Originally from Poland, Dominika Miernik started up her own coaching business while living in the UK and then moved it to Italy. She also runs a monthly podcast called The Expat Career and Lifestyle including successful stories that can inspire others.
Name: Dominika Miernik
Title: Coach, Podcaster
Business/Company: DM Coaching
Country/countries of origin: Poland
Expat country/countries: UK, Italy
Current country: Italy
Dominika’s story in a nutshell:
My international experience started over 10 years ago when I moved from a small Polish town to study psychology at the University of Rome, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, specialising in communication and organisation psychology. After my graduation, I relocated to Milan, where my Italian partner was working. In 2009 my partner and I moved to Manchester, UK for a job opportunity. And then after 5 years we came back to Rome.
I consider myself a seasoned expat, a mix of expat student, career expat, entrepreneurial expat, love expat and expat partner. I experienced all of those expat challenges. I loved every part of my international journey. It shaped me through the years, helped me to see the world from a different perspective.
Currently, I am running my coaching business while travelling through Europe and I am helping other expat women all over the world to find their career path or create a portable career so they can enjoy their global lifestyle. My coaching practice is called DM Coaching (Dominika Miernik Coaching). I worked both online and offer one-day coaching intensives in Rome, Venice, Nice, UK and Poland. (I want to offer them all over the world in the future).
You need to take into account that different countries have different values and beliefs systems, and learn about them before you move. Learning the local language (you do not need to become fluent) will help you a lot with that.
When starting your business you are usually facing many fears and doubts.Those fears are even bigger when you live abroad. Am I good enough? What people are going to say about me? Is my English or Italian ok to run an international business? Am I a failure? I went through all of those questions and sometimes they come back to me. What I have learnt through those years is to feel the fear and do it anyway. It is like building a muscle. I also learnt that those fears are only my own thoughts and they are not true.
Biggest start up / expat challenge:
The biggest challenge for me was to study in a foreign language. I still remember my first exam in Biology in Italian (it was a nightmare).
The second one was starting my coaching business in the UK and then moving it to Italy. However, I am very satisfied with myself and my progress.
Living, working or studying in a foreign country is great but sometimes you can feel very isolated. Building a network of people, not only fellow expats but also local people, helped me a lot to know the country, adapt to it and overcome those challenges.
The biggest challenges for me were to relocate my business from the UK to Italy and go through the admin and bureaucratic tasks like looking for the right accountant. After so many years abroad starting again can be still challenging. I said to myself: You are a business woman now and admin is part of the business. And as my former mentor says: Sometimes you need to put your girl big panties on and take actions. So I took those actions, did my research, asked questions and started my coaching practice from the scratch.
Working practices and benefits in your adopted country:
The Italian way of working is different from the Polish one, or the UK one. What I really love about the Italian way is long lunch breaks and I incorporated them into my business. I usually work from 9:00 to 13:00, then I have 2 hours break and I start again from 15:00 to 19:00. I feel more relaxed here and enjoy my working schedule. Saturday is dedicated to my own personal development, I read and follow up on some online courses and Sunday is my free day. I do have daily, weekly and monthly plans but I am very flexible with my schedule. I can take a half day or one day off in the middle of the week and explore Rome’s surroundings.
Who are your cheerleaders?:
My partner is my biggest cheerleader. I am so grateful to have him in my life. He does not always agree with my ideas but he understands me and my entrepreneurial aspirations and supports my projects.
What are your words of wisdom?
There will be never the right time to start your dream project. The time to act is now. Take small actions every day and you will reach your goal.
Where you find inspiration from:
I constantly work on my personal and professional development. I work with different mentors and coaches, which help me to be on track with my industry, be supported by fellow coaches and feel inspired.
I am a big fun of successful stories so I read a lot of interviews, books and I follow people who succeeded in their lives and businesses. You can learn a lot from them but remember to put those learnings into practice.
That’s why I run a monthly podcast The Expat Career and Lifestyle where I interview expats, who started their businesses or career abroad, so those successful stories can inspire others.
Last year I was awarded as The Best International Coach of 2015 by The Coaching Academy (the biggest coaching school in Europe). It was a great satisfaction for me and it helped me to feel more confident about my entrepreneurial journey.
Useful tools for expats in business:
Social media are great to grow and promote your expat business.
I love networking and meeting new people. It is a great tool to not only make new friends in your host country but definitely develop and grow your business. I recommend to every aspiring global entrepreneur to be part of the networking groups. And if you do not like face to face networking you can network online, or do both.
Plans for the future:
I love travelling so my expat life is more a globetrotter life now. I want to travel more in 2017 and take my coaching business with me. I would love to live in Venice for a few months and experience the magic of this city and also move to South France for a couple of months.
Go for your dreams!
Facebook Group Expat Woman Career & Biz Community: www.facebook.com/groups/1514424922170940/
Your website link: http://dmcoaching.eu/