An Expat View on Past and Future Success


Last weekend I went to a seminar with The Coaching Academy in London.  At events like this, at the start of the year, you find many people attending to take a harder look at themselves, their careers, perhaps, to make big New Year resolutions, and commit to changes in the very near future. The room was full. At the very end of the event, we did an exercise that suddenly made me think about my own expat plans like I never expected.

Imagine yourself 5 years ago. Now introduce yourself, as you would back then. Try it! What’s your name? Where do you live? Who are you with? What do you do? What are you hobbies and interests?

I turned to my neighbor who did not know anything about me and said: “ My name is Yelena. I live in Geneva, Switzerland. Just moved here as an expat from California. I have a great job, running sales operations for EMEA and APAC at a global technology company. I am about to take my first skiing lesson ever. I am working to improve my French. I live alone.” My neighbor looked at me and replied: “It sounds like you are doing great and there must be a lot more to come.” It was lucky that we were asked to go back in time to 2009. The way I felt about that point of time, where I lived, and what I did for living was making a very positive impression. It reminded me of all things that were important then and the image I had of myself- confident and ready to explore parts of Europe I always dreamed about but couldn’t get to easily.

Now think ahead! Imagine yourself 5 years in the future. It is 2019! Start with the same introduction and address the same questions. Make sure you speak about it with confidence as if everything you are talking about is absolutely real and this is who you are. Go!

I looked at my neighbor again and overcame the voice in my head talking loudly about how this is going to be too big and too hairy set of goals: “My name is Yelena. I live in Richmond, near London, with my husband who I met while expating in Geneva. I work for myself. My business is in high demand. I coach expats and executives who work internationally, people who want to be effective, and fearless in reaching their goals. I travel all over the world as a coach, trainer and speaker. I have written 5 books on expat success and 2 have become bestsellers. I volunteer as a teacher and a coach to women in Southeast Africa every year.” Wow, that felt great!

I can continue listening to the voice in my head saying “Oh, I see! You are staying in the UK. That’s news. Married. Again? Thriving business? It is just getting started! Bestsellers… Give me a BREAK! Your first book hasn’t even gone to editing! And this volunteering thing to Tanzania you have just (!) signed up for… It’s probably once in a lifetime thing you are going to do!” Or I can stand up straight, smile, and deliver a message about who I am. 5 years from now.

If you are working on a plan to move abroad or are in the middle of your expat experience, try this exercise. It will help you crystallize your goals and answer the question about what happens after. So where do YOU want to live 5 years from now? Go!

By Yelena Parker

Founder, Moving Without Shaking Ltd

Expat and executive coaching

Follow on Twitter @movingwtshaking or @yelenaparker

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 500,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. 225668 418078 I discovered your weblog internet site on google and check some of your early posts. Continue to maintain up the really very good operate. I just additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking forward to reading far more from you later on! 346021

  2. 843057 782982Hi my loved 1! I wish to say that this post is incredible, wonderful written and come with almost all important infos. I would like to see far more posts like this . 820195

  3. Wow! This can be one of the most beneficial blogs we have ever come across on thesubject. Actually magnificent post! I am also an expert in this topic therefore I can understand your effort.

  4. What’s up to all, I am also genuinely eager of learning Personal home pages programming, however I am new one, I always used to examine content related to PHP programming.

  5. I am not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  6. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  7. Thanks for the useful information on credit repair on this amazing web-site. The things i would offer as advice to people is to give up a mentality they can buy at this point and pay out later. As being a society many of us tend to make this happen for many issues. This includes holidays, furniture, and items we would like. However, you must separate the wants from the needs. When you are working to fix your credit score you really have to make some trade-offs. For example you are able to shop online to save money or you can look at second hand stores instead of costly department stores to get clothing.

  8. I think this is among the most important information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The web site style is ideal, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  9. After I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you’ll be able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

  10. Normally I don’t read article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great article.

  11. Attractive component to content. I simply stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to say that I get in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your augment or even I success you get right of entry to constantly rapidly.

  12. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually one thing that I believe I might never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely extensive for me. I am looking ahead to your subsequent put up, I’ll attempt to get the cling of it!

  13. I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this web site. I’m hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own site now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  14. Thanks for the tips on credit repair on this blog. A few things i would advice people is usually to give up the actual mentality that they buy right now and pay later. Being a society most of us tend to try this for many factors. This includes family vacations, furniture, along with items we would like. However, it is advisable to separate your own wants from all the needs. While you’re working to boost your credit score actually you need some sacrifices. For example you may shop online to economize or you can visit second hand shops instead of highly-priced department stores for clothing.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here