Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 4

Tools to Achieve Your Lifestyle Goals

You wouldn’t expect yourself to cook in the kitchen without the proper knives, pans, and pots. You wouldn’t expect to build your body at the gym without the proper equipment either.

Think about lifestyle freedom in the same way that you think about cooking or building muscle at the gym. While you could achieve your goals without any assistance, tools will help you to achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.

In today’s episode, I will cover the different types of tools you can use to help you track your progress, achieve your goals, and work your way to a better life.

#1. Journaling

Although this doesn’t seem to be the go-to tool for many of those seeking lifestyle freedom in this day and age, the journal is a classic tool that is both affordable and useful.

Journaling is best for those who are looking to track their progress as they make changes in their daily lives. When you take a look at your journal each day, you are constantly reminding yourself of the goals that you have set.

Even better, you can use the journal to also keep track of the progress that you have made, make a definitive list of actions that will help you reach your goals, and list of all of the things that may not be working as well.

Also, the journal is a tool that is highly customizable. If you’re someone who wants to meet their lifestyle goals without having too many distracting features, you can choose to make a bullet journal.

If you prefer visuals that remind you of where you are going and motivate you, you can paste pictures and draw inside your journal.

Your creativity is your only limit.

#2. Vision Board

Vision boards are one of the most used tools today to help people reach their goals.

A vision board is essentially a collage filled with objects, pictures, sayings, and other small pieces that represent the future you would like to have.

While a journal may be too demanding for some people, a vision board is almost perfect for everyone who is wishing to change their lifestyle.

However, it will take a small time investment initially when you begin putting it together.

What can you put on your vision board? Here are some ideas:

  • Magazine cutouts that represent your end goals
  • Positive affirmations that help you get the most out of your day
  • Pamphlets of places that you would like to travel to
  • Important notes from loved ones

#3. Sticky Notes

Even simpler than the above two methods, you could leave sticky notes in places where you are sure to see them and remind yourself of your goals.

For those of you who may want to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily schedule, you can place a sticky note by your bed that reminds you to breathe and meditate every morning.

If you’re someone who wants to work less and spend more time with your family, you can place a sticky note at your place of employment that tells you to work smarter and not longer.

Whatever it is that you are setting out to do, a simple sticky note with an important reminder can help you to achieve it.

#4. Apps

Not everyone is into creating physical manifestations of their goals and that’s absolutely okay. If you’re still creative and would like to make a digital version of these tools, that works just as well as a physical version.

If you’re more into applications that help you to track your goals and your progress, here are some goal setting applications recommended by Lifewire that will help you to do exactly that:

Make no mistake, tools are helpful and are sometimes necessary for people who need that extra push in order to develop their ideal lifestyle.

However, there is a line that people sometimes cross when people begin buying more tools than they need. This is what I’ll be addressing in the next episode.

If you want to take your goal setting even further in 2018, and make some real changes that last, then you need to plan your year out differently. And I offer a completely different approach to doing that and setting your goals in my Plan Your Ideal Year Workshop.

I’ll show you how to:

  • SET YOUR VISION FOR 2018 and plan out your entire year so you prioritize what matters – we will map this out real-time together and I’ll show you behind the scenes of how I plan out my year.
  • MAP OUT YOUR QUARTERLY, MONTHLY and WEEKLY ACTIONS based on your annual goals and the calendar so you know exactly what to do to achieve amazing results in your business in 2018!
    Take your big vision and plans for 2018 and put them into your OWN CONTENT, MARKETING and
  • EDITORIAL CALENDAR so you feel focused and in control – I’ll show you my calendar as a real example of what’s possible.
  • Learn my 6 STEP DAILY SUCCESS PLAN to become more productive in a week than you are in a year – no seriously.

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  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.


Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 4 / 1

Two roadblocks to living your ideal life

To date on the Quest for Freedom Podcast I’ve covered off on

And now we come to Season 4: Lifestyle Freedom (goals and ambition vs lifestyle by design)

Why are you living the lifestyle you’re living?

If you could wake up tomorrow and do anything you want, would you be doing what you’re doing?

I want to talk about how you spend your days, how you spend your time. Are you’re doing things because you feel you have to rather than because you want to?

Are you spending your day filled with social media and checking in on things because it makes you feel popular, connected or makes you feel like you’re being productive , or is it filled with finishing up work projects because you feel some sense of duty to complete them, even if they’re not a priority?

When I asked myself this question the other day, the one about “What would you do if money wasn’t an issue?” I realised two things:

1) I was living the dream and wouldn’t be anywhere else than our beautiful property we’ve been in for just over six months. In fact I was so content in this new life, that I have even eased back on my goals and ambitions as a result.

2). I want to be doing NOTHING related to what I’m currently doing work wise, well almost. I simply wanted to be on the property, soaking in the birds, nature and beautiful garden. Spending time with Kayla, walking her along the many beautiful, peaceful trails and mountains.

I wanted to be reading more books, painting more art and enjoying the sunshine and blue skies. I wanted to be writing, meditating, exercising learning and everything around personal growth…not teaching business.

Take an honest look at your lifestyle and your current daily schedule.

What do you see? Are your days filled with activities that help you grow as an individual and bring you happiness?

If so, congratulations. You’ve already unlocked the key to living the freedom lifestyle.

If you’re one of the people who are feeling unfulfilled and unhappy with your lifestyle, however, we are going to discuss two of the major emotional roadblocks that prevent you from living a life that allows you to move through life with more freedom.

#1. The first major emotional roadblock that we encounter on paving our way to freedom is GUILT.

Guilt manifests itself when we begin taking a look at our day-to-day schedule and figuring out what we need to get rid of in order to feel happier and more free.

There are always things that we tend to do simply because society and or people that we care about expect us to.

Like attending meetings, going to work, attending birthday events or family dinners, making dinner for our family, putting everyone before our own needs.

If we continue to hang onto these activities for these reasons, we will never be able to achieve true lifestyle freedom. How can we eliminate guilt from our lives?

According to clinical psychologist Ali Mattu, there are several actionable steps that we can take to eliminate guilt from our lives:

#1. Facing Your Guilt Head-on.

Like any emotion, we have to evaluate and understand our guilt before we are able to take action on moving on from it.

Sit down and look at the events in your day that you will feel guilty ridding of. Figure out where that guilt is coming from and confront it.

#2. Find Someone to Confide in.

Talking out your feelings always help you to better work through them and gives you another perspective that helps you approach the situation. Look for someone who is wise and who you trust to talk about this guilt that you have.

#3. Give Yourself Compassion.

Guilt is something that we need to let go of immediately. Recognize your guilt, remind yourself that it is okay to feel guilty but that it holds you back from becoming your true self, and move on.

Once you’ve let go of your guilt, you will be able to let go of the things in your life that do not provide you with freedom and happiness.

#2. The second major emotional roadblock that we encounter is FEAR.

While guilt prevents us from letting go of things that no longer serve us, fear prevents us from taking action on things that we know are beneficial for us.

We refuse to do the things we want because the outcome may be uncertain and the changes in our lifestyle will create complications for us.

Rather than listening to that timid voice inside of you telling you that you shouldn’t or can’t pursue what you want, here are some ways that you can overcome your fears:

#1. Figure out what it is that has you scared and analyze it

Much like the previous tips I mentioned to help you get rid of your guilt, you will have to figure out what is scaring you in order to overcome your fears.

For example, let’s imagine that you want to add more self-care time to your day. In order to do this, you may have to lessen the amount of hours you are working and that may be scary for people who feel the need to work.

Identifying your fear of not working and the issues that come along with not working is absolutely necessary.

#2. Work towards minimizing your fear.

You don’t have to immediately start working less hours in order to face your fears. Dip your toe in the water and see the results that come out of your actions.

Start working 10 minutes less than you currently are. Has the world ended?

Has your income increased dramatically? It probably hasn’t just yet.

But as you continue to reduce your hours and therefore focus more on revenue generating activities, you’ll soon see that you’re working less and earning more.

Taking this type of small action will show you that your goal is possible.

#3. Don’t fully invest yourself in the beginning.

Encountering your fear fully in the beginning can actually be harmful and counterproductive.

It’s smarter to take small, actionable steps towards overcoming your fear and reaching your goals.

Control over your emotions is necessary if you intend on cultivating lifestyle freedom.

Changes in life often bring a wave of emotions that either catapult us toward our intended destination or drown us in our own self-doubt and hesitation.

You may recall in an earlier episode I talked about how too many changes are dangerous, which I found out the hard way when I flipped my life 180 degrees in a very short amount of time.

But I worked through the highs and lows, pushed through my fears and have come out the other side stronger and more energized than ever, with a new personal brand and mission – to help you achieve more personal daily freedom.

With these tips, you will be able to overcome these strong feelings and find out what is truly best for you.

However, this is only half the battle.

In order to experience these emotions, you will first have to have an idea of what you want to be doing with your time.

In the next episode, we will explore some actions that you can take to discover your ideal lifestyle.

In the meantime, I invite you to register for my upcoming LIVE online workshop on how to Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year.

Register for the Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year in 2018! LIVE Workshop

I have run this for the last two years running and people love it, because in less than 3 hours we map out your entire year ahead, both personally and professionally.

We also look at your goals and dive into your content, editorial and marketing calendar for the next 12 months (if you have an online or offline business).

Then we look at your personal daily schedule to set you up for happiness, success and freedom.

Head to for more details and an earlybird price.

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  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.



Posted on / by Natalie / in Personal Freedom

My New Found Freedom

Yesterday I made a pretty damn big announcement that I thought might surprise or even shock many people.

Instead it ended up rocking my world with over hundreds of heartfelt and insightful comments on my personal profile and well over 5,000 views already!

So what is this news you may ask?

Watch this Facebook Live Video to find out.


I am still nervous, yet also excited, to let you know that after seven years, I am stepping away from my beloved business and brand, The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Instead I’m fully embracing stepping into being ME and my own brand as a FREEDOMIST, and focusing on YOUR personal daily freedom.

I’m going 100% in on developing a freedom framework from the research that started in late 2015 over at Right2Freedom, and through my new podcast that started in January this year, Quest for Freedom.

This is my calling and I feel so much more FREE to expand both personally and professionally now.

Yes, this will mean some significant changes coming up that you will be the first to know about. But for now all you need to know is that I aim to bring more joy, happiness and freedom into your everyday life from now on.

PS. This was the best decision ever I’ve ever made and, it seems from the overwhelming feedback, is needed now more than ever.

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Posted on / by Natalie / in Personal Freedom / 1

How To Have More Personal Freedom

I am on a mission to help you find more personal freedom in your life every single day.
That’s why I write this blog and produce the Quest for Freedom podcast.

In order to make my mission a reality, I’ve been working on a bit of research background around what personal freedom really means to you and I.

This is really what the true essence of this podcast is and it’s going to become much more about this from today on.

That’s because, a couple of years back I had this HUGE vision. It was so big it scared me.

How was little ol’ me going to conduct the world’s first research into freedom and create a framework that allowed people to figure out where they were on the scale of freedom?!

Despite my fear (that always comes after a burst of enthusiasm at a new idea), I put together the vision at and started getting survey responses when I put it out to my community.

Maria Nicholas came on board to volunteer her time looking into how we could turn my vision into a framework and I created the 7 Phases.

She flew over to New Zealand even to make it happen and we worked away looking into successful social enterprises, non profits and frameworks that have been proven out.

I had my CFO at the time,  Jon Roberts, look over some of the survey responses and start to pull out some trends and findings – he liked data, I preferred the findings from it.

I engaged with the group of lovely Right2Freedom volunteers, who’d taken the survey and then offered up their time to help in various ways as indicated here, to start helping with some initial research on articles, blogs and books to define freedom.

Michelle Frost kindly headed up some Zoom calls to delve into this deeper with them.

And then I stalled, and the project stalled.

I left it alone for a bit, focused on my business and let other things distract me away from it.  It still felt too big.

Then, along came the idea for this blog and podcast. What about doing the research and experimenting real-time, on my own journey to personal freedom, while helping others.

That felt much more doable. A way to dip into it and make some progress, without letting the pressure of my own expectations get to me.

A few months ago, after a discussion with one of my Freedom Plan members Nina Frankowski, I felt reinvigorated with this project.

She, like me, is fascinated by freedom and loved the concept behind Right2Freedom.

With her background of making sense of research and data and analysing into something meaningful, she set to work looking at everything that had been done to date, to pull this into a framework.

It felt like overnight she brought to life what I had been dreaming of from the beginning.

She dug through the surveys and found the nuggets of gold. And now with over 600 global responses and counting, she’s done an incredible job of making sense of it all.

Then a few weeks ago, I asked the team at Lifehack if I could write a topic on personal freedom and unleash the first initial findings and thoughts behind this framework in the blog post.

They loved the idea, and so as a contributing writer I published this piece originally

It’s based on some of the ideas in my TEDx Talk, but it’s the first time I’ve released this information around this new freedom framework that I am working on.

So with Lifehack’s permission, I’m sharing the article here (and on the podcast).

How to Break Free From Your Own Constraints And Live the Life You Want

I’d like you to imagine waking up tomorrow with no limitations whatsoever.

How would you spend your day?

Who would you spend it with?

Where in the world would you be?

How would you feel?

Over the past 6 years I have asked hundreds of people this question. And guess what? 99% of them have no idea how to answer it. They have never thought about what their perfect day looks like, let alone how to describe it in vivid detail.

Somewhere along the way, people stopped chasing their dreams. They stopped imagining what their perfect day looks like and they started handing over the reigns to society who told them what to do and how to live. I found myself in this place too, where I’d given away my freedom. And I wanted it back.

What Exactly Is Freedom

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it’s the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants. But is that really what true freedom means to you?

I shared in my TEDx talk The Surprising Truth About Freedom that I believe freedom is a right not a privilege, and it’s up to YOU to create your own freedom plan.

I personally spent the last 6 years living out of a suitcase, traveling the world to 69 countries. I did this because I wanted to explore the world and experiment with living and working from anywhere and everywhere until I designed and created my perfect freedom business that supports my ideal lifestyle.

Then in early 2017, I chose to flip my life 180 degrees when I bought a beautiful house and 2.5 acres of land in New Zealand with my partner, got five chickens and an adorable puppy and put down roots.

I discovered a different type of freedom that’s based around family, friends and a sense of community, as well as a profound connection to being on nature’s doorstep for my ideal lifestyle.

Why Freedom Feels So Elusive

As I’ve already stated, your version of freedom is totally unique to you, so it’s up to you to choose.

Freedom for some people it’s sailing around the world. For others it’s living in a yurt in the forest. For others it’s the right to vote. To get married, or stay single. To have a beautiful home or to have no home at all.

When I ask people if they feel free, they almost always respond with saying that the answer depends on something out of their control. For example “when I have more money and feel financially free”.

Or “when I can make my own schedule and do what I want”. Or “when I’ve quit my job and can do my own thing”. Or “when I don’t have to be stuck in one place”.

THEN I’ll be/ feel free.

Here’s the thing that most people don’t realize though:

Freedom is a state of mind rather than a specific condition of existence.

True freedom starts with your thoughts, and freeing yourself from your own inner critic, or limiting beliefs that tell you what you are and aren’t capable of.

We may not have been born with the same privileges, access to education, money or political rights, but we are all given the same amount of time in a day to pursue our dreams and make them a reality. And if we can’t control our external circumstances, we can definitely control our internal ones.

Freedom is the possibility to have choice and purpose helps you choose. Freedom is the space around you, where your purpose is your compass showing you where to move in that space.

Choosing Your Version of Freedom

I’m obsessed with Freedom and the definition of it. I created the Right2Freedom survey to ask people this very question. Over 500+ responses later and there is ONE universal truth emerging.

Freedom usually is split into positive and negative freedom. “Freedom from” (absence of constraints) and “freedom to” (freedom to do what we want). There is also a third level “freedom to be”, which is also a positive freedom but on a deeper emotional level; inner freedom.

It is this inner freedom that I believe is the most important, and that we intend to research further.

Your definition of freedom may be completely different to mine, but one thing remains the same, it’s our ability to CHOOSE that makes us feel truly free. Through the answers we’ve collected so far we’ve identified four elements of freedom.

  1. Flexibility – What you want, when you want and where you want. In short this is independence and choices free from restrictions.
  2. Self-actualization – This is about fulfilling your dreams, being free to pursue your passion while being free from judgement. This is strongly linked to doing work of your choice – a career or business you love.
  3. Responsibility – Creating stability for yourself and others by having control of your own security, health and financial situation ultimately makes you feel more free.
  4. Contribution – The ability to contribute, help others and to make an impact is a feeling of freedom on a whole other level.

Going For More Freedom

How do you go for achieving more freedom? Follow these baby steps:

Step 1 – Awareness of (your) definition of freedom (what do you want)

Not many people have truly thought about the definition of freedom and what it means to them personally, but when asked, most can tell you a few things that makes them feel free. These are usually literal things they attribute to the meaning of freedom.

So ask yourself the question “What makes me feel free?” Then write down your answers, discuss them with friends and start the conversation with people who matter in your life.

Step 2 – Understanding of (your) needs and purpose of freedom (why do you want it)

Not everyone thinks about why they define freedom a certain way, but everyone does have a deeper reason for why they desire freedom.

If you understand your needs and reason for wanting those “freeing” things in life, it is easier to achieve them.

Again, write down your why. Why do you want more freedom?

Step 3 – Action: map out personal plan (how can you get it)

Mapping out a plan needs to be done on an individual level based on your needs and wants, so who is better suited to do it but you?

It starts by getting very clear on your ideal lifestyle and what that looks like to you. Let the questions at the beginning guide you to finding your answers.

For more expert guidance, you can start by picking up a copy of my book The Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure In Life.

In it I talk you through the three stages of Mindset, Business and Lifestyle that have personally led me to being a Freedomist, and thousands of others.

So, what does freedom mean to you?

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  • HostGator won’t take up any room in your suitcase, but will still be there for every step of your adventure with their 24/7/365 live support.
  • Thanks to their 24/7 – 365 days a year live support – which you can get via chat, phone and email – any and all questions you have can be answered in no time at all.

HostGator has partnered with me to help my listeners get started. Click the link below to get 50% off any shared hosting plan.



Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 2

Your Daily Freedom Routine

As my three month business sabbatical comes to an end, I’ve realized that you can have a little sabbatical every single day of your life by using your daily freedom routine.

Through practicing what I talked about in Season 1, Mindfulness, Meditation and breathing – these things alone give you headspace and a beautiful perspective of space and ease in your everyday life.

I am studying these very things right now studying that through “The Science of Happiness” on edX, which is an awesome online platform of amazing courses from incredible universities around the world, many for free! I am actually going to be revisiting a lot of what I spoke about in Season 1 back before I knew so little and now I’ve learned so much.

It has absolutely opened my mind how every single day it’s the little things that you do in 10, 20 or 30 minutes of time that all radically change how you feel and how much more freedom you have.

In this episode, I am going to talk about your daily freedom routine because I think it’s really important.

Before I jump into that I just want to share with you a snippet from Hilary Rushford’s Elegant Excellence video series.

Hilary went on a sabbatical about a year ago for three months as well. She talks about the fact that there was never going to be another time like now when she’d have all this time to read, relax, chill out and learn.

And when I first listened to it I was like, “Yeah I think you are right!”, but now having been on a sabbatical when I have all the time to read, relax and learn you still don’t because it is a journey.

It is ongoing. It is an everyday commitment to being your best self, to giving yourself the space and time to be.

Here is the snippet and her insights are really valuable:

“I’ve now built what is now over a million dollar revenue a year business in the first five years. And for me, three months into my sabbatical I just realized, I am not doing the things that I wanted to do.

I am not changing in the ways that I wanted to change. There’s still those things on my list where “I am wishing that I have more time to do” things. And here I am on sabbatical, one of the most times ever.

So I really just started to dive in and explore why are we not doing these things?

And I think one big reason for me is that I have these visions of “It’s got to be done perfect. It’s got to be this epic change. It’s got to be hours of a week. I’ve got to commit to it now for every single day for eternity”.

That’s wonderful but it so rarely happens.

And so challenging myself to just take 10 minutes a day. Commit just 10 days and to not do things in some perfect epic change but just something, just take a step.

Make a small step towards what I think is the biggest game changer that not enough people talk about in business which is you as a CEO, your joy, your peace, your rest, your emotional health, your ability to make big decisions, your ability to tune into your gut and what you really want.

And I think the reality is that so many of us are exhausted, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, unhappy. We want this to be just a little bit easier but we are not actually doing the steps to make the change.”

And then recently I received an email from Suzi Dafnis who owns and she said this:

Since starting my business 23 years ago, I’ve been given lots of advice. And, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to hit the “pause button”.

What? Wasn’t I meant to be hustling?

Pushing? Striving?


There have been times where what I really needed to do, was pause.

Pausing is not stopping.

Pausing is simply taking time to reflect, recharge and renew – free from distractions and free from the daily push and pull of commitments and catering to others’ expectations.

In his book Thank You for Being Late, the New York Times best-selling author, Thomas Friedman writes:

“… opting to pause and reflect, rather than panic or withdraw, is a necessity. It is not a luxury or a distraction — it is a way to increase the odds that you’ll better understand, and engage productively with, the world around you.”

‘When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings they start,’ argues my friend and teacher Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN, which advises global businesses on ethics and leadership.

You start to reflect, you start to rethink your assumptions, you start to reimagine what is possible. And most importantly, you start to reconnect with your most deeply held beliefs. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to reimagine a better path.”

Choosing to pause has been hard.

Up front, it’s felt expensive and like an investment I couldn’t afford. I had so much to do, so many commitments and deadlines.

Looking back, I know that had I not made the investment in pausing, I would not be where I am today.

I would not have made important pivots and changes that have allowed me to stay in business, to continue to evolve, to keep loving my business — and to stay relevant and producing results.

This October I am taking time out to ‘pause’ once again.

Thank you Suzy for those wonderful wise words!

That’s exactly what I’ve found on this business sabbatical where little times business-y things would creep back in, where I am tempted to check on email or how things were going.

But when I wasn’t and when I was just being, enjoying and learning, I was back in my creative zone.

I have had so many wonderful thoughts, ideas and improvements that I want to make.

I’ve got my mojo back for my business!

I’ve also got a whole new perspective on it that I just couldn’t see before I took a break. Because I wasn’t giving myself space to pause, reflect and observe.

I recently spoke to my friend Colin Wright of Exile Lifestyle, who like me for so many years has been location independent, and every three months lets his community choose where he is going to travel next.

I had emailed him about my Suitcase Entrepreneur book and updating his story in it since the third edition is coming out in September. Woohoo!

A post shared by Natalie Sisson (@nataliesisson) on

Colin told me what he’s been up to and I was really really blown away that he had just taken a year out from it all:

“I’ve been meaning to learn to cook for years, and finally got around to doing that; I have made every meal for almost a year and am loving it as a craft. I’ve also wanted to learn to play the piano, and to learn some music production skills to go along with the guitaring and singing I’ve always done, so that’s also been quite rewarding.

Beyond that, I wanted to do really, truly boring things, like buy furniture, because I haven’t done so since 2009.

I haven’t owned a car in all the time, and I was curious how I would use such things, and live such a life, now that I’ve done so many other things and been so many other places.

Getting mail is a novelty, as is having reliable and consistent internet access and electricity. So bizarre how much cultural understanding is dependent on having these things.

So many things I could understand intellectually, but not really get. I do get them now, though, to some degree.

I’m sure you can relate to that — do anything long enough, and it becomes a little bit predictable.

And the one thing I kept coming back to that scared me a little was holding still in one place for a bit, buying my own furniture, and owning a car. Weird, but the concept was mildly frightening to me. So, of course, I had to do it :)”

I just love that people around me are doing what they need to do to pause, to reflect, to recharge, to re energize, to take these many sabbaticals from not only their business but their everyday life.

So if you are like, “Natalie, I can’t take three months off!”

Well, first off, I challenge you, you should be able to. It’s your life. You get to choose.

And I appreciate other things get in the way, you might have commitments and family but instead today I am offering you up a few doses of daily freedom routines that you can include to have a more simplistic, beautiful day and those little moments to yourself.

I got some of my freedomists and my Freedom Plan community to share some of their daily freedom routines.

Daily Freedom Routine Ideas

The first is from Fiona Hall:

“My freedom chores in the morning I journal three questions. This helps me get my mind see it really fresh and ready for the day. The first question I ask is what am I curious about?

That’s from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic”. I love that question. It gets my mind into problem-solving mind and I always come up with something new and exciting for myself.

The next question I ask is how am I feeling? Because if I don’t acknowledge how I am feeling and I am not feeling that good. It really impacts on my productivity, on my fun, on my ability to deal with my children first thing in the morning.

And then the last question I ask is a productivity question it is what actions am I going to take today? And because of those first two questions I find the action one as really simple. I’ve worked through what am I curious about, what am I feeling and process anything that I need to process until I am ready for the day and my mind is how I need it today, and the other things I do in terms of exercise as I try to is 30 minute walk 3-4 times a week.”

This next one is from Ricardo Ferreira:

“I ride a bike everywhere.I think it’s one of the ultimate expressions of freedom. You can go almost anywhere on a bike.

You can be fast or take your time and you’re free to stop whenever and wherever you wish. It’s on a bike that you start thinking more about enjoying the journey and concerning less about the destination.”

What about this one from Sif Traustadóttir:

“Working in my little garden. I love to take a break from the computer and go outside work in the garden, dig in the dirt, rearrange things, plant seeds and watch the flowers and the vegetables grow.

I really love the feeling of growing some of my own food which makes me feel extra free. And this is what I do to be calm everyday because you have to work in the garden everyday.”

Here’s Stephanie McGuirt freedom routine for her inbox:

“My daily productivity tip or routine would be to use an extension, it’s a Chrome extension by Baydin called Inbox Pause. That actually does like it says it stops messages from coming into your inbox until you unpause your inbox or unless you have them scheduled to come in at certain times.

So I know that at 9am and 3pm everyday, I will get all of my messages that have been sent outside those times and I can focus on them for the next 30 minutes or hour. And outside of 9am and 3pm, I am focused on other tasks. So it has really increased my productivity and I highly recommend it for anyone that is overwhelmed by their inbox.”

I hope that you learned a lot from these lovely people who offered up simple, little tactics related to business and life that they are doing to create more time, space and freedom.

Of course I have a ton more of my own I talk a lot about them in the Freedom Plan.

On my business sabbatical, I thought of so many improvements to my signature program and just how much more amazing I can make it for you to really truly learn how to reclaim your time, make more money, work less, earn more and be free.

I hope you tune in to the next episode we are still on a digital sabbatical and the business sabbatical theme and how you can incorporate this in your life.

I am going to share the results of my business sabbatical essentially as come into first of July when I am officially back on board for business.

Tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

Want to sell your own online courses (and have a great launch)?

Selling online courses is one of my favourite things to do, but as I pointed out in this episode, it can be a real headache.

With Teachable, you don’t have to worry about the tech.

Teachable is the easiest way to create, sell and deliver online courses.

And while it is so easy to use, it’s also packed with a lot of powerful features.

With Teachable, you’re able to…

  • create your own course website, with your own custom branding, so you get all of the credit for how professional your course website looks.
  • accept payments and get paid instantly when you sell your courses
  • integrate with hundreds of your favorite tools and email service providers
  • create beautiful sales pages for your courses

Teachable is the #1 course creation software, with over 12,000 instructors using their software to create, deliver and sell online courses.

All types of business owners and online entrepreneurs use Teachable. Sure, that includes people like Pat Flynn or The New York Times. But most of their instructors are just regular people like you and me and who are looking grow their businesses with courses.

And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 2 / 2

The Power of a Sabbatical

Welcome back to Season 2 Episode 3. Today I am going to talk about the power of a sabbatical.

What I’m already finding, with just two and a half months off my business, is that I have finally given myself the space to reflect and to look back on all the accomplishments that I’ve had so far, that maybe, just maybe, I’d forgotten about.

If you are a business owner, you totally know what I am talking about.

How often do we pat ourselves on our back and congratulate ourselves on how far we’ve come?

Seven years in business, that’s how long it’s been since I’ve had my business, since I started officially in April 2010. Until I took the timeout and time off of my business I didn’t realize all the things that I’d actually managed to do.

The reason why that came about is when I had the down time to not be working on stuff, I took a trip down memory lane and thought about the products and services that I’ve created since I started and all the blog posts that I’ve written.

I had a few people linking to blog posts from like 2011 and I was like, “I wrote that post? This is actually pretty good.”

Then I just had a chance to reconnect with clients from years ago, from cleaning stuff up and going back through old folders, I forgot that I’ve coached these people. I wondered, where are they now and what are they doing?  

So when I am back online in July, I really want to reconnect with some of my first ever clients and community members.

What the business sabbatical has forced me to do is actually go back to my roots and think about all the things I loved when I first started out.

If you think back to when you started out, what were the things that made you so excited and so happy to be doing what you did that got you up every single morning and kept you up late at night when you were hustling and doing everything you wanted to do on your business?

The reason I even needed to take a break from my business is I’d forgotten what I loved about it in the first place. So this sabbatical has helped me to gain perspective.

It’s forced me into slightly darker places where I’ve been playing the comparison game.

Mainly because I’ve been watching on social media from the sidelines, people doing so many things and launching like crazy.

And I just get caught up in that and normally my go to is I’d follow that launch, I emulate it, I take notes from it, improve on it and learn from it.

But I don’t want any of that in my world! I don’t want any distraction. I don’t want to know what other people are doing. So I put the Facebook Ad Blocker on.

I just want to reconnect with my friends, get back to my roots and get perspective on how far I’ve come but also how much more I can do & how much more I can offer.

I needed to reconnect with what it was that I fell in love with at the very beginning.  

I just want to have a little insert here from my friend JC Bougle, who actually is recovering from burnout.

As I’ve mentioned before in this podcast, I almost burnt out when I first self-published my book, The Suitcase Entrepreneur back in 2013 and I didn’t even realize I was so close to it.

The problem is when you don’t take a sabbatical, a break or holidays from your business and you just go hard out for years, you burnout.

Then you are forced into a break that you don’t want to be on: where your body can’t recover, where your mind is jaded and stuck and where you actually physically aren’t able to do much work anymore.

I just don’t want you to get to that place.

This is gold. Here’s what JC had to say:

“What happened to me last year is that I was very close to burnout and I had no enthusiasm for business, for entrepreneurship and no energy. And I couldn’t take a long sabbatical really to disconnect from the business so I took a short sabbatical for a couple of weeks.

I really disconnected from anything online and after that, which was even more important in my recovery after 2 weeks of disconnection, I really paced myself along with the expectations of what I could achieve and I also set a less ambitious goals for myself and worked a little bit less intensely.

This helped me a lot to recover completely from this burnout. Pacing yourself after the sabbatical is as important as taking a real break.“

And then I had my friend Jesse Krieger of Lifestyle Entrepreneur Press, who posted on Facebook about a month ago about his retreat away from his business for a week. He wrote:

“I’ve just arrived back from a week retreat in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru. Quite honestly, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

This is the first time I’ve been offline all year and it was relaxing, reinvigorating and full of insights as I sat deep in meditation in the Peruvian Andes.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of taking time just for yourself. Not being beholden into anyone, not needing to have any conversation. People just simply sit and enjoy the surroundings and become aware of whatever thoughts and emotions arise.

While deep in meditation, it came to me that my role as a publisher resembles that of a crystal. A crystal such as the quartz is transparent and can be carved in a way that focuses energy, taking diffused light and focusing it on point almost as a laser.

In short, I got the insight that I am a crystal and you are the light and that is my new approach to working with authors and publishing and it’s good to be home.”

And now I want to bring back in Jason Van Orden who you heard about on the last podcast, “Firing myself” because he did exactly the same thing with his very successful 7-figure business that he ran with Jeremy Frandsen for years.

Here is what Jason had to say on when he made the decision to remove himself from his business and hire a full-time replacement CEO:

“Truthfully it was really fast for me. I am not saying it was the right thing to do. In hindsight, there’s a lot of realizations here. But basically I was so ready to be removed.

And that might have been maybe a little too fast to remove myself. We probably needed more processes in place, expectations set and measurements.

Fast forward several months and it kind of came to this realization that the point of the business is that when I left, when we left or we kind of stepped away, was she was going to be able to maintain it.

But we hadn’t changed things over in terms of systems and teams and all the other things that kind of needed to be there for a proper exit or removal of ourselves for it to continue growing consistently like it had been before.

So we are faced with this choice: do we go back in to start it growing again or do we just say, “Okay it is what it is. It’s this nice source of income and for now it’s going still but we have no more expectations of this actually becoming any bigger than it already is.

So insightful right? It’s really neat to hear from other people who have taken some time out or forced themselves away from their business or literally just shut something down because it’s not working.

I think as entrepreneurs we need to give ourselves that permission to do that more often than we ever think because it is incredibly powerful and you just don’t understand how important it is that we recharge our batteries.

I also like to think there’s a bit of a seven-year itch thing going on here.

I appreciate Jason and Jeremy it was well over a decade but a lot of people that I’ve been speaking to recently have been in business for around seven years and they are tired.

And let’s face it, any job that you’ve been in seven years is a long time in a job right? These days most people are in jobs for one, two or three years  max. It’s the norm for millennials to switch jobs incessantly.

Whereas back in my Dad’s/Mum’s days, you’ll stay in a job for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years plus!  And you get a little golden watch at the end of it if you were lucky, a handshake and a thank you very much.

But when I was in the corporate world, I’d switch jobs all the time because I would get so bored or I just wanted to change it up.

Then I realized I really just needed to be an entrepreneur where I could work on my own projects all the time, change them at a speed of light and work on multiple projects that excited me.

The great news is the whole point of this entire episode is that I found more freedom.

It’s so good! I am filling my days with painting and practicing piano. And training my puppy which is like a full-time job and I am learning so much. Training myself I should really say, not my puppy.

In training myself, I am effectively training my dog to be more obedient and awesome.

You can find Kayla, the white German Shepherd on Instagram at kaylathemajestic. If you want some joy in your day, go follow her.

And you can follow my adventures at nataliesisson or my Facebook page.

For me personally, now that I’ve eased into my sabbatical, I’ve had all these opportunities come my way to work with other people on their businesses, help them start businesses, be on teams and I am resisting all of these things until I finish my sabbatical.

I really want to look at where I am heading because I’ve got the mojo back, people! I have got the mojo back! And I am very excited to bring this back to my business. Natalie is back!

I am super excited to be creating and implementing when I get back into it but until then I am still on a sabbatical.

And in the next episode, I am thrilled to bring you daily habits of freedom.

Before I went on a sabbatical, I asked my community about their daily habits that they have to give them a little bit more freedom in life and these are going to apply to you personally and professionally, so make sure you tune into the next episode by subscribing in iTunes and Stitcher.

Want to sell your own online courses (and have a great launch)?

Selling online courses is one of my favourite things to do, but as I pointed out in this episode, it can be a real headache.

With Teachable, you don’t have to worry about the tech.

Teachable is the easiest way to create, sell and deliver online courses.

And while it is so easy to use, it’s also packed with a lot of powerful features.

With Teachable, you’re able to…

  • create your own course website, with your own custom branding, so you get all of the credit for how professional your course website looks.
  • accept payments and get paid instantly when you sell your courses
  • integrate with hundreds of your favorite tools and email service providers
  • create beautiful sales pages for your courses

Teachable is the #1 course creation software, with over 12,000 instructors using their software to create, deliver and sell online courses.

All types of business owners and online entrepreneurs use Teachable. Sure, that includes people like Pat Flynn or The New York Times. But most of their instructors are just regular people like you and me and who are looking grow their businesses with courses.

And guess what?

Teachable is offering a 30 day free trial to my listeners. To claim it, just go to

Get the latest blog post and episode delivered straight to your inbox.

Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 1 / 3

Taking a Daily Vacation

I’ve only been in Bali five days and I already feel blissed out and on vacation.

I’ve had four massages, two meditation sessions, one surf lesson, two yoga lessons and a 4.5 hour pampering session!

And I TOTALLY needed this, because the last month or two has been pretty cray-cray.

As you may remember in my previous episode called Changing Plans, there’s been quite a few plans that have been changed, including now owning a lifestyle property and getting a puppy for my birthday.

Yes! My lovely man Josh has gone ahead and put a deposit on a white German Shepherd. So when I get back to New Zealand on April 5th, it’s going to be all go – moving into the house, getting it furnished, setting up our new base and waiting on the puppy.

I was content to go hard out on the organizing, planning, doing and making shit happen on all fronts, because I knew I’d be having this relax time in Bali, and of course my upcoming business sabbatical starting April 1st.

If you’ve never been to Bali, let me just tell you this island has a very special energy to it. It’s renowned for being a vortex of feminine energy.

So for females in particular, when you’re here you have this sense of being grounded, feeling strong, sensual and in your feminine power.

Everywhere you look there are lush trees, green rice fields, beautiful flowers street dogs, friendly Balinese people smiling, scooters whizzing by, yoga studios, cute cafes, healthy juices galore and many relaxed looking foreigners who are whiling their days away doing not a lot of anything much.

Which is why Bali is the perfect island to come and unwind, de stress and lose yourself, or find yourself depending on what you’re here to do.

But obviously we don’t all have the opportunity to buggar off to Bali when we feel like it do we?

So it got me thinking: Why can’t we have a mini vacation each and every day to get some of the same affects of a longer vacation?

Why do we have to book in holidays months, and for some people, years in advance? Why all this waiting when we have the power and ability to take a break right now?

In a Huffington Post article by Jill Ferguson she lists the benefits of vacations as:

  • Reduces stress – as I can attest to, vacations help shrink stress and anxiety while boosting the mental and physical health of you and the entire family, if you happen to be vacationing with them.
  • Helps your heart stay healthy – no really. In a 20-year study, researchers found that women who took a vacation once every six years or less were almost eight times more likely to develop coronary heart disease or have a heart attack than women who took at least two vacations per year.
  • Improves your mental health (especially if it’s longer than 2 weeks) because you’re less tense, have higher energy levels and more positive emotions, fewer negative feelings and less depression.
  • Improves your relationships because families or couples who vacation together undergo shared experiences, communication and togetherness, escape and relaxation and experiential learning, all of which contribute positively to well-being and to relationships.

You may have heard me talk about taking a mid week weekend. I mean why wait for the weekend to experience one, but what about a daily vacation? That’s a novel thought right?

I dug into this idea with my dear friend Jaime Masters, of Eventual Millionaire fame, who’s with me here in Bali.

We planned this holiday in late 2016 when she found out she got asked to speak in the Philippines,  just before my Freedom Mastermind Retreat I hold in Bali each year.

So this was our window of time to fly into Bali at the same time and enjoy 9 days together. And we are doing that extremely well.

Jaime is a single mother of two with an extremely successful and busy coaching and mastermind business (she also took this cool photo of me writing my next book).

She’s also a self prescribed geek when it comes to maximizing time efficiency and more recently bio hacking  – do it yourself biology optimization, so to speak.

Or as Jaime puts it – how to be a badass.

So here’s our jam session on how to optimize your day and also how to take mini vacations through a variety of suggested activities we do, and that we also think should be on your list.

So this is exciting! We are recording this in our lovely little room in Ketut’s Place in Bali in Ubud and there’s thunder and lightning happening and rain. This is cool.

I am sitting on the bed as you do, with my girl, Jaime Masters and we’ve been talking a lot over the last couple of days about treating yourself because yesterday we had a four and a half hour pamper session!

Thanks to Jaime, an early birthday present and it was amazing.

And I was like, “Why don’t we do this all the time?” and then I think actually if you did that all the time you’d just be in bliss zone and you wouldn’t get anything done.

Jaime: I think it can get boring after a little while.

Natalie: Yeah, but it was pretty amazing. Like we had several massages, we had a facial; we had pedicures, manicures, head massage, hair treatment, body scrub. And I was in and out of states of bliss, in an out of state of sleeping, dreaming, imagining, ideating. It’s beautiful.

But what I want to just chat to you about, because I think you are really good at this with your full-time roster of amazing clients that you coach over at Eventual Millionaire and your business and your full time podcast where you are interviewing millionaires all the time. I mean you have one of the busiest schedules I know off plus you are a mom, full-time mom.

So do you want to just share a couple of the ways you treat yourself throughout the day because I think you do this really well.

Jaime: So first of all anybody that says that they don’t have time, means that they don’t want to. There is a great quote about that by Lao Tzu.

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” ― Lao Tzu

So out of everybody I know, I am extremely busy. We need that time because we go crazy and nutso and when you get on that roll you are not efficient or effective in anything you do.

So lessons learned from me sort of going a little insane, to children, and to my business and everything else has led me to actually taking the time in between.

Even 15 minutes of going, “Ah! This is just for me and I don’t have to do anything else.”

So we talked about meditation before and I definitely do meditate a lot. Sometimes in small spurts.

Like I literally was just meditating for fifteen minutes while you were on the phone just now, because I feel like it gives me a deeper state of relaxation.  I do that throughout the day quite often even at home in-between calls.

But just trying to take that time where you can actually shut off whatever you’re crazy entrepreneur brain is saying and go, “Okay this is time that I don’t actually have to think about that”, because otherwise we will.

Our brain will just keep going forever and ever and ever. And so trying to pull those pieces out as best as you can, you know what I mean?

Natalie: And I think we started discussing this from the minute I landed in Bali and I think you did too.

We’ve both come off some pretty hectic schedules, me with house buying and packing up and book writing and helping my mom move and you with speaking in the Philippines, and having to do all the work around that as well.

I think we both got to Bali and we are just like, ‘ahhhhhhh’ and I just noticed instantly how my mind just quietened and I’ve done more yoga and massage in the last two days than I had probably in the last months.

So why don’t we roll through, like kind of spit-fire out some of our favorite at home mini vacations we take during a pretty busy working day?

Jaime: Okay so for me, I have a routine at the beginning. I literally wake up before my kids wake up now, 5:30am in the morning. I am not a morning person as much as Hal Elrod told me to wake up in the morning.

I was like, “No I don’t think so.” It’s literally only been the last four months or so.

Beforehand I would meditate right after I brought them to school, but I realized that it wasn’t quite enough for me and I kept feeling like I had too much to do throughout the day when the kids are at school so I moved it.

And so far so good. I’m going strong but I am not a morning person!

Natalie: Thunder. If you have any of this, this is real Bali in the background. Just making it real.

Jaime:  That was number one, so that was an evolution in my process. I have been meditating for a very long time and I was never like, “I have to meditate every day.”

It’s just I wanted to, I wanted to. It is something that I pull out.

I also do probably five to fifteen minutes in between whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or brain dead.

So when I do a lot, I batch everything and so whenever I do client calls, sometimes I’m like, “How can my brain stop functioning like it should?” and being in states of flow are way more productive in general, so I try and figure out ways.

There’s a good book called Stealing Fire, it talks about hacking into the flow state that I was telling you a little bit about.

What can we do that makes us feel so much better that we can come back and hit the ground running instead of just feeling horrid and crazy?

Just what we were talking about this before too, like all day long nutso.

And so I’ll do that, I have a pool in the back sometimes when it’s nice out, I’ll go jump in the pool and
reassess things, especially during the day when I’m actually working on stuff.

At night time I’ll definitely go, “This is my time! I am going to have a bubble bath. I am going to do whatever I can possibly do to turn that piece off”.

Because we don’t make a conscious effort in general to turn it off.

Natalie: A bubble bath is so good. I am looking forward to potentially buying a spa and having a spa pool for night time relaxation.

I like the idea of a sauna, whether you go to one or have one at your place. Often gyms have a sauna so just even ten minutes sweating it out and just being present with your body is pretty amazing.

Other things are just dropping into fifteen, twenty, or a thirty minute yoga session during the day, and I love starting with five minutes of downward dog because it ultimately ends up being a lot more, and just giving yourself that space.

Also, when I have a dog which I am getting soon! I would just have cuddle time with my dog. I’d literally have a play time, go outside, throw the Frisbee, throw the ball, play.

You’ve got kids around you, you’d grab them, play.

Jaime: That’s a funny thing. So sometimes I’m so back-to-back I like walking into the mailbox it’s like my time. I literally go, “Okay I need some sun. I am going to go walk outside”, because I literally only have like five minutes, like literally I am so scheduled.

No matter what the time is, it doesn’t matter I think it’s the intention behind it that makes a huge difference.

Because sometimes you can play with your dog and be like, “Oh that still didn’t really help.”

Natalie: Throw the phone away for a minute.

Jaime: As hard as it is.

Natalie: Get back to nature. Sometimes just actually being outside and getting sun on your face is a really beautiful thing and just tune into the sounds around you.

Jaime: I go and I lay in my backyard. I have the pool and I will go and lay on the bed and feel like, because we have an outdoor bed, just sit there for five minutes and not even have to do a meditation or anything like that, but just sort of soak in the sun.

Natalie:  The Vitamin D.

Jaime:  Sometimes I need that big time. And then being able to sort of go; “Now I reset. Now I can go back in”. Very helpful.

Natalie:  We should caveat this with the fact that you are very efficient with your time. So it’s not like you ever say, “I am really busy.”

You are fulfilled. You are busy but I as you said you batch things.

Do you want to maybe talk people through kind of your working week so that… they do hear that you have time off, and time out and you are really good at, oh we didn’t even mention it, you get regular massages? So do I but you get them every single week, yeah?

Jaime:  Oh yeah.

Natalie:  I think if you can you should even if it’s half an hour.

Jaime: Well this is the thing I kept going, “Oh I don’t have the time because I have kids and I can’t… when can I get a massage when I don’t have them. We’ll I have to work during the school hours”. All that craziness goes on in your head.

Let me just say, everybody can solve every problem pretty much.

So my massage person comes in at their bed time, my kids go to bed, massage person comes in and I literally go to sleep right afterwards.

Natalie: They come to your house?

Jaime: They come to my house. It’s not anymore expensive either. And they will do it like nine o’clock at night which is insane.

Natalie:  And then you just go to sleep?

Jaime:  I just go to sleep. It’s like the best ever. It’s amazing but it’s because I am so scheduled and so intentional with my time.

Because this is the thing too, it’s not like I don’t take a time off with the kids, it’s that I have to be super effective whenever I am doing whatever I am doing.

I have a lot of things going on so a typical schedule for me ,and I make my clients do all this too.

I call it the master’s schedule:

  • Mondays are meeting days, back to back meetings like literally, with my masterminds, with my personal scrum from my team.
  • Tuesdays are coaching days.
  • Wednesdays, every other Wednesday is an interview so either back to back millionaire interviews or back to back me doing interviews on other people’s podcast and then the rest of the week is free.

So it’s ‘working free’ so within the time my kids are in school which they get out at three thirty. Then I have open space that I can actually fill in advance because I am one of those people.

But usually when I have the kiddos I’m done at three and then I don’t work again unless it’s like a crazy launch and I have to make an exception.

It’s me like going for a walk with the kids or I try and get some of  the more special, relaxing kind of time with them. Not that I don’t have to do homework, not that I don’t have to do all the other stuff, but it’s just trying to have that space within the confinement.


How to take a quick daily vacation

Alright hopefully you have some firm ideas on how to take a daily mini vacation. To recap:

  • Short bursts of exercise – dance, walk to the mailbox, dip in the pool, play with your dog, drop down and do yoga.
  • Treat yo self – have a massage or a sauna, at home or book it in at your local.
  • Read a book – jump in a hammock, laze on your bed, lie on the floor, curl up in the couch, throw your phone away and disconnect the internet for 30 mins…then enjoy your fave book.
  • Pleasure yourself – did I really just say that? Heck yeah I did. Have a quickie, grab your fave sex toy and take a moment to…you know…have some fun. Or grab your partner and kiss them passionately. It releases endorphins which are feel good hormones and everyone needs those – plus you do that stuff on vacation right? So this IS a mini vacation.
  • Meditation – refer to episode 2 – Mind Your Mindfulness for a 1 minute one!  They say meditation can be better than sleep and sometimes sex. So I think it’s time to really take this one seriously.

So on a couple of the previous episodes I’ve been talking about meditation especially on episode 2 called Mind Your Mindfulness. And I have to say that I think we’ve only just scratched the surface on this and I am going to be doing a lot more work around this.

But having chatted to Jaime over the last couple of days intensely around her her meditation practice, I’ve seen this different side to it so I think I’ve always sat on the surface going, “What if I could just get five or ten or fifteen minutes a day?”.

I know the benefits of meditation but I wanted to bring Jaime back because she’s just sort of open my mind and blown my mind with the routine and the practice and the intention behind her meditation and how much is that impacting everything else.

So I haven’t seen Jaime for a year and a half and this time around seeing her I turned up and I was like, “Oh my gosh! You are just more like grounded.”

So here’s a conversation we had about her meditation.

Natalie: So who is this Joe Dispenza guy that you keep going on about?

Jaime: Okay so I’ve been meditating for a really really long time and then I became a disciple. The reason why I found Joe is because I’d injured my foot and he wrote a book called “You Are the Placebo” and I didn’t want to have foot surgery.

That’s the thing it was for the problem-solution piece of it. I’d always meditated. I didn’t even know his whole thing was about meditation.

Natalie: How did you find him?

Jaime: My best friend gave me the book. Because she had been following him for awhile. But I was just trying to solve whatever the heck that thing was. I didn’t know how deep he goes into meditation about how your body can change itself. And so it makes sense with, You Are the Placebo, but I never linked meditation and that before which was really awesome.

Because before I thought it was, “I am a crazy, business entrepreneur that needs to get everything out of her head and feel okay” because otherwise I might have anxiety or whatever the pieces are. That’s why I’d meditated before.

And then I found this thing and I was like, “Oh there’s so much more to it than that!”

Natalie: And they are self-guided aren’t they? Which I like because It’s quite hard to just sit and not have thoughts.  In fact, it’s near impossible.

Even the monks after many decades of practice don’t’ do it super well but they are far better than us. And I think I’d like to be like walking down the beach listening to meditation and then there you were, I was having a surf lesson and you were walking down the beach listening to a self-guided meditation.

One where Joe got you to like ground your feet into the sand at one point, stop and just be. So I love the sound of that. Because I love walking and I like being active while meditating.

What happens in that meditation?

Jaime: So that one’s really interesting. Joe has a bazillion different types of meditation. Some were shorter. This one’s an hour and fifteen minutes. Some of our friends are like, “Oh surfing is so like that”.

It was funny when I was walking, thankfully eyes open for quite a bit, I was looking at some of the surfers and  just thinking about how amazing that is too.

There’s a quite a few different pieces to his types of meditation. And so one is a big breathing aspect and then walking, where he doesn’t have you do that because you look weird.

But what he does as you start walking, he has you start envisioning your future and then walking as your future self.

And imagining whatever happened that you want to have happened in the future as if it was a memory of the past.

So you are walking and he is like talking about how to think of this and think of that, and as you are walking you feel amazing, on top of the world type of person.

And then he has you stop and just close your eyes and imagine the feelings that you would feel: gratitude, joy – whatever those things are or affirmations are.

And since your body’s been energized by walking it makes you really feel the emotions. And then you walk again.

And it levels up the emotional side of it. Levels up the feeling of, “Oh my gosh! This is what I’ll feel like in the future.”

Right, that confidence, whatever those pieces are. And so you are sort of stepping into what that is and it makes a lot more believable.

So as an entrepreneur I feel like, “Oh I want to speak on a stage at TEDx in front of a thousand people.”

I was chatting with somebody when I spoke in the Philippines, she’s like, “I love crowds of 10,000 to 15,000 people.” And I was like, “Hmmmm. I haven’t done that before. 10,000 people that’s a lot of people. Wow, Okay great!”

She said, “The energy is just insane.”

And so then I started going, “Let’s imagine what that would look like. I’m sure I can do it”.

And so in the walking meditation, I started bringing in some of those pieces. So when you start bringing in the pieces as if it already happened, especially the science behind meditation, it actually does.

Have you heard the piano player thing? They had a study where:

  • Some people actually play the piano in a certain number of hours per day for a specific song.
  • Another one just did the finger exercises with no piano.
  • And then the other ones meditated on it.

So the people would actually meditate on it. They never touched the piano, and they actually were just as good as the other people.

Natalie: When they finally went to play the piano?

Jaime: Yes which is insane.

Natalie: I’ve heard a few studies around stuff just re-visioning exercise on that.

Jaime: Yes. It gets your body in certain state. It’s really interesting to see the studies because we are placebos by the way, right?

So we affect our thoughts and everything affects everything.

And I think entrepreneurs need to get this better and better and better.

It’s not just clearing your brain it’s all those thoughts that we think, that determine what we actually take action on, what we actually do.

All those beliefs or whatever you want to say whether they are subconscious or not.

When you start flushing those out, and you start imagining yourself…..

I’ve had a friend who hated speaking and then he did like a hundred different speaking gigs all in a row just to get over the fear and to get really good at it.

Well, you do a 100 of them and you’ll get really good at it!

Imagine meditating on it a hundred days in a row instead of actually having to go do it. And again there might be a little bit of twinge when you do the first one but it’s going to feel so much more natural even just the visualization of it.

And I’ve interviewed a ton of millionaires, 400 and something millionaires, so many of them bring up visioning, it’s insane.

I was not woo-woo at all and I started going down this road and interviewing millionaires and I’m like, “How come everybody keeps talking about this?”.

Because I really wanted to know and so then I started looking at the science behind it all. And then I’m like, “There’s something to this”, because I am a sciency kind of gal and then I’ve started implementing and doing it.

It has literally changed so many things and what I can see is possible moving forward.

Natalie: You mentioned that it’s helped you, one being all grounded and not even noticed that visibly in you. You said your skin is glowing. You think you looked younger like not aging. What are some of the other benefits?

Jaime: There’s a whole thing on epigenetics which if you read any of Joe’s books. Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson talks about epigenetics – our bodies and what we feel basically.

Because this is the thing, I don’t think people really understand, and again the science is very very new behind all this. It hasn’t really come out to the general population. If I say epigenetics, people are more like,  “I don’t have a clue what that is”.

But your DNA actually can turn on and off based on your environment. And so it’s not all like you were born like this and now we are like that forever, it’s what you ingest, what you are doing, what you are thinking that all affects your body, which makes logical sense when you think about it.

We are not emotionless robots. All the pieces and parts really make a difference.

You’ve seen the president go from looking really really young beforehand and how the heck did he age so much in such a short period of time? Like the stress and everything.

And so it really affects your body. So you can do it in the opposite direction also. How can we change that?

Natalie: I was telling you about Josh’s friend Rohan, his father from England who’s been doing transcendental meditation for something like forty five years or more.

I haven’t met him and I really want to meet him. I told you that right?

Because he is late 70s and he looks like he is in his 40s. He gets up at five a.m every morning. He does one to two hours of transcendental meditation with the music and all the vibrations and everything.

And he is apparently just super focused and onto it. He doesn’t need much sleep. Just incredibly aware and has energy all day and that youth, that vitality and that absolute solidness around what he does and who he is.

He’s absolutely precise and clear on who he is and what energy he gives off. So that fascinates me.

It does make me feel, yes you could change your state and you can change your entire DNA makeup.

By the way, did you know that when you get sunburnt you are changing the DNA? There’s a whole science behind it which you’d love.

When you get sunburnt, your cells are exploding and we have billions of cells right, but they are exploding and each little explosion is shifting and changing your DNA. So overtime you can actually change your DNA of your body.

Jaime: Good way or bad way?

Natalie: I don’t think sunburn is obviously good for you at all, but it’s just more the point that scientists have seen that you are actually changing your DNA through that. So there must be other ways of changing your DNA.

Jaime: When you look up epigenetics and you’ll see some of those pieces because it’s insane to read some of the studies on this. I didn’t realize this. I’m like, “Man!”.

It is one of those things where it’s such a new science so it seems a little woo-woo to people. It is with any sort of newer science.

Natalie: I know scientists needs the data and the facts but also I just want to see it’s working.

Jaime: This is what I do, I’m like, “Well I’ll test it and If I like it, I’ll keep doing it and if I don’t like it, then I won’t.”

But there’s a lot of Charletons that are like, “Oh you do this thing and it’s amazing!”.

So that’s what we have to be careful of, but to me I’ll test anything and if I like it and I see results then I’ll continue.

I care about the smarts and logic. And so meditation has allowed me to tap in way more and not just be a ‘running around like trying to do everything head wise’, but actually tapping into all parts of your body.

I never thought that your gut or intuition was a big deal until, again I heard so many millionaires going, “I went with my gut” and I’m like, “Wait! There’s no real science behind that.”

I’ll put a spreadsheet together so I can look at all the facts, this is why I am so science based because I need something to make a decision. I would almost never go with my gut.

Natalie: Gut every time.

Jaime: See… but to me I didn’t get the point of gut. I thought that that wasn’t logic.

When you read like the book, Blink and we realize how amazing we are as human beings.

We can make an assessment on something without even necessarily knowing the facts and data.

Like that book was very eye opening to me because I was like, “Oh, maybe I do know more than logic will tell me and research and data.”

And so realizing that, along with everything else tapping into that. You can shut yourself off big time. Most people do. Most of the clients that I talk to I ask “What’s your gut saying?”

They are like “I don’t know.”

Natalie: Oh really? I do it all the time. The only time that I haven’t sometimes is travelling, because I listen to my gut and instinct all the time in travelling. “Don’t go down there” or actually “Don’t take that bus”.

Jaime: What does that feel like? Where? How do you do that?

Natalie: Literally like a strong sensation to not go ahead and buy that ticket.  Where? It’s a good point. You do actually feel it in your stomach and then I feel like it just triggers straight away to your brain with a no. I have voice in my head going, “That’s not a wise idea.” It’s really crazy and I just listen to it all the time.

Jaime: I had heard this one place, and I have not verified sources but, what’s interesting is they were saying that it’s actually your heart that is making a lot of these decisions, and then going to either your stomach and then your brain and so it triggers all of them right? We sometimes think it’s our brain first.

Natalie: It’s literally like a decision and sometimes your body will stop. Sometimes your body will stop walking like ‘you are not going to go down there, Natalie’. It’s the fight-or-flight response that I feel kicks in and that is triggered by your immune system and/or your nervous system, so I guess your heart is the thing that’s beating.

Jaime: We just don’t know very much about our bodies though. Like it’s kind of sad.

I am trying to teach my children like, “Okay. Where do you feel that in your body?” so that they can become more in tune because I never was.

I was like, what is that feeling? I would never go with my gut in general.

So knowing and being able to say, “This actually works.”

I needed all the data from all the millionaires like, “Wait, you’ve went with your gut and that worked? Wow! Interesting.”

It would be really interesting to ask which ones typically go with their gut and which ones don’t.

Natalie: And where do you feel that in your body – that’s an interesting question to ask anybody. Going on a bit of tangent here but asking ‘how do you feel’ and see what people’s responses are, because if you ask a very pragmatic logic based person, they will go, “I am blah blah blah.”

Jaime: Okay so this is my best friend,  she had to ask me every single day. She goes, “How do you feel?” and I’d say, “Good” and she’d go, “Good is not a feeling.”

“Great! I feel great!”, she said, “That’s not a feeling.”

I didn’t have the words to express it. I literally had one of those little cards that said all the emotions on it. But I couldn’t find the nuances between the emotions because I didn’t think it was a big deal. Like what does it matter?

Natalie: And it does matter.

Jaime: It totally does now I know. I am teaching my children this.

So tapping into intuition or tapping into your gut is an example.

I don’t know what that felt like. I was like, “Huh! Nope. I got nothing.”

The little nuances in anxiety or the little nuances in joy, the little nuances in things that I just never paid attention to. And yet we can be so much more expressive as human beings if you actually know that.

I had beforehand thought, “If I just negate all the bad emotions and only felt the good ones, I’ll be happy in my world”. I mean you know in entrepreneurship too, it doesn’t work that way. Shit happens.

Natalie: It’s a rollercoaster.

Jaime: Exactly. You have to mitigate all of it and sometimes the crappy stuff is teaching you the most and you have to be okay with those emotions because if you try and negate that you won’t take the risks, even calculated risks.

You just won’t make the steps towards that because you are so scared of negative emotions. It’s an interesting thing.

Natalie: I think a lot of people live in the state of, “I’m okay. I’m okay. So I am not going to show any emotions.”


And you asking me the other day, “Do you feel that you tapped into that? Are you emotional?”

I have my moments around my Dad because I was quite surprised that I wasn’t more upset or just really in that state, but I do think it’s because I focused on celebrating his life.

It doesn’t mean I think I shut down my feelings. Like I will have my moments where I’ll just cry.

As I told you I am big sook at the movies. I’ll just have waterworks in movies. I feel like that a lot around animals and nature.

I don’t worry so much or sweat the small stuff, but I often think about global issues or environment or inhumane treatment of animals or people.

And that stuff gets me really emotional, but I think there are so many people who are walking through life instead taking drugs to numb themselves.

Jaime: But that’s the point right?

You Are the Placebo”is all about that you don’t need to rely on what we think.

One of the reasons why we take a placebo and think it will work is because people have told us that it will work.

If a doctor or someone of high authority goes, “This will work for you.” Even if it numbs you like crazy, you are like, “Oh then half of it’s probably the placebo effect and the pills don’t even work.”

So it’s one of those things where us knowing ourselves – if you are the type, ‘I am emotional in these sort of ways’ and ‘I don’t need to like make myself be emotional in other ways either’, but knowing yourself better makes a huge difference.

So if you do get sick or whatever, trying to pay attention to what those emotions were within it and then solving that instead of going after like, “I just need more alcohol” or “I need more drugs”.

Like when I injured my neck they gave me Hydrocodone and I’m like, “That’s a lot!”.

It’s a narcotic. They gave me a lot of pills. I was kind of surprised. They gave me like three sets of pills.

Natalie: The United States scares me with what they give out. It’s such a pill based society.

Jaime: And I was like, “So how do I fix it though?”. It’s one thing to numb the pain and I am okay with pain, I can handle a lot of pain, but how do I fix it? Nobody really went down that path which sucks.

Natalie: It does. Western medicine is very much like immediate solution where as I love the Eastern philosophy around preventing it before it’s even happened.

Jaime: Yes, but the thing is, I agree a thousand percent, but because we’ve already gone past that point.

So again this is the Western world, but we are sold that we can have everything right now, and this is why meditation is so important too. Because we are moving at a constant pace especially entrepreneurs. We are problem solvers and we wanted the problem solved yesterday, not today.

And so a pill, sure! Faster, easier, more efficient.

Natalie: The headache was just from the hours of pampering and all the detox.

And when I was in that yoga class, that restorative yoga, which I loved, I was having trouble with the hamstring pose. Sinking into that pose though I was feeling the pain and I wanted to come out of it, because we had to hold it for five minutes.

And that’s when she said, “If you are challenged by this pose, you probably have issues with control, because the control that you put into your everyday life will manifest itself  into basically your hamstrings.”

So the tightening there is the constant control or tension. And I think in intrinsically you know that but whenever we are holding any source of tension or pain or even love, it manifests itself in your body.

Jaime: So that’s the whole point of Joe Dispenza, the whole point completely.

He was a doctor and he actually cut his spinal cord. It was crazy – he couldn’t walk and he didn’t want to have surgery. And all the doctors are like, “So you have to have surgery to fix this”, and he was, “I am not going to do it.”

He meditated. And people were like, “Okay, you meditated your spinal healing. That’s a little insane.”

Natalie: Had he done meditation before?

Jaime: I don’t remember. I think he must have done something. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t be like, “Oh I am going to try meditation and see if this works.”

He was a chiropractor so he knew the body really really well but what is interesting, like you were saying, is being able to have whatever is existing in our body usually is for a reason.

And unfortunately because we are problem solvers and we want to fix this so fast we just take the pill and go, “That will be okay.”

But more and more instances of cancer, more and more instances of crazy stuff and we are going, “What’s wrong?”.

Well yeah it’s probably food and stuff like that too, but there are so many things that we don’t understand that us taking care of ourselves, like you said the Eastern side of things, could have probably been prevented, but now we are at this tipping point where we can’t see the forest for the trees anymore.

And so that’s why it’s great that he wrote the book called, You Are the Placebo because there’s literally everybody going, “I have a problem. I need a solution.” And so being able to show people, “Oh by the way, this could help this.”

Natalie: I was going to say, it sounds ironic, but I am about to say we have to take control or more importantly, we have to take responsibility because things are not going to get better.

  • We are going to have more and more technology.
  • We’ll be more and more connected.
  • We are going to have more and more devices.
  • We are going to have more multi-tasking.
  • We are going to have more and more things in our life that are causing us to live our lives in a totally different way where we don’t have peace, quiet, nature, reflection, timeout, thinking time, quiet time.

And so we just have to, and that’s why I am so proud of you because you are making time, because you love it, every morning to do your meditation.

Jaime: One I didn’t love it. I couldn’t sit for five minutes. I used to lay down because I couldn’t sit up. So I couldn’t sit up for that long and I hated the five minutes every single time.

It’s just very much an evolutionary process. That being said I learned my own process.

A lot of clients are resistant because they are entrepreneurs and logical and my brain is way too crazy, “I can’t do it Jaime”. I was like, “I have the same crazy brain you do. I have ADD literally”.

And so when we are looking at, “Okay what can you do as a first step?” We talked about five minutes of headspace.

Headspace is great, Calm app is great, just to sort of slowly get into that and then I have people come back and they are like, “Oh that felt a little better.”

And then what is that next step and what is that next step.. I did this as part of the evolutionary process to try to make meditation efficient.

I would get all the crap out of my head so that way I could feel like I could be more clear. David Allen’s Getting Things Done, getting everything out of your head.

So I would do that piece along with having these inspired thoughts of, “Oh you know what I should do and this”.

Natalie: You’d actually literally go sit down or lie down to meditate but then you’d have “bing bing bing” thoughts. So you’d actually then stop the meditation?

Jaime: I wouldn’t actually stop the meditation. It’s really kind of funny I had an eye pillow on and I’d literally have a journal right next to me and I’d scribble.

It’s just like a twenty, thirty minute meditation, it wasn’t a lot because I would only do the first piece like this. I would literally just go, “Oh!” and write those changes of launch plans or the ideas that I had.

And then I would be clear and be a lot better.

So it’s still guided meditation but this is what I have my clients do because in general they are like,” I can’t make it stop.”

You know what makes it stop? Write all that crap down. And because David Allen talks about this with Getting Things Done, if it’s still in your head it will keep reminding you. It will keep bringing it up.

So there you have it. This topic of Personal Freedom here on the Quest for Freedom Podcast continues to come back to freedom of the mind in so many respects.

I know I will continue to delve deeper into this. In the next episode I’ll be discussing personal freedom from a place of less stuff weighing you down – as in decluttering.

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Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 1 / 12

Changing Plans

So the Quest for Freedom goes on.

I know in this episode I was going to talk about some of the life changing moments that I experienced at New Frontiers and Enspiral Summerfest but given that this episode’s name is called “Changing Plans”, I’ve changed my plan for this week!

And the reason for that is pretty simple.

I’ve been tossing up between two completely different paths that I can take and as I mentioned to you when I started the Quest for Freedom, I did say there’d be an element of choose your own adventure in it.

Now I’m pretty close to making this choice but there is still some sway here, some room for you to have your say.

And so, today’s episode is about why it’s okay to change your mind. Why you can choose to change your mind and why you are free to change your mind. And of course as always I would love your feedback on this episode.

It all kind of started recently. If I am really honest I’ve talked about this decision to take a business sabbatical this year and while I am still doing that, the business sabbatical itself has changed quite a lot in my mind.

I think at the time I made that decision I was very much like, I am so over 7 or almost 7 years in business and I am over doing all these things and I am just wanting a break.

And as I’ve stepped away from my business a lot of people have asked me, “How are you doing it”.

I am happy to explain that in this episode, but as I’ve removed myself bit by bit, I’ve realized it’s actually pretty hard to remove yourself from your own business when your business IS you. When you are a personal brand.

Had I chosen to go into the software development business, or a kind of a customized service that was part of a team and not dependent on me, it might have been way easier.

But I realized that some of my stuff is actually flawed, because the key things that I guess I give to my business, that are sort of irreplaceable (and I am not saying that from an ego driven perspective at all), but the things that I bring to my business that nobody else can really replace are the social capital that I have.

The relationships that I have with friends, with influencers, with partners, with companies who have been on this journey with me as I’ve grown my business, who have supported me along the way.

Where we’ve done promotions together, we’ve partnered together on really cool education aspects and we’ve gotten to know each other at conferences, at events and experiences.

And that’s stuff that you just can’t hand over to somebody else that’s coming in to replace you.

You can’t just say, “Hey! Here’s this awesome person that will be dealing with you now.” It just doesn’t really fully cut it.

This is by no means me hanging on to my baby or holding on to my business. This is the reality of things.

The things that drive revenue on my business all come down to relationships.

I’ve even noticed a little in my community just with saying, “Hey! I am going to be on a sabbatical!”, that people have been really supportive of it and saying things like, “Hey Natalie! That totally aligns with who you are and what you always preach to us.”

But I also feel there’s been a little bit of a drop away from people in the community, like just this general dip, and I am going to be straight up honest here. – my business over the last couple of months took a bit of a dive.

I think part of it was related to the brand new website, which was received extremely well. But changing hosting companies and SEO rankings kind of going down the toilet with that change …well we always knew that there’d be this momentary aspect when some of the rankings would drop and things would decline but then they’d stabilize.

We also switched over to all new systems ConvertKit, Teachable, Clickfunnels and while I think they’ve been an excellent change, there’s just that hand over time, in that change over there’s things clicking together and sticking together and working.

And all of that combined being done all at the same time, kind of played havoc with the business.

I think that in combination with the community kind of going “Where the heck is Natalie at?” in combination with ‘energy in versus energy out’.

I am a big believer that the more energy you put into something, the more energy you are going to get out.

“If you do a half-hearted job, you’ll get a half-hearted result. If you go all in, you’ll get amazing results.”

And so I think those three sets of combinations all affected the business. And had you talked to me a couple of weeks ago, I might have said:

“You know what? I am not sure I can take a business sabbatical”.

Things have kind of changed the minute I made that decision and made it public. Things changed –  it was like my business said to me, “Well, if you are buggering off, I might bugger off too.”

So the good news is that recently things have started looking up again and stabilizing and you know, the business is pretty self-managing. My awesome, humble, nifty, agile and talented team are doing a great job. They know what they are doing.

And I, as CEO and founder of my company, I am happy to step aside to a point, but I’ve also been somewhat reinvigorated (ironically) with the business.

I still love my community. I still love what I do and I think just even the thought of taking a break from it gave me a break from it.

Does that make sense?

Have you ever experienced that in your business?

Like when you kind of put everything in place to go  ‘I am going to step back for a bit’, and you think about how is that going to feel and what it’s going to look like.

And you start removing yourself a little.

You take a little less responsibility.

You put more responsibility onto others.

They do a great job.

You see things starting to work and you just ease off a little bit and you place time and importance on other things: new networks, new relationships, new friendships, new areas of learning.

And it’s like you are already having a bit of a refresher. It’s kind of like you are going on a mini holiday in real time.

I guess that is what’s happened to me in the last couple of weeks.

So as I said I thought I’d bring in some snippets from New Frontiers, but I don’t think this is the episode to do it in. I am going to bring that in in the next episode.

Because today’s topic is all about changing plans and why it’s totally cool if you want to change your mind.

And this is where I want to insert a little message from one my community members, Kim Morrisson, because she posted on my Facebook page the other day and I asked her to turn her comment into this audio message. So it could be included in this episode and here is what she said:

“Hi Natalie, Kim Morrisson here from Portugal. First congratulations on your book deal, so exciting! I loved reading your original Suitcase Entrepreneur book. In your Facebook Live, you said that it’s as if the world is opening up some fantastic new opportunities for you. And as a result you haven’t rethink what your plans for this year might be.

While I accept it, we need to plan in order to achieve our goals or we can drift aimlessly. Isn’t being able to change exactly what freedom is all about? The ability to change direction, follow your heart, rather than stick to what you originally planned otherwise we are just locked into a world that we can’t move from.

After all, your lifestyle property was one of your goals anyway. Maybe not in your plan for this year but does that really matter? I believe that your true freedom is actually having the opportunity to choose what you want to do and the direction you’re going. And that of course can change. I hope that helps.”

And I sat back and I thought, you know what Kim, you are actually right.

Like I’m always attempting to do the right thing, to be a guide to others, to show people the way, to prove that you can do whatever you want, that you get to design your lifestyle and you get to design your business to support that lifestyle.

And in doing so I kind of feel like I’ve become a little bit of my own poster child for be adventurous, be free, travel the world, do whatever you want.

And one thing that I wanted most was just to:

  • sort of settle, and be
  • own a lifestyle property
  • grow and develop my relationship with Josh
  • have chickens and a dog and;
  • BE in one place for a decent period of time  and;
  • experience my first winter in something like 7 years.

I realized that was okay. That was more than okay, because that’s what my heart desired.

Yet somewhere in this bubble of my intuition, in my years of experience in building this brand of adventure and freedom, I thought that might not be okay.

So thank you to Kim for bringing that up, and for the multitude of awesome people in my community and my friends and my networks, who have all been really supportive of this decision to step away from the business and to go on a business sabbatical.

And so when you next hear from me, I might have some very exciting news.

At this point of my time, I have two options:

The first option,  which I am going to tell you right now is the one that I thought I’d naturally be taking. At the start of the year I thought, “Great! I’ll hand over, train people up, get the business to a point that come first of April, my birthday month, I am going to take that entire month off for sure (and probably several months after that). I am going to go to Bali and run my retreat. I am going to celebrate my birthday in Bali with my family and friends and then I am going to head on to Portugal and surf and read books. I am going to go to Tony Robbins in London. I am going to stay in Europe for summer. And then I’ll come back to New Zealand, kind of like I do nearing summer. And just take it from there.”

Sounds tempting I know.

And then the second option was, “No I am going to commit and I am going to stick around in New Zealand. And I am going to build a community in my hometown of Wellington, where I grew up, but actually don’t really have a strong base of friends and people because I’ve been away for 10 years.”

That sounds really appealing. The sense of community on the ground. Not just globally, not just online and not just having to travel so far to meet people that I care about, but right here in my hometown.

And I’ve been away long enough that that excites me.

And then I thought I’d take that further like:

  • What about business opportunities here?
  • What about being on a co-founding team of a tech startup?
  • What about creating other business opportunities?
  • What about partnering with Josh?
  • What about partnering with my sister?

All these things that came into the light.

What about living in one place for more than three months at a time?  What about owning a place that feels like a real home?

Not that my apartment in Wellington isn’t awesome, but it’s kind of.. I am a little bit in transition when I am here. I’ve had Airbnb guests all the time. I’ve been away a little bit and even though I have loved having it as a base because it’s right in the heart of the city, it’s awesome.

But it’s not a home with nature on your doorstep. It hasn’t got animals right there. It’s not a real home. It doesn’t have a fireplace. You know?

Not that you need a fireplace to have a real home but.. I don’t know why I said that. So there are my two options.

And if I was to allow you to choose my own adventure, I’d say this.

  1. If you’d like Natalie to head of to Bali and onto adventures in Portugal with surfing, lovely people, sunshine and the freedom to do whatever you want, turn to page 45.
  2. If you’d like Natalie to go into an adventure, spend all her money on a big lifestyle property that she has no idea how to handle, get a dog and some free range chickens, turn to page 72.

I can almost hear you guys kind of going, “What the heck?”. Those are two such different decisions ….and they are.

This relates back to probably the first episode where I talked about what is a quest? And even the second episode where I sort of talked about this paralysis by analysis. This paradox of choice that you actually need limitations in order to be free.

Because when you have no limitations it can actually be quite devastating, which sounds so freaking ironic. But earlier this year when I had these big choices to make I was really in limbo.

I was just wishing somebody would give me a limitation. Say to me, “Natalie you need to stay in New Zealand for a whole year.”

If somebody has said that to me I would be like, “Okay, great!”.

Now I have a limitation, what are my freedom aspects within that? What can I do within that limitation? And I was like, “Oh my God! I could explore all of New Zealand. There are so many things within this country.”

If they’d said, “Natalie, you have to stay in Wellington”. I would have been like, “Great!”.

Even more of a limitation, but with so much freedom within that because the thing about limiting the number of decisions you have to make actually gives you more freedom.

That’s why Steve Jobs used to wear the exact same outfit to work everyday. So he didn’t have to think about or make a decision or spend time on what his wardrobe was.

That’s why people like bodybuilders eat the same thing every single day, which might seem really odd to you and me and boring, but they know exactly what they are going to eat, they know how to prepare it. It’s satisfying, it’s nutritious, it’s probably tasty, it’s one less thing to think about.

And I know when I was doing my body sculpting competition, I got into such a great routine being at the gym at 5:30 every single morning. Similar food every single day: chicken and broccoli, chicken and broccoli, eggs.

It actually made it incredibly freeing, because if I think back on that time I had very few decisions to make and that freed up my time to be able to do more thinking, to engage more in the work that I was doing.

It allowed me to be more present for people around me because I wasn’t filled with, “Where do I need to travel next? What do I need to book? How do I book the accommodation? Who do I need to see? How do I get there? What should I pack? How can i do this? How can I do that? How do I run my business at the same time? Who do I need to speak to? What timezone am I on?

Like seriously, it gets exhausting.

First world problem I appreciate, but one that I am kind of ready to put a little hold on.

I want fewer decisions. I want less freedom (weirdest thing ever but just stick with me). I want less freedom so that ultimately I have more freedom in the things that I really want to do.

If that didn’t really make sense to you I would love for you to listen to episode 4 where Connie and I talked about why freedom has dropped off her values list. It used to be number 1, it’s not even on it anymore.

We talked about why wanting freedom so much can actually make you a slave to it.

Now I just want to bring your attention to a short snippet about how to think less and live more – analysis paralysis. And this is by Preston Smiles, who’s a pretty big motivational guy on Youtube who does sort of beautiful poetry to get you to think about life abundantly.

This one I thought was just so pertinent what I am discussing here. How to think less and live more, let’s hit it:


The key part I’ve included in my podcast audio is this:

“You got to do something. You got to step up in your life and jump! So many people are sitting on the fence of life: watching and waiting and trying to figure out if it’s time. Well, it’s never going to be the right time.

The right time is now. Now, now, now, now! Every time.

Don’t wait for the right job or the perfect mate or the right money. “I got to pay my mortgage off before I live”. “I am going to take that trip two years from now when I get the right job”.

Live it now! Because you never know, you never know when that day comes.

We all have an expiration date and I have seen it too many times where people die with the dance still in them. We don’t want to die with our dance still in us.

You want to die with it all out on the field. You want to know that you left it all out on the field.“

So that’s where I am at. I am at this point of the time is right, right now.

I don’t feel like I’ve ever been a person to hold back on life. I feel like I’ve lived it to the full but one thing I’ve noticed on my journey through adventuring around the world is this absolutely desire.. just hear me out on his.. to have a dog.

I am a big animal lover and for those of you who have travelled with me, or been with me in person you will know that I pretty much stop and say hello to every single dog no matter what.

Like I got ringworm from a dog in the Caribbean because I was patting this stray dog and I didn’t realize I got that. But the point is you know, I am not afraid of dogs. I love them to bits and they just strike out this emotion of happiness in me and playfulness and abundance that I love.

And I’ve realized it for the last couple of years I’ve been talking about, “Oh I’d really love a dog, but you can’t travel with a dog when you’re living out of a suitcase.”

And I thought about it in the last couple of months, around Christmas time and I was like, “Well, Nat, you get to make a choice here. If you really want a dog then you need to adapt your lifestyle to have one in it.”

And it’s not like dogs are a huge problem that means you can never travel again. I have plenty of people that I’ve actually had as case studies in my book and on my blog who travel with their dogs every three months, they go somewhere different.

They go through the immigration and the forms for the dog and they come with them. And I’m like, “Awesome!”.

You know, it’s a bit more work but they get to have their lovable pooches with them. I’ve done house sitting where I’ve absolutely adored being with dogs and cats and any other animal.

I was like, if you don’t make time for this what if tomorrow never happened and you never had that opportunity to have a dog in your life again.

I’ve had a dog once in my life for about a year when I bought my first house. I was a lot younger and it was just a lot of responsibility and I loved Zoe to bits, but I rehoused her with an awesome family and a little dog when I sold my house a year later.

We had the coolest adventure year together. We were like best buddies. She is a beautiful dog, a Huntaway German Shepherd X, and just the lickiest, cuddliest dog in the world.

But that was ages ago, that was 2002 and I thought about it and I was like, “Is my lifestyle actually stopping me from the very things that I want to be in it?”.

So dog is one of those things I want to be in it.

The second thing that I want to be in it is nature. Nature on my doorstep. I want the ability to have a garden. I want to have an orchard. I would like to grow my own vegetables. I would like to get into organic farming.

I would like to understand and learn more about permaculture, which came to my attention big time at New Frontiers. I would like to build tiny houses. You guys know I am a minimalist. I would really like to understand how to build a tiny house. I would like to put tiny houses on my land.

I would like to help with the housing shortage around New Zealand and actually frankly, around the world.

And this just stemmed into a bigger and bigger and bigger vision that all started with sticking around in one place and following my dreams. So did you choose page 45 or page 72?

Let me know in the comments below.

And now I am going to divulge a little secret, I may have put an offer on a lifestyle property with Josh on Monday night, February 27th.

What the heck is a lifestyle property?

A lifestyle property sounds really fantastic doesn’t it? It sounds like you’re just going to live the dream. You are going to have an awesome lifestyle. You are going to relax with your pool and your tennis court and your beautiful house and your block of land.

But for most people who I know who are on a lifestyle property, it means you are taking on a project and a lot of work. So it might sound like you are going to sit back and relax and live the lifestyle but ultimately you are making a big decision.

So the property that we have put an offer in is over a million dollars (Crazy!).

It has over a hectare of land which is around 2.5 acres.. It has four bedrooms and two bathrooms and just beautiful space and a really lovely entertaining area and a deck built the whole way around it.

It has ability to host family and friends which a the big thing on our must have list. It has a beautiful garden that can be even more beautiful if I get my hands on it and figure out how to garden. My mums an amazing gardener.

And it has a massive barn/implementation shed which the minute I saw it. I was like, “Oh! Co-working space. Oh! Tiny house creation. Oh! Crossfit gym. Oh! Office. Oh! So many things. Art workshop. Oh! holding events and retreats. So you know whatever I look at here in my life is always a business element to it.

And excitingly we saw this house on a Sunday. We put in an offer on the Monday. Our offer got shown on the Wednesday. It got accepted on the Friday. And it is subject to somebody else who has put an offer in the house who have to sell the property first.

So at the time of this recording we get to hear one way or the other: whether we got it and the other contract was relinquished or whether we didn’t.

And either way I am okay, because this entire process of looking at properties, figuring out our wish list together of what’s really important to Josh and I, of going through financial analysis of how to afford this – because that is a pretty big financial commitment, even for two people, has been great!

Understanding the commitment behind this like looking after the land, tending to a vegetable garden, creating an orchard, having animals like chickens and dogs and maybe more, as well as maintenance on the house, maintenance on the land and furnishing a house that’s a lot bigger than I am used to as a minimalist with really not much to my name – it’s all quite the change.

So pretty massive endeavor here, but I realized in this entire process of going through this analysis with Josh and doing a weighted matrix on what’s important to us and non-negotiables and everything that we wanted if this was our dream property, has proven to me big time that I would drop everything in a heartbeat to have a lifestyle property in New Zealand right now.

Right here, right now. Right here, right now. You know that song. If you don’t know that song I am not just singing to myself.

That is super exciting to me and I guess I just want to ask you this question right now is:

What are you putting off or telling yourself that you think you want? When you might be wanting something entirely different.

What are you not living up to in your life right now or pushing down the priority list because you think that you have to be a certain other way?

Or you think that you should be dealing life in a different way. Or you think that you need to be supporting other people before you support yourself first.

It’s your Freedom plan. It’s your quest for freedom. You have the right to change your mind. You have the right to choose.

  • I choose lifestyle property.
  • I choose creating a life with my partner Josh and all the exciting dreams that we’ve been scheming up.
  • I choose to go on a shorter business sabbatical but I am still going to my sabbatical.
  • I choose to run my business in the manner that fits me and still stay excited about it while stepping back from it.
  • I choose to build a community in my home country.
  • I choose to travel less for now. And I choose to be happy with my decision and to remain in the present.

And as you know this whole quest in Season 1 is about personal freedom and for me that is very much coming back to being present, being mindful, being grateful, being happy and choosing the best version of freedom for me in this moment.

And that’s exactly what I want for you.

So if you’ve enjoyed this, if you want to weigh in on this, If you want to help me choose my own adventure even though you pretty much know that I’ve made up my mind – then comment below and have your say!

Plus tune in next week for hacking happiness.

I’d like you to know that this episode is brought to you by the one and only DRIP!

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Posted on / by Natalie / in Season 1 / 5

Is Freedom Really Free?

For the longest time I’ve been obsessed with freedom. Freedom is my main mission in life, or has been for the greater part of the 7 years.

But recently, I’ve been realizing that my hunt for understanding, defining and having freedom may be completely off track.

And that’s a huge revelation to have when you’ve named your new podcast Quest for Freedom, and you think you have all the freedom in the world right?

Several weeks ago I saw my friend Conni Biesalski post an update on Facebook about attending Tony Robbin’s Date with Destiny.

Conni is the Founder of Planetbackpack, has written a book, is a bit of a YouTube star and believes in…

  • holistic lifestyle design
  • slow travel as a spiritual experience
  • connecting with our bodies and souls through healthy clean eating, meditation and yoga
  • opening our hearts through healing and connecting to ourselves

So on her Facebook update she wrote:

Life will never be the same again. 6 days with Tony Robbins in Florida and I feel like the greatest transformation of my life just happened. So powerful, so deep, so incredibly healing. I have finally let go of my story and am starting a new one. Amazing miracles happened in these days, things I never thought possible. Everything feels wide open, just like in this photo that I took on the beach on the last morning. Infinite gratitude and love in my heart. This is Life 2.0.

Now incidentally, at the start of this year I decided to invest in myself for the first time in a loooongg time and take up a Mastery Program through the Tony Robbins Institute.

I’m heading to Unleash the Power event in London at the end of April. If you want to join me there are still tickets. Head to and grab one.

If you don’t know who he is, in a nutshell he’s the Worlds No #1 Personal Development Master who’s worked with presidents, Oprah Winfrey. His documentary “I am not your Guru” is a great insight into how he works.

I first read his book Awaken the Giant Within back in 2004 when I was training for body-sculpting competition, and that year, in big part thanks to reading his books and listening to his audio series, I had one of the most amazing years of my life.

I felt like I could achieve anything I put my mind to. And that year in particular I did – I won the Regional North Island Body Sculpting Championships, I got a kick ass job, and I completed my Certificate in Fitness Management Diploma extramurally through Otago University.

I was unstoppable, and aside from neglecting my personal relationship with my then boyfriend…ooops, everything else in life was going amazing.

So back to my Facebook chat with Conni mid December, which went like this:

Me: Well that answers my question to what did you get out of it. Sending a big virtual hug of Freedom  your way to go with your transformation

Conni: You know what’s funny.. freedom was always so high on my values list.. in the process of DwD I kicked freedom off my list. After having questioned it and looked at what it costs me, I realised this intense strive for it has out-served me. I now feel freer than ever not having freedom as my main driver anymore. Crazy!!

Natalie:  Oooh I think I’ll need to jump on a chat with you about that for my new podcast starting in the new year:

And so we did. And here it is.

Yup, it was this epiphany during “Date with Destiny” with Tony Robbins in December and he was talking about freedom and how he one day started to question his quest for freedom that he was following his whole life and he was telling this long story.

In the end it was…..he said that once he questioned his search for freedom, it was that he realized that he can stop looking for freedom and feel a lot freer.

I thought about this for days and weeks after that and then eventually it hit me.

I was like, “Wow!”. I’ve been looking for freedom, I’ve been searching for freedom my entire life. It’s been my main mission with whatever I do, wherever I go.

It’s always like how much freedom will this give me? How much freedom will I have? It dictated the way I do business. It dictated my travels. It dictated my personal life and my relationships.

It was always about freedom, freedom, freedom.

And then I realized actually by constantly being on this path to freedom, it’s like judging everything by how much freedom it would give me and them I’m actually free.

I kind of trapped myself into thinking that by constantly striving for freedom, that that would make me free and so then I had this epiphany and I realized, “Wow I can let it go”.

Now when Connie said this I was nodding my head in fervent agreement. I realized I’d come to exactly the same conclusion. If I’m constantly pursuing freedom, in some ways I’m a slave to it….how’s that for a mindbending thought?

What she said next though blew me away.

I can actually, because with “Date of Destiny”, what you do is you come up with a list of values in your life that are really important to you and then you kind of revise them and go through the whole six day process so then at the end you come up with a new list of values.

And it’s kind of like a new blueprint. You can upgrade your entire inner system.

Freedom was obviously number one, next to love, and all these things on my first value list. And then at the end, freedom was not on my list anymore!

It wasn’t needed anymore, and that was for me so huge because I could kind of let that go and realize I am so free, like the life that I have it’s already so free.

I don’t need to measure freedom anymore, I can stop it.

Like I can do whatever I want, I’ve achieved so many things and so on the outside, I’ve completely achieved freedom.

And then obviously there’s this other level of freedom and that was another tough process and integration process and it was the comparison between outer freedom and inner freedom.

And so I realized, “Wow, I’ve got all this outer freedom, there’s no need to keep on striving for that, no one can take that away from me.

But how free am I on the inside?”.

And this is a great question. In fact this is at the core of The Quest for Freedom Podcast, and Season 1 as I come to grips with what IS personal freedom really?

Let me know what you think about this. What your version of freedom is? Whether you think real freedom is all about inner freedom.

What Connie goes on to say next may resonate with you too. Especially if you’ve ever been in a place like her.  I know I have and I speak to that too.

So this has become my message with what I do really, what is the essence of freedom and how can we go beyond the outer freedom of lifestyle design, doing what we want, and having passive income?

And then going to the next level of, “Okay, maybe I have a lot of shadow work to do to kind of free myself.”

And then to actually be able to enjoy the outer freedom in the first place because I realized after like a year ago, even I was at a very depressed place in my life.

I was doing really bad, like emotionally in all levels. It was one of those times where you kind of question everything. And you don’t see a purpose for yourself in life, like I didn’t have a mission anymore and everything was going well on the outside but on the inside I was super unhappy.

I was depressed. I couldn’t appreciate anything I had.

I was sitting in Bali in this amazing villa with pool and you know, life could not have been better on the outside but on the inside it was a trainwreck. So yes that was the next level and then for me to now realize, “Okay, wow!” So there is this whole freedom thing, it’s way more than we might initially think it is.


So what Conni said next I could absolutely resonate with as it’s something I’ve been recognizing in myself.

In all these years of traveling the world and wanting to be free, I’ve shied away from locking in full on plans, or committing too far out, or saying I’ll definitely turn up to a place, or even to interviews and appointments.

Now, if there’s one person who knows me well, I’d like to think it’s myself, and that behaviour, that’s just not really me.

Don’t get me wrong I fully commit to the projects I take on and and my peeps – for example the Write the Damn Book Freedom Lab I’m running, I turn up to every single live session we do multiple times a week to write our damn books and deliver on my promise of the expert interviews and lessons.

But anything that’s not driven or led by me I’ve been shying away from over the years.

In part I know that’s because I’ve had to take a step back and reserve my time and energy to make sure I can give it to the right people – my family, friends and community.

But some of this lack of desire to commit has definitely affected how I live, and my approach to relationships. Here’s what Conni had to say:

Yeah, it’s funny so I can commit to things now a lot more. I feel like I can make plans better. I don’t feel pressured, because usually before I would really shy away from making plans, people putting me down in a certain date to do something even if it was only a few weeks away and that was a real issue.

And I realized that if I don’t commit to things in life, then how can I attract people like that..

Because that’s been my issue. I would attract people that also can’t commit and that would make my life very difficult in relationships, in friendships and you know, all these areas.

And so I realized if I can’t commit how am I ever going to attract more reliable people into my life. So anyway, I just realized that I can actually, I can commit to plans and I feel comfortable doing so.

It’s kind of nice. It also like, right now, I am in a place for three months and I feel awesome. I really don’t feel like moving around much right now.

I have a daily routine. I have a wonderful life in California. I am just really enjoying being creative and being in one place.

I don’t have this urge to keep moving and keep moving, I feel like I’m such a inner peaceful place with myself at the moment that there’s no need to change that or to distract myself or to kind of not feel something.

Because a lot of times I would travel or I would do all these crazy things because I would then want to feel something and so I went out and I don’t know, bought the next plane ticket or I went out, whatever you do, or you look for love maybe in the wrong places and so because you know, there is something we don’t want to feel.

So I am in a point where I really have much better access to my own feelings, into what is going on inside of me.

I have a very regular meditation practice now, way more now especially since Tony Robbins just because I realized how important it is to check in with my feelings everyday and to gauge where I am at.

PS I covered off on meditation and even included a mini one in this Season’s second episode called Mind Your Mindfulness.

Back to Conni:

And generally I mean if I look back to now about a year ago, or a bit longer, and then where I am today it’s really like back then I was doing the 4-hour Workweek.

I was doing surfing all day, going to yoga and reading, and hanging out with people and literally just like doing the 4 hour thing and barely sitting at my laptop, barely doing anything, not being creative, not creating anything really.

It was all, business was automated and so after awhile I just realized and I was getting depressed and I also realized eventually,

“Wow I am not contributing to this world. I am not growing. I am not giving people anything. I am not helping people.”

It was like this spiral downwards and I realized just how important it is to really have something in life where you feel like you are contributing and changing the world, I think that’s kind of what I need maybe.

And so now everyday I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to get out of bed and start creating or learn stuff. There’s so much enthusiasm and ambition there and mostly because I found things and ways to contribute again and to help other people and inspire other people and that in its health is a well of fulfillment.

Thanks Conni, for providing such a beautiful segway into exactly how I’ve been feeling lately too.

And by lately, if I’m really honest about it, I mean for the last 18 months.

I was reading a blog post I’d written called ‘Why my 9 day digital sabbatical in Samoa transformed my life’.  I did this trip with my Dad in October 2014 and it was magical.

Yet as I read back over this post, for research for my upcoming book, I took note that I talk about falling a little out of love with my business, and not feeling as if the work I’m doing is as meaningful as it could be.

I was frankly surprised I wrote this back then. And that I’ve been talking about it since then. And that in September 2016 I finally said “That’s it. I’m going to take a break from my business. And that that is finally happening this April 2017.

I mean, that’s a lot of talking about it and not doing right? Which is kind of my jam. I’m an action taker. Normally I just DO.

So clearly this has been a long-time coming decision to make and act upon.

And I guess giving up on everything you’ve worked so hard for, to take a short break, isn’t a decision to be taken so lightly.

But for the last two weeks my decision has been well and truly validated by two amazing events I attended.

New Frontiers and the Enspiral Summerfest where I met some of the smartest, most innovative, world changing changemakers from around the world.

My mind was expanded upon belief. My heart was filled with passion and joy for which of these areas I could throw myself into and how I could help to be part of the change and the solution.

Here’s just a sneak peek into what I’ll share with you in the next episode, and a glimpse into the kind of speakers I heard from and met.  This is Dr Catlin Powers, co-founder and CEO of One Earth Designs, which she has led from its humble beginnings in the Himalayas to reach customers on six continents.….


Intrigued? I’ve got so much more from where that came from, and better sounding audio too. So tune in to the next episode by subscribing in your favourite podcast player to Quest for Freedom.

Leave your comment on what inner freedom means to you, or to simply discuss anything that’s resonated with you in this episode.

I’d like you to know that this episode is brought to you by the one and only DRIP!

Are you looking to build your email list? If so, you need to check out

Drip is a powerful email and marketing automation platform that you can start using for FREE (so it’s great for both startups and seasoned pros).

Basically, you get “better than MailChimp” pricing. But you also get automation like Infusionsoft, that frees up your time and removes you from having to work inside your business all the time.

With Drip’s visual builder, you quickly and easily build funnels that would take you weeks inside of Infusionsoft.

Best of all, this company was recently acquired by my good friend (and Leadpages founder) Clay Collins, so I got Clay to put together an exclusive deal for my Quest for Freedom Tribe.

Check out to see just how amazing Drip is and how it can help you build (and monetize) your audience.

Remember, if you’re just building your list, Drip is completely FREE… and I’m not talking “free trial” kinda free, it’s just free.

Free (forever), or at least until you have more than 100 contacts in your Drip account. That means you can start growing your list, try out marketing automation, and even send your first email broadcasts—all for free.

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