When Sabrina Philipp's business started to take off it seemed to make perfect sense to ask her boyfriend to join the fledgling operation.

Her online coaching business had turned over $100,000 in just one month for the first time when she asked her Aussie boyfriend Paul Thomson to come on board.

The German-born American had met Paul at a work space cafe in the popular tourist town of Ubud, in Bali in June 2017, reports news.com.au.

She had left her hometown of Florida to go travelling after she decided the corporate, 9 to 5 job wasn't for her.


At the time Mr Thomson was working for a tech start-up company, while Ms Philipp's had just $800 to her name.

But she quickly went from making $12 an hour doing social media posts for clients, to building a million-dollar business teaching women how they too can start their own successful company.

"Things moved really quickly for us. Two months after we met, we travelled the world for 10 weeks before returning to Bali," Ms Philipp's told news.com.a

Sabrina says the pair are stronger than ever after a brief split. Instead of help running the business he offers his expertise as one of the coaches for her courses. Photo / Instagram
Sabrina says the pair are stronger than ever after a brief split. Instead of help running the business he offers his expertise as one of the coaches for her courses. Photo / Instagram

"I thought it would be a good idea to have Paul move into the business because I had just made my first $100,000 in a month and had launched a new program called Bali Mastermind."

After realising just how rapidly her business was growing, she thought Mr Thomson, a Cairns local, would be a great fit — not just because it meant they could work together, but also because he had a lot to offer.

"He had so many great skills I didn't have from marketing to leadership. I never worked in the co-operate world so he had that experience too," she said.

But Ms Philipp's, a political science graduate, learned the hard way that living and working with your partner isn't easy — even if surrounded by the beauty of terraced rice paddocks in Bali.

"It was really s**t," she said honestly.


"Because the business was moving so quickly we needed people doing more of the admin things like responding to phone calls and emails and he unfortunately did that and it just became the Sabrina Philipp's show.

"It was tough and any little mistake he did I took so personally because so much was on the line."

Success had come quickly for the business. In February 2017, just nine months after doing the odd social media post she launched her consultancy business Sabrina Philipp Strategy + Consulting.

She took a leap of faith and invested $3600 into hiring a mentor to develop her online skills and that's when everything changed.

"I had my first $10,000 month. I doubled it two months later. Soon, I was bringing in $50,000 a month."

And just seven months of launching, she made her first $100,000.

The self-made millionaire was featured in Forbes and Business Insider and felt pressure to maintain her reputation.

"I also felt the pressure to provide for my family. Paul also has a son so if I screwed up it would not only affect me but my partner's son and all of my teams' family.

"At times I just wanted to be a 23-year-old girl and go to a bar."

Paul decided to quit working for his girlfriend as the stress and pressure became too much. It also caused the pair split for four months.

"He decided it was for the best that he leave the company and he was right, or it would have ended up being a s**t show."

"It saved our relationship.

"It's a lot of pressure being your boyfriend's boss. I really wanted to make him feel equal and offered him half the business but he was very supportive of my goals and said he wanted me to focus on my business and do my own thing."

The pair recently got back together and in that time Paul went on to create his own successful, six-figure salary business in consulting — specialising in education and technology.

"Our relationship is definitely the best it has ever been," Ms Philipp's said.

"We realised that what works for us personally is to do our own thing and support each other."

Mr Thomson now teaches some of Ms Philipp's clients offering his expertise in the tech field.

The pair are currently in Australia celebrating Ms Philipp's 25th birthday.

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While Ms Philipp's loves to spend time and money travelling she also uses it to support two charities — the Bali Children's Project that focuses on educating young children and She's the First, an organisation that fights gender inequality through education.

The young entrepreneur is also hoping build a school or library in Bali.

Her goal for next year is turn over $2 million and the year after, $4.5 million.