You know that moment when you’re asking yourself if you have in fact made the right decision.
Whether you have what it takes to see it through.
That moment when deep inside you’re sure this is what you want to do but you wonder why it feels so hard, so stressful, so scary, so beyond your capability…
That moment, according to Steven Pressfield author of ’The War of Art’ is called resistance.
We all get it.
It comes with such force that a large percentage of the population never get past it.
It’s the invisible energy that strips us of our dreams, that causes us to spend our lives half lived, never reaching our true potential, never becoming who we really want or wanted to be.
It takes its form in doubt, in fear, in the little voice that says ‘I can’t’ and in the eyes of the limiting beliefs of our family & friends who lovingly confirm our darkest thoughts.
Isn’t it a shame, that it holds such power over us.
If only we could get past it, round it, over it, under it, through it.
What’s on the other side??
The only way to know is to act.
To do it anyway, even if you think you can’t.
Because what if you could?
What if you have got what it takes? What if you can do it? What if you are who you thought you were all along!!!
Speak to it out loud and say – ‘Resistance is futile my friend’.
Because I CAN! 🙂
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Hey hey awesome action taker!
I want to ask you a question – ‘What’s on your bucket list?’
Do you even have a bucket list?
In fact what the heck is a bucket list??
The saying actually comes from an English term ‘to kick the bucket’ which is slang for ‘to die’ and it was then made into an international phenomenon with the film ‘The Bucket List’ with Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson. (Brilliant film and highly recommended).
I wrote my first bucket list (not actually knowing that’s what it was at the time), some 20 years ago. It was a huge list of all the things I would love to do in my life and included things like;
- Cruise along the Nile (done in 2009)
- Have a ride in a Hot Air Balloon Ride (Done in 2016 – Bagan – Myanmar)
- Live by the Beach (Very close – but not there yet)
- Swim with Dolphins (Done on multiple occasions, most recent in Philippines with my daughter)
- Learn to fly a helicopter (Took lessons in 2009 but a long way from qualified)
- Watch the Epcot fireworks with the man of my dreams (Done – 2017)
- Host a party on a yacht (maybe my 50th in 4 years!)
- Visit the 7 wonders of the world (Not even sure what counts as 7 wonders anymore as there are so many versions, but the wonders I have seen, have included – The Pyramids, Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, The Great Wall of China, The Colosseum in Rome and so many more amazing sights and experiences. So much more to see!)
- Scuba dive off the Great Barrier Reef (Done 2012)
- Have a flat stomach (Yes when I was about 15! LOL!)
Since then my list has evolved into dreamboards, goal apps, a goal journal etc, but nothing really changes from the fact it’s all simply lists of stuff I’d love to do / experience in my life.
A few years ago after seeing an amazing picture online of Bora Bora, I added that to my bucket list, honestly believing it was a pretty far fetched dream (it was well before I started my online adventure).
Last summer, I’m happy to say, that goal, dream, bucket list item was realized.
Not only that, we sailed around the amazing island on a 46ft Catamaran.
Not only that, the love of my life and my partner for 10 years, proposed to me while there!
You can’t get much better than that right!!!
(Just click on any photo below to see full size in a slideshow)
So how did we manage to find ourselves sailing around Bora Bora on a 46ft Catamaran?
Well, as I’m sure you’re by now aware we live in Phuket and I have to admit we punch way above our weight as far as our friend circle goes!
So we just happen to know a fair few people who own nice boats, houses, islands that kind of thing. :)
Two of our best friends happen to be part of the Sunsail Yacht Ownership program – and one Sunday afternoon after a few beers on the beach we just invited ourselves along on their family holiday in the South Pacific.
Don’t get me wrong, it still wasn’t cheap, but a darn sight cheaper than trying to do it on our own.
So there were in fact 8 of us on the boat, which was a pretty tight squeeze, but thankfully we all got along famously (thanks in part to copious amounts of Hinano) and had a fabulous time.
I have to admit though, neither Rhett nor I are natural born sailors and found the trip over the open ocean from Raitea (where we picked up the boat) to Bora Bora quite challenging;
Once there though we went swimming with eagle rays & black tipped reef sharks, which was amazing, exhilarating and bloody scary all at the same time.
In fact there was a moment where it was just Rhett & I and he had counted 9 circling us. Next thing he saw were my fins frantically kicking me the hell out of there!
Hahaha! We know who he can count on in a dangerous situation!
I was very excited to see a space station fly past the milky way several nights in a row due to the lack of light pollution out there in the pacific (unfortunately my camera couldn’t quite pick that up!)
And a definite highlight was a night at Bloody Mary’s, a famous restaurant on the main island and frequented by many stars before us!
Just my name to add on eh!? 😉
But of course the main wonderful event was Rhett asking me to marry him on the front of the boat as the sun rose over the main island. So romantic!
An amazing trip at a beautiful location which will live in my memory forever.
So the question is….
What’s on Your Bucket List?
Whilst I’m not a huge fan of ‘The Secret’ as I think it promotes the idea that you simply have to close your eyes and visualise what you want and all your dreams will come true. I do believe in the strength of your thoughts and desires in the universe.
It’s amazing how over the years the things I have really focused on and have been passionate about have eventually come to fruition.
-Raising my daughter overseas
-Living in a hot country
-Marrying a gorgeous big Aussie guy
-Traveling the world
-Running my business remotely
I could go on and perhaps I will in another post, but I urge you to write a bucket list if you don’t have one already or go back to an old one and revive it.
Mark the things that are really important to you in different colors or give them deadlines, create a picture board, write it out in priority order, it doesn’t really matter.
Just as long as you look at it often, dream vividly about all the things you’d love to do and in turn direct your focus and attention to doing (operative word) what you need to do to move you closer to your dreams!
It’s amazing how the universe works with you once you really have your mind set on something!
Thanks for reading have an awesome week and Make It Happen!
P.S. If you’d love to visit Bora Bora and are unsure how to go about it, I found some awesome blog posts you might enjoy reading;
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As I write this post I’m sitting in a taxi on the way to the JW Marriott hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
It’s 34 degrees and rain is threatening (it was a very bumpy ride in on the plane).
I’ve done this journey so often now that coming here on my own for a couple of days to renew my Thai visa is as comfortable as slipping into an old (and well loved) pair of shoes.
I know the airport, the taxi route, the city, my favourite place to eat (Johnny Rockers because they sing and dance!), where to get a good pedicure and massage and I wouldn’t hesitate to head down to Petaling Street after dark and do a bit of bargain hunting.
And yet, when I sat gawping at the larger than life Petronas Towers in the film Entrapment back in 1999, as Catherine Zeta Jones looked up at them in awe, Kuala Lumpur seemed like a far away, exotic, distant land and almost unachievable dream.
In fact when I was at school, I had a friend who’s Mum was English and Dad was Malaysian and back then I didn’t even really know what or where Malaysia was. It sounded like it was in another galaxy!
That was my reality back then. The town I lived in, its surrounding areas and the people I mixed with were my world and as far as I could see.
The opportunities I pursued, the goals and dreams I had were all limited by the reality I created for myself.
It’s a state we all live in for so much of our life. What we can see, feel and are comfortable with us what life is. It’s our reality.
Adele has just been named the richest female celebrity in the UK. Do you think that was her reality 10 years ago?
Nick Vujicic (no arms, no legs, no problem) is married with kids. Do you think that was his reality when he was young and looking at all the so called ‘normal’ people.
I’m posting this article on a website which will reach people around the world in seconds. Whose reality was that 30 years ago? Certainly wasn’t mine!
My point is, what we see, feel or are comfortable with is the reality we have created for ourselves. We have to look beyond ourselves to realise there’s a great big world of unending opportunity out there that’s ours for the taking if we want it badly enough.
My reality has continued to grow and change over the years through the people I’ve met, the stories I’ve read, the risks I’ve taken, the uncomfortable moments I’ve put myself through and the constant and never ending desire to find a purpose bigger than myself.
My question to you is, What’s Your Reality? What self imposed limitations have you got stopping you from living your dreams? Who do you need to meet and mix with to expand your view of life?
If someone else has done something you want to do it means it can be done. So what’s stopping you?
Don’t settle. Life’s too short.
Make a commitment today to create your own reality.
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Is it primarily a female thing?
Is it mainly us girls who aren’t keen on promoting ourselves?
I guess some guys will empathize also, but I do think it’s one of the reasons so many women won’t fight for their seat at the table.
I mean think about, who are some of the greatest self promoters in the world?
Trump immediately comes top of mind, followed closely by Hitler and fully encompassed by the Kardashians.
Is it any wonder we feel self promotion is a negative thing! 😂
But if your business, brand, product or service is fronted by you, then you better believe you need to become pretty good at self promotion.
However, you can of course do it in such a way that you love it, your audience loves it and its total win win.
Here’s 10 ways to promote yourself and thoroughly enjoy the process!
1. Focus on your customer
Take the attention away from you and onto your customer by focusing on solving their problems. A business is all about providing a solution to a problem or enhancing someone else’s life in someway, so no matter what business you’re in, even if you’re a public figure, talk to and about your customers rather than yourself!
This way you’re promoting your knowledge, experience and product or service with our overtly promoting it.
2. Know your stuff
The more confident you feel about your knowledge of your business or niche, the more comfortable you’ll be blogging, podcasting, videoing or posting on social media about it.
There’s nothing worse than trying to be something you’re not (especially for a woman) so make sure you know what you’re talking about and can back yourself up.
3. Add immense value, be informative, be knowledgeable
Zig Ziglar once said “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.”
The fastest way to love what you do and to take the focus away from the ego is simply to work every day to add immense value to your potential audience.
If you’re focused daily on how many people ‘like’ ‘follow’ or ‘engage’ with you, you’re going to be consistently disappointed, especially in the early days of building your brand.
Ask yourself every single day, how can I add immense value to my marketplace today? Go out into the websophere with that attitude and the universe will talk back!
4. Engage with your audience
Don’t publish for publishings sake. Be sure to head back to your social media accounts and chat with your growing audience. Always remember you’re never too big too fail!
No matter how popular your brand might get, always be humble and helpful and recognize the audience that put you where you are.
5. Be inclusive
I’ve referenced a webinar I listened to years ago by the lovely Mari Smith so many times now. That’s because it had such a profound affect on me. It was called the ’10 Qualities of Social Media Superstars’.
One of the things she spoke about was being inclusive. These days with the sheer enormity of the internet reaching a global audience, we don’t need to worry about competition anymore. There is more than enough to go round.
Talk about your peers and what they can offer and they will at some point talk about you. What goes around comes around right?
But guess what, even if they don’t, you’ll have gone above and beyond to your community by giving them further solutions to their problems which will come back tenfold on you. Win Win!
Leading on from the above point, a great way to grow your profile, your business and your brand is to collaborate with experts & influencers in your niche.
This of course is easier said than done as they’re being approached left right & center by people who think they can give them a hand up to stardom.
The best advice I can give you is to ‘be so good they can’t ignore you’(Steve Martin said it first). Then give it time.
If you’re putting the work in, growing your audience, providing immense value, standing out from the crowd, all the while being inclusive, doing interviews, attending events etc, collaborations will form naturally.
7. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability
This one is a tough one as deep down inside I think we’re all scared of showing our softer side, but we all have one! Author Brene Brown reckons vulnerability is one of our greatest fears and yet our greatest connector with others.
When I show vulnerability I get scared of being judged, of people thinking less of me etc. When in reality, the opposite is usually true. People relate to you and suddenly feel you too are human just like them.
Be careful though, there is a difference between vulnerability and down right self pity.
Don’t be holding pity parties all over the web, you won’t be thanked for it and it won’t grow your business!
8. Don’t be afraid to say I don’t know
To be honest this one is very similar to point 7, but I read this one somewhere recently (my memory escapes me) and it really resonated with me.
So many people will never say I don’t know for fear of being seen incompetent. But I’ve found if someone says – ‘hmmm, don’t know the answer to that one’ and then goes and finds out, it makes me love them just that little bit more!
9. Don’t talk, act
My other half is a doing machine.
By the time I’ve had an idea and discussed it with him he’s off and running. It’s inspiring to watch if not a little daunting at times.
But there’s nothing more attractive than a person who takes action.
If you want to attract people to your brand, don’t tell them what you are going to do (guilty), don’t announce what’s coming up (guilty), don’t talk, just do it!
10. Believe in yourself
Quite possibly the most important point, you have to believe in yourself and your business.
You are going to hit big brick walls, naysayers, critics, times of complete stasis no matter how hard you work.
The only thing that will keep you moving forward will be the self belief you have in yourself and what you’re doing.
You may have tried doubts about your abilities, you may have brief doubts about your effectiveness. These can be overcome. If however you doubt your intentions or your purpose, these will halt you in your tracks.
So make sure your why as strong as a ox, fuel your mind regularly and surround yourself with people who know you can! 😁
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You will hear me talk a lot this year about content.
My entire goal over the next 12 – 24 months and beyond is to offer as much value as possible via my blog, podcasts, videos & social media accounts.
I’m pretty sure my future is in writing and the bigger my audience, the more people I can impact and hopefully demonstrate how to live the best life possible with ultimate freedom and choice!
But time is against me.
This is not our full time business, our daughter is at a stage where she needs a lot of support, exercise is now a part of my daily life, I travel – a LOT, and it’s challenging to fit it all in!
So here’s my 2 Hour a Day Content and Social Media Strategy in the hope that it helps you if you’re also on a time budget!
1. Core Content
In order to make posting on social media easier I am creating some consistent core content that can be used in different formats on the different outlets.
I wouldn’t say this is an absolute must to start out.
You could just as easily create an account on Instagram or Facebook and focus entirely on putting all your content just on one or both of those platforms and grow a huge audience without having any content anywhere else.
I would even recommend that strategy if you’re just starting out, but I’m trying to reach a broad audience across multiple platforms so to do that having some solid core content at the center of the strategy helps!
So my core content is;
1. Daily Blog (written)
2. Weekly Videos posted on YouTube (also posted on my blog)
3. Podcast 2 – 3 times / week (please note keeping this very simple. If I get time to interview someone I will, but many of the podcasts are just me and can be done while I’m out on a walk, killing two birds with one stone! – also posted on my blog)
My Daily Blogs take me 20 – 30 mins to write, sometimes a bit longer if it’s a bit of a meaty subject, but generally not too long, plus I can write them when I’m waiting for my daughter to come out from school, while I’m waiting at the dentist, while we’re on a journey somewhere etc.
My weekly videos, I tend to record 3 or 4 at a time on a Friday morning and because we have building works going on next door, I have precisely 1 hour maximum to do this!
My podcasts are generally voice renditions of my Daily Blogs so take maybe 5 – 10 mins per podcast. Easy peasy.
On average – 1 hour a day to create my core content
2. Social Media
I upload my weekly Make It Happen Monday video and that’s about it! One of these days I will spend some time working out YouTube SEO etc, but for now, I’ll just keep uploading the videos 🙂
I will go on and post some of my Daily Blogs in their entirety. A simple copy & paste job, takes less than a minute.
I add my Make It Happen Monday video & description every Monday
I have a lady in the Philippines who every week schedules – 1 – 2 quote images, a video segment, perhaps an old MIHM episode etc. She works about 2 hours a week for me (around $10 / week)
Ok so Instagram is new to me and I’m just starting to get my head around how it all works.
I was researching other accounts recently and made a note of the type of content that might interest my potential audience;
In depth interesting information about building a lifestyle business
Book Covers of books I’ve read
People who inspire me
Great travel pics
So for now, I’ve decided to post twice a day, once being a travel image, the second being something from above – a quote, or business tip etc.
I also upload my MIHM episode to IGTV which highlights a clip on my feed and I’m about to start playing with stories this week, the goal being to get to posting one every couple of days (although when I’m traveling might be one a day!)
On average about 1 hour a day posting on social media.
So that’s the strategy I will be following over the coming months.
Some content cross fed between blog & platforms, some completely stand alone.
I think the days of using social media as a conduit to your website are gone. Social media now stands on it’s own and you have to get your head around who the audience is on each platform and talk to them accordingly.
If the above sounds too overwhelming, I urge you to pick one platform and focus all your energy & attention there. The chances are you’ll have more success and bigger growth by channeling all your energy into just one social media platform.
I have to be honest even though I’m posting on YT, FB & Insta, my attention right now is on Instagram.
That’s where the bulk of my energy is going.
I hope that helps!
Happy Audience Building!
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Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could just wake up in the morning and jump in front of the video camera or click record on a podcast or write a 1000 word blog post almost without thinking about it?
Wouldn’t it be fabulous if our creative juices were just flowing 24/7 and we never suffered from blank page syndrome or insecurity in front of the camera.
How is it that these social media influencers seem to be able to pump out so much great content all the time with seemingly little effort??
Watch todays episode to find out my strategy for creating a consistent stream of content without having to spend hours every day trying of think of the next valuable thing to say.
I hope this helps!
P.S. As I was recording I actually came up with 6 steps, but I didn’t want to scare you off!!!
Watch Episode 94 Here
Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions. I’m here to help!
Also, please share with your friends if you think this Make It Happen Monday episode has been useful and of course have an amazing week, live life on purpose and Make It Happen.
Thanks for watching!
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So here we are at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo.
A bit of an upmarket start to the entire trip which is nice.
6 days here and then onward to a B&B in the jungle at Sepilok, followed by another B&B close to where we’ll head out diving around the Sipadan Islands. (Hoping to catch a glimpse of a hammerhead or two!)
Unfortunately we are a bit of a way out from the centre of Kota Kinabalu, where all the mosques, markets & monuments are, but am sure we’ll venture into town for a day of exploration after a couple of days of enjoying the very pleasant surroundings here!
I don’t know about you, but I can only do a couple of days laying about not doing much before I get very itchy feet and need to get about seeing some of the country I’m in!
However, the whole rest & relax thing does allow me to read a lot which I love and so today I read ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield.
It’s only a short book, took about 90 minutes to read.
I loved the first 2 ‘books’ (the book is split into what he calls 3 books – in other words 3 sections, each one covering a slightly different theme).
The 3rd ‘book’ was a little too ‘divine’ for me, although I do agree that the universe works in mysterious ways.
I hate to say but the first book resonated the most with me only because I can relate to so much of it.
I’m knocking on 50’s door in a few short years and although I have lived and am living an amazing life, I have definitely fallen short on a few of my dreams and agree wholeheartedly that my own inner demons are to blame!
So how do we overcome our inner demons? Give the book a read and see what Steven Pressfield has to say about it.
In the meantime I’m off to read ‘Turning Pro’ his next non fiction creation. I’ll let you know how that goes.
Happy Sunday! 🙂
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I’m so excited to be off on my travels again! 😁
Borneo for 12 days with my family, followed by my annual Sisters on Tour trip, this year heading to Nepal, India, Sri Lanka & the Maldives. ✈️
Travelling has without doubt changed my life.
It’s broadened my mind, opened my heart and has changed me as a person.
I have always been a positive & inclusive person with a desire to have an impact on the world.
But when you travel to distant lands, meeting & getting to know different cultures & belief systems, your understanding & acceptance of the differences within the human race grows, while your fear of the unknown fades.
In a world where so much hatred is born from fear and low tolerance levels for cultural differences, the fact that it’s becoming easier & cheaper to travel than ever before can only be a great thing!
So first stop Kota Kinabalu in Borneo.
Updates to follow! 😁
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I honestly couldn’t think of anything useful or profound to say today, so I’ll simply say….
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Type the words ‘life purpose’ into google and you’ll find the whole of page 1 search results come back with a multitude of ways to find and discover your life’s purpose.
Most of them seemingly advocating that you have one purpose in life and that you will be ‘unable to thrive’ unless you find it. (See footnote)
Well that’s me buggered then. 😞
I’ve been trying to figure out what my life’s purpose is since I was a teen and at 46 I still have no idea.
I do know what my purpose is for the next few years right now.
I did know what my purpose was at age 34 when I had my daughter.
I knew what my purpose was age 17 studying for my A Levels.
Why should we only have one life’s purpose? Surely we have multiple purposes at different times in our life.
What’s Important to You Now?
I was listening to James Altucher not long ago who said why not live by themes rather than a single purpose as our priorities change over time.
Well he’s bang on.
There are some who come out of the womb knowing what they want to do and who they want to be, but there are many (probably the majority) who simply don’t who then spend years and years trying to define what they’re on this planet for!
A huge theme of my writings at this stage in my life is to give yourself a break and take the pressure off a bit.
There are no rules as to how you live your life except the rules you make for yourself.
You do not need to find your ‘life’s purpose’. Just know what’s meaningful and important to you right now and focus on that.
– In my teens I needed to pass exams and get boys to fancy me.
– In my 20’s I needed to feed myself, pay the rent, have enough money to party and get men to fancy me.
– In my 30’s I needed to feed myself and another, pay the mortgage and learn to become more responsible.
– In my 40’s I wanted to build businesses and achieve financial freedom.
– As I head into my 50’s I want to teach my daughter to be a strong and determined young woman, look after my health, help as many people as I can suck the juice out of life and change the world! (and if boys fancy me, that’s a bonus!)
Who knows what will come after that.
If you know exactly what it is you want to do, have always known and have always worked towards that single goal then fantastic!
But if you seem to be reinventing yourself every few years and changing direction to suit your current circumstance or world views then that’s also fantastic!
There is no right or wrong here, no shoulds or musts, only what you know in your heart.
So how do I know what’s right for me, right now Jo?
Not sure how to discover your purpose for right now, let alone your life?
Well you know those moments when your subconscious kicks in and you find yourself day dreaming?
What are you dreaming about? – if only I was 20 pounds lighter, if only I could write that book about xxxx, if only I could start a travel blog, if only I could build a successful business online!
You will know deep in your heart what your priorities are right now, so take the pressure off, stop ‘searching’ for who you think you should be and just start doing.
Action creates motivation, rarely the other way around.
Hope this helps!
Please feel free to ask me questions in the comments below!
P.S. Footnote – while looking at the page 1 results I did read a super good blog post about finding your purpose by Mark Manson author of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k” – great book by the way. Read the post here.