Celebrating freedom – 10DBC

Wahoo – ten days of blogging completed! It feels so great to realise that this time I lasted the distance and finished the challenge. I’ll admit it wasn’t easy to sit down every night to do my ‘homework’ – but the hardest part was actually starting. Once I  began putting ‘pen to paper’ the ideas and words flowed, and the blog was finished before I knew it. 

The challenge I enjoyed the most was finding my why. Taking the time to re-examine the reasons why I want a freedom lifestyle and what is motivating me to develop a freedom plan reinforced for me the value of what I was trying to achieve. I’m actually going to print off that blog and put it on the wall of my working area to serve as a reminder when things get difficult and I feel as if I’m getting stuck again.

The biggest take away I got from this challenge was the sense of personal achievement – seeing it through to the end and not giving up. The thing I realised this time round was the importance of staying on track and not allowing myself to fall behind. Not only did completing the blog daily feel good, it also created a feeling of momentum which can’t happen when you’re trying to catch up all the time. In addition, a positive side effect was increased motivation to pick up other projects. I feel like I’m back on track and can start moving forward again. 

My goal is to meet my commitment of working an hour a day and finish my program structure and content by 29 October 2016. Having signed up to Natalie’s Freedom Plan last year and stalling half way through due to a lack of product, I now feel that I’ll be able to pick up where I left off and benefit as a result. I’m going to use the momentum I’ve gained from this challenge to make my freedom plan happen. 

This blog is in response to Natalie’s Ten Day Freedom Plan blog Challenge Day 10


Location independence – 10DBC

I’ve never been to Portugal so the prospect of visiting this country is exciting. I love to explore new locations, cultures and environments. In particular, I like to spend time in new places and to really get to understand the people  who live there and their life style. I like traveling off the beaten path, eating in local cafes and socialising with the locals. And I certainly intend to introduce my son to this way of travel when he is old enough to appreciate it.

As part of my freedom lifestyle approach, I would choose a central location which provided easy access to a range of interesting locations, together with the technology required to run my business.  I don’t see any point in placing myself in a situation that stresses my ability to transact efficiently on line if I can avoid it. Not only would this type of situation detract from the time I could be spending enjoying life, but it would introduce a level of unnecessary stress. As a further measure I would automate my business as much as possible and employ a virtual team to help me deliver a seamless service. 

Travelling with a young child, as a solo parent, poses a range of challenges which would require consideration. The first centres  around providing him with a degree of certainty and security. I would choose accommodation that feels more like a home than a hotel – a place that feels safe and comfortable – and provides relief from everything that is unfamiliar and new.

I am, by nature, more productive in the morning but if necessary would reconfigure my working day to later in the day to ensure my son and I are spending quality time together and maximising our freedom lifestyle as a family. In addition, I would seek out opportunities for him to mix and play with local children to help him develop socially, as well as increase his confidence and independence.  

To maintain a balance between my work and adventure, I would instill a basic level of disciple to ensure my freedom business is not sacrificed to the holiday mood. I would prioritise important actions and address these first thing in the morning as a way of ensuring the wheels don’t stop turning on my freedom business. The rest of the work could be completed later in the day. My final action at night would be to review my workload and lay out a basic plan for the day ahead.

I do, however, think it’s important to maintain a certain amount of flexibility and spontaneity. If an opportunity arises for adventure then it should be taken – that’s the whole point of a freedom lifestyle. 

This blog is in response to Natalie’s Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

Choosing my adventure – 10DBC

I suppose it’s a bit of a cliche to say that as a parent of a 10 month old every day is an adventure. As my son experiences the wonder of life learning a new skill, exploring a new environment or enjoying a new experience, I too get to share in that moment and see the world with a fresh pair of eyes. Last week it was learning how to wave good bye.  Yesterday it was learning how to turn a light switch on and off. This morning it was eating mini pancakes and playing a giggly game of peek a boo over breakfast.

It never ceases to amaze me how something so small can provide so much pleasure to a child. As a parent, the joy comes from watching the sense of achievement and wonder that things we take for granted can produce such a sense of wonder.

Today, we went to a local cafe which specializes in fresh organic blueberries. I’d been wanting to go to this cafe for ages, so today’s blog challenge provided the perfect excuse. The cafe is located in a lovely rural setting, as part of a blueberry farm, about 15 minutes from town. I was surprised how busy it was when we arrived, but we managed to find a seat. While Oma and I enjoyed coffee and blueberry pie, my little man got to chomp on a wine biscuit.

Thankfully, the weather had cleared and we were blessed with some lovely sunshine (it’s been raining heavily for days). The cafe has a lovely balcony and outdoor area designed for kids which meant that my little man got to spend some time crawling around, playing with a toy truck, splashing in a shallow puddle and generally letting off some steam. All in all, it was a lovely hour and a half break.

I think sometimes we assume the perspective that an adventure has to be a big event – something that takes us away from our usual environment, requires a lot of planning and effort, and is something that we wouldn’t often repeat. In fact, life is a series of little experiences that on their own, or taken together, can be as adventurous as we choose to make them. With this perspective in mind, it’s easy to experience adventures every day.

This blog is in response to Natalie’s Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

Beating procrastination and overwhelm

Wow – this is going to be a difficult challenge! Identifying the action is easy enough – the hard part is committing to making it happen. So, I’ve been promising myself to get back to running for quite some time now, but you know how it is ….. too tired, it’s raining, it’s too dark, it’s too late ….  and it never happens. The fact that I’m scheduled to do a 5 km run with a friend in 6 weeks doesn’t seem to enter into the battle in my head.

Therefore, I am committing to getting out there and running every night for the next 30 days. I’m running to the 0-5km app so I haven’t even got the excuse of not knowing how much to do or how far to go. By my reckoning, if I do it every night I should be running 5kms in about 3.5 weeks.

I’m choosing this particular imperfect action because a while ago I was aiming towards a goal of running 10kms. My last run was 8.5kms in 26C and 94% humidity, at 5.00am in the morning, and it was the furtherest I had ever run in my life. I felt amazing – my body felt clean and free of toxins – and I was boosted by a great sense of personal accomplishment. I gave up running soon after, when I fell pregnant, and now it’s time to pick up and finish that goal.

I imagine after running for 30 days I may feel a little tired and sore, but also stronger both physically and mentally. I can see my mood lifting from the flood of endorphins, and my motivation increasing each day I tick off as complete, which in turn will create its own momentum and inspire me to get more things done. Bring on the challenge.

This blog is in response to Natalie’s Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

Finding my tribe – 10DBC

What an interesting challenge! Funny, but it never crossed my mind to think I might need a tribe to support me in my aspirations. I’ve always just focused on the question of how to tap into my target audience and build a following amongst them. 

Certainly, I’ve read books by various authors and subscribed to various programs – like the Freedomg Plan – but I’ve never really thought about the people who run them as being available to support me in a personal or direct way.  So first, let me thank you Natalie for your support. 

I have chosen David Suteman Garland, the creator of Create Awesome Online Courses. My admiration for David stems from the fact that he is so open with sharing information about how to replicate his success. His advice is frank, practical and achievable. I also like his humility and self deprecating sense of humor which makes him appear personable and authentic. If I ever met him in real life, I would ask David how he knows when he has created a winning formula for an online course – one that promises quality content and value to his students.

My second choice would be Natalie Sisson, the Suitcase Entrpreneur, and creator of The Freedom Plan. Maybe it’s because Natalie’s a kiwi (I’m Aussie but have lived and regularly visited NZ for years) that I feel an affinity with her work, attitude and approach to living  the freedom lifestyle. She is down to earth, enthusiastic, approachable and generous in sharing her intellectual property as well as her opinions and life events. I love her podcasts, programs, and her book because they are filled with useful tools, helpful tips and easy to implement advice. If I do get the opportunity to meet Natalie sometime in the future, I will ask her if she felt as if she was losing control of her business when she initially transitioned to a virtual team and, if so, how did she address that feeling?

This blog is in response to Natalie’s Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

Setting Myself up for Success – 10DBC

Time, time, time! How do you find more time in the day? Not so long ago, I didn’t really have a problem with finding time – rather it was a lack of motivation that stopped me from moving forward with my freedom plan. These days, as every new parent will attest, time and exhaustion are both a challenge for me. However, whining about it isn’t going to get me a freedom lifestyle so I will design my daily success plan around the time I do have. 

The first thing that springs to mind that I have to do, in order to move forward, is to finish writing the course structure and content for my online program (about 40% complete). This thinking piece is my most important action and requires my focused attention. 

I am going to commit 60 minutes every evening, after my little boy has gone to bed, to work on my program. I figure 60 minutes a day is better than no time in 10 months, and any progress is a good thing. By really concentrating my efforts and working without distraction I intend to finish this action on 29 October, which also happens to be my son’s first birthday. 

Once I’ve completed this piece of work I can develop a plan to outline the administration and processes I need to put in place to launch and run the program. These tasks include developing a website, populating an online learning management system, finding a name, designing a logo, etc. The list seems endless, but it is the easier part of my freedom plan.

A launch date in mid January 2017 sounds like a realistic timeframe to target and  a nice way to start the new year. Besides, by then I will need to start earning a freedom income, or return to the corporate rat race. I know which option I prefer. 

This blog is in response to Natalie’s Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

Unlocking my superpowers – 10DBC

What an interesting way to look at one’s strengths! This perspective of unlocking my superpowers threw a whole new light on what I often considered a really boring exercise. I mean, usually you know what you’re good at because they are the things you do well – right? 

So, looking at this through fresh eyes, my superpowers are an inate ability for simplifying complexity and creating order from chaos, a capacity to listen to others, and to speak plainly.

My first superpower is born from a desire to get things done in the easiest possible way with the least amount of stress for everyone involved. I loathe bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy,or complexity without thought to consequence. I will strive to remove any such incumbency that hamstrings people and prevents them from contributing value and achieving their best efforts. 

My listening skills have emerged from an essentially shy personality that prefers to hear what others have to say, rather than take centre stage. I love hearing about people’s lives, their interests, and their challenges, and most people, I’ve discovered, love to open up about themselves when they feel an empathetic ear. 

In am upfront and direct in my communication with others and I am able to provide feedback in a manner that is frank, honest and sincere. I consider it a compliment that people have said they always know where they stand with me, and that what I have to say is worth listening to. 

These are the superpowers I want to maximise to create an online and accessible coaching program that enables young women (my target audience) to capture their dreams and develop practical plans that deliver results. 

This blog is response to Natalie’s Ten Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4