My Top 10 Life Changing Books for Lifestyle Entrepreneurs – MIHM113

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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

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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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 –

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 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 –

To get your copy of Half the Sky, click here –


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 :)

How I’m Starting My Online Ecommerce Business Today! – MIHM112

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Links Mentioned in This Weeks Episode

Customer Avatar Worksheet – Digital Marketer


99 Designs

Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group

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Back in 2015 my partner & I started a business selling products on Amazon. Kitchen products to be precise.

Within one year we had grossed over a million bucks with just one product.

In the following years we grew our product line and our revenues so much so that I packed up work for a couple of years to focus on my health & my daughter.

However after two years of lunching & brunching I realized this was not my destiny and earlier this year relaunched my Jo Barnes Online brand as Your Lifestyle Business.

My mission is to arm action taker with the tools, strategies and inspiration to build a business you can run from anywhere in the world whether that be your kitchen table or a beach in Fiji.

For those of you listening who have been part of my journey for the last 10 years you’ll know this isn’t my first rodeo.

I made a very nice living between 2010 & 2016 which is when I stopped working from video courses, ebooks, membership sites, affiliate sales etc.

But when I relaunched this year I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to charge for the education part of my business. I really believe that information on it’s own is readily available for us now everywhere we turn.

Just search up ‘How to Start an Ecommerce Business’ and a gazillion free posts & videos will pop up.

My goal instead is to utilize my education as my audience building tool and make money via ecommerce pursuits, books (I really want to become an author), possibly retreats in the future and along the way some well researched, well positioned and very valuable referral offers.

So, I’m about to launch my first experimental ecommerce store using Shopify. The goal being to build my own store and educate the members of my FB group as I go with over the shoulder videos, posts, and lots of discussion.

If you’re not a part of the FB group then do come and join is. It’s free!

Join Here –

I’m not going to launch on Amazon because even though it’s a cracking site to start a business, it’s not very exciting, you have limited control and I want to play with print on demand & drop shipping.

And having built the Shopify store for our kitchen products brand I know my way around the platform a bit and it’s a lot of fun!

So here is my 12 step plan for launching my new ecommerce brand! Exciting!

Step 1 – Choose your business / niche.

Whether you choose to sell on Shopify or Amazon picking a niche is so important.

If I could go back to 2015 when we started on Amazon, the one thing I would change would be to have picked a niche that we were passionate about, that we could have built an audience around, that we could have created content about and that we could have talked about all day long.

The mistake is just to go for a niche because it’s popular. That will get you so far, possibly even 7 figures far on Amazon, but the landscape is becoming so competitive, the more passionate you are about a niche and the more you build an entire brand around it the better an advantage you have.

I honestly believe that micro brands are the future.

Amazon has completely cornered the market for the one stop shop where you can find everything you need.

My personal recommendation would be to get very specific with your niche and start a store in one narrow area, such as yoga pants or a specific type of sunglasses or a particular type of water bottle etc.

Some great examples are;

My brand is an outlet for my ‘female empowerment’ passion. It’s called Legends Not Ladies, quote by Stevie Nicks and is a hat tip towards feminism I guess (am not a feminist per say). But I do have a desire to be apart of the female empowerment movement and thought his would be a great outlet to support women everywhere.

It’s also an experimental brand as I want to have a play with print on demand and drop shipping, neither of which are ideal long term options for me.

Print on demand suits creatives and artists more as the profit margins are tight so if you are the designer your outlays are less.

Drop shipping has long delays between ordering and receiving and you cannot always test the quality of a product. Plus there is no uniqueness. You are simply advertising someone else’s product and saying it’s your brand.

For a long term sustainable ecommerce business you want to be private labelling products and branding them with your own brand and even better, creating products which are completely unique to you.

However both of those require purchasing and holding large quantities of inventory and so to begin with we’re just going to pick the low hanging fruit to get a hang of the business model without too much risk.

Step 2 – Purchase domain

Ok so now you know your niche you can do steps 2, 3, 4 & 5 in tandem or in any order.

Step 2 is to decide your name and purchase the domain.

The name of my brand is ‘Legends Not Ladies’ based on a quote by Stevie Nicks. I love it!

It’s created mixed emotions in my community with comments such as the ’not’ part is negative and ‘why can’t we be both’, but this is where you have to go with your own gut instincts.

I believe if I named my site Legends & Ladies or something similar it would just be another vanilla brand in a sea of vanilla brands.

Legends NOT Ladies has a bit of oomph about it. It’s a bit contentious and has an air of feminism which I’m not particularly affiliated with, but I do like the connotation so I’m sticking with it.

Don’t spend too long here. You could spend months trying to think of the perfect name and domain. Just pick something you think could work, not too complicated, fairly easy to type and go for it, even if you can only get the .co or .net version.

People find websites via links these days so .com is nowhere near as important as it used to be.

Step 3 – Create brand outline – avatar, colours, feeling etc

Pretty important step is to decide who you’re selling too.

I talk a lot about customer avatars and truly there is no better explanation online that Digital Marketers customer avatar worksheet I recommended in last weeks podcast.

Just go to and search for Customer Avatar worksheet or see the link directly under the podcast.

Once you know who you’re selling to, you can start to think about your brand colors, the feeling you want to portray on your site, how you want your site to look.

The best thing to do at this stage is to have a look through other ecommerce websites and make a list of ideas for your brand.

Just google ecommerce website examples or head over to the Shopify blog for loads of ideas.

Step 3 – Decide what you want to sell.

What products will you sell?

This will depend largely on the niche you have chosen.

For example if you have chosen the jewelry niche because you make it, then you’ve decided the product before the niche.

Let’s say you decide to go into the pet niche, there are so many ways you could go; outfits for dogs, pet food, safety products, training products, grooming products.

I would say start small and scale.

So for instance my brand is about female empowerment so my growth strategy is as follows;

1. Print on demand – T-shirts, pillows, bags, shoes, mugs, journals etc with empowerment quotes
2. Drop shipping – Jewelry / Stationary
3. Private Label / Own products – Journals, diaries, stationary, bags
4. Affiliations – books, other people’s products
5. Not for Profit – Ideally the end goal is to use the site as a vehicle to sell products made by women in developing countries funded by micro loans.

If we take the pet example, you could start with outfits for small dogs, then move into say harnesses, then maybe add safety products, then training products, then grooming products etc.

Or you could stay with just outfits and become a dog fashion store.

The choice is yours, go where your passion lies. (Hence my brand leans towards stationary, I love it!)

Step 4 – Choose how you’re going to obtain your products.

As I said in Step 1, you have a choice between Print on Demand, Drop Shipping, Affiliation, Private Label, Manufacturing Your Own Goods.

Only you can decide which business model suits you right now.

Print on Demand means that you just need to design the artwork and all the products will be printed and shipped directly from the manufacturing company.

Drop shipping means that you advertise the product, the buyer purchases it and you them purchase it from the manufacturer who then sends it directly to the buyer.

Arbitrage means you buy things cheaply and sell them for a profit. So you may head down to your local stores at sale time and stock up just to sell at a higher price later from your own site.

Affiliation means that you advertise other peoples products and get a commission for every sale you make. Be careful with this one as profit margins will be low.

Private Label is where you source products in bulk, usually 5,000 or more and brand the product with your own brand name either directly on the product or on the packaging.

Manufacturing your own goods says what it does on the tin. You would design and then find a manufacturer to make your own unique branded products. To be truly unique you’d need to go down the route of patents etc or the manufacturer can just sell your design to someone else by the way.

I know it’s a crooked world!

Step 5 – Decide where you’re going to sell.

Locally? Internationally? In just one specific country?

Again this greatly depends on the niche you’re in and the business model you choose.

I have a friend I’m working with who wants to open a clothing store and she has all the clothes in her home which she had designed and made a while ago for another project she was working on and once she’s sold those she has a manufacturer she knows who she will continue to source clothes from.

She will wrap and ship the products herself so she will start her site selling only locally to ensure the system of shipping etc works, that she’s profitable and then we’ll look at expanding her reach.

You may find that print on demand is too expensive to ship internationally. I’ll tell you more when I’ve had a play.

Drop shipping most products will probably come from China so you should be ok to sell all over the world but to start with you might say just in your home country to test the waters.

If you’re arbitraging it usually means you’ll be shipping it yourself, so you’ll need to bear that in mind.

If you’re private labeling & / or manufacturing it will all depend on profit margins and where you’re shipping from.

We’ll cover this in more detail as we go and grow, but just bear this step in mind.

Step 6 – Create logo & site designs

Alright so with all decisions made it’s time for the fun stuff!

Get your logo designed! (Or design it yourself)

I’m a terrible designer so I paid $299 to 99 designs and started a design competition.

It’s still running at the moment but I’m pretty sure we have a winner. Plus it’s given me some great design and color ideas for the site.

Shopify comes with lots of great free themes so once you’re signed up you can select a theme and then decide the images and colors you want for that theme.

Don’t spend too long here. You could spend months building the perfect site only to sell nothing!

Focus on the products and the sales process, you can tweak and improve the site as you go.

Step 7 – Sign up for Shopify or your ecommerce store of choice.

For my store I will be using Shopify because it’s super easy to use, built specifically for you to sell products & has lots of apps & bells and whistles that connect it to print on demand services, drop shipping services & social media for easy promotions & sales.

Other ecommerce options are;


and various others.

You need to research the platforms & decide which is best for you.

Right now though I’m signing up to Shopify’s basic plan at $29 / month with a 14 day trial.

Step 8 – Add theme / designs / products / payment vehicles

Depending on the platform you choose you now need to add your site customisations such as logo, colours, images, payment vehicles (PayPal, stripe etc) & of course your products.

Make sure you’re in my FB group to watch over the shoulder videos of me adding products & setting up my store!

Step 9 – Go Live!

Yippeee! It’s time to go live.

You can let out a huge sigh of relief, your site is live & now people can come flooding to your gates…..

Wouldn’t that be nice!

Step 10 – Create IG / FB / Pin – pick one as your main one

Nope. Now the site is live it’s time for the hard work to start.

Here are 3 steps to get you started but I’ll discuss launch strategy & promotion in another podcast.

Firstly create a social media account / page, whether that be Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, you choose.

Pick just one as your main account.

You can setup apps that copy your content across to the other accounts just for when you get started. You can employ a team later to really start to cover all angles.

I’m starting with IG.

I’ve found a name & created an account & bio – you can check it out & follow if you like. The link is in the show notes.

Step 11 – Populate with cool content pertaining to brand

Start posting valuable content!

My strategy is to gather together lots of awesome quotes from lady legends across the eras, add them to nice backgrounds or photos & start posting.

I’ll also start to recommend books, websites, articles & podcasts created by legends!

Plus of course I’ll gradually be feeding in images & links to the products on the site.

Step 12 – Begin building your audience

Here’s we start to get super juicy.

With our valuable content we will start to build an audience of people who resonate with our brand.

Then we’ll create a freebie or two to encourage people to join our email list.

Maybe it’ll be a discount or a digital product that complements our products.

But the goal will be to begin building our community of potential buyers.

Then we’ll up the ante with more content, co promotions, influencer marketing and paid ads.

But that’s enough for now!


I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode & it’s given you the steps & the impetus to get going.

If it all sounds too scary just start with baby steps.

Step 1, Step 2 etc.

Bite it off in small manageable chunks.

And remember be sure to join my FB Community to watch my over the shoulder training videos as I post them.

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

Thanks for listening, speak again next week.

Jo :)

10 Steps to Building Your Freedom 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

Ep110 – What Business Should I Start

Customer Avatar Worksheet – Digital Marketer

How to Hire an Awesome VA

Your Lifestyle Business Facebook Group

Read Here

Over the last 10 years we have had the fortune to live in or visit over 30 different countries.

We have traveled with wild abandon dragging our little daughter with us for the most part, slowing only when it was clear that school agreed with her & she should stay in one place for a while to make the best of it.

We still go away every holiday & I continue to travel at other times through the year.

This has only been possible because we started a business back in 2010 which we could build & manage completely online. Since then we have gone on to create two life changing businesses and have plans for many more.

In last weeks episode – ‘What Business Should I Start?’ I shared with you the different types of lifestyle businesses & how to decide what business you should start if you’re currently unsure in which direction to go.

Today we’re going to explore the 10 steps to building your lifestyle business no matter the model you choose.

Let’s begin.

Step 1.

Know the business you are in.

Too many people start with ‘I want to make money online’

‘Doing what?’ I say.

‘Making money online!’

There is no such thing really. The internet is a tool to help you reach a much larger audience with your product / service / brand.

So you have to have a business idea to start.

As an example I’m currently launching two businesses.

One as an author, in that I’m building an audience who will hopefully buy my books I have yet to write.

Secondly an ecommerce business selling physical products.

Both require roughly the same 10 steps I’m sharing with you today, starting with the fact that I know what my business is.

If you’re not sure what your business is then listen to last weeks episode.

Step 2

Know who your business is for.

Who do you want to serve? Who do you want to work with? Who is your ideal client / customer?

The online world is incredibly competitive and so to stand out from the crowd we need to be speaking directly to our audience and if you don’t know who that is you can’t talk directly to them.

I know this is scary as you feel by targeting one group of people you’re eliminating or alienating another, but it won’t actually work like that in practice.

You will begin to attract the very audience you desire plus people you never thought you’d resonate with because you’ll be found easier.

You’ll cut through the competition far easier and do you’ll automatically have a lot more exposure.

I highly recommend ‘The Customer Avatar Worksheet’ on the Digital Marketer Blog.

The post gives a detailed explanation of creating your ideal customer avatar along with an accompanying worksheet.

Step 3

Start building your audience.

You know there’s really no hard & fast order for some of these steps.

You can start with a product or not.
You can start with an attractive email list building offer or not.

The key is to start whether you have anything to start with or not. Which is why I start content.

Choose your platform. Don’t try to be everywhere all at once, you will burn yourself out.

Do you want to be a blogger, a YouTube, a podcaster?

Perhaps you want to be an Instagram influencer or an expert on FB lives.

Go where you think your audience might be.

If through doing your avatar you think my audience watches YouTube vids & browses Pinterest then vow to master YouTube then Pinterest.

If you think your audience prefer blogs & Facebook then master blogging then FB.

I tend to pick a platform so moving forward for me it’s podcasting & a social media outlet to promote my platform so I’m liking Instagram at the moment, so that’s where you’ll find me!

Start to create quality content consistently and getting it out in front of your potential audience and you will start to gather an audience.

Please note quality trumps quantity. Take it from me.

I have tried quantity but unless you have your own digital marketing agency & a 24/7 videographer it’s tough so go for quality.

The secret to quality? Be valuable.

With every content piece you create ask how you can add maximum value.

Step 4

Create a community.

So rather than just relying on organic shares of your content, begin to grow an engaged community by building an email list and / or inviting people into a Facebook Group.

Your community are your feedback mechanism, your marketing army, your core buyers & a lot of the time become your friends! 😀

Sure you can run ads to the new yoga pants you’ve just launched on your site but imagine you had an email list of 50,000 people all receiving your free yoga vids in their email every week and discussing / chatting with other community members in the group!

How likely is it that a large percentage of community members will order your new yoga pants?

Pretty high I would say!

Plus they’ll tell you how well they fit, can you add another colour, another size, another style. In fact could you also offer tees & socks etc.

They are walking talking market research!

The best way to build a community is to offer something of value for free.

So for example I’m about to start posting ecommerce training videos in my FB community for free, you just have to join to access them.

I will then at some point ask you to sign up to my email list to get notifications of new videos, worksheets & extras etc.

One of the fastest ways I built my email list in the early days was through webinars, so don’t be surprised if a few webinar invites don’t come your way in the future.

There are a multitude of ways to build your community each one deserving of an episode all on its own. More to come.

Step 5

Build Your Asset Base

Simply put nows the time if you haven’t already to add whatever it is you’re selling.

So if you’re selling information products you might sell a video course, an ebook, a book, a membership site etc.

If you’re a coach you’ll be selling your coaching services.

Ecommerce – your products.

Influencer – your audience, your sponsorship deals.

SAAS – your software etc.

As I said in Step 3, there’s no hard & fast rule as to the order of these things.

Perhaps you had a product all along & then began to build your audience. It’s entirely up to you.

For my new ecommerce brand I will be promoting products & building my audience at the same time.

For my book, I won’t launch it until I have a bit of an audience to launch too.

It really depends on your goals and end objectives.

But all I can tell you is the stronger & more engaged your community, which by the way is directly correlated to how much value they feel they receive from you, the easier you will find it to promote & sell your product / service / brand.

So even if you start with a product, it’s important to be offering that value & building an engaged community at the same time.

One of the things that makes selling on Amazon so much easier than your own ecommerce store is that they’ve already done all that community building for you.

So you now just need to put your product in front of their audience.

(Quick note, to be continuously successful on Amazon though it would do you well to build your own audience. It’s a very competitive marketplace and you can easily get knocked out if the way by someone with more money than you!)

Step 6

Master Marketing!

The quickest and easiest way to get your products / services / brand & content out into the marketplace is to use promotional techniques to do so.

Whether that be SEO, gaming social media algorithms, co promotions with other marketers, paid ads etc.

You need to be promoting even more than you’re creating.

If you publish a video on YouTube other than getting the tags right, your title, description etc you need to be adding a segment on your social media channel of choice, sending out to your community, trying to get other people to promote it for you or running ads & promotions to it.

The same for your podcasts or blog and / or your products & funnels.

The best content & products in the world are no good if they’re not seen.

So almost from the getgo you need to be looking at creative ways to get your brand / content in front of your target audience.

The first step is in knowing where your audience is which we touched on in Step 2.

The second step is being uber valuable as that will attract people to you & encourage word of mouth.

Then it’s using all the resources available to spread your message.

Once again this section is both long and wide so we will hone in on some great marketing & promotion techniques in various future episodes.

Step 7

Add systems & a power team.

By now you will likely be exhausted!

You’re creating a podcast a week, trying to encourage people to join your community & nurturing them with valuable & consistent content, building out products and utilising marketing & promotion techniques.

You just don’t have the time or the energy to do it all!!!

Now is the time, if you haven’t already to put in place your power team.

To start with you might only have one other person on your team.

I grew my digital marketing business to a very healthy high six figure business with only 2 other full timers & some freelance contractors and we built our Amazon business to 7 figures with only 1 virtual assistant.

So you don’t need hundreds of staff to make it much easier on you to do what you must do.

I say what you must do because it’s important you hold on to the tasks that really only you can do, unless your long term goal is to exit out of the business completely which is a different discussion.

But most of my audience are building smaller lifestyle businesses and turning passion into profits so I imagine there’s a part of the business that’s yours and yours alone.

For me that’s content creation. Writing, recording, posting.

That’s not to say it won’t change in the future but you must ensure you start by delegating the lower level tasks out to your team freeing you up to do the important money making tasks.

Not sure how to get started hiring a VA? Here’s a post I wrote a while back complete with a job description and a robust hiring process – How to Hire an Awesome VA

Step 8

Continue building & nurturing your audience & community.

This is one of the greatest mistakes I’ve seen online entrepreneurs do & I myself have made this mistake in the past.

Just because you’ve had a few sales or a success launch or your ad strategy is working doesn’t mean you should neglect your community & current audience. They are the core of your business and as such demand your best attention.

But like all of us they have a multitude of things happening in their lives vying for their attention at all times.

Neglect them and they will neglect you.

I don’t know about you but I hate the promotions I see banks do all the time.

X% off for new customers. Then you call up having been a loyal customer for years, ask for a similar discount and get told it’s only for new customers!

There’s something distinctly wrong with that picture!

Nurture your community. Keep adding value where you can. Listen and act on their feedback and acknowledge their importance in and too your business.

The more you look after your community the faster you will organically grow as they will be recommending you left right & centre to everyone they meet!

Plus it just makes you feel really good yourself to be a part of such a positive & friendly community.

Step 9

Add further income streams.

Be super careful with this one as you don’t want to grow too fast.

I know that sounds counter intuitive but if you don’t have the systems or resources in place & suddenly catapult your business into high growth you could find yourself unable to meet commitments, dissatisfactory customer support & a reputational crisis on your hands.

Once you are satisfied that your business is running well and you want to up the ante you can begin to add alternate streams of income.

So if you sell stand alone video course, you could wrap them all up into a membership site.

Or you could start as an affiliate marketer & add your own courses as you go.

You could add more product lines to your store or more stores.

Perhaps you add a backend educational product to your front end product store.

There’s a whole stream of ways you can begin to add different revenue streams it will depend on your business & model.

But in all my years of doing this I have always found unless you’re starting with a solid team and plenty of financial resources it’s best to start small and grow as you go.

As I said in Step 7, we built our Amazon business to 7 figures with just one product and over the following two years grew that to 50 products but the sudden growth in product lines actually caught us out and we had to quickly scale back of risk losing growth in our whole brand.

Sometimes less is more!

So analyse your business as you grow. Listen to the feedback from your community so that you can provide what they’re asking for and grow slowly but surely.

Seth Godin said ‘The shortcut is usually the longest route’. Meaning that 9 times out of 10 when you try to shortcut something it usually takes you far longer. I wholeheartedly agree!

Trust the system & stack your income streams one by one.

Step 10

Have fun!

This is meant to be fun!

I know business can be stressful. Learning something new can be stressful. Stepping out of our comfort zone etc etc.

But at the end of the day why do it if it doesn’t bring enjoyment to your life?

There are so many ways these days with the emerging ‘gig’ economy to make a bit of extra money to supplement your income so if you’re in this just to make money then starting & growing a business may not be for you.

But if you have a hobby or a passion that you’d love to share & monetise then building a lifestyle business is the way to do it.

The end result is doing what you love every day, and earning enough to do it from wherever you want whenever you want.


So there you have my 10 steps to building your Freedom Lifestyle Business.

I do hope they’ve proven useful.

Thanks for listening and if you get a moment I would so appreciate it if you could rate & review the podcast on iTunes.

Have an amazing week, life life on purpose and of course Make It Happen!

Jo 🙂

What Business Should I Start?

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Read Here

Do you know you want to start a lifestyle business but are stuck for ideas? Perhaps you’re low on cash, time, self belief?

Whatever it is one of the issues facing you is the sheer amount of opportunities now available to us.

Where do we start?

In todays episode of Make It Happen Monday, I’m answering an email I received from a lady called Sarah who asked this very question – ‘What business should I start?’

Here are my top 3 tips for hacking away the jungle of information surrounding you and making your way out into a sunshine filled clearing with decision and precision in mind!


Hello! Welcome to Make It Happen Monday.

I had a great email a couple of weeks ago from a lady called Sarah who said;

‘I’ve been following you for a couple of years and everything you put out is fantastic.

I’ve been looking at different online businesses, but find it challenging on which to start.

I have very little disposable cash to invest. Can you advise me what you think would be good to start.

I need to be doing something that brings me the lifestyle like yours.’

Great question Sarah, but a toughie for me to answer as it really depends on your time, resources, passions, skills, interests etc.

But I thought I could give some suggestions that might help you in the decision making process.

There are literally hundreds of lifestyle business ideas you could start tomorrow ranging from dog walking to ghost writing to digital marketing, selling on Etsy, building websites etc etc.

But almost all of them can be categorised into the following areas;

1. Freelance Services – virtual assistant, marketing agency services, building websites, etc.
2. Information Marketing – online courses, ebooks, affiliate marketing, books
3. Coaching / Consulting – one to one, one to many coaching services
4. Ecommerce – selling physical products online – Shopify, Etsy, Amazon, Ebay etc
5. Influencer Model – Sponsorship / product endorsements etc
6. SAAS – Software as a service – Software, apps etc

There may be the odd outlier but most fall under one or more of these 6 categories which helps when thinking about which model suits you the most.

So here are three steps you can take to really hone in on the the type of business you’d like to start and what that business might be.

Step 1.

Focus on the process not the result.

Your objective might be to create an amazing lifestyle where you travel the world and work your own hours as and when you want to, but focusing on that will only take you down scammy rabbit holes following people and programs who sell you the dream, not the reality.

Your lifestyle will be a direct result of the effort you put in and the value you bring to the table.

So what are you interested in or passionate about?

What hobbies or interests do you have which could be translated into a business opportunity?

Do you love entrepreneurship in general (like me) and want to help businesses grow?

Do you make beautiful jewelry or clothes in your spare time which you’d love to sell online?

Are you a natural cook and would love to teach people how to make cakes, or vegan food, or Indian food or healthy meals for kids etc.

Do you love Yoga and believe perhaps you could become an online Yoga instructor.

It all starts with what you love to do, what are your hobbies and do they correlate with a gap in the market or an area that you believe you could really add value.

Step 2

If you’re still not sure and can’t think of something that really floats your boat, then look at the available business models as laid out at the beginning of this podcast and in the show notes accompanying this episode.

What business model excites you; blogging, being an influencer, offering a service, selling physical products, building a brand etc. If there’s a model that excites you then you can learn a new skill to adapt to that model.

For example, you could immerse yourself in Facebook Ads and become a FB ads coach.

You could immerse yourself in graphic design and become a graphic designer.

You could immerse yourself in ecommerce and start an online store in a popular niche as I have done.

You could become a podcaster and interview people in a specific niche, build an audience and make money from sponsorship.

The ways to build a business are endless, you just have to decide on something (even if it’s not quite the right thing for you just yet) and go for it.

Have a look at my Make It Happen Monday Episode 84 – What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

It’s the story of how I got going even though I wasn’t entirely on the right path at the time. It’s better to be moving and switch lanes than to do nothing and just think about your goals.

Step 3

If by this stage you are still undecided – although I would hope you might have one or two potential ideas by now – focus on who you’d love to serve.

Sometimes deciding on ‘who’ we’d love to attract / impact / serve with our business can help us decide what business to get into.

Foe example perhaps you’d love to inspire Dads who work too hard to manage their time better and focus on their health & families more.

Perhaps you’ve just navigated your way through your kids teenage years and feel you’re well placed to help parents with teenage kids survive the onslaught! (I’m speaking as a Mother of a new 13 year old here)

Maybe you’ve just had a baby and suffered with postpartum depression and would love to help other new Mums cope.

The opportunities are endless my friend, so you have to decide on something and then go for it.

Next week I’m going to run through the 10 Steps to Building Your Lifestyle Freedom Business from the Ground Up which pretty much applies to all of these business models so between now and then jot down some business ideas going through the 3 steps I’ve shared today and then after the next episode you will be able to formulate a plan and the one that gets you the most excited to follow the plan is the winner!


I do hope todays episode has helped.

Thanks for listening and if you get a moment I would so appreciate it if you could rate & review the podcast on iTunes.

Have an amazing week, live life on purpose and of course Make It Happen!

Jo 🙂

Why You’re Never Too Old – Make It Happen Monday Episode 109

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you’re just too old for all the change in the world and that the online world particularly is for the ‘young’uns’ nowadays?

I’m not going to lie, as someone hurtling towards 50, I have my own moments of doubt.

But this morning a beautiful quote popped up on my computer screen & I wanted to share out with you.

Enjoy, I hope it inspires you to take action today!

Watch Episode 109 Here

Listen to Episode 109 Here

Download the Transcript Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

Never leave the scene of learning without taking massive action! What will you start doing today to live the life of your dreams?

Go for it my friend! 😀

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!

How to Deal With Crippling Self Doubt – Make It Happen Monday Episode 108

So what do you do if you suffer with crippling self doubt?

So much so, that it’s stopping you in your tracks. Stopping you from getting out there and truly being who you want to be and doing what you want to do?

That was the question in an email I recently received from a member of the YLB Community.

In this weeks episode I’m giving you three tips you can start to practice today to eradicate or at least minimize your self doubt and start taking action on your dreams.

Watch Episode 108 Here

Listen to Episode 108 Here

Download the Transcript Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

Never leave the scene of learning without taking massive action! What action can you take today to start moving forward towards your dreams?

Remember YOU CAN!

Go for it my friend! 😀

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!

How to Generate an Endless Supply of Content Ideas – Make It Happen Monday Episode 107

Watch Episode 107 Here

Listen to Episode 107 Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Episode 105 – How to Create a Super Simple Content Strategy

Are you stuck for content ideas for your service based business?

Perhaps you’re a social media manager, run FB Ads, build websites or manage email marketing and communications for clients like the lovely Helen who asked – ‘do you have any tips on creating content for those of us in a service based business.?’

‘E.g, I do email marketing for small businesses but they don’t want to know about email platforms they want to hand that over (hopefully to me) so what kind of content could I create for them?’

Great question Helen and in todays episode I’m going to give you my top 7 ways to generate an endless supply of content ideas, regardless your business type, niche or target market! 🙂

Without a doubt one of the most important things we need to do as online business owners is to build an audience no matter what business you are in.

Whether you sell services, products, courses, books, sponsorship. I haven’t come across an online business model yet that does not require you to build an audience of some kind.

And the best way to build your audience is through super valuable content.

By valuable I mean either; educational, entertaining, inspiring or solving a problem (or all of the above). Most content falls under one or a mix of those categories.

But how do we keep coming up with valuable content ideas day after day, week after week?

Well my friend you do not have to do it alone!

In this generation of big data, all the inspiration you need is at your fingertips.

Here are my 7 awesome ways to help you generate an endless supply of content ideas no matter your niche or target market!

1. Head to

The internets biggest Q & A site, simply type your keyword into the search box and see what questions pop up.

When I typed ‘email marketing’ here’s what came up;

Do you think email marketing is important for your business?
When is the best time of the day to send out e-mails for maximum response rate and visability?
What is a successful cold email marketing strategy?
What is the biggest nonsense in email marketing?
Email Marketing: What are some free alternatives to mailchimp or Aweber?

A constant supply of interesting questions, you can answer via your content, asked by real people!

2. Join Groups

There are so many specific interests groups on FB with people engaging and asking questions everyday.

When I type in ‘email marketing’ to FB and hit ‘groups’, there are communities with anything from a few hundred to tens of thousands of members.

You can bet your bottom dollar there are interesting discussions and questions being asked in some of those that you can use for inspiration.

3. YouTube

An endless supply of content inspiration, type your keyword into the search bar and see what pops up!

Email Marketing Secrets
Email Marketing for Beginners
Best Email Marketing Software

And the list goes on and on.

If you add some more keywords such as ’strategy’ or ‘tips’ you get even more results;

Email Marketing Strategies With Copying
Email Marketing Best Practices & Tips 2019.

So many titles you can tweak and make your own for your blog posts, podcasts, FB Lives etc.

4. Google is Your Friend

Type your keywords in Google and see what comes up.

The term ‘email marketing’ brings up thousands of pages of ideas, instantly showing you what makes the SEO grade also, which is handy.

All you have to do is work out how you can make your content better and tweak then title to make it relevant to your business and your audience.

For example, the top ’non paid for’ result for email marketing is;

‘Email Marketing Made Simple’

So your post might be;

‘Email Marketing Made Simple for Online Coaches’ or
‘Email Marketing Made Simple for Fitness Professionals’

Depending of course on your target market.

5. Make a list of competitor & collaborator blogs / sites

Who do you admire in your niche?

Which site / brand would you most like to emulate (in your own unique style of course)?

Make a list of sites you enjoy visiting and use these as a content source of inspiration when your ideas have run dry.

Don’t ever be a copy cat of someone else, but there’s no harm in getting ideas from the content they’re creating.

Also look at the comments from their community. What questions are they asking? What is it your target market want to know?

6. Listen to Podcasts

Type your search term into Apple Podcasts and you’re guaranteed to find a plethora of podcasts pertaining to your niche.

You only need to subscribe to one good one to generate hundreds of potential ideas. (Although feel free to subscribe to more)

You can look at their titles, or listen to the episodes and create a few ideas per episode depending on the subject matter etc.

7. Use a blog post title generator

By now you should have hundreds of ideas, but if the well has really run dry, then use one of the sites below to help you come up with some super groovy titles.

Just type in your main keywords and let the site do the work for you!


So there you have 7 practical ways for generating content ideas no matter your business type, niche or target market.

By now you should have hundreds of ideas for interesting and valuable content.

You may even be overwhelmed with ideas!

If that’s the case my bonus tip is to create your content ideas in topics clusters.

So for example you may have clusters such as;

Getting started with email marketing (for beginners)
Email marketing platforms (technical info)
Email Marketing strategies, tips, practices
Case Studies / examples

Then group your titles & ideas into the different clusters, to keep you organized and focused.

Lastly now you have your list of content ideas go back and watch ‘Episode 105 – Creating a Super Simple Content Strategy’ to see how to now create an ongoing strategy of creating and publishing your content in order to grow a huge audience of raving fans!

I do hope this weeks episode has been super useful.

I love receiving your questions, so do please let me know if you have anything you’d like me to cover in a future episode in the comments below!

Have an amazing week, Live Life on Purpose and of course – Make It Happen! 😀

Your Turn

Never leave the scene of learning without taking massive action! What can you do today to start generating content ideas for your business?

Just utilise one of these tips today and create a list of 3 blog posts, videos or podcast ideas for your niche / target market. Decide your deadline to create and get cracking!

Go for it my friend! 😀

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!

Maui, Turtles & 2000 Views!

Welcome to another ‘week in the life of a travelling entrepreneur’!

This week we’ve been in Maui and it’s been a busy one!

A 12 hour day exploring the road to Hana, a sunrise hike, a submarine experience, a snorkel trip, a Luau & surfing lessons!

And we still had time to enjoy some beers on the beach watching the sun go down!

We may have been active but I tell you, I don’t want to be going near any weighing scales anytime soon!

Tacos, fajitas, fish & chips, nachos! Come on America, even the salads are 1000 calories each!

As I write this we’re off to the big island & I’ve decided to become a carbarian for the rest of the trip.

Step away from the carbs Jo!!! 😂

Turtles 🐢

So Hawaii is definitely the land of the turtles. I have never seen so many, on the beaches, swimming past in the sea, while snorkelling etc.

What’s amazing is their complete nonchalance for humans.

They just seem to go about their business and completely ignore the fact we’re there!

I was quite nervous snorkelling close to a beach which was home to an entire group of pretty big green sea turtles.

I didn’t want to swim into one, but believe me they’re much more agile than us in the water and just swim round you!

Beautiful creatures!

Make It Happen Monday

So I had a very exciting experience this week when my latest MIHM episode saw over 2.2k views!

Thank you so much to everyone in the FB group for your comments & support.

Unfortunately after checking the analytics, it seems the video was shown as a ‘suggested video’ to people watching a ‘vivo phone ad’. Therefore on average about 2k views only watched 45secs of the video. Booo 🙁

They don’t know what they’re missing out on! 😂

Not to worry, this time next year it’ll be a million views! (Get it people from the UK!) 😂

However it has made me think about my MIHM vids.

Last week I talked about reducing the quantity of my content to focus more on quality & promotion and moving forward I really want to work on providing super valuable MIHM vids.

I already have a list of great topics to cover in the coming weeks / months but if you have any burning questions you’d like me to cover in a future episode do please let me know in the comments below or at anytime in the group.


No updates this week other than to let you know (if you don’t know already), IGTV’s max video limit is 10 minutes.

If you don’t know IGTV is a separate app to IG but connects directly with your IG account by automatically publishing a preview of your video plus your captions & hashtags to your IG feed.

You can upload a video directly to your IG feed but that limit is 60secs & if you want to upload a video to your story the limit is 15secs. Although if you have a longer video you can use an app called ‘Long Story’ to splice a longer vid into short 15 sec clips.

So IGTV is like YouTube for IG but as I said max limit is 10 mins. Don’t sit there uploading and getting rejected all day only to discover your vid is too long! 😜


That’s it for this week. Have just arrived on the big Island for 9 days, so looking forward to exploring the volcano! 🌋

In the meantime…

Fave Quote

“Don’t let the fear of striking out, hold you back” Babe Ruth

Fave Joke told to me by my 12 Year Old

What’s big, grey & doesn’t matter?

An irrelephant! 😂😂😂

Have a great weekend 😁

How to Feel Super Comfy on Camera (No matter your age) – Make It Happen Monday Episode 106

Are you a little (or a lot) intimidated by video?

Does the thought of getting in front of the video camera leave your palms sweating & your pulse racing?

I’m fairly confident when I say you’re not alone in this. The No 1 fear above death is public speaking so it makes sense that video (which in it’s own way is a bit like public speaking) would move even the most confident person a little out of their comfort zone.

And when the face staring back at you on the video is not representative of the 22 year old inside your head, that’s when it can get really tricky.

In todays episode I’m going to walk you through 6 steps to make getting in front of the video camera easier & more comfortable even if you’re not feeling like a spring chicken anymore!

Watch Episode 106 Here

Download Transcription Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

What’s stopping you from getting on camera? How can you get over that and just do it? Let me know via a video if you’re feeling brave, in the comments below.

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!

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! 🌺


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!!! 😂


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 😀

How to Create a Super Simple Content Strategy – Make It Happen Monday Episode 105

Do you ever find yourself sitting in front of a blank screen or scrolling through Instagram, Facebook or YouTube doing ‘research’ trying to get inspiration for the content you’re going to create?

Perhaps you’re so unclear about what you should be posting, you don’t post anything at all?

In todays video we’re going to knock that out of the ball park. No more listless scrolling or whiling away the hours watching videos and getting ideas but never actually creating anything yourself.

Today I’m going to walk you through 6 steps to a super simple content strategy. 🙂

Watch Episode 105 Here

Download Transcription Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

How to Stand Out From the Crowd When Everyone Else is Crushing It

How to Create Multiple Pieces of Content in One Sitting

Duct Tape Marketing

Your Lifestyle Business FB Community

Your Turn

What do you feel might be holding you back from creating & publishing content? Let me know in the comments below.

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!

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.


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. 😀


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.

Pineapples & a Dole Whip!

I don’t like pinapples.

I wish I did, as they’re super healthy & nutritious, but I can’t stand them. Not sure why, a bit how I feel about coconuts. Also super healthy but the thought of a coconut juice throws me into convulsions.

But earlier today I was very excited to visit the Dole Plantation, the birthplace of the pineapple & try a famous Dole Whip (pineapple flavoured ice cream). 🍍

I know crazy right! 😛

We spent a couple of hours wondering around what was billed as ‘the largest maze in the world’. Not sure if it is that, but it was great fun trying to find the secret signs placed randomly around the maze.

We gave the pineapple express a miss as there was a 45 min wait (tip get there early), so sat down to enjoy a famous Dole Whip & a bowl of french fries (or chips as call them in the UK).

All in all a lovely morning out and highly recommended if you’re visiting the Isalnd of O’ahu! 😀🍍

A Dole Whip

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

Exploring the maze at the Dole Plantation

Exploring the maze with my beautiful little girl :)

How I Make Money While Travelling (more importantly, how you can too) – Make It Happen Monday Episode 104

I hate the term ‘Make Money Online’.

I’ve always said that the phrase is a misnomer as your business is your business and the internet or ‘online’ is simply a tool to amplify your business.

However, there’s no denying that the internet makes it possible these days for us to grow a huge global brand from home.

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a YLB community member asking how I made my money.

I decided to share my story briefly in today’s video and focus on all the ways you can generate an income using all the online tools at your disposal in todays fast moving day and age.

I hope this helps! 🙂

Watch Episode 104 Here

Download Transcription Here

Links Mentioned in the Video

Amy Porterfield
Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income
Ezra Firestone – Smart Marketer

Your Turn

So which model resonates with you the most?
How do you see yourself monetizing your skills or services?

Also which models have I missed? If you have any tips on other monetization techniques, please share below. I’m sure fellow readers would hugely appreciate your input! 😀

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!


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

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! 🥳

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

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 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

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

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

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

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!

Hawaii Here We Come!

OK I’m officially super excited!

11 days from now, we’ll be heading to Osaka, Japan for 3 days before flying over to Hawaii for a month, then back to Japan for a week before heading home to Phuket.

I have never been to any of the places we’re visiting and I always love a new adventure!

So we start off with 2 weeks on O’ahu, staying in Honolulu, and oh my gosh we have so much planned!

Trips to;

Pearl Harbour
Manoa Falls
Kuhio Beach Torchlight Hula Show
Make Beach to snorkel with turtles
Waikiki Beach
China Town
Lanikai Pillbox Hike
Makapu’u Tide Pools
Various Beaches
Rhett wants to walk the Haiku stairs but it sounds a bit dangerous for Cerys so I’m thinking about that one.
And lots more!

Then we’re off to Maui for a week and doing various treks, snorkeling trips and sunrises around the Island, although I’’m a little nervous of sharks, there seem to have a fair few attacks in and around Maui over the years!

Then lastly we head to the Big Island for 8 days.

Once again lots of treks, snorkeling, possibly diving, waterfalls etc.

Then we head back via Osaka, Okinawa (more diving I hope), Hong Kong & Macau (I love a game of Blackjack!)

So I welcome any tips along the way!

Have you been to Hawaii?

Maybe you live there?

What must we do while there?
Do I need to worry about sharks or am I being a total wusser?
Have you been diving off the coast of the Big Island? If so do you recommend it?
Rhett wants to take Cerys shark cage diving, am I a terrible parent for saying ‘over my dead body’!?
Any other tips?

Thanks so much!

I will of course share pics etc along the way on FB & Instagram, so be sure to connect with me! 🙂

Planoly, Later & Priorities – Week in the Life 1

Hello awesome action takers!

A few months ago I started ‘A week in the life of’ series which was supposed to be a weekly update of things I was working on, but through my indecisive period I wasn’t working on that much so it kind of drifted into the ether…

This week I’m breathing new life into it as I’m on such an upward journey now I hope that my discoveries across each week of tools, strategies & tips to build my business will help & inspire you.

I am also recording this as a weekly podcast, so if you don’t have time to read, you can listen here, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor or Stitcher amongst others!

So this past week has been a pretty big one!

Fueling Your Mind for Action

I think too much. Always have. My Mum has always said ‘Jo, you think too much’. Now Rhett says ‘Hun, you think too much’.

The problem with that is my mind is a dangerous jungle fraught with scary monsters jumping out giving me all the reasons I can’t do something or why it won’t work, or how I will be judged!

So, I have to find a super fast path out of that jungle as soon as I find myself walking through it.

My answer to that my friend is – YouTube!

YouTube is like the yellow brick road leading me to the emerald city.

On every corner is someone saying ‘You can do it!’, ‘You are worthy’, ‘It can work’, ‘Here’s an example of it working for someone else’ etc etc.

The more positive videos I watch, the more pop up in front of me in flashing lights, saying ‘watch me’.

I’m fully aware that some of the people behind the videos may or may not be like the great Oz himself and actually not so great, but that’s irrelevant as long as they can lead me out of the jungle and confidently into the big city of ‘action taking’ and ‘forward momentum’.

So my message to you is, next time you find yourself in your own jungle, head to the sparkling city of YouTube and indulge yourself in positive, reinforcing messages that you’re awesome and have everything you need to be who you want to be! 😀

Getting Intimate

So after a period of indecision & faffing about, I decided to get pretty intimate this week and open up about my current journey.

This is actually pretty scary, because you want people to always see the best, the brightest & the strongest side of you, but unfortunately we’re all only human and sometimes to publicly admit your flaws, really helps you to admit them to yourself and be able to forgive yourself and move on.

It was a super positive experience for me and I want to thank everyone in the FB group for your support and encouragement.

Since becoming super clear on my plans for the next 12 months, I have become so excited and can’t wait to share my learnings & experiences with you. I truly hope they help you with your goals & dreams.

Which brings us to a quick….

Summary of Future Plans

So in summary from all my posts this week, my plans for the next 12 months are to launch our new ecommerce brand, probably in September of this year after the summer holiday period and do lots of over the shoulder training videos on how we build and grow that brand.

I love over the shoulder training. I have done since 2010 when I started with FB.

But this time all my training will be FREE!

Yep, I have no desire to sell video courses or go back into the world of product launches.

I have a long term plan of building a large audience of people who will hopefully buy my books when I publish them, some of whom may join us on immersive retreats around the world in a year or two and in years to come might join a higher level mastermind I may or may not launch (I haven’t thought much beyond the next year).

So I’ll let you know when all that comes to fruition later in the year.

However in the meantime…

Make It Happen Monday

I had a HUGE shift with my MIHM vids this week.

Contrary to popular belief and what the content I currently produce says about me I do not want to be a female version of Tony Robbins.

That’s not to say I don’t want to demonstrate how to be strong, empowered and courageous.

In fact that’s exactly what I want to demonstrate.

And that’s not to say I don’t want to publish messages of empowerment because I think we all need to fuel our minds as much as possible with empowering thoughts (as per point 1)

But it’s not my focal point, it’s a by product.

And yet I was finding that every video was a message of empowerment with no real actionable strategies for people to take away.

Plus my 12 year old Instagram obsessed daughter informed me that I waffled too much at the beginning and it took me ages to get to the point. So long in fact that she turned me off within 20 seconds! (Love that she’s already thinking like a marketer!)

So this week after having prepared & completed a content strategy for June – August, I set about scripting and recording 5 episodes I’m feeling super happy about.

One is empowerment led, but still actionable and the other four are strategy led, actionable videos which I hope will truly add value. I’m excited to share! 🙂


So right now my priorities are on engaging (& growing) the members of my Facebook Group & my email subscribers.

You guys are the lifeblood of my brand and I’m here to serve you, so if you haven’t yet joined the FB Group please do so here.

My second priority is of course the content I create, my blog posts, MIHM vids, podcasts etc.

And my third is then promoting that content across mainly Instagram & FB

Current Tools I’m playing with

With all the traveling I do (off to Japan & Hawaii in 2 weeks), apps & tools are essential for me to run my business.

I have been shocking at being consistent with Instagram & Facebook so I’m currently playing with Planoly & Later, scheduling apps mainly for Instagram, but Later looks like it also includes FB.

I’m mid investigation but will let you know which one I prefer within the next couple of weeks.

I’m also looking at Tube Buddy to help with my YouTube account, but haven’t signed up yet as they want complete control of my YT account including deleting videos etc.

I have been in touch with their support and will report back if and when I sign up and start using it.

Promotional Strategies I’m Exploring

So its all good and well creating content, but we have to promote it or no-one will ever see it.

It’s become blatantly clear to me that the social networks do not want you linking people off of their platforms and so posts with links get less airtime.

So how else to get people to my blog?

As much as I dislike the old behemoth because it’s so complicated, I am once again looking at SEO and trying to devise a super simply strategy for headlines or posts that might get some SEO love.

I’ll get back to you on that also, but if you have any tips, please do share below!

Challenges You or I Might Be Facing

I just want reassure you that if you suffer from a bit of self doubt and stop yourself from doing things because of it, you’re not alone.

Even this post, I’m asking myself, is it too long, too much information, too little, should I say this, should I say that?

But in the end you just have to make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to show up and do your best.

You’ll learn, change and improve as you go, but you’ll never do anything if you don’t get started in the first place.

Shows I’m watching

Not sure why I wanted to share this, just thought it would be a bit of fun!

Rhett & I totally binged watched Season 3 of ‘Designated Survivor’ last weekend. Kiefer Sutherland is so cheesy as the President, but it’s a great show and they really tackled some weighty issues this season. Many tears were shed by me!

Now we’re on to season 4 of Billions! Love that show, although it hasn’t started with a bang. And I’ve had little time to watch so have only managed 2 episodes.

Also in the background, ready for long journeys if I don’t feel like writing or reading and just want some brain zone out time is of course ‘Outlander’! Oh my gosh – men look away a moment – ladies, how about Jamie Fraser?? Many an episode spent a bit hot under the collar. That’s one of those shows that you have to cover with your hands if you’re watching sat next to someone on an airplane! ☺️


So there you have it, my meaty week!

Hopefully future weeks won’t be so long, I guess this was like a pilot for future more focused & specific summaries! 🙂

Let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cover in my Friday ‘week in the life of’ posts.

As I said above, I’m here to serve you.

Thanks so much for reading!

Your friend,

Jo 🙂

Fave Quote of the week

“Do not discourage yourself with what you haven’t done, encourage yourself with what you will do.” Neale Donald Walsch

What’s At the End of Your Content Rainbow?

So we’ve had a pretty big week;

Deciding our why, clarifying what it is we believe in,
Admitting our fears to ourself and owning them,
Visualizing where we want to be a year from now and thereby honing in on our uniqueness and lastly
Getting super clear on our ‘coffee mate’ we’re going to be delivering our message too.

So where’s it all leading too?

Before we start creating copious amounts of personalized content that our target audience will get so much value out of, why do it?

Why create it at all? What’s at the end of the content rainbow? 🌈

So you might instantly be thinking here, she means what am I going to sell.

Well that’s not necessarily the case.

I have nothing to sell right now.

When I started Your Lifestyle Business at the beginning of this year I made a promise to myself that no matter how big my audience got, how enticing an opportunity it felt I did not want to hurtle back into the world of product launches and video course sales.

I have far longer term goals, which include becoming an author, building out our ecommerce brand, promoting Micro Angels – my lending team for women in developing countries, doing some immersive retreats all over the world and becoming an angel investor for female owned companies in Asia.

Building a huge audience of engaged Lifestyle Business owners firstly gives me great pleasure, to learn & share is just something I love to do, I may do some non aggressive (ie just links no pitches) affiliate sales along the way to cover costs and then over time a decent sized audience will give me leverage.

Hopefully my audience will buy my books, listen to my podcast, watch my videos and this will lead to getting in front of bigger brands who can help me to promote my books further, my lending team, my brand, garner connections etc.

I’m now playing the long game. And by long I mean 10 – 40 years long (depending on how my body holds out).

The bulk of our income will come from our ecommerce brand which gives me the freedom to write books, run retreats, network with entrepreneurs, and promote Micro Angels.

This means all my online training will be free.

I will use all the content I create for Your Lifestyle Business to grow my audience, build my email list and encourage people to join my FB group.

However, when I launch our new ecommerce brand later this year, I of course will be creating content to build my email list which in turn will lead to sales of our products.

So for YLB the end of the content rainbow is building an audience.
For our ecommerce brand the end of the content rainbow is building a list & selling our products.

What’s at the end of your content rainbow?

Its imperative you’re clear on this so you can create a super strategy for your content plan (that’s coming next).

Don’t make it complicated or overthink it, i.e, my blog posts will link to my products, my podcast to my email list, my IG account to my podcasts, my FB page to my webinars, my webinars to my products, my products to my email list.

Oh man, I have so been guilty of totally overthinking and overcomplicating funnels before. KISS!

Just know in your mind what you’re trying to achieve by creating content, this will help you to create it.

For example let’s say you have an email list you want to grow, an FB Group & products you want to sell.

Great that’s it. Now when you create content you know it’s going to lead to a call to action which either asks them to sign up for a free something, join a community of like minded people or buy something.


You’ve just clarified your content rainbow.


So I’m going to give you a few days to catch up.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting my ‘Week in the Life’ post covering all sorts of different topics, then some more lighthearted posts over the weekend.

Then on Monday I’ll be releasing what I hope is a slightly new & improved version of Make It Happen Monday on the advice of my 12 year old! I’ll explain more on Monday!

For now, congratulations, you should have the answers to;

1. What’s your hook? What’s your unique angle within your niche that you want to become known for?
2. Who are you serving? Who do you want to serve?
3. Why are you creating and publishing content? What’s your reason for doing so?

I do hope this has helped!

Any feedback or questions are welcome! 🙂

Who Do You Want to Serve?

I’m not ashamed to admit I have flip flopped around on this one a bit over the years.

The reason being is that I have built three very successful businesses now without ever having created a solid customer avatar.

However this past couple of weeks, I decided to give it a go and I must admit, when sitting down to write some content for my MIHM videos, it did make it infinitely easier to imagine I was having a coffee with my ideal target customer.

For example, meet Kate.


Kate is 48 years old, from the Midwest with two children aged 16 & 19. The 19 year old has left home and is at college.

Kate is a respected Office Manager on a decent wage but as the kids have grown she has a hankering for building her own business. She’s been tinkering with a blog and a social media account for the last couple of years and has even built an email list of around 500 people, but she’s a bit lost and not sure what to do or where to go next.

Secretly she’s pretty darn good at making jewelry and is always selling pieces to her friends. She lays awake at night wondering if she could turn that into a business and how it could become something that has a positive impact while being profitable.

Kate’s not ready to disappear into the obscurity of middle age but fearful of a lack of both time & energy to put into a new venture.

Kate would love to start traveling with her husband in the next few years and therefore wants to get something off the ground she can do on the move and also so they can travel in relative style. (She can totally see herself backpacking across India, as long as the hotels have spas & air-conditioning).

Plus she wonders if traveling might help her with her dream of finding beautiful jewelry pieces to add to her collection while helping people in developing countries at the same time.

Kate wouldn’t call herself a domestic goddess, but likes to look after herself & her family with good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

Kate loves to read (both fiction & non fiction), is a museum goer, enjoys yoga (although would love to be better at it), likes to learn and stretch herself and catch up with the girls for Friday night wines.

She’s actively involved in charitable affairs and helped out at the school garage sales & discos when the kids were younger. She has ambitions to have an impact in the world but has some secret fears that she’s past it and perhaps left it a bit too late to start again.

With an eclectic taste in music spanning from Fleetwood Mac to 80’s disco to Bruno Mars, she knows she is responsible for her outcomes and is an action taker at heart.

She loves Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Brene Brown, Bridget Jones Diary and believes strongly in female empowerment.

She worries about her spreading waistline, competing with millennials & Gen Z, her aging parents and her almost grown up kids. But after years of looking after others it’s her time and she wants complete financial independence & freedom while investing her time in something she’s passionate about, that could potentially have a positive impact & allows her to travel.

Now, imagine I’m sitting down to create some content and I really have no idea who my target market is. I have no idea who I’m creating content for and therefore cannot hone my message.

Imagine again I sit down with Kate.

Do you think it’s much easier for me to address her fears, her dreams, her apprehension, her lifestyle?

To be sure it is!

Can you build a business without a customer avatar. 100%.

Is it easier with one? 100%.

Ok so now it’s your turn.

Imagine you’re sitting in Starbucks or your favorite coffee house with the ideal person you would like to be telling about your brand, product or service.

Remember this is your person. You make their life up for them.

Who are they?
What’s their name, age, marital status etc?
What do they do, what are their hobbies?
What do they dream about, what are they scared of?
What keeps them up at night, what gets them excited?

As per yesterdays post, please do not worry that you’re going to be alienating people when you focus in.

It’s the clarity that’s key here.

The clearer you are, the easier it will be for you to take action. The more action you take the more people you will attract.

Just because I’m targeting Kate does not mean that I will not attract older people, some younger, men, Ozzies, Brits etc. So many people will resonate with Kate & her fears & desires and my messages will be that much clearer.

So get as detailed as you can.

Then when you’re ready, go and print off a pic from google of what the person looks like in your mind.

Then next time you sit down to create content, or make a piece of jewelry or create a product, you can imagine you are sitting across from the very person you’re creating it for.

This exercise will help you immensely so do please take the time to do this and put it somewhere you can look at it when you need to.

Start With the End in Mind

Imagine it’s one year to the day from now and you have achieved everything you wanted to this coming year…

Where are you?
What are you doing?
What does your life look like?
What does your business look like?
Who are you working with?
What’s a working day in the life of you?

Allow your mind to completely wonder and dream as if nothing had gotten in your way over the year.

You’d obliterated all fear, taken massive action, the stars had aligned and everything you wanted in your business had happened as planned.

When I did this exercise I knew that by this time next year I wanted to have written a couple of books and helped as many people as possible build their own lifestyle businesses through my content, books & free videos.

But I also imagined that by this time next year our new ecommerce brand was up and running.

That I had spent time ‘playing’ with drop shipping & print on demand to see which products were most popular before I began finding ways to perhaps get products manufactured fair trade in developing countries with the help of NGO’s and potentially people were supporting.

When I realized the direction I wanted to go in, it wasn’t hard for me to know where to start.


Back in 2010, I knew that my ultimate goal was to help people build businesses online.

But back then I didn’t have the experience or the know how, so I honed in on one thing and focused on facebook fan pages.

I immersed myself in Facebook and taught people how to grow their brand and email lists using facebook landing pages.

By the time I launched the Social Networking Academy some 8 months or so later, I had 18,000 people on my email list and generated $117k in the launch week alone.

This is the power of niching down. You can always expand later.

As someone who’s very passionate about walking the walk, it makes sense for me to focus on ecommerce moving forward.

This is a fabulously scaleable business model for a lifestyle entrepreneur and as I want to grow our new ecommerce brand I can teach what I’m doing at the same time.

So although I’m sure to cover associated topics such as, social media marketing, email list building, content marketing etc, because its all part and parcel of the same thing, for the next year or so I will lean heavily towards ecommerce and physical products.

Therefore the answer to Q1 – What’s your hook? What’s your unique angle within your niche that you want to become known for?

For me over the next year or so it will be teaching people how to build ecommerce based lifestyle businesses they can run from anywhere in the world.

What is it for you?

Remember this doesn’t have to be lifetime. Just think about what you need to do now to achieve your goals this time next year.

Don’t worry that you might alienate certain groups of people by becoming specific about what you’re doing.

I guarantee you, that I will attract information marketers along with ecommerce businesses because so much of what I teach applies to both models.

But the beauty of niching down is that it allows you to become super clear about your subject matter, your content creation and your message.

The clearer you are, the more action you will take and the more people you will attract.

Tomorrow I’m going to walk you through how that works when selecting your target market also.

But believe me, the more focused and niched you can get, the more of the right people you will attract even if they’re not quite what you expected.

So, please take the time to go through this exercise. Really allow yourself to think big & visualize in great detail.

If you’re not a visual person, make some practical lists of where you’d ideally like to be a year from now if everything went as planned.

Then looking at the direction you want to go in, get super clear about where you want to start and don’t be afraid.

You are not missing out on anything by focusing in. The opportunities around us are going nowhere and you will speed up your progress by starting small and growing rather than trying to be all things to all people.

Obliterate Your Fears

OMG I can’t believe I’ve met you!‘ She exclaimed excitedly…

Stu, Stu’, she shouted over to her husband who incidentally I’d already met the day before by the sunset pool.

You will not believe that this woman runs an ecommerce business and teaches people how to build their own businesses!’ She cried.

I looked down at my feet in the pool. ‘Well I did teach’ I said. ’Not so much these days’.

I felt my usual cloak of self doubt sweep over me, but the bubbly young welsh woman I had just met didn’t hear me.

Too excited was she that she had possibly met someone who could help her with her new ecommerce business – Totally Lashed Up! (Great name).

It wasn’t long before my self doubt was replaced by her own and I found myself talking to her as if I was recording a Make It Happen Monday episode;

‘Don’t worry about what others think’
‘Just do it, what’s the worst that can happen?’
‘You’re totally good enough and have as much chance as anyone out there’
‘You’ll never know if you don’t try’

Now that’s the Jo I know and love! :)

To cut a long story short, she was desperate to make a video while in the fabulous Maldives setting but hadn’t got around to it.

We instantly got to work and within a couple of hours she had made the demo video she wanted to make while there. Totally Lashed Up Video & Story

I had instantly connected, resonated and encouraged her to take massive action which she did.

Coincidently, just 2 weeks prior I had had a similar conversation with a lady in Jaipur India, who wanted to take her husbands cooking business online so they could work from anywhere, do some traveling, visit their kids at university etc. Jaipur Cooking Classes Story

We took instant action, put together a short video and talked so much my brain, tummy & thoughts were on fire! And not from the curry.

Both ladies were keen to learn more, know more. Where could they sign up? Could I give them homework? Did I have videos etc?

Two women from distant lands wanting what I could offer, but due to my current state of indecision, right now, did not have to hand in any structured and meaningful way.

Of course I recommended any resources I could think of, but it became blatantly clear I needed to have a word with myself.

So I did what any self respecting, action taking 46 year old woman on a paradise island would do and relaxed with a few cold ones in the pool! 😂🍺


So it may surprise you to know, that all of us suffer with all sorts of insecurities & fears at various points in our lives, even those of us who come across as super confident.

One of my fears was that by taking the break I did, I had now missed the boat in the digital space.

The market had become far more saturated than it was when I started in 2010, and by boys & girls far younger & sexier than I!

How was I going to compete, with what was I going to compete and did I really have the energy??

Meeting Geetika & Jess reminded me just how many people there are in this world and how much of any market is still untapped.

As of writing over 43% of the entire population are still not even online.

The opportunities are abound and without sounding twee we are honestly only limited by our own belief systems.

Geetika & Jess wanted my help. They didn’t care how old I was or whether I looked good in a bikini.

Could I help them build their businesses and live the kind of life I was living?

‘Live the kind of life I’m living’. I’m a walking, talking, breathing advert for my own brand.

I am – ‘Your Lifestyle Business’

You can’t get much more unique than that!

In tomorrows post I’ll discuss why it’s important to start with the end in mind in order to get super clear about where you are now and succinctly answer the question – ‘What’s your unique angle’, but in the meantime a great exercise is to take a deep breath and write down all the things you’re afraid of with your business.

Everything you can think of, write down just for you, you can throw it away afterwards.

Write, read and own your fears, and then work to obliterate them.

Is what you’re telling yourself really true or just a story you’re making up in your head?

Feel free to share any fears if you need help destroying them for good.

Start With Why

In my last post I posed 4 questions both to myself and to you as a lifestyle business owner.

1. What’s your hook? What’s your unique angle within your niche that you want to become known for?
2. Who are you serving? Who do you want to serve?
3. Why are you creating and publishing content? What’s your reason for doing so?
4. How are you ensuring you’re adding the most value and meeting the specific needs of your target audience?

I asked these questions because since restarting my brand back at the beginning of 2019, I haven’t really had a clearly defined plan or direction and as a result have been unhappy with my own efforts to create content that truly resonates and adds massive value to my target market.

I also gave some great examples of brands and influencers who very specifically through the content they publish answer each and every question without ambiguity.

I Screwed Up – Part 2

But I missed a question.

Probably the most important question we should be asking ourselves above all questions.


Why are we doing what we’re doing? Why do we want to do it? What’s the driving force behind the goals we have? Behind the business we’re trying to build? Behind the content we’re trying to produce?

When I relaunched my brand as ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ earlier this year having taken a couple of years out of the digital marketing space, Rhett (my other half) asked me why I wanted to start this particular side of the business again.

We have a successful Amazon business right now and I’m in the enviable position of not having to work if I don’t want to, and we also have plans to launch and build a completely new ecommerce brand in 2020 more in line with who we are and what we love to do as a long term 10 – 20 year plan.

So in all honesty I could just sit back, wait until we start our new ecommerce business next year and focus solely on that.

But I know (and he knows) that that alone is not going to fulfill my particular needs.

I have a greater purpose.

And it took me rewatching this Simon Sinek video to really clarify my purpose.

In the video he’s basically saying – ‘You will attract people who believe what you believe, what you do proves what you believe, so what do you believe?’.

All of a sudden I went back to the examples of the brands and influencers I talked about in my last post.

Why did I resonate with those guys, did I believe what they believed?

You bet your bottom dollar I did.

Looking beyond the podcasts, the courses, the videos, the books, I realised what really resonated with me was that I believed what they believed.

Look at the people or brands you use or follow. Do you know what they believe? Do you believe the same?

It’s quite eye opening.

So bear with me here as I explain my beliefs about the world, because it is these deep inner workings of my complicated overthinking mind that form the purpose for doing what it is I want to do and I hope will help you to do the same;

I believe that capitalism which inherently is a good thing and can raise entire countries out of poverty has exploded in the last few years into greed and the only way to regain some equilibrium is for more people to become masters of their own destiny and achieve financial independence & freedom for themselves, their families and ideally their communities.

I believe that more people need to travel and experience the world beyond their back garden in order to open their minds, increase their understanding of cultural, religious and economic differences and thereby increase tolerance around the world.

I believe that organizations such as are giving women in developing countries opportunities they may not otherwise have to grow their own small businesses, transforming their lives, their villages and allowing them to send their children to school, which creates a huge positive ripple moving forward.

I believe that more people should be building businesses from their passions and interests, focused less on the bottom line and more on spending their days doing something they love, while funding a good lifestyle, while adding value to their marketplace.

So therefore in a nutshell, I believe that the more people who can build a ‘lifestyle business’, ie a small business which gives you enough to fund your lifestyle, become financially independent, travel the world and be able to give back even in a small way to those less fortunate will lead to a better world.

I also believe that because of my experience, our future goals (mine & Rhett) and our current lifestyle I am perfectly placed to help as many people as possible achieve this goal.

So there you have my why for doing what it is I want to do and to be honest, once I’d sat down and really explored my reasons for doing what I wanted do, the other 4 questions at the top of this post became pretty easy to answer.

In my next post, I’ll tell you how two chance encounters led to me realising that I was already on the right path with ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ but for now, go and watch the Simon Sinek video.

Why are you doing what you’re doing? What’s your driving force?

What do you believe?


I screwed up – Part 2

So yesterday I told you how I hadn’t kept up with my daily blogs for the last week during my Ride 4 Kids experience.

I also did not send out a Make It Happen Monday episode on Monday!

Shock, horror, the world just stopped spinning for a second….

For the same reason I didn’t keep up with my posts, I hadn’t prepared an episode and I was just too tired and too distracted to make it happen (ironic much).

There was another reason though for the lack of Make It Happen Monday.

I’m not too proud to admit that I don’t feel I’m resonating or connecting with my audience at the moment with my content.

I did record some episodes while in India and the Maldives, but when I watched them back I was less than inspired and if I can’t inspire myself I certainly cannot inspire those I wish to help!

So actually after Ride 4 Kids had ended it was time for a big think and some home truths.

These are the questions I asked myself. I hope this proves helpful to you if you’re currently contemplating the future of your business;

1. What’s your hook? What’s your unique angle within your niche that you want to become known for?
2. Who are you serving? Who do you want to serve?
3. Why are you creating and publishing content? What’s your reason for doing so?
4. How are you ensuring you’re adding the most value and meeting the specific needs of your target audience?

For example;

If you watch a David Goggins video you know he’s all about strengthening your mind and not allowing yourself to get away with weak minded excuses. He’s primarily aiming his content at men who want to get super fit. His content leads you to his book ‘Can’t Hurt Me’ which is an awesome read by the way. He makes very short videos once a week showing him working out with a very specific mind strength message.

If you watch a Sunny Lenarduzzi video you know she’s going to be giving you tips and tricks primarily on YouTube & video marketing and more recently on Instagram marketing. She’s aiming her content and businesses and brands who want to master video. Her content leads you to her YouTube courses. She publishes videos once or twice a week with very specific ‘How To’ tips.

If you consume Amy Porterfield content, she’s going to teach you how to create and sell online courses. She’s aiming her content at educators & small business owners who want to sell digital courses online. Her content leads to her online courses. She hosts a popular podcast and webinars focusing on list building and digital courses.

Gary Vee, all about the hustle and not being blinded by the sexiness of entrepreneurship – primarily aimed at young men. His exposure leads brands to his Vayner Media brand, plus his new small business brand, his trainers, wine, investments, connections etc. A very clever model. He can go off the beaten track a bit more but primarily focuses his messages around hustle & grind.

Marie Forleo, female empowerment, creating a purpose driven business and creating a business & life you love all leading to her annual B-School. She attracts primarily women wanting to have an impact in the world. Her weekly Marie TV Q & A Tuesday answers specific questions from her audience and she’s also branched out into interviews, if you notice primarily with purpose driven business owners.

When I started my online adventure back in 2010, I taught online entrepreneurs how to use Facebook fan pages to grow their audience and business online. My content was aimed at those who wanted to build a business online and it led to initially my free fan page templates and later my Social Networking Academy. I regularly published specific facebook ‘How To’ videos. I built a successful six figure business from this specificity.

Read all of those again.

Every single one has a specific angle, a specific audience they want to reach, specific messages and a specific reason for creating the content they do. Therefore all of their content adds value and serves the audience they want to reach.

Can you answer those questions with such specific answers?

Can you describe your business, your market, your content strategy and your reason why with such clarity?

I realized I couldn’t and that my friend leads to creating content for contents sake, which will get you nowhere fast.

So let’s start answering those questions and really getting clear on what we’re trying to achieve with our businesses.

In the next few posts I will take you through the process I went through to answer the questions, engage you in going through your own process if you need to and ending with such clarity you’ll be on fire! 🔥

I Screwed Up!

Well, I screwed up! 😟

I promised myself this year I would write a daily blog and I kept it going through my trip to the UK, through my trip to France, through my training days, through Borneo, Nepal, India, the Maldives and then in the last week with Ride 4 Kids, I was unprepared and exhausted!

I hadn’t written posts in advance as I had on my travels and through the week was just too tired and too distracted to even think about it.

Bad form.

So what can we learn from this?

1. If you’re going to set audacious goals, then you better have some systems & processes in place to make them happen.
2. If you screw up, don’t throw your tools down in shame just pick up where you left off and carry on!

I could have cheated and written & back dated some posts, but what’s the point in that? The only person I’m cheating would be myself, so best to simply accept I am only human after all and move on.

This may seem unimportant and really not a big deal at all. I mean who really cares if I miss a few blog posts that frankly not many people are reading at the moment anyway?!

Well, it’s part of a larger story.

Unfortunately not keeping up with my blog posts wasn’t the only thing I screwed up on this last week. 😟

‘I screwed up’ No 2 to follow tomorrow….

P.S. The good news is this has what I hope is a happy and helpful ending! 😁

Day 1 – Ride 4 Kids

The time has finally arrived for me to get on my bike & cycle somewhere between 600 & 700 kilometres this week to raise money for 3 amazing children’s charities here on Phuket Island.

Yesterday a group of us set off at 8am to cycle around the schools we’re supporting, starting at Phuket Has Been Good To Us, a school which was originally set up to support the orphaned children from the 2001 Tsunami.

Now the school educates & houses local kids from broken or abusive homes, kids with no parents & families with no means to give their child an education.

The money we raise will pay for English speaking teachers & more equipment & facilities for the school.

Next we cycled to the Banya school supported by The Good Shepherd charity.

Here the kids are Burmese and come from the immigrant worker camps made out of corrugated iron & dirt.

The money we raise pays for clean drinking water at the school, clean toilets, teachers, learning equipment & other school facilities.

Lastly we visited the Outrigger Share 4 Change program school.

Like PHBGTU, the local kids here come from broken homes or families living in extreme poverty.

The school receives no government funding & this program has paid for learning equipment, improvements to the sports field, canteen, playground, nursery & library.

Three very deserving causes I’m sure you’ll agree.

Day 1 was fun, informative & at times extremely moving.

Here’s a little video I put together.

If you’d like to support us, please sponsor me just $10 to change a child’s life.

Thanks so much 🙏

No More Newsfeed? – Make It Happen Monday Episode 101

Huge changes afoot on Facebook!

No surprise there I hear you cry, when have there not been changes at facebook!

As an ex Facebook video course creator I couldn’t agree more, however I do believe the changes coming could change the way we use the platform forever more.

Due to all the recent security scandals etc, they are super focused on ensuring we only see content totally relevant to us and that we only reveal on the site information we are comfortable with.

How that’s going to pan out from a user perspective I’m unsure but here are what I can gather are going to be the top 4 upcoming updates;

Watch Episode 101 Here

As promised here is the link to the full FB live Mari did with more detailed info.

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!

Ride 4 Kids Starts on Monday!

OMG, I can’t believe how fast it’s come around but Ride 4 Kids starts on Monday.

On Monday morning I’ll don a pair of bike pants, some gloves & my helmet and start my 700km week cycling around the charities of Phuket.

Through the rest of the week, we’ll be cycling up into Phang Nga, spinning in the gym for hours and clocking up the miles!

Here’s a little video telling you more;

Sponsor Me Here

Wish me luck!!!

I’m a People Person

When I started my very first business back in about 2005, I knew I couldn’t work alone, and within a month or so of setting up my business I hired my first employee, which within a couple of years I turned into a team of 10.

When I started my online adventure in 2010, it wasn’t long before I was working with the lovely Jared Elvidge, my amazing tech guru the late Neil Farley (who I miss very much) and a team of people in the Philippines.

My business model for ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ however is different.

I have absolutely no intention of selling any courses in the near future.

My goal is to build an audience through free and very valuable content who will hopefully in years to come purchase my books, help me to build my new ecommerce brand I’m launching in 2020 and give me leverage to work with some bigger partners.

This means that for at least the next 12 – 18 months there will probably be more money going out than coming in.

However, I know myself very well and working alone is not an option.

That’s why I’m so over the moon that I’ve managed to convince a couple of my good friends to come on board and have some fun with me making videos, growing my Instagram account and ensuring I create the best, most valuable content for my audience!

I know that by brainstorming together, I will be braver and do things I might not do on my own.

It’s so important to be self aware when building your own lifestyle business.

Know your own strengths & weaknesses and try to accommodate them right from the start.

Have a fab day! :)

You Are Not Alone

Imposter syndrome
People will laugh at me
Who the hell I am to do this?
I don’t have what it takes
I won’t be able to follow through
I haven’t got enough money
I’m not good enough
No technological skills
I will fail publicly
I will be judged
I won’t have any money
I’ll be lonely
Are my dreams even realistic?
How can I compete?
I haven’t got anything unique to say
How will I balance everything?
I will screw up for my clients
I’ll let my family down
I won’t succeed and will be stuck
Hearing crickets!
Being seen
Not being there for my kids
Why will this time be any different from all my past failures?
I don’t know enough
I will quit

These are all the answers from fellow budding entrepreneurs in a group I am part of when asked the question;

‘When starting and building your business, what are you most afraid of’.

Whatever your fear, you are not alone! 😀

Is Your Biggest Weakness Holding You Back?

I’m in the middle of Marie Forleo’s B-School at the moment and I have to say it really is an incredible program.

I signed up because even though I’m excited about ‘Your Lifestyle Business’, I still felt like I hadn’t quite defined exactly where I wanted to take it.

I knew I wanted to get back to educating and making videos etc, but I also knew I didn’t want to sell online courses anymore.

Plus there are FB specialists, Instagram specialists, Online Course specialists etc out there crushing it and I’ve been having trouble deciding where YLB really fits in and where I can add the greatest value.

More on this in another post as the training has been invaluable and I’m super excited, but for now, one of the exercises was to go out and ask family and friends, ‘What are My Top 3 Best or Strongest Qualities’.

I haven’t finished asking people yet, but when I asked my hubby to be and he gave me some great feedback I also asked him, ‘what’s my biggest weakness? What one think do you think could really hold me back from being who I want to be?’

I was expecting – ‘you’re too optimistic, you want everything yesterday, you set too many goals, you’re a great starter but your follow through is sometimes lacking’ etc.

But he simply said ‘self doubt’.

Self doubt! I exclaimed!!!

I’m one of the most confident people I know!!!

With that he smiled and walked away.

Later that day as I was writing out my new plan for YLB and all the exciting ideas I had, I could feel my enthusiasm start to wane and some familiar thoughts popped into my mind.

‘I don’t really know enough yet about this side of the business’
‘I haven’t had experience with every element yet’
‘It’s more of a mans world, will I have the skills to do it?’
‘What if I’m trying to take on too much’


I suddenly stopped short and thought! Oh Wow! There’s the self doubt he was talking about!

I wonder how many projects I’ve talked myself out of because I’ve been asking the wrong questions in my mind??

Are you aware of your biggest weakness? Do you know what it is that’s holding you back?

If you’re not sure it’s time to ask someone who knows you well and is willing to lovingly tell you.

Even if you think you know (I thought I knew mine), ask anyway as the answer might surprise you and then next time it rears it’s ugly head you’ll recognize it and be able to tackle it. 😀

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day – Make It Happen Monday Episode 100

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” Bill Gates

I am the first one to admit I want everything to happen ‘yesterday’!

But that’s just not how it works is it.

Sometimes it could take years for us to reap what we sow.

But if we sow long enough and hard enough the benefits can be astounding.

Todays episode was recorded in a swimming pool at the top of a hotel called the Mansion Grand in Agra.

If you look carefully you can see the Taj Mahal behind me!

I hope it helps!

Watch Episode 100 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!

Stolen Moments

* Taking the kids to school
* Sitting in the dentist waiting room
* Waiting for a friend to arrive at the coffee shop
* Queuing at the post office

These are all examples of stolen moments, when you could be listening to an educational podcast, reading a blog post, recording some content, updating your website, answering a question on social media etc.

We all have umpteen stolen moments every day of our lives, make the most of them! 🙂

It’s Ok Not to be an Entrepreneur

I witnessed a fabulous argument unfold on facebook this week.

Gary Vee had posted a video with his definition of a ‘true entrepreneur’.

‘You’re not a true entrepreneur’ he said ‘unless you can’t breathe doing anything else’.

‘If you have ever worked for someone else and weren’t out there involved in entrepreneurial activities from a very young age upwards, you’re not a true entrepreneur’, was the rough summary of what he was saying.

His opinion.

The argument that followed was of course those for and against.

Those who agreed with him and those who have worked for others and have become an entrepreneur later in life or are still working to make ends meet but growing a business on the side.

I totally got distracted for a good 20 minutes actually in the comments as they were impassioned and contentious but many were well thought out and intelligent points of view.

My argument however is, who cares!

Who cares whether you’re a ‘true entrepreneur ’in Gary’s opinion or a part time entrepreneur or even an entrepreneur at all!?

I think I know where he’s coming from. He’s very passionate about encouraging youngsters particularly men, lured by venture capital, gold watches, Ferraris and hot women away from this fake dream of what entrepreneurship is all about and talk instead about how hard it is. And all power to his message.

But for those of us who are past all that and simply trying to build a lifestyle business preferably from our passion which gives us the freedom to work from anywhere doing what we love, do not worry about labels.

What you call yourself is irrelevant and unimportant.

What’s crucial is that you are happy, that you’re enjoying the journey, that you’re doing something that you love and that in doing what you love you somehow serve others and have an impact on the world.

All power to you my friend for sticking your neck out and chasing happiness & fulfillment rather than allowing stasis to set in.

Get out there and achieve greatness today! 🙂

Energy is Everything!

Tony Robbins says “Repetition is the Mother of Skill”

Jo Barnes says “Energy is the Mother of Productivity!”

I have had a terrible day today.

Coming down off my big trip no doubt, I couldn’t sleep last night and was up listening to podcasts and reading from around 2am until 5am.

My lovely hubby to be let me sleep in from 5 – 9 and when I woke I felt weary but ready for action.

I jumped on my bike (only 1 week left until Ride 4 Kids) and cycled for 90 minutes while – she ashamedly admits – I did not watch productive videos on growing your social media following or improving sales funnels.

I watched 2 episodes of Outlander! I have to say it certainly made the stationary indoor cycling much easier and as I haven’t been on the bike for almost 6 weeks while I’ve been traveling and I just needed to get some time on the saddle!

The rest of the day has kind of gone by in a haze of tiredness.

The cycling coupled with a poor nights sleep, add in a carb heavy lunch and it was sayonara baby.

My to do list went by the wayside and I had an altogether very unproductive day. 😟

Energy is everything.

Without energy you will not function at your best.

Even the smallest little bumps in the road will feel like Mount Everest and your primal brain will talk your more action taking pre-frontal cortex out of everything positive you want to do.

We must do everything we can today to ensure we have maximum energy tomorrow.

Drink plenty of water, eat nutritious foods, exercise enough but not too much and ensure we get enough sleep! (Note to self there).

And if you are someone who struggles with sleep deprivation I have heard that ‘The Sleep Revolution’ by Arianna Huffington is a good read although I have not read myself, so don’t take my word for it.

I’m off to bed.

Night! 😴

Stop managing your time, Start managing your focus – Robin Sharma!

I’ve just come back from 5 weeks traveling and my good friend Kate said to me, ‘You’re probably feeling a bit discombobulated at the moment’! 🥴

She’s bang on the money, I am indeed feeling a little confused & disconcerted. Primarily because after so long away from any semblance of routine I’m now trying to regain some momentum on my priorities.

However in just 1.5 weeks I am riding 700km’s over 6 days for charity and then 3 short weeks after that we’re moving house and then traveling to Hawaii for the summer. 🏝

So the question is how do you manage your time and your priorities when you’re constantly in a state of flux? Which of course many of us are, whether it’s because of travel, or family responsibilities or external commitments.

It’s very rare these days that any of us have a solid 8 hours a day of focused time to work on the things that are important to us.

Therefore as the very wise Robin Sharma said;

Here’s how I’ve taken that statement and incorporated into my life;

This morning I wrote out very specifically my ‘ideal’ goals for the rest of the year.

This helped me to get clear on what I’m focused on.

Then I simply said – ‘what can I realistically get done in the next 2 weeks to help me move forwards towards my goals?’

I can’t look beyond the next 2 weeks, because my life is in such a state of flux all of the time I can only plan a very short time ahead.

However because I’m now focused on 5 very clear & specific goals for the next 7.5 months I know where my attention needs to be in the next 2 weeks.

Then in 2 weeks from now I’ll review where I’m at and set the targets for the following 2 weeks.

Whether you have 1 hour a day or 10 hours a day to work towards your dreams, the clearer your vision of where you want to be the easier you’ll find it to focus.

Make It Happen! 🙂


OMG, I love this app.


I use so many photo apps for FB & Instagram to attempt to make my pics look more artsy and interesting, but when I want to create a meaningful quote or add text to an image Typorama is the cream of the crop!

As someone who hasn’t got a natural eye for a design, any help I can get to create nice looking fonts that work well together and sit beautifully on a self taken background image is welcome.

I love this app!

Canva is great in that it has lots of templates & ready made designs, but it can be quite technical and a bit overwhelming, plus you can’t use it offline. But it is my go to Blog Header designer of choice.

Many other apps are the same in that they can’t be used offline which is a pain if you’re trying to prepare images perhaps during offline travel times (which is pretty frequent for me) for publishing later.

But what I love the most about Typorama is that you pick a photo, type in your text OR use one of their random quotes they have in their library, so if you’re feeling a bit short of inspiration, they’ve got you covered.

Then pick a font ’style’ and away you go.

A beautifully presented text image you can save to your camera roll for later use or you can immediately share to all the main social networks!

Happy Days. Give it a go!

Jo 🙂

The War in Our Mind

Every day the chances are we wake up arguing with ourselves.

‘Shall we get out of bed now or have another 5 minutes?’

‘Shall I head to the gym or go later (when I may not go at all)?’

‘Shall I have fruit for breakfast or bacon & eggs?’

‘Shall I post that video, create that content or send that email or shall I surf FB or IG instead?’

The argument of course is;

‘Shall I take the harder, longer term more fulfilling path or the easier instant gratification path?’

The choice is obviously yours as to which path you will take and therefore the end result is yours to bear.

But remember, a war can seem overwhelming and difficult to overcome, so choose your battles wisely.

Give yourself some quick wins and allow momentum to become your friend.

Jo 🙂

Your Lifestyle Business – It’s Totally Doable – Make It Happen Monday Episode 99

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” – Napoleon Hill

I remember when starting out back in 2010, not wholly believing it would be possible to live the kind of life I dreamed about.

I didn’t have much money, I had no online skills and my view of the world was far narrower than it is now.

Back then only the chosen few seemed to be making any money out of the online world.

These days it’s everywhere. Bloggers, influencers, course creators, ecommerce, authors, podcast hosts, youtube stars etc.

The proof that building a lifestyle business is possible is now all around you. On Instagram, Facebook, Netflix etc.

The opportunities are endless.

And you CAN do it, if you believe you can….

Watch Episode 99 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!

Home Again!

Here we are, another Sunday is upon us!

Gosh the weeks roll around fast.

Can you believe tomorrow is Episode 5 & the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones! That all happened fast didn’t it?!

Plus I am finally back after 5 weeks on the road!

Borneo, Kathmandu, Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Varanasi, Madurai, Kochi, Maldives!

Big, fun & amazing trip!

But my adventures continue! (Never a dull moment).

I now have 2 weeks to train like crazy for my 700km Ride 4 Kids bike ride.

Please sponsor me! Just $10 will make such a difference to a child’s life & believe me I’ll work for it! –

Then when I get back from the ride, only 3 weeks to pack up the house as we’re having to move due to our landlord selling the house we’re in. 🤨

Then we head off to Hawaii for a month! 😃

In the meantime I want to focus in on my FB group & start Recording my new ‘Your Lifestyle Business’ course!

It’s all go! 😯

So what’s keeping you busy? Are you on track with your goals?

Are you reviewing each week & making the main thing the main thing?

Just take an hour today to plan the next 2 weeks.

What are 1 or 2 key things you would like to get done in the next 2 weeks?

Let me know in the comments below & in the meantime stay focused my friend.

Have an amazing Sunday! 😁

Totally Lashed Up

As is always the way, you meet the most interesting people just as you’re about to leave a place! 🙁

Yesterday we met Jess & Stuart, a lovely couple from Wales in the UK.

Other than having the most beautiful sing songy Welsh accent they were a bundle of fun.

Stuart is a wedding singer! Never met one of those before and Jess is a make up artist and has recently started her own ecommerce business selling eyelashes!

Her brand name – ‘Totally Lashed Up’!

You can imagine her surprise & excitement when I explained what I did! 😁

So naturally we spent a long time discussing her business, what she was doing now, where she wanted to take it etc.

Clearly a talented and committed young woman her tech confusion, fears of marketing, lack of understanding of sales funnels, email marketing etc are the same concerns and fears so many of my community have had over the years.

The same concerns & fears I had when I started out in 2010.

So we set about taking some immediate action.

She said she had wanted to make a video of her new soon to be launched eyelash product while in the Maldives, but fear of looking crap in front of the camera has held her back.

Within an hour I’d sent her marching back to her room to get her products and we were sat on a beautiful beach sofa videoing her demonstrating her new product with a backdrop of a white sandy beach & crystal clear waters.

Is it the best video in the world? No.

Is it good enough to start getting her message out? Yes.

Will people love her slight shyness! Yes.

Did we get it done? Hell Yes! 😁

Here’s a clip.

So impressed was I with her attitude & enthusiasm and after meeting Geetika in Jaipur who wanted to take her husbands cooking business online I found myself with no other choice.

I am going to launch a new, updated & comprehensive training course on how to build a lifestyle business.

It will be a nuts & bolts course including selling digital products, services & physical products.

Best news? It’s going to be FREE! 😁

Watch this space!

In the meantime head over to Instagram & check out what Jess is doing in her business. It’s fab!

Manta Rays & Venomous Lion Fish!

I talked on Wednesday about the ‘inevitable scuba dive I would do’ and sure enough yesterday was the day!

At 11am I headed down to the jetty to meet ‘D’ my Japanese dive instructor.

Within an hour we were exploring the reef which was teeming with life! 🐠🐟🐡🦈🐢

I felt like I was in a live version of ‘Shark Tale’!

I swam alongside sharks, a huge turtle, my favourite Bat Fish & a multitude of marine life. It was fabulous. 😁

Later that day after the sun had set over the pristine horizon, I once again ventured down the jetty to meet D.

This time I was a little apprehensive as we were off to explore a dark reef and see if we could spot Manta Rays.

The only downside? At nighttime the reef is full of dangerous fish! 😳

Lion fish, stone fish, trigger fish.

D informed me that if I did not keep perfect buoyancy and happened to make contact with one of these venomous animals, ‘make big problem’ he said.

‘Hospital in Sri Lanka’ he said with a huge smile on his face which did nothing to calm my churning tummy! 🥴

I remembered a conversation I’d had with my extreme sporting friend, 8 years my senior, Nikki when we were skiing.

‘You don’t get old & stop doing these things Jo’ she said. ‘You stop doing them & so get old.’

Not wanting to age prematurely I heeded Nikki’s words & ventures into the dark waters knowing somewhere down there unaffected by venomous fish were also sharks. 🦈

Good god what was I doing! 😯

As it turned out I kept perfect buoyancy, even as the Mantas swooped and played through our torch lights.

We saw a beautiful turtle swim above us, all sorts of brightly coloured fish including the beautiful but dangerous Lion fish.

Then we turned off our torches to watch the neon plankton dance through the water. It was magical!

I’ve had a few magical moments on this trip & I do feel truly blessed (and also very brave!) 😂😂😂

Do What You Love 💗

Yesterday I talked about my ‘why’ being travel.

Why just have one why though?

I have many and they’re all wrapped up in my passions & doing what I love!

* I love entrepreneurship & am a huge advocate of the future being about micro brands and a more equal distribution of wealth. Hence I love to teach how to build your own lifestyle business and am also starting our own travel ecommerce business next year with my hubby!

* I love my daughter & want her to grow up with a deep sense of self belief & a strong work ethic therefore I love to demonstrate to her empowerment & being a strong woman.

* I love writing & spreading my message to the world, hence I want to become a published author, build my audience & spread awareness of empowerment, self belief & contribution.

* I love to travel to see the world, open my mind, explore new cultures & along the way within my writing, my influence, connections & community hope to spread awareness of those in need and be a catalyst for change.

It’s all interlinked – travel, travel brand, ecommerce, microbrand, teaching others, writing, strong female entrepreneurs, empowerment, women in developing countries, contribution.

Every day I get to wake up doing what I love!

This didn’t happen overnight.

I found my passions & my loves by getting out there and ‘taking action’ everyday.

I had an inkling of what I enjoyed, but to discover your passion you have to be ‘doing’, not thinking.

Follow your heart, it will guide you in the direction you need to take, but most importantly ‘act’, and your passions will reveal themselves. ❤️

Make it your life’s mission to wake up everyday loving what you do because happiness is the ultimate success. 😁

Altogether Too Beautiful!

Well what can I say about the Maldives!?

It’s truly everything you think it’s going to be and more!

White sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, blue skies, palm trees, sharks, turtles, Manta rays, fish of all descriptions.

Quite simply paradise.

We’re staying at a place called Olhuveli Resort & Spa and 3 nights in a Jacuzzi Water Villa cost us £555 (approx $720).

Bearing in mind we just travelled across India for 12 nights for no more than £1000 ($1300) accommodation cost, this place is a little on the high end!

Add in the 45min boat transfer from & to the airport, food, drinks, snorkelling gear, the scuba dive I will inevitably do & you find yourself a pretty penny or two out of pocket!

But this is why Rhett & I work so hard. This is our ‘Why’.

So we have the freedom & the resources to explore the world, sometimes on a budget & sometimes on the luxury end.

For some it’s houses, cars, clothes, shoes etc. For us, it’s travel. ✈️🗺

So here we are, my Sister & I, at the final destination of our ‘Sisters on Tour – No 4’ annual trip & we are finishing off in style.

Enough talk, here’s some pics! 😁

Never Ever Give Up – Make It Happen Monday Episode 98

Never have I tried so hard for so long with so little results…

I’m ashamed to say this has become a bit of a regular saying of mine lately to my other half.

Where I’ve always found business fairly easy, this little personal journey I’m on at the moment has got me stumped!

But, whether your challenge is personal or business, the mantra you should be using is the same;

Never Ever Give Up!

I hope todays episode inspires!

Jo 🙂

Watch Episode 98 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!

Madurai to Kochi

So we’re supposed to be in Sri Lanka right now but unfortunately after the recent horrific events we felt it best to change our travel plans and extend our stay in India for a couple of days.

So we added a day in Madurai and a day and a half in Kochi.

However, I have to be honest we’re not getting any younger (my sister is 8 years older than me), and our trip to date has been full on, and so after a hot morning visiting various temples in Madurai, we spent the rest of our time there chilling by the pool!

(It had to be done).

But the Meenakshi Temple was well worth the visit as was the Gandhi Museum outlining the history of Indian Independence.

Gosh us Brits have got a lot to answer for in this world. 😞

While chillaxing at the hotel though we were not alone & were privy to some wonderful dance displays from our beautiful friends.

What a great way to relax and let the day go by! 😁

What’s Your PFI?

So while galavanting around India I have been reading Brendon Burchards ‘High Performance Habits’.

I actually struggle a little to watch Brendons videos but I love his writing style (proof that the more modalities you can deliver your content in the more chance it will be heard).

So here’s one key takeaway from his excellent book for you today.

What’s your PFI?

Your ‘primary field of interest’.

I know you might be building a website or creating a video product or trying to increase your audience or making videos etc, but what is your ‘main thing’?

So for example, I have a goal which is to write & publish books.

One of the big moves I need to make to achieve that goal is to build my audience.

Therefore right now my PFI is building my audience.

So once you have your PFI figured out, what are the skills you need to acquire to achieve your main thing?

Do you need to learn;

* How to make great videos

* How to Podcast expertly

* How to become an Instagram Master!

* How to build your email list

* How to become an awesome blogger

Whatever it is you need to learn to become a master in your PFI.

Brendon says in his book – What are the top 3 skills you need to know now & what are the top 3 skills you’ll need to know in 5 – 10 years so you can stay ahead of the game?

If you find yourself flailing around trying to master everything you will simply get overwhelmed & will find yourself peddling fast but getting nowhere.

So take a step back, identify your current ‘primary field of interest’ and get committed to mastering that area and that area alone.

As Tony Robbins says, strive for Mastery not Dabbling!

I hope that helps, have a fab day!

Jo 😁

Namaste 🙏

I’m not going to lie, I had a very distinct preconceived idea of what India was going to be like.

Many of my friends & colleagues have travelled through India and almost all gave the impression of a chaotic, dirty, stomach bug inducing place, that you either loved or hated.

The bit they missed out is that it’s an absolutely huge country with very different cities and places throughout.

New Delhi is big, spacious & very British.

Old Delhi is busy, bustling & full of life

Jaipur was beautiful once but us in desperate need of investment

Varanasi is spiritual, magical & chaotic all at the same time

Madurai is rural, far less touristy with the most beautiful temples

And they’re are only the places we have seen. There are many more towns and cities that will have their own vibe.

However it’s no dirtier or more chaotic than Bangkok in Thailand, parts of Vietnam, Myanmar, Borneo or even some parts of London!

In fact for the most part it’s pretty modern & a lot more Western than I expected.

You can’t love or hate it as a whole because there are so many differences across the country,

I wouldn’t go back to Jaipur, nor Madurai, but Delhi & Varanasi are definitely on my return list.

The most important thing though is now when I’m taking to someone from India, whether they be Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist or Muslim, I have a greater understanding for who they are, what the history of their country is, where they live, how they might have grown up etc.

Any fear I may have had of the cultural differences between us is eradicated through travelling here and seeing it for myself.

The only way to get rid of fear, intolerance & hatred is for people to come face to face with those they do not understand and realise we are all the same.

Different backgrounds, upbringings & beliefs, but essentially all the same.

To travel is to increase understanding, tolerance & love.

Namaste 🙏 ❤️

1 Day in Varanasi

The day began at 4.45am with a boat ride from our hotel to Assi Ghat to witness the morning Aarty Ceremony.

Here hundreds gather to watch the trainee priests say Good Morning to ‘Mother’ – the Ganga river, then do an open yoga session which included laughing, lion breathing & chanting.

It was fascinating! 😮

After a delicious Masala Tea, our guide took us back out on the boat to witness the sunrise & tell us lots of ancient Hindu mythological stories about how Varanasi & the Ganga river came to be.

The rest of the morning was spent walking around the Southern end of the city, visiting temples & eating the most beautiful street food!

After an early afternoon rest due to the heat (it’s about 45 degrees Celsius here right now!), we met our sevond guide for the day Sudarshan.

This time we visited the Northern end of the city, saw more temples, heard lots more fabulous stories & ate more street food.

As the evening approached we boarded a boat and headed to the cremation site which is an incredibly moving experience.

Lastly we witnessed the evening Aarty Ceremony where thousands gather to watch the trainee priests say Goodnight to Mother.

My description of the day has been pretty matter if fact but there is nothing matter of fact about Varanasi.

An intensity spiritual city the feelings you experience particularly when sailing along the Ganga & witnessing the rituals & ceremonies are almost indescribable.

I felt deep joy, gratitude, sadness, love & excitement all in one go!

I found myself exploring my emotions, my priorities, my desires & asking myself if I was on the right path, if I was loving enough, if I was giving enough.

I found myself reassessing that which I perceive to be important & searching for that which would add the most value to the world & bring me the greatest fulfilment.

The whole experience has left me with a sense of calm, a feeling of gratitude & a renewed love of life & people (as if I needed that last part).

I know, sounds a bit whacky. But seriously Varanasi will do something to you and that was just in one day!

I will definitely return and spend a few days there to truly reap the spiritual benefits of this magical place.

And now I have family there! Our guide for the afternoon and evening was quite simply a beautiful soul & highly recommended.

He was born & raised in Varanasi but left to study Mechanical Engineering in Chennai. After securing a good job with Renault his father fell ill and he was forced to return to Varanasi.

He now works as a tour guide & engineering teacher & consultant. An intelligent & articulate young man with clearly an extremely kind heart.

Sudarshan from Highly recommended! 😁

When I asked if it was safe for me to return alone (it felt super safe by the way but always good to check in case I can’t persuade Rhett to join me), he said of course & you will not be alone, you have family here now. 😁

Dhanyawaad Varanasi. 🙏🙏🙏

Thank you for your heart. ❤️❤️❤️

Special Tea

We arrived in one of the oldest & holiest places in the world today – Varanasi.

On first impressions it looks and feels pretty special. 🙏

After a taxi ride from the airport to the city, we boarded a boat to travel along the river Gangs to our hotel.

Evening was approaching & the river was like a millpond.

The air felt magical somehow and the Ghats (steps along the river) we sailed past were strangely beautiful.

It’s difficult to describe the feeling, bit spiritual probably captures it best.

When we arrived at our hotel on the river bank, it was getting late & I fancied sitting on the terrace with a nice cool one & a snack.

Unfortunately beer is not allowed on the terraces by the banks, but the restaurant manager thought swiftly and offered to deliver it to me in a large tea cup!

20 minutes later I was sat on the terrace enjoying a ‘special tea’ watching the world go by. 🍮

I love that kind of thinking. Yes there are rules but as long as we’re not hurting anyone rules can be bent to meet the situation at hand.

Tomorrow we are up at sunrise through to sunset exploring city & the culture. I can’t wait! 🕌

In the meantime always remember, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, make your own rules! 😁

Jaipur Cooking Classes

So I always knew I would love Indian food in India. 🥘

As a lover of spicy foods & Indian restaurants around the world I couldn’t wait to taste the real thing.

I have not been disappointed!

The food here has been nothing short of a taste explosion in your mouth.

Every meal has been has been an experience and I certainly won’t be shifting any kilos while here! 😛

Today I had the immense pleasure of attending a cooking class in Jaipur with the fabulous Chef Lokesh.

First he showed us how to make the most beautiful Masala Chai Tea ☕️

The spices, the ginger, the hot milk…. 😋

This was simply the beginning of what was to be a fabulous morning cooking & eating followed by an unexpected ‘build a lifestyle business’ training session! 😁

Our Menu

Aloo Tikki

(Potato cakes filled with peas & nuts with tamarind chutney)

Paneer Butter Masala

(Homemade Indian cottage cheese cooked in butter tomato gravy)

Aloo Gobhi

(Potato and Cauliflower cooked with onions & cumin)

Vegetable Pulao

(Assorted seasonal vegetables cooked with basmati rice)

Garlic & Peshwari Naan

(Homemade bread covered in garlic / filled with banana, raisin & nut mix)

Saffron Rice Kheer

(Rice pudding with nuts)

Jaipur Cooking Classes – Highly Recommended!

After the cooking had ended we were invited upstairs to be served what we had just cooked for lunch.

It was lovely & also gave us an opportunity to chat with Geetika, Chef Lokeshs wife.

Not long into lunch we were talking about their business & Geetikas desire to learn more about taking the business online & having more time & location freedom.

We were there another hour discussing all the ways they could build an audience, sell products, courses etc and the conversation lit a fire in my belly I haven’t felt for a while!

I promised Geetika I would record some new updates videos walking her step by step through the processes we discussed and I look forward to sharing these for free with her & my community.

In the meantime I’ve learned to cook an amazing Indian meal.

Can’t wait to share that with my family! 😁

How to Take Action When You Don’t Feel Like it – Make It Happen Monday Episode 97

I’ve just finished reading a book – ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, written by an Ultra Marathoner & Ex Navy Seal called David Goggins.

I was absolutely mesmerized by his story and within just a few chapters I realized that since living in Phuket I’ve gone SOFT!

My mind has gone soft.

I’m not pushing myself as much as I used too. I’m not forcing myself into things.

It’s all too easy to say – ‘I don’t feel like it’.

Just hearing my mind say that as I type, I want to shout at myself and say – ‘Drop and give me twenty!!!!’

Check out todays episode and vow to take action even when you don’t feel like it…


Watch Episode 97 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!

Trying to do too much?

Do you ever find you have so much you’re trying to do you don’t really get any of it done?

I’m feeling like that a bit myself at the moment.

My goal right now is to build my audience back up, but unlike back in 2010 when I got started in this business I now travel a lot more and have many other projects in my life which means I don’t have as much time to devote to it as I did all those years ago!

So what’s the answer?

For me it’s ‘chunking’

I’m currently travelling & taking lots of photos & video footage that when I get back home for a few weeks I can turn into quotes, stories, social media posts etc to inspire those who want to build a lifestyle business.

Also while at home for a solid few weeks I’ll;

– Make MIHM vids

– Record podcasts

– Write blog posts

– Advertise a list builder

– etc.

Then I shall fly off again on my next adventure over the summer with plenty of prepared content and a growing audience.

I will continue to follow this model putting in the hours & audience building strategies when home for a few weeks, then utilising my travel time for content building travel images & videos.

So if you’re in a similar position where perhaps specific projects or events make it impossible to consistently build your business, where can you ‘chunk’ and spend time putting in systems that continue to work with little effort while you’re busy doing other stuff?

That’s your food for thought this Sunday!

I hope it helps.

Jo 😁

Train Scam in Delhi!!!

OMG! Thank god for the internet!

This morning we arrived at New Delhi train station for our early morn train to Jaipur.

As we approached the baggage check area a chap checking tickets (supposedly) told us that the train was cancelled.

He told us we’d have to go to an office near the old Delhi station (30 mins away) get a refund & book new tickets for another train at 7.15.

We were clearly not convinced so he took us to another chap who was apparently the ‘tourist’ guy who proceeded to explain to us in very good English & very convincingly this was indeed the case and explained very clearly where we needed to go & what we needed to do.

He even negotiated a low taxi fare for us.

But clearly something didn’t sit right.

We got in the taxi & started to head off & Natalie searched up train cancellations from Delhi & the word SCAM filled our screen!!!

With less than 8 minutes to go we shouted at the taxi driver to turn around & drive us back asap!

He was awesome & managed to skip past all the traffic even running alongside us pointing the platform entrance (he was clearly not part of the scam).

We had to run to get on the train & my poor sister couldn’t catch her breath!

Thankfully we made it & as I write this I’ve just had a nice cup of tea on the train to Jaipur. ☕️


Beware any westerners catching trains from New Delhi. On reading further, they’re organised crime groups who have been running for years!

So many tourists have been stung for hundreds after being told the train is cancelled then full then having to book a car to get where they want to go! 😮

I have to admit I am feeling a little gullible right now as we did fall for it stupidly without checking the station boards (mainly because he was telling us how urgent it was or we’d miss the next train) but thankfully this wonderful internet world allows people to share similar experiences!!!

Plus I’ve done my exercise for the day! 😁😁😁

Funnily enough I’m quite glad it happened as it adds to the whole experience, but I may be thinking quite differently had I missed the train!

No-one said that travel is always easy, but it’s always fun!!! 😂😂

When is Now a good time to start?

I was thinking this morning about the voices of doubt in our heads that tend to stop us from even getting started with some of our goals & dreams.

I remember years ago a member of my community holding off from launching her blog in case ‘no-one would read it’.

At the time I said to her, no-one will read it as long as it’s not published so what’s the difference?

All these years later I’m having similar feelings about writing & publishing a book. I’m definitely procrastinating.


I have so much to say and am excited to write it (in fact I have 2 or 3 book ideas), but perhaps I’m scared that ‘no-one will read it!’

Duh??? 🙄

The simple fact is, when is now a good time to start?

The world will continue to spin & time will continue to pass. At what point will you regret not having done what it is you want to?

Start my friend. Now is the time.

I’ll let you know when my books published! 😁


Well! What can I say.

I was told lots of stories about Delhi before we arrived and I was expecting a super busy, traffic filled, polluted, chaotic, dirty city full of scammers & pick pockets!

What we found was quite different.

New Delhi

New Delhi built by the British when they decided to move the capital from Kolkata to Delhi back in 1931, is an expanse of parks, wide roads, parliamentary buildings, embassies, hotels & monuments etc.

It’s pretty clean, spacious and altogether an attractive & pleasant place to explore.

India Gate, a memorial to Indian soldiers lost in the First World War, is gorgeous and a very popular place with western & Indian tourists alike.

We stayed in a hotel just off Connaught Place, the main shopping & financial district.

Old Delhi

The highlight though was a rickshaw ride around Old Delhi.

Old Delhi is like another world altogether and very similar to Kathmandu.

Narrow streets full of colourful shops & dodgy wiring.

Rickshaws, tuk tuks, people with huge loads on their heads, & cars abound with horns blaring at every turn.

Dirtier, yes. Smoggier, definitely. Did we need to be more diligent? Absolutely.

But we loved it! ❤️

Sari shops, jewellery stores, fabrics, bags, wedding decorations!

Then we turned a corner into the Spice Market. The smells & huge bags of spices & chillis were amazing. It was all you could do to stop yourself from sneezing.

Our rickshaw guy Salim was fab & even let me have a go on the rickshaw! 😁

All in all a great experience including eating the most glorious Indian dishes!

The food here is ah-ma-zing.

Mushroom Keema Masala & Dhabi Kofta! Yum yum 😋

Just a quick word of warning. The tuk tuk drivers do not listen. They want to take you sight seeing & shopping & anywhere that extends the trip and increases the price.

We had to be very firm and very specific with the drivers & only pay what we had agreed before the journey.

There is definitely an air of take the piss out of the tourist here.

But other than that, fan-bloody-tastic! 😁

The Taj Mahal!

Yesterday we arrived in Agra on the Gattiman Express from Delhi.

That’s an experience all in its own! The Hazrat Nizamuddin train station in Delhi is both busy & chaotic, but with big signs everywhere we were able to find our platform fairly easily.

They say grab a porter to show you where to go which you can do if that makes you feel a bit more comfortable but it’s not rocket science. 😁

Anyway nice comfy train, and lots of food so don’t have breakfast before you go!

Once in Agra we jumped in a tuk tuk to our hotel with a friendly chap called Ali. In no time at all he’d sold us his services for the day and after a quick check in we were on route to the Baby Taj!

We spent a few hours visiting the Baby Taj (Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah), the park opposite the Taj Mahal (Mehtab Bagh) with amazing views of the Taj, the Agra Fort & an amazing Indian restaurant for a Kingfisher & a snack.

All in all a great afternoon which cost us 2000 rupees for tuk tuk & driver with tip (about $25).

We stayed at the Grand Mansion hotel a lovely hotel with a rooftop pool with views of the Taj Mahal. Also huge benefit, only a 10 min walk from the Taj! 😁

So this morning we set our alarm for 4.30am and by 5.45am were walking through the gates of the Taj Mahal.

It was magnificent!

It’s as beautiful as you imagine it to be and I was so happy to get there so early as were able to get pics with no people.

Quick tip, a guide for the Agra Fort is well worth the money (about 1000 rupees), a guide for the Taj Mahal is not necessary.

Before you go just look up Wikipedia and you’ll learn everything you need to know about this magnificent tomb!

I feel so blessed and lucky to be experiencing these amazing wonders of the world!

I also have to remind myself I’ve worked my backside off for this and created a business that gives me the opportunity to travel the world and see all these amazing things. 🗺✈️

If you’d told me back in 2010 this was possible I’m not sure I would have believed you. So if you’re at the start of building your lifestyle business, keep going.

You can have the life you want if you’re prepared to put in the work! 😁

So now for us back to Delhi to see what awaits us there! 🚈


2 days ago on Easter Sunday a number of suicide bombers blew up churches & hotels in Sri Lanka killing upwards of 300 people including Sri Lankan Nationals, Brits, Australians, Americans, Indians and many other nationalities.

People were welcoming the morning, praying, eating breakfast, on holiday, going about their business. 😢

As part of our travel plans we are due to go to Sri Lanka in 12 days and were potentially planning to stay in one of the affected hotels.

It continues to astound & sadden me that so many innocent people have to die because one group of people don’t agree with another group of people’s beliefs!

I mean, what is wrong with these people??

I desperately hope that as the world opens up & connectivity & travel increases, our future generations begin to display far more tolerance & understanding of cultural & religious differences.

As for visiting Sri Lanka, we’re really unsure at the moment and will make a decision in a few days.

Right now my thoughts are with the families affected by this terrible and senseless act. 😢

How to Significantly Improve Your Productivity – Make It Happen Monday Episode 96

Oh that old word productivity.

Here it is again.

Mind you, I’m constantly looking for ways to get more done. It’s like a never ending task to become a more productive person.

I hear all these sayings – time doesn’t control you, you control time and we all have the same amount of hours in the day etc etc.

But it doesn’t matter, I still scratch my head wondering why some people seem to be able to get so much more out of their time than I do mine.

So here’s something new I’ve been trying lately and I’m feeling pretty confident!

Give it a go and see what you think!

Watch Episode 96 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!

An Everest Experience!

Wow wow wow! What an amazing experience!

We had booked to do the ‘Everest Experience’ with Buddha Air on the Saturday morning, but unfortunately after sitting in the plane for 30 mins we were informed there was cloud over Everest & the flight was cancelled.

They automatically allowed us to swap our flights to the following morning & refunded those people who were unable to reschedule.

This morning we awoke to cloudy & hazy skies thinking our luck was out, but headed to the airport anyway with fingers tightly crossed! 🤞

Meeting up with a couple of other ‘second timers’ we waited with anticipation in the departure lounge.

We needn’t have worried because an hour later we were breaking through the clouds in our little propeller plane and there they were….

…The Himalayas in all their glory, spreading for miles and miles, surrounded by clear blue skies!

We travelled along past the Holy Mountain (worshipped by Nepalis as God), past various peaks & ranges up to the magnificent Mount Everest & then turned and travelled back so both sides of the plane got spectacular views.

We were also invited up to the cockpit to see the views from the front & to take photos.

As we flew the flight attendant pointed out the various mountains, taking pictures for us and being super helpful.

We all chatted excitedly & moved freely about the cabin taking photos wherever we couple get a great view which was pretty much from every window.

All in all an amazing experience & highly recommended!

I feel so blessed to have seen The Himalayas in this way and experienced the great Mount Everest! 😁🙏

As their t-shirts & posters say. I have not climbed Mount Everest but I have touched it with my heart. ❤️

The Great Mount Everest! 😁

Kathmandu = AWESOME!

I’m not going to lie, I felt a bit nervous flying into Nepal Tribhuvan Airport yesterday.

Mainly because a good friend of mine had mentioned how accident proned the airport had been over the years, but also when we flew over, it was so mountainous before reaching the valley, I found myself clutching my arm rest hoping we had an experienced pilot! ✈️

I needn’t have worried it was a beautifully smooth landing and our Kathmandu adventure began!

Had to be done! 😁

Almost as soon as we exited customs, very friendly men began asking what our plans were & whether they could sell us tours etc, but we politely declined, grabbed a couple of SIM cards & jumped in a clapped out old banger to head to our hotel.

A couple of cows, lots of mopeds, rickshaws & people later we arrived at the Oasis Kathmandu Thamel in the heart of the city. 🐂

The hotel manager told us this was our home for the next 2 days and we were all family here! (He meant it, they are so incredibly friendly).

We searched for the top recommended restaurant on Trip Advisor and just as the heavens opened made our way onto the streets of Thamel.

Even though it was bucketing down, there was something magical about the place.

The people are so friendly, the atmosphere is welcoming and as two women travelling alone (albeit older women) we instantly felt at ease.

We ducked into a shop to buy a dusty old umbrella the guy fished out from the back of a cupboard charging us a round number of 500 Nepalese Rupees (about $5). ☔️

But minutes later we were invited onto the back of a rickshaw and as it was monsooning at the time we hurriedly jumped on.

The restaurant was only a 7 minute walk away & we probably could have walked faster than he was cycling but at least we were under cover (of sorts).

Because we were rushing we didn’t negotiate the price first – always a mistake – and so he wanted $10. Neither my sister nor I are petite women so I decided he must have charged by the kilo!!! 😂😂😂

Dinner at the White House Kitchen certainly backed up the positive reviews on Trip Advisor & was made even more magical by a huge power cut which took out the entire street we were on.

A 10 minute walk through the cobbled streets, past all the little tat shops, restaurants & bars took us back to our home for the night.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings! 😁

23 Days!

It’s 4.45am and I am excitedly getting the last of my little backpack ready for the next 23 days!

Today my Sister & I fly to Kathmandhu in Nepal. We’re staying at a place called Thamel in the heart of Kathmandhu for a couple of days as we explore the local area and tomorrow head up in a small plane to experience Everest up close!

On Monday we fly down into Delhi in India, where we jump on a train on Tues morning to head to Agra to see the Taj Mahal in all it’s glory.

Back to Delhi on Weds for a couple of days before heading off for a 4 hour train ride down to Jaipur.

2 days here followed by a day and a half exploring the Ghats on the Ganges at Varanasi – apparently an incredible cultural experience.

Last Indian stop is Madurai to see the Meenakshi Amman temple before we jet off to Sri Lanka for a couple of days.

Then we end the trip with 3 days on a paradise Island in the Maldives!

Phew! Some trip!

Will be updating as we go and sharing photos where possible, (no idea of internet quality yet), particularly over on Instagram.

If you have any tips on any of the above places I’d love to hear them!

In the meantime I need to finish packing! :)

Do You Ever Feel Like an Imposter?

The word imposter means: ‘one who engages in deception under an assumed name or identity’.

Now that’s not many of us (thank God!) How many of us walk around with a clutch of different passports, or work for the secret services?

And yet most of us know what it feels like to be an imposter. We may not call ourselves by a different name, or walk around in disguise, but we’ve all felt that panicky, ‘what-am-I-doing-here?’ feeling.

It’s a feeling that comes with not living life on your own terms.

Do you ever feel you need to be a certain way to keep family members happy? What about friends or work colleagues?

It’s actually a scientific term. Imposter syndrome is defined by ‘a persistent fear of being exposed as a ‘fraud‘.’

Why do we sometimes feel like an imposter?

A lot of what we believe about the world, and what we believe about ourselves, comes from our environment. This is a double-edged sword. Our environment can give us a lot of positives. The problem is when some of those beliefs are negative.

These become self-limiting beliefs. It’s that little voice in your head that tells you, ‘you can’t do this’ or ‘you’re not good enough for this’.

Make It Happen Monday Episode 2 – How to Obliterate the Words ‘I’m Not Good Enough’

Self-limiting beliefs can strike in many forms. Perhaps you believe you don’t deserve a happy relationship? Or you’re not the sort of person who could be good at sports?

In business, perhaps you don’t believe you’re good enough to promote yourself as a public person? Perhaps you don’t feel you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

How do we be who we really want to be?

1) Keep a notebook / diary and jot down moments of envy.

The truth of who we really want to be sometimes reveals itself in moments of envy. Note any envious moments. What exactly about a certain person or situation makes you feel envious? What is it you feel you lack?

I might sometimes have a moment when I see someone who started around the same time as me with a wildly successful blog or social media account.

You’re not alone and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Grab that moment and use it to set a fire under your backside! :)

2) Keep a note of any daydreams you have.

When we allow our minds to wander, we temporarily suspend all of our self-limiting beliefs. It’s in these moments of no constraints that the truth of what we really desire comes out.

I daydream about becoming a best selling author, about becoming a successful documentary maker in developing countries and being a size 10 and looking amazing in a white bikini!

3) Now, note down all the self-limiting beliefs you have.

If you’ve followed steps 1 and 2, this part will be easy. Whenever we feel envious of someone, we’ll rationalise it by using our self-limiting beliefs.

For example, I might see a hugely successful travel blog and feel a pang of envy and then begin to rationalise it with my own self limiting beliefs of – ‘OMG, look how young and beautiful the blogger is, doesn’t she look amazing in that white bikini, I’ll never be as successful because I’m past it now!’.

Crazy talk! She’s successful because she’s been posting consistently for the past few years while I’ve been sunning myself on the Phuket beaches!

You might meet someone who tells you about a webinar they hosted recently and they had hundreds of attendees. You feel a pang of envy, but then you rationalise it by thinking ‘this person is a natural showman, I’m not’ or they’re a natural presenter, or they’re better at marketing, whatever you think is holding you back.

Also, whenever we daydream, we have tendency to pull ourselves back to our current reality, again using our self-limiting beliefs. So if we’ve been daydreaming about holding a webinar which is a massive success, soon enough, there will be a voice in our heads saying something like ‘you can’t hold a successful webinar – you don’t have an engaging personality’ etc.

Look at your business and evaluate your self-limiting beliefs. What are your beliefs about your technical skills? About making videos? About starting a blog? About promoting yourself as a public figure? About writing an eBook? About hosting webinars?

4) Now change the question. Amend each belief to ‘But, if I could do this, what would I do?’

So, if you’re feeling envious of this webinar superstar for example, and the voice in your head is saying you don’t deserve success because you’re not like them, change it to, ‘But if I could do what they’re doing even without being a confident presenter yet, what would I do?’

It’s easier to act yourself into thinking than to think yourself into acting. In other words start doing what it is you want to do and soon enough you’ll be who you want to be!

The only way for me to become a best selling author is to write books! They may not be great books to start with, but it’s only by doing it we become better at it!

I recently went skiing and spent the first two days in perpetual snow plough with tears of fear icing up on my face!

By the end of the 6 day trip I was parallel skiing and whooping down a baby blue run!

The ‘Be, Do, Have’ model is all wrong. You can’t Be until you Do!

So change the belief by asking yourself, if you could do what they’re doing, what would you do? What qualities do they have that you could adopt? Are they incredibly friendly and generous? Are they the sort of person who makes people feel good when they are around them? What about them could you emulate?

Perhaps another self-limiting belief you have in your business is that you would suck at doing a webinar and that no one would attend.

Change that belief to, ‘But if I was webinar rock star, and hundreds of people would attend, what would I do / how would I go about it?’

Then, whatever you said you would do, DO IT. Act yourself into thinking!

5) Write your dying regrets.

Now, I’m not trying to be morose here, but asking yourself what you would regret not having done if you were going to pop off today is great way of really getting to the crux of how you want your life to be.

Sometimes we live aimlessly, letting life take us on it’s own path, without putting a steak in the ground and saying – No, I want to go this way!

It’s easy enough to do. We get busy, put other people first and all of a sudden 10 years has passed.

What do YOU want. Who do YOU want to be. What will make YOU happy.

I guarantee you won’t ever regret what you tried, only what you didn’t.



Will the above exercise completely eradicate ‘imposter syndrome’? No. There will be moments when you will still feel like an imposter.

But the stories you tell yourself in your own head, are just that, stories.

Change your story.

It’s your life, and you deserve to have the starring role! Be the best YOU you can be.

Jo :)

How to Take the Easiest Next Steps – Make It Happen Monday Episode 95

How many times do you have a fabulous idea but then never actually see it through to fruition?

Don’t worry I’m not here to criticize, we’re all the same.

I can have hundreds of ideas a day around different things but most either just go away or get written in a big black book (a page on Evernote) for some later day that may never come and some get acted on if I follow a specific process.

I was listening to a great James Altucher podcast recently and he was discussing why people have so many ideas but take little action.

He came up with a great theory, here it is….

(Excuse the fact that I’m looking like a well groomed supermodel in this video!)

Watch Episode 95 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!

Selamat Pagi

Good morning in Malayasian!

It’s Sunday again and I’m off Scuba Diving today off the Sipidan Islands, here in Borneo.

It’s been a frustrating week, as we arrived in Kota Kinabalu last Saturday and I’ve been sick most of the week with a chesty cough thing which has left me feeling a bit lackluster to say the least, and as someone who thrives off energy and feeling great, to have none in a new place I want to explore is not great!

Anyway, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger right!

Am feeling lots better today and am looking forward to seeing turtles, sharks, rays and all sorts!

But I am super excited!

While laying by the pool feeling sorry for myself this week, I have done lots of research into the future of Facebook & Instagram and recorded what I hope is a very informative Make It Happen Monday video which I’ll release in the next couple of weeks.

I have also written out a very clear vision for the next 10 years of my life (note I said vision as opposed to goals, very important distinction, I’ll cover that in another post).

Lastly my husband to be & I decided upon the name and direction for our new ecommerce brand we’re launching in 2020!

It feels like the last 9 years online has all been practice for what’s to come next and I can’t wait to share it with my community!

That’s it from me.

Have an amazing Sunday, a super productive week ahead and don’t forget to take a moment today to check in yourself and ensure you’re heading in the right direction.

Sending big inspiring, motivational hugs your way!

Jo 🙂

Resistance is Futile

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!!!

Tell it.

Speak to it out loud and say – ‘Resistance is futile my friend’.

Because I CAN! 🙂

What’s on Your Bucket List?

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).

Le Meridien Hotel – Bora Bora

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.

What's On Your Bucket List? Bora Bora


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!

What's On Your Bucket List? Bora Bora

At one point we were surrounded by about 8 or 9 pretty big black tipped reef sharks!

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!)

What's On Your Bucket List? Bora Bora

The sky at night – I could see the milky way, a plethora of amazing stars & a space station fly past!

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!

Jo 🙂

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;

Create Your Own Reality

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.


10 Ways to Promote Yourself Without Feeling Like a Narcissist

Listen Here

Read Here

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!

6. Collaborate

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! 😁

My 2 Hour a Day Content & Social Media Strategy

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
Family snaps
Book Covers of books I’ve read
People who inspire me
Great travel pics
Podcast clips

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.

Follow me here

That’s where the bulk of my energy is going.

I hope that helps!

Happy Audience Building!

Jo :)

5 Steps to Creating Engaging Content – Make It Happen Monday Episode 94

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!

Jo 🙂

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!

A beautiful start to a Sunday!

Shangri-La Kota Kinabalu

The view from our room

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! 🙂

Why I Love to Travel

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. ✈️

Sisters on Tour Trips to Date

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! 😁

Happy Fri Yey!

I honestly couldn’t think of anything useful or profound to say today, so I’ll simply say….

The beautiful Bang Wad Dam in Phuket. One of my regular morning walking routes 😁

Why you might not have a life purpose!

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!

Jo :)

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.


How I’ve Mobilified Everything!

Listen Here

Read Here

In a few days, I’m off on my travels again!

12 days in Borneo, followed by Nepal, India, Sri Lanka & the Maldives!

Pretty darn sure I’m going to have lots of interesting stuff to share but, I don’t want to take my computer.

Particularly on the Nepal, India trip, we’ll be traveling light with one 7kg backpack each.

So, over the last few weeks I have been playing and testing and getting to a point that I can do everything I want to do on my phone!

So let’s start with;

Blog Posts On the Go

I use for my site.

So I downloaded the WordPress app for my phone and set about testing text, images, formatting etc.

Here’s what I discovered;

Post 1 –

Post 2 –

Post 3 –

In summary;

1. Write content in Evernote or notes app first (on or offline)
2. Download ‘Inshot’ on your phone
3. Create a picture collage of some of your best shots, add text, stickers etc
4. Copy & paste (without formatting) to your WordPress app & add your collage photo. (For more details read Post 3)

This is the easiest & best way I found to create well formatted and easy to read posts on the go.

Podcasts On the Go


Undoubtedly the easiest way to create and publish podcasts I have come across!

Simply create an account, press record and away you go!

Seriously, you create an account, add your podcast image and description in podcast settings, along with your category and business info.

Then click the ‘+’ button at the bottom of the screen, add a new episode and press record.

How I’ve Mobilified Everything!

Press record and away you go!

You can use the phone as you would a phone with the mic up by your mouth or use a little lapel mic (I use a sennheiser lapel mike for iPhones). The mic gives a slightly better sound by minimizing background noise.

If you want an intro & outro. Simply record what you want to say and then use the ‘add background’ music option and the save that short recording.

Next time you record an episode, you simply click the ‘+’ and add your intro and outro from the library.

Then you add your description and click publish!

How I’ve Mobilified Everything!

Click Publish and you’re live to the world! (Or about 36 people right now in my case)

All of a sudden you’re on iTunes, Spreaker, Google, Spotify, Stitcher and loads more!

It doesn’t get any easier than that. 🙂

Video On the Go

I have to admit I have recorded, edited & prepared my Make It Happen Monday videos for the next few weeks, mainly because the YouTube mobile functionality is so poor.

I can’t find a way to add my end screen, or a thumbnail image for the video on my phone alone, so I have prepared my weekly videos.

But, I will want to record and upload lots of interesting videos I’m sure to FB & Instagram along the way and for this I’m using a very cool app called ‘Kinemaster’.

Please note I tried several others before I found Kinemaster and without doubt this one is the best.

You can split a clip, trim it, add layers, images, text, logos etc. It’s a bit fiddly but super easy to use and then you can save it on your phone or upload directly to Instagram etc.

Highly recommended as is Justin Brown – Primal Video – who has loads of tutorials on how to use it for iPhone & Android.

Photos On the Go

Well we’re all doing this every day anyway and I will do a separate post on the apps I’m playing with to liven up my Instagram feed, but in the meantime I must recommend a guy called Emil Pakarklis.

He’s got a range of videos & tutorials showing you how to take amazing photos with your iPhone.

Check out my post all about him here –

Make sure to follow my Instagram account for all my best travel content – @jobarnesonline

Hope this helps and I’ll see from somewhere in this amazing world!

Jo 🙂

Stop ‘Tweaking’

You know that day when you can’t stop fiddling with your website to make the colors better or the logo stand out.

Or the opening paragraph to that blog post you’ve been working on for a week.

Or the sales page for your video course, or the image for your FB page…

You name it, there are a million things that stop us from actually ‘doing’ and one of them is ‘tweaking’.

Stop it!

I hate saying this, because it sounds like I’m condoning poor effort, but if it means you’ll start taking action, good enough is good enough.

You will improve stuff as you go, but the most important thing is to be going.

I have been procrastinating so much on my podcast over the last few weeks.

A million excuses as to why I can’t get it moving and then this morning I plugged my lapel mic into my phone, opened the app and started speaking.

Boom! I have 3 new episodes to publish.

Become a doer.

Not a thinker, not a talker, not a tweaker.

A doer! 🙂

Just Get Published – Make It Happen Monday Episode 93

9 years ago this month I had the opportunity to interview Jeff Walker, creator of the Product Launch Formula at an event in San Diego.

He was incredibly gracious as I asked him, ‘for all the beginners out there building a business online, what’s the one piece of advice you would give them to get started and get their business off the ground’?

Some 9 years later a member of my Build a Business group asked me how to increase traffic to his website. My answer was the same as Jeff’s all these years later.

If you want to start and grow a lifestyle business that gives you the freedom to work from, anywhere in the world, the answer my friend, the starting point, middle point & end point is in todays episode!

Don’t buy another program, don’t look for another shortcut.

This is it!

Watch and make it happen!

Have a fab week.

Jo :)

Watch Episode 93 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!

Happy Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day lovely ladies!

It’s Mothers Day in the UK, but I extend my greeting to you wherever you are in the world!

I don’t believe in all the commercialism & all that hype, but I do think it’s a nice reminder for our kids to say ‘Hey Thanks Mum!’ to us and for us to say the same to our Mums.

Have a lovely day whatever you’re doing :)

Happy Mothers Day

Mum & Me – 2017

10 Things I Love About Phuket

We started coming to Phuket back in 2010 when we first left the UK.

The first trip was just a two week holiday on route to Australia.

It rained the entire time but I absolutely fell in love with the place.

The climate was amazing, the people so friendly with nothing being too much trouble, the food was to die for and the beaches, islands & sunsets were quite possibly the most beautiful I had ever seen!

Safe to say I was a big fan.

So at the end of 2011 we came back for a while, then a bit longer in 2012, bit longer 2013 etc etc. Until at the beginning of 2016 we decided to settle here until my daughter finished her IGCSE’s.

I ashamedly haven’t written much about the place since I have been here but I hope to change that over the coming months with a few Thai influenced posts sharing my experiences of this beautiful country.

For now here are the Top 10 Things I Love About Phuket;

1. Obvious one, but clearly the weather. A consistent 28 – 32 degrees year round, we have two seasons. Hot Season & Wet Season. Hot Season runs from around mid November through to mid April and Wet Season from mid April to mid November.

The best time to visit for the clearest waters and most beautiful sunsets is without doubt February / March – however it’s also the hottest time of the year. So for a slightly more temperate climate but still lovely to swim and visit the beaches – November / December (although it might still rain at night and sometime thorough the day if rainy season is a bit late).

10 Things I Love About Phuket

A beautiful sunrise

2. The food! OMG. I love Thai food. Chicken & cashew nuts, vegetable fried rice, panang curry, massaman curry, fish in 3 flavor sauce. Wow the food here is ah-maz-ing. Probably covered in MSG and clearly plenty of sugar (which may be why I still have a weight problem – really Jo? You think???). But so so tasty!

10 Things I Love About Phuket

Chicken & Cashew Nuts

3. The people. It’s called the land of smiles, because Thai people smile all the time. Don’t be fooled by the fact it’s one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, there are still plenty of people who live well below the breadline here and yet they’d give you their last bowl of rice if they thought you needed it.

They have changed a bit over the years. The western culture has seeped in via tourism and social media and with it comes an element of greed that wasn’t evident before, a decline in friendliness & happiness and a general suspicion of farangs (foreigners), but I’ve always found if you’re smiley and nice to them they will be smiley and nice right back atcha! 🙂

10 Things I Love About Phuket

A local entrepreneur!

4. The beaches! I love the beaches here mainly because the water is so warm. Sometimes wading into the Andaman sea is like walking into a cool bath. Also at certain times of the year, the water is as crystal clear as an aquarium and you can see right to the bottom.

One of my favorite pastimes is wading out to see with a bottle of chang and sitting in the warm water with a nice cool beer. Oh yeeeeaaaaahhhh.

10 Things I Love About Phuket

Enjoying the ocean! :)

5. Activities. Because of the weather there is so much more to do outside! Scuba diving, snorkeling, taking a long boat to the floating restaurants, zip lining, hiking, paddle boarding, visiting the elephant sanctuary, fireshows. Even though there are no live bands, west end shows, or a plethora of vegan restaurants, if you’re an outdoors type and love the ocean then this is the place for you!

10 Things I Love About Phuket

Awesome fire show!

6. Talking about live bands and shows, we’re only an hour away from the thriving metropolis of Bangkok! An hour from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Vietnam, Cambodia, only 3 hours from Manila, Indonesia, Bangladesh. We are right in the centre of South East Asia and can fly pretty much anywhere and everywhere in the world without too much difficulty.

7. Beautiful temples, a big Buddha and the most amazing feeling of love and acceptance because of the main ‘religion’ Buddhism. Quite possibly one of the most peaceful belief systems in the world today, you can feel it in the culture over here and the way the people feel about their King. When we go to the cinema, before every film we have to stand while they play the Kings Anthem. At 8am every morning no matter where you are or what you’re doing (other than if you’re driving) if you hear the Kings Anthem over the radio you have to stop and stand still in respect.

It’s slowly dissipating over time, but the respect kids have for their elders, for each other, for possessions etc, is a beautiful thing to see and long may it last.

10 Things I Love About Phuket

Local Vegetarian Festival

8. The hotels, bars & restaurants on the beaches. Sometimes I feel like we’re on holiday every other weekend. We can simply go to a nice little hotel on one of the beaches for a couple of nights, half an hour down the road from where we live and dine in the little shacks, sunbathe on the beach and watch the sunset with a cool beer in hand before walking barefoot back to our room for the night. We don’t have to fly anywhere for a beautiful and relaxing restful time away.

10 Things I Love About Phuket

Relaxing beach time :)

9. I have to be honest and say I am enjoying the ex-pat lifestyle. I’ve made a great group of friends hailing from New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, America, UK, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, Korea, you name it I probably know someone from there.

I do a little daily radio show with a good friend of mine and have fully ensconced myself into the community. In fact as soon as I finish this post I’m off to a lunch at a friends house with a big group of ladies. The sun is shining, the weather is glorious and I’m hungry!

10 Things I Love About Phuket

A day out on the beach!

10. Finally I have to say the fact that my 12 year old will grow up blind to religion or color. When she’s older she won’t see whether someone is Muslim or Catholic or Christian or Buddhist. She won’t see whether they’re white, black, brown or blue with yellow spots. She has a big group of friends from school who are every race & religion and she loves them for who they are. This is how she will grow up and view the world and I believe that is the best gift I could have given her.

10 Things I Love About Phuket

Banya Literacy Center, where we regularly donate clothes / toys.

The act of traveling itself broadens the mind beyond recognition. The people, the cultures, the surroundings, the varying levels of living standards. I’ve always been an open minded person, but since traveling I have become more tolerant, more understanding, less fearful of that and those I don’t fully understand.

To travel is to see the world as it truly is and not just how it’s perceived to us in the media or on facebook.

I highly recommend travel itself and of course Phuket as a place to holiday, to explore and live in. We won’t stay here forever, but for right now this is home and I feel like the luckiest woman on the planet.

I hope one day to see you here.

Jo 🙂

Surround Yourself With People Who Support Your Dreams

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Read Here

Do you ever feel like you’re forging ahead alone?

That you have big goals and dreams that no-one else seems to understand?

Even worse, your friends and perhaps family are even discouraging you. Telling you your ideas will never work!

Many years ago when I ventured into my very first business, I had two very close friends who spent weeks giving me all the reasons it wouldn’t and couldn’t work.

They blasted the business model itself, my resources, my skill base, anything and everything to stop me from taking the leap.

I’m unsure why they were so passionately against it, but I guarantee it was all to do with their own limiting beliefs.

Thankfully I was hell bent on my goal and had a very supportive father (may he rest in piece, miss you Dad) and so I went ahead regardless and haven’t looked back since.

Some years later I shared my goals of moving abroad and traveling the world with someone very close to me who basically laughed at me and told me to ‘live in the real world’

When you begin to open your mind to the possibilities of what you can achieve and who you can become you will face resistance.

That resistance will come from their fear and their own insecurities.

Do NOT listen.

You can achieve what it is you want to.

You can do it. You do have the skills, you do have the resources and you can have the iron clad self belief to push you forward.

Utilize networking groups online, use to find people in your local area, join a course that comes with a mastermind group. Whatever it takes to get around people who are either living the life you want to or who are chasing the same dream.

Surround yourself with people who will push, pull and walk forward with you towards your dreams.

Have an amazing day.

Jo :)

What’s Your One Thing?

Do you ever have so much to do, you just don’t know where to start?

Has that ever led to you actually not starting at all?

Guilty as charged sir!

I know precisely what you mean.

There have been days I’m ashamed to admit, where I have looked at my list of ‘To Do’s’ and have been so overwhelmed I just shut it down and went and did something completely different for the day.

You see sometimes too many choices can lead to total procrastination.

Have you ever noticed these days that choosing a restaurant to eat with friends can be the most frustrating thing in the world (especially if doing so by text);

Do you fancy pizza, Chinese, Indian or Thai?

I don’t mind which one do you fancy?

I’m easy which one is good for you?

How about Chinese then? Or Indian? Or pizza? I like them all……


Let’s just stay in with a sandwich!

We are abundant with choice in the world we live in today and there may be a deeper argument that this might be one of the reasons there is so much dissatisfaction in the modern western world but that’s another blog post.

For now, what we want to do is increase our productivity and get things done so how do we do that?

How to Limit Your Choices for Increased Productivity

Gary Keller author of ‘The One Thing’ advocates focusing on only one thing at a time.

This is actually easier than you initially think when looking through the lists of things you want to do. (If you’re anything like me your lists are loooonnng).

The good news is that his ‘one thing’ is one thing in multiple areas making it in fact multiple ‘one things’, but in all the different categories of your life.

So what’s your priority in business, finance, health, family, personal development etc.

Don’t go crazy though and create more segments just because you think you want to fit more in!

For example my priorities this year are Health, Family, Business, Mission & Personal Development;

In each category in the past I have had a ridiculous amount of things I wanted to do / goals I wanted to achieve, for example, with health last year I was doing yoga, strength training, pilates, zumba and silks.

I wanted to be the best at all of them, eventually overwhelming myself and not becoming brilliant in any of them.

In business before I took a break, I was trying to increase my email list, build my audience, master social media, create and sell products, build an ecommerce business, be an affiliate marketer, write a blog, run a podcast, create videos etc, etc, etc.

This year (meaning my 46th year), my ‘one things’ are;

Health – Master Yoga. I want to master many yoga poses, and seriously increase my flexibility & strength.

Family – Make playing games as a family a nightly occurrence especially outside (that ones particularly for my instagram addicted daughter).

Business – Build my audience by publishing quality content regularly via blog posts & a podcast – I’ll go into my strategy for this more in another post.

Mission – Raise 100,000 Baht (around $3k) for Ride 4 Kids (I’m doing a 700km bike ride for a local charity in June next year).

Personal Development – Read or consume (I’m big into audio) a book a week.

Yes I’d also love to learn how to play the piano, learn how to day trade, start my new ecommerce business, go on mission trips to NGO’s in Africa & India etc.

There’s loads of other stuff I want to do, and it will all come in time, but we only have so many hours in the day and we have to ‘choose’ the most important things to move us closer to our goals right now.

NB: One thing to note is that these ‘one things’ are your main priorities. Not everything you’re going to do.

You will naturally fit other things in around your one things, but these are your default main goals which will help focus your mind.

Now It’s Your Turn

1. Identify the most important things you want to achieve in the various areas of your life. (Add the rest to a little black book of wishes & desires! I use Wunderlist and create braindumps of everything I want to do)

2. Whittle those lists down to your ‘one things’ in each category of your life.

Then get to work FOCUSING on your one things.

That’s it.

Believe me just removing the clutter of multiple goals clears the head and makes it so much easier to know what it is you need to do each day, which leads to increased productivity.

The key to success however, as always, is – action!

I hope this spurs you into action.

Have a great week.

Jo :)

Don’t Be Lonely

Running an online business can be super lonely.

Traveling the world although amazing can also be quite lonely.

You work behind your computer on your own, you live a transient lifestyle moving from place to place and although you probably know a lot of people online, it doesn’t quite make up for the physical interaction of some good company.

In the last couple of years we’ve really made our base here in Phuket and last year I made a huge effort to get out into the community and make friends.

I say huge effort because it’s so easy to get caught up behind your computer and not get out and about and meet people.

It didn’t take long before I was part of a large and welcoming community of expats, some of whom have undoubtedly become lifelong friends.

No matter where I go now, I will make the effort quickly to network and meet people wherever I can.

It’s so easy these days to utilize platforms such as, Internations, & Facebook Local to meet and socialize with like minded individuals wherever you are in the world.

Just remember if you are shy there are ten other people just as shy as you are and all it takes is a hello to break the ice.


My Top 5 Steps for Building a Business Online

I’m giving a presentation at my daughters school this afternoon.

It’s for the Year 12’s who are in their first year of IB and will be heading off to Uni or to get jobs within the next 2 years.

My title & blurb is;

Building a Business Online

Wouldn’t it be awesome if, while at college or Uni (or on a gap year), you could build an online business which not only funds your daily living but sets you up for when you get out into the working world? Perhaps you need a side income while you pursue a sport or hobby you love. Successful entrepreneur Jo Barnes shares her 5 steps for building an online lifestyle business you can start & grow from anywhere in the world whether that be your dorm room or a beach in Miami!

I’m super nervous as I’m not used to speaking in public and much prefer the privacy of a quiet room with my camera phone.

But hey, it’s always good to move out of your comfort zone!

But while putting together my little 30 min presentation (which I shall share below), I suddenly thought, is the model I’m teaching relevant for the youngsters?

What if there’s a new social media platform or way of building an online business that I haven’t discovered yet?

What if I’m just not down with the kids anymore (which by the way I’m told is the absolutely the case by my 12 year old daughter).

So I set about looking up what the top Instagram & youtube influencers were doing these days.

My daughter seems to spend her time on both these platforms so I must be looking in the right place!

I’m happy to say that many of them are indeed still blogging or started from a blog and grew into youtube / instagram, or started on instagram / youtube and grew into a blog or have simply built up a following on any or all of these sites.

Either way their main goal is to build an audience around a subject – beauty, travel, food, health etc and then monetize their brand / personality via the ways I detail in my presentation below.

Please note there are a multitude of ways to create multiple streams of income that give you more freedom in your life. Check out my podcast episode which discusses 10 Ways to Start Working From Home Today!

But the model I’m teaching today has got to be the best business model in the world because you get to spend all day everyday talking about stuff you love!

My Top 5 Steps for Building a Business Online

1. What’s your passion? What would you be happy to talk about 24/7? what’s happening in that space right now? How you can create your unique edge to it?

Remember, there may be few unique messages these days but you are a unique messenger!

2. Who’s your target market? What do they want & need? What’s your message?

3. Choose your platform What are you most comfortable doing? Do you love to get in front of a video camera – become a YouTuber! Perhaps you prefer audio – do podcasting, love writing? Start blogging / writing books etc.

Ok so steps 1, 2 & 3 can be thought about and decided on in a day, but Step 4 is the step that trips everyone up.

This is the part that depending on your niche, your message and your efforts could take 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, 3 years, 10 years etc.

4. Build an audience!

I’ve always likened starting an online business to opening a shop. If you open your store on a back street of a small town and tell no-one you exist, the likelihood of growing that store is pretty tough.

But if you head off into the main street with free samples of your products and billboards and a megaphone and a way for people to quickly & easily refer you to friends etc, then no matter where you’re located, if you’re good enough, it won’t be long before they’re queuing out the door!

Social Media, other blogs, podcasts, video channels etc are the main street!

If you become a prolific content creator and collaborator, you can build your profile & brand far quicker than simply sitting in your store hoping they will come.

You will find that I talk a lot about content creation & building an audience on this blog as it’s the biggest piece of the puzzle.

Here’s some posts to get you started;

5. Create multiple income streams – product endorsement, affiliations, sponsorship, advertising, online digital products, saas, apps, coaching, consulting, services, physical products etc

Facing a Group of 16 / 17 Year Olds

Update – I did the presentation – wow was I nervous presenting to 16 / 17 year olds, but they were very gracious and listened / took part willingly.

What a great experience and if I have impacted just one student, my day has been a rip roaring success!

I do hope the presentation helps you with your business.

Jo :)

Act Now, Improve Later – Make It Happen Monday Episode 92

My lovely daughter is fab at singing. She’s hugely musically talented, playing the trumpet to a high standard and now learning the piano.

I’ve been encouraging her for a long time to start a YouTube channel and make videos of her singing.

Build an audience over the next few years hun, I say to her. It will serve you well in the future.

Finally last week after weeks of nagging she started an Instagram account specifically for her singing and has posted a couple of videos.

They’re not amazing, but the more she does the better she’ll get.

The fact is, she’s started and it’s only by getting out there and taking action can she improve.

Todays video is all about Acting Now & Improving Later.

If you’re holding back in any area of your life because you’re waiting for perfection you’ll be waiting forever!

Get going NOW, Today and improve as you go.

Hope this weeks video helps…..

Watch Episode 92 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!

It will always take longer than you think

It does not matter what I plan, what I do or how I do it, everything always takes longer than I think it will.

I plan to take 30 mins to edit a video, it takes an hour.

I plan to go for a quick 20 min coffee with a friend, it takes an hour.

I plan an hour to write a blog post, it takes two!

Now either I’m just super slow at stuff, or you can totally resonate with me!

I haven’t got a solution I’m afraid, simply venting that I haven’t come close to achieving my goals this week as everything seems to have taken so much longer than planned!

Here is a little tip for you though.

Always plan the most important stuff first so you only get behind on the things that aren’t life and death if they fall into the next week.

For example for me, I have to do my Daily Blogs & my weekly Make It Happen Monday.

If I don’t quite manage to schedule all my social media posts or record podcasts or make further videos etc, it’s all good as long as I have this week all done and ready to go out.

So make sure you pick the most important tasks. Get them done and then you can start working on other tasks which help grow your business and / or make your life a bit easier!

I hope you’ve had a productive week!

Have an amazing week ahead!

Jo 🙂

Meeting Mark Zuckerburg on the Great Wall of China

On the 21st March 2016 (3 years ago Thursday!), I was on my first of many ‘Sisters on Tour’ trips with (clue is in the title), my sister.

We were doing a City tour including Bangkok, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo & Kuala Lumpur.

On this particular day we were visiting one of the great wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China which is indeed great!

But you can imagine my surprise when all of a sudden a group of youngsters came breezing passed me as I’m attempting to climb these huge stairs towards Watch Tower One.

Please note the surprise wasn’t that a group of youngsters breezed passed me, that’s quite believable given the fact I was super unfit, red faced and panting so hard I looked like I was about to have a heart attack!

No no, the surprise was that the main youngster in the middle of the group was Mark Zuckerburg. 😳

Yes THE Mark Zuckerburg, creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg.

In my surprise I turned to myself sister and rather loudly shouted, ‘Nat’! (My sisters name is Natalie). ‘It’s Mark Zuckerburg’!

She looked up and shouted back even louder ‘Are you sure, it looks like Chris Martin!’ At which Mark turned to us laughing and I was able to 100% confirm his identity.

Well, my goal that day had been to make it up to Watch Tower One and on seeing Mark & his entourage almost jogging up the stairs I took chase!

All the way up I was thinking, ‘oh my gosh, Mark Zuckerburg’, ‘what am I going to say to him’, (‘how many more steps’), ‘shall I just approach and say hey Mark, thanks for Facebook’ (‘am I going to make it to the top?’) or ‘hey Mark, you’re the source of my business’, (why can’t I breathe anymore) ‘or simply ‘hey buddy nice to meet you’, (I don’t care if it’s the queen of England up there, I can’t go another step!). 🥵

Finally I made it puffing & panting to the top and thankfully MZ was long gone into an area that said ‘no entry’.

I say thankfully as I really did look like I needed an air ambulance which frankly was quite embarrassing, so I sat down for a few minutes to recover and gain my composure.

When I got my breath back I had a little shifty about but all I could see was bushes, no track and nowhere to go! 🧐

I had no idea where they could have gone and presumed that somehow they had a secret invisible Zuckmobile hidden up beyond the Great Wall of china that whisked him away to a secret location.

However to my surprise as I turned to head back down the steps, he reappeared right beside me!

But instead of leaning over to shake his hand and say Hi. I stood, rooted to the spot completely speechless. 😳

I’m not sure if it was the altitude mixed with my still 150bpm heart rate which led to one of the most unlikely scenarios known to man – me speechless, but I couldn’t find a single word.

Instead I lifted my camera and took a quick shot as he walked past.

Then I believe I said something fairly banal to his entourage and then finally fired up my Periscope app to get some video footage!

Please find below a heavily chopped and edited version of what was originally a 30 minute Periscope which was mainly me puffing and panting as I chased Mark down and up the Great Wall of China.

I have cut out the part where I was given CPR (only joking). 😂

Before you go to watch the video though, can I just say, the Great Wall of China with or without Mark Zuckerburg is a site to behold and well worth a visit if you ever get the chance.

One of the highlights is the trip back down, where apparently Mark had gine down about half an hour before us!

My 4 Favourite Ways to Generate an Income While Traveling

My goal today was to write a post giving you a list of the best ways to generate an income while traveling around the world.

As I researched my idea on the web I came across an excellent blog post written by a chap called Ryan Robinson, entitled – 101 Best Side Business Ideas to Start While Working Full-Time (in 2018).

His site is all about ‘The Side Hustle’, in other words starting your business on the side while still at your full time job.

So rather than just regurgitate what’s already out there I’m going to recommend you read his post, but before you go….

His post lists pretty much anything and everything you can do to work from home either online or offline.

In fact while reading his post it occurred to me, how lucky are we to be living at a time when we have so many opportunities to start businesses or generate multiple streams of income without having to leave our front rooms!

However, I of course massively advocate you leaving your front room, really grabbing the bull by the horns and getting out to see the world!

So, whilst I urge you to have a read of Ryans post as he actually highlights 133 fantastic ideas, here are my summarized favourite ways for you to build a business that fully supports your traveling lifestyle!

1. Influencer Marketing

Blogging, podcasting, youtubing, social media marketing. You name it, this business model is all about you picking a subject you’re super interested in / passionate about and becoming an expert in that niche.

Whether that be;

Pets etc, etc.

Once you’ve built an audience via your platform of choice – writing, audio, video etc, then you’re in a position to monetize your business via product endorsements, affiliate marketing, online products, sponsorship, advertising, ecommerce, book sales, speaking engagements, collaborations, etc.

See My Top 5 Steps for Building a Business Online for more details on this model.

2. Freelancing

This is an opportunity for you to offer your expertise to clients looking to outsource specific tasks, projects or jobs, via sites such as;

So if you’re a great writer, PPC specialist, web developer / designer, graphic designer, virtual assistant, social media manager, WordPress expert etc, you can bid for jobs that meet your criteria.

This is a great way for you to advertise your services without having your own audience as you’re leveraging the audiences of the sites listed above.

3. Ecommerce

Oh how I love this model.

These days you don’t even need to see, touch or feel a product to sell it, however as you’re traveling perhaps you’ll get inspiration for something hugely unique along the way!

You have a few options here, you can sell on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, or your own website.

Without doubt the best, most fulfilling and more long term option is your own site, but it will take work to build the audience up, very much like influencer marketing.

In fact you can tie Influencer Marketing with Ecommerce and sell products from your blog etc, but you can also build a specific brand here without using you as a public figure.

With Amazon, Ebay & Etsy, you can leverage their audiences but make no mistake about it, competition is heavy, so don’t think for one second you can slap up a product and it will take off with no work.

You might be one of the lucky ones (and the more unique your product in a busy marketplace the luckier you will probably be), but more often than not, you’ll have to work just as hard to ensure the eyeballs land and convert on your product.

Listen in to my interview with Ecommerce expert Allen Burt here as he walks through how to start and grow your own ecommerce business.

4. Fun & Creative Opportunities

If you’re a fan of diversifying and just trying out all sorts of online opportunities then you can look at;

Print on DemandMerch by Amazon, Cafepress, Printify, Zazzle, Teespring, Redbubble etc

In a nutshell, the brands above (and many more) provide all sorts of different physical products for you to sell using your own design.

You create your own design and add it to t-shirts, mugs, duvet covers, shoes, shower curtains, journals, you name it.

You advertise the product with your design, someone buys it, it’s sent direct from the site with your design and you get the money.

I’ve simplified it, but here’s a great blog post that tells you more –

Stock Photography – While you’re traveling, take amazing photos and sell them online to stock photo sites like, etc.

Ebook Author – Akin to step 1 I guess, but slightly different in that you’re literally writing books and selling them on the Amazon Kindle store.

Here’s how Steve Scott (interviewed by James Altucher) is making $40k / month doing just that –

Build an Alexa Skill – A bit like an app for the phone, a skill is for Alexa and you can sell your skill on, get rewarded for engagement or add in skill purchases. See more here –

There are so many opportunities these days for generating an income from home or while traveling, your issue isn’t going to be what to do, it will be what not to do!

So start with what you’re good at and what you enjoy doing and take it from there.

The most important thing is to take action and get going!

Let me know your next step in the comments below.

Hope it helps,

Jo :)


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