Well….2018 you have been “interesting”!
After 3 years as a digital nomad – buying a house in Spain and creating a different life for myself kicked off some serious ‘I’m not good enough’ thoughts in my head.
This was all aimed at my personal life – around making friends and integrating into an offline community again.
It was like being handed the keys to my new house and at the same time they said – “here you go, here’s a box of emotions you’ll need for this transition. Good luck you’re gonna need it!!”
Yep – turns out transitioning from full time travelling the globe to a homeowner in Spain wasn’t going to be quite as straightforward (internally) as I had expected.
I was faced with the biggest “I’m not good enough” stories in years.
Last time I had a home and did ‘normal’ it didn’t work out.
You won’t fit in. People won’t ‘get’ you. You’re different. You won’t find ‘your people’.
OMG achieving this goal of buying a home in Spain was triggering me in ALL the ways.
Hello stuff. I was 100% NOT expecting you.
Every time I got any support or advice it was along the lines of….
For your business to grow to the next level you have to first focus on the personal. Self-love is your focus next.
That message was loud and clear.
And then – the worst thing happened.
My “I’m not good enough” story starting oozing into my business!!
This is so annoying to write about now, looking back, because it was so frustrating (and unnecessary).
When you want to take action – yet you know you are being ‘encouraged’ to slow down, to focus on the personal, to release some stuff – that’s a very frustrating place to be.
Whilst in that space I felt so disconnected from my business – and that has never happened. I didn’t like that.
I knew in some bizarre way that this was growing pains. It was time to take a really good look at my business, move out of ‘business as usual’ mindset’ and see what was needed next.
I knew I had to trust…and be patient.
Not something I find easy. I am not a patient person!
Yep, that’s how my 2018 has been.
This all started because I had achieved my biggest, boldest dream of all – to create a business that I could run from anywhere in the world.
Then – realising the next stage of that dream was to have a base, actually a home that I loved, to create a life for myself in one place (and yes still travel).
It was like wow I can achieve these big dreams….and here’s your flaws and ‘stuff’ that needs resolving!
Who knew to achieve your dreams was so confronting??!
The space of not taking action taught me a lot, especially trust and patience!
It has been so frustrating (and frustration can actually be a good thing sometimes – this was definitely highlighting stuff I needed to see).
I have cancelled launches and not sold offerings because here’s the thing, I HAVE to feel connected to what I’m creating or teaching, if I don’t I just can’t get behind it.
There was something I needed to see – and that clever Universe wasn’t letting me free until I got it!
Here’s what I did (and didn’t) achieve in 2018
What I DID achieve
- Brought a house and moved to Malaga, Spain!
- Completely re-decorated
- Led 2 LIVE BIG Masterminds with incredible women
- Had my biggest launch yet
- Brought back my 1:1 Mentoring offering
- Hosted my first in-person LIVE BIG Intensive at my house in Spain
- Continued to grow the Wildly Successful Society
- Booked 2 speaking events for 2019 (one in Australia and one in Spain)
- Travelled to Canada for a business retreat and made some amazing friends in the process
- Created my first ‘physical product’ – my 90-day purposeful productivity daily planner (after being asked for years for it by my community). Check it out here.
- Took way more time off from my business
- Hit the same financial figure as 2017 but worked less
- Got clarity around my business model for 2019
The Still to Do’s
- Write my book. I just had no headspace so it never made it into any of my monthly plans. 2019 goals!
- Learn Spanish – no headspace people, no headspace. 2019 goals!
- Update WSS members vault. The ‘I’m not good enough’ stuff massively showed up here and having the alignment and passion back for this is making me very happy. I also now realise that my business model needed a tweak which is the reason the changes didn’t happen
- Even though I have joined a gym I haven’t managed to get as fit and healthy as I had hoped – I know this will happen in 2019 now the ‘stuff’ has been sieved through!
My 3 Biggest Lessons from 2018
It’s been a year of personal growth….
Lesson 1 – This IS the journey
No matter where you are on your journey there will always be more inner work to do. You don’t arrive having done the work – there will always be ups and downs, ebbs and flows, lessons and learnings.
Growth spurts and stages of being in maintenance mode – That is the journey. The entrepreneurial roller coaster in full swing. The sooner we embrace that and stop trying to ‘get somewhere’ the easier it is to ride the waves as they come, knowing it’s all part of it!
I talk about being in the ‘experimentation phase’ in business a lot. This is where you get to embrace IMPERFECT ACTION, and experiment to see what works. Turns out we are always in that phase!
This is the journey. It will always be throwing stuff at us so that we can keep learning and keep growing. Growth and learning always lead to good things so hold tight and trust you will come out the other side a better version of yourself, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time!
My seatbelt is back ON and I’m roller coaster ready! Business as usual is over….
Lesson 2 – Trust (with everything you’ve got!)
Trust everything is happening for a reason. Not being able to take the action I wanted to take, and instead slow down and re-align is important to get me to where I’m going. I really had to trust that not taking the planned actions was, in fact, the right thing for me, even though it felt soooooo uncomfortable.
I know that the reason I wasn’t able to follow through on some of my plans is that they weren’t quite right. I am now going to be changing a few things – purely to give my customers a better experience, and that feels so good. The alignment is back.
Trust Yourself. I did a lot of spiralling with ideas and I tried seeking external validation all over the place, but to really drop into that space of fully trusting myself feels so good again. You know what lights YOU up, you know enough about getting results for YOUR clients. Trust Yourself.
Lesson 3 – Alignment is more important than strategy (for me)
I think I could write a whole blog post on this subject alone (and maybe I will).
Feeling aligned with what you are promoting matters more than whether you are following the ‘right’ strategy or launching the ‘right’ offering. If you are connected and excited you’ll more than likely succeed.
Yes, there are strategies we can follow but with the way the online world is (overcrowded and very noisy), real connected businesses are what matter. If my energy is off then that comes across in my business. No matter what others tell me, If I’m not aligned – it ain’t happening.
Taking back control of some of the things I had previously outsourced might not be a strategic move, but being aligned and connected means I get my mojo back, and that is a strategy I can get behind.
Without a doubt, my biggest lesson this year is that alignment is more important than strategy (for me and where I’m at).
Side note: I interviewed an amazing and ‘keep it real’ millionaire business owner, Denise Duffield-Thomas a few weeks ago (listen in here she dropped SO many brilliant messages) and my lightbulb moment from that was to keep things simple.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON 2018
I’m pleased to say that I did the work, I slowed down, I went inwards, I sat still and now I am feeling so excited, passionate and connected again to where we are heading next.
I am definitely not someone who can just sell something without really being aligned with it.
I care a lot – and that’s ok.
I can remove myself from my business more but it doesn’t feel good – it’s ok to take back tasks others are outsourcing.
I like being in the trenches with my ladies, celebrating their wins and holding them up in their times of doubt.
I am a people person. I need that connection. My focus now is to find the balance around having a freedom business that I still feel massively connected too.
I already have a tried and tested process and business.
And yes I am good enough, just as I am (anyone else getting the Bridget Jones line??!). Ha ha.
Here’s to 2019 and rocking life. My word for the next year is to SHINE BRIGHT.
Grab your sunnies people!
Big love, Jo xx
How I can help you in 2019
In January I’ll be offering a LIVE round of my new course Purposeful Productivity – only my best tools, plus HEAPS of support to get you more ‘productivity queen’ than ‘procrastination queen’! To kick it off I’ll be hosting a free webinar in January. Keep your eyes peeled for more info.
So there’s a lot of talking right now about 2019 – how you want to be feeling this time next year, what your goals are. All the big annual stuff.
Today I wanted to share the one thing I do BEFORE I plan out my year to better set me up for success.
This simple process will completely change the goals that you set for yourself. You’ll be goal setting from a completely different energy (and headspace) and that’s really important.
The goal isn’t just to set goals – it’s to set the right, purposeful, intentional goals. The ones that will light up your soul and lead to fulfilment.
There is a whole process around setting goals – but this step is what I want you to focus on BEFORE you get to the goal-setting stage.
Here’s an example of what I mean:
If I took a couple of hours this afternoon to think about what I want to achieve next year I think the first thing my mind would do was say…
“You didn’t nail this year”
“You played small this year”
“You didn’t achieve X, Y, or Z”
Blah Blah. Yadda Yadda.
However, I have found that if I do a few exercises before I get to this stage I am in a way better state of mind for the planning part and will set completely different goals.
It’s important to set your annual goals from a high vibe state, rather than a panicked, ‘didn’t achieve’ state.
Here is the exact process I go through before planning out my annual goals:
I treat myself to a ridiculously powerful journaling session – honestly I take my ladies through this everytime we plan annually and every time we all leave this session with big smiles on our faces feeling a little bit more epic than when we started!
Step 1 – Set aside an hour, distraction-free. Maybe take yourself to your favourite cafe, the park or put on your favourite chilled out tunes. You’ll need a notepad and pen.
Step 2 – Go through the following questions in a notebook (you will be surprised how good you feel afterwards)
Here are the questions to ask yourself:
– What amazing things have I achieved so far this year? (Big and small). Give yourself a high five. Success builds momentum…..
– What did I want to achieve but didn’t? Be honest, why didn’t you? This is about gaining self-awareness because without it you can’t change things.
– How did I limit yourself and how can I stop doing that in 2019?
– What product/service /offering had the most success? If 20% of your efforts bring in 80% of your results it’s good to be aware of this info!
I guarantee you will be feeling VERY different about next year once you have taken 20 mins to answer the above questions.
Love Jo xx
I’m keen to share my latest experiment with you – it’s been SO interesting!
First up – I did it – I completed my September challenge which was to move my ‘beautiful’ body every day (yes I did have to add in the word beautiful because I don’t often call it that!).
At the end of August I wasn’t feeling good, really struggling with fatigue and had completely lost my mojo.
When I hosted the September monthly planning workshop for my Wildly Successful Society members, I asked them the question ‘How do you want to be feeling at the end of the month?
I realised I wanted to be feeling ALIVE – so I choose that as my word of the month.
Moving my body was pressure free. Yes there were about 100 other habits I wanted to implement at the same time but I have tried the ‘this month I’ll do all the things’ approach and as we all know….
IT DOESN’T WORK!
Keep it simple. That was my goal. That’s why I achieved it.
Moving my body looked different depending on how I was feeling and what my daily schedule looked like.
Some days it was a slow walk and a paddle in the sea (as long as I hit my 10k steps a day it didn’t matter what the exercise was).
Some days it was PT session at the gym.
Some days I did the couch to 5k program.
Some days I hiked up to the castle (so steep!)
Most days I was up before the sun was:
My mastermind buddy and Mindfulness Coach Andrea Featherstone from Project Self suggested I try doing my daily walk or run without listening to a podcast or music because being present with your 5 senses makes you….happier.
So I’ve spent 30 days every single day having between 30 and 90 minutes ‘mindful exercise’ and to be honest when I was wrapping up on Sunday and looking back on my challenge I realised there were THREE unexpected outcomes from the 30-day move my body daily experiment.
UNEXPECTED BONUS #1
I felt ridiculously empowered. There is something pretty special about taking control of your day / time / habits. I know this, its part of my work, but after a few months of being here there and everywhere it felt so freakin good to take back control and decide how I wanted to show up for my daily life. So benefit #1 – feeling way more empowered.
The second thing I didn’t expect was the mindfulness that came out of this whole challenge. Taking yourself on a daily walk, along a beautiful seaside coast with the sun rising and no noise to distract your mind turned into my daily (informal) meditation too. And as Andrea (Mindfulness Coach) shared, meditation is known to make you feel happier. And surprisingly, I did!
The third bonus was getting my mojo back and feeling inspired and excited about my business again. I LOVE feeling like this! I know we can’t always be in that place, and it’s tough when you’re not, but when you are….it rocks like a rocky thing!
The whole experiment was good in so many ways, but these three things were totally unexpected and have blown my mind around the power of keeping it simple, and the beautiful RIPPLE EFFECT.
1st October and I got up and went for my morning walk at 7.15am – even though I no longer had to as part of the challenge!
Habits are powerful. Empowering. And the ripple effect of where else in your life they benefit us is well worth the effort (big understatement right there).
Hopefully, this has inspired you to pick a habit to focus on and see what comes of it.
My top tip: Keep. It. Simple!! (i.e Pick one habit at a time to implement!).
My October focus is to keep up the daily movement and add in a more formal meditation practice too.
Having a home after 3 years nomad’ing is proving so good for this little non-routine girl!
Here’s to us!
Love Jo xx
How I worked 2 days a week for a whole month (and didn’t earn less money)
A few of you have asked me to share more details of my latest productivity experiment where I decided to work 2 days a week – for a month!
From the middle of July, for 4 consecutive weeks, I had heaps of fun, family and travel stuff planned. My sister and family were visiting Spain, then I was back to the UK for a family catch up (plus 5 nights camping for a festival), so when I looked at my calendar I knew I needed some kind of STRATEGY to survive!
I made the decision to go on a productivity experiment and work for just 2 days a week.
The purpose of the experiment was to embrace either being in work mode, OR being in play mode. Not a bit of both at the same time.
Which I confess, I do a lot.
Full Disclosure – this wasn’t actually planned far in advance so I didn’t set myself up for this. My business is 5 years old now and I have systems, processes and a team in place to make this a little easier without too much pre-planning.
To be clear – I had to drop a lot of things to make this happen.
I just decided it was worth it.
Turns out I got a lot more from the experiment than just enjoying being present with my friends and family.
Below I’m sharing some of the lessons and tools I used. Maybe try a little experiment for yourself and see what happens!
The Tools I used
- Asana: I have all my projects and tasks in Asana.
- My iPhone: I generally try to work from my laptop rather than my phone, but for this experiment, I checked in from my phone – for ease.
How I managed Emails and Social Media
I did do a 30 minute check in every day, which I tried to do in the mornings, to make sure there was nothing urgent that I needed to deal with. My main priorities for the month were my 1:1 clients and my WSS members. I was in maintenance mode (although I did actually have a FB campaign happening to sell one of my programs managed by my awesome FB Ads lady!)
How I switched off
The whole experiment was based around being fully present with whoever I was spending time with (and not thinking about stuff I hadn’t done!).
Therefore, it was super important for me to have a clear plan for when I WAS working (that bit is important – when you are working fewer hours, the less decision making you have to do the better).
So I always knew what I had to do when I was in ‘work mode’. If that hadn’t been the case I would not have got anywhere near as much done.
I actually think this is why it worked so well – I knew ‘what’ and ‘when’ so my mind could let it go.
FREEDOM COMES THROUGH….DISCIPLINE
Again learning just how true this statement is!
How I got everything done
On the two days that I was working, I had to show up for client calls, I chose to batch my clients so that I could take full days ‘OFF’.
In between the client sessions, I had Asana letting me know anything I HAD to do, but honestly, mostly I just didn’t do everything and gave myself permission for that to be ok.
My FB page was already taken care of so content would still be going out consistently there.
I didn’t show up in the FB groups I’m usually connecting in, I didn’t share much on Instastories – because the big reason for doing this was to be more present and ‘off’.
Something I am not always brilliant at, but I fully embraced it and it felt soooo good.
I know how powerful that is and I just don’t think we do that enough when we work for ourselves. Stepping back. Switching off. Playing.
In short, I didnt get everything done. I did what had to be done. That’s the thing about working considerably less than usual – you get super clear what is actually important.
You get CLEAR on your priorities….which is really big.
The short term benefits
– How I felt. I felt amazing! I loved the time I spent with friends and family (and the WSS meet-up I hosted in Leeds!).
– The inspiration that came around my business, I started getting excited about it again. I still parked the ideas and insights for when I was back in full action mode, but it felt good to have the creative juices flowing again.
– I dropped the addiction to checking my FB notifications which had crept back in. I’m now back to having notifications for everything turned off and checking in at specific times throughout the day instead, which serves me and my business WAY better.
Leeds Meet up with some of my Wildly Successful legends…..
The long term benefits
Writing this about 3 weeks after the experiment ended I can say that I most definitely found a new zest for my business. Stepping back was so good for me! It helped me re-connect to what lights me up, which has resulted in me giving my business a big shake up!
Watch this space on that one – the stepping back gave me room to see that I was resisting stepping into the bigger mission for my business. I’m sure I will be sharing more about this along the way.
This 2 day experiment was a huge lesson in the value of stepping back – the insights that came through only came BECAUSE of the space I gave myself and taking myself out of the day to day norm.
AND…I learned that working less doesn’t mean my business will break!
I’m often trying out productivity experiments and this one ended up being bigger than I expected #businessshakeupinfullswing
How do you feel about working less? If the idea stresses you out, it might be even more reason to start your own productivity experiment!
Come and join us in the Productivity Boosters FB Group if you want some accountability!
So on one of my group mastermind calls recently one of the ladies confessed that she hadn’t actually emailed her list in months!
She has been showing up everywhere else to be fair – but it got me thinking. How many people are avoiding nurturing their peeps because they don’t know what to say?
So I’ve recorded a short video with 3 tips to make communicating with your newsletter list easier.
Listen in here.
Tip 1 – Survey Your Audience
At least once a year I survey my community to find out what their biggest frustrations are. This gives me so much amazing information and future content ideas. AND the best bit is I have it in their language, making it more likely to connect. Ask your tribe what they need help with, they have all the information you need – you just have to ask them. I can guarantee you content ideas for a whole year from this one exercise!
Tip 2 – Create some STRUCTURE or a SYSTEM for sending your newsletter
Those two dirty words systems and structure!
It could be committing to a certain day of the week that you will send your newsletter so you always know that a few days before your actions are to write it. Or having a format that the newsletter is written for example a personal intro, followed by a top tip followed by a quote and then sign off.
If you know you have to find 52 quotes or tips (if you’re sending your newsletter weekly) it’s easier to batch that task ahead of time. Save these in a Google Doc or Word Doc and then just go and grab which one feels right for that newsletter.
Having a system and knowing when you want to communicate with your list will take away decision – and having to make decisions is usually the point where we freeze, have no ideas and go off and do something else!
Remove as many decisions from your day as possible to increase your productivity!
Tip 3 – Be Real
Every time I send a newsletter where I really speak from the heart I always get replies like ‘Jo, you just became a real person to me today thank you for sharing that real thing’. One of my core values for my business is to be authentically me (which gives me permission to be imperfect too!).
I also recommend that you write your newsletter as if you are speaking to ONE person. Have that ideal, perfect client in mind and write directly to her. It will make it seem really personable for the recipient.
So when will you be sending your next newsletter and does it feel a little easier now you have a few strategies?
Love Jo x