Shark Cove, What Freedom Means to You & Getting Productive!

Welcome my friends to another “Week in the Life of a Traveling Entrepreneur’ post!

What a week it’s been!

Happy Birthday Honey!

We started the week last Sunday with Rhetts birthday.

Here’s a little known fact, did you know he is in fact my toy boy?

Yep 4 years younger than I, the lovely Rhett turned just 43 years old on Sunday and for just two months he’s only 3 years younger than me! 😁

We had a lovely day and it was great to celebrate it in Hawaii! 🌺

Presents!

Enjoying a beer in the ocean 😎

Happy Birthday! 🍰

Pillbox Hike & Shark Cove

Mon / Tues was spent exploring & hiking!

It’s amazing how my daughter comes alive when we get her out from behind her iPhone. She loved the Lanikai Pillbox Hike which was a challenging upward, almost rock climbing at points, hike (great fun) and a bit of snorkeling and playing in the rocks at shark cove.

I have absolutely no idea why it’s called Shark Cove by the way. There were no sharks (thank god).

We also saw where they filmed parts of Jurassic Park, the hotel where Forgetting Sarah Marshall (romcom) was filmed & a huge Banyan tree which was used for Pirates of the Caribbean! 😀

Having fun at the top of Pillbox Hike

What a view!

Turtle Bay Resort (Forgetting Sarah Marshall)

Banyan Tree (Pirates of the Caribbean)

Freedom Navigators

So the lovely Tina Sibley is doing an online summit with her business partner Debbie Peck and I was honored to be interviewed by Tina this week for the summit.

She asked me a great opening question;

What does freedom mean for you?

For me it literally means being able to jump on a plane whenever I want to and go anywhere in the world. No ties, nothing to hold me down. As free as a bird.

But it means different things to different people, so I ask you – what does freedom mean to you?

If you’re willing too, please share your answer in the comments below…

In the meantime, look out for announcements from Tina or myself about the summit later in the year. 😀

Productivity & Time

So I had to make a decision this week.

I had to ask myself, is what I’m doing now having the most impact on the growth of my business?

Have you asked that of yourself lately?

Are you spending 80% of your time on the 20% which will have the greatest impact?

Do you even know what that 20% is?

You have to start by knowing what your outcome is.

So first identify your next immediate goals. For me that looks like;

1. Build my audience – objective to grow the FB Group & my email list to 50k combined.
2. Get my ecommerce store off the ground
3. Write a book (already planned and underway)

What I mean by immediate goals, is that these are the first things I want to do before I move on to other goals.

Then once you have these clearly defined, you know you need to do something every day to work towards these goals.

Right now, all of my ‘working time’ which I don’t have as much of as I did when I started out back in 2010 (too busy having fun!), is being spent trying to maintain my daily blogs & weekly MIHM videos.

In fact so much time is being spent in the production of these content pieces, I’m spending no time on the promotion, which is a bit of a waste of solid content!

So for me moving forward, I need to spend more time on creating faster or evergreen content I can promote and that leads to people joining my group or email list, launch my store (already planned for Sept) and use the time I’m currently writing daily blog posts to write my book instead.

Practically that means after 6 months of experimenting with Daily Blogs, I’m reverting to better quality but less frequent blog posts with a call to action. (Probably 3 a week including MIHM, a week in the life & one other ‘How To’ post).

Like I always say, you’ll never know what works and what doesn’t until you get out there and just do it.

Take a moment this weekend to ask yourself, are you spending 80% of your time doing the 20% that will have the biggest impact. Clearly define your immediate goals and then Make It Happen! 😀

Instagram Update

So I’ve finally settled on ‘Planoly’ as my app of choice for Instagram.

I’ve used Later, which really doesn’t have much going for it as an app. It’s great on desktop, but mobile is poor, although their blog has some awesome Instagram tips.

I tried out Plann, which is great on mobile, has stats including best hashtags, activity, followers, time to post etc, but right now does not ‘autopost’. So I have to create the post in Plann and then copy & paste into IG, add location, tags etc, which is just a waste of time in my eyes.

So Planoly wins for now. It looks great on mobile, is easy to use, allows you to create custom hashtag groups and auto posts, so happy days.

One thing I am going to try though. My last couple of posts have been ‘auto posts’ and I have noticed they haven’t quite reached as many people or attracted as much engagement as previous posts.

That could be down to timing, the photos themselves, inconsistency of posting. Who knows. But I will be testing & measuring all of this stuff over the coming weeks.

I have begun to engage a bit more this week on the platform which has definitely resulted in a few more follows and it’s so easy to do! Although you can easily get lost in your feed & stories so be careful of over consumption!!! 😂

Summary

So that’s it for this week. We’re having a chill day at the hotel today and then off to Maui tomorrow!

We’ve had an awesome time here in O’ahu and I would definitely recommend here for a visit if you get the chance.

Look out for Make It Happen Monday on Monday, it’s all about feeling super comfy on camera!

Have a fab weekend.

Jo 😀

Hawaii, 4th July & Dole Whip! 😁 – Week in the Life #4

Well hello awesome action takers! Welcome to another week in the life of a travelling entrepreneur 😁

As I’m sure you’re by now aware I’m in Hawaii!!! 🌺 Yippeee! 🕺🇺🇸

Happy Birthday America!

Yep Thursday was indeed the 4th July and the first 4th I have experienced here in the US & what fun it was!

A few beers in the sea in the afternoon, a beautiful BBQ cooked by the lovely Rhett, music, lots of happy people & all finished off with the most amazing fireworks, which we watched from some rocks jutting out into the ocean! 🎆

It was fantastic! 😁

So Happy 4th to all my American friends! 😘

Dole Whip

This is literally an opportunity just to show you a pic of a huge pineapple flavored ice cream! 🍦

A Dole Whip

It was super yummy, but I gave Rhett the pineapple. 😛

I talk about our day at the Dole Plantation here.

Instagram

Following on my Instagram saga, I have posted a few times this week, although I’m still fighting with apps.

I love the layout of Planoly & I love the mobile functionality of Plann, but Later is the only one that posts automatically for you. The other two let you know it’s time to post & then you copy & paste into Instagram.

I get that it helps with planning, but you might as well just post directly into the platform if you’re going to have to copy & paste each time.

I’m still getting very little traction with my posts (although I was happy with the response to my MIHM vid this week on IG & FB) and so this coming week am going to try getting out into the Instagram community & liking / commenting on others posts in my niche.

I’m also going to look at my visual style & see if I can create a look / feel which is uniquely mine. Design has never been my strong suit so any pearls of wisdom here would be appreciated! 😁

Also after consuming a couple of Instagram courses, some blog articles & scrolling through infinite accounts it really is clear that there’s not one set of rules here that works.

Some people post a few times a week, some every day, some a couple of times a day, some 4 or 5 times a day.

Some captions are long, some short, some use hashtags, some don’t.

I think the real key here, much the same on FB is about really being uniquely you or your brand, showcasing the stories behind your business, and offering value by way of educating, inspiring or entertaining your audience.

I talk more about this in the section below ‘Just Be You’, but before that…

Jenna Kutcher

I need to do a shout out for this young lady as I’m so impressed with what she’s doing online.

She’s got a very successful IG account of her own & then followed it up with her Goal Digger Podcast which is choc- a-block full of useful & actionable information.

Her blog is beautifully laid out and super user friendly & her Instagram course is very good. (Not an affiliate link yet).

If you want to follow someone who’s doing the influencer / information marketer model well check her out.

JK Blog
Goal Digger Instagram

Just Be You

That being said, it’s so important you believe in yourself enough to create your own style & voice in your niche.

When you take a course, what worked for the course host is obviously what they will teach, but may not necessarily work for you.

It’s great to look to others for inspiration but self awareness is key to your success,

Are you a strategic person or more fly by the seat of your pants?

Are you consistent & disciplined or a tad disorganised?

Do you hate the camera but love to talk?

Do you live to write but hate the sound of your voice?

Do you hate taking & editing pics but love taking video shots?

Perhaps you love to tell funny stories or share inspirational messages.

I talk a lot about knowing your target market but knowing yourself is equally as important.

This is because it will affect how you run your business.

If you’re not very organized or hugely strategic, then batch working and making sure you plan ahead will be vital to your success.

If you love to write but hate the camera, then blogging & FB are probably better platforms for you and stories are your tool.

If you’re more video than photos, then YouTube, IGTV & stories are your tools of choice.

Really getting to grips with who you are and what you love to do and not getting caught up in being where you think you’re supposed to be or doing what you think you’re supposed to do really takes the pressure off and makes the whole thing so much more enjoyable which of course will have a huge impact.

So take some time out if you can and identify all those loves and hates you have so you can get really clear on the path for you. 😀

Summary

So that’s it for this week, I’m super busy hiking all over O’ahu, swimming in the ocean and generally enjoying myself.

In fact today we’re headed to Waikiki for the day to celebrate Rhetts birthday.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see photos! (See what I did there).

Have a fab week and here’s my fave quote from this week;

Fave Quote

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place. Summer Saldana.

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! 😎😁🙋🏻‍♀️

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. 😁

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!

Community

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!

Holidays!

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

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 🙂