I’ve always had a BIG dream:
To own a beautiful house in the country, where the summer breeze wafts in through the open stable door, and I can gaze out over my scented garden whilst I sip tea at my kitchen island reading the latest issue of Ideal Home.
I’ve had this dream for as long as I can remember.
I’ve never craved cars, clothes or lavish vacations…but I have ALWAYS craved my secluded, rose-scented cottage-in-the-country, complete with Belfast sink (don’t you just love those??).
I realised a long time ago that it wasn’t the cottage so much that I lusted after; it was the peace, the fresh air, the scent of dew-soaked meadows, the gift of living within four walls that have a rich history of secrets, and the slower pace of life where I can appreciate each moment more fully.
That was my dream, and I knew my business would help me turn it into a reality.
I’d read all the Abraham-Hicks. I’d studied the LOA. I’d made notes in ‘Think & Grow Rich’. I no longer had space on my walls for more ‘dreamboards’.
I lived and breathed my desire for the perfect home to bring up our daughter. I wanted it more than anything.
If I set an intention, made it clear to the Universe what I wanted, then worked hard to ensure my thoughts were all primed for success…AND I put in the effort…I couldn’t go wrong.
As I sit here now, three years on from taking my success into my own hands by becoming self-employed, we’re still in the same house. Not only am I no closer to signing the mortgage documents on my ivy-clad dream home, we have a long way to go still to even pay off debts still haunting us from the past.
But do you know what? I don’t care.
I no longer think about the Belfast sink, or the Inglenook fireplace (complete with upcycled log sleeper mantlepiece).
I realised that for me, holding such a definitive dream (and financial goal that would make it a reality) was so much pressure, I had started to resent my life’s work.
I was striving so hard to join the ‘Six Figure Club’, yet I was secretly resenting the person it was turning me into: saying things I wouldn’t normally say, being someone I wouldn’t normally be, getting involved in things I wouldn’t normally getting involved in. Being so wired to how many likes, opens and sales…when all I really wanted was to curl up with a good book.
I had been paying so much attention to ensuring I was ‘manifesting right’ that I had lost sight of what was truly important to me.
A homely home (wherever it may be). A happy, healthy husband and daughter. The gift of being able to earn a living by doing the things I LOVE to do. Being able to take a day off whenever I feel like it. Wearing pyjamas to work (don’t judge). Knowing that if we need (or want) something, we can usually get it without feeling guilty.
But perhaps the biggest realisation was that these goals carry a much lighter emotional burden…and as a result, I am a MUCH happier person.
And when I’m a happier person, I do better work.
And when I do better work, I increase my income.
In other words, I realised:
[bctt tweet=”Financial peace is a LOT closer than you think”]
I’ve learned that it’s ok to surrender your ‘big dreams’, and affirm your trust that your greatest good is always working its way to you…even if it looks different to what you had imagined.
When I let go of my ‘big dream’, I realised that my business was already generating the income I needed to be truly happy…and everything else was just pressure I didn’t need – pressure that was causing me to feel burned-out and frustrated.
For me, I know that freedom, happiness and peace are choices I get to make every day – no matter where I live. If the cottage-in-the-country is where I’m supposed to be, I understand that it will come to me at exactly the right time, in exactly the right way.
And in the meantime…I’m going to work towards my financial goal for 2016:
Be grateful for what I have. Be accepting of what I don’t have. Trust that what I need is just around the corner (along with the income to finance it).
If you’re feeling financial pressure in your business right now, think about how much of it is being driven by unnecessary goals.
How much do you REALLY need your business to generate?
How much of your stress and anxiety is from goals that are detracting from your quality of life…not enriching it?
What assumptions are you making about what it will take (financially) for you to be happy, and fulfilled?
Taking any unnecessary financial pressure off of your shoulders is the first step to enjoying the sense of peace that comes from trusting that you will be provided with the finances you need to fund whatever it is that the Universe knows is best for you…and actually enjoying the creative process again.
Enjoy this post? Do you have a similar story? I’d LOVE to hear from you in the comments below! Oh, and please do share it using the icons below…you never know who needs to read this right now to get unstuck in their business.
Well…what a year THAT was.
2 = website hacks (1 = male enhancement site my domain was temporarily redirected to)
3 = times I’ve switched platforms in the effort to find the perfect home for my Initiation Kit (I think Gumroad is now “the one”)
6 = total number of days it took me to create and launch The Surrender Kit (it’s amazing what you can achieve with more focus, less doubt)
18 = client brand identities designed (and I loved helping birth EVERY one)
41 = posts I’ve written that are still in ‘Drafts’ (because I deemed them ‘not good enough’)
48.27% = percentage of visitors to my website are from the US
184 = pages that make up my simple little WordPress site
364 = days where I’ve nearly given in due to self-doubt
364 = days where I kept going anyway
2,965 = comments that people have lovingly made on my blog
8,960 (approx) = glorious moments I’ve spent mentoring other solopreneurs
15,031 = total number of beautiful subscribers in my community
15,031 = reasons to be insanely grateful
115,421 = total number of times pages on my website were viewed
UNDISCLOSED = total number of Amazon book-sized deliveries, total number of times I’ve tried different planner setups, total number of times I’ve been tempted to throw my laptop out of the window, total number of times I’ve completely screwed up, and total number of brilliant ideas I’ve had that are still ideas due to my own limiting beliefs.
Oh…and total number of times I’ve checked my phone before I’ve even crawled out from under the duvet. (It’s all true – it’s SO not good for you).
Some of my favourite moments…in pictures:
Working from a hot-tub. Outside. In the middle of January.
Running a free Soulful Brand Planning workshop.
Working in big fluffy socks.
Going on family adventures. Up mountains.
Finding love-notes on my iMac.
So many beautiful gifts, cards and letters from customers, clients & readers.
This. Just this.
My Bullet Journal.
My washi collection. Don’t judge.
Husband love: 8 years of marriage, 14 years of friendship.
A photo I actually LIKE of myself.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my whirlwind summary of 2015.
What were YOUR most notable moments? I’d love to know…tell me in the comments below!
As I’ve been reconnecting with the heart of my business, I felt inspired to create a short video to help me communicate what my work is all about.
My video isn’t professionally made, or even polished – but it means a lot to me.
It tells my story in 1 minute 8 seconds, and every time I watch it…it reminds me of how far I’ve come in my own journey.
Since I shared my new video on Facebook, so many people have asked how I made it. So…here’s a quick low-down on my DIY video method…
What you’ll need…
~ Access to a video editing app (I used Screenflow, or Camtasia is another good one). There are many others out there – I personally love Screenflow as it’s so easy to use (and these are not affiliate links…just sharing what I use!).
~ Video clips. I aim to be resourceful here, as footage can get REALLY expensive. For this video, I used a mixture of clips I’ve already bought in the past, clips from my iPhone, and some new clips I bought especially for this video. My favourite resources for clips are www.dissolve.com and www.shutterstock.com. You can buy clips in different qualities – web, SD, HD and 4k. For this video, I used SD clips (as I didn’t really want to remortgage my house for the sake of 1:08 😉 ).
~ A soundtrack. Of course, this is optional – but choosing an appropriate soundtrack can make all the difference to the end result of your masterpiece. I recycled a soundtrack I bought last year for this video, and my favourite place to purchase audio is www.istockphoto.com.
~ Access to an app that will let you create PNGs. The text overlays that you can see on my video were created as PNG files with transparent backgrounds, and inserted into Screenflow. Your video editing software may allow you to insert text over the video without needing this step, but I wanted my text to be styled consistently with my brand. I created my text overlays in Adobe Illustrator.
How to do it…
Once you have the above ready to go, it really is a case of getting stuck in…and experimenting until you’re happy!
I have pretty much zero experience in this kind of thing (I’ve created a couple of these videos before, but I certainly don’t consider myself to be knowledgeable on the subject!).
I personally started by creating a new document in Screenflow, sized 852 x 480px.
Then, I started to add in my audio, video and PNGs (in Screenflow, you add files by going to Insert > Choose). Screenflow works in layers – so whatever is on the topmost layer will be displayed above the bottom layers. I started by adding my audio in first, as that determined the length of my video (my chosen audio clip was 1:08 minutes). If you don’t want your audio soundtrack to determine the length of your video, look for a looped clip that you can just keep repeating until your video is at the desired length.
Once you have your desired elements in the document, it really is a case of experimenting until you have the desired effect. Don’t be surprised if a one minute video takes you a full day…or longer! This video took me a day, and was definitely frustrating at times.
When your video is complete, export it…and share it with the world!
Tips & Tricks…
If you’ve been wanting to make a heartfelt video for your business for a while now, but haven’t felt like you could tackle it (nor could afford a professional to do it)…I really hope that this has inspired you to give it a go. If I can do it with my limited technical skills, anyone can!
Here are some ideas to get you started…
Download video comps before you buy. Most places you can pick video clips up from will allow you to download a free ‘comp’ – essentially, try before you buy. This is a quick and easy way to map out your video, without spending money before you’re sure it’ll turn out how you’d like it.
As far as I’m aware, Screenflow offer a free trial of their software. See what you can create using the free trial before investing in the software itself.
Don’t worry about it being perfect! Remember the aim of your video. If the aim is to connect with your audience, the fact that it’s not highly polished will help establish trust and empathy. Just go for it…you never know whose heart it will touch in just the right way!
Start by deciding the message you’d like your video to get across, and work back from there. For example – I wanted my video to express a sense of why I do what I do…and a snapshot of my own journey. This video is not about selling what I have to offer – it’s about communicating the dream that was so important to me, and why it’s important to me that I help others step into theirs.
Decide whether you want to feature in the video or not. Many people have asked me why I chose not to be in the video. Honestly? I’m never all too comfortable on camera. I know that it’s important to establish visibility and trust, but I choose to do that in other ways – my video is not one of them. My video is a way of expressing myself – not a marketing gimmick that I’m ticking boxes on. Do this YOUR way, and express yourself in a way that feels inspiring to YOU.
If you’ve been inspired by this post, and decide to give your own video a go…I’d LOVE to see it! Post a link to it in the comments below, as I’d love to see your work. If you have any questions, post those too. I may not have a definitive answer, but I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction 🙂