Episode 277: From Poverty to PhD with Carolyn Colleen

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Carolyn Colleen’s life story is one of personal and professional transformation and triumph. She is a living example that if there’s anything holding you back, you have the power to overcome it – and to achieve all of your goals.

I saw Carolyn speak at an event and was so blown away by her message that I asked her to be the opening speaker at this past year’s Best Year Ever [Blueprint] LIVE event, and I’m excited to introduce you to her on today’s podcast episode!

Today, Carolyn joins me to share the story of how she went from standing in line for food at the Salvation Army to becoming a PhD, and how she discovered true and unconditional self-love, found courage, and escaped the mental jail that was keeping her in an abusive relationship – and how she now helps others do the same.


  • The moment Carolyn realized her definition of love was truly a cycle of abuse – and how it ignited her inner ferocity and transformed her life.
  • How Carolyn exited the cycle of abuse, why it led her into the cycle of poverty, and how she overcame the internal and external struggles she faced in those moments.
  • How Carolyn reverse-engineered her first big goal to get out of low-income housing while working full-time and completing school.
  • Carolyn’s advice for people who self-sabotage, make negative decisions, and can’t let go of the past.
  • Why challenging our definitions of love give us the power to evolve – and how self-love gives us the power to do anything.


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