The Female Empowerment Series: Kornelija Slunjski

In this week's interview we had the pleasure of speaking with podcast host and relationship expert Kornelija Slunjski. With a top-ranking podcast and successful social media following Slunjski shares her advice to women looking to raise their standards for both themselves and the people closest to them, to live their best and most empowered lives. 

 

What motivates you most about the work you do? What led you to your career choice? 


"About a decade ago, I began my social media journey with Instagram, initially sharing beauty-related content such as makeup tutorials, product reviews, and other related content. At the time, I was a makeup artist living in NYC and was building my career in the beauty industry. I found great satisfaction in helping women feel more confident and empowered by enhancing their natural beauty. Seeing women become more confident and empowered after seeing the final results was something that I enjoyed immensely.

However, when the pandemic hit, I no longer felt comfortable sharing makeup tutorials and product reviews. Instead, I recognized that people were looking for genuine connections and someone who could make them feel less isolated. When I moved to Miami, I decided to start a TikTok series “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Moved To Miami” where I spoke directly to the camera and shared my experiences and insights about moving to a new city.

The audience loved it, and I found that people were eager to share their opinions, whether they agreed or not with what I was saying. As I continued to create content and engage with my audience, it became clear to me that my natural talent and passion was in offering dating advice. I found myself drawn to topics such as relationships, communication, and self-improvement, and I enjoyed sharing my insights and experiences with others. Over time, I developed a loyal following who appreciated my honest, straightforward approach to dating and relationships, and that's when I knew that this was my true calling."


What does female empowerment mean to you? 


"When we talk about female empowerment, we're talking about supporting and enabling women to take control of their lives and reach their full potential. It means creating a world where women have equal access to the resources, tools, and opportunities they need to thrive in all areas of their life. Through female empowerment, we can break down the barriers and biases that have traditionally held women back and help them become active agents of change in their communities. It's about recognizing that every woman has inherent value and potential, and creating a society that fosters their growth and development. Whether it's promoting gender equality, advocating for women's rights and freedoms, or amplifying women's voices in decision-making processes and leadership roles, female empowerment is all about creating a world where women are supported, valued, and empowered to achieve their goals and make their mark on the world."


What do you love the most about the podcast you host? Do you have any advice to other women starting podcasts on relationships? 


"I've always been drawn to the media world, and my passion for self-improvement and learning about people and relationships led me to study journalism in my home country, Croatia. In fact, I started writing a blog at the age of 16, and I've been curious about the world ever since.

As a big podcast listener, I find that listening to a great podcast is like sitting in a room with the smartest people in the world. That's why I love interviewing different people from diverse backgrounds and with varying views on relationships. With every interview, I feel like I'm learning something new.

If you're thinking of starting a podcast on relationships, my advice is to be authentic with the advice you give. You don't have to worry about pleasing everyone, because even our best friends don't always agree with us. Rather, share what you actually believe and stand behind the content you put out there. Don't feel pressured to say something just because it's politically correct or because another creator said it. Your audience is tuning in to hear what you have to say, not a rehashed version of someone else's content.

Starting a podcast on relationships is a great opportunity to share your unique perspective and connect with others who are curious about the same topics. By being true to yourself and sharing your own thoughts and opinions, you'll be able to build a loyal audience that appreciates your authenticity and your willingness to take risks and try new things."


How do you relax and unwind after a long day?


"Given the nature of my work, I spend a lot of time talking to people, which can be both rewarding and draining. That's why, when the camera shuts off, my favorite way to unwind is to spend time at home with my boyfriend. We love cooking together, lounging by our pool, watching movies, and hitting the sack by 10 pm. I guess you could say that I've become a bit of a homebody in recent years, especially since turning 30.

Self-care is also a huge priority for me, and I'm a big believer in doing what makes you and your body feel good. Whether it's indulging in a massage or a face mask, or simply taking a moment to meditate or go to the gym, I think it's essential to prioritize your own well-being. I know it might sound cliché, but taking care of yourself is truly the foundation for a happy and fulfilling life.

So while I may not be hitting the city for wild nights out like I used to, I'm still finding plenty of joy and fulfillment in my quieter, more introspective moments. After all, sometimes the best way to recharge is simply to slow down and savor the simple pleasures of life."


In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge women are facing these days? 


"It's disheartening to see that in 2023, women still face gender-based discrimination in the workplace. One of the most frustrating things is how we talk about successful women. It's like we're constantly emphasizing their gender with phrases like "female founder" or "female CEO," as if their accomplishments are secondary to their gender. When was the last time you heard someone describe a successful male entrepreneur as a "male founder"?

Moreover, there is a double standard when it comes to appearance and intelligence, particularly for women. Women who are well put together and attractive may be perceived as less intelligent or capable, whereas men who prioritize their appearance are often praised for their confidence and professionalism. This bias can be detrimental to women's success in the workplace and reinforces the idea that women are judged more on their appearance than their skills or abilities.

Overall, I think it's important to recognize these biases and stereotypes for what they are and to work towards a more equitable and inclusive workplace. We need to value women for their skills and achievements, rather than reducing them to their gender or appearance."


What do you find to be the most challenging aspect or part of your work?


"As an entrepreneur, one of the most challenging aspects of my work is the fact that I don't really have days off. I'm always on, and my clients and customers expect me to be easily accessible and available whenever they need me. That's why I've started implementing "no phone days" where I completely disconnect from work and technology, especially on weekends and evenings. It's crucial for me to take care of myself and recharge my batteries so that I can perform at my best.

However, sometimes this constant work can get lonely and overwhelming. I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and meet my goals, which can be both motivating and stressful at the same time. While I have a manager and a supporting team, we're all in different cities and I miss the sense of community and camaraderie that comes with working together in the same physical space.

I also miss my family a lot. They're all back home in Croatia, and I often wish I could be there with them more often. However, I know that building my business and pursuing my passions is important for me and my future. It's all about finding a balance between work and personal life, and making sure that I'm taking care of myself along the way."


You are known as the Boujee Best Friend, how did this concept/nickname come about? 


"Throughout my life, I've often been teased for my desire for luxurious experiences and “the finer things” in life. While I'm not ashamed of my aspirations, I also pride myself on my humble character and my roots in humble beginnings. My social media audience often comments on the “boujee” feeling of the content I post, which focuses on elevating one's life, and they frequently refer to me as their best friend or big sister figure for honest and unfiltered advice.

When I was 22 years old I left my home country all by myself, which was a challenging and lonely experience. While I have made friends along the way, I sometimes felt like I didn’t have friends who truly understood me. During difficult times in my personal life, I was often disappointed by the advice given to me by my so-called "real-life" friends. They sometimes lacked the understanding and empathy necessary to truly hear and support me. And I know many of my followers felt a similar way in their own lives. My followers often reach out to me and tell me they feel closer to me than some of their actual friends. 

I pride myself on giving no-nonsense advice without sugarcoating things. I find it incredibly heartwarming to know that I can form meaningful connections with others and have a positive impact on their lives. There is no greater satisfaction than knowing that my advice and guidance have helped someone navigate their challenges and find their way towards a better life."


What achievement are you most proud of?


"While it's difficult to pinpoint a single accomplishment, I am incredibly proud of the community I have created. Through my social media presence and other endeavors, I have been able to connect with like-minded individuals and bring them together in a supportive and uplifting environment.

Creating this community has been a labor of love, and I am constantly inspired by the stories of my “boujee besties”, their insights, and accomplishments. Whether it's through sharing advice, offering encouragement, or simply providing a space for people to connect.

Moreover, seeing the community grow and evolve over time has been incredibly rewarding. It's a testament to the power of shared experiences and common goals, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.It's incredibly gratifying to receive numerous messages from women who tell me that my posts have inspired them to make positive changes in their lives. Many have shared that they were able to leave toxic relationships or pursue their dreams because of my encouragement and openness about my own experiences.

I believe that it's important to be transparent with my followers and share both the highs and lows of my journey. By doing so, they see that achieving one's goals is not always easy, but it's possible with persistence and determination. I want to inspire others to keep going, even when things get tough, and to not give up on their dreams. Knowing that I have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of others is truly fulfilling, and it motivates me to continue sharing my story and offering guidance to those who need it.

 

Listen to Kornelija's latest podcast episode Boujee Best Friend on your favorite podcast app and follow her on Instagram for daily updates. 

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