From a Baltimore Office to a Playa del Carmen Beach: How This Twenty-Something Made Her Digital Nomad Dreams a Reality
It’s time for the latest installment of our Student Spotlight Series! We’re so dang excited here at BB headquarters today, because this gal is seriously #girlboss goals! This spotlight features a student who has fully embraced the the digital nomad lifestyle and is totally #killinit out there!
Want to know a bit more about our Student Spotlight Series?
Each month, we sit down with one of our incredible Bucketlist Bombshells Academy graduates, who have successfully chased their dreams with a fierce fire, taken the entrepreneur world by storm, and are now totally rockin’ the online biz world.
Wanna get to know our next kick ass Bucketlist Bombshell, Christina? Let’s do this thing!
MEET CHRISTINA CHENG
Name: Christina Cheng
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Business: Tiny Oak Studio
Services she offers: Branding & Identity Design
We had the chance to sit down with Christina and chat about her own personal girl boss journey, what she’s learned as her business has evolved, her favorite place to work, and her biggest piece of advice for aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells!
What inspired you to take the courses inside the BB Academy?
So many reasons!! I was miserable at my 9-5. There were moments in my corporate work life where I felt like there was no light at the end of a very long tunnel. I remember that the happiest time of my life was five years ago, when I traveled the world while I studied abroad in Denmark.
So, I wanted to bring that love for traveling back into my life. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss and forge my own path to success. Also, the community here has been super lovely and supportive; my soul-sister was the one that recommended the community to me. Finally, I took the courses because I’ve always believed in investing in my own success.
What was the moment that you decided to ditch your 9-5? Did you have an “aha” moment?
There was certain moment when I sat in my cubie at work, and realized that I felt so lost. I didn’t know if there was a purpose to having this “job” anymore. I was so tired of all the office politics, and all the toxic coworkers. And then I decided I wasn’t going to let it define who I am anymore. So, that was that.
What does a “day in the life” look like for you now that you’re running your online biz?
My schedule is pretty varied right now, but the perfect productive day goes like this: Wake up in the morning at 7:30 AM, go for a morning run to the beach, or workout at home and meditate – even just taking a few moments to myself to align internally, shower, and get dressed for work. (I find it super helpful to “dress for success” to help me get into the boss babe mindset!)
Eat breakfast, drink tea, and get started by looking at my list of to-do’s that I’ve written down the night before. I tend to work in chunks of time, so in the AM, I work on admin/internal business items like marketing, writing, etc. And then I eat a lunch, take a break, and get cracking on client projects. At night I usually cook and then go to a networking event, or hang out with friends; certain days, I go to drawing class which is a way for me to relax!
How do you stay motivated and inspired running your own online biz?
This is very important because there are going to be days where you just are not feeling it. First thing first, it’s okay to take breaks and listen to your body. This is where they say, rest is productive too, because you need to pace yourself. I usually go out for walks, go run, or do a fun art project. I also listen to podcasts voraciously.
How long did it take you to say see-ya to your 9-5?
Once I made an exit strategy, I took a semester to “go back to school” to learn new skills, so maybe in the span of 3 months. During this 3 months, I’ve dedicated every waking moment when not working on 9-5 or my school work, to making it happen. Yes, life got a bit crazy, but my planner kept me sane. And I made it happen! (A side note: I have to say though, getting my family’s support was something that took a bit of time, but eventually they came around to it.)
What has you biggest setback been, and how did you overcome it?
When clients tell me my services are too expensive. How I overcome this objection: Mindset and self-affirmations. I tell myself that I am good enough, and that there are a lot of other dream clients out there, and then I go and learn new skills that will help add value to my services for my clients.
What was the one thing that kept you going when you felt like giving up?
There’s this saying, “Fall down seven times, stand up eight” I really believe in that saying. I also really believe in the idea that you get as much out of something, if not more, as long as you really put in the heart and determination. Remember, you haven’t failed if you learned something from it, so every bit counts!!
Now that you can work anywhere, what is your fave travel destination to work from?
Playa Del Carmen is my favorite because the Pisces in me loves the ocean so much and my coworking space was literally a one minute walk from the beach!
Why did you choose the digital nomad lifestyle?
I choose the digital nomad lifestyle because I wanted to see where I can take myself. This means freedom, but also structure to me.
- You have the freedom to do the work you LOVE, but you have to structure yourself and time enough to make it work. This means connection, and reflection to me.
- You get to make new connections with new friends, but you must also take time to reflect on yourself more as you work on your business.
- Lastly, this means love and community. I love that I get to make a true difference in my clients’ life and business, and that I am building a community for them and myself at the same time. My tagline is planting seeds for positive impact and I love it!
What’s one travel item you can’t live without?
My Laptop, it’s basically my life.
What’s your go-to podcast that you’d recommend to other girl bosses?
Ahh, I have so many but here are my top 5 that I listen to a lot, or revisit a lot:
- Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger, she’s such an encouraging and loving person and you can definitely feel that love in her voice.
- GaryVee, if you are okay with a few bad words here and there, because he is so raw, he’s like a tough love kind of guy, I get a kick to do a lot of work every time I listen to him, I love reading or listening to his perspective on a lot of things.
- Mind your Business, This is a mindset podcast, which is helpful if you need to work on your mindset.
- The School of Greatness, Another mindset podcast, but talks a lot about personal development as well.
- Digital Ambition, formerly Six Figure Grind, this guy gives out really great business advice in the first 100 episodes, with super actionable steps, so be sure to have a listen!
What was your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
When clients tell me my services are too expensive.
How I overcome this objection: Mindset and self-affirmations. I tell myself that I am good enough, and that there are a lot of other dream clients out there, and then I go and learn new skills that will help add value to my services for my clients.
What’s the best part about being your own #girlboss?
I decide my schedule and the projects I take on. This also means that I can put some time into creating content to give back to the community.
My bestie and I recently started a podcast aimed at High School Students to tell them about the college experience and college application process. I love that I get to work on projects that are so meaningful to me and can truly bring value to others. I’ve always believed in making a difference in people’s lives, and I want to always live by that value in business and in life.
Okay, and our absolute favorite question: What is your #1 piece of advice to aspiring Bucketlist Bombshells?
Don’t be afraid of failure. No need to dwell. For every no, you are closer to a yes, and for every “no” just know that you are getting redirected to the “Next Opportunity,” as my professor would say.
CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA!
Bucketlist Bombshells Courses Taken:
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3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
3 Steps To Building A Wildly Successfull Service-Based Online Business
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We’re Cassie & Shay
– we’re obsessed with helping women build an online service-based business giving them the freedom to travel the world!
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