Tag: quest for freedom

What 7 Years of Podcasting Has Taught Me

I made a pretty big decision this weekend to end my podcasting journey, without any fanfare or second guessing.

It dawned on me that I have been podcasting for 7 years. Seven freaking years of putting out episodes!

What started out as monthly back on May 16, 2011, turned into twice a month around 2012 and at at the end of 2013 became weekly.

By 2015 I’d decided to up my game and go twice weekly, with one interview one ‘Fresh in Fifteen’ 15 minute show with my own tips.

In august 2016 I hit 1 Million Downloads which was a pretty awesome achievement for me and a show of wonderful support from listeners and the Suitcase Entrepreneur community.

As I wrote in that article:

I started my podcast in 2011 on May 16th. I actually had to look that date up as I couldn’t remember!

My first guest was the lovely Colleen Wainwright from Communicatrix and the interview (from my side at least) was pretty mediocre. You can check it out here.

Episode 4, I convinced Laura Roeder to talk about The Art of Not Doing Everything Yourself.

From there, I was off and running.

At it’s peak 40,000 ‘Freedomists’ tuned in from all over the world, every month. To date it has over 1.8 million downloads which blows my mind.

I know many of my peers have podcasts that do that in a few months, but I’m proud of that result plus 200+ five-star reviews.

In late 2013 the podcast was nominated and made a Top 10 Finalist in the Business Category at the Podcast Awards and it consistently ranked in the Top 100 category for Business in iTunes.

Weekly interviews with successful entrepreneurs and digital nomads included Michael Hyatt, Amy Portereld, Pam Slim, Chris Guillebeau, Pat Flynn, Jaime Masters, Chris Ducker, Jill and Josh Stanton, Josh Turner, Nisha Moodley, Mark Manson, Nick Loper and Denise Duffield-Thomas to name but a few.

Podcasting Benefits

A few other valid points I made in that article:

  • I love podcasting – I enjoy it and it works for my natural talents – I like to talk a lot and I like to interview all types of people, treat it like a casual conversation, and bring out the best in them so they can share their stories far and wide
  • It’s a fantastic community building tool – I love my Freedomists who listen in every week and then meet me in person to tell me how much they enjoy the show – and that I sound exactly like I do on my podcast. Their engagement and feedback makes my day.
  • It’s a fantastic business marketing tool  – I’ve indirectly traced more revenue thanks to listeners telling me that they signed up to a program or a retreat or a mastermind because of hearing me talk about it on my podcast. I’ve also increased my list thanks to people who opted in to get my podcast bonus guides.
  • It’s an excellent way to engage with and partner with sponsors – I’ve been fortunate to have a host of amazing sponsors over the years like 99Designs, Hostgator, Upwork, Skross and more. Some I approached, others approached me and it’s been a brilliant source of revenue to not only fund the costs of running a podcast but as a revenue stream all in itself.

Podcasting Realities

You have to go all in, or not at all.

Sure you can start out like I did, with my laptop, Skype and no fancy microphone and do just fine, but if you want to be top of class you need to up your game as you grow.

I’m talking great equipment – I use the Zoom H6 Handy Recorder and an external Schuh Microphone.

I outsourced editing within the first month knowing this wasn’t where I wanted to spend my time. And it was a brilliant investment.

Over time as I’ve learned more and done more with my podcast, it’s meant hiring more people to help with show notes, content upgrades, formatting, images and hosting.

Our SOP (standard operating procedure) for editing and producing a podcast – which is also a full Asana template for our team now, is impressive and something I’m so proud we’ve built.

But it sure does take time, effort and money.

I asked Rolly, who’s been my amazing podcast editor since January 2014, to total his hours worked on my podcast and it’s approximately 1,200 hours to date!

Batching recording my podcasts in advance has helped a great deal too, meaning you can take time off, go on holiday or simply not worry about scrambling last minute to get an episode out…which has happened a lot to be fair!

Sponsors were a big part of helping out with covering the considerable costs of running a podcast, which I think a lot of people starting out underestimate.

To date I’ve earned over US$100,000 in sponsorships.

That is amazing in itself, as are the relationships you forge with the sponsors.

Podcast Guests Really Make a Great Show

I’ve been privileged to interview some amazing guests when it was the Suitcase Entrepreneur and these have made a huge difference to the quality of my shows, my reach and also credibility.

While I never assumed those I interviewed would share my show (although many did), just being able to put their name as a guest on your show gave you instant kudos.

I also loved interviewing those folks who were up and coming or just doing really cool stuff but were not ‘big names’ or influencers, because frankly they were in the thick of it all and told it as it really was.

Their stories resonated even more with my listeners, because they could relate.

Here are the TOP ranked Suitcase Entrepreneur Podcasts:

I finished my Suitcase Entrepreneur interview series on Episode 300 and that felt awesome.

Switching to a New Podcast Format

In January 2017 I switched over to a narrative style format and rebranded to Quest for Freedom when I also switched over to posting more on this new website and moving away from The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

I’d fallen in love with this format after listening to Startup by Gimlet Media and loving the storytelling and seasonal aspect of their podcasts.

Of course they had built an entire company to produce quality podcasts and had a whole team of editors, journalists and writers behind them but I figured I could do my own version and I was a bit ‘over’ the interview format that so many people do.

In April 2016 I went on my sabbatical and took a three month break from all content creation and my business. This didn’t affect things too much but I did quite like the break from having to come up with themes for the season and all the research.

Turns out narrative podcasts by yourself are much more work than interviewing fab people!

I navigated away from seasonal podcasts to more topical themes so mindset, meditation, productivity etc.

This helped me get my head around what to focus on, otherwise I could talk on all sorts of topics!

Losing My Podcast Mojo

Post my sabbatical was, incidentally, also around the time I realized my enthusiasm and desire to produce high quality content for free (but at my investment) week in and week out was waning.

And so it leads me to this moment in time, when I can quite happily walk away from seven years of committing to this amazing medium that has brought me so much joy, happiness and personal growth.

It’s also brought me new friends, connections and insights with incredible entrepreneurs and taught me a level of work ethic and discipline like batching and organizing well ahead of time, that’s permeated every aspect of my business.

It’s been profitable and pleasurable.

For now though, I’m looking forward to listening to other people’s podcasts and appreciating just what goes into theirs.

At some point in the future I have ideas for new and more targeted shows, but for now I’m hanging up my podcast boots with gratitude to all my listeners and supporters who made me want to turn up for 7 years and hit publish.

The great news is you can forever listen to the 48 Episodes of Quest for Freedom right here, the first 300 Episodes on the Suitcase Entrepreneur here.

How to be a super productive person

What does being more productive mean to you?

Being productive doesn’t mean sitting and working for eight straight hours. You’ll burn yourself out!

There are other ways to maximize productivity. For instance, cutting out distractions and turning off email notifications.

Many of us are looking for ways to live a more productive life, that’s why in this episode, I’ll share 17 strategies you can employ today to have an exceptionally productive 2018!

Key resources:

  • TeuxDeux is a simple designy to-do app for the Web and iPhone.
  • LeechBlock NG is a simple productivity tool: an extension for the Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome web browsers designed to block those time-wasting sites that can suck the life out of your working day.
  • Freedom blocks distracting websites and apps across all your Mac, Windows, and iOS devices so you can focus on what matters most.
  • Pomodoro Secrets To Productivity Freedom
  • Upwork is an online community of talented virtual workers from around the world who want freelance work, and companies who need their skills.
  • Want to learn exactly how to make your first hire in less than 30 days and start delegating work you dislike doing, shouldn’t be doing or frankly can’t do? Let me show you exactly how in Outsource Like a Rockstar.
  • Toggl: Hassle-free time tracking so your business runs like clockwork.
  • Why you need your own Personal Assistant

 

Delegate your to-dos

Behind every successful entrepreneur is a team they delegate the work they don’t love to, so that they can focus on the things they do love.

I found my first Virtual Assistant, Margaret, in February 2012. I hired her just two weeks before I headed off on my 6,500 cycling expedition down the east coast of Africa, which meant I’d be offline for over two months.

At first I had concerns about if she could handle the job, what if she screwed up, what if she stole my work or screwed up my customer relations….and then I got over myself, trusted in her and left her to run my business for two months while I cycled through an astounding continent!

Outsourcing was a necessity for me, and since then I have hired over 30 contractors throughout the years to help me, not only run my business, but to grow it, and to make sure I get out of the way when needed.

If you want more time and money, outsourcing is the key.

And it starts with delegating your daily to-dos so you can start to see the immense freedom that comes from stepping aside and giving up control of all the things you just shouldn’t be doing.

In this episode I talk about:

  • The ONE big tip that transformed my life and my business
  • The best way to figure out what you should delegate in the first place
  • My method for choosing who you should hire first

There’s a lot of juicy goodness in this podcast so listen up and take notes!

Key resources:

If you want to learn how to let go of your huge to-do list by hiring the right people to do it for you, and then set up your systems to build your dream team in 30 days or less, then check out my course:

If you want to learn how to let go of your huge to-do list by hiring the right people to do it for you, and then set up your systems to build your dream team in 30 days or less, then check out my course: OUTSOURCE LIKE A ROCKSTAR 👉 http://nataliesisson.com/outsource

If you’re not quite ready to take this seriously and start delegating right away, then at least figure out what it is that is overwhelming you by writing it down using my free template – it will be a game changer for you, once you see all the work you’re doing that you should be outsourcing.

Download the Four Lists to Freedom Template for free here

How to have a great night’s sleep

Are you getting a great night’s sleep or are you consistently sleep deprived because you’re on your smartphone or laptop too late?

I’m definitely guilty of working from a laptop in bed, or checking my phone before I go to sleep and I’m not proud of it.

But since I’m on a mission to uncover life-changing habits and routines that let you reach your full potential and give you true freedom, I’ve been consistently getting in the habit of turning off all devices by 7pm each night.

And guess what? My sleep and quality of sleep has improved a ton!

An article published in The Independent shows: “In a study of 10,000 16 to 19-year-olds, researchers in Norway found that the longer a young person spent looking at an electronic screen before going to bed, the worse quality sleep they were likely to have.”

The problem comes from the short bursts of excitement you get when consuming social media….yes they designed it to be addictive and to give you hits of dopamine. 

Dopamine motivates you to continue to replicate the original behaviour that made you feel pleasure – such as repeatedly clicking on social media posts or sending text messages.

The problem with this is that too often we can find ourselves trapped in a spiral of seeking more gratification.

Laptops, tablets and phones all emit a blue light which illuminates the screen. This blue light suppresses the body’s production of the hormone melatonin.

This hormone is essential in order for us to feel sleepy. Alaska Sleep Clinic believe: “The light emitting from these devices is similar in wavelength to daylight and can trick your circadian rhythm into believing it’s daylight and delay the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep”.

A delayed release of melatonin means it will take you longer to fall asleep.

In this episode I talk about:

  • What is dopamine and what it does to you
  • Several ways to get a really good night’s sleep
  • Key apps to use to minimize the effect your screen has on you

Key resources to check out to overcome your fear:

If you want to reclaim your evenings back, then check out my vlog on how to do that with this nightly routine

Want to get fresh podcast episodes from me, as and when they happen?

Then make sure you SUBSCRIBE through one of the following:

How to Stop the Comparison Game

Have you ever scrolled through, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to see a friend or peer doing awesome things? Except, instead of feeling happy for them, you feel instantly envious or depressed? It happens to all of us, unfortunately, and it all has to do with this little thing called The Comparison Game.

Scrolling the Instagram feed has the ability to make me feel like I’m not enough, in an instant. So much so that I’ve stopped enjoying this app like I used to.

I value it as a connection and business tool, but I’m tired of seeing the perfectly curated photos that only show one side of that person’s life – the one that makes you feel like you’re inadequate and your life is dull or even sucks.

YOUR aim in life should be to be the very best version of yourself, by focusing on what you do best and love to do.

So why do we all consistently compare ourselves against others?

Why do we look at people who are 3, 5 or even 10 years ahead of us in business and in life and get completely dejected that ‘we’re not there yet’ or that we pale in comparison.

This destructive habit has to stop!

You can’t even begin to know what’s behind their journey, what it took for them to get to where they are now. But you can learn from them, and emulate the great things they do, so long as you don’t try to measure up against them.

Remember, there is always someone doing better than us in something but instead of comparing yourself, concentrate on where you’re at and what you’ve achieved.

In this video, I share:

  • Five ways to stop comparison game for good
  • Difference between competition and comparison
  • How to replace negative thoughts to positive thoughts
  • An exercise you can do to stop negative thoughts

 

Magical Month of May

I think the month of May is going to be magical. It’s that time of the year when there are no excuses to really dive into the important work and achieving your business and lifestyle goals.

I’ve been getting mentally and physically prepared to smash my goals which are:

  • Daily meditation and movement (through tennis, boxing, crossfit, walking, weights or yoga)
  • Clean eating 80% of the time (off to buy food for my meal plan now!)
  • Make my first revenue with my new ecommerce business with boutique dog products.

How will May be Magical?

I’m pretty focused on what I need to do to make this happen, but I also know if you want to stick to a habit and achieve your goals you need:

1) a really clear vision for how your life will be better alongside
2) external accountability to keep you on track when you falter.

So for my first goal I’ signed up to Mindful in May. You can still join me, but do so quickly, if you want to:

  • reduce the stress in your life
  • learn how to communicate more calmly
  • be better at calming yourself when you’ve been emotionally triggered
  • stop worrying so much and start being more present in your life
  • be more focussed so you can work more efficiently
  • get better at switching off and stopping the mind chatter

Mindful in May is like a personal training program for your brain, where you’ll be training to be more focussed, calm and effective in all areas of your life!

What I like about it is, that regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner or a more experienced meditator you’ll really experience a transformation. I know from just doing 5-10 minutes a day of meditation for the last 4 months, I already feel more grounded.

For goal 2) I’m properly committing to a fitness and nutrition program I invested in a few months back and following the easy and efficient food plan this week.

Then from next week we’ve signed up to MyFoodbag, which is a cool service here in New Zealand that delivers you the exact amount of healthy food you need plus four dinner recipes, so you just have to cook!

And finally for 3) just hosting the $3K in 3 Months Freedom Lab is ensuring I turn up daily to release lessons on what I’ve learned, do my research and share all my experiences with the members who are building their first ecommerce business alongside me.

If that ain’t accountability and responsibility plus massive incentive, I don’t know what else is.

In this episode I talk further about:

  • My 3 focuses for this month ahead
  • The two books I love that have made a big difference in my life last month
  • A calendar blocking technique that’s allowing me to juggle 3 business projects that you might like!

If you prefer video,  I shot this episode as a Facebook Live for you inside our Freedomist Collective group.

Catch it here now.

Key resources to check out to overcome your fear:

Want to get fresh podcast episodes from me, as and when they happen?

Then make sure you SUBSCRIBE through one of the following:

Unclutter Your Life

Do you need to unclutter your life? Are you bogged down by too much stuff? Are you spending money on things you just don’t need?

Well then, let me tell you that if you choose to unclutter your life you will actually feel lighter, more joyful and more personally and financially free.

In an earlier podcast I covered off on the Art of Minimalism and all it’s benefits.

I practiced this for seven years when I lived out of my suitcase and those were some of the most freeing years of my life.

I had a rule. If I bought something new – an item of clothing or a toiletry item for example, then something had to be taken out to accommodate it.

That thing that I was ‘releasing’ would be donated, sold or given away to a friend I was visiting, and if they didn’t want it, I asked them to give it to someone who needed it most.

The result was I rarely bought anything I didn’t truly need, value or love. It was such a good feeling.

And those are still my three criteria now we have a gorgeous property and large house, that we could easily ‘overfill’ with too much stuff.

I also have three questions that I like to ask myself for any new purchases:

  1. Where would this live?
  2. What am I going to do with it?
  3. What is it replacing?

In this podcast I go into more detail about how those questions immediately help you to make better decisions. I also cover off on:

  • How to unclutter your house, one room at a time
  • Why buying new things may be covering up a deeper unmet need
  • How these three questions can help you before you even buy something new

Resources to help you Unclutter:

Read: Oprah – 10 Ways to Declutter Your Life

Take Uncluttered – A 12 week course and community, Uncluttered is designed to open up space in your life for the things, activities, and people that are most important to you.

Want to get fresh podcast episodes from me, as and when they happen?

Then make sure you SUBSCRIBE through one of the following:

Getting Rid of Energy Vampires

Did you know all of us have vampires in our lives.

No, not the ones you see in Twilight, I’m talking about the ones who suck all the energy out of you, leaving you drained and unhappy in life.

The trouble is they come in all shapes and forms – friends, family and peers, which makes it harder to deal with them.

But when you do eliminate these energy vampires from your life you’ll achieve more, be happier and have more energy than ever.

In this vlog, I share:

  • Four ways to let go of the vampires in your life.

To start living more of your perfect days download my FREE guide.

3 Steps to Living Your Perfect Day

In it, I take you on a 3-step journey that helps you to uncover your ideal lifestyle, figure out what matters to you most in life, and plan out how to make this a reality.
This is no ordinary guide!
I’ve built-in exercises to do to make sure you start living more of your perfect days within weeks.

What Causes Fear and Why It’s a Good Thing

So there’s something important you’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but fear is holding you back.

Maybe it’s quitting your job to launch a new business, asking out that special person you’ve had a crush on for years, or even standing up to someone who has wronged you.

You know what you need to do, and you know it will help you to grow, but you can’t quite do it.

There’s a weight inside you that is stopping you from taking action, but what if this isn’t completely a bad thing?

In this episode I talk about:

  • Why we feal fear
  • Six ways to test and measure whether or not your fear is helpful

Key resources to check out to overcome your fear:

Want to get fresh podcast episodes from me, as and when they happen?

Then make sure you SUBSCRIBE through one of the following:

How to make your weekends last longer

Each week you find yourself waiting, no longing, for the weekend. Come Monday morning you wonder, “Where the heck did the weekend go?”

And at the same time you realize you barely made it through your mile long to-do list, let alone had much down time.

This happens to most of us, but it doesn’t have to. There are ways to make your weekends feel longer and more fulfilling.

In this vlog, I share tips on how to extend your weekend, what freedom Friday is and the benefits of taking more time out for yourself!

I’d love to hear how you’ve extended your weekend in the comments below.

Want to take it a step further and Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year in less than two hours? I’ve created an awesome online workshop to make sure you use your year in the best possible way, and grow and scale your business effortlessly in 2018 by focusing your time, money and efforts on the RIGHT things so you can enjoy your ideal lifestyle.

Plan Your Ideal Freedom Year

In less than 90 minutes I will 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.
  • BONUS #1: You’ll get my awesome Content, Marketing and Editorial Calendar template to use to plan out your amazing year.
  • BONUS #2:  You’ll get a PDF summary handout and list of handy tools I cover off on.