What to Do When You Realize The Dream Really Wasn’t THE Dream

Jenna Kutcher 

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October 2, 2023


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Have you ever thought about pivoting your career, but then thought better of it because you currently have what you had always dreamed of?

My guest today can relate all too well… but during the pandemic, she did the unthinkable and walked away from her dream job only to find even more success on the other side.

A few years ago, Rebecca Zung was an extremely successful divorce attorney. In 2020, she spent her quarantine using her experience in high-conflict negotiation to share how to negotiate with narcissists on YouTube.

Since then, she’s gained about 40 million views in the last 3 years and her podcast, Negotiate Your Best Life, is now ranked in the Top .5% of podcasts globally and growing steadily.

You read that right: in only 3 years, Rebecca went from being a Top 1% attorney in the country –  to a traumatic experience as an entrepreneur with a narcissistic business partner – to becoming an almost 8 figure digital entrepreneur.

If you are, like I did, are asking, “HOW in the world did she do it?!” This episode is for you!

Rebecca was forced to overcome her mindset, negotiate with bullies while staying within her own integrity, and dissolve a business partnership… which all propelled her to teach what she’s learned from this experience and create a digital course that immediately skyrocketed and became a 7 figure annual business.   

This year, she’s worked with one of the top literary agents in the world to publish her brand new book, SLAY the Bully: How to Negotiate with a Narcissist and Win, which is a playbook for dealing with narcissists whether in your personal or professional life. 

…And this is all because she listened to the ‘little voice inside her head’ that told her she CAN pivot her career, and she CAN build a digital business based on her experiences!\

In our conversation today, she shares how she did it, and empowers you to listen to that nagging voice when it speaks to you. I know you’re going to love learning from and hearing her story.

Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse

Rebecca’s story begins with her reaching the pinnacle of success in her law practice. She had achieved a level of success that many aspire to, and she was at the top of her game.

However, her success was overshadowed by a toxic partnership with a covert, passive-aggressive narcissist. This person, who appeared charming and nice to others, turned out to be manipulative and abusive behind closed doors. Rebecca found herself transported back to her childhood experiences of being bullied, and the emotions she thought she had processed resurfaced.

Despite having built a successful life with a loving family and a thriving career, Rebecca found herself feeling confused and constantly plagued by a pit in her stomach. She ruminated on the situation day and night, discussing it with her husband and friends, but still unsure of what was happening in her life. This toxic partnership threw her for a loop and left her searching for answers.

It was during a vacation in Hawaii that Rebecca had a moment of clarity. Standing atop Mount Haleakala, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the people she loved, she realized that she did not want to allow the narcissistic person to be a part of her life anymore.

She made a decision at that moment that she was done being a victim and made the choice to end the partnership.

YouTube: 24/7 Free Traffic

After leaving her law career, Rebecca began teaching herself about YouTube algorithms and started creating videos on negotiation, narcissism, and other topics. 

Rebecca strategically chose YouTube as her starting point because it is a search engine first and foremost. As the second largest search engine owned by the first largest search engine, YouTube offers a unique opportunity for content creators to reach a wide audience.

She emphasizes that YouTube is different from other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. While posts on these platforms have a limited lifespan of 24 to 48 hours, YouTube videos can continue to generate views and appear in search results even years after they were initially uploaded. This longevity is due to the fact that YouTube is primarily a search engine, where users can search for specific topics and find relevant videos.

The implications of this for entrepreneurs and content creators (like us!) are significant. By choosing the right platform for their content and audience, entrepreneurs can maximize their reach and impact. In Rebecca’s case, YouTube provided a powerful tool for building her brand and connecting with her target audience!

Building Her Brand on Authenticity + Vulnerability

Once Rebecca began sharing her story on YouTube, she learned something profound: that the more authentic and vulnerable she was in her videos, the better they performed and the more people connected with her.

Initially, Rebecca was hesitant to share her own experience with narcissistic abuse. She felt ashamed and blamed herself for ending up in such a situation. However, as she began to let go of these negative emotions and embrace her vulnerability, she discovered that her story resonated with others. By sharing her authentic self and being open about her struggles, she was able to connect with people on a personal level.

Rebecca’s authenticity allowed her to create a safe space for others to share their own experiences. She emphasized that narcissistic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their background or perceived strength. This message resonated with her audience, and as a result, she gained more views and was able to help more people.

The power of vulnerability lies in its ability to break down barriers and foster genuine connections. When people see someone being vulnerable and authentic, it gives them permission to do the same. It creates a sense of trust and empathy, as individuals feel understood and supported. This is especially important in the context of narcissistic abuse, where victims often feel isolated and ashamed.

Authenticity is also a key component of building trust and credibility. When someone is authentic, they are seen as genuine and trustworthy. This is crucial in Rebecca’s line of work, where she provides guidance and support to those affected by narcissistic abuse. By being true to herself and sharing her own experiences, she was able to establish herself as an authority and gain the trust of her audience.

Believe In Your Vision

Rebecca and I ended our conversation discussing the power of believing in your vision, listening to your own inner voice, and following your intuition… even if it means leaving your comfort zone.

This realization can be daunting, but as Rebecca’s story demonstrates, the rewards of pursuing one’s true vision far outweigh the temporary discomfort.

One of the key pieces of advice Rebecca offers to those who may find themselves in a similar situation is to close your ears to naysayers and do your own thing. She acknowledges that people may doubt or criticize your choices, but it is essential to stay focused on your own path. Often, these naysayers may be driven by jealousy or their own fears of success!

I hope you were as inspired by Rebecca’s story as I am. If you’re questioning your current circumstances or career and longing for something more, remember: success is not limited to external achievements or societal expectations. Instead, it is about living a life that aligns with one’s true desires and values. By believing in our vision and having the courage to pursue it, we can unlock our highest potential and create a life of fulfillment and purpose!

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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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