As I’ve started transforming my life,
I realized I am going through things that no one ever talked to me about while growing up in the middle of Eastern Europe.
Not because they didn’t want to.
Instead, I think it’s because I’ve always tended to gravitate toward things that not many people believed in at first. I had no choice: the ordinary life with a university degree followed by a full-time job never worked out for me. I started blogging in 2008 and social media in 2012—at that time, there was no instruction sheet to guide me through the difficulties or the how-to’s of that specific career roadmap.
My love and affection for exploration and research have led me on a very interesting life path: I became one of the first social media managers in my country, the first self-published best-selling writer in 2012, one of the first bloggers to reach a new level of success: reaching 1 million people on Facebook each week, being on TV, becoming a published 9x bestselling author by 2019, a HuffPost contributor discovered by Arianna Huffington, and also included in Forbes’ Influential Social Media Personalities list.
While I was working on becoming me, I felt alone with my problems. I craved to have someone around who understood what I was going through, not just as I was building my brand, but all the effects it had on my life.
Burnout. Isolation. Depression. The extreme highs and lows. Creating balance. Taking care of my creativity, and myself. Doing everything on my own. Dealing with five people’s jobs. Not to mention the extreme amount of pressure.
That was not the reply that I was searching for and needed to hear. I knew my experiences and struggles were real, and I was craving connection. I wanted to find people who would know what I was going through and could give me great advice. So, in 2016 I decided to invest in traveling and meeting outstanding people like Dr. Oz, Martin Garrix, Philip Zimbardo, or Jake Paul to see if their wisdom and experience could help me in my journey.
They kept telling me “I love talking about this topic! Finally, someone understands me.” That made me dig way deeper, to do over 1000 hours of branding consultancy with entrepreneurs, digital creators, and so on, in just two years in order to understand how the process of execution is affected by our cycle of self-realization. I wanted to have more information about every tiny step of the cycle. Also, psychologists like the legendary Philip Zimbardo helped me understand the process much better.
Then learning about the Gartner Hype Cycle
THE CYCLE OF
When I took a closer look at the Gartner Hype Cycle that explains the lifetime of a startup, or any idea that you make happen, I realized something: it’s not enough to understand the stages of when to invest, when to focus on growth, or how to build a campaign—you have to understand how your cycle of self-realization is affecting growth. I am talking about solopreneurs, founders, digital creators, youtubers, DJ’s, influencers, or anyone with a personal brand.
The more you listen, the more stories you hear about the difficulties after you hit the peak of your career. Burnout. Isolation. Alcohol or drug issues. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Hardwell, Chris Sacca, Casey Neistat, or PewDiePie, you can see how their attitude is changing, the way they present themselves, or execute once they hit rock bottom. That’s when the interesting part starts. Here you can watch a video where Casey talks about this.
The interviews I conducted helped me to understand the commonalities in this journey, and showed me that no matter how much money, or how many followers you have, there’s a huge chance that you are facing the same difficulties as other entrepreneurs. If you know how to react, and how to get yourself back on track, you will be able to continue achieving your goals.
I have had access to people who are way ahead of us, and who have spoken openly about not just the highs, but the lows too. Years ago, this level of accelerated growth that leads to fame or success never existed, but now we can create our interesting careers and it’s better if we know what comes with it—the upsides and potential downsides. Of course, I can’t prepare you for everything, but you will know about all the commonalities I’ve found during my work and research, and how people at various fields found their own unique ways of handling them.