From Baltic to Bali: How I Traded my 9-5 for an Online Business
A Thought Leader is someone who leads by example, inspiring many to follow in his or her footsteps. They show the world what is possible with hard work, determination & a vision for the life they want to lead. Nadine Rohner is the perfect example of that, inspiring thousands of women to live a life of both chosen location, time & financial freedom. Having grown bored of the monotonous 9-5 lifestyle in 2015, Nadine packed her bags and started travelling the world, realising before too long that she couldn’t go back to the life she had before. Nadine, originally from Switzerland, can now work from anywhere she chooses, and she has chosen Bali as her home… for now.
Fast forward to today, she now mentors and teaches women from all over the world on how they can create their own freedom life by becoming a successful freelance social media manager through her mentorship program The Social Shells.
Liv: Tell me about yourself before you set sail on the journey that you're on. What was life like in Switzerland and what were you doing?
Nadine: I was your average nine to five before all of this. I used to work in a travel agency before moving on to work for an insurance company. In the end, I worked for a radio station, which everyone told me was the dream job and I had the dream life.
It was a really good job compared to what I had done before, but yet I had to be there all the time. 9-5 was an illusion and I put in a tonne of extra hours. In Switzerland, you start work when you're 16 years old and by the time I left I was 28. At that time, I had just finished my bachelor's degree in communication whilst working, so that really pushed me over the edge.
I knew I had to change something. That’s when I decided to quit everything & sell everything. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision; it had been a building up over 12 years.
Liv: Did you just get up and leave? Or was the decision taken over a longer period of time?
Nadine: There was actually one event where I felt like I had enough. It was at the office Christmas party with a radio station where the CEO made degrading comments about women. I just thought ‘What am I doing here? This isn’t worth it.’
I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. So that's when I made the decision that in the next year, I was going to leave and that's what I did. I handed in my notice and then I had three more months that I needed to stay.
I had a ticket booked to Bali and from Bali to Australia, and I was meant to travel for around six months, but I ran out of money after two months. I didn't really plan that so well! That's when I realised that I better figure out a way to make money online, otherwise I had to go back home. There was no way I was going back home!
Liv: What kind of mindset development did you do to go from the employee mentality to the entrepreneurial mentality that’s served you so well?
Nadine: The good thing was that I was in Bali, surrounded by other people who were doing just that. I could see in cafes that everyone was working. I went up to people and straight up asked them what they were doing. Most people were doing web design and some were also doing social media management.
It really was a case of if they can do it, then so can I! I knew I would never push myself to do it in Switzerland as I had too much to fall back on, so my environment in Bali had a massive impact on why I did that. I just had to figure it out.
Liv: How important has that community feeling been for you?
Nadine: Community has changed everything. I started by myself and quickly I realised it's just me and my computer and it got very lonely. I started joining different online communities and that has really helped me.
That’s when I first joined a group coaching programme where other people were at the same place in life as me and I thought that was amazing and I wish I had that when I first started. Right away, I started building my own community.
I built what I wish I had when starting out, so that other women can connect with each other. I just love connecting with people who are at the same stage and at the same level. You can talk with your friends and they understand. That’s why I've built the community for others who are still in their nine to five and in that environment it's most likely re-inforced that quitting your job is something you can’t do.
Liv: Why did you decide to become a social media manager and how did you get started?
Nadine: My passion was travelling and being my own boss, so my only thoughts were how can I make money quickly so that I don't have to go back?
I thought about my skills and I knew social was something I could pursue but I would have to learn a lot more. Through a friend I got my social media first job for a cosmetic company and that's how it started.
I realised quickly I’d need to up my game to get more jobs, so I invested in a lot of coaching courses, kept up to date with changes on platforms and I quickly figured it out. It wasn’t until two or three years later, I realised that this could be a viable business when women were messaging me to ask me how to get into it.
Early on, I offered social media management to everyone and quickly realised you need to focus on your ideal client. When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.
Liv: What made you want to share your story and help other budding entrepreneurs leave their 9 to 5?
Nadine: There are two components to it. I never really wanted to share as much as I do now because and I didn't want the spotlight, but I had to come to terms with it.
I seen people on the TV living their dream life and I wanted the same. When I achieved that, I wanted other people to see that someone normal like me could do it, but also that it’s not as glamorous as celebrities make it out to be. People began to realise they can do it too.
I think the more women I helped, the more comfortable I became with sharing my story because I realised the most beautiful thing is to see other women quitting their job as a result of undertaking my programme. I realised that I have to keep sharing and that amazing things can come from going outside of your comfort zone.
Liv: How rewarding is it for you to help others achieve their goals? What does that mean to see that?
Nadine: I have truly found my passion. When I started doing this, I realised it's not actually just helping, it's empowering. I can motivate people and support them. That’s the most rewarding thing, to do this every day.
Liv: Who is the ideal client for The Social Shells programme?
Nadine: So my ideal client isn’t necessarily a woman. I do work one on one with men too.
My target audience is between the ages of 20 and 25. Even then, I was working with a woman yesterday who is 55, so there’s no age limit.
I love strategy, I'm also spiritual and I'm mindset orientated. If you're not into that, then you’re not my target audience. Other than that, it's really just anyone who is sick and tired of having a boss telling them what to do, when they can eat lunch and when they can travel.
You also don't have to know everything about social media management. That's why you would do a course like mine.
Liv: If I don’t know much about social media, do you and The Social Shells programme actually walk me through that process?
Nadine: The first few modules are actually all about basics.
We are going in to so much detail, even as basic as what kind of programmes do you need to download on your computer? How do you organise your computer so that you can work efficiently? What kind of tools and settings do you need to install?
Then we start with the different social media channels where you learn everything about the them. From there, we go in to how you can find clients and how you can you create your own prices and packages and services.
You don't need to have any experience. All you need is a computer and a phone in order to do the programme.