Hello! I've had an epiphany - or a good idea - call it what you prefer.
I've been camping this weekend. I am camping as a way to recover my health. For the past 5 years I have been going through a really tough time personally, and to facilitate my ongoing recovery I have re-commenced camping. I have been away with some good friends and spent some wonderful time sitting around the campfire, swapping funny stories, eating fabulous food and sleeping the wonderful restorative sleep that comes with being in the bush.
Which reminded me, and led me to thinking... I am actually only 15 years away from official retirement age in Australia. I know you are thinking - how can that be - she looks so young! ha ha. Of course, hair dye is a wonderful thing.
But its true. And in reality I want to "retire" well before this government defined age. Coupled with this is my desire to travel around Australia in a caravan again - and be still young enough and fit enough to do some of the more challenging walks and activity that can be done on the way around. My boys will have finished High School in 4.5 years and will be on their way to University or another path should they choose it. I want to be able to support them a little while they are studying.
To do all this I need a way to generate an income to do two things - boost my savings while my boys finish school, and generate an income while I travel during my EARLY RETIREMENT!!
I love my online business and it is portable. I can do it while I travel and I don't feel like it is work because I enjoy it so much. Sure, there are times where internet isn't available in Australia - in some of the very remote places. Well, let's face it - earlier this morning I was 45 minutes from home and there was no internet. But I used that time to do my content creation and my thinking and planning work.
For example, I am currently revamping my sisters website for her accountancy practice. I write the content off line using Powerpoint, I edit photos and videos off line, then I upload and adjust when I'm back in range. My sister lives on the other side of Australia in Perth and doesn't need me to be sitting next to her while all this work gets done.
And this beautiful location with running water, wild life and firepits was FREE! So, it's not like I need a huge income - just an income that can keep ticking over. The automation also allows the business to tick over when I am out of range and plan to be so for a couple of days or a week.
Bingo! Work and travel. Work and travel. Retire early. Perfect.
When I was a teenage I lived in a small country town in rural Australia. We did have a local high school in the next town, however for a range of reasons I was sent to boarding school. The school is on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. This was a six hour dive away from my home and I started there when I was 13 years old. I met some beautiful girls there who have become life long friends. We are a special group with a special bond created by living through difficult times together.
The school was academically good - not so good at looking after the emotional well being of a gaggle of girls moving through their teen years. I felt abandoned and alone. We were allowed very few opportunities to leave the school - even if our parents happened to be in the area. When I did return to my home in the school holidays I felt isolated from my previous friends - we didn't seem to understand each other any more.
I struggled through the challenges of teen hood on my own. When I had my beautiful boys I was determined that they would not experience the same sense of being unsupported.
I left my full time job and began a mortgage broking business. THIS is the solution. Working for myself. Flexible hours. No boss to answer to. Unfortunately this was not as flexible as I had hoped. I became the piggy in the middle between lenders who changed their policies and made inexplicable lending decisions, and customers who had been led to believe by the lenders advertising that they could borrow whatever they wanted. It was very stressful and I was caught in the middle.
I sold this business as the boys grew older and returned to the working for someone else model. I kept looking. I was determined to find a solution. It's was not too late - but it needed to be sooner rather than later.
I have been so delighted after finding this training platform that has given me the skills and knowledge that I needed to get started online. It ticks all the boxes big time for me. The nature of the work - online and automated - means the work can be done in the time slots that suit me. I have always been an early riser - I get work done before my boys wake up in the morning. I can spend the two hours needed to get them out the door to school - but spending quality time with them - NOT RUSHING.
I've then got the day free to do additional work, or shop, or clean or meet friends until they return home. We spend time together after school and until after dinner at which time they tune into their technology and I tune in to my business.
Delay no more. We don't get to have their childhoods again.
I came across an article from Steve Biddulph - one of the worlds best known parent educators - earlier this year. This article so clearly articulated one of my key reasons for taking the step of beginning my Digital Business.
"We are induced to work long hours without respite for parenthood, or anything like a natural rhythm in our days."
How powerful is that statement. I found it after I had made the decision to start my online business, however it arrived at a time when I was doubting myself. I had created another thing for me to do which took me away from the very people that I am seeking to be with more. But it gave me resolve. It encouraged me to keep going down this path.
It was through Steve Biddulpph that I have become more and more aware of how the behaviours of the adults set the behaviours of the children their care. I have been working on improving myself so I can provide the best version of myself to my children as their role model.
Starting down this path has become another action from which I hope my children can learn. It's never too late. Hard work pays off. Taking no action can be more damaging than taking the wrong action.
What helps this "platform" stand out from the crowd is the amazing community of people who are here to support me as I make my way through the personal development journey that this has become. It is a huge mindset change - and the community is right here with me. The great success stories are 100% available to help everyone succeed. Whatever that success may look like for the individual.
It is hard to articulate how liberated I feel from that. How encouraging it is. How wonderful it is.
Please read the article and I hope it can inspire you to take action. Use the link below to get started. Free startup bundle is for real. Get up and running in the shortest timeframe possible is for real. The freedom is for real.
Steve Biddulph - Trading Away Our Time
I understand that emergencies happen, but there are ways to manage such emergencies, like contacting clients and letting them know that there is a delay, or allowing just a few minutes between appointments to create a time bank which can be used to absorb time overruns.
But it doesn't seem like either of these approaches are a revenue generating approach. Mostly we don't get so much as an acknowledgement of the delay and the impact it may have.
Maybe you get a sense of my frustration. Maybe you feel it sometimes too.
I needed to have a blood test yesterday. But wait! Now this delay becomes productive time for me as I am able to check and take action on my business using my mobile phone as I sit in the air conditioned waiting room.
I find myself feeling grateful for this extra moment of work time because I am about to meet my best friend for lunch and I will be able to stay in that fabulous environment longer as a result.
At some point I began to wonder why I treat myself so badly - internally. If I sat down and documented the types of negativity that I used to regale myself with on a daily basis I would be appalled at myself. I realised that I would never say such statements to anyone of my friends and family - I began to question why I said such statements to myself.
Of course I turned to Dr Google. Dr Google began to present me with the concept that this negative self talk is a habit that I have developed over the years. And Dr Google began to present me with the concept that the negativity is not true and doesn't need to be heard!
Wow! What a great relief that was. I proceeded to spend time regularly working on changing this negative self talk which was leading to me limiting myself and stopping me from achieving my goals.
Psychology Today gave me four steps to follow and follow them I have:
1. Become aware of the negativity talk - I started listening to my negative inner voice. I became aware or patterns - when I am tired I start haranguing myself about taking on too much, making my goals too be, telling myself why I can't achieve the goal. I use that as behavioural guidance now - if this negativity starts up I stop and take some time out.
2. Name your negative inner voice - I named my voice Sally. This helps me separate my positive self from my negative self and put the negativity aside because that isn't the person that I want to be.
3. Respond to your negative inner voice - I address Sally these days. "Thank you Sally, however your comments aren't in my best interest and aren't true." Doing this helps stop the rumination process - going over and over, reinforcing the negativity. It stops that cycle.
4. Be your own best friend - I have turned into my own best friend, AND I verbalise much more positivism for my other best friends. I know how good I feel when someone - including myself - notices my efforts and gives me positive feedback. I practice that with my friends now too. We are all benefiting from this positive approach.
This approach has been critical for me while taking the leap of faith and starting up my new Digital Marketing Specialist / Life Coaching business leveraging the SFM/DEA Platform. Taking a big changing step in your life may fire up your "Sally". But I know how to manage her these days. I keep working on containing Sally so her beliefs can't limit my life anymore.
Resilience is one of those gems, isn't it? An attribute, a characteristic that we all have - some more than others. Is resilience a naturally occurring characteristic? Does it occur naturally in some more than others? Do we develop resilience through our lives as we face adversity?
Resilience is defined as "the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness." by Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com provides synonyms for resilience to be "flexibility, pliancy, recoil and snap". This leans towards the ability to recover from a force - typically we consider the force to be a negative force.
Some years ago Hara Estroff Marano, Editor-at Large for Psychology Today wrote in her article The Art of Resilience - "at the heart of resilience is a belief in oneself - yet also a belief in something larger than oneself."
This article provides us with 10 Traits of Emotionally Resilient people which I apply to myself as I create my business and lifestyle. The SFM/DEA supports the concepts articulated in this article by the provision of a community - keep good company, they accept practice - fail forward and they enlist their team - the know how to reach out for help - to name but a few.
I am forever striving to be resilient and to build my resilience through my working life and my personal life.
Now that you have your new Digital Marketing business what are you going to do with your extra time? You are no longer caught up in the daily grind. You have time to plan and do the things that you enjoy. You have time to play and have fun.
"Having fun is non negotiable if you are serious about flourishing - that is, living a life that's high on mental health and wellbeing" says Dr Suzy Green, founder of The Positivity Institute. Having fun is good for us in 5 key ways:
Having fun with others builds and strengthens the emotional bonds with others and creates the sense of connectedness that we all need. Finding fun with your kids can be as simple as having the time to play a board game with them after dinner at night or having a pillow fight with them - not before bedtime cause we don't want to stir them up - maybe in the morning. Having fun with your girlfriends could be having a leisurly coffee and a walk on the beach - priceless.
Experiencing the emotion of joy and delight allow you to release the stress, to be completely absorbed in the moment - let's face it, it's hard to worry about the finances when you are laughing your head off. This gives no space for anxiety. Give yourself permission to laugh. Find the activities that make you laugh with your family - jump off the high board at the local pool and laugh with the joy of it. It's infectious.
Putting fun and play back on the agenda can improve your overall physical wellbeing - according to a study in the United States. The research found that taking part in an enjoyable leisure activity like a beach holiday is linked to lower blood pressure, reduces the stress hormone - cortisol - levels and lead to a better night sleep.
Adults who focus on playful activities and doing something for the sheet pleasure of it can teach teach us to go easier on ourselves and to accept failure and not being perfect.
When we do something for fun and in a child-like way we trigger a cascade of positive emotions - happiness, pleasure, amusement, delight and contentment. A US study concluded that these feelings "significantly predict longevity".
So there we have it. We need to take up this Digital Lifestyle to take back the time in our day, to allow us to play, and to lead a happier life.
I am the style of person who flies through life - sometimes missing the detail. I reach the end of an experience, or event and look back to realise that I missed the richness of the detail in the experience or event. I believe the richness of life lies in the detail.
Savouring the detail is where we find the connections to others that we are missing in the modern world. Being mindful brings my attention to the detail of the moment and enables me to savour the moment fully, minimising the risk of missing the moment and seeing life fly by.
This morning I brought my attention to refreshing my bed linen. I focus on my bed as being a metaphore of my life. If my bed is fresh, clear and organised then I feel fresh, clear and organised. I did a wholesale clean today - a BIG ONE. Not just the sheets and pillow cases, but the duvet cover and mattress protector too. They all went out to the laundry.
Back in came a colour scheme of linen that I haven't used in a little while. I started from the bottom. Ensuring the mattress protector was fully and completely tucked in all around. The fitted sheet went on with not a crease - you can bounce a coin on it. Top sheet and cotton blanket next. Correctly aligned and folded down across the top. (I momentarily wonder if I should plug in the iron and iron the cuff of the top sheet. I dismiss this ideas as being a little too close to perfectionism for me) Four pillows with two cases each. Arranged in alignment. And finally my ornate duvet cover which is adding aa splash of bling for this week.
I moved through these steps in a deliberately slow manner. Considering each element and how it will support me through this coming week.
At the end, I have a bed I feel proud of which I know will retain it's shape during the week and therefore required a minimum amount of time each morning to re-arrange. I have a fresh, clear and organised plan of action for the week and I am motivated and ready to roll.
Benefits of Mindfulness in Business
Hey! Well, I don't think I am particularly melodramatic - though like all of us I do have tendencies to be so in certain situations.
I have been experiencing a technical hiccup with my business which has kept me busy problem solving for the past three days. This has thrown up many emotions from which I choose to take the learnings. The learnings I found in a Deepak Chopra meditation - I'll attach it for you at the end of my message.
I could have choosen to treat my technical issue as a melodrama. I could have described it as a MAJOR ISSUE. I could have drawn lots of negativity towards it. We know that really gets me nowhere. Our brains shut down and fail to think effectively in melodrama mode.
For all three days I worked hard to contain my emotional response. Day 3 I took a whole day off from the problem. In reality, there are no life changing consequences of the fix not being found for 24 hours. Day 4 I sat down with a good night sleep, a clear mind and a coffee. I worked my way through the problem again. I researched and found a new source of knowledge. Before that source of knowledge had time to suggest a fix I stumbled across the fix myself.
Contain melodrama. We can choose to not respond that way. Focus on the positive - the fix - and the universe will send positivity and the fix. Celebrate the success. Accept the lesson.
Ca-ching! As Lightening McQueen would say.