Posts

Becoming the savvy traveller

It is nice to receive deals when they are presented to you. Sometimes you may have to be “active” and go out and get them. This leads me to day 27 of the suitcase entrepreneur blog challenge:

30 day challenge

Name 2 ways in which you’re going to become a savvy travel hacker in the next 6 months

1. “It’s all in the planning”

It is always in the planning, knowing where I want to go and when. So I can start looking at my route as soon I have decided that I would like to go to a destination. See what deals are available at the time. Perhaps, add in another country to visit during my itinerary. It is fun the unexpected and, sometimes going out of my comfort zone: visiting new places and meeting new people.

2. Finding the awards

I like the awards systems, whereby by recommending and getting people to sign-up you get air miles, as demonstrated by Scott Brills, the entrepreneur and adventurer. Some credit cards for some time have been awarding air  miles for frequent flyers, or it may be for making a purchase. I can even get creative and maybe get sponsored for part of my trip. On this very day of writing this post I was having a Skype Chat about going on an adventure. How about doing the world in 30 days, or as much countries as I can. As I write this, I’m thinking it may be fun to do it in 90 days – what fun this would be. Part of doing something successfully is really going out there, and adding that extra ingredient. This is also how people stand out.

30 day challenge

Living like the minimalist

When I was young, my mother told me that when she moved to the UK from the Caribbean how she travelled light. She came out with the phrase, “those who travel light, travel fast”. I was quite amazed about this story, thinking: how can you go somewhere and not pack too much items? Fast forward some years, and I admit that I hate to be weighed down with lots of stuff. Hence why I loved it when I purchased my MacBook Air last year. This leads me onto day 26 of the suitcase entrepreneur blog challenge.

30 day challenge
Could you live a minimalist lifestyle? Why or why not? OR What does minimalism mean to you in the context of your ideal lifestyle?

What core things are important when I’m travelling?

After having the passport and the money, I would say clothes and business equipment. This is the equipment like having a smart phone, my MacBook Air and good Internet connection.

Can I live with less weight?

Yes I can. I find that sometimes having possessions can weigh you down, as you can become very attached to them. This is not only the physical weight, but also the emotional weight. For example you can keep holding on to that beautiful coral dress that you do not wear. Therefore when looking at packing items, I will need to ask myself “am I going to really be using this?”

So for my planned freedom lifestyle, I intend to be travelling with just one suitcase. This takes out the stress on when you have to be on the go, of worrying about if I packed something. Talking about packing, it is great to have a list of the core items. Perhaps separate the clothes from my business attire, as demonstrated by Natalie Sisson also known as the suitcase entrepreneur.

Living the minimalist lifestyle

I like entering spaces where it is not too cluttered. I eventually plan to have some permanent basis or hubs, dotted around the world. My beach haven is calling me! I can imagine there will be a few home comforts, treasures that I may have collected whilst travelling. But for the other temporary places, I like to not be carrying too much weight and stick to: the area being safe, the place being clean, and having good Internet connection.

As my mum says, “those who travel light, travel fast”

30 day challenge

“It is all in the routine, structure”

As much as I like the idea of living the “freedom lifestyle” I will get bored and may end up unhappy if I felt that I had no structure or purpose. This leads me to day 25 of the suitcase entrepreneur challenge:
30 day challenge
What skills do you need to build or refine to be a happy Suitcase Entrepreneur?

Starting off the day on a positive note

How I begin my day effects how the rest of the day will be. If I wake up feeling bright and positive, then this gives me the boost to go out there and make things happen. I have also read some tips from other motivators on daily practices that you can do. Here are some of them:

  1. Read a book early in the morning for perhaps 30 minutes, on an area of self -development. This can be for improving your skills, or to give you a boost. I like to read books linked to improving your lifestyle, my current read is the suitcase entrepreneur, as I am working on building a freedom lifestyle.
  2. Do meditation. I for one was a bit of a novice on mediation. Listening to relaxing music – this can be instrumental – plus doing your stretches can help to energise you.
  3. One that I came across very recently was watching a funny video, or TV show can help boost your mood.

Projects

When I was away recently, I was speaking to a family relative who specialises in helping fledgling business persons on creating business plans and doing their feasibility testing. One thing he said was to make sure that I always have a “project”; and it did not matter if I may not have the end customer in-hand already, at least, once it was completed then I be ready to sell it.  With the online business structure that I have, I will be offering products and resources for sale. In this ever changing world, this will mean creating new products relating to the need and demand at that time.

Organisation

It  is good as I opened to have structure in your life. Organising myself via iCalendar or other project management programs gives direction. Plus it is good to keep track with meetings.

Self-love

It is good to take time out, and self-pamper, as it can become very easy to work and work. There needs to be a balance of fun, spending times with friends and family.  Talking about friends and families it is also important to note: who is it that is around me? I am talking about people who may not be supportive, or understand why what you do is important. I have a friend who does an “audit” ever so often and she eliminates people who are toxic.

Breathe

It is also important to take breaks, maybe do Pilates, which is one past time I like to do, as well as walking. Sometimes it becomes difficult to take time out when we are feeling overwhelmed. The important thing is to enjoy the now.

 

30 day challenge

The travel list

It is great to know where you are going, and how you are going to get there. Writing a list is one way of doing this. Although you may not be able to plan for every eventuality. Plus it is fun to sometimes go “off the beaten track”. Day 24 of the 30-days blog challenge was all about preparation and what type of traveller that you were.

30 day challenge

What are your travel essentials for your chosen destination(s) ?

My absolute essentials

After the passport and necessary visa, if it is required and the money, I would say having my MacBook Air. I’m very simple in this way. And I cannot forget clothes, as I am not a nudist. Maybe behind closed doors I may run around in my undies but not in public.

Health

Before I decide to go away for a long period of time, I will make sure that I have a health check-up. Although last time when I was going away the doctor simply asked me if I was feeling okay, and that if my health was generally good then I would not need to worry. I will also consider here my injections, as I nearly forgot to look into this when I was going somewhere tropical. Talking about tropics, I do not like mosquitos as they seem to smell me when I land. So mosquito repellant and mosquito net will be added to my suitcase, along with antihistamine cream.

Practising safe sex

Whilst sex can sometimes be a taboo, it is something that can not be ignored as it is natural and normal. So for women it may be which contraception to use. It is good to pack condoms, as passion can make you do unexpected things.

Accommodation

When I was reading the resources on Natalie Sisson’s website for this challenge, she provided some practical tips. One of them questioned are you the traveller who likes luxuries and your creature comforts, or could you be comfortable staying in a hostel. It has always been important to me when travelling:

  1. Be safe.
  2. The place is clean.
  3. Not be isolated.
  4. Close to people.

Where I stay will depend on a number of factors:

  • I am going to that place for business? If so, will my travel and accommodation expenses be covered in the project?
  • If I am going for leisure, how long will I be there?
  • What is the cost of the basics?
  • What is standard accommodation like?
  • Will I be staying with a contact/friend/acquaintance/family?

Insurance

It is always good to be covered. As you may have noticed my MacBook Air is one of my most valuable possessions, as it enables me to do my work, stay connected and find out what is happening. I have this covered, whereby it does not matter what happens to it, I get it repaired or replaced. This is anywhere in the world. So it is good to have insurance. By the way I am not currently receiving sponsorship for Apple. (Maybe come back in a few weeks time, to see whether this latter line has been edited).

People knowing where I am

It is always good for people to know where I am, so providing my sister with my itinerary, plus staying in regular contact with family and friends is good. They can see what I am doing from social media updates

30 day challenge

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m like a bird: Where I’d like to travel to”

I have always liked to travel, visit and explore new places. This also includes taking car journeys and disregarding the Sat Nav (or satellite) directions . Travelling, especially on aeroplanes, is like freedom to me. I do not get stressed when the aeroplane takes off, I get excited. So when day 22 of this 30-days challenge arrived, I thought “wow, I am getting into the fun part”. Not that the rest of this journey has not been fun. So here comes day 22:

If you chose to live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

“the world is my oyster”

At first glance of this question, I thought it would be very difficult question to answer as there are so many places to go in the world.

 

My move

To take a pause here, I would like to ask you a question: do you believe in synchronicity? My response is yes. If you are aligned to an outcome then the universe will deliver. This may be with the people whom come into your life, or the books you read such as the  suitcase entrepreneur. A year ago, I made the decision that in the near future I will be doing more travelling; and how this will be incorporated into my lifestyle. I usually am a literal person, whereby I tend to write down my thoughts or ideas onto a note. But 2012 was also the year when I was introduced to vision boards. Up until that time they freaked me out, since putting it out there in a visual form was so powerful! I created a powerpoint slide with images of possible destinations that I can travel to. I mapped out my ideas in this document and called it: my move. The conclusion was that I will go to Hollywood.

Stickie note

 

Hollywood: “A place where dreams can come true”

In terms of looking at ideal places to go, or where to live, as mentioned in an earlier post of this challenge it is dependent on where I am now and where I want to go. As one friend commented to me the other day,  I love to write. And my something big dream, is to have one my written works on the screen. I have visualised an  online Web show. I already have the picture or movie frame in mind. This very week, as I write this, I am in the process of finding out a way to contact an influential person who may be able to make this a reality.

So my final destination is where I want to be at that particular time. Whether the universe manifests this is dependent on my alignment.

Time is so precious

Time is money. Time is so precious as it just goes on, even as I am writing this post my time on earth is reducing. So since it is a precious commodity it should not be wasted. In day 20 of the blog challenge, Natalie Sisson discusses the tools that she uses in her online business. The point is that there are tools  required for successfully running a business, like having good website hosting and having the function for people to buy your products or services from you. This leads me to to day 20 question:

State your top three tools that you will use (or already use) to save time and money and make your online world more seamless.

30 day challenge
Website is my key shop window

Without my website then I will not have an online business. So keeping the domain and having the site hosted by a good company is important.

“No customer, no business”

For the existing visitors to my website, they are given free access to my written material via my blog posts. There is a comment section and contact form which they can use to engage with me. To take my brand to the next level, I need to feed her. As I posted on my FaceBook personal page today in a discussion about sales: “I love to be at service and money is the currency to get things DONE”. I will be using tools like Paypal to enable my customers to buy my product and services.

“I can not be in more than one place at a time”

It is good to have automated systems, as this can cut down on the time in having to sit by the computer and send off materials to a paying customer. Not that I do not enjoy interacting with the end customer, but when the quantity increases it may not be manageable doing this. I do not want an unhappy customer talking about an experience of having to wait a long time for their product. This is why I will be using software such as e-junkie, and this can also work alongside my payment option.

In the world of social media, the audience wants to see visibility and consistency. Hootsuite seems like an excellent tool to have my tweets sent out at specific times.

Keeping on the pulse

So these are some of the tools that I currently use or will be using. As time goes by, I can imagine continuing to use tools that makes it easy for me to run my online platform and to nurture my brand.

30 day challenge

My stage

“There is only one you!” Shanti had spoken these words to me during our Skype conversation last week. I was talking about my brand, my upcoming book the Naked Series and reaching my ideal customer.  In this world we live in, we want to feel accepted. This may mean trying to mould ourselves into “acceptable” models. People may do this by imitating other successful people. Whilst you can learn things from what people have done, and it can be flattering imitating them, we are still our own person.  We should not be denying others of our uniqueness. The people who have done amazing stuff, been pioneers, were the go-getters who were not afraid to challenge status quo – go against being what was perceived to be normal. They set their own pace and people paid attention. Day 19 of the blog challenge is about influence.
30 day challenge

Which methods do you want to use to build your platform and increase your influence?

Guest blogging

When I first started to blog I wrote guest blogs. This was for a website, targeted at single people who did not think that they were dead, because they did not have a “plus one”.  I found out about this site via my friend Twitter. I loved the concept and wrote one article on how some women were predatory when it came to chasing their guy; whilst the other types of women, the snail, took it easy and seemed not to be getting the very same results.  A friend encouraged me to step up and create my own blog.

I have seen from guest blogging, how I can write for a specific audiences who are interested in a genre or topic of my expertise. This is nice, as they will usually share similar values. This is not to say that I expect everyone to agree with me. It is where people say, “I have a difference of opinion” where I can sometimes learn new things.

 

Interviews

I like being interviewed as it gives me the opportunity to talk about my brand, and my specialist topics. I think by hearing my voice, people get to feel my character and hear my enthusiasm for my work. I have already featured on radio and been interviewed by my friends the English Sisters on their web channel. So it is nice to build relationships with people and organisations, as there may be a platform to talk about my latest articles or project.

I will also be interviewing inspiring people for my Podcast show. So I do not also learn but my audience.

The Series

I agreed with Mr William Shakespeare when he said:

All the world’s a stage

Life is a series of episodes, where we have a beginning, a middle and end. This continues throughout our life. I have written material for two books, which end with series. I intend to publish the first one based on some everyday life themes, based on my own story, the Naked Series. There will be other books to follow.

Keep staying true to my heart

As a medium once said to me, “people connect to me because of  your honesty.” Yellow was one of my first articles where I was being open about my “highs and lows.” By sharing my story, I hope this generates inspiration for my audience to remain true – follow their heart.

 

 

30 day challenge

The A-team

As this suitcase entrepreneur 30-days blog challenge has continued, I have been feeling the figurative “burn”.  The saying does go, “no guts, no glory”.  As each day progresses, I have seen Natalie Sisson ask more deep questions like: how do you intend to monetize your online business? And how about the team to support your brand? They are good questions as you need to look at business from a  practical perspective – ensuring that you can take action now.  So this leads me to day 18 of this challenge.
30 day challenge

What does your dream sales team look like and how will you ensure they help you build your business?

 

My A-team

When I was growing up in the 1980’s there was a TV show called the A-Team. In each episode the A-Team, who were the heroes, would help the innocent battle the baddies and ensure fair play. Okay, in a business I do not see the outside world as the enemy but it is a battle:

  • To get your brand out there;
  • Attract your ideal customers; and
  • Keeping people interested in buying into your brand.

 

One way to keep the brand out there is to have a little help from a team, collaborators and partnerships. Up until a year ago I did not fully understand how important affiliations could be in broadening in my fan base. As mentioned in a previous post I was under the misconception that I could do it all.

 

“A” stands for affiliation

In day 18 of this challenge, Natalie Sisson provided links on leveraging your brand through affiliations. I think that you should earn commission from recommending a product or service that you believe in.  Talking about a brand or product that I like to support is one that Natalie, or to be precise, the two Natalies are doing. They have this 3-months program, which helps people to launch their product or service – make your vision a reality. This program will start on 1st September, so like the Asda caption says, “once it is gone, it’s gone”. And this is until the next one.

 

Plugging what I like

I already like to shout out on the books that I like to read. This reminds me that I should add this list to my website as I do often get asked, even in interviews: what book do you like to read? So I see myself adding my Amazon links again.

“I like you, you like me, why don’t we do something together”

There are people out there, whom like what I do, and do similar work to me. It is great to chat to them. There are also people out there who may not do what I do but like LIKE it. Why not get a wider audience, by sharing what I do with other brands fans. It is always nice to reach a wider audience.
30 day challenge

Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me

It was 2011 when it became very clear to me that the way forward was to set up my own business. At that time, the obvious choice was to do something linked to training and coaching. As I already started to privately tutor and have experience of lecturing. Since I was new to thinking like a business owner, I wanted to learn. Part of my learning was not only reading the books, but also going out there and networking – asking questions. On one occasion I attended this half-day workshop in London about finding the life and business you wanted by Rasheed Ongunlara.  I found it informative, and it was one of the first encounters I had with mindset in business. I also saw how Rasheed had been developing his brand. He had done this sharing his expertise through: videos, books, talks on radio and TV. The entrepreneur Penny Power discussed in her book on online social media networking, that when attracting customers the formula was: “Know me, like me, follow me”. Point being that people buy from people who they know and can trust. This leads me to day 17 of the Suitcase Entrepreneur challenge.
30 day challenge

What three steps can you take to build trust and credibility online for you, your :brand and your business?

1. Be myself

This week, I had an amazing conversation with an awesome and beautiful individual. We were having a conversation about life and other matters. One of the things that were reflected back to me is that my main strength is sharing with people ME. How I am not afraid to be myself. People connect to honesty and will feel comfortable in building up a relationship with someone who they feel is authentic. I have been doing this through my articles, which also appear in other publications and sharing my story. I recently started writing the Naked Diaries which is I telling people how my week has been, what I have been up to with my latest book. Even adding in my beautiful niece. I personally do not resonate with people who say, “Buy, and buy, from me”.

2. Give people the opportunity to have a dialogue with me

When I post blogs, it is a bonus when people not only FaceBook “Like” it, but engage by posting comments. Some people may say I liked that positive article, but may not post this.  (I have bumped into someone at Tesco who said that they loved my quotes, but did not see this on my page) This can sometimes be due to shyness. Maybe feeling that they comment is not “appreciated”. Yesterday, I started a conversation on FaceBook regarding this:

FaceBook conversation

I am going to use web chats, to give people the opportunity to chat to me. Perhaps record people’s questions to me.

 

3. Open up the audience world to people who are inspiring

Approximately a month ago, I started Go-GetterMe, a community where I share tools and resources on following your dreams. It is an extension of SophiaWorld, as it my project – what I am doing right now. I especially like to  share with my audience people whom I admire and find inspiring. Podcasts are a great way for me to interview people, and share on the different social media formats. This also reminds me that I need to read Natalie Sisson guide on this. This week, I had confirmation from an amazing lady who left her home country to start a business abroad, that she does not mind participating in an interview with me. She has an amazing and inspiring journey and it was featured on a Web Show. That is my latest teaser! This further illustrates the power of me going out there, being very open with my audience – and bringing in a ray of beautiful possibilities.
30 day challenge

Behind a successful brand is a strong team

I like finished products and completed services. But products or services do not simply just appear.  They go through a process from conception to the finished product. There may be more than one person involved in creating it. Years ago when I dreamt about having a freedom lifestyle, where I will also be having my own business. I thought that it would consist of me putting most of the work in to achieving that outcome. This involved holding on very tightly to the details, as I thought it was my dream and I needed to protect it. This proved to be opposite, how one person could create the product or service.

30 day challenge
Day 16 challenge set by the Suitcase Entrepreneur was:

How will you build a team around your vision and work smart instead of hard?

Not wanting to let go of the baby

When starting out with a business, I came from the mindset that I needed to everything. This included putting my own equity into the business, and doing most of the work. I believe this came from thinking that I can not let go of my project, it was my baby.

The Creatorpreneur

I so love this word as it combines being “a creator” or “creative” and being an entrepreneur. It comes naturally writing and coming up with creative ideas. I sometimes get stuck in artistic temperament, and may not see everything so clearly. So it is great to get another’s viewpoint, especially when I am in a state of confusion. This viewpoint is to make clear what is happening around me.

“Do only what you can do”

To the outside world, people may see me as multi-skilled individual being able to do a lot of things. There is stuff that I can do well, and other stuff that does not come so easily.  In day 16 of this challenge, Natalie Sisson provided a link to an interview she did with the outsourcing guru Chris Ducker . He expressed the point to focus on what you can do, so in my instance I will be writing my blogs, books and developing courses; and for the other secondary stuff, that I may not like to do, then outsource. I do not currently have a Virtual Assistant but it seems like a good idea to have one. I learnt that you could have a virtual assistant for different tasks. Not just the administration.

The help

There has been help with my blog along the way, in terms of in the business and the outside. I refer to doing work on myself. I mean having a mentor, or someone to go to when I have questions. I am part of the brand. In terms of my lovely website, this was designed by the wonderful graphic designer and web designer, Cheryl Laidlaw of Reyl Design. I am not a very techie person, so I need someone to help behind the scenes. What is also important also, is to also find someone whom not only does the job well, but whom I have a good rapport with. They become part of the body that creates my finished product.

At the time of writing this article, I have a new book to be published and there are things that need to be done first before it becomes ready to buy. So I will be having a team behind this creation.

 

 

 
30 day challenge