I was just an immigrant girl from post-communist Ukraine where dreaming and speaking about your dreams out loud was literally not safe. Women used to be jailed for dreaming big where I come from. I saw MarieTV for the first time, and that same day I packed two bags, left my family and friends, sat on a bus, and crossed the border on a 40-hour journey from my homeland to my dreamland – the goal was “anywhere abroad.” I had an expiring visa, and if I didn’t figure out how to legally stay in the country, I’d be sent back home without a second chance. English was not my first language. Not only was I afraid to be visible, I was afraid to open my mouth! I started my business on the side, and I remember sitting on my bathroom floor (our apartment was so tiny, so it was the only place to build my business!) selling coaching sessions for $27 even though I had a PhD!
I felt lonely and afraid of trying to start a new business. However, I grew up with the mindset that if you want something in life, you’ve got to not only work hard for it, you’ve got to fight for it because many women who came before me in the Soviet Union had to do just that. So while a lot of people said that it was insane to leave my home, family, and friends, I knew I had to fight for my dreams no matter how hard it was.
I am so happy I had Marie and B-School by my side because suddenly I went from an environment where entrepreneurship was the worst to an environment of powerful women where everyone was celebrated for thinking BIG! B-School has taught me the main lesson – no matter where you come from, YOU decide where you are going. Not your family, not society. Not your past. YOU. Right Now.
I’ve built a half-million dollar coaching business in 18 months, taught entrepreneurship for free in developing countries to spread the message that everything is possible no matter where you come from, traveled to 20 countries in one year, helped my family and friends find their passions, and mentored hundreds of clients worldwide to start their own successful coaching businesses.
Before I was sitting on my bathroom floor selling $27 coaching sessions, now I’m about to hit seven figures under 30 (your age doesn’t matter!). I’ve launched a successful e-commerce business with my husband selling physical products for coaches, and I get to travel between Paris, LA, and New York, working remotely with my international team, making an impact and supporting charities I believe in.