5 Mental Shifts That Helped Me Build a 6-Figure Online Business in My 20s

Here’s what nobody tells you about entrepreneurship.

Sinem Günel


I decided to become an entrepreneur when I was 19 years old. I didn’t have a groundbreaking idea and no clue how I’d make money, but I knew that I didn’t want to pursue a traditional corporate career after my studies.

All I knew is that I wanted to be independent — financially, locally, and mentally. I wanted to work whenever, wherever I want and be able to choose the projects I work on.

Today, four years later, I’m in that fortunate place where I’m living that reality: I built a 6-figure online business with my better half, work on projects that excite me, and experience the freedom I dreamt of.

But whenever I tell my story, a huge part is missing because most people only see the tip of the iceberg. They see my current numbers, the current reality, and the freedom I experience right now.

But what they don’t see is that I spent almost three years trying to figure out what I actually want to do. And they also don’t see that I had to make many mental shifts in order to go from frustrated wannabe entrepreneur to 6-figure business owner.

I started my entrepreneurial journey by organizing personal development workshops for students — here’s a picture of the first one in 2017:

Photo by Author — October 2017

In the following years, I hosted dozens of workshops per year, invested in my own education, and became a certified trainer.

But even though I enjoyed these events, I knew that I didn’t want to spend my entire life organizing workshops, so I started to explore digital business models.

In summer 2018, I launched my first online courses:

A “Peak Productivity” Course on Udemy — Launched in August 2018

I recorded these courses with my phone camera and a horrible microphone. In total, they probably made $1,000 until now.