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
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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…
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
Always provide value – insight, tips, strategy or wisdom – with a personal touch. Give, give, give.
If you don’t feel in the mood or ready for 1. then be entertaining – bring joy, humour and happiness into peoples’ lives.
Create awareness around what you actually do, introduce yourself and tell people who you serve and what your why is.
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.
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.
Stand out – grab your instagram stories and roll them into one interesting video with music using the Quick app or Vue.
Treat it like a Facebook live and post your video to your Facebook page or group after for more interaction.
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!
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
Necessary if you want to avoid having to go back to your plan and making edits
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.
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.
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.
If you’ve been working through the 3 Steps to Living Your Perfect Day Guide with me, you have most likely developed your own ideal lifestyle vision already. You’ve already outlined your goals, your dreams, and the steps you need to take in order to live out this vision.
What you may not have done, however, is eliminate some of the things from your vision that you don’t actually want.
You may be saying:
“Things that I don’t actually want? I created this vision with everything that I wanted Natalie! How could I have something in my vision that I don’t actually want?”
I know, it seems silly to eliminate events and people from your vision. Before you disregard this piece of advice entirely, however, let me explain why this is necessary.
Some of Your Desires May Be a Result of Someone or Something Else
Some of the things that we do in life may be done out of guilt, convenience, or fear rather than out of true desire.
What do I mean by this? Let me give you an example.
Let’s imagine that there is a woman named Gertrude who has been hosting holiday parties for her entire family for the past 10 years.
She has absolutely no desire to speak to most of her family because they judge her and treat her poorly.
She continues to do so, however, because it was something that her mother valued and asked her to do before she passed away. Therefore, she continues keeping her family together during the holidays out of love and respect for her mother.
While it’s wonderful that Gertrude is honoring her mother’s memory, it is doing absolutely nothing for Gertrude.
It is actually harming Gertrude and preventing her from living life on her own terms.
Let’s also assume that Gertrude has also began following me and is attempting to create daily freedom for herself.
She dreams of spending time with her family but soon realizes that this isn’t actually what she wants. She is doing this because she loved her mother and wanted to respect her wishes.
What is my advice for Gertrude?
Cut it out and live life on your own terms!
If you want to be free everyday, you can’t afford to keep things in your life that prevent you from being happy or growing as a human being.
It doesn’t matter what your mother wanted, it doesn’t matter what other people expect of you, and it definitely doesn’t matter what you’ve been trained to believe.
At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, the only person that you have to answer to and live with is yourself.
You OWE it to yourself to make sure that every action you take is the best for you.
That being said, here are three things that you need to eliminate from your ideal lifestyle vision.
#1. Guilt-Related Individuals and Events
Family is something that is valued in our society. We are expected to love them deeply, spend every holiday with them, and do everything that we can from them.
Sometimes, however, these individuals can be poisonous, draining, and unreliable.
Do you have any individuals in your life like that? Did they show up in your vision because you are expected to love them or because you expect yourself to love them?
Here’s what I want you to do: cross them off your list. These people are not worth your time.
Why should you waste your life being with people you don’t want to be with only because it makes you or other people feel better?
The same goes for certain events that may show up in your vision. If your rude aunt Beverly wanted you to live in France and you’re putting it in your vision because it would make your mom happy, scrap it.
We’re not here to make other people happy. We’re here to make YOU happy.
Because a happier you, benefits everyone else you come into contact with.
#2. Events Imagined Out of Convenience
It’s only natural to imagine ourselves at a high-paying tech job instead of performing onstage if we’ve had 20 years of tech experience and absolutely no experience as a performer.
Last time I checked, however, I asked you about what you wanted. I didn’t ask you about what would be the most convenient for you.
Don’t imagine yourself in a job, house, or with a certain person because it’s convenient for you. Take this opportunity and examine yourself and your dreams in a way that you haven’t before. What is it that you really want to do?
It doesn’t matter if you have absolutely no performing experience. You can get there! That’s why I incorporated a planning section in my Guide to Living Your Perfect Day!
#3. Fear-Related Events (or Events Not Listed Because of Fear)
Don’t list events because you’re scared of what might happen if you don’t. Also, don’t forget to list events because you’re scared of what might happen if you actually pursue that specific thing.
Here’s the truth about life: it is filled with scary events. We all will come across an event that ignites fear and anxiety within us. What matters is how we deal with that fear when the time comes.
Can you think of something that sparks fear within you? Can you think of something that you’ve truly wanted to pursue that scares you?
Think about doing that thing or going to that place. I bet that you can find one more feeling hidden deep in that idea.
That feeling is excitement.
If you feel that feeling along with fear, you’ll know that you have something amazing within your grasp.
Evaluate your dreams for these mixed feelings and you’ll find a lot of things that you should have put on your list.
Did you find anything that didn’t fit well with your ideal lifestyle? Awesome!
It doesn’t benefit you to keep these types of people and events in your life. It only prolongs the process and it makes it harder for you to be the best, free version of you that you can be.