FunEmployment: the Rebirth of the Wanderslut!

Last week on an emergency Friday morning conference call, two mere weeks before Christmas, my caring, loving, employee-centric company gave the greatest gift of all to our entire salesforce:

A LAYOFF.

How thoughtful of them!

In reality it is very nice to have the holidays to spend with my family and reassess what we want to do at this point in our lives.  California is awesome and we really love most parts of living here.  Like the weather and the fish tacos. And the sunsets and palm trees.  And lack of mosquitos and freaky bugs you find in other parts of the world.

However, I watched the incredible documentary on Netflix about Tony Robbins and he said something that really stuck with me.

“Everyone needs a compelling future.  Everyone needs something to move towards.  If you don’t have something to move towards, you settle for where things are.” – Tony Robbins

More to come on this later – we are kicking around the idea of taking a month off and going to Thailand and Bali, possibly Malaysia or the Philippines.   There will always be more jobs that offer the hope of impending layoffs waiting for us when we get back.  It’s America, after all!  The Land of Opportunity!

In the meantime, to ward off my further exploration into the depths of Netflix during the next two weeks leading up to the holidays, I’ve decided to highlight the best of the best things to do here in San Diego from a Local’s point of view: The 12 Days of San Diego!

Side note:  Some people may be pissed that they got laid off, but I’m actually really grateful for it.  This couldn’t have come at a better time:  I get to spend the holidays with my family, enjoy our beautiful city while it is not overrun with tourists, and do some goal-setting for the new year.

Cheers!!!

How I Manage to Procrastinate While Procrastinating: It’s a Science

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb

Ironically, I procrastinated on the Procrastination-themed blog challenge of the day.  I got overwhelmed that the challenge was nearly over, that I wouldn’t have someone telling me what to do every day as an assignment, and then wtf was I going to do with myself?  I waited like 36 hours to even open it up. Maybe it was the P-word used in front of me to begin with? Maybe it was just that I woke up to a beautiful Saturday in San Diego and hit the snooze button on this whole blogfest.   We’ll just go with that.

It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, it happens to me A LOT.  If I think about the whole huge assignment, i.e. creating a remote career out of nowhere with no experience having a business of my own and really just a vision board that I look at across the room.

Plus, remember my blog two days ago:  SHINY EXPRESS!  Shiny Express is so much for fun to focus on than the dull, slow, black-smoke emitting Overwhelm Local.

Are you following along?  Are you noticing my procrastination continuing even as I write this sentence?

So to combat this, what I have found that works is just focusing on the small parts.  Taking one step at a time and committing to putting those pieces together, rather than trying to build Rome in the time it takes to finish an episode of Below Deck.  BTW did you notice what happened with Kate and Chef Ben this week?  OMG.  That episode was the —  shit.  I did it again.

Let’s just skip to the end of the story and summarize before I toss my computer on the couch and settle into a Below Deck Marathon:

GOAL:  More freedom in my life.

SOLUTION: Create a successful online business, which is as profitable as possible, while taking the least amount of time every day as humanly possible.

Captain Lee, not my husband

I will let you in on a little secret (don’t worry, it all ties into Below Deck):

My husband has a background in the yachting industry – and I’m obsessed with it.  I think it is so super cool and love talking about it with him and any of his friends.  I’ve come up with a website idea that will revolutionize the yachting industry.  I secured all the tools and means necessary to develop the website, but didn’t know how in the f*** wordpress worked.  Now, after participating in this blog and developing the entire thing myself, I’ve learned enough that I can transfer these skills to the other project and not make it look like a 3rd grader put it together for a science project.

Then, I let fear of failure and also fear of success hamper my progress.  Honestly, it sounds so stupid typing that, but it’s totally true.  We humans are weirdos sometimes.  But it is totally natural and I’m happy I’m not alone on this one.

“Hellooooo, Procrastination and Overwhelm, nice to see you again!  Have a drink.  Or 7.  Here’s a magazine.  Come on in and we will find a way to distract me for the next few weeks, so I don’t have to make any actual progress on this project!!”

When you have Procrastination and Overwhelm visit your doorstep like I do, it helps to paste this quote everywhere:

A Month/Season/Year from now, you will wish you had started TODAY.  

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

Tribal Serendipity

Are there such things as coincidences?  Some people believe that there aren’t.  That things are set up for you by what you put out into the universe, with the right timing, based on what you’re ready for at that moment.

Today’s blog focus is centered on how to find your tribe.  The handful (or more, if you’re lucky and a A++ networker) of people who you can emulate and who mentor you straight down your very own success path.find-your-tribe-love-them-hard

I started this blog challenge to light a big old fire under my booty, but it also had a focus on the same themes that I’ve been studying for the past few months.  Each day we are emailed a short video from Natalie Sisson, who outlines the focus for us and encourages us to write/video/smoke signal our thoughts on the topic via our blogs.

Today I’m supposed to name 1-2 people who are leading the life I’d like to lead myself, and what  one question I’d like to ask them.  Knowing me, the question would have about 6 subparts and an interpretive dance.  For the record, I’ve never made it completely through the dance before.

be-a-frhThe first two people who came to mind were Marianne Cantwell, the Free Range author, and the other is the Freedom-Planning leader of this blog challenge, Natalie.   At first I thought it may be kind of like picking the friend who picked you to play catch, because you kind of felt obligated.  But after thinking some more, I realized that both Marianne and Natalie have very similar (if not nearly identical) approaches to this whole remote-living lifestyle.  It’s exactly why I was drawn to this challenge and actually am completing it in the first place.  (it wasn’t the possible free trip to Bali, because I found out about this whole thing a week after it started.  But I totally would have accepted a free trip to a Bali Mastermind, if that’s what you’re offering.)

I digress.  These two incredible ladies are really inspiring to me.    One main reason being that they are genuinely dedicated to spreading the wealth on this freedom while working lifestyle.  Also, they’ve been there and done it themselves.  They aren’t hiding behind a computer screen, leading some shoddy webinar in order to make a few bucks.

So guess what?  Natalie is here in San Diego right now.  How random! What are the odds?  She had challenged us to reach out to the people we want to meet/question, so I did. We shall see what happens!  If anything, I will take it as a sign that I’m on the right path.  Like the 11:11 smoke signal of tribal serendipity.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

All Aboard the Shiny Express!

Last time I checked, there’s no way of booking an Adult fare on Amtrak’s “Train of Thought,” so it must be connected to why it’s so often derailed.

Day 5 of this blog challenge has us evaluating how we will set ourselves up for success in making this dream of not being a corporate slave come true.  There are many people out there who find it hard to work from home.  I’m not one of them!  I would literally die if I had to go to an office from 9-5.  Literally.  Die.   But the past 15 years of working remotely have forced me to come up with a routine and daily habits that keep me on track, when so many shiny, beautiful, fun distractions wait in the shadows as if sent from Santa Satan himself.   In other words, a one way ticket on the Shiny Express.  toot! toot!

So, for me what works is:

  • Consistency
  • Beginning the day with 2-3 main activities to complete
  • Owning that time to myself. (aka: leave me the hell alone)

For me personally, it works best to take about 20-30 minutes  of distraction-free quiet time in the morning to prep and then the few hours after my little squawker passes out at night to work on the research, ideas, and other fun stuff that’s come up during the day.

I’m lucky that I have only ever worked remotely in my career.  I’ve never had to clock into an office, otherwise I would probably hide out in the bathroom “talking to my attorney” aka sleeping sitting up on the toilet for an hour every day.  Don’t act like you’ve never done it before, I know it happens.  I have people on the inside.

So I have a routine already that makes me successful every day.  It usually looks like this:

Every morning I slide out of bed undetected as if doing the walk of shame, then shower the few hours of sleep off myself.   Still half asleep Fully awake, I am able to take a look at my work schedule, set my goals & intentions for the day, and look at whatever my project was the day before with a fresh set of eyes.   This 25 minute cycle is so productive!

It also helps that everyone else in my house is still asleep at this moment, so it is that ever golden quiet hour.*  Being the obsession-queen that I am, whatever is on my mind MUST be taken care of before I can go out and play.  Otherwise, my focus and attention span is about as capable as Taylor Swift in a big-girl relationship.

For longer home office working periods, I do find that breaking it out into task-oriented or 25 minute time blocks, also known as the Pomodoro Technique, helps keep the productivity going and procrastination at bay.  #guiltyofthatone

What sort of daily routines work for you?  How do you stay focused and keep the distractions at bay?  Share them in the comments if you get a chance, I’d love to hear some new ideas.

Cheers!

*minus the neighbors’ (yes, plural) dogs barking, Boeing 737s overhead every 5 minutes, garbage trucks in our alley (seriously, HOW MANY CAN THERE POSSIBLY BE EVERYDAY), and nearby domestic disputes.  We plan to move shortly.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

Perfection, in a Day.

So, I know this is intended to be a travel blog, but part of this 10 day blog challenge is following the directions set forth by this kiwi called Natalie every day.  You can read more about it  by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.   I stumbled upon the challenge at the perfect time, and so far it’s been right in line with certain goals for the future.

Today’s assignment is to write about my Perfect Day.  I know I may get some eyerolls, and possibly “Who are you to think you can just create a perfect day, you creepy new-age hippie dreamer?  Go back to doing your expense reports and entering your sales calls in the ridiculous CRM system, freak!”

To which I would say, “Excuse me.  It is my TPS reports, and I think you stole my stapler.”

I am a huge believer in making vision boards, like the old-school ones out of old Cosmo and British Bride magazines.  I try to stay away from using Us Weekly and In Touch, as it’s not my intention to end up as a strung-out, unrecognizable Kardashian Kreature, hot off my last spat with Taylor Swift.   I prefer to use the more uplifting and visually appealing options, and even have used a Costco magazine before.   Hey, don’t judge!  They have really awesome travel packages in the back that have tons of photos of those super cute water bungalows in Bora Bora!

So here we go – feel free to put your Soothing Spa Sounds playlist on from Spotify, close your eyes, and visualize…oh and get someone to read this out to you since your eyes are closed.

Perfection, in a Day.   

I wake up in our house at the beach, next to my husband for some morning cuddles** (**I am not a superfan of the word cuddles, for the record—it sounds like a clown’s name. However, snuggles isn’t a much better option, so got to deal with it.)

Anyways —-  Our house has a bright open Miami-style floor plan, surrounded by lush landscaping and overlooking the water.    We have fun and polite neighbors, who are all driven to be successful and instill similar values in their kids as we do.  It’s a great match for our family, and always keeps us busy with fun things to do.  oh wait, I digress.  Where was I… Oh yes, coffee time.

So I’m greeted by our dogs as I walk in to make some coffee and notice it’s a beautiful sunny day.  While I was making coffee, Big Mac has brought Little Mac into the kitchen, smiling and full of things to say, as usual.   We go onto the beautiful shaded patio to enjoy the sea breeze while pumping 100 tons of caffeine thru my veins  enjoying a cup of coffee.  I read my daily devotional/inspirational thoughts, and get my mind all set for the day.  I go into my office to check on some business for about an hour or so, and jot down some ideas I have for a new project for my web business.  After a bit we go inside to get dressed and our things packed to go out on the boat.

view-from-a-boat

We head to the marina to meet up with some friends, and we all head out for a fun few hours, cruising up the coastline and basking in the sun.   It’s an absolutely gorgeous day as we listen to music and watch all the seagulls and dolphins who occasionally are following our boat.  We stop for lunch at a little beach bar that has the BEST margaritas around.  It is just magical.

beach-couple

We are planning our next family trip to Bali, where we are going to stay for about 3 weeks, possibly a month. It’s all a very stress-free, enjoyable life we love to live.  The only stress we have comes from excitement about the newest online project we are starting. So, we head home after a bit to shower up and hang out by our pool.  ittle Mac is learning to swim, and doing really well!  (Obviously, I am not his swim coach.)  So, I watch them play around while we watch the sunset, and…

I’m just gonna leave it at that for now.  I’m already relaxed and need to take a nap

To Summarize:

Our Family + 

Great Friends +

Enjoying the Beautiful Day +                     =               PERFECTION

Gorgeous Scenery + 

Zero Stress

Great Food & Margaritas 

So that does it for Day 3 of Natalie’s Freedom Plan Blog Challenge, until I wake up to my Day 4 email tomorrow and get cracka-lackin’ again.  Have a #blessed day everyone!

Cheers!

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

FREEDOM: Not Just A George Michael Song Anymore

Guys, I recently make a big mistake.  HUGE.  I stepped in it big time.   

Now I’ve started reading The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

It gave me ideas.  It made me dream and believe in a work/life greater than the metrics-driven, conference-call-filled, corporate sales job that I’ve been conditioned to think is the only option for me over the past decade and a half.

HOPE HAS BEEN RESTORED.

You see, I have a job that I really do often loathe appreciate and “feel-the-feelings-of-gratitude” for occasionally on a daily basis.  It allows us to pay the bills, have nice things, and take some time off for a couple of weeks a year.  Sure, I’m grateful to be in a spot that lots of people would love to crack into, but there’s got to be more to life than just enduring the week days so you can cram as much fun into Friday 5pm-Monday 7am as possible.

Recently a former coworker passed away in a head-on collision, during a field day with his pharma sales manager.  So tragic and especially for his family, as he leaves behind two kids and a wife.  Who knows if he liked his job, his manager, or driving to doctor offices every day?   It just reinforced all the feels that I have been having about life/work balance shift and escaping from what Marianne calls, “The Career Cage.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about accomplishment and working smart and being the best I can be. (See: Perfectionist.   See Also: Obsessive.)   But I’m also a huge believer in FREEDOM.  That’s what it’s all about.  (sorry, Hokie Pokie)   The internet is providing us with unlimited potential to create these sort of remote working lives, which frees up time to spend with the ones we love.

Freeeeeeedoooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

So Mr Ferriss’s book has really inspired me to take action.  Like the saying goes, “A year from now you’re going to wish you had started today.”   I think Benjamin Franklin said that.  (kidding, I’m just making sure you’re still reading)

Til Tomorrow, Ciao!

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2