travel-money1

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. 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! 

Hate Networking? Try a Kindness-Based Approach

Posted on September 1st, 2017

I work with a lot of people on career transitions: helping them change industries, find jobs overseas, or work for themselves. What many of them don’t realize is that the entire strategy for getting them to the other side lies well within their reach — the opportunity they’re waiting for already exists somewhere in the tangled web of their personal network.

 

They just have to sit down and untangle that web.

 

However, most of these people also hate networking. My job then becomes to show them how painless networking can be if you just take a slightly different approach.

 

The ones who bite the bullet and use my approach wind up changing their lives. One of my clients went from managing a store in Virginia to working for her dream company, Cirque du Soleil, by using this tactic. Others landed contracts on the other side of the world, found their first clients, or negotiated a remote work arrangement and moved to Costa Rica (all true stories).

 

Over the years, I’ve learned that the best way to pull an incredible opportunity out of that mess of interpersonal connections you’ve developed over the course of your life is to start with a very simple step: doing a systematic inventory of everyone you already know.

 

This kind of inventory of your personal network involves spending a few afternoons on Facebook and LinkedIn and going through every single connection you have. You take a look at what everyone’s up to, who they’re working for, where they’re living, and who else they know. Then you start a list with the name of everyone who’s doing something that interests you.

 

Next, you go back and begin to organize your list, not based on who’s doing what’s closest to what you want to be doing, but by your comfort level with each person. How well do you know this individual? Could you send him or her a message on Facebook and readily grab a coffee? Do you have a personal connection to draw on: a shared alma mater, previous employer, hometown, or favorite sports team?

 

Using this approach, you pick the top 10 most interesting people who you’re also reasonably comfortable with and you start “networking” with them by inviting them for a friendly catch-up. Say that their startup or new job or latest travels look awesome and you want to hear more about it. Ideally, you start with people you can meet face-to-face and then progress to short catch-up Skype dates once you’ve exhausted the contacts in your own city.

 

Here’s why I recommend this approach and have found it to be so successful:

 

  • I believe networking is simply the practice of connecting with people around you and openly sharing what you’re interested in. The more people who know you and know what you’re all about, the more potential champions you have out there who can help you find your way.
  • The best way to get started is by “networking” with people you’re already familiar with. Practice makes perfect!
  • Presumably, these people you’ve identified in your inventorying process know you better than a random LinkedIn second-degree connection, so if you casually mention you’re looking for a new marketing gig in New York, they will probably rack their brains thinking of ways to help.
  • Most likely, these friends don’t do exactly what you want to do work-wise, but that’s good because 1) They are still up to something that sparked your interest, so you can learn and grow through that conversation, 2) They won’t suspect that the whole reason you want to hang out is to get a job at their company (which it isn’t), and 3) you never know who knows who. Someone in diplomacy may be able to connect you to someone in engineering — and they’ll do it because they like you and because you seem qualified. (Hopefully you are.)

 

Essentially, this strategy is about learning what other people in your life are doing and sharing what you’re up to, too. It’s about exchanging goals and ideas. Through this process, connections organically expand — and you strengthen existing relationships with people you think are interesting.

 

And here’s the most important part: With every person you connect or reconnect with, you’re on the look-out for ways to help. If someone needs a new web designer, pass along the contact of the person who did your site. If a friend is going to Egypt next month and you’ve spent time there, send them a short email with your best travel tips. You have something to offer to everyone, I promise, so dig into your well of knowledge, experience, ideas, and contacts and be ready to assist someone else first.

 

By getting in the practice of helping others, you put out good karma and people will inevitably reciprocate — maybe not now, but at some point in the future. It also feels good to look out for the needs and interests of others and find ways to help their dreams along. It’s a mindset that seems to get forgotten about in today’s overly-competitive world.

 

In a nutshell, start “networking” with 10 people you know pretty well, then move down the list and pick another 10 and another 10, gradually working up to people who you don’t know as well but are doing things you really admire. They may even be people who intimidate you, but you’ve already gotten a lot of practice at this point talking casually about yourself and what you’re doing, asking good questions of others, listening, learning, and, most critically, helping.

 

By taking this approach, there’s no way you won’t be successful — in scoping out new opportunities, strengthening existing relationships, building new ones, and learning more about yourself and what you have to offer others, too.

Suggested Posts

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. 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! 

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Location

Current Location

Map

Current Location

Currently in: Bali

 

Previously in: India

What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Hey friend, thanks for finding me!

 

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

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

Follow me on twitter

Follow me on twitter

Instagram

Elaina on Instagram

Please enter an Access Token on the Instagram Feed plugin Settings page.

As Seen On

As Seen On

Sign Me Up

Sign Me Up
I'm planning something big! Stay in touch and be the first to know what I'm up to.

Current Location

Current Location

Map

Browse Articles

Currently in: Bali

 

Previously in: India

What’s Hot

Recent Posts

Coaching

Coaching

Hey friend, thanks for finding me!

 

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

Read more

Like Me on Facebook

Follow me on twitter

Follow me on twitter

Instagram

Elaina on Instagram

Please enter an Access Token on the Instagram Feed plugin Settings page.