The Expat Woman

From Siberia to Los Angeles: Interview with Mindset Expert, Daria Tsvenger

Daria Tsvenger was born and raised in Siberia (yes, the coldest part of Russia). At the age of 16, she moved to Moscow, to pursue her bachelor’s degree in International Business & Psychology. Daria worked at Russian offices of international companies like NBC and L’Oreal. In 2016 she immigrated to the US for her husband’s work where she initially went through the most challenging couple of years of her life, figuring out her place in the new country.
Having completed Cognitive Neuroscience Certification at Stanford, nowadays Daria is a mindset expert and host of the personal growth accountability program “The Dream Sprint” which has helped hundreds of people tap into the power of the brain to gain clarity and move from stagnation to action, find jobs and uplift their careers. Her work was featured at TV Shows such as “Good Morning LA-LA-LAND” and on online magazines such as Thrive Global and VoyageLA.
1. What brought you to the US and what was your initial experience like?
My husband’s tech startup brought me to the US. At first, I thought that moving to a new country isn’t a problem and nothing will change. But it did. I found myself in a position without documents, without a clear career path, and without an understanding of what I should do. Back in Russia, it seemed like I had everything – a job, connections, side hustles etc. 

In the US I was so far from my friends and family, extremely homesick that I would start crying when somebody would ask me about my family. My self-esteem was really low  – my English was mmm…..not perfect ….. as I wasn’t even able to understand what people were saying over the phone – I had to pretend that “the line was bad” and asked people to repeat them several times at a slower pace. For more than a year I was in “limbo” and watched so many TV shows that it actually helped me improve my English and better understand the American culture.


2. What inspired you to become a mindset expert?

I was experiencing an agitated depression (when you want to do stuff and are overactive but depressed). I realized that I can’t be in this dark place anymore, circumstances weren’t aligning, I was trying to get a job, but didn’t want to settle for something boring. Every time I received a “Thank you, but no” type of email, I was devastated.
One day I was browsing through Instagram and saw this quote by an unknown author. “There are people less qualified than you, doing the things you want to do, simply because they decide to believe in themselves. Period.” and it struck me like lightning! The problem was not my accent, qualifications or experience in the US market, it was about my confidence and self-belief.
So I embarked on a journey to rewire my brain and create the mindset that would propel me up, instead of putting me down. I went to Stanford’s Cognitive Neuroscience extension course, organized events with top researchers in the space, applied their techniques and created a new model of thinking and breaking the limits that I had been building before. In a matter of months, I started to receive job offers that I was dreaming of (without ever sending a resume or cover letter) – and finally accepted one 🙂 Was working for 7 months and then realized that I want to start my own business and help women to break through their barriers. And that’s how was born.

3. What is a typical day like for you?

Waking up at 8 am; 15-minute read or meditation; feeling gratitude for what I have 🙂
Preparing super nutritious drinks for my hubby and myself – collagen, adaptogens, hot lemon and honey
Walking to work which takes about 35 minutes (my husband and my offices are 8 minutes apart) – it’s like a mini-date every day.
Depending on the day I may have meetings, podcast recordings, or will spend the time writing or doing marketing stuff.
Then around 5-6 pm I may attend an event or yoga session or I walk back home for 35 minutes 🙂
4. What three things do you like most about living in the US? 
Weather! LA is perfect!
Many opportunities for personal growth, there is always the next step.
People! Good people are everywhere.
5. What are three of the biggest hurdles you faced as a new expat in the US?
Lots of paperwork for almost anything
Language barrier
Was hard to find friends too
And low self-esteem because of all these things 

But …. most of the things were just made up by my brain, which wanted to stay in the comfort zone and never change, but rather create excuses.

6. What advice would you give to women who are planning to move to the US or have recently moved here?

Build your confidence from day one! Be courageous and meet people.
You’re amazing by default …. if you notice thinking of your self otherwise – work on your mindset.
You can visit her website here
Instagram: @daria_tsvenger

Nyna is the Founder and CEO of The Expat Woman, a global platform focused on connecting, supporting and empowering women who have moved abroad or plan to relocate. She is also a LinkedIn coach, consultant, trainer and speaker. LinkedIn played a huge role in my professional journey abroad, helping me build a network of powerful expat women and allies.

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