Todays post is coming at you from O’ahu, Hawaii! 🌺

It’s beautiful here.

I’m not sure what I expected but after watching the odd episode of Hawaii 5.0, I think I was expecting a lot more coastal high rise buildings, not just in Honolulu & Waikiki, but right along the coast.

But once you drive away from the main areas, it’s beautifully green & lush with a perfect mix of mountains & aquamarine coastline.

We have lots of treks and trips planned over the next couple of weeks so I look forward to sharing my explorations with you! 😀

In the meantime, here’s the view from where I’m sitting as I write this post.

Ko Olina - O'ahu, Hawaii

Have a great Sunday, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing! :)

Osaka, travel videos & sucking the juice out of life – Week in the Life #3

Osaka, travel videos & sucking the juice out of life – Week in the Life #3

Howdy howdy howdy, welcome to ‘A week in the life of a travelling entrepreneur!’

I’m in Osaka!

The second largest city in Japan, it’s a thriving, vibrant, bustling and hugely colorful city with far too much to see and do in the short 3 days we are here.

Plus the G20 summit is on and Trump is in town so many of the usual attractions are closed today & tomorrow.

But there is still plenty to see and I’m determined to make a travel video while here both for my ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ audience and which will come in very handy for our new ecommerce brand launching next year (giving away a bit of a clue there). 😀

So what a week it’s been!

Moving House

Firstly we moved house at the weekend. Only 500m round the corner, but unfortunately the landlord of the house we were in is refurbing & selling it, so we’ve had to move.

I love the house we’ve moved in too though so all is well and I’m hoping we can now stay there until Cerys leaves school (3 years). 🤞

Rhett checking out our neighbours 😁

Roping in a Friend

Starting / running a business is hard graft & I’m a big believer in outsourcing as soon as you can afford to as it’s impossible to do everything yourself.

Years ago when I was in the height of selling courses etc, I had maybe 5 or 6 people working with me on different aspects of the business.

Of course I had the lovely Neil – God rest his soul. ❤️

He ran all my tech, plus I had a couple of virtual assistants, a video editor, a content writer, a graphic designer & various contractors for one off jobs.

We have also built a sizable team over the years for our Amazon business.

But starting again with ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ as I currently am, I now have just one virtual assistant based in the Philippines.

Now you have to be careful when starting out as of course you need to be watching incoming vs outgoings, but you also have to be prepared in business to speculate to accumulate.

I’ll go through all the costs of starting an online business in another post as there are a few things you need to consider such as hosting, email providers, ecommerce software, apps etc.

But this week I’ve been focused on how to get everything done in the time I have, particularly while traveling.

So that’s why I’m so happy my good friend Judith (based close by in Phuket) has come on board.

I’ve been busy training her on the tech side of my MIHM videos from editing the ‘zubtitles’ (see my previous ‘week in the life’ for details about this super cool app), to loading the vid in YouTube, adding descriptions, tags etc, creating the thumbnail in Canva and getting it live on TY for me. (Would that be an interesting video by the way – my MIHM creation & publishing strategy)?

And that’s just the beginning.

She’s here in the FB group so please say a big welcome to Judith who originally hails from Scotland, loves cooking, cheese & biscuits and a wee nip of Champers or a glass of wine with friends! 😍

Trying out native video in FB Group

So each week I generally post my MIHM episode in the FB Group. (I have missed a few along the way, slaps own hand).

I have found engagement on these posts to be pretty poor and as the engagement on the blog isn’t rocking it, I decided it was down to the videos.

So I have been busy working on improving the episodes (which is never a bad thing, everything can always be continuously improved).

However, last week I uploaded the episode directly to the post I created in FB rather than linking out to the blog post, and engagement soared! More of my group members saw the video in their newsfeed.

This was only one post, but I have tried link posts vs native posts before and the native always wins.

I think it’s clear that the social networks, FB in particular do not want you linking off of their site and therefore native posts will always do better than link posts.

Try it out for yourself and let me know what happens. 😀

Planning Insta Posts / Buying Course

Time for total transparency. I’ve been talking for a couple of weeks about getting my head round Instagram and I’m still not there yet.

It’s not the images, I’m happy to play with images and I take loads when traveling.

It’s not even so much the captions although I am taking more time to think up educational, entertaining or inspirational captions.

It’s the hashtags! I do have a bit of hashtag resistance. 🤔

I have researched and identified hundreds of hashtags so far, but haven’t found a super efficient way of using them in my posts and so when I create a post it takes so long just to gather 10 or so hashtags together that make sense.

So my accountability statement this week is that I will just get posting everyday either using my planer tool I’m playing with ‘Lately’ or just posting natively each day, but NO MORE EXCUSES.

This is one of those moments where you just have to get on and do it.

Do you have something that you’re procrastinating on at the moment?

Join me this week and just get on and do it!

I’ve also purchased an Instagram course this week by Jenna Kutcher – Goal Digger Podcast.

I really like her style on Insta & on her podcasts so I’ll let you know how I go, but so far so good.

Travel Videos & Learning

Oh my gosh.

You know, one of my issues is wanting to do too much! But I really want to be able to master creating some cool travel videos of the places I visit.

I have so many photos & video footage of the places I have been, but I haven’t really done much with them.

So here in Osaka, I’ve been videoing lots of ‘b-roll’ and I’m going to spend some time when I get home turning that into a travel vid.

I’ve been watching ‘Lost LeBlanc’ for tips (he’s at 1.1M followers on YT for his travel vids).

My challenge is I won’t have the patience (or the time) to spend hours and hours per video, so I’m not looking for any film awards, but if I can create some informative and entertaining 5 – 10 min travel videos that help people a) get inspired to see the world, b) get inspired to create their own lifestyle business so they can see the world, c) learn more about the place I’m visiting, then happy days.

(In all honesty after I’ve had a go myself a couple of times & satisfied my curiosity I’ll probably end up outsourcing the editing).

Travel videos ala Jo ‘Spielberg’ Barnes coming up!

What are You Capable Of?

I said above, one of my issues is wanting to do too much, but to be honest, I’m happiest when I’m learning a new skill, moving out of my comfort zone, trying something different and gaining new experiences / skill sets.

I believe in never ending continuous learning and improvement and I love to expand my knowledge & experience of the world.

I also love to share it!

What’s the point in learning something new and then not being able to go and tell everyone about it!

(Gosh this Information Age we’re in suits my personality to a tee) 🕺

But I received an email this week about how easy is it for us to settle.

Settle into an ok job, an ok relationship, an ok health strategy, an ok business.

Why? Because ok is comfortable. It can sustain us and we can say – ‘hey, I’m content’.

And if you truly are; if you wake up every day and are honestly happy and enjoy life and think, yep the sun is shining on my life and I’m feeling good then that’s bloody brilliant!

I’m not with the personal development guru’s who say ’You’re either growing or dieing’ (Sorry Big Tone).

I do believe that you can be simply content with life and be super happy.

But I will just say this.

Do make sure you’re not settling for less than you deserve.

If you find yourself settling because of fear, or external pressures or lack of confidence, it’s time to break out of your patterns my friend.

Take stock and make sure you’re spending your time where you really want your energy, your passion and your focus to go.

Pay attention and ask yourself, is the normal you’ve settled into the normal you want, or is there a new normal you can create?

My Fave Quote of the Week

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela

Have an awesome weekend! 😎😁🙋🏻‍♀️

Woohoo! Summer Hols! 🥳

Woohoo! Summer Hols! 🥳

And we’re off!

As I write this I’m an hour away from landing in Osaka, Japan.

We have 3 days here & then off to Hawaii for 4 weeks.

This is what I LOVE about having a lifestyle business.

We’re away for a total of 6 weeks as a family because we can! The only thing that stops us from travelling more at the moment is my daughters schooling.

For Rhett & I, a couple of hours here & there through the week is enough to keep things ticking over for our Amazon biz and for ‘Your Lifestyle Business’, my travelling is part of my content strategy!

You have to love the business model! 😍

So I totally wanted to get a heap of blog posts & Instagram captions written on route, but I actually got stuck right into a James Patterson book which I read cover to cover!

(I rarely read fiction so it was a welcome break & I love how easy his books are to read).

Ho hum! All work & no play makes us dull right? 😂😂😂

Anyway must go, have just been told to turn my phone off (only ever happens on Air Asia these days).

Discovered a super cool strategy for writing Instagram captions today.

Will be trying it out over the next week or so & look forward to sharing it with you!

Have a great day! 😁🙋🏻‍♀️

How to Increase Your Confidence

How to Increase Your Confidence

I love the subject of confidence.

Mainly because having confidence precedes action & action is the key to getting everything you want out of life and yet it’s the one thing so many of us suffer from a lack of.

We know that if we just had the confidence to approach that person, make that video, start that business, attend that conference it could mean everlasting happiness!

But we stop, we hesitate & we allow the voice of doubt to envelop us.

A quote popped up on my computer screen today;

“A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” Sonia Sotomayor

I take that a step further.

A surplus of effort WILL overcome a deficit of confidence.

Next time the voices stop you in your tracks. Ask yourself, ‘what skills do I need to master to follow through on this goal’?

What do I need to learn, who do I need to become & how can I increase my confidence through self improvement in this area?

We are always growing & learning. We haven’t reached a certain age & that’s now it, we can’t improve any further.

confidence isn’t something we’re born with, it’s something we nurture & build on through our lives.

We can continue to expand our mind, our skill sets & our therefore our confidence until the day we die.

So next time Mr Primal Brain says ‘I’m just not confident enough’ – engage Ms Pre Frontal Cortex, get to work on making the effort required to become who you need to be & the confidence will follow. 😁

How to Stand Out From the Crowd – Make It Happen Monday Episode 103

How to Stand Out From the Crowd – Make It Happen Monday Episode 103

How do we stand out from the crowd when it seems that everyone else is already crushing it?

Are we late to the party, or is there still opportunity for us to make our mark on the niche we’re passionate about?

I’m happy to tell you, that even though it’s a competitive world out there, there is no-one more unique than you!

Here’s my top 3 tips on standing heads and shoulders above your competition and making your niche your own. 🙂

Watch Episode 103 Here

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!

Mastering Video, the common cold & reaping what you sow – A Week in the Life #2

Mastering Video, the common cold & reaping what you sow – A Week in the Life #2

Oh my gosh, thwarted in my first week to get ‘A Week in the Life of’ posts & podcasts episodes off the ground….

I fell so sick on Thursday!

Just a cough & cold but it absolutely floored me! 🙁

As I write this I’m still feeling pretty rough but at least can lift my head to look at a screen now.

No way I can record a podcast right now though, I can’t speak! It’s ridiculous! 🤒

Ah well, these things are sent to try us right?

So apart from spending a couple of days in bed feeling very sorry for myself, it’s been an interesting week!


First off I’ve been involved in a community mission to donate old clothes, toys & unwanted home objects to the Burmese migrant labour camps here in Phuket (of which there are many).

We ran a campaign asking people on the Island, leaving, moving home or simply having a clear out to donate all the ’stuff’ they didn’t want anymore. One persons junk is another gold!

The response was amazing and we collected car fulls of items that will be so welcome in the camps.

It blows my mind how these people are allowed to live. For such a fast developing country & particularly here in Phuket which is probably one of the most affluent areas of Thailand, for there to be bonfide migrant slums beggars belief.

The Good Shepherd, a charity here in Phuket, has dedicated itself to helping the families from these communities. Setting up schools for the kids, havens for pregnant Mums, vocational education for new & young Mums & outreach education on the dangers of human trafficking etc, they are a wonderful organisation which I’m proud to help out in any way I can.

Make It Happen Monday

So after spending a fair amount of time;

* editing & adding a new funky intro
* changing the format of the videos to start with a hook
* scripting rather than winging it
* ensuring the video was full of actionable content
* uploading a more punchy YT thumbnail
* & using more relevant tags & keywords on YT

I’m happy to report that it made…..absolutely no difference whatsoever!

My MIHM video this week received a whopping 102 views & even got 1 thumbs down which I haven’t had on any of my MIHM vids so far! (How very dare they!)

Anyway here’s the good news.

The only way is up & I’m determined to crack the code.

Before I launch my ecommerce biz, I want to know what the secret is to getting hundreds of thousands of views on YT vids, not hundreds (or even tens in my current case)!

So I will be apportioning a fair amount of my time studying YouTube & learning precisely how to do just that & of course sharing my learnings with you!

If you have any good tips or resources in the meantime do please let me know in the comments below.

Instagram & IGTV

So continuing on the theme of video & code cracking…

I’m also determined to get my head around Instagram.

Whenever I post a MIHM vid to IGTV, I lose followers, and I’m just not convinced long form video works well on the Insta platform.

I’m thinking we need 30 – 90 sec clips & if people are interested they can check the full vid out on YT, which in turn drums up traffic to YT.

Also there’s the difference between your feed, IGTV & stories. Lots of testing & measuring to come over the next few months on what works best where!

I feel like I’m back where I started with Facebook all those years ago. Testing, measuring & finding the shortcuts to growth.

Very exciting! 😁

An extremely funky app

So this week I discovered Zubtitles which is awesome! (Not an affiliate link)

In no time at all it transcribes your videos & adds captions at the bottom, which is recommended for all platforms.

It also spits out a text doc so I can now add a transcript to my blog posts for people who prefer to read rather than listen & which could help with SEO on the site.

The best part is that it’s not cost prohibitive.

I spent $36 for 60 minutes worth of transcriptions which for me is 8 – 10 episodes worth!

Check em’ out!


So my daughter is now on school hols & on Weds we’re off on a big trip to Hawaii via Japan there & back.

I can’t wait as I’ve never been to Hawaii before so I’m super excited to explore!

It’s important not to lose momentum with my blog, vids etc so look out for lots of Hawaii influenced content over the next few weeks!

My fave quote.

So it’s back to bed for me right now. I will record this as a podcast as soon as I can talk again!

In the meantime I saw this quote this week and I LOVED it!

This is the kind of quote that as an impatient, visual, results based person, I need to be reading & saying out loud every single day!

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
Robert Louis Stevenson

Have a great week! 🙂

The Secret of Getting Ahead is Getting Started

The Secret of Getting Ahead is Getting Started

Thanks Mark Twain for that very apt quote!

Following on from yesterdays post about taking action I wanted to give you a real life example.

My 12 year old wants to be a popstar.

I mean didn’t we all have grandiose ideas at that age? Maybe not a popstar, but perhaps a movie star, a brain surgeon, a rocket scientist, the President!

Even though I very fortunately had parents who told me I could achieve anything I wanted too if I worked hard enough for it, they meant, of course, within ‘achievable’ professions. An accountant perhaps, even a CEO one day if I really put my back into it.

They didn’t mean anything as lofty as a pop or movie star. That was simply dreamland.

But why?

Even celebs started life pooing in nappies like the rest of us, so what makes their career choice so unachievable.

Little did my parents know that these days anyone can become a celeb, from a singer, an actress, entrepreneurs, sports stars, even the old woman dancing at the bus stop who’s video goes viral!

But back to my daughter.

I have told her that she can totally become a popstar if she takes action on it, every single day.

She has to want it so badly she’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen (under strict supervision of course).

The most important thing however is that she just get started. Right now.

So she created an Instagram account and started posting videos of her singing clips of songs.

The account is unbranded, has a terrible name and her videos are raw and unrehearsed.

If she continues to do this day after day, week after week over the next few years, she will start to brand, start to rehearse, start to look for ways to improve the production quality.

She’ll grow fans & followers and will learn from feedback what works and what doesn’t. She’ll become hardened to criticism and begin to promote her videos elsewhere.

She will grow, improve, tweak, learn, expand and most importantly over time decide whether this is something she really wants to pursue.

But if she didn’t start now and just waited until she was a bit older and maybe had some audition opportunities or joined a band, it would take her that much longer to decide if this is what she really wants to do.

The point is – if you’re sitting on a business idea and you’re not sure it’s the right one or if it will fly or if it’s really what you want to do you’ll never know until you just get started on it.

Clarity comes from action!
Success comes from action!
Failure & learning comes from action!

Stop thinking about it and just get started. It’s the absolute secret to getting ahead!

Jo 🙂

What to do when you’re not sure what to do

What to do when you’re not sure what to do

Back in 2010 when I started my online adventure I really had no idea what ‘niche’ I wanted to be in.

I knew I wanted to do business coaching of some kind as I had learnt so much along the way of running my own teams in senior management & then running my own business offline and I loved entrepreneurship, marketing, women in business etc.

So I knew that I wanted to work with other entrepreneurs and help them to build their own businesses.

But I didn’t have a ton of experience and I was racked with self doubt.

So out of luck more than judgement I honed in on Facebook for a year or so and launched my first successful online membership site.

Not satisfied just with FB though I gradually expanded to include all social media, then rebranded to Online Marketing Addicts, then decided that boxed me in too much and became Jo Barnes Online.

After my break I have come back refreshed and ready for action to do what I wanted too all along which was to help people build their own ‘Lifestyle Business’.

Phew that took a while!

But here’s the key.

I didn’t sit between 2010 & 2019 thinking about which niche I wanted to be in.

I didn’t twiddle my thumbs and wrack my brains for the perfect idea to launch.

I just grabbed stuff and started running with it, each time bringing me closer to where I wanted to be and also helping a ton of people (and making a good amount of money) along the way.

Yes I guess publicly it may have looked like I couldn’t make up my mind, but who really cares? People are far more concerned with their own issues than yours and will always be far more interested in how you can help them than what you call yourself.

So what do you do when you’re not sure what to do. Anything!

Just get out there and do something.

Not three different things, by the way to see which one will stick, unless you’re 19, can work 24 hours a day and have unlimited resources.

Just pick something that you think is along the lines of what you might want to do and go for it!

You will only discover what it is you really want to do or who you want to be through action!

Micheal P Moran who wrote the 12 Week Year says ‘Execution is the single greatest market differentiator. Great companies & successful individuals execute better than your competition. The barrier standing between you and the life you are capable of living is a lack of consistent execution.’

Make the commitment today to get started, get moving and make your dreams a reality, even if you’re unsure you’re heading in exactly the right direction.

I guarantee you, by taking action rather than by standing still, you will find your path & your passion!

Jo 🙂

3 Steps to Help You Stop Procrastinating & Finally Build Your Lifestyle Business – Make It Happen Monday Episode 102

3 Steps to Help You Stop Procrastinating & Finally Build Your Lifestyle Business – Make It Happen Monday Episode 102

Hello awesome action taker! 🤩

Do you find yourself procrastinating on getting your Lifestyle Business off the ground?

Does it seem there’s always something more important to do?

Perhaps the task at hand seems too overwhelming and so your primal brain is working overtime to keep you from focusing on what you really want to!

In today’s episode I’m asking you to answer 3 key questions to help you obliterate any fears or stories that might be holding you back.👊

I have recently asked myself these very same questions with spectacular results!🔥

Watch the episode, take action on the questions and set yourself free to really grab life by the balls and Make It Happen! 🥳

Watch Episode 102 Here

Links Mentioned

Start With Why
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

I found that by publically admitting my fears I freed myself up to start creating momentum once again.

It’s amazing how so many others share exactly the same fears & insecurities you and I do.

Please share your thoughts, fears, road blocks and/or triumphs below, so that we as a community can help you move forward. Trust me, it’s very cathartic! 🙏

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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