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Uncommon Wisdom: Elena Nikolova

“Uncommon Wisdom” is about sharing those habits or stories that we wouldn’t normally think to share. There’s so much talk about morning routines and self-care practices these days but a lot of it can seem kind of superficial or maybe just predictable and repetitive.

This is why we asked a bunch of high-performing creatives and entrepreneurs a few questions about awareness, energy, and productivity. We wanted to learn something a bit more unexpected, and here’s what we found out.

Who is Elena Nikolova?

Elena is an entrepreneur with 7+ years of marketing experience and is also passionate about community building. She is a Forbes 30 under 30 alumni and an active participant in the Bulgarian startup ecosystem. Moreover, she is one of the creators of FEB – a community of female founders promoting entrepreneurship in Bulgaria. At the moment, Elena is the Community Manager of CEO Angels Club and also an organizer at TEDxVitosha 2021. She likes hiking, loves reading, plays tennis, and from time to time writes in her blog called “Stubborn penguins can fly”.

Elena Nikolova

#1. What's something unexpected or uncommon that made you more aware?

Covid-19. The pandemic made me slow down, spend more time alone, take better care of myself, be grateful for what I have and… enjoy the present moment. Maybe it’s not so unexpected that unexpected situations in life are the ones that can truly transform me, change my priorities, and give me a new perspective. Challenges are opportunities to change and we need to cherish them, and accept them as gifts, rather than being afraid of the unknown. Sometimes hard moments and difficult choices are a blessing in disguise.

#2. What's something unexpected or uncommon that gives you energy?

Giving energy to others. Usually when I feel most exhausted I want to just “shut down”. But I do exactly the opposite – I open to others, join an initiative, help a friend or start a new project. Then I feel a boost from the enthusiasm of others, which comes to me like a ricochet.

#3. What's something unexpected or uncommon that makes you more productive?

Putting my bookmarks and saved posts on social media in order. Arranging my digital space is as important as arranging the physical place around me. Sorting out articles, newsletters and other resources that pile up in my mail gives me a sense of control over what’s happening in my hectic daily life.
Elena Nikolova

#4. What does your morning ritual look like?

Currently it’s a mess. I just moved to a new home, so my routine is a bit of a disaster. I am in the process of reinventing it. Usually I wake up and make a coffee. I massage my face with ice and a jade roller. I do a 10 minute meditation on Headspace and write in my “5 minute journal”. If I am walking to the metro station, I listen to a podcast. “Radio Headspace” is an amazing one.

#5. What does your evening ritual look like?

I love taking a shower right before going to bed – it’s like washing the day out of me. I put some oil on my face and cream on my feet. I do a short recap of the day in my “5 minute journal”. I try to read a book instead of browsing on the internet. It works if the book is good.
You can find Elena at @eknikolova

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