The Mind Game of Ecommerce with Nick Peroni

The Mind Game of Ecommerce with Nick Peroni

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.
 

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Read Here

“It’s really all just one big mind game. Which can be frustrating until we understand how liberating that really is. Within our thoughts, we have the power to achieve anything we’re willing to work for, if we only have the discipline to control our thoughts towards the goals we have.”  Nick Peroni

In today’s episode, I’m joined by Nick Peroni, the founder of Ecom Empires and the Worldwide Ecom Tour. Nick has spoken in over 20 countries, worked in multiple verticals, and helped thousands find success with eCommerce. Tune in and find out how Nick started Ecom Empires, why he offers his courses for free, how he developed his mastermind sessions, why mind game is Nick’s key to success, and much more!
 

Overview of Episode:

  • 00:00 – What you can expect from this episode
  • 03:42 – Who is Nick Peroni?
  • 06:52 – How Nick started his company, Ecom Empires
  • 10:21 – Why content is king
  • 12:30 – Why Nick didn’t make a shift from free to paid courses that he has made
  • 16:56 – What piece of advice Nick has for newbie entrepreneurs
  • 20:58 – The importance of sharing knowledge and following your passion
  • 24:09 – Nick’s greatest passion and the biggest lessons he learned on his eCommerce journey
  • 29:56 – What to do when you are at the beginning with your business and “it’s not happening”
  • 35:53 – How Nick monetized his website with a free membership
  • 38:43 – How Nick developed his mastermind sessions
  • 40:46 – Two important benefits of partnership
  • 45:21 – Curating other people’s content and time effectiveness
  • 48:28 – How to generate funds quickly with your business
  • 51:35 – All you need to know about Nick’s public speaking and Ecom Empires
  • 56:11 – Nick’s explanation of an introspective post he wrote on Facebook
  • 01:01:34 – What’s in the future for Nick
  • 01:04:04 – Is dropshipping still a thing?
  •  
     

How Mom & Daughter are Helping Change the World with Ecommerce

How Mom & Daughter are Helping Change the World with Ecommerce

Listen Here


 
Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.
 

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Read Here

“You really need to know where your products are coming from and we think that every purchase should have a purpose.” Christine Sacramone

This week, I interview Mum and Daughter duo Christine and Madison Sacramone, founders of High 5 Humans, an eCommerce store specializing in Fair Trade & Handmade Fashion Accessories.

What is special about this duo is that they work with organizations all around the world who in turn work with women and people in developing countries who make their handmade products. Therefore, Christine and Madison through their enterprise actively help women in third world countries to grow their business and income, thereby transforming their lives, lives of their families, and their villages.

In this episode, you will find out how Christine and Madison find their artisanal suppliers, how they manage their stocks, how they advertise their products, and why telling a story is more important than selling a product.

Furthermore, you will learn how to start a similar business on a budget!
 

Overview of Episode

  • 00:00 – High 5 Humans in a nutshell
  • 04:19 – Christine’s background, who she is, and what she is doing
  • 10:41 – Madison’s background
  • 13:32 – High 5 Humans in details
  • 19:13 – How Christine and Madison find the ladies who produce their products
  • 23:13 – Stocks managing and why it is important to have them
  • 25:50 – How our guests chose their first products when they were starting
  • 30:07 – How Christine and Madison added a handmade feel to the packaging
  • 32:35 – Item’s pricing
  • 33:59 – How they market their products
  • 38:39 – How sales were performing in the beginning
  • 41:00 – Finding vendors in developing countries
  • 44:55 – What our guests would do differently if they could
  • 46:31 – Madison’s biggest lesson learned from the whole process
  • 48:53 – How you can start a similar business on a budget
  • 52:06 – Branding and fair trade regulations
  • 56:11 – Selling a product v.s. Selling a story
  • 58:37 – The future of High 5 Humans
  • 01:02:45 – Christine’s and Madison’s message to the listeners of the YBL podcast

Women! Find & OWN Your Unique Voice

Women! Find & OWN Your Unique Voice

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

The Confidence Code
Mark Manson
Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group
 

Read Here

Did you know that the first ever computer programmer some 130 years before the birth of the internet was a woman.

It’s hotly debated of course by male historians who believe the chap she was working with at the time, The Godfather of Computers, Charles Babbage came up with the first ever programming language, but who cares, she was right up there with him essentially developing algorithms for the first ever computers in the world back in the 1840’s when women should have been at home sewing dresses and writing letters!

Ada Lovelace had a voice and she knew how to use it!

Because owning your voice isn’t just about standing up trying to make the world hear you. It isn’t about becoming a speaker or making videos or who shouts the loudest.

Having a voice is about confidence.

Confidence in your own abilities, opinions and values.

Confidence that’s sadly lacking in the female of the species.

So in todays episode we’re going to explore the different ways you can find and own your power, your voice.

A vital element for building a Lifestyle Business is ensuring that you know and own your own unique voice.

So why is it that women in particular seem to have a hard time finding their unique voice?

I have to say from the getgo I’m no behavourial psychologist, I am completely generalizing & none of my theories are backed by scientists.

But I would hazard a guess that more women than men are people pleasers.

We love to be loved. As I said I am generalizing here, but it’s the nurturer in us. As women we are born with an innate desire and ability to take care of people. We don’t want to go head to head with others, we want to build relationships.

The other night I was watching a Robin Williams documentary and on one of his live shows he said something like ‘What if women ruled the world?’. There’d never be any war, just intense negotiations every 29 days’! :)

Add to that years of societal norms being that the guy heads out and earns the crust while the woman rears the kiddywinks, in the traditional order of things it hasn’t been necessary for us to have a voice.

But although the world has changed in the last 100 years we still ‘generally’ find it intimidating to stand up and be counted.

To use and own our voice.

And I think one of the things that really holds us back is that women in general are unable to ‘fake it til we make it’.

We need to feel validated before we’ll take any huge risks of giant leaps of faith.

I get it, because I’m the poster girl for requiring validation (if only my own) before I feel I can stand up and share my opinion.

For example, when I started my online business I could and would not confidently talk about building a business until I had built one.

When I wasn’t working, although I wanted to start my book I’m writing for my daughter, I was mentally not in a great place and so was unable to write with conviction.

It’s hugely important to us that we prove to ourselves that we can do something before we’ll go and tell the world we can do it.

But even then we may still hold ourselves back suffering from the old ‘imposter syndrome’ which many men just seem to embrace so easily and which we, even the super successful ladies struggle with on a daily basis.

In their book ’The Confidence Code’ two successful journalists and broadcasters (Katty Kay & Claire Shipman) speak to incredibly successful women across the spectrum including Christina Lagarde the head of the IMF, who told them about how she and Angela Merkel, yes the Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor , (so basically two of the most powerful women in the world), over prepare for every single meeting they have because and I quote ‘We assume somehow, that we don’t have the level of expertise to be able to grasp the whole thing which of course is part of a confidence issue’.

If two of the most influential women in the world suffer from confidence issues then what hope is there for the rest of us?

Well lots actually, because we’re not about to go and try to run an entire country, or even probably our local community.

For most of us we’re not in a life or death situation and are not forced to make decisions which could have massive ramifications for millions.

So breathe, relax and thank the lord you weren’t born with aspirations quite that large, but what we can take away from these women is that they may suffer with the same self doubts we all have, but they go and do it anyway.

So here’s some tips on how to alleviate the little negative voice in your head and step out into the world with confidence.

1. Err on the side of action

When in doubt, err on the side of action, always.

My partner is a huge inspiration to me and I always say to him, at least when you fail, you fail falling forward.

He is an action taker like none I have ever met and yes sometimes it blows up in his face, but more often than not it either works or he learns a valuable lesson which propels him forward.

We need to stop thinking about stuff and start doing it.

In Mark Mansons blog post – The feedback loop from hell, he describes something that happens to me almost daily!

So lets say I set an ambitious goal to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new, here’s the dialogue that might ensue inside my mind;

‘OK I’m definitely going to do this, this is going to be great and people are going to love it. But what if it doesn’t work and you just end up looking like an arse? That’s ok, that’s the whole point of stepping out of my comfort zone. Or maybe now is not the right time. Maybe I need to go and do ‘X’ first before I do this to make sure that I really can do it. Oh for goodness sake Jo, just do it. No I can’t do it. OMG you’re such a wusser, I hate you sometimes. Oh no don’t hate me that’s super negative talk. Oh crikey now I feel really bad that I’m talking negatively to myself. I wouldn’t talk to others this way. No you wouldn’t! Shame on you! OMG! Someone get me a drink!’

The trick is to make snap decisions and be prepared to fail.

I tell my daughter every morning before school to get out there and fail at something. Because if she trys to fail at least she’s trying. Sounds a bit odd, but I heard it on an interview with Sara Blakely the billionaire owner of Spanx. Apparently her Dad used to say the same to her so I thought I’d try it.

But it’s true! We have to be prepared to launch our blog to crickets or for someone to turn us down when we ask for an interview or receive criticism when we launch our new video series.

We need to stop thinking about it, stop worrying about what hasn’t happened yet and just go and do it, whatever it is.

To help us with this a good strategy is to;

2. Think Small

There is nothing wrong with having grandiose visions of where you see yourself in the future.

In fact I encourage it! Dream Big is another message I regularly share with my daughter (who hates my life lessons by the way, but we’ll discuss that on another podcast).

But when you’re trying to get yourself to take action, break your big dreams down into small manageable actions.

How scary and prone to procrastination is the goal – I will write and publish a book by the end of the year compared to – I just need to write 500 words today (which by the way if you did every day you’d have a decent sized book written in just over 3 months).

Micro goals are your friend.

It makes everything seem a little less scary and with each step moves you closer to your big dreams.

And a by product of creating forward momentum by the way is confidence! With every step taken you will feel more confident to take the next step and the next and so on.

3. Utilize beliefs that are helpful

Those pesky limiting beliefs systems that we carry around with us from our childhood no doubt.

The belief that no matter how hard you try you’re still probably not good enough, indoctrinated by that sod of a maths teacher who never gave a grade over a B-, not even to John who was clearly headed for rocket science status.

The belief that you have nothing interesting to say and who wants to listen to you anyway, indoctrinated by Mother who never listened to a word you said when you got home from school.

The belief that you’re too old to learn anything new, indoctrinated by the fact that you’re perimenopausal, can’t seem to retain anything you read or focus on for longer than 5 minutes, get anxious every time you try and quite frankly why am, I bloody bothering anyway! It’s all too bloody hard!!!

(Woman in full blown perimenopause here!)

But everything we feel, we have chosen to feel that way at some point (other than the menopausal feelings, they are 100% uncontrollable hormones! – It wasn’t my fault I burned my house down in a fit of rage officer, it was my hormones!)

So if we get to choose then let’s turn our belief systems on their head and believe in stuff that’s helpful to us!

For example, I like to believe I’m a good writer.

Am I on a path to a Pulitzer Prize? Probably not, but is my content engaging, informative and entertaining? I like to think so. And if it’s not, is that a helpful belief?

My writing sucks. Does that help me or hinder me?

Exactly.

I like to think I’m quite good at presenting my information, that I’m personable and I make people smile.

If you’re currently banging your head against a pain of glass out of total boredom then I apologise but is that a helpful belief?

I’m so boring it’s like plaiting fog listening to me. Help or hinder?

You get the picture.

What would you like to believe about yourself?

Make a list and set these thoughts as your belief system. Choose to feel good about yourself. Why?

Why not!

This brings us to the next point;

4. Be compassionate to yourself

Give yourself a break!

Oh my gosh I am my own worst enemy at totally attacking myself. I would never say to someone else the things I sometimes say to myself.

Seriously there are times it verges on mental abuse! (Hormones people, hormones).

Why are we so mean to ourselves?

We need to be nicer to ourselves. Love ourselves for who we are with all our little foibles.

I know this is easier said than done and we are without a shadow of a doubt our own worst enemy most of the time but a piece of advice I heard a little while ago was;

When you’re faced with an issue which would normally result in you tearing yourself apart, take a step back and talk to yourself as if you would your best friend.

Talk to yourself as if you were talking to your child or your spouse or someone that you really wanted to encourage and support and that you loved with all of your heart.

Ask yourself, if I were talking to my best friend right now what would I actually say to them? What words would I use to encourage them and support them on their journey?

Give that a try and then see what kind of difference that makes not only to how you talk to yourself but also the difference it then makes in your attitude to the task at hand and to your own self confidence and self worth overall.

After all if you don’t like yourself, how can you expect anyone else to like you?

5. Accept your emotions, change your behaviour

Following on from not giving yourself a hard time is also understanding that your emotions are your emotions.

I know that the self-help gurus say that we need to learn to control our emotions but I disagree.

I don’t think it’s our emotions we need to control, it’s our behaviours.

Because & I don’t know if this is a female thing but I’m not in control of my emotions sometimes. I can be singing along to a song (especially at the moment where I’m completely perimenopausal). I can be singing along to a song and the next thing you know I’m crying my eyes out! No control whatsoever.

I can watch a sad film with say the death of a child and I’m literally sobbing my heart out!

I don’t remember crying to films about kids before I had my own but different things affect us at different stages of our life.

As an example have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been so angry with something you feel like you cannot control your behaviour?

Well the anger you may not be able to control but how you react to it you are in control of.

Our emotions are our emotions & we have little control over them but it’s about creating a set of supporting behaviours so that when you feel certain emotions you’re actually able to almost step back from and observe how you feel rather than get caught up in the middle of your feelings.

I know easier said than done. I didn’t say it was easy! Just possible with practice.

So for example some days you are just going to feel sad or a bit low. Perhaps life seems like it’s not going the way you want it to go, you might be feeling a bit anxious, you might have things on your mind maybe a bit tired, basically precisely the way I felt this morning!

But that’s ok! Don’t fight it. Don’t start saying to yourself ‘oh my gosh I shouldn’t be sad, my life is great, I’ve got a great spouse, my kids are awesome, I’m healthy, things are good, I should be really happy!’ and then start beating yourself up because you don’t feel happy. What will that achieve? It’ll make you feel worse probably.

Here’s what to do instead;

1. Accept the fact that at that moment that’s how you feel. Just accept it and tell yourself it’s ok to feel like that. It’s just how you feel right now.
2. Don’t allow the emotion to rule your day! Remember that your emotions & your behaviour are two different things. So say to yourself ‘I may feel a bit sad or down or a bit tired but you know what I am going to get on with my blog post I was going to write or my website design I was doing or contacting that client I really want to contact. It’s about not letting yourself off the hook just because you feel a certain way.

So how does this help with confidence?

Because if you become the kind of person who does what needs to be done despite how you feel, you’re going to strengthen your mind immeasurably!

It’s what David Goggins ex Navy Seal, now author & speaker, calls callousing the mind.

Getting on with what needs to be done even if you don’t feel like it.

When you adopt this mindset, you become a consistent action taker, will find it easier to move out of your comfort zone & will quite simply get more done.

You’ll also be amazed at how much motivation you will feel when you act.

The act of acting itself will motivate you to take more action.

So don’t fear your emotions, embrace them, accept them, observe them & move on.

6. Get a partner

Have you ever noticed how much braver you are when doing something with someone else?

I know because I go traveling with my sister every year and we do things together that I probably would not do on my own.

I just feel braver and more confident with her by my side and I’m fairly sure she feels the same way.

One of the things as women we are fabulous at, it’s innate in our personality, is of course building relationships!

So why try and tackle everything on your own? Get yourself a partner. Find someone you can work with. I’m sure you will then find that you’ll do things and say things and record videos and write blog posts & record podcasts and do all sorts of things that you wouldn’t do on your own.

By having that other person to act as a supporter, a sound board and an equal partner in taking any flack you may receive you’re likely to take greater risks.

How to find the perfect partner?

1. List all the attributes of the ideal person you’d love to work with. This will hone your focus and send a message out to the universe about the kind of person you’re looking for.
2. Start letting people know you’re looking. Talk to friends, post in groups and forums and tell people who you are, the business you’re in and the type of person you’re looking to work with.

The more you get out there and ask for what you want, the more chance you have of getting it!

If you think working with someone else will help you to take action, feel better about yourself and share the burden of fear, then do it!

7. Say No

Ok so now I want you to do something that I am innately bad at.

That is developing your ’No’ muscle.

I don’t know about you but I am seriously bad at saying no!

This is a major people pleaser problem. You don’t want to let people down, you don’t want people to think bad of you, you want to make sure that you’re making people happy and making others feel good, so you say yes!

Yes I’ll come out and do that thing with you, yes I’ll certainly help you with your website for free or yes I can jump on a half an hour call with you and have a chat about your business even though I’m absolutely up to my eyes in my own.

Yes I will do this yes I will do that.

It’s a natural thing for us to want to help out and think we’re giving value but what we’re actually doing is using up precious time and resources that we could be using it to be building our own business.

Now if that sounds selfish let me spell this out.

The chances are if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re one of my community then you are building a business not just for profit but also to have an impact.

The more time you spend building a business and the more success you have the greater impact you are going to have.

So it is not selfish to say No and be precious with your time.

This is also the same socially. Sometimes you will have to say No to friends or family.

I’m not saying become a total social hermit but sometimes you have to weigh up what’s more important, that dinner out on a Friday night with a friend who you’re also going to see on Saturday by the way or actually getting your blog post done or your website finished etc.

Do go practice it right now. I’ll bet there’s something in your life right now that needs a Yes or a No from you.

Try it! Say No. You don’t have to offend anyone, you can say No without harshness or confrontation but its time to take back your power my friend. And with each No comes more confidence.

Think of it this way. Every time you say No to something it means you’re saying Yes to something else that’s more important.

You’re placing a greater value on you and your time. And the minute you start to value yourself more, the more your confidence will grow.

8. Remove barriers to inaction

‘Do what you love and make it easy to love what you do’ – Jo Barnes

So I have a story about this. Recently I started swimming in the mornings. We’re very lucky to have an adult swimming class on in the mornings at my daughters school. In fact there are lots of activities for adults at her school, but I digress.

The classes are for one hour three times a week and it’s quite a serious thing as there are lots of triathletes & athletes who take their swimming very seriously. Thankfully there are different teachers for different levels and I’m in the ’non athlete’ group. (Non athlete maybe, still bloody challenging)

But since starting I have found the one hour three times a week incredibly challenging and although I love the actual swimming part, after the class by around 2pm in the afternoon I’m dead to the world!

I’m so exhausted I can’t get anything else done!

Now even though I know the benefits will eventually outweigh the current cons I was getting to the point where I was dreading going. I started to think about packing it up as it was making me so exhausted and unhappy.

But then I thought, well just because everyone else goes for an hour 3 times a week doesn’t mean I have to!

I changed my sessions to go for 30 mins twice a week and now I love it! I am so looking forward to going swimming in the mornings knowing I’m going to get in that pool and have a really solid swim for 30 minutes, then have a cuppa while waiting for hubby and then go home without being absolutely dead on the floor for the rest of the day!

So I turned something that was inherently quite hard into something far easier to accomplish and that I can grow and improve upon as I go.

Hence ‘do what you love and make it easy to love what you do’.

So what’s holding you back from taking action at the moment?

What are some barriers you can remove to help alleviate the pain associated with taking the necessary action?

For example perhaps you want to make videos for your business but the setup is a pain.

Every time you make a video you have to get the position right, the lighting good, the sound working, do your hair, makeup etc.

What of you set it all up once so that you could literally just throw a switch, sit in front of the video recorder and record without having to go through the setup each time?

This is what I did for my videos recently and it worked a treat.

Have a look around you at the necessary tasks that you know can drive your goals forward but which have barriers to action and ask yourself how you can remove those barriers and make taking action easy.

9. Believe in something bigger than yourself.

I have a strong belief that micro brands and lifestyle entrepreneurs are the future.

Huge corporations and corrupt governments have sucked the economy dry for too long and the only way out from under the increasing pay gaps and poverty the world over is for people to have more control over their own destiny.

Everything I’m doing with my business is to help promote then idea that you are the master of your own destiny and you have ultimate control over how you live your life. My vessel for doing so is entrepreneurship and building your own lifestyle business giving you enough financial freedom to take full responsibility.

One of my ultimate goals is to work with women in developing countries who want to build their own small businesses which in turn helps transform their own lives and the lives of their family & the local community.

I have desires to see change in the world that’s far bigger than myself. I’m not out just to make a quick buck so I can buy a new Ferrari or a big house. In fact I have no interest in these things.

That doesn’t make me a saint by the way, I enjoy flying business class like the next person, but I have goals that are bigger than just me.

Therefore when I speak, I’m speaking with a greater cause in mind. This gives me far more confidence to speak, because it’s not about me, its about you.

It’s about them. It’s about the people I’m serving.

The minute you start to take the focus away from yourself and put the focus on the person you’re trying to serve is the minute you begin to find your confidence, knowing the message you’re delivering is impacting others lives.

Find a meaning to your work that’s bigger than you and you’ll find it easier to speak and deliver your message knowing you’re doing it for a greater purpose.

10. Don’t pretend to be who you’re not – be proud of who you are, just as you are.

Never pretend to be somebody you’re not. Be proud of who you are!

It doesn’t matter what stage of the journey you’re at.

Back in 2010 when I started my online business, I knew nothing! I immersed myself in facebook fan pages and asked anyone who’d listen if they wanted to come along for the ride.

I never pretended to know more than I did. I openly shared the fact I was learning and was happy to share what I learned.

I did the same recently! I have very little idea what I’m doing with a Shopify store. Sure we’ve built a solid ecommerce business and I’ve dabbled with Shopify before, but I’ve never done print on demand or direct marketing to the store before.

I openly admitted this in my video to my group, explained I’d share stuff as I learned it and one of my community members commented on how much they loved my transparency.

This is something we as women are masters at! We don’t have the same egos as men and so don’t need to ‘fake it til we make it’.

In fact if you’re out there trying to make something happen for your life, you’ve already made it!

Success is about the journey not about the result, so if you’re on a journey, having fun, doing what you want to be doing and impacting lives along the way, all power to you girlfriend!

Seth Godin says authenticity is overrated. What he means by that is we need to be professional in our approach to work. (He gives the example of not wanting an authentic doctor, wanting a professional doctor).

And yes we do need to be professional in that we need to be showing up, doing the work, being consistent, doing what we say we’re going to do, but thankfully none of us are performing heart surgery, so it’s absolutely fine to put your hands in the air and say I don’t know!

As long as you follow it up with ‘but I’ll find out’.

In a business like ours where we’re in all likelihood we’re turning a passion into profit, it’s so important for you to just be yourself. People will absolutely buy into you.

You’re not Coke, or Nike or Apple, where your product talks before you do. Your business is far more likely to be more about you.

So be proud to be you, be proud to be different and be proud to be a woman, because we’re awesome, just as we are!

Rita Mae Brown is an American writer, activist and feminist and she said;

‘The reward for conformity is that everyone else likes you except yourself’

You will not please everyone. But to do means fading into the background. A vanilla face in a vanilla world.

Do not be afraid to stand out and stand up.

As the lovely Marie Forleo always says – ‘the world needs the gift that only you have’.

Summary

Action is the key to becoming confident and owning your voice my friend.

Every step in this episode leads to you finding ways to take more action. The more action we take, the more steps we move forward, the more validation we give ourselves, the more confident we feel.

I have a quote written on my white board above my desk. It says ’the best influencers act before they talk’.

So get out there and take action my friend, make things happen, believe in yourself and own your unique and wonderful voice in this world.

Thank you so much for listening I do hope that this episode has inspired you.

If you’d like to come and have a chat with me the best place to do that is in our Facebook community. Just go to Facebook and type in Your Lifestyle Business and come and join us where the best conversations happen!

In the meantime have an amazing week live life on purpose and of course Make It Happen, see you again next week
 
 

Passport to Fitness (for home based entrepreneurs)

Passport to Fitness (for home based entrepreneurs)

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.
 

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

N8 Training Systems
Passport to Fitness
Workaway.info
Jungle Land Panama
Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group
 

Read Here

I’m so happy to welcome Nate Palmer on to today’s podcast.

Nate is the creator of n8trainingsystems.com & author of the aptly titled book – Passport to Fitness.

He’s an experienced traveler and has stayed happy & healthy (apart from the hospital visits – all is revealed on the podcast) through it all.

As a fellow traveler & as someone who’s been on a long & arduous health journey myself the last few years I couldn’t wait to grill him about simple exercises you can do at home or while traveling, get his thoughts on the confusing world of food & nutrition & find out how to increase energy & get the best of your life!

If you’re looking to shift a few pounds, get fitter, stronger & healthier & have the energy to suck the juice out of every day then you’ll love his tips & advice.

Overview of Episode

1. Importance of fuelling the mind as well as the body.
2. Intro to Nate, how he started his journey, his business & travelling.
3. How to commit to exercise & how it’s similar to building a lifestyle business
4. Exercise should augment your day not exhaust you
5. Food & nutrition tips especially for entrepreneurs and those working from home
6. How to avoid the fridge / pantry when working at home
7. IF particularly for women
8. What happens to your body if you don’t eat enough
9. What to do to increase metabolism
10. How to train in a gym without a spotter
11. The one piece of equipment you need to train anywhere at anytime
12. Why consistency is more important than quantity

And much more…

Fave quotes;

‘Don’t major in the minutia’ – Nate Palmer

‘People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing, that’s why we recommend it daily’ – Zig Ziglar

12 Steps to Get More Done & Love Every Minute!

12 Steps to Get More Done & Love Every Minute!

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

The China Study
Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group
 

Read Here

So on my To-Do list right now is;

  1. Write & record podcasts for the next 8 weeks
  2. Approach potential interviewees for future podcast episodes
  3. Write 8 blog posts for the next 8 weeks
  4. Write & record Make It Happen Monday episodes for the next 8 weeks
  5. Write 500 words a day for book
  6. Plan out IG & FB posts for next week
  7. Finish off bits & pieces for Legends not Ladies eCommerce store
  8. Get posts & social media content created for LNL
  9. Start marketing LNL – IG strategy / FB Ads

This doesn’t include the reading I want to fit in, my daily exercise routines, podcasts I like to listen to, trips I’m planning for, prepping for my forthcoming wedding party and spending time with family & friends!

It’s so easy and I do it so frequently to write a list of daily tasks that looks something like;

  1. Write 2 podcast episodes
  2. Write 2 emails to potential interviewees
  3. Record 2 MIHM vids
  4. Plan FB Ads for LNL
  5. Do IG for a week

Etc.

Hasten to add with a to-do list like that my fail rate of accomplishing all my ‘To Do’s’ in a day is close to 100%!

In today’s episode I’m going to explain why this approach doesn’t work and what to do instead to double your productivity and have some fun in the process!

So I have a history of being a productivity nightmare! Seriously it’s been the one thing that’s really held me back over the years.

I’ve been guilty of overthinking, over procrastinating, allowing my emotions to control my behaviors and just generally going week to week, sometimes year to year without really achieving much at all.

I have recently discovered three habits that seem to be at the very heart of it and have changed my productivity levels immeasurably without me feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

So I’m going to share these 3 with you plus some more tips which undoubtedly help with packing as much in to your day as you want to without feeling like you’re working 24/7.
 

1. Clarity Clarity Clarity & One For Luck CLARITY!

Oh my gosh if I could sing one huge word from a massive signboard in the busiest intersection in the world it would be ‘Get Clarity!’ Ok that’s two but you get my meaning.

I’ve spoken about this in other podcast episodes, but having a lack of clarity for what your vision or goals are will lead to overwhelm, stress, procrastination, and massive self-doubt.

You think you want to go one way, but you’re not sure, so you wax and weave a bit thinking another way may be better and wax and weave a bit more until you really have no idea where you’re going.

I can tell you from experience all you end up doing is wearing yourself out and giving up before you truly reap the benefits of all your hard work.

I’m not saying you have to know step by step every single move you’re going to make, this isn’t about becoming a Chess Grand Master (although I’m sure that skill would be helpful!)

This is about having a super clear vision of what you want something to look like.

So for example in the last 6 months I have become crystal clear and I mean high quality, best of the best, unbreakable crystal, on where I want to take ‘Your Lifestyle Business’.

I want to educate & inspire action-takers on how to build lifestyle businesses they can run from anywhere in the world whether that be your kitchen table or a beach in Fiji. That’s not just a mission statement it’s precisely what I want to do.

I will do this via blog posts, podcasts, videos, books (I so want to be an author), my social media accounts, lifestyle business experiments (like my eCommerce experiment I’m doing now).

On my blog, I will write about building a lifestyle business, how to get out of your own way and believe in yourself enough to get out there and do it and also inspire via my lifestyle and travel experiences.

Why? Because I can! Because it’s precisely how I’m living my life and traveling the world and grabbing life by the balls! I want anyone who wants too, to feel this level of freedom and excitement and independence.

Can you see how clear my vision is?

The benefits of having that level of clarity are;

  • You will know exactly what you need to do to move you closer to that vision every single day.
  • You will not be distracted by bright shiny objects that have nothing to do with your vision
  • You can collaborate comfortably with others who cover topics perhaps you don’t.
  • You will know who your audience are
  • Your audience will know who you are!

Now compare this to a few years back when I was the facebook queen, oh no, maybe social media, nope, online marketing? Ummm, maybe Amazon & ecommerce, No No, personal development?

No clarity led to exhaustion & burnout. (Please note I have no regrets. We created an amazing life for ourselves, changed our financial fortune and I learned more than I ever would just sitting around doing nothing. So something is always better than nothing).

So my friend get absolutely clear on what you want moving forward and stick to it! Get excited about!

Create your own mission statement of exactly what you want to do and why. You don’t have to publish it if you don’t want to, but read it every single day and believe enough in yourself & your vision to act on it every day.
 

2. Find a Goal System That Works For You

I have set yearly goals, 90 day goals, 12 week goals, daily goals, weekly goals, you name it I’ve got an Evernote folder for it!

Then I noticed on Instagram people doing these 100 day challenges. Do something for 100 days and create a habit.

A good friend of mine had also completed a 100-day health challenge earlier in the year and so I thought I’d give it a go.

I set three main goals to achieve in 100 days. Three humdingers actually, probably a bit big but hey ho we live and learn.

  1. Lose 40lbs
  2. Build an ecommerce store and generate $5k in revenues
  3. Write a book which I’ve been meaning to write for a couple of years.
  4. Then a silent one which I hadn’t even thought about when setting the goals, but I still have to deliver my weekly videos / podcast.  

So it became more like 4 goals!

I then split them down into 20-day segments and set myself mini-milestones to achieve every 20 days.

Wow has this worked for me!

As I record this podcast I’m 58 days in and I’ll be honest I’m not quite achieving all my goals mainly because each one is hugely meaty all on its own. I think next time I may only set one or two, but I’m pretty confident I will achieve at least two of them in the next 52 days.

So why is this one working for me when countless others haven’t?

I think it’s just the timing of it for me. 100 days is just over 3 months which makes it close enough to see the end but far enough away to be reasonably audacious. Then setting 20-day reviews allows me to get really stuck into something and unlike a week which seems to be over before its begun.

I also have a poster on my board above my desk that says 100 Days to Habit and it has 100 days on it which I’m just crossing off each day. It gives me a visual of how many days have passed vs how many days left.

Also, I’ve learned something huge about myself during this time period. I’m terrible at multi-tasking and by multi-tasking I mean doing several different jobs on the same day.

So if I’m focused on writing that’s me for the day.

Recording makes a day of it.

Ecommerce – all day. 

I can’t switch efficiently from writing to recording to eCommerce etc.

So now I have days like today when my goal is to write 2 podcast episodes and 5 MIHM episodes.

Then tomorrow I’ll get on the mic and record my podcast episodes and then get in front of the camera and do the MIHM episodes.

I talk a bit more about this in the batching section which is coming up, but wow is this strategy working for me so you may want to give it a go!
 

3. Get Healthy

Ok so this one is probably a surprise, but how we feel on a day to day basis and how productive we are intrinsically linked.

If you feel like crap, you’re tired, you’re unhealthy, you eat mind-numbing foods which kill your brain cells, you can’t hope to be as productive or achieve as much as you’d like to in your business or in life.

I know you may not want to hear this depending on your lifestyle, but ever since I started exercising, eating lots more veggies, drinking lots of water, cut right back on alcohol & sugary carbs my productivity and enthusiasm for productivity has increased tenfold!

I’m not quite hitting my weight loss goals, but I feel amazing! 

You don’t need to become an athlete to see marked differences and I’m certainly no nutritionist or fitness expert, but even just walking 30 minutes a day, drinking more water and increasing your intake of live foods & veggies will make a difference to how you feel.

My recommendation by the way – read The China Study – just saying.

Ok so they’re definitely the big 3 that have made the biggest difference to not only my productivity levels but also to how enthusiastic, energetic and vibrant I feel each day meaning I can get more into my day including exercise, time with my family, seeing friends and work stuff.

However, there are a few more habits you can adopt that will also help hugely.
 

4. Batching

I said above that I’m a horror at multi-tasking and so I tend to stick to one type of task per day. Well having set such meaty goals for my 100 days I quickly realized I couldn’t do them all at the same time, so while I was writing my book, I wasn’t building my eCommerce store and while I was building my eCommerce store I wasn’t recording podcasts or writing blog posts and so on.

So I have adopted the habit of batching.

So I spent a full week, just building the ecommerce store and nothing else. When that was done and I could see the power of focusing in on one thing, I decided to take 10 – 14 days to prep 10 weeks worth of podcasts, videos & blog posts to give me a clear window to now focus on marketing the commerce store and writing my book.

I no doubt will break those tasks into weeks, so perhaps 4 weeks on the store and 4 weeks on the book, we’ll see how it goes, but the goal is in 8 weeks time to spend another 10 days or so prepping my blog content for another 10 weeks.

The power of batching! It means when I travel next week I don’t have to worry about content as it’s been done and when we travel at Xmas, the same and so on. 

It means that all your public-facing content is done and you can become incredibly consistent in delivering valuable information.
 

5. Deadlines

I’m a bugger for not sticking to my deadlines! In fact, I have only 8 minutes left to finish writing this podcast before I need to start the next one!

I’m not going to make it and so will have to be super strict and shorten the next one a little to get it done in my allotted time. 

Hard deadlines my friend. You have to set hard deadlines. In other words unbreakable deadlines.

If you set yourself 2 hours to do a task them you need to finish it within that two hour period. 

This is a discipline which requires a lot of practice. By doing this you start to time how long things actually take you, for instance I know I write at about 1500 words an hour and I hope most of what I write is pretty valuable stuff. But knowing that means I need to set a timer for 2 hours for me to write a podcast or blog post because they’re usually around 3000 words long.

And that’s it! They must be down within that time.

I’m actually practicing trying to get quicker in my writing so I set a timer for 1 hour today and so far have written 2223 words in that hour which is great!

It’s the only way to ensure you can get everything in your day in.

If you don’t stick to deadlines then half your to-do list is left undone and there is no greater demotivated than constantly moving things to the next day and the next day and so on.

Set your deadlines, make them ambitious but realistic and when that alarm goes off what’s done is good enough! (Or you have to sacrifice something else altogether).
 

6. Fast decisions

This is a biggie. My partner is great at this. He doesn’t have to think over every possible facet of a problem or a potential solution, he just does. 

He’s faced with something whatever that might be, he looks for a solution and then makes a decision and makes it happen just like that.

In the meantime I’m researching the best options online, reading blog posts, looking at social media accounts to see if this is the best way.

By the time I sit down to tell him my findings he’s done the task, tested the method and knows what works and what doesn’t. It’s mind-blowing to watch actually.

Another skill that requires practice. Making a fast decision is art.

Next time you’re faced with a decision, any decision, what you’re having for dinner tonight, what dress to wear for drinks with friends, what color the logo should be, what your headline is going to be for your next post, set a timer for 60 seconds and make the decision in that time. End of.

Don’t allow yourself not to make the decision. 

Shepherds Pie or Tuna pasta bake – 60 secs tick tock, tick tock – Boom – Shepherds Pie.

Try it out and let me know how it goes.
 

7. Learn by doing

So we all buy into courses and education which can improve our skills. I certainly do.

But you need to put those courses into action as fast as you can.

I highly recommend blocking out an entire week in your diary to firstly spend just one day consuming the entire course in one go. I use a chrome extension to speed up videos so I can watch faster. Video Speed Controller

By watching the whole thing, you’ll know what you need to do straight away to have the biggest impact.

Then for the next week start to implement all the instructions because the only way to truly learn is by putting it into action.

So next time you’re about to buy a course, ask yourself – have I got time to block out a week in my diary within a week of purchasing the course?

If the answer is No, don’t buy it! Not yet anyway. You can always get it later when you do have the time and if you don’t, it wasn’t that important to you anyway.
 

8. Keep it simple / make it easy

As you go through your different tasks, ask yourself over and over, how can I make this easier.

How can I make this more efficient? How can I simplify this process?

You know I had a go at my hubby this morning because he took the plug extension of my Nutri bullet and unplugged the juicer. 

The reason is that next time I go to use the nutribullet no doubt the extension would have been moved and I won’t be able to find it. So I’ll spend 10 minutes looking for it before I can get started. The same for the juicer, the extension is a bit dodgy and so you have to fiddle with it for ages before it works.

The answer would be to get a new extension, but for now, if you just leave it plugged into the extension but not plugged into the main units you need it, it works fine.

My point was, he was ruining my efficiency.

It’s the same with work tasks.

With everything you do how can you shortcut things, make things simple.

Do you have an email template you use every time which cost the time to write emails, perhaps you have a set of backgrounds created to easily create quotes for Instagram that you can just plug in and type over the top of with today’s quote.

Do you have sets of pre-listed hashtags for social media or five different types of blog posts you write?

This is such a good tip actually it deserves a podcast of its own, I’ll just add that to my podcast list.

But setting up systems so you’re not starting from ground zero each time is a huge boost to getting things done quickly and easily (and more enjoyable).
 

9. Work at your best times

Undoubtedly my best times are first thing in the morning. I’m usually up by 5 am at the latest actually.

Since consuming more veggies and less meat there are days I’m up at 4.30 am, and I’m on fire in the morning.

I make myself a cuppa, put on my classical chill out music and write. That is absolutely my writing time no matter what else I have planned for the day.

Unfortunately morning time is when all the exercise classes are so I’m usually out between 7.30 am – 9.30 am, swimming or yoga or something, which is why when I get back I get into one groove or another up until about 3 pm when I start to fade (mainly because I’m still unfit and the mornings exercise has worn me out!)

When is your best time?

Are you a morning person, a night owl? A get it in quick while the kids are at school?

Identify when you work the very best and try to focus your working hours around those times for maximum productivity.
 

10. Undisturbed time / no multitasking

I joke about getting things done while the kids are out, but you must make sure you have some absolute undisturbed time.

Shut yourself away somewhere, tell family members you’re not to be disturbed, turn off social media, put your phone on silent or preferably leave it somewhere else and get your head down.

My time for this is usually 5 am – 6.30 am before school and if I can another couple of hours from around 10 am – 12 pm. Any other times and it just won’t happen, too much else going on and I’m not a night person at all.

Make sure that you have planned exactly what you’re going to do in these undisturbed hours beforehand or the night before, so that when you sit down, you sit down to work, not plan.

This is vital as is and I will repeat for effect, your phone is switched off and all notifications that pop up on your computer are turned off!
 

11. Musts vs Likes

Alright, we’re almost there!

We all have stuff we would love to get done every day but how important is it. Must it be done today or can it wait until tomorrow?

Your musts are the things that absolutely must be done today, either because you have made a commitment to yourself or because you have made a commitment to someone else.

Be sure to get your ‘musts’ done first and then later you can do some of your ‘likes’, like playing around with that new app, or reading some blog posts you enjoy or watching youtube videos etc.

You know what your musts vs likes are! Come on, put Instagram down and get on with it!
 

12. Self-belief!

Last but not least on my list today is self-belief.

I touched on it in point 1 – Get Clarity.

When you know what your vision is, one surefire route to distraction is that you don’t believe in yourself or your vision enough to do the work needed to make it a reality.

So much of our distraction comes from underlying self-doubt and the belief that maybe another way will be easier or faster or less uncomfortable.

Because following your passion isn’t always easy and it may well result in you having to step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.

The ability to come out of your safe shell is steeped in self-belief. If your belief is that you’re not good enough, it won’t work, everyone else is doing it, you’ve missed the boat etc, then you will allow yourself to easily get distracted and sidetracked and your vision will never come to fruition.

But if you believe so strongly in your vision that you couldn’t care less that other people are doing it. That you can have your little slice of the pie too, that you love it so much you can’t wait to get started every morning and even if you might not be good enough, you’ll darn well try it anyway! It’s unlikely much will stand in your way and you’ll be so focused on your journey you’ll see fewer distractions on your route, which I have to say puts down thinking time massively!

Rather than spending time wondering if you’re on the right path, thinking about it, planning what you’re ‘gonna’ do etc. You’re just on it. Every day!

I saw a great quote yesterday – ‘It took me 10 years to discover I wasn’t a great writer but by then I was too famous to stop!’

Things are so subjective these days who’s to say whether you’re good enough or not!

So why not just get out there and give it a go.
 

Summary

So there you have it, listeners, my 12 point plan to massively increase your productivity!

I have written this post in 80 minutes and it is 3758 words long which is a new record for me! Yippeeee!

This is also what can be achieved when you’re passionate about what you do!

I hope it helps, thanks so much for listening, Live Life on Purpose and of course as always Make It Happen! 🙂
 
 

To SEO or Not To SEO: That is the Question!

To SEO or Not To SEO: That is the Question!

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.
 

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Should I care about SEO
How to Start a Blog – Ryan Robinson
Mark Manson
Nomadic Matt
Jenna Kutcher
Marie Forleo
Ahrefs
Keysearch
Yoast SEO Plugin
Backlinko
Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group
 

Read Here

Recently I have once again been exploring the world of SEO.

I say once again because I have periodically dipped my toe over the last 10 years determined to get my head around how it all works, only to give up after a week or so because it’s so bloody complicated/long-winded and frankly boring.

Clearly I am not a ‘devil is in the detail’ person. It’s a weakness.

But as one of my main goals over the next few years is to grow my site I felt it only right to give it a go once again.

Here’s the thing though, in my niche, ‘building a lifestyle business’, the keywords I would like to rank for are so ridiculously competitive it seems like a pointless task to even try.

My logic is backed up by all the SEO blogs I read who say anything with a keyword difficulty over about 20 is not worth competing with and as most of my keywords are 50+, case closed.

In this instance, the advice is to use long-tail keywords and sure enough – ‘Build a lifestyle business you can be proud of and that will change your life and that you can do while watching TV & picking your nose’, isn’t too competitive! So I can see where they’re going with that.

But seriously, how important is it?

Should we care enough about SEO to devote some of our precious time towards it?

That’s what I’m exploring in today’s podcast.

So, here’s the result that came up top of the search engine when I typed in ‘Should I care about SEO?’

Consumers utilize search engines to research companies to meet their needs. If you are not optimizing your website content for those common search phrases, and your competitors are, you will lose the prospect each and every time. Assuming you want to remain competitive in your industry, SEO is an absolute must.

Makes sense, but as I said if you happen to be in a competitive niche then is there any point?

Well from my findings the general answer is Yes, but how much we care depends on our objectives.

If you go to google and type in ‘How to Start a Blog’ you will see on the front page (about result 6) a post by a chap called Ryan Robinson – How to Start a Blog.

I’ve actually featured Ryan on one of my blog posts previously because his posts are so in-depth & valuable.

I heard him being interviewed recently on Tropical MBA about this particular blog post.

From that one blog post he’s now earning around $20k a month in affiliate commissions from Bluehost the hosting company.

How he got to page 1 for such a competitive keyword is a podcast episode in itself and I encourage you to listen to the interview.

But in summary, he made sure his post was more valuable than any of the other posts for that keyword. (Note I said more valuable, not necessarily longer, although it is very long – around 25k words!)

He covers every conceivable question about starting and running a blog, includes images, infographics, videos and links to podcast interviews, plus of course it’s littered with the relevant keywords throughout the post.

But writing an incredible post and publishing it is only the beginning.

He then had to obviously promote it out to his list, social media accounts etc and everyone he may know in the industry who could provide an all-important backlink to it.

Because that my friend this is the secret sauce to SEO. Backlinks from high-quality reputable sites. Right now by mentioning him in this podcast and adding a link on my blog post I am passing link juice to him by linking back to his article.

So he purposely picked a high volume competitive key phrase with high levels of commercial intent. In other words, anyone searching the term ‘How to Start a Blog’ is likely looking to start their own site and needs all the tools and platforms to do so. And by getting the post to the top of Google rankings is now earning considerably from it.

Rob’s posts are drafted by a writing team and then polished off and honed into an informative, valuable post by him which will appeal to almost anyone searching for that keyword.

Rob is an entrepreneur and has created a blog specifically with the goal of monetizing it which is reflected in the headlines on his site;

How to Write a Blog Post
How to Start a Food Blog
25 Best WordPress Themes for Bloggers

Etc.

On the other hand, one of my favorite blogs in the world – markmanson.net is currently at position No 1 for the key phrase ‘be an asshole’.

Now ironically, that is still a very competitive keyword but whether it has commercial intent or not is clearly open for discussion!

Mark’s strategy is very different. He does not include affiliate links within his content, he is not looking to reach the top of Google with the pure intention of selling something related to a specific keyword and instead monetizes his site via his books and a monthly subscription service to get all his best content.

His blog posts are also long and possibly strategically littered with keywords that promote his book titles – (how he’s not on page 1 for the word ‘f**k, I’m not sure), but his posts are creative. They’re an acquired taste. They’re not written for the masses, they’re written for people who like his particular style of writing.

Mind you I say not for the masses, visit any airport in the world at the moment and his books are No 1 & No 2, so he’s clearly resonating with a lot of people!

Mark, in my opinion, is an artist first (as an author), and generates revenues from his art. Which is reflected in his headlines;

The Attention Diet
The Uncomfortable Truth
“Who the F**k Am I”, The Ultimate Guide to Personal Values

A third option is an approach taken by people like;

Nomadic Matt
Jenna Kutcher
Marie Forleo

You’ll notice from their sites that some of their posts are keyword intentional and some are strictly from the heart.

And I have to be honest, the latter is the approach I’m focusing on.

Some highly optimized posts and some equally as valuable but perhaps a little more obscure posts.

So, you really have to decide what your objective is to decide how important SEO is to you.

If your goal is simply to build a blog to monetize it, then your entire focus should be on becoming an expert at either SEO, or social media marketing, or PPC, etc.

Your main focus is on getting traffic and it’s likely a lot of your content can be outsourced.

If however you’re more of an artist and are creating content for the love of it while also hoping to monetize what you publish along the way then your focus is going to be more on the content side and it’s likely much of the promotion can be outsourced.

Does that make sense?

For those of you who, like me, want to have their cake & eat it, here’s my strategy for growing my site over the next year or so.
 

Strategy 1 – Create Themes

Break your site up into themes. For example, mine are Business, Lifestyle & Empowerment.
 

Strategy 2 – List Topics

Then make a list under each theme of all the topics you would love to cover on your blog.

For example under Business on mine, I have ‘Lifestyle Business’, ‘Content Marketing’, ‘Ecommerce’, ‘Social Media’, Email Marketing’ & so on.
 

Strategy 3 – Create Titles

Using the Google Uber suggest feature, youtube & if you want the Google planner tool, type the keyword or phrase for your topic into the search bar and make a list of titles you would love to write about using the suggestions as inspiration.

For example, I have titles like; “ How to Start a Lifestyle Business While Traveling the World’, ‘The Best Lifestyle Business to Start in 2020’, ‘Why Instagram is Perfect for a Lifestyle Business’, ‘How to Start a Shopify Business With Less than $100’.

I actually set myself a goal of coming up with 10 titles per topic and I ended up with 93 titles altogether just under the main theme of Business. Once you start you’ll be amazed at all the ideas you have!

Now write the titles under the themes that Google can’t help you with, in other words, your creative, from the heart posts. The posts that tend to tell us much more about the person who’s writing them (even if the post isn’t directly about them).

For example under my travel theme, I don’t want to write about the 10 Best Places to Visit in Phuket, although that’s likely a hot keyphrase.

I want to write posts like; ‘Why Rhett (My Partner) Dressed in Cut Off Stockings in a Thai Massage Parlour’ & ‘Why My Sister Likes to Get Naked every time She Comes to Thailand’, & ’What Happened When I Bumped Into Mark Zuckerburg on the Great Wall of China’.

Those are the kind of posts that are much more about my personality and demonstrate the ‘lifestyle’ aspect of our life on the road, but won’t necessarily get picked up for any huge keywords.

I may well include a list of the 10 Best Places to Visit in Phuket in one of the posts, but it won’t be the focal point.
 

Strategy 4 – Refine SEO Elements

Then for your SEO style posts, each time you sit down to write one or get one created, you’ll just need to do a bit of work on your headline & key phrase to ensure there are people searching for it and it is potentially rankable.

Don’t get too caught up here, you can use a tool like Google keyword planner or just plug your headline into Google if other people have written about the same topic and there are hundreds of thousands of results for your key phrase then you can be pretty sure people are searching for it.

However, if you really want to drill down, then you would need an SEO tool like Ahrefs which is awesome but $99 / month!

I recently found one called Keysearch, which is similar to Ahrefs, although not quite as much functionality but certainly enough to do what we need to do to ensure we can create the best headlines & key phrases for our posts and it’s only $12 / month.

With Keysearch you can plug in your potential key phrase and it will show you search volume and Keyword difficulty, ie, how difficult it will be to rank for your phrase.

For example, I typed in one of my titles ‘The Best Lifestyle Business to Start in 2020’ and it came up with a great key phrase – ‘best business ideas for women’ keyword difficulty 27.

Keyword difficulty is based on scores from 1 – 100 with the higher number being the more difficult. Apparently anything over about 35 is extremely hard unless you have a very strong domain rank. So I tend to look for key phrases under 30.

So that’s definitely something I could write about and my title might be ‘The Best Business Ideas for Women in 2020’.

It’s also a good idea to get the Yoast SEO plugin. It comes highly recommended and allows you to put in your title, meta description etc (describe the sections). This will help even with the posts that aren’t focused on SEO as you can still pick a key phrase you want google to focus on.

I wonder if Mark plugged in ‘be an asshole’ for his! :)

Always remember to write for your audience first and the search engines second. There’s nothing worse than a badly written post stuffed with irrelevant keywords and google is getting very good at sniffing them out.

And secondly, remember to promote promote promote once you’ve published a great post. The beauty is in the backlinks as I like to say. (I just made that up!)

You need to share your masterpiece with the world and hopefully, the world will pass it on!

So if you’ve loved this episode do feel free to share it with your friends or link back to the show notes on my blog from your site! Every little helps! :)

P.S. Subscribe to Backlinko.com by the way. Best blog out there on all things SEO!
 

Summary

In summary here’s a great quote from the awesome Steve Martin;

‘Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.’

Now got get em you awesome blogger you! :)

Thanks for listening, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode!

Remember to Live Life on Purpose & of course Make It Happen.
 
 

Lessons Learned From 10 Years Running a Lifestyle Business

Lessons Learned From 10 Years Running a Lifestyle Business

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group

Read Here

Well that was a F**king disaster!’ I exclaimed as I turned to my partner at the end of one of my first ever webinars, which had ended with me unable to turn Go To Webinar off and having to embarrassingly enlist the help of one of my audience members to do so. The screen lit up in front of my eyes as a slew of ‘We’re still here Jo!’ & ‘We can still hear you’ comments flooded my computer. Oh My God! I still hadn’t turned it off!

And this is just one of many faux pas along the journey of running an online business.

I remember being in floods of tears for 3 days straight when uploading and embedding videos required umpteen apps and a degree in internet programming. I’ve launched products with pay buttons not working, have ran between pubs to get internet connection during an interview with an expert who had to do the bulk of it himself when our internet failed, deleted my entire email list once by accident & lost everything on my computer twice over when it broke down in the days before dropbox & the cloud.

For the last 10 years, my small family & I have been traversing the seas chasing the sun around the world!

In order to do so we had to make some money along the way and so between us, my hubby & I, we built two very successful, life-changing online businesses.

Businesses which gave us the freedom to live anywhere, work anywhere, for me to pack up work for a couple of years and also for us to start to build a nest egg and make our money work for us over the long term.

Whilst I’d love to tell you we did all of this while sipping cocktails on a beach that is only partially true!

I say partially because there have been plenty of times we have been toiling away on our computers while sipping a bottle of Chang by a pool or by the beach, such is the nature of working from anywhere!

But there have also been many many times I have watched the dawn break over the top of my computer screen as I realize I’ve been at it all night or we’ve holed ourselves away somewhere for days on end to just work our butts off to make things happen.

Many frustrations, lots of tears, a bit of burn out at times and more moments than I care to admit when you ask yourself whether just going home and getting a job would be easier.

But overall it’s 500% worth it.

The lifestyle we live, the freedom we have, the experiences we have been afforded and can continue to expose our daughter too.

I wouldn’t give up what we have in a heartbeat and to be honest right now I feel a huge second wind coming and the next few years are pure excitement to me!

But before I get carried away, let’s have a look at some of the key lessons I have learned along the way.

Lessons I hope will inspire and help you with starting and running your own lifestyle business.

1. It’s hard work

There is no getting away from it my friend. Building a business and I mean any business is pure and simple hard graft.

There are no short cuts. No quick hacks. No magic buttons. No matter what copy and paste headline you have just read.

Yes, there are more complicated business models vs simpler business models, but each and every business model, no exception, requires commitment and hard work to get it off the ground.

There’s no getting around it.

When I first started back in 2010 every headline was a promise to make you rich with the click of a button and because the internet was so new and shiny and the opportunity was abounding it seemed so feasible!

People were creating companies out of thin air, investors were getting rich off of technological startups catapulting businesses into the billions overnight, kids were starting businesses in their bedrooms.

The last 10 years have been like the 60’s for entrepreneurs – Anything goes! Dive in, envelop yourself with the entrepreneurial euphoria man.

And yes while certainly, the odds are way more in our favor to start and run a lifestyle business now, and I would personally recommend it to everybody and anybody, to reach the heady heights of financial freedom you have to put down the metaphorical bong and put your back into it!

2. You will need time or money or both.

I remember walking through the foyer of a large internet marketing event in London back in 2010. I bumped into the event organizer after hearing a multitude of rags to riches stories on stage.

Remember them? His particular story (the organizer) was from memory some huge emotional journey through a cemetery or something where he was practically homeless and down and out and had an epiphany by a gravestone and went on to make a million, or something ridiculous like that.

I asked him – ’so what does it really take to make a million’, he looked at me with a slight smirk on his face as he adjusted the sleeve of his Hugo Boss suit and said ‘how much money have you got?’.

I didn’t really understand him at the time, but it is true that money begets money.

If you have money you can buy your way into a well-connected mastermind and network with those who can give your business a huge boost or even partner with you making you an overnight success.

If you have money you can invest in a team and resources to help you build your business including advertising, great design, great video production etc, all of which certainly help to grow your business faster.

If you have money you could buy an existing business and simply look for ways to make it better, more efficient, more profitable, etc.

But even with money, you’re still going to have to do the work or pay handsomely for someone else to do so.

We chose the route of time to make our first million as that’s what we had as opposed to oodles of money.

We laser-focused on our goal, like looking at the bullseye of a dartboard and consistently worked hard every single day.

It took me one year to hit 6 figures. Another 4 to hit the very high 6 figures. Then in the 5th year, we hit 7 figures.

It took time and energy and focus and commitment and certainly the more money we made and invested back in, the easier it got to reach that high number.

The good news, the low cost to entry of building a lifestyle business is what makes it so attractive, so if you have no money but reckon you could work your butt off for a good few hours a week, and have a solid focus and a good work ethic, then you too have the same opportunity we did to make it happen.

3. You must follow your passion and not profit

I say this with certainty but even as I write I still wonder if this depends on your personality and without being gender bias, whether this actually applies more to women than men.

The reason I say this, is that my partner is passionate about money so he doesn’t really care what business he’s in as long as it’s turning a profit.

I, on the other hand, cannot passionately invest myself in a business unless it’s something I’m passionate about!

When we started our Amazon business we did so in a niche that was popular rather than something I felt I could build a brand around.

I have no interest in kitchen products whatsoever! I hate cooking and am terrible at it so I wasn’t about to become the next Pioneer Woman if you know what I mean.

That’s why all my focus moving forward is on Your Lifestyle Business which is what I’m super passionate about. My experimental eCommerce site is aimed at empowering women which I’m also super passionate about and next year my hubs & I are launching a new travel brand which of course we’re both incredibly passionate about!

The more you LOVE what you do, the easier you’ll find it to do it.

Those cold mornings when you do not want to get out of bed and get on your computer, those dark nights when you really just want to go to sleep, those moments when things don’t work and you want to pack it all in.

They will all become infinitely easier if you’re working on something, talking about something, posting about something you absolutely love!!!

Sorry to sound twee, but life will pass by in a flash my friend, why waste it just chasing money when you can have so much more!

4. Get super clear on the direction you want to go in and stick to it!

Ok, so time for a bit of honesty and vulnerability here folks!

If there is honestly one thing I could change about my journey over the last 10 years and that would be that I’d had a clear vision of what I wanted at the start.

Which I kind of did, but I kept getting distracted and veering off which I’ll talk about in lesson 5, but I also lacked confidence which was a huge proponent to following trends rather than my heart.

I knew when I started I wanted to work with people who wanted to start and build their own business.

But I’d only had a couple of failed businesses up to then, who was I to guide.

So even though I started with a brand called The Entreprenette, I didn’t have the gumption to keep it going.

One day I fell over facebook so immersed myself and started teaching that. From that the Social Networking Academy was born, but social media wasn’t enough, so a bit later, Online Marketing Addicts was born, but that sounded too scammy & focused on just marketing in my mind and, so after that Jo Barnes Online was born.

Then we got sidetracked with Amazon and I started playing with a brand specifically for training on Amazon.

I’m actually pretty ashamed to say, that the years of indecision, planning, thinking about the overall direction of my business and still not having a super clear direction had exhausted me. I burned myself out through lack of clarity.

So after 6 years with an email list of over 50,000 subscribers, a blog getting 25k or so hits per month and a decent social media following I just stopped.

It was probably the best thing for me at the time, but now some years later the world has moved on and I’m essentially starting again and it’s a tough and competitive world out there!

Look I’m a huge advocate of any decision being better than no decision. I promote it as a strategy when you can’t make any decision at all, and I’m glad I had all the experiences I had. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t followed the path I had and here I am with the freedom to not work if I choose to.

But have the courage of your convictions as my Mum would say.

I knew what I wanted right from the start, but my own self doubt stopped me from pursuing it single mindedly. I danced around the houses confusing my audience, my peers and most importantly myself.

Look deep within yourself, you know that thing you don’t want to do because it seems too big & scary? That’s probably the thing you need to be pursuing.

5. Distraction & Indecision is your enemy

So that brings us to the subject of bright shiny objects!

Once you have decided your path it’s so important you stick with it.

Our challenge today is not lack of opportunity, rather too much of it! We are bounded by opportunity. There are now hundreds of ways to start a business that will supplement or completely replace and supersede your income.

Blogging, influencing, self-publishing, coaching, ghostwriting, web developing, teaching, eCommerce, freelancing.

You name it. You could literally pack up your job and start to create an income today.

(That’s got to be my next episode right, ‘how to pack up your job and create an income today’).

But seriously, there are so many things you can do, you have to just make a decision based on what you love to do and then stick with it.

Have a listen to episodes 36 & 40. 36 goes through the different business options available to you and 40 walks you through how to make the decision!

But once the decision is made do not let fear, self doubt, lack of confidence stop you.

Have the courage of your convictions my friend and make it happen!

6. Network as much as possible and get to know people in your industry

‘Be so good they can’t ignore you’ – Steve Martin

I love this quote.

I love it because networking online, especially with ‘influencers’ can be super hard.

Take me to an event or place where I can meet people face to face, I’m happy. But online when you’re trying to network with influencers and start relationships it’s hugely time-consuming and they’re overrun with comments and people liking and sharing so how do you stand out?

My strategy is to be so good they can’t ignore you. Focus first on being amazing yourself.

Create a great business, focus on your customers and be inclusive! Never worry about competition, instead embrace others in your industry, talk about them and share their quality content with your customers.

The fastest way to network with your peers is to be so good at what you do that they notice you because your customers love you and you have been open-minded enough to share them with your audience.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to like & follow their content online when you can with the occasional interesting comment.

The best strategy of all is to get in a room with them, so if you can attend industry meets, go. Take their courses if they offer them and be a vocal part of their groups and masterminds and if you run a podcast or youtube channel, try to get interviews to help them promote their new thing whatever that may be, in the meantime, making a connection.

Don’t be an island my friend, nothing great was ever built alone.

7. Stay away from Charlatans. Do the work.

I know how easy it is to be sucked into what sounds like an incredible opportunity.

Seriously my hubby calls me a ‘marketers dream’.

To this day I still remember when I was about 15 years old, I was at one of these Sunday morning farmers markets. You know the ones where they sell meat & produce from the back of a van.

There was a guy selling electrical goods and he had this huge boom box (we are in the 80’s at this time). Double cassettes, recording, playback, radio, etc.

I didn’t really want it because I couldn’t afford it. I was 15!

But he sold it and sold it and I found my hand going up and next thing you know I’m reluctantly walking home with it!

To be honest I’ve been a bit like that my whole life!

But the key is to stay away from the charlatans because they’re just out for your money and I guarantee you, they do not have a magic solution which means you do not have to work as hard!

There is no magic solution, see lesson 1.

You’ll know the people who are real and those who aren’t.

Those who are real share for free. They practically give the farm away before they ask for a penny of your money.

They don’t harp on about the millions they’re making and post pics of themselves with Ferraris and big houses because if they do, that’s a huge red flag for me.

Either because they’re a complete charlatan or because they’re engaging in old school marketing which in my opinion is just as bad.

There’s no need for it in today’s transparent and open social media world.

Just be you, people! I guess if you run around in a Ferrari and live in a big house then it can’t be helped but you know what I mean!

Look whenever you’re faced with an offer that looks too good to be true the only way forward is to ask yourself if you trust the person making the offer.

Have you consumed lots of their info, do you know people who have been through their courses and have made it work. Have they given you so much value that moving to the next step is a no brainer.

That’s my personal favorite.

When I know that there’s no question it will be valuable because I’ve got to know them through their videos, podcasts, books etc and so I don’t even give it a second thought.

Lastly on this point, if you do decide to get some education, make sure it’s moving you closer to your goals!

Don’t just buy a course because it’s the next best thing that’s definitely going to make you money.

If you have a clear vision of what you want your business & life to look like, do not veer off. Stay on your path and use courses only to leapfrog you forward towards your goals.

8. Create an avatar that you can look at every time you create any content

Ok so this has been a recent one for me.

I have flipped & flopped over the years as to whether having an avatar is actually any use whatsoever.

Just yesterday I read a blog post which used the word ‘rubbish’ when the writer talked about getting clearly defined on your audience and there are times when I agree with that to be honest.

When I talk about a lifestyle business, for example, I’m just as likely to attract a 25-year-old go-getter who can’t stand the thought of working for someone else as I am a 65-year-old retiree who wants to supplement their retirement fund.

But if you don’t know who you’re talking too it can make creating content very tough.

So I have found since sitting down and defining my avatar it comes in very handy when I’m wondering what might make a great blog post or podcast or how to write the opening paragraph.

I have a quick look at my avatar and the picture the person in my head and the kind of questions they might be asking at that very second and it helps immensely!

So if for no other reason create an avatar for yourself.

9. Believe in yourself, stay true to your values & do what feels right to you

This is so important!

You do not have to follow the crowd.

In fact, Warren Buffet warns against it!

Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful‘ he says, specifically about the stock market, but the same can be said of building your business.

Just because everyone right now is following one method doesn’t make that method right for you.

In fact, it was part of the reason I burned out as per lesson 4.

When I first started online product launches were all the rage.

I had learned from Jeff Walkers product launch formula, my closest mentor Jason Fladlien, Mike Filsaime, Frank Kern.

This was back in the day!

And for a while, it was super fun. My favorite model was to teach people to live in a closed group. So a typical launch for me was entry to a six – twelve-week program, hosted live with support & coaching along the way.

Great model, absolutely exhausting if you’re doing them back to back which is pretty much what I ended up doing in 2015.

Because you’re not only constantly creating and improving content, you’re 24/7 support for people all around the world and then gearing up to a new launch with videos and testimonials etc.

And frankly, I hated the sales process.

With a passion. Hated it.

But felt weak for feeling like this. I felt that perhaps I was in the wrong career.

My mentor said I must be selling, Brian Tracy said you must always be selling. Dan Kennedy god rest his soul, always be selling.

Every ‘expert’ I knew said sell, sell, sell!

So even though I hated it, it was all I knew until I’d just had enough.

Until I realized how unhappy I was and I didn’t want to do it anymore.

So I took a huge step back to regroup. And some years later here I am. I will not sell, sell, sell my books, any courses I may choose to do in the future, or anything I’m offering.

There is a multitude of ways to put your products, offers, and services in front of your audience without ‘always selling’. In fact, I would say ’never sell’.

Offer, demonstrate, describe, extol the virtues, highlight the benefits, but never sell.

My good pal Chris Farrell once said to me ‘people hate being sold too but they love to buy’.

You have to do what’s right for you. Just because everyone else seems to be following one model does not make that model right for you. Even if they are the expert!

Question everything!

Do what you know in your heart makes you feel good and creates a win-win for everyone involved.

Be self-aware and belief in yourself that you know deep inside what works for you.

10. Don’t think, do!

This is intrinsically linked with lesson 4, get clear about what it is you want to do.

With clarity comes action. Oh my gosh, that’s shareable.

With clarity comes action!

I’m am literally the best in the world at planning.

Seriously I have life plans coming out of my arse.

What was it that John Lennon said;

Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans

Oh never has a truer word been spoken.

I used to be a huge advocate of goal setting. I mean years and years ahead. Goals for 10 years from now, 5 years from now, 1 year from now.

Here’s what 20 years of doing that has taught me.

Somewhere deep inside me, I had some non negotiables. I may not have known it at a conscious level but subconsciously there were some things that I just knew in my heart of hearts would happen.

  • I knew I would meet a life partner who would be my best friend.
  • I knew if I had kids I would raise them abroad.
  • I knew I would run my own business and achieve financial freedom.
  • I knew I would have absolute freedom in this world from the moment I sat on a rock in Faliraki overlooking the med.
  • I know right now I will make a living for the rest of my life as a writer, an author, and an angel investor.

Do you know? Are you conscious of your non-negotiables?

If not, stop planning, stop goal setting and look for your non-negotiables.

Take a day and visualize your life exactly as you want it to look.

Have as clear a vision of what you want your life to look like as possible. It may not end up like that but at least it makes you consciously aware and gives you something to aim for.

Then, in all honesty, I don’t really plan more than 100 days in advance anymore.

I don’t know if that’s right or wrong but it works for me.

For example, I have two goals to have launched and generated $5k revenues on my experimental eCommerce store and finished my first book (for my daughter) within 100 days.

Both goals take me closer to the vision I have for my life and because the end is so close, ie just over 3 months, I know exactly what I need to do every day to move them forward.

This means rather than endless planning I’m just doing.

You have to get yourself into the position of just doing.

Like cleaning your teeth, you know what you need to do that day to move you closer to your short term goals and long term vision.

Does that make sense?

Another Buffet quote – “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.

Every day I get up and write anywhere between 500 – 6000 words. Every day. Every day. Every day.

I’m not doing anything extraordinary.

I’m just doing what I need to be doing every day to achieve my goal of finishing my book.

As an aside when we made our first million on Amazon do you know what we did?

We got up every day and secured reviews & discount sales. Every day we made sure we got more reviews and discount sales. Every single day, 7 days a week.

We didn’t do anything extraordinary. We just did what we needed to do to achieve our goal.

Don’t think too hard my friend. Start doing. Action is the key!

Summary

Phew that’s been a bit of an outpouring!

I do hope it’s helped and inspired and made you think.

It’s certainly been a ride and although I say in Lesson 4, I could have done it differently, had I done so we may not be where we are now.

My path may have gone in a completely different direction which may have been good or bad who knows.

Someone once said you are exactly where you’re meant to be doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.

A bit deep but hey, who wants to live with regret right?

If you were sat across from me now we’d crack open a bottle of champers and toast the next 10 years.

I wonder what my podcast episode will include 10 years from now!

Have an awesome week my friend and remember Live Life on Purpose and as always Make It Happen!

10 Years Traveling the World! Here’s What I’ve Learned…

10 Years Traveling the World! Here’s What I’ve Learned…

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Make It Happen Monday EP88
Nomadic Matt
The Nomad Capitalist
World Travel Family
Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group

Read Here

10 years ago, we sold everything we owned in a 5 day gumtree sale (the UK equivalent of Craigs List), generated a princely sum of £900, jumped on a plane with our 4 year old under our arm and haven’t looked back since!

It all came about when a week earlier I had attended an online marketing conference in London to see my good friend Daniel Wagner sprinkle his magic on stage. A compelling & engaging speaker I was always in awe of how he resonated with an audience.

Sat at the back of the room with his then-girlfriend Lieve, she told me how they were traveling around Europe for the summer.

Having visited their gorgeous apartment in Cyprus earlier that year, I joked, ‘you’re not looking for house sitters while you’re gone are you?

That was that!

She said Yes, I called my partner who is an action taker like none other and by the time I returned home on the Sunday afternoon all of our worldly possessions were for sale on Gumtree.

By the following weekend, we were sitting on a balcony overlooking the beautiful blue Mediterranean Sea, not a cloud in the sky, glass of wine in hand!

Since that day we have visited and lived in over 30 different countries and have plans to experience many more, however, it’s not all chocolate and roses, especially with a child.

We’ve had our fair few challenges along the way, have learned a lot and have made plenty of mistakes, however, it’s quite possibly been the most interesting, eye-opening and mind-broadening 10 years I’ve ever had – particularly seeing my hubby in a pair of cut off women stockings acting as a pair of knick knack paddy whacks in a massage parlor!.

I’ll get to that in a bit…
 

Here’s some of the biggies;

1. Burn the Boats!

Although I had been overseas plenty of times in my life heading to Spain & The Canary Islands regularly on childhood holidays, heading off to the Greek Islands on girl trips in my 20’s etc. This was the first time I had ever done anything which seemed at the time so wildly crazy!

I had a daughter! I had a mortgage, I had responsibilities, right?

Sell up everything & just go was something out of my wildest dreams & yet at the time it just felt like the right thing to do.

I didn’t have time to get nervous or scared we just did it!

What followed was an unbelievable journey of recording videos on the beach, building a business from a balcony with the most amazing view, traveling through Thailand for the first time on route to Australia & within 9 months my first six-figure launch.

This is what I mean by burning the boats. I had rented my house out, sold everything I owned, said goodbye to family & friends and if we wanted to keep living the life we had to find a way to make money.

So I went on to launch a six-figure business that I did within the year and if you watch episode 88 of my MIHM vids on youtube, I go through exactly what I did to make that happen.

But in brief, I worked my pants off to build an audience and launch a membership site.

When I started I knew nothing about running an online business.

I went from a total internet moron to $117,000 in 9 months. Believe me when I say if I can do it, you can! 😁
 

2. No need to be a millionaire

Very quickly we started to spend quite a lot of time in Thailand.

The weather was amazing, the food out of this world, the people super friendly and the best part it was cheap!

Cheap cheap cheap! You can get decent apartments and small houses for less than a couple of hundred bucks a month, a meal, with beer for two of us, would be less than a fiver. We weren’t paying car payments, gym payments, internet, phone contracts, electricity, water, etc.

All the stuff that mounts up at home, you don’t have when you’re traveling.

You buy a cheap Sim at the airport, bills & wifi etc are all wrapped up in your accommodation and you exercise by swimming in the sea and walking about exploring the country!

You just don’t have the same kind of expenditure.

Stupidly as I record this we have allowed ourselves to get trapped into the expat lifestyle and therefore our expenses have exploded, but not for much longer. We are going to get on the road again. I’ll save that story for another podcast.
 

3. Batch Content

One of the challenges though is that it can be very challenging to focus and run your business on the go.

Firstly there’s so much to see, you want to be out and about exploring most of the time. Secondly, it can be super disruptive if you’re not used to it, to be traveling and then to try and refocus on a task.

Nowadays, I can write wherever I am, make videos wherever I am, talk to my team wherever I am.

But even now, especially if we cross time zones, it can be quite a challenge to keep up the momentum.

I tend to do stuff in batches to make sure I’m prepared and have content ready to go if it takes me a few days to readjust.
 

4. Connect, connect, connect!

Another challenge is it can get quite lonely. Travel by its very nature is very transient and you’ll meet people who are also traveling or on holidays etc, as they’re or you’re passing through.

This is what I love about social media and the online world.

You can connect with so many people and alleviate any loneliness you may feel.

My recommendation is to get on Skype and actually face to face talk to people. Create a small networking group or have an accountability partner, but don’t try to do everything yourself, in your own little bubble behind your computer.

It will burn you out and lead to depression.

I’ve been there and done it.
 

5. The confidence code

It undoubtedly increases your confidence and stretches your comfort zone without you even realizing it!

Like the time I went backpacking across India with my Sister, or up in a hot air balloon in Myanmar, or my first time in China when I realized they didn’t allow google.

All these little experiences add up to you becoming more worldly-wise, more practical, more problem solving, more independent, braver and more confident which bleeds into the rest of your life.

You’ll find yourself doing things you never thought you would.

Right now you might be worried about making a video, or releasing a new blog post, or confessing to your husband about that small dent in the car, etc. Go traveling and those kinds of things will be the least of your worries.

In fact after a few years traveling…
 

6. Make a Difference

After a beautiful bike ride through a small Cambodian village where I had been surrounded by kids all desperate to be in a picture with the strange white woman, we arrived at a large community of wooden huts on stilts.

Men & kids as naked as the day they were born were jumping in and out of boats, dragging fishing nets and looking both playful & industrious at the same time.

I turned to my guide and asked him what people here strived for.

His answer was simple – to survive he said.

There’s no time for personal development or finding oneself, or building a lifestyle business or exploring their creativity.

They simply need to eat.

And these people would give you their last bowl of rice if they felt you needed it more than they.

After a few countries of experiencing this most basic human need, you begin to realize how abundant the West is and how because of various reasons (most corrupt) that I won’t go into on this podcast, how huge the gap truly is between those who have and those who have not.

And without a doubt, it gives you reasons bigger than yourself for wanting to create the lifestyle you strive for. To put yourself in a position where perhaps you can have a greater impact on the world as a whole.

It gives far greater meaning to the words ‘make a difference’ and ‘give back’. And don’t ever think that you cannot have an impact.

Each and every one of us simply by experiencing and sharing their stories begin to have an impact, and if we can do more. If we want to do more then all the power to you my friend!
 

7. 15 Minutes of Fame

While on the Great Wall of China a couple of years back, I was heading up to one of the watch towers when a very recognizable face and his entourage walked past me.

I shouted down to my sister – ‘Natalie! It’s Mark Zuckerburg!

Really‘ she shouted back, ‘I thought it was Chris Martin.

Mark Z turned and laughed and carried on walking up the steps.

At the time Periscope was all the rage and so I flicked my vid camera on and attempted to chase him up the steps.

Hasten to add he’s a lot younger and fitter than I am so although I was able to have a quick convo with a couple of his team and get quite a good close up side shot of him, I was unable to actually greet him.

But hey! Claim to fame we were on the wall together and I had the most number of people watching my Periscope ever!
 

8. It’s complicated

You need to be aware that life does become a little more complicated.

Things like bank accounts, taxes, medical care, phone contracts, all that kind of stuff.

If you’re traveling full time, you’re now not essentially a resident of your own country.

Your local doctor’s surgery may not like that. If your credit card gets hacked, your new one will be sent to an address in your home country. Sometimes you need a home country number to access apps on your phone. You may now be classed as a digital nomad etc etc etc.

Now don’t let this stop you going, just figure it all out on the road as we did, but you just need to be aware and look into this stuff.

My biggest recommendation would be to get travel insurance from the getgo. Everything else you can resolve as you go.

Some good resources are;

NomadicMatt.com
The Nomad Capitalist.com
WorldTravelFamily.com
 

9. Caught in a Trap

It’s very easy, as we did, to fall into the expat trap.

You’re traveling, you get a bit tired of all the travel. You find a nice place, you settle for a while.

A while becomes 6 months. 6 months becomes 2 years. 2 years becomes 5 or more.

All of a sudden you’re living in a bigger home, you have more stuff, you have a car, you’re going to local gym, you need to pay bills, and one day you look up and realize you’re living the same life you were at home just in a different country, miles & miles away from all your family & friends.

Now there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you’re actually looking for long term.

But if your goal was and is to travel and one day you look up and realize you’ve stopped then get up my friend and keep going!

This is precisely where we find ourselves as I record this.

Life got so easy. Things just fell into place.

Until I just stopped and looked around and realized there was so much more of the world I had yet to conquer!

More about our future travel plans with a teenager by the way, in another episode. But the reason for including this as a lesson is that it’s easy for this to happen without you even being fully aware of it.

You have to be self-aware enough to wake up and ask yourself, is this what I really wanted?
 

10. Stretches the Mind, Irrevocably

I have changed.

I’m a totally different person now to the person I was 10 years ago. Well, not totally different…

But, I see the world differently now.

Travel expands your mind. The small daily struggles that you get consumed by in normal society become less important.

As I started to say in point 6, the culture in the West is so abundant, that we have in my humble opinion far too much time to dwell on why we are or aren’t happy.

And when you experience some of the horrors of what’s happening or has happened in the world around you;

  • The killing fields in Cambodia
  • The peace memorial in Hiroshima
  • The war museum in Ho Chi Minh City
  • The slums in India
  • The migrant worker camps in Thailand
  • The rates of infanticide & female subjugation in India & China which can be experienced first hand just visiting these countries.

You start to question what’s really important.

And for me, that’s manifested itself as the realization every single day of how incredibly lucky I am.

How lucky I was to be born into a country of freedom and opportunity.

And that knowledge alone makes me a far happier person.
 

Summary

I’m sure there are many more lessons I could share with you, but these are my big 10.

Next week I’m going to share the 10 biggest lessons from building and running a lifestyle business while traveling, so listen out for that one!

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback.

Let me know which lesson resonated with you the most.

The best place to come and have a chat with me is in my facebook group. Just search for ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ on FB and come and join the fun!

In the meantime, Live Life on Purpose and of course as always Make It Happen.

Thanks for listening, speak again next week.

Jo :)
 
 

What Starting a Lifestyle Business and Getting Married Have in Common

What Starting a Lifestyle Business and Getting Married Have in Common

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

MIHM 82 – 4 Ways to Start Your Lifestyle Business

Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group
 

Read Here

So last week a good friend and member of the YLB community contacted me with a conundrum.

He has a full time job and needs to replace his income within the next 3 years or so. He’s been working on 2 or 3 online business ideas but is unsure which one to pursue.

Should he do the one he has some experience with and kind of got started a while ago but was thwarted by platform updates. (I’ve been there many times, hence why I don’t publish social media courses anymore!)

Should he go with a dream of his he’s had for a while or should he go with a business he’s already invested into quite heavily with his partner, but is mainly his partners dream.

Hmmm, decision, decisions.

But you know, its decisions like this that hold us back from getting out there and living the life we dream about, so in todays episode I’m going to talk about why starting a lifestyle business is a lot like getting married and how this can help you finally make that all important decision.

The greatest challenge we have today is not lack of opportunity but rather too much!

There are so many choices now of paths we could take to build a lifestyle business or side hustle.

In all seriousness sometimes I feel so lucky to have been born into a time with so much opportunity, and I’m always preaching abundance to my daughter, but unfortunately it’s also had an adverse affect.

The sheer amount of abundance available to us now in the West has led to indecision, procrastination, and in more severe cases overwhelm and depression.

But I am not a counsellor so I will simply focus on the amount of opportunity available to us and how we can make the kind of decision which sets us on the road to building a lifestyle business we can run from anywhere in the world, which is my speciality.

So if you’re listening to this thinking really Jo? Opportunity? What is it, where is it?

Firstly listen to MIHM Episode 82 – My 4 ways to build a business while traveling and then google – ’side hustles’, you will see hundreds and hundreds of ways you can earn enough money to give up your day job.

The challenge is which one is for you?

One of the reasons we have such a hard time making these decisions is a good old thing called FOMO.

You know that feeling you get when your family won’t let you in on the inside joke!?

Fear of missing out.

We fear that if we pick one avenue, then we may miss out on the opportunity of another avenue which may be a better choice.

We do this so much that we end up simply researching and learning about all the avenues without actually taking action on any of them.

All of a sudden a few years have passed and we’re no closer to where we truly want to get to.

We start to say things like, I don’t know what my passion is, or I’m not sure what my calling is or I don’t know what my purpose is.

And the simple thing is not everyone has a clear cut passion or purpose.

In fact I believe that passion comes from passion. It’s not just something that’s sitting there waiting to be found.

For example, I live in an environment where everyone exercises. Seriously you would not believe the amount of people who are constantly engaged in triathlons, iron mans, marathons, mountain trails etc. You name it they’re all doing it and it’s a classic contradiction of the theory you are who you hang out with.

Because no matter how much I hang out with them I do not look like an athlete and my body is definitely not built for triathlons!

But I digress.

The fact is at the beginning of this school term, I had a choice to go swimming 3 times a week, do bootcamp or walk round the local dam with a friend.

If I do swimming I get a fabulous all round workout with no heavy impact on my aging knees. If I do bootcamp, I work on strengthening my muscles and it’s more social. If I go walking it’s also a great catch up with a great friend.

So you see there is no clear winner!

And this is the conundrum.

When assessing what business you’d like to start or what niche you’d like to go into, unless one absolutely jumps out at you and says ‘pick me, pick me’ and you just know that’s the right way to go, how do you decide?

Well baton the hatches my friend because I’m going to tell you, it’s extremely technical and not could take a moment or two for you to truly understand and comprehend so are you ready?

1. Gather a list of your favorite options
2. Open your phone and go to your timer feature
3. Set the timer for 60 seconds
4. Click start
5. Recite ‘eeny, meeny, miny moe for 60 seconds
6. When the alarm goes off, the one your finger is on is your choice.

You may think I’m being flippant, but seriously any decision is better than no decision.

What is holding you back is not the amount of opportunities, the lack of opportunity, whether you have or haven’t found your passion or purpose.

What is holding you back is your indecision.

If you cannot make a decision based on logic alone, then flipping a coin is your next best option.

And guess what?

By doing rather than thinking or learning, you will probably quite quickly discover whether you have made the right decision or not.

It could literally happen with days that you decide, you know what this isn’t for me.

You may find yourself doing something you really don’t like or feel uncomfortable with, and if that’s the case, act quickly and about turn and try something else.

Trust your instincts.

I have just done this myself.

I have started two new projects, one of which I love and can’t wait to get out of bed to start.

The other within a day I realized this was not for me and so I will use it as an experiment and move on pretty damn quick.

But you only discover this by doing. Otherwise you may romanticize about what it could be only to find it’s not for you.

It might take a bit longer to discover its not for you, you may have invested some money or time, but still you will have learned an immense amount along the way and will be able to take those new found skills into something else.

On the flip side of the coin, you could start doing something and find you absolutely love it and Boom! There’s that passion you’ve been searching for.

So here’s why starting a business is like starting a solid relationship that you have high hopes for.

Once you have decided what business you are going to pursue, you need to commit wholeheartedly.

You cannot stray for a minimum of 12 – 18 months. You have to give the model and yourself time to make it work.

Your enemy is distraction. Other business models, other people talking of their success with other business models.

Do whatever you need to do to limit your distractions.

I have recently decided I want to become an author. It is undoubtedly where my passions lie.

I have unsubscribed from anything that does not aid me in my plight to achieve that goal.

I do not want to learn how to build video courses. I do not want to learn how to run a software business, I do not want to learn how to become a YouTube influencer.

I want to learn how to write better, how to build an audience more rapidly, how to increase visitors to my blog, how to improve my social media impact to help build my audience who will hopefully buy my books.

I have honed my inbox, my notifications, my podcasts etc to everyone and everything that can help me to achieve my main goal.

So when do you know whether it will work or when to quit?

Years ago, I took a job as an Assistant Entertainments Manager at a caravan park in Bristol UK.

Sounds grand, but basically I was a glorified kids entertainer, singer & DJ.

When I first arrived it was Winter and miserable. The caravan park was empty bar me and my boss who lived in a beautiful static motor home while I couldn’t swing a cat in mine and had to blow dry cling film to my windows to keep the wind out.

It was dark, dreary and lonely and with respect my boss was an arsehole and spoke to me like shit.

I remember calling my Dad, crying down the phone and telling him I wanted to come home.

He told me, give it 6 months Jo. If you hate it in 6 months, you can come home then. But you have to give opportunities, no matter how tough they may be, a fair crack of the whip.

He was right and as summer came round, the park got busy, I made new friends and the whole season was a ton of fun.

The moral of the story is course is that you have to give something your all.

You can’t go into a new marriage with one foot out the door eyeing up other opportunities.

You have to commit, passionately and give it 100% until either you realize you absolutely, categorically cannot stand doing it another day or you have exhausted every possible avenue to make it successful but it’s just clearly not that into you!

Please always remember though, if someone has done it before you, it can be done.

Don’t liken that sentence to a relationship please or it sounds a bit dodgy.

Every day you need to remind yourself why you’re doing it, what your goals are and what you want to achieve and by when. Set small milestones, give yourself some quick wins and focus, focus, focus.

If you stick with it and put 100% into it, you will succeed.

I would love to hear from you! Let me know what decisions are holding you back.

The best place to come and have a chat with me is in my facebook group. Just search for ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ on FB and come and join the fun!

In the meantime, Live Life on Purpose and of course as always Make It Happen.

Thanks for listening, speak again next week.

Jo :)

My Top 10 Life Changing Books for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs – MIHM113

My Top 10 Life Changing Books for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs – MIHM113

Listen Here

Subscribe & listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Sticher or your platform of choice. Click Here to access all links.

Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Jen Sincero
Brendon Burchard
Jesse Itzler
David Goggins
Steven Pressfield
Ryan Holiday
Yuval Noah Harari
The One Thing
Mark Manson
Kiva – Micro Angels Lending Team
Half The Sky
Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group
 

Read Here

In today’s episode I thought it would be fun to give a summary of the 10 top books that have had a huge impact on my life this year and that I believe are an awesome read if you’re wanting to expand your knowledge, build your business, grow your confidence and become an awesome action taker!

To quote one of the authors ‘if you want to walk around so lit up that you shoot sunbeams out of yer eyeballs‘, then keep listening my friend!
 

1. You Are a Badass – Jen Sincero

From a ‘get out there and make things happen’ perspective this is one of my favorite books.

Written in a down to earth and super humorous manner, Jen has really helped me to light a fire under my backside and I now read a passage from her book and my own 100 day manifesto every single morning.

Here’s the passage I read;

Give yourself the permission and the means (yes, this includes the money), to be who you are REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYBODY ELSE THINKS OR BELIEVES IS POSSIBLE. Do not deny yourself the life you want to live because you’re worried you’re not good enough or that you’ll be judged or that it’s too risky, because who does that benefit? No one, that’s who. When you live your life doing the things that turn you on, that you’re good at, that bring you joy, that make you shove stuff in people’s faces and scream, ‘check this out!!!’, you walk around so lit up that you shoot sunbeams out of yer eyeballs. Which automatically lights up the world around you. Which is precisely why you are here: to shine your big ass ball of fire onto this world of ours. A world that literally depends on light to survive.

Oh my gosh that sets me on fire!

Plus I’m currently doing a 100 day challenge at the moment, in that I have set myself 3 very specific goals to achieve in 100 days.

In one of Jen’s chapters she encourages you to write a manifesto which is essentially your goals and vision of having already achieved those goals. It’s very similar to what I have taught before in my ‘Power of Focus’ video course I used to give away where you create a detailed vision of your perfect day.

Except this time I wrote a vision of being at the end of 100 days and having achieved my goals. So I sit and read that each morning also to remind myself how I truly want to feel!

I tell you this has had a huge impact on my productivity and I’m getting more done now than I have in years.

So if you can read the book.

If you can’t go find her online.

Lastly decide on a time in the future and write your manifesto!

Jen Sincero – https://jensincero.com/
 

2. High Performance Habits – Brendon Burchard

I’ve had this book on my kindle for a while, but decided this summer to get down and read it.

It’s pretty easy to read and split into two main sections, Personal Habits & Social Habits, six habits, 3 in each section and then practices within each habit.

The six habits included are;

Seek Clarity – Be super clear about who you want to be and why you’re doing what you’re doing. What skills do you need to achieve your goals, how can you make a difference, what do you want to feel, is what you’re doing personally meaningful.

Generate Energy – Optimize your health, be intentional about the energy you’re bringing to your life and some specific techniques on releasing tension and setting intention.

Raise Necessity – Really affirm your why for doing things by verbalizing so it becomes real and important, surround yourself with the right people, and know who needs you on your ‘A’ game.

Increase Productivity – Figure out the 20% of your workload or project that really matters and work on that. Focus and say No to everything that is not a priority. Chart the five major moves you need to take to make your goal happen and then treat each move as a project, then work out the five major skills you need to execute your moves and become insanely good at those. (I would say this was the section I got the most out of.)

Develop Influence – This was about challenging people to think in a certain way, helping them to grow and challenge themselves and being a great role model. As far as I’m concerned the greatest influencers act before they talk. It’s something I aspire to myself!

Demonstrate Courage – Accept that there will be struggle and don’t complain about it. Embrace the challenge. Live your own truth and don’t be afraid to share your goals and dreams. Find something bigger than yourself to focus on which will help to drive you forward.

The lessons that clearly had the biggest impact on me because they’re what I can remember from the book were firstly the whole five major moves.

Once you’ve set a clear goal what are the five major moves you need to take to achieve it.

So, for example, one of my goals in my 100 Day Challenge is to write a book. It’s actually a book for my daughter, a ‘Mums advice’ to her daughter if you will.

My goal is simply to write it. Not to publish, promote etc. Just to get it written as it’s been sitting on my to do list for the last couple of years.

So my five major moves are to;

  • Create a rough outline – tick
  • Breakdown the chapters into subheads – tick
  • Create bullet points of what I want to write about under each subhead – tick
  • Write 5,000 words every 10 days which gets me to 50,000 words in 100 days which is about how long I want it to be – 10,000 words completed so far by the way.
  • Take some time out at the end of the challenge and then read through chapter by chapter, amending and tightening up.

When I get to the publishing bit, I’ll figure out my five major moves to publish & promote (if in fact I am going to do as it’s really a book for just my daughter but if it helps other Mum’s and daughters then I may well launch it out into the public realm.)

Secondly the whole get insanely good at what you do.

I personally want to become a full time writer. I love it. And so I will be focusing over the coming years on reading the kind of literature which helps to improve my writing skills and of course writing itself! ‘The knowledge comes from the theory based learning side, the skill comes from practice!’ That’s a quote by me!

Lastly, focus on something bigger than yourself to help drive you forward.

I’m currently launching a new ecommerce brand. My focus is on a), teaching my community how to launch and build their own business and b), I see the brand as becoming an outlet for my desires to get involved in the world of micro lending and helping female entrepreneurs in developing countries.

So if you can read the book.

If you can’t go find him online.

Lastly, get super clear with your goals, find something bigger to focus on that just your own ends and chart out your next five major moves & the skills you need to get you there!

Brendon Burchard – https://brendon.com/
 

3. Living With a Seal – Jesse Itzler

I loved this book! I only read it because my hubby to be had read it before me and recommended it as a good read. Plus as he was reading it he was giggling so that’s always a good sign!

Jesse Itzler is the husband of Sara Blakely the billionaire founder of Spanx. He is successful in his own right and co founded a private jet company which was later bought out by Warren Buffets company Berkshire Hathaway. He now co-owns the Atlanta Hawks, is an author and a keynote speaker.

His story is about how on one of his ultra marathons he encountered an navy seal who he later contracted for a month to come and live in his house and train him to become super fit.

It’s a fab story, very funny and highly motivating although you wouldn’t catch me jumping through an ice hole in a frozen over river for love nor money.

But the book led me to look up the seal in question who’s name is David Goggins. (In the book he’s simply referred to as ’Seal’).

Find more about Jesse Itzler here – https://jesseitzler.com/
 

4. Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins

So David Goggins who is now a retired navy seal, the world record holder for the most pull ups in 24 hours, an ultra marathoner and a keynote speaker has written his own book called ‘Can’t Hurt Me’.

This was a tougher read as he recalled the trauma of his childhood and the story of how against so many odds became a navy seal despite going through hell week three times!

His tales of how he overcame challenge after challenge are nothing less than incredibly inspirational and it made me realize just how weak minded we can be when faced with a challenge.

And I’m not talking about bleeding blisters and knackered legs at mile 65 of 100 and continuing to the end no matter the pain.

For me personally I’m talking about giving in to the pizza when the scales haven’t given me the result I thought I deserved or not following through on learning Thai because the language is too hard, or not sitting down to write my book for fear of it being rubbish!

These things really aren’t challenges at all, but as David says we have to callous the mind. We have to do stuff even when we really don’t feel like doing it as it’s that which strengthens our resolve.

The book was hugely inspiring but what’s even more impactful is I now follow him in Instagram where he posts 1 minute videos regularly and whenever I feel my brain is weak, I go and watch one of his videos.

Try it, it works!

David Goggins Instagram Account – https://www.instagram.com/davidgoggins/
 

5. The War of Art – Steven Pressfield – Books 1 & 2

As a wannabe author, Steven Pressfield would be a natural choice. As at the age of 76 he’s written 17 books (the first published when he was 52, some 27 years after he started writing).

9 fiction
5 are educational books on writing
3 are historical non fiction books

He’s also written several Hollywood screenplays for films starring names such as Anthony Hopkins, Steven Segal, Emilio Estevez and in 2000 his first novel ’The Legend of Bagger Vance’ was made into a movie starring Will Smith & Matt Damon.

He’s quite the character and I first saw him on an interview with Marie Forleo.

He captured me with his talk about ‘resistance’, the invisible force which stops all of us from doing what we really want to on a regular basis.

In his own words – ‘the enemy—what I call Resistance with a capital “R,” i.e. fear, self-doubt, procrastination, perfectionism, all the forms of self-sabotage that stop us from doing our work and realizing our dreams.
So I picked up ’The War of Art’, then read ’Turning Pro’ and ’Nobody Wants to Read Your S**t’.

All books are easy quick reads and written more like a collection of blog posts put into a book than a book per say.

I really enjoyed what he called ‘Book One’ & ‘Book Two’ in ’The War of Art’. Book One is all about resistance and how it stops us and Book Two is all about becoming a professional and how to overcome it. Book Three I’ll be honest goes over my head a bit.

It’s all about angels & muses and the authentic self and just got a bit woo woo for my tastes. But it didn’t stop me going on to read two more of his books!

Check him out at – https://stevenpressfield.com
 

6. The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

My first audio book, I really enjoyed listening to this book as I walked along the beach near my Mums house while visiting the UK.

A huge advocate for stoicism Ryan takes us on a journey through events & stories about people like Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison, Margaret Thatcher, Teddy Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Eisenhower & many more.

His goal with the book was to demonstrate not only how we can overcome obstacles but become stronger because of them.

The very definition of stoicism is ‘the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell you which part of the book really stood out for me as it would seem I retain more from reading rather than listening, but I do remember thinking that this was the intellectual person’s self help book.

Rather than the rambunctious ‘You are in charge of your life’, ’Nothing can hurt you if you don’t let it’, ‘Change your story, change your life’ cries from the popular self-help gurus, this was a deeper, more demonstrable exploration of how we can control our perceptions, actions and will in order to better control our life.

I have no doubt the messages within left more subconscious impressions which have affected my behaviors since.

Find Ryan Holiday here – https://ryanholiday.net/

So staying with the intellectual;
 

7. Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

Recommended on a Tim Feriss’ podcast. I loved this book.

It took me a while to get through it as I’m not quite as well read as Tim Ferris or some of his guests.

In fact, it made me giggle as it was a conversation between Tim & his friend and guest Naval Ravikant who is like a super intellectual, entrepreneur and angel investor, and Naval said something about Sapiens and said ‘it’s an easy read’.

So I bought the book and from my standpoint, it was anything but easy!

But it was insanely interesting.

The book basically walks through the history of humankind from the beginning to where we are now.

Covering the the Cognitive Revolution (70,000 years ago), the Agricultural Revolution (10,000 years ago), and the Scientific Revolution (500 years ago), the author explored prehistoric humans, where and when humans evolved, neanderthals, the evolution of Home Sapiens (meaning – wise man) and how via each revolution we and the world changed and evolved.

It made me realize that the world we live in today is really just an idea, a thought, a cog in the wheel of evolution.

Capitalism and nationalism that so many fight & die for are no more than a few decades old and money is simply an evolutionary concept. It doesn’t really exist. Trade is real, money isn’t.

He covers religion, gender, war, the economy, the future. It’s jam-packed with so many out of the box ideas, you can’t possibly read it and not have your eyes opened and your thoughts broadened.

It’s a book you can’t go back from if you get my meaning.

Find out more about Yuval here – https://www.ynharari.com/
 

8. The One Thing – Gary Keller

Ok so back to a good old easy to read productivity book, the one thing is now not only a book, but a podcast and a movement!

Advocating the benefits of focus, the one thing teaches exactly what it says on the cover. How to hone in and focus on your ‘one thing’.

It’s core idea being to ask yourself the question – ‘What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

I have tried endlessly to focus on only one thing at a time, but at my age time is passing too fast to make this a total reality.

However, I also know from experience I get nowhere fast trying to focus on too many things.

So in my 100 Day Challenge I have 3 main goals I’m working on, attempting to put everything else on hold and saving for my next 100 days.

So far so good, I’ll let you know in 100 days.

If you don’t have time to read the book, check out the podcast;

The One Thing – https://www.the1thing.com/
 

9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k – Mark Manson

I really like Mark Manson’s style of writing.

He has a great blog which I refer too regularly and has just released a new book – ‘Everything is F***ed – A book about hope’.

As the title of the book suggests, he’s pretty down to earth and unafraid of expressing his opinion and whilst I don’t always agree with everything he says, I love how open and honest he is.

In fact, I sometimes read a post of his just before I’m about to start writing to get some grammatical inspiration.

The book as the name suggests is about getting comfortable with being different, or expressing different opinions or following your own path rather than that of the crowd.

It’s actually not truly about not caring, it’s far more about being precise and calculated in what you do care about and ensuring you only care about that which is important to you and what could actually impact your life positively.

He also talks quite a lot about identity and how you identify yourself. If you believe deep down that you are or are not something then you will take the actions necessary to prove that.

For example, if you identify with being a great cook, you will do everything in your power to be a great cook and god forbid you to serve up a horror of a meal.

However if something threatens your identity you’re more likely to avoid it, for example, if you’ve been overweight for most of your adult life and you subconsciously identify with someone who is constantly losing weight, the chances are you will avoid taking the actions necessary to lose that weight once and for all.

For real! I can see that.

It’s a fairly quick and easy read with lots to make you think, so I highly recommend giving it a go.

Find more on Mark Manson here – https://markmanson.net/
 

10. Half The Sky – Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

Quite simply this book changed my life.

Written by two New York Times journalists & Pulitzer Prize winners, this is a collection of stories about women in Africa, Cambodia, South America and other war torn, poverty stricken and developing countries.

Interviewing the women themselves, NGO’s, charitable organizations, the writers explored the horrors that the women in these countries are facing today.

Illegal and underage prostitution, human trafficking, genital mutilation, arranged marriages, legalized rape, infanticide, murder. It is horrifying.

However, they also shone a light on the organizations who are trying to effect change, the people on the ground, the charities and in particular the programs which impacted me the most, the micro lending institutions.

Founded by a chap called Muhammad Yunus back in 1976 in Bangladesh, the Grameen Bank is a microfinance organisation and community development bank.

Microfinance is basically a way of funding people in impoverished areas with no collateral or banking facilities and giving them the startup monies they need to start a small business which transforms the lives of themselves, their children & their communities.

97% of the borrowers are women.

The stories are nothing short of inspiring.

The lady in Pakistan being beaten by her husband and Mother in Law and Brother in Law who borrowed $75 to start making and selling shawls at the local market and who now employs her entire village including her deadbeat husband. No-one touches her anymore!

The story about the woman in Cambodia, trafficked as a young girl into illegal prostitution and drug addiction who now runs a home for victims of the same who she goes out and saves via local police raids.

The lady who was tied to a tree in the DRC and gang-raped repeatedly for 2 weeks until she escaped to a refugee camp in Uganda, where she started a small business selling charcoal and now heads up a group of women she called the ‘Angels’ who out of their profits fund other female startups in the camp.

My research led me to an organization called Kiva.org founded in 2005 who work with NGO’s in affected countries to find people who need loans and then through their website crowdfund those loans via people like yours truly in increments in $25 or more.

Last year I lent out $200 to a variety of projects and am sitting on repayments of $227 to re-lend out at the moment.

That’s what I love about micro loans. You lend the money, it gets repaid and you loan it again to someone else. So you don’t help one or hundreds you potentially help thousands as your money gets loaned over and over again effecting dramatic changes across the globe!

To become a member of my lending team, click here – https://www.kiva.org/team/microangels

To get your copy of Half the Sky, click here – https://www.amazon.com/Half-Sky-Oppression-Opportunity-Worldwide/dp/0307387097
 

Summary

So there you have it. The Top 10 Books that have impacted my life greatly over the last year.

Right now I’m reading ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’ Chris Guillebeau and I have the distinct feeling he may make my next Top 10!

The book is making me seriously think about my own life and the quests I would like to undertake. If only I had more hours in my day and more years in my life!!!

I do hope you’ve found this list interesting and thought provoking.

If you have read or do read any of the books above, Id love to hear your thoughts. Equally if you have any books you absolutely recommend do please let me know!

The best place to come and have a chat with me is in my facebook group. Just search for ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ on FB and come and join the fun!

In the meantime, Live Life on Purpose and of course as always Make It Happen.

Thanks for listening, speak again next week.

Jo :)

Free Download

Like Me On Facebook

Follow Me on Instagram

Subscribe on YouTube

Ask Jo

Archives