Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2014: Action

It’s that time of year where everyone is looking back at 2013, maybe even writing a review, but at least considering what went well, what went badly and what was learnt. Of course most people are also making New Year’s resolutions. Over the years I’ve tried different approaches to resolutions, including 10 for 2010, 30 before 30 and 4Ps for 2011.

This year after attending Natalie MacNeil’s highly motivating #Limitless 2014 I have decided on a theme for 2014: 


Less talking, less thinking, more doing.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

3 steps to choosing a business model

After considering the 3 online income streams covered in Day 10,  today we are asked “Which business model is best for you and what one revenue stream is most feasible?”

Step 1: What do I want to do?

My gut is leaning towards creating products or offering my services, I have the positive affirmation post it notes on my desktop background to remind me that I am worthy of achieving the lifestyle I want.  They serve as a nice little inspirational pep talk every time I open up my laptop, and today these two jumped out at me:
  • I know I have something to offer the world
  • I believe I’ve gained valuable knowledge and skills in my lifetime

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Ideas spiralling out of control

Bit of a blog hiatus as I was struck down by a migraine last weekend. But on the plus side as I

was going through every trick in the book to relieve my symptoms I started to think about a product range I could develop that would help. Although it’s not as straightforward as writing an e-book or delivering an online course. I would need to find a company to produce it, package it and distribute it, hell might as well get someone to design it and build an e-commerce platform for it!
So what do I have…an idea, that’s all.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Money, Money Money

Now we are in Act 2 of our 30 day blog challenge we are getting down to the nitty gritty of how to make money online as a lifestyle entrepreneur. And Natalie hits the spot – it’s difficult to figure out ways I can make money that don’t seem scammy or out of kilter with my values

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Online Admiration

Day 9 and I’m finally publishing on the right day, small miracles hey?
Today we were asked “Whose online business do you admire and why?”
My initial response
Because it’s one of the few places I shop online, because I don’t do much shopping, because I’m saving all my money to travel the world. But Amazon is competitive on price, offers free delivery and has reliable product reviews and is quick and easy to use once your purchasing decision is made.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

What tools do i need to create my perfect lifestyle?

Back to the challenge today and we are talking about the tools and resources we need to create our perfect lifestyle, tools to maintain our mindset. Although Natalie recommends online tools like Penzu journalling, yoga and meditation apps, I prefer to work offline, there’s less distractions, (plus I have limited data!)

Blank Canvas
I work best with a blank sheet of paper, either a blank Word doc if I’m writing or a large sheet of paper and coloured pens for brainstorming I also make good use of post notes, real and digital, for jotting down thoughts and since upgrading to Office 13 I’ve been using the One Note notebook to collect ideas on common themes.

I feel more energised and revitalised by a Jacuzzi, or spa pool, I can’t currently manage to fit this into my daily lifestyle, but sometimes even just a power shower can be enough to reset my mind.

Lists lists lists
I have a list for everything to help keep me organised, and I love crossing things off when completed. This helps me to keep on track as I often allocate timings to my lists too.

There’s nothing ground breaking or innovative in my ‘toolkit’ and I start to question myself and my productivity when I take a peek in my procrastination kit; there’s Faceboook, candy crush, endless cups of tea and biscuits, afternoon siestas, email checking, browsing blogs for inspiration… Until I read Curt’s post and realised that my lists are essentially a time management system and my documents, notebooks and post it notes are my content management system.
But my toolkit is far from complete and I’ll be adding to it throughout this challenge (as i hopefully start to develop a business model i can take out on the road with me). Following Curt’s advice again,  I need to create a contact management system. Since I don’t have a business yet, I don’t have a mailing list (something I need to add to my list) but I do have twitter lists and Hootsuite news feeds which need organising better to form the basis of my social media contact system.
I also need to overcome one of the biggest problems I face every time I sit and write a blog post - finding the right picture. I don’t want to trawl sites for free to use images so I would like to add an image creation system to my toolkit, and will be checking out some free software as recommended by Martina

What tools do you recommend that I should add to my toolkit?

The 30 Day Blog Challenge is run by Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur. Join in and discover how to create freedom and adventure in life and business through location independence. Plus – enter to win prizes – including a $500 blog coaching session with Natalie!

If you’re following the challenge please drop by and say hello :) Leave a link to your blog and I’ll be sure to check it out!

What did you want to be when you grew up ?

I’ve already written my response to Day 3’s question on what freedom and adventure means to me, but I also wanted to go back and explore some of the other themes in Natalie’s blog post on reclaiming your childhood dreams of what you really wanted your life to look like.

As a kid had an active imagination and used to write out stories on my electric typewriter, (yes typewriter, yes I am that old). I would have made an excellent teen blogger, but the technology came a little too late and at too high a price for me. I dreamed of seeing my name in print on a book cover or a magazine byline. Even now I get a bit of a thrill when I publish a blog post, knowing that my words are out there in digital print. Probably one of the reasons why I was drawn to a career in marketing, and producing copy for e-mails, catalogues, websites, brochures, promotions... So I think this is still something I can pursue and build a business on. Of course I will also write a novel one day, one day when I have the time and freedom to write with a clear head, from a terrace or patio overlooking the beach or the mountains, where it’s peaceful and calm and inspiration can find me.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Zombie Apocalypse Adventure

You might have noticed that I haven’t blogged for a few days, not because I’ve given up on the 30 day blog challenge, but because I’ve been off on an adventure, and that’s what the challenge is all about right, creating freedom and adventure!

Here’s a little overview of what I got up to on my Zombie Apocalypse Adventure this weekend.

Situation: The Charnock Mansion is under zombie attack, the army have been called in, but after losing all his men Sergeant Chips calls on the Counter Zombie Unit for back up.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Have I got the right mindset to be a suitcase entrepreneur?

I’ve travelled solo a number of times, relocated to new cities, and even left my family, friends and partner behind to study in France for a year back in 2002. And despite flood of tears and pangs of intense loneliness at times, I’ve had some amazing experiences and met some awesome people along the way. I’ve already road tested some of my capabilities and know some of my limits – both physically and mentally.
But I’ve never run my own business, I don’t know what I’m capable of, or at works for me, how good I would be at winning new clients, or at charging them for the work I do. I’m no stranger to being out of my comfort zone but do I have the guts, perseverance, self belief, determination and bundles of energy required to become an entrepreneur? Can I create innovative products and services that make an impact and help others?

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Why am I doing this again?

I love discovering new places and feel like my purpose in life is to see the world (hence my Bucket List of the World). When I go on holiday I always make an effort to visit places beyond my resort or local area, cramming in as much as I can in between soaking up some rays on the beach.  I didn’t get the chance to take a gap year to go travelling so even though I am in my thirties, I am child free and  mortgageless so the time to do it seems to be now!

I have even started to plan my route and build my budget through Eastern Europe to Dubai checking bus and train connections, accommodation options and cost of living. I have a vision off slow travel to make the most out of each stop not just hop from one place to the next counting a country as visited  because I passed through and spent an hour in the bus station!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

30 Day Blog Challenge

I discovered the 30 Day Blog Challenge run by Natalie Sisson over at suitcaseentrepreneur.com in August, but it was a third of the way through. The concept of the challenge of creating freedom in business and adventure in life through location independence couldn’t have come at a better time as I was thinking about travel plans and looking for inspiration to revive my blog. So I started the challenge anyway with the intention of working through the challenge at my own pace.

Monday, 30 September 2013

My 9 point plan to creating a life on my own terms

The question for day 6 of The Suitcase Entrepreneur’s 30 day blog challenge is “What are my three priorities for the next 30 days that will move me closer towards living life on my own terms?”

My answer is written to the power of 3, with my 9 point plan:

Improve my health + physical fitness (I need to be strong if i’m going to be carting everything I own around the world with me)
  1. Go to the gym at least 3 times per week (starting today, double session of LBT and yoga done!)
  2. Record everything I eat on my fitness pal and stick to 1270 calories a day (starting today 1670 calories minus 501 in exercise = 1169 yay!)
  3. Book appointments for Dr, dentist, physiotherapist and massage therapist
Improve my finances – I need to save an additional £2k to meet my minimum (and very frugal) travelling budget requirements by cutting down what I spend, earning more and selling my stuff.  
  1. Switch energy providers and banks, following advice from the money saving expert to get the best rates 
  2. Set up a catalogue of ebay items, including all my pretty dresses to sell in the run up to Christmas
  3. Devise a plan to develop additional income streams – ok so this one needs some work, but I’ve got 30 days to come up with a plan …so watch this space!

Saturday, 28 September 2013


On day 5 we are asked “What does your perfect day look like?” 

And it’s taken me quite a few days to write this post in response.  I have really struggled with the concept of having a perfect day.  Right now all I can focus on is the fact that my ideal lifestyle would just be to not be sat in an office at a computer for 10 hours a day.
So I decided to read some of the resources and other blog posts from “today’s” challenge. (One of the benefits of being behind schedule is checking out what everyone else has posted for inspiration!) 

And I agree with Whitney from massifornia.com that part of having a perfect day is not having

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Location Independence

Day 4 is all about location independence and what it means to us. To me it quite literally means having the freedom and independence to work from any location you want. I have never had a desire to run my own business, or work for myself but I have always wanted to work abroad, and travel the world. And now it seems the only way to make those dreams come true is to be able to work for myself and run my own business from wherever I want, even if that means coming back to the UK and working from my sofa in the future!  I don’t particularly want to travel indefinitely and part of me hopes that travelling the world will cure my itchy feet and I’ll find somewhere I want to make my home.

Natalie shares some Pros and Cons based on her experiences as The Suitcase Entrepreneur, these 3 I agree with:

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Freedom & Adventure

Day 3 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge and we are asked “What’s your definition of freedom in business and adventure in life?” 

  • Freedom to do what I want, when I want, how I want, where I want 
  • Freedom to work enough hours to generate enough income* enough being a subjective amount
  • Freedom to be rewarded monetary terms for the work I do not for the hours I work
  • Freedom to pursue my passions and create a work life balance 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

A Perfect Day

30 Day Bog Challenge - Day 2, The Suitcase Entrepreneur asks us “If you woke up tomorrow and were free to do anything you wanted with your life, what would you do and who would you be?”

My immediate answer was that I would like to sleep for the day, just relax and turn my mind off from work, from paying the bills, from doing the housework, from starting an online business, from trying to lose weight, from saving up to travel the world.

Its all so tiring.

Just writing this down makes me realise that I do not want to continue with this lifestyle or be this person however it doesn’t help me figure out what I actually want do with my life or who  want to be…
So I think about what I’d like to do when I wake up from an amazingly refreshing sleep, what would that day look like?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Getting my blog on

I’ve just discovered the 30 day blog challenge, which is being run by Natalie Sisson, the 
Suitcase Entrepreneur – as the title suggests Natalie quite literally runs her business ‘out of her suitcase’ whilst she travels the world. Unfortunately I discovered the programme on day 22, Natalie invited me join right along even at this stage, but on exploring the themes for day 1 & 2 I really think I need to work my way through from the beginning, it’s all really relevant as I am actually thinking about giving it all in and travelling the world, I’m worrying about everything from leaving my family behind, to funding the trip - how can I earn more money before I go, how can I earn money whilst travelling, how long do I want to go for? Will I want to come back, will I want to / can I become location independent? After being my own boss will I ever want to work in a stuffy office for someone else ever again????

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Inspiration where I least expected it

I’ve been trying to re-inspire myself to start writing and blogging again. I initially set up this blog as a way to
get out of a rut and do exciting things on my 30 b4 30 list and then blog about them. But it didn’t quite work out that way, I did cross some things off the list and I did some other cools stuff that maybe I’ll write about one day. But ultimately the list was an excuse for the fact that I couldn’t afford to go travelling – that’s what I really wanted to do and write about!