How I Started A $10K/Month Personal Growth Advice Business

Published: May 2nd, 2020
Sinem Günel
Personal Growth Base
from Vienna, Austria
started December 2019
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I’m Sinem, 22 years old, based in Vienna, Austria and I’m an entrepreneur, coach, and writer.

I started my entrepreneurial journey at the age of 19 by organizing personal development workshops for students. After my first projects, I knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur for the rest of my life and started several side businesses besides my studies and a full-time internship: I created online courses, hosted workshops, and blogged on

My mission is to inspire and empower people across the globe to invest in themselves and unleash their full potential and I’m reaching my goal through several different products and services such as seminars, books, and online courses and blogging.

On Medium alone, thousands of people are reading my stories about personal growth, self-fulfillment, and productivity every day, totaling more than 350,000 monthly views during strong months.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

One and a half years after starting my studies in business administration I came into touch with entrepreneurship and I immediately knew that I wanted to dig deeper into how to build your own business and be your own boss.

So I started reading books, especially biographies, of successful entrepreneurs.

Pretty soon I found out there’s one major component all of them have in common: They all talk about their personal growth and how they had to improve themselves so that their businesses could grow.

This immediately triggered me and I started digging deeper into the topic of personal growth.

Quite soon, I was frustrated as I realized I didn’t learn anything regarding personal development at school or university.

Sometimes, people admire me when I tell them I’m 22 years old but some others just doubt my skills and the quality of my work due to my age. I believe in both cases the best is to prove people with the quality of your work and let results speak instead

I was lucky to have a few friends and my boyfriend who were also interested in personal development, so we decided to organize workshops for students to cover essential topics such as emotional strength, productivity, decision-making, etc. We’ve all been into these topics for some while, some of us had special educations in fields like education and workshop design and we all have been reading and learning about these topics for many years. Once we made money through our first workshops, we also joined seminars to further improve our knowledge and skills so that we could provide even more value during our own training.

Quite soon I knew that personal development is not only a hobby but what I wanted to do for a living, so I kept developing new digital products and finding ways to support young people on their journey to becoming their best selves.

Once my studies were done, my business was already running and I started working on my own business before ever being full-time employed.

Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

I believe one of our core strengths is that my business partner, who is also my boyfriend, is a great salesperson.

When selling B2B seminars, we always first found out what the customer needed and then made an offer without even knowing how to properly execute. But we knew we would find it out.

Some of our biggest projects were initiated that way. For example, seminars on teambuilding and productivity for apprentices of some major companies.

One of the common mistakes new founders make is designing products that nobody wants to buy.

We did the opposite: We sold services our customers needed and then found out how to deliver our promises. So far, this approach worked pretty well and we had great results.

Of course, you can’t do that in every industry but for us, it was the most effective way to make money right from the beginning.

Having said that, I was lucky to have a partner who is a great salesperson. I personally still don’t have much experience in sales but he is not only extroverted but a great communicator.

When selling B2B it makes sense to have a basic understanding of how the business world works and we were lucky because he had that experience from previous side jobs.

Admittedly, we still had to prove ourselves from time to time. Many people asked us why we believed we could do all of the things we’ve been offering and where we learned all the stuff. In fact, our answer was always the same: We are good at these things because we are passionate about it. That’s not the most professional answer but it was and still is the truth.

By now, we are also certified coaches but still the majority of our knowledge and skills is acquired by reading, joining seminars, doing mastermind groups and most importantly by trial and error.

Sometimes, people admire me when I tell them I’m 22 years old but some others just doubt my skills and the quality of my work due to my age. I believe in both cases the best is to prove people with the quality of your work and let results speak instead of arguing why age doesn’t matter.


Describe the process of launching the business.

We never did a lot of planning, we always executed quickly.

Whenever we had a new idea for a service or product, we just gave it a try by selling it.

This is, of course, easier for a business that is based on information and knowledge and wouldn’t work for other industries but in our case, it was the most effective way.

When we founded our business, both founders were still studying and it was just a side project. Even though attracting customers and making a decent amount of money was easy right from the beginning, the real progress happened when both founders started working on the business full-time.

As we made money through our workshops from day one on, we didn’t need any funding. We invested almost all of the money we made during the first years into professional coaching educations to improve our skills and provide better services to our clients.

I believe that our approach of just doing it was the main reason we finally succeeded. Planning and strategizing are great, but sometimes you just need to get started and you’ll figure the rest out on the go.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

As we initially started through in-person workshops, personal connections were the most important factor for our success in business.

My partner and I have both been involved in the local startup scene for quite some while and in general, we both have been quite active with student organizations etc. so that we had a wide reach through social networks.

Additionally, we both had organized some major student events. I, for example, organized a student exchange week for two years and my partner organized Entrepreneurship Avenue, which is Europe’s largest student conference focusing on entrepreneurship.

Due to these factors, we already knew a bunch of important people who were able and willing to support us in sharing our events on social networks.

We always over-delivered and cared for our customers and seminar participants which eventually led to strong relationships.

Right now, we are using different platforms to generate leads to our website, for example, Medium and Pinterest. Through these platforms, we generate hundreds of new email subscribers per month which then can buy our digital products and services.

The main form of content we publish is articles. In the upcoming months, we’ll probably also add video and a podcast as free content.

Once people read one of our articles or browse through our website, they can subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get our Personal Growth Toolkit with 42 strategies, tools and tips to elevate their performance and life for free.

The next step for our customers is joining some of our paid programs. For example, we are offering programs on how to be more productive, how to create lasting habits, or how to take better care of yourself. But we also offer journals which can be bought through Amazon and 1-on-1 mentoring sessions for those who want to work on a more private level.

We are also both active on Instagram but that’s mainly for growing our personal brands.

As a founder, it’s important to also build your own reputation and share your expertise with the world. That’s also how we get most of our local workshop participants but also inquiries for seminars, speaking gigs, and interviews.

Find a mentor (or two) who are already where you want to be in a few years. There’s nothing more powerful than learning from someone who already walked the path.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

Right now, we are further expanding our digital products and services to reach even more people through the Personal Growth Base.

One of our main focuses is building our email list and launching in-depth personal growth programs to support our customers over the course of a few months and help them make profound changes in their lives.

We were profitable right from the beginning as we didn’t have major investments until we made revenue but right now, we are focusing on expanding our profits, building a team and automating important parts of our business.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

The entire journey in entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster.

I needed to learn many lessons and accept them as they are to be successful in what I do. For instance, I had to let go of perfectionism and of thinking that I will someday figure everything out.

I believe that you never figure everything out in business. You just need to keep going despite struggles and if you persevere for long enough and make some right decisions along the way, your success becomes inevitable.

On top of the usual business craziness, I had to figure out how to run a business with my better half, which was at least as challenging as the rest.

I believe perseverance and adaptability are the greatest assets of anyone who wants to build their own business, especially if it’s an online business, like in our case.

We need to adapt and find new ways of how to do things all the time. Every day we come up with new ideas for products and services but what matters is that we stay true to our core vision and keep going by doing some of the right things every day.

Too many new entrepreneurs want to be efficient and productive but forget that effectivity, meaning doing the right things instead of just being busy, is what matters most.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

We generate most of our email leads through Medium and Pinterest.

For our coachings we rely on Zoom and Calendly, all our digital products are sold through Teachable.

Additionally, we use Amazon KDP to sell journals.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Workweek and Dotcom Secrets by Russel Brunson were the first and most powerful books about building an automated online business and still inspire me.

I’m usually reading one book per week and even though I’ve consumed lots during the past years, I still find valuable golden nuggets in each piece I read.

One of my all-time favorite books on personal development is High-Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard which is basically a personal growth bible.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Find a mentor (or two) who are already where you want to be in a few years. There’s nothing more powerful than learning from someone who already walked the path.

Plus, be focused. Be clear about what you want and eliminate anything that doesn’t serve your bigger purpose.

Accept the fact that there is no overnight success and keep going for long enough. Every successful entrepreneur we nowadays admire had several failures until he succeeded in business.

Your idea and product need to be on point and you need great people who are willing to support you but most importantly, you’ll need to get up and keep going despite struggles.

Where can we go to learn more?

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!