Olenka Cullinan

Posted on 05 November 2018

Meet Olenka Cullinan - Having moved to the US with $450 in her pocket, Olenka has lived through about every “I-can-never-be-successful-because” excuse a human can make. She teaches youth and adult influencers to stop preparing for the perfect moment and start doing instead.  She ignites brands to be great innovators in the Millennial and GenZ marketplace. Via www.OlenkaCullinan.com  (SISS)  Hi Olenka, where are you from and where are you currently spending your time?  (Olenka)  Hi SISS community, I’m originally from Russia. I moved to the US at the age of 19. Currently, when I’m not traveling the world to speak or train, I reside in AZ.  (SISS)  What was one of the hardest things that you had to go through? What Olenka Cullinanadvice would you give someone going through the same struggle?  (Olenka)  I moved to the US on my own with $450 that I borrowed from my uncle. I had no support system and no family, so that was really hard. I had to learn very quickly and early on to surround myself with great people and to ask for advice. So to anyone who’s struggling and/or building your startup – find your mentors early on. They will ultimately change the trajectory of your life, teach you a lot of shortcuts, and save you from a lot of mistakes.  (SISS)  Speaker, Author, etc.. but who is Olenka and what are you most proud of?  (Olenka)  I’m just a girl who believes in people more than they believe in themselves, and isn’t afraid to fail. Maybe not even that – I do have a certain fear of failure, but I’m most proud of the impact I get to create in people’s lives via my businesses. For me, it’s never about the spotlight and always about the impact. I have always said that even if I change one life forever, I will be happy. I’m the author of 2 best-selling books and I have done 2 TEDx talks to date, but my biggest accomplishment, without a doubt, are women who left my Bootcamps and said, “Now, I Start first!”  (SISS)  One year from now what do you hope to have accomplished?  Five years from now what do you hope to have accomplished?  Ten years from now what do you hope to have accomplished?  (Olenka)  One year from now, I want 1000 women to have been a part of #iStartFirst Bossbabes Bootcamps and/or #iStartFirst Bossbabes Summit. In 10 years, I see #iStartFirst as a global brand, with chapters and Summits happening all over the country and globally and led by other women. This brand is truly a legacy for me; it’s not about me but about the incredible Sparkle Tribe of women who are ready to set their journeys on fire.  (SISS)  What makes you the happiest? What is fun for you?  (Olenka)  Many things make me the happiest, like my daughter and my friends and my dog. But most importantly, I love seeing a woman transformed by something I said or did. When I see a woman come into her true self – that elates me. I do many things for fun: I love to travel, to meet new Olenka Cullinanpeople and to be outdoors.  (SISS)  How do you deal with disappointment? How do you Keep Going?  (Olenka)  I recently heard this phrase: “I’m not perfect, I’m practiced.” I related to it so much. I’ve put a lot of work into embracing disappointment and failure as a part of the journey. I truly see it as a stepping stone or a part of success. I don’t believe in mistakes, I believe in lessons learned. I always try to look at how I can grow from a difficult situation and that’s what keeps me going.  (SISS)  What is your superpower?  (Olenka)  I believe in other people’s potential more than they believe in themselves. Almost to a fault. I cheer them on, empathize with them and empower them to succeed.  (SISS)  What is your weakness and what do you do to overcome it?  (Olenka)  I’m a doer by nature, so I often get impatient with people. I’ve been working on improving this skill for years, and one of my biggest growing experiences came from working with teens. I had to slow down, become empathetic and realize that not everyone can see the world through my lens.  (SISS)  Can you tell us four things people don’t know about you?  (Olenka)  I used to speak fluent German. I’m horrified of insects. (Yup, I don’t even like butterflies). I used to play piano as a child. I’m dyslexic in math.  (SISS)  Can you tell us where else can our readers follow your daily inspiration?  (Olenka)  Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @olenkacullinan or www.olenkacullinan.com  (SISS)  What’s your favorite quote?  (Olenka)  “If skills are learnable, success is learnable too!”  (SISS)  At Smart is so sexy we love to see women who are thriving in their career or business.  What are you most passionate about?  (Olenka)  Inspiring other women to grow into bossbabes and boss divas! Your happiness is between you and you, so as women we need to do a better job focusing on building our own best lives.  (SISS)  Who was the most influential person in your life and why?  (Olenka)  I have quite a few extraordinary mentors. My mother is the most prominent one. When I was 14, she bought me my first post card in English, which read, “Always play by your own rules.” I still have the card and never stopped following her advice. Just like me, Olenka Cullinanshe believed in me more than I did.  (SISS)  Where were you five years ago? What advice would you tell your five years younger self?  (Olenka)  Five years ago I started my first company, Rising Tycoons, where we taught teens ages 14-18 how to run their own business. One advice I would tell myself then is to find a mentor faster. For the longest time I was afraid to ask for help and tried to do everything by myself.  (SISS)  Can you take us through a typical day? From Waking up to going to bed, Can you give us a play by play of a typical day for you?  (Olenka)  Unless I’m at an event or a conference, my typical day starts with meditation. I don’t even get out of bed – I just reach my phone and do a quick mediation right away. I also go through the day and thank the Universe for all the amazing things I’m about to experience. Then I normally workout, have breakfast, and take my dog for a walk. On the days that I have my daughter, I take her to school as well. Then I do my first round of emails: I look at my emails in 2 blocks (morning and afternoon) for the productivity purposes. I’m not a morning person, so I prefer not to take meetings and calls before 9am. I also like to work in 45 min productivity blocks, and then take 15-20 min rest breaks in between. My days are usually filled with meetings for strategic partnerships, seeking out female influencers and the projects to grow the brand further. I like to have working lunches – so I do schedule lunch meeting or use my lunches to catch up with friends. My dinner is normally around 6 pm, but a lot of times I attend evening events: for networking purposes. I do have a night time routine (usually around 10pm): I start with 10 minutes of gratitude journal, then I read 10 pages of the book. I can read more if I feel like it, but never less than 10 pages. If you notice, I do not have TV built into my days. TV for me is a treat: I do it on some evenings with my daughter or watch a show on the weekend.  (SISS)  What is your favorite meal? What is your favorite book and/or the latest one you’ve read?  What is your favorite song?  (Olenka)  Favorite Meal: anything seafood (except the lobster, haha I know!)  Favorite Book: Entrepreneur Roller Coaster by Darren Hardy. Latest Book I read: Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein.  Favorite Song: All I Do is Win by DJ Khaled (this is the song I go on stage to every time!)  (SISS)  When do you feel the sexiest?  (Olenka)  When I’m rested, high on life and pampered (I love bubble baths and shoes)  (SISS)  Is there someone on social media that inspires you and is a great follow?  (Olenka)  The Female Hustlers & Jay Shetty  (SISS)  What does Smart is so Sexy mean to you?  (Olenka)  SISS (Smart is So Sexy) to me is what I stood for my whole life: your beauty will fade away, your clothes in not forever, but your Mindset can 1000% change your life. Your internal beauty is truly the sexiest thing you own, and it’s forever!  (SISS)  Awesome job Olenka, thank you so much for sharing!


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