60 pippa.io <![CDATA[Natalie Sisson's Quest for Freedom - Experiments in Personal, Financial, Physical, Business, Relationship and Financial Freedom.]]> http://nataliesisson.com en 2017 Natalie Sisson Ltd Natalie Sisson yes Natalie Sisson info+5a93a288874a89326d144e11@pippa.io episodic https://assets.pippa.io/shows/5a93a288874a89326d144e11/show-cover.jpg http://nataliesisson.com <![CDATA[Natalie Sisson's Quest for Freedom - Experiments in Personal, Financial, Physical, Business, Relationship and Financial Freedom.]]> https://feed.pippa.io/public/shows/natalie-sisson <![CDATA[Eps 44 Unclutter Your Life]]> Wed, 25 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT 16:33 5ae05c5f9da29d4b23f0c422 no full 44 Do you need to unclutter your life? Are you bogged down by too much stuff? Are you spending money on things you just don't need?

Well then, let me tell you that if you choose to unclutter your life you will actually feel lighter, more joyful and more personally and financially free.

In an earlier podcast I covered off on the Art of Minimalism and all it's benefits.

I practiced this for seven years when I lived out of my suitcase and those were some of the most freeing years of my life.

I had a rule. If I bought something new - an item of clothing or a toiletry item for example, then something had to be taken out to accommodate it.

That thing that I was 'releasing' would be donated, sold or given away to a friend I was visiting, and if they didn't want it, I asked them to give it to someone who needed it most.

The result was I rarely bought anything I didn't truly need, value or love. It was such a good feeling.

And those are still my three criteria now we have a gorgeous property and large house, that we could easily 'overfill' with too much stuff.

I also have three questions that I like to ask myself for any new purchases:

  1. Where would this live?
  2. What am I going to do with it?
  3. What is it replacing?

In this podcast I go into more detail about how those questions immediately help you to make better decisions. I also cover off on:

  • How to unclutter your house, one room at a time
  • Why buying new things may be covering up a deeper unmet need
  • How these three questions can help you before you even buy something new

Resources to help you Unclutter:

Read: Oprah - 10 Ways to Declutter Your Life

Take Uncluttered - A 12 week course and community, Uncluttered is designed to open up space in your life for the things, activities, and people that are most important to you.


]]>
Do you need to unclutter your life? Are you bogged down by too much stuff? Are you spending money on things you just don't need?

Well then, let me tell you that if you choose to unclutter your life you will actually feel lighter, more joyful and more personally and financially free.

In an earlier podcast I covered off on the Art of Minimalism and all it's benefits.

I practiced this for seven years when I lived out of my suitcase and those were some of the most freeing years of my life.

I had a rule. If I bought something new - an item of clothing or a toiletry item for example, then something had to be taken out to accommodate it.

That thing that I was 'releasing' would be donated, sold or given away to a friend I was visiting, and if they didn't want it, I asked them to give it to someone who needed it most.

The result was I rarely bought anything I didn't truly need, value or love. It was such a good feeling.

And those are still my three criteria now we have a gorgeous property and large house, that we could easily 'overfill' with too much stuff.

I also have three questions that I like to ask myself for any new purchases:

  1. Where would this live?
  2. What am I going to do with it?
  3. What is it replacing?

In this podcast I go into more detail about how those questions immediately help you to make better decisions. I also cover off on:

  • How to unclutter your house, one room at a time
  • Why buying new things may be covering up a deeper unmet need
  • How these three questions can help you before you even buy something new

Resources to help you Unclutter:

Read: Oprah - 10 Ways to Declutter Your Life

Take Uncluttered - A 12 week course and community, Uncluttered is designed to open up space in your life for the things, activities, and people that are most important to you.


]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 43 What causes fear and why it’s a good thing]]> Wed, 18 Apr 2018 14:37:33 GMT 9:46 5ad6207dac4a85c30ee72c6f no full 43 So there’s something important you’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

Maybe it’s quitting your job to launch a new business, asking out that special person you’ve had a crush on for years, or even standing up to someone who has wronged you.

You know what you need to do, and you know it will help you to grow, but you can’t quite do it.

There’s a weight inside you that is stopping you from taking action, but what if this isn’t completely a bad thing?

In this episode I talked about:

  • Why we feal fear
  • Six ways to test and measure whether or not your fear is helpful

Key resources to check out:

 

]]>
So there’s something important you’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

Maybe it’s quitting your job to launch a new business, asking out that special person you’ve had a crush on for years, or even standing up to someone who has wronged you.

You know what you need to do, and you know it will help you to grow, but you can’t quite do it.

There’s a weight inside you that is stopping you from taking action, but what if this isn’t completely a bad thing?

In this episode I talked about:

  • Why we feal fear
  • Six ways to test and measure whether or not your fear is helpful

Key resources to check out:

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 42 The Art of Decluttering Your Mind]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 14:00:00 GMT 18:29 5acd01a8d410a2a0680dc4b6 no full 42 Is your mind is constantly on? Do you feel the need to declutter your head because it's always filled with thoughts and to-dos? Do you know you need to relax and recharge but can't figure out how?

Well good news. There are a number of techniques that exist that you can adopt into your everyday life to cure a busy and cluttered brain and clear your mind both physically and spiritually.

These are four simple yet effective techniques to give yourself some headspace:

In this podcast I share: 

  • Four simple yet effective techniques to ways to give yourself some headspace
  • The benefits of these techniques and how to adopt them into your everyday life

Key resources to check out:

If you want more original ideas, tips, resources and a community to share your Freedomist journey with then join my free Facebook group here.




]]>
Is your mind is constantly on? Do you feel the need to declutter your head because it's always filled with thoughts and to-dos? Do you know you need to relax and recharge but can't figure out how?

Well good news. There are a number of techniques that exist that you can adopt into your everyday life to cure a busy and cluttered brain and clear your mind both physically and spiritually.

These are four simple yet effective techniques to give yourself some headspace:

In this podcast I share: 

  • Four simple yet effective techniques to ways to give yourself some headspace
  • The benefits of these techniques and how to adopt them into your everyday life

Key resources to check out:

If you want more original ideas, tips, resources and a community to share your Freedomist journey with then join my free Facebook group here.




]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 41 Is Meditation a fad or a life changer?]]> Wed, 04 Apr 2018 21:29:48 GMT 15:08 5ac543cd32e610530ecbaa92 no full 41 Life a little overwhelming lately?


Feel like your brain is less like your friend, and more like a toddler let loose in a poorly-managed toy store?

What if you could tame that toddler, and in the process train your brain to be more focussed, less stressed and more relaxed?


And what if it took just ten minutes a day?


I know, I know, it sounds too good to be true. Well it’s not. The secret is…(wait for it)...mindfulness.

You might’ve heard of mindfulness or meditation before, and you may have heard of the benefits (of which there are many), but maybe you’ve never had the motivation to really try it?


Or maybe you’ve tried it but have fallen off the wagon?


Well that’s okay because in this podcast I share:


  • How often the human mind wanders
  • Why mind-wandering isn't always a bad thing
  • The benefits of practicing mindfulness and being present
  • How to get started in daily meditation
  • Two of my fave meditation apps


Oh and I also mention a FREE way for you to get back on the wagon (or get on the wagon for the first time) and reboot your brain.


Every year in May, people all over the globe commit to meditating for 10 minutes a day through a program called Mindful in May. So far they’ve inspired over 30,000 people from 35 countries to learn mindfulness!


(Now that’s a lot of tamed brains!!)


The program brings together the world’s best meditation experts, neuroscientist, and wisdom teachers and inspires participants to raise money to bring clean, safe water to those in need. (So far they’ve raised over $600,000, and brought clean water to over 10,000 people!)


That means it creates a clear mind for you, and clean water for others.


To kick off the global campaign, Elise Bialylew, doctor, mindfulness expert, and founder of Mindful in May, is offering a FREE 5 days to mindfulness program to give you a taste of what’s to come.


I hope you join me on April 9-13th.

 

]]>
Life a little overwhelming lately?


Feel like your brain is less like your friend, and more like a toddler let loose in a poorly-managed toy store?

What if you could tame that toddler, and in the process train your brain to be more focussed, less stressed and more relaxed?


And what if it took just ten minutes a day?


I know, I know, it sounds too good to be true. Well it’s not. The secret is…(wait for it)...mindfulness.

You might’ve heard of mindfulness or meditation before, and you may have heard of the benefits (of which there are many), but maybe you’ve never had the motivation to really try it?


Or maybe you’ve tried it but have fallen off the wagon?


Well that’s okay because in this podcast I share:


  • How often the human mind wanders
  • Why mind-wandering isn't always a bad thing
  • The benefits of practicing mindfulness and being present
  • How to get started in daily meditation
  • Two of my fave meditation apps


Oh and I also mention a FREE way for you to get back on the wagon (or get on the wagon for the first time) and reboot your brain.


Every year in May, people all over the globe commit to meditating for 10 minutes a day through a program called Mindful in May. So far they’ve inspired over 30,000 people from 35 countries to learn mindfulness!


(Now that’s a lot of tamed brains!!)


The program brings together the world’s best meditation experts, neuroscientist, and wisdom teachers and inspires participants to raise money to bring clean, safe water to those in need. (So far they’ve raised over $600,000, and brought clean water to over 10,000 people!)


That means it creates a clear mind for you, and clean water for others.


To kick off the global campaign, Elise Bialylew, doctor, mindfulness expert, and founder of Mindful in May, is offering a FREE 5 days to mindfulness program to give you a taste of what’s to come.


I hope you join me on April 9-13th.

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 40 Don't judge your bad ideas]]> Thu, 29 Mar 2018 12:56:23 GMT 6:57 5abce277aa0f6a980c2d73d7 no full 40 Are you one of those people who's constantly coming up with new ideas, only to question them a few days or weeks later, and realizing that only a handful of them actually seem to be a good idea?

I'm here to tell you today not to judge your bad ideas, but to look at them at stepping stones on the way to greatness.

As in your greatest and most original idea ever.

In this short and sweet podcast I introduce you to Adam Grant, author of Originals and the youngest full professor at Wharton Business School.

He not only has two best-selling books and a much-read Sunday New York Times column, but he's also down to earth and highly practical.

In this podcast I share: 

  • The key takeaway from his book Originals that changed my way of thinking around my ideas
  • Why output matters more than the quality of your ideas
  • How I have continually developed and acted on ideas and turned them into product offerings that work

Key resources to check out:

If you want more original ideas, tips, resources and a good laugh then come and check out my new weekly vlog at nataliesisson.com/vlog

]]>
Are you one of those people who's constantly coming up with new ideas, only to question them a few days or weeks later, and realizing that only a handful of them actually seem to be a good idea?

I'm here to tell you today not to judge your bad ideas, but to look at them at stepping stones on the way to greatness.

As in your greatest and most original idea ever.

In this short and sweet podcast I introduce you to Adam Grant, author of Originals and the youngest full professor at Wharton Business School.

He not only has two best-selling books and a much-read Sunday New York Times column, but he's also down to earth and highly practical.

In this podcast I share: 

  • The key takeaway from his book Originals that changed my way of thinking around my ideas
  • Why output matters more than the quality of your ideas
  • How I have continually developed and acted on ideas and turned them into product offerings that work

Key resources to check out:

If you want more original ideas, tips, resources and a good laugh then come and check out my new weekly vlog at nataliesisson.com/vlog

]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 39 Why money alone won't bring you happiness]]> Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:12:28 GMT 16:16 5aafe16b8c2a521341faccc4 no full 39 Money. We all want more of it, but do we want it for the wrong reasons?


Security, stability and the ability to get yourself of a crisis or look after your health are all great reasons to want to have sufficient funds in your bank account.


Yet research has shown that once you're making around $70,000 a year, anything over and beyond that won't make you happier.


Money can certainly help you reduce stress but it doesn't guarantee fulfillment.


Over the last eight years of running my business, I've noticed that when I've had just a little bit more money than I really need, I often felt at my happiest.


Despite the fact that I still wasn't earning a lot, I was earning enough.


Enough to buy my friend a drink or dinner, to get a gift for my family and to treat myself to an experience that felt special, but not frivolous.


And because I was living out of a suitcase for close to seven years I never felt the need to buy things, just experiences. So instead I saved my hard earned revenue.


Now I feel financially free and have invested in myself, my business (mainly through new team members), property and more recently in others' companies as an investor and advisor.


I still feel most happy when I have money to give and to spend on others, but not enough money to feel totally comfortable and as if I could afford everything. That would make life rather dull in my opinion!


In this episode I share:


  • How to get out of bad spending habits
  • The things that will actually make you most happy
  • Why minimalism can increase your financial freedom and happiness
  • The dangers of comparing yourself to others


Key resources to check out:


]]>
Money. We all want more of it, but do we want it for the wrong reasons?


Security, stability and the ability to get yourself of a crisis or look after your health are all great reasons to want to have sufficient funds in your bank account.


Yet research has shown that once you're making around $70,000 a year, anything over and beyond that won't make you happier.


Money can certainly help you reduce stress but it doesn't guarantee fulfillment.


Over the last eight years of running my business, I've noticed that when I've had just a little bit more money than I really need, I often felt at my happiest.


Despite the fact that I still wasn't earning a lot, I was earning enough.


Enough to buy my friend a drink or dinner, to get a gift for my family and to treat myself to an experience that felt special, but not frivolous.


And because I was living out of a suitcase for close to seven years I never felt the need to buy things, just experiences. So instead I saved my hard earned revenue.


Now I feel financially free and have invested in myself, my business (mainly through new team members), property and more recently in others' companies as an investor and advisor.


I still feel most happy when I have money to give and to spend on others, but not enough money to feel totally comfortable and as if I could afford everything. That would make life rather dull in my opinion!


In this episode I share:


  • How to get out of bad spending habits
  • The things that will actually make you most happy
  • Why minimalism can increase your financial freedom and happiness
  • The dangers of comparing yourself to others


Key resources to check out:


]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 38 A powerful morning routine]]> Wed, 14 Mar 2018 17:00:00 GMT 13:25 5aa8052ab46a2c1a64504988 no full 38 Everyday I get bombarded with stories about the power of a morning routine.

You can’t deny the research that says if you get up early and meditate then roll into focused work such as writing, painting or a creative activity, with no distractions, you’re far more likely to be a gazillion times more productive and successful.

Clearly that’s an accurate stat I’ve stated there, so you should take me very seriously.

The thing is it’s true.

The other thing that is true is that establishing the damn routine in the first place, is the hardest part!


In this episode I talked about:

  • How to start a new routine without tying it to a big goal
  • Our new morning routine


Key resources to check out:

]]>
Everyday I get bombarded with stories about the power of a morning routine.

You can’t deny the research that says if you get up early and meditate then roll into focused work such as writing, painting or a creative activity, with no distractions, you’re far more likely to be a gazillion times more productive and successful.

Clearly that’s an accurate stat I’ve stated there, so you should take me very seriously.

The thing is it’s true.

The other thing that is true is that establishing the damn routine in the first place, is the hardest part!


In this episode I talked about:

  • How to start a new routine without tying it to a big goal
  • Our new morning routine


Key resources to check out:

]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 37 Starting an Ecommerce Site From Scratch]]> Wed, 07 Mar 2018 01:30:00 GMT 10:06 5a9ed79972e1c6d20212186b no full 34 One of the best way to have more financial freedom is to add in an extra revenue stream or two.

Preferably a passive or residual income stream that you don’t have to pay constant attention to, and that pay you a nice lump sum each month once you’ve set it up.

This can be real estate, investments, digital products and affiliate commissions.

It can also be the world of Ecommerce if you’re prepared to invest in it initially.

That’ why I’m diving into the world of Ecommerce to see if I can add an extra $5,000 revenue in 3 months!

And I figured you may be interested in doing the same for yourself, so I’m going to run my next LIVE Freedom Lab as a behind the scenes of starting an Ecommerce site from scratch.

In this episode I talked about:

  • The new business I'm starting related to my gorgeous puppies.
  • My ecommerce marketing strategy
  • The next Freedom Lab that I'll be running this March 2018

Key resources to check out:

]]>
One of the best way to have more financial freedom is to add in an extra revenue stream or two.

Preferably a passive or residual income stream that you don’t have to pay constant attention to, and that pay you a nice lump sum each month once you’ve set it up.

This can be real estate, investments, digital products and affiliate commissions.

It can also be the world of Ecommerce if you’re prepared to invest in it initially.

That’ why I’m diving into the world of Ecommerce to see if I can add an extra $5,000 revenue in 3 months!

And I figured you may be interested in doing the same for yourself, so I’m going to run my next LIVE Freedom Lab as a behind the scenes of starting an Ecommerce site from scratch.

In this episode I talked about:

  • The new business I'm starting related to my gorgeous puppies.
  • My ecommerce marketing strategy
  • The next Freedom Lab that I'll be running this March 2018

Key resources to check out:

]]>
<![CDATA[Eps 36 How to master your time]]> Sat, 03 Mar 2018 15:22:05 GMT 12:21 5a9abd9b994d08a57e123632 no full 36 Do you still wonder where you are spending all your hours?

If so, you need a better approach to manage yourself and your time wisely.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What the 80:20 rule is and how it can transform your business and life
  • How to create an achievable routine that doesn't leave you frazzled
  • One major thing you can plan a week in advance to be way more effective each day
  • How to use your calendar effectively so you control your time, not others

Key resources to check out:

]]>
Do you still wonder where you are spending all your hours?

If so, you need a better approach to manage yourself and your time wisely.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What the 80:20 rule is and how it can transform your business and life
  • How to create an achievable routine that doesn't leave you frazzled
  • One major thing you can plan a week in advance to be way more effective each day
  • How to use your calendar effectively so you control your time, not others

Key resources to check out:

]]>
<![CDATA[The Power of a Time Audit]]> Sun, 25 Feb 2018 18:03:20 GMT 20:16 no Have you ever stopped to think about exactly where your time goes?

Do you find yourself saying "I'm so busy" or "I don't have time" far too often?

Well how do you know you don't have time, if you've never tracked where your time goes?

I'm talking about doing a time audit of your day to day activities when it comes where those minutes and hours of work actually go.

I recently did just this and mapped out my businesses and projects into a percentage figure of time they account for in my life, each week.

It's not only illuminating, but a necessity for all of us.

The moment you can define where your time is spent, you get to be far more proactive about how you spend it and what you prioritize.

In this episode I:

  • Drink champagne
  • Tell you what a 100% of my work time is broken down into each week
  • Share my favourite time management and tracking tool (that's changed my life)
  • Share a brilliant technique that ensures you cram a lot more work into a short time than you normally would!

I'd love to hear your time breakdown in the comments below.

Key resources to check out: ]]>
Have you ever stopped to think about exactly where your time goes?

Do you find yourself saying "I'm so busy" or "I don't have time" far too often?

Well how do you know you don't have time, if you've never tracked where your time goes?

I'm talking about doing a time audit of your day to day activities when it comes where those minutes and hours of work actually go.

I recently did just this and mapped out my businesses and projects into a percentage figure of time they account for in my life, each week.

It's not only illuminating, but a necessity for all of us.

The moment you can define where your time is spent, you get to be far more proactive about how you spend it and what you prioritize.

In this episode I:

  • Drink champagne
  • Tell you what a 100% of my work time is broken down into each week
  • Share my favourite time management and tracking tool (that's changed my life)
  • Share a brilliant technique that ensures you cram a lot more work into a short time than you normally would!

I'd love to hear your time breakdown in the comments below.

Key resources to check out: ]]>
<![CDATA[Starting the Dog Vlog]]> Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:45:51 GMT 15:17 no It's actually going to happen.

In my commitment to being 'fearless' as my word for the year and in the spirit of going back to my creative roots....

I'm starting not just one, but TWO vlogs.

Eeeeek.

Fortunately I have set myself up to just do this by sharing an episode on how to take imperfect action.

So no excuses I just have to dive in.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why video is such a powerful tool for your business
  • What the heck I'm going to be vlogging about
  • Live advice from Amy Landino on how to Vlog Like a Boss
Key resources to check out:

Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging by Amy Schmittauer

]]>
It's actually going to happen.

In my commitment to being 'fearless' as my word for the year and in the spirit of going back to my creative roots....

I'm starting not just one, but TWO vlogs.

Eeeeek.

Fortunately I have set myself up to just do this by sharing an episode on how to take imperfect action.

So no excuses I just have to dive in.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • Why video is such a powerful tool for your business
  • What the heck I'm going to be vlogging about
  • Live advice from Amy Landino on how to Vlog Like a Boss
Key resources to check out:

Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging by Amy Schmittauer

]]>
<![CDATA[Being your best versus staying in the comfort zone]]> Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:52:29 GMT 10:25 no Getting out of your comfort zone can be one of the best moves you ever make in life.

It's just that getting out of it, is also one of the hardest.

Take me for example, while I am known for being a massive action taker, I've found myself in this interesting conundrum.

I kind of love my life right now and I don't feel a huge need to change much about it.

Happiness is wanting what you have, so I'm very happy.

Yet I've found myself taking life a little cruisy (well for me at least) and not pushing forward on projects or milestones like I have in the past.

I haven't yet set revenue goals for this year (although I have done a personal and professional budget) and I still haven't started my first vlog.

In the past these would have all been done swiftly and in typical 'Aries' all or nothing fashion.

But I have these two gorgeous puppies to distract me and deprive me of sleep...and many more things going on that I reveal in this podcast.

Yet I KNOW deep down that I have so much more to give, to achieve and to put forth in this world to help you become a Freedomist and live life to the full.

So at which point is it ok to stick around in your comfort zone and when should you bust beyond it?

I reveal all in this episode including:

  • The benefits of getting out of your comfort zone (courtesy of myself and Tonya)
  • How to know when to push yourself and when to enjoy your current state of happiness
  • Why I'm grappling with this right now and how I've tapped into my deepest calling as a result
  • A few of my fave podcasts I'm listening to right now

Resources mentioned: 

]]>
Getting out of your comfort zone can be one of the best moves you ever make in life.

It's just that getting out of it, is also one of the hardest.

Take me for example, while I am known for being a massive action taker, I've found myself in this interesting conundrum.

I kind of love my life right now and I don't feel a huge need to change much about it.

Happiness is wanting what you have, so I'm very happy.

Yet I've found myself taking life a little cruisy (well for me at least) and not pushing forward on projects or milestones like I have in the past.

I haven't yet set revenue goals for this year (although I have done a personal and professional budget) and I still haven't started my first vlog.

In the past these would have all been done swiftly and in typical 'Aries' all or nothing fashion.

But I have these two gorgeous puppies to distract me and deprive me of sleep...and many more things going on that I reveal in this podcast.

Yet I KNOW deep down that I have so much more to give, to achieve and to put forth in this world to help you become a Freedomist and live life to the full.

So at which point is it ok to stick around in your comfort zone and when should you bust beyond it?

I reveal all in this episode including:

  • The benefits of getting out of your comfort zone (courtesy of myself and Tonya)
  • How to know when to push yourself and when to enjoy your current state of happiness
  • Why I'm grappling with this right now and how I've tapped into my deepest calling as a result
  • A few of my fave podcasts I'm listening to right now

Resources mentioned: 

]]>
<![CDATA[Take Imperfect Action]]> Tue, 06 Feb 2018 14:06:05 GMT 10:15 no Hey you. Yeah you. The perfectionist standing there, waiting until your ducks are lined up before you take real action.

Can I offer you some advice?

Just for today, aim for imperfect action. Don't worry if things aren't polished, poised and perfect.

Aim for the Minimum Viable Product/ Project or next step.

You can do it. I know you can. It's actually truly liberating when you allow yourself to do this.

It's also the trick to success. Taking one small step each day, that's all you have to do.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How an imperfect action will lead you to take the perfect action (when you're ready for it)
  • Why I'm starting a Vlog just for shits and giggles
  • The 6 rules to shoot a video that doesn't suck
  • How to take imperfect action and how I do on a regular basis

Resources mentioned: 

Video that doesn't suck guidelines by Joriam:

  1. Internet does not forgive crap audio. Don't record in busy cafes. Preferably get a decent mic.
  2. Rule of thirds - your eyes should be two thirds from the bottom of the frame. Use horizontal video.
  3. Daytime light is best, not at night unless you have proper lighting
  4. Video voice - video cuts away nuance of everyday speaking. You lose some energy so you have to compensate with more of your style of energy.
  5. Scripts - talk about something you deeply care about. 7% of your time will be spent thinking about what you want to talk. About, and 93% about how to make it interesting. Unique, deep, resonant, funny etc.
  6. BONUS: Silence.. is very powerful. Use it sparingly.. But use it!

Read or listen to Vlog like a Boss if that's what you want to get into.

]]>
Hey you. Yeah you. The perfectionist standing there, waiting until your ducks are lined up before you take real action.

Can I offer you some advice?

Just for today, aim for imperfect action. Don't worry if things aren't polished, poised and perfect.

Aim for the Minimum Viable Product/ Project or next step.

You can do it. I know you can. It's actually truly liberating when you allow yourself to do this.

It's also the trick to success. Taking one small step each day, that's all you have to do.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • How an imperfect action will lead you to take the perfect action (when you're ready for it)
  • Why I'm starting a Vlog just for shits and giggles
  • The 6 rules to shoot a video that doesn't suck
  • How to take imperfect action and how I do on a regular basis

Resources mentioned: 

Video that doesn't suck guidelines by Joriam:

  1. Internet does not forgive crap audio. Don't record in busy cafes. Preferably get a decent mic.
  2. Rule of thirds - your eyes should be two thirds from the bottom of the frame. Use horizontal video.
  3. Daytime light is best, not at night unless you have proper lighting
  4. Video voice - video cuts away nuance of everyday speaking. You lose some energy so you have to compensate with more of your style of energy.
  5. Scripts - talk about something you deeply care about. 7% of your time will be spent thinking about what you want to talk. About, and 93% about how to make it interesting. Unique, deep, resonant, funny etc.
  6. BONUS: Silence.. is very powerful. Use it sparingly.. But use it!

Read or listen to Vlog like a Boss if that's what you want to get into.

]]>
<![CDATA[Getting your mojo back]]> Tue, 06 Feb 2018 10:18:39 GMT 8:55 no I am a firm believer that the universe has your back.

And when you decide to align with your true purpose in life and put all your energy in, you will get that energy back in droves.

Throughout your life there will be periods where you are just on fire and there will be times when stuff feels heavy. 

The trick is really feeling into what lights you up, and doing more of that, even if that's just through baby steps and tiny adjustments in your everyday life.

I can speak from experience, when I tell you that feeling like you're on the exact right path for you doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen.

In this episode, you'll learn about:

  • The things that I used to do back when I started my business that bring me energy and joy
  • What that means for me in 2018 and what I'm going to bring back 
  • My 2018 side business project that is a completely different niche!
  • Low cost-ways to start your business
]]>
I am a firm believer that the universe has your back.

And when you decide to align with your true purpose in life and put all your energy in, you will get that energy back in droves.

Throughout your life there will be periods where you are just on fire and there will be times when stuff feels heavy. 

The trick is really feeling into what lights you up, and doing more of that, even if that's just through baby steps and tiny adjustments in your everyday life.

I can speak from experience, when I tell you that feeling like you're on the exact right path for you doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen.

In this episode, you'll learn about:

  • The things that I used to do back when I started my business that bring me energy and joy
  • What that means for me in 2018 and what I'm going to bring back 
  • My 2018 side business project that is a completely different niche!
  • Low cost-ways to start your business
]]>
<![CDATA[Your Word. Your Year]]> Sat, 27 Jan 2018 11:26:56 GMT 13:14 no Every year, I pick one word that becomes my theme for the year.

This one word represents what I want to focus on. In previous years it's been freedom, growth, clarity and focus.

You'd think one measly word wouldn't make much of a difference to your life, but I have to tell you....it's a game changer!

Whenever you're off track, it helps you come back to focus in on what's important, what matters, and what you really want out of your year.

In this episode I reveal:

  • My word for 2018 (and why people laughed at it)
  • My new quest to vlog like a boss
  • A great audio and book resource I'm using to learn to vlog like a boss
  • Why this is the year to OWN it (and put on your grown up panties)

Listen and learn my friend....or just be entertained.

Key resource to check out:

]]>
Every year, I pick one word that becomes my theme for the year.

This one word represents what I want to focus on. In previous years it's been freedom, growth, clarity and focus.

You'd think one measly word wouldn't make much of a difference to your life, but I have to tell you....it's a game changer!

Whenever you're off track, it helps you come back to focus in on what's important, what matters, and what you really want out of your year.

In this episode I reveal:

  • My word for 2018 (and why people laughed at it)
  • My new quest to vlog like a boss
  • A great audio and book resource I'm using to learn to vlog like a boss
  • Why this is the year to OWN it (and put on your grown up panties)

Listen and learn my friend....or just be entertained.

Key resource to check out:

]]>
<![CDATA[2018 Quest for Freedom]]> Tue, 23 Jan 2018 14:58:37 GMT 8:12 no As we kick of into 2018, things are going to change around here. For starters you're going to hear a lot more from me on the podcast with short and sweet episodes as I go on a Quest for Freedom for you! I'm talking behind the scenes, every day experiments in living life with true freedom.

In this episode:

  • I reveal my plans for 2018
  • What you can expect from me on the podcast
  • The new business I'm starting
  • How I'm going to be more creative
  • Why I'm going back to my roots

 

]]>
As we kick of into 2018, things are going to change around here. For starters you're going to hear a lot more from me on the podcast with short and sweet episodes as I go on a Quest for Freedom for you! I'm talking behind the scenes, every day experiments in living life with true freedom.

In this episode:

  • I reveal my plans for 2018
  • What you can expect from me on the podcast
  • The new business I'm starting
  • How I'm going to be more creative
  • Why I'm going back to my roots

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Trying to Solve the Wrong Problem?]]> Wed, 27 Dec 2017 12:11:12 GMT 9:49 no Could you be attempting to solve the wrong problem when it’s actually really your mindset that’s needing to be transformed?

Have you tried to change your habits or worked harder to improve your business and life? And then you get to the point where you ask yourself, "Why is this still not working?".

It's technically because you are doing the wrong thing.

It's not about the actions that you are doing or not doing that's making the difference.

It's actually what's happening in your mind that's actually the biggest challenge you have that needs to be solved.

My friend Osmaan Sharif is back in Season 5 of Quest for Freedom to continue our talk about Mindset Freedom.

We discuss the Rapid Transformation Formula, solving the right problem and his top tips to shift your mindset when your mindset is holding you back.

Of course it takes courage to shine the spotlight onto YOU.  But when you get to the root of the real challenges you may be facing, then positive & long-lasting  transformations for your business and life can truly happen!

Hit play above or listen to this episode directly here.

Forget investing in your business, in tools and in more programs in 2018.

Make 2018 the year to invest in your mindset and you will not only see the most transformative shifts, but outstanding results in life and business.

Get details on the next Freedom Lab Master Your Mindset going live in January 2018.

  • Get crystal clear about the DESIGN of your life & business, so that it fits with what’s important to YOU and what freedom means to you.
  • Discover your entrepreneurial superpower, using the practical Wealth Dynamics profiling system (a fantastic test that tells you how to get in flow as an entrepreneur based on your strengths).
  • Learn tools from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), applied & focused to help you as a business owners master your mindset & helping you get unstuck & overcome limitations.
]]>
Could you be attempting to solve the wrong problem when it’s actually really your mindset that’s needing to be transformed?

Have you tried to change your habits or worked harder to improve your business and life? And then you get to the point where you ask yourself, "Why is this still not working?".

It's technically because you are doing the wrong thing.

It's not about the actions that you are doing or not doing that's making the difference.

It's actually what's happening in your mind that's actually the biggest challenge you have that needs to be solved.

My friend Osmaan Sharif is back in Season 5 of Quest for Freedom to continue our talk about Mindset Freedom.

We discuss the Rapid Transformation Formula, solving the right problem and his top tips to shift your mindset when your mindset is holding you back.

Of course it takes courage to shine the spotlight onto YOU.  But when you get to the root of the real challenges you may be facing, then positive & long-lasting  transformations for your business and life can truly happen!

Hit play above or listen to this episode directly here.

Forget investing in your business, in tools and in more programs in 2018.

Make 2018 the year to invest in your mindset and you will not only see the most transformative shifts, but outstanding results in life and business.

Get details on the next Freedom Lab Master Your Mindset going live in January 2018.

  • Get crystal clear about the DESIGN of your life & business, so that it fits with what’s important to YOU and what freedom means to you.
  • Discover your entrepreneurial superpower, using the practical Wealth Dynamics profiling system (a fantastic test that tells you how to get in flow as an entrepreneur based on your strengths).
  • Learn tools from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), applied & focused to help you as a business owners master your mindset & helping you get unstuck & overcome limitations.
]]>
<![CDATA[How to Stop Comparison-itis]]> Thu, 21 Dec 2017 20:32:17 GMT 14:33 no We all do it. We all compare ourselves to others and sabotage ourselves in the process.

Your aim in life should be to be the very best version of yourself. So why do we all consistently compare ourselves against others?

Why do we look at people who are 3, 5 or even 10 years ahead of us in business and in life and get completely dejected that ‘we’re not there yet’ or that we pale in comparison.

That’s like comparing yourself with Richard Branson and his current empire worth billions, instead of the Richard Branson in college trying to make a magazine come to life and getting loans from his Mum.

You will always come up ridiculously short.

And that’s just a game for losers to play, and you’re a winner, so I suggest you stop that now.

You can’t even begin to know what’s behind their journey, what it took for them to get to where they are now. But you can learn from them, and emulate the great things they do, so long as you don’t try to measure up against them.

Nothing compares to you. You just focus on being your best self.

It doesn’t help that we’re constantly bombarded with ‘overnight success’ stories and internet millionaires making money in their sleep.

I know it can seem like everybody is doing better at everything than you. But they’re not.

In fact often it’s far from the truth, they’re just good at marketing or spinning out the right stuff.

I’d like you to stop this destructive habit and instead concentrate on where you’re at and what you’ve achieved.

That's why in this podcast I've brought in the heavies, well the heavyweight expert in getting rid of limiting beliefs, stopping your comparison-itis syndrome and shifting your mindset.

My friend Osmaan Sharif is a Performance Coach at Rapid Transformation and he specializes in unlocking your entrepreneurial superpowers and transforming your mindset blocks.

Since Season 5 of Quest for Freedom is all about Mindset Freedom I decided to bring him on to discuss how we can make 2018 our best year ever by doing one thing.

Working on our 'inner game'. 

We discuss how to stop comparing yourself to others, why that's destructive and two things you can do instead to focus on being your best self.

Hit play above or listen to this episode directly here.

Forget investing in your business, in tools and in more programs in 2018.

Make 2018 the year to invest in your mindset and you will not only see the most transformative shifts, but outstanding results in life and business.

Get details on the next Freedom Lab Master Your Mindset going live in January 2018.

 

Design + MINDSET + Strategies = Results.

  • Get crystal clear about the DESIGN of your life & business, so that it fits with what’s important to YOU and what freedom means to you.
  • Discover your entrepreneurial superpower, using the practical Wealth Dynamics profiling system (a fantastic test that tells you how to get in flow as an entrepreneur based on your strengths).
  • Learn tools from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), applied & focused to help you as a business owners master your mindset & helping you get unstuck & overcome limitations.

Get more details here, and get yourself on the VIP list to learn how to join us in 2018.

]]>
We all do it. We all compare ourselves to others and sabotage ourselves in the process.

Your aim in life should be to be the very best version of yourself. So why do we all consistently compare ourselves against others?

Why do we look at people who are 3, 5 or even 10 years ahead of us in business and in life and get completely dejected that ‘we’re not there yet’ or that we pale in comparison.

That’s like comparing yourself with Richard Branson and his current empire worth billions, instead of the Richard Branson in college trying to make a magazine come to life and getting loans from his Mum.

You will always come up ridiculously short.

And that’s just a game for losers to play, and you’re a winner, so I suggest you stop that now.

You can’t even begin to know what’s behind their journey, what it took for them to get to where they are now. But you can learn from them, and emulate the great things they do, so long as you don’t try to measure up against them.

Nothing compares to you. You just focus on being your best self.

It doesn’t help that we’re constantly bombarded with ‘overnight success’ stories and internet millionaires making money in their sleep.

I know it can seem like everybody is doing better at everything than you. But they’re not.

In fact often it’s far from the truth, they’re just good at marketing or spinning out the right stuff.

I’d like you to stop this destructive habit and instead concentrate on where you’re at and what you’ve achieved.

That's why in this podcast I've brought in the heavies, well the heavyweight expert in getting rid of limiting beliefs, stopping your comparison-itis syndrome and shifting your mindset.

My friend Osmaan Sharif is a Performance Coach at Rapid Transformation and he specializes in unlocking your entrepreneurial superpowers and transforming your mindset blocks.

Since Season 5 of Quest for Freedom is all about Mindset Freedom I decided to bring him on to discuss how we can make 2018 our best year ever by doing one thing.

Working on our 'inner game'. 

We discuss how to stop comparing yourself to others, why that's destructive and two things you can do instead to focus on being your best self.

Hit play above or listen to this episode directly here.

Forget investing in your business, in tools and in more programs in 2018.

Make 2018 the year to invest in your mindset and you will not only see the most transformative shifts, but outstanding results in life and business.

Get details on the next Freedom Lab Master Your Mindset going live in January 2018.

 

Design + MINDSET + Strategies = Results.

  • Get crystal clear about the DESIGN of your life & business, so that it fits with what’s important to YOU and what freedom means to you.
  • Discover your entrepreneurial superpower, using the practical Wealth Dynamics profiling system (a fantastic test that tells you how to get in flow as an entrepreneur based on your strengths).
  • Learn tools from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), applied & focused to help you as a business owners master your mindset & helping you get unstuck & overcome limitations.

Get more details here, and get yourself on the VIP list to learn how to join us in 2018.

]]>
<![CDATA[Your Mindset Can Set You Free]]> Mon, 18 Dec 2017 16:14:30 GMT 11:01 no This is a fantastic time of the year to bringing you Season 5 of the Quest for Freedom Podcast on Mindset Freedom.

Why is that?

Well it’s typically the time when you’re winding down for the holiday season and also planning ahead to think about 2018 and why it’s going to be different.

But it’s not going to be different until you’re prepared to start working on the very thing that can make the most significant difference to your life.

I’m talking about your mindset. That’s because your mindset can set you free.

Mindset is the foundation that freedom in its widest possible sense comes from.

You are the product of your mind. Every thought and belief you have stored inside your mind shapes your experience of life.

Your values and beliefs shape your perception of reality and as a result your ability to achieve anything in life.

I’ve found that over the years, when I am not focusing on a growth mindset, when I’m not actively learning and applying new techniques to grow my mindset, to become more focused, to get rid of those negative thoughts, those comparison game moments, things don’t go quite as well.

And it feels less free in my mind.

For me personally, this year has been a roller coaster in terms of reshaping and reframing my identity from Suitcase Entrepreneur to Natalie Sisson.

I’ve been through a business sabbatical, a complete 180-degree shift and a complete change in what I am doing and how that fits into my meaning in life and my purpose.

For you, you may too also have had quite a full on year, or perhaps you’ve been really focusing in on what it is within your mind that you can strengthen.

Or what it is that you can quiet so that it makes way for more of those thoughts that allow you to be your best possible self and give you freedom in your mind.

We’ve all been there. We’ve had the mind tells us things we don’t really need to hear.

Our mindset can be our best comrade or it can be our worst enemy and so much of that is under our control.

I think about that every single time I’m faced with a big decision or a reaction to something.

Most of the time I’d like to think I’m pretty calm, but I am also a passionate Aries and every so often something will just piss me off and my emotions will well up and I’ll react in an instant.

So I probably need to go back and revisit some of the mindfulness freedom from Season 1, Mind Your Mindfulness and recommend you do too.

Making decisions in the moment of how we think, of how we act, of how we grow, of how we fundamentally believe is all part of having the right mindset.

The Definition of Mindset

The mindset definition varies across different sources according to Dictionary it is “1. an attitude, disposition, or mood.” or “2. an intention or inclination.” and “1. a mental attitude or inclination” or “2. a fixed state of mind”.

Yet none of these actually yield the true meaning and real definition of what it is. So what is the true meaning?

A more accurate definition of mindset is the sum of the way you think.

Mindset is how your values and beliefs shape your thoughts and lead you to be the way you are.

The way you think and feel, the way your thoughts lead you to act and behave causes the results you experience in the world.

If you have thoughts which are negative or limited then you will experience challenges and likely find success and freedom almost impossible to achieve.

If you are into people like Tony Robbins, into personal development and self-help books, you’ll come across a lot of these tactics and tools.

You’ll look into your neuro-linguistic programming, regression timeline and EFT (emotional freedom technique).  I’ve only touched on a few of these myself throughout my life.

There’s other tactics like meditation, mindfulness, transcendental meditation, looking at your chakras and all these exciting things like brain waves and binaural beats.

It’s incredible how much information is out there.

If we come back to the fundamental message here, which is "the way you think and feel, the way your thoughts lead you to act and behave causes the results you experience in the world", you can start to see pretty quickly that anytime you are having a bad day, it’s most likely because of the way that you are thinking and then acting.

So how can you change state, how can you get yourself out of that to get back on track and into a frame of mind that serves you best?

Sometimes it’s good to be angry, sometimes it’s good to be emotional but if you can channel that into something that really helps you, serve you and helps others then we are talking about reframing and using your mindset for the power of good or even greatness.

And we want to move out of a fixed mindset, negative or a limited mindset into a growth mindset. I have talked about this research from Carol Dweck in Learning with a Growth Mindset.

But what I am most excited about is that I am bringing on a special guest, Osmaan Sharif who is my freedom mindset go-to guy.

I’ve had him attend three of my last freedom mastermind retreats in Bali and Portugal and he honestly has the most amazing set of tools to be able to help people shift their mindsets in minutes.

He is the founder of Rapid Transformation and he can transform people quite rapidly if they are open to it and if they are willing.

We are going to cover off on some really fantastic topics including

  • comparison-itis - how your mindset can be negatively impact with those you look up to
  • could you be attempting to solve the wrong problem when it’s really our mindset needs to be transformed
  • negative stories - what are we telling ourselves and how is that impacting or limiting our beliefs
  • when you are really not in control and that the unconscious mind is and how we can tap into that.

I would love for you to tune in every single time we put out a podcast and that’s going to be every Monday and Thursday from now on.

Want to stay up to date then please SUBSCRIBE on iTunes so you don’t miss a show.

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
This is a fantastic time of the year to bringing you Season 5 of the Quest for Freedom Podcast on Mindset Freedom.

Why is that?

Well it’s typically the time when you’re winding down for the holiday season and also planning ahead to think about 2018 and why it’s going to be different.

But it’s not going to be different until you’re prepared to start working on the very thing that can make the most significant difference to your life.

I’m talking about your mindset. That’s because your mindset can set you free.

Mindset is the foundation that freedom in its widest possible sense comes from.

You are the product of your mind. Every thought and belief you have stored inside your mind shapes your experience of life.

Your values and beliefs shape your perception of reality and as a result your ability to achieve anything in life.

I’ve found that over the years, when I am not focusing on a growth mindset, when I’m not actively learning and applying new techniques to grow my mindset, to become more focused, to get rid of those negative thoughts, those comparison game moments, things don’t go quite as well.

And it feels less free in my mind.

For me personally, this year has been a roller coaster in terms of reshaping and reframing my identity from Suitcase Entrepreneur to Natalie Sisson.

I’ve been through a business sabbatical, a complete 180-degree shift and a complete change in what I am doing and how that fits into my meaning in life and my purpose.

For you, you may too also have had quite a full on year, or perhaps you’ve been really focusing in on what it is within your mind that you can strengthen.

Or what it is that you can quiet so that it makes way for more of those thoughts that allow you to be your best possible self and give you freedom in your mind.

We’ve all been there. We’ve had the mind tells us things we don’t really need to hear.

Our mindset can be our best comrade or it can be our worst enemy and so much of that is under our control.

I think about that every single time I’m faced with a big decision or a reaction to something.

Most of the time I’d like to think I’m pretty calm, but I am also a passionate Aries and every so often something will just piss me off and my emotions will well up and I’ll react in an instant.

So I probably need to go back and revisit some of the mindfulness freedom from Season 1, Mind Your Mindfulness and recommend you do too.

Making decisions in the moment of how we think, of how we act, of how we grow, of how we fundamentally believe is all part of having the right mindset.

The Definition of Mindset

The mindset definition varies across different sources according to Dictionary it is “1. an attitude, disposition, or mood.” or “2. an intention or inclination.” and “1. a mental attitude or inclination” or “2. a fixed state of mind”.

Yet none of these actually yield the true meaning and real definition of what it is. So what is the true meaning?

A more accurate definition of mindset is the sum of the way you think.

Mindset is how your values and beliefs shape your thoughts and lead you to be the way you are.

The way you think and feel, the way your thoughts lead you to act and behave causes the results you experience in the world.

If you have thoughts which are negative or limited then you will experience challenges and likely find success and freedom almost impossible to achieve.

If you are into people like Tony Robbins, into personal development and self-help books, you’ll come across a lot of these tactics and tools.

You’ll look into your neuro-linguistic programming, regression timeline and EFT (emotional freedom technique).  I’ve only touched on a few of these myself throughout my life.

There’s other tactics like meditation, mindfulness, transcendental meditation, looking at your chakras and all these exciting things like brain waves and binaural beats.

It’s incredible how much information is out there.

If we come back to the fundamental message here, which is "the way you think and feel, the way your thoughts lead you to act and behave causes the results you experience in the world", you can start to see pretty quickly that anytime you are having a bad day, it’s most likely because of the way that you are thinking and then acting.

So how can you change state, how can you get yourself out of that to get back on track and into a frame of mind that serves you best?

Sometimes it’s good to be angry, sometimes it’s good to be emotional but if you can channel that into something that really helps you, serve you and helps others then we are talking about reframing and using your mindset for the power of good or even greatness.

And we want to move out of a fixed mindset, negative or a limited mindset into a growth mindset. I have talked about this research from Carol Dweck in Learning with a Growth Mindset.

But what I am most excited about is that I am bringing on a special guest, Osmaan Sharif who is my freedom mindset go-to guy.

I’ve had him attend three of my last freedom mastermind retreats in Bali and Portugal and he honestly has the most amazing set of tools to be able to help people shift their mindsets in minutes.

He is the founder of Rapid Transformation and he can transform people quite rapidly if they are open to it and if they are willing.

We are going to cover off on some really fantastic topics including

  • comparison-itis - how your mindset can be negatively impact with those you look up to
  • could you be attempting to solve the wrong problem when it’s really our mindset needs to be transformed
  • negative stories - what are we telling ourselves and how is that impacting or limiting our beliefs
  • when you are really not in control and that the unconscious mind is and how we can tap into that.

I would love for you to tune in every single time we put out a podcast and that’s going to be every Monday and Thursday from now on.

Want to stay up to date then please SUBSCRIBE on iTunes so you don’t miss a show.

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
<![CDATA[Minimalism in Relation to Lifestyle Freedom]]> Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:34:08 GMT 7:45 no We’ve all been there. That sudden desire to do something we’ve always wanted to do creeps up on us and tackles us viciously.

Not only does it tell us that we need to make this change right now but it also informs us that we must do it with everything we have.

Soon, you find yourself surrounded by mats, bamboo blinds, and fake plants that accumulated while you were trying to follow the voice inside you telling you to pursue yoga, for example.

You may feel as though your goal wasn’t true to your heart in the first place. That’s not necessarily right. You may, in fact, love yoga. The issue here lies in that need within you to purchase things in order to fulfill that goal.

Let’s break it down…

  • You start by realizing that you need to meet a certain goal in order to live a truly free lifestyle.
  • You take a look at those around you and think that you need what they need in order to meet your goal successfully.
  • You start accumulating things in the pursuit of that goal.
  • You become so overwhelmed with everything that you have accumulated because it distracts you rather than helping you focus on your results.
  • You give up on your goal entirely.

Somewhere along the way, you associated success with objects. You came to the conclusion that only things would be able to help you get to where you need to be.

The truth is that everything that you need to achieve lifestyle freedom is within you. All of the objects at our disposal are simply tools to help us to live more efficiently.

Think about a dog that has a single chew toy. When they decide that they want to play, that chew toy helps them to achieve that goal and they don’t need to think about what they are going to do or how they are going to do it.

When a dog has dozens of toys, however. The dog may become overwhelmed and give up on trying to play entirely.

That is similar to how we function. When we have the bare minimum of tools needed to achieve our goals, we don’t find it hard to make it to where we want to be.

When we are surrounded by too many objects and too much information, however, we become paralyzed and find it difficult to focus on our real priority: our goal.

How can we avoid this?

#1. Aim to achieve your goal with what you have at your disposal

Let’s face it, if your goal is to be more active, you don’t need racks of weights and a treadmill in order to incorporate fitness into your new lifestyle.

To work out, all you truly need is yourself and a short list of exercises that you can easily achieve from home. You may not even need this if all you want to do is walk outside every day.

Look over your goal and look at your life. Do you have what you need to be fit? Is what you want to purchase truly necessary or do you think you need it because other people have it?

Being able to answer these questions and living with what you have rather than with what you think you need will greatly help you in your efforts to achieve a lifestyle of personal freedom.

#2. Buy only what you need

Let’s assume that you do want to be a bodybuilder and you don’t have those materials in your area. It’s okay to buy what you need to help you achieve your goal.

If you have time to go to the gym, get a gym membership. If you can’t escape for that long, buy that home exercise gym. If you need to bulk up, purchase that protein powder.

I’m not saying that you aren’t allowed to purchase anything. I am only stating that you should purchase what you need and what you need only.

Having more will only frustrate you and distract you from your lifestyle goals. Remind yourself of that daily prior to purchasing anything in any of the major lifestyle categories.

#3. Clear out your things every once in a while

It’s human nature to collect. We find things we love, we take them home, and we leave them around the house.

Even if you are purchasing only things you need, it is still possible to end up with too many things as you continue purchasing newer items.

Set aside some time every month to look over your items as well as your goals.

Do the things around you help you to achieve lifestyle freedom? Does that older item that you used in the beginning of your journey serve its purpose anymore?

If not, get rid of it. This will not only prevent you from being distracted from your goals but it will also show you how far you’ve come in your journey.

Your older objects are likely to be of no value anymore while your newer tools prove to you that you have come far.

Know this when you are cleaning out the old and celebrating the new.

While you are going through your stuff, you should also set aside some time to visit my consider my “Plan Your Ideal Year Online Workshop” because it is going to help you if you are in a place of not knowing exactly what your goals are for 2018 and beyond.

If you are the type of person who every year sets these awesome goals, puts it in the calendar and then none of it ever works out the way you want to, I have a flipped star method of planning out your year that’s fun, it’s effective and it works.

You don’t believe me read the awesome testimonials and feedback who have taken this online course.

In 90 minutes or less:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters – we will map this out real-time together and I’ll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018!
  • Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control – I’ll show you my calendar as a real example of what’s possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year – no seriously.

Make sure you sign up here and get started today.

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
We’ve all been there. That sudden desire to do something we’ve always wanted to do creeps up on us and tackles us viciously.

Not only does it tell us that we need to make this change right now but it also informs us that we must do it with everything we have.

Soon, you find yourself surrounded by mats, bamboo blinds, and fake plants that accumulated while you were trying to follow the voice inside you telling you to pursue yoga, for example.

You may feel as though your goal wasn’t true to your heart in the first place. That’s not necessarily right. You may, in fact, love yoga. The issue here lies in that need within you to purchase things in order to fulfill that goal.

Let’s break it down…

  • You start by realizing that you need to meet a certain goal in order to live a truly free lifestyle.
  • You take a look at those around you and think that you need what they need in order to meet your goal successfully.
  • You start accumulating things in the pursuit of that goal.
  • You become so overwhelmed with everything that you have accumulated because it distracts you rather than helping you focus on your results.
  • You give up on your goal entirely.

Somewhere along the way, you associated success with objects. You came to the conclusion that only things would be able to help you get to where you need to be.

The truth is that everything that you need to achieve lifestyle freedom is within you. All of the objects at our disposal are simply tools to help us to live more efficiently.

Think about a dog that has a single chew toy. When they decide that they want to play, that chew toy helps them to achieve that goal and they don’t need to think about what they are going to do or how they are going to do it.

When a dog has dozens of toys, however. The dog may become overwhelmed and give up on trying to play entirely.

That is similar to how we function. When we have the bare minimum of tools needed to achieve our goals, we don’t find it hard to make it to where we want to be.

When we are surrounded by too many objects and too much information, however, we become paralyzed and find it difficult to focus on our real priority: our goal.

How can we avoid this?

#1. Aim to achieve your goal with what you have at your disposal

Let’s face it, if your goal is to be more active, you don’t need racks of weights and a treadmill in order to incorporate fitness into your new lifestyle.

To work out, all you truly need is yourself and a short list of exercises that you can easily achieve from home. You may not even need this if all you want to do is walk outside every day.

Look over your goal and look at your life. Do you have what you need to be fit? Is what you want to purchase truly necessary or do you think you need it because other people have it?

Being able to answer these questions and living with what you have rather than with what you think you need will greatly help you in your efforts to achieve a lifestyle of personal freedom.

#2. Buy only what you need

Let’s assume that you do want to be a bodybuilder and you don’t have those materials in your area. It’s okay to buy what you need to help you achieve your goal.

If you have time to go to the gym, get a gym membership. If you can’t escape for that long, buy that home exercise gym. If you need to bulk up, purchase that protein powder.

I’m not saying that you aren’t allowed to purchase anything. I am only stating that you should purchase what you need and what you need only.

Having more will only frustrate you and distract you from your lifestyle goals. Remind yourself of that daily prior to purchasing anything in any of the major lifestyle categories.

#3. Clear out your things every once in a while

It’s human nature to collect. We find things we love, we take them home, and we leave them around the house.

Even if you are purchasing only things you need, it is still possible to end up with too many things as you continue purchasing newer items.

Set aside some time every month to look over your items as well as your goals.

Do the things around you help you to achieve lifestyle freedom? Does that older item that you used in the beginning of your journey serve its purpose anymore?

If not, get rid of it. This will not only prevent you from being distracted from your goals but it will also show you how far you’ve come in your journey.

Your older objects are likely to be of no value anymore while your newer tools prove to you that you have come far.

Know this when you are cleaning out the old and celebrating the new.

While you are going through your stuff, you should also set aside some time to visit my consider my “Plan Your Ideal Year Online Workshop” because it is going to help you if you are in a place of not knowing exactly what your goals are for 2018 and beyond.

If you are the type of person who every year sets these awesome goals, puts it in the calendar and then none of it ever works out the way you want to, I have a flipped star method of planning out your year that’s fun, it’s effective and it works.

You don’t believe me read the awesome testimonials and feedback who have taken this online course.

In 90 minutes or less:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters – we will map this out real-time together and I’ll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018!
  • Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control – I’ll show you my calendar as a real example of what’s possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year – no seriously.

Make sure you sign up here and get started today.

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
<![CDATA[Four Tools to Achieve Your Lifestyle Goals]]> Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:33:06 GMT 7:46 no You wouldn’t expect yourself to cook in the kitchen without the proper knives, pans, and pots, and you wouldn’t expect to build your body at the gym without the proper equipment either, right?

Think about lifestyle freedom in the same way that you think about cooking or building muscle at the gym. While you could achieve your goals without any assistance, tools will help you to achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.

So I will cover the four different types of tools you can use to help you track your progress, achieve your goals, and work your way to a better life.

#1. Journaling

Although this doesn’t seem to be the go-to tool for many of those seeking lifestyle freedom in this day and age, the journal is a classic tool that is both affordable and useful.

Journaling is best for those who are looking to track their progress as they make changes in their daily lives. When you take a look at your journal each day, you are constantly reminding yourself of the goals that you have set.

Even better, you can use the journal to also keep track of the progress that you have made, make a definitive list of actions that will help you reach your goals, and list of all of the things that may not be working as well.

Also, the journal is a tool that is highly customizable. If you’re someone who wants to meet their lifestyle goals without having too many distracting features, you can choose to make a bullet journal.

If you prefer visuals that remind you of where you are going and motivate you, you can paste pictures and draw inside your journal.

Your creativity is your only limit.

#2. Vision Board

Vision boards are one of the most used tools today to help people reach their goals.

A vision board is essentially a collage filled with objects, pictures, sayings, and other small pieces that represent the future you would like to have.

While a journal may be too demanding for some people, a vision board is almost perfect for everyone who is wishing to change their lifestyle.

However, it will take a small time investment initially when you begin putting it together.

What can you put on your vision board? Here are some ideas:

  • Magazine cutouts that represent your end goals
  • Positive affirmations that help you get the most out of your day
  • Pamphlets of places that you would like to travel to
  • Important notes from loved ones
#3. Sticky Notes

Even simpler than the above two methods, you could leave sticky notes in places where you are sure to see them and remind yourself of your goals.

For those of you who may want to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily schedule, you can place a sticky note by your bed that reminds you to breathe and meditate every morning.

If you’re someone who wants to work less and spend more time with your family, you can place a sticky note at your place of employment that tells you to work smarter and not longer.

Whatever it is that you are setting out to do, a simple sticky note with an important reminder can help you to achieve it.

#4. Apps

Not everyone is into creating physical manifestations of their goals and that’s absolutely okay. If you’re still creative and would like to make a digital version of these tools, that works just as well as a physical version.

If you’re more into applications that help you to track your goals and your progress, here are some goal setting applications recommended by Lifewire that will help you to do exactly that:

Make no mistake, tools are helpful and are sometimes necessary for people who need that extra push in order to develop their ideal lifestyle.

However, there is a line that people sometimes cross when people begin buying more tools than they need. This is what I’ll be addressing in the next episode.

If you want to take your goal setting even further in 2018, and make some real changes that last, then you need to plan your year out differently. And I offer a completely different approach to doing that and setting your goals in my

Plan Your Ideal Year Online 'Doing' Masterclass .

I show you how to:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters - we will map this out real-time together and I'll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018! Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control - I'll show you my calendar as a real example of what's possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year - no seriously.

Make sure you sign up here and get started today. In 90 minutes or less you could have your entire 2018 on track and all planned out for personal and professional success - and of course freedom!

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
You wouldn’t expect yourself to cook in the kitchen without the proper knives, pans, and pots, and you wouldn’t expect to build your body at the gym without the proper equipment either, right?

Think about lifestyle freedom in the same way that you think about cooking or building muscle at the gym. While you could achieve your goals without any assistance, tools will help you to achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.

So I will cover the four different types of tools you can use to help you track your progress, achieve your goals, and work your way to a better life.

#1. Journaling

Although this doesn’t seem to be the go-to tool for many of those seeking lifestyle freedom in this day and age, the journal is a classic tool that is both affordable and useful.

Journaling is best for those who are looking to track their progress as they make changes in their daily lives. When you take a look at your journal each day, you are constantly reminding yourself of the goals that you have set.

Even better, you can use the journal to also keep track of the progress that you have made, make a definitive list of actions that will help you reach your goals, and list of all of the things that may not be working as well.

Also, the journal is a tool that is highly customizable. If you’re someone who wants to meet their lifestyle goals without having too many distracting features, you can choose to make a bullet journal.

If you prefer visuals that remind you of where you are going and motivate you, you can paste pictures and draw inside your journal.

Your creativity is your only limit.

#2. Vision Board

Vision boards are one of the most used tools today to help people reach their goals.

A vision board is essentially a collage filled with objects, pictures, sayings, and other small pieces that represent the future you would like to have.

While a journal may be too demanding for some people, a vision board is almost perfect for everyone who is wishing to change their lifestyle.

However, it will take a small time investment initially when you begin putting it together.

What can you put on your vision board? Here are some ideas:

  • Magazine cutouts that represent your end goals
  • Positive affirmations that help you get the most out of your day
  • Pamphlets of places that you would like to travel to
  • Important notes from loved ones
#3. Sticky Notes

Even simpler than the above two methods, you could leave sticky notes in places where you are sure to see them and remind yourself of your goals.

For those of you who may want to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily schedule, you can place a sticky note by your bed that reminds you to breathe and meditate every morning.

If you’re someone who wants to work less and spend more time with your family, you can place a sticky note at your place of employment that tells you to work smarter and not longer.

Whatever it is that you are setting out to do, a simple sticky note with an important reminder can help you to achieve it.

#4. Apps

Not everyone is into creating physical manifestations of their goals and that’s absolutely okay. If you’re still creative and would like to make a digital version of these tools, that works just as well as a physical version.

If you’re more into applications that help you to track your goals and your progress, here are some goal setting applications recommended by Lifewire that will help you to do exactly that:

Make no mistake, tools are helpful and are sometimes necessary for people who need that extra push in order to develop their ideal lifestyle.

However, there is a line that people sometimes cross when people begin buying more tools than they need. This is what I’ll be addressing in the next episode.

If you want to take your goal setting even further in 2018, and make some real changes that last, then you need to plan your year out differently. And I offer a completely different approach to doing that and setting your goals in my

Plan Your Ideal Year Online 'Doing' Masterclass .

I show you how to:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters - we will map this out real-time together and I'll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018! Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control - I'll show you my calendar as a real example of what's possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year - no seriously.

Make sure you sign up here and get started today. In 90 minutes or less you could have your entire 2018 on track and all planned out for personal and professional success - and of course freedom!

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
<![CDATA[How to Task Out Your Lifestyle Goals]]> Mon, 20 Nov 2017 13:05:02 GMT 9:33 no Think back to the last time you had an outing with a friend or significant other. What did you do prior to actually spending time with them?

Did you give them a vague idea of what you'd be doing? Did you tell them that your visit could happen whenever you felt like it? Did you show up to your outing without any expectations of how things would be going?

If you're the average person, the answer is most likely a no. You and I understand the importance of planning when it comes to major events.

Similarly, you need to apply the same type of careful planning to major lifestyle changes as you do to visits with friends or dates with significant others.

Only through planning, goals, and expectations will you be able to transition into the type of lifestyle that you have dreamed about.

#1. Categorizing Your Lifestyle Goals

Josh and I have been playing with a system to bring meaning and purpose to our lives called "Project Life" - working title. It is something that we love doing and we do it every single day. We have this weekly and monthly check in. And later this month we are doing a quarterly check in and we are doing that as an away weekend. It is something I hope to release as a program or app in 2018.

We've drawn on other tools like my personal favorite Zig Ziglars Wheel of Life that helps you to achieve a more balanced lifestyle of your choosing.

Ziglar’s Wheel consists of 7 different sections that include the following:

  • Personal and Social Goals
  • Work and Career Goals
  • Family Goals
  • Spiritual Goals
  • Financial Goals
  • Mind/Intellectual Goals
  • Physical/Health-Related Goals

We may not realize it yet but the way in which we approach our lives can be entirely unbalanced.

For example, someone who is fulfilled in their career may be devoting every available minute towards working but they may be deeply suffering in the family aspect of their lives.

Another person may be at peak health but could have absolutely no social life.

We are each unique and there is always an area in which we could improve. Take a look at the categories above and make a list of things you would like to do in that area.

The actions don't have to be large in order to make an impact. A goal in the financial area could be as simple as saving $10 by the end of the month or $100,000 by the end of the year.

However, you need to be sure that the goal you set is realistic. If you never work out, you can't expect yourself to lose 50 pounds over the course of a month.

Plan based on your habits, personality, and motivation to accomplish your goal.

#2. Tasking It Out

It's great to have goals but it's better to have actionable steps that you can take to be able to reach those goals.

Let's pretend that one of your goals is to lose 20 pounds over the next 3 months. It's a great goal and it's realistic. However, how are you going to get there?

This is where you need to further specify your goal and map out your actions. A sample might look like this:

  • I want to lose 20 pounds over the next 3 months.
  • I can do this by cutting back on sweets, tracking my calories, and ditching my daily soda.
  • I can also do this by being more active and moving during my off time.
  • One thing that may help me is an exercise program I found here…

Once you feel as though you have sufficiently come up with all of the actions you can take to reach your goal, you can write them down and look at them daily to start incorporating these important habits into your day.

Under Ziglar's Wheel, he also provides seven of his own steps to create actionable goals.

  1. Identify the goal you want to reach as specifically as possible.
  2. Come up with a list of benefits that will come out of reaching your goal.
  3. List some of the obstacles that might hinder your progress.
  4. Figure out what you need to know or learn in order to reach your goal.
  5. Think about some of the people who can help you to achieve your goal.
  6. Create a plan of action.
  7. Set a deadline for your goal.
#3. Ensure Passion

Without passion, whatever goal you set for yourself is going to fall through. If you don't feel the need to lose 20 pounds, then working out will be a chore and a waste of your time.

Only set goals for yourself that you truly want to achieve. You’ll know when you want to truly take action because you’ll be excited every time you take action towards your desired result.

Along with tasking out your goals, tools such as journaling and vision boards can be extremely helpful in creating the lifestyle you have always wanted. This is what we will be tackling on the next podcast.

While you are waiting to continue your lifestyle freedom journey, feel free to visit my website because you are in for a treat at the end of November, I am running the "How to Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Workshop". It's the 3rd year that I am running this and I absolutely adore doing it.

In it:

  • We set out and achieve your perfect 2018 year and we get started on planning it out
  • I show you exactly how to prioritize what you are putting into your calendar for next year.
  • We move into goal setting.
  • You get my content, editorial and marketing plan template.
  • We look at how we can plan out your entire content for all of next year regardless of what business you are in.
  • And so much more!

It’s a 90 minute DOING workshop. So if you want to find out more details about that, head to nataliesisson.com/workshop. And the most genius part about it is even if you can’t come along live, after it I get it split out into a mini course that you will always be able to refer back to and look at.

So if you want to enter 2018 like a rockstar, I think it’s probably going to be a pretty awesome deal for you.

Tune into the next episode where we are going to be talking about the lifestyle freedom journey and continuing on with what we've been doing in Season 4.

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
Think back to the last time you had an outing with a friend or significant other. What did you do prior to actually spending time with them?

Did you give them a vague idea of what you'd be doing? Did you tell them that your visit could happen whenever you felt like it? Did you show up to your outing without any expectations of how things would be going?

If you're the average person, the answer is most likely a no. You and I understand the importance of planning when it comes to major events.

Similarly, you need to apply the same type of careful planning to major lifestyle changes as you do to visits with friends or dates with significant others.

Only through planning, goals, and expectations will you be able to transition into the type of lifestyle that you have dreamed about.

#1. Categorizing Your Lifestyle Goals

Josh and I have been playing with a system to bring meaning and purpose to our lives called "Project Life" - working title. It is something that we love doing and we do it every single day. We have this weekly and monthly check in. And later this month we are doing a quarterly check in and we are doing that as an away weekend. It is something I hope to release as a program or app in 2018.

We've drawn on other tools like my personal favorite Zig Ziglars Wheel of Life that helps you to achieve a more balanced lifestyle of your choosing.

Ziglar’s Wheel consists of 7 different sections that include the following:

  • Personal and Social Goals
  • Work and Career Goals
  • Family Goals
  • Spiritual Goals
  • Financial Goals
  • Mind/Intellectual Goals
  • Physical/Health-Related Goals

We may not realize it yet but the way in which we approach our lives can be entirely unbalanced.

For example, someone who is fulfilled in their career may be devoting every available minute towards working but they may be deeply suffering in the family aspect of their lives.

Another person may be at peak health but could have absolutely no social life.

We are each unique and there is always an area in which we could improve. Take a look at the categories above and make a list of things you would like to do in that area.

The actions don't have to be large in order to make an impact. A goal in the financial area could be as simple as saving $10 by the end of the month or $100,000 by the end of the year.

However, you need to be sure that the goal you set is realistic. If you never work out, you can't expect yourself to lose 50 pounds over the course of a month.

Plan based on your habits, personality, and motivation to accomplish your goal.

#2. Tasking It Out

It's great to have goals but it's better to have actionable steps that you can take to be able to reach those goals.

Let's pretend that one of your goals is to lose 20 pounds over the next 3 months. It's a great goal and it's realistic. However, how are you going to get there?

This is where you need to further specify your goal and map out your actions. A sample might look like this:

  • I want to lose 20 pounds over the next 3 months.
  • I can do this by cutting back on sweets, tracking my calories, and ditching my daily soda.
  • I can also do this by being more active and moving during my off time.
  • One thing that may help me is an exercise program I found here…

Once you feel as though you have sufficiently come up with all of the actions you can take to reach your goal, you can write them down and look at them daily to start incorporating these important habits into your day.

Under Ziglar's Wheel, he also provides seven of his own steps to create actionable goals.

  1. Identify the goal you want to reach as specifically as possible.
  2. Come up with a list of benefits that will come out of reaching your goal.
  3. List some of the obstacles that might hinder your progress.
  4. Figure out what you need to know or learn in order to reach your goal.
  5. Think about some of the people who can help you to achieve your goal.
  6. Create a plan of action.
  7. Set a deadline for your goal.
#3. Ensure Passion

Without passion, whatever goal you set for yourself is going to fall through. If you don't feel the need to lose 20 pounds, then working out will be a chore and a waste of your time.

Only set goals for yourself that you truly want to achieve. You’ll know when you want to truly take action because you’ll be excited every time you take action towards your desired result.

Along with tasking out your goals, tools such as journaling and vision boards can be extremely helpful in creating the lifestyle you have always wanted. This is what we will be tackling on the next podcast.

While you are waiting to continue your lifestyle freedom journey, feel free to visit my website because you are in for a treat at the end of November, I am running the "How to Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Workshop". It's the 3rd year that I am running this and I absolutely adore doing it.

In it:

  • We set out and achieve your perfect 2018 year and we get started on planning it out
  • I show you exactly how to prioritize what you are putting into your calendar for next year.
  • We move into goal setting.
  • You get my content, editorial and marketing plan template.
  • We look at how we can plan out your entire content for all of next year regardless of what business you are in.
  • And so much more!

It’s a 90 minute DOING workshop. So if you want to find out more details about that, head to nataliesisson.com/workshop. And the most genius part about it is even if you can’t come along live, after it I get it split out into a mini course that you will always be able to refer back to and look at.

So if you want to enter 2018 like a rockstar, I think it’s probably going to be a pretty awesome deal for you.

Tune into the next episode where we are going to be talking about the lifestyle freedom journey and continuing on with what we've been doing in Season 4.

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

]]>
<![CDATA[Discovering Your Ideal Lifestyle]]> Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:29:06 GMT 14:11 no In the previous episode, we discussed two major emotions that can hold you back from living out your ideal lifestyle.

Now that you’re prepared for what is to come, we need to discuss the most important question you will encounter along the journey to lifestyle freedom.

What is important to me?!

It’s both extremely simple and extremely complicated. We all seem to know some of the things that are important to us such as maintaining our fitness and cultivating meaningful relationships.

However, very few of us have actually explored some of the most basic human needs and figured out the type of actions we need to take in order to thrive in those aspects of life.

Today, this is what we’ll be discovering together.

Discovering Your Ideal Lifestyle:

Imagine that you’ve woken up one day with the ability to do absolutely whatever you wanted. You have no monetary restrictions, all of your friends and family are ready to join you in your adventures at a moment’s notice, and you are able to travel anywhere with ease.

What would you do?

It’s a difficult question to answer. You may not be able to answer that question because you have never considered lifestyle freedom a possibility before.

Since we were born, we have been surrounded by societal trends such as 40-hour workweeks, flawless bodies that require extensive gym visits, and family lives that are more stressful than fulfilling.

Here’s the truth: It doesn’t have to be this way!

In life, you are your own boss. You control what you do, how you go about it, when you do it, where you do it, and who you do it with.

You may be thinking, Natalie, I do have monetary restrictions and other things holding me back from living my ideal lifestyle!

I understand you completely.

While you may not be able to sit down right now, map out the rest of your life, and make it happen by snapping your fingers, you do have the opportunity to make the choice to start moving into a place of freedom.

Make that choice right here and right now. Take the leap with me and begin your journey to a life of freedom by figuring out what it is that you truly want.

Step 1: Dream, Dream, Dream

Remember the question I asked you earlier about your ideal day? I want you to answer it right now. Most importantly, I need you to answer it as specifically as you possibly can.

For example, this is how I envision my perfect day:

"I wake up in the morning with no alarm and no phone next to my bed and I wake up naturally. I turn to my lover Mr. Josh and I give him lots of kisses, hugs and cuddles. And then little Kayla, who is not so little anymore comes around my side of the bed in for a cuddle, who just snuffles her nose into my hand and I just love, love, love my little white German Shepherd to death.

And then I roll out of bed and I roll out the yoga mat and I will do about 20-30 minutes of yoga with Adriene. I recently did a Facebook live about her and I think she is fabulous. She has a free Youtube channel called Yoga with Adriene. I just love her yoga. She’s funny, she’s joyous, she’s grateful and she doesn’t take life too seriously and it’s just a pleasure to do yoga with her.

And then I will roll into anywhere from a 5-15 or 20 minute meditation. I’m working my way up into doing more of that and by this stage by the way, before I’ve started my yoga I’ve thrown open the curtains and right outside our windows this gorgeous creamy white rose which is just in full bloom right now. So it’s the first thing that I see in the morning with the sunlight coming up and all the trees and the gorgeous greenery around our lawn and over to the hills in the distance. So it’s a pretty spectacular way to start the morning and given that it’s spring here right now, the sun is already shining on me. So when I’m on my yoga mat I’m getting heated up by the warmth of the sun.

And then I have a lovely hot shower which I am so grateful for. And I go through to the kitchen and typically make breakfast with Josh and either do a green smoothie with something really awesome from my garden like kale or spinach and then strawberries, blueberries, banana and coconut water or I go and grab the fresh eggs from our chicken and I make omelets or scrambled eggs or poached eggs with avocado and smoked salmon or bacon because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

And then and only then, do I actually head over to my laptop and I either set up in the lounge or in the study or out in the coworking barn and I start working in my most important action of the day which I have typically written up the night before or in that moment into our project life spreadsheet and we always try and balance this out across the week between the 8 sort of areas of life that are really important."

So that’s just the start of my Perfect Day and I am living it right now which is pretty fantastic.

I want you to be able to describe the type of room that you are waking up in. I want you to be able to describe the food that you are eating throughout the day. I need you to be able to envision the exact temperature on the thermostat of the home you are living in.

Why am I asking you to be able to state the exact temperature of your house? While it may not seem important, specificity is key to designing your ideal lifestyle.

In fact, one study conducted by Gary Latham and Edwin Locke found that 90 percent of people who set challenging, specific goals were able to actually meet them rather than those who had simple goals with no direction.

No matter how silly it may seem, think about every possible angle of your perfect day and write it down. You may not need every detail but you will be better prepared for the next step.

Step 2: Determine What Matters Most

Now that you have a better idea of what you would like to be doing with your time, take a look at your list and go through the 5 W’s:

Who- Who was it that you wanted to spend your time with? Did you list your spouse during your perfect day vision? Did some of your old friends crop up while you were daydreaming? Review your notes and come up with a list of the people who appeared most.

What- What were you doing during your ideal day? Were you working from home rather than in an office? Were you working out in your own yoga studio? These actions will help you to identify some of the major areas that you want to focus on in the future.

When- When were you the most active? On the other hand, when were you experiencing the most relaxation? You may find out that you are currently working when you want to be relaxing and relaxing when you are most energetic.

Where- Did you travel? What type of house were you in? What did nature outside of your living area look like? As the saying goes, “if you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” You may not be happy with where you are currently living and this daydream session will tell you exactly that.

Why- Why are you doing the things that you are doing? If this is your perfect day, you must care about the actions you are taking. Evaluate each action you have written down and ask yourself whether or not you care about the thing you are doing, if it adds value to your life, and if it helps you get towards where you want to be.

Make sure that you have done this thoroughly. Each category helps you to better determine what you will be working towards once you’ve decided to live a life of freedom.

Step 3: Come Up With a Rough Life Sketch

Take what you’ve collected over the past few steps and compile it into a rough plan.

For example, let’s pretend that I’ve come up with my own life vision where I am living in France, running my own clothing business during the day from my large, well-lit apartment, and spending the majority of my time with my friends during the night.

Although this a brief example, I’ve identified who I want to spend my time with, where I want to be, when I want to be doing things, and what I am doing with my time. Why am I doing this?

Clearly, I’ve crafted this plan because I truly want to live in France, I love the idea of running a clothing business from home, and I want to be spending my time with friends who care about me.

This is by no means a list that will help you to reach said goals and lead a free life. Instead, this is the foundation upon which you will build your ideal life.

In episode 3, we will be discussing how to categorize and task out these goals in order to assure complete domination over your ideal lifestyle.

And if this is kind of opening your mind up to the possibilities of what you really want to be doing with your life but you don’t feel like you are close to that or if you are actually just wanting to rock out 2018 then you are in for a treat because on November 29th, I am running a LIVE online workshop called “Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year!”.

I will personally walk you through my step by step process to have your ideal year, including how to:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters - we will map this out real-time together and I'll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018! Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control - I'll show you my calendar as a real example of what's possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year - no seriously.
  • PLUS you'll learn the key questions EVERY entrepreneur should be able to answer to get you fully prepared to get the most out of this course and your year ahead.
  • BONUS #1: You'll get my awesome Content, Marketing and Editorial Calendar template to use to plan out your amazing year.
  • BONUS #2: You'll get follow up access to the recording of this workshop, broken down into a micro course to work through at your own pace, at any time, as well as a PDF summary handout.
Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

 

]]>
In the previous episode, we discussed two major emotions that can hold you back from living out your ideal lifestyle.

Now that you’re prepared for what is to come, we need to discuss the most important question you will encounter along the journey to lifestyle freedom.

What is important to me?!

It’s both extremely simple and extremely complicated. We all seem to know some of the things that are important to us such as maintaining our fitness and cultivating meaningful relationships.

However, very few of us have actually explored some of the most basic human needs and figured out the type of actions we need to take in order to thrive in those aspects of life.

Today, this is what we’ll be discovering together.

Discovering Your Ideal Lifestyle:

Imagine that you’ve woken up one day with the ability to do absolutely whatever you wanted. You have no monetary restrictions, all of your friends and family are ready to join you in your adventures at a moment’s notice, and you are able to travel anywhere with ease.

What would you do?

It’s a difficult question to answer. You may not be able to answer that question because you have never considered lifestyle freedom a possibility before.

Since we were born, we have been surrounded by societal trends such as 40-hour workweeks, flawless bodies that require extensive gym visits, and family lives that are more stressful than fulfilling.

Here’s the truth: It doesn’t have to be this way!

In life, you are your own boss. You control what you do, how you go about it, when you do it, where you do it, and who you do it with.

You may be thinking, Natalie, I do have monetary restrictions and other things holding me back from living my ideal lifestyle!

I understand you completely.

While you may not be able to sit down right now, map out the rest of your life, and make it happen by snapping your fingers, you do have the opportunity to make the choice to start moving into a place of freedom.

Make that choice right here and right now. Take the leap with me and begin your journey to a life of freedom by figuring out what it is that you truly want.

Step 1: Dream, Dream, Dream

Remember the question I asked you earlier about your ideal day? I want you to answer it right now. Most importantly, I need you to answer it as specifically as you possibly can.

For example, this is how I envision my perfect day:

"I wake up in the morning with no alarm and no phone next to my bed and I wake up naturally. I turn to my lover Mr. Josh and I give him lots of kisses, hugs and cuddles. And then little Kayla, who is not so little anymore comes around my side of the bed in for a cuddle, who just snuffles her nose into my hand and I just love, love, love my little white German Shepherd to death.

And then I roll out of bed and I roll out the yoga mat and I will do about 20-30 minutes of yoga with Adriene. I recently did a Facebook live about her and I think she is fabulous. She has a free Youtube channel called Yoga with Adriene. I just love her yoga. She’s funny, she’s joyous, she’s grateful and she doesn’t take life too seriously and it’s just a pleasure to do yoga with her.

And then I will roll into anywhere from a 5-15 or 20 minute meditation. I’m working my way up into doing more of that and by this stage by the way, before I’ve started my yoga I’ve thrown open the curtains and right outside our windows this gorgeous creamy white rose which is just in full bloom right now. So it’s the first thing that I see in the morning with the sunlight coming up and all the trees and the gorgeous greenery around our lawn and over to the hills in the distance. So it’s a pretty spectacular way to start the morning and given that it’s spring here right now, the sun is already shining on me. So when I’m on my yoga mat I’m getting heated up by the warmth of the sun.

And then I have a lovely hot shower which I am so grateful for. And I go through to the kitchen and typically make breakfast with Josh and either do a green smoothie with something really awesome from my garden like kale or spinach and then strawberries, blueberries, banana and coconut water or I go and grab the fresh eggs from our chicken and I make omelets or scrambled eggs or poached eggs with avocado and smoked salmon or bacon because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

And then and only then, do I actually head over to my laptop and I either set up in the lounge or in the study or out in the coworking barn and I start working in my most important action of the day which I have typically written up the night before or in that moment into our project life spreadsheet and we always try and balance this out across the week between the 8 sort of areas of life that are really important."

So that’s just the start of my Perfect Day and I am living it right now which is pretty fantastic.

I want you to be able to describe the type of room that you are waking up in. I want you to be able to describe the food that you are eating throughout the day. I need you to be able to envision the exact temperature on the thermostat of the home you are living in.

Why am I asking you to be able to state the exact temperature of your house? While it may not seem important, specificity is key to designing your ideal lifestyle.

In fact, one study conducted by Gary Latham and Edwin Locke found that 90 percent of people who set challenging, specific goals were able to actually meet them rather than those who had simple goals with no direction.

No matter how silly it may seem, think about every possible angle of your perfect day and write it down. You may not need every detail but you will be better prepared for the next step.

Step 2: Determine What Matters Most

Now that you have a better idea of what you would like to be doing with your time, take a look at your list and go through the 5 W’s:

Who- Who was it that you wanted to spend your time with? Did you list your spouse during your perfect day vision? Did some of your old friends crop up while you were daydreaming? Review your notes and come up with a list of the people who appeared most.

What- What were you doing during your ideal day? Were you working from home rather than in an office? Were you working out in your own yoga studio? These actions will help you to identify some of the major areas that you want to focus on in the future.

When- When were you the most active? On the other hand, when were you experiencing the most relaxation? You may find out that you are currently working when you want to be relaxing and relaxing when you are most energetic.

Where- Did you travel? What type of house were you in? What did nature outside of your living area look like? As the saying goes, “if you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” You may not be happy with where you are currently living and this daydream session will tell you exactly that.

Why- Why are you doing the things that you are doing? If this is your perfect day, you must care about the actions you are taking. Evaluate each action you have written down and ask yourself whether or not you care about the thing you are doing, if it adds value to your life, and if it helps you get towards where you want to be.

Make sure that you have done this thoroughly. Each category helps you to better determine what you will be working towards once you’ve decided to live a life of freedom.

Step 3: Come Up With a Rough Life Sketch

Take what you’ve collected over the past few steps and compile it into a rough plan.

For example, let’s pretend that I’ve come up with my own life vision where I am living in France, running my own clothing business during the day from my large, well-lit apartment, and spending the majority of my time with my friends during the night.

Although this a brief example, I’ve identified who I want to spend my time with, where I want to be, when I want to be doing things, and what I am doing with my time. Why am I doing this?

Clearly, I’ve crafted this plan because I truly want to live in France, I love the idea of running a clothing business from home, and I want to be spending my time with friends who care about me.

This is by no means a list that will help you to reach said goals and lead a free life. Instead, this is the foundation upon which you will build your ideal life.

In episode 3, we will be discussing how to categorize and task out these goals in order to assure complete domination over your ideal lifestyle.

And if this is kind of opening your mind up to the possibilities of what you really want to be doing with your life but you don’t feel like you are close to that or if you are actually just wanting to rock out 2018 then you are in for a treat because on November 29th, I am running a LIVE online workshop called “Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year!”.

I will personally walk you through my step by step process to have your ideal year, including how to:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters - we will map this out real-time together and I'll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018! Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control - I'll show you my calendar as a real example of what's possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year - no seriously.
  • PLUS you'll learn the key questions EVERY entrepreneur should be able to answer to get you fully prepared to get the most out of this course and your year ahead.
  • BONUS #1: You'll get my awesome Content, Marketing and Editorial Calendar template to use to plan out your amazing year.
  • BONUS #2: You'll get follow up access to the recording of this workshop, broken down into a micro course to work through at your own pace, at any time, as well as a PDF summary handout.
Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?
  • HostGator allows you to run your business from anywhere, at anytime, with their 99.9% uptime guarantee.
  • HostGator won't take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.

Visit https://www.hostgator.com/quest

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Two roadblocks to living your ideal life]]> Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:45:06 GMT 13:18 no To date on the Quest for Freedom Podcast I’ve covered off on

Season 1: Personal freedom (mindfulness, meditation and happiness) Season 2: Business freedom (business sabbaticals, Universal Cycles of Change and letting go) Season 3: Learning Mastery (growth mindset and learning hacks)

And now we come to

Season 4: Lifestyle Freedom (goals and ambition vs lifestyle by design)

Why are you living the lifestyle you're living?

If you could wake up tomorrow and do anything you want, would you be doing what you're doing?

I want to talk about how you spend your days, how you spend your time. Are you're doing things because you feel you have to rather than because you want to?

Are you spending your day filled with social media and checking in on things because it makes you feel popular, connected or makes you feel like you're being productive , or is it filled with finishing up work projects because you feel some sense of duty to complete them, even if they’re not a priority?

When I asked myself this question the other day, the one about “What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?” I realised two things:

1) I was living the dream and wouldn’t be anywhere else than our beautiful property we’ve been in for just over six months. In fact I was so content in this new life, that I have even eased back on my goals and ambitions as a result.

2). I want to be doing NOTHING related to what I’m currently doing work wise, well almost. I simply wanted to be on the property, soaking in the birds, nature and beautiful garden. Spending time with Kayla, walking her along the many beautiful, peaceful trails and mountains.

I wanted to be reading more books, painting more art and enjoying the sunshine and blue skies. I wanted to be writing, meditating, exercising learning and everything around personal growth…not teaching business.

Take an honest look at your lifestyle and your current daily schedule.

What do you see? Are your days filled with activities that help you grow as an individual and bring you happiness?

If so, congratulations. You’ve already unlocked the key to living the freedom lifestyle.

If you’re one of the people who are feeling unfulfilled and unhappy with your lifestyle, however, we are going to discuss two of the major emotional roadblocks that prevent you from living a life that allows you to move through life with more freedom.

#1. The first major emotional roadblock that we encounter on paving our way to freedom is GUILT.

Guilt manifests itself when we begin taking a look at our day-to-day schedule and figuring out what we need to get rid of in order to feel happier and more free.

There are always things that we tend to do simply because society and or people that we care about expect us to.

Like attending meetings, going to work, attending birthday events or family dinners, making dinner for our family, putting everyone before our own needs.

If we continue to hang onto these activities for these reasons, we will never be able to achieve true lifestyle freedom. How can we eliminate guilt from our lives?

According to clinical psychologist Ali Mattu, there are several actionable steps that we can take to eliminate guilt from our lives:

#1. Facing Your Guilt Head-on.

Like any emotion, we have to evaluate and understand our guilt before we are able to take action on moving on from it.

Sit down and look at the events in your day that you will feel guilty ridding of. Figure out where that guilt is coming from and confront it.

#2. Find Someone to Confide in.

Talking out your feelings always help you to better work through them and gives you another perspective that helps you approach the situation. Look for someone who is wise and who you trust to talk about this guilt that you have.

#3. Give Yourself Compassion.

Guilt is something that we need to let go of immediately. Recognize your guilt, remind yourself that it is okay to feel guilty but that it holds you back from becoming your true self, and move on.

Once you’ve let go of your guilt, you will be able to let go of the things in your life that do not provide you with freedom and happiness.

#2. The second major emotional roadblock that we encounter is FEAR.

While guilt prevents us from letting go of things that no longer serve us, fear prevents us from taking action on things that we know are beneficial for us.

We refuse to do the things we want because the outcome may be uncertain and the changes in our lifestyle will create complications for us.

Rather than listening to that timid voice inside of you telling you that you shouldn’t or can’t pursue what you want, here are some ways that you can overcome your fears:

#1. Figure out what it is that has you scared and analyze it

Much like the previous tips I mentioned to help you get rid of your guilt, you will have to figure out what is scaring you in order to overcome your fears.

For example, let’s imagine that you want to add more self-care time to your day. In order to do this, you may have to lessen the amount of hours you are working and that may be scary for people who feel the need to work.

Identifying your fear of not working and the issues that come along with not working is absolutely necessary.

#2. Work towards minimizing your fear.

You don’t have to immediately start working less hours in order to face your fears. Dip your toe in the water and see the results that come out of your actions.

Start working 10 minutes less than you currently are. Has the world ended?

Has your income increased dramatically? It probably hasn’t just yet.

But as you continue to reduce your hours and therefore focus more on revenue generating activities, you’ll soon see that you’re working less and earning more.

Taking this type of small action will show you that your goal is possible.

#3. Don’t fully invest yourself in the beginning.

Encountering your fear fully in the beginning can actually be harmful and counterproductive.

It’s smarter to take small, actionable steps towards overcoming your fear and reaching your goals.

Control over your emotions is necessary if you intend on cultivating lifestyle freedom.

Changes in life often bring a wave of emotions that either catapult us toward our intended destination or drown us in our own self-doubt and hesitation.

You may recall in an earlier episode I talked about how too many changes are dangerous, which I found out the hard way when I flipped my life 180 degrees in a very short amount of time.

But I worked through the highs and lows, pushed through my fears and have come out the other side stronger and more energized than ever, with a new personal brand and mission - to help you achieve more personal daily freedom.

With these tips, you will be able to overcome these strong feelings and find out what is truly best for you.

However, this is only half the battle.

In order to experience these emotions, you will first have to have an idea of what you want to be doing with your time.

In the next episode, we will explore some actions that you can take to discover your ideal lifestyle.

In the meantime, I invite you to register for my upcoming LIVE online workshop on how to Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year.

I have run this for the last two years running and people love it, because in less than 3 hours we map out your entire year ahead, both personally and professionally.

We also look at your goals and dive into your content, editorial and marketing calendar for the next 12 months (if you have an online or offline business).

Then we look at your personal daily schedule to set you up for happiness, success and freedom.

Head to nataliesisson.com/workshop for more details and an earlybird price.

]]>
To date on the Quest for Freedom Podcast I’ve covered off on

Season 1: Personal freedom (mindfulness, meditation and happiness) Season 2: Business freedom (business sabbaticals, Universal Cycles of Change and letting go) Season 3: Learning Mastery (growth mindset and learning hacks)

And now we come to

Season 4: Lifestyle Freedom (goals and ambition vs lifestyle by design)

Why are you living the lifestyle you're living?

If you could wake up tomorrow and do anything you want, would you be doing what you're doing?

I want to talk about how you spend your days, how you spend your time. Are you're doing things because you feel you have to rather than because you want to?

Are you spending your day filled with social media and checking in on things because it makes you feel popular, connected or makes you feel like you're being productive , or is it filled with finishing up work projects because you feel some sense of duty to complete them, even if they’re not a priority?

When I asked myself this question the other day, the one about “What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?” I realised two things:

1) I was living the dream and wouldn’t be anywhere else than our beautiful property we’ve been in for just over six months. In fact I was so content in this new life, that I have even eased back on my goals and ambitions as a result.

2). I want to be doing NOTHING related to what I’m currently doing work wise, well almost. I simply wanted to be on the property, soaking in the birds, nature and beautiful garden. Spending time with Kayla, walking her along the many beautiful, peaceful trails and mountains.

I wanted to be reading more books, painting more art and enjoying the sunshine and blue skies. I wanted to be writing, meditating, exercising learning and everything around personal growth…not teaching business.

Take an honest look at your lifestyle and your current daily schedule.

What do you see? Are your days filled with activities that help you grow as an individual and bring you happiness?

If so, congratulations. You’ve already unlocked the key to living the freedom lifestyle.

If you’re one of the people who are feeling unfulfilled and unhappy with your lifestyle, however, we are going to discuss two of the major emotional roadblocks that prevent you from living a life that allows you to move through life with more freedom.

#1. The first major emotional roadblock that we encounter on paving our way to freedom is GUILT.

Guilt manifests itself when we begin taking a look at our day-to-day schedule and figuring out what we need to get rid of in order to feel happier and more free.

There are always things that we tend to do simply because society and or people that we care about expect us to.

Like attending meetings, going to work, attending birthday events or family dinners, making dinner for our family, putting everyone before our own needs.

If we continue to hang onto these activities for these reasons, we will never be able to achieve true lifestyle freedom. How can we eliminate guilt from our lives?

According to clinical psychologist Ali Mattu, there are several actionable steps that we can take to eliminate guilt from our lives:

#1. Facing Your Guilt Head-on.

Like any emotion, we have to evaluate and understand our guilt before we are able to take action on moving on from it.

Sit down and look at the events in your day that you will feel guilty ridding of. Figure out where that guilt is coming from and confront it.

#2. Find Someone to Confide in.

Talking out your feelings always help you to better work through them and gives you another perspective that helps you approach the situation. Look for someone who is wise and who you trust to talk about this guilt that you have.

#3. Give Yourself Compassion.

Guilt is something that we need to let go of immediately. Recognize your guilt, remind yourself that it is okay to feel guilty but that it holds you back from becoming your true self, and move on.

Once you’ve let go of your guilt, you will be able to let go of the things in your life that do not provide you with freedom and happiness.

#2. The second major emotional roadblock that we encounter is FEAR.

While guilt prevents us from letting go of things that no longer serve us, fear prevents us from taking action on things that we know are beneficial for us.

We refuse to do the things we want because the outcome may be uncertain and the changes in our lifestyle will create complications for us.

Rather than listening to that timid voice inside of you telling you that you shouldn’t or can’t pursue what you want, here are some ways that you can overcome your fears:

#1. Figure out what it is that has you scared and analyze it

Much like the previous tips I mentioned to help you get rid of your guilt, you will have to figure out what is scaring you in order to overcome your fears.

For example, let’s imagine that you want to add more self-care time to your day. In order to do this, you may have to lessen the amount of hours you are working and that may be scary for people who feel the need to work.

Identifying your fear of not working and the issues that come along with not working is absolutely necessary.

#2. Work towards minimizing your fear.

You don’t have to immediately start working less hours in order to face your fears. Dip your toe in the water and see the results that come out of your actions.

Start working 10 minutes less than you currently are. Has the world ended?

Has your income increased dramatically? It probably hasn’t just yet.

But as you continue to reduce your hours and therefore focus more on revenue generating activities, you’ll soon see that you’re working less and earning more.

Taking this type of small action will show you that your goal is possible.

#3. Don’t fully invest yourself in the beginning.

Encountering your fear fully in the beginning can actually be harmful and counterproductive.

It’s smarter to take small, actionable steps towards overcoming your fear and reaching your goals.

Control over your emotions is necessary if you intend on cultivating lifestyle freedom.

Changes in life often bring a wave of emotions that either catapult us toward our intended destination or drown us in our own self-doubt and hesitation.

You may recall in an earlier episode I talked about how too many changes are dangerous, which I found out the hard way when I flipped my life 180 degrees in a very short amount of time.

But I worked through the highs and lows, pushed through my fears and have come out the other side stronger and more energized than ever, with a new personal brand and mission - to help you achieve more personal daily freedom.

With these tips, you will be able to overcome these strong feelings and find out what is truly best for you.

However, this is only half the battle.

In order to experience these emotions, you will first have to have an idea of what you want to be doing with your time.

In the next episode, we will explore some actions that you can take to discover your ideal lifestyle.

In the meantime, I invite you to register for my upcoming LIVE online workshop on how to Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year.

I have run this for the last two years running and people love it, because in less than 3 hours we map out your entire year ahead, both personally and professionally.

We also look at your goals and dive into your content, editorial and marketing calendar for the next 12 months (if you have an online or offline business).

Then we look at your personal daily schedule to set you up for happiness, success and freedom.

Head to nataliesisson.com/workshop for more details and an earlybird price.

]]>
<![CDATA[How to Have More Personal Freedom]]> Sun, 08 Oct 2017 15:07:00 GMT 12:04 no I am on a mission to help you find more personal freedom in your life every single day. That’s why I write this blog and produce the Quest for Freedom podcast.

In order to make my mission a reality, I’ve been working on a bit of research background around what personal freedom really means to you and I.

This is really what the true essence of this podcast is and it’s going to become much more about this from today on.

That’s because, a couple of years back I had this HUGE vision. It was so big it scared me.

How was little ol’ me going to conduct the world’s first research into freedom and create a framework that allowed people to figure out where they were on the scale of freedom?!

Despite my fear (that always comes after a burst of enthusiasm at a new idea), I put together the vision at right2freedom.com and started getting survey responses when I put it out to my community.

Maria Nicholas came on board to volunteer her time looking into how we could turn my vision into a framework and I created the 7 Phases.

She flew over to New Zealand even to make it happen and we worked away looking into successful social enterprises, non profits and frameworks that have been proven out.

I had my CFO at the time,  Jon Roberts, look over some of the survey responses and start to pull out some trends and findings - he liked data, I preferred the findings from it.

I engaged with the group of lovely Right2Freedom volunteers, who’d taken the survey and then offered up their time to help in various ways as indicated here, to start helping with some initial research on articles, blogs and books to define freedom.

Michelle Frost kindly headed up some Zoom calls to delve into this deeper with them.

And then I stalled, and the project stalled.

I left it alone for a bit, focused on my business and let other things distract me away from it.  It still felt too big.

Then, along came the idea for this blog and podcast. What about doing the research and experimenting real-time, on my own journey to personal freedom, while helping others.

That felt much more doable. A way to dip into it and make some progress, without letting the pressure of my own expectations get to me.

A few months ago, after a discussion with one of my Freedom Plan members Nina Frankowski, I felt reinvigorated with this project.

She, like me, is fascinated by freedom and loved the concept behind Right2Freedom.

With her background of making sense of research and data and analysing into something meaningful, she set to work looking at everything that had been done to date, to pull this into a framework.

It felt like overnight she brought to life what I had been dreaming of from the beginning.

She dug through the surveys and found the nuggets of gold. And now with over 600 global responses and counting, she’s done an incredible job of making sense of it all.

Then a few weeks ago, I asked the team at Lifehack if I could write a topic on personal freedom and unleash the first initial findings and thoughts behind this framework in the blog post.

They loved the idea, and so as a contributing writer I published this piece originally

It’s based on some of the ideas in my TEDx Talk, but it’s the first time I’ve released this information around this new freedom framework that I am working on.

So with Lifehack’s permission, I’m sharing the article here (and on the podcast).

How to Break Free From Your Own Constraints And Live the Life You Want

I’d like you to imagine waking up tomorrow with no limitations whatsoever.

How would you spend your day?

Who would you spend it with?

Where in the world would you be?

How would you feel?

Over the past 6 years I have asked hundreds of people this question. And guess what? 99% of them have no idea how to answer it. They have never thought about what their perfect day looks like, let alone how to describe it in vivid detail.

Somewhere along the way, people stopped chasing their dreams. They stopped imagining what their perfect day looks like and they started handing over the reigns to society who told them what to do and how to live. I found myself in this place too, where I’d given away my freedom. And I wanted it back.

What Exactly Is Freedom

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants. But is that really what true freedom means to you?

I shared in my TEDx talk The Surprising Truth About Freedom that I believe freedom is a right not a privilege, and it’s up to YOU to create your own freedom plan.

I personally spent the last 6 years living out of a suitcase, traveling the world to 69 countries. I did this because I wanted to explore the world and experiment with living and working from anywhere and everywhere until I designed and created my perfect freedom business that supports my ideal lifestyle.

Then in early 2017, I chose to flip my life 180 degrees when I bought a beautiful house and 2.5 acres of land in New Zealand with my partner, got five chickens and an adorable puppy and put down roots.

I discovered a different type of freedom that’s based around family, friends and a sense of community, as well as a profound connection to being on nature’s doorstep for my ideal lifestyle.

Why Freedom Feels So Elusive

As I’ve already stated, your version of freedom is totally unique to you, so it’s up to you to choose.

Freedom for some people it’s sailing around the world. For others it’s living in a yurt in the forest. For others it’s the right to vote. To get married, or stay single. To have a beautiful home or to have no home at all.

When I ask people if they feel free, they almost always respond with saying that the answer depends on something out of their control. For example “when I have more money and feel financially free”.

Or “when I can make my own schedule and do what I want”. Or “when I’ve quit my job and can do my own thing”. Or “when I don’t have to be stuck in one place”.

THEN I’ll be/ feel free.

Here’s the thing that most people don’t realize though:

Freedom is a state of mind rather than a specific condition of existence.

True freedom starts with your thoughts, and freeing yourself from your own inner critic, or limiting beliefs that tell you what you are and aren’t capable of.

We may not have been born with the same privileges, access to education, money or political rights, but we are all given the same amount of time in a day to pursue our dreams and make them a reality. And if we can’t control our external circumstances, we can definitely control our internal ones.

Freedom is the possibility to have choice and purpose helps you choose. Freedom is the space around you, where your purpose is your compass showing you where to move in that space.

Choosing Your Version of Freedom

I’m obsessed with Freedom and the definition of it. I created the Right2Freedom survey to ask people this very question. Over 500+ responses later and there is ONE universal truth emerging.

Freedom usually is split into positive and negative freedom. “Freedom from” (absence of constraints) and “freedom to” (freedom to do what we want). There is also a third level “freedom to be”, which is also a positive freedom but on a deeper emotional level; inner freedom.

It is this inner freedom that I believe is the most important, and that we intend to research further.

Your definition of freedom may be completely different to mine, but one thing remains the same, it’s our ability to CHOOSE that makes us feel truly free. Through the answers we’ve collected so far we’ve identified four elements of freedom.

  1. Flexibility – What you want, when you want and where you want. In short this is independence and choices free from restrictions.
  2. Self-actualization – This is about fulfilling your dreams, being free to pursue your passion while being free from judgement. This is strongly linked to doing work of your choice – a career or business you love.
  3. Responsibility – Creating stability for yourself and others by having control of your own security, health and financial situation ultimately makes you feel more free.
  4. Contribution – The ability to contribute, help others and to make an impact is a feeling of freedom on a whole other level.
Going For More Freedom

How do you go for achieving more freedom? Follow these baby steps:

Step 1 – Awareness of (your) definition of freedom (what do you want)

Not many people have truly thought about the definition of freedom and what it means to them personally, but when asked, most can tell you a few things that makes them feel free. These are usually literal things they attribute to the meaning of freedom.

So ask yourself the question “What makes me feel free?” Then write down your answers, discuss them with friends and start the conversation with people who matter in your life.

Step 2 – Understanding of (your) needs and purpose of freedom (why do you want it)

Not everyone thinks about why they define freedom a certain way, but everyone does have a deeper reason for why they desire freedom.

If you understand your needs and reason for wanting those “freeing” things in life, it is easier to achieve them.

Again, write down your why. Why do you want more freedom?

Step 3 – Action: map out personal plan (how can you get it)

Mapping out a plan needs to be done on an individual level based on your needs and wants, so who is better suited to do it but you?

It starts by getting very clear on your ideal lifestyle and what that looks like to you. Let the questions at the beginning guide you to finding your answers.

For more expert guidance, you can start by picking up a copy of my book The Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure In Life.

In it I talk you through the three stages of Mindset, Business and Lifestyle that have personally led me to being a Freedomist, and thousands of others.

So, what does freedom mean to you?

Reclaim Your Time Today. Join my Outsource Like a Rockstar Freedom Lab starting October 10th.

]]>
I am on a mission to help you find more personal freedom in your life every single day. That’s why I write this blog and produce the Quest for Freedom podcast.

In order to make my mission a reality, I’ve been working on a bit of research background around what personal freedom really means to you and I.

This is really what the true essence of this podcast is and it’s going to become much more about this from today on.

That’s because, a couple of years back I had this HUGE vision. It was so big it scared me.

How was little ol’ me going to conduct the world’s first research into freedom and create a framework that allowed people to figure out where they were on the scale of freedom?!

Despite my fear (that always comes after a burst of enthusiasm at a new idea), I put together the vision at right2freedom.com and started getting survey responses when I put it out to my community.

Maria Nicholas came on board to volunteer her time looking into how we could turn my vision into a framework and I created the 7 Phases.

She flew over to New Zealand even to make it happen and we worked away looking into successful social enterprises, non profits and frameworks that have been proven out.

I had my CFO at the time,  Jon Roberts, look over some of the survey responses and start to pull out some trends and findings - he liked data, I preferred the findings from it.

I engaged with the group of lovely Right2Freedom volunteers, who’d taken the survey and then offered up their time to help in various ways as indicated here, to start helping with some initial research on articles, blogs and books to define freedom.

Michelle Frost kindly headed up some Zoom calls to delve into this deeper with them.

And then I stalled, and the project stalled.

I left it alone for a bit, focused on my business and let other things distract me away from it.  It still felt too big.

Then, along came the idea for this blog and podcast. What about doing the research and experimenting real-time, on my own journey to personal freedom, while helping others.

That felt much more doable. A way to dip into it and make some progress, without letting the pressure of my own expectations get to me.

A few months ago, after a discussion with one of my Freedom Plan members Nina Frankowski, I felt reinvigorated with this project.

She, like me, is fascinated by freedom and loved the concept behind Right2Freedom.

With her background of making sense of research and data and analysing into something meaningful, she set to work looking at everything that had been done to date, to pull this into a framework.

It felt like overnight she brought to life what I had been dreaming of from the beginning.

She dug through the surveys and found the nuggets of gold. And now with over 600 global responses and counting, she’s done an incredible job of making sense of it all.

Then a few weeks ago, I asked the team at Lifehack if I could write a topic on personal freedom and unleash the first initial findings and thoughts behind this framework in the blog post.

They loved the idea, and so as a contributing writer I published this piece originally

It’s based on some of the ideas in my TEDx Talk, but it’s the first time I’ve released this information around this new freedom framework that I am working on.

So with Lifehack’s permission, I’m sharing the article here (and on the podcast).

How to Break Free From Your Own Constraints And Live the Life You Want

I’d like you to imagine waking up tomorrow with no limitations whatsoever.

How would you spend your day?

Who would you spend it with?

Where in the world would you be?

How would you feel?

Over the past 6 years I have asked hundreds of people this question. And guess what? 99% of them have no idea how to answer it. They have never thought about what their perfect day looks like, let alone how to describe it in vivid detail.

Somewhere along the way, people stopped chasing their dreams. They stopped imagining what their perfect day looks like and they started handing over the reigns to society who told them what to do and how to live. I found myself in this place too, where I’d given away my freedom. And I wanted it back.

What Exactly Is Freedom

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants. But is that really what true freedom means to you?

I shared in my TEDx talk The Surprising Truth About Freedom that I believe freedom is a right not a privilege, and it’s up to YOU to create your own freedom plan.

I personally spent the last 6 years living out of a suitcase, traveling the world to 69 countries. I did this because I wanted to explore the world and experiment with living and working from anywhere and everywhere until I designed and created my perfect freedom business that supports my ideal lifestyle.

Then in early 2017, I chose to flip my life 180 degrees when I bought a beautiful house and 2.5 acres of land in New Zealand with my partner, got five chickens and an adorable puppy and put down roots.

I discovered a different type of freedom that’s based around family, friends and a sense of community, as well as a profound connection to being on nature’s doorstep for my ideal lifestyle.

Why Freedom Feels So Elusive

As I’ve already stated, your version of freedom is totally unique to you, so it’s up to you to choose.

Freedom for some people it’s sailing around the world. For others it’s living in a yurt in the forest. For others it’s the right to vote. To get married, or stay single. To have a beautiful home or to have no home at all.

When I ask people if they feel free, they almost always respond with saying that the answer depends on something out of their control. For example “when I have more money and feel financially free”.

Or “when I can make my own schedule and do what I want”. Or “when I’ve quit my job and can do my own thing”. Or “when I don’t have to be stuck in one place”.

THEN I’ll be/ feel free.

Here’s the thing that most people don’t realize though:

Freedom is a state of mind rather than a specific condition of existence.

True freedom starts with your thoughts, and freeing yourself from your own inner critic, or limiting beliefs that tell you what you are and aren’t capable of.

We may not have been born with the same privileges, access to education, money or political rights, but we are all given the same amount of time in a day to pursue our dreams and make them a reality. And if we can’t control our external circumstances, we can definitely control our internal ones.

Freedom is the possibility to have choice and purpose helps you choose. Freedom is the space around you, where your purpose is your compass showing you where to move in that space.

Choosing Your Version of Freedom

I’m obsessed with Freedom and the definition of it. I created the Right2Freedom survey to ask people this very question. Over 500+ responses later and there is ONE universal truth emerging.

Freedom usually is split into positive and negative freedom. “Freedom from” (absence of constraints) and “freedom to” (freedom to do what we want). There is also a third level “freedom to be”, which is also a positive freedom but on a deeper emotional level; inner freedom.

It is this inner freedom that I believe is the most important, and that we intend to research further.

Your definition of freedom may be completely different to mine, but one thing remains the same, it’s our ability to CHOOSE that makes us feel truly free. Through the answers we’ve collected so far we’ve identified four elements of freedom.

  1. Flexibility – What you want, when you want and where you want. In short this is independence and choices free from restrictions.
  2. Self-actualization – This is about fulfilling your dreams, being free to pursue your passion while being free from judgement. This is strongly linked to doing work of your choice – a career or business you love.
  3. Responsibility – Creating stability for yourself and others by having control of your own security, health and financial situation ultimately makes you feel more free.
  4. Contribution – The ability to contribute, help others and to make an impact is a feeling of freedom on a whole other level.
Going For More Freedom

How do you go for achieving more freedom? Follow these baby steps:

Step 1 – Awareness of (your) definition of freedom (what do you want)

Not many people have truly thought about the definition of freedom and what it means to them personally, but when asked, most can tell you a few things that makes them feel free. These are usually literal things they attribute to the meaning of freedom.

So ask yourself the question “What makes me feel free?” Then write down your answers, discuss them with friends and start the conversation with people who matter in your life.

Step 2 – Understanding of (your) needs and purpose of freedom (why do you want it)

Not everyone thinks about why they define freedom a certain way, but everyone does have a deeper reason for why they desire freedom.

If you understand your needs and reason for wanting those “freeing” things in life, it is easier to achieve them.

Again, write down your why. Why do you want more freedom?

Step 3 – Action: map out personal plan (how can you get it)

Mapping out a plan needs to be done on an individual level based on your needs and wants, so who is better suited to do it but you?

It starts by getting very clear on your ideal lifestyle and what that looks like to you. Let the questions at the beginning guide you to finding your answers.

For more expert guidance, you can start by picking up a copy of my book The Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure In Life.

In it I talk you through the three stages of Mindset, Business and Lifestyle that have personally led me to being a Freedomist, and thousands of others.

So, what does freedom mean to you?

Reclaim Your Time Today. Join my Outsource Like a Rockstar Freedom Lab starting October 10th.

]]>
<![CDATA[Learning with a Growth Mindset]]> Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:06:19 GMT 11:21 no “Changing our beliefs can have a powerful impact. The growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning. “Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?”

This is a statement from Carol Dweck, author of the bestselling book Mindset.

A leading expert in the field of motivation, her research has demonstrated the role of mindsets in students’ achievement and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine motivation and learning.

So let me ask you a question right now: Do you have a fixed or a growth mindset?

Your answer to this will define how you go about learning and reaching your human potential.

If you’ve often struggled to improve and the act of learning is not something you enjoy, then listen in to this short summary of the first key idea in Carol’s book by OnePercentBetter:

Mindset was written by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. Her decades of research on achievement and success led her to discover what great parents, teachers, CEOs and athletes already know. That our mindset is the basis of accomplishment.

Lesson 1: The Two Mindsets

People with the fixed mindset believe intelligence can't be changed. This leads to a desire to look smart so they avoid challenges. They don't want to look bad if they fail which holds them back. In the face of obstacles they get defensive or give up easily. They say effort is pointless and believe that people are only great at things because they were born with special talents. When confronted with constructive criticism they ignore it. Lastly, they feel threatened by the success of others. People with a fixed mindset achieve less than they are capable of.

On the other hand, people with the growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed. This leads to a desire to learn so instead of avoiding challenges, they embrace them. They persist in the face of obstacles and see effort as a path to mastery. They accept constructive criticism and use it to their advantage. Lastly, they feel inspired by and learn from the success of others. As a result, they fulfill their ultimate potential.”

Fascinating right? Yet how often do we just assume we’re not smart enough or good enough based on the stories we’ve told ourselves all our life, vs looking at whether we have a fixed mindset that’s caused this?

As Carol says in her book:

"Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives."

I wanted to share this as we come to the end of Season 3 which has been all about learning, because I think it’s critical to the role of learning in our lives, and more importantly, our enjoyment of it.

Right now I have around seven courses - yes seven, that I have invested in or enrolled in for free through some of the online learning platforms I discussed in the previous episode How to Learn More In Less Time.

Like most of us, I will often buy a course and then sit on it for months. Unlike many people I talk to though, I will dive into these when I most need them.

I made a conscious effort on my business sabbatical to really make progress thought, setting myself deadlines to do them in, or simply tuning into them at the right time - i.e when I needed them most.

So right now I’ve finally dived into Instagram with Intention that I bought from Hilary Rushford three months ago - because I love Instagram but don’t use it effectively for business and want to give it a damn good crack.

I’ll be diving back into Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, as I go into producing some new courses, or what I prefer to call LIVE experiences to help my community tackle areas in their business and actually DO the work like my upcoming Freedom Lab on making your first hire and building your dream team.

I want to refresh my memory on some of his great tactics for interest building in the lead up to a launch. Even though I’ve done several over the years, you ALWAYS learn something new on every launch.

Both of these courses are for my business growth and learning - that’s how I categorize them.

I’ve been enjoying videos on The Wealthy Mindset by Tim and Kris Hallbom who concept of the Universal Cycles of Change I discussed in "When Too Much Change is Dangerous".

Going through these videos (often in the evening or weekends) is for my personal growth learning, and they’re helping me look at my habits and mindset with a new pair of eyes.  

Along with this I’m finishing the Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani and there’s a course that comes with it I will dive into next - part business and very much mindset and rewiring your brain - so again personal growth.

I have Dr Libby’s latest book, all about eating the right food for you and knowing how to optimize your body and mind through what you consume.

That for me is learning to improve my health.

I wanted to give you a taster of how I learn, as I fit this into around content creation, course creation, mentoring calls, working on the property and that very important thing called everyday life!

Now I want to share a few of my personal hacks for learning, in addition to those in my most recent podcast and post on on How to Learn Anything Faster.

Hacks for Learning More
  • Schedule learning into your calendar so it becomes an event you make time for and has a deadline (a recurring calendar entry is even better)
  • Watch videos you learn from at 1.5-2 X the speed - click the settings icon or cog on most video players to speed it up.
  • Listen to podcasts (again at 1.5 X the speed) for daily bite sized learning
  • Learn with someone else by taking lessons together - for example my Mum and I are doing art class together, and Josh and I have been doing a Dog Essentials Training with our puppy Kayla; or
  • Go through an online course with a friend, do a coworking session together and go through the modules at the same time and share your learnings

There you have it, some hot tips for learning more faster. I hope you’ve enjoyed this season on the Quest for Freedom Podcast.

Want to stay up to date then please SUBSCRIBE on iTunes, Stitcher and Anchor so you don’t miss a show.

I’ll be changing up the intention behind this show and revealing all in the next episode!

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
“Changing our beliefs can have a powerful impact. The growth mindset creates a powerful passion for learning. “Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?”

This is a statement from Carol Dweck, author of the bestselling book Mindset.

A leading expert in the field of motivation, her research has demonstrated the role of mindsets in students’ achievement and has shown how praise for intelligence can undermine motivation and learning.

So let me ask you a question right now: Do you have a fixed or a growth mindset?

Your answer to this will define how you go about learning and reaching your human potential.

If you’ve often struggled to improve and the act of learning is not something you enjoy, then listen in to this short summary of the first key idea in Carol’s book by OnePercentBetter:

Mindset was written by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. Her decades of research on achievement and success led her to discover what great parents, teachers, CEOs and athletes already know. That our mindset is the basis of accomplishment.

Lesson 1: The Two Mindsets

People with the fixed mindset believe intelligence can't be changed. This leads to a desire to look smart so they avoid challenges. They don't want to look bad if they fail which holds them back. In the face of obstacles they get defensive or give up easily. They say effort is pointless and believe that people are only great at things because they were born with special talents. When confronted with constructive criticism they ignore it. Lastly, they feel threatened by the success of others. People with a fixed mindset achieve less than they are capable of.

On the other hand, people with the growth mindset believe intelligence can be developed. This leads to a desire to learn so instead of avoiding challenges, they embrace them. They persist in the face of obstacles and see effort as a path to mastery. They accept constructive criticism and use it to their advantage. Lastly, they feel inspired by and learn from the success of others. As a result, they fulfill their ultimate potential.”

Fascinating right? Yet how often do we just assume we’re not smart enough or good enough based on the stories we’ve told ourselves all our life, vs looking at whether we have a fixed mindset that’s caused this?

As Carol says in her book:

"Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives."

I wanted to share this as we come to the end of Season 3 which has been all about learning, because I think it’s critical to the role of learning in our lives, and more importantly, our enjoyment of it.

Right now I have around seven courses - yes seven, that I have invested in or enrolled in for free through some of the online learning platforms I discussed in the previous episode How to Learn More In Less Time.

Like most of us, I will often buy a course and then sit on it for months. Unlike many people I talk to though, I will dive into these when I most need them.

I made a conscious effort on my business sabbatical to really make progress thought, setting myself deadlines to do them in, or simply tuning into them at the right time - i.e when I needed them most.

So right now I’ve finally dived into Instagram with Intention that I bought from Hilary Rushford three months ago - because I love Instagram but don’t use it effectively for business and want to give it a damn good crack.

I’ll be diving back into Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, as I go into producing some new courses, or what I prefer to call LIVE experiences to help my community tackle areas in their business and actually DO the work like my upcoming Freedom Lab on making your first hire and building your dream team.

I want to refresh my memory on some of his great tactics for interest building in the lead up to a launch. Even though I’ve done several over the years, you ALWAYS learn something new on every launch.

Both of these courses are for my business growth and learning - that’s how I categorize them.

I’ve been enjoying videos on The Wealthy Mindset by Tim and Kris Hallbom who concept of the Universal Cycles of Change I discussed in "When Too Much Change is Dangerous".

Going through these videos (often in the evening or weekends) is for my personal growth learning, and they’re helping me look at my habits and mindset with a new pair of eyes.  

Along with this I’m finishing the Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani and there’s a course that comes with it I will dive into next - part business and very much mindset and rewiring your brain - so again personal growth.

I have Dr Libby’s latest book, all about eating the right food for you and knowing how to optimize your body and mind through what you consume.

That for me is learning to improve my health.

I wanted to give you a taster of how I learn, as I fit this into around content creation, course creation, mentoring calls, working on the property and that very important thing called everyday life!

Now I want to share a few of my personal hacks for learning, in addition to those in my most recent podcast and post on on How to Learn Anything Faster.

Hacks for Learning More
  • Schedule learning into your calendar so it becomes an event you make time for and has a deadline (a recurring calendar entry is even better)
  • Watch videos you learn from at 1.5-2 X the speed - click the settings icon or cog on most video players to speed it up.
  • Listen to podcasts (again at 1.5 X the speed) for daily bite sized learning
  • Learn with someone else by taking lessons together - for example my Mum and I are doing art class together, and Josh and I have been doing a Dog Essentials Training with our puppy Kayla; or
  • Go through an online course with a friend, do a coworking session together and go through the modules at the same time and share your learnings

There you have it, some hot tips for learning more faster. I hope you’ve enjoyed this season on the Quest for Freedom Podcast.

Want to stay up to date then please SUBSCRIBE on iTunes, Stitcher and Anchor so you don’t miss a show.

I’ll be changing up the intention behind this show and revealing all in the next episode!

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
<![CDATA[How to Learn More In Less Time]]> Tue, 12 Sep 2017 14:24:53 GMT 20:19 no This is Season 3 and it’s all about the freedom to learn new things and all the benefits that come along with that. Because learning is such an important part to your life.

Without being curious and without learning you are not going to be expanding, you are not going to growing and life is frankly going to be a little dull.

I am a huge learner but there are definitely times in my life when I go through wanting to learn a lot and other times when I just want to impart and teach the wisdom that I’ve learned.

And I think it’s beautiful to have those ebbs and flows, but most of the time I think you should be setting about to learn something new or at least improve what you already know every single day.

In the previous episode I taught you 11 Benefits of Learning Something New.

And in this episode, as promised,  I’m going to be covering off on how to learn anything more quickly and some hacking techniques to learn more in less time.

As well as the what. What on earth should you actually be learning?

5 Hacks To Learn Anything More Quickly

In Fast Company’s article Six Brain Hacks To Learn Anything Faster, the first hack Stephanie Vozza suggests, is one I personally used to get my through my Certificate in Fitness Management back in 2004.

#1 Teach Someone Else

I remember that I had just on a year to do this pretty full on Certificate in Fitness Management through Otago University.

And as I was learning about nutrition, exercise prescription, sports psychology and even injuries, I just had to tell people about it.

Otherwise, there was no way I was going to remember it.  

I would come home and coach and teach my parents on exactly what we are eating and how that was broken down in the body and which of our muscles we are using to do that. When we were out playing tennis or doing something together with friends, I’ll be like “Hey! Do you know that we are using these muscles and these bones, these insertion points and this is what’s going on”. And the only way that I could remember stuff and good at it was to teach it.

I also used to dance around in my room and talk it out as if I was lecturing in a university hall or teaching as a personal trainer and it really worked.

When you have to teach a concept that you’ve just learned, you really have to understand that concept in order to put it out in your own terms.

If you imagine that you’ll need to teach someone else the material or task you are trying to grasp, you can speed up your learning and remember more, according to a study done at Washington University in St. Louis.

The expectation changes your mindset so that you engage in more effective approaches to learning than those who simply learn to pass a test.

#2 Take Notes by Hand

While it’s faster to take notes on a laptop, using a pen and paper will help you learn and comprehend better. Researchers at Princeton University and UCLA found that when students took notes by hand, they listened more actively and were able to identify important concepts. Taking notes on a laptop, however, leads to mindless transcription, as well as an opportunity for distraction, such as email.

“In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand,” writes coauthor and Princeton University psychology professor Pam Mueller. “We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.”

The course I’m taking right now called Become a Master Writer by my friend Elisa Doucette, is designed with a (now) rarely used way of learning writing and language called COPYWORK.

Copywork is exactly what it sounds like - doing the work by copying the writing of someone else. This is how schools taught for centuries. The daily assignments you get will include an excerpt or essay up to ~2500 words for you to hand-copy, along with an explanation of what you will learn from that day's lesson.

#3 Use the Power of Mental Spacing

While it sounds counterintuitive, you can learn faster when you practice distributed learning, or “spacing.” Learning is like watering a lawn.

You can water a lawn once a week for 90 minutes or three times a week for 30 minutes.

Spacing out the watering during the week will keep the lawn greener over time.

To retain material, author Benedict Carey said it’s best to review the information one to two days after first studying it.

“One theory is that the brain actually pays less attention during short learning intervals, so repeating the information over a longer interval–say a few days or a week later, rather than in rapid succession–sends a stronger signal to the brain that it needs to retain the information.”

In Lifehack’s article 8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More, author Maria Briliaki suggests to:

#4 Do something different repeatedly

“By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!” Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?”

Maria also suggests you

#5 Work your body.

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Just like I shared above in training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

What Should You Learn

So now you have those five hacks to focus on next time you learn anything new, what should you actually be learning and where?

So this is actually completely personal to you. No surprises there.

I mean if you are a coach or a consultant, it’s always great to upskill in that area whether you are taking a new actual certificate or a level diploma something like that will actually upskill you as a coach.

Or whether you are going to a course that’s around effective leadership. Maybe it’s around financial management. Maybe it’s around negotiations and people skills and bringing out the best in people that you are working with. Maybe you are taking a project management course because that’s going to help you with your clients.

If you are a web designer or an artist perhaps you are going to do a course that’s going to help you to expand your skills, learn new code or a different platform. Just so that you can expand the reach of what you can offer your clients.

But I’d like to challenge you here to think a little bit outside of that because I love learning about stuff that is completely new and outside the scope of what I’d normally be discussing with friends or clients and that will actually stimulate my brain in a different way.

Right now I am doing art classes, I am doing a “become a master writer course”.

I’ve written a best selling book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur and another book and I’ve written 900+ blog posts on my site, you might wonder why I am taking a writing course but I want to improve as a writer. I never taught myself writing. I’ve never actually taken a course on it.

Other things that I might want to do is learn how to sing or learn how to play piano or another instrument. You may want to learn about neuroscience or space or something completely different.

And I think the reason why this is so good to do is it expand your horizons, it opens up your mind, it expands your perspective, it allows you to reach new people because you’ll often go along into an event, a course, a workshop or an actual physical class and you’ll be introduced to all these new people who just think differently, passionate about this topic that maybe you’ve never heard about before.

Right now my partner, Josh is getting into a Bitcoin training and he’s introducing me to all these platforms that he is using, the art behind trading which is no different to normal trades to normal stock exchanges but why Bitcoin is different and I am just learning this from watching and observing him. He is reading trading books, he is listening to podcasts, he is watching Youtube videos by Bitcoin experts and along the way I am kind of learning little snippets about it.

So I do suggest that you often learn something that is completely outside your realm of interests. I mean, I hope you are interested in it. But you know something that is completely outside your realm of expertise and what you do on an everyday basis.

Best Online Learning Sites

The reason I am focusing on online learning sites is that if you are going to classes, workshops, events, conferences, seminars, or coaching in your own town, city, location - wherever you are in the world, that’s obviously a perfect choice for you.

And if you know of events and things that are happening local to you, then I highly recommend you do something in person. That’s a brilliant way to learn.

I am going to a gardening workshop down the road this weekend for about 3 hours to learn about permaculture, gardening and what I should be planting, so that’s going to be a first for me.

I know I will learn way more by being there and doing the actual planting then if I’d taken an online course.

But in terms of online learning, you can do this from anywhere, anytime. That’s the beauty of it.

So long as you now know to write out the notes by hand. So some of my favorite learning sites are:

Coursera

Coursera is basically some of the world's best courses online from Penn University, John Hopkins University, University of Michigan, Stanford, UC, San Diego, Duke University and more.

Some of the things that they have in there are like Deep Learning, Data Science, Python for everybody, Excel to MySQL, Analytics Techniques for Businesses and many of these are free.

You get to learn from the top universities around the world, even if it’s a little bit of a US focused and bias, but you are learning often for free.

There’s courses on Machine Learning, Neural Networks and Deep Learning,  and around Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency technologies. There’s even one on Learning How to Learn!

So for example, if I click on the Learning How to Learn, you’ll see when to enroll.

It’s taught by two university professors and they talk to you about the commitment you’ll need; about three hours of videos, three hours of exercises and three hours of bonus material.

It’s in about ten different languages too. They show you through the syllabus and an FAQ of when you get access to everything and do you have to pay for this course etc.

And often these sites as you’ll hear from me as I go, they often have certificates. So this course is often free but to get qualified or certified in it, is anywhere between $49 and a $150. And you’ll often see reviews on there because people have already taken the course.

edX

One online learning platform that I’ve been loving is edX.

It’s a bit cheeky to mimic the name Tedx, but hey! All the courses are free.

Their motto is they have ‘Courses to advance, create and improve your life’.

There are ones from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Berkeley University of California, University of Texas, University of Queensland Australia, TU Delft, The University of British Columbia and more.

Some of the most popular subjects that they offer are around Computer Science, Economics and Finance, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities, Language, Biology and Life Sciences.

This is where I did the Science of Happiness course through Berkeley University and loved it!

It was quite intense. It was over three months and I only had four weeks in which to do it live, because I came to it late but I could have re-enrolled again to start with the next live round.

The material was great. I loved it. There were videos that you could play and none of them were over seven minutes.

At the same time as you are watching the video, you could watch a live transcript. You can also download the transcript after.

Plus they have little tests throughout and quizzes that you have to take and you actually get graded on those. So really really neat site.

Skillshare

Skillshare classes are taught by expert practitioners and they really focus on classes for your career and for your passions.

Once again you can choose from all sorts of different categories: design, business, technology, photography, film, writing, crafts, culinary.

These courses are more practical. Not saying that computer science isn’t but these are things like:

  • Street photography: Capture the Life of Your City
  • Logo Design: Secrets of Shape, Type and Color
  • Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Business
  • Knife Skills: A Mini Class to Chop Like a Chef and;
  • Learn How to Mix Music with a Young Guru.

You can also see the ratings of them, how many people have taken them. Almost all of them you have to pay for but they constantly have specials going on with massive discounts on the normal price. 

Udemy

Another online learning platform  that you probably would have heard of which is huge is Udemy.

Essentially, they have over 55,000 courses taught by experts and instructor, that you can enroll at them at anytime with lifetime access.

It’s learning at your own pace, whereas ones on edX and Coursera can often be time limited as they are doing it in a university setting with start and end dates.

In Udemy, you can find things like The Complete Web Developer course, you can learn about Javascript, Complete Cyber Security, Become a Super Learner or an NLP practitioner..

The point here is there’s almost nothing you can’t learn online.

I mean, as a course creator and as somebody who teaches people skills in business and building an online business, lifestyle, systems, sales funnels, you name it, it’s quite easy for me to be able to put some of my courses up here.

In fact, Udemy approached earlier this year to do that. And there are benefits for you as a business owner if this is what you do.

So look at some of these platforms and see whether it’s actually worth putting them up on there rather than on your own site.  

If you have a small list or reach then tapping into their huge databases of students is definitely a bonus.

Those four would be my top picks for Online Learning Platforms. There are many others.

I hope that this episode has given you an understanding of some of the hacks that you can use to learn more effectively and also some of the things that you might want to be learning as well as where in the heck you can go to learn those things.

Before we finish off, I would love to say, if you’d like to learn more about creating freedom in business and adventure in life, the 3rd edition of my book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur is out!

It is available in Amazon, Itunes, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Bam Books a Million and a couple of other book shops for the first time, it’s available in books shops in North America. For full details, go to suitcaseentrepreneur.com/book.

We have a little contest going on right now, all details are on that page so I’d love for you to check it out.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

]]>
This is Season 3 and it’s all about the freedom to learn new things and all the benefits that come along with that. Because learning is such an important part to your life.

Without being curious and without learning you are not going to be expanding, you are not going to growing and life is frankly going to be a little dull.

I am a huge learner but there are definitely times in my life when I go through wanting to learn a lot and other times when I just want to impart and teach the wisdom that I’ve learned.

And I think it’s beautiful to have those ebbs and flows, but most of the time I think you should be setting about to learn something new or at least improve what you already know every single day.

In the previous episode I taught you 11 Benefits of Learning Something New.

And in this episode, as promised,  I’m going to be covering off on how to learn anything more quickly and some hacking techniques to learn more in less time.

As well as the what. What on earth should you actually be learning?

5 Hacks To Learn Anything More Quickly

In Fast Company’s article Six Brain Hacks To Learn Anything Faster, the first hack Stephanie Vozza suggests, is one I personally used to get my through my Certificate in Fitness Management back in 2004.

#1 Teach Someone Else

I remember that I had just on a year to do this pretty full on Certificate in Fitness Management through Otago University.

And as I was learning about nutrition, exercise prescription, sports psychology and even injuries, I just had to tell people about it.

Otherwise, there was no way I was going to remember it.  

I would come home and coach and teach my parents on exactly what we are eating and how that was broken down in the body and which of our muscles we are using to do that. When we were out playing tennis or doing something together with friends, I’ll be like “Hey! Do you know that we are using these muscles and these bones, these insertion points and this is what’s going on”. And the only way that I could remember stuff and good at it was to teach it.

I also used to dance around in my room and talk it out as if I was lecturing in a university hall or teaching as a personal trainer and it really worked.

When you have to teach a concept that you’ve just learned, you really have to understand that concept in order to put it out in your own terms.

If you imagine that you’ll need to teach someone else the material or task you are trying to grasp, you can speed up your learning and remember more, according to a study done at Washington University in St. Louis.

The expectation changes your mindset so that you engage in more effective approaches to learning than those who simply learn to pass a test.

#2 Take Notes by Hand

While it’s faster to take notes on a laptop, using a pen and paper will help you learn and comprehend better. Researchers at Princeton University and UCLA found that when students took notes by hand, they listened more actively and were able to identify important concepts. Taking notes on a laptop, however, leads to mindless transcription, as well as an opportunity for distraction, such as email.

“In three studies, we found that students who took notes on laptops performed worse on conceptual questions than students who took notes longhand,” writes coauthor and Princeton University psychology professor Pam Mueller. “We show that whereas taking more notes can be beneficial, laptop note takers’ tendency to transcribe lectures verbatim rather than processing information and reframing it in their own words is detrimental to learning.”

The course I’m taking right now called Become a Master Writer by my friend Elisa Doucette, is designed with a (now) rarely used way of learning writing and language called COPYWORK.

Copywork is exactly what it sounds like - doing the work by copying the writing of someone else. This is how schools taught for centuries. The daily assignments you get will include an excerpt or essay up to ~2500 words for you to hand-copy, along with an explanation of what you will learn from that day's lesson.

#3 Use the Power of Mental Spacing

While it sounds counterintuitive, you can learn faster when you practice distributed learning, or “spacing.” Learning is like watering a lawn.

You can water a lawn once a week for 90 minutes or three times a week for 30 minutes.

Spacing out the watering during the week will keep the lawn greener over time.

To retain material, author Benedict Carey said it’s best to review the information one to two days after first studying it.

“One theory is that the brain actually pays less attention during short learning intervals, so repeating the information over a longer interval–say a few days or a week later, rather than in rapid succession–sends a stronger signal to the brain that it needs to retain the information.”

In Lifehack’s article 8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More, author Maria Briliaki suggests to:

#4 Do something different repeatedly

“By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!” Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?”

Maria also suggests you

#5 Work your body.

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Just like I shared above in training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

What Should You Learn

So now you have those five hacks to focus on next time you learn anything new, what should you actually be learning and where?

So this is actually completely personal to you. No surprises there.

I mean if you are a coach or a consultant, it’s always great to upskill in that area whether you are taking a new actual certificate or a level diploma something like that will actually upskill you as a coach.

Or whether you are going to a course that’s around effective leadership. Maybe it’s around financial management. Maybe it’s around negotiations and people skills and bringing out the best in people that you are working with. Maybe you are taking a project management course because that’s going to help you with your clients.

If you are a web designer or an artist perhaps you are going to do a course that’s going to help you to expand your skills, learn new code or a different platform. Just so that you can expand the reach of what you can offer your clients.

But I’d like to challenge you here to think a little bit outside of that because I love learning about stuff that is completely new and outside the scope of what I’d normally be discussing with friends or clients and that will actually stimulate my brain in a different way.

Right now I am doing art classes, I am doing a “become a master writer course”.

I’ve written a best selling book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur and another book and I’ve written 900+ blog posts on my site, you might wonder why I am taking a writing course but I want to improve as a writer. I never taught myself writing. I’ve never actually taken a course on it.

Other things that I might want to do is learn how to sing or learn how to play piano or another instrument. You may want to learn about neuroscience or space or something completely different.

And I think the reason why this is so good to do is it expand your horizons, it opens up your mind, it expands your perspective, it allows you to reach new people because you’ll often go along into an event, a course, a workshop or an actual physical class and you’ll be introduced to all these new people who just think differently, passionate about this topic that maybe you’ve never heard about before.

Right now my partner, Josh is getting into a Bitcoin training and he’s introducing me to all these platforms that he is using, the art behind trading which is no different to normal trades to normal stock exchanges but why Bitcoin is different and I am just learning this from watching and observing him. He is reading trading books, he is listening to podcasts, he is watching Youtube videos by Bitcoin experts and along the way I am kind of learning little snippets about it.

So I do suggest that you often learn something that is completely outside your realm of interests. I mean, I hope you are interested in it. But you know something that is completely outside your realm of expertise and what you do on an everyday basis.

Best Online Learning Sites

The reason I am focusing on online learning sites is that if you are going to classes, workshops, events, conferences, seminars, or coaching in your own town, city, location - wherever you are in the world, that’s obviously a perfect choice for you.

And if you know of events and things that are happening local to you, then I highly recommend you do something in person. That’s a brilliant way to learn.

I am going to a gardening workshop down the road this weekend for about 3 hours to learn about permaculture, gardening and what I should be planting, so that’s going to be a first for me.

I know I will learn way more by being there and doing the actual planting then if I’d taken an online course.

But in terms of online learning, you can do this from anywhere, anytime. That’s the beauty of it.

So long as you now know to write out the notes by hand. So some of my favorite learning sites are:

Coursera

Coursera is basically some of the world's best courses online from Penn University, John Hopkins University, University of Michigan, Stanford, UC, San Diego, Duke University and more.

Some of the things that they have in there are like Deep Learning, Data Science, Python for everybody, Excel to MySQL, Analytics Techniques for Businesses and many of these are free.

You get to learn from the top universities around the world, even if it’s a little bit of a US focused and bias, but you are learning often for free.

There’s courses on Machine Learning, Neural Networks and Deep Learning,  and around Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency technologies. There’s even one on Learning How to Learn!

So for example, if I click on the Learning How to Learn, you’ll see when to enroll.

It’s taught by two university professors and they talk to you about the commitment you’ll need; about three hours of videos, three hours of exercises and three hours of bonus material.

It’s in about ten different languages too. They show you through the syllabus and an FAQ of when you get access to everything and do you have to pay for this course etc.

And often these sites as you’ll hear from me as I go, they often have certificates. So this course is often free but to get qualified or certified in it, is anywhere between $49 and a $150. And you’ll often see reviews on there because people have already taken the course.

edX

One online learning platform that I’ve been loving is edX.

It’s a bit cheeky to mimic the name Tedx, but hey! All the courses are free.

Their motto is they have ‘Courses to advance, create and improve your life’.

There are ones from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Berkeley University of California, University of Texas, University of Queensland Australia, TU Delft, The University of British Columbia and more.

Some of the most popular subjects that they offer are around Computer Science, Economics and Finance, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities, Language, Biology and Life Sciences.

This is where I did the Science of Happiness course through Berkeley University and loved it!

It was quite intense. It was over three months and I only had four weeks in which to do it live, because I came to it late but I could have re-enrolled again to start with the next live round.

The material was great. I loved it. There were videos that you could play and none of them were over seven minutes.

At the same time as you are watching the video, you could watch a live transcript. You can also download the transcript after.

Plus they have little tests throughout and quizzes that you have to take and you actually get graded on those. So really really neat site.

Skillshare

Skillshare classes are taught by expert practitioners and they really focus on classes for your career and for your passions.

Once again you can choose from all sorts of different categories: design, business, technology, photography, film, writing, crafts, culinary.

These courses are more practical. Not saying that computer science isn’t but these are things like:

  • Street photography: Capture the Life of Your City
  • Logo Design: Secrets of Shape, Type and Color
  • Going Freelance: Building and Branding Your Own Business
  • Knife Skills: A Mini Class to Chop Like a Chef and;
  • Learn How to Mix Music with a Young Guru.

You can also see the ratings of them, how many people have taken them. Almost all of them you have to pay for but they constantly have specials going on with massive discounts on the normal price. 

Udemy

Another online learning platform  that you probably would have heard of which is huge is Udemy.

Essentially, they have over 55,000 courses taught by experts and instructor, that you can enroll at them at anytime with lifetime access.

It’s learning at your own pace, whereas ones on edX and Coursera can often be time limited as they are doing it in a university setting with start and end dates.

In Udemy, you can find things like The Complete Web Developer course, you can learn about Javascript, Complete Cyber Security, Become a Super Learner or an NLP practitioner..

The point here is there’s almost nothing you can’t learn online.

I mean, as a course creator and as somebody who teaches people skills in business and building an online business, lifestyle, systems, sales funnels, you name it, it’s quite easy for me to be able to put some of my courses up here.

In fact, Udemy approached earlier this year to do that. And there are benefits for you as a business owner if this is what you do.

So look at some of these platforms and see whether it’s actually worth putting them up on there rather than on your own site.  

If you have a small list or reach then tapping into their huge databases of students is definitely a bonus.

Those four would be my top picks for Online Learning Platforms. There are many others.

I hope that this episode has given you an understanding of some of the hacks that you can use to learn more effectively and also some of the things that you might want to be learning as well as where in the heck you can go to learn those things.

Before we finish off, I would love to say, if you’d like to learn more about creating freedom in business and adventure in life, the 3rd edition of my book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur is out!

It is available in Amazon, Itunes, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Bam Books a Million and a couple of other book shops for the first time, it’s available in books shops in North America. For full details, go to suitcaseentrepreneur.com/book.

We have a little contest going on right now, all details are on that page so I’d love for you to check it out.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

]]>
<![CDATA[11 Benefits to Learning Something New]]> Mon, 28 Aug 2017 09:01:20 GMT 11:37 no I don't know about you, but I'm always curious about the world, and always aware of how much I still have to learn.

The day I'm not curious about anything will be a day I personally don't want to see, as I'll either be a know it all and completely deluded or on my deathbed!

Yet in an increasingly connected world experiencing information overload and a certain amount of burnout from that, it’s become critically important - and I do mean critically, to curate your learning experience and limit the information highway to some specific side streets and cul-de-sacs of your choosing.

I wanted to talk through how I’ve been ‘easing’ back into learning zone post my Business Sabbatical and what steps I’m taking to expand past my comfort zone, increase my skills and knowledge and deepen my understanding and perceptions around areas I’m not often exposed to.

But first let’s focus on the benefits of learning something new and why you should want to do this in just 50 minutes a day.

I was reading a piece on Lifestyle Updated about the seven benefits of learning something new, and the very first one was fun.

I thought to myself how often do we, especially as adults, do something for fun. The example they gave for this benefit was a friend who’d recently learned to surf and how much fun they’d had.

I thought back to the 20+ surf lessons I took in Portugal last year and how I was constantly out of depth (no pun intended) and challenging my assumptions about what I was capable of, while learning something new every single time, if not several new things.

I quite enjoyed being a complete newbie to this sport and taking a mix of private and group lessons. I loved how our instructor, crazy Nelson as I like to call him, would draw diagrams in the sand and make models of waves in the sand to illustrate a point.

Along with this there was yelling and enthusiasm, practicing the technique on land and of course getting out in the ocean and doing it.

Full immersion so to speak - pun intended this time!

FUN! Why on earth learn something if it’s not fun?

Everything that’s taught can be fun, even accounting, especially when you’re shown real case studies and examples that resonate with you and make your learning that much quicker and effective.

Another on their list that is obvious but often overlooked is..

A sense of accomplishment and pride.

I know back in 2004 when I had landed my biggest job to date as National Brand Manager at Schwarzkopf Professional, working quite long hours but loving learning on the job at speed, I also took on more learning for the ‘fun’ of it.

It still amazes me that not only did I start training in January of that year for a bodysculpting competition, I then decided to enrol at Otago University for an extramural 1 year certificate in Fitness Management.

I was also going through Anthony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within book and working on some NLP for past events in my life, and listening to his CD series in the car on the way to work.

Once I’d finished with his CDs I recall listening to around 5 audiobooks (on CD of course) during my long-ish commute...back in the days when I actually commuted.

The results of this year were still my most impressive ever, at least in my mind.

I got straight As from University, and some A+ - proof that when you have experience in time management and a full time job you study much more effectively than when you’re doing it full time.

I won my Regional North Island Body Sculpting competition and went on to compete at Nationals.

And I had a rocking first year in my job running the best ever New Zealand Hairdressing Awards - most ticket sales and under budget.

And I felt immensely proud at what I was able to accomplish in just one year.

Naturally there were several things I had to give up in order to achieve that, like a life...no I’m kidding but I did literally eat chicken and brocolli all the time during my training and my boyfriend certainly didn’t get the time and attention he deserved during 2004.

So I’d hasten to add learning should be fun, give you a sense of achievement AND fit in with your lifestyle, not take over it. Much like my take on business supporting your lifestyle too.

So what else? Well Jon Lebreton from Sydney, Australia also shared 7 reasons why learning new things is important, what’s with the magic number of 7.

My favourites are, and I quote:

  1. You can grow as a person, develop your knowledge base and improve yourself for the better.
  2. Learning something new gets us access to new and different opportunities and the chance to try new experiences that might be the best ones you have ever tried
  3. You could potentially earn more money in your work life from learning a new and appropriate skill or by developing one that links to the work you do. You’ll rejuvenate your working life and get so much more from it.
  4. Developing a new skill will influence the way you do things day to day and they will make doing things quicker and easier, saving time, energy and stress.

While these are all obvious reasons, it’s worthwhile letting them sink in. Because at the end of the day scheduling in time to learn and the actual act of learning takes time and effort.

But the payoff can be phenomenal.

To cap off the benefits may I point you to a final article written by CCSU Continuing Education titles The Top 7 Benefits of Learning a New Skill - seriously again 7 reasons? I swear I didn’t search on that specifically on Google!

The 3 most important ones they stated in my opinion are, and I quote

Your brain chemistry changes.

The white matter in your brain is called myelin, and it helps improve performance on a number of tasks. The more people practice a new skill they are learning, the more dense the myelin in their brains becomes, which helps them learn even better.

Your learning speed increases.

Learning a new skill helps you learn things faster over time. By stimulating neurons in the brain, more neural pathways are formed and electrical impulses travel faster across them as you attempt to process new information. The more pathways that are formed, the faster impulses can travel.

You could stave off dementia.

People who learn a new skill are less likely to develop dementia, which has been linked to demyelination of your brain. People who actively learn new skills don’t give their brains a chance to demyelinate, and their neural pathways are ready for new impulses to travel along them.

Perhaps the most important reason of all though is this….

Learning something new will make you happier

According to an article in Psychologies, I quote

‘It’s actually a core need for psychological wellbeing. Learning can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy.

It can also be a way of connecting with others too,’ says Vanessa King, positive psychology expert at Action for Happiness. ‘As human beings, we have a natural desire to learn and progress. Psychologists call it mastery.’

There is evidence to suggest that adult learning seems to have its most positive impact on self-esteem and self-efficacy when the learning provided meets the needs of the learner, and when the learner is at a stage in their life when they are ready and receptive to benefit from it.

‘Learning also fuels our creativity. Ideas can come from making connections between seemingly unrelated things,’ says King.

‘Learning something new in one area of our lives can trigger ideas in another. So curiosity and creative thinking go hand-in-hand.’

This can also help with creating what psychologists call ‘flow’ or ‘being in the zone’ – when we’re so absorbed in what we’re doing, we lose sense of time and of ourselves.

‘It’s not passive, like when watching TV – it’s active,’ explains King. When we’re in flow, the level of challenge in the activity just exceeds our level of skill.

We’re also getting instant feedback from the activity on whether what we are trying is working, so we can adjust what we’re doing accordingly. As our skill increases, so does the challenge.

So there you have it, more than 7 reasons to learn something new. The reason I’ve researched into this, above and beyond my natural curiosity, is that it’s important to have a foundation of your why.

A strong why linked to learning on a daily basis will keep you motivated during times when you feel you can’t afford the time or energy to learn.

And in the next episode I’m going to be covering off on exactly that, the how of effective learning and hacking techniques to learn more in less time.

As well as the what. What on earth should you actually be learning?

Tune in on all good podcast platforms like Stitcher, iTunes and Anchor.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
I don't know about you, but I'm always curious about the world, and always aware of how much I still have to learn.

The day I'm not curious about anything will be a day I personally don't want to see, as I'll either be a know it all and completely deluded or on my deathbed!

Yet in an increasingly connected world experiencing information overload and a certain amount of burnout from that, it’s become critically important - and I do mean critically, to curate your learning experience and limit the information highway to some specific side streets and cul-de-sacs of your choosing.

I wanted to talk through how I’ve been ‘easing’ back into learning zone post my Business Sabbatical and what steps I’m taking to expand past my comfort zone, increase my skills and knowledge and deepen my understanding and perceptions around areas I’m not often exposed to.

But first let’s focus on the benefits of learning something new and why you should want to do this in just 50 minutes a day.

I was reading a piece on Lifestyle Updated about the seven benefits of learning something new, and the very first one was fun.

I thought to myself how often do we, especially as adults, do something for fun. The example they gave for this benefit was a friend who’d recently learned to surf and how much fun they’d had.

I thought back to the 20+ surf lessons I took in Portugal last year and how I was constantly out of depth (no pun intended) and challenging my assumptions about what I was capable of, while learning something new every single time, if not several new things.

I quite enjoyed being a complete newbie to this sport and taking a mix of private and group lessons. I loved how our instructor, crazy Nelson as I like to call him, would draw diagrams in the sand and make models of waves in the sand to illustrate a point.

Along with this there was yelling and enthusiasm, practicing the technique on land and of course getting out in the ocean and doing it.

Full immersion so to speak - pun intended this time!

FUN! Why on earth learn something if it’s not fun?

Everything that’s taught can be fun, even accounting, especially when you’re shown real case studies and examples that resonate with you and make your learning that much quicker and effective.

Another on their list that is obvious but often overlooked is..

A sense of accomplishment and pride.

I know back in 2004 when I had landed my biggest job to date as National Brand Manager at Schwarzkopf Professional, working quite long hours but loving learning on the job at speed, I also took on more learning for the ‘fun’ of it.

It still amazes me that not only did I start training in January of that year for a bodysculpting competition, I then decided to enrol at Otago University for an extramural 1 year certificate in Fitness Management.

I was also going through Anthony Robbins Awaken the Giant Within book and working on some NLP for past events in my life, and listening to his CD series in the car on the way to work.

Once I’d finished with his CDs I recall listening to around 5 audiobooks (on CD of course) during my long-ish commute...back in the days when I actually commuted.

The results of this year were still my most impressive ever, at least in my mind.

I got straight As from University, and some A+ - proof that when you have experience in time management and a full time job you study much more effectively than when you’re doing it full time.

I won my Regional North Island Body Sculpting competition and went on to compete at Nationals.

And I had a rocking first year in my job running the best ever New Zealand Hairdressing Awards - most ticket sales and under budget.

And I felt immensely proud at what I was able to accomplish in just one year.

Naturally there were several things I had to give up in order to achieve that, like a life...no I’m kidding but I did literally eat chicken and brocolli all the time during my training and my boyfriend certainly didn’t get the time and attention he deserved during 2004.

So I’d hasten to add learning should be fun, give you a sense of achievement AND fit in with your lifestyle, not take over it. Much like my take on business supporting your lifestyle too.

So what else? Well Jon Lebreton from Sydney, Australia also shared 7 reasons why learning new things is important, what’s with the magic number of 7.

My favourites are, and I quote:

  1. You can grow as a person, develop your knowledge base and improve yourself for the better.
  2. Learning something new gets us access to new and different opportunities and the chance to try new experiences that might be the best ones you have ever tried
  3. You could potentially earn more money in your work life from learning a new and appropriate skill or by developing one that links to the work you do. You’ll rejuvenate your working life and get so much more from it.
  4. Developing a new skill will influence the way you do things day to day and they will make doing things quicker and easier, saving time, energy and stress.

While these are all obvious reasons, it’s worthwhile letting them sink in. Because at the end of the day scheduling in time to learn and the actual act of learning takes time and effort.

But the payoff can be phenomenal.

To cap off the benefits may I point you to a final article written by CCSU Continuing Education titles The Top 7 Benefits of Learning a New Skill - seriously again 7 reasons? I swear I didn’t search on that specifically on Google!

The 3 most important ones they stated in my opinion are, and I quote

Your brain chemistry changes.

The white matter in your brain is called myelin, and it helps improve performance on a number of tasks. The more people practice a new skill they are learning, the more dense the myelin in their brains becomes, which helps them learn even better.

Your learning speed increases.

Learning a new skill helps you learn things faster over time. By stimulating neurons in the brain, more neural pathways are formed and electrical impulses travel faster across them as you attempt to process new information. The more pathways that are formed, the faster impulses can travel.

You could stave off dementia.

People who learn a new skill are less likely to develop dementia, which has been linked to demyelination of your brain. People who actively learn new skills don’t give their brains a chance to demyelinate, and their neural pathways are ready for new impulses to travel along them.

Perhaps the most important reason of all though is this….

Learning something new will make you happier

According to an article in Psychologies, I quote

‘It’s actually a core need for psychological wellbeing. Learning can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy.

It can also be a way of connecting with others too,’ says Vanessa King, positive psychology expert at Action for Happiness. ‘As human beings, we have a natural desire to learn and progress. Psychologists call it mastery.’

There is evidence to suggest that adult learning seems to have its most positive impact on self-esteem and self-efficacy when the learning provided meets the needs of the learner, and when the learner is at a stage in their life when they are ready and receptive to benefit from it.

‘Learning also fuels our creativity. Ideas can come from making connections between seemingly unrelated things,’ says King.

‘Learning something new in one area of our lives can trigger ideas in another. So curiosity and creative thinking go hand-in-hand.’

This can also help with creating what psychologists call ‘flow’ or ‘being in the zone’ – when we’re so absorbed in what we’re doing, we lose sense of time and of ourselves.

‘It’s not passive, like when watching TV – it’s active,’ explains King. When we’re in flow, the level of challenge in the activity just exceeds our level of skill.

We’re also getting instant feedback from the activity on whether what we are trying is working, so we can adjust what we’re doing accordingly. As our skill increases, so does the challenge.

So there you have it, more than 7 reasons to learn something new. The reason I’ve researched into this, above and beyond my natural curiosity, is that it’s important to have a foundation of your why.

A strong why linked to learning on a daily basis will keep you motivated during times when you feel you can’t afford the time or energy to learn.

And in the next episode I’m going to be covering off on exactly that, the how of effective learning and hacking techniques to learn more in less time.

As well as the what. What on earth should you actually be learning?

Tune in on all good podcast platforms like Stitcher, iTunes and Anchor.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
<![CDATA[How to master self learning]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:04:48 GMT 17:22 no Hey! It’s Season 3 and it’s all about self learning mastery.

How do you decide on what you should be learning and the most effective way to do it?

I’ll be talking about hacking the way in which we learn and also going the slightly unconventional route because why should we always be following the traditional education model which hasn’t been that successful. And I’ll be throwing some stats and interesting factoids at you about that.

Before we dive in, I just want to give a quick update as to why you might even be listening to this podcast. So hey!

It’s Natalie Sisson and I am on a quest for freedom for you. This is the Quest for Freedom podcast and you are joining me in 2017 as I uncover what you can do to simplify your life, feel connected, live mindfully and develop true personal and financial freedom.

In Season 1, I covered off around personal freedom and I really delved into that mindset freedom through meditation, through mindfulness.

In Season 2, I talked about business freedom and all about the business sabbatical that I went on where I essentially fired myself from my business for three months. I shared the outcome, I shared the results and the journey of taking that much time for your business as well as flipping your life 180 degrees which was an added bonus.

In Season 3, is a topic that has always fascinated me because I believe that if we really want to truly grow and learn and later very fulfilled life we need to be constantly learning, we need to stay curious. And yet as we get bombarded more and more with information overload, how do you that in a way that feels good, that feels fun, that feels like you are actually developing, growing and taking things in. You are not just consuming stuff because it’s in front of you. You are curating what you want to learn, what you read and what you take in.

And so that’s what this episode is all about.

I recently read an article on Quartz by Zat Rana called ‘If you want to be smarter, learn to say “I don’t know’”

The Value of “I Don’t Know”

When you think about it, acknowledging ignorance is actually productive.

Sometimes, the best answer is simply “I don’t know.” Now, that isn’t to give you a reason to exercise indifference or to avoid making difficult decisions. It’s just about choosing to stick to your circle of competence and awareness.

At any given point, there’s only so much information we can make sense of. On a daily basis, there will be things we don’t understand. If they aren’t relevant, it’s okay not to know. If they are, it’s better to take time to think.

This may seem fairly intuitive, and yet, the vast majority of people rarely find themselves comfortable enough to be at ease with not knowing. Instead, they recite from memory whatever has been ingrained into their mind.

They would rather stand for something with a loose foundation, and they prefer certainty even after being challenged rather than to reconsider.

In the long-term, none of these tactics tend to lead to a healthy outlook.

“I don’t know” not only keeps us in our circle of competence and awareness where the risk of potential harm is low, but it also works as a feedback tool.

It’s a competitive advantage because it adds an incentive to critically break things down rather to take the easy way out. It forces us to get smarter.

There’s no point standing for something if you have a bad reason to do so.

Life is complex and messy, and it’s okay not to know everything. It’s fine to take time to form an opinion, and it’s useful to acknowledge ignorance.

We live in a world saturated with ideas, and not all of them are good, and not all of them are right for everyone.

Ask questions, be critical, and don’t be afraid to change your mind. There are no solid rules against doing so.

No one makes progress by standing in the same place, and we didn’t get to where we are by always being right. Everything is trial and error, and if you truly want to understand the world, you have to be comfortable with that.

It’s okay to open your mind.

I want to share with you that I’m experimenting with doing 60 minutes of active learning EVERY Day.

Apparently it’s good enough for Oprah and Bill Gates and other super smart, successful people.

I’m doing this because if I can’t even commit that amount of time to invest in my myself, and in my mind, then I’m clearly saying I’m not worth it.

Robin Sharma believes you can grow effortlessly in 60 minutes and unlock your hero potential.

Robin is considered to be one of the top 5 leadership experts in the world.

His work is embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires and many celebrity CEOs, so again I’m going to heed his advice and suggest you do too.

Here’s a snippet of a conversation where he’s talking to Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, about why 60 minutes of learning each day can unlock your Superpowers.

They go on to discuss Traffic University - as in listening to a podcast when you’re stuck in traffic and learning something new.

Or Running College - where when you’re out running you go with someone you can learn from, or again you listen to an audiobook or educational podcast.

Or School of Walking - same concept.  Listen to a course while you are walking.

The real point being - anything that you’re doing you can be learning - working out, grocery shopping, walking to your airport gate.

What you feed your mind is ultimately what you will believe and become.

So why not take the time to curate it carefully with what you WANT to expand your mind with, not narrow your mind.

So how do you go about learning anything faster and better?

Well as part of my learning I’ve been looking into this.

In Elle Kaplan’s Medium article she shared some tactics on this very topic.

In fact Elle quotes research that says Robin Sharma’s 60 minute principle is 10 minutes too long.

And I quote:

“Ellen Dunn of Louisiana State University explains that “anything less than 30 [minutes] is just not enough, but anything more than 50 is too much information for your brain to take in at one time.”

To put this into practice, make sure you’re scheduling your learning sessions for short bursts of time, using quick methods like flashcards.

Schedule at least a 10-minute break between sessions to give your brain some much-needed R&R.”

Elle also quotes Tim Ferriss who seems intent on hacking everything in life from your brain to food to health.

“He says you should focus first on the most important 20 percent of what you’re trying to learn, which will actually cover 80 percent of what you need to know.

Ask yourself: What are the most important elements that yield the biggest return on investment?

For example, if you’re learning a foreign language — what 20 percent of words are used 80 percent of the time?”

When I read that I instantly thought to myself: But of course!

I mean this is the Pareto rule we’re talking about here, where you aim to focus on the 20% of whatever it is that you do, that gets you 80% of the results.

I typically apply that in business whenever I can, but I hadn’t thought about applying it to learning before, and frankly I’ve no idea why!

Why do we learn all this extraneous stuff that doesn’t serve us, instead of narrowly focusing in on the most important.

Now to find a language app that does just that….anyone have the answer to that? I’m happy to put my hand up and say “I don’t know”.

That’s the premise of this entire episode remember!

And the final tip I liked most in her article was this one

A Johns Hopkins study found that “if you perform a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row.”

Think about modifying your self-teaching techniques as you learn. If you use flashcards in one session, think about a more hands-on method the next time, or listening to a podcast or webinar. This will help your brain remember and recall information at a quicker rate.”

So I think that’s enough learning for today, I wanted to start off light, and build up over Season 3.

That way I won’t lose you in information overload.

Instead I’ll help to expand your mind in the best possible way, and learn more than ever before, that’s actually relevant to you and even better, curated by you.

More on that in the next episode when I bring on Phoebe for more insights.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
Hey! It’s Season 3 and it’s all about self learning mastery.

How do you decide on what you should be learning and the most effective way to do it?

I’ll be talking about hacking the way in which we learn and also going the slightly unconventional route because why should we always be following the traditional education model which hasn’t been that successful. And I’ll be throwing some stats and interesting factoids at you about that.

Before we dive in, I just want to give a quick update as to why you might even be listening to this podcast. So hey!

It’s Natalie Sisson and I am on a quest for freedom for you. This is the Quest for Freedom podcast and you are joining me in 2017 as I uncover what you can do to simplify your life, feel connected, live mindfully and develop true personal and financial freedom.

In Season 1, I covered off around personal freedom and I really delved into that mindset freedom through meditation, through mindfulness.

In Season 2, I talked about business freedom and all about the business sabbatical that I went on where I essentially fired myself from my business for three months. I shared the outcome, I shared the results and the journey of taking that much time for your business as well as flipping your life 180 degrees which was an added bonus.

In Season 3, is a topic that has always fascinated me because I believe that if we really want to truly grow and learn and later very fulfilled life we need to be constantly learning, we need to stay curious. And yet as we get bombarded more and more with information overload, how do you that in a way that feels good, that feels fun, that feels like you are actually developing, growing and taking things in. You are not just consuming stuff because it’s in front of you. You are curating what you want to learn, what you read and what you take in.

And so that’s what this episode is all about.

I recently read an article on Quartz by Zat Rana called ‘If you want to be smarter, learn to say “I don’t know’”

The Value of “I Don’t Know”

When you think about it, acknowledging ignorance is actually productive.

Sometimes, the best answer is simply “I don’t know.” Now, that isn’t to give you a reason to exercise indifference or to avoid making difficult decisions. It’s just about choosing to stick to your circle of competence and awareness.

At any given point, there’s only so much information we can make sense of. On a daily basis, there will be things we don’t understand. If they aren’t relevant, it’s okay not to know. If they are, it’s better to take time to think.

This may seem fairly intuitive, and yet, the vast majority of people rarely find themselves comfortable enough to be at ease with not knowing. Instead, they recite from memory whatever has been ingrained into their mind.

They would rather stand for something with a loose foundation, and they prefer certainty even after being challenged rather than to reconsider.

In the long-term, none of these tactics tend to lead to a healthy outlook.

“I don’t know” not only keeps us in our circle of competence and awareness where the risk of potential harm is low, but it also works as a feedback tool.

It’s a competitive advantage because it adds an incentive to critically break things down rather to take the easy way out. It forces us to get smarter.

There’s no point standing for something if you have a bad reason to do so.

Life is complex and messy, and it’s okay not to know everything. It’s fine to take time to form an opinion, and it’s useful to acknowledge ignorance.

We live in a world saturated with ideas, and not all of them are good, and not all of them are right for everyone.

Ask questions, be critical, and don’t be afraid to change your mind. There are no solid rules against doing so.

No one makes progress by standing in the same place, and we didn’t get to where we are by always being right. Everything is trial and error, and if you truly want to understand the world, you have to be comfortable with that.

It’s okay to open your mind.

I want to share with you that I’m experimenting with doing 60 minutes of active learning EVERY Day.

Apparently it’s good enough for Oprah and Bill Gates and other super smart, successful people.

I’m doing this because if I can’t even commit that amount of time to invest in my myself, and in my mind, then I’m clearly saying I’m not worth it.

Robin Sharma believes you can grow effortlessly in 60 minutes and unlock your hero potential.

Robin is considered to be one of the top 5 leadership experts in the world.

His work is embraced by rock stars, royalty, billionaires and many celebrity CEOs, so again I’m going to heed his advice and suggest you do too.

Here’s a snippet of a conversation where he’s talking to Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, about why 60 minutes of learning each day can unlock your Superpowers.

They go on to discuss Traffic University - as in listening to a podcast when you’re stuck in traffic and learning something new.

Or Running College - where when you’re out running you go with someone you can learn from, or again you listen to an audiobook or educational podcast.

Or School of Walking - same concept.  Listen to a course while you are walking.

The real point being - anything that you’re doing you can be learning - working out, grocery shopping, walking to your airport gate.

What you feed your mind is ultimately what you will believe and become.

So why not take the time to curate it carefully with what you WANT to expand your mind with, not narrow your mind.

So how do you go about learning anything faster and better?

Well as part of my learning I’ve been looking into this.

In Elle Kaplan’s Medium article she shared some tactics on this very topic.

In fact Elle quotes research that says Robin Sharma’s 60 minute principle is 10 minutes too long.

And I quote:

“Ellen Dunn of Louisiana State University explains that “anything less than 30 [minutes] is just not enough, but anything more than 50 is too much information for your brain to take in at one time.”

To put this into practice, make sure you’re scheduling your learning sessions for short bursts of time, using quick methods like flashcards.

Schedule at least a 10-minute break between sessions to give your brain some much-needed R&R.”

Elle also quotes Tim Ferriss who seems intent on hacking everything in life from your brain to food to health.

“He says you should focus first on the most important 20 percent of what you’re trying to learn, which will actually cover 80 percent of what you need to know.

Ask yourself: What are the most important elements that yield the biggest return on investment?

For example, if you’re learning a foreign language — what 20 percent of words are used 80 percent of the time?”

When I read that I instantly thought to myself: But of course!

I mean this is the Pareto rule we’re talking about here, where you aim to focus on the 20% of whatever it is that you do, that gets you 80% of the results.

I typically apply that in business whenever I can, but I hadn’t thought about applying it to learning before, and frankly I’ve no idea why!

Why do we learn all this extraneous stuff that doesn’t serve us, instead of narrowly focusing in on the most important.

Now to find a language app that does just that….anyone have the answer to that? I’m happy to put my hand up and say “I don’t know”.

That’s the premise of this entire episode remember!

And the final tip I liked most in her article was this one

A Johns Hopkins study found that “if you perform a slightly modified version of a task you want to master, you actually learn more and faster than if you just keep practicing the exact same thing multiple times in a row.”

Think about modifying your self-teaching techniques as you learn. If you use flashcards in one session, think about a more hands-on method the next time, or listening to a podcast or webinar. This will help your brain remember and recall information at a quicker rate.”

So I think that’s enough learning for today, I wanted to start off light, and build up over Season 3.

That way I won’t lose you in information overload.

Instead I’ll help to expand your mind in the best possible way, and learn more than ever before, that’s actually relevant to you and even better, curated by you.

More on that in the next episode when I bring on Phoebe for more insights.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
<![CDATA[When too much change is dangerous]]> Sat, 29 Jul 2017 15:23:16 GMT 24:50 no In my previous episode called You are the answer’ I talked about the results on my business that my sabbatical had.

Namely all the changes I made before taking time off - new website, new brand, new systems - and how they initially negatively affected the business.

I think this is partly because it was too much change all at once.

Now, fortunately the changes are making a positive impact on my business and the results we track weekly. But it seemed pretty dire at the time!

Then I realized that this happened in my personal life too, with the complete 180 degree flip I’ve made since April.

I tell you, business is one thing but massive life changes are something else!

As Shana Aborn said in her article Coping with Life Changes:

“For many of us, disruption to familiar routine sparks anything from mild anxiety to extreme terror.

Maybe something's been pushed on us, like being downsized or getting sick. Just as likely, we've made a risky but necessary choice, like relocating to a new town or having our elderly parents move in with us.

Shift happens, like it or not—that's part of the human adventure. Then why do we resist so much?

It's partly a natural fear of the unfamiliar. People think of change as something dangerous. But it helps to remember all the ways your life has been altered in the past and realize that not only did you not keel over and die, things often turned out for the better.”

I’ve never been afraid of change, I’ve always welcomed it with open arms. The very nature of how I’ve lived my life for the last seven years is testament to that fact.

Changing locations every couple of weeks has meant a constant barrage of change - new surroundings, often a new language, new people to meet and things to learn - all the time.

This is something that many people find daunting, but I really love.

Or did, until that time that I felt like slowing down a little, having a base I can call my own and being surrounded by more nature, less fast paced city life.

But the changes I made come April 5th, when Josh and I flew back from Bali to move into our new property, a huge house with 2.5 acres of land, have actually thrown me completely.

It was too much change, too fast and I completely underestimated this.

While my friends and community were quick to point out that it was a massive shift in how I live my life and that it must be quite the shock, I saw it as exciting.

Let’s put it in perspective.
  • I went from constant full-time travel out of my suitcase to living in one house, with no international travel for the first three months of being back in New Zealand.
  • I went from being single in December to a loving full-time relationship, and moving in together in my apartment for a few months, to then buying a house together, creating joint bank accounts and taking on this beautiful property - Josh’s first ever property ownership.
  • I went from zero responsibility to this mortgage, getting a puppy a week after moving in and five chickens the week after.
  • From owning so little stuff to having to furnish a 369 sqm house with four bedrooms and two living rooms in just a few weeks. (People who visit us now say how it looks like we’ve lived here for years).
  • I went from a full on business period, getting it ready for my sabbatical and writing the Freedom Plan book manuscript which I finished on March 30th, to NO work.
  • And I went from eternal summers traveling the world to my first ever autumn (fall) and winter. And that was probably the biggest kicker - I hate being cold.

So with all that in mind, no wonder I’ve had moments of doubt, and even mild depression - or more rather feeling simply lost.

I had literally taken everything that is my identity - travel, my suitcase entrepreneur brand, business and singledom and thrown it out the window!

Too much change all at once.

It didn’t hit me straight away, but I can definitely see the path now, and why even just a few weeks ago, I was still feeling demotivated and lost.

The initial three to four weeks were pure excitement due to what I term "Project Set up House" which involved constant daily checking of Trademe.co.nz (like eBay and Gumtree) and winning auctions and buying used furniture.

I was shopping for house stuff, and then going to collect it via trucks we hired - doing it DIY style - super fun by the way, but a lot of organization and effort.

Then it became settling in and a few ongoing projects and trips to get other things we needed ike bins and domestic bliss items as I call them, that you just don’t realize you need until you’ve been living in a house for a while.

Next up we collected Kayla, my adorable White German Shepherd eight week old puppy within just one week of moving in.

To be honest I had NO idea how much energy a puppy has and how much attention and training you need to do with them, and for yourself.

It was constant supervision and learning, coupled with lots of beautiful moments, followed by pain, bites, scratching, peeing, pooping and me yelling or losing the plot.

Now I know how it feels to have a low maintenance kid over an intense period!

Yes it’s like having a kid, but luckily you can put them in their happy place (aka crate) when you need some time out.

That was my other problem, I spent too much time with Kayla, wanting to be the best puppy Mum and learning as much as I could through books and videos about her training.

I didn’t give myself time out, instead I became rather isolated out in our home at the same time Josh’s business schedule turned into a full on one, that saw him leaving the house on the 6:45am train and getting back after 7pm.

For a social butterfly like me I severely underestimated how much human connection I crave and require to feel motivated, valuable and helpful.

Not having the workload from my business was pure bliss but at the same time quite a transition as it’s all I know.

And to not have to worry about it suddenly meant I threw myself into online learning taking a number of interesting and varied courses on areas I don’t know much about.

I also had to train myself not to watch, monitor and get caught up in what other entrepreneurs were doing.

Hence the previous episode about not playing the comparison game but instead being your own No #1 fan and believing in your abilities.

At one point I was raring to dive into something new and start a fresh business project, but I restrained myself as I knew, at that stage, I didn’t have enough energy yet for that.

It also wasn’t the solution I was after. I just needed to be and stop doing.

Which brings me to a conversation I had last week with my dear friend Gideon Shalwick, who himself has gone through many reinventions himself in the last four years, from personal brand and video expert, to starting a new video software business and more.

He’s been digging into and learning a lot about the Universal Cycles of Change via Tim and Kris Hallbom over at The Wealthy Mind.

I had never heard about it, so before I share our snippet of conversation I wanted to give you and I some background on it because it’s juicy stuff and it’s important.

Universal Cycles of Change

According to the Academy of Leadership Coaching and NLP there are seven change patterns that govern our lives.

In a business context, leaders who are able to embrace this cycle often emerge stronger and more emotionally aware and understand how to best support themselves and their team members through change.

  1. Creation

The word creation evokes pictures of new beginnings. It is the beginning of a new life event – the starting point that typically begins with an idea or an action.

This could be the start of new business, or a new stage of leadership development.

Creation marks the point where we begin our journey. It is an “X” marks the spot kind of moment – and once we move from that location, a new journey starts.

  1. Growth

From the moment creation begins we start to grow. We develop and become “self-organizing.”

This means is that once the creation takes place, new patterns of behavior start to develop, and the system organizes itself around the original creation.

For example once a new business is launched, the business owner needs to start making plans – this could be product development, marketing plans, new clients and new staff.

The business has taken its shape as a business (it was created), and now it is starting to grow.

  1. Steady State

A steady state is a place of great comfort.

It has past the point of creation and through the pains of growth to a place of what feels like you have arrived. It is a place where all systems are go and are firing correctly.

Everything is moving forward as planned and everyone is in their sweet spot. It is a position to which most leaders aspire.

And, if leaders are not careful, it can also become a point of complacency which will inevitably lead to the next phase in the cycle

  1. Turbulence

I have heard it said that we are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis or heading back into a crisis.

Turbulence occurs when the system becomes too complex, or we become lax in our preparation, and problems begin to develop.

Times of turbulence can be viewed in two ways depending upon the maturity of the leader. They can be used as a warning sign to right the ship and get back on track, or they can be ignored.

Ignorance, however, often leads to chaos.

  1. Chaos

Chaos is when the system begins to fall apart.

It is past the point of the bumps and jolts of turbulence to a full blown tail spin. It is the time when leaders need to take control before something catastrophic happens.

  1. Dropping Off

Dropping off is the point of acceptance for many leaders. It is often the lowest point in the cycle of change.

The point when an individual has no other recourse but to let go and move on.

It could be closing a door on a failed business and moving elsewhere or getting rid of a caustic employee. It can be painful, but also should be viewed as an important turning point in the cycle.

It is the point when a leader takes control.

In order to move forward through a difficult life challenge, we often need to let go of a limiting belief, a dysfunctional relationship, change a behavior or reorganize how we view the world.

This allows us to make the space to create something wonderfully new.

  1. `Meditation & Dormancy

Meditation and inward silence (dormancy) are the final point in the Universal Cycles of Change.

Just as a tree stands without leaves in the brisk cold winter, leaders need to “be” like the tree, standing in the moment and accepting who they are and where they have been placed.

It might be uncomfortable for a while, but meditating and inward silence can be very healing and ultimately can set the tone for a new Universal Cycle of Change, creativity and growth.

So now you have that context, let’s pick up with Gideon and I.

Gideon: “I am so glad that you took that sabbatical.

It's so important that you go through this stages of the droppings off, and the shedding where you let go or prune something off, and then you just have a break.

If you jump straight from the chaos stage to a new creative cycle, then you end up taking that back with you and you don't rest.

You are just depleting the tank more and more.

So you might get a bit of energy from this new creative process but if you didn't deal with that previous cycle properly, it holds you back on the next cycle.”

Natalie: It’s so true because I think back to where I’ve tried to step back a little before and take a small break. It helps you for a little.

Then there have been times where you’ve been excited by say, maybe another business idea.

But I am really proud of myself because I have had that moment and I thought, "Is it just exciting because it’s totally new and therefore it gives me energy right now?"

What about coming back to what I’ve got and getting re-energized about the stuff that I know I love and I’m good at, and that’s where I think I’ve got to on that stage now.

But I needed that break and then I needed to come back with a new perspective and go, “You are not throwing all that hard work away, all that credibility and all the things you’ve built up.”

Just come at it with a fresh perspective and improve upon the bits that you really believe in and you think are amazing.

And that’s why with the Freedom Plan I have this whole new perspective about it. I want to have this freedom tracker, some apps and make it world class.

And that is new to me yet that’s my core offering. So that’s where I came to in this circle as you said.

Gideon: We understand this cycle and that each stage is really important. It gives you perspective but also patience.

For this latest cycle that I went through, I realized that I was actually in the rest phase. Previously I would try and rush it.

But then I just went "Screw it.

I am not going to push anything. I am just going to sit back and I don't care what happens.

I am going to let the universe share me what is the next step.

When have you found yourself rushing into the next thing because it feels energizing?

Only to realize after a few months your energy is depleted again and your motivation is waning. As Gideon points out, that’s because you really haven’t dealt with the shit that was holding you back or troubling you before. You’ve just transferred your attention on to the next bright shiny object.

Back to my business sabbatical story….

I had a beautiful period where the weather was amazing, where I could finally take Kayla out into the public (post her vaccinations), and we started discovering beautiful nature bush walks.

I also was loving the house more and more, as well as pottering in the garden and being outside.

I was becoming truly grateful for this amazing location and our joint vision for what it could become.

I had new friends I’d made starting to come over each Tuesday for coworking sessions and things felt good.

But then things shifted.

Josh wasn’t here at all during the weekdays, our workouts in our crossfit barn gym had stopped, the weather was getting colder and the novelty of this new life started wearing off.

I’d scan my Instagram and Facebook feed to see beautiful photos and videos of friends in exotic locations and for the first time ever I could see how my life used to look to others - damn it looked amazing.

The odd thing was I didn’t want to be there, but I did want the feeling of what they were experiencing.

And I missed Portugal - as I would have been there in my three bedroom town house and learning to surf, if we hadn’t bought here.

So how did I get myself out of this funk of too much change?

Well it took some work. It helped that my Science of Happiness course was taking me through the stages of empathy, kindness, compassion and mindfulness.

I was putting that into practice.

I talked it through with friends, I read up a little on it, and mostly I stepped back to see what was really going on to change how I was feeling.

In Shana’s article, she shared this advice, that I hope is valuable for you if you’re going through change:

“Fighting what's happening just leads to frustration and keeps you from growing to your full potential. When you try to put your life in a box and keep it the same all the time, you're making something dead out of it.

Welcoming new things can even be good for your health. People who greet what life offers with curiosity have stronger immune systems and live longer.

The first step is realizing that even though you can't control what pops up in your life, you can alter how you react. When change happens, say yes. Learn and grow from it.

Taking a live-in-the-moment attitude will help keep you from miring yourself in what-ifs and should-haves.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that you already have the inner resources to make the most out of anything that comes your way.

Bring out your natural resiliency by taking a look at how you can deal with six of life's most common upheavals.”

How I handled it was slightly different. I pretty much NEVER get down or depressed, but after two many weeks of waking up and feeling lost, unmotivated and down, Josh and I had a heart to heart, and here’s what I came up.

Five Ways To Get Yourself Over Too Much Change All At Once

And here are my five tips.

  1. Focus on quality time.

We both agreed to make more time for each other, that he would get some time off teaching in his business and we’d take long weekends or have days together here at home. Essentially we’d spend more quality time together.

As an entrepreneur I appreciate some periods in your life are just going to be crazy and full on and you need to show up to them 100%, and Josh is going through one of those periods.

But I could also see how it was draining him and therefore me, even though we supportive of each other.

Once we acknowledged that things became a lot better instantly and we felt so much more connected.

  1. Make time for you.

I started putting Kayla into dog daycare once a week and heading into town to cowork, meet with friends and entrepreneurs and enjoy the city vibe.

I also started meeting more people in the area we now live, making friends and going for dog walks, having them over to visit or visiting them and making time for lunches or meetups.

  1. Wallow where necessary.

That may sound odd but too quickly we try to come up with solutions and find the answer.

I purposefully wallowed in how I was feeling, on the good moments and bad ones and asked myself how I was feeling, what did I think the cause was and could I shift it with an attitude reset, or a change in activity or scene?

Practicing mindfulness, like I discussed in this Mind Your Mindfulness really helped to be aware and present, and not listen to the voice inside my head, that at the time, was not helpful at all!

  1. Embrace the seasons.

I’m a summer baby, but this has been a particularly beautiful winter in New Zealand with more sunshine than ever. We are also blessed to have two fantastic woodburners that pelt out the heat.

So I started to appreciate clear blue skies on these wintery days, the sunshine and the opportunity to rug up and go walking with my gorgeous puppy.

I also got over my minimalist suitcase self, and simply bought warmer clothes which made me feel much better and more inclined to get out and about.

I lit more fires, drank more hot herbal teas and nourished myself with homemade soups.

I also started the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Adrienne - can’t recommend her free YouTube Channel enough. She’s an angel.

I notice the effects of yoga on my body and mind very quickly. I felt amazing.

The seasons are here for a reason, as I read in Elizabeth Peru’s Global Energy Report (if you’re into that kind of thing, I’m experimenting with reading it daily and taking what I need from it).

Winter is the time for focused project work and doing, spring is time for launching and summer is the time to take off and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

So I am focusing my efforts on upgrading and transforming my content, my Freedom Plan program and my offerings.

  1. Learn, grow and relearn.

A lot of the stories that were circulating in my head simply needed to be replaced with better ones. I needed to take control of my own attitude and focus on what I wanted.

Even when I got sick and was feeling less than sure on what the heck I was doing, I knew that it was up to me to CHOOSE what I wanted to happen.

And for me that meant reading inspiring books - both novels and business related, learning new things from online courses, meeting new people and getting involved.

Like running popup coworking trials in Upper Hutt to connect with more entrepreneurs (and making the news).

I coupled this with relearning.

A big part of my sabbatical was to get a fresh perspective and I’ve since fallen back in love with the foundations of why I started my business and what made it successful in the first place.

I’ve been conducting interviews with Freedom Plan Alumni members and getting jazzed up at making it a World Class experience when I relaunch it in spring.

I’ve been doing interviews for podcasts and sharing my story and this new story and it’s been super cathartic for me and great for the interviewers who’ve loved hearing the rawness of it.

I’ve taken opportunities I’d been saying no to on my sabbatical and they’d reenergized me and fed my soul.

It led to me being on stage with Roger Hamilton at Fast Forward Your Business the day I was officially back in business, and getting interviewed by NBR (National Business Review) this week!

And while in Melbourne Josh and I did our three year Life Plan together which was huge, because I finally had the clarity and energy to know what I want out of life, business and love over the next three years.

So those are my five major takeaways on my Quest for Freedom….for now.

And it seems a solid place to round out Season 2 before embarking on next season where I’m going to head into the realm of Self Learning and Mastery.

Never lose sight of the ability to design your freedom lifestyle around what you most want.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
In my previous episode called You are the answer’ I talked about the results on my business that my sabbatical had.

Namely all the changes I made before taking time off - new website, new brand, new systems - and how they initially negatively affected the business.

I think this is partly because it was too much change all at once.

Now, fortunately the changes are making a positive impact on my business and the results we track weekly. But it seemed pretty dire at the time!

Then I realized that this happened in my personal life too, with the complete 180 degree flip I’ve made since April.

I tell you, business is one thing but massive life changes are something else!

As Shana Aborn said in her article Coping with Life Changes:

“For many of us, disruption to familiar routine sparks anything from mild anxiety to extreme terror.

Maybe something's been pushed on us, like being downsized or getting sick. Just as likely, we've made a risky but necessary choice, like relocating to a new town or having our elderly parents move in with us.

Shift happens, like it or not—that's part of the human adventure. Then why do we resist so much?

It's partly a natural fear of the unfamiliar. People think of change as something dangerous. But it helps to remember all the ways your life has been altered in the past and realize that not only did you not keel over and die, things often turned out for the better.”

I’ve never been afraid of change, I’ve always welcomed it with open arms. The very nature of how I’ve lived my life for the last seven years is testament to that fact.

Changing locations every couple of weeks has meant a constant barrage of change - new surroundings, often a new language, new people to meet and things to learn - all the time.

This is something that many people find daunting, but I really love.

Or did, until that time that I felt like slowing down a little, having a base I can call my own and being surrounded by more nature, less fast paced city life.

But the changes I made come April 5th, when Josh and I flew back from Bali to move into our new property, a huge house with 2.5 acres of land, have actually thrown me completely.

It was too much change, too fast and I completely underestimated this.

While my friends and community were quick to point out that it was a massive shift in how I live my life and that it must be quite the shock, I saw it as exciting.

Let’s put it in perspective.
  • I went from constant full-time travel out of my suitcase to living in one house, with no international travel for the first three months of being back in New Zealand.
  • I went from being single in December to a loving full-time relationship, and moving in together in my apartment for a few months, to then buying a house together, creating joint bank accounts and taking on this beautiful property - Josh’s first ever property ownership.
  • I went from zero responsibility to this mortgage, getting a puppy a week after moving in and five chickens the week after.
  • From owning so little stuff to having to furnish a 369 sqm house with four bedrooms and two living rooms in just a few weeks. (People who visit us now say how it looks like we’ve lived here for years).
  • I went from a full on business period, getting it ready for my sabbatical and writing the Freedom Plan book manuscript which I finished on March 30th, to NO work.
  • And I went from eternal summers traveling the world to my first ever autumn (fall) and winter. And that was probably the biggest kicker - I hate being cold.

So with all that in mind, no wonder I’ve had moments of doubt, and even mild depression - or more rather feeling simply lost.

I had literally taken everything that is my identity - travel, my suitcase entrepreneur brand, business and singledom and thrown it out the window!

Too much change all at once.

It didn’t hit me straight away, but I can definitely see the path now, and why even just a few weeks ago, I was still feeling demotivated and lost.

The initial three to four weeks were pure excitement due to what I term "Project Set up House" which involved constant daily checking of Trademe.co.nz (like eBay and Gumtree) and winning auctions and buying used furniture.

I was shopping for house stuff, and then going to collect it via trucks we hired - doing it DIY style - super fun by the way, but a lot of organization and effort.

Then it became settling in and a few ongoing projects and trips to get other things we needed ike bins and domestic bliss items as I call them, that you just don’t realize you need until you’ve been living in a house for a while.

Next up we collected Kayla, my adorable White German Shepherd eight week old puppy within just one week of moving in.

To be honest I had NO idea how much energy a puppy has and how much attention and training you need to do with them, and for yourself.

It was constant supervision and learning, coupled with lots of beautiful moments, followed by pain, bites, scratching, peeing, pooping and me yelling or losing the plot.

Now I know how it feels to have a low maintenance kid over an intense period!

Yes it’s like having a kid, but luckily you can put them in their happy place (aka crate) when you need some time out.

That was my other problem, I spent too much time with Kayla, wanting to be the best puppy Mum and learning as much as I could through books and videos about her training.

I didn’t give myself time out, instead I became rather isolated out in our home at the same time Josh’s business schedule turned into a full on one, that saw him leaving the house on the 6:45am train and getting back after 7pm.

For a social butterfly like me I severely underestimated how much human connection I crave and require to feel motivated, valuable and helpful.

Not having the workload from my business was pure bliss but at the same time quite a transition as it’s all I know.

And to not have to worry about it suddenly meant I threw myself into online learning taking a number of interesting and varied courses on areas I don’t know much about.

I also had to train myself not to watch, monitor and get caught up in what other entrepreneurs were doing.

Hence the previous episode about not playing the comparison game but instead being your own No #1 fan and believing in your abilities.

At one point I was raring to dive into something new and start a fresh business project, but I restrained myself as I knew, at that stage, I didn’t have enough energy yet for that.

It also wasn’t the solution I was after. I just needed to be and stop doing.

Which brings me to a conversation I had last week with my dear friend Gideon Shalwick, who himself has gone through many reinventions himself in the last four years, from personal brand and video expert, to starting a new video software business and more.

He’s been digging into and learning a lot about the Universal Cycles of Change via Tim and Kris Hallbom over at The Wealthy Mind.

I had never heard about it, so before I share our snippet of conversation I wanted to give you and I some background on it because it’s juicy stuff and it’s important.

Universal Cycles of Change

According to the Academy of Leadership Coaching and NLP there are seven change patterns that govern our lives.

In a business context, leaders who are able to embrace this cycle often emerge stronger and more emotionally aware and understand how to best support themselves and their team members through change.

  1. Creation

The word creation evokes pictures of new beginnings. It is the beginning of a new life event – the starting point that typically begins with an idea or an action.

This could be the start of new business, or a new stage of leadership development.

Creation marks the point where we begin our journey. It is an “X” marks the spot kind of moment – and once we move from that location, a new journey starts.

  1. Growth

From the moment creation begins we start to grow. We develop and become “self-organizing.”

This means is that once the creation takes place, new patterns of behavior start to develop, and the system organizes itself around the original creation.

For example once a new business is launched, the business owner needs to start making plans – this could be product development, marketing plans, new clients and new staff.

The business has taken its shape as a business (it was created), and now it is starting to grow.

  1. Steady State

A steady state is a place of great comfort.

It has past the point of creation and through the pains of growth to a place of what feels like you have arrived. It is a place where all systems are go and are firing correctly.

Everything is moving forward as planned and everyone is in their sweet spot. It is a position to which most leaders aspire.

And, if leaders are not careful, it can also become a point of complacency which will inevitably lead to the next phase in the cycle

  1. Turbulence

I have heard it said that we are either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis or heading back into a crisis.

Turbulence occurs when the system becomes too complex, or we become lax in our preparation, and problems begin to develop.

Times of turbulence can be viewed in two ways depending upon the maturity of the leader. They can be used as a warning sign to right the ship and get back on track, or they can be ignored.

Ignorance, however, often leads to chaos.

  1. Chaos

Chaos is when the system begins to fall apart.

It is past the point of the bumps and jolts of turbulence to a full blown tail spin. It is the time when leaders need to take control before something catastrophic happens.

  1. Dropping Off

Dropping off is the point of acceptance for many leaders. It is often the lowest point in the cycle of change.

The point when an individual has no other recourse but to let go and move on.

It could be closing a door on a failed business and moving elsewhere or getting rid of a caustic employee. It can be painful, but also should be viewed as an important turning point in the cycle.

It is the point when a leader takes control.

In order to move forward through a difficult life challenge, we often need to let go of a limiting belief, a dysfunctional relationship, change a behavior or reorganize how we view the world.

This allows us to make the space to create something wonderfully new.

  1. `Meditation & Dormancy

Meditation and inward silence (dormancy) are the final point in the Universal Cycles of Change.

Just as a tree stands without leaves in the brisk cold winter, leaders need to “be” like the tree, standing in the moment and accepting who they are and where they have been placed.

It might be uncomfortable for a while, but meditating and inward silence can be very healing and ultimately can set the tone for a new Universal Cycle of Change, creativity and growth.

So now you have that context, let’s pick up with Gideon and I.

Gideon: “I am so glad that you took that sabbatical.

It's so important that you go through this stages of the droppings off, and the shedding where you let go or prune something off, and then you just have a break.

If you jump straight from the chaos stage to a new creative cycle, then you end up taking that back with you and you don't rest.

You are just depleting the tank more and more.

So you might get a bit of energy from this new creative process but if you didn't deal with that previous cycle properly, it holds you back on the next cycle.”

Natalie: It’s so true because I think back to where I’ve tried to step back a little before and take a small break. It helps you for a little.

Then there have been times where you’ve been excited by say, maybe another business idea.

But I am really proud of myself because I have had that moment and I thought, "Is it just exciting because it’s totally new and therefore it gives me energy right now?"

What about coming back to what I’ve got and getting re-energized about the stuff that I know I love and I’m good at, and that’s where I think I’ve got to on that stage now.

But I needed that break and then I needed to come back with a new perspective and go, “You are not throwing all that hard work away, all that credibility and all the things you’ve built up.”

Just come at it with a fresh perspective and improve upon the bits that you really believe in and you think are amazing.

And that’s why with the Freedom Plan I have this whole new perspective about it. I want to have this freedom tracker, some apps and make it world class.

And that is new to me yet that’s my core offering. So that’s where I came to in this circle as you said.

Gideon: We understand this cycle and that each stage is really important. It gives you perspective but also patience.

For this latest cycle that I went through, I realized that I was actually in the rest phase. Previously I would try and rush it.

But then I just went "Screw it.

I am not going to push anything. I am just going to sit back and I don't care what happens.

I am going to let the universe share me what is the next step.

When have you found yourself rushing into the next thing because it feels energizing?

Only to realize after a few months your energy is depleted again and your motivation is waning. As Gideon points out, that’s because you really haven’t dealt with the shit that was holding you back or troubling you before. You’ve just transferred your attention on to the next bright shiny object.

Back to my business sabbatical story….

I had a beautiful period where the weather was amazing, where I could finally take Kayla out into the public (post her vaccinations), and we started discovering beautiful nature bush walks.

I also was loving the house more and more, as well as pottering in the garden and being outside.

I was becoming truly grateful for this amazing location and our joint vision for what it could become.

I had new friends I’d made starting to come over each Tuesday for coworking sessions and things felt good.

But then things shifted.

Josh wasn’t here at all during the weekdays, our workouts in our crossfit barn gym had stopped, the weather was getting colder and the novelty of this new life started wearing off.

I’d scan my Instagram and Facebook feed to see beautiful photos and videos of friends in exotic locations and for the first time ever I could see how my life used to look to others - damn it looked amazing.

The odd thing was I didn’t want to be there, but I did want the feeling of what they were experiencing.

And I missed Portugal - as I would have been there in my three bedroom town house and learning to surf, if we hadn’t bought here.

So how did I get myself out of this funk of too much change?

Well it took some work. It helped that my Science of Happiness course was taking me through the stages of empathy, kindness, compassion and mindfulness.

I was putting that into practice.

I talked it through with friends, I read up a little on it, and mostly I stepped back to see what was really going on to change how I was feeling.

In Shana’s article, she shared this advice, that I hope is valuable for you if you’re going through change:

“Fighting what's happening just leads to frustration and keeps you from growing to your full potential. When you try to put your life in a box and keep it the same all the time, you're making something dead out of it.

Welcoming new things can even be good for your health. People who greet what life offers with curiosity have stronger immune systems and live longer.

The first step is realizing that even though you can't control what pops up in your life, you can alter how you react. When change happens, say yes. Learn and grow from it.

Taking a live-in-the-moment attitude will help keep you from miring yourself in what-ifs and should-haves.

The most important thing to remember, though, is that you already have the inner resources to make the most out of anything that comes your way.

Bring out your natural resiliency by taking a look at how you can deal with six of life's most common upheavals.”

How I handled it was slightly different. I pretty much NEVER get down or depressed, but after two many weeks of waking up and feeling lost, unmotivated and down, Josh and I had a heart to heart, and here’s what I came up.

Five Ways To Get Yourself Over Too Much Change All At Once

And here are my five tips.

  1. Focus on quality time.

We both agreed to make more time for each other, that he would get some time off teaching in his business and we’d take long weekends or have days together here at home. Essentially we’d spend more quality time together.

As an entrepreneur I appreciate some periods in your life are just going to be crazy and full on and you need to show up to them 100%, and Josh is going through one of those periods.

But I could also see how it was draining him and therefore me, even though we supportive of each other.

Once we acknowledged that things became a lot better instantly and we felt so much more connected.

  1. Make time for you.

I started putting Kayla into dog daycare once a week and heading into town to cowork, meet with friends and entrepreneurs and enjoy the city vibe.

I also started meeting more people in the area we now live, making friends and going for dog walks, having them over to visit or visiting them and making time for lunches or meetups.

  1. Wallow where necessary.

That may sound odd but too quickly we try to come up with solutions and find the answer.

I purposefully wallowed in how I was feeling, on the good moments and bad ones and asked myself how I was feeling, what did I think the cause was and could I shift it with an attitude reset, or a change in activity or scene?

Practicing mindfulness, like I discussed in this Mind Your Mindfulness really helped to be aware and present, and not listen to the voice inside my head, that at the time, was not helpful at all!

  1. Embrace the seasons.

I’m a summer baby, but this has been a particularly beautiful winter in New Zealand with more sunshine than ever. We are also blessed to have two fantastic woodburners that pelt out the heat.

So I started to appreciate clear blue skies on these wintery days, the sunshine and the opportunity to rug up and go walking with my gorgeous puppy.

I also got over my minimalist suitcase self, and simply bought warmer clothes which made me feel much better and more inclined to get out and about.

I lit more fires, drank more hot herbal teas and nourished myself with homemade soups.

I also started the 30 Day Yoga Challenge with Adrienne - can’t recommend her free YouTube Channel enough. She’s an angel.

I notice the effects of yoga on my body and mind very quickly. I felt amazing.

The seasons are here for a reason, as I read in Elizabeth Peru’s Global Energy Report (if you’re into that kind of thing, I’m experimenting with reading it daily and taking what I need from it).

Winter is the time for focused project work and doing, spring is time for launching and summer is the time to take off and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

So I am focusing my efforts on upgrading and transforming my content, my Freedom Plan program and my offerings.

  1. Learn, grow and relearn.

A lot of the stories that were circulating in my head simply needed to be replaced with better ones. I needed to take control of my own attitude and focus on what I wanted.

Even when I got sick and was feeling less than sure on what the heck I was doing, I knew that it was up to me to CHOOSE what I wanted to happen.

And for me that meant reading inspiring books - both novels and business related, learning new things from online courses, meeting new people and getting involved.

Like running popup coworking trials in Upper Hutt to connect with more entrepreneurs (and making the news).

I coupled this with relearning.

A big part of my sabbatical was to get a fresh perspective and I’ve since fallen back in love with the foundations of why I started my business and what made it successful in the first place.

I’ve been conducting interviews with Freedom Plan Alumni members and getting jazzed up at making it a World Class experience when I relaunch it in spring.

I’ve been doing interviews for podcasts and sharing my story and this new story and it’s been super cathartic for me and great for the interviewers who’ve loved hearing the rawness of it.

I’ve taken opportunities I’d been saying no to on my sabbatical and they’d reenergized me and fed my soul.

It led to me being on stage with Roger Hamilton at Fast Forward Your Business the day I was officially back in business, and getting interviewed by NBR (National Business Review) this week!

And while in Melbourne Josh and I did our three year Life Plan together which was huge, because I finally had the clarity and energy to know what I want out of life, business and love over the next three years.

So those are my five major takeaways on my Quest for Freedom….for now.

And it seems a solid place to round out Season 2 before embarking on next season where I’m going to head into the realm of Self Learning and Mastery.

Never lose sight of the ability to design your freedom lifestyle around what you most want.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

]]>
<![CDATA[You are the answer]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 03:50:47 GMT 15:56 no So I promised to tell you what I think the biggest lesson from my business sabbatical was as well as the result that I got from it. And for me it’s this: it’s time for me to back me. t

I think it’s time for us all to back ourselves.

And what do I even mean by that?

Basically, to me, it’s about serving up your own delicious cocktail, alcoholic or non-alcoholic and being happy with what you are drinking. It’s like drinking your own goodness. It’s talking about you and why you rock versus everybody else.

So basically it’s being a bit of a celebrity in your own right and believing in yourself!

I think I’ve mentioned this in the past couple of episodes where I talked about the Power of a Business Sabbatical, is that the biggest thing for me in having time off and away from my business is, that I had to get past some really bad feelings when I got to thinking.

I’m talking about the dangerous and pointless ‘comparison game’ or thoughts like ‘What have I actually done? What have I actually achieved? Have I made an impact? Who am I to have built this business over 7 years? Oh my goodness. I’ve done nothing!’

Yes, all this crap came out of it.

Once I got through this little moment of self-doubt I was like, ‘Wait a minute. I’ve done some pretty fantastic things. I’ve published a best selling book on Amazon. And that’s now been picked up by Simon & Schuster and the third edition is coming out this September!

I finally got to speak on stage at TEDx and I get paid to speak around the world.

I’ve built a multiple six figure business that has been that way for several years and I’ve been in business for 7 years. That’s no mean feat!

I started reading back through people’s lovely emails and just seeing the impact that I’ve made.

And then I even put a post up on Facebook a couple of weeks back before ending this business sabbatical, when I was having a little moment of doubt and asked:

‘What is it that you actually think is my superpower?’

It was absolutely overwhelmingly beautiful how many people commented and how they saw me versus how I saw myself.

The long and the short of what I took away from all of these people commenting: friends and clients and just people on Facebook was, “Natalie I think you help people to believe in themselves. You show them what’s possible and how amazing they can be.”

That came through as one of the most common aspects of my superpower.

Which is so incredible right? Because I wouldn’t have necessarily seen myself that way and inspire people to take action. Yet that is exactly what I desire to do, day in and day out.

I have a broad depth of knowledge across a range of topics that helps entrepreneurs to build and design their perfect freedom lifestyle and business.

Believing in yourself

I think the most important thing about the business sabbatical was to step back, reflect and come back to this point of I have built and designed a business that I love that fits and supports my ideal lifestyle.

At the time that I’m recording this I am sitting in front of a gorgeous fireplace. My puppy is sleeping to my right. The sun has gone down. It’s been a beautiful day.

I’ve co-worked with a friend. We’ve come up with some entrepreneur business ideas about where we want to head next, grow and what we want to be doing next.

So I am excited again and I’ve got my mojo back. I’m almost over being sick and I am ready to drink my own Koolaid in the best possible way.

So what are the results of my Business Sabbatical?

From a Google Analytics point of view, website visits have actually gone up and down over the space of that three months, which shows that if you stop posting content on your blog which we’d pretty much have done throughout May, June and July, if you got great organic reach and you’ve got excellent content and articles from years before, your traffic is going to remain pretty consistent.

People are still going to be finding you on your site.

My email optins have stayed fairly consistent and because I haven’t been emailing at all and that my team didn’t email much I’ve had way fewer unsubscribes. So my net positive effect is pretty good.

I canned all my advertising during the last three months so I haven’t actively promoted outside of my normal social media posts my assistant does.

I’ve only just started doing interviews again, so basically over the three months there was a net gain in website traffic after a dip thanks to some Google algorithms that probably didn’t help, and then my traffic came back.

My subscribers have stayed pretty consistent and I haven’t lost as many because I haven’t been emailing as much.

And from an online sales point of view, that dropped quite significantly. Because I wasn’t promoting anything. I wasn’t doing anything new. I wasn’t actually there behind my business. There were no Facebook ads going on. There was no other form of advertising and as I mentioned the content stopped as well.

I am actually quite happy that the months have been fairly good when I look at the sponsorship for this podcast and online sales continued to come in, as well as other affiliate sales that came through during that time.

So it has been a really positive three business months.

Now I am raring to go to really amp up the revenue, amp up the business impact and also I have a couple of businesses in mind that I will be embarking on, researching, validating and prototyping for the first time in seven years of just having one business.

I guess that gives you some insight behind a business sabbatical. For me it wasn’t a massive growth during that time, nor did I expect it to be.

I actually expected a decline in my business if I am going to be really honest but luckily it sailed pretty steady. Slight dips and then growth.

I really attribute that to fantastic systems, to having great sales funnels in place, to having a small and nimble team and for a wonderful community who continue to support me throughout.

It just shows that after seven years in business all the things that you’ve done leading up to that point stand you in good stead, that if you really have a good foundations nothing tragic is going to happen and that by not being actively behind or running your business it will not die.

It will not fall over without you if you’ve put those systems in place.

I feel pretty happy about that.

On this important point, I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my friend Amy Schmittauer, the vlogging boss.

I saw her blog post about how she hasn’t had a break in 2 years and how she was giving herself permission to go on a two week vacation. In this blog post she almost sounded like she had to convince herself that that was a good thing.

So I asked her to record her favorite part of the blog post, I Haven’t Made a Decision Like This in a Long Time. Here are her nuggets of wisdom.

“This is typical practice for me. Fit in the free time when I can. Fit in family when it works out.

One of the things I most Iooked forward to when I started working for myself full-time in 2011 was the fact that I could decide to do this whenever I wanted. Not having to worry about whether a boss approved of it 2-weeks ahead of time.

I can take the afternoon. I can take the day. I can take a week.

Hell. I can take a vacation.

It’s not very often that I actually take advantage of my business ownership perks though. I love what I do and it keeps me busy and fulfilled. Genuinely.

But upon coming back from a business trip last week, I was exhausted. I started to think about how I’ve been feeling lately. So tired and busy. I’ve been talking about 2017 like it’s already over and it’s May!

We have multiple trips and events planned every month for the rest of the year such as speaking engagements, client business trips, family visits, our wedding and the parties around it. So. Much. Awesome.

Our honeymoon is planned for January of next year because that’s the earliest we’ve been able to fit it in. I finally started to wrap my mind around that while on this plane ride home and thought , “Is that going to be the next time I get to just take a break?”.

It suddenly became an overwhelming feeling. A tired feeling. Then I thought, “when was the last time I took a vacation?”

To finish off, I want to share a couple of things back when I was talking to my friend Lauren Parsons, and we were discussing what I’ve learned out of this experience and what I wanted to do.

She summarized it in an email back to me and I thought I’d share it here, as this was around 2 months ago but it still stands:

  • You mentioned being in a transition period career wise with your move back to NZ. (I had no idea how much an impact that has actually made on me. How much changing your entire life can mess with your identity)
  • Following a lack of energy which started Sept 2016 you want to movetowards more people coming to you, more off line, in person. Fewer people, bigger results.
  • 1 year from now you want to:
    • Have had a successful re-launch of my updated Suitcase Entrepreneur book (It’s happening in September)
    • Work as a paid writer, speaker and influencer
    • Successfully rely on my properties for income
    • Be able to invest my time as I wish and volunteer in ways that are fulfilling that I choose
    • Be able to enjoy the right balance of art, fitness, time with my puppy, Kayla and to create the retreat lifestyle property that I want (and of course Josh!)
    • Spend 3-5 days at home enjoying nature/animals etc with some national travel and one international trip each year at least
    • Ultimately to feel light hearted, joyful, powerful, energised (by my work and people I spend time with) and in alignment with my purpose
    • The biggest barrier may be me – saying yes to things and busyness

We talked about scheduling in time for the key things that I WANT to have in my  life and prioritising these first which includes focusing on ‘Reclaiming My Time’ through:

  • 1 hour per day invested in learning
  • 2+ hours being active outdoors (in every season)
  • 3-4 hours of focused effective work time

Something that came out of this is I said I will complete my own Perfect Day exercise that I take all my Freedom Plan members through and my three year vision – working title Freedom Vision Map.

At the time when I chatted with Lauren about this, I just couldn’t complete it. There was nothing concrete there that made me want to jump up and do it.

I am really pleased to say that over the weekend when I was in Melbourne with Josh, the four days that I had out there were just fantastic and were so good for me just to get away from it all, and go into the new city,  have a timeout and just be in a new environment.

On Monday we were so motivated we sat back and did our three year plan together in the space of half an hour or an hour.

So now I am going to put that into my Freedom Vision Map and I am going to share it with you guys. It’s the first time in a couple of years that I’ve done one and it’s going to be completely different to my last one where I’ve achieved a lot of that. My whole emphasis has changed now.

I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along with me on this ride of the sabbatical.

And now back into work and to several different areas that I’m looking at, that I’ll be sharing here soon.

I hope that you’ve been able to hear my process as I’ve been going through this and understand and learn from it just as much as I have.

As I said, you will consider taking time out for you to get perspective, to get creative, to get re-energized and to totally make sure that you are aligned with what you truly want out of life.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It's been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it's also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

 

]]>
So I promised to tell you what I think the biggest lesson from my business sabbatical was as well as the result that I got from it. And for me it’s this: it’s time for me to back me. t

I think it’s time for us all to back ourselves.

And what do I even mean by that?

Basically, to me, it’s about serving up your own delicious cocktail, alcoholic or non-alcoholic and being happy with what you are drinking. It’s like drinking your own goodness. It’s talking about you and why you rock versus everybody else.

So basically it’s being a bit of a celebrity in your own right and believing in yourself!

I think I’ve mentioned this in the past couple of episodes where I talked about the Power of a Business Sabbatical, is that the biggest thing for me in having time off and away from my business is, that I had to get past some really bad feelings when I got to thinking.

I’m talking about the dangerous and pointless ‘comparison game’ or thoughts like ‘What have I actually done? What have I actually achieved? Have I made an impact? Who am I to have built this business over 7 years? Oh my goodness. I’ve done nothing!’

Yes, all this crap came out of it.

Once I got through this little moment of self-doubt I was like, ‘Wait a minute. I’ve done some pretty fantastic things. I’ve published a best selling book on Amazon. And that’s now been picked up by Simon & Schuster and the third edition is coming out this September!

I finally got to speak on stage at TEDx and I get paid to speak around the world.

I’ve built a multiple six figure business that has been that way for several years and I’ve been in business for 7 years. That’s no mean feat!

I started reading back through people’s lovely emails and just seeing the impact that I’ve made.

And then I even put a post up on Facebook a couple of weeks back before ending this business sabbatical, when I was having a little moment of doubt and asked:

‘What is it that you actually think is my superpower?’

It was absolutely overwhelmingly beautiful how many people commented and how they saw me versus how I saw myself.

The long and the short of what I took away from all of these people commenting: friends and clients and just people on Facebook was, “Natalie I think you help people to believe in themselves. You show them what’s possible and how amazing they can be.”

That came through as one of the most common aspects of my superpower.

Which is so incredible right? Because I wouldn’t have necessarily seen myself that way and inspire people to take action. Yet that is exactly what I desire to do, day in and day out.

I have a broad depth of knowledge across a range of topics that helps entrepreneurs to build and design their perfect freedom lifestyle and business.

Believing in yourself

I think the most important thing about the business sabbatical was to step back, reflect and come back to this point of I have built and designed a business that I love that fits and supports my ideal lifestyle.

At the time that I’m recording this I am sitting in front of a gorgeous fireplace. My puppy is sleeping to my right. The sun has gone down. It’s been a beautiful day.

I’ve co-worked with a friend. We’ve come up with some entrepreneur business ideas about where we want to head next, grow and what we want to be doing next.

So I am excited again and I’ve got my mojo back. I’m almost over being sick and I am ready to drink my own Koolaid in the best possible way.

So what are the results of my Business Sabbatical?

From a Google Analytics point of view, website visits have actually gone up and down over the space of that three months, which shows that if you stop posting content on your blog which we’d pretty much have done throughout May, June and July, if you got great organic reach and you’ve got excellent content and articles from years before, your traffic is going to remain pretty consistent.

People are still going to be finding you on your site.

My email optins have stayed fairly consistent and because I haven’t been emailing at all and that my team didn’t email much I’ve had way fewer unsubscribes. So my net positive effect is pretty good.

I canned all my advertising during the last three months so I haven’t actively promoted outside of my normal social media posts my assistant does.

I’ve only just started doing interviews again, so basically over the three months there was a net gain in website traffic after a dip thanks to some Google algorithms that probably didn’t help, and then my traffic came back.

My subscribers have stayed pretty consistent and I haven’t lost as many because I haven’t been emailing as much.

And from an online sales point of view, that dropped quite significantly. Because I wasn’t promoting anything. I wasn’t doing anything new. I wasn’t actually there behind my business. There were no Facebook ads going on. There was no other form of advertising and as I mentioned the content stopped as well.

I am actually quite happy that the months have been fairly good when I look at the sponsorship for this podcast and online sales continued to come in, as well as other affiliate sales that came through during that time.

So it has been a really positive three business months.

Now I am raring to go to really amp up the revenue, amp up the business impact and also I have a couple of businesses in mind that I will be embarking on, researching, validating and prototyping for the first time in seven years of just having one business.

I guess that gives you some insight behind a business sabbatical. For me it wasn’t a massive growth during that time, nor did I expect it to be.

I actually expected a decline in my business if I am going to be really honest but luckily it sailed pretty steady. Slight dips and then growth.

I really attribute that to fantastic systems, to having great sales funnels in place, to having a small and nimble team and for a wonderful community who continue to support me throughout.

It just shows that after seven years in business all the things that you’ve done leading up to that point stand you in good stead, that if you really have a good foundations nothing tragic is going to happen and that by not being actively behind or running your business it will not die.

It will not fall over without you if you’ve put those systems in place.

I feel pretty happy about that.

On this important point, I wanted to share with you an excerpt from my friend Amy Schmittauer, the vlogging boss.

I saw her blog post about how she hasn’t had a break in 2 years and how she was giving herself permission to go on a two week vacation. In this blog post she almost sounded like she had to convince herself that that was a good thing.

So I asked her to record her favorite part of the blog post, I Haven’t Made a Decision Like This in a Long Time. Here are her nuggets of wisdom.

“This is typical practice for me. Fit in the free time when I can. Fit in family when it works out.

One of the things I most Iooked forward to when I started working for myself full-time in 2011 was the fact that I could decide to do this whenever I wanted. Not having to worry about whether a boss approved of it 2-weeks ahead of time.

I can take the afternoon. I can take the day. I can take a week.

Hell. I can take a vacation.

It’s not very often that I actually take advantage of my business ownership perks though. I love what I do and it keeps me busy and fulfilled. Genuinely.

But upon coming back from a business trip last week, I was exhausted. I started to think about how I’ve been feeling lately. So tired and busy. I’ve been talking about 2017 like it’s already over and it’s May!

We have multiple trips and events planned every month for the rest of the year such as speaking engagements, client business trips, family visits, our wedding and the parties around it. So. Much. Awesome.

Our honeymoon is planned for January of next year because that’s the earliest we’ve been able to fit it in. I finally started to wrap my mind around that while on this plane ride home and thought , “Is that going to be the next time I get to just take a break?”.

It suddenly became an overwhelming feeling. A tired feeling. Then I thought, “when was the last time I took a vacation?”

To finish off, I want to share a couple of things back when I was talking to my friend Lauren Parsons, and we were discussing what I’ve learned out of this experience and what I wanted to do.

She summarized it in an email back to me and I thought I’d share it here, as this was around 2 months ago but it still stands:

  • You mentioned being in a transition period career wise with your move back to NZ. (I had no idea how much an impact that has actually made on me. How much changing your entire life can mess with your identity)
  • Following a lack of energy which started Sept 2016 you want to movetowards more people coming to you, more off line, in person. Fewer people, bigger results.
  • 1 year from now you want to:
    • Have had a successful re-launch of my updated Suitcase Entrepreneur book (It’s happening in September)
    • Work as a paid writer, speaker and influencer
    • Successfully rely on my properties for income
    • Be able to invest my time as I wish and volunteer in ways that are fulfilling that I choose
    • Be able to enjoy the right balance of art, fitness, time with my puppy, Kayla and to create the retreat lifestyle property that I want (and of course Josh!)
    • Spend 3-5 days at home enjoying nature/animals etc with some national travel and one international trip each year at least
    • Ultimately to feel light hearted, joyful, powerful, energised (by my work and people I spend time with) and in alignment with my purpose
    • The biggest barrier may be me – saying yes to things and busyness

We talked about scheduling in time for the key things that I WANT to have in my  life and prioritising these first which includes focusing on ‘Reclaiming My Time’ through:

  • 1 hour per day invested in learning
  • 2+ hours being active outdoors (in every season)
  • 3-4 hours of focused effective work time

Something that came out of this is I said I will complete my own Perfect Day exercise that I take all my Freedom Plan members through and my three year vision – working title Freedom Vision Map.

At the time when I chatted with Lauren about this, I just couldn’t complete it. There was nothing concrete there that made me want to jump up and do it.

I am really pleased to say that over the weekend when I was in Melbourne with Josh, the four days that I had out there were just fantastic and were so good for me just to get away from it all, and go into the new city,  have a timeout and just be in a new environment.

On Monday we were so motivated we sat back and did our three year plan together in the space of half an hour or an hour.

So now I am going to put that into my Freedom Vision Map and I am going to share it with you guys. It’s the first time in a couple of years that I’ve done one and it’s going to be completely different to my last one where I’ve achieved a lot of that. My whole emphasis has changed now.

I hope you’ve enjoyed coming along with me on this ride of the sabbatical.

And now back into work and to several different areas that I’m looking at, that I’ll be sharing here soon.

I hope that you’ve been able to hear my process as I’ve been going through this and understand and learn from it just as much as I have.

As I said, you will consider taking time out for you to get perspective, to get creative, to get re-energized and to totally make sure that you are aligned with what you truly want out of life.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It's been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it's also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Your Daily Freedom Routine]]> Sun, 02 Jul 2017 07:25:32 GMT 15:20 no As I come off my 3 month business sabbatical, I realized that you can have a little sabbatical every single day of your life.

Through practicing what I talked about in Season 1, Mindfulness, Meditation, breathing and I am right now studying “The Science of Happiness” through edX which is an awesome online platform of amazing courses from incredible universities around the world.

I am actually going to be revisiting a lot of what I spoke about in Season 1 back before I knew so little and now I’ve learned so much. It has absolutely opened my mind how every single day it’s the little things that you do in 10, 20 or 30 minutes of time that all radically change how you feel and how much more freedom you have.

In this episode, I am going to talk about a daily freedom routine because I think it’s really important.

Before I jump into that I just want to share with you a snippet from Hilary Rushford of The Elegant Excellence who went on a sabbatical about a year ago for three months as well.

This is a one snippet from her video where she was talking about the fact that there was never going to be another time like now when she’d have all this time to read, relax, chill out and learn.

And when I first listened to it I was like, “Yeah I think you are right!”, but now having been on a sabbatical when I have all the time to read, relax and learn you still don’t because it is a journey. It is ongoing. It is an everyday commitment to being your best self, to giving yourself the space and time to be.

Here is the snippet and her insights are really useful:

“I've now built what is now over a million dollar revenue a year business in the first five years. And for me, 3 months into sabbatical I just realized, I am not doing the things that I wanted to do. I am not changing in the ways that I wanted to change. There's still those things on my list where "I am wishing that I have more time to do" things and here I am on sabbatical, one of the most times ever.

And so I really just started to dive in and explore why are we not doing these things? And I think one big reason for me is that I have these visions of "It's got to be done perfect. It's got to be this epic change. It's got to be hours of a week. I've got to commit to it now for every single day for eternity".

That's wonderful but it so rarely happens.

And so challenging myself to just take 10 minutes a day. Commit just 10 days and to not do things in some perfect epic change but just something, just take a step.

Make a small step towards what I think is the biggest game changer that not enough people talk about in business which is you as a CEO, your joy, your peace, your rest, your emotional health, your ability to make big decisions, your ability to tune into your gut and what you really want.

And I think the reality is that so many of us are exhausted, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, unhappy. We want this to be just a little bit easier but we are not actually doing the steps to make the change.”

And then recently I received an email from Suzi Dafnis who owns herbusiness.com and she said this:

Since starting my business 23 years ago, I’ve been given lots of advice. And, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to hit the “pause button”.

What? Wasn’t I meant to be hustling?

Pushing? Striving?

Nope.

There have been times where what I really needed to do, was pause.

Pausing is not stopping.

Pausing is simply taking time to reflect, recharge and renew - free from distractions and free from the daily push and pull of commitments and catering to others’ expectations.

In his book Thank You for Being Late, the New York Times best-selling author, Thomas Friedman writes:

"... opting to pause and reflect, rather than panic or withdraw, is a necessity. It is not a luxury or a distraction — it is a way to increase the odds that you’ll better understand, and engage productively with, the world around you."

'When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings they start,' argues my friend and teacher Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN, which advises global businesses on ethics and leadership.

You start to reflect, you start to rethink your assumptions, you start to reimagine what is possible and, most importantly, you start to reconnect with your most deeply held beliefs. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to reimagine a better path.”

Choosing to pause has been hard.

Up front, it's felt expensive and like an investment I couldn't afford. I had so much to do, so many commitments and deadlines.

Looking back, I know that had I not made the investment in pausing, I would not be where I am today.

I would not have made important pivots and changes that have allowed me to stay in business, to continue to evolve, to keep loving my business — and to stay relevant and producing results.

This October I am taking time out to 'pause' once again.

Thank you Suzy for those wonderful wise words!

That’s exactly what I’ve found on this business sabbatical where little times business-y things would creep back in where I am tempted to check on email or how things were going. But when I wasn’t and when I was just being, enjoying and learning, I was back in my creative zone. I have had so many wonderful thoughts, ideas and improvements that I want to make.

I’ve got my mojo back for my business!

And I’ve also got a whole new perspective on it that I just couldn’t see before I took a break because I wasn’t giving myself space to pause, reflect and observe.

I also spoke to my friend Colin Wright recently of Exile Lifestyle, who like me for so many years has lived out of the suitcase, travelled the world and every 3 months he lets his community choose where he is going to travel next.

I had emailed him about my Suitcase Entrepreneur book and updating his story in it since the third edition is coming out in September. Woohoo!

 

A post shared by Natalie Sisson (@nataliesisson) on May 12, 2017 at 2:45pm PDT

 

Anyway, he told me what he’s been up to and I was really really blown away but also super excited for him. Here’s what he said:

“I've been meaning to learn to cook for years, and finally got around to doing that; have made every meal for almost a year and am loving it as a craft. I've also wanted to learn to play the piano, and to learn some music production skills to go along with the guitaring and singing I've always done, so that's also been quite rewarding.

Beyond that, I wanted to do really, truly boring things, like buy furniture, because I haven't done so since 2009. I haven't owned a car in all the time, and I was curious how I would use such things, and live such a life, now that I've done so many other things and been so many other places. Getting mail is a novelty, as is having reliable and consistent internet access and electricity. So bizarre how much cultural understanding is dependent on having these things. So many things I could understand intellectually, but not really get. I do get them now, though, to some degree.

I'm sure you can relate to that — do anything long enough, and it becomes a little bit predictable. And the one thing I kept coming back to that scared me a little was holding still in one place for a bit, buying my own furniture, and owning a car. Weird, but the concept was mildly frightening to me. So, of course, I had to do it :)”

So I just love that people around me are doing what they need to do to pause, to reflect, to recharge, to re energize, to take these many sabbaticals from not only their business but their everyday life.

So if you are like, “Natalie, I can’t take three months off!”

Well, first off, I challenge you, you should be able to. It’s your life. You get to choose.

And I appreciate other things get in the way, you might have commitments and family but instead today I am offering you up a few doses of daily freedom routines that you can include to have a more simplistic, beautiful day and those little moments to yourself.

I got some of my freedomists and my Freedom Plan community to share some of their routines.

The first is from Fiona Hall:

“My freedom chores in the morning I journal three questions. This helps me get my mind see it really fresh and ready for the day. The first question I ask is what am I curious about?

That’s from Elizabeth Gilbert's book “Big Magic”. I love that question. It gets my mind into problem-solving mind and I always come up with something new and exciting for myself. The next question I ask is how am I feeling? Because if I don’t acknowledge how I am feeling and I am not feeling that good, it really impacts on my productivity, on my fun, on my ability to deal with my children first thing in the morning.

And then the last question I ask is a productivity question it is what actions am I going to take today? And because of those first two questions I find the action one as really simple. I’ve worked through what am I curious about, what am I feeling and process anything that I need to process until I am ready for the day and my mind is how I need it today. And the other things I do in  terms of exercise as I try to is 30 minute walk 3-4 times a week.”

This next one is from Ricardo Ferreira:

“I ride a bike everywhere.I think it’s one of the ultimate expressions of freedom. You can go almost anywhere on a bike.

You can be fast or take your time and you're free to stop whenever and wherever you wish. It’s on a bike that you start thinking more about enjoying the journey and concerning less about the destination.”

What about this one from Sif, the vet:

“Working in my little garden. I love to take a break from the computer and go outside work in the garden, dig in the dirt, rearrange things and plant seeds and watch the flowers and the vegetables grow.

I really love the feeling of growing some of my own food which makes me feel extra free. And this is what I do to be calm everyday because you have to work in the garden everyday.”

Here’s Stephanie McGuirt freedom routine for her inbox:

“My daily productivity tip or routine would be to use an extension, it’s a Chrome extension by Baydin called Inbox Pause and that actually does like it says it stops messages from coming into your inbox until you unpause your inbox or unless you have them scheduled to come in at certain times.

So I know that at 9am and 3pm everyday, I will get all of my messages that have been sent outside those times and I can focus on them for the next 30 minutes or hour and outside of 9am and 3pm, I am focused on other tasks. So it has really increased my productivity and I highly recommend it for anyone that is overwhelmed by their inbox.”

So I hope that you learned a lot from these lovely people who offered up simple, little tactics related to business and life that they are doing to create more time, space and freedom.

Of course I have a ton more of my own I talk a lot about them in the Freedom Plan.

On my business sabbatical, I thought of so many improvements to my signature program and just how much more amazing I can make it for you to really truly learn how to reclaim your time, make more money, work less, earn more and be free.

I hope you tune in to the next episode we are still on a digital sabbatical and the business sabbatical theme and how you can incorporate this in your life. I am going to share the results of my business sabbatical essentially as come into first of July when I am officially back on board for business.

Tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

Want to sell your own online courses (and have a great launch) Selling online courses is one of my favourite things to do, but as I pointed out in this episode, it can be a real headache.

With Teachable, you don't have to worry about the tech.

Teachable is the easiest way to create, sell and deliver online courses.

And while it is so easy to use, it's also packed with a lot of powerful features.

With Teachable, you're able to...

  • create your own course website, with your own custom branding, so you get all of the credit for how professional your course website looks.
  • accept payments and get paid instantly when you sell your courses
  • integrate with hundreds of your favorite tools and email service providers
  • create beautiful sales pages for your courses

Teachable is the #1 course creation software, with over 12,000 instructors using their software to create, deliver and sell online courses.

All types of business owners and online entrepreneurs use Teachable. Sure, that includes people like Pat Flynn or The New York Times. But most of their instructors are just regular people like you and me and who are looking grow their businesses with courses.

And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to teachable.com/suitcase

]]>
As I come off my 3 month business sabbatical, I realized that you can have a little sabbatical every single day of your life.

Through practicing what I talked about in Season 1, Mindfulness, Meditation, breathing and I am right now studying “The Science of Happiness” through edX which is an awesome online platform of amazing courses from incredible universities around the world.

I am actually going to be revisiting a lot of what I spoke about in Season 1 back before I knew so little and now I’ve learned so much. It has absolutely opened my mind how every single day it’s the little things that you do in 10, 20 or 30 minutes of time that all radically change how you feel and how much more freedom you have.

In this episode, I am going to talk about a daily freedom routine because I think it’s really important.

Before I jump into that I just want to share with you a snippet from Hilary Rushford of The Elegant Excellence who went on a sabbatical about a year ago for three months as well.

This is a one snippet from her video where she was talking about the fact that there was never going to be another time like now when she’d have all this time to read, relax, chill out and learn.

And when I first listened to it I was like, “Yeah I think you are right!”, but now having been on a sabbatical when I have all the time to read, relax and learn you still don’t because it is a journey. It is ongoing. It is an everyday commitment to being your best self, to giving yourself the space and time to be.

Here is the snippet and her insights are really useful:

“I've now built what is now over a million dollar revenue a year business in the first five years. And for me, 3 months into sabbatical I just realized, I am not doing the things that I wanted to do. I am not changing in the ways that I wanted to change. There's still those things on my list where "I am wishing that I have more time to do" things and here I am on sabbatical, one of the most times ever.

And so I really just started to dive in and explore why are we not doing these things? And I think one big reason for me is that I have these visions of "It's got to be done perfect. It's got to be this epic change. It's got to be hours of a week. I've got to commit to it now for every single day for eternity".

That's wonderful but it so rarely happens.

And so challenging myself to just take 10 minutes a day. Commit just 10 days and to not do things in some perfect epic change but just something, just take a step.

Make a small step towards what I think is the biggest game changer that not enough people talk about in business which is you as a CEO, your joy, your peace, your rest, your emotional health, your ability to make big decisions, your ability to tune into your gut and what you really want.

And I think the reality is that so many of us are exhausted, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, unhappy. We want this to be just a little bit easier but we are not actually doing the steps to make the change.”

And then recently I received an email from Suzi Dafnis who owns herbusiness.com and she said this:

Since starting my business 23 years ago, I’ve been given lots of advice. And, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to hit the “pause button”.

What? Wasn’t I meant to be hustling?

Pushing? Striving?

Nope.

There have been times where what I really needed to do, was pause.

Pausing is not stopping.

Pausing is simply taking time to reflect, recharge and renew - free from distractions and free from the daily push and pull of commitments and catering to others’ expectations.

In his book Thank You for Being Late, the New York Times best-selling author, Thomas Friedman writes:

"... opting to pause and reflect, rather than panic or withdraw, is a necessity. It is not a luxury or a distraction — it is a way to increase the odds that you’ll better understand, and engage productively with, the world around you."

'When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings they start,' argues my friend and teacher Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN, which advises global businesses on ethics and leadership.

You start to reflect, you start to rethink your assumptions, you start to reimagine what is possible and, most importantly, you start to reconnect with your most deeply held beliefs. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to reimagine a better path.”

Choosing to pause has been hard.

Up front, it's felt expensive and like an investment I couldn't afford. I had so much to do, so many commitments and deadlines.

Looking back, I know that had I not made the investment in pausing, I would not be where I am today.

I would not have made important pivots and changes that have allowed me to stay in business, to continue to evolve, to keep loving my business — and to stay relevant and producing results.

This October I am taking time out to 'pause' once again.

Thank you Suzy for those wonderful wise words!

That’s exactly what I’ve found on this business sabbatical where little times business-y things would creep back in where I am tempted to check on email or how things were going. But when I wasn’t and when I was just being, enjoying and learning, I was back in my creative zone. I have had so many wonderful thoughts, ideas and improvements that I want to make.

I’ve got my mojo back for my business!

And I’ve also got a whole new perspective on it that I just couldn’t see before I took a break because I wasn’t giving myself space to pause, reflect and observe.

I also spoke to my friend Colin Wright recently of Exile Lifestyle, who like me for so many years has lived out of the suitcase, travelled the world and every 3 months he lets his community choose where he is going to travel next.

I had emailed him about my Suitcase Entrepreneur book and updating his story in it since the third edition is coming out in September. Woohoo!

 

A post shared by Natalie Sisson (@nataliesisson) on May 12, 2017 at 2:45pm PDT

 

Anyway, he told me what he’s been up to and I was really really blown away but also super excited for him. Here’s what he said:

“I've been meaning to learn to cook for years, and finally got around to doing that; have made every meal for almost a year and am loving it as a craft. I've also wanted to learn to play the piano, and to learn some music production skills to go along with the guitaring and singing I've always done, so that's also been quite rewarding.

Beyond that, I wanted to do really, truly boring things, like buy furniture, because I haven't done so since 2009. I haven't owned a car in all the time, and I was curious how I would use such things, and live such a life, now that I've done so many other things and been so many other places. Getting mail is a novelty, as is having reliable and consistent internet access and electricity. So bizarre how much cultural understanding is dependent on having these things. So many things I could understand intellectually, but not really get. I do get them now, though, to some degree.

I'm sure you can relate to that — do anything long enough, and it becomes a little bit predictable. And the one thing I kept coming back to that scared me a little was holding still in one place for a bit, buying my own furniture, and owning a car. Weird, but the concept was mildly frightening to me. So, of course, I had to do it :)”

So I just love that people around me are doing what they need to do to pause, to reflect, to recharge, to re energize, to take these many sabbaticals from not only their business but their everyday life.

So if you are like, “Natalie, I can’t take three months off!”

Well, first off, I challenge you, you should be able to. It’s your life. You get to choose.

And I appreciate other things get in the way, you might have commitments and family but instead today I am offering you up a few doses of daily freedom routines that you can include to have a more simplistic, beautiful day and those little moments to yourself.

I got some of my freedomists and my Freedom Plan community to share some of their routines.

The first is from Fiona Hall:

“My freedom chores in the morning I journal three questions. This helps me get my mind see it really fresh and ready for the day. The first question I ask is what am I curious about?

That’s from Elizabeth Gilbert's book “Big Magic”. I love that question. It gets my mind into problem-solving mind and I always come up with something new and exciting for myself. The next question I ask is how am I feeling? Because if I don’t acknowledge how I am feeling and I am not feeling that good, it really impacts on my productivity, on my fun, on my ability to deal with my children first thing in the morning.

And then the last question I ask is a productivity question it is what actions am I going to take today? And because of those first two questions I find the action one as really simple. I’ve worked through what am I curious about, what am I feeling and process anything that I need to process until I am ready for the day and my mind is how I need it today. And the other things I do in  terms of exercise as I try to is 30 minute walk 3-4 times a week.”

This next one is from Ricardo Ferreira:

“I ride a bike everywhere.I think it’s one of the ultimate expressions of freedom. You can go almost anywhere on a bike.

You can be fast or take your time and you're free to stop whenever and wherever you wish. It’s on a bike that you start thinking more about enjoying the journey and concerning less about the destination.”

What about this one from Sif, the vet:

“Working in my little garden. I love to take a break from the computer and go outside work in the garden, dig in the dirt, rearrange things and plant seeds and watch the flowers and the vegetables grow.

I really love the feeling of growing some of my own food which makes me feel extra free. And this is what I do to be calm everyday because you have to work in the garden everyday.”

Here’s Stephanie McGuirt freedom routine for her inbox:

“My daily productivity tip or routine would be to use an extension, it’s a Chrome extension by Baydin called Inbox Pause and that actually does like it says it stops messages from coming into your inbox until you unpause your inbox or unless you have them scheduled to come in at certain times.

So I know that at 9am and 3pm everyday, I will get all of my messages that have been sent outside those times and I can focus on them for the next 30 minutes or hour and outside of 9am and 3pm, I am focused on other tasks. So it has really increased my productivity and I highly recommend it for anyone that is overwhelmed by their inbox.”

So I hope that you learned a lot from these lovely people who offered up simple, little tactics related to business and life that they are doing to create more time, space and freedom.

Of course I have a ton more of my own I talk a lot about them in the Freedom Plan.

On my business sabbatical, I thought of so many improvements to my signature program and just how much more amazing I can make it for you to really truly learn how to reclaim your time, make more money, work less, earn more and be free.

I hope you tune in to the next episode we are still on a digital sabbatical and the business sabbatical theme and how you can incorporate this in your life. I am going to share the results of my business sabbatical essentially as come into first of July when I am officially back on board for business.

Tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

Want to sell your own online courses (and have a great launch) Selling online courses is one of my favourite things to do, but as I pointed out in this episode, it can be a real headache.

With Teachable, you don't have to worry about the tech.

Teachable is the easiest way to create, sell and deliver online courses.

And while it is so easy to use, it's also packed with a lot of powerful features.

With Teachable, you're able to...

  • create your own course website, with your own custom branding, so you get all of the credit for how professional your course website looks.
  • accept payments and get paid instantly when you sell your courses
  • integrate with hundreds of your favorite tools and email service providers
  • create beautiful sales pages for your courses

Teachable is the #1 course creation software, with over 12,000 instructors using their software to create, deliver and sell online courses.

All types of business owners and online entrepreneurs use Teachable. Sure, that includes people like Pat Flynn or The New York Times. But most of their instructors are just regular people like you and me and who are looking grow their businesses with courses.

And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to teachable.com/suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[The Power of a Sabbatical]]> Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:38:55 GMT 14:24 no Welcome back to Season 2 Episode 3. Today I am going to talk about the power of a sabbatical.

What I'm already finding just with two and a half months off my business is that I have finally given myself the space to reflect and to look back on all the accomplishments that I've had so far, that maybe, just maybe, I'd forgotten about.

If you are a business owner, you totally know what I am talking about.

How often do we pat ourselves on our back and congratulate ourselves on how far we've come?

Seven years in business, that's how long it's been since I had my business, since I started officially April 2010 and until I took the timeout and time off of my business, I didn't realize all the things that I'd actually managed to do.

The reason why that came about is when I had the down time to not be working on stuff, I took a trip down memory lane and thought about the products and services that I've created since I started, all the blog posts that I've written. I had a few people linking to blog posts from like 2011 and I was like, "I wrote that post? This is actually pretty good.”

Then I just had a chance to reconnect with clients from years ago, from cleaning stuff up and going back through old folders, I forgot that I've coached these people. I wondered, where are they now and what are they doing?

So when I am back online in July, I really want to reconnect with some of my first ever clients and community members.

What it's forced me to do on the sabbatical is actually go back to my roots and think about all the things I loved when I first started out.

If you think back to your business, what were the things that made you so excited and so happy to be doing what you did that got you up every single morning and kept you up late at night when you were hustling and doing everything you wanted to do on your business?

What were those things?

The reason I even needed to take a break from my business is I'd forgotten what I loved about it in the first place. So this sabbatical has helped me to gain perspective.

It's forced me into slightly darker places where I've been playing the comparison game. Because I've been watching on social media from the sidelines, people doing things and launching. And I just get caught up in that and normally my go to is I'd follow that launch, I emulate it, I take notes from it, improve on it and learn from it.

But I don't want any of that in my world! I don't want any distraction. I don't want to know what other people are doing. So I put the Facebook Ad Blocker on.

I just want to reconnect with my friends, get back to my roots and get perspective on how far I've come but also how much more I can do & how much more I can offer.

I needed to reconnect with what it was that I fell in love with at the very beginning.

I just want to have a little insert here from my friend JC Bougle, who actually is recovering from burnout. As I've mentioned before in this podcast, I almost burnout when I first self-published my book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur back in 2013 and I didn't even realize I was so close to it.

The problem is when you don't take a sabbatical, a break or holidays from your business and you just go hard out for years, you burnout.

Then you are forced into a break that you don't want to be on: where your body can't recover, where your mind is jaded and stuck and where you actually physically aren't able to do much work anymore and I just don't want you to get to that place.

This is gold. Here's what he had to say:

"What happened to me last year is that I was very close to burnout and no enthusiasm for business, for entrepreneurship and no energy. And I couldn't take a long sabbatical really to disconnect from the business so I took a short sabbatical for a couple of weeks.

I really disconnected from anything online and after that which was even more important in my recovery after 2 weeks of disconnection, I really paced myself along with the expectations of what I could achieve and I also set a less ambitious goals for myself and worked a little bit more intensely.

This helped me a lot to recover completely from this burnout. Pacing yourself after the sabbatical is as important as taking a real break."

And then I had my friend Jesse Krieger of Lifestyle Entrepreneur Press, who posted on Facebook about a month ago about his retreat away from his business for a week. He wrote:

"I've just arrived back from a week retreat in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru. Quite honestly, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

This is the first time I've been offline all year and it was relaxing, reinvigorating and full of insights as I sat deep in meditation in the Peruvian Andes.

My host was Javier Regueiro, author of the two books that I'll be publishing in September, "Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle” and "San Pedro Huachuma: Opening Pathways to the Heart”.

It's hard to overstate the importance of taking time just for yourself. Not being beholden into anyone, not needing to have any conversation. People just simply sit and enjoy the surroundings and become aware of whatever thoughts and emotions arise.

While deep in meditation, it came to me that my role as a publisher resembles that of a crystal. A crystal such as the quartz is transparent and can be carved in a way that focuses energy, taking diffused light and focusing it on point almost as a laser.

In short, I got the insight that I am a crystal and you are the light and that is my new approach to working with authors and publishing and its good to be home.”

And now I want to bring back in Jason Van Orden who you heard about on the last podcast, "Firing myself” because he did exactly the same thing with his very successful 7-figure business that he ran with Jeremy Frandsen for years.

Here is what Jason had to say:

"Truthfully it was really fast for me. I am not saying it was the right thing to do. In hindsight, there's a lot of realizations here. But basically I was so ready to be removed.

And that might have been maybe a little too fast to remove myself. We probably needed a little more processes in place, expectations set and measurements.

Fast forward several months and it kind of came to this realization that the point of the business is that when I left, when we left or we kind of stepped away, was she was going to be able to maintain it.

But we hadn't changed things over in terms of systems and teams and all the other things that kind of needed to be there for a proper exit or removal of ourselves for it to continue growing consistently like it had been before.

So we are faced with this choice: do we go back in to start it growing again or do we just say, "Okay it is what it is. It's this nice source of income and for now it's going still but we have no more expectations of this actually becoming any bigger than it already is."”

So insightful right? It's really neat to hear from other people who have taken some time out or forced themselves away from their business or literally just shut something down because its not working.

I think as entrepreneurs we need to give ourselves that permission to do that more often than we ever think because it is incredibly powerful and you just don't understand how important it is that we recharge our batteries.

I also like to think there's a bit of a 7-year itch thing going on here. I appreciate Jason and Jeremy it was well over a decade but a lot of people that I've been speaking to recently have been in business for around 7 years and they are tired.

And let's face it, any job that you've been in 7 years is a long time in a job right? These days most people are in jobs for 1, 2 or 3 years in max. It's the norm for millennials to switch jobs incessantly.

Where as back in my Dad's/Mum's days, you'll stay in a job for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years plus! And you get a little golden watch at the end of it if you were lucky, a handshake and a thank you very much.

But when I was in the corporate world, I'd switch jobs all the time because I would get so bored or I just wanted to change it up. Then I realized I really just needed to be an entrepreneur where I could work on my own projects all the time, change them at a speed of light and work on multiple projects that excited me.

The great news is the whole point of this entire episode is that I found more freedom. It's so good!

I am filling my days with painting and practicing piano. (I lie on that I haven't actually touched the piano but I am going to today.) And training my puppy which is like a full-time job and I am learning so much. Training myself I should really say not my puppy. In training myself, I am effectively training my dog to be more obedient and awesome.

You can find Kayla, the white German Shepherd on Instagram at kaylathemajestic. If you want some joy in your day, go follow her. And you can follow my adventures at nataliesisson or my Facebook page.

For me personally, now that I've eased into my sabbatical, I've had all these opportunities come my way to work with other people on their businesses, help them start businesses, be on teams and I am resisting all of these things until I finish my sabbatical.

I really want to look at where I am heading because I've got the mojo back, people! I have got the mojo back! And I am very excited to bring this back to my business. Natalie is back!

I am super excited to be creating and implementing when I get back into it but until then I am still on a sabbatical.

And in the next episode, I am thrilled to bring you daily habits of freedom. Before I went on a sabbatical, I asked my community about their daily habits that they have to give them a little bit more freedom in life and these are going to apply to you personally and professionally, so make sure you tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

Want to sell your own online courses (and have a great launch) Selling online courses is one of my favourite things to do, but as I pointed out in this episode, it can be a real headache.

With Teachable, you don't have to worry about the tech.

Teachable is the easiest way to create, sell and deliver online courses.

And while it is so easy to use, it's also packed with a lot of powerful features.

 

With Teachable, you're able to...

  • create your own course website, with your own custom branding, so you get all of the credit for how professional your course website looks.
  • accept payments and get paid instantly when you sell your courses
  • integrate with hundreds of your favorite tools and email service providers
  • create beautiful sales pages for your courses

Teachable is the #1 course creation software, with over 12,000 instructors using their software to create, deliver and sell online courses.

All types of business owners and online entrepreneurs use Teachable. Sure, that includes people like Pat Flynn or The New York Times. But most of their instructors are just regular people like you and me and who are looking grow their businesses with courses.

And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to teachable.com/suitcase.

]]>
Welcome back to Season 2 Episode 3. Today I am going to talk about the power of a sabbatical.

What I'm already finding just with two and a half months off my business is that I have finally given myself the space to reflect and to look back on all the accomplishments that I've had so far, that maybe, just maybe, I'd forgotten about.

If you are a business owner, you totally know what I am talking about.

How often do we pat ourselves on our back and congratulate ourselves on how far we've come?

Seven years in business, that's how long it's been since I had my business, since I started officially April 2010 and until I took the timeout and time off of my business, I didn't realize all the things that I'd actually managed to do.

The reason why that came about is when I had the down time to not be working on stuff, I took a trip down memory lane and thought about the products and services that I've created since I started, all the blog posts that I've written. I had a few people linking to blog posts from like 2011 and I was like, "I wrote that post? This is actually pretty good.”

Then I just had a chance to reconnect with clients from years ago, from cleaning stuff up and going back through old folders, I forgot that I've coached these people. I wondered, where are they now and what are they doing?

So when I am back online in July, I really want to reconnect with some of my first ever clients and community members.

What it's forced me to do on the sabbatical is actually go back to my roots and think about all the things I loved when I first started out.

If you think back to your business, what were the things that made you so excited and so happy to be doing what you did that got you up every single morning and kept you up late at night when you were hustling and doing everything you wanted to do on your business?

What were those things?

The reason I even needed to take a break from my business is I'd forgotten what I loved about it in the first place. So this sabbatical has helped me to gain perspective.

It's forced me into slightly darker places where I've been playing the comparison game. Because I've been watching on social media from the sidelines, people doing things and launching. And I just get caught up in that and normally my go to is I'd follow that launch, I emulate it, I take notes from it, improve on it and learn from it.

But I don't want any of that in my world! I don't want any distraction. I don't want to know what other people are doing. So I put the Facebook Ad Blocker on.

I just want to reconnect with my friends, get back to my roots and get perspective on how far I've come but also how much more I can do & how much more I can offer.

I needed to reconnect with what it was that I fell in love with at the very beginning.

I just want to have a little insert here from my friend JC Bougle, who actually is recovering from burnout. As I've mentioned before in this podcast, I almost burnout when I first self-published my book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur back in 2013 and I didn't even realize I was so close to it.

The problem is when you don't take a sabbatical, a break or holidays from your business and you just go hard out for years, you burnout.

Then you are forced into a break that you don't want to be on: where your body can't recover, where your mind is jaded and stuck and where you actually physically aren't able to do much work anymore and I just don't want you to get to that place.

This is gold. Here's what he had to say:

"What happened to me last year is that I was very close to burnout and no enthusiasm for business, for entrepreneurship and no energy. And I couldn't take a long sabbatical really to disconnect from the business so I took a short sabbatical for a couple of weeks.

I really disconnected from anything online and after that which was even more important in my recovery after 2 weeks of disconnection, I really paced myself along with the expectations of what I could achieve and I also set a less ambitious goals for myself and worked a little bit more intensely.

This helped me a lot to recover completely from this burnout. Pacing yourself after the sabbatical is as important as taking a real break."

And then I had my friend Jesse Krieger of Lifestyle Entrepreneur Press, who posted on Facebook about a month ago about his retreat away from his business for a week. He wrote:

"I've just arrived back from a week retreat in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru. Quite honestly, one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.

This is the first time I've been offline all year and it was relaxing, reinvigorating and full of insights as I sat deep in meditation in the Peruvian Andes.

My host was Javier Regueiro, author of the two books that I'll be publishing in September, "Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle” and "San Pedro Huachuma: Opening Pathways to the Heart”.

It's hard to overstate the importance of taking time just for yourself. Not being beholden into anyone, not needing to have any conversation. People just simply sit and enjoy the surroundings and become aware of whatever thoughts and emotions arise.

While deep in meditation, it came to me that my role as a publisher resembles that of a crystal. A crystal such as the quartz is transparent and can be carved in a way that focuses energy, taking diffused light and focusing it on point almost as a laser.

In short, I got the insight that I am a crystal and you are the light and that is my new approach to working with authors and publishing and its good to be home.”

And now I want to bring back in Jason Van Orden who you heard about on the last podcast, "Firing myself” because he did exactly the same thing with his very successful 7-figure business that he ran with Jeremy Frandsen for years.

Here is what Jason had to say:

"Truthfully it was really fast for me. I am not saying it was the right thing to do. In hindsight, there's a lot of realizations here. But basically I was so ready to be removed.

And that might have been maybe a little too fast to remove myself. We probably needed a little more processes in place, expectations set and measurements.

Fast forward several months and it kind of came to this realization that the point of the business is that when I left, when we left or we kind of stepped away, was she was going to be able to maintain it.

But we hadn't changed things over in terms of systems and teams and all the other things that kind of needed to be there for a proper exit or removal of ourselves for it to continue growing consistently like it had been before.

So we are faced with this choice: do we go back in to start it growing again or do we just say, "Okay it is what it is. It's this nice source of income and for now it's going still but we have no more expectations of this actually becoming any bigger than it already is."”

So insightful right? It's really neat to hear from other people who have taken some time out or forced themselves away from their business or literally just shut something down because its not working.

I think as entrepreneurs we need to give ourselves that permission to do that more often than we ever think because it is incredibly powerful and you just don't understand how important it is that we recharge our batteries.

I also like to think there's a bit of a 7-year itch thing going on here. I appreciate Jason and Jeremy it was well over a decade but a lot of people that I've been speaking to recently have been in business for around 7 years and they are tired.

And let's face it, any job that you've been in 7 years is a long time in a job right? These days most people are in jobs for 1, 2 or 3 years in max. It's the norm for millennials to switch jobs incessantly.

Where as back in my Dad's/Mum's days, you'll stay in a job for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years plus! And you get a little golden watch at the end of it if you were lucky, a handshake and a thank you very much.

But when I was in the corporate world, I'd switch jobs all the time because I would get so bored or I just wanted to change it up. Then I realized I really just needed to be an entrepreneur where I could work on my own projects all the time, change them at a speed of light and work on multiple projects that excited me.

The great news is the whole point of this entire episode is that I found more freedom. It's so good!

I am filling my days with painting and practicing piano. (I lie on that I haven't actually touched the piano but I am going to today.) And training my puppy which is like a full-time job and I am learning so much. Training myself I should really say not my puppy. In training myself, I am effectively training my dog to be more obedient and awesome.

You can find Kayla, the white German Shepherd on Instagram at kaylathemajestic. If you want some joy in your day, go follow her. And you can follow my adventures at nataliesisson or my Facebook page.

For me personally, now that I've eased into my sabbatical, I've had all these opportunities come my way to work with other people on their businesses, help them start businesses, be on teams and I am resisting all of these things until I finish my sabbatical.

I really want to look at where I am heading because I've got the mojo back, people! I have got the mojo back! And I am very excited to bring this back to my business. Natalie is back!

I am super excited to be creating and implementing when I get back into it but until then I am still on a sabbatical.

And in the next episode, I am thrilled to bring you daily habits of freedom. Before I went on a sabbatical, I asked my community about their daily habits that they have to give them a little bit more freedom in life and these are going to apply to you personally and professionally, so make sure you tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

Want to sell your own online courses (and have a great launch) Selling online courses is one of my favourite things to do, but as I pointed out in this episode, it can be a real headache.

With Teachable, you don't have to worry about the tech.

Teachable is the easiest way to create, sell and deliver online courses.

And while it is so easy to use, it's also packed with a lot of powerful features.

 

With Teachable, you're able to...

  • create your own course website, with your own custom branding, so you get all of the credit for how professional your course website looks.
  • accept payments and get paid instantly when you sell your courses
  • integrate with hundreds of your favorite tools and email service providers
  • create beautiful sales pages for your courses

Teachable is the #1 course creation software, with over 12,000 instructors using their software to create, deliver and sell online courses.

All types of business owners and online entrepreneurs use Teachable. Sure, that includes people like Pat Flynn or The New York Times. But most of their instructors are just regular people like you and me and who are looking grow their businesses with courses.

And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to teachable.com/suitcase.

]]>
<![CDATA[Firing myself]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:17:38 GMT 14:21 yes Yup I fired myself. That's what I did. April 1st, 2017 I fired myself from my business and went on a business sabbatical.

So you may be wondering what prompted me to take a business sabbatical in the first place. Let me take you back to September 2016.

I was in Australia speaking at Problogger and staying in this amazing suite Darren Rowse and the team organized for me as a paid speaker. The view was incredible and the hotel complex was too.

I was there to do a Tony Robbins style pump up session in between keynotes and also to run a session track on how to have a lucrative sales funnel that converts.

Josh was with me and that made it extra special as it was his first real look into my world and the circles I connected with as well as some of my community who were there. I even managed to get in some videos for a Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog challenge with my fave videographer Mick Russell.

After that we had some quality time in Byron Bay and a surf session before heading to San Diego, US where Josh was speaking at a conference in an entirely different area to what I operate in, and then I was speaking at FinCon.

Both our events were back to back and we were fortunate to stay in lovely hotels once again with sunshine and swimming pools. The trouble was I was in launch mode for my signature program, The Freedom Plan.

Even though I've launched this four times before, and even though I was super systemized this was my first time taking my team through a launch and training them up at the same time. I was working in between time and not doing the normal networking and socializing at conferences that I like to do.

In fact I really didn’t feel like it. I was kind of tapped out and feeling a bit jaded and while I was enjoying the relatively new romance with Josh I wasn’t enjoying what I almost always have done, the art of launching and running my business.

It all felt heavy. And as much as my team tried to keep up and do their best, I just felt like I was pulling their weight and mine. As a result I was exhausted.

I’ve come to realize over the years that for whatever reason, I am incredibly focused and can work at speed on almost any task I set my mind to. Until I worked with around 6 people on my team during a launch I realized this was not normal, and that you have to respect and understand other people's’ working methods.

It’s just that during a launch it’s really hard to do this - you NEED to work at pace and everything needs to be timed super well and you do actually need to do things on the fly and change tactics at any point to reflect the nature of how your launch is going, and how people are responding.

While this is great and exciting for a Wealth Dynamics Entrepreneurial ‘Star’ Profile like myself, it’s a nightmare for a Lord or Mechanic who have a much more grounded energy and need detailed plans and order to work best.

So to them it looked like we were out of control but to me it seems very very much in tuned with exactly how everything should be going along.

And slowly but surely deadlines got missed, communications broke down, things didn’t go out on time and it ended up being the worst launch that I’ve ever done.

I still made close to $40,000 in the space of a couple of weeks but I spent a lot more on my team. I spent a lot on advertising. And at the end of the day, it just really felt heavy.

And it wasn’t a successful launch and I felt like my list and my community just felt tapped out including myself.

I remember getting off a live webinar where a thousand people turned up and the energy was fantastic but the results from it were not great.

And I sat back at the end of that webinar and I was like,

"That's it. I'm done.

I just don’t understand why this is not going well and I have had enough.

I have run this launch before and it's an amazing program and I made multiple six figures!

I know it works and I know it gets people results and I just don’t understand what happened. This was a flop.

The ironic thing was I was running a Freedom Lab at the same time and this is where I actually show you real-time, something that I am doing.

So I have done one on “Write the Damn Book - how to write a book in three months but the first one was called “How to Launch like a Rockstar.

And so people following along my launch live, every tactic we were doing around Facebook advertising, emailing and sales copy and I was sharing it live through videos, through blog posts.

Here I was at the end going AND it was a big flop!

It might not look like it to you, but transparently doing something live and sharing the real results when they don't come off how they should is embarrassing and at the same time very real.

If anything it taught me, our team and everybody else out there a lesson that shit does not always go right.

So that is when I decided, I am going to fire myself and it was such a great decision to make, but that was in late September, early October and I did not end up taking my business sabbatical until the first of April.

And why was that?

A couple of reasons:

  • We were changing over to a brand new design for The Suitcase Entrepreneur which looks amazing. (Thank you Filipe - my team member in Portugal!)
  • We were changing the website over so we were using a new theme and Kasia - WP Rockstar, who has been through my Freedom Plan, she handled all of that.
  • We were changing from Infusionsoft over to ConvertKit for email, Clickfunnels for my sales funnels Leadpages and landing pages. Closing down the Leadpages pages that I had.
  • And shifting over my courses and creating new ones on Teachable.

So November and December were massive months. And even though I thought all those changes are beneficial, they actually affected my business for the next two or three months in a bad way.

Just because when you change systems and change lots of things - like we took a ton of pages away from my website, we leaned it right out from over a hundred pages and 950 blog posts right down to just several pages!

We took a lot of our landing pages and sales funnels over to Clickfunnels and the traffic dropped because we were just cleaning everything up.

So what prompted me to think that firing myself was a great idea?

I have been on a few digital sabbaticals before when you go completely offline and of course when I was cycling down Africa in 2012, I was pretty much away from my business for a good two months.

I remember clearly from that that I forgot about my business, I did not worry about anything because I was so busy cycling up to a 150 km a day.

I felt freer than ever while I was cycling down Africa, simply just waking up in the morning, crawling out of my tent, putting out my bike, having breakfast and just hitting the road.

At the same time, my business was doing just fine. I was in my early stages, my virtual assistant, that I had hired just before I left, was doing a great job.

And it made me appreciate that it had been a long time since I had really left my business behind and handed it over to people I trusted or just trusted in the systems that I had built.

I thought for me, as a freedomist who is constantly preaching you need great systems, you need to outsource, you need the right tools and you need great sales funnel, I was like,

Well, why not put mine to the test by removing myself as the bottleneck of my business?

Around this time I actually chatted to Jason Van Orden, a good friend who used to have Internet Business Mastery with Jeremy Frandsen and he had also gone on a business sabbatical.

In fact, they handed over to a CEO to run it, so I had a quick chat to him because I was interested to learn from him: what went well, what did not and why he took that step.

Here is the conversation we had about it:

Eventually I had to stop and ask myself why there was that waning in motivation. I’m sure partly I was maybe scared a little bit to look at that but what does it mean?

What if I ended up figuring out I've got the wrong business or that I am done with this business.

One thing that finally helped is when I went on a personal retreat. By then we were living on Paris so I went to Prague for 4 or 5 days.

I did a little soul searching, journaling, thinking and I remember coming back from that and just saying to my wife, "I think I need a sabbatical from this business".

So I asked Jason, how long did that take you to remove yourself from your business and here is his response.

Truthfully it was really fast for me but I am not saying it was the right thing to do. In hindsight, there’s a lot of realizations here but basically I was so ready to be removed and that might have been maybe a little too fast.

We probably needed a few more processes in place, expectations and measurements.

So as you can see it was really quick for Jason once he made that decision.

I have to say for me, I made that decision pretty instantly, the minute that launch finished, that I was going to take a time off.

Then I spent the time just gearing up my team to be able to survive without me and to show them it was fully possible that without me in the business, it potentially would go even better!

Because as the CEO of your business often, you do end up still doing things, making the shots, calling the shots, having the key relationships and all those things.

Usually that is a great thing but sometimes you can just hold on a little too tight.

You just need to release and beauty comes into the picture. Things that you'd never even considered before.

And I am going to talk about those in Episode 3 for Season 2, so make sure you tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

I would love for you to share in the comments section below:

  • Have you ever taken a business sabbatical?
  • What freaks you out about doing that?
  • Have you thought about firing yourself when you've been a little less motivated in your business recently?

Tell me where you are at. I want to know. I am doing this for you so I really want your insights.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Season 2 where Jason Van Orden will tell us about what actually happened when he basically took a break from his business. We'll also have some other key guests on here that I think you are going to love with their discoveries on this topic.

Want to sell your own online courses (and have a great launch)?

Selling online courses is one of my favourite things to do, but as I pointed out in this episode, it can be a real headache.

With Teachable, you don't have to worry about the tech.

Teachable is the easiest way to create, sell and deliver online courses.

And while it is so easy to use, it's also packed with a lot of powerful features.

With Teachable, you're able to...

  • create your own course website, with your own custom branding, so you get all of the credit for how professional your course website looks.
  • accept payments and get paid instantly when you sell your courses
  • integrate with hundreds of your favorite tools and email service providers
  • create beautiful sales pages for your courses

Teachable is the #1 course creation software, with over 12,000 instructors using their software to create, deliver and sell online courses.

All types of business owners and online entrepreneurs use Teachable. Sure, that includes people like Pat Flynn or The New York Times. But most of their instructors are just regular people like you and me and who are looking grow their businesses with courses.

And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to teachable.com/suitcase.

 

]]>
Yup I fired myself. That's what I did. April 1st, 2017 I fired myself from my business and went on a business sabbatical.

So you may be wondering what prompted me to take a business sabbatical in the first place. Let me take you back to September 2016.

I was in Australia speaking at Problogger and staying in this amazing suite Darren Rowse and the team organized for me as a paid speaker. The view was incredible and the hotel complex was too.

I was there to do a Tony Robbins style pump up session in between keynotes and also to run a session track on how to have a lucrative sales funnel that converts.

Josh was with me and that made it extra special as it was his first real look into my world and the circles I connected with as well as some of my community who were there. I even managed to get in some videos for a Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog challenge with my fave videographer Mick Russell.

After that we had some quality time in Byron Bay and a surf session before heading to San Diego, US where Josh was speaking at a conference in an entirely different area to what I operate in, and then I was speaking at FinCon.

Both our events were back to back and we were fortunate to stay in lovely hotels once again with sunshine and swimming pools. The trouble was I was in launch mode for my signature program, The Freedom Plan.

Even though I've launched this four times before, and even though I was super systemized this was my first time taking my team through a launch and training them up at the same time. I was working in between time and not doing the normal networking and socializing at conferences that I like to do.

In fact I really didn’t feel like it. I was kind of tapped out and feeling a bit jaded and while I was enjoying the relatively new romance with Josh I wasn’t enjoying what I almost always have done, the art of launching and running my business.

It all felt heavy. And as much as my team tried to keep up and do their best, I just felt like I was pulling their weight and mine. As a result I was exhausted.

I’ve come to realize over the years that for whatever reason, I am incredibly focused and can work at speed on almost any task I set my mind to. Until I worked with around 6 people on my team during a launch I realized this was not normal, and that you have to respect and understand other people's’ working methods.

It’s just that during a launch it’s really hard to do this - you NEED to work at pace and everything needs to be timed super well and you do actually need to do things on the fly and change tactics at any point to reflect the nature of how your launch is going, and how people are responding.

While this is great and exciting for a Wealth Dynamics Entrepreneurial ‘Star’ Profile like myself, it’s a nightmare for a Lord or Mechanic who have a much more grounded energy and need detailed plans and order to work best.

So to them it looked like we were out of control but to me it seems very very much in tuned with exactly how everything should be going along.

And slowly but surely deadlines got missed, communications broke down, things didn’t go out on time and it ended up being the worst launch that I’ve ever done.

I still made close to $40,000 in the space of a couple of weeks but I spent a lot more on my team. I spent a lot on advertising. And at the end of the day, it just really felt heavy.

And it wasn’t a successful launch and I felt like my list and my community just felt tapped out including myself.

I remember getting off a live webinar where a thousand people turned up and the energy was fantastic but the results from it were not great.

And I sat back at the end of that webinar and I was like,

"That's it. I'm done.

I just don’t understand why this is not going well and I have had enough.

I have run this launch before and it's an amazing program and I made multiple six figures!

I know it works and I know it gets people results and I just don’t understand what happened. This was a flop.

The ironic thing was I was running a Freedom Lab at the same time and this is where I actually show you real-time, something that I am doing.

So I have done one on “Write the Damn Book - how to write a book in three months but the first one was called “How to Launch like a Rockstar.

And so people following along my launch live, every tactic we were doing around Facebook advertising, emailing and sales copy and I was sharing it live through videos, through blog posts.

Here I was at the end going AND it was a big flop!

It might not look like it to you, but transparently doing something live and sharing the real results when they don't come off how they should is embarrassing and at the same time very real.

If anything it taught me, our team and everybody else out there a lesson that shit does not always go right.

So that is when I decided, I am going to fire myself and it was such a great decision to make, but that was in late September, early October and I did not end up taking my business sabbatical until the first of April.

And why was that?

A couple of reasons:

  • We were changing over to a brand new design for The Suitcase Entrepreneur which looks amazing. (Thank you Filipe - my team member in Portugal!)
  • We were changing the website over so we were using a new theme and Kasia - WP Rockstar, who has been through my Freedom Plan, she handled all of that.
  • We were changing from Infusionsoft over to ConvertKit for email, Clickfunnels for my sales funnels Leadpages and landing pages. Closing down the Leadpages pages that I had.
  • And shifting over my courses and creating new ones on Teachable.

So November and December were massive months. And even though I thought all those changes are beneficial, they actually affected my business for the next two or three months in a bad way.

Just because when you change systems and change lots of things - like we took a ton of pages away from my website, we leaned it right out from over a hundred pages and 950 blog posts right down to just several pages!

We took a lot of our landing pages and sales funnels over to Clickfunnels and the traffic dropped because we were just cleaning everything up.

So what prompted me to think that firing myself was a great idea?

I have been on a few digital sabbaticals before when you go completely offline and of course when I was cycling down Africa in 2012, I was pretty much away from my business for a good two months.

I remember clearly from that that I forgot about my business, I did not worry about anything because I was so busy cycling up to a 150 km a day.

I felt freer than ever while I was cycling down Africa, simply just waking up in the morning, crawling out of my tent, putting out my bike, having breakfast and just hitting the road.

At the same time, my business was doing just fine. I was in my early stages, my virtual assistant, that I had hired just before I left, was doing a great job.

And it made me appreciate that it had been a long time since I had really left my business behind and handed it over to people I trusted or just trusted in the systems that I had built.

I thought for me, as a freedomist who is constantly preaching you need great systems, you need to outsource, you need the right tools and you need great sales funnel, I was like,

Well, why not put mine to the test by removing myself as the bottleneck of my business?

Around this time I actually chatted to Jason Van Orden, a good friend who used to have Internet Business Mastery with Jeremy Frandsen and he had also gone on a business sabbatical.

In fact, they handed over to a CEO to run it, so I had a quick chat to him because I was interested to learn from him: what went well, what did not and why he took that step.

Here is the conversation we had about it:

Eventually I had to stop and ask myself why there was that waning in motivation. I’m sure partly I was maybe scared a little bit to look at that but what does it mean?

What if I ended up figuring out I've got the wrong business or that I am done with this business.

One thing that finally helped is when I went on a personal retreat. By then we were living on Paris so I went to Prague for 4 or 5 days.

I did a little soul searching, journaling, thinking and I remember coming back from that and just saying to my wife, "I think I need a sabbatical from this business".

So I asked Jason, how long did that take you to remove yourself from your business and here is his response.

Truthfully it was really fast for me but I am not saying it was the right thing to do. In hindsight, there’s a lot of realizations here but basically I was so ready to be removed and that might have been maybe a little too fast.

We probably needed a few more processes in place, expectations and measurements.

So as you can see it was really quick for Jason once he made that decision.

I have to say for me, I made that decision pretty instantly, the minute that launch finished, that I was going to take a time off.

Then I spent the time just gearing up my team to be able to survive without me and to show them it was fully possible that without me in the business, it potentially would go even better!

Because as the CEO of your business often, you do end up still doing things, making the shots, calling the shots, having the key relationships and all those things.

Usually that is a great thing but sometimes you can just hold on a little too tight.

You just need to release and beauty comes into the picture. Things that you'd never even considered before.

And I am going to talk about those in Episode 3 for Season 2, so make sure you tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

I would love for you to share in the comments section below:

  • Have you ever taken a business sabbatical?
  • What freaks you out about doing that?
  • Have you thought about firing yourself when you've been a little less motivated in your business recently?

Tell me where you are at. I want to know. I am doing this for you so I really want your insights.

Stay tuned for the next episode of Season 2 where Jason Van Orden will tell us about what actually happened when he basically took a break from his business. We'll also have some other key guests on here that I think you are going to love with their discoveries on this topic.

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And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to teachable.com/suitcase.

 

]]>
<![CDATA[Behind the Scenes of My Business Sabbatical]]> Wed, 31 May 2017 12:44:38 GMT 15:14 no Welcome to Season 2 of Natalie Sisson's Quest for Freedom!

I'm delighted to be back and I know you've been missing me...at least 2 people have asked me "Natalie when is your next podcast episode coming out".

So thank you to the two of you, I appreciate it.

Obviously to talk about a business sabbatical and how you can truly have a profitable business that can technically run without you, you need to experience that in full glory for yourself.

Luckily this podcast is about making me the guinea pig of my own experiments in order for us to uncover what true freedom really is.

Since the 1st of April I've been on a business sabbatical and in this episode I reveal all.

Well almost all, I'll tell you the rest when I'm finished my break from my business. But here's what I will share:

  • What a business sabbatical actually is (and why you get to define this for yourself)
  • Behind the scenes of what really happens when you take time out from your business

Then I went on to answer some great questions from a fan on my Facebook page that watched my previous video on this topic where I shared the realities of it, and why I was extending my sabbatical for another month (which has now turned into 3).

The only thing I'm bringing back is this podcast because it's my baby, and it's helping me to learn and grow real-time by sharing my findings with YOU.

So for the full lowdown you can watch the video below (here it is on my Facebook page) OR listen to the podcast by clicking the button at the top OR you can read the full blog post below this video.

"For those of you who have been following The Suitcase Entrepreneur and my Quest for Freedom, you'll know that I took the entire month of April off my business.

No checking emails, no checking in with the team, no watching anything related to business, not thinking about business and just taking a month off my business, The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

And I then extended it into May. I appreciate it's May now as I record this, but I don't feel like doing a Facebook live video to answer your questions feels like business to me, and I love my business so it's you that I am here for. You guys have helped me build it.

I do think you've got to talk about these things in the moment because several months down the track I may actually forget what it really, really physically feels like to be on a sabbatical right now, and continuing it on through to the end of June.

Next week actually I am going to be taking a digital sabbatical and be totally offline, off the Internet probably for 3 to 5 days. It's been awhile since I've done a digital sabbatical and I just want to disconnect.

I'll be doing some reading, thanks to Brendon Burchard's The Motivation Manifesto and Tony Robbins Unshakeable, so these are a couple of the things that I'll be focusing on. I also have some novels.

And I just want to chill out by the fire, play with my puppy, exercise, read books and think. I want to practice the piano and I want to enjoy myself, which I already have been doing.

Just do more of that.

But today I wanted to answer specifically questions that you guys had from the Reality of a business sabbatical Facebook Live video where I took you behind the scenes.

The first month off was kind of weird.

I was 1) moving into a beautiful new dream lifestyle property, 2) getting a puppy, getting 5 chickens, and setting up an entire house - because when you've lived out of the suitcase for close to 7 years you don't really have much stuff!

And I realized that I still hadn't fully given myself the time out to just enjoy and re-energize and get my verve and my mojo back for everything that I love to do.

The great news is it's starting to happen since I've given myself more space, more time.

I'll admit, I can't ever fully stop. I've been reaching out to networks where I now live and looking at potentially helping getting a co-working space setup, which would be so awesome because I've used so many of them over the years as a digital nomad.

I've just been connecting with more and more people especially women entrepreneurs, getting to know the area and of course, dreaming up lots of visions and ideas for what I would just love to do in the near future.

Not only related to my books that are coming out but also making my Freedom Plan program the best ever and just a bunch of other things that I've been wanting to work on for so long. Now I have the headspace to think about them.

That's one of the huge benefits of a business sabbatical - headspace.

I wanted to answer some questions from Angela Fitradi who posted after my Facebook live a couple of weeks ago, she said,

"I'd love to know how the business runs without you? How often you check in? When you check in? What do you focus on? And how to know what to focus on and what can be managed without your attention?"

So the business runs without me, because as I've been blasting from the rooftops for the last couple of years, you NEED to have sexy systems in place.

Freedom systems are really what I am talking about and ultimately at the end of the day you should have a fantastic website that people can navigate to once they're there, a fantastic sales funnel that takes them on a journey to show them exactly what content they can consume, that they should sign up to receive more email updates from you and what programs and products that you have to offer them that would be really beneficial.

Now I will absolutely say the business has kind of plateaued and even declined a little because I am a huge believer that energy in vs energy out applies to everything you do in life.

So if you are putting energy into your health and fitness, it's going to pay off - if you are doing it right.

The same applies to your business. If you are putting tons of energy into the right areas as Jeff Walker was saying the other day in his video, as in you've got to strategize and prioritize into the right areas not just throwing yourself at everything, but if you are putting the energy into your business in the right places, it will grow.

Naturally when you take a step back from your business you will find it doesn't grow as much.

To recap, I would say a fantastic website or place that people can land on whether it's landing pages, sales pages, and a great sales funnel really helps once all those things are automated.

And outside of that some key team members, definitely starting with a virtual assistant who can do your customer service, check your emails for you, answer on your behalf and to answer your question more candidly, Angela, anything that Angeline can answer, my awesome assistant, we have some template canned responses and the things that are more important like somebody not being able to access the program or something not working, Angeline knows my business.

She's been with me for almost 3 years now, in a part-time capacity and so she knows where the resources are or how to help my community. That's been hugely helpful and I have a small team around the world, and most of them right now are kind of on a break as well.

But if we do need to communicate, we do it typically through Slack. I am doing my best to not login to email at all, but essentially Slack is a place where we can just communicate briefly.

And they all have their team objectives that they've been working on. Our marketing and editorial calendar, we know what's coming out, we know what's working and we have been reviewing that.

I asked my team, especially Debashish to review that while I was off on my break and come back to me with some recommendations so that when I am back properly we can change strategies or direction.

So how often do I check in?

For the first month, I didn't want to be contacted at all. Typically I'd say if you are going on a sabbatical, the point is to be offline, but once a month is probably more than enough.

Or if you feel that's a little too infrequent or you really want to know things then probably every week and just make it a short check in and make sure you know what you are asking for.

Your other question was, how do you know what to focus on and what can be managed without your attention?

Most stuff can be managed without my attention. It's only when I am creating new content or launching something that really all my attention needs to be on that and I need to be driving my team.

But outside of that I've worked very hard over the years to set up Sexy Operating Procedures (SOP) and some really great strategies and direction for my team to be empowered to do their things and to do them really well.

Right now, I am focusing on my own learning and my own growth and understanding different areas that maybe I just haven't put aside the time to actually delve into. I am doing several online courses myself around The Science of Happiness through Berkeley University via the edX platform, and around health and nutrition through Dr Libby.

I am learning or I will be learning (when I am off my sabbatical) more around e-commerce and getting up to speed on social media trends and tactics.

And I think most things don't need to be managed by you. So the best thing to focus on would probably be partnerships and key relationships. But even those have been really well managed by my team because they know that I've dealt with these people for years and they can often answer their questions that those partners would like to ask me.

I think it's nurturing those relationships that's the key stuff that you still do want to focus on.

And the next part of your question, have there been any situations where your absence has created a situation and has your business income and finances has been affected by your absence?

On the second part, absolutely as I said energy in vs energy out. But I've been pleasantly surprised that it's been earning really, really well over the last couple of months without me there so that proves I don't always need to be there!

And to answer your question about has my absence created a situation? I think it has probably provided relief to my team. They are probably enjoying the break from Natalieville to be really honest you know.

I think there have been no situations that have arisen. I wasn't expecting anything major as we had pretty much planned out a year ahead so I don't expect any hurdles or anything that would come up and so therefore no situations.

The only situation caused by you not being in your business for awhile would be a lack of clarity around expectations, priorities, objectives and milestones while you are not there.

Who to contact? Who to reach out to? How to move forward on projects if you are not the person who's absolutely able to drive them like you normally would be. So those are the sort of things that you probably want to think about.

I hope that's given you guys some insight and I just wanted to pop in and say hello to my beautiful freedomist community and give you some understanding behind what a business sabbatical is.

You can make it whatever you want really but the point is to take time out from your business to get the creative juices flowing and to really just actually come back to your roots and focus on what you loved about your business in the first place and that has been so enlightening for me so far. "

Stay tuned for the next episode of Season 2 where I talk with other entrepreneurs about burnout and their business sabbaticals like Jason Van Orden

"Eventually I had to stop and ask myself why there was that waning in motivation. I'm sure partly I was maybe scared a little bit to look at that but what does it mean? What if I ended up figuring out I've got the wrong business or that I am done with this business."

Don't miss a thing by subscribing in iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Or jump on to get email updates whenever an episode goes live here.

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]]>
Welcome to Season 2 of Natalie Sisson's Quest for Freedom!

I'm delighted to be back and I know you've been missing me...at least 2 people have asked me "Natalie when is your next podcast episode coming out".

So thank you to the two of you, I appreciate it.

Obviously to talk about a business sabbatical and how you can truly have a profitable business that can technically run without you, you need to experience that in full glory for yourself.

Luckily this podcast is about making me the guinea pig of my own experiments in order for us to uncover what true freedom really is.

Since the 1st of April I've been on a business sabbatical and in this episode I reveal all.

Well almost all, I'll tell you the rest when I'm finished my break from my business. But here's what I will share:

  • What a business sabbatical actually is (and why you get to define this for yourself)
  • Behind the scenes of what really happens when you take time out from your business

Then I went on to answer some great questions from a fan on my Facebook page that watched my previous video on this topic where I shared the realities of it, and why I was extending my sabbatical for another month (which has now turned into 3).

The only thing I'm bringing back is this podcast because it's my baby, and it's helping me to learn and grow real-time by sharing my findings with YOU.

So for the full lowdown you can watch the video below (here it is on my Facebook page) OR listen to the podcast by clicking the button at the top OR you can read the full blog post below this video.

"For those of you who have been following The Suitcase Entrepreneur and my Quest for Freedom, you'll know that I took the entire month of April off my business.

No checking emails, no checking in with the team, no watching anything related to business, not thinking about business and just taking a month off my business, The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

And I then extended it into May. I appreciate it's May now as I record this, but I don't feel like doing a Facebook live video to answer your questions feels like business to me, and I love my business so it's you that I am here for. You guys have helped me build it.

I do think you've got to talk about these things in the moment because several months down the track I may actually forget what it really, really physically feels like to be on a sabbatical right now, and continuing it on through to the end of June.

Next week actually I am going to be taking a digital sabbatical and be totally offline, off the Internet probably for 3 to 5 days. It's been awhile since I've done a digital sabbatical and I just want to disconnect.

I'll be doing some reading, thanks to Brendon Burchard's The Motivation Manifesto and Tony Robbins Unshakeable, so these are a couple of the things that I'll be focusing on. I also have some novels.

And I just want to chill out by the fire, play with my puppy, exercise, read books and think. I want to practice the piano and I want to enjoy myself, which I already have been doing.

Just do more of that.

But today I wanted to answer specifically questions that you guys had from the Reality of a business sabbatical Facebook Live video where I took you behind the scenes.

The first month off was kind of weird.

I was 1) moving into a beautiful new dream lifestyle property, 2) getting a puppy, getting 5 chickens, and setting up an entire house - because when you've lived out of the suitcase for close to 7 years you don't really have much stuff!

And I realized that I still hadn't fully given myself the time out to just enjoy and re-energize and get my verve and my mojo back for everything that I love to do.

The great news is it's starting to happen since I've given myself more space, more time.

I'll admit, I can't ever fully stop. I've been reaching out to networks where I now live and looking at potentially helping getting a co-working space setup, which would be so awesome because I've used so many of them over the years as a digital nomad.

I've just been connecting with more and more people especially women entrepreneurs, getting to know the area and of course, dreaming up lots of visions and ideas for what I would just love to do in the near future.

Not only related to my books that are coming out but also making my Freedom Plan program the best ever and just a bunch of other things that I've been wanting to work on for so long. Now I have the headspace to think about them.

That's one of the huge benefits of a business sabbatical - headspace.

I wanted to answer some questions from Angela Fitradi who posted after my Facebook live a couple of weeks ago, she said,

"I'd love to know how the business runs without you? How often you check in? When you check in? What do you focus on? And how to know what to focus on and what can be managed without your attention?"

So the business runs without me, because as I've been blasting from the rooftops for the last couple of years, you NEED to have sexy systems in place.

Freedom systems are really what I am talking about and ultimately at the end of the day you should have a fantastic website that people can navigate to once they're there, a fantastic sales funnel that takes them on a journey to show them exactly what content they can consume, that they should sign up to receive more email updates from you and what programs and products that you have to offer them that would be really beneficial.

Now I will absolutely say the business has kind of plateaued and even declined a little because I am a huge believer that energy in vs energy out applies to everything you do in life.

So if you are putting energy into your health and fitness, it's going to pay off - if you are doing it right.

The same applies to your business. If you are putting tons of energy into the right areas as Jeff Walker was saying the other day in his video, as in you've got to strategize and prioritize into the right areas not just throwing yourself at everything, but if you are putting the energy into your business in the right places, it will grow.

Naturally when you take a step back from your business you will find it doesn't grow as much.

To recap, I would say a fantastic website or place that people can land on whether it's landing pages, sales pages, and a great sales funnel really helps once all those things are automated.

And outside of that some key team members, definitely starting with a virtual assistant who can do your customer service, check your emails for you, answer on your behalf and to answer your question more candidly, Angela, anything that Angeline can answer, my awesome assistant, we have some template canned responses and the things that are more important like somebody not being able to access the program or something not working, Angeline knows my business.

She's been with me for almost 3 years now, in a part-time capacity and so she knows where the resources are or how to help my community. That's been hugely helpful and I have a small team around the world, and most of them right now are kind of on a break as well.

But if we do need to communicate, we do it typically through Slack. I am doing my best to not login to email at all, but essentially Slack is a place where we can just communicate briefly.

And they all have their team objectives that they've been working on. Our marketing and editorial calendar, we know what's coming out, we know what's working and we have been reviewing that.

I asked my team, especially Debashish to review that while I was off on my break and come back to me with some recommendations so that when I am back properly we can change strategies or direction.

So how often do I check in?

For the first month, I didn't want to be contacted at all. Typically I'd say if you are going on a sabbatical, the point is to be offline, but once a month is probably more than enough.

Or if you feel that's a little too infrequent or you really want to know things then probably every week and just make it a short check in and make sure you know what you are asking for.

Your other question was, how do you know what to focus on and what can be managed without your attention?

Most stuff can be managed without my attention. It's only when I am creating new content or launching something that really all my attention needs to be on that and I need to be driving my team.

But outside of that I've worked very hard over the years to set up Sexy Operating Procedures (SOP) and some really great strategies and direction for my team to be empowered to do their things and to do them really well.

Right now, I am focusing on my own learning and my own growth and understanding different areas that maybe I just haven't put aside the time to actually delve into. I am doing several online courses myself around The Science of Happiness through Berkeley University via the edX platform, and around health and nutrition through Dr Libby.

I am learning or I will be learning (when I am off my sabbatical) more around e-commerce and getting up to speed on social media trends and tactics.

And I think most things don't need to be managed by you. So the best thing to focus on would probably be partnerships and key relationships. But even those have been really well managed by my team because they know that I've dealt with these people for years and they can often answer their questions that those partners would like to ask me.

I think it's nurturing those relationships that's the key stuff that you still do want to focus on.

And the next part of your question, have there been any situations where your absence has created a situation and has your business income and finances has been affected by your absence?

On the second part, absolutely as I said energy in vs energy out. But I've been pleasantly surprised that it's been earning really, really well over the last couple of months without me there so that proves I don't always need to be there!

And to answer your question about has my absence created a situation? I think it has probably provided relief to my team. They are probably enjoying the break from Natalieville to be really honest you know.

I think there have been no situations that have arisen. I wasn't expecting anything major as we had pretty much planned out a year ahead so I don't expect any hurdles or anything that would come up and so therefore no situations.

The only situation caused by you not being in your business for awhile would be a lack of clarity around expectations, priorities, objectives and milestones while you are not there.

Who to contact? Who to reach out to? How to move forward on projects if you are not the person who's absolutely able to drive them like you normally would be. So those are the sort of things that you probably want to think about.

I hope that's given you guys some insight and I just wanted to pop in and say hello to my beautiful freedomist community and give you some understanding behind what a business sabbatical is.

You can make it whatever you want really but the point is to take time out from your business to get the creative juices flowing and to really just actually come back to your roots and focus on what you loved about your business in the first place and that has been so enlightening for me so far. "

Stay tuned for the next episode of Season 2 where I talk with other entrepreneurs about burnout and their business sabbaticals like Jason Van Orden

"Eventually I had to stop and ask myself why there was that waning in motivation. I'm sure partly I was maybe scared a little bit to look at that but what does it mean? What if I ended up figuring out I've got the wrong business or that I am done with this business."

Don't miss a thing by subscribing in iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play. Or jump on to get email updates whenever an episode goes live here.

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<![CDATA[The Art of Minimalism]]> Fri, 31 Mar 2017 02:17:46 GMT 33:29 yes There comes a time when you say, "Right. Out!" And that's what happened. I think we all have too much stuff these days."

Those were wise words from my Mum, who I decided to bring on for Season 1 Episode 8 of Quest for Freedom.

This topic and this podcast today is all about ...

The art of minimalism and freeing yourself from stuff.

If there's one person who knows how to do that, it's this girl. I think it's a really important topic because whenever I am offloading stuff out of my suitcase, in my life I feel so much freer. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Which brings me to Christmas time last year, when I gave my sister and my brother-in-law the Christmas present of my time. And what I said I'd do for them is help them clear out their garage.

Now I have to say the garage was a complete and utter mess. There was so little room in there, there certainly were no cars, there was just all their stuff.

Now my brother-in-law Zanda, has 3 kids from a previous marriage and now they have my lovely nephew, Morgan and so as a family you do absolutely need more stuff. I can't take that away from them.

I know I see friends with babies and they are like, "Every time I go out I just have to bring all this extra stuff."

So I feel for those people. I haven't yet experienced that and I get it.

But this garage was a piece of art. There was every single thing in there that you could possibly imagine. So they were thrilled needless to say that this was my Christmas gift to them.

So in January we set about decluttering the garage. Debbie, my sister, has been attempting to get Zanda to do this, as ultimately a lot of this was his stuff.

I think it's one of those jobs that you can't take on by yourself. You've got to do it as a team. You've got to do it as a family.

When we started, I knew that Debs would be okay with being a little bit ruthless with stuff but I wasn't sure about Zanda. And it happened pretty early on.

I'm sure he is fine with me telling this story but I was starting to take stuff out of the garage to the car that we were going to put stuff in to get rid of. I checked with Debbie and Zanda if things are okay to move.

And then I started moving bits of planks of wood and jib board and Zanda was like, "Hey! Where are you going with that?".

And I was like, "I was going to put it in the back of the car to take to the tip."

"Yeah but I am going to make something out of that" and I was like, "Oh okay. What were you going to make?"

"I might be doing one of the cupboards for downstairs, like using it to make a perfect cupboard door piece."

And I was like, "Okay. Well, let me just ask you a question. How long have you had this piece of wood?

"Uh, about 4 years" says Zanda.

"Okay and so when were you planning on doing this?"

"Well, yeah.."

And just in that moment there was this beautiful moment of realization or recognition in his eyes that he was in fact being a hoarder, and I wouldn't say the top definition of a hoarder, because even though I do not watch TV, I've seen the ads for the TV series on hoarders.

You can't even get in the door of the house. They live on piles of junk and rubbish ...but that's definitely not where Debs and Zanda are at.

Many of us have a hoarding mentality.

It really comes from just not wanting to let go of things that could be precious, that could be valuable, that you might do something with in the future.

But let me just push back at you, if you are one of those people going, "Yeah Natalie. Some things you just want to hold onto."

Unless you are going to use that thing within the next 3-6 months, why on earth would you store it, keep it and have it cluttering up your personal space?

Why on earth would you keep something that you are not going to use and serves no purpose other than creating clutter in your living space?

So...back to that moment - a pretty great thing that happened, in that amazingly Zanda kind of turned completely around and started being really ruthless with stuff.

So there was an initial push back and hesitation and a real desire not to let go, but once he realized what he'd been holding onto he actually got into it and as the day progressed, we spent a good couple of hours in this garage.

He was throwing stuff in the back of the car and I was putting stuff off the side and he says, "Nope, that can go." And it was so liberating.

We then went down to the tip and what was even more liberating. As you drive your car up and the trailer as well, then you get to chuck stuff off the side into this sort of pit thing, and then they either sort it, recycle it or take it away to go into the mound of dirt and create a big rubbish heap on some poor hill.

But, still it was really liberating.

We also took stuff down to be recycled and you get some money for that and it was crazy actually how good that felt.

And we went back and we did another load and slowly but surely this garage started to emerge, corners of space started to emerge.

Now here is the funny thing, that was one Sunday afternoon and then I believe I came back a couple of weekends later because, it's a bit hard to tie in with the family and things going on and it already had started accumulating stuff.

But all of the stuff was things that they had now sorted out in the house that they were going to take to the Salvation Army or they were going to put on TradeMe, which is the New Zealand equivalent of Ebay or GumTree.

And so the cool thing is that they kept at it. They didn't just stop there with the momentum and motivation I provided them with.

They kept on going and they made several hundred dollars if not thousands of dollars selling on Trademe some of their stuff.

A lot of that stuff was children's stuff that wasn't needed anymore or baby stuff that could go to another deserving family. And all it took was to start taking the photos, documenting and putting up the price and description on TradeMe.

Turned out Zanda had a bit of a knack for selling things. So it was excellent.

Now the cool thing was not only were they decluttering and getting a greater sense of freedom and space in the house, they were also making money. And let's face it, everybody likes to make money. So this was brilliant for them.

Now right about the same time, and this is why I find the start of 2017 kind of fantastic and it's been one of the best years yet.

But in terms of a time of change, it was for the entire Sisson family and the Rock-Evans family, which is now my sister's side - it was one of those times of just everybody kind of decluttering.

So as my sister and Zanda were attempting to get things out of the garage and out of their house, Mum was attempting to downside the four bedroom family home that her and Dad had been in for fifteen years, because she was getting ready to sell.

Dad passed away in December of 2015 and Mum just did not need to be living in a big house anymore.

And Mum is not a hoarder, in fact, she's amazingly minimalist. She buys quality things and she's done an incredible job over the years for our family of doing up houses beautifully, but always with quality in mind.

However, Dad was a bit of a hoarder. So the two rooms or the two spaces in our house that were the most cluttered were Dad's office and the garage. You know a man cave full of stuff!

And Dad would, bless his soul, keep even rusty nails in jars. He had a place for everything but it wasn't super organized but he kept everything.

And I used to remember as a kid growing up no matter where we lived, Mum would go down to our garage and say, "Oh Peter, could you try and clean up the garage a little bit."

It was just incredible he just had so much stuff.

I knew that would be hard for Mum to do, so I came over and helped out as much as I could to really go through a lot of stuff - letters, cards, boxes, files from years if not decades, photos, projector slides.

All the stuff that you hang onto and you keep because you think one day you are going to pull out the projector and you are going to go through slides from like the 1970s and 80s.

For those of you listening you do it, you know it!

So I challenge you to get the projector out and have a projector movie night and then either get rid of them all, or get them put onto digital formats so you can have them on your laptop and eventually print them or do whatever you like.

But basically out with the old, put it into a format that is accessible at anytime but doesn't take up space and move on.

So back to Mum's house, so we have Mum downsizing and generously gifting to my sister and I, things that we would absolutely need such as linen, towels, kitchenware etc.

And at this point as you probably know from my Changing Plans episode, Josh and I hadn't actually bought the house yet but we were looking really seriously.

Mum was making decisions based on the fact that we might end up with the house rather than both be living in a suitcases.

So to her credit she held onto things we may need and she sort of split up a lot of stuff between my sister and I.

And what happened is all those stuff that Debbie and Zanda had been clearing out, was now getting filled up with trips from Mum and her house with stuff that she was giving them.

Every time they got rid of something, more stuff was coming in.

And I felt like it was the same for me.

I don't own much stuff but even in my two bedroom apartment in Downtown Wellington, I'd accumulated a little bit of the stuff to have it fully furnished for myself when I rent it out.

I also had about four boxes up at my parents. And all those boxes are my everything, my life packed up into four boxes. Or so I thought....

As it happens as Mum is going through more and more of the house and I was there with her, she was like, "Nat I found this box of your clothes or your school gear" and I was like, "Oh damn."

"I found your bag of motocross gear" from when I used to race motocross. And I really never want to get rid of my helmet and my motocross pants and shin protectors. And I was like, "Oh damn!"

So every time I go to help Mum declutter, I ended up coming home with more stuff, which I would then have to sort through, get rid off, give to the Salvation Army or downsize.

I just felt like as a family we were doing this give stuff, receive stuff, get rid of the stuff, sort stuff, sell stuff.

It was crazy. I was selling my stuff on TradeMe. I was listing some of Mum's stuff on TradeMe. Zanda was helping out and then there was a big garage sale where Mom made like $850 in half a day and huge.

Also she had to downsize her house in three weeks or less once she actually got an offer on it.

The power of downsizing and decluttering

And here in her own words is kind of this whole process for Mum on really downsizing a lifetime:

Natalie: Let's talk about how it felt to downsize and move out of a very large house - four bedrooms and all your and Dad's stuff for the past 13 years.

Mom: For the past 47 years.

Natalie: That's true because you've been in the house for thirteen years.

Mom: Fifteen years actually.

Natalie: Oh. I should get my facts right.

Mom: Actually, I just felt sick. It's too much. I think the thing nowadays is less... definitely less. But you don't want to throw things away that your children have given you or presents, Christmas, birthday or whatever.

But there comes a time when you think, "What am I going to do with this? Where can I put it all?" And I certainly have to downsize to a two bedroom apartment. And I feel I still have a lot but I am keeping the best, the very best... but even then I feel like I don't want it.

Natalie: Do you feel lighter now that it's all done because it was quite a process, wasn't it?

Mum: Yes. But I could still lose a bit.

Natalie: Yes, you've held onto the lovely stuff as you said and a part of that is your identity and what you've had in houses for years.

Mum: It's what you worked for. It's what you wanted but even that has changed these days. What we've enjoyed was antiques, crystal, lovely prints of the olden days - that's all gone.

People don't even want it. Antique dealers don't even want it anymore. But I think it could all go around in circles again and one day it will. But who wants to keep it for that long?

Natalie: Yes exactly. Do you want to talk about how you even started on the process? So obviously you put the house up for sale and then what?

Mum: Oh I started way before. I went through wardrobes and drawers. I did a little bit everyday or every second day at least. A lot of it went to Salvation Army and Mary Potter Hospice. There comes a time where you just get rid of it.

Natalie: And then when you got the offer on the house, we made it a pretty short turnaround time didn't we because you wanted to be in your new apartment.

Mom: Because I was coming over to Bali for your birthday.

Natalie: So it was three weeks and so you've done some of that sorting beforehand and then you started downsizing and taking things out of drawers.

Mom: And going through linen covers and just knowing I won't need these, you might need it.

The other part is that in our days we use to entertain at home. That has changed. We go out into a restaurant nowadays so you have all these lovely dishes that costs some money because you wanted to look good but you don't use either anymore. It just all changed.

Natalie: Did you have a process that you were going through?

Mom: The thing is we were brought up and we look after our things - clothes, anything. Every time we moved we would take it with us but you didn't wear it or you didn't use it.

There comes a time when you say, "Right. Out." And that's what happened. I think we all have too much these days.

Natalie: I agree.

Mom: I use one dish, one plate, one cereal bowl, one mug at the moment because there's just one. But even if there's two you don't need much.

Wise words from my Mum, Gina Sisson. I credit her so much in my life and that I really love being a minimalist.

And you know my sister and I differ a little on that. My sister is super creative and so she loves a lot of artwork up on the wall. I think she's got tendencies to be a little bit of a hoarder and she's cool with that.

But the point here I guess for every single one of us is every 3 months do a reconnaissance of everything that you own and ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Is this better off in somebody else's home or hands?
  • Could I sell this and give it to a more deserving person who needs this right now?

One of my best tricks that I've learned is that if you've put something away in storage that you are just not prepared to give up, if you have not gone into that storage locker or that space or whoever you are storing it within 6 months time then you need to get rid of it.

Because if you do not miss something and use it every single day it is very likely that you do not need it in your life and it is weighing you down as a sense of stuff.

Now one of my good friends, Joshua Becker over at Becoming Minimalist talks a lot about this and here is a short excerpt from a Ted Talk that he did on this very topic as to the benefits of becoming minimalist.

“Out of the corner of my eye I see my son swinging alone in the backyard.

And suddenly I had this further realization that not only was everything I owned not making me happy, even worse everything I owned was actually taking me away from the very thing that did bring happiness into my life.

But not just happiness but fulfillment and purpose and contentment.

There's a very different realization and I think it is the very foundation of minimalism - the very foundational truth that would cause anyone to intentionally own less stuff.

This reality is that not only are things not making us happy they've actually become such a burden on our lives that they are actually taking us away from the very things that we would prefer to be living our life for."

If you'd like to learn more about minimalism, listen to this podcast interview with Joshua Becker about How to Own Less And Live More By Becoming A Minimalist.

And the final thing that I am really really weary of is cluttering our new house. Josh and I both made a very conscious effort and packed with each other but we are not going to fill this house with unnecessary stuff.

So first off Mum has kindly gifted us all these amazing things including a beautiful old vintage dining room table, a dining room cabinet, a cabinet for the lounge, a king size bed which will be now in our bedroom and some chest of drawers and lamps and some kitchen stuff.

All of those things we actually need and that means we don't need to go and purchase them brand new. We can recycle, we can reuse and we can keep these beautiful pieces in the family that have been a part of my life for so long.

The next part that we've been doing is I have become a bit of a TradeMe addict and we've set a budget and we've actually listed out on a spreadsheet, because we are geeky like that - all the stuff that we need versus what we'd like in the future.

We've listed those out so it's by order of priority and then we've put next to it guesstimates on what we're sort of prepared to pay or budget.

So we did a quick look online as to what things are going for and then we put in what we think we'd be prepared to pay.

And now we are playing a little game, so I love bargains and I love getting a good deal and I love negotiating.

I am setting out to become the TradeMe queen and I am finding incredible things because as you know the saying goes:

One person's junk is another person's treasure.

And just like we've been doing as a family for the last 2 or 3 months of this year, other people on TradeMe are getting rid of things that they've long held in their family or in their house and finally have just decided to release and let go of.

And so I've picked up the best bargains. I got the piano!

If you listened to Changing Plans and you heard me talk about the piano that I thought I'd missed out on, would you believe that lady had no luck with the person who bid and won on the auction and beat me in the auction?

They flaked on her and so she actually texted me while I was in Bali saying, "I can't believe it's happened again. Is there any chance that you would still like to buy it?" and I said, "Yes!"

Done. Put the money in her bank account and she sent me a text saying, "Thank you! You have restored my faith in humans."

So I got the piano! And the piano stool and the sheet music for a $150. This beautiful, old, vintage piano which I am going to polish up.

I bought an entire bedroom set of furniture granted a little bit retro, like a round mirror, a chest of drawers, another chest of drawers, two bedside table and a headboard for a $100 NZ.

Even if it's not great, it's going to be a bargain and I can paint it and we can use it and then we can always resell it.

And I'm just honestly having fun. I also bought two single beds including the mattresses, the frames and the bedside tables, pretty funky for like $400.

And I just love this because why do we always buy new stuff?

I mean granted sometimes you just want new things like you are not going to buy second hand underwear or laundry. I get that but why do we have this incessant need for new?

I personally love reusing and recycling. You get some incredible, sturdy, quality crafted pieces of furniture, ornaments if you feel like ornaments, lamps, all sorts of things for so little.

Because people don't see the value in them anymore and yet to me they are incredible.

I bought a 5 lights with brass stands for $100. I am going to continue to find these amazing bargains and only put things in our house that Josh and I agree on and to add value to it and make it a really beautiful home that we love being in.

As the Suitcase Entrepreneur and yes I am still Suitcase Entrepreneur even though I am moving into a house.

The Art of Packing Light

I just wanted to pass on some packing tips and once again I'd love to bring you back into a short conversation that I had with my lovely Mom who I have to say is an impeccable packer.

And I definitely have witnessed her since being a kid packing for our entire family and we used to travel really light considering there were the four of us.

She now packs even lighter just for herself. it's quite incredible.

Between us, we often look like overachievers. If we ever go on our girls trip together to Melbourne at the start of each year to see the tennis, (it would have been 14 times together or something), we just pack so little.

And it never ceases to amaze me at what people pack. Did they fit the kitchen sink inside the suitcase?

And if so how do they fit their actual clothes and the things that they really need on the trip. It does really astound me.

Here are some tips from the packing queen and her daughter. I credit her for everything that I do when it comes to being a Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Natalie: Because I think since I was two years old, you and Dad took my sister and I on around the world tours and trips ,which is amazing, and we no doubt learned from you how to pack really well.

And I think people still marvel now when they see how I live out of the suitcase. I know you used to pack for Dad as well.

Mum: In one medium suitcase.

Natalie: For the both of you?

Mum: Yes. And half of that we wouldn't use.

And yet even when we had bed and breakfast some people would come with these enormous cases. Each one would have a big case, plus overnight bags and God knows what.

And I used to think, "My God. And they are only coming for 2 or 3 weeks, when we would be away for 8 weeks with less."

Natalie: So what are your tips for the art of packing light?

Mom: For underwear, one clean, one on, one used - that's only three of everything which is easy.

Natalie: Really? I actually take 2 weeks worth of underwear because they are quite small and thin. And that means if I can't find a washing machine or do my washing for two weeks, I've always got underwear.

Mom: Yes I take a few underpants but for Dad that worked for him.

Shoes, a good pair of walking shoes. Something that is comfortable if you go out at night and maybe some sandals depending on the weather where you are going.

And if you are travelling to lots of places it doesn't matter whether you wear the same thing every second or third day. People haven't seen it before.

I always felt that you take with you your favorite things, that you feel comfortable in and just something good at night like trousers and a shirt but women always seem to have to have more.

But even then, just a couple of tops and the rest is just casual. And things are very casual these days aren't day?

Natalie: Well, that depends if you are going to a business event or something that's more fancy.

Mom: Yes if you are just going on a holiday it is casual.

Natalie: And what about toiletries?

Mom: Sometimes I think that's all a bit too much but basically again I take what I wear everyday - sun tan lotion and shampoo.

Natalie: Suntan lotion is expensive in a lot of countries. I do the same putting everything into small bottles because it can last for weeks.

Mom: When I am in England, sometimes I buy the smaller bottles. You don't get it so much in New Zealand or wherever.

Natalie: You do now. Anything else in terms of where you pack stuff, because we all have different ways, some people use packing squares.

I have a two-sided suitcase so I put my better clothes on my left hand side and my sports care, flip flops and toiletries go on the other side.

Mom: Yeah, you've got a good system but I sort of use my suitcase as a drawer. I fold things so neatly and pack it in a way that I remembered Aunty used to say, "Did you just iron that?", I said "No I got it out of my suitcase".

Natalie: I definitely didn't pickup on that skill from you.

Mom: Yes, actually they were always fascinated with that. It's just my way of packing.

Natalie: You also iron your sheets at home.

Mom: No I don't, only B&B. Gosh no.

Natalie: Well, thank you. Those are the tips from the Suitcase Entrepreneur's mom.

So I hope that those tips are helpful to you if you are really having trouble when you are travelling the world and you really just can't pack light.

A couple of other tips I'd love to throw in there is put everything that you want to pack into your suitcase or your backpack on the bed before you go. Then once again do one more ruthless run through.

So if you've ended up with four black t shirts and three pairs of brown shorts, can you just not take one of each?

And if you put five beautiful dresses out and you are only going away for a week, could you not just take three and a shawl so that you can change your look?

And then put them into your suitcase or bag and if you find it still too full, take it all out and do the same ruthless routine again.

A couple of more tips:

You can buy anything you need typically in the place that you are going to. So if you are going to go from a summer environment to a winter environment, I wouldn't necessarily pack all the things that you need for winter.

I would buy them in the country that you are in before you go into the other country or have just enough warm layers and as you get there you can stock up on anything you need.

The only caveat on that is sunscreen as I mentioned, when I was chatting to Mum, it can be really really expensive in other countries.

And obviously alongside that are your pills or your tablets or your supplements, whatever you really truly can't do without that as specialists we need to get from your doctor or maybe a herbalist, I would definitely take those with you. But just take the quantity that you need.

So for example, on this trip to Bali I took a couple of supplements and vitamins and I put them all in one supplement container so I don't need to take six or seven containers.

And the final tip for me is layers. Layering of your clothes allows you to be warmer because you can just put more and more layers on but it doesn't add huge bulk to your suitcase.

I particularly love Kathmandu and IceBreaker products. IceBreaker is Merino wool from New Zealand.

It keeps you incredibly warm, wicks away any sweats, dries super quickly and you can wear it for an entire year without washing it and it still wont smell.

If you don't believe me, Sir Peter Blake who is unfortunately no longer with us in this world who sailed around the world and set many world records and is q hero in New Zealand, wore his IceBreaker kit on the sailing yacht for a full year and it never smelt and he never had to wash it.

If you are really going for a long time travelling or you want lightweight, yet warm and efficient and trendy, IceBreaker all the way.

And finally, rolling.

There are a lot of people who pack in squares and you can put clothes in them and you can seal them and you can press them down, and you can fit way more in your suitcase, which is great.

I've never done it. I've never felt the need to take so many clothes that I have to compress them down. And then also I haven't really felt the desire to unpack and uncompress all these squares but it is handy if you want to maximize your space efficiently.

But I love rolling clothes. One, it stops them from creasing and two, it actually does take up less space in your suitcase.

So those are my final tips on packing light and the art of minimalism.

I would love for you to share what tips you have below the comment section and tell me if you are you a hoarder or a minimalist?

Stay tuned for Season 2 either in April or in May. It's not because I don't love you, it's because I am taking a business sabbatical for all of April.

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

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There comes a time when you say, "Right. Out!" And that's what happened. I think we all have too much stuff these days."

Those were wise words from my Mum, who I decided to bring on for Season 1 Episode 8 of Quest for Freedom.

This topic and this podcast today is all about ...

The art of minimalism and freeing yourself from stuff.

If there's one person who knows how to do that, it's this girl. I think it's a really important topic because whenever I am offloading stuff out of my suitcase, in my life I feel so much freer. I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Which brings me to Christmas time last year, when I gave my sister and my brother-in-law the Christmas present of my time. And what I said I'd do for them is help them clear out their garage.

Now I have to say the garage was a complete and utter mess. There was so little room in there, there certainly were no cars, there was just all their stuff.

Now my brother-in-law Zanda, has 3 kids from a previous marriage and now they have my lovely nephew, Morgan and so as a family you do absolutely need more stuff. I can't take that away from them.

I know I see friends with babies and they are like, "Every time I go out I just have to bring all this extra stuff."

So I feel for those people. I haven't yet experienced that and I get it.

But this garage was a piece of art. There was every single thing in there that you could possibly imagine. So they were thrilled needless to say that this was my Christmas gift to them.

So in January we set about decluttering the garage. Debbie, my sister, has been attempting to get Zanda to do this, as ultimately a lot of this was his stuff.

I think it's one of those jobs that you can't take on by yourself. You've got to do it as a team. You've got to do it as a family.

When we started, I knew that Debs would be okay with being a little bit ruthless with stuff but I wasn't sure about Zanda. And it happened pretty early on.

I'm sure he is fine with me telling this story but I was starting to take stuff out of the garage to the car that we were going to put stuff in to get rid of. I checked with Debbie and Zanda if things are okay to move.

And then I started moving bits of planks of wood and jib board and Zanda was like, "Hey! Where are you going with that?".

And I was like, "I was going to put it in the back of the car to take to the tip."

"Yeah but I am going to make something out of that" and I was like, "Oh okay. What were you going to make?"

"I might be doing one of the cupboards for downstairs, like using it to make a perfect cupboard door piece."

And I was like, "Okay. Well, let me just ask you a question. How long have you had this piece of wood?

"Uh, about 4 years" says Zanda.

"Okay and so when were you planning on doing this?"

"Well, yeah.."

And just in that moment there was this beautiful moment of realization or recognition in his eyes that he was in fact being a hoarder, and I wouldn't say the top definition of a hoarder, because even though I do not watch TV, I've seen the ads for the TV series on hoarders.

You can't even get in the door of the house. They live on piles of junk and rubbish ...but that's definitely not where Debs and Zanda are at.

Many of us have a hoarding mentality.

It really comes from just not wanting to let go of things that could be precious, that could be valuable, that you might do something with in the future.

But let me just push back at you, if you are one of those people going, "Yeah Natalie. Some things you just want to hold onto."

Unless you are going to use that thing within the next 3-6 months, why on earth would you store it, keep it and have it cluttering up your personal space?

Why on earth would you keep something that you are not going to use and serves no purpose other than creating clutter in your living space?

So...back to that moment - a pretty great thing that happened, in that amazingly Zanda kind of turned completely around and started being really ruthless with stuff.

So there was an initial push back and hesitation and a real desire not to let go, but once he realized what he'd been holding onto he actually got into it and as the day progressed, we spent a good couple of hours in this garage.

He was throwing stuff in the back of the car and I was putting stuff off the side and he says, "Nope, that can go." And it was so liberating.

We then went down to the tip and what was even more liberating. As you drive your car up and the trailer as well, then you get to chuck stuff off the side into this sort of pit thing, and then they either sort it, recycle it or take it away to go into the mound of dirt and create a big rubbish heap on some poor hill.

But, still it was really liberating.

We also took stuff down to be recycled and you get some money for that and it was crazy actually how good that felt.

And we went back and we did another load and slowly but surely this garage started to emerge, corners of space started to emerge.

Now here is the funny thing, that was one Sunday afternoon and then I believe I came back a couple of weekends later because, it's a bit hard to tie in with the family and things going on and it already had started accumulating stuff.

But all of the stuff was things that they had now sorted out in the house that they were going to take to the Salvation Army or they were going to put on TradeMe, which is the New Zealand equivalent of Ebay or GumTree.

And so the cool thing is that they kept at it. They didn't just stop there with the momentum and motivation I provided them with.

They kept on going and they made several hundred dollars if not thousands of dollars selling on Trademe some of their stuff.

A lot of that stuff was children's stuff that wasn't needed anymore or baby stuff that could go to another deserving family. And all it took was to start taking the photos, documenting and putting up the price and description on TradeMe.

Turned out Zanda had a bit of a knack for selling things. So it was excellent.

Now the cool thing was not only were they decluttering and getting a greater sense of freedom and space in the house, they were also making money. And let's face it, everybody likes to make money. So this was brilliant for them.

Now right about the same time, and this is why I find the start of 2017 kind of fantastic and it's been one of the best years yet.

But in terms of a time of change, it was for the entire Sisson family and the Rock-Evans family, which is now my sister's side - it was one of those times of just everybody kind of decluttering.

So as my sister and Zanda were attempting to get things out of the garage and out of their house, Mum was attempting to downside the four bedroom family home that her and Dad had been in for fifteen years, because she was getting ready to sell.

Dad passed away in December of 2015 and Mum just did not need to be living in a big house anymore.

And Mum is not a hoarder, in fact, she's amazingly minimalist. She buys quality things and she's done an incredible job over the years for our family of doing up houses beautifully, but always with quality in mind.

However, Dad was a bit of a hoarder. So the two rooms or the two spaces in our house that were the most cluttered were Dad's office and the garage. You know a man cave full of stuff!

And Dad would, bless his soul, keep even rusty nails in jars. He had a place for everything but it wasn't super organized but he kept everything.

And I used to remember as a kid growing up no matter where we lived, Mum would go down to our garage and say, "Oh Peter, could you try and clean up the garage a little bit."

It was just incredible he just had so much stuff.

I knew that would be hard for Mum to do, so I came over and helped out as much as I could to really go through a lot of stuff - letters, cards, boxes, files from years if not decades, photos, projector slides.

All the stuff that you hang onto and you keep because you think one day you are going to pull out the projector and you are going to go through slides from like the 1970s and 80s.

For those of you listening you do it, you know it!

So I challenge you to get the projector out and have a projector movie night and then either get rid of them all, or get them put onto digital formats so you can have them on your laptop and eventually print them or do whatever you like.

But basically out with the old, put it into a format that is accessible at anytime but doesn't take up space and move on.

So back to Mum's house, so we have Mum downsizing and generously gifting to my sister and I, things that we would absolutely need such as linen, towels, kitchenware etc.

And at this point as you probably know from my Changing Plans episode, Josh and I hadn't actually bought the house yet but we were looking really seriously.

Mum was making decisions based on the fact that we might end up with the house rather than both be living in a suitcases.

So to her credit she held onto things we may need and she sort of split up a lot of stuff between my sister and I.

And what happened is all those stuff that Debbie and Zanda had been clearing out, was now getting filled up with trips from Mum and her house with stuff that she was giving them.

Every time they got rid of something, more stuff was coming in.

And I felt like it was the same for me.

I don't own much stuff but even in my two bedroom apartment in Downtown Wellington, I'd accumulated a little bit of the stuff to have it fully furnished for myself when I rent it out.

I also had about four boxes up at my parents. And all those boxes are my everything, my life packed up into four boxes. Or so I thought....

As it happens as Mum is going through more and more of the house and I was there with her, she was like, "Nat I found this box of your clothes or your school gear" and I was like, "Oh damn."

"I found your bag of motocross gear" from when I used to race motocross. And I really never want to get rid of my helmet and my motocross pants and shin protectors. And I was like, "Oh damn!"

So every time I go to help Mum declutter, I ended up coming home with more stuff, which I would then have to sort through, get rid off, give to the Salvation Army or downsize.

I just felt like as a family we were doing this give stuff, receive stuff, get rid of the stuff, sort stuff, sell stuff.

It was crazy. I was selling my stuff on TradeMe. I was listing some of Mum's stuff on TradeMe. Zanda was helping out and then there was a big garage sale where Mom made like $850 in half a day and huge.

Also she had to downsize her house in three weeks or less once she actually got an offer on it.

The power of downsizing and decluttering

And here in her own words is kind of this whole process for Mum on really downsizing a lifetime:

Natalie: Let's talk about how it felt to downsize and move out of a very large house - four bedrooms and all your and Dad's stuff for the past 13 years.

Mom: For the past 47 years.

Natalie: That's true because you've been in the house for thirteen years.

Mom: Fifteen years actually.

Natalie: Oh. I should get my facts right.

Mom: Actually, I just felt sick. It's too much. I think the thing nowadays is less... definitely less. But you don't want to throw things away that your children have given you or presents, Christmas, birthday or whatever.

But there comes a time when you think, "What am I going to do with this? Where can I put it all?" And I certainly have to downsize to a two bedroom apartment. And I feel I still have a lot but I am keeping the best, the very best... but even then I feel like I don't want it.

Natalie: Do you feel lighter now that it's all done because it was quite a process, wasn't it?

Mum: Yes. But I could still lose a bit.

Natalie: Yes, you've held onto the lovely stuff as you said and a part of that is your identity and what you've had in houses for years.

Mum: It's what you worked for. It's what you wanted but even that has changed these days. What we've enjoyed was antiques, crystal, lovely prints of the olden days - that's all gone.

People don't even want it. Antique dealers don't even want it anymore. But I think it could all go around in circles again and one day it will. But who wants to keep it for that long?

Natalie: Yes exactly. Do you want to talk about how you even started on the process? So obviously you put the house up for sale and then what?

Mum: Oh I started way before. I went through wardrobes and drawers. I did a little bit everyday or every second day at least. A lot of it went to Salvation Army and Mary Potter Hospice. There comes a time where you just get rid of it.

Natalie: And then when you got the offer on the house, we made it a pretty short turnaround time didn't we because you wanted to be in your new apartment.

Mom: Because I was coming over to Bali for your birthday.

Natalie: So it was three weeks and so you've done some of that sorting beforehand and then you started downsizing and taking things out of drawers.

Mom: And going through linen covers and just knowing I won't need these, you might need it.

The other part is that in our days we use to entertain at home. That has changed. We go out into a restaurant nowadays so you have all these lovely dishes that costs some money because you wanted to look good but you don't use either anymore. It just all changed.

Natalie: Did you have a process that you were going through?

Mom: The thing is we were brought up and we look after our things - clothes, anything. Every time we moved we would take it with us but you didn't wear it or you didn't use it.

There comes a time when you say, "Right. Out." And that's what happened. I think we all have too much these days.

Natalie: I agree.

Mom: I use one dish, one plate, one cereal bowl, one mug at the moment because there's just one. But even if there's two you don't need much.

Wise words from my Mum, Gina Sisson. I credit her so much in my life and that I really love being a minimalist.

And you know my sister and I differ a little on that. My sister is super creative and so she loves a lot of artwork up on the wall. I think she's got tendencies to be a little bit of a hoarder and she's cool with that.

But the point here I guess for every single one of us is every 3 months do a reconnaissance of everything that you own and ask yourself:

  • Do I really need this?
  • Is this better off in somebody else's home or hands?
  • Could I sell this and give it to a more deserving person who needs this right now?

One of my best tricks that I've learned is that if you've put something away in storage that you are just not prepared to give up, if you have not gone into that storage locker or that space or whoever you are storing it within 6 months time then you need to get rid of it.

Because if you do not miss something and use it every single day it is very likely that you do not need it in your life and it is weighing you down as a sense of stuff.

Now one of my good friends, Joshua Becker over at Becoming Minimalist talks a lot about this and here is a short excerpt from a Ted Talk that he did on this very topic as to the benefits of becoming minimalist.

“Out of the corner of my eye I see my son swinging alone in the backyard.

And suddenly I had this further realization that not only was everything I owned not making me happy, even worse everything I owned was actually taking me away from the very thing that did bring happiness into my life.

But not just happiness but fulfillment and purpose and contentment.

There's a very different realization and I think it is the very foundation of minimalism - the very foundational truth that would cause anyone to intentionally own less stuff.

This reality is that not only are things not making us happy they've actually become such a burden on our lives that they are actually taking us away from the very things that we would prefer to be living our life for."

If you'd like to learn more about minimalism, listen to this podcast interview with Joshua Becker about How to Own Less And Live More By Becoming A Minimalist.

And the final thing that I am really really weary of is cluttering our new house. Josh and I both made a very conscious effort and packed with each other but we are not going to fill this house with unnecessary stuff.

So first off Mum has kindly gifted us all these amazing things including a beautiful old vintage dining room table, a dining room cabinet, a cabinet for the lounge, a king size bed which will be now in our bedroom and some chest of drawers and lamps and some kitchen stuff.

All of those things we actually need and that means we don't need to go and purchase them brand new. We can recycle, we can reuse and we can keep these beautiful pieces in the family that have been a part of my life for so long.

The next part that we've been doing is I have become a bit of a TradeMe addict and we've set a budget and we've actually listed out on a spreadsheet, because we are geeky like that - all the stuff that we need versus what we'd like in the future.

We've listed those out so it's by order of priority and then we've put next to it guesstimates on what we're sort of prepared to pay or budget.

So we did a quick look online as to what things are going for and then we put in what we think we'd be prepared to pay.

And now we are playing a little game, so I love bargains and I love getting a good deal and I love negotiating.

I am setting out to become the TradeMe queen and I am finding incredible things because as you know the saying goes:

One person's junk is another person's treasure.

And just like we've been doing as a family for the last 2 or 3 months of this year, other people on TradeMe are getting rid of things that they've long held in their family or in their house and finally have just decided to release and let go of.

And so I've picked up the best bargains. I got the piano!

If you listened to Changing Plans and you heard me talk about the piano that I thought I'd missed out on, would you believe that lady had no luck with the person who bid and won on the auction and beat me in the auction?

They flaked on her and so she actually texted me while I was in Bali saying, "I can't believe it's happened again. Is there any chance that you would still like to buy it?" and I said, "Yes!"

Done. Put the money in her bank account and she sent me a text saying, "Thank you! You have restored my faith in humans."

So I got the piano! And the piano stool and the sheet music for a $150. This beautiful, old, vintage piano which I am going to polish up.

I bought an entire bedroom set of furniture granted a little bit retro, like a round mirror, a chest of drawers, another chest of drawers, two bedside table and a headboard for a $100 NZ.

Even if it's not great, it's going to be a bargain and I can paint it and we can use it and then we can always resell it.

And I'm just honestly having fun. I also bought two single beds including the mattresses, the frames and the bedside tables, pretty funky for like $400.

And I just love this because why do we always buy new stuff?

I mean granted sometimes you just want new things like you are not going to buy second hand underwear or laundry. I get that but why do we have this incessant need for new?

I personally love reusing and recycling. You get some incredible, sturdy, quality crafted pieces of furniture, ornaments if you feel like ornaments, lamps, all sorts of things for so little.

Because people don't see the value in them anymore and yet to me they are incredible.

I bought a 5 lights with brass stands for $100. I am going to continue to find these amazing bargains and only put things in our house that Josh and I agree on and to add value to it and make it a really beautiful home that we love being in.

As the Suitcase Entrepreneur and yes I am still Suitcase Entrepreneur even though I am moving into a house.

The Art of Packing Light

I just wanted to pass on some packing tips and once again I'd love to bring you back into a short conversation that I had with my lovely Mom who I have to say is an impeccable packer.

And I definitely have witnessed her since being a kid packing for our entire family and we used to travel really light considering there were the four of us.

She now packs even lighter just for herself. it's quite incredible.

Between us, we often look like overachievers. If we ever go on our girls trip together to Melbourne at the start of each year to see the tennis, (it would have been 14 times together or something), we just pack so little.

And it never ceases to amaze me at what people pack. Did they fit the kitchen sink inside the suitcase?

And if so how do they fit their actual clothes and the things that they really need on the trip. It does really astound me.

Here are some tips from the packing queen and her daughter. I credit her for everything that I do when it comes to being a Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Natalie: Because I think since I was two years old, you and Dad took my sister and I on around the world tours and trips ,which is amazing, and we no doubt learned from you how to pack really well.

And I think people still marvel now when they see how I live out of the suitcase. I know you used to pack for Dad as well.

Mum: In one medium suitcase.

Natalie: For the both of you?

Mum: Yes. And half of that we wouldn't use.

And yet even when we had bed and breakfast some people would come with these enormous cases. Each one would have a big case, plus overnight bags and God knows what.

And I used to think, "My God. And they are only coming for 2 or 3 weeks, when we would be away for 8 weeks with less."

Natalie: So what are your tips for the art of packing light?

Mom: For underwear, one clean, one on, one used - that's only three of everything which is easy.

Natalie: Really? I actually take 2 weeks worth of underwear because they are quite small and thin. And that means if I can't find a washing machine or do my washing for two weeks, I've always got underwear.

Mom: Yes I take a few underpants but for Dad that worked for him.

Shoes, a good pair of walking shoes. Something that is comfortable if you go out at night and maybe some sandals depending on the weather where you are going.

And if you are travelling to lots of places it doesn't matter whether you wear the same thing every second or third day. People haven't seen it before.

I always felt that you take with you your favorite things, that you feel comfortable in and just something good at night like trousers and a shirt but women always seem to have to have more.

But even then, just a couple of tops and the rest is just casual. And things are very casual these days aren't day?

Natalie: Well, that depends if you are going to a business event or something that's more fancy.

Mom: Yes if you are just going on a holiday it is casual.

Natalie: And what about toiletries?

Mom: Sometimes I think that's all a bit too much but basically again I take what I wear everyday - sun tan lotion and shampoo.

Natalie: Suntan lotion is expensive in a lot of countries. I do the same putting everything into small bottles because it can last for weeks.

Mom: When I am in England, sometimes I buy the smaller bottles. You don't get it so much in New Zealand or wherever.

Natalie: You do now. Anything else in terms of where you pack stuff, because we all have different ways, some people use packing squares.

I have a two-sided suitcase so I put my better clothes on my left hand side and my sports care, flip flops and toiletries go on the other side.

Mom: Yeah, you've got a good system but I sort of use my suitcase as a drawer. I fold things so neatly and pack it in a way that I remembered Aunty used to say, "Did you just iron that?", I said "No I got it out of my suitcase".

Natalie: I definitely didn't pickup on that skill from you.

Mom: Yes, actually they were always fascinated with that. It's just my way of packing.

Natalie: You also iron your sheets at home.

Mom: No I don't, only B&B. Gosh no.

Natalie: Well, thank you. Those are the tips from the Suitcase Entrepreneur's mom.

So I hope that those tips are helpful to you if you are really having trouble when you are travelling the world and you really just can't pack light.

A couple of other tips I'd love to throw in there is put everything that you want to pack into your suitcase or your backpack on the bed before you go. Then once again do one more ruthless run through.

So if you've ended up with four black t shirts and three pairs of brown shorts, can you just not take one of each?

And if you put five beautiful dresses out and you are only going away for a week, could you not just take three and a shawl so that you can change your look?

And then put them into your suitcase or bag and if you find it still too full, take it all out and do the same ruthless routine again.

A couple of more tips:

You can buy anything you need typically in the place that you are going to. So if you are going to go from a summer environment to a winter environment, I wouldn't necessarily pack all the things that you need for winter.

I would buy them in the country that you are in before you go into the other country or have just enough warm layers and as you get there you can stock up on anything you need.

The only caveat on that is sunscreen as I mentioned, when I was chatting to Mum, it can be really really expensive in other countries.

And obviously alongside that are your pills or your tablets or your supplements, whatever you really truly can't do without that as specialists we need to get from your doctor or maybe a herbalist, I would definitely take those with you. But just take the quantity that you need.

So for example, on this trip to Bali I took a couple of supplements and vitamins and I put them all in one supplement container so I don't need to take six or seven containers.

And the final tip for me is layers. Layering of your clothes allows you to be warmer because you can just put more and more layers on but it doesn't add huge bulk to your suitcase.

I particularly love Kathmandu and IceBreaker products. IceBreaker is Merino wool from New Zealand.

It keeps you incredibly warm, wicks away any sweats, dries super quickly and you can wear it for an entire year without washing it and it still wont smell.

If you don't believe me, Sir Peter Blake who is unfortunately no longer with us in this world who sailed around the world and set many world records and is q hero in New Zealand, wore his IceBreaker kit on the sailing yacht for a full year and it never smelt and he never had to wash it.

If you are really going for a long time travelling or you want lightweight, yet warm and efficient and trendy, IceBreaker all the way.

And finally, rolling.

There are a lot of people who pack in squares and you can put clothes in them and you can seal them and you can press them down, and you can fit way more in your suitcase, which is great.

I've never done it. I've never felt the need to take so many clothes that I have to compress them down. And then also I haven't really felt the desire to unpack and uncompress all these squares but it is handy if you want to maximize your space efficiently.

But I love rolling clothes. One, it stops them from creasing and two, it actually does take up less space in your suitcase.

So those are my final tips on packing light and the art of minimalism.

I would love for you to share what tips you have below the comment section and tell me if you are you a hoarder or a minimalist?

Stay tuned for Season 2 either in April or in May. It's not because I don't love you, it's because I am taking a business sabbatical for all of April.

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<![CDATA[Taking a Daily Vacation]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:04:15 GMT 43:02 yes I've only been in Bali five days and I already feel blissed out.

I've had four massages, two meditation sessions, one surf lesson, two yoga lessons and a 4.5 hour pampering session!

And I TOTALLY needed this, because the last month or two has been pretty cray-cray.

As you may remember in my previous episode called Changing Plans, there's been quite a few plans that have been changed, including now owning a lifestyle property and getting a puppy for my birthday.

Yes! My lovely man Josh has gone ahead and put a deposit on a white German Shepherd. So when I get back to New Zealand on April 5th, it's going to be all go - moving into the house, getting it furnished, setting up our new base and waiting on the puppy.

I was content to go hard out on the organizing, planning, doing and making shit happen on all fronts, because I knew I'd be having this relax time in Bali, and of course my upcoming business sabbatical starting April 1st.

If you've never been to Bali, let me just tell you this island has a very special energy to it. It's renowned for being a vortex of feminine energy.

So for females in particular, when you're here you have this sense of being grounded, feeling strong, sensual and in your feminine power.

Everywhere you look there are lush trees, green rice fields, beautiful flowers, street dogs, friendly Balinese people smiling, scooters whizzing by, yoga studios, cute cafes, healthy juices galore and many relaxed looking foreigners who are whiling their days away doing not a lot of anything much.

Which is why Bali is the perfect island to come and unwind, de stress and lose yourself, or find yourself depending on what you're here to do.

But obviously we don't all have the opportunity to buggar off to Bali when we feel like it do we?

So it got me thinking: Why can't we have a mini vacation each and every day to get some of the same affects of a longer vacation?

Why do we have to book in holidays months, and for some people, years in advance? Why all this waiting when we have the power and ability to take a break right now?

In a Huffington Post article by Jill Ferguson she lists the benefits of vacations as:

  • Reduces stress - as I can attest to, vacations help shrink stress and anxiety while boosting the mental and physical health of you and the entire family, if you happen to be vacationing with them.

  • Helps your heart stay healthy - no really. In a 20-year study, researchers found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations per year.

  • Improves your mental health (especially if it's longer than 2 weeks) because you're less tense, have higher energy levels and more positive emotions, fewer negative feelings and less depression.

  • Improves your relationships because families or couples who vacation together undergo shared experiences, communication and togetherness, escape and relaxation and experiential learning, all of which contribute positively to well-being and to relationships.

You may have heard me talk about taking a mid week weekend. I mean why wait for the weekend to experience one, but what about a daily vacation? That's a novel thought right?

I dug into this idea with my dear friend Jaime Masters, of Eventual Millionaire fame, who's with me here in Bali.

We planned this holiday in late 2016 when she found out she got asked to speak in the Philippines, just before my Freedom Mastermind Retreat I hold in Bali each year.

So this was our window of time to fly into Bali at the same time and enjoy 9 days together. And we are doing that extremely well.

Jaime is a single mother of two with an extremely successful and busy coaching and mastermind business.

She's also a self prescribed geek when it comes to maximizing time efficiency and more recently bio hacking - do it yourself biology optimization, so to speak.

Or as Jaime puts it - how to be a badass.

So here's our jam session on how to optimize your day and also how to take mini vacations through a variety of suggested activities we do, and that we also think should be on your list.

Natalie: So this is exciting! We are recording this in our lovely little room in Ketut's Place in Bali in Ubud and there's thunder and lightning happening and rain. This is cool.

I am sitting on the bed as you do, with my girl, Jaime Masters and we've been talking a lot over the last couple of days about treating yourself because yesterday we had a four and a half hour pamper session!

Thanks to Jaime, an early birthday present and it was amazing.

And I was like, "Why don't we do this all the time?" and then I think actually if you did that all the time you'd just be in bliss zone and you wouldn't get anything done.

Jaime: I think it can get boring after a little while.

Natalie: Yeah, but it was pretty amazing. Like we had several massages, we had a facial; we had pedicures, manicures, head massage, hair treatment, body scrub. And I was in and out of states of bliss, in an out of state of sleeping, dreaming, imagining, ideating. It's beautiful.

But what I want to just chat to you about, because I think you are really good at this with your full-time roster of amazing clients that you coach over at Eventual Millionaire and your business and your full time podcast where you are interviewing millionaires all the time. I mean you have one of the busiest schedules I know off plus you are a mom, full-time mom.

So do you want to just share a couple of the ways you treat yourself throughout the day because I think you do this really well.

Jaime: So first of all anybody that says that they don't have time, means that they don't want to. There is a great quote about that by Lao Tzu.

"Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time,' is like saying, 'I don't want to."

? Lao Tzu

So out of everybody I know, I am extremely busy. We need that time because we go crazy and nutso and when you get on that roll you are not efficient or effective in anything you do.

So lessons learned from me sort of going a little insane, to children, and to my business and everything else has led me to actually taking the time in between.

Even 15 minutes of going, "Ah! This is just for me and I don't have to do anything else."

So we talked about meditation before and I definitely do meditate a lot. Sometimes in small spurts.

Like I literally was just meditating for fifteen minutes while you were on the phone just now, because I feel like it gives me a deeper state of relaxation. I do that throughout the day quite often even at home in-between calls.

But just trying to take that time where you can actually shut off whatever you're crazy entrepreneur brain is saying and go, "Okay this is time that I don't actually have to think about that", because otherwise we will.

Our brain will just keep going forever and ever and ever. And so trying to pull those pieces out as best as you can, you know what I mean?

Natalie: And I think we started discussing this from the minute I landed in Bali and I think you did too.

We've both come off some pretty hectic schedules, me with house buying and packing up and book writing and helping my mom move and you with speaking in the Philippines, and having to do all the work around that as well.

I think we both got to Bali and we are just like, 'ahhhhhhh' and I just noticed instantly how my mind just quietened and I've done more yoga and massage in the last two days than I had probably in the last months.

So why don't we roll through, like kind of spit-fire out some of our favorite at home mini vacations we take during a pretty busy working day?

Jaime: Okay so for me, I have a routine at the beginning. I literally wake up before my kids wake up now, 5:30am in the morning. I am not a morning person as much as Hal Elrod told me to wake up in the morning.

I was like, "No I don't think so." It's literally only been the last four months or so.

Beforehand I would meditate right after I brought them to school, but I realized that it wasn't quite enough for me and I kept feeling like I had too much to do throughout the day when the kids are at school so I moved it.

And so far so good. I'm going strong but I am not a morning person!

Natalie: Thunder. If you have any of this, this is real Bali in the background. Just making it real.

Jaime: That was number one, so that was an evolution in my process. I have been meditating for a very long time and I was never like, "I have to meditate every day."

It's just I wanted to, I wanted to. It is something that I pull out.

I also do probably five to fifteen minutes in between whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or brain dead.

So when I do a lot, I batch everything and so whenever I do client calls, sometimes I'm like, "How can my brain stop functioning like it should?" and being in states of flow are way more productive in general, so I try and figure out ways.

There's a good book called Stealing Fire, it talks about hacking into the flow state that I was telling you a little bit about.

What can we do that makes us feel so much better that we can come back and hit the ground running instead of just feeling horrid and crazy?

Just what we were talking about this before too, like all day long nutso.

And so I'll do that, I have a pool in the back sometimes when it's nice out, I'll go jump in the pool and reassess things, especially during the day when I'm actually working on stuff.

At night time I'll definitely go, "This is my time! I am going to have a bubble bath.

I am going to do whatever I can possibly do to turn that piece off".

Because we don't make a conscious effort in general to turn it off.

Natalie: A bubble bath is so good. I am looking forward to potentially buying a spa and having a spa pool for night time relaxation.

I like the idea of a sauna, whether you go to one or have one at your place. Often gyms have a sauna so just even ten minutes sweating it out and just being present with your body is pretty amazing.

Other things are just dropping into fifteen, twenty, or a thirty minute yoga session during the day, and I love starting with five minutes of downward dog because it ultimately ends up being a lot more, and just giving yourself that space.

Also, when I have a dog which I am getting soon! I would just have cuddle time with my dog. I'd literally have a play time, go outside, throw the Frisbee, throw the ball, play.

You've got kids around you, you'd grab them, play.

Jaime: That's a funny thing. So sometimes I'm so back-to-back I like walking into the mailbox it's like my time. I literally go, "Okay I need some sun. I am going to go walk outside", because I literally only have like five minutes, like literally I am so scheduled.

No matter what the time is, it doesn't matter I think it's the intention behind it that makes a huge difference.

Because sometimes you can play with your dog and be like, "Oh that still didn't really help." But if you are really intentional about it, it makes--

Natalie: Throw the phone away for a minute.

Jaime: As hard as it is.

Natalie: Get back to nature. Sometimes just actually being outside and getting sun on your face is a really beautiful thing and just tune into the sounds around you.

Jaime: I go and I lay in my backyard. I have the pool and I will go and lay on the bed and feel like, because we have an outdoor bed, just sit there for five minutes and not even have to do a meditation or anything like that, but just sort of soak in the sun.

Natalie: The Vitamin D.

Jaime: Sometimes I need that big time. And then being able to sort of go; "Now I reset. Now I can go back in". Very helpful.

Natalie: We should caveat this with the fact that you are very efficient with your time. So it's not like you ever say, "I am really busy."

You are fulfilled. You are busy but I as you said you batch things.

Do you want to maybe talk people through kind of your working week so that... they do hear that you have time off, and time out and you are really good at, oh we didn't even mention it, you get regular massages? So do I but you get them every single week, yeah?

Jaime: Oh yeah.

Natalie: I think if you can you should even if it's half an hour.

Jaime: Well this is the thing I kept going, "Oh I don't have the time because I have kids and I can't... when can I get a massage when I don't have them. We'll I have to work during the school hours". All that craziness goes on in your head.

Let me just say, everybody can solve every problem pretty much.

So my massage person comes in at their bed time, my kids go to bed, massage person comes in and I literally go to sleep right afterwards.

Natalie: They come to your house?

Jaime: They come to my house. It's not anymore expensive either. And they will do it like nine o'clock at night which is insane.

Natalie: And then you just go to sleep?

Jaime: I just go to sleep. It's like the best ever. It's amazing but it's because I am so scheduled and so intentional with my time.

Because this is the thing too, it's not like I don't take a time off with the kids, it's that I have to be super effective whenever I am doing whatever I am doing.

I have a lot of things going on so a typical schedule for me ,and I make my clients do all this too.

I call it the master's schedule:

  • Mondays are meeting days, back to back meetings like literally, with my masterminds, with my personal scrum from my team.

  • Tuesdays are coaching days.

  • Wednesdays, every other Wednesday is an interview so either back to back millionaire interviews or back to back me doing interviews on other people's podcast and then the rest of the week is free.

So it's 'working free' so within the time my kids are in school which they get out at three thirty. Then I have open space that I can actually fill in advance because I am one of those people.

But usually when I have the kiddos I'm done at three and then I don't work again unless it's like a crazy launch and I have to make an exception.

It's me like going for a walk with the kids or I try and get some of the more special, relaxing kind of time with them. Not that I don't have to do homework, not that I don't have to do all the other stuff, but it's just trying to have that space within the confinement.

How to take a quick daily vacation

Alright hopefully you have some firm ideas on how to take a daily mini vacation. To recap:

  • Short bursts of exercise - dance, walk to the mailbox, dip in the pool, play with your dog, drop down and do yoga.

  • Treat yourself - have a massage or a sauna, at home or book it in at your local.

  • Read a book - jump in a hammock, laze on your bed, lie on the floor, curl up in the couch, throw your phone away and disconnect the internet for 30 mins...then enjoy your fave book.

  • Pleasure yourself - did I really just say that? Heck yeah I did. Have a quickie, grab your fave sex toy and take a moment to...you know...have some fun. Or grab your partner and kiss them passionately. It releases endorphins which are feel good hormones and everyone needs those - plus you do that stuff on vacation right? So this IS a mini vacation.

  • Meditation - refer to episode 2 - Mind Your Mindfulness for a 1 minute one! They say meditation can be better than sleep and sometimes sex. So I think it's time to really take this one seriously.

Before we bring back Jaime, as she's been delving into meditation for almost a decade but has upped her game in the last year with amazing results, let's say hello to Freshbooks

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Ok, let's dive into meditation.

So on a couple of the previous episodes I've been talking about meditation. And I have to say that I think we've only just scratched the surface on this and I am going to be doing a lot more work around this.

But having chatted to Jaime over the last couple of days intensely around her her meditation practice, I've seen this different side to it so I think I've always sat on the surface going, "What if I could just get five or ten or fifteen minutes a day?".

I know the benefits of meditation but I wanted to bring Jaime back because she's just sort of open my mind and blown my mind with the routine and the practice and the intention behind her meditation and how much is that impacting everything else.

So I haven't seen Jaime for a year and a half and this time around seeing her I turned up and I was like, "Oh my gosh! You are just more like grounded."

So here's a conversation we had about her meditation.

Natalie: So who is this Joe Dispenza guy that you keep going on about?

Jaime: Okay so I've been meditating for a really really long time and then I became a disciple. The reason why I found Joe is because I'd injured my foot and he wrote a book called "You Are the Placebo" and I didn't want to have foot surgery.

That's the thing it was for the problem-solution piece of it. I'd always meditated. I didn't even know his whole thing was about meditation.

Natalie: How did you find him?

Jaime: My best friend gave me the book. Because she had been following him for awhile. But I was just trying to solve whatever the heck that thing was. I didn't know how deep he goes into meditation about how your body can change itself. And so it makes sense with, You Are the Placebo, but I never linked meditation and that before which was really awesome.

Because before I thought it was, "I am a crazy, business entrepreneur that needs to get everything out of her head and feel okay" because otherwise I might have anxiety or whatever the pieces are. That's why I'd meditated before.

And then I found this thing and I was like, "Oh there's so much more to it than that!"

Natalie: And they are self-guided aren't they? Which I like because It's quite hard to just sit and not have thoughts. In fact, it's near impossible.

Even the monks after many decades of practice don't' do it super well but they are far better than us. And I think I'd like to be like walking down the beach listening to meditation and then there you were, I was having a surf lesson and you were walking down the beach listening to a self-guided meditation.

One where Joe got you to like ground your feet into the sand at one point, stop and just be. So I love the sound of that. Because I love walking and I like being active while meditating.

What happens in that meditation?

Jaime: So that one's really interesting. Joe has a bazillion different types of meditation. Some were shorter. This one's an hour and fifteen minutes. Some of our friends are like, "Oh surfing is so like that".

It was funny when I was walking, thankfully eyes open for quite a bit, I was looking at some of the surfers and just thinking about how amazing that is too.

There's a quite a few different pieces to his types of meditation. And so one is a big breathing aspect and then walking, where he doesn't have you do that because you look weird.

But what he does as you start walking, he has you start envisioning your future and then walking as your future self.

And imagining whatever happened that you want to have happened in the future as if it was a memory of the past.

So you are walking and he is like talking about how to think of this and think of that, and as you are walking you feel amazing, on top of the world type of person.

And then he has you stop and just close your eyes and imagine the feelings that you would feel: gratitude, joy - whatever those things are or affirmations are.

And literally, because your body's been walking and energized, already like to me it goes like crazy. It makes you really feel the emotions. And then you walk again.

And it levels up the emotional side of it. Levels up the feeling of, "Oh my gosh! This is what I'll feel like in the future."

Right, that confidence, whatever those pieces are. And so you are sort of stepping into what that is and it makes a lot more believable.

So as an entrepreneur I feel like, "Oh I want to speak on a stage at TEDx in front of a thousand people."

I was chatting with somebody when I spoke in the Philippines, she's like, "I love crowds of 10,000 to 15,000 people." And I was like, "Hmmmm. I haven't done that before. 10,000 people that's a lot of people. Wow, Okay great!"

She said, "The energy is just insane."

And so then I started going, "Let's imagine what that would look like. I'm sure I can do it".

And so in the walking meditation, I started bringing in some of those pieces. So when you start bringing in the pieces as if it already happened, especially the science behind meditation, it actually does.

Have you heard the piano player thing? They had a study where:

  • Some people actually play the piano in a certain number of hours per day for a specific song.

  • Another one just did the finger exercises with no piano.

  • And then the other ones meditated on it.

So the people would actually meditate on it. They never touched the piano, and they actually were just as good as the other people.

Natalie: When they finally went to play the piano?

Jaime: Yes which is insane.

Natalie: I've heard a few studies around stuff just re-visioning exercise on that.

Jaime: Yes. It gets your body in certain state. It's really interesting to see the studies because we are placebos by the way, right?

So we affect our thoughts and everything affects everything.

And I think entrepreneurs need to get this better and better and better.

It's not just clearing your brain it's all those thoughts that we think, that determine what we actually take action on, what we actually do.

All those beliefs or whatever you want to say whether they are subconscious or not.

When you start flushing those out, and you start imagining yourself.....

I've had a friend who hated speaking and then he did like a hundred different speaking gigs all in a row just to get over the fear and to get really good at it.

Well, you do a 100 of them and you'll get really good at it!

Imagine meditating on it a hundred days in a row instead of actually having to go do it. And again there might be a little bit of twinge when you do the first one but it's going to feel so much more natural even just the visualization of it.

And I've interviewed a ton of millionaires, 400 and something millionaires, so many of them bring up visioning, it's insane.

I was not woo-woo at all and I started going down this road and interviewing millionaires and I'm like, "How come everybody keeps talking about this?".

Because I really wanted to know and so then I started looking at the science behind it all. And then I'm like, "There's something to this", because I am a sciency kind of gal and then I've started implementing and doing it.

It has literally changed so many things and what I can see is possible moving forward.

Natalie: You mentioned that it's helped you, one being all grounded and not even noticed that visibly in you. You said your skin is glowing. You think you looked younger like not aging. What are some of the other benefits?

Jaime: There's a whole thing on epigenetics which if you read any of Joe's books. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson talks about epigenetics - our bodies and what we feel basically.

Because this is the thing, I don't think people really understand, and again the science is very very new behind all this. It hasn't really come out to the general population. If I say epigenetics, people are more like, "I don't have a clue what that is".

But your DNA actually can turn on and off based on your environment. And so it's not all like you were born like this and now we are like that forever, it's what you ingest, what you are doing, what you are thinking that all affects your body, which makes logical sense when you think about it.

We are not emotionless robots. All the pieces and parts really make a difference.

You've seen the president go from looking really really young beforehand and how the heck did he age so much in such a short period of time? Like the stress and everything.

And so it really affects your body. So you can do it in the opposite direction also. How can we change that?

Natalie: I was telling you about Josh's friend Rohan, his father from England who's been doing transcendental meditation for something like forty five years or more.

I haven't met him and I really want to meet him. I told you that right?

Because he is late 70s and he looks like he is in his 40s. He gets up at five a.m every morning. He does one to two hours of transcendental meditation with the music and all the vibrations and everything.

And he is apparently just super focused and onto it. He doesn't need much sleep. Just incredibly aware and has energy all day and that youth, that vitality and that absolute solidness around what he does and who he is.

He's absolutely precise and clear on who he is and what energy he gives off. So that fascinates me.

It does make me feel, yes you could change your state and you can change your entire DNA makeup.

By the way, did you know that when you get sunburnt you are changing the DNA? There's a whole science behind it which you'd love.

When you get sunburnt, your cells are exploding and we have billions of cells right, but they are exploding and each little explosion is shifting and changing your DNA. So overtime you can actually change your DNA of your body.

Jaime: Good way or bad way?

Natalie: I don't think sunburn is obviously good for you at all, but it's just more the point that scientists have seen that you are actually changing your DNA through that. So there must be other ways of changing your DNA.

Jaime: When you look up epigenetics and you'll see some of those pieces because it's insane to read some of the studies on this. I didn't realize this. I'm like, "Man!".

It is one of those things where it's such a new science so it seems a little woo-woo to people. It is with any sort of newer science.

Natalie: I know scientists needs the data and the facts but also I just want to see it's working.

Jaime: This is what I do, I'm like, "Well I'll test it and If I like it, I'll keep doing it and if I don't like it, then I won't."

But there's a lot of Charletons that are like, "Oh you do this thing and it's amazing!".

So that's what we have to be careful of, but to me I'll test anything and if I like it and I see results then I'll continue.

I care about the smarts and logic. And so meditation has allowed me to tap in way more and not just be a 'running around like trying to do everything head wise', but actually tapping into all parts of your body.

I never thought that your gut or intuition was a big deal until, again I heard so many millionaires going, "I went with my gut" and I'm like, "Wait! There's no real science behind that."

I'll put a spreadsheet together so I can look at all the facts, this is why I am so science based because I need something to make a decision. I would almost never go with my gut.

Natalie: Gut every time.

Jaime: See... but to me I didn't get the point of gut. I thought that that wasn't logic.

When you read like the book, Blank and we realize how amazing we are as human beings.

We can make an assessment on something without even necessarily knowing the facts and data.

Like that book was very eye opening to me because I was like, "Oh, maybe I do know more than logic will tell me and research and data."

And so realizing that, along with everything else tapping into that. You can shut yourself off big time. Most people do. Most of the clients that I talk to I ask "What's your gut saying?"

They are like "I don't know."

Natalie: Oh really? I do it all the time. The only time that I haven't sometimes is travelling, because I listen to my gut and instinct all the time in travelling. "Don't go down there" or actually "Don't take that bus".

Jaime: What does that feel like? Where? How do you do that?

Natalie: Literally like a strong sensation to not go ahead and buy that ticket. Where? It's a good point. You do actually feel it in your stomach and then I feel like it just triggers straight away to your brain with a no. I have voice in my head going, "That's not a wise idea." It's really crazy and I just listen to it all the time.

Jaime: I had heard this one place, and I have not verified sources but, what's interesting is they were saying that it's actually your heart that is making a lot of these decisions, and then going to either your stomach and then your brain and so it triggers all of them right? We sometimes think it's our brain first.

Natalie: It's literally like a decision and sometimes your body will stop. Sometimes your body will stop walking like 'you are not going to go down there, Natalie'. It's the fight-or-flight response that I feel kicks in and that is triggered by your immune system and/or your nervous system, so I guess your heart is the thing that's beating.

Jaime: We just don't know very much about our bodies though. Like it's kind of sad.

I am trying to teach my children like, "Okay. Where do you feel that in your body?" so that they can become more in tune because I never was.

I was like, what is that feeling? I would never go with my gut in general.

So knowing and being able to say, "This actually works."

I needed all the data from all the millionaires like, "Wait, you've went with your gut and that worked? Wow! Interesting."

It would be really interesting to ask which ones typically go with their gut and which ones don't.

Natalie: And where do you feel that in your body - that's an interesting question to ask anybody. Going on a bit of tangent here but asking 'how do you feel' and see what people's responses are, because if you ask a very pragmatic logic based person, they will go, "I am blah blah blah."

Jaime: Okay so this is my best friend, she had to ask me every single day. She goes, "How do you feel?" and I'd say, "Good" and she'd go, "Good is not a feeling."

"Great! I feel great!", she said, "That's not a feeling."

I didn't have the words to express it. I literally had one of those little cards that said all the emotions on it. But I couldn't find the nuances between the emotions because I didn't think it was a big deal. Like what does it matter?

Natalie: And it does matter.

Jaime: It totally does now I know. I am teaching my children this.

So tapping into intuition or tapping into your gut is an example.

I don't know what that felt like. I was like, "Huh! Nope. I got nothing."

The little nuances in anxiety or the little nuances in joy, the little nuances in things that I just never paid attention to. And yet we can be so much more expressive as human beings if you actually know that.

I had beforehand thought, "If I just negate all the bad emotions and only felt the good ones, I'll be happy in my world". I mean you know in entrepreneurship too, it doesn't work that way. Shit happens.

Natalie: It's a rollercoaster.

Jaime: Exactly. You have to mitigate all of it and sometimes the crappy stuff is teaching you the most and you have to be okay with those emotions because if you try and negate that you won't take the risks, even calculated risks.

You just won't make the steps towards that because you are so scared of negative emotions. It's an interesting thing.

Natalie: I think a lot of people live in the state of, "I'm okay. I'm okay. So I am not going to show any emotions."

And you asking me the other day, "Do you feel that you tapped into that? Are you emotional?"

I have my moments around my Dad because I was quite surprised that I wasn't more upset or just really in that state, but I do think it's because I focused on celebrating his life.

It doesn't mean I think I shut down my feelings. Like I will have my moments where I'll just cry.

As I told you I am big soak in movies. I'll just have waterworks in movies. I feel like a lot around animals and nature. I don't worry so much or sweat the small stuff but I often think about global issues or environment or inhumane treatment of animals or people. And that stuff gets me really emotional but I think there are so many people who are walking through life they are taking the drugs and numbing them.

Jaime: But that's the point right?

The placebo, the book is all about, you don't need to rely on what we think.

One of the reasons why we take a placebo and think it will work is because people have told us that it will work.

If a doctor someone of high authority goes, "This will work for you." Even if it numbs you like crazy, you are like, "Oh then half of it's probably the placebo effect and the pills don't even work."

So it's one of those things where us knowing ourselves better. If you are the type, "I am emotional in these sort of ways and I don't need to like make myself be emotional in other ways either", but knowing yourself better makes a huge difference.

So if you do get sick or whatever, trying to pay attention to what those emotions were within it and then solving that instead of going after like, "I just need more alcohol" or "I need more drugs".

Like when I injured my neck they gave me Hydrocodone and I'm like, "That's a lot!".

It's a narcotic. They gave me a lot of pills. I was kind of surprised. They gave me like three sets of pills.

Natalie: The United States scares me with what they give out. It's such a pill based society.

Jaime: And I was like, "So how do I fix it though?". It's one thing to numb the pain and I am okay with pain I can handle a lot of pain but how do I fix it? Nobody really went down that path which sucks.

Natalie: It does. Western medicine is very much like immediate solution where as I love the Eastern philosophy around preventing it before it's even happened.

Jaime: Yes but the thing is I agree a thousand percent but because we've already gone past the point.

So again this is western world but we are sold that we can have everything right now and this is why meditation is so important too. Because we are moving at a constant pace especially entrepreneurs. We are problem solvers and we wanted the problem solved yesterday not today.

And so a pill, sure! Faster, easier, more efficient.

Natalie: The headache was just from the hours of pampering and all the detox.

And when I was in that yoga class, that restorative yoga which I loved and I was having trouble with the hamstring pose and it was really like sinking in. Sinking into that pose and feeling the pain and I wanted to come out of it because we had to hold it for five minutes. And that's when she said, "If you are challenged by this pose, you probably have issues with control, because the control that you put into your everyday life will manifest itself into your basically your hamstring."

So the tightening there is the constant control or tension. And I think in intrinsically you know that but whatever we are holding any source of tension or pain or even love manifests itself in your body.

Jaime: So that's the whole point of Joe Dispenza, the whole point completely.

He was a doctor and he actually cut his spinal cord. It was like crazy he couldn't walk and he didn't want to have surgery. And all the doctors are like, "So you kind to have surgery to fix this", and he was, "I am not going to do it."

He meditated. And people were like, "Okay, you meditated your spinal healing. That's a little insane."

Natalie: Have he done meditation before?

Jaime: I don't remember. I think he must have done something. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be like, "Oh I am going to try meditation and see if this works."

He was a chiropractor so he knew the body really really well but what is interesting like you were saying is being able to have whatever is existing in our body usually is for a reason.

And unfortunately because we are problem solvers and we want to fix this so fast we just take the pill and go, "That will be okay."

But more and more instances of cancer, more and more instances of crazy stuff and we are going, "What's wrong?". Well yeah it's probably food and stuff like that too but there's so many things that we don't understand that us taking care of ourselves, like you said the eastern side of things could have probably prevented but now we are at this tipping point where we can't see the force for the trees anymore.

And so that's why it's great that he wrote the book called, You Are the Placebo because there's literally everybody going, "I have a problem. I need a solution." And so being able to show people, "Oh by the way, this could help this."

Natalie: I was going to say it sounds of ironic but I am about to say we have to take control or more importantly, we have to take responsibility because things are not going to get better.

We are going to have more and more technology. We'd be more and more connected. We are going to have more and more devices. We are going to have more multi-tasking. We are going to have more and more things in our life that are causing us to live lives in totally different way where we don't have peace, quiet, nature, reflection, timeout, thinking time, quiet time.

And so we just have to and that's why I am so proud of you because you are making time because you love it every morning to do your meditation.

Jaime: One I didn't love it. I couldn't sit for five minutes. I used to lay down because I couldn't sit up. So I couldn't sit up for that long and I hated the five minutes every single time.

It's just very much an evolutionary process. That being said I learned my own process.

A lot of clients are resistant because they are entrepreneurs and logical and my brain is way too crazy, "I can't do it Jaime". I was like, "I have the same crazy brain you do. I have ADD literally".

And so when we are looking at, "Okay what can you do as a first step?" We talked about five minutes of headspace.

Headspace is great, Calm app is great, just to sort of slowly get into that and then I have people come back and they are like, "Oh that felt a little better."

And then what is that next step and what is that next step, I did this as part of the evolutionary process it to try to make meditation efficient.

I would get all the crap out of my head so that way I could feel like i could be more clear. David Allen's Getting Things Done, getting everything out of your head.

So I would do that piece along with having this inspired thoughts of, "Oh you know what I should do and this".

Natalie: You'd actually literally go sit down or lie down to meditate but then you'd have bing bing bing thoughts. So you'd actually then stop the meditation?

Jaime: I wouldn't actually stop the meditation. It's really kind of funny I had a eye pillow on and I'd literally have a journal right next to me and I'd scribble.

It's just like a twenty, thirty minute meditation, it wasn't a lot because I would only do the first piece like this. I would literally just go, "Oh!" and write those.

Changes of launch plans or the ideas that I have.

And then I would be able to clear and be a lot better.

So it's still guided meditation but this is what I have my clients do because in general they are like," I can't make it stop."

You know what makes it stop? Write all that crap down. And because David Allen talks about with getting things done, if it's still on your head it will keep reminding it. It will keep bringing it up.

So there you have it. This topic of Personal Freedom here on the Quest for Freedom Podcast continues to come back to freedom of the mind in so many respects.

I know I will continue to delve deeper into this. In the next episode I'll be discussing personal freedom from a place of less stuff weighing you down - as in decluttering.

Tune in for that one. And read the full show notes for this episode at nataliesisson.com/7

You can also sign up to get fresh, hip and timely email updates when I release a new episode. Or you can simply subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Google Play and make my day - and hopefully make yours.

 

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I've only been in Bali five days and I already feel blissed out.

I've had four massages, two meditation sessions, one surf lesson, two yoga lessons and a 4.5 hour pampering session!

And I TOTALLY needed this, because the last month or two has been pretty cray-cray.

As you may remember in my previous episode called Changing Plans, there's been quite a few plans that have been changed, including now owning a lifestyle property and getting a puppy for my birthday.

Yes! My lovely man Josh has gone ahead and put a deposit on a white German Shepherd. So when I get back to New Zealand on April 5th, it's going to be all go - moving into the house, getting it furnished, setting up our new base and waiting on the puppy.

I was content to go hard out on the organizing, planning, doing and making shit happen on all fronts, because I knew I'd be having this relax time in Bali, and of course my upcoming business sabbatical starting April 1st.

If you've never been to Bali, let me just tell you this island has a very special energy to it. It's renowned for being a vortex of feminine energy.

So for females in particular, when you're here you have this sense of being grounded, feeling strong, sensual and in your feminine power.

Everywhere you look there are lush trees, green rice fields, beautiful flowers, street dogs, friendly Balinese people smiling, scooters whizzing by, yoga studios, cute cafes, healthy juices galore and many relaxed looking foreigners who are whiling their days away doing not a lot of anything much.

Which is why Bali is the perfect island to come and unwind, de stress and lose yourself, or find yourself depending on what you're here to do.

But obviously we don't all have the opportunity to buggar off to Bali when we feel like it do we?

So it got me thinking: Why can't we have a mini vacation each and every day to get some of the same affects of a longer vacation?

Why do we have to book in holidays months, and for some people, years in advance? Why all this waiting when we have the power and ability to take a break right now?

In a Huffington Post article by Jill Ferguson she lists the benefits of vacations as:

  • Reduces stress - as I can attest to, vacations help shrink stress and anxiety while boosting the mental and physical health of you and the entire family, if you happen to be vacationing with them.

  • Helps your heart stay healthy - no really. In a 20-year study, researchers found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations per year.

  • Improves your mental health (especially if it's longer than 2 weeks) because you're less tense, have higher energy levels and more positive emotions, fewer negative feelings and less depression.

  • Improves your relationships because families or couples who vacation together undergo shared experiences, communication and togetherness, escape and relaxation and experiential learning, all of which contribute positively to well-being and to relationships.

You may have heard me talk about taking a mid week weekend. I mean why wait for the weekend to experience one, but what about a daily vacation? That's a novel thought right?

I dug into this idea with my dear friend Jaime Masters, of Eventual Millionaire fame, who's with me here in Bali.

We planned this holiday in late 2016 when she found out she got asked to speak in the Philippines, just before my Freedom Mastermind Retreat I hold in Bali each year.

So this was our window of time to fly into Bali at the same time and enjoy 9 days together. And we are doing that extremely well.

Jaime is a single mother of two with an extremely successful and busy coaching and mastermind business.

She's also a self prescribed geek when it comes to maximizing time efficiency and more recently bio hacking - do it yourself biology optimization, so to speak.

Or as Jaime puts it - how to be a badass.

So here's our jam session on how to optimize your day and also how to take mini vacations through a variety of suggested activities we do, and that we also think should be on your list.

Natalie: So this is exciting! We are recording this in our lovely little room in Ketut's Place in Bali in Ubud and there's thunder and lightning happening and rain. This is cool.

I am sitting on the bed as you do, with my girl, Jaime Masters and we've been talking a lot over the last couple of days about treating yourself because yesterday we had a four and a half hour pamper session!

Thanks to Jaime, an early birthday present and it was amazing.

And I was like, "Why don't we do this all the time?" and then I think actually if you did that all the time you'd just be in bliss zone and you wouldn't get anything done.

Jaime: I think it can get boring after a little while.

Natalie: Yeah, but it was pretty amazing. Like we had several massages, we had a facial; we had pedicures, manicures, head massage, hair treatment, body scrub. And I was in and out of states of bliss, in an out of state of sleeping, dreaming, imagining, ideating. It's beautiful.

But what I want to just chat to you about, because I think you are really good at this with your full-time roster of amazing clients that you coach over at Eventual Millionaire and your business and your full time podcast where you are interviewing millionaires all the time. I mean you have one of the busiest schedules I know off plus you are a mom, full-time mom.

So do you want to just share a couple of the ways you treat yourself throughout the day because I think you do this really well.

Jaime: So first of all anybody that says that they don't have time, means that they don't want to. There is a great quote about that by Lao Tzu.

"Time is a created thing. To say 'I don't have time,' is like saying, 'I don't want to."

? Lao Tzu

So out of everybody I know, I am extremely busy. We need that time because we go crazy and nutso and when you get on that roll you are not efficient or effective in anything you do.

So lessons learned from me sort of going a little insane, to children, and to my business and everything else has led me to actually taking the time in between.

Even 15 minutes of going, "Ah! This is just for me and I don't have to do anything else."

So we talked about meditation before and I definitely do meditate a lot. Sometimes in small spurts.

Like I literally was just meditating for fifteen minutes while you were on the phone just now, because I feel like it gives me a deeper state of relaxation. I do that throughout the day quite often even at home in-between calls.

But just trying to take that time where you can actually shut off whatever you're crazy entrepreneur brain is saying and go, "Okay this is time that I don't actually have to think about that", because otherwise we will.

Our brain will just keep going forever and ever and ever. And so trying to pull those pieces out as best as you can, you know what I mean?

Natalie: And I think we started discussing this from the minute I landed in Bali and I think you did too.

We've both come off some pretty hectic schedules, me with house buying and packing up and book writing and helping my mom move and you with speaking in the Philippines, and having to do all the work around that as well.

I think we both got to Bali and we are just like, 'ahhhhhhh' and I just noticed instantly how my mind just quietened and I've done more yoga and massage in the last two days than I had probably in the last months.

So why don't we roll through, like kind of spit-fire out some of our favorite at home mini vacations we take during a pretty busy working day?

Jaime: Okay so for me, I have a routine at the beginning. I literally wake up before my kids wake up now, 5:30am in the morning. I am not a morning person as much as Hal Elrod told me to wake up in the morning.

I was like, "No I don't think so." It's literally only been the last four months or so.

Beforehand I would meditate right after I brought them to school, but I realized that it wasn't quite enough for me and I kept feeling like I had too much to do throughout the day when the kids are at school so I moved it.

And so far so good. I'm going strong but I am not a morning person!

Natalie: Thunder. If you have any of this, this is real Bali in the background. Just making it real.

Jaime: That was number one, so that was an evolution in my process. I have been meditating for a very long time and I was never like, "I have to meditate every day."

It's just I wanted to, I wanted to. It is something that I pull out.

I also do probably five to fifteen minutes in between whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or brain dead.

So when I do a lot, I batch everything and so whenever I do client calls, sometimes I'm like, "How can my brain stop functioning like it should?" and being in states of flow are way more productive in general, so I try and figure out ways.

There's a good book called Stealing Fire, it talks about hacking into the flow state that I was telling you a little bit about.

What can we do that makes us feel so much better that we can come back and hit the ground running instead of just feeling horrid and crazy?

Just what we were talking about this before too, like all day long nutso.

And so I'll do that, I have a pool in the back sometimes when it's nice out, I'll go jump in the pool and reassess things, especially during the day when I'm actually working on stuff.

At night time I'll definitely go, "This is my time! I am going to have a bubble bath.

I am going to do whatever I can possibly do to turn that piece off".

Because we don't make a conscious effort in general to turn it off.

Natalie: A bubble bath is so good. I am looking forward to potentially buying a spa and having a spa pool for night time relaxation.

I like the idea of a sauna, whether you go to one or have one at your place. Often gyms have a sauna so just even ten minutes sweating it out and just being present with your body is pretty amazing.

Other things are just dropping into fifteen, twenty, or a thirty minute yoga session during the day, and I love starting with five minutes of downward dog because it ultimately ends up being a lot more, and just giving yourself that space.

Also, when I have a dog which I am getting soon! I would just have cuddle time with my dog. I'd literally have a play time, go outside, throw the Frisbee, throw the ball, play.

You've got kids around you, you'd grab them, play.

Jaime: That's a funny thing. So sometimes I'm so back-to-back I like walking into the mailbox it's like my time. I literally go, "Okay I need some sun. I am going to go walk outside", because I literally only have like five minutes, like literally I am so scheduled.

No matter what the time is, it doesn't matter I think it's the intention behind it that makes a huge difference.

Because sometimes you can play with your dog and be like, "Oh that still didn't really help." But if you are really intentional about it, it makes--

Natalie: Throw the phone away for a minute.

Jaime: As hard as it is.

Natalie: Get back to nature. Sometimes just actually being outside and getting sun on your face is a really beautiful thing and just tune into the sounds around you.

Jaime: I go and I lay in my backyard. I have the pool and I will go and lay on the bed and feel like, because we have an outdoor bed, just sit there for five minutes and not even have to do a meditation or anything like that, but just sort of soak in the sun.

Natalie: The Vitamin D.

Jaime: Sometimes I need that big time. And then being able to sort of go; "Now I reset. Now I can go back in". Very helpful.

Natalie: We should caveat this with the fact that you are very efficient with your time. So it's not like you ever say, "I am really busy."

You are fulfilled. You are busy but I as you said you batch things.

Do you want to maybe talk people through kind of your working week so that... they do hear that you have time off, and time out and you are really good at, oh we didn't even mention it, you get regular massages? So do I but you get them every single week, yeah?

Jaime: Oh yeah.

Natalie: I think if you can you should even if it's half an hour.

Jaime: Well this is the thing I kept going, "Oh I don't have the time because I have kids and I can't... when can I get a massage when I don't have them. We'll I have to work during the school hours". All that craziness goes on in your head.

Let me just say, everybody can solve every problem pretty much.

So my massage person comes in at their bed time, my kids go to bed, massage person comes in and I literally go to sleep right afterwards.

Natalie: They come to your house?

Jaime: They come to my house. It's not anymore expensive either. And they will do it like nine o'clock at night which is insane.

Natalie: And then you just go to sleep?

Jaime: I just go to sleep. It's like the best ever. It's amazing but it's because I am so scheduled and so intentional with my time.

Because this is the thing too, it's not like I don't take a time off with the kids, it's that I have to be super effective whenever I am doing whatever I am doing.

I have a lot of things going on so a typical schedule for me ,and I make my clients do all this too.

I call it the master's schedule:

  • Mondays are meeting days, back to back meetings like literally, with my masterminds, with my personal scrum from my team.

  • Tuesdays are coaching days.

  • Wednesdays, every other Wednesday is an interview so either back to back millionaire interviews or back to back me doing interviews on other people's podcast and then the rest of the week is free.

So it's 'working free' so within the time my kids are in school which they get out at three thirty. Then I have open space that I can actually fill in advance because I am one of those people.

But usually when I have the kiddos I'm done at three and then I don't work again unless it's like a crazy launch and I have to make an exception.

It's me like going for a walk with the kids or I try and get some of the more special, relaxing kind of time with them. Not that I don't have to do homework, not that I don't have to do all the other stuff, but it's just trying to have that space within the confinement.

How to take a quick daily vacation

Alright hopefully you have some firm ideas on how to take a daily mini vacation. To recap:

  • Short bursts of exercise - dance, walk to the mailbox, dip in the pool, play with your dog, drop down and do yoga.

  • Treat yourself - have a massage or a sauna, at home or book it in at your local.

  • Read a book - jump in a hammock, laze on your bed, lie on the floor, curl up in the couch, throw your phone away and disconnect the internet for 30 mins...then enjoy your fave book.

  • Pleasure yourself - did I really just say that? Heck yeah I did. Have a quickie, grab your fave sex toy and take a moment to...you know...have some fun. Or grab your partner and kiss them passionately. It releases endorphins which are feel good hormones and everyone needs those - plus you do that stuff on vacation right? So this IS a mini vacation.

  • Meditation - refer to episode 2 - Mind Your Mindfulness for a 1 minute one! They say meditation can be better than sleep and sometimes sex. So I think it's time to really take this one seriously.

Before we bring back Jaime, as she's been delving into meditation for almost a decade but has upped her game in the last year with amazing results, let's say hello to Freshbooks

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Ok, let's dive into meditation.

So on a couple of the previous episodes I've been talking about meditation. And I have to say that I think we've only just scratched the surface on this and I am going to be doing a lot more work around this.

But having chatted to Jaime over the last couple of days intensely around her her meditation practice, I've seen this different side to it so I think I've always sat on the surface going, "What if I could just get five or ten or fifteen minutes a day?".

I know the benefits of meditation but I wanted to bring Jaime back because she's just sort of open my mind and blown my mind with the routine and the practice and the intention behind her meditation and how much is that impacting everything else.

So I haven't seen Jaime for a year and a half and this time around seeing her I turned up and I was like, "Oh my gosh! You are just more like grounded."

So here's a conversation we had about her meditation.

Natalie: So who is this Joe Dispenza guy that you keep going on about?

Jaime: Okay so I've been meditating for a really really long time and then I became a disciple. The reason why I found Joe is because I'd injured my foot and he wrote a book called "You Are the Placebo" and I didn't want to have foot surgery.

That's the thing it was for the problem-solution piece of it. I'd always meditated. I didn't even know his whole thing was about meditation.

Natalie: How did you find him?

Jaime: My best friend gave me the book. Because she had been following him for awhile. But I was just trying to solve whatever the heck that thing was. I didn't know how deep he goes into meditation about how your body can change itself. And so it makes sense with, You Are the Placebo, but I never linked meditation and that before which was really awesome.

Because before I thought it was, "I am a crazy, business entrepreneur that needs to get everything out of her head and feel okay" because otherwise I might have anxiety or whatever the pieces are. That's why I'd meditated before.

And then I found this thing and I was like, "Oh there's so much more to it than that!"

Natalie: And they are self-guided aren't they? Which I like because It's quite hard to just sit and not have thoughts. In fact, it's near impossible.

Even the monks after many decades of practice don't' do it super well but they are far better than us. And I think I'd like to be like walking down the beach listening to meditation and then there you were, I was having a surf lesson and you were walking down the beach listening to a self-guided meditation.

One where Joe got you to like ground your feet into the sand at one point, stop and just be. So I love the sound of that. Because I love walking and I like being active while meditating.

What happens in that meditation?

Jaime: So that one's really interesting. Joe has a bazillion different types of meditation. Some were shorter. This one's an hour and fifteen minutes. Some of our friends are like, "Oh surfing is so like that".

It was funny when I was walking, thankfully eyes open for quite a bit, I was looking at some of the surfers and just thinking about how amazing that is too.

There's a quite a few different pieces to his types of meditation. And so one is a big breathing aspect and then walking, where he doesn't have you do that because you look weird.

But what he does as you start walking, he has you start envisioning your future and then walking as your future self.

And imagining whatever happened that you want to have happened in the future as if it was a memory of the past.

So you are walking and he is like talking about how to think of this and think of that, and as you are walking you feel amazing, on top of the world type of person.

And then he has you stop and just close your eyes and imagine the feelings that you would feel: gratitude, joy - whatever those things are or affirmations are.

And literally, because your body's been walking and energized, already like to me it goes like crazy. It makes you really feel the emotions. And then you walk again.

And it levels up the emotional side of it. Levels up the feeling of, "Oh my gosh! This is what I'll feel like in the future."

Right, that confidence, whatever those pieces are. And so you are sort of stepping into what that is and it makes a lot more believable.

So as an entrepreneur I feel like, "Oh I want to speak on a stage at TEDx in front of a thousand people."

I was chatting with somebody when I spoke in the Philippines, she's like, "I love crowds of 10,000 to 15,000 people." And I was like, "Hmmmm. I haven't done that before. 10,000 people that's a lot of people. Wow, Okay great!"

She said, "The energy is just insane."

And so then I started going, "Let's imagine what that would look like. I'm sure I can do it".

And so in the walking meditation, I started bringing in some of those pieces. So when you start bringing in the pieces as if it already happened, especially the science behind meditation, it actually does.

Have you heard the piano player thing? They had a study where:

  • Some people actually play the piano in a certain number of hours per day for a specific song.

  • Another one just did the finger exercises with no piano.

  • And then the other ones meditated on it.

So the people would actually meditate on it. They never touched the piano, and they actually were just as good as the other people.

Natalie: When they finally went to play the piano?

Jaime: Yes which is insane.

Natalie: I've heard a few studies around stuff just re-visioning exercise on that.

Jaime: Yes. It gets your body in certain state. It's really interesting to see the studies because we are placebos by the way, right?

So we affect our thoughts and everything affects everything.

And I think entrepreneurs need to get this better and better and better.

It's not just clearing your brain it's all those thoughts that we think, that determine what we actually take action on, what we actually do.

All those beliefs or whatever you want to say whether they are subconscious or not.

When you start flushing those out, and you start imagining yourself.....

I've had a friend who hated speaking and then he did like a hundred different speaking gigs all in a row just to get over the fear and to get really good at it.

Well, you do a 100 of them and you'll get really good at it!

Imagine meditating on it a hundred days in a row instead of actually having to go do it. And again there might be a little bit of twinge when you do the first one but it's going to feel so much more natural even just the visualization of it.

And I've interviewed a ton of millionaires, 400 and something millionaires, so many of them bring up visioning, it's insane.

I was not woo-woo at all and I started going down this road and interviewing millionaires and I'm like, "How come everybody keeps talking about this?".

Because I really wanted to know and so then I started looking at the science behind it all. And then I'm like, "There's something to this", because I am a sciency kind of gal and then I've started implementing and doing it.

It has literally changed so many things and what I can see is possible moving forward.

Natalie: You mentioned that it's helped you, one being all grounded and not even noticed that visibly in you. You said your skin is glowing. You think you looked younger like not aging. What are some of the other benefits?

Jaime: There's a whole thing on epigenetics which if you read any of Joe's books. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson talks about epigenetics - our bodies and what we feel basically.

Because this is the thing, I don't think people really understand, and again the science is very very new behind all this. It hasn't really come out to the general population. If I say epigenetics, people are more like, "I don't have a clue what that is".

But your DNA actually can turn on and off based on your environment. And so it's not all like you were born like this and now we are like that forever, it's what you ingest, what you are doing, what you are thinking that all affects your body, which makes logical sense when you think about it.

We are not emotionless robots. All the pieces and parts really make a difference.

You've seen the president go from looking really really young beforehand and how the heck did he age so much in such a short period of time? Like the stress and everything.

And so it really affects your body. So you can do it in the opposite direction also. How can we change that?

Natalie: I was telling you about Josh's friend Rohan, his father from England who's been doing transcendental meditation for something like forty five years or more.

I haven't met him and I really want to meet him. I told you that right?

Because he is late 70s and he looks like he is in his 40s. He gets up at five a.m every morning. He does one to two hours of transcendental meditation with the music and all the vibrations and everything.

And he is apparently just super focused and onto it. He doesn't need much sleep. Just incredibly aware and has energy all day and that youth, that vitality and that absolute solidness around what he does and who he is.

He's absolutely precise and clear on who he is and what energy he gives off. So that fascinates me.

It does make me feel, yes you could change your state and you can change your entire DNA makeup.

By the way, did you know that when you get sunburnt you are changing the DNA? There's a whole science behind it which you'd love.

When you get sunburnt, your cells are exploding and we have billions of cells right, but they are exploding and each little explosion is shifting and changing your DNA. So overtime you can actually change your DNA of your body.

Jaime: Good way or bad way?

Natalie: I don't think sunburn is obviously good for you at all, but it's just more the point that scientists have seen that you are actually changing your DNA through that. So there must be other ways of changing your DNA.

Jaime: When you look up epigenetics and you'll see some of those pieces because it's insane to read some of the studies on this. I didn't realize this. I'm like, "Man!".

It is one of those things where it's such a new science so it seems a little woo-woo to people. It is with any sort of newer science.

Natalie: I know scientists needs the data and the facts but also I just want to see it's working.

Jaime: This is what I do, I'm like, "Well I'll test it and If I like it, I'll keep doing it and if I don't like it, then I won't."

But there's a lot of Charletons that are like, "Oh you do this thing and it's amazing!".

So that's what we have to be careful of, but to me I'll test anything and if I like it and I see results then I'll continue.

I care about the smarts and logic. And so meditation has allowed me to tap in way more and not just be a 'running around like trying to do everything head wise', but actually tapping into all parts of your body.

I never thought that your gut or intuition was a big deal until, again I heard so many millionaires going, "I went with my gut" and I'm like, "Wait! There's no real science behind that."

I'll put a spreadsheet together so I can look at all the facts, this is why I am so science based because I need something to make a decision. I would almost never go with my gut.

Natalie: Gut every time.

Jaime: See... but to me I didn't get the point of gut. I thought that that wasn't logic.

When you read like the book, Blank and we realize how amazing we are as human beings.

We can make an assessment on something without even necessarily knowing the facts and data.

Like that book was very eye opening to me because I was like, "Oh, maybe I do know more than logic will tell me and research and data."

And so realizing that, along with everything else tapping into that. You can shut yourself off big time. Most people do. Most of the clients that I talk to I ask "What's your gut saying?"

They are like "I don't know."

Natalie: Oh really? I do it all the time. The only time that I haven't sometimes is travelling, because I listen to my gut and instinct all the time in travelling. "Don't go down there" or actually "Don't take that bus".

Jaime: What does that feel like? Where? How do you do that?

Natalie: Literally like a strong sensation to not go ahead and buy that ticket. Where? It's a good point. You do actually feel it in your stomach and then I feel like it just triggers straight away to your brain with a no. I have voice in my head going, "That's not a wise idea." It's really crazy and I just listen to it all the time.

Jaime: I had heard this one place, and I have not verified sources but, what's interesting is they were saying that it's actually your heart that is making a lot of these decisions, and then going to either your stomach and then your brain and so it triggers all of them right? We sometimes think it's our brain first.

Natalie: It's literally like a decision and sometimes your body will stop. Sometimes your body will stop walking like 'you are not going to go down there, Natalie'. It's the fight-or-flight response that I feel kicks in and that is triggered by your immune system and/or your nervous system, so I guess your heart is the thing that's beating.

Jaime: We just don't know very much about our bodies though. Like it's kind of sad.

I am trying to teach my children like, "Okay. Where do you feel that in your body?" so that they can become more in tune because I never was.

I was like, what is that feeling? I would never go with my gut in general.

So knowing and being able to say, "This actually works."

I needed all the data from all the millionaires like, "Wait, you've went with your gut and that worked? Wow! Interesting."

It would be really interesting to ask which ones typically go with their gut and which ones don't.

Natalie: And where do you feel that in your body - that's an interesting question to ask anybody. Going on a bit of tangent here but asking 'how do you feel' and see what people's responses are, because if you ask a very pragmatic logic based person, they will go, "I am blah blah blah."

Jaime: Okay so this is my best friend, she had to ask me every single day. She goes, "How do you feel?" and I'd say, "Good" and she'd go, "Good is not a feeling."

"Great! I feel great!", she said, "That's not a feeling."

I didn't have the words to express it. I literally had one of those little cards that said all the emotions on it. But I couldn't find the nuances between the emotions because I didn't think it was a big deal. Like what does it matter?

Natalie: And it does matter.

Jaime: It totally does now I know. I am teaching my children this.

So tapping into intuition or tapping into your gut is an example.

I don't know what that felt like. I was like, "Huh! Nope. I got nothing."

The little nuances in anxiety or the little nuances in joy, the little nuances in things that I just never paid attention to. And yet we can be so much more expressive as human beings if you actually know that.

I had beforehand thought, "If I just negate all the bad emotions and only felt the good ones, I'll be happy in my world". I mean you know in entrepreneurship too, it doesn't work that way. Shit happens.

Natalie: It's a rollercoaster.

Jaime: Exactly. You have to mitigate all of it and sometimes the crappy stuff is teaching you the most and you have to be okay with those emotions because if you try and negate that you won't take the risks, even calculated risks.

You just won't make the steps towards that because you are so scared of negative emotions. It's an interesting thing.

Natalie: I think a lot of people live in the state of, "I'm okay. I'm okay. So I am not going to show any emotions."

And you asking me the other day, "Do you feel that you tapped into that? Are you emotional?"

I have my moments around my Dad because I was quite surprised that I wasn't more upset or just really in that state, but I do think it's because I focused on celebrating his life.

It doesn't mean I think I shut down my feelings. Like I will have my moments where I'll just cry.

As I told you I am big soak in movies. I'll just have waterworks in movies. I feel like a lot around animals and nature. I don't worry so much or sweat the small stuff but I often think about global issues or environment or inhumane treatment of animals or people. And that stuff gets me really emotional but I think there are so many people who are walking through life they are taking the drugs and numbing them.

Jaime: But that's the point right?

The placebo, the book is all about, you don't need to rely on what we think.

One of the reasons why we take a placebo and think it will work is because people have told us that it will work.

If a doctor someone of high authority goes, "This will work for you." Even if it numbs you like crazy, you are like, "Oh then half of it's probably the placebo effect and the pills don't even work."

So it's one of those things where us knowing ourselves better. If you are the type, "I am emotional in these sort of ways and I don't need to like make myself be emotional in other ways either", but knowing yourself better makes a huge difference.

So if you do get sick or whatever, trying to pay attention to what those emotions were within it and then solving that instead of going after like, "I just need more alcohol" or "I need more drugs".

Like when I injured my neck they gave me Hydrocodone and I'm like, "That's a lot!".

It's a narcotic. They gave me a lot of pills. I was kind of surprised. They gave me like three sets of pills.

Natalie: The United States scares me with what they give out. It's such a pill based society.

Jaime: And I was like, "So how do I fix it though?". It's one thing to numb the pain and I am okay with pain I can handle a lot of pain but how do I fix it? Nobody really went down that path which sucks.

Natalie: It does. Western medicine is very much like immediate solution where as I love the Eastern philosophy around preventing it before it's even happened.

Jaime: Yes but the thing is I agree a thousand percent but because we've already gone past the point.

So again this is western world but we are sold that we can have everything right now and this is why meditation is so important too. Because we are moving at a constant pace especially entrepreneurs. We are problem solvers and we wanted the problem solved yesterday not today.

And so a pill, sure! Faster, easier, more efficient.

Natalie: The headache was just from the hours of pampering and all the detox.

And when I was in that yoga class, that restorative yoga which I loved and I was having trouble with the hamstring pose and it was really like sinking in. Sinking into that pose and feeling the pain and I wanted to come out of it because we had to hold it for five minutes. And that's when she said, "If you are challenged by this pose, you probably have issues with control, because the control that you put into your everyday life will manifest itself into your basically your hamstring."

So the tightening there is the constant control or tension. And I think in intrinsically you know that but whatever we are holding any source of tension or pain or even love manifests itself in your body.

Jaime: So that's the whole point of Joe Dispenza, the whole point completely.

He was a doctor and he actually cut his spinal cord. It was like crazy he couldn't walk and he didn't want to have surgery. And all the doctors are like, "So you kind to have surgery to fix this", and he was, "I am not going to do it."

He meditated. And people were like, "Okay, you meditated your spinal healing. That's a little insane."

Natalie: Have he done meditation before?

Jaime: I don't remember. I think he must have done something. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be like, "Oh I am going to try meditation and see if this works."

He was a chiropractor so he knew the body really really well but what is interesting like you were saying is being able to have whatever is existing in our body usually is for a reason.

And unfortunately because we are problem solvers and we want to fix this so fast we just take the pill and go, "That will be okay."

But more and more instances of cancer, more and more instances of crazy stuff and we are going, "What's wrong?". Well yeah it's probably food and stuff like that too but there's so many things that we don't understand that us taking care of ourselves, like you said the eastern side of things could have probably prevented but now we are at this tipping point where we can't see the force for the trees anymore.

And so that's why it's great that he wrote the book called, You Are the Placebo because there's literally everybody going, "I have a problem. I need a solution." And so being able to show people, "Oh by the way, this could help this."

Natalie: I was going to say it sounds of ironic but I am about to say we have to take control or more importantly, we have to take responsibility because things are not going to get better.

We are going to have more and more technology. We'd be more and more connected. We are going to have more and more devices. We are going to have more multi-tasking. We are going to have more and more things in our life that are causing us to live lives in totally different way where we don't have peace, quiet, nature, reflection, timeout, thinking time, quiet time.

And so we just have to and that's why I am so proud of you because you are making time because you love it every morning to do your meditation.

Jaime: One I didn't love it. I couldn't sit for five minutes. I used to lay down because I couldn't sit up. So I couldn't sit up for that long and I hated the five minutes every single time.

It's just very much an evolutionary process. That being said I learned my own process.

A lot of clients are resistant because they are entrepreneurs and logical and my brain is way too crazy, "I can't do it Jaime". I was like, "I have the same crazy brain you do. I have ADD literally".

And so when we are looking at, "Okay what can you do as a first step?" We talked about five minutes of headspace.

Headspace is great, Calm app is great, just to sort of slowly get into that and then I have people come back and they are like, "Oh that felt a little better."

And then what is that next step and what is that next step, I did this as part of the evolutionary process it to try to make meditation efficient.

I would get all the crap out of my head so that way I could feel like i could be more clear. David Allen's Getting Things Done, getting everything out of your head.

So I would do that piece along with having this inspired thoughts of, "Oh you know what I should do and this".

Natalie: You'd actually literally go sit down or lie down to meditate but then you'd have bing bing bing thoughts. So you'd actually then stop the meditation?

Jaime: I wouldn't actually stop the meditation. It's really kind of funny I had a eye pillow on and I'd literally have a journal right next to me and I'd scribble.

It's just like a twenty, thirty minute meditation, it wasn't a lot because I would only do the first piece like this. I would literally just go, "Oh!" and write those.

Changes of launch plans or the ideas that I have.

And then I would be able to clear and be a lot better.

So it's still guided meditation but this is what I have my clients do because in general they are like," I can't make it stop."

You know what makes it stop? Write all that crap down. And because David Allen talks about with getting things done, if it's still on your head it will keep reminding it. It will keep bringing it up.

So there you have it. This topic of Personal Freedom here on the Quest for Freedom Podcast continues to come back to freedom of the mind in so many respects.

I know I will continue to delve deeper into this. In the next episode I'll be discussing personal freedom from a place of less stuff weighing you down - as in decluttering.

Tune in for that one. And read the full show notes for this episode at nataliesisson.com/7

You can also sign up to get fresh, hip and timely email updates when I release a new episode. Or you can simply subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud or Google Play and make my day - and hopefully make yours.

 

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<![CDATA[Hacking Happiness]]> Wed, 15 Mar 2017 15:51:52 GMT 32:30 no Let's dive into hacking happiness shall we....here's a snippet from me early in the morning when I grabbed my phone and recorded this:

So it’s like 4:22 am on a Monday morning in Wellington, New Zealand and I am wide awake, unfortunately, because my mind is going all over the place.

And it’s odd because I’ve had thoughts popping in from every single angle and I think this is pretty typical for what happens when you’ve got a lot going on in your head and a lot of the important things are coming off at the same time.

And everything that I was thinking about ultimately came back to why timing is so important and how to make the most of every single moment.

It was exactly 2 weeks ago yesterday, that Josh and I saw the house that we've now put an offer on that has been accepted. But is still not unconditional, which is the terminology we use in New Zealand to say that absolutely everything is going ahead and that the place will be ours once all the conditions have been met.

So basically it is saying there's no way you can get out of it and everybody should be happy.

And we've been waiting on banks and waiting on deals and playing the banks off against each other and getting paperwork together and culminating on finances.

And it just feels like to me as an impatient Aries... everything is dragging.

I just want the decision today and the lawyer to come back and say, "Great! Everything is gone unconditional. It's officially yours. You'll get to settle on the 5th of April and move in."

Which will be just two days after my birthday.

The irony around timing, as I mentioned, is not lost on me because that very day that we looked at the property, we also went back to look at another property that we were pretty set on. It was going to be a huge financial commitment, dare I say burden, if we went ahead and did it.

And alsoit was on 26 acres of land, which on reflection, is just something that I think is immensely scary to deal with for two city folk. And there was just so much work to be done on the land.

So interestingly on that day we went to look back at it, is the day that we decided the one we’d seen earlier was in fact the combination of our perfect wishlist.

The other reason why I think timing is so key for example is over this weekend just gone, in my preemptiveness, I went to the SPCA, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

I was looking at dogs to adopt because I so desperately wanted a dog for the last seven years of being on the road, living out of my suitcase, but I’ve obviously never felt it’s fair to do that, and have never been in one place for long enough to even justify thinking about a dog.

I’ve instead dog sat and house sat and got my fix with every single dog that I’ve come into contact with.

And I was a little preemptive because I saw this dog on Friday and she was beautiful and so I went back Saturday and she already had an adoption pending on her.

And there was no way I could have done anything anyway because they typically try and get the dogs out of there in a week or so and get them fostered.

And so I was just way too early in my typical pre-planning and excitement and impatience as an Aries. It’s a good trait most of the time and sometimes it’s frustrating!

So I was like, “Okay, there’s a reason why I didn’t obviously get that dog and I wasn’t meant to have it”.

And then voila on Sunday morning I am browsing Trade Me which is a bit like Ebay and a bit like Gumtree depending on which country you are in.

And this beautiful new listing of Welsh Springer Spaniel pups popped up. And I immediately clicked on it because I’ve been refreshing this Trade Me listing all week.

And they’d only put it up the day before and only 2 of the 6 pups were left so I rang up immediately and said, “Is it possible to come out and see it today?” and she said, “Yup. We’ve been inundated with people.”

So I went out to see them in the afternoon and oh my goodness! I spent about 25 minutes there with these gorgeous pups which are only about 9 weeks old, super cuddly and sleepy.

The thing about it is, I am really hoping at this point that she’s going to pick me as one of the final two people to get a puppy.

She said I am at the top of the list because I’ve got a lifestyle property that we haven’t even got yet. (But we will have it!)

And that both Josh and I work from home and we are super active as well and that there will be plenty of space for the dog to run around but also good fencing, all these things tick the boxes.

And the fact the momma dog immediately bonded with me which she hadn’t seen nearly do with many other people at all.

Fingers crossed on those things and then I started there to go and look at a second hand piano. Also on Trade Me. And I got there and I played it a little bit even though I am super rusty at playing the piano.

And I was like, “I love it. I’ll take it.” And she’s like, “Well, no joke, three minutes before you arrived somebody put a bid on it”.

So now the auction has started in place. There’s no more buy now button. It’s an auction and you have to bide the time.

And I was like, “Uh! Timing is everything!”. Had I arrived at the time that I said I would, I will be now to hit the buy now button and then just hand her over cash and secure this beautiful old piano that had been passed down from her grandmother.

So now I just have to exercise patience once again and wait until that auction is up for grabs at the end of Wednesday when it closes. And hope that either myself (because I’ll be on a flight to Bali) or Josh can actually go ahead and bid for that and hopefully win the auction.

(Update: Am on the top of the reserve list for the puppies, two many awesome families ahead of me, and didn't get the piano as my autobid got outbid while I was flying on a plane!)

Timing is everything.

And then I woke up this morning, 2:30am and I was thinking about Portugal and my house over there and what to do about it. And the people who continue to contactme about renting it.

And I cast myself back to being in my house and thinking how lovely it would be to just wiggle my nose and be there and enjoy it a little bit more now that it’s all done up and looking beautiful. And how would that feel.

Then I thought about surfing and the local communities, and the cafes and my neighbor, Adelaide and just being back in Portugal.

I really wish you could wiggle your nose a little bit more and just be able to pop to the places that you love and be present.

And I also reflected that in this moment where timing is everything, that I am really happy in this moment.

And that’s what this episode is all about today, I’ve called it “Hacking Happiness”,

Well I’m pleased as punch to say that did indeed happen, not that day but the next one, when I went into full time hustle mode wrangling banks and my lawyer.

Yep we officially own this amazing property - all 359 sqm of it plus a 246 sqm big modern barn and 2.5 acres of land.

I posted on Facebook last night with a bunch of photos and the comments started pouring in. It’s gone nuts. Over 350 likes and 180 comments so far.

People are genuinely excited, care and are happy for me. For us.

The comments on my previous episode Changing Plans, also blew my mind too. I asked you to help choose my next adventure - A) stay and set up this lifestyle property, or B) go to Europe for summer.

Most people voted for me to choose to stay. I guess that shouldn’t have surprised me but there was real gold in people’s responses as to why, such as this one from Jeanie Miller”.

“So do you stay or do you go? In following you over the past few years, when I think of you, I think of Go! Go! Go! 'Go' is the usual for you. The change, and the challenge, may now be to 'stay'.

You are awesome at 'going', you wear it really well. How will you wear 'stay'? What new opportunities and learning challenges will you be blessed with by trying out a new gig called stay?

I don't think you want us to choose...like you said, I think you know the answer deep down inside. It sounds like you are ready to take your life up a notch or 10! Either way you go...you will rock it...and if you choose 'go', you will eventually come back to 'stay'. Hugs! Here's to your success!”

Or this from Terriane Palmer Peacock:

“I'm glad you chose or are choosing to stay, because that's what I felt sang from your heart. I love how you articulated Freedom is whatever you choose it to be, and it does change as you grow and evolve. This sounds like a brand new chapter of Freedom for you, and I'm intrigued to follow and support your journey. Plus the property looks absolutely divine! You can't beat a homestead in NZ for back-to-nature beauty! All the best!”

This is what this episode is all about - Hacking Happiness, because I believe it’s possible to do just that.

I also think we are often misguided about what makes us happy.

When I was at the SPCA on Friday looking at dogs to adopt, I found a beautiful young pup that I really wanted. I went back the next day with Josh and she already had an adoption pending on her.

While I had spent some time focusing on how cool it would be to have her in our lives and at our new property, my happiness was not dependent on the outcome. I wasn’t attached to her...yet.

I do however know for sure that I get so much happiness from dogs, and spending time with them. So rather than get caught up in the decision or outcome that didn’t happen.

I focused instead on the truth, and that when the time is right, the perfect dog will come into my world, for me to love and adore, teach and be taught and to go on adventures with.

It’s not an easy thing to do - stop yourself from saying “When I get fit I’ll do X, or when I earn X I will be happy”.

This is where Andrea Featherstone - a friend, former client and fellow freedomist comes in and shares her wisdom. Over at projectself.com.au, she is a Mindfulness Advisor and shows you how to live a Bloody Good Life!

Here’s what she has to say on this topic:

“When it comes to happiness, the very first thing we need to realise is that our mind - like every other part of our body - is designed to keep us alive, but not to keep us happy and not to keep us fulfilled. So our mind is wired to seek out more.

So no matter what we achieve or no matter what we get, we will always want more. Our mind constantly moves the goal posts of our happiness one step ahead of us; so we think, “Oh I just need that promotion and then I’ll be happy.”, “I just need to get a Boxer puppy and then I’ll be happy.”

So perhaps when you quit your job and you finally get your awesome freedom business up and running, it won’t be long (even though you don’t think it will be that way!) it won’t be long until you find that it's no longer enough to fulfil you... now you want a six figure income, and now you want a seven figure income, and then you want to own a super yacht and then you want to be famous etc...

I’ve worked for some of the richest billionaires in the world and they still just want more.

They want to keep building bigger and bigger super yachts and spending their money on ridiculous things just to try and get themselves happiness and fulfilment but because their mind always moves the goal posts to the next step, it never lasts.”

 

Sound familiar to you? Can you resonate? Do you know of someone who is never happy with where they’re at? Always wanting more?

Back to Andrea…this is important so listen carefully:

“Our mind is wired to always want more because it's like a squirrel basically, hoarding nuts, like trying to save all the nuts in case we have a potential famine or war.

Our mind has not yet evolved to recognise that we are living in an era now where anyone lucky enough to be listening to this, is living well above the survival line and no longer has to seek more, more, more just to be a buffer for future wars or famines. Hopefully.

So what is this mind that keeps self-sabotaging us? You know, the guy that keeps making us procrastinate and stops us doing the things that we know would bring us more happiness.

The activity that shows up in brain scans when we are thinking, what I’ll call for this episode ‘our mind’, is spread all over various regions of our brain and these areas are collectively known as the ‘default mode network’.

So when our ‘default mode network’ is activated it means our mind is wandering i.e we are on autopilot and our mind has wandered off to thinking about the past or the future or whether that hot guy over there is looking our way.

Basically we are thinking about something other than what we are doing.

Now the key problem that we face is in the scientific name given to the mind: ‘default mode’. Mind wandering is our default mode.

It’s estimated that the average human is lost in thought between 50-80% of the day and around 70% of those thoughts (for most people) are negative, which is why we have what’s called the negativity bias, which is again a function of our mind’s orientation towards survival rather than happiness.”

That’s a whole lot of negativity right there - no wonder we get down on ourselves!

In my mind (pun intended), there simply is no other way than to be present, and be grateful for right here, right now. Cos quite frankly that’s all you have.

Through this entire 2 weeks of dealing with banks, and financials, and getting together screeds of information to present a good case for a loan, and waiting for answers….which went on and on, Josh and I were really good about focusing on our gratitudes each night and what we were excited and happy about.

We knew we’d get the outcome we wanted eventually, and we focusing on being present in the right now and enjoying what we were learning from the process together (as this is Josh’s first house buying expedition), and my 6th!

I thought I’d quote from an article that Derek Sivers recently wrote called Think Like a Bronze Medalist, not Silver

“Imagine the Olympics, where you have the three winners of a race standing on the podium: the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

Imagine what it’s like to be the silver medalist. If you were just one second faster, you could have won the gold! Damn! So close! Damn damn damn! You would keep comparing yourself to the gold winner, full of envy.

Now imagine what it’s like to be the bronze medalist. If you were just one second slower, you wouldn’t have won anything! Whoo-hoo! You would be thrilled that you are officially an Olympic medalist, and got to stand on the winner’s podium at all.

Comparing up versus comparing down.Your happiness depends on where you’re focusing.

The metaphor is easy to understand, but hard to remember in regular life. If you catch yourself burning with envy or resentment, think like the bronze medalist, not the silver. Change your focus.

Instead of comparing up to the next-higher situation, compare down to the next-lower.”

So true right?

In my research on happiness, I came across, amongst a bazillion resources and references, an article in the Observer by Benjamin Hardy.

He wrote about an example I could totally resonate with, having flown hundreds, no probably over a thousand times in my life:

“Several years ago in an interview with Conan O’Brien, Louis C. K. tells of flying on a newly equipped Wi-Fi airplane. He was amazed by the new technology. Until, during the flight, the Wi-Fi went down.

Immediately, the man next to him became extremely upset. “As though the world owes this man something he only knew existed 10 seconds ago.”

Louis C. K. continues by describing people’s absurd frustrations with flying in general. People complain about it all the time “It was the worst day of my life! It took 20 minutes to board! We had to sit on the runway for 40 minutes!”

We hear complaints like these all the time. As if we’ve forgotten how incredible it is that humans can fly at all.

How are we so quick to take for granted the remarkable things going on in life?

Why is it so easy to complain?

Why do we focus on the negative?

Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.

However, happiness can easily be achieved even without the brilliant advances in the world.

Rather than being reactive to what’s going on around us, happy people take control of their lives and emotions.

If you are unhappy with your life, who or what else can you blame than yourself? And if you can blame someone or something else, how is blame going to make your life any better?

Bad stuff happens to everyone. But life isn’t about what happens to you. It’s about how you proactively respond.”

He went on to list out these 10 behaviours, that if applied, will change your life and let you be an incredibly happy person.

I’m going to focus on just 3 that stood out for me.

Define Your Own Success And Happiness

This carries on from what Derek Sivers was saying:

“No two human beings are the same. So why should we have one standard of success? Seeking society’s standard of success is an endless rat-race. There will always be someone better than you. You’ll never have the time to do everything.

Instead, you recognize that every decision has opportunity cost. When you choose one thing, you simultaneously don’t choose several others. And that’s okay. Actually, it’s beautiful because we get to choose our ultimate ideal. We must define success, wealth, and happiness in our own terms because if we don’t, society will for us—and we will always fall short. We’ll always be left wanting. We’ll always be stuck comparing ourselves and competing with other people. Our lives will be an endless race for the next best thing. We’ll never experience contentment.”

Commit 100 Percent To The Things That Make You Happy

“Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be.”—Clayton Christensen

“People are really good at self-sabotage. We consistently behave in ways that contradict our goals and ideals. This is incongruence. As Mahatma Gandhi has said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” The smaller the gap between what you should do, and what you actually do—the happier you will be.

Hence, Clayton Christensen says 100 percent commitment is easier than 98 percent commitment. When you fully commit to something, the decision has been made. Consequently, regarding that thing, all future decisions have been made.

Unless you’re committed 100 percent, you will always be a victim to external circumstances. By relying on willpower, you’ll crumble more often than you think. Research has found that people over-inflate their own performance. Chances are, you probably think you’re doing better at your resolves than you really are.

But once you’re 100 percent committed, you no longer need to rely on willpower. Your decision has already been made regardless of the circumstances. Saying “No” to anything outside our highest ideals becomes extremely easy. This is living proactively rather than reactively.”

I think I practice this really well. I focus on exactly the outcome I want, 100%. I’ve manifested virtually everything happening since we started looking at properties and they’ve come off so far.

I catch myself daydreaming in the glorious vision on walking on our land, with a dog alongside us, the sun shining, the birds singing and nature surrounding us. I visualized walking through the house, cooking meals there, wine by the fire…. in detail.

Visualization is a really powerful method I’ve dabbled with in Ultimate Frisbee and also in speaking, and I realize I do it a lot more now in business in life to get what I want!

Sure I’ve waivered a lot during this house process, pointing out what might happen, thinking about what might not happen too, because that way I can deal wtih the consequences if something doesn’t work out.

Josh and I ran through the worst case scenario if our offer didn’t get accepted and immediately after we both felt happier for whatever outcome, even though we knew which outcome we wanted!

 

The third behaviour is this:

Be Grateful For What You Already Have

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”—Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Happiness is as simple as gratitude. Psychological research has found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:

Physical

  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

Psychological

  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • More optimism and happiness

Social

  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate
  • More forgiving
  • More outgoing
  • Feel less lonely and isolated

Despite these benefits, most people ungratefully focus on what they don’t have. As a culture, we have become wasteful and undisciplined consumers. The grass is always greener on the other side. A constant pursuit of having more of the newest and best.

How could you possibly find happiness when you relentlessly want more and never properly appreciate what you have?

It’s time for you to learn how to be more grateful. Your happiness depends on it. Dr. Emmons, one of the world’s leading experts on gratitude recommends 10 ways to become more grateful:

Keep a gratitude journal

Set aside time on a daily basis to recollect moments of gratitude connected with commonplace events, your personal characteristics, or important people in your life. This allows you to weave gratitude into your normal, everyday life. This will help you move from trying to be grateful occasionally to becoming a grateful person. The goal is to move from doing to being.

Remember the hard and challenging things you’ve gone through

When you ponder and reflect on the challenges you’ve passed through, you’ll more fully embrace where you currently are.

Ask yourself these three questions

You can reflect on any aspect of your life and deeply consider these three questions:

  • “What have I received from __?”
  • “What have I given to __?”
  • “What troubles and difficulty have I caused?”

These questions will allow you to look at the people or things in your life from a different perspective. They will allow you to not take them for granted and to realize how grateful you are.

Learn prayers of gratitude

In many spiritual traditions, prayers of gratitude are considered to be the most powerful form of prayer. These prayers turn the individual to their highest source of power. It allows them to realize the divine grace that has so generously been bestowed. It also allows the person to seek for higher and better ways of living.

Come to your senses

Literally, connecting more deeply with our body allows us to see it for what it is: a brilliant and miraculous gift. Being more fully present as we touch, see, smell, taste, and hear facilitates appreciation for being human and alive. In this way, gratitude intensifies our lived experience.

Use visual reminders

The two main impediments to gratitude are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness. Consequently, putting visual reminders in common places triggers thoughts of gratitude. Dr. Emmons has found that the best visual reminders are people.

Make a personal vow to practice gratitude

Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Consequently, you should make a personal and public declaration that you are going to be more grateful. Write it down. Share it on social media. Tell your friends and closest people.

Watch your language

Grateful people use words that ungrateful people don’t use. They often use words like gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. Use these words in your vocabulary more and you’ll recognize more things to be grateful for. Additionally, in your language, don’t focus on how inherently good you are. Rather, speak of how good things and other people have been for you. This will allow you to realize the abundance around you. The universe and everyone in it is your advocate.

Go through the motions

Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude. When you do these things, you trigger the emotion of gratitude in your life. Say thank you more often. Say you love people more often. Smile at random strangers as you pass them by. Not only will it make you feel better, it is contagious. People are mirrors. They’ll feel good and smile back. This will create a change reaction of positivity throughout the world. The ripple effects are endless.

Think outside the box

Dr. Emmons recommends creatively looking for new situations and things to be grateful for. What in your life have you not spent time being grateful for? What could you include in your life that will generate an inflow of gratitude? Mix it up. Don’t think gratitude can only come from a narrow set of sources.”

I hope you feel happier. And I hope that you have some tips, tactics and strategies to put into action to feel more happy on a daily basis.

Have you noticed that all of these things are ridiculously simple too? So why don’t we actually do them more often? Let’s all do this shall we?

Also if you want to take it a step further check out Andrea’s 6 day free Mindfulness Challenge atprojectself.com.au/mindfulness-challenge

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

And seriously do try them out. They’re awesome!

 

]]>
Let's dive into hacking happiness shall we....here's a snippet from me early in the morning when I grabbed my phone and recorded this:

So it’s like 4:22 am on a Monday morning in Wellington, New Zealand and I am wide awake, unfortunately, because my mind is going all over the place.

And it’s odd because I’ve had thoughts popping in from every single angle and I think this is pretty typical for what happens when you’ve got a lot going on in your head and a lot of the important things are coming off at the same time.

And everything that I was thinking about ultimately came back to why timing is so important and how to make the most of every single moment.

It was exactly 2 weeks ago yesterday, that Josh and I saw the house that we've now put an offer on that has been accepted. But is still not unconditional, which is the terminology we use in New Zealand to say that absolutely everything is going ahead and that the place will be ours once all the conditions have been met.

So basically it is saying there's no way you can get out of it and everybody should be happy.

And we've been waiting on banks and waiting on deals and playing the banks off against each other and getting paperwork together and culminating on finances.

And it just feels like to me as an impatient Aries... everything is dragging.

I just want the decision today and the lawyer to come back and say, "Great! Everything is gone unconditional. It's officially yours. You'll get to settle on the 5th of April and move in."

Which will be just two days after my birthday.

The irony around timing, as I mentioned, is not lost on me because that very day that we looked at the property, we also went back to look at another property that we were pretty set on. It was going to be a huge financial commitment, dare I say burden, if we went ahead and did it.

And alsoit was on 26 acres of land, which on reflection, is just something that I think is immensely scary to deal with for two city folk. And there was just so much work to be done on the land.

So interestingly on that day we went to look back at it, is the day that we decided the one we’d seen earlier was in fact the combination of our perfect wishlist.

The other reason why I think timing is so key for example is over this weekend just gone, in my preemptiveness, I went to the SPCA, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

I was looking at dogs to adopt because I so desperately wanted a dog for the last seven years of being on the road, living out of my suitcase, but I’ve obviously never felt it’s fair to do that, and have never been in one place for long enough to even justify thinking about a dog.

I’ve instead dog sat and house sat and got my fix with every single dog that I’ve come into contact with.

And I was a little preemptive because I saw this dog on Friday and she was beautiful and so I went back Saturday and she already had an adoption pending on her.

And there was no way I could have done anything anyway because they typically try and get the dogs out of there in a week or so and get them fostered.

And so I was just way too early in my typical pre-planning and excitement and impatience as an Aries. It’s a good trait most of the time and sometimes it’s frustrating!

So I was like, “Okay, there’s a reason why I didn’t obviously get that dog and I wasn’t meant to have it”.

And then voila on Sunday morning I am browsing Trade Me which is a bit like Ebay and a bit like Gumtree depending on which country you are in.

And this beautiful new listing of Welsh Springer Spaniel pups popped up. And I immediately clicked on it because I’ve been refreshing this Trade Me listing all week.

And they’d only put it up the day before and only 2 of the 6 pups were left so I rang up immediately and said, “Is it possible to come out and see it today?” and she said, “Yup. We’ve been inundated with people.”

So I went out to see them in the afternoon and oh my goodness! I spent about 25 minutes there with these gorgeous pups which are only about 9 weeks old, super cuddly and sleepy.

The thing about it is, I am really hoping at this point that she’s going to pick me as one of the final two people to get a puppy.

She said I am at the top of the list because I’ve got a lifestyle property that we haven’t even got yet. (But we will have it!)

And that both Josh and I work from home and we are super active as well and that there will be plenty of space for the dog to run around but also good fencing, all these things tick the boxes.

And the fact the momma dog immediately bonded with me which she hadn’t seen nearly do with many other people at all.

Fingers crossed on those things and then I started there to go and look at a second hand piano. Also on Trade Me. And I got there and I played it a little bit even though I am super rusty at playing the piano.

And I was like, “I love it. I’ll take it.” And she’s like, “Well, no joke, three minutes before you arrived somebody put a bid on it”.

So now the auction has started in place. There’s no more buy now button. It’s an auction and you have to bide the time.

And I was like, “Uh! Timing is everything!”. Had I arrived at the time that I said I would, I will be now to hit the buy now button and then just hand her over cash and secure this beautiful old piano that had been passed down from her grandmother.

So now I just have to exercise patience once again and wait until that auction is up for grabs at the end of Wednesday when it closes. And hope that either myself (because I’ll be on a flight to Bali) or Josh can actually go ahead and bid for that and hopefully win the auction.

(Update: Am on the top of the reserve list for the puppies, two many awesome families ahead of me, and didn't get the piano as my autobid got outbid while I was flying on a plane!)

Timing is everything.

And then I woke up this morning, 2:30am and I was thinking about Portugal and my house over there and what to do about it. And the people who continue to contactme about renting it.

And I cast myself back to being in my house and thinking how lovely it would be to just wiggle my nose and be there and enjoy it a little bit more now that it’s all done up and looking beautiful. And how would that feel.

Then I thought about surfing and the local communities, and the cafes and my neighbor, Adelaide and just being back in Portugal.

I really wish you could wiggle your nose a little bit more and just be able to pop to the places that you love and be present.

And I also reflected that in this moment where timing is everything, that I am really happy in this moment.

And that’s what this episode is all about today, I’ve called it “Hacking Happiness”,

Well I’m pleased as punch to say that did indeed happen, not that day but the next one, when I went into full time hustle mode wrangling banks and my lawyer.

Yep we officially own this amazing property - all 359 sqm of it plus a 246 sqm big modern barn and 2.5 acres of land.

I posted on Facebook last night with a bunch of photos and the comments started pouring in. It’s gone nuts. Over 350 likes and 180 comments so far.

People are genuinely excited, care and are happy for me. For us.

The comments on my previous episode Changing Plans, also blew my mind too. I asked you to help choose my next adventure - A) stay and set up this lifestyle property, or B) go to Europe for summer.

Most people voted for me to choose to stay. I guess that shouldn’t have surprised me but there was real gold in people’s responses as to why, such as this one from Jeanie Miller”.

“So do you stay or do you go? In following you over the past few years, when I think of you, I think of Go! Go! Go! 'Go' is the usual for you. The change, and the challenge, may now be to 'stay'.

You are awesome at 'going', you wear it really well. How will you wear 'stay'? What new opportunities and learning challenges will you be blessed with by trying out a new gig called stay?

I don't think you want us to choose...like you said, I think you know the answer deep down inside. It sounds like you are ready to take your life up a notch or 10! Either way you go...you will rock it...and if you choose 'go', you will eventually come back to 'stay'. Hugs! Here's to your success!”

Or this from Terriane Palmer Peacock:

“I'm glad you chose or are choosing to stay, because that's what I felt sang from your heart. I love how you articulated Freedom is whatever you choose it to be, and it does change as you grow and evolve. This sounds like a brand new chapter of Freedom for you, and I'm intrigued to follow and support your journey. Plus the property looks absolutely divine! You can't beat a homestead in NZ for back-to-nature beauty! All the best!”

This is what this episode is all about - Hacking Happiness, because I believe it’s possible to do just that.

I also think we are often misguided about what makes us happy.

When I was at the SPCA on Friday looking at dogs to adopt, I found a beautiful young pup that I really wanted. I went back the next day with Josh and she already had an adoption pending on her.

While I had spent some time focusing on how cool it would be to have her in our lives and at our new property, my happiness was not dependent on the outcome. I wasn’t attached to her...yet.

I do however know for sure that I get so much happiness from dogs, and spending time with them. So rather than get caught up in the decision or outcome that didn’t happen.

I focused instead on the truth, and that when the time is right, the perfect dog will come into my world, for me to love and adore, teach and be taught and to go on adventures with.

It’s not an easy thing to do - stop yourself from saying “When I get fit I’ll do X, or when I earn X I will be happy”.

This is where Andrea Featherstone - a friend, former client and fellow freedomist comes in and shares her wisdom. Over at projectself.com.au, she is a Mindfulness Advisor and shows you how to live a Bloody Good Life!

Here’s what she has to say on this topic:

“When it comes to happiness, the very first thing we need to realise is that our mind - like every other part of our body - is designed to keep us alive, but not to keep us happy and not to keep us fulfilled. So our mind is wired to seek out more.

So no matter what we achieve or no matter what we get, we will always want more. Our mind constantly moves the goal posts of our happiness one step ahead of us; so we think, “Oh I just need that promotion and then I’ll be happy.”, “I just need to get a Boxer puppy and then I’ll be happy.”

So perhaps when you quit your job and you finally get your awesome freedom business up and running, it won’t be long (even though you don’t think it will be that way!) it won’t be long until you find that it's no longer enough to fulfil you... now you want a six figure income, and now you want a seven figure income, and then you want to own a super yacht and then you want to be famous etc...

I’ve worked for some of the richest billionaires in the world and they still just want more.

They want to keep building bigger and bigger super yachts and spending their money on ridiculous things just to try and get themselves happiness and fulfilment but because their mind always moves the goal posts to the next step, it never lasts.”

 

Sound familiar to you? Can you resonate? Do you know of someone who is never happy with where they’re at? Always wanting more?

Back to Andrea…this is important so listen carefully:

“Our mind is wired to always want more because it's like a squirrel basically, hoarding nuts, like trying to save all the nuts in case we have a potential famine or war.

Our mind has not yet evolved to recognise that we are living in an era now where anyone lucky enough to be listening to this, is living well above the survival line and no longer has to seek more, more, more just to be a buffer for future wars or famines. Hopefully.

So what is this mind that keeps self-sabotaging us? You know, the guy that keeps making us procrastinate and stops us doing the things that we know would bring us more happiness.

The activity that shows up in brain scans when we are thinking, what I’ll call for this episode ‘our mind’, is spread all over various regions of our brain and these areas are collectively known as the ‘default mode network’.

So when our ‘default mode network’ is activated it means our mind is wandering i.e we are on autopilot and our mind has wandered off to thinking about the past or the future or whether that hot guy over there is looking our way.

Basically we are thinking about something other than what we are doing.

Now the key problem that we face is in the scientific name given to the mind: ‘default mode’. Mind wandering is our default mode.

It’s estimated that the average human is lost in thought between 50-80% of the day and around 70% of those thoughts (for most people) are negative, which is why we have what’s called the negativity bias, which is again a function of our mind’s orientation towards survival rather than happiness.”

That’s a whole lot of negativity right there - no wonder we get down on ourselves!

In my mind (pun intended), there simply is no other way than to be present, and be grateful for right here, right now. Cos quite frankly that’s all you have.

Through this entire 2 weeks of dealing with banks, and financials, and getting together screeds of information to present a good case for a loan, and waiting for answers….which went on and on, Josh and I were really good about focusing on our gratitudes each night and what we were excited and happy about.

We knew we’d get the outcome we wanted eventually, and we focusing on being present in the right now and enjoying what we were learning from the process together (as this is Josh’s first house buying expedition), and my 6th!

I thought I’d quote from an article that Derek Sivers recently wrote called Think Like a Bronze Medalist, not Silver

“Imagine the Olympics, where you have the three winners of a race standing on the podium: the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

Imagine what it’s like to be the silver medalist. If you were just one second faster, you could have won the gold! Damn! So close! Damn damn damn! You would keep comparing yourself to the gold winner, full of envy.

Now imagine what it’s like to be the bronze medalist. If you were just one second slower, you wouldn’t have won anything! Whoo-hoo! You would be thrilled that you are officially an Olympic medalist, and got to stand on the winner’s podium at all.

Comparing up versus comparing down.Your happiness depends on where you’re focusing.

The metaphor is easy to understand, but hard to remember in regular life. If you catch yourself burning with envy or resentment, think like the bronze medalist, not the silver. Change your focus.

Instead of comparing up to the next-higher situation, compare down to the next-lower.”

So true right?

In my research on happiness, I came across, amongst a bazillion resources and references, an article in the Observer by Benjamin Hardy.

He wrote about an example I could totally resonate with, having flown hundreds, no probably over a thousand times in my life:

“Several years ago in an interview with Conan O’Brien, Louis C. K. tells of flying on a newly equipped Wi-Fi airplane. He was amazed by the new technology. Until, during the flight, the Wi-Fi went down.

Immediately, the man next to him became extremely upset. “As though the world owes this man something he only knew existed 10 seconds ago.”

Louis C. K. continues by describing people’s absurd frustrations with flying in general. People complain about it all the time “It was the worst day of my life! It took 20 minutes to board! We had to sit on the runway for 40 minutes!”

We hear complaints like these all the time. As if we’ve forgotten how incredible it is that humans can fly at all.

How are we so quick to take for granted the remarkable things going on in life?

Why is it so easy to complain?

Why do we focus on the negative?

Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.

However, happiness can easily be achieved even without the brilliant advances in the world.

Rather than being reactive to what’s going on around us, happy people take control of their lives and emotions.

If you are unhappy with your life, who or what else can you blame than yourself? And if you can blame someone or something else, how is blame going to make your life any better?

Bad stuff happens to everyone. But life isn’t about what happens to you. It’s about how you proactively respond.”

He went on to list out these 10 behaviours, that if applied, will change your life and let you be an incredibly happy person.

I’m going to focus on just 3 that stood out for me.

Define Your Own Success And Happiness

This carries on from what Derek Sivers was saying:

“No two human beings are the same. So why should we have one standard of success? Seeking society’s standard of success is an endless rat-race. There will always be someone better than you. You’ll never have the time to do everything.

Instead, you recognize that every decision has opportunity cost. When you choose one thing, you simultaneously don’t choose several others. And that’s okay. Actually, it’s beautiful because we get to choose our ultimate ideal. We must define success, wealth, and happiness in our own terms because if we don’t, society will for us—and we will always fall short. We’ll always be left wanting. We’ll always be stuck comparing ourselves and competing with other people. Our lives will be an endless race for the next best thing. We’ll never experience contentment.”

Commit 100 Percent To The Things That Make You Happy

“Many of us have convinced ourselves that we are able to break our own personal rules “just this once.” In our minds, we can justify these small choices. None of those things, when they first happen, feels like a life-changing decision. The marginal costs are almost always low. But each of those decisions can roll up into a much bigger picture, turning you into the kind of person you never wanted to be.”—Clayton Christensen

“People are really good at self-sabotage. We consistently behave in ways that contradict our goals and ideals. This is incongruence. As Mahatma Gandhi has said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” The smaller the gap between what you should do, and what you actually do—the happier you will be.

Hence, Clayton Christensen says 100 percent commitment is easier than 98 percent commitment. When you fully commit to something, the decision has been made. Consequently, regarding that thing, all future decisions have been made.

Unless you’re committed 100 percent, you will always be a victim to external circumstances. By relying on willpower, you’ll crumble more often than you think. Research has found that people over-inflate their own performance. Chances are, you probably think you’re doing better at your resolves than you really are.

But once you’re 100 percent committed, you no longer need to rely on willpower. Your decision has already been made regardless of the circumstances. Saying “No” to anything outside our highest ideals becomes extremely easy. This is living proactively rather than reactively.”

I think I practice this really well. I focus on exactly the outcome I want, 100%. I’ve manifested virtually everything happening since we started looking at properties and they’ve come off so far.

I catch myself daydreaming in the glorious vision on walking on our land, with a dog alongside us, the sun shining, the birds singing and nature surrounding us. I visualized walking through the house, cooking meals there, wine by the fire…. in detail.

Visualization is a really powerful method I’ve dabbled with in Ultimate Frisbee and also in speaking, and I realize I do it a lot more now in business in life to get what I want!

Sure I’ve waivered a lot during this house process, pointing out what might happen, thinking about what might not happen too, because that way I can deal wtih the consequences if something doesn’t work out.

Josh and I ran through the worst case scenario if our offer didn’t get accepted and immediately after we both felt happier for whatever outcome, even though we knew which outcome we wanted!

 

The third behaviour is this:

Be Grateful For What You Already Have

“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend … when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”—Sarah Ban Breathnach

“Happiness is as simple as gratitude. Psychological research has found that people who practice gratitude consistently report a host of benefits:

Physical

  • Stronger immune systems
  • Less bothered by aches and pains
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Exercise more and take better care of their health
  • Sleep longer and feel more refreshed upon waking

Psychological

  • Higher levels of positive emotions
  • More alert, alive, and awake
  • More joy and pleasure
  • More optimism and happiness

Social

  • More helpful, generous, and compassionate
  • More forgiving
  • More outgoing
  • Feel less lonely and isolated

Despite these benefits, most people ungratefully focus on what they don’t have. As a culture, we have become wasteful and undisciplined consumers. The grass is always greener on the other side. A constant pursuit of having more of the newest and best.

How could you possibly find happiness when you relentlessly want more and never properly appreciate what you have?

It’s time for you to learn how to be more grateful. Your happiness depends on it. Dr. Emmons, one of the world’s leading experts on gratitude recommends 10 ways to become more grateful:

Keep a gratitude journal

Set aside time on a daily basis to recollect moments of gratitude connected with commonplace events, your personal characteristics, or important people in your life. This allows you to weave gratitude into your normal, everyday life. This will help you move from trying to be grateful occasionally to becoming a grateful person. The goal is to move from doing to being.

Remember the hard and challenging things you’ve gone through

When you ponder and reflect on the challenges you’ve passed through, you’ll more fully embrace where you currently are.

Ask yourself these three questions

You can reflect on any aspect of your life and deeply consider these three questions:

  • “What have I received from __?”
  • “What have I given to __?”
  • “What troubles and difficulty have I caused?”

These questions will allow you to look at the people or things in your life from a different perspective. They will allow you to not take them for granted and to realize how grateful you are.

Learn prayers of gratitude

In many spiritual traditions, prayers of gratitude are considered to be the most powerful form of prayer. These prayers turn the individual to their highest source of power. It allows them to realize the divine grace that has so generously been bestowed. It also allows the person to seek for higher and better ways of living.

Come to your senses

Literally, connecting more deeply with our body allows us to see it for what it is: a brilliant and miraculous gift. Being more fully present as we touch, see, smell, taste, and hear facilitates appreciation for being human and alive. In this way, gratitude intensifies our lived experience.

Use visual reminders

The two main impediments to gratitude are forgetfulness and a lack of mindful awareness. Consequently, putting visual reminders in common places triggers thoughts of gratitude. Dr. Emmons has found that the best visual reminders are people.

Make a personal vow to practice gratitude

Research shows that making an oath to perform a behavior increases the likelihood that the action will be executed. Consequently, you should make a personal and public declaration that you are going to be more grateful. Write it down. Share it on social media. Tell your friends and closest people.

Watch your language

Grateful people use words that ungrateful people don’t use. They often use words like gifts, givers, blessings, blessed, fortune, fortunate, and abundance. Use these words in your vocabulary more and you’ll recognize more things to be grateful for. Additionally, in your language, don’t focus on how inherently good you are. Rather, speak of how good things and other people have been for you. This will allow you to realize the abundance around you. The universe and everyone in it is your advocate.

Go through the motions

Grateful motions include smiling, saying thank you, and writing letters of gratitude. When you do these things, you trigger the emotion of gratitude in your life. Say thank you more often. Say you love people more often. Smile at random strangers as you pass them by. Not only will it make you feel better, it is contagious. People are mirrors. They’ll feel good and smile back. This will create a change reaction of positivity throughout the world. The ripple effects are endless.

Think outside the box

Dr. Emmons recommends creatively looking for new situations and things to be grateful for. What in your life have you not spent time being grateful for? What could you include in your life that will generate an inflow of gratitude? Mix it up. Don’t think gratitude can only come from a narrow set of sources.”

I hope you feel happier. And I hope that you have some tips, tactics and strategies to put into action to feel more happy on a daily basis.

Have you noticed that all of these things are ridiculously simple too? So why don’t we actually do them more often? Let’s all do this shall we?

Also if you want to take it a step further check out Andrea’s 6 day free Mindfulness Challenge atprojectself.com.au/mindfulness-challenge

This episode is proudly brought to you by Freshbooks.

So you’re racing against the clock to wrap up 3 projects, prepping for a meeting later in the afternoon all while trying to tackle a mountain of paperwork. Welcome to life as a freelancer.

Challenging? Yes, but our friends at FreshBooks believe the rewards are so worth it.

The working world has changed. With the growth of the internet there’s never been more opportunities for the self-employed. To meet this need, FreshBooks is excited to announce the launch of an all new version of their cloud accounting software!

It’s been redesigned from the ground up and custom built for exactly the way you work. Get ready for the simplest way to be more productive, organized, and most importantly get paid quickly.

The all new FreshBooks is not only ridiculously easy to use, it’s also packed full of powerful features:

  • Create and send professional looking invoices in less than 30 seconds.
  • Set up online payments with just a couple of clicks and get paid up to 4 days faster.
  • See when your client has seen your invoice, and put an end to the guessing games.

Go to freshbooks.com/quest and enter Quest For Freedom in the how did you hear about section when signing up.

And seriously do try them out. They’re awesome!

 

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<![CDATA[Changing Plans]]> Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:58:38 GMT 27:22 no So the Quest for Freedom goes on.

I know in this episode I was going to talk about some of the life changing moments that I experienced at New Frontiers and Enspiral Summerfest but given that this episode's name is called "Changing Plans", I've changed my plan for this week!

And the reason for that is pretty simple.

I've been tossing up between two completely different paths that I can take and as I mentioned to you when I started the Quest for Freedom, I did say there'd be an element of choose your own adventure in it.

Now I'm pretty close to making this choice but there is still some sway here, some room for you to have your say.

And so, today's episode is about why it's okay to change your mind. Why you can choose to change your mind and why you are free to change your mind. And of course as always I would love your feedback on this episode.

It all kind of started recently. If I am really honest I've talked about this decision to take a business sabbatical this year and while I am still doing that, the business sabbatical itself has changed quite a lot in my mind.

I think at the time I made that decision I was very much like, I am so over 7 or almost 7 years in business and I am over doing all these things and I am just wanting a break.

And as I've stepped away from my business a lot of people have asked me, "How are you doing it".

I am happy to explain that in this episode, but as I've removed myself bit by bit, I've realized it's actually pretty hard to remove yourself from your own business when your business IS you. When you are a personal brand.

Had I chosen to go into the software development business, or a kind of a customized service that was part of a team and not dependent on me, it might have been way easier.

But I realized that some of my stuff is actually flawed, because the key things that I guess I give to my business, that are sort of irreplaceable (and I am not saying that from an ego driven perspective at all), but the things that I bring to my business that nobody else can really replace are the social capital that I have.

The relationships that I have with friends, with influencers, with partners, with companies who have been on this journey with me as I've grown my business, who have supported me along the way.

Where we've done promotions together, we've partnered together on really cool education aspects and we've gotten to know each other at conferences, at events and experiences.

And that's stuff that you just can't hand over to somebody else that's coming in to replace you.

You can't just say, "Hey! Here's this awesome person that will be dealing with you now." It just doesn't really fully cut it.

This is by no means me hanging on to my baby or holding on to my business. This is the reality of things.

The things that drive revenue on my business all come down to relationships.

I've even noticed a little in my community just with saying, "Hey! I am going to be on a sabbatical!", that people have been really supportive of it and saying things like, "Hey Natalie! That totally aligns with who you are and what you always preach to us."

But I also feel there's been a little bit of a drop away from people in the community, like just this general dip, and I am going to be straight up honest here. - my business over the last couple of months took a bit of a dive.

I think part of it was related to the brand new website, which was received extremely well. But changing hosting companies and SEO rankings kind of going down the toilet with that change ...well we always knew that there'd be this momentary aspect when some of the rankings would drop and things would decline but then they'd stabilize.

We also switched over to all new systems ConvertKit, Teachable, Clickfunnels and while I think they've been an excellent change, there's just that hand over time, in that change over there's things clicking together and sticking together and working.

And all of that combined being done all at the same time, kind of played havoc with the business.

I think that in combination with the community kind of going "Where the heck is Natalie at?" in combination with 'energy in versus energy out'.

I am a big believer that the more energy you put into something, the more energy you are going to get out.

"If you do a half-hearted job, you'll get a half-hearted result. If you go all in, you'll get amazing results."

And so I think those three sets of combinations all affected the business. And had you talked to me a couple of weeks ago, I might have said:

"You know what? I am not sure I can take a business sabbatical".

Things have kind of changed the minute I made that decision and made it public. Things changed - it was like my business said to me, "Well, if you are buggering off, I might bugger off too."

So the good news is that recently things have started looking up again and stabilizing and you know, the business is pretty self-managing. My awesome, humble, nifty, agile and talented team are doing a great job. They know what they are doing.

And I, as CEO and founder of my company, I am happy to step aside to a point, but I've also been somewhat reinvigorated (ironically) with the business.

I still love my community. I still love what I do and I think just even the thought of taking a break from it gave me a break from it.

Does that make sense?

Have you ever experienced that in your business?

Like when you kind of put everything in place to go 'I am going to step back for a bit', and you think about how is that going to feel and what it's going to look like.

And you start removing yourself a little.

You take a little less responsibility.

You put more responsibility onto others.

They do a great job.

You see things starting to work and you just ease off a little bit and you place time and importance on other things: new networks, new relationships, new friendships, new areas of learning.

And it's like you are already having a bit of a refresher. It's kind of like you are going on a mini holiday in real time.

I guess that is what's happened to me in the last couple of weeks.

So as I said I thought I'd bring in some snippets from New Frontiers, but I don't think this is the episode to do it in. I am going to bring that in in the next episode.

Because today's topic is all about changing plans and why it's totally cool if you want to change your mind.

And this is where I want to insert a little message from one my community members, Kim Morrisson, because she posted on my Facebook page the other day and I asked her to turn her comment into this audio message. So it could be included in this episode and here is what she said:

"Hi Natalie, Kim Morrisson here from Portugal. First congratulations on your book deal, so exciting! I loved reading your original Suitcase Entrepreneur book. In your Facebook Live, you said that it's as if the world is opening up some fantastic new opportunities for you. And as a result you haven't rethink what your plans for this year might be.

While I accept it, we need to plan in order to achieve our goals or we can drift aimlessly. Isn't being able to change exactly what freedom is all about? The ability to change direction, follow your heart, rather than stick to what you originally planned otherwise we are just locked into a world that we can't move from.

After all, your lifestyle property was one of your goals anyway. Maybe not in your plan for this year but does that really matter? I believe that your true freedom is actually having the opportunity to choose what you want to do and the direction you're going. And that of course can change. I hope that helps."

And I sat back and I thought, you know what Kim, you are actually right.

Like I'm always attempting to do the right thing, to be a guide to others, to show people the way, to prove that you can do whatever you want, that you get to design your lifestyle and you get to design your business to support that lifestyle.

And in doing so I kind of feel like I've become a little bit of my own poster child for be adventurous, be free, travel the world, do whatever you want.

And one thing that I wanted most was just to:

  • sort of settle, and be

  • own a lifestyle property

  • grow and develop my relationship with Josh

  • have chickens and a dog and;

  • BE in one place for a decent period of time and;

  • experience my first winter in something like 7 years.

I realized that was okay. That was more than okay, because that's what my heart desired.

Yet somewhere in this bubble of my intuition, in my years of experience in building this brand of adventure and freedom, I thought that might not be okay.

So thank you to Kim for bringing that up, and for the multitude of awesome people in my community and my friends and my networks, who have all been really supportive of this decision to step away from the business and to go on a business sabbatical.

And so when you next hear from me, I might have some very exciting news.

At this point of my time, I have two options:

The first option, which I am going to tell you right now is the one that I thought I'd naturally be taking. At the start of the year I thought, "Great! I'll hand over, train people up, get the business to a point that come first of April, my birthday month, I am going to take that entire month off for sure (and probably several months after that). I am going to go to Bali and run my retreat. I am going to celebrate my birthday in Bali with my family and friends and then I am going to head on to Portugal and surf and read books. I am going to go to Tony Robbins in London. I am going to stay in Europe for summer. And then I'll come back to New Zealand, kind of like I do nearing summer. And just take it from there."

Sounds tempting I know.

And then the second option was, "No I am going to commit and I am going to stick around in New Zealand. And I am going to build a community in my hometown of Wellington, where I grew up, but actually don't really have a strong base of friends and people because I've been away for 10 years."

That sounds really appealing. The sense of community on the ground. Not just globally, not just online and not just having to travel so far to meet people that I care about, but right here in my hometown.

And I've been away long enough that that excites me.

And then I thought I'd take that further like:

  • What about business opportunities here?

  • What about being on a co-founding team of a tech startup?

  • What about creating other business opportunities?

  • What about partnering with Josh?

  • What about partnering with my sister?

All these things that came into the light.

What about living in one place for more than three months at a time? What about owning a place that feels like a real home?

Not that my apartment in Wellington isn't awesome, but it's kind of.. I am a little bit in transition when I am here. I've had Airbnb guests all the time. I've been away a little bit and even though I have loved having it as a base because it's right in the heart of the city, it's awesome.

But it's not a home with nature on your doorstep. It hasn't got animals right there. It's not a real home. It doesn't have a fireplace. You know?

Not that you need a fireplace to have a real home but.. I don't know why I said that. So there are my two options.

And if I was to allow you to choose my own adventure, I'd say this.

  1. If you'd like Natalie to head of to Bali and onto adventures in Portugal with surfing, lovely people, sunshine and the freedom to do whatever you want, turn to page 45.

  2. If you'd like Natalie to go into an adventure, spend all her money on a big lifestyle property that she has no idea how to handle, get a dog and some free range chickens, turn to page 72.

I can almost hear you guys kind of going, "What the heck?". Those are two such different decisions... and they are.

This relates back to probably the first episode where I talked about what is a quest? And even the second episode where I sort of talked about this paralysis by analysis. This paradox of choice that you actually need limitations in order to be free.

Because when you have no limitations it can actually be quite devastating, which sounds so freaking ironic. But earlier this year when I had these big choices to make I was really in limbo.

I was just wishing somebody would give me a limitation. Say to me, "Natalie you need to stay in New Zealand for a whole year."

If somebody has said that to me I would be like, "Okay, great!".

Now I have a limitation, what are my freedom aspects within that? What can I do within that limitation? And I was like, "Oh my God! I could explore all of New Zealand. There are so many things within this country."

If they'd said, "Natalie, you have to stay in Wellington". I would have been like, "Great!".

Even more of a limitation, but with so much freedom within that because the thing about limiting the number of decisions you have to make actually gives you more freedom.

That's why Steve Jobs used to wear the exact same outfit to work everyday. So he didn't have to think about or make a decision or spend time on what his wardrobe was.

That's why people like bodybuilders eat the same thing every single day, which might seem really odd to you and me and boring, but they know exactly what they are going to eat, they know how to prepare it. It's satisfying, it's nutritious, it's probably tasty, it's one less thing to think about.

And I know when I was doing my body sculpting competition, I got into such a great routine being at the gym at 5:30 every single morning. Similar food every single day: chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli, eggs.

It actually made it incredibly freeing, because if I think back on that time I had very few decisions to make and that freed up my time to be able to do more thinking, to engage more in the work that I was doing.

It allowed me to be more present for people around me because I wasn't filled with, "Where do I need to travel next? What do I need to book? How do I book the accommodation? Who do I need to see? How do I get there? What should I pack? How can i do this? How can I do that? How do I run my business at the same time? Who do I need to speak to? What timezone am I on?

Like seriously, it gets exhausting.

First world problem I appreciate, but one that I am kind of ready to put a little hold on.

I want fewer decisions. I want less freedom (weirdest thing ever but just stick with me). I want less freedom so that ultimately I have more freedom in the things that I really want to do.

If that didn't really make sense to you I would love for you to listen to episode 4 where Connie and I talked about why freedom has dropped off her values list. It used to be number 1, it's not even on it anymore.

We talked about why wanting freedom so much can actually make you a slave to it.

Now I just want to bring your attention to a short snippet about how to think less and live more - analysis paralysis. And this is by Preston Smiles, who's a pretty big motivational guy on Youtube who does sort of beautiful poetry to get you to think about life abundantly.

This one I thought was just so pertinent what I am discussing here. How to think less and live more, let's hit it:

The key part I've included in my podcast audio is this:

"You got to do something. You got to step up in your life and jump! So many people are sitting on the fence of life: watching and waiting and trying to figure out if it's time. Well, it's never going to be the right time. The right time is now. Now, now, now, now! Every time.

Don't wait for the right job or the perfect mate or the right money. "I got to pay my mortgage off before I live". "I am going to take that trip two years from now when I get the right job".

Live it now! Because you never know, you never know when that day comes.

We all have an expiration date and I have seen it too many times where people die with the dance still in them. We don't want to die with our dance still in us.

You want to die with it all out on the field. You want to know that you left it all out on the field."

 

So that's where I am at. I am at this point of the time is right, right now.

I don't feel like I've ever been a person to hold back on life. I feel like I've lived it to the full but one thing I've noticed on my journey through adventuring around the world is this absolutely desire.. just hear me out on his.. to have a dog.

I am a big animal lover and for those of you who have travelled with me, or been with me in person you will know that I pretty much stop and say hello to every single dog no matter what.

Like I got ringworm from a dog in the Caribbean because I was patting this stray dog and I didn't realize I got that. But the point is you know, I am not afraid of dogs. I love them to bits and they just strike out this emotion of happiness in me and playfulness and abundance that I love.

And I've realized it for the last couple of years I've been talking about, "Oh I'd really love a dog, but you can't travel with a dog when you're living out of a suitcase."

And I thought about it in the last couple of months, around Christmas time and I was like, "Well, Nat, you get to make a choice here. If you really want a dog then you need to adapt your lifestyle to have one in it."

And it's not like dogs are a huge problem that means you can never travel again. I have plenty of people that I've actually had as case studies in my book and on my blog who travel with their dogs every three months, they go somewhere different.

They go through the immigration and the forms for the dog and they come with them. And I'm like, "Awesome!".

You know, it's a bit more work but they get to have their lovable pooches with them. I've done house sitting where I've absolutely adored being with dogs and cats and any other animal.

I was like, if you don't make time for this what if tomorrow never happened and you never had that opportunity to have a dog in your life again.

I've had a dog once in my life for about a year when I bought my first house. I was a lot younger and it was just a lot of responsibility and I loved Zoe to bits, but I rehoused her with an awesome family and a little dog when I sold my house a year later.

We had the coolest adventure year together. We were like best buddies. She is a beautiful dog, a Huntaway German Shepherd X, and just the lickiest, cuddliest dog in the world.

But that was ages ago, that was 2002 and I thought about it and I was like, "Is my lifestyle actually stopping me from the very things that I want to be in it?".

So dog is one of those things I want to be in it.

The second thing that I want to be in it is nature. Nature on my doorstep. I want the ability to have a garden. I want to have an orchard. I would like to grow my own vegetables. I would like to get into organic farming.

I would like to understand and learn more about permaculture, which came to my attention big time at New Frontiers. I would like to build tiny houses. You guys know I am a minimalist. I would really like to understand how to build a tiny house. I would like to put tiny houses on my land.

I would like to help with the housing shortage around New Zealand and actually frankly, around the world.

And this just stemmed into a bigger and bigger and bigger vision that all started with sticking around in one place and following my dreams. So did you choose page 45 or page 72?

Let me know in the comments below.

And now I am going to divulge a little secret, I may have put an offer on a lifestyle property with Josh on Monday night, February 27th.

What the heck is a lifestyle property?

A lifestyle property sounds really fantastic doesn't it? It sounds like you're just going to live the dream. You are going to have an awesome lifestyle. You are going to relax with your pool and your tennis court and your beautiful house and your block of land.

But for most people who I know who are on a lifestyle property, it means you are taking on a project and a lot of work. So it might sound like you are going to sit back and relax and live the lifestyle but ultimately you are making a big decision.

So the property that we have put an offer in is over a million dollars (Crazy!).

It has over a hectare of land which is around 2.5 acres.. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and just beautiful space and a really lovely entertaining area and a deck built the whole way around it.

It has ability to host family and friends which a the big thing on our must have list. It has a beautiful garden that can be even more beautiful if I get my hands on it and figure out how to garden. My mums an amazing gardener.

And it has a massive barn/implementation shed which the minute I saw it. I was like, "Oh! Co-working space. Oh! Tiny house creation. Oh! Crossfit gym. Oh! Office. Oh! So many things. Art workshop. Oh! holding events and retreats. So you know whatever I look at here in my life is always a business element to it.

And excitingly we saw this house on a Sunday. We put in an offer on the Monday. Our offer got shown on the Wednesday. It got accepted on the Friday. And it is subject to somebody else who has put an offer in the house who have to sell the property first.

So at the time of this recording we get to hear one way or the other: whether we got it and the other contract was relinquished or whether we didn't.

And either way I am okay, because this entire process of looking at properties, figuring out our wish list together of what's really important to Josh and I, of going through financial analysis of how to afford this - because that is a pretty big financial commitment, even for two people, has been great!

Understanding the commitment behind this like looking after the land, tending to a vegetable garden, creating an orchard, having animals like chickens and dogs and maybe more, as well as maintenance on the house, maintenance on the land and furnishing a house that's a lot bigger than I am used to as a minimalist with really not much to my name - it's all quite the change.

So pretty massive endeavor here, but I realized in this entire process of going through this analysis with Josh and doing a weighted matrix on what's important to us and non-negotiables and everything that we wanted if this was our dream property, has proven to me big time that I would drop everything in a heartbeat to have a lifestyle property in New Zealand right now.

Right here, right now. Right here, right now. You know that song. If you don't know that song I am not just singing to myself.

That is super exciting to me and I guess I just want to ask you this question right now is:

What are you putting off or telling yourself that you think you want? When you might be wanting something entirely different.

What are you not living up to in your life right now or pushing down the priority list because you think that you have to be a certain other way?

Or you think that you should be dealing life in a different way. Or you think that you need to be supporting other people before you support yourself first.

It's your Freedom plan. It's your quest for freedom. You have the right to change your mind. You have the right to choose.

  • I choose lifestyle property.

  • I choose creating a life with my partner Josh and all the exciting dreams that we've been scheming up.

  • I choose to go on a shorter business sabbatical but I am still going to my sabbatical.

  • I choose to run my business in the manner that fits me and still stay excited about it while stepping back from it.

  • I choose to build a community in my home country.

  • I choose to travel less for now. And I choose to be happy with my decision and to remain in the present.

And as you know this whole quest in Season 1 is about personal freedom and for me that is very much coming back to being present, being mindful, being grateful, being happy and choosing the best version of freedom for me in this moment.

And that's exactly what I want for you.

So if you've enjoyed this, if you want to weigh in on this, If you want to help me choose my own adventure even though you pretty much know that I've made up my mind - then comment below and have your say!

Plus tune in next week for hacking happiness.

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So the Quest for Freedom goes on.

I know in this episode I was going to talk about some of the life changing moments that I experienced at New Frontiers and Enspiral Summerfest but given that this episode's name is called "Changing Plans", I've changed my plan for this week!

And the reason for that is pretty simple.

I've been tossing up between two completely different paths that I can take and as I mentioned to you when I started the Quest for Freedom, I did say there'd be an element of choose your own adventure in it.

Now I'm pretty close to making this choice but there is still some sway here, some room for you to have your say.

And so, today's episode is about why it's okay to change your mind. Why you can choose to change your mind and why you are free to change your mind. And of course as always I would love your feedback on this episode.

It all kind of started recently. If I am really honest I've talked about this decision to take a business sabbatical this year and while I am still doing that, the business sabbatical itself has changed quite a lot in my mind.

I think at the time I made that decision I was very much like, I am so over 7 or almost 7 years in business and I am over doing all these things and I am just wanting a break.

And as I've stepped away from my business a lot of people have asked me, "How are you doing it".

I am happy to explain that in this episode, but as I've removed myself bit by bit, I've realized it's actually pretty hard to remove yourself from your own business when your business IS you. When you are a personal brand.

Had I chosen to go into the software development business, or a kind of a customized service that was part of a team and not dependent on me, it might have been way easier.

But I realized that some of my stuff is actually flawed, because the key things that I guess I give to my business, that are sort of irreplaceable (and I am not saying that from an ego driven perspective at all), but the things that I bring to my business that nobody else can really replace are the social capital that I have.

The relationships that I have with friends, with influencers, with partners, with companies who have been on this journey with me as I've grown my business, who have supported me along the way.

Where we've done promotions together, we've partnered together on really cool education aspects and we've gotten to know each other at conferences, at events and experiences.

And that's stuff that you just can't hand over to somebody else that's coming in to replace you.

You can't just say, "Hey! Here's this awesome person that will be dealing with you now." It just doesn't really fully cut it.

This is by no means me hanging on to my baby or holding on to my business. This is the reality of things.

The things that drive revenue on my business all come down to relationships.

I've even noticed a little in my community just with saying, "Hey! I am going to be on a sabbatical!", that people have been really supportive of it and saying things like, "Hey Natalie! That totally aligns with who you are and what you always preach to us."

But I also feel there's been a little bit of a drop away from people in the community, like just this general dip, and I am going to be straight up honest here. - my business over the last couple of months took a bit of a dive.

I think part of it was related to the brand new website, which was received extremely well. But changing hosting companies and SEO rankings kind of going down the toilet with that change ...well we always knew that there'd be this momentary aspect when some of the rankings would drop and things would decline but then they'd stabilize.

We also switched over to all new systems ConvertKit, Teachable, Clickfunnels and while I think they've been an excellent change, there's just that hand over time, in that change over there's things clicking together and sticking together and working.

And all of that combined being done all at the same time, kind of played havoc with the business.

I think that in combination with the community kind of going "Where the heck is Natalie at?" in combination with 'energy in versus energy out'.

I am a big believer that the more energy you put into something, the more energy you are going to get out.

"If you do a half-hearted job, you'll get a half-hearted result. If you go all in, you'll get amazing results."

And so I think those three sets of combinations all affected the business. And had you talked to me a couple of weeks ago, I might have said:

"You know what? I am not sure I can take a business sabbatical".

Things have kind of changed the minute I made that decision and made it public. Things changed - it was like my business said to me, "Well, if you are buggering off, I might bugger off too."

So the good news is that recently things have started looking up again and stabilizing and you know, the business is pretty self-managing. My awesome, humble, nifty, agile and talented team are doing a great job. They know what they are doing.

And I, as CEO and founder of my company, I am happy to step aside to a point, but I've also been somewhat reinvigorated (ironically) with the business.

I still love my community. I still love what I do and I think just even the thought of taking a break from it gave me a break from it.

Does that make sense?

Have you ever experienced that in your business?

Like when you kind of put everything in place to go 'I am going to step back for a bit', and you think about how is that going to feel and what it's going to look like.

And you start removing yourself a little.

You take a little less responsibility.

You put more responsibility onto others.

They do a great job.

You see things starting to work and you just ease off a little bit and you place time and importance on other things: new networks, new relationships, new friendships, new areas of learning.

And it's like you are already having a bit of a refresher. It's kind of like you are going on a mini holiday in real time.

I guess that is what's happened to me in the last couple of weeks.

So as I said I thought I'd bring in some snippets from New Frontiers, but I don't think this is the episode to do it in. I am going to bring that in in the next episode.

Because today's topic is all about changing plans and why it's totally cool if you want to change your mind.

And this is where I want to insert a little message from one my community members, Kim Morrisson, because she posted on my Facebook page the other day and I asked her to turn her comment into this audio message. So it could be included in this episode and here is what she said:

"Hi Natalie, Kim Morrisson here from Portugal. First congratulations on your book deal, so exciting! I loved reading your original Suitcase Entrepreneur book. In your Facebook Live, you said that it's as if the world is opening up some fantastic new opportunities for you. And as a result you haven't rethink what your plans for this year might be.

While I accept it, we need to plan in order to achieve our goals or we can drift aimlessly. Isn't being able to change exactly what freedom is all about? The ability to change direction, follow your heart, rather than stick to what you originally planned otherwise we are just locked into a world that we can't move from.

After all, your lifestyle property was one of your goals anyway. Maybe not in your plan for this year but does that really matter? I believe that your true freedom is actually having the opportunity to choose what you want to do and the direction you're going. And that of course can change. I hope that helps."

And I sat back and I thought, you know what Kim, you are actually right.

Like I'm always attempting to do the right thing, to be a guide to others, to show people the way, to prove that you can do whatever you want, that you get to design your lifestyle and you get to design your business to support that lifestyle.

And in doing so I kind of feel like I've become a little bit of my own poster child for be adventurous, be free, travel the world, do whatever you want.

And one thing that I wanted most was just to:

  • sort of settle, and be

  • own a lifestyle property

  • grow and develop my relationship with Josh

  • have chickens and a dog and;

  • BE in one place for a decent period of time and;

  • experience my first winter in something like 7 years.

I realized that was okay. That was more than okay, because that's what my heart desired.

Yet somewhere in this bubble of my intuition, in my years of experience in building this brand of adventure and freedom, I thought that might not be okay.

So thank you to Kim for bringing that up, and for the multitude of awesome people in my community and my friends and my networks, who have all been really supportive of this decision to step away from the business and to go on a business sabbatical.

And so when you next hear from me, I might have some very exciting news.

At this point of my time, I have two options:

The first option, which I am going to tell you right now is the one that I thought I'd naturally be taking. At the start of the year I thought, "Great! I'll hand over, train people up, get the business to a point that come first of April, my birthday month, I am going to take that entire month off for sure (and probably several months after that). I am going to go to Bali and run my retreat. I am going to celebrate my birthday in Bali with my family and friends and then I am going to head on to Portugal and surf and read books. I am going to go to Tony Robbins in London. I am going to stay in Europe for summer. And then I'll come back to New Zealand, kind of like I do nearing summer. And just take it from there."

Sounds tempting I know.

And then the second option was, "No I am going to commit and I am going to stick around in New Zealand. And I am going to build a community in my hometown of Wellington, where I grew up, but actually don't really have a strong base of friends and people because I've been away for 10 years."

That sounds really appealing. The sense of community on the ground. Not just globally, not just online and not just having to travel so far to meet people that I care about, but right here in my hometown.

And I've been away long enough that that excites me.

And then I thought I'd take that further like:

  • What about business opportunities here?

  • What about being on a co-founding team of a tech startup?

  • What about creating other business opportunities?

  • What about partnering with Josh?

  • What about partnering with my sister?

All these things that came into the light.

What about living in one place for more than three months at a time? What about owning a place that feels like a real home?

Not that my apartment in Wellington isn't awesome, but it's kind of.. I am a little bit in transition when I am here. I've had Airbnb guests all the time. I've been away a little bit and even though I have loved having it as a base because it's right in the heart of the city, it's awesome.

But it's not a home with nature on your doorstep. It hasn't got animals right there. It's not a real home. It doesn't have a fireplace. You know?

Not that you need a fireplace to have a real home but.. I don't know why I said that. So there are my two options.

And if I was to allow you to choose my own adventure, I'd say this.

  1. If you'd like Natalie to head of to Bali and onto adventures in Portugal with surfing, lovely people, sunshine and the freedom to do whatever you want, turn to page 45.

  2. If you'd like Natalie to go into an adventure, spend all her money on a big lifestyle property that she has no idea how to handle, get a dog and some free range chickens, turn to page 72.

I can almost hear you guys kind of going, "What the heck?". Those are two such different decisions... and they are.

This relates back to probably the first episode where I talked about what is a quest? And even the second episode where I sort of talked about this paralysis by analysis. This paradox of choice that you actually need limitations in order to be free.

Because when you have no limitations it can actually be quite devastating, which sounds so freaking ironic. But earlier this year when I had these big choices to make I was really in limbo.

I was just wishing somebody would give me a limitation. Say to me, "Natalie you need to stay in New Zealand for a whole year."

If somebody has said that to me I would be like, "Okay, great!".

Now I have a limitation, what are my freedom aspects within that? What can I do within that limitation? And I was like, "Oh my God! I could explore all of New Zealand. There are so many things within this country."

If they'd said, "Natalie, you have to stay in Wellington". I would have been like, "Great!".

Even more of a limitation, but with so much freedom within that because the thing about limiting the number of decisions you have to make actually gives you more freedom.

That's why Steve Jobs used to wear the exact same outfit to work everyday. So he didn't have to think about or make a decision or spend time on what his wardrobe was.

That's why people like bodybuilders eat the same thing every single day, which might seem really odd to you and me and boring, but they know exactly what they are going to eat, they know how to prepare it. It's satisfying, it's nutritious, it's probably tasty, it's one less thing to think about.

And I know when I was doing my body sculpting competition, I got into such a great routine being at the gym at 5:30 every single morning. Similar food every single day: chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli, eggs.

It actually made it incredibly freeing, because if I think back on that time I had very few decisions to make and that freed up my time to be able to do more thinking, to engage more in the work that I was doing.

It allowed me to be more present for people around me because I wasn't filled with, "Where do I need to travel next? What do I need to book? How do I book the accommodation? Who do I need to see? How do I get there? What should I pack? How can i do this? How can I do that? How do I run my business at the same time? Who do I need to speak to? What timezone am I on?

Like seriously, it gets exhausting.

First world problem I appreciate, but one that I am kind of ready to put a little hold on.

I want fewer decisions. I want less freedom (weirdest thing ever but just stick with me). I want less freedom so that ultimately I have more freedom in the things that I really want to do.

If that didn't really make sense to you I would love for you to listen to episode 4 where Connie and I talked about why freedom has dropped off her values list. It used to be number 1, it's not even on it anymore.

We talked about why wanting freedom so much can actually make you a slave to it.

Now I just want to bring your attention to a short snippet about how to think less and live more - analysis paralysis. And this is by Preston Smiles, who's a pretty big motivational guy on Youtube who does sort of beautiful poetry to get you to think about life abundantly.

This one I thought was just so pertinent what I am discussing here. How to think less and live more, let's hit it:

The key part I've included in my podcast audio is this:

"You got to do something. You got to step up in your life and jump! So many people are sitting on the fence of life: watching and waiting and trying to figure out if it's time. Well, it's never going to be the right time. The right time is now. Now, now, now, now! Every time.

Don't wait for the right job or the perfect mate or the right money. "I got to pay my mortgage off before I live". "I am going to take that trip two years from now when I get the right job".

Live it now! Because you never know, you never know when that day comes.

We all have an expiration date and I have seen it too many times where people die with the dance still in them. We don't want to die with our dance still in us.

You want to die with it all out on the field. You want to know that you left it all out on the field."

 

So that's where I am at. I am at this point of the time is right, right now.

I don't feel like I've ever been a person to hold back on life. I feel like I've lived it to the full but one thing I've noticed on my journey through adventuring around the world is this absolutely desire.. just hear me out on his.. to have a dog.

I am a big animal lover and for those of you who have travelled with me, or been with me in person you will know that I pretty much stop and say hello to every single dog no matter what.

Like I got ringworm from a dog in the Caribbean because I was patting this stray dog and I didn't realize I got that. But the point is you know, I am not afraid of dogs. I love them to bits and they just strike out this emotion of happiness in me and playfulness and abundance that I love.

And I've realized it for the last couple of years I've been talking about, "Oh I'd really love a dog, but you can't travel with a dog when you're living out of a suitcase."

And I thought about it in the last couple of months, around Christmas time and I was like, "Well, Nat, you get to make a choice here. If you really want a dog then you need to adapt your lifestyle to have one in it."

And it's not like dogs are a huge problem that means you can never travel again. I have plenty of people that I've actually had as case studies in my book and on my blog who travel with their dogs every three months, they go somewhere different.

They go through the immigration and the forms for the dog and they come with them. And I'm like, "Awesome!".

You know, it's a bit more work but they get to have their lovable pooches with them. I've done house sitting where I've absolutely adored being with dogs and cats and any other animal.

I was like, if you don't make time for this what if tomorrow never happened and you never had that opportunity to have a dog in your life again.

I've had a dog once in my life for about a year when I bought my first house. I was a lot younger and it was just a lot of responsibility and I loved Zoe to bits, but I rehoused her with an awesome family and a little dog when I sold my house a year later.

We had the coolest adventure year together. We were like best buddies. She is a beautiful dog, a Huntaway German Shepherd X, and just the lickiest, cuddliest dog in the world.

But that was ages ago, that was 2002 and I thought about it and I was like, "Is my lifestyle actually stopping me from the very things that I want to be in it?".

So dog is one of those things I want to be in it.

The second thing that I want to be in it is nature. Nature on my doorstep. I want the ability to have a garden. I want to have an orchard. I would like to grow my own vegetables. I would like to get into organic farming.

I would like to understand and learn more about permaculture, which came to my attention big time at New Frontiers. I would like to build tiny houses. You guys know I am a minimalist. I would really like to understand how to build a tiny house. I would like to put tiny houses on my land.

I would like to help with the housing shortage around New Zealand and actually frankly, around the world.

And this just stemmed into a bigger and bigger and bigger vision that all started with sticking around in one place and following my dreams. So did you choose page 45 or page 72?

Let me know in the comments below.

And now I am going to divulge a little secret, I may have put an offer on a lifestyle property with Josh on Monday night, February 27th.

What the heck is a lifestyle property?

A lifestyle property sounds really fantastic doesn't it? It sounds like you're just going to live the dream. You are going to have an awesome lifestyle. You are going to relax with your pool and your tennis court and your beautiful house and your block of land.

But for most people who I know who are on a lifestyle property, it means you are taking on a project and a lot of work. So it might sound like you are going to sit back and relax and live the lifestyle but ultimately you are making a big decision.

So the property that we have put an offer in is over a million dollars (Crazy!).

It has over a hectare of land which is around 2.5 acres.. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and just beautiful space and a really lovely entertaining area and a deck built the whole way around it.

It has ability to host family and friends which a the big thing on our must have list. It has a beautiful garden that can be even more beautiful if I get my hands on it and figure out how to garden. My mums an amazing gardener.

And it has a massive barn/implementation shed which the minute I saw it. I was like, "Oh! Co-working space. Oh! Tiny house creation. Oh! Crossfit gym. Oh! Office. Oh! So many things. Art workshop. Oh! holding events and retreats. So you know whatever I look at here in my life is always a business element to it.

And excitingly we saw this house on a Sunday. We put in an offer on the Monday. Our offer got shown on the Wednesday. It got accepted on the Friday. And it is subject to somebody else who has put an offer in the house who have to sell the property first.

So at the time of this recording we get to hear one way or the other: whether we got it and the other contract was relinquished or whether we didn't.

And either way I am okay, because this entire process of looking at properties, figuring out our wish list together of what's really important to Josh and I, of going through financial analysis of how to afford this - because that is a pretty big financial commitment, even for two people, has been great!

Understanding the commitment behind this like looking after the land, tending to a vegetable garden, creating an orchard, having animals like chickens and dogs and maybe more, as well as maintenance on the house, maintenance on the land and furnishing a house that's a lot bigger than I am used to as a minimalist with really not much to my name - it's all quite the change.

So pretty massive endeavor here, but I realized in this entire process of going through this analysis with Josh and doing a weighted matrix on what's important to us and non-negotiables and everything that we wanted if this was our dream property, has proven to me big time that I would drop everything in a heartbeat to have a lifestyle property in New Zealand right now.

Right here, right now. Right here, right now. You know that song. If you don't know that song I am not just singing to myself.

That is super exciting to me and I guess I just want to ask you this question right now is:

What are you putting off or telling yourself that you think you want? When you might be wanting something entirely different.

What are you not living up to in your life right now or pushing down the priority list because you think that you have to be a certain other way?

Or you think that you should be dealing life in a different way. Or you think that you need to be supporting other people before you support yourself first.

It's your Freedom plan. It's your quest for freedom. You have the right to change your mind. You have the right to choose.

  • I choose lifestyle property.

  • I choose creating a life with my partner Josh and all the exciting dreams that we've been scheming up.

  • I choose to go on a shorter business sabbatical but I am still going to my sabbatical.

  • I choose to run my business in the manner that fits me and still stay excited about it while stepping back from it.

  • I choose to build a community in my home country.

  • I choose to travel less for now. And I choose to be happy with my decision and to remain in the present.

And as you know this whole quest in Season 1 is about personal freedom and for me that is very much coming back to being present, being mindful, being grateful, being happy and choosing the best version of freedom for me in this moment.

And that's exactly what I want for you.

So if you've enjoyed this, if you want to weigh in on this, If you want to help me choose my own adventure even though you pretty much know that I've made up my mind - then comment below and have your say!

Plus tune in next week for hacking happiness.

I'd like you to know that this episode is brought to you by the one and only DRIP!

Are you looking to build your email list? If so, you need to check out nataliesisson.com/drip

Drip is a powerful email and marketing automation platform that you can start using for FREE (so it's great for both startups and seasoned pros).

Basically, you get "better than MailChimp" pricing. But you also get automation like Infusionsoft, that frees up your time and removes you from having to work inside your business all the time.

With Drip's visual builder, you quickly and easily build funnels that would take you weeks inside of Infusionsoft.

Best of all, this company was recently acquired by my good friend (and Leadpages founder) Clay Collins, so I got Clay to put together an exclusive deal for my Quest for Freedom Tribe.

Check out nataliesisson.com/drip to see just how amazing Drip is and how it can help you build (and monetize) your audience.

Remember, if you're just building your list, Drip is completely FREE... and I'm not talking "free trial" kinda free, it's just free.

Free (forever), or at least until you have more than 100 contacts in your Drip account. That means you can start growing your list, try out marketing automation, and even send your first email broadcasts - all for free.

Go to nataliesisson.com/drip to get your free Drip account.

]]>
<![CDATA[Is Freedom Really Free?]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:34:12 GMT 18:30 no For the longest time I’ve been obsessed with freedom. Freedom is my main mission in life, or has been for the greater part of the 7 years.

But recently, I have been realizing that my hunt for understanding, defining and having freedom may be completely off track.

And that is a huge revelation to have when you have named your new podcast Quest for Freedom, and you think you have all the freedom in the world right?

Several weeks ago I saw my friend Conni Biesalski post an update on Facebook about attending Tony Robbin's Date with Destiny.

Conni is the Founder of Planetbackpack, has written a book, is a bit of a YouTube star and believes in…

  • holistic lifestyle design
  • slow travel as a spiritual experience
  • connecting with our bodies and souls through healthy clean eating, meditation and yoga
  • opening our hearts through healing and connecting to ourselves

So on her Facebook update she wrote:

Life will never be the same again. 6 days with Tony Robbins in Florida and I feel like the greatest transformation of my life just happened. So powerful, so deep, so incredibly healing. I have finally let go of my story and am starting a new one. Amazing miracles happened in these days, things I never thought possible. Everything feels wide open, just like in this photo that I took on the beach on the last morning. Infinite gratitude and love in my heart. This is Life 2.0.

Now incidentally, at the start of this year I decided to invest in myself for the first time in a loooongg time and take up a Mastery Program through the Tony Robbins Institute.

I am heading to Unleash the Power event in London at the end of April. If you want to join me there are still tickets. Head to nataliesisson.com/tony and grab one.

If you don’t know who he is, in a nutshell he is the Worlds No #1 Personal Development Master who has worked with presidents, Oprah Winfrey. His documentary: I am not your Guru, is a great insight into how he works.

I first read his book Awaken the Giant Within back in 2004 when I was training for body-sculpting competition, and that year, in big part thanks to reading his books and listening to his audio series, I had one of the most amazing years of my life.

I felt like I could achieve anything I put my mind to. And that year in particular I did - I won the Regional North Island Body Sculpting Championships, I got a kick ass job, and I completed my Certificate in Fitness Management Diploma extramurally through Otago University.

I was unstoppable, and aside from neglecting my personal relationship with my then boyfriend...ooops, everything else in life was going amazing.

So back to my Facebook chat with Conni mid December, which went like this:

Natalie Sisson Well that answers my question to what did you get out of it. Sending a big virtual hug of Freedom your way to go with your transformation

Conni Biesalski You know what’s funny.. freedom was always so high on my values list.. in the process of Date with Destiny I kicked freedom off my list. After having questioned it and looked at what it costs me, I realised this intense strive for it has out-served me. I now feel freer than ever not having freedom as my main driver anymore. Crazy!!

Natalie Sisson Conni Biesalski Oooh I think I'll need to jump on a chat with you about that for my new podcast starting in the new year:

And so we did. And here it is.

Yup, it was this epiphany during “Date with Destiny” with Tony Robbins in December and he was talking about freedom and how he one day started to question his quest for freedom that he was following his whole life and he was telling this long story.

In the end it was…..he said that once he questioned his search for freedom, it was that he realized that he can stop looking for freedom and feel a lot freer.

I thought about this for days and weeks after that and then eventually it hit me.

I was like, WOW. I have been looking for freedom, I've been searching for freedom my entire life. It's been my main mission with whatever I do, wherever I go.

It is always like how much freedom will this give me? How much freedom will I have? It dictated the way I do business. It dictated my travels. It dictated my personal life and my relationships.

It was always about freedom, freedom, freedom.

And then I realized actually by constantly being on this path to freedom, it’s like judging everything by how much freedom it would give me and them I’m actually free.

I kind of trapped myself into thinking that by constantly striving for freedom, that that would make me free and so then I had this epiphany and I realized, Wow I can let it go.

Now when Connie said this I was nodding my head in fervent agreement. I realized I’d come to exactly the same conclusion. If I am constantly pursuing freedom, in some ways I am a slave to it….how is that for a mindbending thought?

What she said next though blew me away.

I can actually, because with Date with Destiny, what you do is you come up with a list of values in your life that are really important to you and then you kind of revise them and go through the whole six day process so then at the end you come up with a new list of values.

And it's kind of like a new blueprint. You can upgrade your entire inner system.

Freedom was obviously number one, next to love, and all these things on my first value list. And then at the end, freedom was not on my list anymore!

It wasn't needed anymore, and that was for me so huge because I could kind of let that go and realize I am so free, like the life that I have it's already so free.

I don’t need to measure freedom anymore, I can stop it.

Like I can do whatever I want, I’ve achieved so many things and so on the outside, I’ve completely achieved freedom.

And then obviously there’s this other level of freedom and that was another tough process and integration process and it was the comparison between outer freedom and inner freedom.

And so I realized, Wow, I have got all this outer freedom, there's no need to keep on striving for that, no one can take that away from me.

But how free am I on the inside?

And this is a great question. In fact this is at the core of The Quest for Freedom Podcast, and Season 1 as I come to grips with what IS personal freedom really?

Let me know what you think about this. What your version of freedom is? Whether you think real freedom is all about inner freedom.

What Connie goes on to say next may resonate with you too. Especially if you’ve ever been in a place like her. I know I have and I speak to that too.

So this has become my message with what I do really, what is the essence of freedom and how can we go beyond the outer freedom of lifestyle design, doing what we want, and having passive income?

And then going to the next level of, 'Okay, maybe I have a lot of shadow work to do to kind of free myself.'

And then to actually be able to enjoy the outer freedom in the first place because I realized after like a year ago, even I was at a very depressed place in my life.

I was doing really bad, like emotionally in all levels. It was one of those times where you kind of question everything. And you don't see a purpose for yourself in life, like I didn't have a mission anymore and everything was going well on the outside but on the inside I was super unhappy.

I was depressed. I couldn't appreciate anything I had.

I was sitting in Bali in this amazing villa with pool and you know, life could not have been better on the outside but on the inside it was a trainwreck. So yes that was the next level and then for me to now realize -Okay, wow!; So there is this whole freedom thing, it's way more than we might initially think it is.

Before we dive into what comes next in our conversation, I would like you to know that this episode is brought to you by the one and only DRIP!

Are you looking to build your email list? If so, you need to check out nataliesisson.com/drip

Drip is a powerful email and marketing automation platform that you can start using for FREE (so it's great for both startups and seasoned pros).

Basically, you get "better than MailChimp" pricing. But you also get automation like Infusionsoft, that frees up your time and removes you from having to work inside your business all the time.

With Drip's visual builder, you quickly and easily build funnels that would take you weeks inside of Infusionsoft.

Best of all, this company was recently acquired by my good friend (and Leadpages founder) Clay Collins, so I got Clay to put together an exclusive deal for my Quest for Freedom Tribe.

Check out nataliesisson.com/drip to see just how amazing Drip is and how it can help you build (and monetize) your audience.

Remember, if you're just building your list, Drip is completely FREE... and I am not talking free trial, kinda free, it's just free.

Free (forever), or at least until you have more than 100 contacts in your Drip account. That means you can start growing your list, try out marketing automation, and even send your first email broadcasts - all for free.

So what Conni said next I could absolutely resonate with as it is something I've been recognizing in myself.

In all these years of traveling the world and wanting to be free, I’ve shied away from locking in full on plans, or committing too far out, or saying I'll definitely turn up to a place, or even to interviews and appointments.

Now, if there’s one person who knows me well, I would like to think it is myself, and that behaviour, that's just not really me.

Don't get me wrong I fully commit to the projects I take on and and my peeps - for example the Write the Damn Book Freedom Lab I'm running, I turn up to every single live session we do multiple times a week to write our damn books and deliver on my promise of the expert interviews and lessons.

But anything that is not driven or led by me I've been shying away from over the years.

In part I know that's because I've had to take a step back and reserve my time and energy to make sure I can give it to the right people - my family, friends and community.

But some of this lack of desire to commit has definitely affected how I live, and my approach to relationships. Here is what Conni had to say:

Yeah, it's funny so I can commit to things now a lot more. I feel like I can make plans better. I don’t feel pressured, because usually before I would really shy away from making plans, people putting me down in a certain date to do something even if it was only a few weeks away and that was a real issue.

And I realized that if I don't commit to things in life, then how can I attract people like that..

Because that's been my issue. I would attract people that also can't commit and that would make my life very difficult in relationships, in friendships and you know, all these areas.

And so I realized if I can't commit how am I ever going to attract more reliable people into my life. So anyway, I just realized that I can actually, I can commit to plans and I feel comfortable doing so.

It’s kind of nice. It also like, right now, I am in a place for three months and I feel awesome. I really don’t feel like moving around much right now.

I have a daily routine. I have a wonderful life in California. I am just really enjoying being creative and being in one place.

I don't have this urge to keep moving and keep moving, I feel like I'm such a inner peaceful place with myself at the moment that there's no need to change that or to distract myself or to kind of not feel something.

Because a lot of times I would travel or I would do all these crazy things because I would then want to feel something and so I went out and I don’t know, bought the next plane ticket or I went out, whatever you do, or you look for love maybe in the wrong places and so because you know, there is something we don’t want to feel.

So I am in a point where I really have much better access to my own feelings, into what is going on inside of me.

I have a very regular meditation practice now, way more now especially since Tony Robbins just because I realized how important it is to check in with my feelings everyday and to gauge where I am at.

PS I covered off on meditation and even included a mini one in this Season's second episode called Mind Your Mindfulness.

Back to Conni:

And generally I mean if I look back to now about a year ago, or a bit longer, and then where I am today it's really like back then I was doing the 4-hour Workweek.

I was doing surfing all day, going to yoga and reading, and hanging out with people and literally just like doing the 4 hour thing and barely sitting at my laptop, barely doing anything, not being creative, not creating anything really.

It was all, business was automated and so after awhile I just realized and I was getting depressed and I also realized eventually,

I am not contributing to this world. I am not growing. I am not giving people anything. I am not helping people.

It was like this spiral downwards and I realized just how important it is to really have something in life where you feel like you are contributing and changing the world, I think that's kind of what I need maybe.

And so now everyday I wake up in the morning, I can't wait to get out of bed and start creating or learn stuff. There's so much enthusiasm and ambition there and mostly because I found things and ways to contribute again and to help other people and inspire other people and that in its health is a well of fulfillment.

Thanks Conni, for providing such a beautiful segway into exactly how I've been feeling lately too.

And by lately, if I'm really honest about it, I mean for the last 18 months.

I was reading a blog post I'd written called;Why my 9 day digital sabbatical in Samoa transformed my life’. I did this trip with my Dad in October 2014 and it was magical.

Yet as I read back over this post, for research for my upcoming book, I took note that I talk about falling a little out of love with my business, and not feeling as if the work I'm doing is as meaningful as it could be.

I was frankly surprised I wrote this back then. And that I’ve been talking about it since then. And that in September 2016 I finally said “That’s it. I'm going to take a break from my business. And that that is finally happening this April 2017.

I mean, that's a lot of talking about it and not doing right? Which is kind of my jam. I'm an action taker. Normally I just DO.

So clearly this has been a long-time coming decision to make and act upon.

And I guess giving up on everything you've worked so hard for, to take a short break, isn’t a decision to be taken so lightly.

But for the last two weeks my decision has been well and truly validated by two amazing events I attended.

New Frontiers and the Enspiral Summerfest where I met some of the smartest, most innovative, world changing changemakers from around the world.

My mind was expanded upon belief. My heart was filled with passion and joy for which of these areas I could throw myself into and how I could help to be part of the change and the solution.

]]>
For the longest time I’ve been obsessed with freedom. Freedom is my main mission in life, or has been for the greater part of the 7 years.

But recently, I have been realizing that my hunt for understanding, defining and having freedom may be completely off track.

And that is a huge revelation to have when you have named your new podcast Quest for Freedom, and you think you have all the freedom in the world right?

Several weeks ago I saw my friend Conni Biesalski post an update on Facebook about attending Tony Robbin's Date with Destiny.

Conni is the Founder of Planetbackpack, has written a book, is a bit of a YouTube star and believes in…

  • holistic lifestyle design
  • slow travel as a spiritual experience
  • connecting with our bodies and souls through healthy clean eating, meditation and yoga
  • opening our hearts through healing and connecting to ourselves

So on her Facebook update she wrote:

Life will never be the same again. 6 days with Tony Robbins in Florida and I feel like the greatest transformation of my life just happened. So powerful, so deep, so incredibly healing. I have finally let go of my story and am starting a new one. Amazing miracles happened in these days, things I never thought possible. Everything feels wide open, just like in this photo that I took on the beach on the last morning. Infinite gratitude and love in my heart. This is Life 2.0.

Now incidentally, at the start of this year I decided to invest in myself for the first time in a loooongg time and take up a Mastery Program through the Tony Robbins Institute.

I am heading to Unleash the Power event in London at the end of April. If you want to join me there are still tickets. Head to nataliesisson.com/tony and grab one.

If you don’t know who he is, in a nutshell he is the Worlds No #1 Personal Development Master who has worked with presidents, Oprah Winfrey. His documentary: I am not your Guru, is a great insight into how he works.

I first read his book Awaken the Giant Within back in 2004 when I was training for body-sculpting competition, and that year, in big part thanks to reading his books and listening to his audio series, I had one of the most amazing years of my life.

I felt like I could achieve anything I put my mind to. And that year in particular I did - I won the Regional North Island Body Sculpting Championships, I got a kick ass job, and I completed my Certificate in Fitness Management Diploma extramurally through Otago University.

I was unstoppable, and aside from neglecting my personal relationship with my then boyfriend...ooops, everything else in life was going amazing.

So back to my Facebook chat with Conni mid December, which went like this:

Natalie Sisson Well that answers my question to what did you get out of it. Sending a big virtual hug of Freedom your way to go with your transformation

Conni Biesalski You know what’s funny.. freedom was always so high on my values list.. in the process of Date with Destiny I kicked freedom off my list. After having questioned it and looked at what it costs me, I realised this intense strive for it has out-served me. I now feel freer than ever not having freedom as my main driver anymore. Crazy!!

Natalie Sisson Conni Biesalski Oooh I think I'll need to jump on a chat with you about that for my new podcast starting in the new year:

And so we did. And here it is.

Yup, it was this epiphany during “Date with Destiny” with Tony Robbins in December and he was talking about freedom and how he one day started to question his quest for freedom that he was following his whole life and he was telling this long story.

In the end it was…..he said that once he questioned his search for freedom, it was that he realized that he can stop looking for freedom and feel a lot freer.

I thought about this for days and weeks after that and then eventually it hit me.

I was like, WOW. I have been looking for freedom, I've been searching for freedom my entire life. It's been my main mission with whatever I do, wherever I go.

It is always like how much freedom will this give me? How much freedom will I have? It dictated the way I do business. It dictated my travels. It dictated my personal life and my relationships.

It was always about freedom, freedom, freedom.

And then I realized actually by constantly being on this path to freedom, it’s like judging everything by how much freedom it would give me and them I’m actually free.

I kind of trapped myself into thinking that by constantly striving for freedom, that that would make me free and so then I had this epiphany and I realized, Wow I can let it go.

Now when Connie said this I was nodding my head in fervent agreement. I realized I’d come to exactly the same conclusion. If I am constantly pursuing freedom, in some ways I am a slave to it….how is that for a mindbending thought?

What she said next though blew me away.

I can actually, because with Date with Destiny, what you do is you come up with a list of values in your life that are really important to you and then you kind of revise them and go through the whole six day process so then at the end you come up with a new list of values.

And it's kind of like a new blueprint. You can upgrade your entire inner system.

Freedom was obviously number one, next to love, and all these things on my first value list. And then at the end, freedom was not on my list anymore!

It wasn't needed anymore, and that was for me so huge because I could kind of let that go and realize I am so free, like the life that I have it's already so free.

I don’t need to measure freedom anymore, I can stop it.

Like I can do whatever I want, I’ve achieved so many things and so on the outside, I’ve completely achieved freedom.

And then obviously there’s this other level of freedom and that was another tough process and integration process and it was the comparison between outer freedom and inner freedom.

And so I realized, Wow, I have got all this outer freedom, there's no need to keep on striving for that, no one can take that away from me.

But how free am I on the inside?

And this is a great question. In fact this is at the core of The Quest for Freedom Podcast, and Season 1 as I come to grips with what IS personal freedom really?

Let me know what you think about this. What your version of freedom is? Whether you think real freedom is all about inner freedom.

What Connie goes on to say next may resonate with you too. Especially if you’ve ever been in a place like her. I know I have and I speak to that too.

So this has become my message with what I do really, what is the essence of freedom and how can we go beyond the outer freedom of lifestyle design, doing what we want, and having passive income?

And then going to the next level of, 'Okay, maybe I have a lot of shadow work to do to kind of free myself.'

And then to actually be able to enjoy the outer freedom in the first place because I realized after like a year ago, even I was at a very depressed place in my life.

I was doing really bad, like emotionally in all levels. It was one of those times where you kind of question everything. And you don't see a purpose for yourself in life, like I didn't have a mission anymore and everything was going well on the outside but on the inside I was super unhappy.

I was depressed. I couldn't appreciate anything I had.

I was sitting in Bali in this amazing villa with pool and you know, life could not have been better on the outside but on the inside it was a trainwreck. So yes that was the next level and then for me to now realize -Okay, wow!; So there is this whole freedom thing, it's way more than we might initially think it is.

Before we dive into what comes next in our conversation, I would like you to know that this episode is brought to you by the one and only DRIP!

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So what Conni said next I could absolutely resonate with as it is something I've been recognizing in myself.

In all these years of traveling the world and wanting to be free, I’ve shied away from locking in full on plans, or committing too far out, or saying I'll definitely turn up to a place, or even to interviews and appointments.

Now, if there’s one person who knows me well, I would like to think it is myself, and that behaviour, that's just not really me.

Don't get me wrong I fully commit to the projects I take on and and my peeps - for example the Write the Damn Book Freedom Lab I'm running, I turn up to every single live session we do multiple times a week to write our damn books and deliver on my promise of the expert interviews and lessons.

But anything that is not driven or led by me I've been shying away from over the years.

In part I know that's because I've had to take a step back and reserve my time and energy to make sure I can give it to the right people - my family, friends and community.

But some of this lack of desire to commit has definitely affected how I live, and my approach to relationships. Here is what Conni had to say:

Yeah, it's funny so I can commit to things now a lot more. I feel like I can make plans better. I don’t feel pressured, because usually before I would really shy away from making plans, people putting me down in a certain date to do something even if it was only a few weeks away and that was a real issue.

And I realized that if I don't commit to things in life, then how can I attract people like that..

Because that's been my issue. I would attract people that also can't commit and that would make my life very difficult in relationships, in friendships and you know, all these areas.

And so I realized if I can't commit how am I ever going to attract more reliable people into my life. So anyway, I just realized that I can actually, I can commit to plans and I feel comfortable doing so.

It’s kind of nice. It also like, right now, I am in a place for three months and I feel awesome. I really don’t feel like moving around much right now.

I have a daily routine. I have a wonderful life in California. I am just really enjoying being creative and being in one place.

I don't have this urge to keep moving and keep moving, I feel like I'm such a inner peaceful place with myself at the moment that there's no need to change that or to distract myself or to kind of not feel something.

Because a lot of times I would travel or I would do all these crazy things because I would then want to feel something and so I went out and I don’t know, bought the next plane ticket or I went out, whatever you do, or you look for love maybe in the wrong places and so because you know, there is something we don’t want to feel.

So I am in a point where I really have much better access to my own feelings, into what is going on inside of me.

I have a very regular meditation practice now, way more now especially since Tony Robbins just because I realized how important it is to check in with my feelings everyday and to gauge where I am at.

PS I covered off on meditation and even included a mini one in this Season's second episode called Mind Your Mindfulness.

Back to Conni:

And generally I mean if I look back to now about a year ago, or a bit longer, and then where I am today it's really like back then I was doing the 4-hour Workweek.

I was doing surfing all day, going to yoga and reading, and hanging out with people and literally just like doing the 4 hour thing and barely sitting at my laptop, barely doing anything, not being creative, not creating anything really.

It was all, business was automated and so after awhile I just realized and I was getting depressed and I also realized eventually,

I am not contributing to this world. I am not growing. I am not giving people anything. I am not helping people.

It was like this spiral downwards and I realized just how important it is to really have something in life where you feel like you are contributing and changing the world, I think that's kind of what I need maybe.

And so now everyday I wake up in the morning, I can't wait to get out of bed and start creating or learn stuff. There's so much enthusiasm and ambition there and mostly because I found things and ways to contribute again and to help other people and inspire other people and that in its health is a well of fulfillment.

Thanks Conni, for providing such a beautiful segway into exactly how I've been feeling lately too.

And by lately, if I'm really honest about it, I mean for the last 18 months.

I was reading a blog post I'd written called;Why my 9 day digital sabbatical in Samoa transformed my life’. I did this trip with my Dad in October 2014 and it was magical.

Yet as I read back over this post, for research for my upcoming book, I took note that I talk about falling a little out of love with my business, and not feeling as if the work I'm doing is as meaningful as it could be.

I was frankly surprised I wrote this back then. And that I’ve been talking about it since then. And that in September 2016 I finally said “That’s it. I'm going to take a break from my business. And that that is finally happening this April 2017.

I mean, that's a lot of talking about it and not doing right? Which is kind of my jam. I'm an action taker. Normally I just DO.

So clearly this has been a long-time coming decision to make and act upon.

And I guess giving up on everything you've worked so hard for, to take a short break, isn’t a decision to be taken so lightly.

But for the last two weeks my decision has been well and truly validated by two amazing events I attended.

New Frontiers and the Enspiral Summerfest where I met some of the smartest, most innovative, world changing changemakers from around the world.

My mind was expanded upon belief. My heart was filled with passion and joy for which of these areas I could throw myself into and how I could help to be part of the change and the solution.

]]>
<![CDATA[Stories we tell ourselves]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:08:01 GMT 14:47 yes So this April marks a pretty significant moment in my life.

I am turning 40 years young. For my birthday, I have decided to gift myself something special.

I want to be in the best shape of my life - physically and mentally. Where am I at on that?? Actually pretty close!

Which excites me. And it has all come about in the last month or so. I quit telling myself stories that were unhelpful and put myself into the direct spotlight to get serious about committing to this goal.

These were stories like:

  • Oh when I am traveling I am surrounded by shitty choices of food
  • Oh I play Ultimate Frisbee and run around so of course I can drink alcohol at tournaments and eat pizza because I am burning it off
  • It does not matter that I am staying up late at night and not getting enough sleep, I am an entrepreneur, I am built tough!

Yeah those right there were all big fat lies, told to myself in an attempt to make me feel less guilty about the fact that I was not making any changes in my life.

I kept buying chorizo and cheese and cheap but delicious Portugese wine thinking that because I was going surfing several days a week that I was going to be just fine, it would not affect me.

And it’s not like I gained weight. I was getting fit. But my energy levels weren not great, I did not feel good about the food I was putting in my body. I was sluggish, less excited.

So let me ask you, what stories are you telling yourself about your health? Is it;

  • I could never give up my mid afternoon sweet treat
  • I need at least 2 cups of coffee to get through my workday
  • I am overweight, I always eat too much, I must have a slower metabolism than other people
  • I am not athletic
  • I try to lose weight but the pounds never come off, its genetic
  • I am too busy to eat healthily

The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of the stories you have told yourself around

health. When we repeatedly think or say something, we start to hold this as part of our identity.

When willpower starts to fade, our habits start to reflect the identity and beliefs we have about ourselves.

Let’s be frank, the way you tend to do one thing, is the way you tend do everything.

Think about it.

The way you care for yourself will directly impact the way you present yourself as an entrepreneur.

Take a moment and think of three people you look up to in your field. Who you aspire to be like and who are successful in their businesses and their lives.

What do you think their mornings look like? What type of food do you think they choose to eat? How about exercise and mindfulness? Do you think that they have daily and/or weekly practice?

Your personal health and wellness is the health and wealth of your business as an entrepreneur. This is a mind-shift one needs to make to succeed.

Want freedom from the 9-5, want location independence? Well, you need to find freedom in your body and mind first and foremost.

What you eat impacts how you think and perform. How you move impacts your creativity and productivity. How you manage and harness your stress impacts how you communicate and present yourself.

You are your business and if you want your business to thrive, you need to thrive.

Ask yourself and get clear with what tools you use in your business to stay on track and motivated? Do you try to do it all alone? Are you a part of master-mind groups, have accountability partners and/or networking meetings?

YES!

The number 1 reason people fail as entrepreneurs (and with their own personal health) is trying to do it all on their own. We need accountability and support to succeed.

That is why I am so thankful I joined the 30 Day Clean Living Challenge in January.

I personally went through this program and had a true transformation with my health and well-being and watched it impact my work.

I shot a very excited Vlog about it.

 

Hey, it is Natalie Sisson and I am feeling fit. I knew that I would now.

I am feeling fit, I am feeling energetic, I am feeling freaking amazing if I am really honest about it.

Because for the last three and a half, almost four weeks I’ve been on a 30 Day Clean Living Challenge, which ultimately means I am eating foods in the most natural state possible, where possible organic foods.

I am cooking like a mofo and this girl, never really cooks. I am loving what I am eating. I am creative in my kitchen which is over there. I

In addition to that, I am making smart food choices, I am sleeping better and I’ve taken up crossfit as opposed to ultimate frisbee, and tennis and gym workouts and it’s kicking my butt. And I am loving it.

And the point of this blog today, is that I just really wanted to talk about why do we not invest in our health, the way we invest in our teams, in businesses, in travel, in holidays and everything else that we do, like why?

I just do not understand like this thing here, this body is the most important thing in the world that we have.

And so now when I see people drinking coffee, like crazy by the way, one cup a day is okay. Eating fries, jumping out on burgers, filling themselves with alcohol.

I mean do not worry, I have done all these before myself but always always in moderation. And going on in this clean living challenge I think was just the perfect kick up my booty, was the kick up the booty that I needed to finally focus on how awesome I could feel on everyday basis just by making better choices.

Now, let me take you back on a little story, so I think this has been coming for a long time for me because this year I am turning the right but young age of 40.

And my quest for turning 40 is to be in the best shape of my life at this upcoming age. And I feel like I am really really close to that and so I had that in the back of my mind for probably the last 6 or 8 months.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I play ultimate frisbee, I love going to the gym, I eat pretty well but you know when I was in Portugal there was chorizo, there was cheese coming out of everywhere which was amazing.

The wine is like 2 or 3 Euros for a fantastic bottle and I was just living life and enjoying. I was surfing, for sure. I was doing yoga, yes. I was working hard, yes.

But I wasn’t really looking after me. I was being very very overindulgent in many ways.

So I arrived at Christmas time and I was like, “You know you’ve got to make some pretty serious changes here”, because as an entrepreneur I don’t want to be tired part way through the day which I was starting to feel.

I don’t want to be, have that brain fog that we all talk about, I don’t want to turn to coffee to get my energy. I don’t want to do any of that.

And then this lady came into my life. How did I not ever know about Libby Weaver, Dr. Libby Weaver. This book Womens Wellness Wisdom changed my life, thanks to a lovely lady, Karen who was away on this holiday, where she said - Oh you should just read my copy. I just got stuck in and I loved it so much I went and bought my own copy.

I can’t remember the last time that I bought a book about health and fitness, and that I bought a book that was not telling me what to do. It’s informing me of what I am doing to myself.

So much so that I was reading stuff in here and going...Holy crap, why am I doing that to myself? News flash: I should not be.

I just want to give you this, oh my God, that is so freaky, I am not kidding. I just opened to the page that I want to come to, so it might be called Womens Wellness Wisdom but guys this one is for you as well. Okay so don't worry.

But in this book, she goes over all sorts of things, around your skin conditions that you may have, sleep, about alcohol, about what caffeine does but she does it in a way like, "Here's what is going on in your body when you do these things", so that you step back and go, "Man, why am I doing those things?" And the biggest eye opener for me out of many things in here is when she talked about the vicious cycle. So I am going to give you a little closeup of this and I want to talk you through it.

So basically here's how it goes, you have coffee consumption in the morning, like one, two even three cups.

By the time it is afternoon, you have a sugar crash because you have been carbo-loading and eating rice, pasta or bread at lunch perhaps.

So you basically have more coffee again around that time, or you have more sugar like donuts, and all those things just give you a bit of a rush.

And then by the evening, you have too much alcohol so then you have a shitty sleep and then you wake up in the morning feeling like crap so you go back to, yes, more coffee.

Basically, when we do this, we are just adding tons of toxins into our liver. And our liver is an incredible organ but there's only so much it can do when you are throwing this crap at it.

So this is really interesting, liver loaders, that's what she calls them; alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, refined sugars, synthetic substances like pesticides which are all over our food and actually also infections, for example, viruses such as glandular fever.

I actually had glandular when I was a kid, well, a teenager. I caught it off my friend. She was just exhausted for three months and then I got it and wondered why I felt exhausted. I picked it up in my bloodstream later, just a shocker.

So imagine being on caffeine, withdraws something all the time, being that lethargic that's what glandular fever does to you. Not fun.

So anyway, I highly recommend this book. Here is where you can get it.

There's just so many, so many good things in here. So this started getting me informed in a big way about my body, my health, my mindset.

And what I love is in the first chapter she basically says this beautiful thing which is, "I am hopeful that this book will offer you simple tools that foster and even healthier and happier life, helping you to appreciate even more deeply how miraculous your body truly is and the gift that you are to the world." That just sets the tone for the rest of this book which is awesome.

So after reading that I then started in on the lovely Karen and Sarah's 30 day clean living challenge. Now Karen has been a member of my community, she has been a coaching client, she's come to my retreats but I've seen her on this path of growing more and more and more. She's just super passionate about real health and real energy.

And I ran this clean living challenge last year. They've run it several times and I didn't partake, like I sign up and I did nothing. There was a daily email coming in and I pretty much ignored all of them. Sorry Karen and Sarah!

I was too busy, I was working too hard, I was travelling to much and frankly I didn't even have access to a kitchen, I didn't have access to groceries, it was just not good timing. And that was legitimate, it wasn't an excuse. I feel that was legitimate.

This time, however, I was like, "Screw that, I am signing up". So I signed up and started night at the jam at the time of this recording, it is the second of February. So I am into week 4.

Every week you get this really cool meal plan, you get like an idea of what you can eat each day, you get recipes that are just freaking awesome. And I took myself off to Moore Wilson's which is a really great organic grocery store here.

It's not all organic but they've got incredible quality food and I got the shopping list and I was like, "Yup, thanks Karen and Sarah." And I took thirty minutes to buy a complete new pantry.

And I went to my pantry which is usually barren and to my fridge which is frankly usually barren because I am the digital nomad who travels and eats out and spends all her money on that. And I stocked it up, might even show you a bit of my pantry.

And everytime I open it now I am proud, I am like, "Ooh! What's in there?" and it's incredible and I started cooking. And I started reading the recipes, I started enjoying it and I started feeling it was quite cathartic experience and I started surprising myself quite frankly.

Because for those of you who know me well, you know I don't cook, I purposely side out of the kitchen from when I was a kid so that I wouldn't end up in the kitchen.

I don't know, it's a weird way of thinking but that is what I thought. I am actually quite a good cook, I just never really enjoyed it the way other things I do, there was work, there was business, there was frisbee, there was hanging out with friends.

And now, I get, I am no chef by the way but I get and understand why people actually love the act of it and putting love into your food and the taste, the sensation so that was Step 1: new pantry, new grocery list.

Step 2, become a cook. And some of these things are so super simple to do and cook and prepare and then you have it like two or three more meals out of it.

The third thing I notice was step 3 is heck, budget conscious. Like I've added up my because I am geeky like this. I've added up what I've spent on groceries and first shop was about a $150-$200 and I've added up what I've had on meals out since doing this challenge.

I've only eaten out about 6 or 7 times over the last three weeks and that combined has been more than triple what I've spent on groceries. So in the first week, I got 21 meals and I swear they cost me about $5 or $6 each and they were all super super healthy. And I just felt like I was filling myself with good stuff so that's been an enlightenment for me.

Then the next step to that was going, "Oh organic!" because back to Dr. Libby Weaver, she talks about if you can, always buy organic. And it's not just that the animals are being better bred, it's the soil.

There is so much shit that goes into the soil that we are then consuming. So every single thing comes down to the soil and once in it and how plants grow and how foods grow.

So I've been switching to organic and stuff has been tasting great. It's not that much more expensive, it's much better prepared, there is no chemicals. You feel ethically more responsible on the whole. It's just like this beautiful effect of everything feels better.

So then I found common sense organic, from my lovely friend Lizzy, who use to go to all the time like 8 years ago when she used to live in New Zealand and now I'm like waking up to it.

Then I had this epiphany and I shot a Facebook live video going, "What have I been doing all my life? Why haven't I had more organic things? Why haven't I actually been preparing beautiful, wholesome, healthy, yummy foods that give me energy and make me feel amazing.

Then the next thing that I noticed was, "Okay, fun going organic in food. I want to go organic in skincare". So I went out and I research and I bought the beautiful "Antipodes range". It's gorgeous. It's really lovely and that is awesome.

All organic, like Manuka honey, oh so good. Black fern bulgarian rose and Waiwerra artesian water, kiwifruit and Manuka honey, Vicenza Performance.

It's so yum and It smells freaking amazing and just today, my lovely mom came by and she said, "Your skin is looking great". I was like, "Yup". I actually feel like younger from the inside.

So that was step 4 or 5 I can't remember and then people on Facebook said are posting, skincare recipes make at home, you know, do it yourself which I've known about for a long time but I can't actually do because I am in one place for a month.

Even our local supermarket New World's gives out skincare recipes here - body scrubs for healthy skin.

So granted I will say doing any kind of challenge to get yourself back on track it is lovely to have a base and be able to have a kitchen and access to groceries and stores but I still feel you can do this pretty much from anywhere.

And then the next thing that’s come out of it is changing my exercise so about this time right across from where I'm shopping at Moore Wilson's there's this cool place called Urban Fitness.

Shout out to Mike. Mike, Michael and Dan actually. And it's this awesome kind of like, just hipster urban workout space, has a big roll the door and inside there's boxing bags and rowing machines and dumbells and kettle bells and bars and olympic rings.

I don't know why I am doing all this stuff. And there I was finding myself at 6am in the morning or 6:45 or at 12:10pm,doing these crazy cool workouts that fully functionally stretch my body so much.

I thought it was pretty strong and fit. I had abs here like I was sore in my intercostal muscles for weeks. Everything was sore, I was walking up the stairs going "Oh God! I feel..." but it only lasted for like 2 or 3 days and this is me in week 2 and a half.

I just want to kind of like bounce around all the time.

So I don't know what’s happened in the last three and a half weeks, I have literally transformed my world from the inside out and it all started with getting educated about why my body is amazing, why everything that I do and feed into here, feeds my mind, which then feeds into everything else.

So additional things that have come out of this, which I kind of thought might happen but not in so many ways, massive massive positivity shift.

I am a pretty positive person but now I am now in gratitude mode all the time. I am excited about things as a result of being in gratitude mode and being excited and being positive and being happy.

I've got this abundance coming into my business, I've got sponsors from my podcast, in addition to that I've been like killing it with Airbnb recently, meeting all these awesome lovely guests, making more money through real estate, transforming my finances, just getting a grip on everything.

So all I can say is if you start here, with this beautiful body that you live in, and you treat it like the queen or the kind that it is, then it starts here which shifts the mindset into gratitude, into abundance, into positivity, stuff starts coming out of the woodworks to make your life awesome and things just get better and better.

So that is all I want to say to you, invest in yourself. I now fully understand what that means. And this is just being this whole set of transformation and I am still learning, I am learning so much and I love it.

I would love you to leave a comment below and tell me what you want to do to invest in yourself.

How good you will feel.

How amazing you would feel when you finally start treating your body with respect and having that evolved and spill over into every aspect of your life, relationships, sex?

Sex gets really good when you are feeling fit and great about yourself. General all day energy, no brain fog, just massive clarity around everything.

It's freaking amazing.

Want to see what this challenge is all about?

You're in luck. I have convinced Karen and Sarah to run another 30 Day Challenge starting February 20th.

Head to nataliesisson.com/clean for deets. And if you miss this one they will do more this year. I’m joining another, for me it’s a no brainer.

Prioritise your health habits over the next month and watch your productivity, creativity and business thrive.

]]>
So this April marks a pretty significant moment in my life.

I am turning 40 years young. For my birthday, I have decided to gift myself something special.

I want to be in the best shape of my life - physically and mentally. Where am I at on that?? Actually pretty close!

Which excites me. And it has all come about in the last month or so. I quit telling myself stories that were unhelpful and put myself into the direct spotlight to get serious about committing to this goal.

These were stories like:

  • Oh when I am traveling I am surrounded by shitty choices of food
  • Oh I play Ultimate Frisbee and run around so of course I can drink alcohol at tournaments and eat pizza because I am burning it off
  • It does not matter that I am staying up late at night and not getting enough sleep, I am an entrepreneur, I am built tough!

Yeah those right there were all big fat lies, told to myself in an attempt to make me feel less guilty about the fact that I was not making any changes in my life.

I kept buying chorizo and cheese and cheap but delicious Portugese wine thinking that because I was going surfing several days a week that I was going to be just fine, it would not affect me.

And it’s not like I gained weight. I was getting fit. But my energy levels weren not great, I did not feel good about the food I was putting in my body. I was sluggish, less excited.

So let me ask you, what stories are you telling yourself about your health? Is it;

  • I could never give up my mid afternoon sweet treat
  • I need at least 2 cups of coffee to get through my workday
  • I am overweight, I always eat too much, I must have a slower metabolism than other people
  • I am not athletic
  • I try to lose weight but the pounds never come off, its genetic
  • I am too busy to eat healthily

The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of the stories you have told yourself around

health. When we repeatedly think or say something, we start to hold this as part of our identity.

When willpower starts to fade, our habits start to reflect the identity and beliefs we have about ourselves.

Let’s be frank, the way you tend to do one thing, is the way you tend do everything.

Think about it.

The way you care for yourself will directly impact the way you present yourself as an entrepreneur.

Take a moment and think of three people you look up to in your field. Who you aspire to be like and who are successful in their businesses and their lives.

What do you think their mornings look like? What type of food do you think they choose to eat? How about exercise and mindfulness? Do you think that they have daily and/or weekly practice?

Your personal health and wellness is the health and wealth of your business as an entrepreneur. This is a mind-shift one needs to make to succeed.

Want freedom from the 9-5, want location independence? Well, you need to find freedom in your body and mind first and foremost.

What you eat impacts how you think and perform. How you move impacts your creativity and productivity. How you manage and harness your stress impacts how you communicate and present yourself.

You are your business and if you want your business to thrive, you need to thrive.

Ask yourself and get clear with what tools you use in your business to stay on track and motivated? Do you try to do it all alone? Are you a part of master-mind groups, have accountability partners and/or networking meetings?

YES!

The number 1 reason people fail as entrepreneurs (and with their own personal health) is trying to do it all on their own. We need accountability and support to succeed.

That is why I am so thankful I joined the 30 Day Clean Living Challenge in January.

I personally went through this program and had a true transformation with my health and well-being and watched it impact my work.

I shot a very excited Vlog about it.

 

Hey, it is Natalie Sisson and I am feeling fit. I knew that I would now.

I am feeling fit, I am feeling energetic, I am feeling freaking amazing if I am really honest about it.

Because for the last three and a half, almost four weeks I’ve been on a 30 Day Clean Living Challenge, which ultimately means I am eating foods in the most natural state possible, where possible organic foods.

I am cooking like a mofo and this girl, never really cooks. I am loving what I am eating. I am creative in my kitchen which is over there. I

In addition to that, I am making smart food choices, I am sleeping better and I’ve taken up crossfit as opposed to ultimate frisbee, and tennis and gym workouts and it’s kicking my butt. And I am loving it.

And the point of this blog today, is that I just really wanted to talk about why do we not invest in our health, the way we invest in our teams, in businesses, in travel, in holidays and everything else that we do, like why?

I just do not understand like this thing here, this body is the most important thing in the world that we have.

And so now when I see people drinking coffee, like crazy by the way, one cup a day is okay. Eating fries, jumping out on burgers, filling themselves with alcohol.

I mean do not worry, I have done all these before myself but always always in moderation. And going on in this clean living challenge I think was just the perfect kick up my booty, was the kick up the booty that I needed to finally focus on how awesome I could feel on everyday basis just by making better choices.

Now, let me take you back on a little story, so I think this has been coming for a long time for me because this year I am turning the right but young age of 40.

And my quest for turning 40 is to be in the best shape of my life at this upcoming age. And I feel like I am really really close to that and so I had that in the back of my mind for probably the last 6 or 8 months.

I mean don’t get me wrong, I play ultimate frisbee, I love going to the gym, I eat pretty well but you know when I was in Portugal there was chorizo, there was cheese coming out of everywhere which was amazing.

The wine is like 2 or 3 Euros for a fantastic bottle and I was just living life and enjoying. I was surfing, for sure. I was doing yoga, yes. I was working hard, yes.

But I wasn’t really looking after me. I was being very very overindulgent in many ways.

So I arrived at Christmas time and I was like, “You know you’ve got to make some pretty serious changes here”, because as an entrepreneur I don’t want to be tired part way through the day which I was starting to feel.

I don’t want to be, have that brain fog that we all talk about, I don’t want to turn to coffee to get my energy. I don’t want to do any of that.

And then this lady came into my life. How did I not ever know about Libby Weaver, Dr. Libby Weaver. This book Womens Wellness Wisdom changed my life, thanks to a lovely lady, Karen who was away on this holiday, where she said - Oh you should just read my copy. I just got stuck in and I loved it so much I went and bought my own copy.

I can’t remember the last time that I bought a book about health and fitness, and that I bought a book that was not telling me what to do. It’s informing me of what I am doing to myself.

So much so that I was reading stuff in here and going...Holy crap, why am I doing that to myself? News flash: I should not be.

I just want to give you this, oh my God, that is so freaky, I am not kidding. I just opened to the page that I want to come to, so it might be called Womens Wellness Wisdom but guys this one is for you as well. Okay so don't worry.

But in this book, she goes over all sorts of things, around your skin conditions that you may have, sleep, about alcohol, about what caffeine does but she does it in a way like, "Here's what is going on in your body when you do these things", so that you step back and go, "Man, why am I doing those things?" And the biggest eye opener for me out of many things in here is when she talked about the vicious cycle. So I am going to give you a little closeup of this and I want to talk you through it.

So basically here's how it goes, you have coffee consumption in the morning, like one, two even three cups.

By the time it is afternoon, you have a sugar crash because you have been carbo-loading and eating rice, pasta or bread at lunch perhaps.

So you basically have more coffee again around that time, or you have more sugar like donuts, and all those things just give you a bit of a rush.

And then by the evening, you have too much alcohol so then you have a shitty sleep and then you wake up in the morning feeling like crap so you go back to, yes, more coffee.

Basically, when we do this, we are just adding tons of toxins into our liver. And our liver is an incredible organ but there's only so much it can do when you are throwing this crap at it.

So this is really interesting, liver loaders, that's what she calls them; alcohol, caffeine, trans fats, refined sugars, synthetic substances like pesticides which are all over our food and actually also infections, for example, viruses such as glandular fever.

I actually had glandular when I was a kid, well, a teenager. I caught it off my friend. She was just exhausted for three months and then I got it and wondered why I felt exhausted. I picked it up in my bloodstream later, just a shocker.

So imagine being on caffeine, withdraws something all the time, being that lethargic that's what glandular fever does to you. Not fun.

So anyway, I highly recommend this book. Here is where you can get it.

There's just so many, so many good things in here. So this started getting me informed in a big way about my body, my health, my mindset.

And what I love is in the first chapter she basically says this beautiful thing which is, "I am hopeful that this book will offer you simple tools that foster and even healthier and happier life, helping you to appreciate even more deeply how miraculous your body truly is and the gift that you are to the world." That just sets the tone for the rest of this book which is awesome.

So after reading that I then started in on the lovely Karen and Sarah's 30 day clean living challenge. Now Karen has been a member of my community, she has been a coaching client, she's come to my retreats but I've seen her on this path of growing more and more and more. She's just super passionate about real health and real energy.

And I ran this clean living challenge last year. They've run it several times and I didn't partake, like I sign up and I did nothing. There was a daily email coming in and I pretty much ignored all of them. Sorry Karen and Sarah!

I was too busy, I was working too hard, I was travelling to much and frankly I didn't even have access to a kitchen, I didn't have access to groceries, it was just not good timing. And that was legitimate, it wasn't an excuse. I feel that was legitimate.

This time, however, I was like, "Screw that, I am signing up". So I signed up and started night at the jam at the time of this recording, it is the second of February. So I am into week 4.

Every week you get this really cool meal plan, you get like an idea of what you can eat each day, you get recipes that are just freaking awesome. And I took myself off to Moore Wilson's which is a really great organic grocery store here.

It's not all organic but they've got incredible quality food and I got the shopping list and I was like, "Yup, thanks Karen and Sarah." And I took thirty minutes to buy a complete new pantry.

And I went to my pantry which is usually barren and to my fridge which is frankly usually barren because I am the digital nomad who travels and eats out and spends all her money on that. And I stocked it up, might even show you a bit of my pantry.

And everytime I open it now I am proud, I am like, "Ooh! What's in there?" and it's incredible and I started cooking. And I started reading the recipes, I started enjoying it and I started feeling it was quite cathartic experience and I started surprising myself quite frankly.

Because for those of you who know me well, you know I don't cook, I purposely side out of the kitchen from when I was a kid so that I wouldn't end up in the kitchen.

I don't know, it's a weird way of thinking but that is what I thought. I am actually quite a good cook, I just never really enjoyed it the way other things I do, there was work, there was business, there was frisbee, there was hanging out with friends.

And now, I get, I am no chef by the way but I get and understand why people actually love the act of it and putting love into your food and the taste, the sensation so that was Step 1: new pantry, new grocery list.

Step 2, become a cook. And some of these things are so super simple to do and cook and prepare and then you have it like two or three more meals out of it.

The third thing I notice was step 3 is heck, budget conscious. Like I've added up my because I am geeky like this. I've added up what I've spent on groceries and first shop was about a $150-$200 and I've added up what I've had on meals out since doing this challenge.

I've only eaten out about 6 or 7 times over the last three weeks and that combined has been more than triple what I've spent on groceries. So in the first week, I got 21 meals and I swear they cost me about $5 or $6 each and they were all super super healthy. And I just felt like I was filling myself with good stuff so that's been an enlightenment for me.

Then the next step to that was going, "Oh organic!" because back to Dr. Libby Weaver, she talks about if you can, always buy organic. And it's not just that the animals are being better bred, it's the soil.

There is so much shit that goes into the soil that we are then consuming. So every single thing comes down to the soil and once in it and how plants grow and how foods grow.

So I've been switching to organic and stuff has been tasting great. It's not that much more expensive, it's much better prepared, there is no chemicals. You feel ethically more responsible on the whole. It's just like this beautiful effect of everything feels better.

So then I found common sense organic, from my lovely friend Lizzy, who use to go to all the time like 8 years ago when she used to live in New Zealand and now I'm like waking up to it.

Then I had this epiphany and I shot a Facebook live video going, "What have I been doing all my life? Why haven't I had more organic things? Why haven't I actually been preparing beautiful, wholesome, healthy, yummy foods that give me energy and make me feel amazing.

Then the next thing that I noticed was, "Okay, fun going organic in food. I want to go organic in skincare". So I went out and I research and I bought the beautiful "Antipodes range". It's gorgeous. It's really lovely and that is awesome.

All organic, like Manuka honey, oh so good. Black fern bulgarian rose and Waiwerra artesian water, kiwifruit and Manuka honey, Vicenza Performance.

It's so yum and It smells freaking amazing and just today, my lovely mom came by and she said, "Your skin is looking great". I was like, "Yup". I actually feel like younger from the inside.

So that was step 4 or 5 I can't remember and then people on Facebook said are posting, skincare recipes make at home, you know, do it yourself which I've known about for a long time but I can't actually do because I am in one place for a month.

Even our local supermarket New World's gives out skincare recipes here - body scrubs for healthy skin.

So granted I will say doing any kind of challenge to get yourself back on track it is lovely to have a base and be able to have a kitchen and access to groceries and stores but I still feel you can do this pretty much from anywhere.

And then the next thing that’s come out of it is changing my exercise so about this time right across from where I'm shopping at Moore Wilson's there's this cool place called Urban Fitness.

Shout out to Mike. Mike, Michael and Dan actually. And it's this awesome kind of like, just hipster urban workout space, has a big roll the door and inside there's boxing bags and rowing machines and dumbells and kettle bells and bars and olympic rings.

I don't know why I am doing all this stuff. And there I was finding myself at 6am in the morning or 6:45 or at 12:10pm,doing these crazy cool workouts that fully functionally stretch my body so much.

I thought it was pretty strong and fit. I had abs here like I was sore in my intercostal muscles for weeks. Everything was sore, I was walking up the stairs going "Oh God! I feel..." but it only lasted for like 2 or 3 days and this is me in week 2 and a half.

I just want to kind of like bounce around all the time.

So I don't know what’s happened in the last three and a half weeks, I have literally transformed my world from the inside out and it all started with getting educated about why my body is amazing, why everything that I do and feed into here, feeds my mind, which then feeds into everything else.

So additional things that have come out of this, which I kind of thought might happen but not in so many ways, massive massive positivity shift.

I am a pretty positive person but now I am now in gratitude mode all the time. I am excited about things as a result of being in gratitude mode and being excited and being positive and being happy.

I've got this abundance coming into my business, I've got sponsors from my podcast, in addition to that I've been like killing it with Airbnb recently, meeting all these awesome lovely guests, making more money through real estate, transforming my finances, just getting a grip on everything.

So all I can say is if you start here, with this beautiful body that you live in, and you treat it like the queen or the kind that it is, then it starts here which shifts the mindset into gratitude, into abundance, into positivity, stuff starts coming out of the woodworks to make your life awesome and things just get better and better.

So that is all I want to say to you, invest in yourself. I now fully understand what that means. And this is just being this whole set of transformation and I am still learning, I am learning so much and I love it.

I would love you to leave a comment below and tell me what you want to do to invest in yourself.

How good you will feel.

How amazing you would feel when you finally start treating your body with respect and having that evolved and spill over into every aspect of your life, relationships, sex?

Sex gets really good when you are feeling fit and great about yourself. General all day energy, no brain fog, just massive clarity around everything.

It's freaking amazing.

Want to see what this challenge is all about?

You're in luck. I have convinced Karen and Sarah to run another 30 Day Challenge starting February 20th.

Head to nataliesisson.com/clean for deets. And if you miss this one they will do more this year. I’m joining another, for me it’s a no brainer.

Prioritise your health habits over the next month and watch your productivity, creativity and business thrive.

]]>
<![CDATA[Mind your mindfulness]]> Tue, 07 Feb 2017 03:36:57 GMT 25:08 yes For the last 7 years I’ve been running my business The Suitcase Entrepreneur from all over the world, while living out of the suitcase and going on adventures. This year, in 2017, I’ve decided to fire myself. Yup, that’s right. I am quitting. I am taking a business sabbatical from my own business and instead I am taking YOU on a Quest for Freedom. Your freedom. I'm so freakin excited to do this. To understand why the heck I am, here's a bit of backstory into me. This is actually taken from my TEDx talk last year called ‘The Surprising Truth About Freedom’ (feel free to just watch from 12:12-15:44).

Why tune into this podcast?

After watching, I hope you can understand why I’ve named this podcast Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom, because as I mentioned, I’m on a hunt to understand what freedom really is. This podcast is part audio journal, part narrative and part ‘choose your own adventure’. It will be divided into Seasons (just like on TV) and each season will be a different quest around freedom. I’m starting with Personal freedom, and I’ll break that down more in Episode 2.

What is the definition of Freedom?

First off let’s attempt to better understand freedom (or maybe expose why this is no ordinary quest I’m going on). Over the years I’ve asked a LOT of people what their definition of personal freedom is and I am starting to see a pattern in their answers. A couple of Friday's ago I was having dinner with friends and new acquaintances, listening to music and discussing all sorts of topics. So I decided to whip out my new Zoom H6 recorder and ask them a question for my new podcast. They all agreed, so without any background I just launched into my question which I posed to them which was: "What's your definition of freedom?" Here’s what they had to say:

“Deciding when you want to wake up in the morning, where you want to be and deciding what you want to do for the day.”

“Freedom for me is abundance but it’s conditional on the freedom of others. I am not free if other people aren’t free.”

“There are a lot of different types of freedom, but the most important freedom is the freedom from our own minds, and that if freedom is dependent on external factors then it’s not truly free.”

“I believe that the only thing that we are actually in control of is how we react in the moment and having an internal sense of freedom to be able to react as we choose is the ultimate freedom.”

“Choice. You just get to choose freely whether it’d be a monetary thing or just your thoughts or your reactions.”

“Free is something that doesn’t cost anything”

Do any of those resonate with you? I go on to say in my podcast: "There’s also a price to pay for too much freedom. I feel like I experienced that a few weeks ago when I was trying to make a big decision in my life, and I realized I was so free in choosing either one, that I almost felt paralyzed for the first time. There was too much freedom. You have to have some boundaries and some limits within which to feel free." So as you can see from this discussion…..I’m really no closer to uncovering a definition for freedom. And perhaps it’s un-defineable. Perhaps this whole quest is going to impossible, but I can’t wait either way because this is a year like no other. I’m firing myself and taking a business sabbatical to become a student of life, and go on a quest to find freedom.

What is a Quest?

Now that we've established the challenge in defining freedom, I thought understanding what a quest is would be a logical next move. So back to my friends for their ideas around this:

“It’s like bigger than yourself. There will be obstacles, there will be doubt, there will be naysayers, there will be almost insurmountable odds but your values and what’s inside of you pull you forward beyond what you think is possible and achieving your quest will be one of the greatest memories for a parts of your life.”

“A quest is fundamentally a search for meaning. It’s about trying to find and discover meaning.”

“Is quest the root of question?”

And yes is the answer to that question. I looked it up on the interwebs to find it is from late Middle English: from Old French queste (noun), based on Latin quaerere ‘ask, seek’. According to the dictionary, because all intrepid people going on a quest would of course refer to a dictionary first right….. a quest is both a noun and a verb. noun

  1. a long or arduous search for something.

That sounds really freaking fun doesn’t it… long and arduous? Ah no thanks. The verb came up with much better results in my opinion

  1. search for something.
  search, seek, look, hunt, pursue, investigate, explore, probe, inspect
  • "his eyes quested to left and right"

 

That all sounds much better. But if you ever hear me saying “My eyes quested to the left and right” I’ve either lost the plot or I’m exploring a medieval festival and getting in character. According to Wikipedia a quest serves as a plot device in mythology and fiction: a difficult journey towards a goal, often symbolic or allegorical. Tales of quests figure prominently in the folklore of every nation and ethnic culture.... The moral of a quest tale often centers on the changed character of the hero. So I guess for the purposes of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom podcast…. I’m the hero? Which also means I’m the one who has to go through the good, the bad and the ugly. I am a walking, talking human experiment, so that you can sit back in your armchair at home, or on your drive to the city, or while you’re enjoying a relaxing pedicure, and listen to me do all the hard stuff, the grueling, intense, exciting, thrilling, daring and at times, prob mundane things I need to do to achieve on this Quest for Freedom. And I’m ok with that. You know. I’ll take it on the chin. Partly because it’s my idea and all so I have no excuse to complain. And partly cos I kind of like the idea of being the guinea pig. First things first I feel like you guys need to give me an appropriate mythological made up Hero’s name.

Do me a favor and humour me. Leave a comment below with your idea for my 'hero' name. I’ll choose the best one, and for season one will henceforth call myself that name and you’ll get your name in the credits.

My favourite definition of a quest, because I found it so fitting, was from Vocabulary.com A quest is all about seeking something important, and it often involves a journey. You would travel the world in a quest for gold. You would not travel to the front of the lunchroom in a quest for tater tots. Ha. That’s one heck of a definition. They go on to say: Knights in the Middle Ages were forever taking on quests––most famously to find the Holy Grail. In modern times, you can quest without ever leaving home, thanks to the Internet. A scientist might embark on a quest to find the cure for cancer. A detective might quest for the truth. It’s worthwhile noting here that quest is also a verb that means bark with prolonged noises, of dogs. Perhaps something I can incorporate into the show? Unintentionally I chose this word because it sounds grandiose, but in a good ol down to earth way. And probably because as a kid I loved Greek Mythology and read books like Odysseus, or Ulysses, depending on which side you gun for more. Same hero. Same quest. Different name. Unbeknownst to me however is the Quest is one of 7 Types of Story Plots you can use when writing, or making a movie! According to Liz Bureman over at The Write Practice: “The Quest is a search for a place, item, or person that requires the hero to leave home in order to find it. Sometimes the item is just a MacGuffin to drive the plot along. I’m going to pause to explain here, as I had no idea what a MacGuffin was, but if you’re a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s the thing the hero needs to find on their journey to get to the real important thing. So in this case the golden monkey head Harrison Ford finds in the tomb, not the actual ark. Back to Liz: “Other times the thing driving the quest is specific to the story’s circumstances. Either way, the hero is leaving home to find whatever the heck the story demands, and we get to come along for the ride.” Sounds fair to me. You game to come on this ride with me? You’re not going to leave me all alone out here are you? To show you’re serious if you’re not subscribed to my show on iTunes and you want to follow along on Season One then head to nataliesisson.com/itunes and it will take you straight there! You can do the same by heading to nataliesisson.com/stitcher too. Ok here’s where Liz got me thinking. She went on to describe the characters in a quest and I realized I’m going to need a crew. You see a quest is the plot type most likely to have a group of main characters rather than one protagonist in the main eye of the story. Shiiiiittt and here I was thinking this was ALL about me! Nope apparently not. According to Liz I should have:

  • A close friend who is loyal to our hero, but doesn’t have much else going for him or her;
  • A sidekick who is the polar opposite of the hero mentally, physically, and emotionally;
  • A generic mass of identity-less bros who don’t get names because they’re not alive long enough to matter; or
  • A balanced party of brains, heart, and strength who support the hero, or who count the hero as one of their own.

So I guess before the next episode I need to find some of these characters to make this more enticing right? Ok I’ll be back in the next episode with some characters, I can’t guarantee they’ll fit the bill but heck, this is my quest so I get to choose them. It may even be you if you play your cards right! Whereever you’re tuning in or reading this from around the world, I’m sending you a BIG virtual hug of thanks and gratitude for tuning into to the very first Season and Episode of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom. If you want to make my day leave a comment below to:

  • tell me my Hero name
  • simply say hi, and;
  • add your own definition of what freedom means to you.

Go ahead and make sure you subscribe to the show in any podcast player you have, and find me on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google Play and iHeartRadio.

Tune in to the next episode where I let an Oracle tell me what I can expect in 2017….

Yep I consulted an Oracle...or more over the Suburban Psychic approached me to do a session with me. And here's just a snippet of what she had to say: "There’s a part of you that doesn’t want to know stuff, and there’s that little part of you that is giving permission to you to dive in deeper, to explore further, because you got this amazing watch dog in the ego. If a wave is crashing, coming towards you you don’t try to get over the top and scoot your way around it. You got to dive into that sucker and that’s the only way you are going to come out the other side without being thrown on your head and getting sand in places that you don’t want to even talk about " Intrigued? Make sure you jump in and sign up to updates via email so I can share with you when each episode goes live.

]]>
For the last 7 years I’ve been running my business The Suitcase Entrepreneur from all over the world, while living out of the suitcase and going on adventures. This year, in 2017, I’ve decided to fire myself. Yup, that’s right. I am quitting. I am taking a business sabbatical from my own business and instead I am taking YOU on a Quest for Freedom. Your freedom. I'm so freakin excited to do this. To understand why the heck I am, here's a bit of backstory into me. This is actually taken from my TEDx talk last year called ‘The Surprising Truth About Freedom’ (feel free to just watch from 12:12-15:44).

Why tune into this podcast?

After watching, I hope you can understand why I’ve named this podcast Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom, because as I mentioned, I’m on a hunt to understand what freedom really is. This podcast is part audio journal, part narrative and part ‘choose your own adventure’. It will be divided into Seasons (just like on TV) and each season will be a different quest around freedom. I’m starting with Personal freedom, and I’ll break that down more in Episode 2.

What is the definition of Freedom?

First off let’s attempt to better understand freedom (or maybe expose why this is no ordinary quest I’m going on). Over the years I’ve asked a LOT of people what their definition of personal freedom is and I am starting to see a pattern in their answers. A couple of Friday's ago I was having dinner with friends and new acquaintances, listening to music and discussing all sorts of topics. So I decided to whip out my new Zoom H6 recorder and ask them a question for my new podcast. They all agreed, so without any background I just launched into my question which I posed to them which was: "What's your definition of freedom?" Here’s what they had to say:

“Deciding when you want to wake up in the morning, where you want to be and deciding what you want to do for the day.”

“Freedom for me is abundance but it’s conditional on the freedom of others. I am not free if other people aren’t free.”

“There are a lot of different types of freedom, but the most important freedom is the freedom from our own minds, and that if freedom is dependent on external factors then it’s not truly free.”

“I believe that the only thing that we are actually in control of is how we react in the moment and having an internal sense of freedom to be able to react as we choose is the ultimate freedom.”

“Choice. You just get to choose freely whether it’d be a monetary thing or just your thoughts or your reactions.”

“Free is something that doesn’t cost anything”

Do any of those resonate with you? I go on to say in my podcast: "There’s also a price to pay for too much freedom. I feel like I experienced that a few weeks ago when I was trying to make a big decision in my life, and I realized I was so free in choosing either one, that I almost felt paralyzed for the first time. There was too much freedom. You have to have some boundaries and some limits within which to feel free." So as you can see from this discussion…..I’m really no closer to uncovering a definition for freedom. And perhaps it’s un-defineable. Perhaps this whole quest is going to impossible, but I can’t wait either way because this is a year like no other. I’m firing myself and taking a business sabbatical to become a student of life, and go on a quest to find freedom.

What is a Quest?

Now that we've established the challenge in defining freedom, I thought understanding what a quest is would be a logical next move. So back to my friends for their ideas around this:

“It’s like bigger than yourself. There will be obstacles, there will be doubt, there will be naysayers, there will be almost insurmountable odds but your values and what’s inside of you pull you forward beyond what you think is possible and achieving your quest will be one of the greatest memories for a parts of your life.”

“A quest is fundamentally a search for meaning. It’s about trying to find and discover meaning.”

“Is quest the root of question?”

And yes is the answer to that question. I looked it up on the interwebs to find it is from late Middle English: from Old French queste (noun), based on Latin quaerere ‘ask, seek’. According to the dictionary, because all intrepid people going on a quest would of course refer to a dictionary first right….. a quest is both a noun and a verb. noun

  1. a long or arduous search for something.

That sounds really freaking fun doesn’t it… long and arduous? Ah no thanks. The verb came up with much better results in my opinion

  1. search for something.
  search, seek, look, hunt, pursue, investigate, explore, probe, inspect
  • "his eyes quested to left and right"

 

That all sounds much better. But if you ever hear me saying “My eyes quested to the left and right” I’ve either lost the plot or I’m exploring a medieval festival and getting in character. According to Wikipedia a quest serves as a plot device in mythology and fiction: a difficult journey towards a goal, often symbolic or allegorical. Tales of quests figure prominently in the folklore of every nation and ethnic culture.... The moral of a quest tale often centers on the changed character of the hero. So I guess for the purposes of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom podcast…. I’m the hero? Which also means I’m the one who has to go through the good, the bad and the ugly. I am a walking, talking human experiment, so that you can sit back in your armchair at home, or on your drive to the city, or while you’re enjoying a relaxing pedicure, and listen to me do all the hard stuff, the grueling, intense, exciting, thrilling, daring and at times, prob mundane things I need to do to achieve on this Quest for Freedom. And I’m ok with that. You know. I’ll take it on the chin. Partly because it’s my idea and all so I have no excuse to complain. And partly cos I kind of like the idea of being the guinea pig. First things first I feel like you guys need to give me an appropriate mythological made up Hero’s name.

Do me a favor and humour me. Leave a comment below with your idea for my 'hero' name. I’ll choose the best one, and for season one will henceforth call myself that name and you’ll get your name in the credits.

My favourite definition of a quest, because I found it so fitting, was from Vocabulary.com A quest is all about seeking something important, and it often involves a journey. You would travel the world in a quest for gold. You would not travel to the front of the lunchroom in a quest for tater tots. Ha. That’s one heck of a definition. They go on to say: Knights in the Middle Ages were forever taking on quests––most famously to find the Holy Grail. In modern times, you can quest without ever leaving home, thanks to the Internet. A scientist might embark on a quest to find the cure for cancer. A detective might quest for the truth. It’s worthwhile noting here that quest is also a verb that means bark with prolonged noises, of dogs. Perhaps something I can incorporate into the show? Unintentionally I chose this word because it sounds grandiose, but in a good ol down to earth way. And probably because as a kid I loved Greek Mythology and read books like Odysseus, or Ulysses, depending on which side you gun for more. Same hero. Same quest. Different name. Unbeknownst to me however is the Quest is one of 7 Types of Story Plots you can use when writing, or making a movie! According to Liz Bureman over at The Write Practice: “The Quest is a search for a place, item, or person that requires the hero to leave home in order to find it. Sometimes the item is just a MacGuffin to drive the plot along. I’m going to pause to explain here, as I had no idea what a MacGuffin was, but if you’re a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s the thing the hero needs to find on their journey to get to the real important thing. So in this case the golden monkey head Harrison Ford finds in the tomb, not the actual ark. Back to Liz: “Other times the thing driving the quest is specific to the story’s circumstances. Either way, the hero is leaving home to find whatever the heck the story demands, and we get to come along for the ride.” Sounds fair to me. You game to come on this ride with me? You’re not going to leave me all alone out here are you? To show you’re serious if you’re not subscribed to my show on iTunes and you want to follow along on Season One then head to nataliesisson.com/itunes and it will take you straight there! You can do the same by heading to nataliesisson.com/stitcher too. Ok here’s where Liz got me thinking. She went on to describe the characters in a quest and I realized I’m going to need a crew. You see a quest is the plot type most likely to have a group of main characters rather than one protagonist in the main eye of the story. Shiiiiittt and here I was thinking this was ALL about me! Nope apparently not. According to Liz I should have:

  • A close friend who is loyal to our hero, but doesn’t have much else going for him or her;
  • A sidekick who is the polar opposite of the hero mentally, physically, and emotionally;
  • A generic mass of identity-less bros who don’t get names because they’re not alive long enough to matter; or
  • A balanced party of brains, heart, and strength who support the hero, or who count the hero as one of their own.

So I guess before the next episode I need to find some of these characters to make this more enticing right? Ok I’ll be back in the next episode with some characters, I can’t guarantee they’ll fit the bill but heck, this is my quest so I get to choose them. It may even be you if you play your cards right! Whereever you’re tuning in or reading this from around the world, I’m sending you a BIG virtual hug of thanks and gratitude for tuning into to the very first Season and Episode of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom. If you want to make my day leave a comment below to:

  • tell me my Hero name
  • simply say hi, and;
  • add your own definition of what freedom means to you.

Go ahead and make sure you subscribe to the show in any podcast player you have, and find me on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google Play and iHeartRadio.

Tune in to the next episode where I let an Oracle tell me what I can expect in 2017….

Yep I consulted an Oracle...or more over the Suburban Psychic approached me to do a session with me. And here's just a snippet of what she had to say: "There’s a part of you that doesn’t want to know stuff, and there’s that little part of you that is giving permission to you to dive in deeper, to explore further, because you got this amazing watch dog in the ego. If a wave is crashing, coming towards you you don’t try to get over the top and scoot your way around it. You got to dive into that sucker and that’s the only way you are going to come out the other side without being thrown on your head and getting sand in places that you don’t want to even talk about " Intrigued? Make sure you jump in and sign up to updates via email so I can share with you when each episode goes live.

]]>
<![CDATA[What is a quest?]]> Tue, 31 Jan 2017 05:29:43 GMT 16:48 yes For the last 7 years I’ve been running my business The Suitcase Entrepreneur from all over the world, while living out of the suitcase and going on adventures.

This year, in 2017, I’ve decided to fire myself.

Yup, that’s right. I am quitting.

I am taking a business sabbatical from my own business and instead I am taking YOU on a Quest for Freedom.  Your freedom.  I'm so freakin excited to do this.

To understand why the heck I am, here's a bit of backstory into me. This is actually taken from my TEDx talk last year called ‘The Surprising Truth About Freedom’ (feel free to just watch from 12:12-15:44).

Why tune into this podcast?

After watching, I hope you can understand why I’ve named this podcast Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom, because as I mentioned, I’m on a hunt to understand what freedom really is.

This podcast is part audio journal, part narrative and part ‘choose your own adventure’.

It will be divided into Seasons (just like on TV) and each season will be a different quest around freedom. I’m starting with Personal freedom, and I’ll break that down more in Episode 2.

What is the definition of Freedom?

First off let’s attempt to better understand freedom (or maybe expose why this is no ordinary quest I’m going on).

Over the years I’ve asked a LOT of people what their definition of personal freedom is and I am starting to see a pattern in their answers.

A couple of Friday's ago I was having dinner with friends and new acquaintances, listening to music and discussing all sorts of topics. So I decided to whip out my new Zoom H6 recorder and ask them a question for my new podcast.

They all agreed, so without any background I just launched into my question which I posed to them which was: "What's your definition of freedom?"

Here’s what they had to say:

  • “Deciding when you want to wake up in the morning, where you want to be and deciding what you want to do for the day.”
  • “Freedom for me is abundance but it’s conditional on the freedom of others. I am not free if other people aren’t free.”
  • “There are a lot of different types of freedom, but the most important freedom is the freedom from our own minds, and that if freedom is dependent on external factors then it’s not truly free.”
  • “I believe that the only thing that we are actually in control of is how we react in the moment and having an internal sense of freedom to be able to react as we choose is the ultimate freedom.”
  • “Choice. You just get to choose freely whether it’d be a monetary thing or just your thoughts or your reactions.”
  • “Free is something that doesn’t cost anything”

Do any of those resonate with you? I go on to say in my podcast:

"There’s also a price to pay for too much freedom. I feel like I experienced that a few weeks ago when I was trying to make a big decision in my life, and I realized I was so free in choosing either one, that I almost felt paralyzed for the first time. There was too much freedom. You have to have some boundaries and some limits within which to feel free."

So as you can see from this discussion…..I’m really no closer to uncovering a definition for freedom.

And perhaps it’s un-defineable.

Perhaps this whole quest is going to impossible, but I can’t wait either way because this is a year like no other.

I’m firing myself and taking a business sabbatical to become a student of life, and go on a quest to find freedom.

What is a Quest?

Now that we've established the challenge in defining freedom, I thought understanding what a quest is would be a logical next move. So back to my friends for their ideas around this:

“It’s like bigger than yourself. There will be obstacles, there will be doubt, there will be naysayers, there will be almost insurmountable odds but your values and what’s inside of you pull you forward beyond what you think is possible and achieving your quest will be one of the greatest memories for a parts of your life.”

“A quest is fundamentally a search for meaning. It’s about trying to find and discover meaning.”

“Is quest the root of question?”

And yes is the answer to that question. I looked it up on the interwebs to find it is from late Middle English: from Old French queste (noun), based on Latin quaerere ‘ask, seek’.

According to the dictionary, because all intrepid people going on a quest would of course refer to a dictionary first right….. a quest is both a noun and a verb.

noun

  1. a long or arduous search for something.

That sounds really freaking fun doesn’t it… long and arduous? Ah no thanks.

The verb came up with much better results in my opinion

  1. search for something.

 

 

search, seek, look, hunt, pursue, investigate, explore, probe, inspect

  • "his eyes quested to left and right"

 

That all sounds much better. But if you ever hear me saying “My eyes quested to the left and right” I’ve either lost the plot or I’m exploring a medieval festival and getting in character.

According to Wikipedia a quest serves as a plot device in mythology and fiction: a difficult journey towards a goal, often symbolic or allegorical.

Tales of quests figure prominently in the folklore of every nation and ethnic culture....

The moral of a quest tale often centers on the changed character of the hero.

So I guess for the purposes of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom podcast…. I’m the hero? Which also means I’m the one who has to go through the good, the bad and the ugly.

I am a walking, talking human experiment, so that you can sit back in your armchair at home, or on your drive to the city, or while you’re enjoying a relaxing pedicure, and listen to me do all the hard stuff, the grueling, intense, exciting, thrilling, daring and at times, prob mundane things I need to do to achieve on this Quest for Freedom.

And I’m ok with that. You know. I’ll take it on the chin.

Partly because it’s my idea and all so I have no excuse to complain. And partly cos I kind of like the idea of being the guinea pig.

First things first I feel like you guys need to give me an appropriate mythological made up Hero’s name.

Do me a favor and humour me.

Leave a comment below with your idea for my 'hero' name. I’ll choose the best one, and for season one will henceforth call myself that name and you’ll get your name in the credits.

My favourite definition of a quest, because I found it so fitting, was from Vocabulary.com

A quest is all about seeking something important, and it often involves a journey. You would travel the world in a quest for gold. You would not travel to the front of the lunchroom in a quest for tater tots.

Ha. That’s one heck of a definition. They go on to say:

Knights in the Middle Ages were forever taking on quests––most famously to find the Holy Grail. In modern times, you can quest without ever leaving home, thanks to the Internet.

A scientist might embark on a quest to find the cure for cancer. A detective might quest for the truth. It’s worthwhile noting here that quest is also a verb that means bark with prolonged noises, of dogs. Perhaps something I can incorporate into the show?

Unintentionally I chose this word because it sounds grandiose, but in a good ol down to earth way. And probably because as a kid I loved Greek Mythology and read books like Odysseus, or Ulysses, depending on which side you gun for more. Same hero. Same quest. Different name.

Unbeknownst to me however is the Quest is one of 7 Types of Story Plots you can use when writing, or making a movie!

According to Liz Bureman over at The Write Practice:

“The Quest is a search for a place, item, or person that requires the hero to leave home in order to find it. Sometimes the item is just a MacGuffin to drive the plot along.

I’m going to pause to explain here, as I had no idea what a MacGuffin was, but if you’re a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s the thing the hero needs to find on their journey to get to the real important thing.

So in this case the golden monkey head Harrison Ford finds in the tomb, not the actual ark.

Back to Liz:

“Other times the thing driving the quest is specific to the story’s circumstances. Either way, the hero is leaving home to find whatever the heck the story demands, and we get to come along for the ride.”

Sounds fair to me. You game to come on this ride with me? You’re not going to leave me all alone out here are you?

To show you’re serious if you’re not subscribed to my show on iTunes and you want to follow along on Season One then head to nataliesisson.com/itunes and it will take you straight there! You can do the same by heading to nataliesisson.com/stitcher too.

Ok here’s where Liz got me thinking. She went on to describe the characters in a quest and I realized I’m going to need a crew. You see a quest is the plot type most likely to have a group of main characters rather than one protagonist in the main eye of the story.

Shiiiiittt and here I was thinking this was ALL about me! Nope apparently not.

According to Liz I should have:

  • A close friend who is loyal to our hero, but doesn’t have much else going for him or her;
  • A sidekick who is the polar opposite of the hero mentally, physically, and emotionally;
  • A generic mass of identity-less bros who don’t get names because they’re not alive long enough to matter; or
  • A balanced party of brains, heart, and strength who support the hero, or who count the hero as one of their own.

So I guess before the next episode I need to find some of these characters to make this more enticing right?

Ok I’ll be back in the next episode with some characters, I can’t guarantee they’ll fit the bill but heck, this is my quest so I get to choose them.

It may even be you if you play your cards right!

Whereever you’re tuning in or reading this from around the world, I’m sending you a BIG virtual hug of thanks and gratitude for tuning into to the very first Season and Episode of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom.

 

If you want to make my day leave a comment below to:

  • tell me my Hero name
  • simply say hi, and;
  • add your own definition of what freedom means to you.

 

Go ahead and make sure you subscribe to the show in any podcast player you have, and find me on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google Play and iHeartRadio.

Tune in to the next episode where I let an Oracle tell me what I can expect in 2017….

Yep I consulted an Oracle...or more over the Suburban Psychic approached me to do a session with me. And here's just a snippet of what she had to say:

"There’s a part of you that doesn’t want to know stuff, and there’s that little part of you that is giving permission to you to dive in deeper, to explore further, because you got this amazing watch dog in the ego.

If a wave is crashing, coming towards you you don’t try to get over the top and scoot your way around it. You got to dive into that sucker and that’s the only way you are going to come out the other side without being thrown on your head and getting sand in places that you don’t want to even talk about "

Intrigued? Make sure you jump in and sign up to updates via email so I can share with you when each episode goes live.

]]>
For the last 7 years I’ve been running my business The Suitcase Entrepreneur from all over the world, while living out of the suitcase and going on adventures.

This year, in 2017, I’ve decided to fire myself.

Yup, that’s right. I am quitting.

I am taking a business sabbatical from my own business and instead I am taking YOU on a Quest for Freedom.  Your freedom.  I'm so freakin excited to do this.

To understand why the heck I am, here's a bit of backstory into me. This is actually taken from my TEDx talk last year called ‘The Surprising Truth About Freedom’ (feel free to just watch from 12:12-15:44).

Why tune into this podcast?

After watching, I hope you can understand why I’ve named this podcast Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom, because as I mentioned, I’m on a hunt to understand what freedom really is.

This podcast is part audio journal, part narrative and part ‘choose your own adventure’.

It will be divided into Seasons (just like on TV) and each season will be a different quest around freedom. I’m starting with Personal freedom, and I’ll break that down more in Episode 2.

What is the definition of Freedom?

First off let’s attempt to better understand freedom (or maybe expose why this is no ordinary quest I’m going on).

Over the years I’ve asked a LOT of people what their definition of personal freedom is and I am starting to see a pattern in their answers.

A couple of Friday's ago I was having dinner with friends and new acquaintances, listening to music and discussing all sorts of topics. So I decided to whip out my new Zoom H6 recorder and ask them a question for my new podcast.

They all agreed, so without any background I just launched into my question which I posed to them which was: "What's your definition of freedom?"

Here’s what they had to say:

  • “Deciding when you want to wake up in the morning, where you want to be and deciding what you want to do for the day.”
  • “Freedom for me is abundance but it’s conditional on the freedom of others. I am not free if other people aren’t free.”
  • “There are a lot of different types of freedom, but the most important freedom is the freedom from our own minds, and that if freedom is dependent on external factors then it’s not truly free.”
  • “I believe that the only thing that we are actually in control of is how we react in the moment and having an internal sense of freedom to be able to react as we choose is the ultimate freedom.”
  • “Choice. You just get to choose freely whether it’d be a monetary thing or just your thoughts or your reactions.”
  • “Free is something that doesn’t cost anything”

Do any of those resonate with you? I go on to say in my podcast:

"There’s also a price to pay for too much freedom. I feel like I experienced that a few weeks ago when I was trying to make a big decision in my life, and I realized I was so free in choosing either one, that I almost felt paralyzed for the first time. There was too much freedom. You have to have some boundaries and some limits within which to feel free."

So as you can see from this discussion…..I’m really no closer to uncovering a definition for freedom.

And perhaps it’s un-defineable.

Perhaps this whole quest is going to impossible, but I can’t wait either way because this is a year like no other.

I’m firing myself and taking a business sabbatical to become a student of life, and go on a quest to find freedom.

What is a Quest?

Now that we've established the challenge in defining freedom, I thought understanding what a quest is would be a logical next move. So back to my friends for their ideas around this:

“It’s like bigger than yourself. There will be obstacles, there will be doubt, there will be naysayers, there will be almost insurmountable odds but your values and what’s inside of you pull you forward beyond what you think is possible and achieving your quest will be one of the greatest memories for a parts of your life.”

“A quest is fundamentally a search for meaning. It’s about trying to find and discover meaning.”

“Is quest the root of question?”

And yes is the answer to that question. I looked it up on the interwebs to find it is from late Middle English: from Old French queste (noun), based on Latin quaerere ‘ask, seek’.

According to the dictionary, because all intrepid people going on a quest would of course refer to a dictionary first right….. a quest is both a noun and a verb.

noun

  1. a long or arduous search for something.

That sounds really freaking fun doesn’t it… long and arduous? Ah no thanks.

The verb came up with much better results in my opinion

  1. search for something.

 

 

search, seek, look, hunt, pursue, investigate, explore, probe, inspect

  • "his eyes quested to left and right"

 

That all sounds much better. But if you ever hear me saying “My eyes quested to the left and right” I’ve either lost the plot or I’m exploring a medieval festival and getting in character.

According to Wikipedia a quest serves as a plot device in mythology and fiction: a difficult journey towards a goal, often symbolic or allegorical.

Tales of quests figure prominently in the folklore of every nation and ethnic culture....

The moral of a quest tale often centers on the changed character of the hero.

So I guess for the purposes of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom podcast…. I’m the hero? Which also means I’m the one who has to go through the good, the bad and the ugly.

I am a walking, talking human experiment, so that you can sit back in your armchair at home, or on your drive to the city, or while you’re enjoying a relaxing pedicure, and listen to me do all the hard stuff, the grueling, intense, exciting, thrilling, daring and at times, prob mundane things I need to do to achieve on this Quest for Freedom.

And I’m ok with that. You know. I’ll take it on the chin.

Partly because it’s my idea and all so I have no excuse to complain. And partly cos I kind of like the idea of being the guinea pig.

First things first I feel like you guys need to give me an appropriate mythological made up Hero’s name.

Do me a favor and humour me.

Leave a comment below with your idea for my 'hero' name. I’ll choose the best one, and for season one will henceforth call myself that name and you’ll get your name in the credits.

My favourite definition of a quest, because I found it so fitting, was from Vocabulary.com

A quest is all about seeking something important, and it often involves a journey. You would travel the world in a quest for gold. You would not travel to the front of the lunchroom in a quest for tater tots.

Ha. That’s one heck of a definition. They go on to say:

Knights in the Middle Ages were forever taking on quests––most famously to find the Holy Grail. In modern times, you can quest without ever leaving home, thanks to the Internet.

A scientist might embark on a quest to find the cure for cancer. A detective might quest for the truth. It’s worthwhile noting here that quest is also a verb that means bark with prolonged noises, of dogs. Perhaps something I can incorporate into the show?

Unintentionally I chose this word because it sounds grandiose, but in a good ol down to earth way. And probably because as a kid I loved Greek Mythology and read books like Odysseus, or Ulysses, depending on which side you gun for more. Same hero. Same quest. Different name.

Unbeknownst to me however is the Quest is one of 7 Types of Story Plots you can use when writing, or making a movie!

According to Liz Bureman over at The Write Practice:

“The Quest is a search for a place, item, or person that requires the hero to leave home in order to find it. Sometimes the item is just a MacGuffin to drive the plot along.

I’m going to pause to explain here, as I had no idea what a MacGuffin was, but if you’re a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark, it’s the thing the hero needs to find on their journey to get to the real important thing.

So in this case the golden monkey head Harrison Ford finds in the tomb, not the actual ark.

Back to Liz:

“Other times the thing driving the quest is specific to the story’s circumstances. Either way, the hero is leaving home to find whatever the heck the story demands, and we get to come along for the ride.”

Sounds fair to me. You game to come on this ride with me? You’re not going to leave me all alone out here are you?

To show you’re serious if you’re not subscribed to my show on iTunes and you want to follow along on Season One then head to nataliesisson.com/itunes and it will take you straight there! You can do the same by heading to nataliesisson.com/stitcher too.

Ok here’s where Liz got me thinking. She went on to describe the characters in a quest and I realized I’m going to need a crew. You see a quest is the plot type most likely to have a group of main characters rather than one protagonist in the main eye of the story.

Shiiiiittt and here I was thinking this was ALL about me! Nope apparently not.

According to Liz I should have:

  • A close friend who is loyal to our hero, but doesn’t have much else going for him or her;
  • A sidekick who is the polar opposite of the hero mentally, physically, and emotionally;
  • A generic mass of identity-less bros who don’t get names because they’re not alive long enough to matter; or
  • A balanced party of brains, heart, and strength who support the hero, or who count the hero as one of their own.

So I guess before the next episode I need to find some of these characters to make this more enticing right?

Ok I’ll be back in the next episode with some characters, I can’t guarantee they’ll fit the bill but heck, this is my quest so I get to choose them.

It may even be you if you play your cards right!

Whereever you’re tuning in or reading this from around the world, I’m sending you a BIG virtual hug of thanks and gratitude for tuning into to the very first Season and Episode of Natalie Sisson’s Quest for Freedom.

 

If you want to make my day leave a comment below to:

  • tell me my Hero name
  • simply say hi, and;
  • add your own definition of what freedom means to you.

 

Go ahead and make sure you subscribe to the show in any podcast player you have, and find me on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, Google Play and iHeartRadio.

Tune in to the next episode where I let an Oracle tell me what I can expect in 2017….

Yep I consulted an Oracle...or more over the Suburban Psychic approached me to do a session with me. And here's just a snippet of what she had to say:

"There’s a part of you that doesn’t want to know stuff, and there’s that little part of you that is giving permission to you to dive in deeper, to explore further, because you got this amazing watch dog in the ego.

If a wave is crashing, coming towards you you don’t try to get over the top and scoot your way around it. You got to dive into that sucker and that’s the only way you are going to come out the other side without being thrown on your head and getting sand in places that you don’t want to even talk about "

Intrigued? Make sure you jump in and sign up to updates via email so I can share with you when each episode goes live.

]]>
<![CDATA[[300] Three Words That Will Make 2017 The Best Year Ever]]> Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:05:14 GMT 20:42 no Each year, I pick one word which explains what I want the next year to look, be, feel and sound like, and focuses me in on those intentions.

But this year, after reading a great email from Mike Vardy on this matter, who took it from Chris Brogan, I’m picking three words that will make 2017 the best year ever for me.

Before I tell you the three words, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear freedomist, for listening in to my podcast every single week.

I can’t believe that this is episode 300, and I wanted to let you know that this will be the last ever podcast in this format.

I will be relaunching and rebranding this podcast to Natalie Sisson’s Quest For Freedom this January 2017 (but you won't have to change a thing if you're already subscribed to it as I'm using the same feed on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and beyond.

It will be a narrative format podcast, where I will talk about topics that I want to and that you want me to, and have conversations with people on topics related to Freedom.

If you ever read a choose your own adventure kind of book as a kid, that’s what my new podcast is going to be like. The podcast will be guided by my three words for 2017:

  • Curiosity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Adventure

Throughout 2016 I have felt like I needed a break from my business. Then after having a really poor program launch in September, I felt I had reached a tipping point, and that it was also a sign.

So I started putting things in motion which will allow me to fire myself as the CEO of my business, starting April 2017.

I want to take a break from the niche of online business because after almost 7 years I have been feeling a bit meh and think it's time to recharge and energize myself to come back stronger and better.

I want to go back to being a student again. I want to be extremely curious, learn new things, focus on personal development and growth, expand my horizons and network, and dive into areas I have no freaking ideas about.

I want to be excited about going to new places, meet new people, and do new things. I want to feel like a kid again, who approaches everything in life with enthusiasm.

And I want adventure to be a part of my life again. Not just in terms of traveling the world which I will do less of, but being able to take a real vacation and what my life is going to feel like without the business aspect of it. This new way of life is going to be my adventure.

So I want to ask you, how are you going to make it your best year yet? What are you going to change? What are you going to do differently? What are you going to give up to embrace the new in 2017?

Hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and let me know what are your three words for 2017.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • What changes I'm making in my life and business for 2017
  • The three words I have picked for 2017 that will help me focus on what I really want to do
  • Why this podcast is changing over to Natalie Sisson's Quest For Freedom, and what that means for you

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

]]>
Each year, I pick one word which explains what I want the next year to look, be, feel and sound like, and focuses me in on those intentions.

But this year, after reading a great email from Mike Vardy on this matter, who took it from Chris Brogan, I’m picking three words that will make 2017 the best year ever for me.

Before I tell you the three words, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, dear freedomist, for listening in to my podcast every single week.

I can’t believe that this is episode 300, and I wanted to let you know that this will be the last ever podcast in this format.

I will be relaunching and rebranding this podcast to Natalie Sisson’s Quest For Freedom this January 2017 (but you won't have to change a thing if you're already subscribed to it as I'm using the same feed on iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio and beyond.

It will be a narrative format podcast, where I will talk about topics that I want to and that you want me to, and have conversations with people on topics related to Freedom.

If you ever read a choose your own adventure kind of book as a kid, that’s what my new podcast is going to be like. The podcast will be guided by my three words for 2017:

  • Curiosity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Adventure

Throughout 2016 I have felt like I needed a break from my business. Then after having a really poor program launch in September, I felt I had reached a tipping point, and that it was also a sign.

So I started putting things in motion which will allow me to fire myself as the CEO of my business, starting April 2017.

I want to take a break from the niche of online business because after almost 7 years I have been feeling a bit meh and think it's time to recharge and energize myself to come back stronger and better.

I want to go back to being a student again. I want to be extremely curious, learn new things, focus on personal development and growth, expand my horizons and network, and dive into areas I have no freaking ideas about.

I want to be excited about going to new places, meet new people, and do new things. I want to feel like a kid again, who approaches everything in life with enthusiasm.

And I want adventure to be a part of my life again. Not just in terms of traveling the world which I will do less of, but being able to take a real vacation and what my life is going to feel like without the business aspect of it. This new way of life is going to be my adventure.

So I want to ask you, how are you going to make it your best year yet? What are you going to change? What are you going to do differently? What are you going to give up to embrace the new in 2017?

Hit me up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and let me know what are your three words for 2017.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • What changes I'm making in my life and business for 2017
  • The three words I have picked for 2017 that will help me focus on what I really want to do
  • Why this podcast is changing over to Natalie Sisson's Quest For Freedom, and what that means for you

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

]]>
<![CDATA[[299] 17 Ways to Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet]]> Thu, 29 Dec 2016 01:50:50 GMT 27:28 no I’m ready to have a rocking 2017, are you?

As 2016 rolls to a close, I thought we could all do with a healthy cocktail of inspiration, motivation, practical advice, and actionable tips.

So I reached out to 16 of your favorite previous guests on my show and asked them what their one piece of advice was to have the most successful year ever.

From Chris Guillebeau to Michael Port to Jill Stanton to Matthew Kimberley, they all delivered in spades.

In this episode I asked the question:

What do you need to make 2017 your most successful year ever?

Here’s what you’re going to learn:

  • How to figure out how to set goals in alignment with your higher purpose
  • Top advice on reverse engineering your success
  • How to really niche down and stop using a one stop solution for everyone
  • How to develop the capability to create a bigger impact by taking on more responsibility
  • A productivity trick to create a year’s worth of content in just a few days
  • A simple tactic to align your thoughts with your actions so you can achieve big goals
  • A friendly understanding voice motivating you to just put one foot in front of the other

All this and much more is condensed into this short episode where I enlisted your favorite podcast guests to contribute with a message under 90 seconds, to help you have a rocking 2017.

Listen in and enjoy this one. I’m sure you’ll love it!

Here’s to hoping you have an amazing 2017.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

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HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
I’m ready to have a rocking 2017, are you?

As 2016 rolls to a close, I thought we could all do with a healthy cocktail of inspiration, motivation, practical advice, and actionable tips.

So I reached out to 16 of your favorite previous guests on my show and asked them what their one piece of advice was to have the most successful year ever.

From Chris Guillebeau to Michael Port to Jill Stanton to Matthew Kimberley, they all delivered in spades.

In this episode I asked the question:

What do you need to make 2017 your most successful year ever?

Here’s what you’re going to learn:

  • How to figure out how to set goals in alignment with your higher purpose
  • Top advice on reverse engineering your success
  • How to really niche down and stop using a one stop solution for everyone
  • How to develop the capability to create a bigger impact by taking on more responsibility
  • A productivity trick to create a year’s worth of content in just a few days
  • A simple tactic to align your thoughts with your actions so you can achieve big goals
  • A friendly understanding voice motivating you to just put one foot in front of the other

All this and much more is condensed into this short episode where I enlisted your favorite podcast guests to contribute with a message under 90 seconds, to help you have a rocking 2017.

Listen in and enjoy this one. I’m sure you’ll love it!

Here’s to hoping you have an amazing 2017.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[298] How to Achieve Whatever you Want with Michael Gerber]]> Mon, 26 Dec 2016 05:13:15 GMT 41:46 no Is selling the business you love the only way to achieve whatever you want?

Michael Gerber, the author of the New York Times bestseller, The E-Myth Revisited, says it is. He says you should be thinking about scaling and selling your small business, even before you start.

No wonder he calls himself the Chief Aggravator!

In this final interview on my podcast, it seemed fitting to talk about thinking about selling you business before you even begin it, and why you want to scale and grow your business if you ever want to be successful.

There were moments when Michael certainly 'aggravated me' as my thoughts around this, with my impending business sabbatical, definitely differ, but in some areas I certainly agree with his thinking.

And so do tens of millions of others who have bought his book and followed his work over the 40 years he's been wanting to change the face of small business, the world over.

Michael has always wanted small business owners to think of their business as a turnkey business that can be customized and personalized.

According to him, you should start your small business by writing an eulogy for it, because it is a part of your legacy.

And you don’t get to choose whether you have a legacy or not; you already have one. Your only choice is to engage with it intentionally, or not.

In this episode, Michael and I talk about how you can achieve whatever you want if you are willing to begin again. We also discuss if it is worth it to sacrifice everything else in the pursuit of the thing you’re passionate about.

This episode will challenge your assumptions about small business, freedom, and even your vision for your life. Proceed with caution.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • What a turnkey business is and whether it can be customized and personalized
  • Why would you sell if you actually enjoy and love running your business
  • Whether it's worth sacrificing everything in the pursuit of passion
  • Why our definition of freedom is superficial and are we truly free
  • How he started his business back in 1977 with the mission 'to become the McDonalds of small business consulting'.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
Is selling the business you love the only way to achieve whatever you want?

Michael Gerber, the author of the New York Times bestseller, The E-Myth Revisited, says it is. He says you should be thinking about scaling and selling your small business, even before you start.

No wonder he calls himself the Chief Aggravator!

In this final interview on my podcast, it seemed fitting to talk about thinking about selling you business before you even begin it, and why you want to scale and grow your business if you ever want to be successful.

There were moments when Michael certainly 'aggravated me' as my thoughts around this, with my impending business sabbatical, definitely differ, but in some areas I certainly agree with his thinking.

And so do tens of millions of others who have bought his book and followed his work over the 40 years he's been wanting to change the face of small business, the world over.

Michael has always wanted small business owners to think of their business as a turnkey business that can be customized and personalized.

According to him, you should start your small business by writing an eulogy for it, because it is a part of your legacy.

And you don’t get to choose whether you have a legacy or not; you already have one. Your only choice is to engage with it intentionally, or not.

In this episode, Michael and I talk about how you can achieve whatever you want if you are willing to begin again. We also discuss if it is worth it to sacrifice everything else in the pursuit of the thing you’re passionate about.

This episode will challenge your assumptions about small business, freedom, and even your vision for your life. Proceed with caution.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • What a turnkey business is and whether it can be customized and personalized
  • Why would you sell if you actually enjoy and love running your business
  • Whether it's worth sacrificing everything in the pursuit of passion
  • Why our definition of freedom is superficial and are we truly free
  • How he started his business back in 1977 with the mission 'to become the McDonalds of small business consulting'.

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[297] The Future Trends You Need To Know]]> Sat, 17 Dec 2016 02:22:57 GMT 25:03 no The future is here.

Most of the things we used to think of as science fiction are slowly becoming a reality.

(Okay, maybe we aren’t anywhere close to traveling back in time, like Marty McFly and Doc Brown, but you know what I mean)

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and self-driving cars are all here. Within a few years, these new technologies will permeate every part of our lives; just like smartphones and the internet today.

With the rate at which innovations are coming, does it even make sense to create a business plan? For all you know, your business model might cease to exist next year.

In 1998, Kodak had almost a monopolistic control on the photography industry. But they went bankrupt a few years after that, and are just known as the photography pioneers of the bygone era.

I bring all this up because I received an email about what’s headed our way in the future. And it got me thinking about my business and planning my ideal year.

In this episode, I will share with you the email that got me thinking about the future. Then I’ll go into how that influences how I’m planning for my business and life.

I’ll talk about why planning your ideal year is the best future-proof strategy you can implement, and also how to have a clear vision for your future, so you can adapt and pivot when the time comes, not be at the mercy of changing trends and leaps in technological innovation.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Why you don't need a business plan
  • A random email that came into my inbox which is worth listening to and very fascinating

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

How to Plan Your Ideal Year

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
The future is here.

Most of the things we used to think of as science fiction are slowly becoming a reality.

(Okay, maybe we aren’t anywhere close to traveling back in time, like Marty McFly and Doc Brown, but you know what I mean)

Artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and self-driving cars are all here. Within a few years, these new technologies will permeate every part of our lives; just like smartphones and the internet today.

With the rate at which innovations are coming, does it even make sense to create a business plan? For all you know, your business model might cease to exist next year.

In 1998, Kodak had almost a monopolistic control on the photography industry. But they went bankrupt a few years after that, and are just known as the photography pioneers of the bygone era.

I bring all this up because I received an email about what’s headed our way in the future. And it got me thinking about my business and planning my ideal year.

In this episode, I will share with you the email that got me thinking about the future. Then I’ll go into how that influences how I’m planning for my business and life.

I’ll talk about why planning your ideal year is the best future-proof strategy you can implement, and also how to have a clear vision for your future, so you can adapt and pivot when the time comes, not be at the mercy of changing trends and leaps in technological innovation.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Why you don't need a business plan
  • A random email that came into my inbox which is worth listening to and very fascinating

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

How to Plan Your Ideal Year

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[296] Shifting Your Mindset and Beliefs For The New Year with Osmaan Sharif]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 02:45:18 GMT 47:36 no As we head into 2017, it's the time of year where you want to shake things up, shift your mindset and start off the New Year with a bang.

December is the perfect time to stop, reflect, and make changes for the coming year based on what you've found did and didn't work in 2016.

You also want to look at setting meaningful goals that you will actually achieve and there's no better way to do this, then to look at what you set for yourself this year - and whether you hit those or fell short.

An important part of this, which goes beyond creating a "wish list" for 2017, is a deep dive into looking at the beliefs that you hold, that guide your actions and then, consider which ones may have been holding you back this whole time.

What stories have been telling yourself that are no longer serving your purpose?

For me, with the new website, new systems, and my upcoming business sabbatical, it's actually helped me clean up over 6 years of business files, products, plans and processes, as well some of my beliefs.

It has been like a spring clean for my entire business and I thought it was the perfect time to bring in my friend, Osmaan Sharif, to discuss some super helpful and actionable ways for you to do the same, and to set your foundations for 2017 right now!

In this episode, Osmaan and I discuss how to shift your mindset and beliefs for success, and how to get to the bottom of anything holding you back from having the business and life you KNOW you're meant to have.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • How to make sure you have a solid foundation in place and what you can do about this if you don't
  • How to use your entrepreneurial superpower to be in flow and doing the work that you love
  • How to identify outdated, toxic goals, strained and stretched goals
  • 5 quick self reflection questions that you can ask yourself to shake things up

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[ctt template="1" link="1Pf4X" via="no" ]Are you ready to shift your beliefs for 2017? #mindset #2017goals http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/296[/ctt]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
As we head into 2017, it's the time of year where you want to shake things up, shift your mindset and start off the New Year with a bang.

December is the perfect time to stop, reflect, and make changes for the coming year based on what you've found did and didn't work in 2016.

You also want to look at setting meaningful goals that you will actually achieve and there's no better way to do this, then to look at what you set for yourself this year - and whether you hit those or fell short.

An important part of this, which goes beyond creating a "wish list" for 2017, is a deep dive into looking at the beliefs that you hold, that guide your actions and then, consider which ones may have been holding you back this whole time.

What stories have been telling yourself that are no longer serving your purpose?

For me, with the new website, new systems, and my upcoming business sabbatical, it's actually helped me clean up over 6 years of business files, products, plans and processes, as well some of my beliefs.

It has been like a spring clean for my entire business and I thought it was the perfect time to bring in my friend, Osmaan Sharif, to discuss some super helpful and actionable ways for you to do the same, and to set your foundations for 2017 right now!

In this episode, Osmaan and I discuss how to shift your mindset and beliefs for success, and how to get to the bottom of anything holding you back from having the business and life you KNOW you're meant to have.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • How to make sure you have a solid foundation in place and what you can do about this if you don't
  • How to use your entrepreneurial superpower to be in flow and doing the work that you love
  • How to identify outdated, toxic goals, strained and stretched goals
  • 5 quick self reflection questions that you can ask yourself to shake things up

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[ctt template="1" link="1Pf4X" via="no" ]Are you ready to shift your beliefs for 2017? #mindset #2017goals http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/296[/ctt]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[295] The 3 Step Process To Writing and Self Publishing Your Next Book with Chandler Bolt]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 02:41:32 GMT 39:58 no Writing and self-publishing a book can feel BIG and OVERWHELMING can't it. That's why 95% of people never get that idea out of their head and into a book.

But it doesn't have to be.

There are over a million books on Amazon that people have written and published. Regular people just like you and me are behind those books.

You don't have to be a great writer,  you don't have to be a super master expert on a subject, and you don't have to have a fully fleshed out idea to get started.

The key is to have a system to break down the process in actionable steps - wherever it is that you're starting.

Chandler Bolt is has the self-publishing process dialed in. He's a five–time best–selling author and helps others plan and write books as well.

In today's podcast episode, Chandler and I talk about everything from limiting beliefs to his three step writing process. We chat about success and failure, and accountability and doing more of what works.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Chandler's journey from c level English student and college dropout to best selling author and teaching it in a simple way no matter where you are at, no matter where you come from
  • What drove him to create Self-Publishing School, the #1 online resource for writing your first book
  • The 2 forms of accountability which played a huge part in his success
  • His 3 step writing process
  • The 2 rules inside Self-Publishing School
  • A great tip that will get you twice the mileage out of one writing session. (He did 1500 words in an hour the first time he did this.)
  • How to use social media effectively to help you write or launch a book

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[ctt template="1" link="scfke" via="no" ]Is it time for you to finally write your damn book? http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/295[/ctt]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Come join me to Write your damn book in 3 months or less (and come behind the scenes of me writing mine)!

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to get started, then this is it. I’m going to give you a real, raw, uncensored glimpse into the craziness that goes on behind the scenes of any book writing project, plus the accountability and support to write your own damn book!

Join me here (starts December 7th)

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
Writing and self-publishing a book can feel BIG and OVERWHELMING can't it. That's why 95% of people never get that idea out of their head and into a book.

But it doesn't have to be.

There are over a million books on Amazon that people have written and published. Regular people just like you and me are behind those books.

You don't have to be a great writer,  you don't have to be a super master expert on a subject, and you don't have to have a fully fleshed out idea to get started.

The key is to have a system to break down the process in actionable steps - wherever it is that you're starting.

Chandler Bolt is has the self-publishing process dialed in. He's a five–time best–selling author and helps others plan and write books as well.

In today's podcast episode, Chandler and I talk about everything from limiting beliefs to his three step writing process. We chat about success and failure, and accountability and doing more of what works.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Chandler's journey from c level English student and college dropout to best selling author and teaching it in a simple way no matter where you are at, no matter where you come from
  • What drove him to create Self-Publishing School, the #1 online resource for writing your first book
  • The 2 forms of accountability which played a huge part in his success
  • His 3 step writing process
  • The 2 rules inside Self-Publishing School
  • A great tip that will get you twice the mileage out of one writing session. (He did 1500 words in an hour the first time he did this.)
  • How to use social media effectively to help you write or launch a book

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[ctt template="1" link="scfke" via="no" ]Is it time for you to finally write your damn book? http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/295[/ctt]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Come join me to Write your damn book in 3 months or less (and come behind the scenes of me writing mine)!

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to get started, then this is it. I’m going to give you a real, raw, uncensored glimpse into the craziness that goes on behind the scenes of any book writing project, plus the accountability and support to write your own damn book!

Join me here (starts December 7th)

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[293] How To Flip The Script On Your Mindset with Danny Flood]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 02:32:56 GMT 40:28 no Mindset is everything. Am I right?

It's one thing to know your mindset needs work, and another to put in the work to look at things in a different way.

Inner demons, disempowering stories, a "lack" perspective - these can all be part of the default human condition if we let them.

But, we don't have to let our beliefs hold us back. In fact, we can shift our beliefs at anytime we choose.

In today's podcast episode, Danny Flood shares his journey with shifting his mindset and taking control of his life and business (not to mention a few awesome travel hacks).

 

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • How to flip the script on your internal dialogue and mindset
  • Why perspective is everything and what you can do to change yours
  • How to set specific and purposeful goals
  • What do if you're doubting your path
  • What mindstorming is and how to do it

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Does your mindset need a check in?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
Mindset is everything. Am I right?

It's one thing to know your mindset needs work, and another to put in the work to look at things in a different way.

Inner demons, disempowering stories, a "lack" perspective - these can all be part of the default human condition if we let them.

But, we don't have to let our beliefs hold us back. In fact, we can shift our beliefs at anytime we choose.

In today's podcast episode, Danny Flood shares his journey with shifting his mindset and taking control of his life and business (not to mention a few awesome travel hacks).

 

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • How to flip the script on your internal dialogue and mindset
  • Why perspective is everything and what you can do to change yours
  • How to set specific and purposeful goals
  • What do if you're doubting your path
  • What mindstorming is and how to do it

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Does your mindset need a check in?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[292] How To Make 2017 Your Best Year Yet]]> Tue, 13 Dec 2016 02:23:54 GMT 28:02 no What does your best year ever look like in 2017 for you?

More of the same? More reacting, more chaos, more wishing you had time for the things you really love?

Planning can seem, at times, to fly in the face of spontaneity and adventure but I challenge you to think of it in a different way.

Planning actually makes space for spontaneity and adventure. 

When you plan properly, you can create space in your life and business so you can really enjoy your free time.

In this episode, I share some reflections on 2016 and my big announcement for 2017 (Facebook Live video) and how planning your ideal year can set you up for, exactly that, your ideal year!

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Why planning out your year is absolutely crucial
  • My big announcement about my what I'm doing with 2017
  • Why gratitude continues to be central to everything
  • Why you can't ignore that quiet inner voice

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you have your 2017 plan dialed in?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

 

]]>
What does your best year ever look like in 2017 for you?

More of the same? More reacting, more chaos, more wishing you had time for the things you really love?

Planning can seem, at times, to fly in the face of spontaneity and adventure but I challenge you to think of it in a different way.

Planning actually makes space for spontaneity and adventure. 

When you plan properly, you can create space in your life and business so you can really enjoy your free time.

In this episode, I share some reflections on 2016 and my big announcement for 2017 (Facebook Live video) and how planning your ideal year can set you up for, exactly that, your ideal year!

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Why planning out your year is absolutely crucial
  • My big announcement about my what I'm doing with 2017
  • Why gratitude continues to be central to everything
  • Why you can't ignore that quiet inner voice

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you have your 2017 plan dialed in?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

 

]]>
<![CDATA[[294] Globetrotting and Business Building with Sonia Simone]]> Sat, 26 Nov 2016 23:10:38 GMT 39:40 no It's one thing to get by with your business moving around the globe - it's another entirely to co-build a thriving business like Copyblogger from a laptop.

Sonia Simone has been absolutely killing it in the copywriting world and has recently moved her life to Rome. Making her way from freelancer to co-founding Copyblogger was no easy task and in this week's podcast episode, Sonia shares her journey as well as some of her top tips for getting more clients and how relocating has shifted her business.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Sonia's journey from a corporate world to copywriting as a freelancer and building up a business in a very competitive niche
  • How to differentiate yourself and get more clients
  • What prompted her to move to Italy and how that's affected her business, working style, and daily flow
  • How she became a co-founder of Copyblogger
  • How to get acquainted and settled in a new country
  • The pros and cons of being location independent

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "How to uplevel your business while working from anywhere!"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

 

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGatoris your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
It's one thing to get by with your business moving around the globe - it's another entirely to co-build a thriving business like Copyblogger from a laptop.

Sonia Simone has been absolutely killing it in the copywriting world and has recently moved her life to Rome. Making her way from freelancer to co-founding Copyblogger was no easy task and in this week's podcast episode, Sonia shares her journey as well as some of her top tips for getting more clients and how relocating has shifted her business.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Sonia's journey from a corporate world to copywriting as a freelancer and building up a business in a very competitive niche
  • How to differentiate yourself and get more clients
  • What prompted her to move to Italy and how that's affected her business, working style, and daily flow
  • How she became a co-founder of Copyblogger
  • How to get acquainted and settled in a new country
  • The pros and cons of being location independent

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "How to uplevel your business while working from anywhere!"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

 

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGatoris your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[291] How To Redesign and Protect Your Website For Less Money]]> Mon, 07 Nov 2016 13:00:00 GMT 27:48 no No matter what stage you're at in your business, it's a pretty safe bet that your website is front and center on your task list on an ongoing basis.

Whether it's security, design, opt-ins, or conversions, when your website is your storefront it's bound to occupy a huge chunk of your time and business headspace.

But, there are some ways to make sure that your digital house is in order without spending all your time and energy worrying about it.

In today's podcast episode, I give you an overview of my website redesign project but also some insight into how I plan, organize and manage my multiple sites to streamline as much as possible.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Why you need to back up your site STAT
  • How to streamline your hosting and website management
  • What you need for ongoing website security
  • What I'm planning for my exciting website redesign

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Is your website properly protected?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
No matter what stage you're at in your business, it's a pretty safe bet that your website is front and center on your task list on an ongoing basis.

Whether it's security, design, opt-ins, or conversions, when your website is your storefront it's bound to occupy a huge chunk of your time and business headspace.

But, there are some ways to make sure that your digital house is in order without spending all your time and energy worrying about it.

In today's podcast episode, I give you an overview of my website redesign project but also some insight into how I plan, organize and manage my multiple sites to streamline as much as possible.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • Why you need to back up your site STAT
  • How to streamline your hosting and website management
  • What you need for ongoing website security
  • What I'm planning for my exciting website redesign

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Is your website properly protected?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[290] 3 New Business Tools I'm Switching To (And Why)]]> Mon, 31 Oct 2016 12:00:00 GMT 30:13 no I realized something recently.

I was pouring over the annual survey results, loving all the feedback and learning more about my community, and I was surprised by some of the results.

I realized that I want to do even more to help you find freedom. I want to take you from where you are to where you want to be. So, I got to work in planning the next 10 actions I need to take to make that happen.

It turns out that a few of those items relate to the technology and tools I use in my business. It became clear that some of my technology was no longer keeping up with the way that I want to help people.

So, I turned my attention to finding tools that could really help me level up in my business.

There are SO many options for technology to help you run your business. So. Darn. Many. Researching technology could be a full-time job (I'm sure it is).

But, after a lot of research and a lot of discussions with other entrepreneurs, I decided on three key tools to help me streamline my systems so that I can delive even more valuable resources to you as effectively as possible.

In today's podcast episode, I share what I'm committing to accomplish over the few months and the three key technology tools I've chosen to help get there.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • What I learned about you from my annual survey results
  • The three tools that I've chosen to start totally fresh with technology in my business
  • Why we're leaving Infusionsoft and what we decided to go with
  • Why systems and tools are an ongoing project
  • How to Rock Your Systems

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you have effective systems for running and growing your business?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

 

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
I realized something recently.

I was pouring over the annual survey results, loving all the feedback and learning more about my community, and I was surprised by some of the results.

I realized that I want to do even more to help you find freedom. I want to take you from where you are to where you want to be. So, I got to work in planning the next 10 actions I need to take to make that happen.

It turns out that a few of those items relate to the technology and tools I use in my business. It became clear that some of my technology was no longer keeping up with the way that I want to help people.

So, I turned my attention to finding tools that could really help me level up in my business.

There are SO many options for technology to help you run your business. So. Darn. Many. Researching technology could be a full-time job (I'm sure it is).

But, after a lot of research and a lot of discussions with other entrepreneurs, I decided on three key tools to help me streamline my systems so that I can delive even more valuable resources to you as effectively as possible.

In today's podcast episode, I share what I'm committing to accomplish over the few months and the three key technology tools I've chosen to help get there.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • What I learned about you from my annual survey results
  • The three tools that I've chosen to start totally fresh with technology in my business
  • Why we're leaving Infusionsoft and what we decided to go with
  • Why systems and tools are an ongoing project
  • How to Rock Your Systems

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you have effective systems for running and growing your business?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

 

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[289] How To Rock Your Systems From Anywhere with Amy Mitchell]]> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 12:00:00 GMT 30:41 no One of my favourite things to talk about here on the blog and in my podcast is sexy systems. Why?

Early on in my business I learned that if I organized my business processes and automated as much as I could, I could get more done in less time with less effort.

Which means, you got it, more FREEDOM.

Maybe you're not a systems person, and that's ok. I didn't think I was either but as soon as I realized how crucial smart systems are, I couldn't get enough of them.

I dedicate a lot of time and space to them in my flagship program, The Freedom Plan, because they can help you truly create freedom in business and adventure in life and I'm living proof.

Even though I've long valued systems, there's always room for improvement which is why I brought Amy Mitchell onto my team earlier this year to help refine and tweak mine.

Amy looooves systems. She loves to find ways to tweak and improve any business process to save as much time and effort as possible (which means more freedom and often more revenue too).

In today's podcast episode, Amy Mitchell and I jam on how we overhauled The Suitcase Entrepreneur systems and which tools we use.

Amy also shares some of her personal journey to freedom, what working on the road is really like, and how building a freedom business is entirely iterative.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • The top tools you can use to run your business from anywhere
  • Why systems are the difference between feeling proactive and reactive
  • How to use Slack for team communication
  • Why Asana is our top pick for team task and project management
  • How to Rock Your Systems

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Use these three tools to run your business from anywhere?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

 

]]>
One of my favourite things to talk about here on the blog and in my podcast is sexy systems. Why?

Early on in my business I learned that if I organized my business processes and automated as much as I could, I could get more done in less time with less effort.

Which means, you got it, more FREEDOM.

Maybe you're not a systems person, and that's ok. I didn't think I was either but as soon as I realized how crucial smart systems are, I couldn't get enough of them.

I dedicate a lot of time and space to them in my flagship program, The Freedom Plan, because they can help you truly create freedom in business and adventure in life and I'm living proof.

Even though I've long valued systems, there's always room for improvement which is why I brought Amy Mitchell onto my team earlier this year to help refine and tweak mine.

Amy looooves systems. She loves to find ways to tweak and improve any business process to save as much time and effort as possible (which means more freedom and often more revenue too).

In today's podcast episode, Amy Mitchell and I jam on how we overhauled The Suitcase Entrepreneur systems and which tools we use.

Amy also shares some of her personal journey to freedom, what working on the road is really like, and how building a freedom business is entirely iterative.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • The top tools you can use to run your business from anywhere
  • Why systems are the difference between feeling proactive and reactive
  • How to use Slack for team communication
  • Why Asana is our top pick for team task and project management
  • How to Rock Your Systems

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Use these three tools to run your business from anywhere?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

 

]]>
<![CDATA[[288] Find More Time and Freedom in Your Business with Mandi Ellefson]]> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 12:00:00 GMT 34:46 no Systems have a bit of a bad reputation.

You probably think they're pretty boring at face value, but it's what they can do for you that make them sexy and exciting.

Systems can mean more time, more money, and more freedom to do what you love. They can mean peace of mind and ease in your business.

And, if you're committed to do what's necessary to create freedom in your business, trust me, you're going to need smart, sexy systems. You're going to want to figure out exactly what's holding you back in your business and create a system to solve it.

In today's podcast episode, Mandi Ellefson shares tip after tip on how to find more time and freedom in your business.

After working with plenty of high level CEO's, Mandi has worked out exactly how to pinpoint the bottlenecks in your business and break through the barriers with smart systems.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • The most important system to focus on in your business
  • How you can find at least 5 extra hours in your week
  • What a success map is and how you can use one in your clients
  • How to standardize and streamline multiple business processes
  • How to identify bottlenecks in your business and solve them with systems

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you use smart systems to find freedom in your business?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

 

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
Systems have a bit of a bad reputation.

You probably think they're pretty boring at face value, but it's what they can do for you that make them sexy and exciting.

Systems can mean more time, more money, and more freedom to do what you love. They can mean peace of mind and ease in your business.

And, if you're committed to do what's necessary to create freedom in your business, trust me, you're going to need smart, sexy systems. You're going to want to figure out exactly what's holding you back in your business and create a system to solve it.

In today's podcast episode, Mandi Ellefson shares tip after tip on how to find more time and freedom in your business.

After working with plenty of high level CEO's, Mandi has worked out exactly how to pinpoint the bottlenecks in your business and break through the barriers with smart systems.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • The most important system to focus on in your business
  • How you can find at least 5 extra hours in your week
  • What a success map is and how you can use one in your clients
  • How to standardize and streamline multiple business processes
  • How to identify bottlenecks in your business and solve them with systems

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you use smart systems to find freedom in your business?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

 

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[287] What it Takes to Live a Good Life with Jonathan Fields]]> Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:00:00 GMT 37:45 no What are we all doing here anyway?

Pretty deep question, I know, but this is something that keeps coming up for me. When it comes down to it, we are all looking for more purpose, more depth, and more meaning.

But, practicing and creating habits that make every single day more rich is a mission of mine, and Jonathan Fields shares that sentiment.

In today's podcast episode, Jonathan tells us about his new book and shares his approach on creating his best life which includes a simple daily check in to create awareness and guide behaviour. He talks about how he's able to reserve time for vitality, connection, and contribution and how maintaining those areas of his life has become non-negotiable.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • What the Good Life buckets are and how you can use them to create a better life
  • Why optimizing systems are the key to freedom
  • How forming habits can impact your quality of life
  • Why gratitude is one of the greatest influencers of happiness
  • What a gratitude visit is and how you can implement them
  • How to structure your writing to maintain momentum

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you use systems to create your best life?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
What are we all doing here anyway?

Pretty deep question, I know, but this is something that keeps coming up for me. When it comes down to it, we are all looking for more purpose, more depth, and more meaning.

But, practicing and creating habits that make every single day more rich is a mission of mine, and Jonathan Fields shares that sentiment.

In today's podcast episode, Jonathan tells us about his new book and shares his approach on creating his best life which includes a simple daily check in to create awareness and guide behaviour. He talks about how he's able to reserve time for vitality, connection, and contribution and how maintaining those areas of his life has become non-negotiable.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • What the Good Life buckets are and how you can use them to create a better life
  • Why optimizing systems are the key to freedom
  • How forming habits can impact your quality of life
  • Why gratitude is one of the greatest influencers of happiness
  • What a gratitude visit is and how you can implement them
  • How to structure your writing to maintain momentum

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Do you use systems to create your best life?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live support - which you can get via chat, phone and email - any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

They offer unmetered disk space and bandwidth, an easy to use control panel, 4500 free website templates, and one-click WordPress installs.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any new hosting package.

Visit Hostgator.com/Suitcase

]]>
<![CDATA[[286] Using Kanban To Achieve Flow In Your Business]]> Mon, 03 Oct 2016 12:00:00 GMT 18:44 no  

I recently was introduced to the Kanban method and it piqued my interest for many reasons.

One, it's the final quarter of the year and I am about to go into a big audit of my business - what's working, what's not, what pots of gold are we sitting on and how best can I use my team to help uncover these.

Two, I'm all about continually improving what I do, and who I am, and this is one of the key principles behind the Kanban method.

The Kanban Method, as formulated by David J. Anderson, is an approach to incremental, evolutionary process and systems change for organizations. It was originally developed by an engineer in a Toyota Factory to overhaul their systems and delivery.

It uses visualization via a kanban board of intangible work items - an important aspect of Kanban since it allows a greater understanding of both the work and the workflow.

It also advocates limiting work in progress, which as well as reducing waste due to multitasking and context switching, exposes any operational problems your business my have and stimulates collaboration to continuously improve the system

Put more simply it's a way to:

  1. Organize the chaos that you create in your business or that you and your team create by making the need for prioritization and focus clear.
  2. Uncover workflow and process problems in order to solve them and then be able to deliver more consistently to your customers and clients.

Listen in to this episode to learn about:

  • The Kanban Method and how you can apply it
  • Why I'm doing a big ass audit on my business in October
  • How important it is to step back and take a 360 degree view of your business

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

[Tweet "Are you doing work that you love every day?"]

Key Resources I mention or add value to this podcast:

Want reliable hosting for your blog and website at 50% off?

HostGator is your one-stop shop for all things web hosting. From design and marketing services to easy-to-use website builders, they are with you every step of the way.

Thanks to their 24/7 - 365 days a year live suppor