Life On My Terms

it starts with you ...

I heard something recently that really made me think, and reinforced my feelings about most people.

We spend 40 hours a week in school, to step into a 40 hour a week job, for 40 years of our life, only to retire on about 40% of the income we are used to …

Or, something like that.

Does that even make sense to you?

Those of you who are fitness instructors, and self-employed may be thinking that you escaped that treadmill.  You left a “job” and struck out by yourself. 

You are living life on your terms.

Sorry to burst your bubble, …

But, there is more to living life on your terms than that.

For many years, I was under the illusion that I was doing just that.  Working for myself as a freelance group exercise instructor, yoga teacher, trainer for Les Mills UK and other training providers.  If I worked hard and did the hours I had accepted to do, I would get paid, and the rest of the time would be mine to spend for my pleasure.

Yeah, right?!

The reality is this … when I am sick, or injured, or just do not feel like working, I do not get paid.

When I take time off for a holiday, I do not get paid.

And, there are times when I do not get paid on time because the company had a problem with their banking system.

Or, better still, I have a wait for a cheque in the post (which is usually late), which I then have to take to the post office to bank in and wait for it to clear.

What provisions do you have in place for when you are older and need care?

Oh ….

And if you have children, what have you got in place for them when you are gone?

Is that really living life on your terms?

I know you are no doubt doing what you love, so are you truly happy that this is the case?  That your cash flow is dependent on external factors?

For many years, this was me too. 

And, I realised that it had to stop.

When you are younger and just starting out on the self-employed journey, it is exciting and thoughts of the future tend to be a long way away.  Whilst I think most of us believe that we will die … eventually, it is not featured at the forefront of our minds.

As I write this, I am sitting on a plane to Bangkok to visit my parents.  I have not seen them in over 6 years and the reason for this is because I was busy working.  I had accrued debts from a previous relationship ( .. how on earth did this happen?).

I just could not afford the time out, financially and personally.  In my mind, I needed to accept all the work that came my way because I was afraid that if I didn’t, it would affect any future work that would be allocated. 

So, something needed to change.  I wanted to be able to take time off and not worry about my cashflow, and my career.  I wanted to be in charge and truly live life on my terms.

And, I am on my way there.

Now that I get it and am putting the pieces in place, I can see how many self-employed people still have an employee mindset, and will never truly live life the way they want to. 

It frustrates me and I really want to help them see that there is another way of thinking, and here are some tips for you:

  • If you have not read the book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and/or the Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki, read them!  It will change how you view your finances and your money mindset.
  • Look at what you love doing and what you are doing now.  Your experiences are unique to you and is a potential source of abundance.  If you have been in the group exercise industry for a long time, like I have, you may be feeling that it is time to make a change and do something different.
  • Are you trading your time for money?  For example, teaching a BODYBALANCE class for a health club and getting paid £25 for that class is trading your time for money.  It is an hourly rate, and therefore no different to if you were an employee.  Understanding this is the first mindset shift out of being coin-operated.
  • What could you offer alongside what you currently do that will make the shift away from that and towards getting money to work for you?
  • What other sources of income do you have?  If you are self-employed and you became incapacitated, your income stream could potentially stop. If you are employed, you could lose your job or be made redundant.  Life is uncertain, more so today, than ever before.  Be open-minded and look at additional sources of income.

I would love to have a chat with you to see if I can help you make this shift.  I am offering a free 15-minute chat slots, so please click here to book a time.

What Fills You Up?

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I am very blessed to have spent most of my life doing what I love doing.  In fact, I have surpassed what I ever envisioned … and that is not hard?!

If you have been following my writings here, and on Facebook, for a while now, you may recall that I never planned or visioned my future.  In fact, an image I used to describe myself is someone who wanders along life, sees an interesting opening, have a peek and then choose to drift down it because it looked vaguely interesting.

What I have come to realise is that everything we do leads us somewhere.

And, I do believe that our destination is pre-determined.

The reason I believe this to be true is that everything I have done to date seems to be culminating in something (I don’t quite know what yet), that I have on this earth to do.

If that is then true, then do we really need to “chase” our dream(s), or will our dream happen anyway?

I see so many people around me chasing, striving, doing whatever it takes, in order to pursue their “dream”.  What happens if you take a step back, be quiet and still, and listen to the voice deep in your heart, and not your head?  What would that voice say?

A few years ago, someone was talking to me about wanting to become a Les Mills Trainer. The conversation sort of went a little like this …

Instructor: “I really want to become a Trainer.”

Me: “Why?”

Instructor: “Because I want to change lives.”

Me: “As instructors we’re already changing the lives of people who come to our classes,  what do you feel is different by being a Trainer?”

Instructor: (after numerous ums and ahs) “Well, I just want to share the love.”

This instructor also ran their own business, where they coach and mentor individuals in growing their businesses.  They also stand up in front of a crowd regularly and deliver training.  So, they are already changing lots of lives.

My point is this …

Look at what fulfils you at a deeper level.  Using this instructor as an example, they get a buzz from changing lives.  In their eyes, they wanted to be a Les Mills Trainer for the “glamour” and “fame”.  It may be easy for me to say that because I have done that, and still doing it to some degree.  I have done it long enough though to look back and realise that I never took the time to understand what fulfils me.

By understanding what fulfils me, I can map out my future journey and consider what my legacy will be.

I didn’t need to drive myself so hard.  And, I could have looked ahead more, to the different stages and chapters of my life.  I find people like Tyra Banks, Michelle Obama, David Beckham inspiring because at the peak of their career, they knew that chapter would close and they set in motion their plans for the next chapter of their lives.

So, I do believe that we are here for a reason and to leave a legacy.

I believe that legacy is a result of the fulfilment of your soul.

I am learning to listen to what my heart has to say and let it guide me on my journey to fulfilling my destiny.

How about you?

Till next time …

 

Work-Life Balance?

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Question for you … how’s your work-life balance?

For many years now, the phrase “work-life” balance has been thrown around.  There is the Wheel of Life questionnaire and similar ones, where you can determine how balanced your life is.

Thing is, I feel there is more of a shift towards creating a life that is balanced; that work is part of life because it’s not work when it’s something you love doing.  It’s about having a life by design.

My business coach has always said that we should plan our business around our life, and it made sense to me intellectually, but in all honesty, the pieces didn’t really connect. In my mind, it worked for them, but it was something I could aspire to do.  I was also familiar with the term, “Life by design”, but I didn’t really get it.

And when the penny dropped for me, it was a massive A-ha moment.  A couple of years shy of 50 years of age, what do I really want to do with my life?  What kind of lifestyle do I want to live? What legacy do I want to leave behind?  These are thoughts that run through my mind, and so the realisation that a life by design is about creating a lifestyle that tugs at my heartstrings, that excite me, that moves my soul.

A life by design, and not by default …

Takes my breath away!

I watched the Tony Robbins’ movie on Netflix last week (if you haven’t seen it yet … DO IT!), and he said he sculpted who he is and the life he has.  It’s not just about working the cards you have been dealt with.  You can pick the cards you want and create the person and life that you desire and envision for yourself and your loved ones.

So, forget “work-life” balance … purely and simply it’s a matter of lifestyle.

How’s yours? x