail is Clear, You're Probably on Someone Else's Path“If the trail is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s path” — Wookiefoot song   I spent years getting promotions in the corporate world, knowing full well I was supposed to be doing something else. But I didn’t know what.    I spent years traveling around freely, backpacking and seeing the world, but still wondering if doing all that ... READ MORE
  • June 23, 2018 Two Ways to Brainstorm Yourself Into a Better Life in 15 MinutesI recently made a pretty big decision to permanently move to Bali (as “permanently” as makes sense with my gypsy life).    But making the decision to root down in a place where there are most definitely no “usual” jobs to be found is like jumping off a cliff and building the parachute on the way down.    Thankfully, ... READ MORE
  • May 1, 2018 Drop The Story: An Easy Strategy for Changing Your Life and Increasing HappinessIf you’re looking to change careers, invite more love into your life, or even earn more money, applying this easy strategy helps overwrite old patterns and manifest new opportunities.  I’ve started doing one simple thing lately that’s made all the difference when it comes to helping me show up in my life and increase my self-esteem.   It’s ... READ MORE
  • March 26, 2018 From Malawi to Bali: 12 Ways I've Changed My Life over the Past 6 MonthsIt’s been a hectic and transformational past six months for me: volunteering in the poorest country in the world, living in a hut in Hawaii, and studying yoga intensively in India. I’ve now up and moved to Bali to join the world’s most famous digital nomad community for the next few months. I’m truly blessed ... READ MORE
  • September 25, 2017 3 Strategies to Change Your Life (And How I’m Employing These While Traveling the World for a Year)Not many people go from riding around the desert on a fire-breathing dragon for a week to working in one of the poorest countries in the world. And I definitely overestimated my ability to go from the corporate world of Uber to my alternative life in Berlin and Burning Man and then straight to rural ... READ MORE
  • September 7, 2017 11 Inspiring Hustlers Show You How to Create Off-The-Beaten-Path Careers and Escape the 9 to 5 GrindBy now, we all know that the future of work is autonomous, location-independent, skill-based, and increasingly creative. Studies predict that more than 50% of the US workforce will be freelance by 2020 and global GDP is expected to get a $2.7 trillion boost from “gig economy” roles by 2025.   At this point, we can continue ... READ MORE
  • August 15, 2017 How to Use Rapid Prototyping to Pivot into a New Career   Many of us stand at the crossroads of a bewildering array of interests. At any given point, we may be pursuing a successful career in product management while also toying with the idea of getting a PhD or opening an art gallery. We may be walking down the path of becoming a doctor but are ... READ MORE
  • August 2, 2017 What I've Learned During My First Two Months Freelancing in BerlinThere was a comical moment when I came back to Berlin to start freelancing again and said to my best friend, “Am I going to be bored?” Coming from a serious office job, it all seemed so scary (even though I spent 14 months freelancing and traveling in 2015): hustling for every dollar, wide open days without ... READ MORE
  • May 15, 2017 How Money May Be Blocking You From Reaching Your Creative Potential I’ve spent the past month squirreling away on a project that’s hopefully going to play a very interesting role in an industry I love — but it’s also set up to make exactly $0, for now. In fact, I’m actually dumping a substantial amount of money into professional design work, branding, and domain negotiation. It’s a ... READ MORE
  • April 4, 2017 Confessions From Someone Who Looks Like She Has Her Shit Together (And How to Actually Pull It Together When You Feel Lost and Hopeless) If you’re a frequent reader, you may have noticed I’ve taken a long break of silence for the past month. The truth is, I’ve been going through a crisis of my own and it seemed ironic to write anything where it seemed like I knew what I was talking about during a time when I’d ... READ MORE
  • February 6, 2017 FAQ: Freelance Writing and Contributing to Big Media Brands   For a writer, there’s nothing like finally seeing your name under the big media brands you’ve always dreamed of writing for. You think, has this been photoshopped or did they really publish me?    This month I got published for the second time on Fast Company and now have the opportunity to start talking over opportunities to ... READ MORE
  • January 26, 2017 A Practical Guide to Using “Flow” to Create the Life of Your Dreams (With Examples from My Life Story) Some people don’t believe in luck. There are idioms in countless languages that mean some variation of “you create your own luck” or “the hardest-working people are also the luckiest.”    And then there are cultures like the Chinese, who believe luck is more of an ingrained biological trait, like the color of your hair, than a ... READ MORE
  • December 6, 2016 Stuck in a Professional Rut? Here’s What You Can Do About It   Whether you’re running your own business or working for a big corporation, you’ve probably experienced days where you feel stuck in a rut, unable to tap into your creativity, and nothing seems interesting. I call it “blinking cursor syndrome,” a state in which I don’t want to compose an email, write an article, work on a side project, or even ... READ MORE
  • November 19, 2016 The Very Simple Secret to Doing What You LoveThis week in particular I’ve received dozens of emails that all go something like this: “My name is Jessica, and I’m a recent graduate of the University of Virginia. I studied marketing, but my greatest passion is for the arts, especially telling the stories of those in the physically or mentally disabled communities. I want ... READ MORE
  • October 19, 2016 Do This When You're Stuck and Unsure Sometimes when I write to you, only poetry comes out.    A lot of you are stuck, Frustrated and unsure Where to move, What job to take, Long hours, feeling lost in the masses. You want to feel passionate Know you’re on the right path Build an identity with your job title And have all the right plans. Bored by the options you’ve been given You question, ... READ MORE
  • September 27, 2016 9 Mistakes People Make When Looking for a Job Overseas -- and What to Do InsteadEventually I landed my global dream job, but it took two years. Since then, I’ve learned to help other young professionals find the international jobs they really want, and my clients have gotten hired everywhere from Ethiopia to Colombia. I’ve also helped raise awareness that professional global opportunities beyond teaching English or joining the Peace ... READ MORE
  • September 21, 2016 The Top Books I’d Recommend to Anyone Looking to Change Their Life and Career   I try to read a book a week and I'm often guily of reading more than one at a time. It's safe to say I'm a huge book worm, always have been and always will be. I never understand why people play video games, watch TV or movies, sing karaoke, go to bars, or do ... READ MORE
  • September 4, 2016 How to Survive a 9-to-5 Job When You’re an Entrepreneur at HeartIf you’re an entrepreneur at heart, nothing can be more frustrating than clocking in at a traditional 9 to 5 job, feeling like you’re just biding time and saving money until you’re ready to work for yourself.   But this is one time in your life when it’s really important to feel one way and act ... READ MORE
  • July 25, 2016 What I Learned About Life, Work, and Activism From a Burmese Punk EntrepreneurIf a tiny group of punk rockers in one of the most historically oppressive countries on the planet can pool their kyats to feed the neediest people in their community, then all of us can take greater risks, form stronger teams, and feel empowered to tackle more meaningful gaps in our society and economy. We ... READ MORE
  • June 29, 2016 Small Ways to Make a Big Career Change Initiating a big change in your personal or professional life can be overwhelming. Whether you want to go back to school, change career fields, stop smoking, relocate overseas, or start a family, there’s never a right time or secret formula to navigating big moves like these.    In April 2013, I changed my entire life in 30 ... READ MORE
  • May 24, 2016 My RE-Definition of the Most Hated Word for Job Seekers: Networking One of the most overused — and least understood — words in the professional development space starts with N: networking.   If I use it in my articles or when working with clients, everybody’s like, “Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m supposed to go to events and pass out my business cards and send follow-up emails and suck up to ... READ MORE
  • May 15, 2016 When You're Different: How to Stop Comparing and Find Courage to Live Off the Beaten Path Last week I took four flights for two days straight to get from the capital of Nepal to my hometown of Buffalo, New York. I packed up the backpack I’d been living out of for 8 months and plopped back down into the middle of America and the middle of something that looks like most people’s ... READ MORE
  • April 3, 2016 Do This to Become Smarter and More CreativeThe best part of introducing this technique into my own life has been the tangible improvement in my creativity, retention of information, and ability to reflect on my experiences and articulate those reflections to others. It’s like being a student all over again, only I’m fully in charge of the subject areas, the examinations are ... READ MORE
  • February 24, 2016 The Most Practical and Effective 4-step Process for Exploring Your PurposeIf your current job is draining and unfulfilling but you don’t know what to do instead, or you’re thinking about moving to a new city or country but you don’t know where, or you want to go back to school but you’re not sure what to study, then you’re at one of the many crossroads ... READ MORE
  • February 12, 2016 How to Actually Come Up With Your Next Big IdeaNo matter what, we all find ourselves asking: Why is that some people seem to possess an uncanny ability to come up with one great idea after the next, when the rest of us spend years of our lives staring at blinking cursors and filling Moleskine pages with half-baked business plans? What we need to do ... READ MORE
  • December 13, 2015 15 Ways to Make the Most of Your Corporate JobTo anyone who’s unsatisfied in their current job, especially big corporate roles where it feels like you’re doing nothing but exchanging time for money, this is your survival guide. I want you to keep your big dreams alive, but also see the huge benefits and opportunities sitting on your doorstep every morning as you saunter ... READ MORE
  • August 20, 2015 What It’s Actually Like to Escape the 9 to 5Everyone wants to escape the cubicle. The centuries-old 9 to 5 model is beginning to lift, and innovation and technology are helping us take our talents beyond the conventional workplace. I’m a strong believer that this is a tremendously positive shift, but with the “glamorization” of the entrepreneur or the digital nomad, we have to ... READ MORE
  • July 21, 2015 22 Ways to Figure Out Your Next Career MoveWhatever situation you’re in, at some point you’re going to wind up asking yourself: “What do I do next? Where do I go from here? How do I figure out my next step?” In my experience, there are three distinct stages you must pass through in order to be able to answer these questions: turning ... READ MORE
  • June 21, 2015 The One Simple Formula That Will Help You Work For YourselfOne of my most recent coaching clients is an IT developer from Washington, DC who wants to work for herself so she can create a lifestyle that supports traveling, working from home, and raising a family. Her biggest obstacle, she admits, is finances. In her 30s, she still has a pile of student loans, only ... READ MORE
  • June 2, 2015 10 Useful Tips for LinkedIn I Bet You Aren’t UsingBack in 2012, I received an email from LinkedIn congratulating me on being among the “Top 5% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn.” Three years later, I’m still getting about 200 hits a week on my profile. Naturally, I’m a bit of a junkie, but it’s because I believe that proper use of this tool can ... READ MORE
  • May 28, 2015 Life is More Than Just a Series of Career MovesBecause there is a serious danger in turning every verb in our lives into a noun. We can make documentaries and not be a documentary filmmaker. We can paint and not be a painter. We can teach and not be a teacher. We can dance and not be a dancer. We can play guitar and ... READ MORE
  • April 27, 2015 Why I Quit My Job to Live Out My Big "What If..."Roughly two years ago today, I made some very big changes in my life… all by deliberate choice. I purposely left a good, safe, stable, normal job. I purposely left behind one of my favorite cities on Earth. I purposely removed myself from the lives of all my friends and family. I purposely said goodbye ... READ MORE
  • February 21, 2015 Should You Accept That Job Offer?Can’t decide whether or not to stay in your current job, accept a new offer, or stay on the job market? When my best friend had to choose between multiple job offers (or staying put), this was my candid advice to her. READ MORE
  • September 11, 2014 5 Steps to Ace Your Informational InterviewBy conducting a healthy number of informational interviews using this framework, you will be able to open your own doors to interesting companies, forge human connections, and expand your network of personal and professional contacts that lead to real jobs and opportunities down the line. READ MORE
  • August 6, 2014 How to Know If You're Taking an Intelligent Career RiskTaking risks can help you craft new talents, bolster your confidence, or entirely overhaul your career. Instead of waiting for the chance, you take the chance. This is no foreign concept to Gen Y, many of whom are chronic job-hoppers, but too much job-hopping can actually your endanger future career prospects. The higher calling, therefore, ... READ MORE
  • November 9, 2013 10 MORE Strategies for LinkedIn I Bet You Aren’t UsingLinkedIn is my go-to tool, even when I’m happily employed. Because I never know when I may need to make a switch, it’s best to have an organized platform that enables me to survey my options at all times. READ MORE
  • October 6, 2013 Finding a Job These Days: A Practical Guide to Unconventional Job-HuntingOne of the most common questions I receive from this site is: “How did you find your job?” “How can I find one I love just as much?” Here is my attempt to answer this question with as much step-by-step practicality that I think is more or less universally applicable. READ MORE
  • April 10, 2013 How I Overhauled My Life and Career in 30 DaysI am delighted to announce my escape from doing something I wasn’t really happy doing, but just too scared or confused about how to make things better – a situation not uncommon for today’s 20-somethings who find themselves caught between high ambitions and the murky waters of reality. READ MORE
  • February 17, 2013 Don’t Get Depressed, Get Motivated: It’s Our Responsibility to Want MoreWe’ve all heard the phrase, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” We have been blessed with so much that it is our responsibility to demand more of ourselves and our bosses and our workplaces and our economy. Because we CAN, we HAVE to. The only way we can make our world better and ... READ MORE
  • January 19, 2013 How Come No One Writes About the Gray Cloud Days?It seems like everyone out there who is “successful” only portrays how good they have it, how cheery they are, and how smoothly their lives are going on a daily basis. Where do they mention these gray cloud days? Where do they talk about actually feeling scared and worried? Are they emotional robots? READ MORE
  • January 6, 2013 Are You Hoop-Jumping Through Life?We can no longer try to “work our way up” – we have to innovate our way out. Trying to wedge ourselves into the next rung of another bureaucratic ladder is counter-productive – for ourselves, our companies, and society as a whole. READ MORE
  • January 3, 2013 Don't Know What You Really Want? Ask Yourself This QuestionNow what I’m realizing is that becoming successful in something I’m truly passionate about will indeed take time, money, practice, and failure. That’s because the road less traveled isn’t paved. It’s bumpy. It’s uncomfortable. But it is SO much more exciting. READ MORE

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. These are the best years of your life and you deserve to be FREE! 

 

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 lived out of a suitcase as a full-time nomad for 5.5 years, ever since leaving my management consulting gig in New York in 2013. You can read my full story here. I’m now living my dream, settled in Bali, Indonesia, fully independent and working happily on projects that support my deepest passion! 

 

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 now make my living helping others break out of ordinary living and get clear on their mission in life. I get paid to help people MANIFEST THEIR DREAMS like I did — how cool is that?  

 

I write about self-development, digital nomadism, charting unconventional life paths, finding jobs overseas, pursuing long-term travel, and living purposefully in a fast-paced, confusing world. There’s simply no one-size-fits-all model for creating a life you love. I’ve always done things a bit differently and I think there are SO many feasible ways for people to live “off the beaten path”. I hope my blog lets you see what’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. Drop me a line at elaina@lifebefore30.com or apply to work with me directly! 

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Currently in: Bali

 

Previously in: India

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I’m sure there’s a reason you landed here. Maybe we’re meant to work together and your whole life is about to flip upside down… That tends to happen with my clients as they transform from the inside out.

 

I work with extraordinary, brave, and self-inquiring souls who are ready to do the inner work required to launch them into the next huge chapter of their life. I work with people who are willing and ready to wake up and become more alive and aligned than ever before! 

 

Does any of this sound like you?

  • Successful on paper but not fulfilled inside
  • Feeling like you’re working so hard but not getting anywhere
  • Knowing you’re destined to do

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