I Once Peed My Pants, Because I Was Too Afraid…

Now that’s a fear worth changing!  

 

It all started on the first day of kindergarten when my teacher decided to do what teachers do — she had us all sit in a circle in the middle of the room.  I can’t quite recall what the point of this game was, probably some ice breaker type exercise to learn everyone’s names, but I know it involved raising your hand when your turn came around.  My turn came and went, but I didn’t raise my hand.  I don’t think the teacher appreciated my lack of participation because afterwards the other kids were free to go and I was forced to…“Stay right there, and think about what you did!”.  

 

Sorry Ms Jackson….I am for real

 

Little did she know, I wasn’t trying to be difficult, it was really more about the fear of all the attention it would bring my way. In my teacher’s defense (Sorry, Ms Jackson) I believe she really did think I was being rebellious.  Haha. Me rebellious?  I only WISH I was that cool back then!

 

So while the rest of the class was in the other room enjoying an art project, my punishment was sitting alone in the other room listening as they had all the fun.

 

The worst was yet to come

 

Now, there I was.  All alone in the class – so much for not drawing attention to myself, RIGHT?  I could feel all eyes on me as the others left (or at least that’s how it felt).  But the worst was yet to come! Shy and afraid to get in trouble again,  suddenly “nature called” (quite urgently I might add), but I stayed frozen in the spot she left me and didn’t say a word. And well… accidents, they will happen.

 

I’m pretty sure even the kids in my class don’t know the full story, so, why the heck am I telling you?   

 

I’m sharing this because it was embarrassing, humiliating even — but ultimately FUNNY (at least it is now after all these years).    .

 

Funny, Not Funny

 

But what’s not funny is how sometimes similar fears can still crop up after so many years.  A lot has changed and I’ve “come out of my shell” as they say but when it comes time to proverbially raise my hand (let’s say by clicking publish on this blog for example) — sometimes, I’m right back sitting in that pee on the floor on the first day of kindergarten.  

 

Now more than ever I don’t want to be trapped by fears.  And I don’t want you to be trapped by them anymore either.  That’s why I’m sharing this embarrassing story, to say to my fears they don’t run the show.

 

“That Don’t Make No Sense”

 

When you think about it, what’s more embarrassing? Raising my hand to respond or being singled out for not participating and then being discovered a half hour later soaking in my own pee scared to make a move?  Not a hard decision in hindsight, right?

 

Everyday, I’m full of new ideas — they are pressing me for an outlet, but more often than not I’m still that frozen little boy, wetting himself because he’s too shy to engage for fear of whatever his little mind thinks is scary or uncomfortable.   

 

Will I draw unwanted attention?  Will I not know the answer?  Will I look stupid? Will I say the wrong thing? (Judging by this post we can pretty much confirm that I might — who wants to read about peeing yourself? haha)

 

I don’t think about that little boy too much these days.  But the fears can be comically the same. I’ve come so far, but it’s so easy to get tripped up by the same things that don’t matter. The cycle continues, but I don’t plan on pissing my pants today, so I’m here writing this to you.

 

What’s your story that you don’t want to share?

 

I’m not saying you have to write it out for the world to see like I did. But you do have to move past it and maybe, just maybe, by reconnecting with it and accepting it, you can let that little boy or girl free from the story to grow up and make new ones.  

 

But just know that to get there you’ll probably make a lot more mistakes too. That’s part of the process.

 

Love that process… rinse and repeat. Emphasis on the rinse, especially if you end up  ‘peeing’ your pants like I did (let’s hope not!).  Then keep growing, because the only true failure is the failure to learn from your mistakes.  


Speaking of mistakes, gotta go before I have another accident ;)  j/k

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

Why Are You Afraid of Change?

 

What if I told you 10 years from now your life would be exactly the same?  Doubt you’d be happy – why are you afraid of change?

Karen Salmansohn

 

I live a relatively stress-free life.  Most days, I wake up at the hour of my choosing and then I  spend the morning meditating, writing and reading.  After that, I check my email and maybe spend a couple hours working on a few key projects. In my free time, I get to help others pursue their dreams, while intermittently tending to various chores and hobbies at home or wherever we may be.  Then when I’m not working with clients, I spend my time hanging out with my hubby, riding through the mountains, visiting markets and eating…lots of eating :).

 

But, It wasn’t always this way.  Several years ago, our lives used to be filled with busy-ness.  Work would start and it would feel like there was no end.  

 

Change began with small adjustments, saying yes to more of the things we wanted to do — no to the things we didn’t.  Finding a team, instead of doing everything ourselves, learning, growing and making mistakes (a lot of those too).  We experimented, made tweaks and changes until we found what worked.

 

Now for the past few years, we  haven’t seen winter.  We even managed to  miss one of the worst ones in 30 years while snow birding in Thailand.  And our plan now is to chase summer as long as we can.

 

I know a lot of people that consider me fortunate, even lucky.  And I get it because years ago, sometimes I looked at other people who had lifestyles similar to mine and thought the same thing too. But I realize now, that the way they live their lives had very little, if anything to do with luck and everything to do with the changes and choices they made.  

 

And I know, maybe sometimes it may feel like change seems hard.  But, if you’re unhappy or dissatisfied now, doing the same thing for the next 10 years, won’t bring you any closer to happiness. So, why continue?  Why would you keep travelling down the same road that leads to your continued unhappiness? Change may feel hard, but I guarantee you, regret IS harder.

 

Don’t be afraid of change.  

 

Be afraid of not changing.

 

Be afraid of the mundane.  

 

Be afraid of a false sense of security.  

 

Be afraid of deferring happiness until tomorrow.  

 

Be afraid of status quos and comfort zones that lull you into states of stagnancy.  

 

Be afraid of the middle ground and avoiding the high road.  

 

Be afraid of well-travelled roads that lead you into decades of ‘sameness’.  

 

Those are the things that quash your potential and hinder your happiness… now AND in the future. NOT change, if anything change is your way to happiness.  

 

It’s UNchanging that leaves things the same.


Of that be afraid… be very afraid!

 

 

 

Photo: An adorable little girl we saw drawing at a winter festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand 

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

The Magic Secret to Gaining Confidence

 

You want it, we all do — that magic secret to slay our fears and go after the things we see others doing, but don’t have the confidence to do.  Well, guess what? I’ve found it and I’m going to share it with you right now…  Wait for it…

 

Go do those things you want to do!

 

Ok, sure I could give you tips on books to read and mini experiments to try. This might help you build up the courage until you work your way up to the so called “big” thing you want to do. But the truth is, at some point you just have to go do the thing –  right?

 

Why not skip the worry?

Here’s my suggestion: Skip all the worry and in between stages and just get out there – give it a shot. What do you have to lose?  

 

No really. What came to your mind when I said that?  What do you REALLY have to lose?   Your pride? Your winning streak? (Are you even really winning right now if you can’t do what you want to do?) Is it your friends? Your family?  

 

The people who truly care about you will either support you, or come around when you prove yourself (or if you fall flat on your face trying).   But if you fall on your face and don’t quit — you’ve just gained a valuable lesson.  

 

Fail Famously

You know who failed a lot, famously? Thomas Edison.  He’s not really that famous for failing now, is he though?  Because, he just kept at it and took that as raw data.

 

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

– Thomas A. Edison

Like him, you can treat the act of trying like an experiment and say ‘There’s one more way not to accomplish my goal — ok, now on to the next one that might be the answer!’

 

My friend and travel addict Chris Guillebeau shared a similar story of his almost fairy-tale type whirlwind idea to see every country in the world. Sure he’s a travel hacker, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t make some mistakes!  In his book, ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’, he shares how he didn’t just get lost his fair share of times, but he double booked tickets, missed the only flight off an island and was pretty much winging it many times by cutting it close to the wire (waiting on visas and passports in the mail).   

 

After following his lead and heading out travelling myself, I’ve had my own fair share of mishaps too.  (Thanks Chris, glad I’m not the only one!)

 

But, you know what we both  experienced from all those mishaps — more confidence, not less — as Chris put it “when something goes wrong, seek to accept it as an investment in learning. Hopefully, you won’t make the same mistake twice… or at least, not over and over.”

 

Let’s face it, mistakes are going to happen anywhere — but life & his blog would be a lot less interesting if everything always went smoothly! In the end he conquered the list of 193 countries and it all started from going to the first one.

 

But, What If…??

 

Do you know what the interesting thing about winging it or trying something you’ve never done is? You start to feel more comfortable outside of your comfort zone.  Well maybe more accurately, you stop worrying so much about your comfort zone. I’m talking about leaving your fears out in the cold —   whether it’s jumping on a plane to a country you’ve never been, starting your own business, or jumping online and posting your thoughts on a blog…  whatever YOUR dream or goal may be.

Along the way you’ll also find, that being open to trying new things spills over into all areas of your life. Soon you are being more assertive.  Or your personality is changing (for the better) and you are looking back to see that you’ve become the person you’ve always wanted to be. You’ve started to achieve all the things you thought you couldn’t when surrounded by that baggage we all like to call comfort.

 

Getting Started

 

If you feel you’ve got to start small, do that. But check in with yourself, because it might take just as much courage to do the small thing as the big thing.

 

Self? Is that you or just fear and worry talking?

 

At the time I first wrote this post, we were just taking what a year before would have been considered a big step — but it felt so comfortable that day.  We gave notice at our apartment, found a new tenant to take over our lease and we were ready to head to Thailand.  And not just for the winter this time.   Sure there were still some minor details to work out, like BOOKING THE TICKETS.  But that’s what I’m talking about, having your ducks in a row isn’t all it’s quacked cracked up to be.  There’s always time to sort out details, but the time to go after your dreams and change your life is NOW.

 

If you’d like some inspiration to find your own quest, I highly recommend Chris’ book, ‘The The Happiness of Pursuit (read that title carefully — clever right?).    

 

Thanks to Chris Guillebeau and people like him that have inspired me, I’m going to bed dreaming a little bigger each day, and I know he would be the first to point out that he wasn’t always that way — he just went for it too.

 

If you  haven’t figured it out yet… there is no magic. You just go out and make your own.

 

*P.S.-  While I’ve been procrastinating on releasing this post, Chris has released another new book this week, ‘Born For This  — How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do.  If there WAS a secret to gaining confidence, reading books would definitely be close to it.   I guarantee it will be worth reading.  Get your copy here.

 

 

UPDATE:  This post is coming to you from Bali, Indonesia where we’ve been staying for the past month. Shortly after I wrote this post (approx 17 months ago) until now — we’ve been travelling around South East Asia eating delicious food, meeting interesting people and being amazed by the world around us.   Many times we’ve reflected on how it all happened and know the biggest factor was making a decision.   We’ve been pinching ourselves almost everyday since.

 

Photo:  This is me, looking pretty confident don’t you think? ;)  

Taken at a lookout over the tea plantations of Doi Angkhang in the north of Thailand.

 

.   

 

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

The I beyond the i….

Managing emotions is a full time job.  I have to be on call as my own encourager, my own best friend, my own life coach, just so when my inner critic shows up, I’m not blind-sided. When I see the idle thoughts and nagging doubts floating around in my mind or staring back at me on the page – it’s easier to recognize the lies and notice the half truths when I’m armed.

 

That’s why I love writing, especially my morning pages.  They help me to practice presence. With them, tied in with my meditation practice, I’m less often wallowing in the disappointment of past regrets or worrying anxiously about the future.  It keeps me aware. Not only of my feelings, but as I write down words, with each pen stroke and between the spaces, I see my thoughts. I hear myself and I find space.  

 

A space to stop, breathe and consider that my thoughts aren’t the only thing standing in the room. In this moment of awareness,  I see my assumptions, my self-projections and the shadow that they cast on the deeper part of myself.

 

They’re like waves in the ocean.  No matter how much they ripple or how swiftly they rise and fall, there’s always a portion of the water that exists beyond what’s happening in the waves… the source beneath.  Funny enough, it’s also the largest, most significant part of the ocean. Interesting – don’t you think?

 

When I stop focusing on the wave of thoughts I find…the real me…the truest part of me –  the ocean.  And this, is my REAL identity.  Amidst all these voices and alter-egos there’s something that transcends.  The version of myself that exists beyond the doubts, fears, thoughts and random voices.

 

The “I” beyond the “i”.  In that place, there’s no more emotions to manage, but a calm where the splashing on the surface isn’t even noticeable once you find yourself within the depth below.

###

Photo is an awesome sunset view we enjoyed on the weekend off the Indonesian island of Bali at Tanah Lot Temple.

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Your past has passed. Now let’s get past that.

Our past has NO impact on us unless we give it new life each morning.

– Steve Chandler


Sometimes when I get an idea, even before it gets a chance to go through a gestation period, it gets aborted.  Not because it’s bad or irrational or even infeasible, but just because it’s my idea. And historically speaking, my ideas have a tendency to start out with a spark of excitement and then quietly peter out.  Like the time I had this burst of inspiration to write a book based on business principles I learned from watching Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.


Every time I’d watch an episode, I couldn’t help but marvel at how much advice about cooking and managing a kitchen hit so close to home for us managing a small business. I extracted so much wisdom and solid principles from the show that I got inspired to reach out to Gordon Ramsay’s PR team and recommend that he turn these ideas into a book on business.  Over the years, I had seen him release a slew of books tied to his culinary skills, but it seemed quite obvious that his expertise went much further than that.


At the time, my thoughts were, if a man at the age of 47 already owns 30+ restaurants is currently featured on 6 prime time shows and has a 69% stake in an empire valued at £67 million — you gotta think he knows a thing or two about business – right?  Anyways, I thought it was a great idea, unfortunately I guess they did not  because I never heard back from them. Oh well, I was already onto my next thought –  ‘Why don’t I just do it myself?’.  And, do you know I spent an entire summer? That’s right – watching and documenting every episode of that show.  I drafted an outline, even had a working title – I put together creative little sections, highlighted quotes from every single episode, but then… NOTHING.


Somewhere along the way, I gave up on it.


Giving up became a part of my story


In my eyes, I had a history of giving up.  I quit jobs, left university before graduating and years later even gave up the opportunity to get a post-graduate certificate in publishing (without even having a degree) to start a magazine that eventually ended.  Even when it came to things I was really passionate about like writing…I would leave that unfinished too.  I started a blog, then neglected the blog (yep, the one you’re currently reading :)).  I also have half a dozen incomplete book ideas, unpublished articles, half designed websites etc.  So in the face of all this seemingly impenetrable evidence, I deemed myself a starter, not a finisher.


But, I digress, back to the book. Months passed, it was the end of the summer and I was already having some serious doubts.  I thought “Maybe too much time has passed and no one would be interested”.  At that time, I had written about the UK episodes (my personal favourites) and Gordon had already moved on to the series’ US version. (which in my opinion was way too Hollywood-ized and dramatic, but, that’s another story).


The point is, after investing a whole summer researching and writing… I…gave…up…AGAIN.  (Not to mention the trees that gave up their lives on all the copies I printed and reprinted)


Just more proof to confirm my story – right?


The crazy thing is on the flip-side of this, there were many things I had finished.  I would venture to guess, even way more than I left unfinished. (After all, I was still running my own business after 10+ years.)


Sure, maybe back then,  I had put that other project on the backburner, but that was the past.  And you don’t have to get over the past to start again.  In my case, all I really had to do was pick up a pen.  And alright, yes, Inner Critic, maybe I did choose to end the magazine. But the truth is, in the beginning I didn’t start it because it was solely my passion, I did it to fill a need.  And for a time it did that.  Now, I’m filling other needs and there’s clearly always more needs to fill.


Our past is just that…passed.


Past means, ‘left behind’, ‘came to an end’, ‘elapsed’. That means it has no life until we choose to revive it..


Why are we still reliving that past?  It has passed!  The past doesn’t have an impact on the outcome, only our thinking does. Especially our thinking about our past — that story, doesn’t have to be our story now.


Knowing this, why not choose to remember the flip side of the story? The positive not just the negative. Let’s give THAT new life each morning instead.

###

Photo is me overlooking the city of Taipei during a typhoon on the 89th floor of Taipei 101.

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Live Less, WORK MORE

I know what you’re thinking, ‘Wait! What?!’ But, this is the rallying cry of this generation, or at least it would be if actions could really speak this is what they would say. So, I propose we make a new law that forces us to work more. This way our intentions will be clear. I mean, why not? It’s the way we design our lives anyway – right? We glorify staying busy. We fill our days with endless amounts of tasks and errands. We pile our lists sky high of to-do’s and expectations. We’re overworked and underpaid and we love it that way – right? No?

 

Hmmm, that’s funny. I would’ve thought that underneath that unfulfilled, dissatisfied exterior are truly happy people. I mean why else would anyone continue on this same well-worn path, stuck in this never-ending rat race, if on some level, they didn’t enjoy it that way?

 

Oh, I get it now! It’s easier to complain than change your life. Which brings me back to my original point: Live less, WORK MORE. No, you still don’t like it? Now, why on earth would you object to a law that will guarantee your situation remains exactly the way it is now – forever? By not changing, isn’t that already what you’re doing? It’s not like you’re going to do anything about it anyways. Given your choices, you’re already keeping the law by your own free will.

 

Sorry, what’s that? Ah, you’re waiting for the right timing? Or right conditions? But if you say, ‘I’m unhappy’, what better time than the present to change things? Or are you waiting to be overworked so much that you end up on a hospital bed or riddled with stress and anxiety?

 

Well then, let me save you the trouble, I’ve been there. One day, fourteen years ago that’s exactly how I abruptly ended my shift … on a stretcher. Overwhelmed by the stress of a high-pressured environment, I started getting persistent chest pains so I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. And sadly, I wasn’t the first or only person to go through health issues due to this job. People in my office were either consistently on sick leave, undergoing treatment for heart conditions or just weren’t enjoying life. For some reason, I don’t remember seeing health condition listed as one of the benefits I agreed to along with my promotion.

 

Are these better conditions for you?

 

Ok, maybe this all does sound a bit preposterous. But, you tell me, which one of us is actually the crazy one? The me that’s suggesting this law or the me that was giving up the life I really wanted to keep it?

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Don’t Just Want More, Expect More

 

A photo posted by Lori Andrews (@theoriginal10cent) on

 

Growing up, I thought everyone used margarine — my grandparents did, and we did — that was my world at the time. It was cheaper. We could have much more margarine than we could have butter, for the same price. How amazing! Quantity trumped Quality. At that age, I didn’t even know about quality, so I couldn’t even have that belief. I just loved margarine, I would spread it on thick and it went down smooth.

One day, I learned the unhealthy truth about margarine. Quantity no longer mattered. I had a similar epiphany about canola oil, cheaper was no longer always better. Quality matters, not only for potentially superficial things like taste, but for health.

Unsettling Discoveries

The most unsettling of discoveries, are these kinds — where the settling was passed down by those who came before you. And you embraced their thinking as your own, unknowingly locking in answers when you had no idea there was a question.

Why settle on margarine? Easy– butter was rationedWhat? Wait! When was this? During the war. Oh maybe, Grandma made this decision out of necessity. Now, we were making it every day automatically because that’s what we knew and let’s face it — it was cheap. I grew up on those little tubs. Once you’ve been settling, it can feel pretty expensive to make the transition especially when you consider the cost of change — like when I started eating more organic food…What? Organic eggs are $6+?

Maybe, I’ve milked this margarine conversation a little too much. But what about the place you’re living in, could you be settling? I’m not just talking about “more” sometimes you’re settling with too much. Could you live with a little less, and be happier? Less house to clean that you don’t need. LESS mortgage. Or just less WORRY

Being Unsatisfied on Purpose

Getting unsatisfied means something a little different to everyone. Sometimes you might even feel guilty for being unsatisfied, maybe you have it so ‘good’ already. Or you say,‘others are settling for x, I don’t really need y.’ And that’s great. To know you can be ok without every single thing you want, that’s a good awareness to have. But, remember it’s not about external measurements, what someone else has or doesn’t have is only one metric. Have you ever been inspired by someone who did something differently? Or you tried something new because you saw someone else do it? Then, you also know that your choice not to settle may just inspire someone else to quit being satisfied with less (or more).

And like that margarine, what we may not know now and may come to know 10 years from now is that initial decision to settle will affect our life expectancy — being unsatisfied may just save your life.

Don’t just want more, expect more. Remember, it’s about quality not just quantity — your quality of life.

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

It’s. Up. To. You.

New Year's in Chiang Mai - Wat Chedi Luang

Happy New Year!  Or as they say here in Thailand, Sawadee Bi Mai! I hope wherever you are in the world you’ve been enjoying some form of fun… reflecting on the past year, looking forward to the new one and enjoying the present moment. For many of us, it’s back to work today – hopefully you enjoy what you do so that’s not a bad thing!

If things are tough right now, know that most often those things are temporary. And if they are good, enjoy it, but remember they can be temporary too… so don’t take anything for granted. Find something, no matter how small it might be and appreciate that… a.k.a. practice being grateful.

Remember, we decide how we will receive the day and how we will perceive it as it ends each night as well. That’s what I love about New Year’s Day and it applies to any average day too. It’s another chance to start again or continue what you started. Or head in a completely different direction. It’s. Up. To. You.


Starting the New Year Off with a Brief Look Back
To start this new year, we thought it might be nice to share some of the posts readers like the most on the blog this year — if you’ve been a subscriber, you may even see one you’ve never seen before as we didn’t have the blog setup to send out via email yet. Oops!  (Side note: Signup here if you want some fear changing thoughts in your inbox)

The posts we picked were not just popular on the blog but were your most recommended on Medium and hey, it turns out they just happen to be great topics to start your new year too! Enjoy.

 

Stop Waiting to be Picked – Choose Yourself
by Nathan Sudds

“If you don’t live in the world of choosing, you live in the world of excusing. ” ― James Altucher

Read Now


Also available in the Better Humans collection @Medium 

 

———-


Enjoy Life Now
by Sherice Sudds

Enjoy life now, this is not a dress rehearsal. – Unknown

Read Now


Also available in the Better Humans collection @Medium

 


————————-

Happy 2015!


Nathan (& Sherice)
Change Fear


P.S.  Don’t forget, because we’re all human, New Year’s Resolutions like habits are fickle things.  IF things fall apart, that’s ok, keep trying!

 

** Photo is from a recent visit to one of Chiang Mai’s many Wats around New Year’s — beautiful lights and the reflection of the pond were a nice way to transition into the new year. 

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

Shut your Inner Critic up, once and for all…

It’s so hard when contemplated in advance, and so easy when you do it.

Robert M. Pirsig

 

It’s true.  When I take a step back and reflect on it – pretty much everything I’ve ever done was much easier for me to do than to think about doing.  The act of doing generally has at least a 50/50 chance of success, while contemplation, at least my contemplation when infused by the thoughts of my Inner Critic has a perceived chance of success equal to ZERO.  And I’m guessing, your situation is probably somewhat similar or you wouldn’t be reading a website with inspiring articles about changing fear.

 

But here’s the thing…the Inner Critic, has a tendency to show up most often when you’re sitting on the fence wondering.  His primary goal is to keep you there and if not there, trapped inside your comfort zones, in the world of can nots and have nots.  Do you want a quick and easy way to get him to shut up?  Do the thing you’re contemplating.  Stop thinking about it and just do it.  Because in the midst of doing it, you’ve robbed him of his whole battleground.

 

For a long time, I didn’t realize this. I would try to muster up enough courage or strength – work on overcoming my fears or handling my emotions. But then I noticed something.  I didn’t really need any of those things to actually do something.  I just needed to take action.  

 

We’ve got things confused and our Inner Critic loves it this way.  We’ve convinced ourselves that there’s something we need to get rid of in order to act or that we need to have certain feelings.  We spend time coddling our emotions and nursing our bruised egos in an effort to stimulate or motivate us.  But all we need to do is act.  

Too much contemplation can often be stagnating.  It keeps you focused on determining feasibility rather than possibility – thinking about IF instead of HOW.  But if you still feel like you really need an answer, I’ll give it to you straight.  YES-it’s possible!  Anything is possible.  So quit thinking, start doing and soon the only conversation will be about ‘how you did it’ ;).

 
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

When Things Fall Apart

Out of Order - John Drake

In the middle of the streak, that’s when it happened — my habit fell apart. I was riding on air, not just metaphorically but physically,I was literally in a plane on my way to my dreams.

 

But habits are fickle creatures. They don’t stick around for long if you don’t pay them much attention.I had been very focused on them since reading the book, Superhuman by Habit. I would stay up late to make sure they all got done before bed or get started really early if I knew the day might be consumed by other things. But, you can only burn the candle at both ends for so long before it comes back to haunt you. And with my trip to Thailand coming up, planning a birthday party for a family member and top that all off with moving everything I had into storage — I was more like torching the candle at both ends! What came next was probably inevitable.

 

To make matters worse, I had just published a post called 500 words on 500 words over at Medium, celebrating the experience and pledging to continue my writing habit after the 30 days were up, but by now, you know that didn’t last long.

 

Restarting the Habit

Today, I’m restarting the habit. I’m not naive enough to think this will be the last time, but I’m determined to not forget this valuable lesson — one that I hope I won’t need to re-learn too many times before it sticks.

 

Here’s what I learned: Habits are easier to continue than to restart.

 

Had I known then what I know now, I would have at least tried the “do it terribly” approach recommended by Claudia Altucher, wife of one of my favorite authors. Maintaining the habit of showing up at the page for writing, or in Claudia’s example showing up at the mat for yoga is 99% of the maintenance — if you decide not to do the yoga after rolling out your mat, that’s ok because at the very least you can pretty much assure yourself you’ll be back the next day to try again. Getting to the paper (or screen) is a big part of the habit.

 

Still, there are times when you may not be able to keep all your habits and goals active — some days, there’s just not enough time for them all.  So in these cases, what should you do?

 

Build a Hierarchy of Habits


My thoughts are to prioritize your habits, so you aren’t tempted to keep some lower priority ones just to have a full checklist and miss out on keeping the most crucial ones active.

 

For example, during my chaotic weeks and even while travelling, I still kept a lot of my other habits active — but writing being so important to my other goals like publishing weekly, and creating — THAT should have taken top priority. Not just for what the habit creates, but for the investment it took to build that routine.


Oh and of course, Facebook at the airport or a movie on the flight can be a nice way to pass some time, but not at the expense of such an important habit. I’m sure there was enough time to write first and still check Facebook later.

Forget Three — Two Strikes and The Habit is Out

If I had to do it over again, I would never have let such an important habit drop. If I missed it once, sure, it’s not great, but as Tynan so adamantly warned me in Superhuman by Habit – “Absolutely never skip twice”.

 

But I didn’t listen. Well that’s not true — sadly I failed with my eyes WIDE OPEN. I guess I had to learn for myself. Looking back, I think I would’ve gone as far as asking Sherice (my wife) to splash water on my face until I got those 500 Words written (Sherice, I’m sure you would have enjoyed that more than me –right? :P ).

 

At the end of the day, I see it was just my willpower that had been zapped from all the activities. If I knew at the time how much effort it would take to get back on the wagon, I probably would’ve done things differently–like get a little less sleep.

 

Sure, you should also get proper rest, as there’s a lot of research that willpower isn’t at its best in these less than optimal conditions. But even a poorly executed habit with lack of sleep is better than letting it drop altogether. Especially, if you’re like me and that chain of x days of success spurs you on.

 

So what do you do when habits fall apart?


First, make sure they are habits you still want in the first place, then if they are — get back on course. And make sure you hold on tight next time, because starting over — isn’t just hard, it’s not guaranteed. If you’re not careful, you could wake up weeks or months from now with nothing more than an intention to get started again.

 

When you do, don’t think about the time lost — just get started. You will be better off than if you don’t.

 

Thankfully, it just took me a week, but every day since has been much harder than before. I believe that will change as I get used to the new time zone and schedule, but even if it doesn’t, I will fight through!

 

Why? Because continuing is ultimately easier than rebuilding when things fall apart.

 

—-

Can you relate?  Follow my ups and downs on Lift, where I’m tracking my own habits and helping motivate others too.   Or Follow me on Twitter (and ask me about a free week of habit coaching on Lift)

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

Life is waiting

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.  

– Joseph Campbell

 

It’s pretty astounding isn’t it?  That our plans would have the audacity to get in the way of what we really want.  Not our parents plans for us, or our bosses plans for us, or even our spouse’s plans for us.  

 

It’s OUR very own plans that get in the way.  

 

Sometimes we like to take the easy route and blame our situation and conditions on “the man” or “the system”.  But the reality is, very rarely is anyone holding us at gunpoint forcing us to commit to the path we’ve taken.  Often times it’s our desire to please or to fit in, that keeps us on the road ‘well-travelled’.

 

Why is that?  Is it because we believe that without someone else’s approval, there is no life waiting for us?  Do we think that ‘they’ are better than us? Maybe there is no they.  Maybe it’s the way we’ve been conditioned, what we were taught to value, thoughts and judgments as a child still echoing and reverberating in our heads lulling us into trance-like mediocrity.

 

“…plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

I gotta be honest with you.  Some days as beautiful as the possibilities appear, I still find myself tied to old plans. Why? Because at the time they sounded so good and the exercise of creating them freed me from an even older  plan.  But maybe that’s all they were intended to do–free me from yesterday’s thinking.  

 

A change of heart or a sudden turn doesn’t have to be the destination, sometimes it’s a part of the directions not the direction itself. Maybe that shift is part of our overall education –  like a grade level in school? Or maybe it’s even smaller — just one of the many subjects that contributes to our overall certificate?  Sound too trite?  My point is, it doesn’t matter what it was or what you thought it was supposed to be –  there could be something even better waiting for you..

 

Life is waiting…

 

I love the idea that it’s waiting…there’s a duality in waiting.  Waiting The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time…OR… Waiting, like serving.  The first waiting is  bittersweet, because although it’s staying there for me – it’s also staying where it is, delaying action. It can’t become a part of me without my willingness to get rid of something else.  

 

The trouble is sometimes it’s hard to let go because we’re not entirely sure that what’s out there will STILL be there waiting by the time we manage to let go.  We’re conflicted by thoughts that we may have missed it or that maybe it’s too late.   But if you knew that it was there and would be there indefinitely, would it make you more eager to let go?  Or would you become complacent believing there’s always tomorrow?

 

Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t tomorrow. I could remind you of the passengers of a Malaysian Airlines flight (a couple of flights now actually)– and all the tragedies and mishaps that have suddenly cut lives short.  But the possibility of that risk shouldn’t be our greatest fear, the even greater fear is that we may become stuck in our indecision.  And the longer we fail to decide, the more the choice fails to matter.  Awareness gets replaced with ignorance… Why? Because we ignored it.

 

Let’s read it one more time…

 

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”  

– Joseph Campbell

 

This reflection isn’t meant to shame us, the quotation itself is filled with hope.  Hope that there is something waiting for us.  A life –if we choose to allow it —serves up our whims, our desires our bliss.  

Isn’t it worth letting go of our plans to have all this?

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

It’s Bigger Than Just You, But It’s Not as Big Without You

Pascal - Domino Effect

*Photocredit:  “Domino Effect” by Pascal via Flickr

 

Life’s not a spectator sport. Or it shouldn’t be. Sometimes I catch myself looking in at aspects of life from the outside and daydreaming of what it would be like to be involved. I read, comment, share, like and mark ‘read later’ all with this autopilot-thinking that I’m a JUST a spectator.

 

Don’t drift off into your own daydream just yet, because I realized something important: That I am ALREADY part of that thing I’ve been dreaming about — without even recognizing it. Facebook wouldn’t be valuable if there weren’t faces in that book. Your favorite author would just be journaling if there was no one there to read it. And inviting someone to send you weekly newsletters, courses and blogs — that’s a privilege you are the gatekeeper of too.

 

Even if it’s an audience of one, you have an important role as curator for the content that enters your life. You decide what gets published, shared, and ultimately consumed by that very exclusive readership – YOU.

 

How seriously would you take that role if it was curator for your favorite blogger? Or the founder of your favorite app? Or the next President of the United States?

 

Start to embrace the idea that you are just as important — be selective on what you take in and be enthusiastic about recommending the things you see as valuable to others in your network.

 

If you think like this, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be looking out, and realize you are doing what you dreamed about and suddenly you’ll appreciate your fellow dreamers looking in.  Those reads, likes, comments and shares they are giving you won’t seem so spectator-like now, will they? They reach out into your world and embrace what you are doing. They are filled with action. With a comforting message that says, ‘we appreciate you’. Embrace it for yourself now. YOU matter — even if you never ship a thing. Maybe you see a theme here, what’s shipping if there is no receiving?

 

Keep dreaming and sharing, but while you do, don’t be afraid to start creating — we’re waiting for you. And if you see a fellow dreamer, I hope you’ll invite them in on this secret too. Life’s not just a spectator sport, but every life deserves a good ‘spectator’ or two.

 

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

Stop Waiting to Be Picked — Choose Yourself

“If you don’t live in the world of choosing, you live in the world of excusing. ”
― James Altucher

 

I’m tired of meeting people who are slaving away for someone else doing work they don’t enjoy for people who don’t appreciate them. If that’s you, don’t stop reading. Not just this post, but just don’t stop finding inspiration that leads you to doing what you love. It’s your life and it’s not worth it to waste it doing something that takes away a little piece of you everyday.

 

Some might say, that not everyone can afford to live this way, but that’s up to you — if you subscribe to that thinking, it’s pretty clear you will end up being the one who can’t.  So the way I see it, if you can get past that hurdle you are probably at least 50% of the way there.

 

What’s the other 50% — experimenting, exploring and maybe more importantly, saying no to things that aren’t what you want.

 

Here’s an experiment you can do right now, if you are working for someone else doing something you don’t enjoy, ask yourself this question: Why don’t I enjoy it?

 

Is it because…

 

  • You have to get up too early?
  • It doesn’t inspire you?
  • There’s no future in it or room for growth?

 


Or worse…

 

  • Do you feel unappreciated?
  • Or taken advantage of?

 


Keep going until you figure out what it is you don’t like about what you are currently doing…

Maybe there’s nothing wrong with the job, it’s just that it’s not what you want to be doing.

 

You want to…

 

  • Make a difference
  • Invest in a dream
  • Be home to spend time with your family
  • Solve real problems
  • Create beautiful things

 

And this job doesn’t give you that opportunity.

 

Whatever it is, zoom in on that feeling — remember it, but don’t get bitter about it. Use it to remind yourself why it’s so important to invest a little time each day in finding your ‘something else’. Maybe you can even start doing it on the side.

If you already have some way to invest not just a little but a lot of time in this — some money in the bank, minimal expenses, or maybe some paid time off — start planning an experiment with that time today.  

 

Instead look for something that…

 

  • Motivates you
  • Gives you some freedom and flexibility
  • Makes a difference
  • Changes lives of those around you

 


Or just doesn’t suck as much as your current job…. you can take it in baby steps, there’s nothing wrong with that!

 

 

There are some trendy words right now in the startup community… like iteration and pivot. These can be good words for you too.

 

First, if you can start small and keep ‘iterating’ which basically means over time creating little improvements to what you are doing — eventually you won’t recognize your life, it’ll be that good.

 

Pivoting may be a more familiar concept, taught by your high school basketball coach — it encourages you to look around from the position you are in and find a new angle to look at the situation. Blocked in one direction, take your idea and look at it another way — suddenly you’ll see a new opportunity.

 

For example, you might have a skill you’ve always seen as pigeon-holing you into a specific job at a specific place — but after reading a book about how people started their own business for $100, you realize you could take that skill or something you love and help other people directly and cut out the middle man. Suddenly the thing that had you stuck, is a strength.

 


I know some of us don’t see our potential at first and we feel like we need someone to believe in us — that’s why we wait for someone to pick us, we need that validation, or at least we think we do.

 

So, here’s what I want you to do — try choosing yourself.  Get a notebook, dedicate it to this idea of choosing yourself and start writing down your dreams and scribbling notes about things you might want to do. Get a book like $100 Startup and read about others who started things they wanted to do with as little as $100 — expose yourself to new thinking. If you don’t like reading, find an audiobook or a documentary on someone doing something inspiring. Feed the idea that you have the potential. Because you do. The only time you don’t have potential, is when you stop thinking you do.

 

Believe in Yourself

 

If you need someone to choose you, be that person. If you are having trouble with that, I believe in you — if you are reading this, I’m choosing you right now. How am I qualified to choose you? Because I chose myself, that’s how you’re reading this right now.

 

If you need to see my credentials, look at my Good Reads profile — I had to invest in myself the same way, through experiments, reading and following inspiring people. The internet makes all this possible, for a cost that all of us can afford. Time. Sure books cost money, but blog posts are free until you can afford the books. Internet costs money, but the library internet usually doesn’t. Sure you have limited time, but you can probably find at least one thing that you don’t “have” to do, and cut that out of your schedule. Mine was TV, but you don’t have to cut it all out (wouldn’t hurt if you did) — just let go of one show, and fill that time with experiments, reading or going outside your comfort zone.

 

With that said, I’ll leave you with a quote that’s worth putting up on your wall or maybe next to the mirror in the morning.

 

 

“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change” – Wayne Dyer

 

I’ll bet that even your current work and life will feel better after finding an outlet for your dream and ideas — but don’t just stop there keep going after what you REALLY want anyway!

 

 

———-

 

 If you want some accountability, reach out in the comments or privately and let me know.  Or signup for the free app Lift and track your goal of writing down your ideas on choosing yourself everyday.  If you need help staying focused follow me on Lift, and I’d be happy to keep you accountable to your goal

 

 

*Picture credit: Point! by A2Gemma via Flickr 

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

Enjoy Life Now

Private fishing boat tour near Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

Enjoy life now, this is not a dress rehearsal. – Unknown

 

Enjoy life now…  seems like it should go without saying, but sometimes enjoyment is the very thing we forget to do while living.

 

We function, we act, we do, we perform, while enjoyment gets relegated to back burners and two week vacations amidst year long 40 hour work weeks. We daydream of better days and brighter tomorrows, but our decisions and plans revolve around procuring the same today.

 

I remember this story from The Alchemist of a shopkeeper that owned a crystal store. He promised himself that one day when he made enough money or had enough time that he’d take a trip to Mecca. Eventually after years of working, the time came that he could afford the investment, but he decided against it because dreaming about it seemed so much more alluring than actually going. What if it wasn’t the way he imagined? What if it didn’t prove to be as interesting as it was in his dreams? Somewhere along the way he convinced himself that yearning for dreams was better than realizing them. I found it so odd at the time, even silly. But how many times had I done the same?

 

But this quote is quite the wake up call, this really isn’t a dress rehearsal. As far as time is concerned, there are no do overs when you think about it. Once that year is gone, it’s over – there’s no way to reclaim the time or relive the past.

 

But there is a way to make amends. You can enjoy life now.

 

Maybe yesterday’s decisions didn’t pan out so well, but it doesn’t mean that all is lost. You can still take this moment – this very moment and do something. You can enjoy life now. If you make the best of your present and live for today – then tomorrow works itself out in the end.

 

All you ever really have is today.

 

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

500 Words on 500 Words

Photo: Word Ships by Lajos Síró

 

 

The best habits are the ones you keep, not the ones you wish you kept

 

Have you ever jumped head first into a great idea you had to start a new habit and then a few days later it vanishes from your life without a trace despite your good intentions?

 

I was excited about making a daily practice of writing, and I thought ‘how hard could it be?’ Give yourself the goal and just start doing it! You would think that I had learned my lesson, after all, it’s not the first habit I’ve jumped head first into and later realized how quickly after the enthusiasm fades the habit fades too.

 

If I had to guess, I’d say that meditation had made me more optimistic about being able to create and keep a daily practice. Coming up on 2 years now of meditating “almost” everyday, I forget that there was a time when even that was something I had to consciously remember to do daily — now it’s automatic. It might not happen first thing in the morning, but it’s daily and I can’t imagine life without it.

 

Photo: Word Ships by Lajos Síró | http://www.sirolajos.hu/  I felt the photo captured the concept of shipping words daily so well.

Photo: Word Ships by Lajos Síró
I felt the photo captured the concept of shipping words daily so well.

So back to 500 words, it seems that scaling the habit for the best fit is very important — that’s why this post isn’t called 1000 words on 1000 words — after just 2 days of 1000 words a day, it was easy to see that this wasn’t sustainable for me. You are talking about a guy who didn’t even know he liked writing until just recently. I would procrastinate on writing in school, leaving it all to the last minute (like everything else that was due in school actually). Writing emails, no problem — I enjoyed this because they generally had an audience of one, or at most a small group and the exposure was limited. Thinking about publishing things publicly, that just wreaks havoc on my writing because I get all self conscious, insecure not to mention, I’ve always had a habit of being overly wordy (that hasn’t changed but I’m working on it).

 

Once I was determined to keep the habit, it was clear that lowering the word count would be the best way to “load” the habit and if I wanted to ramp up to 1000 words per day later, it will most likely be much easier at that point when 500 words has become normal. Or I could inch my way up to 750 first, then 1000.

 

But 500 words a day, is an accomplishment in it’s own right to be appreciated — let’s just take a moment and let that sink in. If you’ve been doing it, you know what that means, right? 365 x 500 = 182,500 words. Nothing to laugh at!

 

If you haven’t tried a writing practice in the past, you might want to work your way up to writing like this… My practice of 500 words a day, would never have come about if it wasn’t for another practice, journaling, that prepared me for the type of on-demand writing ability that a successful 500 words a day habit would require. This practice is better known as Morning Pages in creative circles, but it’s a form of journaling that doesn’t require any fancy writing ability just, as they call it ‘stream of consciousness” writing which is a lot more non-threatening when getting started. The idea? To just pour out what’s on your mind to paper (or digital document if you prefer) even if that thought is just the words “writing, writing, writing” or a commentary on how you don’t know what to write at the moment. These were my first words on paper the first day… “Hi morning pages, I’m not sure what to write to you now but I’m here trying…”

 

You’d be surprised how many of the people you have looked up to for their creativity, not just in writing only, that credit their success to this practice or one very similar. It’s a bit like a lubricant for ideas and creativity – so when the time comes to sit down and do whatever it is you do, you have more on-demand access to those parts of yourself (maybe partially because you have dumped all that other stuff in your mind out onto the paper instead of clogging up the creative pathways.)

 

Whatever it is, I’d be lying if I said that I knew anything more about it other than that it works. And that’s a good enough reason for me.

 

And who knows, maybe you won’t even need to make the 1000 word habit decision — you’ll just be writing one day after the habit has become normal and you’ll realize that you’ve written 1000 words without realizing it. You’ll inevitably have some ups and downs along the way, that’s all par for the course, but when you find the right level of commitment and keep it — it will make all the difference in the world. Whether you or anyone else reads those 182,500 words again in the future or not, you’ll be different because of it. Added bonus, if the words themselves go out and make a difference too. Eventually they will, I’m sure of it.

 

 

 

 

What are you waiting for? Get started today! Join me on Lift for the Morning Pages or  500 Words a Day Habits 

 

Want help? I’m also an Accountability Coach @ Lift and would love to help you on your 500 Words a Day journey.

 

*Credit:  Origami Boat by Sibbytora | Photo chose inspired by the concept of shipping 500 words a day.

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

The Counterintuitive Stability of Change

Cat Ba, Vietnam

 

“The more things change, the more they stay the same” – Alphonse Karr

 

Being in the middle of a lot of change right now, the term Antifragile has been on my mind a lot. I haven’t read the book by the same name yet —  but it’s in my queue now.  I recently heard its author Nassim Taleb on one of my favorite podcasts, The James Altucher Show and it’s been rattling around in my head for the last couple weeks.

 

What is Antifragile?

 

If you aren’t familiar with the word antifragile — that’s because it technically isn’t a “real” word. That is it wasn’t, until Nassim invented it. I think the meaning at first glance seems pretty straightforward, but when you begin to think about it more in context of life, it gets a lot deeper.


Taleb coined the term “anti-fragility” because he thought the existing words used to describe the opposite of “fragility,” such as “robustness,” were inaccurate. Anti-fragility goes beyond robustness; it means that something does not merely withstand a shock but actually improves because of it.[1]

 

Are You Fragile?

 

I had never thought of myself as fragile — sure I recognized my insecurities, and I’ve written about my own anxiety levels, but when I heard the term antifragile I instantly connected with it. It put a name to what I’d been working towards for the last few years without being able to articulate it. It’s what this blog is all about changing your fear not fearing change.

 

By being open to change, and to borrow from the antifragile definition — “to not merely withstand change but actually improve because of it”  – we experience the tree in the wind that will bend but not break factor. The what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger approach to life.

 

 Change vs Stability

 

In a conversation last night, stability came up — I hadn’t thought about my stability or what makes me more stable until that moment. As I reflected on it, I began to feel even more comfortable about a tough decision that I needed to make. Making tough decisions– to leave something comfortable behind, to change or reinvent myself –whether it’s the country that I live in, the craft that I do or the people I’m around (or not around) it all has an impact on me. And that’s increasing my antifragility.

 

What If ‘Stability’ Leads to Fragility?

 

Nassim gave this example on the podcast of someone who’s done the same thing for 30 years, let’s say it’s for work. Now, if something happens and he suddenly loses his job, he’s not really prepared to continue to provide for himself. At least not in the way that another person who has a different life where they had to switch jobs or careers more often or where the job required them to be resourceful and to go out and find their own opportunities.

 

Looking back, my wife and I have changed careers more than once from designers to developers to consultants to coaches and that doesn’t even include creating products, writing, and the different industries we have transitioned to work with over time. And we’ve moved almost as many (if not more) times than years we’ve been married.

 

And on a personal level, moving wasn’t just from house to house, but from larger to minimalist, now in the last few years… from country to country.

 

All this change, to some might feel unsettling from the outside looking in, but if anything, it’s done the exact opposite. It’s truly made us less fragile – dare I say antifragile, as we seem to be thriving from the experience.

 

The Freedom in Letting Go of What You Know

 

As I’m embarking on a new journey, booking a one way trip to Thailand and beyond, I’m letting go of even more of what I would have thought I needed. My goal (inspired by Tynan’s Life Nomadic) is to have more flexibility by bringing just the essentials — my clothes, technology, personal care items, all in one bag. The amazing part is the counterintuitive step of minimizing everything I need to one backpack, doesn’t seem scary at all — it’s freeing.

 

Maybe we’ve been seeking the wrong thing in the traditional sense of stability — it’s not as important to have the most ‘stable’ environment — since we can’t truly control every environment — but to cultivate the strength to be stable in any environment.

 

 

 

*Photo from a recent trip to Vietnam, something about this photo just had that ‘heading out on a journey’ feel to it.

Hi I’m Nathan. I’m an optimist who loves to solve problems especially for others, and even more when that problem seems unsolvable – nothing sets my mind going like a challenge…. Read full bio

Om…is for Overwhelm

So, it’s less than 3 weeks before we set off to Thailand and the last month has been a roller coaster.

Have I been anxious? Very!

Excited? Yeah, but it comes in and out in waves.  I think with everything that was going on (ie. the planning, preparation etc), subconsciously, I must have felt like I couldn’t quite give myself over to the emotion or I might lose focus.

Afraid?  Fear feels like such a strong word really, but I’d be lying if I said the uncertainty of it all didn’t impact me in some way.  But I think for the most part, since this is something I’ve wanted so very, very VERY much, the realization of my dream has outweighed the potential fear of risk.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I haven’t had many opportunities to worry.  And this is where overwhelm tends to step in.

This time around though, things have been much different.  And it’s kind of funny because when I consider all the circumstances surrounding our trip and all the things that needed to be sorted out, it’s highly likely for me to go batty in scenarios like this.   But it didn’t and meditation has played a huge part in preventing that…HUGE.

I’ve been meditating daily now since the first of the year, mostly because I thought it would be a good way to help me manage my thoughts.  I think a lot.  To even say, ‘I was an overthinker’ would be an understatement.  I analyze and assess everything.  I even think about why and how I’m having the thoughts I’m having while I’m still thinking them.  Where they were coming from, when they started? Sometimes it was fun but mostly it was exhausting.

And my feelings? They could own me in mere seconds flat.  Of course not all the time, but it was the moments when they did that I desperately wanted to change.  The times where my elephant managed to possess the reins of my rider (Never heard of the controlling elephant?  Read this)

Meditation was a place where I could think without my feelings maintaining center stage. I still thought a lot.  During meditation, my thoughts would bounce off the walls of my head like a…dang what do you call that game again where you smack the balls with those little levers and it moves around?  Ah yes, the pinball machine – that game!  The menagerie of thoughts in my head were so chaotic that in the beginning, I sincerely questioned what benefit meditation could hold for me or I for it since I couldn’t manage to slow down my mind.

What I didn’t understand at the time is meditation isn’t really about controlling my thoughts, it’s about watching them, seeing them, noticing them. Now that was something I could do!  A place where I could finally have the upper-hand because of course, I noticed my thoughts.  I couldn’t help but be aware of them with all the self psycho-analysis I was constantly knee deep in.  The problem was, I just couldn’t help but get sucked in by them.

Now you might be asking yourself, ‘If meditation is just a place for me to do what I’m already doing (thinking), the very thing I want to be doing less of – where’s the benefit?’  I know, right?  I asked myself the very same thing!

But meditation taught me two things:

  • Firstly, How to notice my thoughts without judging them.  That right there tipped the scales for me because when I had negative thoughts, I was generally beating myself up for them or trying to deconstruct the crap out of them so I could figure out how to get rid of them.  Meditation allowed me to observe them without being infused with the emotions.

 

  • Second, How to redirect my attention away from my immediate thought This was huge for me because it helped me to really embrace that I wasn’t my thoughts or my feelings for that matter.  I was the undercurrent carrying both.  They could pass through me, but they weren’t me and since they weren’t, I recognized I had a choice.  With that awareness, I could shift my attention.  I was trying to explain how I felt to Nate one day and shared this, ‘When raw emotions hit (like rage, frustration, panic, anxiety, insecurity), I used to see myself as the rushing wave or being carried by it.  Now, I see myself as the water and those emotions are like the debris floating through it.’


The neat thing is, the real magic for me happens outside of meditation. Understanding that my thoughts and feelings don’t define me, I know I have the ability to use them to my benefit just as much as I have the ability to avert their effect.  So when the overwhelm hit – the uncertainty of knowing whether we’d find a tenant in time, or the worry wondering if my mom would be ok while we were gone or the list of things to do, to buy etc, (not to mention discovering part way through the process this past month, that our decision to leave for 5 months was going to turn into us leaving our home forever, but that’s another story LOL) – the feelings didn’t own me.


I want to be clear too.  There are times when there’s chaos all around me and thankfully, I don’t feel a thing.  This is not one of those timesI felt everything, I’m feeling everything buuuut (and this is a big but for me) my feelings don’t have to change for me to function.

You don’t have to overcome emotions like fear in order to act.  You don’t have to eradicate them, dispose of them, rid yourself of all worry and anxiety or even feel courageous.  No matter how small or miniscule your faith is in comparison (maybe it’s so tiny you can’t even see it), in the face of feelings that seem insurmountable, you can still act.

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

I’d rather be the dreamer

Acting on dreams is like riding a bike – you shouldn’t expect to be able to ride your first time out.
 
Of course who doesn’t want to be a prodigy or a natural born rider, but by the time you get to the point of riding comfortably – is it really going to matter how good you were when you began?
 
I’ve been riding my bike for years now and I don’t even really remember my very first experience. Sure, it might make a nice story if I did, but what if it made a bad memory?  The truth is, it really doesn’t matter now.
 
And that’s the reality – when you’re in the midst of experiencing your dream, enjoying the fruits of it – it’s not going to matter how good or bad your first experience was.  
 
You know what else isn’t going to matter? How crazy people thought you were for wanting it.
 
I remember the first time I went to Thailand, I was barraged with questions to no end. 
 

Dad: ‘Why would you want to go to Thailand?
Do you even know anyone in Thailand?
What’s in Thailand anyways?
et cetera et cetera.

 
The funny thing which I learned later was my dad knew absolutely nothing about Thailand until he saw a documentary on it about halfway through my trip. Then guess who started marveling at its beauty and the richness of its culture?  
 
Mmmm hmmm ;)
 
This is the same person that bothered me a couple years ago for going to Ireland alone to see my best friend for the first time. A friend who I met via the Internet.  (Ok maybe that did sound a tad bit crazy). 
 
But I had a blast – meandering down cobblestone streets, getting an eyeful of amazing architecture & landscapes, seeing strange red animals at the zoo, dining at local pubs and growling at strangers on a Viking Tour of the city!
 
Now what if I had decided not to go? 
 
Then my only experience would be like his – through books and tv shows (no offence dad –  I’ve been there too). But after watching episode after episode of Departures, I decided I wanted to be on the other side of the camera for a change.
 
Despite false starts, missteps, critics and life’s uncertainties…
 
I’d rather be the dreamer than the watcher, the doer than the viewer.  
 
Wouldn’t you?
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

With the Right Creativity, Anything is Possible

It’s not the money that everyone is after, it’s the experience we imagine comes with the money. – Scott Dinsmore

 

In roughly one month, Nate and I will be headed on our way to the experience/adventure of a lifetime – Five months living in Thailand.

 

After a small taste of Chiang Mai last year, we fell in love with the area and decided this is where we want to spend a lot of our winters.  My dream of becoming a snowbird before 40 is finally coming true!  But today, I’m not writing to brag about my adventures or provide yet another reason to go on my freedom-lifestyle soapbox and extol the virtue, freedom and benefits of location independence.

 

I’m here because we could all use a little encouragement and a friendly reminder that – Anything is possible.

 

I came across this quote when I stumbled on an article on Scott Dinsmore’s Live Your Legend blog, ‘How You Can Get Paid $6100 to spend a month travelling Thailand (or anywhere). I’m guessing you know that the title captivated me to say the least LOL.

 

In it, Scott shared a story about how he and his wife:

 

  • Booked flights to Thailand using air miles from his credit cards

  • Got amazing deals on luxurious accommodations

  • Used Airbnb to find someone to take care of their apartment who paid him $2800 before they left.

 

Surprisingly, it was a story not too different from my own.  And his point?

 

With the Right Creativity, anything is possible.

 

Two years ago, I would’ve read his story from the sidelines marvelling, today…

I can add my two cents :)

 

He’s absolutely right!  How many times have we let ‘lack of money‘ be an excuse to hold us back from our dreams?  Sure, sometimes it can make things easier, but it definitely shouldn’t be considered the only means to an end.

 

Here’s some small highlights from my own story.

 

  • Used reward points from our travel Visa to pay for a flight (value $1350)

  • Used our guestroom for 21 days during the summer to contribute towards our vacation travel fund (value $700+)

  • While we’re away we’ve also found tenants that will be taking care of our house.  Their rent will not only cover our house expenses and a significant portion of our accommodations while we’re away.  It will also save us having to maintain our monthly utility bills (value $8000+)

  • Our food expenses will easily be less than 25% of what we spend here AND we’ll be eating out 3 times a day

  • And the already great deal we get on transportation will be even better ($150 for 12 rental car days traded for 30 days with a scooter)

 

All in all, overall we’ll probably even save money by going away.

 

What I’ve learned: Experiences don’t necessarily require lots of money, sometimes all it takes is a little of the right creativity.


If you dropped money out of your equation and replaced it with the right creativity today, what experiences could you be having tomorrow?

 
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

It’s all about the meaning

One of my biggest pet peeves is budgeting. Well it’s not really the budgeting part, it’s when I set a grocery shopping budget and Nate and I set out to follow it and suddenly somewhere along the way Nate asks me for something more. Up until this weekend I had no idea why it frustrated me so much.  
 
Was it the thought of having to say no and disappointing him?  
Was it the shame or guilt I felt for not having enough? 
 
Both were feasible reasons, but when it happened again this weekend and I tried to connect the emotional dots – there was nothing there. Sure the rationale made sense but, I felt disconnected from the reasoning. Besides, even if there was some truth to it, it was hardly enough to make me overact and go flip mode.
 
Anyways, thankfully it didn’t erupt into an argument :).
 
Here’s the play by play:
 
We were down to the last few dollars of the budget and heading over by $5 with our purchase of the last item – the protein shake. I felt like we could’ve done without for the week, but Nathan absolutely must have his protein ($30 of our grocery budget *sigh*). I didn’t make an issue of it though, especially since he was willing to compromise by buying one type instead of two. 
 
So, we’re standing in line when he suddenly realized that one container wouldn’t do. He was reading the package and noticed that it only had 17g per serving when he needed 30g (the  amount in the Raw meal version he usually buys for himself). I’m thinking ok, that’s not so bad, at least we’re getting some, right?
 
But nooooooo, what on earth was I thinking? It was obviously under his 30g daily quotient which was unacceptable, so the question came. “Can we get this extra container too? It’s only $20.”
 
I stood there for a moment a bit confused. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the question. It was that I couldn’t comprehend why he was asking me. Did he think that some extra money just magically appeared in our account in the last few minutes? Or maybe it was because the last item already took us 5 bucks over, so what the heck why not another 20? I guess you know what my answer was.  “Um….no.”
 
And that was it.  
 
Well at least for him it was – not me though.  
 
For 10 minutes I sat in the car silent. Fuming for the first 3 and then for the remaining 7, I wondered what was wrong with me.  (Oh yeah I almost forgot, there was that one brief second where I wondered if I was married to an idiot –ooops!) 
 
Why the heck did his question bother me so much? It was hardly the end of the world.  
To be honest, I was the idiot. He didn’t force me to buy the item or make me feel bad for saying no. He simply accepted my answer and we walked out.
 
But for me, it wasn’t quite that simple because his question exposed a bigger issue. One I wasn’t willing to let go of this time because I couldn’t let one question have that much power of me.  
 
So the rest of the drive home, I sat there combing through all the possible angles – asking myself, ‘what meaning was I ascribing to this?’ And like I said, all my attempts at answers sounded logical, but yet I wasn’t getting any freedom from them. Nothing felt right until suddenly…I saw an image.
 
A piece of paper on a kitchen counter that I saw as a child like clockwork every two weeks. It was my mother’s handwriting with some numbers adding up the weekly bills.  
 
That was the extent of my parents money discussions – a piece of paper.  She would tally up everything, split it in two and then my dad would leave his portion of the expenses on the counter.
 
When it came to handling the finances in my family, my dad was relatively absent.  He always seemed a bit clueless to me and my mother seemed to have all the control and I hated it.  It wasn’t the only thing I disliked about their relationship, but it was a reminder. Everything always felt so separate and I swore that when I got married my husband and I wouldn’t be that way.  
 
Money and all our decisions would be made together.  
 
When I reflected on that picture, I realized that it was the root of what was bothering me.  
It wasn’t reality, it was the interpretation I chose to see.
 
My perspective was this: If Nate and I already discussed our budget and we made a decision together, then we were on the same page.  But in that moment, I guess the meaning I was ascribing from his question was that suddenly, he wasn’t.  
 
My conclusion: I was the only one carrying the responsibility of the budget. I was the only one to have the discipline to say no.  
 
And that, unreasonably so, made me feel like my mother and I was looking at him the way I pictured my father without even realizing it.  
 
He was clueless and I was the one in control.
 
The truth is, our relationship is soooooo far from that.  It’s almost laughable that I could come to that conclusion.  But that’s what emotions do sometimes.  They take actions out of the context that they’re in and place them inside stories of the past.  And suddenly something so innocent potentially becomes the most pain inflicting experience in the world.
 
Anyways, no harm done this time :) and my perspective is much clearer thanks to a little internal work and the willingness to ask this question instead of overreacting.
 
‘What meaning am I ascribing to this?’
 
Special thanks to Eric Maisel for this golden nugget of wisdom I got a few years ago from his Meaning course and Nathan too for waiting 12 years for me to figure this out LOL
 
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Fifteen minutes > Nothing

So I finally took a little leap and started really working on my book again. I’ve been trying this new thing (well it’s really an old thing being applied to a new place) – telling myself, ‘just 15 mins a day.’

Just 15 mins ?!


Yeah I know, doesn’t sound like much. But that’s the point. Fifteen minutes is just small enough that it doesn’t scare me into not working on my book. And it’s just big enough that within that time, I usually get a lil’ momentum that snowballs into something more. 

 
I tend to be that way sometimes. If I want to work on something (like writing), Resistance can think of umpteen distractions. But once I get started, the ideas generally start to flow.


It’s kind of funny really because you’d think after watching myself react this way for years in other areas that sooner or later, I’d just say, “Hey! Get over it, sure it may start out awkward because you’re not sure where to start or what to say, but once you get past that initial discomfort, you’re generally ok.”


But noooo, Resistance likes to go, ‘YUCK! Discomfort, discomfort – you hate that! Why don’t we go find something else to do, like clean or reorganize something. And then off I’d go and another day would go by and another annnnnnd another.  Until I’m like, ‘Dang-Sherice! It’s been 2 whole months since you last touched that book.  (OHHHH! So this must be the reason why some authors say it took them years and years to write a book, they’ve been procrastinating for half of them!)


Well, NO MORE!  This episode has played it’s last rerun.  So now, it’s 15 mins a day.  “And that’s not 15 minutes of any kind of writing wise guy, we’re working on the bookSo Resistance, this part doesn’t count.  Don’t even think you can outsmart me by offering me a check mark for working on this post and avoiding the REAL work.  Nice try buddy.  Nice try!

Just in case anyone’s wondering, this is why 15 mins works for me:

1.  Even if I don’t work longer than 15 mins, just the act of moving forward for any amount of time relieves me of the usual shame and guilt I would feel for not progressing.


2. Have you ever tried working on something after abandoning it for a month or even a week?  I have and usually my first 30 mins or more is spent reacquainting myself with the project or trying to figure out where I left off.  At least this way since the last time I would’ve worked on it is yesterday, it will be much easier to pick up where I left off.


3. It’s easy to tell yourself, you’re too busy to work on something for an hour.  It’s a lot harder to tell yourself you can’t find 15 mins somewhere in a day.  Even the shortest TV show is generally twice that amount of time – right?! (psssst little secret between you and me – don’t tell Resistance but I generally end up writing way past 15). 

 

Neat isn’t it?  Sometimes you gotta trick your emotions into letting you lead them for the ride. This little tip has helped me change my fitness regimen from a neglected gym membership to a daily Yoga practice and sporadic meditation habit into a daily routine.


4. Fifteen minutes is better than doing nothing.  And after a while when you add up enough of those minutes, you’ll end up with something :). 

 

What will you spend your 15mins on?

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Help that really helps

For the next little while I’m going to explore a new series – Help that really helps.  Sure we like our 10 steps toand 10 ways you can…we love tactics but I think our fondness towards strategies isn’t as much about the strategies themselves as it is about finding something that really works.

Over the years, I’ve read a ton of self-help books because I like the idea of working on my own self-improvement.  I’ve always felt if I wasn’t growing, I wasn’t really living.  So I’d read all kinds of spiritual, philosophical, motivational, business, etc books in an effort to grow.

The crappy part is, sometimes self-help books don’t really help. Don’t get me wrong, there are great books out there, but a lot of them didn’t give me the results I was looking for or the outcome they promised. And while, some of them sounded good, sometimes the methods they’d employ didn’t feel good.

And at first, I was ok with that because I wanted to grow by any means necessary. And sometimes change can get uncomfortable. But over time, I noticed a problem.

When it doesn’t feel good, it’s not lasting.  I may start off really good in the beginning, but then sooner or later, I’d start to peter out.  Then, I’d wind up feeling like garbage because I couldn’t  be consistent.

And if the change meant I had to cut back -I’d go all hardcore, dropping things cold turkey and eventually feel cheated. Like for eg, when I was working on getting rid of my debt, usually a lot of budgeting books talk about cutting back. Don’t eat out, cook at home, cut down on lattes, purge this, get rid of that.

And it’s not like cutting back is bad, if you’re spending wildly or abusively it’s good to take a look at your spending habits to see what kind of healthy decisions can be made.  But cheating yourself entirely isn’t good either.  That’s  a formula for depression and if you’re not careful it could lead to spending sprees that are even harder to recover from.

Anyways, my whole point is, since one of the biggest things we lack (the root behind a lot of our fears, the reason why we feel unfulfilled or dissatisfied) is self-love – cheating, then beating yourself up is counterproductive to all that.  

Soooo, what I’d like to do is share all the things that helped me without killing me.  It’s kind of funny really because being nicknamed the executioner, in the past, I was a HUGE proponent of change by what ever means necessary.  But the truth is even if you could only be a little bit better, if you do that for enough days in a row, you can end up a lot better.

Besides, does it really make sense to continually beat yourself for what you’re not doing?  Even if you don’t manage to do a lot, isn’t it better than what you’re not doing now?

I think so.  

And guess what? A year ago there were a lot of things that I hadn’t been doing regularly or even at all for years.  But I’m doing them daily or consistently and actually enjoying them.  No self-deprecation or “self”-mutilation necessary ;)

Now doesn’t that sound a lot more sustainable :)?

Please let me know what kinds of things you’d like to change or get consistent (whether it’s habits, feelings, life etc) and from time to time, I’ll dig into my toolkit to share little life hacks I’ve found helpful… and hope you’ll share yours too.

Day 30 – The end is the beginning

Wow!  So it’s day 30 – I can hardly believe we’re here. Woo hoo!! I don’t think I even have words to express the range of emotions I feel right now. I’ve learned so much about myself through this journey, but most importantly I unlearned a few things too.

I realized that some of the limitations and fears I had were based on things that were no longer true.

Lesson:It’s important to not only assess but reassess your thinking because sometimes…fear is a habit.

I learned that not only am I willing to write everyday, I actually want to.

Lesson: Just because you might struggle don’t stop showing up. Even music would be boring if there were no gaps of silence between the notes.

I also learned that shipping imperfectly is so much better than not shipping at all.  (Seth – my man, you were absolutely right!)

Lesson: Don’t just stand there dang it – SHIP!

And my favourite insight?

No matter how scary it looks, being in the game is always better than sitting on the sidelines

Lesson: Comfort zones are over-rated.

Thanks everyone for taking this journey with me! Even though this is the end of this challenge, I promise it won’t be the end for you and me…

Now this is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is perhaps, the end of the beginning. – Winston Churchill

Well folks, I’m off now – I’ll be taking a bit of a breather but I’ll be baaaaaack!

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 29 – Dreams with a capital D

You know before today, actually before this moment, if someone were to ask me about my dreams, I probably would’ve been tempted to say, I’m not entirely sure. I know I love to travel and I really enjoy building businesses and writing and I’m currently working on a book, but my Dreams (with a capital D) eluded me.

I used to think that it was because I had a history of focusing on what was feasible.  My feasibility factor was like minimum viability and it had become a default consideration in my brain in an effort to always get things done (you know, that Executioner thing?)


But I’m realizing now the real reason why my Dream seemed to escape me is because inside it was the way I lived not what I did that mattered most.

My heart knew it but my conditioning fought the acceptance because it was taught another way. But, I think seeing my mom get so sick so suddenly though traumatic was somewhat of a wake up call and a gift for all of us. It helped me see why I should trust the path my heart was leading me too.

And Natalie’s three questions helped me understand why…

What do I want in my life beyond all certainty?

I absolutely love the relationship I have with my husband.  Even when circumstances get challenging, we always manage to end up fiercely loving each other more. I feel incredibly fortunate to have that kind of bond with him and I’ve seen our relationship evolve a lot.  I feel really grateful to be married to someone who desperately wants to see my dreams come true – maybe even more than me sometimes.

My non-negotiable?

I’ll never stop wanting to travel.  As long as I can remember I’ve wanted to touch every state and see every continent. This is a work in progress :).

Looking back at my pictures and thinking back to those experiences are memories that make me very, very happy.


I’m already dreaming…


Looking back, I feel really grateful because some people go through their whole lives chasing things only to find out in the end they were unimportant and they wish they could’ve spent more time on the things that mattered (like spending time with loved ones or travelling the world experiencing new things).  Together we’ve already been able to build a life together that makes those things a priority.

Lucky me…

What would I forsake?

Knowing this, I don’t mind forsaking people’s expectations of me, my sense of security, my comfort zones, my should be’s and my could’ve beens.  Sure sometimes I wish it was easier but I’m learning to not mind that it’s not. 

And I realize that there will always be someone that’s not going to understand, agree with or like the decisions I’ve made, the radical changes or the things that I’ve embraced but it’s worth it…

I went to the woods because I wished to love deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die to discover that I had not lived.
– Henry David Thoreau –

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 28 – Travel Tools & Cooking with Yui

Today’s Challenge: What travel tools and services are most important to you when taking your business abroad?

One of the first things people ask me when they hear we’re going to Thailand for 5 months is: ‘Do they have stable Internet?’

Actually you’d be surprised!  Not only do they have stable Internet  but you can find it almost everywhere. Even in a small northern town like Chiang Mai, we could easily find Internet in local cafes, restaurants, roadside stops, quaint local shops and even the dives!  

auto-food
Nathan and I ate at one place that felt like an auto shop  – there was even a car parked inside (I guess there really is no place you can’t put a restaurant!) and even they had a wifi connection!

Not only is Internet easily accessible in Thailand, it’s cheap!  I brought my iPad and iPod with me but figured I’d mainly be using it at our guest house or at the cafe but Nathan found a company called True Move that had incredible plans.

For 350baht (which is equivalent to roughly $11 CAD) we were able to purchase a month’s worth of data or 1GB and there’s no contractual obligation.  If we tried to do that here we’d easily be paying at least 2-3x the price on a contract.

I guess I’m stating the obvious but Internet is the most important service for us.  It’s generally the first amenity we look for when we’re searching for accommodations.

Travel Tip:  Always check reader reviews for comments on Internet service (especially on Airbnb) and ask your host or hotel service rep about the quality.  No use getting excited about a place only to find they have shoddy Internet. It’s saved us a ton of headaches on our trips.

Oh!  In addition to that, find out where the Internet is specifically located.  We stayed at one resort in Jamaica (beautiful place!) but we could only get Internet from the main lobby (not the most convenient if you have a late night/early morning emergency).

Other tools and services I use are Hipmunk and Googleflights to check availability and pricing before I book my flight.  I love that Hipmunk has an agony factor so I can quickly see which flights have the most stops and lengthiest layovers.  Sometimes you can use this to your advantage to make for a more interesting trip.  When we were on our way to Thailand, we specifically chose a long layover so were able to stay a full day in South Korea and explore the sights without increasing the price of our flight.

Speaking of flight increases, did I mention that I love Korean Airlines when flying to Thailand? On our first trip to Chiang Mai, we fell in love and were able to easily extend our trip from 3 weeks to 2 months at no extra cost (yet another advantage of having your location independent business – try telling your boss, you want to extend your vacation – not very likely ;).

seat 61 is also a great site I like to check out for all our train traveling adventures.  It provides really precise, detailed information on best routes, prices, things to avoid, what to watch out for which is great when you’re in a foreign country. 

One of my favourite sites is TripAdvisor – it’s quite popular so I imagine you’re probably already familiar with it.  But I think it’s still worth a mention.  When we were in Thailand, one of the things on our bucket list was to attend a Thai cooking class.  And choosing one is no small feat – there are dozens upon dozens. 

Although the ratings on TripAdvisor are helpful, the details in each review is where the real benefit is.  I mean what use is a 5 star review if the reviewer has different tastes and interests than you?  I remember reading this one review that mentioned that the instructor was the same chef featured in Gordon Ramsay’s  Great Escapes.  My chin hit the floor, ‘Holy Crap!  Yui’s the same chef that taught Gordon Ramsay Thai Cuisine on that show?!  I’m in!  Now that’s the kind of word of mouth I can listen to. 

The interesting part is, that information is not really highlighted on her site so I never would’ve known that if I didn’t see the review.  This juicy little tidbit of information meant that her cooking school won by a landslide!

Tripadvisor has also saved us from getting ripped off at the Cambodian border.  One reviewer cautioned readers that sometimes taxi drivers would try to drop you off at a white building right beside the border where official looking workers would try to get you to pay their fees.  However not to be fooled because this was not the ‘real border’.  Thankfully when it happened to us, I just kept saying ‘Border!’ to the driver and refused to get out.  That small tip saved us an extra 70 bucks and some shame and embarrassment too!

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 27 – My Best Travel Hacking Experience

Today’s Challenge: What’s your best travel hacking story to date (where you scored a free upgrade, used miles or just got a bonus perk)?

Mmm!  Travel hacking – my favourite!

My best travel hacking experience to date has come by way of the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite which comes in personal and my favourite: The business edition.

If you’re self-employed or own a business with a passion to travel this is a Canadian travel hackers’ dream. We’ve only had these cards for just over a year and have paid for 2 flights to Thailand and a portion of my trip to Ireland!

Now compared to some people, we probably have a bit of an advantage being self-employed (because we run all of our business expenses through the business version of the card and have automated most of our personal expenses on the other) and at 3 points to a dollar the points tend to accumulate pretty quick. I love this card because unlike most cards where you’re limited to certain airlines or hotels, this one gives you the  freedom to redeem points towards any travel expense that you charge to the card (this means any airline, any hotel, even meals – we could even use it towards the kennel!). The valuable part of this is, we can get a great price with a site like Priceline, charge our card and redeem the points, making it an even better deal!

And the redemption is quick and easy.  You can simply log in to your travel rewards account and enter in the details of your transaction and the credit comes up on your next statement.  They’ve definitely made my dreams of being a snowbird before 40 a lot more attainable.

Aside from this, one of my favourite travel hacking experiences was when we went to Cambodia. During our trip to Thailand, a friend of ours mentioned to us that we couldn’t possibly be so close to Cambodia and not see Angkor Wat – so we did!

We were able to find a really inexpensive flight to Bangkok ($25 – thanks to Air Asia) and then took a $6 train to the Cambodian border (thanks to a tip on Trip Advisor) and split a taxi to Siem Reap.  Since the whole trip was a bit spontaneous, Nathan checked out Agoda to see if he could find a good deal for our accommodations and WOW, did he ever!

We stayed in an exclusive beautiful exotic resort just outside the city and were treated to a relaxing couples massage and foot bath, an amazing breakfast and our own personal Tuk Tuk driver for the length of our stay.  The place was absolutely gorgeous with both fresh water and salt water pools and the suite was immaculate – all this for just $70.


We’ve had a lot of great experiences in different places but this one definitely stands out.  I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when we go back later this year!

How about you?  Any interesting travel hacking stories?  Would love to hear them!

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 26 – Minimalism: My Definition is this.

Today’s Challenge: Could you live a minimalist lifestyle? Why or why not? OR What does minimalism mean to you in the context of your ideal lifestyle?


It’s no secret – my family history has a severe case of materialism in it. My parents were always relocating every couple of years to newer, bigger, better houses and our home was always outfitted like it was about to be featured in an interior decorating magazine.

 
We even had a room with white furniture that I didn’t dare go into for any other reason but to clean it. My mom would always jokingly say, ‘not even the Queen of England could sit down on that couch‘.


Growing up my parents were like the black ‘Joneses‘, we weren’t really rich by any means, but back in the day in my neighbourhood, being black and middle class didn’t go together all too often (unless of course your last name was Huxtable).  


You can imagine how surprised, actually maybe a tad bit horrified my parents were when we decided to move to what has been ‘lovingly’ (yes, that’s sarcasm dripping :)) been referred to as ‘the armpit of OntarioWindsor.  


Truth be told, Windsor was even a wee bit of a culture shock to me, but it’s absolutely been the perfect place for my ideal lifestyle – I kid you not! Fellow Windsorites please take your jaws off the floor ;)!


Minimalism to me used to be about paring down to the bare essentials, no excessiveness and no overspending on wants, but I realize that you can live minimally without Iiving like a pauper. Actually you can do it and almost feel like a King.


For eg, I’ve told you about the SUV we got rid of because we live downtown and work from home. Well, I used to think mainly rich people were chauffeured and switch cars weekly until we found out with Enterprise we could do the same thing on weekends for only $9.99 a day.  They pick Nathan up, hand over the keys to a new car that’s usually filled with gas.  We use it, drop it off and he’s chauffeured back home for free. Every weekend we can have a different new car for less than 1/5 of what we used to spend and there’s no maintenance, repairs or insurance.  Plus we get points which we end up using for free longer trips to visit our out of town family.

Moving to this border-town also has a ton of other benefits aside from it’s breath-taking waterfront (sorry Detroit, I think we got the better end of the deal :)).


The cost of living is lower, which also means your average service is lower.  Even a frugalist like me doesn’t feel guilty paying for a regular housecleaner and lawncare.  We’re also minutes away from the border so we like to do our shopping there – Trader Joe’s is the bomb!  They take the chore out of groceries.  Crap. Did I just said bomb? I guess you know I’m old already :).


We also got rid of cable, which you can really do from anywhere.  With our Apple TV and all the network apps available I don’t feel like I’m missing a thing.  It’s actually more convenient because I can watch TV whenever I want to (and I can even take my shows with me to Thailand using a VPN).  God, I love technology!


And my favourite part is this:


Our house – you know the thing we call ‘asset’ that Robert Kiyosaki wisely taught us (in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad) is really a liability? We’ve found a way to make it work for us via Airbnb.  Not only do we get to meet really great people but it helps fund our trips.  And fingers crossed when we rent it out while we’re away this year, it will cover our expenses here and in Thailand (where meals are a buck, massages $5-$10 and mountain-view condos, furnished to the nines at a fraction of what it would cost here)!


So I guess my point is with a bit of creativity you can definitely minimize (spend the budget of a minimalist and feel like a King).

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Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 25 – Happy suitcase entrepreneur skills

Today’s Challenge: What skills do I need to build or refine to be a happy suitcase entrepreneur?


Today Natalie shares some really awesome tips on the four key areas she feels you should master to truly enjoy being location independent:
Productivity, Staying Healthy, Keeping up with Clients, Keeping in touch with your Network


Below, I’ll include a couple key spots that have worked well for me and some that have room for improvement.


Productivity
What’s worked well:

Delegate:  Having a VA has been paramount to my productivity (and keeping up with clients too).  But you already know this because you’ve heard me talk about it here  :)


Using the Offline Mail Feature:
Flights and Train trips have always been an excellent productivity space for me (Hmm, maybe I should consider having an office there :)).  Before my trips, I would generally download all my email so I could access it while offline.  Then while in transit I’d respond to everyone and rapidly clear my inbox.  But the neat thing is, I can actually recreate the same type of scenario getting the same benefits.  So occasionally, I’ll disable the Internet on my iPad so I’m not distracted by notifications and random surfing (but shhh don’t tell Nathan, I still need to convince him to buy me a plane :))


Improving

Learn to let go…earlier
This is one key area I’ve been diligently working on improving.  Whether it’s letting go of tasks earlier and releasing them to the rest of our team, or saying no to long-standing clients (that require me to expend more energy than necessary) because my heart wants to help – it’s important to let go of anything that slows down or impedes progress (sadly, sometimes even people).


Staying Healthy

 

What’s worked well

Keep it simple and fun!  
For years I had a gym membership that is volley between using aggressively and sporadically.  I’d either be pushing myself and lifting weights 3 times a week or slogging off entirely. But I’ve learned it’s much better to be consistent with a shorter amount of time than trying to force an exercise regimen.


Enter in YogaGlo.  I used to think yoga was for girls (yes I know I am one :)), but the benefits are really amazing!  Not only is it really good for your mind, it’s been great for my body.  I’m actually more toned now with my 15-20min daily routine than I was after doing hour long workouts at the gym – go figure!


Not only that, it’s fun and convenient which means  consistent.  I think those are important aspects to add to any challenging new habits you want to begin.  I used to think I was a stronger person for being able to buckle down and push myself – now I think it’s weak not to be open to employing any helpful strategy that will make tough stuff easy and sustainable.


With YogaGlo, all I have to do is walk up a few stairs to the loft, flip the monitor around and for $18/mo Darren or several other yoga trainers takes me through my daily routine.  Not only am I saving money on my membership, I’m actually using it! And by simply using my iPad, I can take my trainers with me to Thailand – bet you can’t do that with your local gym!


Improving
While I do eat healthy (while still loving my cupcakes :)), meditate daily, exercise regularly, use vitamins and supplements and take mid-day naps to ensure adequate rest, I could definitely afford to get outside a bit more often.


I love cycling but I don’t do it enough, at least when I’m in Windsor.  In Thailand, I easily cycle 3-4 times a day (my secret formula: Street Food – it helps to have all my meals be on the other end of those trips haha + there’s so many cool new things to explore!  Still I know I haven’t seen all of Windsor as small as it is – so I’ll push encourage myself to get out more, especially since, I always think, ‘why don’t I do this more often,‘ when I do.

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 24 – Travel Packing Tips

Today’s Challenge: What are your travel essentials for your chosen destination(s) ?

I don’t know, I could be wrong here, but I kind of got the feeling that reading my packing list probably wasn’t something you wanted to do for the next 10 mins of your life.

Besides it’s pretty much an exercise of futility for me having moved and taken trips so many times and I wouldn’t want my disinterest to end up putting you to sleep :).

So instead, I’m going to share a few tips (silly and not so silly) that have helped me over the years – not the common ones like ‘Don’t over pack(which you shouldn’t – you’re on vacation, no one really cares how many times you’ve worn your jeans, they’re too busy worrying about whether you’ll notice how many times they’ve worn theirs LOL) or ‘Roll not fold(incredibly useful by the way – one time I was able to successfully move everything from a standard rolling luggage bag to a carry-on).

Ok tip #1 Mindmaps

Although I’m sure by now there’s probably a bunch of different useful apps out there you can use.  I started using this method before the world of apps.

Mindmaps are a great brainstorming tool for anything really and when you’re location independent with a virtual business it adds a few extra variables to your travel planning especially if your trip is long term.  Mindmaps help me to compartmentalize my thinking when I’m planning so I can ensure an extra level of thoroughness and detail to the randomness of my usual thought pattern.

After all, you don’t want to get off a 13 hour flight and find out you don’t have your laptop charger… those aren’t cheap, or easy to find.

To make our maps, Nathan and I have use Mindmeister and then separate our map into different branches ie. Nathan, Sherice, Travel snacks, Jones, Before Leaving the house, Who to contact (business and personal), Business tools/equipment (see right).

Then we proceed to rack our brains listing all the things we need for each category.  They’ve been so handy; we even have different maps for different types of trips that we refer to regularly and the visual element makes planning a bit more fun (see right for a cool one we made for our cross the US train trip).

#2 Head to Toe

Ok here comes the silly!  When in a rush, sometimes I do this to help me remember all my personal packing essentials: I’ll tap various parts of my body from head to toe as a way as a memory trigger for various items.

For example:

Head: hair moisturizer, headwrap, shampoo, conditioner, blowdryer – check

Face: face cleanser + lotion, oil control gel, mud mask, makeup -check, eye mask

Ears: earrings and q-tips, ear buds

Mouth: toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss, vitamins and supplements etc etc

Anyways you get the drift.  I know this one probably sounds crazy silly but it works for me and has helped me to avoid forgetting some really important things.

#3 Snapshots

Working from home usually means I don’t ‘need’ to dress up all that often.  And since I tend to randomly piece outfits together, sometimes I forget some of the nicer ones I’ve stumbled on along the way.  So I’ve started taking pictures of my favs so when packing time comes, I’ll remember what to bring so I can recreate them while I’m away.

Ok that’s it for now – feel free to add your own packing tips below – yes that means you too, Karna! :)


Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 23 – What’s Your Nomadic Quotient?

Today’s Challenge: What’s your level of location independence and your nomadic quotient?

I think my level of location independence and nomadic quotient (propensity for a location independent lifestyle) are  relatively high.  It’s probably because movement started at an early age for me.  My parents were constantly relocating from one house to another so I generally changed schools once every two years.  I never really had much of a chance to settle anywhere and I always felt like I had to make new friends.  I never enjoyed that part of it so much but I grew to appreciate change because of it.


On the flip side, it’s probably what has made me more independent and self-sufficient.  I can count my really close friends on one hand and sometimes one finger and they’ve been mostly virtual too.  I never really intended for things to be that way but it does make leaving easier.


I’ve always loved the idea of traveling; picking up suddenly and leaving everything behind has always been kind of attractive to me.  You can imagine my horror when I found out Nathan’s travel adventures were limited to one trip outside the province as a baby and another outside the country in his twenties.  He even gave up family vacations in exotic locations to stay home alone!


Thankfully though his quotient has risen greatly since then.  I guess he didn’t really have a choice though we’ve moved just as many times as years we’ve been married.


Having a location independent business makes it easy to move – having family – doesn’t. Even though, technically, having Internet means we can set up anywhere, it’s still important for us to be mindful about it. You don’t want to have so much change that it becomes a distraction to your work.  Sometimes routines are good and I think this factor and the family factor make me a bit more cautious about my decisions in this area.


But having said all that we’re headed to Thailand for 5 months come November so it hasn’t stopped me.  So I really can’t complain now, can I ;)?

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 22 – If you could live anywhere

Sorry guys, we’ve got a lot of catching up to do!  Unfortunately I’ve been sick like a dog for the past few days.  Serves me right I guess for walking my dog in the rain. LOL But can you blame me? How could I say no to this face?


I’m still not feeling so hot but I missed you guys.  I don’t quite have the energy to pick up my pen but thanks to Evernote, I don’t have to.


So Day 22’s  challenge was: If you chose to live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?


That’s easy – this one’s a no-brainer.  Since I visited Chiang Mai, Thailand last year.  It’s all I can ever think about, I even planned my trip back this November before I even boarded my flight home last year and it’s taking everything in me to stop myself from packing now.


I’ve moved around A LOT and although Windsor is the first place I ever ‘called’ home, Thailand is the very first place I ever felt it.


Now I know I’ve already mentioned the great food, the amazing weather and being able to live like a king or queen on an amazingly low budget but all those things are really just the icing on the cake.  


What I love most about Thailand is the pace and especially the people.  It’s amazing just how much love and affection can be expressed even with a language barrier.  Thailand made it easy for me to totally abandon the rat race and invest time into all the things that are truly important.


To be honest, if I didn’t have any commitments here I doubt I’d want to come back.  But that’s something else my experience there helped me realize –  many of the things I valued there, I can really have anywhere – it’s just a matter of choice.

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 20 & 21- Tools that save time and money

***Yeah! Congratulations – we’ve officially made it through 2/3’s of the challenge and the end of Act 2.  Thanks for continuing this journey with me :).  Since Day 21 ended up being another siesta, I decided to combine these two posts today)***

 

Today’s Challenge: State your top three tools that you will use (or already use) to save time and money and make your online world more seamless

It’s pretty much darn near impossible for me to narrow down the time and money saving tools I use for business to a top 3.  They’re all so valuable and have merits in their own rights that they’ve become hard for me to live without.  And considering I didn’t start out loving apps and software that’s a huge deal!

What I’ll try to do instead though is list our game changers – the stand-out tools that really made the journey of growing our  freedom-based business easier. But before I begin, I have to give a huge nod to Chris G (from The Art of Non-Confirmity).  We signed up for his Empire Building Kit years ago and it really changed, no revolutionized the way we do business.  Hands down to date, it’s been the best investment we’ve made.  It really helped us launch ourselves into the whole digital product world.

First and foremost, beyond embracing online tools, there’s a mindset that’s good to  embrace that will make the road to entrepreneurship smoother.  Start there and the rest is much easier!

Chris is just one of the people we found along the way that helped to make the life we’re experiencing possible.  I can’t extol enough the value of having the right guides/mentors around you.  And the Internet has made all of this increasingly possible and accessible.

Ok…so, now for the tools! (Drum roll please)

The biggest most dramatic change for us started when we built our virtual team.  Having a team helped us free a lot more of our time and energy so we could focus on building our business.  It also made it easier for us to specialize and provide more value to our clients.  And you remember that phrase I’m always touting about building a business that demands what you want to give?  Having a team has been a crucial part of that.  Forget trying to improve your 20 in the 80/20 principle?  Just find team members that have 80s in those areas so you can focus on the things you love to do.

Since we’re on the topic of virtual teams here’s some tools that have helped us with that.  It’s probably better for me to focus on one area or we’ll be here for a long time.  If you find it useful, please send me a note or comment and I’ll put together a list of more tools in the future.

activeCollab

You ever feel like your business is managing you more than you’re managing your business? I did too.  Trying to manage projects and client relationships via email can be a nightmare!  I was forever searching for information and concerned that I might be overlooking and forgetting something.  And then adding a team to the mix and trying to keep track of things made it worse.  activeCollab changed all that – it’s a collaboration and project management system that helped us get greater control in this area. No more managing projects and other client deliverables in my mind or my inbox.  It made it so much easier to keep track of projects and their progress and communicate/collaborate with our team.

Jing You’ve heard the saying a picture is worth a thousand words?  This handy tools allows you to take screenshots and make notes as well as screencasts (short little videos you can use to explain and demonstrate information)  Before using Jing, I’d find myself constantly re-explaining things – doing screenshots and videos helps to ensure that what you see is what the other person sees –  so things get done right the first time :).

A few other noteworthy mentions

Bidsketch – Writing proposals use to be the one task I hated.  It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say we would spend hours if not days putting together a proposal.   Now we can literally put together the details of our proposals in a tenth of the time – probably even less!  Hugs and kisses to Ruben for creating such an amazing tool!

Billminder  – I use this incredible app to track all our bills and payments – saves time, money and prevents headaches :)

Google Apps – Its like email on steroids.  For the search features alone it’s already head and shoulders above the rest. Then add to it the filtering options, calendar features and one of my favourites Google Docs that allows you to easily manage documents and files from the cloud.  Really the benefits are endless.

Ok I should really stop now :), but it would be a crime for me to leave without mentioning Evernote.  It’s the app I use to write all my posts and capture my thoughts/ramblings/braindumps in text and in audio -I LOVE IT!  It’s like my very own 24/7 personal assistant.

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 19 – Building Influence

Today’s Challenge: Which methods do you want to use to build your platform and increase your influence?
 
I guess I’m still in the midst of uncovering what all this means to me. When I think of building platforms and increasing influence it ‘feels‘ complicated but in reality, it’s really not.
 
Natalie shared that one of the methods is:
 
Be a leading learner, or a person who is continually teaching themselves new skills to stay ahead of the curve; and then showing you how to do this too. You don’t have to be the expert you just have to learn and apply and teach others how they can do the same.
 
I’ve always been a learner with a growth mindset – it’s probably the one good quality that I’ve been able to recognize in myself even when I used to be plagued with insecurities and self-doubt. I used to take this gift for granted in the past because I always assumed that everyone was the same. But as I look back at my childhood, I wasn’t.
 
My dad taught me to read at 3 1/2 and would buy books for me regularly until I started reading them too fast.   When I was in junior kindergarten, my teacher would sometimes leave the room for a few minutes, and I’d get bored so I’d read my book out loud while my classmates gathered around me.
 
She asked my parents if they would mind if I skipped a couple grades, but they were nervous that I wouldn’t be able to adjust to being surrounded by older kids. So instead she gave me special projects to continue to stimulate me.
 
Throughout grade school, I looooooved reading and could be found at the library every single day. Every morning like clockwork I would show up just before the bell rung to swap a book for a new one. On my report card my teacher wrote:  ‘Sherice is a voracious reader – she eats books for breakfast.’ LOL
 
Even now, Nathan teases me about how whenever I learn something new, it becomes all I ever talk about. It gets so bad (or good depending on how you look at it) that even my friends start parroting my quotes and phrases.  
 
Learning isn’t just something I love – it’s an obsession.
 
But it’s not just about learning, I like to apply things. I can’t just blindly accept things, it has to work. This would often get me in trouble with teachers and leaders. Whether it was at school, church or work – they didn’t like being challenged – but that didn’t stop me. I didn’t care.  
 
I think truth should come with understanding because I don’t just want head knowledge, I want to see change.  I have to see change, not only for myself but for others. I guess that’s what has brought me here. The freedom that I experience, I want for others too.  
 
I don’t know why exactly this would feel complicated  to me, especially since I know that influence and change must go hand in hand. For eg., how can you change someone without influencing them – right? The thing is though, I don’t ever want it to change who I am. And sometimes that concerns me.  
 
I already know what life is like as a people-pleaser preoccupied with what people think. I know how it feels to be pressured by other’s expectations. I had that life.  I was that person. And now, that I’ve freed myself of that, my intention is never to go back.
 
As long as building platforms and increasing influence doesn’t comprise that – sure, why not?  But then again that’s my choice really.
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 18-Affiliate Marketing-To do or not to do…

Today’s topic is on Affiliate marketing…
 
The emotional:
 
To be honest, generally the idea of affiliate marketing makes me want to cringe. I know it might sound silly, but sometimes when I see referral links, I wonder, ‘Do they really like that product or are they just out to make some money?’  Call me a skeptic…
 
For a long time I refused to put referral  links on my site because I wanted people to understand that my sole reason for recommending things was a desire to help not profit.  I didn’t want to potentially hinder people from something that could benefit them just because they had similar reservations.
 
At the same time, I think if someone is going to go through the trouble to invest time into trying to help me, what’s wrong with them getting a kickback?  For some of the bloggers I’ve followed, like Chris G and Brian Johnson – they’ve impacted my life so much, I wouldn’t think twice about it.  Effectively, that’s what consistently providing real value does – establishes trust.  And I guess the question is, if it’s not hurting anyone: Who says you can’t do both? 
 
So now, I’ve included one on my site for Airbnb (you remember that travel site, I can’t stop raving about? And yes that is my affiliate link :)) mainly because the referral itself, provides a win-win situation. Anyone who uses it automatically gets a credit towards their stay and so do I.  I like that!  I feel better knowing that there’s something in it for both of us.
 
I think the value of Airbnb’s concept itself is already a win.  
 As a guest: Travel the world, stay at great places at great prices and get a taste from a local’s perspective.
 As a host: Connect with  interesting people from all over the world. It’s almost like travelling without leaving the comforts of your own home 
 
What more could you ask for? (Sorry, can’t stop raving :))
 
Whenever I meet people who have never heard of Airbnb, they’re generally thrilled to learn about it’s advantages.  Then add a monetary incentive to try it out and it’s like icing on the cake.  
 
Besides, when you think about it, how different is it from affiliate marketing really because Airbnb gets a small kickback for referring me?  It’s not shady, it’s just business.
 
The Rational 
 
So I think I’ll probably make the stretch to embrace it a bit more.  I know I love to show appreciation to people that support me, so why not let myself be appreciated for supporting others.
 
The technical: 
 
Today’s Challenge: What does your dream sales team look like and how will you ensure they help you build your business?
 
Ideally, sneezers are my dream sales team – people like me who can’t help but rave about the people and products that have impacted them.  Still it feels kind of funny referring to those people I want to help as my sales team.  So whatever happens, I want to let it happen organically.  It might sound passive, but I figure if I work hard to help others, the byproduct will be in some way the universe will work for me.
 
Give and it will be given to you.
 
What do you think?  Agree/Disagree?  Feel free to comment below.
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 17 – Struggling with Introversion

Today’s Challenge: What three steps can you take to build trust and credibility online for you, your brand and your business?
 
People that know me well, generally find it hard to believe that I can be extremely introverted.
 
It’s kind of an odd predicament really,  because I love connecting with people, I just got used to not enjoying the experience.
 
I know that probably sounds funny. Ok, let me try to explain…
 
Being an overachieving perfectionist came with another ailment for me:  being a tad bit, overly preoccupied with what others think (haha that sounds like an oxymoron). This was extremely crippling because I would think and OVERthink everything!
 
I’d feel self-conscious sharing and when I did share, I’d be paranoid about how I came across.  My mind was constantly in a state of internal auto playback and my Inner Critic seemed to get off on analyzing conversations and pointing out my mistakes.  Days, weeks, months and sometimes even years later the recordings would continue and every small hiccup was determined to be a fatal flaw.
 
So I guess it wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy being around people, I just hated the experience I’d endure afterwards.  
Sometimes the thought of this would literally paralyze me during conversations. 
 
It wasn’t always this way though, on a few occasions I would form really deep bonds with people after one connection or have deep, meaningful conversations.  But being married to an extrovert- a pretty extreme one at that – made it easier for me to slip into the background or hide in the shadows.
 
It wasn’t until we started to regularly host guests on Airbnb that things really started to change.
 
One of the best antidotes for fear is immersing yourself in situations that make you ‘feel’ afraid.
 
In the beginning it was awkward.  The first time, I literally camped out in my bedroom, but over time I became more comfortable. I started to really enjoy hosting and meeting new people. And not only that, I get excited.  Now, not only am I sad to see them go, they’re sad to leave.
 
These experiences helped me embrace the truth, I actually really enjoy being around people. On the odd occasion, I may still get that strange feeling, but I realize that it’s due to conditioning more than anything else. You know how Inner Critics just love to try to get in the way.
 
As far as building trust online (because of my earlier feelings), this part has historically been quite a challenge for me.  When I tried to put myself out there, my attempts either felt forced or fake.
 
Now, I know today’s challenge is more of a technical question, but I think the bigger challenge for me has been more of a psychological one.  
 
And the answer? Self-compassion.
 
Accepting myself and embracing my imperfection makes me feel less insecure about sharing and connecting with others.Trusting myself will make it easier for me to build trust with others. And believing in myself and appreciating my own value will make it easier for me to communicate value to others.
 
The more of me I allow myself to be and others to see, the easier everything else will be.
 
P.S. For My Fellow Introverts: Here’s a really great article I read by Chris G, Writing and Speaking for Introverts
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 16-Started from the bottom, now my whole team’s here

Ah yes – finally! Now here’s a topic, I can sink my teeth into:  Building Teams (Don’t miss my P.S. where I include some helpful tips)
 
Today’s challenge: How will you build a team around your vision and work smart instead of hard?
 
Let me just say, I’m a huge advocate of building a virtual team. Without a doubt, I know having a team has allowed me to have much more time to do the things I love and create a life around my values.
 
Now I have to admit, years ago, in the very beginning, I was kind of nervous about the idea – the added expense, the responsibility of managing people, guaranteeing they’d always have work, being able to pay them etc. I’ve generally been more of a ‘bottom line’ kind of girl. That was my security, so I was adverse to anything that threatened to eat away at that. But now, all that’s changed; I really believe it’s impossible to grow your company without a team.’  Forget eating away at the bottom line, without one you’ll eat away at your life!
 
On our own, Nathan and I only had so many hours we could contribute in a day. And we pretty much worked all of them. We weren’t just burning the candle at both ends, we torched it!   
 
Without our team, we never would’ve come this far in our business and personally I never would’ve been able to experience the type of freedom I’ve talked about without them.  I thank God for them everyday.
 
When you start out on your own, you have all these dreams about how much freedom owning your own business will mean – only to find that you now own a job not a business. You can thank Robert Kyosaki for that one. When I read that in his book Cashflow Quadrant, it was like a huge slap in the face!
 
But he was right, I didn’t have freedom at all. I was more tied down than I used to be because the business couldn’t operate without me. Clients needs couldn’t be met, money couldn’t be made and I couldn’t simply walk away from my desk at 5. And don’t even think of trying to take a real vacation!
 
Now, I’m barely at my desk. With a team, I can focus on crucial things, like working on our business instead of just working in it. It’s easier to launch new ideas, generate products that produce ‘residual income’ and my favourite part ‘focus on creating more value for our clients’. And for us that also means we end up getting paid more and work less. Now mind you, more work still gets done, it simply means it doesn’t all need to get done by me.
 
What I love about having a team is not only do they do the work I don’t have time to do or can’t do, they also enjoy doing the work I don’t want to do and that’s where real freedom begins. Remember that quote from Jonathan Fields I talked about –  ‘creating a business that demands from you want you want to give?‘  That’s what it’s meant for us.  
 
I guess I have an unfair advantage with this question having not only built teams for our own businesses, but  through our company ActiveLabs we also help other businesses improve the collaboration and productivity of their own teams – essentially helping them manage their business so it’s not managing them.  We want to help them enjoy their work and life more like we’ve been able to.
 
Enjoying life, optimizing, learning, growing, creating and writing now comprise the biggest part of my day. And resting- can’t forget resting
 
Signing off, 
 
The recovered workaholic ;)
 
P.S
 
3 Helpful tips you can use when building your own virtual team 
 
Systemize: I can’t stress enough the importance of this word. It saves time, it saves stress and it saves money.  Sometimes building processes and documenting procedures can feel like a daunting task (and if it does I can help you with that – shameless plug haha) but it’s definitely worth it.  
 
For our own business and most of the organizations we consult with, we use activeCollab to manage projects.  It’s a self hosted project management system (similar to Basecamp).  
 
Having some sort of system is crucial because it’s useless trying to manage things in your inbox. A system helps you easily assign tasks, track time and deadlines. It also helps serve as a helpful repository for data, files and other useful information when the work is done. If you’ve ever had to find a file months later in your inbox you know what I mean :)
 
Automate:  Don’t overlook the huge benefit of software when it comes to adding valuable members to your team. With helpful tools like Freshbooks for less than $20/mo, we were able to create a ‘billing team’. This handy service automated all of our billing so we’re easily able to send out recurring invoices, invoice reminders, track payments and  do reporting. We can even see when our clients have viewed their invoices and can mail out hard copy versions without even leaving our seat!
 
Communicate: When you have a team, this one’s a bit of a no brainer but how you communicate can be key especially with a virtual team. Screencasting and video can be your best friend. It helps to ensure the person on the other end understands your requests the way you see it. Not only that, it provides a helpful reference tool when your team has to do the same task days, months or even years later. And tasks can easily be reassigned to someone else without your involvement (check out Jing and Screencastomatic for handy options you can use).
 
Want some specific recommendations for your team?  Let’s talk.
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 15 – It’s the Lists baby, it’s the Lists

Ok break out the rosary beads, it’s confession time. Don’t laugh buuuuuuut, I haven’t really been trying to build a list.
 
WHAT???!!!  
 
I know! The shame, the horror and it gets worse!
 
Get this, I used to ask people to subscribe in order to get my book for free and then I STOPPED ASKING.
 
I’m an idiot. Ok forget it, you can laugh LOL
 
The other day, Nate showed me some stats and there were hundreds of downloads and I don’t even know who they are! (Come to think of it, I don’t even know where they came from because I don’t really promote my site.)
 
No seriously laugh! Even I’m shaking my head. Do you know, I pestered my best friend to add a free download to her site? Got on her case for months to finish it, telling her all about the benefits of using it to build an email list.  She did it, then thanked me for the push because it increased her list!
 
And foolish, foooooolish girl that I am, left my free download unchanged.
 
You want to hear the pathetic excuse I made?
 
I want as many people to read the story as possible. It’s not about subscribers for me, I just want to help. I don’t want to hinder people from being potentially impacted by the story because they didn’t want to sign up to my list.’
 
Then when I saw Danielle LaPorte do something similar on her site, it was all the justification I needed.
 
But she has a list dummy?  I know, I know!  Hahaha
 
Sure, it’s true –  I really don’t want to hinder people from reading my story, but on the real, it’s highly likely, it was just Resistance.
 
I think subconsciously, I didn’t want to know that people were actually reading my blog. And I probably didn’t want to hold myself accountable to shipping because I didn’t want to put myself in a position to care what people think. The trouble was I already did. But I wanted it to stop.
 
I read books, prayed, meditated and although it diminished a fair bit, it never totally went away. At least it didn’t until I let myself love myself.
 
And I don’t mean that ‘woo woo’ type stuff where you look in the mirror and repeat affirmations or the religious stuff where I say, ‘Jesus loves me’ and it all goes away.
 
It was when I took a good, long hard look at myself and the things I had let my Inner Critic say, that I realized I wasn’t being a loving supportive friend to myself by sitting there and listening.
 
If my best friend Deidre came to me and said that someone said even a quarter of the negative things It’s said to me, I’d say “D, don’t listen to that crap, it’s not true.” I’d probably be furious at them for treating her that way.  And, I would be able to clearly see they were wrong and dismiss them as lies. But for myself, I haven’t been so kind.
 
If any of this sounds familiar to you – self-limiting talk, beating yourself up, the refusal to forgive yourself for silly (or not so silly) mistakes – do yourself a favour: Be your own best friend.
 
If I know you like I think I know you, you probably are a good great friend. You’re compassionate, kind and you’d be willing to give the shirt off your back to help a friend in need. You’ve probably already done it.
 
So now, it’s time that you allow yourself to receive that kind of support from the person looking back at you in the mirror. Don’t just sit back and take the self-inflicted beatings and accept the self-loathing. Believe the good things that have been said about you. Don’t take things so seriously. Laugh at with yourself. Believe in yourself – your dreams, your desires, no matter how preposterous they might sound, ’cause that’s what you would do for a good friend.  
 
And it’s time you be a good friend to you.
 
P.S.  Oh yeah! Natalie wanted to know how I’d build my list. Well, I guess for starters, it’s time I re-add the subscription set up to my free download.  And (ahem, cough, cough) maybe actually send my blogposts to my newsletter list.  I think that might be a good start Sherice – ya think ;)?
Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 14 – The Dirty Little M Word

Today’s challenge:  What are the two key ways you could use the habits of a millionaire to monetize your blog in the next month.

Ick!  It’s that dirty little ‘M’ word – monetize.  The word that every starving artist loves to hate. The one that threatens to rob us of our passion and precious creativity, cause ‘We don’t want to do it for the man, we want to do it for the love.’ Let’s not be silly though, who doesn’t want money? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.  After all, how else am I going to pay for all these trips around the world :). 

To be honest with you, I’m not sure how ready I’ve been to make this a reality.  I’m just barely getting used to blogging everyday.

Ok…Excuse # 1

Yep, I’m going to call myself out on my own crap.  As far as this site, I’ve really struggled with this money issue.  I don’t mind helping other people trade their value for money, but I have reservations when it comes to mine.

So what is it Sherice?

Hmm, I don’t know, maybe I question my own value.  Though it seems kind of silly to question something everyone else sees in you.  Doesn’t it?  I mean it’s not like I’ll be taking my own money for services rendered – so what the heck does what I think have to do with it?

Ouch! Yeah I guess that’s true.  

Shut up Inner Critic, you just got served!

Sherice, do you think maybe it’s the Imposter Syndrome?  

Valid point.  I used to wonder that too, but if I’m honest with myself, even if I still see a ton of opportunities for growth in myself – there’s a lot of people I’ve met that would love to have my life.

They’d love to work from home, love to have their own hours and have time to do all the things they love. They’d love to be able to spend a ton of time with their family, love to travel the world, love to never see snow again, love to pay off debt.

I’ve even been featured in a magazine for all these things.  So I think the reality is (although my ‘not good enough‘  conditioning would have trouble admitting it) that syndrome has no right imposing itself on me.

So let’s just say Resistance wasn’t an issue excuse.  How would I answer the question?

Well I guess firstly, I should tell you what the key habits are.  Natalie talked to Jaime Tardy from Eventual Millionaire and she shared these two habits that 100+ millionaires she interviewed had in common.

1. Continuous forward motion (success is a process not an event)
2. No excuses approach (even when the going gets tough)

Ok taking these into consideration, I’d say for #1.  I’m going to continue to show up everyday (whether it’s for this blog, my own personal projects, whatever – I will create everyday).  There’s this quote from Marie Forleo that I love:  Clarity comes through engagement not thought.  

I’ll stop thinking and over thinking and just do.  Nathan is really good at this, he’ll just throw his backpack over the wall and dive in.  But me?  I like risks but I’m more of a planner than he is and extremely analytical.  I not only think, I think about why I’m thinking while I’m thinking LOL.

For #2 No excuses approach:

Instead of ‘monetizing’, for the sake of my EMO, I’m going to think of it as opportunities to provide value and not only that I’m going to throw my backpack over the wall.

I’ve always thought Andrew Warner from Mixergy had a great concept – interviewing entrepreneurs.  And it just so happens that I have a wee bit of interviewing experience.  I can’t believe I’m telling you this, ‘ cause it’s kind of embarrassing, but I used to host a segment on a TV show interviewing Christian rappers.  We even had an online video show before all this podcasting and vlogging became so popular (yes I am that ancient LOL)
The Fantastic Four
Ok anyways, I’m bringing all this up because I’ve had this little idea percolating in the back of my mind:  To interview a few people I admire about fear and it just so happens that, I’ve had the chance to connect with 3 out of the 4 people featured on my homepage in the past.  Not anything major mind you, but maybe, just maybe, it could be enough.

Chris G of The Art of Non- Conformity

I met Chris G twice during his book tour, once in Ann Arbor and once in Toronto. Then we went to WDS the first year and I have to say, he truly is a really incredible guy. He remembered us every single time and even pulled us aside to buy us a drink when we saw him at his event.  Who does that?!  We’ve emailed him a few times and over the years he’s never forgotten us; he even gave me really nice feedback on my bookgotta love him!

Adam Baker of Man vs Debt

I took his You vs Debt course which was great!  We managed to pay off over $10,000 of debt during the few months I took the course.

Anyways, let’s just say through an unusual turn of events, he kindly offered me a favour.  Maybe I should take him up on that :).

Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Funny story – I was on my way to Thailand when he was doing a Webinar.  And if you follow his blog, you know he refuses to release replays.  He does it live and if it matters enough to you – you show up.

Well, I couldn’t and I had a good excuse too (my flight to Thailand) that I blamed him for and asked him to oblige.  I told him because his resources helped us achieve our dreams, we would be flying to Thailand during the Webinar so would he please, please, please let me have a replay.

I honestly didn’t expect him to reply, but he did! And he asked if I would mind sending him a testimonial.  Do something for Ramit?!  I think I almost literally wet my pants.  Anyways, I told him I would do something better – I’d send him a video testimonial while I was in Thailand (What was I thinking?  As if a simple write up wouldn’t have been pressure enough)Anyways he loved it! And it just took 2 takes and 7 mosquito bites. LOL

So, all that to say…I AM HURLING MY BACKPACK OVER THE WALL!

I’m going to reach out to all 3 of them and see if they’ll do an interview.  Holy Crap!  I can’t believe I just said that.  I’m not only putting myself on the line, I’m going to paint it on myself.  Who knows – maybe it could be the start of something.  And if it is, you’ll be here with me to witness the beginnings.

Haha, I can hear Resistance whispering, ‘Delete, delete, delete!’

Nope!  Life is an experiment :).

So my friends, what do you want to know from these 3 amazing blogpreneursContact me and let me know.

Signing off with fingers crossed, whispered prayers and heart pounding in chest ;).

Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 13 – Honesty is the best policy

Lord help me – it’s only day 13!

*Sigh* I guess I should be happy since we’re nearing the halfway point. 

Ya!  Halfway woohoo!

Alrighty, so today’s challenge is all about websites, so I’m thinking, ‘Yes! Free pass – I already have a website.’

Then, I read the question:  What 3 things would I most like my website to have?  ‘Boo! Go directly to jail!  Do not pass go!  Do not collect $200!’

Aw snap!  Does anyone happen to have a ‘Get out of jail free’ card?  LOL

That question encouraged me to go back to my website with fresh eyes.  So I go to the homepage, read the header and it says,

What if your fear listened to you for a change?
Get in charge of your fear – and of your future. Change fear, explore its hold on you, question,
overcome and reposition it, so you can live the life you want to live…

And I’m like…’WOW Sherice, what happened?!  Sure it sounds good and all but where exactly is this exploration and introspection?  

Then there’s the midsection where I feature a few people that were instrumental in my life.  Initially the plan was to add more people and resources over time,  but I think somewhere along the way I got stuck…

I was torn between what I thought people expected and what I wanted.

Geesh, can someone had me a stick of dynamite so I can blow up this site?

Ok…what I would like to have?

1. My website needs to be a better reflection of me.


2. It needs to be clear who the website is for?  I think it should be overachieving perfectionists regularly plagued with self-limiting thoughts – The recovering (people like me), uncovering and newly discovering). How’s that for narrowing a niche? LOL


3. It needs to be clear what I’m offering if I’m offering something.  I think it’s pretty clear to me that I’m an executioner not a coach (even if people expect me to be). I’ve always been resistant to that terminology and questioned whether it was Resistance with a capital ‘R’ – it’s not Time to take all that consulting terminology off the site.


I still feel really passionate about helping people and I think that’s something that will never change.  I don’t think I could even if I wanted to.  But it’s got to be different because I am different.

You know, now it’s beginning to make a lot more sense.  The reason I haven’t been blogging on the site is because it’s no longer a reflection of me.  I think if anything it was more a reflection of who I thought I should be.

So…who am I?

Simply…I’m someone who wants to be honest about the struggle.  Honest about the fact that although I’m loving my freedom and pursuing my dreams, I still have the occasional doubt and fears.

Ok let’s be honest Resistance has pretty much beaten a path to my proverbial door.

Buuuuuut regardless of how much it yells, beats its chest and pounds its fist –

I shall not lose…

it shall not win,

because...it’s not the only one who knows how to resist ;).


Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).

Day 12 -You down with USP? Ya you know me

Today’s challenge: Da Da Da Daaaa!!’
What is your Unique Selling Proposition that sets you out from the crowd?

‘Oh yay,’ said Sherice, her tone dripping with sarcasm. ‘I just looooove this exercise.’

I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but overachieving, perfectionists, regularly tortured with self-limiting thoughts are probably not the best people to ask to attempt this exercise.

But since I’m in my recovery phase, I will attempt said task (not happily mind you :)) and I’m determined to do this, this time around. At the same time, I’m no dummy, I recognize an opportunity for Resistance to rear it’s ugly head when I see it.

That being said, I decided I’d call on my trusty guide for some extra assistance  –  Google.  So, I started googling USP and came across all these articles telling me how important it was (geesh as if I needed more pressure)

Yes, I already understand this and I know what a USP is (I’ve even put them together for others), BUT can someone please show me an article on ‘how a recovering, overachieving perfectionist who has been conditioned by her Inner Critic to not see herself quite clearly‘ can get some clarity on how unique she really is?

Then I heard this deep booming voice say, ‘You already know the answer.’

And suddenly, I heard the sound of angels singing and a glorious light filled the room.  Ok, none of that happened, it was really just my husband’s voice speaking, but he did say something I thought was rather glorious.  He said, ‘You’re the Executioner.’

Ah yes!  The name that’s been in my signature for years (The Executioner), the quote that’s pretty much been my personal motto (Ideas are cheap, it’s the execution that counts) and the blogpost Nathan stumbled on that started it all (thanks Emily).  See, it really does find you!

I still remember the day he showed me the post, we both got a good chuckle from it. And you know what?  Back then, even with my self-limiting thoughts, I could still see elements of myself.

I am The Executioner…

I’m  the one that’s called to flesh out the plan, organize the details, make crucial decisions and push things forward when they get stuck.

I can put legs on visions and wings on dreams if you let me. I can even leap tall buildings in a single bound!  Haha, ok maybe not – but I have to admit for a second, saying all that felt almost as ridiculous ’cause I’ve never been one to feel entirely comfortable tooting my own horn.  ‘Shut-up Inner Critic  – I’m tootin’ anyways!


Hi I’m Sherice, I wanted to be a snowbird before 40. I wondered, “What’s the point of waiting to travel the world and do work I love?” Today, with my husband, Nathan, we run thriving businesses from the comfort of our own laptops. We spend 6 months a year in Thailand, travel frequently — and spend the rest of our time at home in Canada — at least that’s the plan for now, who knows what the future will bring ;).