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.

You WILL Fit!

cat in box

I am a “boxes” kind of girl …

By that, I mean that I like things to fit in boxes.  Not so much stuff (I much prefer organised mess), but people and situations. I have a tendency to look at someone and put them into a box in my head.

Basically, I am judgmental.

I can, almost instantly, decide if I like someone, or not, and that really isn’t necessarily a good, or useful, thing to do.  I used to think it was gut instinct, which it most probably is, but I would then proceed to judge them based on that.

Over the years, I have learnt to catch my judgment switch going off, pause and drop any expectations. And yet, the skill is in trusting gut instinct and being completely open.  Honestly, this is work in progress for me. When I am open, I seem be oblivious to my gut instinct.  When I listen to my gut, I tend to be closed and judgmental.

The other thing about being judgmental is that there are times when I am judging myself; against the “norm”, other people.  And that is when I need to give myself a big slap because I do know better?!

So what I need to do is make quiet time, to breathe, to meditate and contemplate because when I do, finding that magical balance point is so much easier.

How about you?

Do you find yourself being judgmental, of others, as well as yourself?

Till next time … x


Now I’m 49

IMG_3614Birthday Lunch at 1847, Bristol

It was my 49th birthday on Sunday, and I am still wrapping my head around the fact that I am approaching half a century old.

Is that something you think about?

I have written about this before, but it is something that I do think about a lot.

What have I done so far, what more will I do and what legacy will I leave behind.

You may say that it is something we don’t need to think about; or, as some of you have said to me already, that I am leaving a legacy through the lives that I have touched over the years.

The thing is, I have this feeling, deep in my heart, that I am meant to do something more. And that feeling brings with it a sense of urgency as we never know how many moments we have left to experience. The frustrating thing is …

I don’t know what I am meant to do.

What I do know is I need more quiet time to reflect.  I need to get out of my businesses and work on my businesses.

I should have a holiday.

I know my 25 years+ of being involved with the fitness industry as it is needs to draw to a close, either completely or change direction.

Almost twenty years ago, when I was on my yoga teacher training course, I remember my teacher saying that we should all aim to leave the planet better than we found it.  I do truly believe this. And one of the reasons I got into becoming a trainer and teaching teachers is the belief that if I could influence one teacher, they, in turn, will influence the people in their classes, thereby causing a ripple effect.  It is also the reason that I am an Arbonne consultant as I believe that social marketing is the way forwards in terms of influencing and changing lives.

So I am still at the contemplating stage on which direction I should take that would cause the most ripples, as that is why I do what I have always done.

What are you thoughts?

Do you know your legacy?  Are you even bothered?

Do you have any tips you can share and help me with my musings?

Till next time …