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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. 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! 

Our Single Biggest (Self-Imposed) Barrier to Success

Posted on January 27th, 2014

action

 

Photo credit: The Daily Digi 

 

A few weeks ago, I found myself hunkered down in a hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant in Midtown West, slurping up spicy red curry and intensely discussing 10-year plans with a good friend of mine, fighting our hangovers with New York soul food and good conversation.

 

He’s a former investment banker turned financial analyst for a major national sports league, but dreams of becoming a movie producer. Already having some impressive career changes under his belt, he is still enamored with how to make the Hollywood dream come true.  

 

I myself was back in town after out-maneuvering the cushy management consulting ladder in favor of becoming a legally nomadic media agent.  

 

As my dear friend pondered film school and moving out to California, I gently prodded after a thoughtful swig of ice water. How can I break this to him…?

 

“You know, if you want to become a movie producer, you can do that. Today. You just have to go out and shoot some scenes, learn how to edit them together, and post your creation on YouTube. Your portfolio is waiting for you to start it.”

 

He seemed bewildered by my simple solution, which brought fears shared by many of us bubbling frantically to the surface: Action allows room for failure, dreaming and planning doesn’t.

 

A few nights later, I nursed a beer in the Lower East Side, locked in what is always vibrant conversation with the West African correspondent for a major news network, who I met in Nigeria months ago. We were bemusing the various paths to a successful career at one of the biggest media companies in the world, and it became clear that my perception of the “impenetrable nature” of the news reporting industry was slightly skewed.

 

If I wanted to become a news reporter, he urged me, I simply needed to start, well, reporting on the news. We mulled over Anderson Cooper’s story for example, who rose to fame by simply going places the networks weren’t covering and sending in his reports as a freelancer. Eventually CNN realized his talent and ability to “get at the news” and hired him!

 

I had traveled to plenty of countries and witnessed dozens of unwritten stories. Had I submitted any of them for publication? Was I even really trying to reach my goal?

 

Nope, and there I was, getting my own advice tossed back at me, a fast underhand pitch that landed me back in the dug-out. My “wise words of wisdom” were now packaged up in the paradigm of my own hopes and dreams, the paralyzing myths I believed expertly debunked and laid disassembled on my doorstep. 

 

Humph.

 

What I realized is that we often create perceived barriers to entry for ourselves, while the real crux of the matter lies in our ability and willingness to simply take action. There are exceptions to this (ie. if you want to be a doctor, medical school is not really optional), but generally our dreams can become a reality once we make up our minds and find the courage to try.

 

If you want to become a writer, you need to write. If you want to be a singer, you better start singing. If you want to speak Chinese, learn some phrases and start speaking. If you want to own your own business, go out and get your first client.

 

For many of us, the planning and talking and dreaming allows us to feel successful and portray an admirable sense of drive to our peers. We fool others and ourselves into believing in our potential versus seeing our results

 

And at the end of the day, the results, the change you’ve made in the environment around you, is what matters. Did you make that movie? Did you become that foreign correspondent?

 

So next time you ponder a 10-year plan, especially if it involves getting an expensive degree or moving 3,000 miles away, think about how you can skip the ladder-climbing and just start creating, writing, developing, filming, sending, organizing, managing, delivering, running, changing, upgrading, interviewing, acting, teaching, learning, drawing, selling, buying, moving, doing, and BEING.

 

Lead your life with an action verb at its core. Focus on turning potential into product, even if it means bearing your imperfections and facing failure head-on.  

 

  

What do you think about the potential for non-linear career paths generated by simply DOING what you say you want to do? How do you balance planning with action? Share in the comments section below!

 

Did you find this article helpful? Please share with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter.

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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. 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

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

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Elaina on Instagram

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