Dr. Natalia Wiechowski
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski: Personal Branding Coach & Consultant, Think Natalia: “Your Dream Job Does Not Exist Unless You Create It”
Dr. Natalia Wiechowski quit her job at 29, at the peak of her corporate career and success, to essentially start over. After a year-long sabbatical, she discovered her love for speaking, consulting, and coaching. She founded Think Natalia and is an expert on “coachsulting” people who, like herself, left corporate jobs to do their own thing and find their own path. Today, her business earns six figures and is internationally known. She’s been featured in Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur Middle East, Thrive Global, Cosmopolitan Middle East, Social Media Today, HubSpot, and more.
Natalia’s Original Story: “Your Dream Job Does Not Exist Unless You Create It”
I was born and raised in Hanover, Germany. My parents were/are both sport enthusiasts (my mother is a former speed skater of the Polish Olympic cadre). They always encouraged me to try all sorts of sports: swimming, running, dancing, skiing, snowboarding, badminton, tennis, athletics – you name it. I learned from a very young age onwards that – in life and sports – you sometimes win and you sometimes lose (and that is okay). If you want to become the best at something, stop complaining and train for it instead.
My parents came to Germany in the early ‘80s, without speaking the language, with literally just a backpack on their shoulders, and worked themselves up to a successful and happy life. Because of that I also learned a lot about delayed gratification, the importance of saving money, being creative, and working with what you have as well as cultural differences.
I have a Master of Arts (Social Sciences) and a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) as I thought that I’d follow a “traditional corporate career.” If you told me 10 years ago that I’d build an internationally successful, six-figure consulting business, I would have laughed at you…
Studying at a university definitely taught me a few important things about work and life (e.g. to question everything, to stay humble, to work on projects for MONTHS) but 1.) I don’t NEED these degrees for the business and life(style) I have created (the PhD is somewhat of a nice status symbol though). And 2.) These lessons also can be learned through intensive self-study, mentors and life in general if you are a curious, open-minded and determined person.
My turning point came in 2014, at the age of 30, when I took nine months off to unlearn everything I thought I knew and to “find” myself and, respectively, my passion. I’ve learned in the process that it’s not about “finding.” The art lies in DESIGNING yourself. Or, in my case, it was all about REdesigning who I was and what I could be.
How did I realize that “this is what I love to do”? Through trial and error. I literally failed and experimented myself up to my dream life and career, as I realized that your dream job does not exist unless you create it.
Here is what I did: During my sabbatical, I created a long list of all the things I always wanted to do but never did, because I “didn’t have the time” (lame excuse) or “I’ll do it later” (another lame excuse): Writing, being a guest writer for magazines, modeling, coaching, consulting, working in a fancy agency, taking pictures, interviewing people, etc. Then, I went out and grabbed every opportunity I could learn from.
After a few months, I sat down and had a proper look at everything I’d experimented with: What was fun? How much money did I earn when doing that? How much time did that activity consume? What else did I observe? I then focused on the top three most lucrative AND fun activities: Speaking, coaching and consulting.
I started making money when I began experimenting with all the new things I wanted to do. During my sabbatical, I started a blog and created public social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn). I actively decided to use these four tools to document my journey to my best, “flawsome” self and intuitively knew that the “right” people and opportunities would find me through that. And yes, they did. My projects and business gigs came in through social and through my “real life” social network, A.K.A. friends and acquaintances.
My biggest challenges as an entrepreneur: my mindset and relationship with money. My parents aren’t entrepreneurs, my grandparents weren’t entrepreneurs. So, I needed to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, lifestyle and way of working. A few examples: You are 100% responsible for your success and failures. There is no boss or line manager to blame. You need to develop a system that functions without you, otherwise, you’ll never ever have holidays or a weekend in your life.
As part of this, I also needed to overcome a lot of limiting beliefs around money, investing and self-worth. I’ve worked with multiple mentors, coaches and even psychologists on this topic and I highly recommend that to everyone.
Additionally, I recommend getting clear on who your role models are. They don’t need to be “perfect” in all aspects of their life and business. Nobody is. But if you find them inspiring, great. Buy and read their books. Listen to their speeches and videos. And then: APPLY what they preach. The most successful and balanced people on this planet live and breathe abundance. A.K.A. there is enough health, wealth and success for all of us. That is why the best role models openly talk about their lessons learned and share their “secrets” – they know there’s plenty to go around.
Find more from Dr. Natalia Wiechowski at thinknatalia.com.