I hear so many excuses of how and why it is NOT possible to emulate my lifestyle – that of being a global gallivanting nomad. But your reality has probably radically changed a whole whack this past year right? Now you are re-thinking and re-jigging life, work, and ideas and what just might be possible for you and your family! There is something exciting being offered by Airbnb – keep reading if you want an exiting adventure!
I have been working online for the better part of 15 years in some form. It was skype long before Zoom, offering online courses since 2004 long before it was ‘de rigeur’ and travelling to deliver keynote talks and retreats across the globe).
I have officially been living #LocationFree for over 5 years now – meaning no permanent home base.
The world has forced new thinking So as the world starts to release, expand and open up at last – are YOU starting to activate your long-held or recently realized idea about living a more location-free lifestyle? My latest book details the lessons learned from both myself AND 16 other courageous digital nomads that I interviewed for the book. We are all over 40 (most of us over 50) from different countries and in various lines of work – from coaches to accountants, web designers, psychotherapists, LD on cruises and more. We show the highs and the lows, how to connect to communities and basically how to make this lifestyle ‘work’ for you.
Yes, of course, most of us were in some version of lock-up together as the health crisis ravaged our worlds ……but the way so many millions of people suddenly HAD to work from home and experience freedom from the office culture, finally removed that particular excuse from the list of many….
I CAN’T TRAVEL AND WORK LIKE YOU KATE – I HAVE A JOB! I HAVE TO BE IN XYZ CITY AS MY OFFICE IS THERE I DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO TRAVEL I DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET STARTED WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY THINK IF I DON”T HAVE A “HOME”
But for me, the biggest reality/obstacle (Um excuse) is usually about earning a living and needing to be in an “office” in one specific place. Not any more right? Thanks for that big global blessing Covid! Not to detract from the harsh reality of the crisis, the loss, the devastation, the global grief, and economic realities… I do believe in looking for that silver living too.
Costs are not higher – just different Actually when you do the maths and look at living location-free versus a “stable home base” we simply have DIFFERENT costs. I swap owning a car for my travel budget. Swap my mortgage for Air B’nB costs. Just different costs, but definitely not more. I simply choose to channel and spend my money differently. If you are craving connection, new experiences, and a way to satisfy your wanderlust spirit – then there is something you can do today, to take action on that dream. Take a look at what a friend I met when living in Malaga for the winter in 2019 just sent me ……
APPLY TO LIVE ANYWHERE FOR A YEAR! SPONSORED BY AIR BnB – eeeck!!!! https://news.airbnb.com/airbnb-seeks-12-people-to-live-anywhere-for-one-year/
Airbnb is offering 12 people the chance to live #LocationFree for a year. Now, how is that for squashing ANY excuse you might have? I am not applying as I am already living this way – so will gladly leave a space for the next person. IS THAT YOU? Please know that I am not in any way affiliated to, or reimbursed by AirBnB – I just happen to use them on my global travels as awesome places to stay. Imagine more experiences, global connections, lifelong friends, hearing and learning new languages and most of all FREEDOM! They are offering to sponsor your year-long lifestyle. After that, you might be hooked, like me 5 years later, or choose to find a new way to live going forward.
Imagine one year …
Not ready to take that leap yet? Start small If you are not quite ready yet to take the year-long leap and apply for this awesome experience, then get started with my 5th book recently published, titled “10 Lessons for Living #LocationFree”. Available in paperback or digital here – click the link below or search for the ISBN in your country 978-0-620-90868-9. Get the juices flowing, ideas brewing, and start crafting a new lifestyle for yourself. 1,2,3 GO!
With love from Greece – where I am currently and starting a writing retreat today!
When you’re out of the house, you might be looking forward to seeing some sights or simply unwinding. However, whether you’re traveling for work or going on a retreat in Europe, you shouldn’t forget to practice self-care while you’re away from home. Travel may also be a form of self-care to get away from your typical routines, but there are some additional things you can do to make your travel more relaxing:
Squeeze in some exercise Exercising might be the last thing you want to do when you’re on a getaway, but you don’t have to go to the gym for it. You can simply do some quick squats and stretching when you wake up. If you’re used to having equipment at home, lightweight and easily packable pieces like the Fit Simplify Resistance Bands can help you. Another option is to take a tour or do some exploring on foot. This way, you get some walking done with fresh air, while at the same time get to see some sights.
Don’t forget your skincare routine It’s easy to get lazy with skin care — especially when you’re coming from a long day of touring or exploring a new location. However, the new environment can actually take a toll on your skin, particularly if the climate is new to you. As such, it’s important to give your skin some extra care. Pretty Me’s article on Snail White Whipp Soap notes how natural plant extracts are great at giving you younger-looking skin, reducing fine lines and hydrating cells. These work even on sensitive skin. Sunscreen is another thing you shouldn’t forget. Traveling entails a lot of sun, so you’ll want to protect your skin from UV rays. Allure’s review of Aveeno Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Stick mentions how zinc oxide and soothing oats make for good sweat- and water-resistant sunscreen, while also being lightweight and non-greasy. Just do your research on your destination to see what you’ll need to add to your routine.
Unplug when you can Now you might be thinking: what about all your travel posts you want to share with friends on Instagram? Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sharing your journey on social media — but make sure you aren’t glued to your phone 24/7. Remember that the purpose of traveling is to experience a place in real life, not through a screen. So whenever possible, relish every moment, put those gadgets away, and just take in the environment.
Get enough sleep It’s definitely tempting to turn in late and wake up early to make the most of your stay. However, if you have a pretty packed itinerary, then that’s all the more reason to have at least eight hours of sleep. This way, you’ll have enough energy to enjoy your day more fully. After all, you don’t want to feel sluggish and sleepy as you go through your activities. And you definitely don’t want to end up completely exhausted by the end of your trip.
Enjoy the moment Last, but not least, just be in the moment. You may be undergoing a digital detox, but if you’re thinking of how many emails you’ll need to respond to later, then you’re still not really relaxing. Whatever destination you’re visiting, don’t rush it. In this regard, Calm Moment lists some tips on how to truly enjoy your trip — and one of them is essentially taking it slow. From your outdoor breakfast to your walks through historical sites, spare some time to be grateful for the opportunity to see the world.
Let me know how you get on with your travels, Kate
The most fun an author can have is with your book cover! It’s one of my favorite parts to bring all the hard work of the inner content to life, at last. I was going to go a new route for this book! The art of commissioning a bespoke illustration required hiring someone that could appropriately capture my personal author brand alongside global anonymity so that others could simply see an illustration depicting a specific lifestyle. It was such fun to produce my latest cover and I found it fascinating how illustrators work from start to finish. I thought you might enjoy that too, along with the images to show the process I went through.
Author Brand: For my 5th book titled “10 Lessons for Living Location Free,” I knew I needed something totally different to mt previous 4 books. My own mug shot, as Kate, the ‘author brand’, had appeared in some form on all my book covers to date. But for this book, I had also interviewed 16 other amazing global nomads to include their perspective and lessons of life on the “road.” It was important for me to depict other voices, opinions, experiences of both men and women around the world, in different work and from a variety of countries, with all of us commonly being over 40. I didn’t just want another brand picture of me on the cover this time. I wanted a way to depict me in a more unique and universal way to allude to all digital nomads, wander-lust travellers and #LocationFree mavericks.
Last year I had worked with one of our authors to publish her inspirational memoir. My business partner Sarah Bullen and I work with writers all over the world and handpick one or two authors to publish. This author wanted to create a bespoke illustration for her book cover, and I had so much fun walking her through it, from researching and finding the designer, talking through conception to execution and finally seeing her book on sale in the Amazon store and holding it in my hands.
It felt right to try it for myself now.
Commissioning the right one: The first trick when commissioning a bespoke illustration is to find the right designer, of course. They also have to be able to work within your budget, as it is usually more expensive than getting a regular designer to create a cover. Bear in mind the final illustration will still have to be incorporated into the actual book cover design, so there are in reality two fees to factor in now! You want to get the most bang for your buck and get the most experience for your available budget, right? My tip is to do some research on other books that you love out there, (be it covers or content illustrations), look at illustrators/designers you follow on social media and ask other authors in your network for their recommendations. Then, go and do your own deeper-dive research. Ultimately you want to narrow it down to three illustrators that you resonate with, and then go about getting quotes.
You have to love their work, their whole vibe and the quality of their work ethic, as well as availability time-wise and budget. It all matters.
I was lucky to have interacted with three amazing illustrators last year, and so I went back to re-look at all of their work and finally chose the one I had worked with before. Her work still seemed to have the best fit for me, I had first hand experience though the other author AND she was able to slot into my very tight timelines. An incredible talent called Shannan Taylor who owns Muse and Doodle. I was publishing this book from edit to final finish in 28 days and she agreed to match my crazy deadlines.
I am NOT a designer by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have bold opinions about things, especially when it comes to my own brand, business and books. Every other book out there to date about #LocationFree living or the digital nomadic lifestyle usually has some bad version of a laptop and the world globe on the cover, or a beach and palm tree and that just wasn’t going to cut it for me!
My suitcase kept whispering to me for this cover!
The concept: When you have commissioned your illustrator, it’s time to talk through some ideas with them. If you are not a designer you don’t want to be too in control of this process, as you might sway them to your limited thinking. You have hired them for their creative brain after all, right? Let them ask questions and find out what matters to you. They have their own process they follow, so trust them! I had considered some ideas for a possible concept, but until she asked me some things, I hadn’t even thought about them. So when I said I spend a lot of time writing in cafes around the world – she asked – what country, beach or town, inside or outside, what do you drink, etc. I even had to go and find the “look and feel” of different street cafes for her. Go and look at some design elements she showed me to see what I did and didn’t like. I had always loved any artwork with a city skyline – we came up with the idea to use different iconic buildings to depict the whole world rather than ONE city per say. Think Paris next to London next to New York. Oh my – yes yes yes!
I have travelled with a suitcase for five years. Literally! That was important to my #LiveLightLiveLarge motto. She asked me my favorite colours, what I wear, some of my favourite outfits, etc. I sent her some of my brand photographs I love, and we spoke about cats, coffee, wine and the world. But it was very short back and forth on Whatsapp mostly, with dropbox for viewing scamps and ideas as they arrived.
She very quickly came back with two initial ideas, similar in essence but totally different in energy for me. They are called “Rough Sketches” also known as “Scamps” and I instantly loved the second one on the right, below. My brand motto is all about lightness, laughter, energy, movement, swift action and so the one with “me” sitting down felt too stuck and solid energetically. Do you see that too? The one sitting ON the case felt filled with oodles of possibility; like waiting for something exciting to come along. It energized me. I also preferred the quick capturing of my face pondering life – the other one felt too cartoonish and casual.
Even though it wasn’t directly to depict me and rather to have an air of universality, it certainly needed to be ‘me’ at the same time. I couldn’t believe how fast she sent through these two first ones! The joy of working with a pro!
After I chose the concept of the upright suitcase, it was then about the next layer of detail. I also didn’t love the skyline concept behind the character. She wanted to get my expression and body position next. Angle of the gaze. Smiling or not. Direction of legs, etc.
What I really wanted to achieve was that if someone doesn’t know me they would have no idea who is on the cover – they would just see a woman on a suitcase, but if you do know me, you absolutely know that I am sitting on that suitcase pondering life, love and travel. I love both the recognition and the anonymity she managed to portray.
Perspectiveand size For the next scamp, I still adored how the cat walked behind the suitcase, with his little tail peeking out, but we felt something was ‘off’ with the size of the suitcase on the left image. She decided to try increasing the suitcase height so I could sit on top with my legs swinging on it. See the second image with a different face angle too- It instantly felt another notch “lighter.” We ultimately decided to leave the kitty for somewhere else on the image. Oh, I was sad to see him disappear in the next stage but the perspective of the image required it. I knew a kitty HAD to appear somewhere, and she came up with another brilliant idea. I also love coffee and wine – how on earth do we have both? What about my beautiful white sun hat, and teal computer bag? Less is more – but what is important to portray? Pile of books or not? So many things to consider!
HEELS! I always wear heels that add height, colour and funky kind of class. I absolutely knew from the very first image that I am not a closed-toe kind of gal and the “converse” shoes felt too casual for the cover. So suddenly there appeared a pair heels that I own – sexy, black strappy heels with multi-coloured crystal studs. See Yoga Pic Below to check those babies out! Everything is “alluded” to in the image, rather than being too obvious. Next was hair – how short at the sides, what pop of colour for the stripe in the front? Ever since I went silver at age 38, I have had some stripe of funky colour. NO grey rinse brigade for me! Earings and necklace?
She managed to emulate the two items of jewelry I wear 90% of the time – heart-shaped silver drop earrings and a long silver necklace with stars studded along the length. But again – no one else would really “get” that unless I told you! I really love that about this cover. You can see those in the close-up face shot below.
The entire cover illustration When the image of me was signed off, it was time to create the background setting for the rest of the look ‘n feel. I squealed with sheer delight when I opened our joint Dropbox folder the next morning! OMG. Squeal squeal. I was in awe and sat there grinning from ear to ear. Complete with “me” in the foreground, against an explosion of a global, waterside café in a sepia wash with line drawings. I mean, look at all those buildings showcasing global travels…! Plus there was suddenly a gorgeous dress – and it took me a while to realise what had inspired that fabric – my own kaftan bought when I worked with the YPO in Saudi Arabia that she had seen in our dropbox folder! See below.
Brand alignment I LOVED IT – and at the same time I had to tap into the fact that my brand is all about simplicity, minimalistic, decluttering, lightness and space. The gorgeous background scene was just waaaaaaay too busy for my book cover. Covers have to speak volumes in terms of the actual genre and the essential message of the book and also work as a thumbnail image on Amazon / online. I double-checked my thinking with my awesome, long-standing designer, Megan from Megan Barber Designs who would be pulling it all together and designing the full final cover. She 100% confirmed my initial thinking -too busy for me and what the book portrays as its core message. Darn.
Shannan was SO easy to work with and never took anything I said about the design personally. We discussed how could we pare it down but still keep the look and feel elements. Then, off she would go to re-draw. We went back and forth about what made it cluttered.
Was it simply the placement of the water and what if it was on the opposite side of the image? No. Was it too much busy-ness in the café scene? Yes. Was there just too much of the background in general? Yes. But did I love the skyline? Oh yes! Sleeping kitty? Definitely yes!
So for about 48 hours we went back and forth and then realised we could take the elements of the skyline buildings and use them on the BACK cover eventually. The cat could still appear lazing on the chair, the background could be all B/W line drawings on white to reduce the visual noise, and we totally pared down the café elements. Below are the final elements we went with – clean and simple! Spot the kitty, vino and coffee! Also, the way Shannan “doodled” it, it could be any cafe anywhere in the world, rather than location-specific, right?!
Maybe you will meet for coffee in Greece, Italy, Spain, Canada, Franschoek?
I was, and am, totally smitten with my cover!!!
Power of feedback: I was about to sign the image off when I paused for a moment and showed it to Sarah, my honest business partner I mentioned earlier. While I was knee-deep in publishing this book, she was on a massive deadline ghostwriting a celebrity memoir. I had not shown her anything up to that point. She said, “Kate, this is absolutely amazing BUT you just look too young. You and all the other nomads you interviewed are all over 40 – but ‘you’ look 20.”
Oops – I hadn’t even realized this, as I was just so starry-eyed. Some appropriate lines were added to show my realistic laugh lines and creases, but still keeping the whole look light and bright. It just made it more authentic! Below is a close-up screenshot:) Great way to see the heart and stars I told you about too. The power of objective feedback from others is vital in any book process! To that end, we even have what we call “Feedback Friday’s” for writers in our community to get objective eyes.
Shannan gave me all the final versions required for the designer, payment was made and the next design step kicked in.
Final book cover Next, I moved onto the elements I understand really well, that of the final cover design. There are always two parts to consider for a book cover 1. The eBook version that only requires the front cover image 2. The printed paperback version requires a full back, front and spine for the cover.
I knew the eBook cover could NOT contain the skyline buildings element and was cool with that. Megan sent through several initial options of fonts and design for the title, subtitle, and author name. I loved 90% of them, which made it a bit harder to choose. Go back to what matters – the fonts and design have to elevate the illustration and speak to your brand elements, but also be super legible and speak to the buyer/reader!
It all has to work as ONE beautiful cover that tells a story.
I loved seeing the skyline elements come to life on the final cover design, but nothing beats getting the first book IN your paws and being able to see it in front of your eyes. For me as an author that is one of the best moments in life. Unwrapping your book for the first time!
I have had such wonderful responses to the cover – everyone just loves the energy it gives off. I am so pleased I spent the time and money gifting myself this- it was fun and I feel it showcases the content of the book alongside my brand motto. If you know anyone who wants some inspiration to pack up, live light, and figure out how to work around the world, you can grab thebook here on Amazon and 10% of all sales are donated to the wonderful company calledThe Future Forest Company, and all sales help plant trees on the island of Mull, West Coast Scotland
What are YOU going to do with your book cover to help it fly off the shelves when the time comes?
Fancy joining us on a Writing Retreat? If you want to join us on a writing retreat somewhere in the world, take a look here. We host them in Greece, Italy, Spain, Scotland, South Africa and Italy – yes, we are gearing up for some safe travels this year!
Hope to meet you soon, Love Kate
P.S What is a scamp? Well to put it simply, a scamp is a drawing, or sketch of an idea. These, are created to bring to life and visualise your idea and share them with others. Now a scamp can be a quick idea you had in a coffee shop, a simple doodle on a handkerchief, or a full blow colour work of art. Scamps are used in the industry to communicate an idea, and depending on how much you want to communicate you can draw your scamp accordingly. My experience with scamps is to draw out a design, or composition where it is passed on to other design professionals like a photographer who will use the scamp as a reference to get the right angle or a picture close to what I want that will work in the main design. I may have to sketch a magazine layout, or paper fold idea to get sign-off from a creative director or client. Thanks to https://garethdavidstudio.com/
Who else out there is having a really tough time round about now? It’s not just me, is it?
Are you also battling the harsh reality and effects of perceived and real lack of freedom, huge loss of income, battling to stay inspired and hopeful about future work and travel, grieving the loss of your loved ones, or desperate from the lack of personal touch and being able to hug even family and friends? I am personally finding it much, much harder now, a year since the first lockdown (and contracting Covid in march 2020). I also have friends and clients all over the world, especially with working and traveling globally #LocationFree for the last 5 years, and so I get to hear firsthand about the different countries in different levels of lockdown. And some countries just seem to be skipping to the next level of new normality and relative freedom – I found it a lot easier when we were ALL in the first lockdown together! Even though it was always a case of “same storm different boat”, I welcomed the same storm scenario in some weird way. That total peace and quiet we experienced externally as the earth was breathing from lack of people moving, airplanes dashing across the sky, cars commuting, and hectic life from us consumer-type humans. But this time feels different.
Every time I speak to my peeps in South Africa, or as far afield as Costa Rica – it’s all about parties, gatherings, lunches, beaches and life pretty much as usual (perhaps with masks on), even if they can’t sometimes buy booze on the weekends. It’s the social component I am longing for! Or other countries where the lockdown is allowing social gatherings or restaurants re-opening once again.
I find myself feeling a little envious. A lot envious! It even feels awful admitting it to myself. You made your bed, now lie in it, Kate. Yes, yes, I know I am in the country I am in and shouldn’t be looking longingly at anyone else – but I am! There, I said it.
I miss my usual 4 times a year ‘fix’ of seeing my close friends down south, reconnecting and replenishing at so many levels and visiting my favourite hairdresser and dentist. Lack of freedom and life with this virus has clipped my gallivanting #LocationFree wings. I realise just how much of my nomadic life is about connecting in coffee shops with total strangers when we smile and say hello (or bonjour, buenos dias or kalimera) or how a short chat at the deli counter fills my soul with love. Petting cats and dogs is also a great stress reliever for me – and one of the reasons I have often housesit animals on my travels to get that welcome dose of four-paw love. But I even feel like people don’t want you to stroke their animals out of fear at the moment. And I don’t do fear.
So I am doing grief instead. Layers of grief. Are you grieving too?
I’m just laying a bit low for now – and that’s ok. Is that what you need to do too? To let yourself off the hook a while, stop comparing yourself to everyone else that “appears” to have it all together, running 20 different masterclasses, or launching two new businesses, acing their ab workouts or or or….. I’m resting and hibernating a bit from the world of clients and too much social media and trying my level best not to let my emotions and modd fester.
I describe so much of how I love to connect into new communities in my book “10 Lessons for Living #LocationFree” but I am prevented from those sweet interactions for the time being. That loss of connection had hit hard and dtruck deep. We have also just taken our Italian Writing Retreat off the radar for this year and moved it to 2022. Eugh. I am so acutely aware that I am greatly soothed and inspired by having things to look forward to, as it actually helps me live more in the present somehow. But this endless stream of – “not sure what and when” is taking its toll on my mental health.
So as ridiculous as it sounds, I admit I have “lockdown-level-envy” while trying to hold it all together where I am. I don’t have it all sorted at the moment, and am muddling my way through messy life. How about you? I’m on the one day at a time, scale. In fact, it’s one hour at a time – one day is sometimes too long. Without trying to drop into the world of self-pity, victimhood or be caught up in the continuous web of despair, I also just know I have to admit I have been having a darn tough time. Getting into bouts of depression, lack of hope and feeling isolated is not entirely new to me – but this one seems to be lingering longer and deeper than I can usually handle. Freedom and connection are two of my highest values, so I feel that is the one hitting me the hardest – I strive to find the freedom within, as opposed to outside of myself.
I have recently been waiting for a work contract to start, and spent a couple of weeks on my own in London in a friend’s flat. Totally spoiled to have that gorgeous space overlooking the river and it made my nomadic heart super happy! I spent about four hours every day walking the length and breadth of the Thames – spectacular and inspirational. But … I was also lonely and missing real connection. I reached out to many people, but isolation and covid restrictions are still very strict here in the UK. It’s just the factual reality. I finally met safely with one willing client /friend last week, the first person in the flesh for weeks, and she said she was amazed to learn that I was having a tough time …. so I am glad I shared. The next day I got to support another dear friend finalising the sale of his mom’s house after her recent passing – and that shared time as he said goodbye to her home and that chapter filled my heart.
We so often look at others and think that they are doing ok. Even if we aren’t, we assume they are. Aren’t we wired weirdly that way, as it’s simply not true. Everyone is challenged and fighting a battle of some kind, small or large – it’s also called life.
I also think that Social Media comes into play here – where all that we usually see posted is the good stuff, the fab stuff, fun and light stuff that we want and need to escape into, the inspirational stuff …. not the real, shitty, hard stuff we are all facing too. Until something massive strikes again, like the tragic murder of Sarah Everad that gives people a voice and energy again to speak up about things that matter, about the reality of what is going on for people. How we are scared, don’t feel safe. so much injustice and loss. I have learned to lean on my friends and my mum even more recently – to say I am NOT ok and need some TLC from them. I stay connected where need be and literally get through day by day. I don’t have huge bursts of inspiration or massive ideas for the future right now. Sure – I have a vision of what’s next and what is very important to me and the live I want to create up north …. but it feels far far away.
I’m just breathing in the never-ending “kak-ness” of it. For those of you outside of South Africa, KAK is a great word, pronounced ‘kuk” not “kack” and it means “shitty and bleh” all in one. I also love it’s fellow word friend “GATVOL,” which means “fed-up or literally full-hole”.
I’ve been feeling both kak and gatvol!
So, I just want to remind you all – if you are reading this – that you are 100% enough TODAY, right now, no matter what. Even when you feel like absolute shite. My go-to-reminder the past few long weeks and months has been, “this too shall pass.” It gives me breathing space and hope. I have also been using the simple technique where you cross your hands over the front of your body and pat both of your own shoulders- it’s super calming and self-soothing if you are on your own out there! I haven’t even had the energy to do my usually beloved journalling – until I felt inspired to write this today!
And yes, here is the irony I battle with – as “kick-ass Kate” and the “Quick Shift Deva” I guess I theoretically “should” have all the coaching, mind-shifting, woop-woop techniques in the world to call on – but being honest, laying low and coping bit by bit, is what feels possible, real and authentic right now. It will shift, and my bubble of energy and inspiration WILL rise again, just as yours will.
It is a universal law. I don’t need lots of hype and positivity right now- I’m just trying to stay out of the self-pity wallow while staying present and in touch with myself. It feels better and do-able that way.
My go-to mantra reminders and questions are currently: This too shall pass Everything IS going to be ok Just breathe What one thing can I do today? Even if that means ONE wee glass of water (hydration hydration) before I have a BIG glass of wine. Or paint my nails. Or rest again. Or stare at the river view for another hour. Tomorrow is always another day and another fresh start.
Please drop me a line if you want to reach out – just a quick message to connect and say hi. If you want some extra support we can book that too and I’ll show up honestly for you, ready to hear where you are at. Sometimes you need an ear with someone who isn’t pretending to have all their KAK together. But I will be able to help you see your KAK a bit clearer.
In the meantime – be kind to yourself and those you meet along your path today, mask or no mask. And for those of you enjoying relative freedom – know I am just a little darn envious right now 🙂
Love Kate Pics from March 2021 below share some of the quiet weirdness that is London in lockdown – not many folk about on usually bustling streets, empty tubes, stores all closed up – most with Christmas decorations still left in the window.
Living #LocationFree for the past 5 years is often met with wide eyes, scrunched up noses, and some weird questions. I know it might sound like nothing more than terrifyingly homeless mixed with exhilaratingly glamour-filled champagne parties on yachts, Instagram style.
It honestly falls somewhere smack between these two extremes.
While it may be very real that digital nomads (aka global nomads, remote workers, location free, etc.) might not have one permanent base to call “home,” we are certainly not “homeless.” We have a gazillion ways we each live into this lifestyle, and we can pretty much make it up as we go along – if we don’t like somewhere, we can move on to more suitable spaces, cities, countries (Covid and visa/passport reliant of course). Plus, folk living this lifestyle are not doing so because they have zero responsibilities, no partners, kids, animals, etc. – we are all working and contributing to society in some format. We have just figured out the best way to earn the required dollars en route – whether working remotely for a company, working in the digital online space, working in the country they are in, running global companies, have property investments, Bitcoin, or business investors – any type of work is possible, to be honest! The worklist is as varied as your creative brain allows … with the added benefit of freedom from a location.
Of course, we sleep in beds too! Whether in fancy hotels, rented homes, snazzy apartments, Airbnb options, co-living, house-sitting, or any combo of the above. What binds us together as a tribe is that we are not bound to one location for work or life. There is a sense of freedom, mobility, choice, and possibility!
Possibility of options, countries, cultures, environments, lifestyle, etc
Right now, I’m chilling in a quaint café on the prom of Portobello (see pic taken at Miros <<<) with the quieter than usual buzz and banter as “we-are-in-weird-lockdown-life-but-still-allowed-out” vibe. I’ll soon be self-isolating again before I make my way to my mum in the UK for Christmas, so I am making the most of a little thrill of being outdoors at Edinburgh’s Seaside. There is a delicious light shimmering off the sea and bouncing off the clouds, reflecting the changes in the sun as we edge towards winter solstice. After 7 years of spending most of my time in summer or what travel agents refer to as shoulder seasons, I am fondly referring to my current city of choice as Edinburrrrrrr.
Remember my cold water swimming escapades on Iona that I shared earlier this year? I will manage one more cold dip this month, which means I will have been cold water immersing for 6 whole months! I didn’t even know that I wanted to try it before starting my significant retreat and detox process on Iona. I’m still in a bikini with no warm booties, gloves, or wetsuits like many swimmers – just keeping it real and semi mad. Even if my swims are super short -they still count as a cold water blitz of energy and immune-boosting habit!
This week, I launched my fifth book, and I feel like a kid in a Christmas Santa store, to be honest. It’s some insights, sharing, and tips from living the last 5 years #LocationFree. I also interviewed 16 other souls (between 40 and 60 years of age) living in similar ways to me. It’s a super exciting collection of tips snd stories for anyone who is intrigued about the possibility of downsizing, packing up, and living and working globally.
One of my all-time favourite things to do when I travel is sitting in a café or restaurant on a beach somewhere – from Malaga to San Fran, Cape Town to Skala Eressos. I simply need my laptop and a strong coffee or a fab glass of vino, depending on the time of day. And always water – and usually a kitty somewhere close by. I seem to attract them and consider myself a bit of a cat-whisperer.
Did you spot the content kitty on my book cover?
There is an element of pure delight that is elicited when I can look up from my computer and see water – waves, sand, pebbles, sheep munching seaweed (yes 100% on Iona!), people laughing, kids playing, folk squealing in the waves and that heady aroma of sun, sand, sea, and sun-lotion. Or the smell of rain mixed into it more often than not, here in Edinburrrrr.
I find myself in this glorious city for most of winter 2020, exploring somewhere North. I am still officially #LocationFree and will be for the foreseeable future. I was only planning to be location free for one year, to figure out what country I wanted to live in, but it turns out it’s been too much fun, and here I am five years later.
Ooooh, the cafes you will find when not in your hometown. From dingy and downright skanky, to glamorous, elegant, and exotic; to simple family-run salt of the earth to trendy hipster vibes with a gazillion delicious choices; or the simple paired back local café that only serves one type of coffee and eggs – just the way you like them: the smells, the chalkboards, the conversations, and the locals. The cakes and the decadent treats made with love – from the latest LA trend to grandma’s secret pistachio and rose water recipe. A café is always filled with possibility – and is still the first place I seek out to feel like a “local” in a new spot. It’s one of my “settling-in” hacks I share in my book “10 Lessons for Living #locationFree
So I find myself with a big grin on my chops as I own the fact that I am a café writer. It can be a table on a busy cobbled street, a hotel lobby with glorious views of the pool, a tiny spot perched precariously on a hill, or my all-time favourite, seaside café!. Anywhere in the world, this will put always put a smile on my face.
If there is some Latin Salsa or Bachata music drifting out of the speakers even better, offering the quiet promise of a party as day turns to night….that will always make me type faster and get through my workload ready to pop on my salsa shoes and have a whirl on the floor.
I don’t even need earphones, really –in fact, my ears always get sore trying to wear earphones, no matter the brand or style! I usually welcome the buzz around me and find ways to switch off when I need to focus.
I have amassed a few “offices’ around the world that I have stamped my name on. To this day, there is one table at Gialos on Skala Eressos where we run writing retreats, which is known as Kate’s office. Although I didn’t get to work there in 2020, I know it is waiting patiently for me 2021. I am usually sitting at my “desk” by 6 am before the rest of the sleeping Greek village stirs. While the restaurant is still being cleaned and set up for the day – George will even stop his daily prep to bring me a double greek Coffee. Or as we order there – ena diplo hellenico para kalor!
It’s always about the views, to be honest. I find vistas open up my creativity and thinking. Sea trumps everything for me – being able to sit outside and feel the sunshine and breeze is high on my list of needs. When not working, I also love to be a fly on the wall, simply watching people. I can make up stories in my head ad Infinitum. Travelling a lot on my own, I also love to smile and then connect, laugh, and chat with total strangers. It’s bizarrely natural for me to make random comments and speak to people I walk past or sit next to. I will always talk to cats and dogs and stop owners for a cuddle of their four-paws if allowed. I guess that’s why I have found it relatively easy to be location free. What’s the point in staying separate and cut off from others– even when communicating from behind a mask nowadays, we can still connect energetically and with a twinkle in our eyes.
Wi-Fi is surprisingly not always high on my agenda, as I prefer working offline with fewer distractions when in writing/blogging mode. In fact, I will often choose cafes that do NOT have Wi-Fi – especially if I am running a writing group – as that just distracts everyone.
My challenge to you today is to visit a local café and watch the world unfold around you! Make it an adventure if you haven’t done it for a while. Take your laptop, a great book, or your journal to pen some thoughts. Let me know what you find on your café outing – I’d love to hear what great conversations you engage in or inspired ideas you come up with when sitting with a different view.
A dear friend just sent me this on Whatsapp this morning – so I will do my level best to simply keep on writing from my heart wherever I am. I just have to. What about you?
“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate, and the governor is out of the country, and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.” Alan W Watts
Do you wish you had the courage to follow your dream, to quench your wanderlust? To downsize, pack light and explore the world while still working? Do you honestly think others are able do it because they’re younger, richer, are single and have fewer responsibilities, with no kids to tag along?
Wrong. That’s simply not true. This book will show you that it’s possible no matter what your age! Do you really want to play it safe just because you’re no longer in your twenties, waiting on tables as you backpack around the world?
PLAYING THE BLAME GAME Most sellers sabotage the process and fall headlong into typical victim mentality by thinking that everything and everyone else is at fault in this process. It makes great conversation to play the blame game! Blaming the housing market/ location/ high mortgage rates/ recent increase in crime/ country’s current junk status/ awful neighbors/ commuter traffic into the local work hub/ local elections etc. You will find ways to blame every aspect of the market for the lack of a sale and extended “days on market” or non-interest of your property, especially blaming your realtor – or your mother-in-law! We like to blame them for everything! You are way more in control than you think, and sometimes it’s about having the hardest thing- Courageous Conversations!
INFORMATION UPLOAD As the seller, along with your realtor, make sure you are never left with a mouthful of teeth when potential buyers ask you about the neighborhood, the shopping outlets, local school, who runs the local council, etc. Do your homework to also fully understand what properties are listing and selling for in your immediate neighborhood. You want to be seen to know your home and your ‘hood. And to be open and willing to share that information. Any upcoming changes to the neighborhood should be top of mind – such as building mall outlets, new schools planned, current crime in the area, better access roads being built, shifts in zoning homes as businesses etc.
SALES SAVVY Are you honestly any good at sales – especially selling something you love? Even when you are 100% at peace with, and excited by this sale and move, you may not be the savvy salesperson you think you are.So yes, while it is absolutely possible to sell your own home nowadays, especially with online property sites (unless your specific county prevents this by law), it still does not mean that you should be the one doing it. A neutral, professional, home selling expert will always assist you in getting the sale price as high as possible, assess the right buyers, market the house appropriately, and handle all the dreaded paperwork on your behalf. Be sure to choose the right realtor for you. I always suggest you get a trusted recommendation or find someone who excels at closing deals in your neighborhood.
A simple drive around a 5-kilometer radius to see the “Sold” boards will give you this insight. Getting the right person on your team will ultimately put more money in your pocket at the end of the day. Know your real strengths, play to those and outsource the rest to get the best outcome! Realtors with the right designations, qualifications, passion and experience are professionals who help you navigate this complicated territory and tap into the right buyers. Speed and ease are what we are after, remember?
BUYER CENTRIC Even though you are obviously the owner and seller and you feel it’s all about you, when it comes to selling, this concept alone will totally sabotage and derail the process. From now on, you need to become “buyer-centric” and put yourself in THEIR shoes. The moment potential buyer’s pull up at the front curb, they need to be instantly impressed with the look and feel and be able to see themselves living in this space the moment they walk through the door. You want their positive feelings and initial experience of the space; from the moment they set eyes on it, to positively influence the economics and dynamics of this purchase. You want your potential buyer to be “blown away” and put in that OTP (Offer To Purchase). Remember you only need ONE buyer, and you don’t want to mess up that opportunity when it arises, as when you have done all the work Kate suggests, it WILL happen fast!
PART 3 – SHOWTIME – READY, STEADY, GO!
CUTTING CORNERS? Know right upfront that cutting corners will definitely sabotage the sale of your home. Don’t be lazy and ‘half-a$$ed’ when it comes to show days or viewing appointments. Rather be super vigilant to get SHOW DAY ready. You want the best price with a dash of speed don’t you? After thoroughly assessing the property and its current condition, it’s crucial to complete property maintenance, sprucing, fixing, cleaning, clearing, and de-cluttering. Keep your home in tip-top shape – should your buyer happen to drive past, see the ‘For Sale’ sign and want to pop in NOW, you can swing open the door and invite them in. Follow the international property trends and utilize a home stager to showcase and highlight all the positive attributes if need be. A little time and money spent in the right way will have exponential results!
STUCK IN YOUR WAYS? A current buyer’s market could mean cash buyers are a very attractive prospect – you have to be ready and agile in your response and be willing move as soon as possible as there will be no delay in waiting for bank bonds /mortgages to be approved. Be prepared to move out of your house sooner than expected to help facilitate this sale (and enjoy some occupational rent if your country allows). It is common for sellers who have honestly and truly done the closure work, to get buyers bidding against each other for a property – all wanting to move in ‘yesterday”.When you read more about what Kate’s clients experience when working through her process, “SHIFT YOUR HOME,” speed is a typical result. If you are too stuck in your own timelines, you might lose out! Be flexible and prepared to move swiftly along.
MAKE IT A ‘NO-BRAINER’ Are you showcasing your home appropriately? Highlight the best features of your home with high-definition professional photographs and professionally edited videos to walk buyers through this space in virtual reality. One of the current trends is also to use drone footage to show off the neighborhood from above to enjoy that all-important bird’s eye view, as that dramatically influences buyer’s decisions. Buyers can see the property in relation to everything else around it, proximity to or distance from schools, retail, health facilities, motorways, etc.
I hope this has given you food for thought as you embark on this journey of selling your home? The bottom line is that YOU, as the home seller, need to take full responsibility, shift your energy, and be honestly ready to sell your home from the inside out.
Your heart, mind, and soul all need to align to the look and feel of the property to get the outcome you want. To sell your home with grace, speed and ease at the highest price possible. Kerching! To move on, feeling proud and with closure.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Comment below or drop me a line directly on firstname.lastname@example.org!
Kate is known as the Quick Shift Deva – South Africa’s foremost clutter expert, life coach, best selling author and international speaker. She bounces into homes, offices and hearts to help clients to sort out their clutter and their lives, freeing them to move on to LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE. Much like a combination of Clean House and House Doctor, she will both physically and emotionally help YOU and YOUR HOME get showday ready
PLAYING THE BLAME GAME Most sellers sabotage the process and fall headlong into typical victim mentality by thinking that everything and everyone else is at fault in this process. It makes great conversation to play the blame game! Blaming the housing market/location/high mortgage rates/recent increase in crime/country’s current junk status/awful neighbors/commuter traffic into the local work hub/local elections etc. They will find ways to blame every aspect of the market for the lack of a sale and extended “days on market” or non-interest of your property, especially blaming YOU, their realtor. If you can let me help you, to help them understand that they are way more in control than they think, well you will come off as their hero/heroine.
INFORMATION UPLOAD Try and make sure your seller is never left with a mouthful of teeth when potential buyers ask about the neighborhood, the shopping outlets, local school, who runs the local council, etc. Do your homework to also fully understand what properties are listing and selling for in your immediate neighborhood and educate your client.You want them to be seen to know their home and their ‘hood. Be open and willing to share that information. Any upcoming changes to the neighborhood should be top of mind – such as building mall outlets, new schools planned, current crime in the area, better access roads being built, shifts in zoning homes as businesses, etc.
SALES SAVVY Your client might be undermining or sabotaging the process by getting too involved. Are they honestly any good at sales – especially selling something they love? Even when they are 100% at peace with, and excited by this sale and move, they may not be the savvy salesperson they think they are. So yes, while it is absolutely possible in some countries for your clients to bypass you and sell their own home nowadays, especially with online property sites (unless your specific county prevents this by law), it still does not mean that they should be the one doing it.Help them understand that a neutral, professional, home selling expert like yourself will assist them in getting the sale price as high as possible, assess the right buyers, market the house appropriately, and handle all the dreaded paperwork on their behalf. Help them understand why you are the right realtor for the job.I always suggest sellers get a trusted recommendation or find someone who excels at closing deals in their neighborhood. If you are confident in your work ethic and track record, you too can suggest they shop around, feeling quietly confident you have something different to offer them and they will see your value.Educate them so they understand why they need you. Help them understand the difference between the selling price VS actual money they get out that ultimately put more money in their pocket at the end of the day.
Know your real strengths, play to those – draw on your designations, qualifications, passion and experience to help them navigate this complicated territory and tap into the right buyers. Speed and ease are what we are after, remember?
BUYER CENTRIC Even though your client is obviously the owner and seller and you feel it’s all about them, when it comes to selling, this concept alone will totally sabotage and derail the process. From now on, you need to teach them to become “buyer-centric” and put themselves in THEIR shoes.The moment potential buyer’s pull up at the front curb, they need to be instantly impressed with the look and feel and be able to see themselves living in this space the moment they walk through the door. You want their positive feelings and initial experience of the space; from the moment they set eyes on it, to positively influence the economics and dynamics of this purchase. You want your potential buyer to be “blown away” and put in that OTP (Offer To Purchase). Remind your client they only need ONE buyer, and you don’t want them to mess up that opportunity when it arises. Remember that when your clients have done all the work Kate suggests, it WILL happen fast!
PART 3 – SHOWTIME – READY, STEADY, GO!
8. CUTTING CORNERS? Cutting corners will sabotage the sale.
You need Kate’s kickass energy to teach your clients not to be lazy and ‘half-a$$ed’ when it comes to show days or viewing appointments. Let Kate have the tough conversations with your clients – she can play ‘bad cop’ on your behalf! She has a knack of saying it like it is, getting sellers excited to do the process. She will get them super vigilant to get SHOW DAY ready.
After thoroughly assessing the property and its current condition, it’s crucial to complete property maintenance, sprucing, fixing, cleaning, clearing, and de-cluttering. The seller needs to KEEP the house in tip-top shape – should you need to bring the ideal prospective buyer round with very little notice, there is no stress involved or days to wait. You want everyone to be poised and ready.
Are you also following the international property trends by home-staging to showcase and highlight all the positive attributes? Think bigger and bolder! A little time and money spent in the right way will have exponential results!
9. STUCK IN THEIR WAYS? The current buyer’s market could mean cash buyers are a very attractive prospect – your sellers have to be ready and agile in their response and be willing move as soon as possible as there will be no delay in waiting for banks/loans/bonds/mortgages to be approved. Your sellers need to be prepared to move out of the house sooner than expected to help facilitate this sale (and enjoy some occupational rent if your country allows).
It is common for sellers who have honestly and truly done the closure work, to get buyers bidding against each other for a property – all wanting to move in ‘yesterday”. When you read more about what Kate’s clients experience when working through her process, “SHIFT YOUR HOME,” speed is a typical result.
If your seller is too stuck in their own timelines, you might all lose out! Teach them to be flexible and prepared to move swiftly along.
10. MAKE IT A ‘NO-BRAINER’
Are you showcasing their house appropriately?
Highlight the best features with high-definition professional photographs and professionally edited videos to walk buyers through this space in virtual reality. One of the current trends is also to use drone footage to show off the neighborhood from above to enjoy that all-important bird’s eye view, as that dramatically influences buyer’s decisions.
Buyers can see the property in relation to everything else around it, proximity to or distance from schools, retail, health facilities, motorways, etc.
I hope this has given you a different perspective as you embark on trying different approaches with your client. IF you can be the realtor that stands out, understand how saying goodbye is so difficult, then you will have a more powerful impact on your business, neighborhood, and clients.
My role is to help you help your clients take responsibility to shift the sale from the inside out, while you sell it from the outside in. Your seller’s heart, mind, and soul all need to align to the look and feel of the property to get the outcome you all want. To sell this house with grace, speed, and ease at the highest price possible. Kerching! To move on, feeling proud and with closure.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Comment below or drop me a line directly on email@example.com!
Kate is known as the Quick Shift Deva – South Africa’s foremost clutter expert, life coach, best selling author, and international speaker. She bounces into homes, offices, and hearts to help clients to sort out their clutter and their lives, freeing them to move on to LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE. Much like a combination of Clean House and House Doctor, she will both physically and emotionally help YOU and YOUR HOME get show day ready.
CLARITY OF INTENTION CREATES PAVES THE WAY FOR WHAT YOU CRAVE IN LIFE – the real authentic stuff!
Do you have clarity in each moment, thus getting the most out of your day before it even kicks into gear?
Before you put your feet on the floor?
Before you get up and hustle through your day?
My intention in this article is to get you to be clear about your intention in each moment.
WHY? You get what you focus on! Do you even know what you want? Why you want it?
We all have dreams and ideals for our lives – so the underlying question for each of us becomes …
What will it take for ME to own up to my life? To say YES to my longings?
What will it honestly take for me to give energy to and take action on my dreams this year- maybewriting my book at last, that Harley trip on Route 66, Walking the Camino, that Alaskan cruise, a Spring reboot retreat,falling in love or starting a business? Maybe it’s time toSell Your Home and make a whole new transition.
What will allow me to finally give myself permission to go after what matters in my heart?
How can I embrace and then transform that pesky internal saboteur that will attempt to trip me up – because it has before?
What will it take for me to say YES to what matters, and NO to what pulls me off that clarity?
Most of the time we float and drift about this planet with very unclear intentions (also known as objectives / goals) about our thoughts, time, energy and direction of purpose. Then we ironically wonder why we get lambasted and bruised from all sides. We wonder why we are burnt-out, sick, miserable, irritable, angry and depressed. If you are ever operating from the frame of “default” and have no clarity about each and every moment, then I know that you are not having much positive effect on your life or experiencing it from others’! Is this all too familiar to you?
The more clarity you have of your personal direction and the clearer your instructions are for your life, the easier it is for YOU to see and experience that in each moment. To see that life is happening FOR you, not TO YOU! TO have insight and patience when things go awry, knowing exactly where you are headed even when you get pulled off track. Like having lines for a script – you know when you are going off track. But you have to have the script in the first place. And SURE, you can ad lib it on the stage of life, but the feedback you get determines whether you are living life to the best of what matters for you! The more effortless it becomes to energetically SHOW UP for yourself.
Think of it like this – imagine sending an email up to “the powers that be” (whatever your version of spirit is), with a clear and specific request of something you want to manifest and chase in your life… then two minutes later sending them another email saying, ‘well actually hang on, I’m not so sure, I don’t think I know how, I don’t deserve it, they need it more than me….what if it’s too much too fast, oh I think I should just be satisfied with what I have …..bla bla bla. What on earth is upstairs to do, other than re-hustle your request and start activating the latest request that canceled out the first. All the doubt, the limiting beliefs, the what if’s, the other people in your head simply take over and sabotage your real wants and desires. The moment you waiver and second guess the initial expanded request…your re-gig the reality and confuse the whole shindig.
Imagine the poor receiver of these emails, who was actually on a very clear job to start fulfilling the first one, who is now scurrying back and forth to try and delete the initial instruction…then wait…. 2 minutes later another email comes through confirming the original one – and on and on and on it goes back and forth. The real irony is that there you sit in your life bemoaning why you are not getting what you say you want. But you do not clearly state what you want! Or when you do – you dither about, with a total lack of clarity.
GET CLEAR ON YOUR INTENTION! #CLARITY MATTERS!
Having clarity of intention directs your energy, actions and BEING-ness into sharper focus, and therefore you experience better possibility of ‘it’ being delivered into your life. Clarity of intention enhances the user experience of life. Clarity is one of the ways to help support your dreams become goals, and goals to become manifest and experienced in your life. Crystal clear intention.
Clarity of focus = ease of execution of tasks.
When last did you sit yourself down, take a stock take, and get uber clear on WHAT YOU WANT? Perhaps today is the time to do just that?
It is important to find the energy to pull some of your dreams off the top shelf, dust them off and activate them. You have already heard that a goal is simply a dream with a deadline. To make it come true, a dream needs to be given attention, love, energy, focus and passion. Then it becomes real, tangible and achievable – yes, you might have to walk through some sludge, become a better version of yourself and learn to outwit your own sabotaging inner demons, but unless you activate some juicy goals in life, where’s the exhilaration of chasing things that matter? Pipe dreams are brave but become cowardly if they remain pie in the sky. Something you “talk” about but never “do.” You have to drum up some pure courage to dare to boldly chase after them, not just think about them. Although it is wonderful to prance through life with no fixed clarity, it can be one of the greatest joys to dust off your dreams and be bold enough to commit to them. NOW!
TOP TIPS! This is what I do…maybe something will help you?
Create a mindful INTENTION / THEME for your YEAR AHEAD – it doesn’t have to be the beginning of a new calendar year as you can use the timing of a new season, birthday, anniversary, illness or whatever necessary to mark a new start. I always re-look mine in April, my own birthday month. This intention is usually one or two words or a punchy sentence that exhilarates and inspires me. This will influence EVERYTHING else you choose to focus on for the rest of the year. It’s a guiding beacon, a way to come back when losing your thread. You can even create a vision board or some other creative way of capturing and energizing this intention/ essence/ theme. I teach my clients all about vision boards. goals and actions in my book DITCH YOUR GLITCH or work directly on this in private VIP days.When in doubt, you can always come back to the clarity of your intention for the year, to re-check what you are focussing on, or whether new goals are aligned with this bigger purpose. My own theme for 2019 is CONNECTED RENEWAL. This is informing EVERYTHING I choose to put my energy into this year! I change mine annually to help me re-focus and re-strategize, rather than plodding on by default. It is helping me determine what work I agree to, what retreats I am planning, where I am going on holiday, what new projects I am committing to, who I hang out with …..all in the name of deeper connection and personal renewal. We’re only in the 4th month of the year, I can already see the impact of following this purposeful clarity of intention.What about you – what’s your theme for the year ahead? If you don’t have one, but just have several goals – perhaps you can dig deeper to find your theme? Great exercise to do with friends or partner!
Next create monthly ALIGNED AND CLEAR GOALS: smaller bite-size chunks of things to accomplish each month along the way to your achieving your bigger annual goals /intention. The trick is that your goals need a regular update and stock take. Create clarity by setting up a monthly date with yourself, (and your immediate family) to review what you are proud to have accomplished in the last month, and pre-plan or pre-pave your focus for the month to come. So regularly do a little check-in with yourself, in line with the year – think of it as dovetailing and aligning your goals, and therefore your day-to-day actions into your theme for the year ahead to ensure you move one step closer to actioning your dreams.
Next, you need to think about EACH AND EVERY DAY and how you are going to get the most of each day in line with your month, in line with your theme for the year. There is a concept called “BATCHING” – where you batch together like tasks with like tasks to stay clear about your intention in every single part of every day. Focus all your time and energy as often as possible on ONE THING. (Read this as …DELETE MULTI-TASKING!) Stop operating on the global default of busy, busy, busy and efficient, and rather think about how to be more single-minded, purposeful, focussed and EFFECTIVE. Doing that which really counts, honestly brings joy, moves you into a deeper love of your life and how you are living it. Be ruthlessly precious about your energy and your time management!For e.g., when you are returning business calls, batch them all together to get into that zone – I usually do not take calls unless I know who they are from, and even then I need to be in the right energy zone to talk with purpose. I find it is easier to let my phone go to voice mail, then ring back when I am free of obligations, clear about my intention and 100% focused in the appropriate mode for those calls. Imagine if the big break you want and the big deal you have been waiting for comes through on a phone call and you answer with a hurried “off tone” – your first impression is irreparable!* When doing emails, could you do 20 solid minutes rather than mixing it all up with calls, interruptions and mail?*When you are driving – DRIVE! It’s scary enough out on the roads without simultaneously eating, talking and
sms’ing.*Set forth an intention for a specific amount of time – 20 minute batches are great for staying focused and keeping
your intention clear by pre-paving the next slot of time.
Manage your TRANSITIONS between different tasks throughout the day. This is about getting crystal clear about what you have just completed, and the next task you are about to embark on. This is about creating a small PAUSE between tasks, regather your energy and intention before you tackle the next thing. Too often we MORPH between tasks, schmushing (my own word) unconnected things together. This creates hazy thinking, lazy brain activity and reduced efficacy! Just a small PAUSE to re-harness your attention before you gallop off again. TRY IT!WANT TO ENJOY MY LATEST FREE COURSE?
It’s titled THE STRATEGIC POWER OF DISCONNECTING!
Free series to help YOU shift your life with ease and grace. CLICK HERE With Lightness,
Not because any form of Journalism or English Lit featured as my university majors (good job that is not a requirement for writing or getting published) as they did NOT – try Industrial Psychology and Human Geography as my weird combo.
I write because I LOVE to write. Even when I feel I am dragging stuff out of me, I love to write. It gives me a sense of purpose and place.
Sometimes it feels as though it’s the very air I breathe– necessary to my survival. It has felt that way since I was 14 in my “dear diary” era. Writing then about the boys I saw on the bus who smiled at me, the kitty that purred for a cuddle, the revolting man m@sturbating in the car on my walking route to school, the top 40 playlists and what party is coming up this weekend… Oh to be 14 and in love again?
It’s a way of finally taking the thoughts that swirl relentlessly around my mind, demanding time and attention and that have the desire to seduce or destroy me and finally letting them settle through me. Gently settle. By giving them a small space in the world, space from which I can survey them at last – perhaps to shut them up, ignore or befriend them, sometimes even laugh at them – and then I am able to move on to the next step in life. It all makes sense again.
At other times it’s out of self-created guilt. If I have the gumption to utter the words “I AM A WRITER”, then best I lean into that. I know it’s essentially a verb in feeling. Well theoretically ‘writer’ is a noun of course, but for me daring to be a writer has to be a verb. Which means I am only a writer when I am writing. I cannot call myself a writer and be a thinker. Or a cogitator. Or a procrastinator hoping to write. That’s a lie, it’s deceitful. So I am a writer when I am writing. Simple. A writer because of my writing or even in spite of my writing. In my personal view of the world, I became an author when I was published. That can never be taken away from me. Author is more of a noun for me – but writer, mmm, that demands attention, discipline, love, care, time, BUMTIME as we call it on our writing mentorships. It requires the continuous clumsy clickety-clack of the keyboard or the scratch of my pen scrawling morning pages. A verb that means “get to it Kate” -otherwise I am not a writer.
And then, ah, then, there are “Morning Pages”- my true delight. A nudge from my soul for four decades that was given a name thanks to “The Artist’s Way”. Morning pages are a way to purge my insides on paper, a way to love life in letters and words, sentences and jumbled ideas, a way to process emotions I daren’t even utter out loud to the world or myself. A way to gently wake up in the sleepy space of possibility. A way to capture that fleeting moment between worlds when the thinking brain has not yet given in to caffeine, chores or stress. When the world is quieter and calmer. When my emotions dare to be more vulnerable and tumble onto the page. Most times NEVER to be read again. They simply have to come out…
And then I write because I love what it potentially facilitates– sometimes even a beacon of light to clients and readers around the world. Perhaps a flicker of hope as they read some of my personal stories, tap into my “expertise”, ideas or my writing style that is akin to “kick with compassion”. There is nothing quite so lovely or gratifying as someone out there letting me know my words and writing, books or blogs has truly changed their life.
Is busy changing their life.
Opening their eyes.
Helping their hearts.
Healing their souls.
That somehow they got the courage, gumption, skill, and know-how to DO something differently. Clear the clutter, live their values, leave that job, travel the world, ask for more, live with less, say no, say yes, speak their truth and shine their light. THEIR LIGHT! Be more of who they wish to be. What a real privilege that is!
And sometimes I write because I am mad. Or happy. Or pissed off at the world. Sometimes I even believe I can be a little poetic and romantic, a tad funny and mostly kickass. But I never write because I am a brilliant or even great writer. I would never claim that position. I write simply because I write.
I also write as a form of personal legacy. I leave a little bit of me, the real me, behind in this world. For women like me who chose to never bear children, words I pen in a book can live beyond me and that brings me joy and a sense of (false) longevity.
Recently I found myself writing less.Thinking more. Cogitating and ruminating my life and my choices more. Potentially dangerous. I can get too melancholy that way as it stays inside and doesn’t get processed through me and out the other side. Too passive. Too dark and dingy a hue of blue. Not enough light shining inside. So, a few months ago upon landing in Greece, I recommitted to the VERB of writing DAILY morning pages.
Not the “when I feel like it” kind.
The wake-up, get up, make my bed, brew coffee, start writing before the coffee has intravenously-filled-my-blood kind. the only kind.The ritual kind. The raw kind. The vomit insides out on the pages kind. The kind kind. There is a sense of rhythm in that when there is no other rhythm in this time of not knowing. It gives me an anchor.
And THAT is essentially why I write – to have a small anchor in the world.
So tell me, why do YOU write?
DREAM TO DRAFT MENTORSHIP:
If you would like some structure, skill, and discipline to finally write your book, then why not join our DREAM TO DRAFT mentorship. Done ONLINE from anywhere in the world we will take you by the hand and walk that path with you. Facilitated by Sarah Bullen and myself (with input from many industry professionals) – Sarah is an international writing coach, author and book agent, and myself, international speaker, multi-published author and all round ass-kicker. Our simple aim is to get you to the first step – YOUR DRAFT DONE! Then you are on your way to being able to publish or self-publish your book.
I recently had the divine pleasure of a long weekend in Roma to run a special retreat for 8 people. Visiting the Trevi Fountain is always a highlight for anyone happening upon Rome- throwing a coin into the aqua water (above) to make a wish. And whilst doing just that, I also realized that there isn’t really such a thing as a wish or wishful thinking. There are really only intentions and dreams that we decide to make into goals. Certain choices we make and things that fascinate us that we decide to put on the radar to bring to fruition – if that is what is meant to be. Often I find that life even has much better things in store for us than what our wildest dreams and wishes could ever imagine.
No matter what the year has thrown at me – I LOVE and REVERE this time of year as we get down to the last two weeks before we say goodbye to 2017. For many many years I have been facilitating something I call CLOSE OUT STRONG. I do it as a facilitated process over a few weeks PLUS offer it as a 5-day process done from ANYWHERE in the world. I never forget my first year as a life coach in 2003 and I decided to create this process for myself. I just knew I needed to look back before looking forward. It became part of my annual ritual. A way to make sense of the year gone by in order to help me STEP UP in the next year to come.
It is the loose ends with which (wo)men hang themselves. Zelda Fitzgerald
Why do we even care about CLOSING OUT STRONG?
Well your mind and heart finds it easiest to remember the start and the end of anything. So how you kicked off the year and how you say goodnight and put it to bed, are what matter most. I know you have been thrown some challenges, both acute and chronic this year. My circle of clients, friends, family, colleagues feel the same way- it’s all there written on the walls – the Ups and Downs. Downs and Ups. The question simply is- what have been YOURS been this year?
It’s not ALL good or ALL bad is it? Depending on where you are right now it can be too easy to fixate on one of the polarities.
I am passionate about teaching and living the art of letting go, and we need to let 2017 go! We need to harness all the amazing insights and lessons from it, say thank you where required, and pat ourselves on the back for the awesome stuff too.
It can be super easy to do, you just need to create a pocket of time. But you might also want some direction and pointers of what I do in my own life and with clients.
Where you start is not as important as where you finish! Zig Ziglar
If you feel that some conscious questions could help you close out the year, here are a 6 short extracts taken from the 5-day process CLOSE OUT STRONG.
1. Describe 2017 as if it was the title of a book to capture theESSENCEor THEMEof the year. Be creative and wacky if need be.
2. What are you most PROUD of this year?
3. Find one HIGHLIGHT in each of the following 8 aspects of your life, to ensure you do a full sweep of your life.
Home & Family
Fun & Leisure
Relationships & communication
4. What was your #1 CHALLENGE this year?
5. What QUALITIES/ STRENGTHSdid you call on to overcome this challenge?
6 . LOOSE ENDS? Is there anything that would be awesome to complete in order to finish off the year STRONG? Could be a last minute appointment to book, finishing that business plan, sending thank you letters, helping someone in your circle, saying yes to that piece of work…
Anything that will give you the final close out you deserve?
For even more insight for yourself, you can do the full 5 day process where we
1) STEP IN – Reflect on your year gone by with purpose
2) STEP UP – Complete the dreaded incompletes lurking, draining your energy
3) HARNESS your year’s wisdom with hindsight to amke the most of it
4) Acknowledge all-important USHERS in your life – a special process! 5) Put the year elegantly to bed and LET GO.
6) STEP OUT into 2018 with clarity and enthusiasm.
Don’t drag 2017 into the new year with you! Set yourself up for an amazing start to 2018