How I turned my annual income of $ 30,000 per month into 28


  • Celinne Da Costa, 28, has gone from $ 27,000 a year after tax to $ 32,000 a month in just six years.
  • She quit her advertising job in New York City to travel the world – within a year, she was couch-surfing in 100 homes in 20 countries.
  • She made a name for herself by promoting her journey on her social networks and in the media.
  • Upon her return from her trip, she began freelancing for a marketing consultant at $ 150 an hour. Nine months later, she had won $ 100,000.
  • Today, she helps entrepreneurs create powerful brands.
  • Da Costa didn’t use fancy marketing tactics – she took her business to the next level by focusing on five key areas: its standards, mindset, self, offerings, and business approach.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

I used to watch posts from people claiming to have earned their annual salary in a month with such disbelief. Until that person becomes me.

It’s hard to believe I just rang for $ 32,000 a month when, a few years ago, I accepted my first job at an advertising agency in New York City, earning just $ 35,000 (after $ 27,000). taxes) per year.

Considering that living expenses (rent, electricity, food, etc.) in New York City were around $ 2,000 a month and I made around $ 2,200 after tax, a significant part of my daily life consisted of pinching money. pennies, to live my paycheck. to paycheck and insisting on money.

I was miserable – shared a crowded apartment with three strangers in a room so small I had a loft bed to store my things, I worked 60 hours a week, I put hummus on crackers when I got home because I was too tired to cook dinner (and too broke to buy it) and watching reruns of “Breaking Bad” on

until I passed out.

Was this really the American dream I signed up for?

In 2015 I took a volunteering trip to Cambodia – and everything changed

A public figure stumbled upon my travel blog (which only had a few hundred followers at the time) and invited me to spend two weeks teaching at an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and documenting my experiences.

On the first day of my arrival, I learned that my grandfather had passed away. The combination of my already broken heart, learning the traumatic history of the country and seeing innocent people suffering from poverty and an unjust system broke something in me. I realized how little I was doing to contribute to anything other than my own misery.

The day after I returned to New York, I made a decision: I wouldn’t spend a minute of my life consciously living in fear. I had to change.

A publication shared by Célinne | History Wizard (@celinnedacosta)

I needed a project that I could be proud of to take care of while I thought about the next steps. I had always wanted to travel the world, but I couldn’t wander aimlessly and aimlessly.

I came up with a social experiment, in which I challenged myself to travel around the world surfing on a couch using only a human connection (no website): it meant staying with friends, friends of the world. friends and strangers I would meet on the road.

Over the course of a year, I stayed with over 100 people (mostly foreigners), in over 20 countries on five continents… and spent less than $ 8,500.

I learned how to share my story in a compelling way which allowed me to earn 5 figures per month

I leveraged my experience as a brand strategist and writer to develop my social media channels – especially my Instagram and Facebook pages – documenting my journey on my blog and putting myself in front of media and posts. Every day I wrote a story about the people I met, the experiences I was going through and the changes I was making.

From the start, my goal was to create a powerful brand that was so compelling, compelling and accessible that people would have no choice but to pay attention. The refinement and mastery of this skill was what laid the foundation for my business.

As I predicted, people started to notice – my community started to grow by the thousands, and I was asked to document my journey on Forbes, and my story was featured in major publications such as Matador. Network, Business Insider and Intrepid.

A publication shared by Célinne | History Wizard (@celinnedacosta)

About halfway through my career, I started to be approached by entrepreneurs, publications and even tourist offices. They had heard about me through word of mouth. They had read or watched my stories. Some of them wanted to know how I was getting visible so quickly so that they could do that too. Others just wanted to take part of my project. They came to me because they saw something in me that they saw in themselves, and they wanted to know what it was.

That year, after leaving the company, I focused on doing what I loved without worrying about the consequences or the money. I was smart and strategic in growing my online presence and used storytelling as the glue to build a powerful personal brand.

Upon my return from the trip, I started freelance work as a marketing consultant for $ 150 an hour and quickly grew from there. My clients were people who had heard from me, collaborated with during my trip, or helped for free before.

Within nine months of officially launching my business, I had reached my first year of $ 100,000. This has evolved into what I do now, which is working with entrepreneurs to master their history to create powerful brands that increase their reach, visibility and sales.

A publication shared by Célinne | History Wizard (@celinnedacosta)

Fast forward to today, and I just earned in a month what I used to earn in a year – no crazy launches, no big marketing campaigns, nothing fancy outside of my own. usual marketing activities.

I earned my $ 32,000 a month on one of my favorite islands in Greece, waking up to a comfortable guest room with ocean views, working from my laptop in charming outdoor cafes and spending my precious time and energy on projects that I choose and that are happening. my soul on fire.

Here are five key steps I took to take my online business to the next level.

1. Raise my standards

I have decided to dramatically raise my standards for the quality of the clients I am willing to work with, what I earn and how I spend my precious time. Before, I worked with difficult clients because I “needed” the money. I would settle for $ 10,000 a month because I thought it was enough.

I was spending a lot of energy doing free work and letting people who weren’t really serious about my job waste my time, instead of focusing on my own projects. No more. I let go of a bunch of distractions and people holding me back.

2. Engage ruthlessly in the state of mind

As Tony Robbins says, “80% of success is psychology and 20% mechanics. “

I religiously focused on maximizing my wellness routine,

practical and filling my mind with information that improves me. All the strategy in the world won’t save you if you don’t believe in yourself and maximize your focus, expertise, and mental well-being.

You have to be able to handle the shit life throws at you with grace and patience instead of stress.

3. Invest in myself

I spent over $ 20,000 on coaching, events, and brains last month and came back almost instantly. I invested over $ 50,000 in personal development this year because I really want to be the best at what I do, and that means learning from the best.

Plus, when you put your skin in the game, you’ll be more motivated to show up and get the job done. I have yet to meet someone who earns six figures or more who hasn’t invested in themselves in some way.

A publication shared by Célinne | History Wizard (@celinnedacosta)

4. Strengthen my offers

I audited my packages and asked myself, “What do my clients need to achieve the best possible results?”

I have increased the value of my services to make sure my clients get all the support they need from me. It’s not just about what you want to sell, but rather what your customer wants and needs. Pay attention to this… without happy customers you cannot have a successful business.

5. Approach sales with love

I was afraid to sell because I thought it was gooey and unethical. I have learned that the sale is as good or bad as your intentions.

I reframe my point of view – instead of “selling” why not have real conversations where I actually listened to what people needed and offered them the perfect solution? I have no doubts about my ability to deliver, so selling is an act of service. If you sincerely believe that your product or service will transform the lives of your customers for the better, then selling is an act of love.

We are so afraid to do what we love because we think we are going to fail. But think about the consequences if you not take action – for me, I would still be in a miserable corporate job somewhere in New York, in my nicer but more expensive apartment, wondering “what if?” In fact, I was following my dreams instead of being CEO of my own company at 27.

Don’t let fear rule your life. Believe in your potential for future earnings and, more importantly, believe that you will show yourself when life calls for you to rise up. And then do the damn thing.


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