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6 Lessons Starting a Podcast Has Taught Me

Over the years, I’ve learned so many lessons from starting a podcast.

When I started one back in 2011, I didn’t expect just how much joy it would bring me and how much value it would add to my life.

So, in honour of International Podcast Day, I wanted to share the 6 lessons starting a podcast has taught me. If you’re thinking of starting one or thinking about giving up on yours, then this episode is definitely for you.

Now, some people might say that there are too many podcasts out there and the medium is oversaturated, but guess what?

People have been saying the same exact thing since when I started my first podcast back in 2011!

There might be a ton of podcasts out there, but that shouldn’t discourage you from sharing your unique voice with people who truly need to hear what you have to say.

6 Lessons I Learned From Starting a Podcast

Starting a podcast has given me so many amazing opportunities to chat with guests who intrigue and fascinate me. It’s like having my own personal team of mentors that I get to chat with each week!

Another thing I love about podcasts is the versatility of them.

The quality of podcasts has gone through the roof within the last few years alone, and some have whole production crews and hefty budgets behind them.

This means they’re just so much better to listen to, because they’re scripted, researched and so well produced as engaging stories – almost like going back to good ol’ radio series.

Lesson 1: Podcasts are amazing for personal development and learning.

Whether you prefer having guests on your podcast to interview, or prefer offering solo episodes where you teach and share, podcasts are sure to make YOU learn and develop.

If you decide to have guests on your podcast, then you’d obviously be learning from their experiences and perspectives, which is an awesome way to keep expanding your mind.

Whereas researching topics on your own and sharing your personal experiences can also be a great way to develop and go deeper into researching these topics beforehand too.

Personally, I love both of these styles.

Lately, I’ve been loving having people come on my Untapped podcast and share their unique experiences and outlooks on topics that relate to what I try to teach everyday: how to get paid to be you.

The people that I usually invite on my show are people I find fascinating and who have something to teach both me and you.

These guests have done some incredible things and have so many gold nuggets of wisdom that I absolutely love sharing with all of you who tune in.

While my style of podcasting is more of an informal conversation, where I do a little bit of background research and then ask questions during the interview that I’m really curious about, I also think more formatted and planned out interviews can be successful, too.

Lesson 2: Podcasts make you more disciplined and consistent.

Podcasts have been the one medium that I’ve been able to be consistent with since the early days of my business.

That’s not a coincidence.

In fact, podcasts are incredibly great tools for making you become more disciplined and committed to producing content on a consistent basis.

When I first started out at podcasting, I was super inconsistent. But, knowing that my listeners were expecting a new episode each week forced me to stick to a schedule and have everything released by their deadlines.

Over the years I worked out that batching 3-5 interviews in a day or two was a way more productive method, so that I have 6-8 weeks worth of content on hand, and can plan my promotions around them too.

This also helps everyone on my team to get all of their tasks done in advance so that nothing slips through the cracks.

I’ve also been able to create an incredible SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that is super detailed and precise so that anyone who joins my team will immediately know how to create, publish, and promote the podcast.

We have also have a Podcast template in Asana, that brings the SOP to life, where everyone on my team is assigned to their respective tasks and they can mark off once they’ve completed the next step.

If you’ve been struggling to put out content and stick to your schedule, I highly recommend using a podcast to get you back on track!

Lesson 3: Podcasts are fantastic business tools.

The fact that you have people turning up each week to listen to what you have to say is a powerful testament to how podcasts can be used to grow your business.

Podcasts build up your credibility, authority, and integrity in whatever it is you want to share or teach.

For me, I make sure my episodes focus on how to tap into your potential, get paid to be you, and design your life and work to have purpose.

My listeners can count on learning something that will help them in these areas whenever they tune in to an episode of Untapped.

And I’ve learned that when your audience feels like they can trust and learn from you, they’re more likely to become clients or customers.

It’s also more likely that people will recommend your podcasts to other people, which cultivates a truly wonderful cycle of engagement and exposure.

Lesson 4: Podcasts are great revenue-generating tools.

Along with being fantastic business tools, podcasts are also great tools for generating revenue.

With tons of sponsorships and advertisement opportunities out there nowadays, you could easily create an extra revenue stream for yourself.

Personally, I like to keep my podcasts advert free, but I have had great (and lucrative) sponsorships in the past, that I worked with who were relevant and helpful for my audience.

I never promote anything just for the sake of promoting it, and I like to think that has helped build up my credibility. I’m very choosy about what I recommend.

Aside from advertising and sponsorships, podcasts are also wonderful avenues for promoting your own products and offerings.

So, not only could you generate a revenue stream from promoting things you really love and use on a daily basis, but you could also generate a more active revenue stream by promoting your own offers to an audience you know will be interested!

Lesson 5: Podcasts create lasting friendships and bonds.

The people that I’ve met over the years on my show and other shows are unforgettable.

I may have forgotten the shows I’ve been on, or the specifics on what we talked about, but I never forget the bonds that I make with the people I’ve interviewed or been interviewed by.

I love giving people a platform to share their stories, and I know that I’ve been grateful to others who have done the same for me.

It’s really important for us as creators to support one another, and it’s a total win-win situation.

So, if you have been a guest on any of my podcasts, or if I was a guest on yours, this one is for you and I’d love to have you back on my show or come back on yours!

Also, a special shout out to Rolly, my podcast editor, who has been listening to my voice for quite some time now and always delivers fantastic final episodes. Thank you for the work that you do!

Lesson 6: Podcasts allow your voice to be heard.

Looking at the stats for my podcast, there are people listening in to my podcast from around 100 countries.

Crazy, right?

That’s the incredible power of podcasts!

They allow you to distribute your voice, your message, and your experiences all across the globe to tons of diverse communities.

That is a gift.

That is a privilege.

And, really, all I have to do is a hold a mic and start recording.

So, if you have something to say, say it.

I promise you, you’ll be surprised at how many people will want to listen.

Show the love for the UNTAPPED podcast

If you enjoyed the 6 lessons I learned from starting a podcast, then make sure to check out the full episode where I dive more into all the details of each lesson.

Also, share this post with anyone you’d think would benefit from it and send some love if you’re a fan of the Untapped show.

I’ll be sure to send some love back to you and give you a shout out on my next episode.

The Top 10 Episodes of Untapped

As a fun little bonus, here’s a list of the top episodes of Untapped. If any of them intrigue you or sound interesting, give the full episode a listen and let me know what your thoughts are after!

#10: 6 Rules to Finish What You Start

In this episode, I share the 6 rules to finishing what you start and how to apply them and also share how to write a manifesto.

#9: Why Consistency is Your Secret Weapon

In this podcast I share how my training has progressively stacked to build a better, faster, stronger than me and how you can apply that in life, the power of mind over matter to get you through the tough times and the 3 key things I’ve layered into this journey that have led to my success so far.

#8: Intentions vs Goal Setting – Which is Best To Succeed in Life?

In this episode, you’ll learn the difference between goals and intentions and how to apply intentions to your life goals.

#7: 6 Ways To Tap Into Your Human Potential

Here are a few key ways I’m going to live up to and even beyond my potential throughout the course of my life, this podcast, my vlog and as I live write a book on this very topic, that I hope you can apply to.

#6: The Simple Way to Crush Your Next 90 Days

In this episode I share with you my process for setting my quarterly goals and intentions, and making sure they are spread across the 8 categories of life I value most and why focusing across these areas gives you a more balanced approach to working towards goals and intentions that will improve your whole life, not just your money or work situation.

#5: The 30 Minute Business Plan Template

In this podcast, I literally walk you through what my next 3 months looks like for my business so you can have a crack at writing up your quarterly One Page Biz Plan.

#4: 10 Questions to Unlock Your Potential

I came across a Lifehack article and it caught my attention because it was called “10 Questions That Will Unlock Your Potential” and I thought how appropriate given the newly launched Untapped Podcast – Live up to your potential. So I took the ten questions and answered them for myself, and I’d love you to do the same because they are juicy, and they WILL help you unlock your potential.

#3: Meditation is the Key to Everything

I jumped at the chance to dive deeper into why meditation and mindfulness are transforming peoples’ lives more than ever, in this interview with Dr Elise Bialylew. She’s a coach, meditation teacher and social entrepreneur who trained as a doctor and psychiatrist.

#2: Four Steps to Self Motivation

Just how self-motivated are you? Are you prepared to take charge of your goals and achievements? Or do you set goals, knowing you won’t really work towards them, because they scare your or are too complex?

In this podcast you’ll learn the four factors necessary to build the strongest levels of self-motivation you can.

#1: How Sigrun Grew Her Business to Seven Figures in Four Years

This was such a popular interview because Sigrun is not only awesome but impressive, taking her business from five figures in her first year, by offering 1-1 coaching, and less than four years later, scaling it to hit  seven figures in revenue!

In this episode she shares how she rebuilt her business model to include group masterminds, retreats and her signature (and legendary) program SOMBA – Sigrun’s Online MBA.

Podcast Resources

What 7 years of podcasting has taught me.

Grab my FREE Get Paid to Be YOU Guide.

Checkout the number one tool EVERY online content creator should be using.

Show this podcast some love and keep it advert free here.

 

​Download my Get Paid to Be YOU Audio and Bonus 9 Step Guide. You'll learn how to combine your knowledge, skills and passions into multiple income streams that amplify your purpose, impact and profit.

Podia: The BEST Platform to Create and Sell Online Courses

Can I be honest here? 

As a content creator, I have a dream – a dream that there is one platform, the best platform, that can help me create and sell an online course and do it ALL.

Deep down, I know that might be asking for a little bit too much. 

But what I want this online platform to have is the ability to create and sell digital products, online courses, and memberships.

Even better would be the ability for this platform to have an inbuilt affiliate program so my friends and community can promote and sell my courses that they believe in as well as a super easy way to take payments and receive payments.

It’d also be nice if it was super mobile responsive, beautifully designed with a clean interface that is simple to use – even for non techies, and affordable. 

This dream seemed absolutely impossible…

That is until I came across Podia. 

And I must admit, I’m a little bit excited. 

Over the years, I have researched a plethora of online platforms. And there are so many great ones out there as I shared in The Ultimate Guide to the Best Membership Software To Run an Online Program in 2016.

Plus, there are more and more being made every day because the online e-learning industry is booming! 

Why You Need to Teach and Create Online Products and Courses in 2019

To put it into perspective, the online e-learning industry is going to triple by 2025 and become a $320 billion industry. 

If you want to learn more about that read 3 Reasons to Launch Your Online Course in 2019 

The reality is, if you are not part of that revolution and not sharing your gifts with the world by teaching others what you know so that they can learn from you… then you’re missing out!

Every single experience you’ve ever had in your life, anything you’ve ever been taught, anything you’ve ever learned, implemented, or experienced for yourself – THAT is what somebody else wants to learn..

And you need to step up and be a teacher and share that with other people. 

You need to be able to add value to their life, to give generously, and to teach. And you also need to be able to learn, continue to upscale, reskill, and all those good things. 

In order to survive in the future of work and actually thrive, we need to be constantly learning. 

Simply put, we need to become lifelong learners. Otherwise, we’re going to get left behind, and the robots are actually going to come in and replace us. 

Read 11 Benefits of Learning Something New to get up to speed!

That is why the learning industry is growing at the speed of light. So many people are realising how important it is to stay relevant and to continually challenge themselves by learning. 

That means there needs to be a whole heap of online course creators out there and teachers who are willing to bring you up to speed. 

I like to think of this as being a Leading Learner. You’re not an expert. You’re not a guru. 

You’re just a couple of steps ahead of the person who is right behind you and wanting to come up to speed really quickly. 

And so, as an online course creator, I want a platform that allows me to do that in lots of different ways. 

I don’t believe that just courses are the way. 

I don’t believe that just digital products are the way. 

And I don’t believe that things like memberships and communities are the way by themselves. 

But combined… they make an incredible learning experience. 

So when I found that Podia does all of those in one tool, I was super excited. 

I asked them to do a demo for me before I jumped in to try Podia myself, and they generously showed me all the features and ways you can use Podia. 

Why I am switching to Podia for Online Courses

Since that demo, I am switching away from Teachable (which I’ve enjoyed using for years) to put all future courses, products and memberships on Podia for several reasons.

In fact, you will be experiencing Podia if you come along and apply to join my Launch Your Damn Course Accelerator in October.

But even if you don’t, and you’ve been looking for a platform that’s super easy to use, affordable, and made by people who get the online course space, then Podia will definitely be for you.

Thanks to Len Markidan, the Chief Marketing Officer at Podia, I’m able to share the demo with all of you!

In this video we walk through all the awesome features that Podia has and you’ll be amazed, as I was, at all the things that they have going on and some of their upcoming features.

My Favourite Podia Features

Online Courses

  • Sell as many online courses as you wish – free as a mini course or paid
  • Prelaunch and sell courses before you deliver them
  • Offer one-off payment or payment plans
  • Podia take no fees!
  • Upload any file type
  • Unlimited everything – no for real. No restriction on students or courses.

Digital Products

  • Sell as many digital products as you wish – free as an optin or paid
  • Sell anything – digital guides, audios, PDFs etc
  • Speedy checkout
  • Upsells are built in – so you could offer a free optin guide then upsell to a paid book
  • Sell it or gift it – now that’s cool

Online Memberships

  • Simple membership platform to share videos, content and build a community
  • Offer multiple plans for your members – free through to monthly subscription or annual
  • Bundle products
  • Interact with your members easily through comments (not a forum)
  • Connect Facebook or Slack if you want to create more of a community

Email Marketing

  • Send drip campaigns
  • Send newsletters
  • Grow your list
  • Track results
  • Cross-sell products

Use Podia as your Website!

  • Create a home page and landing pages to act as and replace your website
  • Have your own shop page 
  • Mix & match sections
  • Fully customize your layout
  • Mobile friendly
  • Easily integrate third-party tools

Affiliate Marketing

  • Simple to setup (we love simple)
  • Helps increase your sales
  • Seamless payouts
  • Helpful reporting
  • Customise your affiliate program

As an online course creator, as an online content creator, as an online business owner, Podia simply kicks ass as an all in one platform to ensure you get paid to be YOU.

You will be able to develop multiple revenue streams while making a massive impact and doing it in a simple and easy to use platform that’s not too feature rich or complex to use.

To try Podia FREE for 14 days (no credit card required) and all of its awesome features by clicking the colourful button below!

Try Podia For Free to create online courses

Also, check out my interview with Len on Untapped where we chat about some really interesting statistics about online content creators and the state of the side hustle industry.

Embracing the Future of the Future with Frances Valintine

What is the future of the future? And how the heck can you be a part of it so that you’re not left behind in the past?

That is the topic of my conversation on this episode of the Untapped Podcast with the one and only Frances Valintine, founder of The Mind Lab & Tech Futures Lab.

Frances is one heck of a mover and shaker. And she believes that we’re living in a time of great advancement as well as rapid disruption. She believes that the progress and the ability to look forward and plan for tomorrow is essential for long term success.

Frances is at the cutting edge of what we need to do to stay relevant as we move into a new era filled with uncertainty as technology takes over our jobs allowing us to essentially tap into more of our human skills.

If you listened to Episode 32 – The Future of Work Is Learning, I shared what the future of work really is, the major trends and forces shaping it and why it’s more important than ever to become a lifelong learner and keep upskilling to remain relevant and ahead of the curve.

Frances takes us even further because she is living and breathing this. At the time of our interview, she had just finished up the Future of the Future conference that she hosted where she interviewed all these incredible people on stage.

What I love about Frances is that she’s extremely forward thinking by the way she looks at how we reinvigorate our existing skills, adopt new practices, and integrate people who think differently in our businesses.

As the founder and CEO of The Mind Lab & Tech Futures Lab, Frances works in the space between the whole ecosystem of learners from young children to experienced corporate leaders.

While Tech Futures Lab helps organisations and individuals to navigate the contemporary world of business, The Mind Lab was developed to empower students, schools, teachers and principals to develop contemporary knowledge and practical skills for today’s rapidly evolving world and the future of work.

She knows that our economic success has a greater reliance on people who can combine science, technology, design and creativity in ways that we are only just starting to realize.

So in our interview, we discuss a lot of those things. And I think you are going to find it fascinating. I hope it’s going to open your eyes, expand your mind, and really get you thinking about what role you are going to play in the future of work and just how you can thrive in it.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • What the future of work looks like and what that means for you
  • Why reinvigorating your skills and learning new skills is vital now more than ever
  • How to thrive and remain relevant in the rapidly evolving world
  • Frances’ journey to become one of the most influential leaders in New Zealand

Resources

Connect with Frances over on LinkedIn

Learn more about the Tech Futures Lab – The Graduate School for Human Impact

Learn more about the award winning education provider The Mind Lab

 

​Download my Get Paid to Be YOU Audio and Bonus 9 Step Guide. You'll learn how to combine your knowledge, skills and passions into multiple income streams that amplify your purpose, impact and profit.

​Download my Get Paid to Be YOU Audio and Bonus 9 Step Guide. You'll learn how to combine your knowledge, skills and passions into multiple income streams that amplify your purpose, impact and profit.

 

3 Reasons to Launch Your Online Course in 2019

Imagine being able to scale you and your revenue without scaling the amount of work you do?

That’s the power of being able to launch your online course. You get to teach what you know and love, and make an impact in lots of peoples lives.

The great news, although it may seem like everyone and their dog is launching an online course right now, there’s no better time to be teaching these skills that people want to learn, through your own online course.

Why? According to research from Forbes the e-learning market is expected to reach a value of 325 billion by 2025.

That’s triple the growth from 2015. Triple!

Why is that? Well in order to succeed or just stay afloat in the future of work, the need to reskill, upskill and keep learning is critical.

That’s why I’ve been so intent on covering off on how to do this on my podcast and blog. Check out How to tap into the future of work and Why the future of work is learning.

What’s even more astounding is that online courses made $46 billion last year, according to Len Markidan from Podia, a creator’s dream platform for online courses, digital products and memberships.

The thing is, a lot of people get put off by not knowing where to start, or thinking they don’t have anything to teach or offer, or getting overwhelmed by the tech side…and the list goes on.

And I get it, because when I started out I was like how the heck do I do this?

How I launched my first profitable online course

Cast your mind back to 2010. I was in lovely Vancouver, Canada and was almost broke after 6 months focused on building up my blog and credibility but having nothing to offer to actually earn income.

I finally pulled together my first paid workshop called The Social Media Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs, held over two days with just ten people.

I ended up putting on three workshops due to demand and selling out since it was such a hot topic. By the end of the month I’d made $15K and couldn’t believe it.

The feedback had been amazing as I was teaching people how to use social media to build their business and it was super hands on and practical – just what startups need on a small budget and with little time on their hands.

Yet, I knew there were so many more people in my community (because they reached out and asked after seeing me post photos on social media), that I wasn’t able to reach by staying in one location and limiting the numbers in my workshop.

I thought to myself, there has to be a better way. Plus one that allows me to have flexibility and freedom on how and where I work.

Launch your online course with Natalie Sisson
For reals – this is me packed up and ready to hit the road with my online course back in 2010.

So I took my powerpoint slides, researched which tool would allow me to record my screen and talk over the top of the slides and then spent over 40 long hours over the next three weeks recording the entire two day workshop and turning it into videos and transcripts.

I then decided to market it to my tribe with a free webinar. I had 100 people sign up, which blew me away, 30 people attend live and ONE person buy my course.

And I was THRILLED.

Sure I was hoping for more but someone had just validated that what I had to offer and teach was of value to them and they were willing to pay me US$297 for it!

Holy crap!! What if could get 10 people to take my course and learn from me? That would be close to US$3,000 which would pretty much pay me back for the time I spent creating the damn thing.

What if I could get 20? Wow $6,000 is like a dream come true and would allow me to go travelling while running my online course from anywhere, and before I knew it The Suitcase Entrepreneur was born.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I went on to make over $10K on that course, $100K on digital products and over $300K with one course through multiple launches.

And deep down, I know you are completely capable of replicating my results too – if you want it enough.

Want me to show you how?

Three key reasons to launch your online course in 2019

I truly believe that everyone has something to teach, and that online courses and experiences are one of the best ways to impart that knowledge.

Yet almost every person I speaks to initially is hesitant to admit they know anything that people might be willing to pay them for.

So in order to blast past any doubts or insecurities you may have, here are three facts that I know to be true about you, that you may not even know about yourself!

Reason #1. You have an unfair advantage

Your Unfair Advantage

Oh yeah what’s that Natalie? Well my friend, it happens to be your life experiences, skills and knowledge that makes you uniquely YOU.

I have no idea why people don’t rate themselves more. The sum of what makes you who you are is truly enticing, even if you think you’re the most boring, non-standout person in the world with nothing to share.

Wait until you meet someone who thinks what you know and do is fascinating, or better yet don’t wait and instead start listening to friends, colleagues, peers and even strangers when they ask “How do you know how to do that? Can you teach me?”.

Those are usually some fairly clear signs that you’re so good at something, or so used to it coming naturally to you, that you really ought to share what you know.

Or you’ve simply worked hard at something, for some time and have built up quite a reservoir of knowledge that you simply didn’t realize other people really valued.

Either way, you need to leverage that sweetspot of yours – the intersection between what you’re good at, what you enjoy doing and what people will pay you for, and launch your damn course!

Reason #2. Resonance

Stand out from the crowd

How you think, who you are, how you make people feel and how you show up in this world is what is going to make you resonate with other people and stand out in a sea of sameness.

You already do this without knowing – it’s how you tell stories, your quirks and opinions, the values you uphold and your own unique point of view.

That’s the bit that people really want to see. Every time I share a screw up, or failure, an experience or adventure or some real moment in my life and business I get a massive increase in engagement.

That’s because the more YOU that you share, the more people can resonate with you, see a little bit of themselves in you and relate to you, which means you become more human and personal to your potential customers – and that’s gold.

That’s connection, which builds trust and we are far more likely to buy from people we know, like and trust.

So what happens is as you enthuse your content, videos, messages and work with what makes you uniquely you, you begin to stand out from the rest and become THE choice and person to turn to.

Reason #3 You’re a Leading Learner

Leading learner a few steps ahead of the rest

Yes you really are. That means that you’re not an expert. You’re not a guru you’re just a couple of steps ahead of the person that you need to teach my friend.

As you learn, you lead those by sharing everything you know, real-time in a way they can relate to and resonate with, rather than from some ivory tower of ‘I’ve been doing this for 20 years and my it’s my way or the high way kiddo’.

No-one wants to learn from a know it all. They want to learn from somebody who’s living and breathing it right now, and getting results and is able to share what they know in a way that makes it easy for them to learn.

These are the people who are willing to pay you to learn what you already know and get up to speed in less time and for less money than you spent and invested, to get to where you are today…. no matter where that is.

Because the simple fact is you will always be further ahead than some people, and those are the people who’d will likely be the prime candidates to benefit from what you will teach in your online course.

Ready to launch your online course?

These three things alone are going to make you an outstanding online course creator, ready to share your knowledge and gifts with the very people who are prepared to pay you what you’re worth, and make an impact in their lives and on their journey.

Where I know you will get stuck, because everyone does, is on what your unique value offering is, who your target market is, how to validate people even want what you have to teach, and how to get in front of the right audience.

Then you’ll worry about the ‘how’ of launching – which platforms, video or audio or webinar or …..and what about landing pages, copywriting, marketing and advertising.

Yeah, it can all get very overwhelming when you over think it. So that’s where I’d like to come in, because my teaching superpower is the art of simplification and minimal viable product with maximum potential.

That’s why I’ve released a very special experience to help you design and presell your online course…

The Launch Your Damn Course 60 Day Accelerator

7 Lessons I’ve Learned from Finding My Next Finish Line

Recently I had the honour of being invited to go and speak in front of around 80 to 90 Ultimate Frisbee players, who were trying out to be selected for the New Zealand teams for the World Championships in Netherlands next year.

For those of you who don’t know, I have been an Ultimate Frisbee player for the last 16 years. It’s been a long held passion of mine and it was really neat to be asked to come and speak at this  training camp about finding your finish line, which is a big tribute to Nathan Martin, my triathlon coach from this podcast we did.

The talk I gave was specifically related to being your best self, pushing yourself, challenging yourself, crushing your goals and setting intentions that keep you motivated.

I decided you may need to hear this too, so I’ve recreated it here for you both as a full blog post and an episode on my Untapped Podcast.

Read more

My 3 Step Year End Process

As someone who prides herself on taking action all the time, I find this a really powerful time of year to simply slow down and reflect.

Every year I do an Annual Review of sorts and share it publicly on my blog. I find this cathartic and really valuable to share with you – because my default is share and teach what I learn with others.

I also personally love learning from others, and what worked for them during the year, what they’d do differently and what their key takeaways from.

Typically it makes me feel more connected to them as a person and to appreciate that we’re all human, we all make mistakes, screw things up, have our doubts and fears.

And that despite all this, we act in the face of adversity, we commit to create value, we strive for meaning, we meet challenges head on and we turn up to the important tasks, day in and day out….

Aside from those days where we simply lay around snoozing, reading and lazing because we can or we decide to head out into the sunshine on an adventure and let loose.

I digress!

This year, I’m giving myself more space than ever to reflect as 2018 has been a year that really served up some tough challenges for me professionally, which then hit me personally.

Over the past few weeks, Josh and I have been carving out time to do our end of year Life Pilot reflection and then setting our intentions for the year ahead, and our goals for the first quarter.

A Simple Process to Close Out The Year

I wanted to share the process that Josh and I are using to close out 2018 and make sure we celebrate it.

Step 1: Consult our Life Pilot Spreadsheet to get a visual on our entire life for the year.

It’s simple yet powerful and it’s been made much easier thanks to our Life Pilot spreadsheet.

Being able to scroll back through our 3 most important daily actions, weekly goals, monthly and quarterly intentions has given us an instant look at how our year really was in 2018.

And there ain’t no hiding from that data!

The colour coding on our Life Pilot spreadsheet also gives us a great visual summary of how we did across all our areas of life too – did we hit, progress or miss those important actions and goals?

Which areas of life showed up most and did any of them dominate?

Our areas we chose are: Personal Growth, Relationships, Health, Impact, Lifestyle, Financial, Work and Habits.

From this we’re able to deduce what went well, what we did and jog our memory about what really mattered, or what we may have forgotten that we experienced or achieved.

Step 2: Do a walk and talk reflecting on the year and summarize, reminisce and share.

We love to walk and talk, it stimulates our minds being out in nature and we both like to talk things out. I then like to capture this in a tool like Evernote.

And here’s exactly what I wrote down, no edits:

Jan/ Feb – Gold Coast, wedding, friends

Feb – Angel (as in getting our second adorable White German Shepherd Puppy!)

Mar – E-commerce idea of Poochable

Apr –  Launched $3K in 3 Months e-commerce lab.

May – Brisbane trip for Michelle’s 60th. Book project resurrect.

June – Portugal, Frisbee, Life Pilot first launch.

July – Life Pilot second launch, book prep, Better Work Together book. Enspiral winter retreat – walk with Anna to commit to becoming triathlon training buddies.

August – Freedom Plan book and program focus, second e-commerce course run, Life Pilot.

September – Freedom Plan course Launch and operational fail. Tri training.

October – Freedom Plan Accelerator horrible launch, Rotorua seasonal dreaming. Financial focus, book prep. Tri coach start.

November – Book launch, denial and work through, confidence crisis. Tri coaching start. First Splash n dash event.

December – Slump, discussions, clarity, job parameters, refresh of attitude. Gisborne scope trip. Total reframe. Happiness.

There’s a lot more that went on in the year obviously but at a high level these were the highlights and lowlights.

Step 3: Do the deep introspective work and learn the lessons.

Had I stopped there I think the process would be lame. I would be stripping myself from all the gold nuggets I can take away from a year that on every front apart from business (and therefore finances), was quite wonderful.

The fact that I let the business front so dominate my end of year thoughts on how the whole year went, was saying a lot in itself.

With more digging, I got to stand back and celebrate more than just coming through a tough period. I also got to take the lessons learned and really truly use them as a force for good in my life.

In keeping with the ‘no more than 3 things’ Life Pilot methodology, and in reviewing others’ processes (hat tip to Marie Forleo and Denise Duffield), we simply ask ourselves the following three questions, and write out our answers:

  • What things did you do this year that you’re proud of?
  • What were the biggest lessons you learned this year?
  • What one limiting story are you ready to let go of before 2019?
Photo is of me, slightly tipsy after a jug of sangria Josh and I consumed during a Life Pilot Reflection session in Baleal, Portugal in June 2018. This photo sums up the good things in life for me – beach, sunshine, surfing, blue sky, bare feet on sand, bright colours and a flag that has a purpose and gives you a direction!

What things did I do that I’m proud of this year?

Had I answered this question at the start of December the list would have been limited and I would have been hard on myself.

But as I’ve reflected and released, and got told by a coach to create a brag book, many more things came to light.

  • Spending 5 months rewriting parts of my book and working on the launch plan for it
  • Publishing and launching my new Freedom Plan book and complementary Accelerator
  • My book becoming a No #1 New Release in Amazon’s Women and Business Category, and a Top 10 Kindle book in Entrepreneurship
  • Launching an eCommerce course while taking my first attempt to launch an eCommerce business selling ethical dog products – starting with the Poochable Frisbee
  • Deciding to end my podcast after 7 years and knowing what an impact it made
  • Turning our Life Planning tool and methodology that Josh and I created into an experience, challenge and course others could transform their life with – which was also the first thing I’ve done jointly and launched with Josh
  • Learning how to work with Josh in a way that felt enjoyable and harmonious
  • Playing my fave Beach Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Portugal with dear friends, and seeing Josh enjoy his first ever time playing – so proud of him.
  • Continuing to learn how to be a great puppy mum and committing to building a great relationship with Kayla and Angel (while simultaneously falling more in love with them)
  • Contributing to the Gift Economy by volunteering more of my time, energy and experience to projects and people including Enspiral, friends and mentoring through the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
  • Going to my first ever Tony Robbins event (despite my conflicting thoughts) and being thoroughly glad I did – I talked about this amazing experience in my vlog here.
  • Hitting 10,000 subscribers on my YouTube Channel despite not maintaining a regular rhythm of releasing videos
  • Deciding (on somewhat of a whim thanks to Claire) to start training for Sprint Triathlons as a long term mission to improve my health, mindset and physical performance
  • Learning more about gardening and trees and continuing to create a magical place and home on our property Kairangi Haven
  • Making new friends and nurturing a quality community of people locally
  • Mentoring a wonderful bunch of women Entrepreneurs through Triple Twist with my wonderful partner in crime Julie Treanor
  • Being part of two New Frontiers events, meeting incredible changemakers and being asked to impromptu MC one of the days
  • Learning how to be a better person in my relationship with Josh, and sharing this growth with each other while deepening our love and respect.
  • Letting go of my past success to make way for the new (even if it was freaking painful)

What were the biggest lessons you learned this year?

I learned (and often the hard way), that you:

  • must never stop learning and growing
  • must never do work that doesn’t align with your innermost values
  • must never get trapped in the comparison game and lose sight of your uniqueness
  • you can’t judge your success on your past self
  • you can change your thoughts, beliefs and behaviour by changing your state – in an instant!

Stemming from this overarching ass-walloping lesson, is to act decisively when things don’t go as planned, don’t get stuck in ‘business as usual’ and don’t over outsource!

On that note you might enjoy my recent post about How I saved $3,000 on Tools and Technology for One Hour of Work.

What one limiting story are you ready to let go of before 2019?

My past identity does not predict my future success.

I’ve battled with this one all year. If I’m really honest, this has been the root cause of a lot of my challenges ever since I ‘stopped’ being the Suitcase Entrepreneur and made a 180 degree life change.

I’ve written and podcasted about this extensively. I simply did not realize that too much change is dangerous until it was too late.

And it’s affected me for close to two years.

Thankfully I’ve eaten humble pie, I’ve done and will continue to do the deep work to understand this and how it affects you, and I feel I’ve come out the other end with some amazing insights.

As Leo Babauta said in this post, you need to Train in Uncertainty.

When you get comfortable with something, you have to give it up. When you think you know something, you have to toss it out. When you walk through life with concepts, you have to let those concepts go and see things with fresh eyes.

That’s why I’m open to there being more lessons that I need to learn and am happy to experience them fully!

This year I realized that I can be soft and accepting of myself (and others) while being motivated and driven. I just need to keep those parts of me that are true to me but balance them better.

 

To close out this year, I am deeply grateful for all the wonderful experiences and quality people who I’ve spent time with and learned from.

I’m thankful to have rediscovered parts of myself that were laying dormant and I appreciate, more than ever, that I shall always be a student of life.

Here we come 2019. I’m ready for you, more than you will ever know!

8 Ways To Use IGTV For Your Business and Brand

I’m a big fan of testing new technology, particularly new innovations like IGTV, that are going to make an impact in our everyday lives.

So when Instagram announced IGTV I knew I couldn’t ignore it.

They are essentially rivalling YouTube, and what is amazing and scary at the same time is that Instagram now has 1 billion users, since starting in 2010.

Compare that with YouTube that has 1.9 billion users, but started in 2005.

What the heck is IGTV?

It stands for Instagram TV.

If you haven’t yet seen it in action, you can now create your own channel through the Instagram app or watch via a dedicated IGTV app or your PC/ or laptop.

You can start posting vertical videos, yes native vertical videos, right away.

That make so much sense given everything we do on mobile is in portrait/ vertical format – apps we use, messages we post, texts we receive, podcasts we listen to, and books we read – all in vertical mode which is how our smartphones work.

And we are addicted to our smartphones!

According to a blog post on BiznessApps for 2018:

1. As of August 2017, there are over 3.5 billion unique mobile internet users. Source: Statista

2. Users spend on average 69% of their media time on smartphones. Source: comScore

3. Mobile devices will drive 80% of global internet usage. Source: Zenith

4. 50% of the time individuals spend on digital media is on mobile apps. Source: Comscore

​Ahhhh that’s nuts!

​With this in mind I have an inkling that Instagram – AKA Facebook since they now own it, and their move to create IGTV, is a very smart one.

​How can you use IGTV effectively

It’s very easy to use, and videos don’t have to be as ‘polished’ as they’ve become on YouTube for many influencers, content creators and brands, but you can make them look less raw than Instagram stories.

Here is my first IGTV attempt from the Beach of Baleal yesterday, introducing myself and sharing why I love the Freedom that Portugal has.

And this one from today, from my living room in my house in Atouguia de Baleia, with 5 Fun Facts about me (and the hope you will share one about yourself in the comments so I can learn more about you!).

Like any form of social media you need to put strategic thought behind what you are doing. 

IGTV may, or may not be the right platform for you, but it’s definitely worth trying if you already produce content on your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or podcast, OR if you’ve really not embraced any other platform yet.

You just record them on your phone, and can use a video editor like Quik, to make them look a bit better or add in other footage and music, for example, then upload them to IGTV direct from your phone.

A few fun facts:

  • If you have a large following you get up to one hour upload length, but for us mere mortals it’s 10 minutes – which in my mind, is frankly long enough.
  • You can add multiple links in the description to drive traffic to your website! This is huge, and something I didn’t do in my first two videos…oops!
  • If you click those links above to my videos, you will see you can open them up on a PC or laptop too, even if you’re not on Instagram.

I really like this last point, as it means more people can find out about you, your work and what you stand for, without being limited to having to be on Instagram.

I must admit I ​personally like this tool as I love documenting and sharing on the go, but don’t always have wifi, especially when you’re traveling, so being able to capture videos on the spot, but upload them later, is liberating.

Sometimes the inspiration strikes and you just want to share some wisdom, insights, your innermost thoughts, some motivation or an epiphany. Or perhaps your latest dance moves!

I say this because as I surfed through IGTV popular I was frankly amazed at the international uptake of this tool – Russia, India, Brazil ..and of course Will Smith (who recently started vlogging on YouTube) with hundreds of thousands or millions of views already on their IGTV videos. 

Many of these were dancing or music videos, or simply people having fun lip-syncing to their fave tunes, something I definitely feel like busting out!

I highly recommend you focus on the following with IGTV:

  1. Always provide value – insight, tips, strategy or wisdom – with a personal touch. Give, give, give.
  2. If you don’t feel in the mood or ready for 1. then be entertaining – bring joy, humour and happiness into peoples’ lives.
  3. Create awareness around what you actually do, introduce yourself and tell people who you serve and what your why is.
  4. Showcase your work in a fun way or have others do it for you- I’ve seen video testimonials already and feedback with customers in an video interview style from Kimra Luna who’s in launch mode.
  5. Repurpose your work – James Wedmore is using it to share his podcast directly, others are taking their horizontal videos and editing or simply putting into a vertical background.
  6. Stand out – grab your instagram stories and roll them into one interesting video with music using the Quick app or Vue.
  7. Treat it like a Facebook live and post your video to your Facebook page or group after for more interaction.
  8. Always include a CTA (call to action) back to your website, or products, or a piece of content that they can learn further from.

I hope that’s given you some insights into how use this new tool effectively.

If you shy away from social media completely, know that it’s here to stay – and has been since 2004 when Facebook started, but that you don’t have to be the face of your business to use it effectively.

Audio, product demonstrations, customer reviews…these are just some of the ways to be active and engaged without it being all about you.

If you’re an influencer, personal brand, coach, consultant, advisor….oh YES you know you need to get on this now, or continue to stick with using the tool you’re getting the best results from already, but always think about how you can improve on what you’re doing.

The world doesn’t need more crap content, but it does need more of your gifts. So get them out there!​

Your Word. Your Year

Every year, I pick one word that becomes my theme for the year.

This one word represents what I want to focus on. In previous years it’s been freedom, growth, clarity and focus.

You’d think one measly word wouldn’t make much of a difference to your life, but I have to tell you….it’s a game changer!

Whenever you’re off track, it helps you come back to focus in on what’s important, what matters, and what you really want out of your year.

In this episode I reveal:

  • My word for 2018 (and why people laughed at it)
  • My new quest to vlog like a boss
  • A great audio and book resource I’m using to learn to vlog like a boss
  • Why this is the year to OWN it (and put on your grown up panties)

Listen and learn my friend….or just be entertained.

Key resources to check out:

 

SUBSCRIBE

3 Juicy Tips for Designing Your Dream Lifestyle

When you’ve reached the final stages of constructing your ideal lifestyle vision, you are going to start working on the most important factor of your transition into a life of freedom: the plan.

Your plan, complete with goals, tasks, and deadlines, is going to usher you into your ideal lifestyle. It is going to help you become the person that you’ve always wanted to be and live the life that you’ve always wanted to live.

Without it, you would be ineffectively chasing your dreams and holding yourself back from getting to where you need to be.

Don’t get too excited too quickly. Planning out your dream lifestyle is not a thing to be rushed. It’s a thing of beauty to be crafted, and molded to your heart’s content.

I am going to help further help you construct your plan by sharing with you 3 key characteristics of a successful plan.

Are you ready to hear them? Here they are!

Step #1. Devise a Plan That Is VERY Specific

Specificity is…

  • Necessary if you want to avoid having to go back to your plan and making edits
  • NOT OPTIONAL

With that in mind, I want you to take a look at your current plan, which you crafted with me in the third section of my e-book, 3 Steps to Living Your Perfect Day, and I want you to expand upon it.

Let’s say, for example, that one of the aspects of your lifestyle vision is to be able to work from home selling a whole range of beauty products. In response, you wrote something like this:

As soon as possible, I am going to start making my own beauty products, open an online store, and begin selling them.

Do you see what’s wrong with this plan? It’s not exactly a plan.

All you’ve accomplished in writing this down is creating another dream for yourself. It’s not specific and it’s certainly not going to help you do what you want.

How do we change that?

Well, we figure out what it is you have to do to reach your goal.

Map out all the necessary steps, give yourself a time frame, and then rewrite your plan. A finished product may look a little something like this:

By next December, I am going to learn about all the aspects of planning and running a home-based business by doing an online course through Udemy on this topic.

By January, I want to have learned all about the permits, laws, and taxes associated with home-based businesses in my area.

By February, I want to have learned all about how to run a home-based business including marketing, shipping, packaging, etc.

By April, I will have learned to create the beauty products I have in mind and I will have some samples ready for launch.

This is by no means an extensive example and it can certainly be improved but now you understand what we’re looking for.

The better you know what it is you want to do and by when, the easier it will be to accomplish your goals.

Step #2. Make Your Plan Actionable

As I just stated, dates are also necessary when it comes to good planning. In the example above, we have a general monthly date.

However, this will not be acceptable when it comes to crafting your plan.

Your plan should consist of very specific goals followed by exact dates. If we continue using the example above, it may look a little more like this:

January 10th- Call my local city hall and ask them about what is required of home-based business owners in the area. Talk to them about zoning laws, permits, sales tax, and any other information that is necessary for me to know.

January 20th- Look deeper into each of the aspects that were discussed on the phone so I will know what to expect when I register my business in my city.

February 1st- Start taking a 4-week online business class that will help me learn about all of the aspects of running my own business.

March 1st- Research business coaches who have worked in my industry and look into receiving coaching to be prepared for what I will be doing after launch.

You see the pattern here, right?

The more you research your goal and the work that needs to be done in order to reach it, the easier these mini goals will be to come up with.

Even this can be broken down into smaller sections so if you feel as though your goals need to be more tightly scheduled, do it.

Remember, however, that these goals need to absolutely be done by their time frame.

If you fail to meet your deadlines, you may go off course or become so discouraged with yourself that you give up on your ideal lifestyle vision.

Who wants that? Not us!

Step #3. Keep Your Plan Realistic

I think the biggest issue that happens when we are pumped up about our exciting dreams is that we tend to overlook the minute details.

For this person above, they really want to run a home-based business creating beauty products and that’s great.

What may not be so great is if they’re creating this plan and they have absolutely no business experience, money, or experience creating beauty products.

I’m not saying that they won’t be able to reach their goals. What I’m saying is that they need to be more realistic about how they’re going to accomplish them.

If you were this person, I sincerely doubt that the 5-month goal you planned above would be sufficient time to learn everything you need to know.

Although it’s totally possible to get everything done within that timeframe, you have to look deep enough to see if you truly can accomplish it.

    • Do you have the funding?
    • Do you know how to get the funding?
    • Is that really enough time to learn all about how to run a home-based business?
    • Will that one class you are going to take be enough?
    • Do you have the extra money to spend on classes and coaches?
  • Are you in the right place and mindset to launch your business right now?

Asking yourself these questions will help you set realistic goals and give you confidence to make your idea a reality.

It is okay to take a little more time to achieve your dream. It is okay to take only a couple of small steps at a time.

If you could achieve freedom instantly, there wouldn’t be a need for books or a process!

Know yourself and take time to develop a plan that is best suited for you.

    • Maybe you need to extend that time frame from 5-months to 12-months.
    • Maybe you want to take a longer class that will further benefit you.
  • Maybe you want to get in touch with some of your old contacts who may be able to help you.

Whatever it is that you think will be the most beneficial for you, write it down and don’t put yourself down over the time frame or the steps.

The plan, besides being the most important part of cultivating your ideal lifestyle, also tends to be the most difficult.

If you need help crafting it, I definitely recommend that you check out my Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Online Doing Workshop to achieve all this in 90 minutes or less!

I will show you how to:

  • Phase 1: Setting your vision for 2018 and figuring out your priorities.
  • Phase 2: Mapping out quarterly, monthly, and weekly actions that are aligned with your yearly goals and vision.
  • Phase 3: Helping you craft a Content, Marketing and Editorial calendar that will help you achieve freedom and success. I will give my exact template to use!
  • Phase 4: Teaching you my 6 step daily success plan that will help you unlock your productivity potential.
  • Giving you questions that you need to ask yourself in order to get the most out of my workshop and your year ahead.

On top of all this, I will also be providing you two super valuable bonuses to make sure that you take action straight away.  Head to nataliesisson.com/workshop to get started.

3 Vital Questions To Ask Yourself When Planning Your Ideal Life

I think that we all tend to grow up watching people chase the same stereotypical life plan.

You know that typical path of:

Study at college, get a degree or qualification, work your way up to a high-paying job, get married, have a child, purchase a house with a white picket fence, and be the all-around perfect person that everyone approves of.

Newsflash!

There has never been and never will be one path to happiness, success, and freedom.

We each have a unique road that we must take in order to fulfill our true destiny, and the only way to uncover it is by looking deep within yourself and being brutally honest.

Take a look at your current ideal lifestyle plan that we have crafted together and read between the lines.

What does each action you are taking mean to you?

Why is it that you plan to do what you dream about doing?

Better yet, what do these actions accomplish for you?

You are going to have to ask yourself a lot of questions and evaluate each aspect of your life plan before you even consider moving forward.

It may seem like extra upfront work but it will save you from having to rework your plan and avoid any potential misalignment or damage in your life.

Here are a few questions that I would like you to start with:

#1. Is This Something I Would Enjoy Doing Frequently?

Your life, likes, and tastes are going to change over time. That is inevitable.

However, you should expect a lot of your likes to remain the same for at least a good chunk of your life.

That is why I want you to ask yourself if you would enjoy doing each event frequently.

If you don’t think that you would like working at an office job, or waking up to teach personal training clients at 6am each morning, please don’t put it on your list.

This will just lead to you being unhappy again in the near future.

#2. Once I Finish Working Towards This, Will I Be Happy With My Choice?

Let’s imagine that one of your goals is to become a dance instructor. You absolutely love dancing and you have some positive experience teaching dance to children.

Overall, this seems like a great plan.

However, we need to look to the future. Perhaps this dream of yours is going to take at least five years to achieve due to setup costs, gaining the necessary experience and exposure, and finding the perfect venue for your dancing business.

Flash forward five years from now.

Will all this hard work pay off? Will you still have the burning passion for teach dance that you have now? Will it be worth all the time you have used to get there?

If so, then this is a great dream.

If not, you may need to reconsider your choice. Nothing is worse than working towards something you don’t want in the end.

#3. Will This Make Me Feel Free?

This is the most obvious and the most important question. While we can’t always determine what type of outcome our actions will have, we can estimate how we are going to feel.

Will that beach house make you feel like you are finally free? Will that job that’s paying you six figures annually give you the type of freedom that you are craving?

Answer these questions honestly. If you can truly say that you’ll feel free having that person, place, or position, then it should be fine to keep on your list. For those of you who weren’t able to say that it would make you feel free, evaluate why it didn’t and come up with a better solution.

You can always find your freedom if you come up with the right solution!

The most important thing to remember is that life happens.

Your ideal lifestyle is going to change as you navigate your way through life, develop new interests, and learn new things.

I don’t expect you to construct a life plan that is going to last your entire lifetime. However, I do expect you to relentlessly chase a life in which you can live out your ideal lifestyle daily.

Need some assistance? Then check out my Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year Online Workshop.

In less than 90 minutes with me and I will be helping you to…

  • Phase 1: Setting your vision for 2018 and figuring out your priorities.
  • Phase 2: Mapping out quarterly, monthly, and weekly actions that are aligned with your yearly goals and vision.
  • Phase 3: Helping you craft a Content, Marketing and Editorial calendar that will help you achieve freedom and success. I will give my exact template to use!
  • Phase 4: Teaching you my 6 step daily success plan that will help you unlock your productivity potential.
  • Giving you questions that you need to ask yourself in order to get the most out of my workshop and your year ahead.

Plus, I have included two special bonuses you’ll get immediately when you enroll. Are you ready to craft a life of freedom?

Then make sure you check out my action taking online workshop.