Instagram, digital nomad life & imposter syndrome w/ Brooke Vulinovich – She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 13

Brooke Vulinovich | She Leads She Thrives Podcast Instagram Queen | Social Club Community | Shannon Dunn Business Coach
Brooke Vulinovich | She Leads She Thrives Podcast Instagram Queen | Social Club Community | Shannon Dunn Business Coach

In this episode Brooke and I talk about

In this new episode, Shannon is joined by one of the most effervescent Instagram Queens you ever will meet, Brooke Vulinovich.


With a love of connection and sharing the realities of turning Instagram into a fun, positive and successful business growth experience any business owner will love, Brooke has created a dynamic space her community adore.


This conversation is full of inspiration, the truths about business, Brooke’s digital nomad journey with her husband Dom and toddler son Karlo, and something she gets asked about a lot, imposter syndrome and juggling it all. Add this to your podcast playlist asap!


You can tune into the following topics at the times below;

  • 0432 Introducing the Insta Queen 

  • 0802 The spark

  • 1341 Loneliness

  • 2004 Business is a journey

  • 3153 Technology and resilience

  • 3900 “Second most embarrassing day of my life”

  • 4300 Boundaries online

  • 4800 Great way to get started and confident with Instagram

  • 5400 What role does leadership play in your life in your business?

  • 5514 how do you know when you’re thriving?

  • 1hr One final piece of wisdom you’d like to share

Notable quotes

Brooke Vulinovich_She Leads She Thrives Podcast Episode 13 Instagram Post

Meet guest Brooke Vulinovich, Instagram Queen

Brooke Vulinovich is an Instagram specialist, international keynote speaker, and creator of the global Social Club Membership. Over the last six years, Brooke has skyrocketed through the digital marketing world to become one of Australia’s most influential Instagram speakers and trainers working with brands like American Express, Dermalogica, Mazda, F45 and many more.


Along with a great love of speaking and teaching, Brooke has a genuine love for the media, and has become a regular contributor across television, podcasts, print & online. In the last two years, Brooke was named in the Top 50 Small Business Leaders in Australia, featured on the cover of Inside Small Business Magazine (Spring 2019), nicknamed the “Queen of Social Media” by The West Australian newspaper, had her second cover on The Business Collection launch edition (2020) and her most recent cover in Business News (2021).


After 7 years of building her brand in Perth, Western Australia, Brooke has recently packed up her life and family to go global and is currently living and working out of Bali, Indonesia. When she’s not standing on a stage or teaching people how to build the businesses of their dreams, Brooke loves exercise, donuts and hanging out with her husband Dom and son Karlo.


Connect with Brooke here


Episode Transcript


She Lead She Thrives, the home of inspired conversations, practical and creative wisdom, expansive leadership and business insights, abundant Bragaudacious moments of celebration and useful info you can actually do something with.


You’ll hear about mindset marketing, money, magnetism, self awareness and the Thrive Factor Framework, it’s Archetypes and more. Amplify your role as a leader, a self led soul. Tap into your effortless success zone. Turn your ingeniousness and wisdom into profitable income streams.


From solo shows to guests you’ll definitely want more from, there’s something for every ambitious ingenious soul. 


I’m Shannon Dunn, a true OG of the business coaching space, with an obsession with thriving. You are so welcome here. Let’s dive into today’s episode.


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Shannon  01:57

A great big welcome and thank you for tuning in to She Leads She Thrives. I’m Shannon Dunn. I am a longtime business coach and your host here at the podcast. 


Shannon  02:06

I’ve got a very special soul to share with you today. I think Brooke, you’re actually the first guest that I have that’s actually what because you’re not in Perth at the moment, but actually from my home town. So of all of the guests that we’ve had so far, they’ve been from all different parts of the world. And you’re currently residing in beautiful Bali in Indonesia, which feels like my second home. I think you’re the first Perth girl to come and come join me here. So you know another first you could add to your list. I know you’ve got lots of them. 


Shannon  02:35

But I first met Brooke, in person actually probably not really that long ago, to be honest. But I heard about this kind of what was the I’m trying to think of the words that people use to describe you. Oh, good, but the vivacious kind of bubbly, excitable, that you could talk really fast. 


Shannon  02:55

Those are the kinds of things I’m hearing when I first heard about this girl who was doing, like social media training. And she’s like obsessed with Instagram. So that’s probably what, six, seven years ago now, when you were kind of in that early phase of your business and Villa Management was around and like, you know, there’s been best times and I never got to any of your workshops. I know 1000s of people in Perth that did.


Shannon  03:19

But then you know, you launch Social Club Community. And at the time, I remember thinking I can work this Instagram thing out. One of my challenges is I DIY far too much. And I’m like, No, the people keep talking about this thing. And they keep saying she knows what she’s talking about. So I joined and then I actually had a moment where I was like, No, I don’t need this anymore. And then I came back so I’ve been a member a couple of times.  And this time for a lot longer. And you really much are, I think I shared something recently that when I think about what’s going on with Instagram, I’m gonna go to Social Club and Brooke, I’m gonna go to you first. Go to Instagram because I don’t know sometimes it’s not that I don’t believe what they’re telling us, but I feel like you’ve kind of done your research. Yeah, you’re very thorough individual when it comes to wanting to know what’s happening with Instagram. So often I hear like you share the Instagrams or get instagram content and updates a inf that gets shared and social club and that you share on your own profile Instagram. I see that before I see it from anywhere else. So there you go. That’s my test.


Brooke  04:23

That’s what we want, right? I’m doing a good day’s work if that is the feedback coming out of it, so thank you. I appreciate that.


Shannon  04:32

My pleasure. So let me share around the the official bio everyone can get to know who this insta-Queen is because I love that that was in your bio was like yeah, of course.


Shannon  04:41

So Brooke Vulinovich an Instagram specialist, international keynote speaker and creator of the global Social Club membership, which is what I was just talking about. Over the last six years she has skyrocketed through the digital marketing world to become one of Australia’s most influential Instagram speakers and trainers, working with brands like American Express, Dermalogica, Mazda, F45 and more. Do you know what I love, though the most is your love for small business, not the big brands. Yeah, that to me makes such a difference to the way that you show up and lead your community. 


Brooke  05:12

Because I still feel like that small business, I feel, I still feel like the girl who sat with her very first ever laptop and said, Oh my god, how am I going to build a business? I still feel like that. Yeah. So it will always be at my heart. 


Shannon  05:30

Which is so good to hear. Because so many people who knows what we’re going to talk about today, Brooke and I have been DMing about lots of stuff that we both get bugged about. You know, so many people forget that so quickly as they kind of move and expand and achieve. So let me share a little bit more about Brooke in this kind of official sense. 


Shannon  05:48

Along with a great love of speaking and teaching. She has a genuine love for the media and has become a regular contributor across television, podcasts, print and online. In the last couple of years, she is named in the top 50 small business leaders in Australia – very cool. Featured on the cover of Inside Small Business magazine, the Business Collection, Business News, and nicknamed the Queen of Social Media by the West Australian. Surely they weren’t the first to call you that though. 


Brooke  06:16

Maybe not…. officially in print in tangible print.


Shannon  06:22

Okay, so we’ll give it to them. I’m sure that the small business community were calling you that long before any media were saying that. But after seven years of building her brand in Perth, Western Australia, which is our shared hometown. She recently, so earlier this year, we are in kind of late 2022 when I’m chatting to Brooke now she packed up her life and her beautiful little family to go global, and is currently living in working out of Bali and Indonesia. When she’s not standing on the stage or teaching people how to build the businesses of their dreams, she loves exercise and doughnuts, which is such a contradiction. 


Brooke  06:59



Shannon  07:00

Yeah. Love it. And hanging out with her husband Dom and Karlo If you know Brooke, or if you don’t go and follow her – start now. I feel like I know your family so personally, because you share them in such a beautiful way. Thank you. So it’s feels like you know we see Dom. I don’t know how he feels about how much you share about him and Karlo.


Brooke  07:23

He’s gotten better at it. At the start, he was like I don’t wanna be online. And I used to crack up and be like you’re not famous babe. Calm down. It’s not like the paparazzi have got you. But he’s had to reluctantly learn to love it.


Shannon  07:41

Yeah. Which, you know, the reality is he could become famous. And he’s a degree of Insta-famous, because of it being part of you. And now he’s part of your business as well like as an employee, which is, I bet that’s not something you thought about necessarily early in your relationship that you’d end up employing him. Or maybe you did. 


Brooke  08:02

If it wasn’t for Dom, I don’t think I would have started my own business because he was the first out of the two of us to leave his job and start a business. And I remember him coming home one day and telling me that he was invoicing for it was either like 60 or $70 an hour, which at the time was about three times what my hourly wage was at my job. 


Brooke  08:28

And I just remember thinking, wow, that is so cool. I was so inspired by it. I was still at my job and had never even thought of the idea of starting my own business. And I just thought that was amazing. And he probably doesn’t realize the impact that moment had on my, I guess journey and life. But it really, really did. And at the same time, when I started on this journey, the long term goal was to travel the world and speak about and teach and Instagram, but we never knew how that would look in terms of where that would lead Don’s business and what he was doing. 


Brooke  09:15

But he always travelled, he’s not from Perth, so I met him when he was traveling through Perth. And he wanted to obviously continue traveling. And you know, then life happened and then Covid happened and everything kind of halted and paused and then we had a baby and and we always knew though that we would want to travel again because he’s got family all over the world. So yeah, it’s just funny how it all actually came to be. It was never the intention, but I guess an intention was set. And this is just how it ended up.


Shannon  09:54

I love it. I think that’s one of the greatest things so because so often you would see this as much as I do that people get so obsessed with the how and why things have to follow a certain, you know this step and then that step and then that’s it because otherwise if I don’t take all those steps, I’m not going to get to whatever the, you know the vision, the goal, the dream, the success, the definition of all that is. A


Shannon  10:15

And when we can let go of that obsession with it has to follow a certain path and just be in it. And as you say, set the intention. Yes, this is what we want, what how we want to feel about it. So much different, right? It’s such a different thing. Yeah. 


Shannon  10:30

As an official question, I want to start with you sharing a bit about a love story, but your love story with Instagram, not your beautiful husband and baby. Okay. How did you get from, you know, I was an employee inspired by what Dom was doing. You know, that certainly, it certainly was motivation for me early on seeing the difference in what I was getting, and how I didn’t feel valued. And what I knew I could create, and then getting to this whole, you know, the Instagram Queen, we’ve thought was it 3500+ businesses worldwide? Is that was that the last number I read is about that.


Brooke 11:09

Officially it’s like 3418. At the moment, we’re heading towards that 3500 milestone which I thought we were sitting at about 2700. Goodness. I don’t know, I just thought we were sitting about 2700, I thought we were approaching three. And I hadn’t checked in a really long time. And then we were working one day and my assistant was here in Bali with us. And I said, Oh, have we hit that 3000 member milestone. Yeah. And she looked at it. And she was like, ah, take a guess. And then we were going back and forth.  could not believe it. So yeah, that’s really cool. I’m very proud. 


Brooke  11:51

But it is not where I started at all. So I started off creating a small business that, like I said, I still feel like that girl who got her very first laptop and sat in her one bedroom apartment and said, right, I have no money, how am I going to make money? And how am I going to market this business? And how am I going to let the world know that I existed. And obviously, seven years ago, social media was still kind of new. Businesses were on it, but it was not anywhere near what it is now for business. And I saw it as a platform to be able to share a message and build a community around your brand and thought, Well, what have I got to lose? It’s free. So what have I got to lose. 


Brooke  12:11

And I started investing a lot of time researching both Facebook and Instagram, and the best ways to grow on the platform, to share content and what you should be sharing and looking what other brands were doing. And I just became ridiculously excited and obsessed at what could be done for a business on this platform for free to grow. And when I say obsessed, I was literally, I would spend about 17 hours a day  researching. I wouldn’t even sleep because I would fall asleep. And then I’d kind of wake up and then I’d have an idea. And I’d be so excited that I just wanted to get up and start working again. So I did, and I didn’t have kids then. So I could and that’s really how the story began. 


Brooke  13:41

 I became obsessed with learning how to build and grow a brand and use it to sell on Facebook and Instagram. And this obsession continued for about six months and another business. So I started two businesses. And then I became very lonely. Because I think at first, I was so excited about the obsession, right and and that was you know, doing its thing. And then I suddenly realize all I’m feeling a kind of way, but this is very new to me. Because since I was 13 I’ve always worked in retail or customer service and positions where I’ve seen, you know, hundreds of people a day. Yeah. And I started to feel a kind of way that I didn’t know what it was at the time. I just knew I wasn’t happy. And I thought do I want to go back to my old job what what is this? I don’t I can’t pinpoint this feeling. And then I realized I’m actually just lonely. I don’t see people anymore and my husband was working FIFO at the time so a lot of the time I was literally just alone in my apartment for days and weeks on end. And I realized that I didn’t want to continue the business but I I needed to make some friends. And so I heard about this networking community Fusion, what was Fusion Biz Babes back then. 


Shannon  15:08

And that would have been very early days of Ash. 



Very early days, it’s actually really funny. That event was one of her first events, but also one of her,  If this doesn’t work out, I’m quitting  and shutting down all business and just going back to corporate. So that event was really fundamental for both of us. 


Brooke  15:33

And I went along, and I met some people, and we had to share our struggles in business. And I said that I was really lonely, and everybody else at the event said, social media, and I couldn’t believe it, because I actually thought I was late to the party because of the results that you were able to get. I just thought, Oh, my God, this is what everyone must be doing on social media. This is what every business and I see. No, and, and I actually, the businesses said, Who’s doing your social media, because we really love what you’re doing. And I said, I’m doing it myself. And they couldn’t believe it. Because no one was doing their own. Everyone was paying thousands of dollars a month to outsource it. 


Brooke  16:17

And I said, Well, I can show you what I’m doing. Trust me, it’s not that complicated, you will be able to do this yourself. And that’s what I did. I started teaching little social media workshops, just six small businesses at a time in my apartment. And I was stoked, because I was like, Oh, my God, I’m going to make friends, these people are actually going to come hang out with me. And if I can teach them how to do this, and if they get results, maybe they want to be friends with me for longer. And yeah, and word started spreading that people were coming to learn how to do Instagram and Facebook themselves. And then it started coming up more and more that like I was hearing from people I heard you’re the Instagram girl. So I decided to niche down into just Instagram because it felt like nobody else was doing that. And that was probably a really good call. And everything just grew from there.


Shannon  17:16

Certainly has. I think you’re right, though, at that time, Instagram, it was certainly not brand new platform, but it was newer in terms of business. Yes. And I remember when I first got it, I loved it, because I’m such a visual person. So that aspect of Instagram appealed to me so differently to Facebook, but Facebook had a kind of community way to connect with people, you know, early days of groups and those kinds of things. But it was is like we’re how do we use this? How do we use these foreign strange things that as you say, you know some people were paying thousands and thousands of dollars, for what I remember hearing a lot from clients who were doing that we’re getting actually not much in terms of results back. 


Shannon  18:00

And I love that you’ve always said that really, this is quite simple. And one of the many things I love about social club and the way that Instagram is taught is that you come back to basics of marketing. It’s not about Instagram so much. It’s about how do we get back to the basics of actual marketing in relation to business, and visibility and brand and all of those things. Because then also the benefit if anyone is listening and you haven’t clued into this yet, then you’re missing out. But what you learn in like Social Club and Brooke’s community, is useful for the rest of your marketing. It’s not just about what you do on Instagram just happens at that very fun, bright, colorful place full of donuts in Brooke’s world, we get to hang out. Yeah, that’s a big shift, a big shift. 


Shannon  18:49

So as I said earlier, we’ve chatted about a few different things in the DMs, probably more so over the last few months. And I love your commitment Brooke to being honest and real about what’s going on and sharing the highs, the lows, the frustrations, the crappy stuff that happens. And I remember a particular chat that we had, which was around no people kind of giving up on themselves and almost kind of giving away their power to the coach, the mentor, the program, there’s something that they’ve paid for. Or I was kind of thinking about, you know, the kinds of things that get invested in that promise the world and extra few planets and never deliver that kind of stuff. You know, and what how do we actually support people as leaders in business to come back to trust themselves to really honour themselves and to know that they can do whatever it is that they desire to do. So I’d love to just kind of talk about that your thoughts around that and how often you’re actually seeing  so many of your community in that space of you know, wanting to give up stuck in the frustration, I can’t do this, I’ll never be a success, because of the external noisy, dominant, bossy, often untruthful world that the business landscape can offer us. 


Brooke  20:04

Business is a journey. And it’s taken me seven years to really accept and acknowledge that. And it doesn’t matter how much you spend on business coaching, on books, on courses, there is no one straight path to success. And I love reading. I’ve read so many books from successful entrepreneurs, and I’m yet to pick up a book that just says, This is how I started. And here’s all the things that went right. And now I’m a success. It just, it doesn’t work like that. And I think acceptance takes time as well. And one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt in business, too, is learning to trust your gut. And when everything else is telling you to go right, if your gut is telling you to go left – your guts, that’s what you should be listening to. But again, that takes confidence. And it almost takes going against it and burning yourself really so many times to realize, well hang on a minute, this is my world, this is my solution to a problem. This is my life that I’m creating that I have to live, I have to live the downs, I also get to enjoy the ups. And everyone’s definition of success looks different. And that is okay.


Shannon  21:40

Fabulous thing how varied,  if we actually stop and listen to ourselves and have varied the definitions of success truly are.


Brooke  21:50

Yes. And they can change as well over the years before I had my son, my definition of success looked very different to what it looks like now. And that’s okay. You know,  I had a girlfriend come and stay with us last week, and she doesn’t have kids. And we were talking about how for her, you know, she has so much time to put into herself and being the best version of herself. And I said, But why is that a bad thing? Your number one priority before you have kids is you and why shouldn’t it be? It’s not until after you have kids that you think dammit, I wish I had spent more time on me. 


Brooke  22:37

That’s okay, but yeah, I think there is no, and I say this about myself too, because there are people who consider me I suppose a business coach. And that’s not really a title that I attach to myself because I always consider myself as a learning.  Instagram – yes, I feel like I’m continuing to learn it because it continues and continues to change, but I would consider myself as mastered the fundamentals of the platform to be able to teach anyone. But don’t take  anything that anyone has said who is not doing what you were doing, that does not come from the same background as you, and life experience as viable, because their advice is always going to be based on their experience. And no two people have the same journey and experience in business even if on paper you do the same thing.


Shannon  23:40

Right? Yeah, completely. I think you know, this has been such a trend I feel increasingly. I’ve been in the business coaching world for 17 years. So I’ve seen a lot of stuff. And I love to say to people, particularly younger people that I’m getting to that older phase of my life that I started my business before social media and they look at me like What did you do? Like yeah, well back to old fashioned marketing. But that aside, I’ve seen a huge trend I feel like in the not just business coaching but the coaching space, significantly the mentoring space, the business space around putting people on pedestals as the what they say is gospel like you said, it’s not it’s not don’t take it as Bible because they are not living your lived experience. Yeah, and it’s such a challenge seeing people kind of put everything into but that my coach or my mentor or my so and so or my whatever told me that if I did this, this and this that would lead to this. No one can guarantee any outcome and that is another bugbear of mine.


Brooke  24:44

Yes. And look I’m guilty of doing it myself because and this is what we talked about in our DMs. If there’s someone that you admire and you respect, you can’t help but it’s feel like if I go against what they’ve told me, A – I am going to fail and B – they’re going to hate me. And this person that I love and respect and admire so much, is not going to want to be my friend anymore. And it’s such, it’s always such a childish way to think, but you do. And I’m guilty of failing that way myself. And it really sets you in a tailspin.


Shannon  25:24

Yeah, we want people to like us, no matter where we are a lot of what we do, who we are, it’s just part of being human, that we have this desire to belong, you know. Won’t bring in all my psychology background, but it’s like human need we have that looks to us, like having people that are telling us that we’re doing the right thing, or guiding us, supporting us, cheering us, giving us positive feedback and reassurance. And that, again, is another extension of how we started this kind of particular part of the conversation around people kind of giving away their power, if you like for want of a better way to express it, and almost abandoning that intuition and that gut instinct to say I have to follow or, you know, I’ve paid this much money for this thing that said, it would get me here. So if I don’t do all the steps, of course, I’m going to fail. And then feeling incredible disappointment, disenchantment and all kinds of things, if they do follow the steps exactly, but somebody elses path to success, and it doesn’t work for them, because that is somebody else’s path to success, not theirs. 


Brooke  26:31

And I think as well, coming back to, you know, learning to enjoy the journey, quite often the outcome that you’re looking for, again, this is just something that I’ve learned over the past seven years, which is so minimal compared to you and so many other businesses out there. But quite often, the outcome doesn’t exist yet. Like, I’ve had so many people slide into my DMs, since we’ve started this, you know, digital nomad kind of life and say, Oh, well, like, what does Dom do for your company? I know he works for you now. But what does he do? Because, like, I, we want to live this life. And I just don’t know how my husband would fit into the business.


Brooke  27:13

 And this is what I say to them. Maybe he doesn’t fit into the business yet. Because three years ago, Dom didn’t fit into the business. But the business has grown and evolved and changed that now there is a role for the work that he does, which he doesn’t do Instagram training at all, which is why I always felt like, I’d love you to be involved. But you suck at… Dom can’t even respond to a text message very well. So how the hell are you gonna teach Instagram.


Brooke  27:45

But that wasn’t his role, you know, so sort of, and again, it sounds a bit cliche, like trust the process and learn to love the journey. But even for me, so I studied marketing and PR. And there was no social media when I went to uni, and I did drop out of uni too. And I always felt very lost in terms of like career, and I was never very passionate about anything. And I just always felt like I’m not one of those people that will be ever been lucky enough to wake up and live their dream or whatever you want to call it. Until I obviously got on this path, but it didn’t exist. Social media didn’t exist. So maybe what you’re looking for just doesn’t exist yet. So start, there’s so much as well focus on you know, projections and your 90 day cycle and this and that, and the other maybe just focus on making today great. And this week, great. And this month, great. And over time, that will build up to whatever path you were meant to be on and and an overall outcome and not every day will be great. Not every week will be great and not every month will be great. But perhaps along that journey, you will also learn that maybe what you thought would make it great doesn’t. 


Shannon  29:09

Right.  It circles us back to what we’re saying you know where you shared Brooke around have the intention. I’m a big believer in planning but not planning to so that you’ve got every again minute of every day, of every month, of every year, of every… you know, mapped down way more about have a vision for where you might like to go but how do you want to feel when you’re there? Where might you be? Get the dreams up rather than go this is what has to happen. Because as you said, we don’t know like how fast is the digital marketing world changed? Every day is something new seems to be happening, new platform, a new thing a new you know, a new reason to blame the algorithm like there’s like so many things that happen in a day in the digital marketing space, let alone anything else. You know, just we don’t want to kind of focus on the last couple of years, but I feel like I saw a rapid rise in new business owners, because people had lost their jobs. Other things that happened, they realized that they didn’t want to be in employment anymore. They recognize they had incredible skills that they could maybe get paid for in different ways. And none of us would have predicted that would be the case.


Brooke  30:23

No, and the pillars of success. Again, coming back to the definition of success, being different to everyone, the last few years, I think, has had a big impact as well on people’s definition of success, and what they need to feel content day to day, you know.


Shannon  30:42

It was such a gift. If we take a step back and look at the reality of it, what we all went through, it’s a global experience. But it was a gift to actually stop and go, you know, what, is this really what I want, if not I can change this. Yeah, that’s a great thing. So another thing you talk a lot about, and I think in such a good way, is, you know, that whole imposter syndrome dealing with criticism and judgment, whether that’s coming from within, or it’s coming from an external source. So how did you get to the point where you felt maybe more comfortable or comfortable or whatever words you want to use to share more of that? And why does it drive you? Because I know there’s been times I’ve seen you sharing stories and in your content that, you know, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share this or, you know, but then I felt like actually, no, this is important. And this is why, so I’d love you to share more about that. Because it’s something that I feel like every single business owner I’ve ever spoken to, at any point in time, no matter their level, where they’re at in their business, what their business is, what they’ve done beforehand. That whole imposter thing, and the criticism and the judgment is a reality for them at some point, or kind of running as a tape all the way through.


Brooke  31:53

Oh, absolutely. And until you are doing something that somebody else doesn’t understand, you will be judged for it. And it’s a really sad part of human nature. And a really sad part of technology, like technology has done incredible things for the world to connect the world, but then the negative impact of that is it can connect you with opinions and comments and things that you shouldn’t have to hear like, there will always be people talking shit about you, that’s just again, human nature, but you shouldn’t have to hear it. 


Brooke  31:56

And technology gives a megaphone to hear it, which is really hard. But also, you got to take the good with the bad, there’s plenty of good, so let’s not focus on the bad. But I also think for me, in the position that I am in now, I know that what I teach gets results. So that’s my first definition of success. Is Am I making an impact in the world is this helping people because Instagram changed my life, I now want to show people and the whole core of what I do is showing other business owners how they can use Instagram to change their lives. So if I’m making an impact, that’s my first definition of success. I’m helping people. 


Brooke  33:20

So another way for me to now help is by saying, Look, when you get this negative feedback and all well, like you said, whether it’s internal or external, this is how I push through it. This is how you can push through it too. And I think it’s really important again, to show that there are still things that hurt my feelings. And there are still things that people say, that make me feel like shit, there are still things that I tell myself, which make me want to stop and also again, becoming a mother and hormones and I had a horrible, horrible pregnancy. I actually during my pregnancy, said I want to sell my business, I don’t want to do this anymore. And I yeah, I had a really hard pregnancy mentally. It was strange all I can put it down to its hormones and sleep deprivation doing very strange things to your mind. And I almost don’t even connect to the person that I was then. Because it was weird. Yeah, it was very strange time for me in my life. But, again, if people are pushing you to a position of power, then it is important for you to use that power to almost bring yourself back to their level to make them feel like they can achieve their thing.


Shannon  34:52

Yeah, no, I completely get what you’re saying. And I think when we were have been chatting about that and you know certainly my observation of what you share around your own your challenges, your frustrations, your feelings, as you said, whether also it’s coming from dealing with some external feedback that was often unnecessary. Or the internal response to that, we were chatting about the importance of resilience as a business asset. And how it kind of gets overlooked. 


Shannon  35:21

There’s a lot of I feel like a toughness around, you know, you just have to deal with it. And you know, as of kind of is this real dominant, even language and the tone of voice that can come with, well thats just want to be expected and you know, don’t complain about that, because you’re doing so well, and all these kinds of things that come with it. And yet, at the end of the day,  our human part, is always there, no matter what we achieve, what we do, what we don’t do, what our perception of that is, the human can’t be taken away and a human has feelings. And the human has past experiences, and past hurts, that get bought up by their current realities, or the things that they’re living with. Right. 


Shannon  36:02

So resilience, let’s kind of talk a bit about that. And you know, how we actually build that as an asset for ourselves, as business owners, and I think particularly, it’s relevant for anybody at any point in their business. But if you’re consciously choosing, or kind of find yourself in a space of leadership, which I find a lot of the women I talk to on the podcast and in my community, have achieved their success,  they feel, quite accidentally, they didn’t necessarily intend to be there, that a vision of what they wanted and like, oh, now I’m here, and I never imagined this. So the accidental successful women. But you know, what, what role does resilience play in all of this?


Brooke  36:45

I think resilience plays, it does play a fundamental role. But when you say resilience, I automatically think of like a strainer, like, resilience is a tool, but stuff’s still gonna get through and it’s a tool you want to use. But I think being kind to yourself, like you said, when, when the human element comes through, and things just hurt your feelings, that’s okay. I mean, I was raised, if you never have anything nice to say, don’t say anything. And I’m not sitting here saying, Only good things come out of my mouth. But I would never, I never understand, you know, putting down someone on the internet, be it someone you know, or, or not or the choices they make, like, if you’re actively choosing to follow someone and you don’t like something they’re doing, then just unfollow them, I don’t see the need to like, know, why slide into DMs and and give your opinion of whatever or there is, when you put yourself out there, there is that strange thing that exists where like you said, people feel like you know, them, and it’s because you put yourself out there for them to know. But then it almost crossed a boundary of do you think you can say that to me and we have the kind of relationship where I can just brush it off? Because maybe in your eyes we do. But to me, you’re a stranger on the internet, right? Yeah. Yeah.


Shannon  38:26

So this is one of the benefits of technology is how we can feel so close to someone. But the reality is that we actually don’t have, a living relationship with them. Beyond them, you know, listening to us, hearing us following stories interacting, you know, sharing their views of how you should or imagine for you the parenting thing. I mean, I don’t have kids, but, you know, I can only imagine the kind of advice and things you were told, you know, that what you shouldn’t and shouldn’t do. And even the traveling again, whether that’s a good idea or not, like Yeah, no. Yeah.


Brooke  39:00

Do you want to know the funniest thing? So I’ll tell you about like the second most embarrassing day of my life that happened like two weeks ago. So there is a family that Dom and I follow on YouTube. And we’ve been following them since before they were a family. And it’s just a YouTube channel that we love, and is a huge reason why we’re doing this life that we’re doing. And I just watched their latest episode the night before and then we dropped Karlo at daycare here in Bali. And there was a guy trying to get into the daycare and he was opening the wrong door because it’s like all glass, glass and obviously some of the glass a door and somes window. And he had his little boy with him and I went to say, Oh, it’s this door. And it was the guy that we follow on YouTube. I just got tingles on my legs. I literally just went, Oh my God, and I said his name and I was like, What are you doing here? And then, as the words were coming out of my mouth, I was like, and he just looked like, who the f*k is this. 


Shannon  40:06

Who is this crazy lady?


Brooke  40:08

And Dom and I just both started like hounding him with questions. And this poor guy, you could just tell he felt so uncomfortable. And just that feeling of like, how do you know so much about my world? Because we’ve been following you for seven years, firstly. But also, the last person that we would ever have expected to see dropping our kid at a daycare in the middle of nowhere in Indonesia. walked through the door, right? Yeah, but it gave me that, Oh, my God, I was so embarrassed. I’m still so embarrassed. But it just gave me that feeling again, of like, I’m the freak, that feels like they know this person. And he felt really uncomfortable. And then I had to be like, Oh, my God, we don’t know you. I’m so sorry. We just follow you. And blah, blah, blah. But then I’m just not good with surprises. And I just went to town on this poor guy being like, we followed you since, we changed our whole lives because of you. ….argh, so embarrassed. 


Shannon  41:16

I don’t think you’ll be the first you wouldn’t have been the first and you won’t be the last one. But it was a good, like reality check. About remember? Yes, that’s how, you know, people that see you online. As I said, you know, we feel like I can talk about this. I you know, I have met you in person. I’m grateful for that. But you were I don’t know you, like, as Yeah. in that kind of a way. 


Brooke  41:42

Yeah, it’s a it’s a really weird concept to know so much about someone,  that’s obviously curated information that they want you to know. That doesn’t exist. That’s not real. Like as, as far as the video we had just watched. He was not here in Bali. I think that’s why we would just because you just think, yeah, everything you’re seeing and watching is real. Because it’s YouTube. It’s real, right? It’s not a movie. It’s reality TV, essentially. And then, for him to be here was so just like, all our dreams were crushed in one moment. It’s very confusing.


Shannon  42:25

Yeah, it’s very funny. I mean, I don’t have a story kind of that big with anyone, you know, Insta-famous, or YouTube famous necessarily. But just a few months ago, I was at my local pilates class, which I’ve been going to the same studio for about three years, right. And I go a number of times a week, you know, on my reformer machine here on my back, probably legs in the air and in straps or doing something right. Right, the teacher who I had met a number of times said to me while I’m in that position, I love your content. I’ve been following you and I heard you speak at such and such and such and such as like, I was like, Oh, that’s cool. Let’s chat about it later. 


Shannon  43:02

Like, what do you say to that again? Why that moment she felt that that was the time to say to me that, you know, she wanted to kind of get to know me better. And I love that though. But you know, these random things do happen when you put yourself out in the world and people get to see you. But there’s a fine line, as you said, Brooke, about boundaries about actually what people what’s okay for people to comment on and where they need to actually respect that, in the reality of things, you are a stranger.


Brooke  43:30

Yeah, you’re a stranger on the internet. And even when I was pregnant, I had so many people reach out and want to send me stuff. But I was like, guys, you got to remember, I’m about to have a child or I have a newborn. And a stranger on the internet is asking for my address. And I know it comes from a good place. But again, when you’re pregnant, and you’ve got crazy hormones and feelings going on, and it started making me feel really uncomfortable. And that’s why I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore. I want to sell my business. I don’t want people feeling like they have a right to access of my life. Yeah, it was it was strange. I’m obviously over that. Now. I love what I do. And I found my way to find privacy. 


Brooke  44:20

But yeah, one of the biggest questions I also get asked, like I do a lot of Instagram audits, and I work with a lot of personal brands, or big, big brands that have seen the value in starting a personal brand. And they want to know like, how do I find this balance between sharing my personal life and kind of not really wanting to share my personal life, especially businesses that have been around before social media, like you said. That how do they allow people like they see the value in putting themselves out there as a strategy in their business. because people buy off people, but don’t want to fully put themselves out there, and how do you do that? And I personally believe that unless you have a live 24/7 channel to your life, you will never be fully putting yourself out there.


Shannon  45:21

True. I think that there’s a misconception that I’m sharing a selfie of, you know, of me somewhere doing something or with a certain person or taking in maybe my location? And is that the right thing? Is it safe to do that? You know, do I really want people to know where I am right now. But you know, that photo could have been taken four days ago. I don’t know when it was actually taken. And I say not that I feel that, you know, we should be in a space of believing that everything we see online is not the truth. But it’s not necessarily the truth in that moment. And being lied to either. But you’re you always have the, you have the last say on what you do or don’t share. So you’re always in the driver’s seat.


Brooke  46:04

You are in the driver’s seat, and you have a right to do that you have a right to protect, you know, your family or your location and create a story for people to follow, that is a tool to market your business and grow your brand without having to give up your privacy at the same time. 


Shannon  46:28

Yeah, completely love it. I feel like it would be missing an opportunity if I didn’t ask you some very specifics around Instagram, before we come up to some wrap up questions. But I hear a lot from my audience. And they are predominantly women in business, who are probably now more in their sort of 40s and over. They’re at different stages of business. But yeah, they didn’t grow up in a world where social media was around. We didn’t you know, in fact, a lot of them are say they’re very grateful that their teens and 20s, were not on social media, that kind of thing.


Shannon  46:58

 But this whole, taking selfies, taking videos, doing reels, putting themselves out there, speaking to camera, is so foreign to them, even though they understand that concept of people buy from people and that they are the face of their brand, because most of them are, you know, solo in their businesses, and they have a small team, but it’s often outsourced. So they really are the talent, if you like, the showcase of their brand. So those kinds of individuals, I imagine there’s a lot of them in your community as well. You know, a lot of them feel like they actually don’t have a good relationship with social media. And particularly, I find that they kind of get the Facebook thing, but Instagram feels a lot bigger or harder to them for some reason. So what are your kind of top tips, you know, top two or three things to help people to build a better, you know, kind of a good friendship with Instagram, if they’re in that space of I kind of don’t know what to do and I don’t want to jump on and do dancing around and you know, my reels and all that kind of stuff, which I think is the misconception about what reels really are. But that’s another whole other podcast episode, right?


Brooke  48:01

Yes, definitely. Look, putting yourself out there is scary. And I totally get that. So what I find is, if we can take small steps to make it less scary, that’s what’s going to help build confidence to help you show up and look if you’re showing up and you’re terrified. Ultimately, the goal is to get people to buy your products or services, right. And if you’re terrified – they aren’t buying shit. So there’s no point doing what you don’t feel comfortable doing. So what I generally suggest is start with a branding shoot. Because in a branding shoot, you’re leaving it at the hands of a professional as in the photographer, you’re also going to have you know, a professional hair and makeup, you’re going to feel like the best version of you. Yeah, and you’ll be proud of that. And that’s something that you want to share proudly. So I say start with a branding shoot. And let’s find some images and some videos from that. And they don’t have to be again, you talking to the camera videos at all. They can be behind the scenes content, or they can be you in the shoot and you can do a voiceover using reels – that has that function – later on. And then when you’re feeling confident with that, then we move forward to the next place. And then I bloody can’t get people off camera after that. 


Shannon  49:31

That happens. I go from Oh no, never No, I’m not saying, I’m not showing my face, I’m not doing no video, no getting you know, you know, and I find that even at group things like no, I don’t want to be in that photo. That’s okay, off you go. But you know, it’s a credible opportunity to be tagged into something and have someone else share when you feel uncomfortable. And then yeah, go to Oh my goodness. I don’t know what happened to me because like I take 5 million selfies and videoing everything that ever happens in my life just in case it might turn into a good reel.


Brooke  49:58

Yes. And it’s also realizing as well, when you start getting that engagement from people like oh my God, people actually want to see me. And they like it when they can hear my voice. So I suppose maybe I’ll share something more like, I hate my voice. I’ve always hated my voice. If you ask me the thing about me, like, remember back in the olden days, when, before mobile phones, when you had landlines and you had answering machines, and you had to record the answering machine message, I hated doing that. I really struggle to listen to my own podcasts, I struggle to listen to my own stories. It’s just not something that I like about myself, I sound like a two year old. I don’t know why I try and sound maturer, but it just doesn’t work. Anyway, now people pay to hear my voice. So I’ve really had to put that to the side.


Shannon  50:55

It is so funny, these preconceived ideas. And as you said, the judgments we have about aspects of a character, a trait is something,, the way we look, the way we do something, you know, that that can be such a thing that holds us back until we get to a point where like you said, people are actually paying me money to travel around the world and do all sorts of things to hear me speak.


Brooke  51:18

It’s wild. It’s wild. And funnily enough, one of the first trolls that I got went in for my voice, and that was really hard, because they said, you know, you have the most annoying voice on the internet. How do people listen to you, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They even said, it was someone that taught social media in Spain, and she said, I use you as an example of what not to do, because it’s so fake. Yeah. And I was like, a part of me was like, my soul was crushed. But then part of me was like, they’re talking about me in Spain!


Shannon  51:59

I think one of the biggest lessons that we can learn as we step out more as a leader in our businesses, and you know, in the world, is that not everyone’s gonna like us. And that’s a good thing. Because we don’t, yeah, everybody to be liking us and following us and doing all the things with us. You know, we have our own people that we connect with, and, you know, nurturing those relationships, and this internet world, this online space is actually where the value lies, and where, you know, that’s where you end up having sales coming, kind of things. Not focusing on all of the energy of everything else that’s out there.


Shannon  52:38

 I think I asked you a question a few months ago, you know, that the followers that look like obvious fake accounts, or you know, the I get a lot of kind of middle aged men following me and sending me then very, kind of not really appropriate messages that go into I was like, what I know, I don’t even very much talk about the fact that I actually am currently single, I don’t even mention that very often about my relationship status. And I was like, Yeah, what do we do with this? And I remember you saying, you just don’t put energy to it, just ignore them kind of thing. Because I’m kinda you know, sometimes I just go through a little moment where I block them all because I’m not I just don’t need to attract that kind of stuff. But yeah, this is the thing about you put yourself out there, you share images of yourself, you share parts of your story, how you feel, how you think, what you do, what you want to do, what you’ve achieved. You are opening up for comment in many regards. 


Brooke  53:28

Absolutely, and it’s always going to be there. So again, I am a big believer in what you focus on grows. So focus on the good and focus on the superfans and focus on the followers who hang for every post and every story because if you can focus on showing up for them, that will grow and you won’t notice the other stuff anymore. It’ll always be there. Yeah, it’ll always be there. But you don’t have time for that anymore. I’m just gonna focus on superfans.


Shannon  54:00

Yeah, yes. Yeah. For superfans. So I’ve got a few questions to ask you to wrap us up. So these are the questions I’ve been asking every one of our guests on the podcast, bring us back into the remembering that She Leads SheThrives  also about leadership and, and thriving. So the first question, I’d love to know what role does leadership play in your life in your business?


Brooke  54:19

Huge, a huge role because I’m obviously a leader in my customers eyes. I’m also a leader in my son’s eyes, because he’s really really looking at me and his Dad. Yeah. In terms of our relationship. In terms of our relationship off business, I’m not the leader. Dom is the leader in terms of travel and where we’re going and where we’re working from. We’re a team, but that’s something that I’m happy to take a step back on and also in my family being the youngest of four daughters. The bottom of the pecking order. So that’s what it means to me.


Shannon  55:14

Love it. The diversity and the answers to these has been so cool. I think we’re gonna have to talk to my business manager, maybe mesh together some episodes of taking all Yes, questions together. Right again, you know, one of the many visions I had for She Leads She Thrives was to bring a global voice of women in leadership and business to, you know, out there into the world. And I’m not the only one doing it. But I know I’m going to do it in my own kind of a way. And so the diversity of the answers has been so enriching for me, as a reminder about how great it is that we all have our own again, definitions of leadership, like we have success. Yeah. And then the next question, how do you know when you’re thriving?


Brooke 55:57

How do I know when I’m thriving? Do you want to know something? So I have obviously a one and almost half year old. And he doesn’t say very many words yet. But every now and again, he will look at Dom all right. And he goes, happy Mummy. That is because obviously, our lifestyle is a little outrageous at the moment with like living here and going there. And maybe we’re not providing enough stability for him. And we’re constantly feeling like bad parents because I feel like that’s what every parent does. Yeah. And when he says happy Mummy, I’m like, yes. Okay. I’m doing a good job.


Shannon  56:43

That’s amazing. I love it. So and that’s not an answer we’ve had so far. Yeah, watching when you were in Croatia earlier this year, I loved Karlo’s obsession with cats as a side.


Brooke  56:57

Oh my god, it’s so cute.


Shannon  56:59

So how is this relationship with the cats of Bali going?


Brooke  57:03

Ah, all right. So out we we have this window behind where I work. And it’s sort of a back alley between all the villas and every now and again, there’s a cat in that window. But when it’s not a cat in that window, it’s no kittens, no kittens Poor Karlo so he’ll just stand at the window and say no kittens, and it’s really sad. 


Shannon  57:26

Waiting for a cat to arrive. I know. Actually, my cat’s been meowing very quietly around to me. I was like, I feel like it’s always calling in Archie’s energy. Yeah. I love it. Well, you don’t want to if you ever get when you get to a point of settling down in one spot, you know there’s going to need to be not a kitten, kittens.


Brooke  57:45

Oh my god, I if we ever settle somewhere I would have 50 like that. I always grew up with cats. So I’m a big cat person. And yeah, it’s one of the harder parts of moving around is not being able to have a pet.


Shannon  58:00

But Karlo’s managed to find some.


Shannon  58:03

I love it. That’s so cool. So where can people connect with you, obviously, Instagram, but where’s the best place for people to go and we will anyone that’s listening, we will make sure that anything Brooke shares with you and probably more, will go into our show notes so that it’s easy to find her. But you know, tell us now so anyone who’s listening who wants to go. 


Brooke  58:23

So if you’d like to follow behind the scenes of my life and my day and my husband occasionally and my son occasionally. I’m very active on Instagram, mainly stories I show up most on stories. So that’s my Instagram account @brookevulinovich. Alternatively, if you’re interested in learning how you can use Instagram to grow your brand to confidently show up and create a community around your brand and use it to sell, I share a lot of tips and advice on the Social Club Instagram account, which is @socialclubcommunity


Brooke  58:55

Or if you’d like to take it a step further, then I invite you to join the Social Club membership, which is Yeah, where we formalise growing your brand to change your life and follow maybe a path that looks out of reach, like if you had told me when I was that person sitting in her apartment wondering how she was just going to make money in business that I would be living and working all over the world, I would not be able to see how you would get from A to B let alone A to Z yet. Here I am and everything I do, I teach, so if this is a life you want let me teach you how to do it.


Shannon  59:35

Yeah, definitely. And I hope with what I’ve shared that people have, you know, taken that on board that this is a you know there’s so many communities out there that say they’re creating community and say that they’re teaching certain things but Social Club Community practices what it teaches you know what, I don’t like the word preach so much but I think it you know, you really do you, like it’s not like you’re showing something or teaching something that you haven’t tried and we can see, you’ve tried to make so big, I think to that authenticity to go, they’re not just saying this is how you do it, they’re actually showing you how, yeah, which is a different way to, to learn. Certainly. 


Shannon  1:00:14

So darling woman, one final piece of wisdom you’d like to share, like kind of what sort of bubbling in your mind is a great thing that you know, the kind of women that are listening to the podcasts are ambitious and ingeniousness kind of souls, they want to make an impact in the world. So what’s something you could leave them with?


Brooke  1:00:29

Oh, wow, I’ve become really obsessed with success, and different business owners and different people’s definition of success. I don’t know why, it’s just where I’m at at the moment in life. And there’s a business owner and a friend that I admire a lot. And someone asked her recently what her definition of success was. And she said, if I can receive at least one message, or email or comment or review or something every day, about how what I’m teaching has made the difference, that’s my definition of success. And I thought, that is good. I am going to steal that. So I think that, you know, in different areas of your life, there are different versions of what success looks like in that area. But I think in terms of business, like you said, for the women who would be listening to this, if you could get to a point in your business, where you receive daily feedback of the positive impact you were making, that’s the definition of success you should be aiming for, rather than dollar figure. Figure, the dollar figure success, it won’t last.


Shannon  1:01:43

No,  I’ve got solo shows that I’ve been recording around the dollar metrics and using those as  a measure of success. Because, yeah, definitely, definitely a challenge. But you know, those kinds of individuals here at the end of the day, we talked about wanting to belong, but I think we also talk, you could talk more about which we won’t, because we’re out of time today, but another time about that, making a difference.


Brooke  1:02:09

Making the impact.

Hopefully. Well, that was the original aim. Yeah, that was the original plan and then Covid hit and … Yeah, but yeah, hopefully.


Shannon  1:02:11

Showing up and following what excites and inspires us. And, you know, doing what we love the most, that  is so inspiring. And I think the thing that I’d love to add to that, because I think it’s such a beautiful piece of wisdom is that if someone gives you some positive piece of feedback or love of some kind, don’t ignore it or push it away. Take it on board. Trust that they said that and shared that from their heart to yours. And just you know, the response to that is Thank you. Not Yeah, oh, no, no, that kind of thing, which a lot of women do. So I love that. So thank you so much for being here and chatting with me today. I look forward to seeing you. I’ll see you at Social Club.  Perth is lucky enough to have Brooke run these incredible events. I imagine they’ll go global one day, right.


Shannon  1:03:09

So you know, I’ve missed a few because I’ve been interrupted in doing other things like travel and stuff and writing books and things last year, but I’m glad to get back. 


Shannon  1:03:19

Writing books and things, that’s such a big achievement. 


Shannon  1:03:23

I know, and I don’t downplay it at all. But you know, it’s like looking at like, when you put a date for Spotlight out like, Are you kidding me? That’s like the time I’m like, here I’m doing this or like, I think the the one that you had, there was one earlier in the year that sold out so quickly, which is what they usually do. And I’m not surprised. And I was in Broome as a belated thing for my birthday. And this is kind of about April, May time. And I kind of you know, was off social media a little bit and didn’t check emails as much. And I like I missed it. I was like, whoa, whoa, okay, they’re tickets. Like that. Right? Oh, like that. Crazy stuff. 


Shannon  1:04:00

So I look forward to seeing you in person then for sure. And for our listeners, thank you for listening to Brooke and I chat today. If there’s anything that she has shared, please go and follow her. Even if it’s just to find out how many cats Carlo sees. But you will learn a lot about Instagram as I said, you know, number of times Brooke practices what she teaches. So it’s as I think for me that some of the most powerful learning experiences we can engage with is someone who actually shows us by doing rather than just telling us how and we never see evidence of them actually doing that. So thank you for being here. Thank you everyone for listening in. Have a beautiful day wherever you are. And remember that you can thrive no matter what it is that you do. So it all comes down to a choice. Thank you.

Thank you

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode. You are so valued and appreciated.


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