The stories we tell ourselves, and what you can do about them

the stories we tell ourselves

The stories we tell ourselves,

and what you can do about them

There are a few themes that are set on repeat in the Wayfairer HQ and one of them is about the stories we tell ourselves. Have you ever listened to the stories, the voices in your head tell you? Whether they’re self-doubts, you can’ts to hell yes’s and what ifs.

That voice or those voices have quite a strong influence over most of us. These stories can quite quickly and easily be mistaken for truths. They often have the power and capacity to incapacitate us, to swell that lump of fear and ring in the naysayers at the back of our minds.

Stories we tell are often not true

But it’s not all doom and gloom, because it at these junctions that growth and awareness can develop, unfold and can change the trajectory of the stories being developed or told in our heads.

No one other than you can hear this story. Which means no one other than you can change the tune, the tone, the content and make that story ring truer than its original shitty first draft. The shitty first draft that many accept as being the final polished and buffed piece that the world sees.

Dr Brené Brown talks of her internal dialogue as one that can either cripple her or fire her up to get on with her intention to keep showing up for the world. To continue writing, researching, presenting her ideas. Rewriting that story where she is the imposter and her story is full of doubt, fear, and vulnerability.

Sound familiar?

Recently I was talking with a friend about my ability to upsell, wax lyrical and prioritise my work for others and the work they do. However, when it comes to my own work, skill set, experience and abilities I am completely paralysed. By not only a very strong sense of fear and vulnerability (oh my goodness I don’t know everything, what if someone finds out!) But also imposter syndrome. Despite my training and educational background, over 15 years of experience and a university degree. I still seem to believe the story in my head. It reads like this – I’m not enough to do this work. I’ve not got enough experience. I have to get more qualifications. I need to work for other people, use their skills, experience, and business as a buffer to hide behind. To shield myself from being exposed as an imposter. These are huge excuses for not letting my own innate skills loose, and actually being brave enough to be successful. Which is contrary to the fear I tell myself of being afraid of failing. Which, I am not. Funnily enough.

“If we deny our stories, they own us,” says Brené Brown. “When we own our stories, we get to write the ending. When we deny our stories and disengage from tough emotions, they don’t go away – they own us, then they define us. Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending – to rise strong, reckon with our story and rumble with the truth until we get to a place where we think, yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. And I will choose how this story ends.”

The shitty first draft (sfd)

When I first read about this in Brené Brown’s book, Rising Strong, it took a bit of digesting. Probably because my fears realised they were about to be caught out. The biggest question that came up was, Why would writing our stories be of any use? Eventually, it dawned on me that if our stories are out of our heads and in the real world positioned next to other items for scale and perspective we’d see what shitty stories they really are. How irrelevant they actually are in relation to not only the truth but also reality.

Fellow fear facer and author Elizabeth Gilbert wrote an exceptional letter to fear in her book Big Magic.

 

The stories fear tells us

 

The sfd

Not everyone is a storyteller, a writer or inclined to put their innermost thoughts on paper (or on a computer). I know there are days where I can’t even sit still long enough to write a sentence, so my suggestions are these. Take out the medium that you feel most at ease with communicating these stories.

  • writing, stories, poems, lyrics, emails, notes, permission slips
  • painting, drawing, sculpting, carving
  • photographs or videos
  • speak the stories through songs, a vlog, podcast, voice recording on your phone, conversation with another person

The SFD doesn’t need to be public, it just needs to be out of your head and exposed for what it really is. Bullshit.

I always say to my students. Ask the question. Get the clarification. Make the statement. You are not the only one in the room feeling that way. By raising your hand and putting yourself in a space of vulnerability I can guarantee that at least one other will feel the same. They will be moved to either support you and contribute to the story or write/speak their own version.

Like all good stories, they need space and time to be told. So carve out a niche of time and get those words or images out of your head. Start that shitty first draft and see it for what it is. Fear. Vulnerability. Self-doubt. Acknowledge it, take responsibility for it. But don’t believe it. Please, don’t believe it.

Reigning in the stories

Brené, who has interviewed artists, CEOs, parents, teachers and military leaders as part of her mission to uncover what it takes to lean into vulnerability in the name of being courageous, suggests a few key points in order to ‘rise strong’ in the face of a roadblock, stumble (or sinkhole).

1.    Acknowledge when you’re getting caught in emotion

The physiological signs of this can be different for everyone but may involve sweaty palms, tingly insides, dizziness, racing heart, rushing thoughts.

2.    Own your story 

Acknowledge your fears and worries to yourself and identify what they are, exactly. You will probably recognise that they’re somewhat exaggerated versions of the actual truth.

3.    Go searching for the truth

Take it gently, this might involve, confessing to the person your SFD is about or involving and saying something along the lines of ‘In my head, the story I’m telling myself is…’

4.    Create a new story

In most situations, it’s possible to identify what the real issue is. Overwhelm, stress, tiredness, PMS, and more are all contributors to the story. The rest? Pure confabulation.

5.    Challenge your themes

If you’re serious about getting up and out of the SFD vicious circle, review your SFDs and pull out the recurring themes that you’re concocting on a regular basis about situations in your life, about people, about circumstances. Acknowledge the underlying false beliefs that may be plaguing you.

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If you need more help or coaching please get in touch here or info(@)wayfairer.net

Framing stories.

 

 

 

Creating Competitions. How to get more Social with your Followers

Competitions

There aren’t many better ways to increase followers, engagement, brand visibility, and loyalty than with social competitions. Why? Because, if competitions are done well and with thought, they create buzz and genuine engagement.

A social competition or contest is essentially the promotion of your brand, business or product aimed specifically at your social media audience, both current and potential. Initially very popular on Facebook competitions have migrated to other social platforms with Instagram being the current platform of choice.

Creating competitions 

Contests continue to play a key part of businesses social strategy. Aimed at maximising engagement, the level of success, however, this is entirely dependant on you knowing your audience.

For example, research indicates that millennials are more inclined to engage in experiences, for which they are willing to pay. In the age of the savvy online customer, businesses have to be savvier in their approach to competitions.

Want to engage with Millennials and Gen X? Offer them an experience. Keen to boost your baby boomer and tech-shy client base encourage them to share, like, tag a friend and comment.

Gen Zers are the most likely to create specific content for you. With the rise of live broadcasts, encourage the creation of short clips and videos with your brand hashtag.

Social media contests can:

  • Inspire viral engagement (if your content is smart, astute, and fun consumers will want to share it with their network).
  • Boost engagement (CTA will encourage people to reach out and engage with you and your brand, business and products).
  • Build your email list (demonstrate that the business is providing value-add to their lives they’ll be rewarded for giving their email address).

88% of businesses are active on social media, which means you need to differentiate yourself. This translates to a lot of contests that are catching people’s attention and ultimately their business.

First of all, what should you consider when dreaming up a competition?

  • Unusual rules and ways to create engagement and action e.g. post a photo of the product with an unexpected item or particular colour related to your brand, rethink your prizes, know your audience and what they are looking for.
  • Experiences are increasingly sought after, why? Because they are harder to come by than products. The type of experience on offer will reflect the personality of the brand. This in turn will be linked back to you and the business. As the experience is being (for want of a better word) experienced you’ll receive UGC that can be repurposed. The perfect solution to generating more relatable content.
  • Social cause campaigns are the most successful form of competition at the moment. Partly because millennials are the most socially engaged demographic on social media. But also because they highlight what your business and brand are focused on, the community.
  • Comment giveaways, whilst these are not revolutionary they will appeal to those on social media who don’t want to be hooked into an online community or complicated forms of engagement. Polls and voting will inspire action, and that’s what we want!

All of this ultimately comes back to the new algorithms. How Facebook and Instagram (in particular) are looking at your engagement with followers. If your posts are driving action and reactions (loves, laughs, comments – not just likes). They’ll boost your content further, it’s time to think outside the jar of jellybeans.

Social media tools for running competitions – are they useful?

In a nutshell, yes. Why? Because they manage a whole range of components at the same time, and furthermore give you running feedback on engagement so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

Our top three suggestions to investigate are:

  1. Gleam – they’re robust in their reporting and growth of some kind is assured, whether it’s your email list or social media following. A noteworthy aspect is an offer of a month trial before switching to paid plans that start at US$39/month
  2. Rafflecopter – considered to be the easiest to use, and they offer month to month plans, which for small businesses is appealing. Prices start at US$13/month for their basic plan
  3.  If Facebook is the main marketing platform for your business Woobox is the best option for managing social contests. Prices for the solo (small business plan) start from US$30/month.

And…the best Instagram #hashtags to use for competitions and promotions

1. #contest
2. #[yourbrand]contest
3. #contests
4. #contestalert
5. #contestentry
6. #sweepstakes
7. #[yourbrand]sweepstakes
8. #giveaway
9. #[yourbrand]giveaway
10. #giveaways
11. #winitwednesday
12. #competition
13. #win
14. #[yourbrand]win

Not sure how best to proceed for your business needs and customer engagement? Check out what other similar businesses are doing and how they’re engaging with their clients. Failing that drop us a line, we are always happy to delve into your social media and see what’s going on and how to best optimise your activity. Get in touch here.

Read our post on #Hashtags. Find out more about how to develop and use them to maximum effect on social media.

Competitions help create authentic connections between you, your business or brand and your audience.

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*This post was originally written by Wayfairer for Digital Dandy

Hashtags, what are they and how important are they, really?

Hashtags

Hashtags, what are they and how important are they, really? Every minute thousands of images, videos, sound clips and links are posted on social media platforms. In the increasingly crowded social media space businesses need to stand out amongst the crowd. Unless you have a huge following the likelihood of your posts being missed is quite high. This is where hashtags come into the picture (pardon the pun). Hashtags came into their own when Twitter was launched into the social scene. Nowadays they’re used as common practice across all media platforms.

Defining the hashtag

A hashtag is a keyword or phrase preceded by the hash symbol (#). Written within a post or comment to highlight it and facilitate a search for it. Essentially, by including hashtags in your post; it will be indexed by the social network and search engines so that it can be discoverable to everyone. Even if they’re not your followers or fans. For example, if your company is based in Hobart and your desired audience is both local residents and visitors to the city you could use the hashtag #hobartandbeyond to tap into the tourism sector of your client base.

Instagram (and social media in general) has been changing the rules of the hashtag game. And with that, we need to change our methods of engagement from the types and frequency of our hashtag usage. Focusing on more what, how, and when we post our content, so it counts most.

Hashtags

Hashtag heaven

Social media statistics will help you track your hashtag engagement

To put it simply, Instagram has divided their hashtags into three different categories, genericcommunity, and branded hashtags

Generic: 

These hashtags are the least specific of the three, but they do help with random discovery by users. However, the drawback is if you use the same hashtags too often your account could be flagged as ‘spam’ which you don’t want. This type of hashtag is more like a generalisation. And when it comes to business, it doesn’t work. Most businesses, or almost every business, have a niche (a specific type of product or service). And using a broad hashtag is akin to stabbing wildly in the dark. So, if you are going to use a generic hashtag, make sure you mix them up. Generic hashtag examples are: #travel, #love, #paradise

Community:

Related to the gathering of people who have similar interests or have similar content. Some examples of these communities are #fromwhereistand and #ihavethisthingwithfloors. To find these look at your followers and the types of accounts and people they follow. The narrower the scope of the hashtag, the more engaged the following.

Branded:

Unique to your business, branded hashtag, they can be your business name or tagline, specific product name. They can be helpful in encouraging UGC and increasing exposure specific to your business, services and products.

Don’t make your hashtags too long and hard to read, and, check your spelling.

Last but not least, you can now follow specific hashtags on Instagram, and so can your followers. This game changer will either boost or kill your visibility. Which is one of the reasons why using the relevant hashtag is so important. Once a hashtag is followed you’ll be given suggestions from Instagram of other hashtags, accounts, images, content that may be of interest. A form of organic discovery, using Instagram centric algorithms and hashtags. By following specific hashtags you’ll be able to see what other people are doing. Who is using the same hashtag and if this is on point for your business, brand and target audience.

Plus, you’ll gather a cache of hashtags relevant to your industry as deemed by Instagram. If that’s not the golden ticket, we don’t know what is!

A closer look at social platforms & what works best

Instagram

  • Between 3-5 hashtags in your description, and up to 10 in your comments.
  • To keep everything organised and visually appealing. It’s best to put your hashtags at the end of your caption preferably separated by either dots or asterisks. If you’re a bit OCD, you can also add your hashtags in a comment to your post (10 maximum).
  • Instagram’s algorithm has always favoured specific and relevant hashtags. Using hashtags that make sense is super important. That’s because users now have the power to edit your hashtagged content as something they don’t want to see.
  • Instagram insights will give you an outline of which hashtag groups are working best for you. From there you can narrow down your hashtag use to the ones that are most effective for you, and your business.

Facebook

  • Surprisingly the use of a hashtag is not very important on Facebook, it’s the title, heading or description that punches its weight.
  • Use hashtag groups, but keep them to an absolute minimum, a branded hashtag is the best course of action.
  • Content posted on Facebook can now be cross-posted onto Instagram if images are part of the post.

Pinterest

  • Don’t use more than 20 hashtags per pin (that’s a lot!) and they only work in the pin description.

Twitter

  • More than two hashtags have been shown to reduce visibility and reduce the tweets to being allocated as ‘spam’.
  • Unlike Instagram, hashtags can be used anywhere. In the tweet, whether as part of the text or afterwards, it makes no difference. #But #don’t #tag #every #word – #its #annoying #to #read.

Google+ and LinkedIn

  • The humble Hashtag can be used, but they don’t impact the visibility of the post. Again, focus on using branded hashtags only.
  • On LinkedIn, the most important feature is the fact that any activity on posts (e.g. likes, shares or comments) are broadcast on the wall of everyone who is following your company or you as an individual. An easy way to get exposure is to post regular content and encourage engagement.
Hashtags are go!

Hashtags help make you and your business more discoverable

 

 

 

 

 

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*This post was originally written by Wayfairer for Digital Dandy If you’d like help or some further information about coaching services in relation to digital media, social strategy and business presence online get in touch here  – info (at) wayfairer.net

 

 

 

 

GDPR + Your Business

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) comes into effect today, May 25th, 2018. Whilst there has been a lot of hype about the updated regulations, the core essence of the policy is to protect the data of people collected by businesses.

LET US EXPLAIN….

General privacy policies are related to information attached to an individual and these can be broken down into:

  • email address
  • first and last names
  • date and place of birth
  • city, town and country
  • shipping and/or billing addresses
  • e-commerce information – banking or card details (there are additional Privacy Policy requirements for e-commerce sites)

Anonymous data, which is data that is not specifically personal but can be classified as ‘ personally identifiable information‘ when used in connection with other types of data that can lead to the identification of an individual.

Any business or website that collects data (as outlined above) is subject to this law and are applicable to the following platforms:

  • Websites
  • WordPress blogs (or other platforms)
  • E-commerce stores
  • Mobile apps – across all phone platforms (iOS, Android, Windows)
  • Facebook apps, desktop apps, Saas apps
  • Digital products or digital services

The GDPR is applicable to any individual or business that offers products or services to citizens of the EU and / or collects information from EU citizens. Regardless of where your business is located. This means that Australian based businesses that collect data, whether emails or data related to e-commerce transactions are required to comply with the GDPR

Part of the new regulation outlined in Article 12 of the GDPR stipulates how your business communicates with customers about the way personal data is processed, and it must be:

  • Intelligible and concise, in clear plain language that is easily understood
  • Easily accessible
  • Free of charge

In addition to the new GDPR regulation, more information is required in your business Privacy Policy, which like the GDPR needs to outline the following points –

A sample email marketing permission consent form

  • What personal information you collect
  • How and why you collect it
  • How you use it
  • How you secure it
  • Any third parties with access to it
  • If you use cookies
  • How users can control any aspects of this data

Dense legal jargon must be avoided, the purpose of the legislation is to allow individuals to easily understand what your privacy and data protection policies are.

Privacy Notices are also a new mandatory requirement, and these are a short, concise note to let the user know why you are collecting their data (see image for an example) A sample email marketing permission consent form

HOW TO GET STARTED

Enabling GDPR fields in your sign up forms will not make your business compliant. It’s a multi-step process

1. Set up a GDPR friendly sign up which has the following:

Sample information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer)

  • Marketing permission text – advise sign-ups that you’re collecting their information and how you’ll use it.
  • Opt-in checkboxes for all of your channels – Customers can choose how and where they hear from you. Including the most common marketing channels you use e.g. email, direct mail, customised online advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Google ads)
  • Your company privacy policy and terms –Advise people where they can find your privacy policy and how they can contact you
  • Data storage policy – Let people know how you will store their data, if you plan to keep all data within a marketing platform. For example, MailChimp, provide links to their Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, to ensure both you and your email marketing provider are GDPR compliant.

2. Send a re-permission email to your existing email list. Most email marketing providers, like, MailChimp, have templates you can use to get contact permissions that are GDPR compliant. Once re-consent has been received this will be stored with your emails and collected user data.

3. Stay compliant with data management and security. This means enabling 2 Factor Authentication (known as 2FA) and allow users to modify their contact information through a link to their profile. This includes deleting all personal data.

 Sample information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer)

GDPR data protection compliance

4. Provide information about how an individual can contact the DPO (Data Protection Officer) in your business (in the case of small businesses this is the business owner / sole trader who responsible for data management and compliance)

Creating these Privacy Policies and GDPR compliant guidelines can be daunting. There is an option to have a Policy created that is compliant with both Australian law and the updated GDPR. They are:

  • Privacy Policies – free for personal use and a fee for business, after inputting your information a Privacy Policy is created (please note that this is a generic privacy policy and may not cover all the legal requirements of your business and/or the updated regulations of the GDPR – if in doubt, please seek legal counsel) USD $29.99 per policy
  • Terms Feed – create legally binding agreements for users, they create Privacy Policies, T&Cs, EULA, Returns and Refunds, and Cookies policy. Prices start at USD$14.00 and increase according to the complexity of your website, services and products. This is considered to be the best option to cover all regulations – specifically GDPR, CalOPPA and Australian data protection laws)
  • WordPress offers a free plugin that generates a privacy policy for your WordPress site. Download the free Auto Terms of Service and Privacy Policy WordPress plugin from the WordPress plugin directory.

Please note, the above information is not legal advice. Please seek professional guidance should you have any doubts or queries as to how to protect and make your business compliant with the new Data Protection regulations both within Australia and internationally.

See our Privacy Policy here

HELP – a word that can be used at any time, not just in an emergency

Help is about recognising ourselves and reaching out.

It’s a glorious day outside. Part of me is lusting to roll around in it, whilst the other, more sensible part of me is suggesting I sit, and get my to-do list done before I venture out. In this instance, I’ve gone with my sensible side. (As a compromise, I moved my desk outside and I’m soaking up the warmth as I tick off my to-do list.) Why? Because I’ve been procrastinating for a week and I’m at the point where I just want things to get D.O.N.E. and out of my head and off my list.

Sound familiar?

This morning I had a meeting with a woman who helps people get their lives in order. Business or personal she rolls up her sleeves and sorts sh*t out. Why does her business work? Because she’s helping people in a way that’s natural for her and invaluable to them. The result of her help with clearing people’s mental and physical space, allows them to let go of the checklist and focus on the bigger picture.

My zone of genius is different to hers. Her zone of genius is not the same as the next person. This is a key aspect of our society, community, and tribe. We all excel at different things. So why is it that we so often hold onto all the stuff that we’re not good at rather than asking for help?

I’m not sure about you, but for me, help was a word that I associated with failure or inability to cope with the twelve million things I had to do each day. I had a boyfriend who once said “I love you, and your to-do lists” which, truth be told, can be epic, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Which brings me to…

Help . What a powerful and underutilised word.

 

We’re quite used to referring to a doctor about an illness or a company for a product that will fill a need. But, why do we overlook the things that impact our functionality at a personal level? Most women I know put others first. Deny their own needs and time out from doing all the time to just being.

Be the change and help by changing your habits

Help is about recognising ourselves, and our limitations and reaching out.

Is asking for help really a reflection of your skill or ability? No, it’s not. In fact, it’s a reflection of your ability to admit that some things are not your area of expertise. Fundamentally your time and sense of well-being is worth more than the money you’d spend getting the job done.

Just over the past year, I’ve been asking for a lot more help, and the impact of these different types of help surprised me:

  1. I didn’t realise how much space in my brain they occupied, or how often they reappeared on the to-do list
  2. They were a hidden or invisible source of stress, which quite frankly I didn’t need
  3. By letting these things go I created more flow for other things that I could do with pleasure to enter my space.

And, on top of those three realisations, I got things done. Getting things done creates momentum, and momentum creates motivation, creativity, and expansion. From there on in, the sky is the limit.

How and where to find help

First of all, ask around. Ask friends, and people you trust and respect. Get feedback – the good, the bad and the ugly. Clarify what you need help with, exactly. Make time to have conversations with people who might be able to help. Ask questions, be honest, open, upfront. Assess how you can pay for help – with money, exchange of skills or time, products.

And what type of help might I need?

Business help:
  • Assistants whether virtual or physical will help organise your life. From filing, paperwork, invoicing, planning and scheduling, they will free up space for more billable hours.
  • Business coaches can offer guidance and clarity on what’s working, what’s not and help you with a strategy and steps to execute it.
  • Digital marketing and social media specialists will help optimise your online presence. In addition, they will create a plan to continue developing and evolving as both your business and social media changes.
  • Experts. Anyone who can do something you’re either not able to physically fit in or absolutely hate doing. Don’t add anxiety to your mix.
Life help:
  • Life and purpose coach, they’ll help identify what you’re good at, what comes naturally and how they can be combined. They’ll bring an outside perspective of you.
  • Financial education, so many of us have no idea. Create financial freedom for yourself and your future.
  • Want to lose weight or make your early morning sessions at the gym more efficient? Get a personal trainer for a regular check-in and training plan adjustment session.
  • Find a nutritionist to help outline what you’re missing and adjust your meal planning. As a result, you will eat food better suited to your body type and health goals.
  • Cleaning, cooking, housework and other life stuff. It doesn’t have to happen every week. But having at least one or a few of those taken off your hands is a game changer.
  • Rotate date nights or time out with parents of your children’s friends, schedule time off and time out.

And to recap: how will help, help you, and others?

  1. It will free up space in your head
  2. Release associated anxiety and stress (both physical and invisible)
  3. Open up time in your day, week, month
  4. Give someone an opportunity to shine their light and tap into their zone of genius.

The result = everybody wins.

 

 

If you need or want help with this, get in touch here or info (at) wayfairer.net

Digital nomad: You don’t have to be in your 20s to be one

Digital nomad, a word, a concept that seems to be floating around the internet with increasing regularity often accompanied by images of tropical locations with twenty-somethings looking outrageously tanned and healthy frolicking in hipster juice bars with oversized headphones and all the latest tech.

Sound familiar? Thought it might.

It also could make people feel that if they didn’t fit that demographic then being a digital nomad is not the right fit for them.

That raises the question, what is a digital nomad?

Digital nomads are people who are location independent and use technology to perform their job. Digital nomads work remotely (telecommute), which is now economically possible due to cheap internet access, smartphones and voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to keep in contact with clients and employers. (def: invevstopedia.com)

That’s the technical definition from Investopedia, from which we can see that a digital nomad does not need to be of a certain age, or have a passion for tropical islands or hot climates. Essentially, digital nomadism is about doing your work from where you’d prefer, whether that is from home, a café, co-work space, airports, hotels or a juice bar.

The digital nomad’s office equipment

I am a digital nomad

I work remotely, every day. And often not in tropical locations, mainly due to my other life commitments. At Christmas last year I worked in a cabin in the mountains in Norway, doing a few hours after everyone left to go skiing and then heading out at whatever time suited me to ski, play and enjoy the landscape.

Normally, I live in a remote village in Spain, where jobs are scarce (the region has 40% unemployment, and those who do have jobs are either tourism based and thus seasonal, family business or move to larger cities in the region). I moved there to escape city life, I’d had enough of 15 hour days, high-stress levels, manipulative managers, internal politics and the increasing cost of living. At the end of the day, I often wondered, what am I doing all this for?

Between living in London and moving to Spain, I returned home to Sydney, where I spent six months working for a training agency streamlining their systems and processes, at the end of that contract I was ready to travel again. I renegotiated my role to become a content writer for them, thus creating a digital nomad role for myself. I proceeded to travel for the following year working remotely. In Spain, other options presented themselves, coaching and training online, teaching English VoIP, editing and writing.

Essentially, being a digital nomad is working from somewhere other than an office within structured office hours.

Is there a future for digital nomadism?

 By the year 2035, it has been predicted that there will be 1 billion digital nomads world-wide. Why? Because we’re swapping corporate structure for flexibility, independence to work within our own life structure – whether that’s kids, gym class timetables or our partners, doesn’t matter. Plus, employers are admitting that finding local talent isn’t always possible. Large companies such as Dell are aiming to have 50% of their 140,000 employees location independent by 2020, acknowledging that remote workers reduce their real estate, and environmental footprint (imagine how many extra commuters are off the road at peak hour).

Research has found that productivity increases when we’re given the freedom to create our own schedule – not everyone is productive between 9-5. Flexibility also allows people to develop their own passion projects, cultivate further knowledge and their ideal working conditions. Gallup’s report, State of the American Workplace illustrated that more employees in the United States were working remotely and reported to feeling more engaged at work, especially those who spent 3 or more days out of the traditional office environment. Basically, when people opt to work remotely, it’s beneficial for business profits, the planet, and people.

What career options are there?

Where does that leave you? With options. The digital nomad lifestyle is achievable and if you manage it well and set up clear boundaries between your work and home life, you’re in for an excellent change in your work lifestyle.

Need some ideas of what you might be able to do or consider doing:

Need ideas? Grab your copy today on Amazon or in the Wayfairer shop.

 

  • Photography
  • Counselling, Coaching, Training
  • Web-Based Technologies
  • Digital Marketing
  • Editing, Journalism, Writing
  • Information Technology
  • Design
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Programming
  • Administration / Virtual Assistant
  • Teaching and Education
  • Sports, Fitness, and Wellness
  • Food and Nutrition

Resources:

There are plenty of resources and areas in which digital nomads are in demand. You just need to decide how you’re going to make the digital nomad lifestyle work for you.

Get clarity on how you can create your version of the ‘digital nomad’ – for more info email info (at) wayfairer.net or click here to reserve your 30 minute 1:1 session.

Packing the right tool kit for spiritually inclined travelers – 9 must have tools to have with you on the road

Packing the right tool-kit for spiritually inclined travelers – 9 must have tools to have with you on the road

Maintain your balance when you travel

Spiritually inclined packing list!

Packing list for the spiritually inclined, not really a list limited to those spiritually minded, but anyone who recognizes that sometimes we need extra help. In my experience after traveling for a long period of time, I get overwhelmed. Be it unsettled or tired. Often the result is that I find it hard to make decisions, clarify what I’m doing, where I’m going next, who I can trust and so on. If I’m not able to maintain rhythms of work, sleep, and healthy food it’s hard to be clear about what’s going on, all the time.

For example, I adventured around Myanmar a few years ago. One part of the trip I traveled by overnight bus to the north of the country where I was woken up at 3.30 in the morning. The bus was supposed to arrive at 7 am but arrived 3.5 hours early. I got hustled off into a pitch black street, with no real idea what is going on and where I was. As the bus pulled away, all I could see where the two rear lights disappearing in the darkness. Half asleep and disoriented, I had to make a decision. In this moment, it was which way to walk and find somewhere to stay (there were no taxis or living souls, and the bus had stopped on the side of a road rather than at a bus station).

Needless to say, most cities are quiet at 3.30 in the morning you can imagine the village was completely dead. Even the street dogs were silent. Without a proper map, idea, or even adequate lighting I reached for my ‘tool-kit’ and answered the pressing question ‘Where do I go now? Left or Right? My answer was ‘left’ and so, to the left I walked and into what would be the exact town I wanted to be in and to the only place that had someone available to talk to and with an available room at 4 am.

When we travel occasionally we have to make snap decisions about the best thing to do in a situation, quickly. Sometimes when your brain is not making any sense whatsoever due to stress, lack of sleep, or overstimulation, the reason doesn’t matter, occasionally we all need some secondary assistance. This is where my ‘tool-kit’ comes in. What did I use at 3.30 in the morning to make my decision? Kinesiology.

Muscle testing with Kinesiology

Kinesiology – muscle testing, brought into practice by Donna Eden. An energy healer who started asking her body what it needed, wanted, liked (or not) and from this, the practice of kinesiology was developed into a technique used to ask questions.

– Start by balancing yourself and taking a few deep breaths and firmly planting your feet on the ground, connecting with the universal energy flow, with your dominant hand connect the tips of your little finger and thumb together to create a strong circular connection. With your non-dominant hand create a pincer (crab claw) with your thumb and forefinger.

Your dominant hand is generally the hand you write with and non-dominant is your other hand.

– Start by asking two questions that have definitive yes and no answers, for example,

  • Is my name ___________ insert your name (the answer will definitely be yes)
  • Is my name ____________ select a random name (the answer will definitely be no)
    Use kinesiology to muscle test for information.

    How to get ready to muscle test for answers.

– When you ask each question create the loop with your dominant hand and the pincer with your non-dominant hand.

– Ask the question to confirm for the ‘yes’result – Is my name ___________? (insert your name)

– As you ask the question put your non-dominant pincer fingers in the circle made with your little finger and thumb of your dominant hand, insert your ‘pincer fingers’ into the loop and try to open your fingers with your other fingers – if the loop on your dominant hand doesn’t open the answer is YES.

– Now repeat the process with your ‘no’ question – Is my name ____________? (select a completely random name)

– As you ask the question put your non-dominant pincer fingers in the circle made with your little finger and thumb of your dominant hand, insert your ‘pincer fingers’ into the loop and try to open your fingers with your other fingers – if the loop opens easily, this means NO.

– For me, for example, if my fingers open easily as though I have no power or strength, this means, no. If my fingers open a little or with some difficulty, this means maybe, and best to find another solution. If I can’t open the loop at all, it means yes.

Asking questions about food

– helpful for those with food allergies* –

– You can ask all sorts of questions, related to food, places to stay, people, anything and everything. One good thing to remember is that the body doesn’t lie!

– To ask questions about food, its best to hold a piece of food so your body can feel it’s energy. Try it with a sachet of white sugar, then a piece of fruit or vegetable and see the difference in your body’s response to the question.

– how to keep your inner balance when you’re on the road –

Refine your packing list with the spiritual must have tools.

Spiritual tool box packing list essentials.when you’re on the road –

  • Pendulum – pendulums are a great tool for asking yes and no questions, again, center yourself and breath, go within and listen to your inner voice. Ask basic yes and no questions that you know are either yes or no (use the examples above) and once you have determined the movement from the pendulum that indicates yes, no and maybe – for example, turning anti-clockwise for no, turning clockwise for yes and straight swinging line for maybe. Pendulums take some time and practice, but well worth the time! Couple the answers with your kinesiology to see if you get the same answers.
    I usually wear a pendulum on a necklace, I particularly love the pendulums from Pound Jewelry. But you can use anything, a ring on a necklace or piece or string with a weighted end. What's important is the connection you have and how you ask the question.

    I usually wear a pendulum on a necklace, I particularly love the pendulums from Pound Jewelry. But you can use anything, a ring on a necklace or piece or string with a weighted end. What’s important is the connection you have and how you ask the question.

  • Tarot / Oracle deck – When packing for a trip I always take one deck of cards with me, historically tarot, but recently I have been using oracle cards more, so next time, who knows – maybe the oracle will come with me instead. I like to use the beautiful Vision Quest tarot deck, with amazing drawings with Native American wisdom. I mentioned before, oracle decks feature more in my daily practice. Colette Baron-Reid’s Wisdom of the Oracle deck has beautiful illustrations and her collaborative oracle set with Pam Grout, the author of  (E-squared) and (E-cubed). The Oracle of E is much simpler and straightforward, plus it has Pam’s wonderful tongue in cheek humor.
  • Tuning fork – personally when I travel I notice I pick up all sorts of ‘stuff’. From other people’s energy to negative ideas or thoughts, thus I always have a tuning fork with me. The tuning fork is a marvelous tool to refine and clear your energy if it’s not possible to have an Epsom salt bath, swim in the sea or use sage and palo santo to clear the energy of the space or yourself. Easy to include in your packing as it’s not bulky or heavy.
  • Mala beads – otherwise known as prayer beads, are strands of up to 108 beads used to create and maintain a rhythm whilst praying or meditating. Used in many different cultures with different names, Roman Catholics use the Rosary with 54 beads and five additional beads. Islamic prayer beads known as Misbaha or Tasbih have either 99 or 33 beads. Sikhs and Buddhists use Mala with 108 beads.
  • Palo Santo –  meaning literally “holy wood” a tree native to the subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, burned as incense by the Incas and indigenous people of the Andes region. Palo Santo has the ability to clear energy similar to White Sage and Cedar. It’s also good for keeping away mosquitoes! If you’re packing to go to Australia or New Zealand you won’t be able to take Palo Santo with you. You’ll need to purchase some when you are there.  Check customs regulations before you travel. Palo Santo is also available as a therapeutic oil, which is an alternative to carrying a small piece of wood.
  • Yogo tall ultralight yoga mat made from natural tree rubber and cotton

    Yogo tall ultralight yoga mat made from natural tree rubber and cotton.

    Yoga travel mat – If you’re not really into yoga, in my opinion, there is no point taking a mat. But if you are a yogi and want to continue your practice without lugging a huge and heavy mat around with you, have a look at the Yogo ultralight mat. Just 1kg folding down to 30 x 7.5 x 12cm. The ultralight is 61cm wide and 173cm long with a thickness of 1.5mm made from natural tree rubber and cotton. The Yogo long ultralight mat is slightly heavier at 1.5kg but it’s 182cm long. Which for tall people like me is a better length!

    – Packing virtual tools –

  • Online meditations – we’ve all got a stash of meditations on our phone, kindle, tablet or computer. Meditations are a great tool to disconnect from the space we’re in. Regardless of whether it’s metaphorically or physically. Plus, they weigh nothing, an excellent addition to your packing list.
  • Kindle e-books –  I think of my kindle as an “escape hatch”. Disappearing into another world in the turn of a virtual page. I have the most basic version of the Kindle. I don’t want to be distracted by wifi or the web. Reading for me is serious business and when I’m in the zone, I don’t want to be distracted.

Packing lists have to be adapted to each person’s needs and requirements, but these nine items are a good starting point. Happy wayfairing and please leave a comment below to tell me what you tools you’re packing in your tool kit.

* please note that this is not a substitute for medical advice, please do not consume things that you know are not healthy for your body.

Join the dots. Making sense of divine information.

Maintain your balance when you travel

Join the dots. Making sense of divine information.

Join the dots – what does that mean? Good question, and exactly what I said to myself when I heard it too. Which lead me to think, how do we make sense of divine information?

A friend asked me to read a pendant of hers, she’s been going through what’s looked like the rinse cycle of life the last few years and her four pillars have been out of alignment. (See my post What the f*^k do I do now? to read more about the four pillars). She has faced some amazing challenges. But, with change comes a lot of uncertainty and she asked me for some help. Specifically to help her find direction or ideas about how to proceed from the point where she finds herself and her work.

The ability of the clairsentient is the ability to feel or know information, generally through touching or holding an object. Amazing pendulum necklaces are available at Pound Jewelery

You see, I’m clairsentience which translates to “clear touch”. A skill known as psychometry, which means that I can read, feel or understand information from objects, jewelry, flowers, anything that will talk to me. It is with this information that I gather a picture or word to answer a question or describe a past, present or future. Sometimes even a past life. It depends on the person, situation, and question.

You might know about the extrasensory skills, which we all have to varying degrees of strength or ability. The most famous, clairvoyance, is the ability to see the future, present, and past. Clairaudience, to hear and perceive sound or extrasensory noise beyond the limitations of ordinary time and space. Clairolfactus, to smell scents from outside their current time and space. Clairgustance, to perceive taste or the essence of a substance. Claircognizance, someone who can psychically tune into another persons’ feelings, attitudes or emotions.

Whilst I was reading my friends’ pendant I asked about her work and what she should do. All I got was “join the dots” which to me was not an immediately obvious answer to my question. Join the dots, that made me think of children’s colouring and puzzle books. Linking points and colouring in, creating images that did not exist a few moments earlier. It was then that I understood the message. But, I’ll tell you more about her first.

She, like me, is multi-passionate. A very talented painter, writer, and tarot / oracle card reader and a doctor, she does all four, separately. She could very easily go down any path and find great success with her intelligence, creativity, and skills. But should she continue to do them separately?  So I asked her – what does “join the dots” mean to you? At first, she didn’t know what to say, we talked about the different jobs, options, and combinations of opportunities that might present themselves. Everything from writing and illustrating a book to spirit painting and readings. What became clear was that the idea of continuing to be a doctor no longer appealed.

After making the clarification between the previous career and the new curiosities, interests or passions. We pulled an oracle card to see what the universe had to say about “join the dots”.

This is what the oracle card said – follow and do all your favourite things. Surround yourself with these favourite things whether literally or metaphorically. From this space of being surrounded by your passions create what you love, rather than just what you think will bring you financial reward or what people want.

In her case, it means to not paint what she thinks people will buy or want, but painting what she loves to paint, she’s inspired by very specific environments and would do better to focus on these rather than just painting anything and everything. But, most importantly, what she decides to do must be done with a light heart, not a heart weighed down by expectations. From these creations, avenues will appear.

Whether the purpose is just to hang her creations on a wall at home to decorate a room or to do what she loves. Most importantly do it light-heartedly, don’t give a fuck if you’re going to sell it or not, but do it because you love it. Join the dots between all your passions, loves, curiosities. When you do, spirit will be right there in the middle and the abundance will come. That is connecting the dots, connecting one passion or pursuit with the other with a light heart.

Finding a common thread to join the dots

A common question I get from clients is “What should I do?” I have so many passions, curiosities, and interests, I don’t know where to start. Sound familiar? The key thing to do here is to find the common thread through your life.

My first suggestion is to do a series of exercises. You need a selection of different coloured post-it notes, a pen, table or space to write quickly and a blank wall. Write each question on a small piece of paper and leave them in a stack upside down on the table

Stick your post-its on the wall to get distance and read them easily and clearly.

The aim, to answer a series of questions and write each answer on a different post-it note. Some questions will take a few post-it notes and others, many.

Set up a time and space where you won’t be interrupted, set a timer for 90-second intervals. Turn over a question and answer it as rapidly as you can, writing each new idea on a separate post-it note, stick each post-it note on the wall. Download the 15 question common thread pop quiz worksheet.

If this process doesn’t appeal to you, I suggest downloading the life recipe workbook which is another version of the same process, but without the speed. 😉

Now you have a wall filled with post-it notes filled with your ideas / completed life recipe workbook – start to group the ideas together that resonate with each other. For example, when my friend and I completed the exercise we grouped together post-its related to drawing and writing with meditation and spiritual work, as we know our best work comes when our minds are still and we’re receptive to new ideas, regardless of how crazy they might be!

I start with grouping thing together that are immediately obvious:

  • Work -types of business, industries, part time / full time, in an office, remote
  • Places to live, work or travel
  • Exercise, health
  • Relationships (past, present, future)

Once the core groups are assembled, I then play with combinations and create new groups or join groups together. It is generally here that we see / identify themes and patterns within our lives, past and present work, projects and so on.

From these new groups, there will be one or two that will shine more brightly than the others, the one that you can imagine losing yourself in, it will be about your service for others. Use this as your starting point to then start developing the ideas that will come with doing this group of actions. For example, when I did this exercise years ago the key themes that came up for me

For example, when I did this exercise years ago the key themes that came up for me were teaching, learning, educating, coaching, talking, listening, advising, helping, solving, travel, adventure, sunshine, beach, sea, online, remote, location independent. Grouping these ideas together I used my background in education and training to start a coaching business related to solving the problem of finding purpose in life, combining travel and location independence and giving people the tools, confidence, and the ability to travel, and work, either alone or with people.

So, tell me – what dots do you need to start joining?

 

 

Download a copy of one of our free screen savers here, see http://wayfairer.net/free-resources/

Download a copy of one of our free screen savers here, see the website for more!

 

1 What the f*^k do I do now? Dealing with the dreaded c-word. Change.

Managing the C-word. Change

Change. Dealing with the dreaded c-word and answering the question – What the fuck do I do now?

The c-word, change and the question, “what the fuck to I do now?” has been circulating in my head the last few days. And today, I’ve been thinking about my next steps, which is a state I am sure that everyone can relate to.
Recently, I found out that I need to move from where I live. Which is both a great and annoying thing. It’s great because I haven’t been entirely happy for a while, but convenience prevailed. It’s annoying because I’m not quite ready to move. I’ll be honest, finding a house can be a pain in the butt. It forces you to look at all the things in your life that need to be evaluated, which can be an uncomfortable activity if you’ve let things lie for a while, like I have.
It’s unsettling to receive unexpected news, even if it is for the highest good. Thinking about the next steps always bring up all sorts of questions. The most obvious being where to live, which for someone who is prone to wandering, a tricky question to answer. Where to find this new location called home, even if only temporarily.

Remember, you’re exactly where you need to be

The C-word…change

Change. How a 6-letter word can strike so much fear bewilders me. Change. Change can be good, fun, terrifying, nerve-wracking and also liberating. But change makes you look at your life through a microscope. For example, change requires you to look at your finances and getting an idea of what you can and can’t afford to do. And like most people, I’m not all that excited about keeping my financial house tidy. Which is ridiculous as money is essential and offers an element of freedom if you choose to accept it. Plus, keeping things organised allows greater accountability which leads to flow, and with flow comes abundance.

Yes, but what about all the other stuff in my life?

Then comes the age-old question, am I really happy in all aspects of my life? We have four main pillars in our lives – health, work/study/self-development, relationships and home, if one of those pillars is out of alignment then we struggle to find balance. And that imbalance will prevail until the pillar is brought back into balance. We’re only as strong and balanced as our weakest pillar, and finding out what needs to change or healed will help bring back that balance and strength. With balance and strength comes clarity and from clarity, answers to our questions.
Sometimes more than one pillar is out, which often is the case when we’re stressed, unhappy or unwell. Each pillar has an effect on the next. Not enjoying your job, this affects your relationships and consequently your health. Fear often drives our decisions, fear, for example, of quitting the job we dislike so much. Because without the job we can’t pay for our home unless we have support from our relationships – familial, or otherwise. But, money can be a cause of tension, especially if one person feels like they contribute more than the other. And so it continues around the pillars. Do you see the circle we so easily get caught up in? Amazing how everything is so interlinked.

So I’m out of balance, what do I do now?

All of this brings me back to the question I am currently asking myself. What the fuck do I do now? Well, honestly I don’t know, as the circumstances are different every time and for each person. What I do know is that finding the answer to situations require different approaches. Sometimes mediation or oracle cards work, other times it’s journaling or talking. Getting everything out of our heads is generally a good place to start. Fears get smaller, ideas bigger. Sometimes the more logical approach of the list of pros and cons of any decision works, but that requires options that you know are available.
But what if you don’t even know what the options are? Enter, the life recipe. In these moments I write a life recipe, a process that focuses me on what I absolutely have to have in my life, what’s negotiable and what I do not want. In fact, I’m doing one now with the question, what the fuck do I do now? Because quite frankly my options are vastly different from one another and I have no idea where to start other than with a recipe for the next chapter of my life.

Are you ready to make your life recipe?

Creating space for change

Download your copy of the life recipe workbook for free here.

Getting started requires some time, space

Create your ideal life with Wayfairer’s Life Recipe workbook, start planning and achieving your milestones!

and ideas. Gather momentum by focusing on what you do want in your life. Was wild and crazy as your ideas may sound. The best version of these wild ideas for you will appear care of your intention and the universe. The negotiable comes next, what would be great to have but non-essential, sometimes these ideas are the stepping stones to the must haves. And last, but certainly not least come the things that you’re not interested in having in your life, it’s good to be clear about what you’re not interested in moving towards, in all forms.

Once you’ve completed the three sections, leave the workbook for a few days. Let the ideas settle before reviewing your life recipe again, leave them to marinate in the back of your mind. After a few days, make some time and space to review the life recipe again. You might discover that you want to make some changes or tweak what you wrote, sometimes what sounds good one-day shifts to being not so cool the next.

Setting yourself up for success

Now, it’s action stations. Start planning your moves, to make things happen. Starting from the first few months, six and then nine months. Break down your ideas into smaller bite-size chunks, so they don’t seem so bloody scary. If however, your time scale is less than that you need to create timelines that reflect what time you have. From here it’s about support, ask your best friend or person who will hold you accountable to be present and hold the space for you to create this recipe. Report back to them, tick things off the list put a big fat line through the things you’ve done. Celebrate the steps you take, even if they’re sideways, backward, or diagonal. You’re exactly where you need to be.

Co-work and the best options for entrepreneurs when traveling

Co-work spaces, co-working holidays, co-living, and their benefits when traveling

How to efficiently balance your work and life when traveling.

Co-working for entrepreneurs

Travel planning with Wayfairer, the benefits of co-work spaces

Co-work offices, co-work holidays and co-living spaces are fast becoming the way to work when on the road. They are hubs of activity and interaction between digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and location independent travelers.

What are the benefits?

  • 71% of people feel more inspired and creative in co-work environments
  • 75% of travelers who work whilst traveling believe they’re more productive in co-working spaces
  • 80% say their business contacts and networks have expanded by 80% through co-working
  • 92% believe their social circles have increased, and with people who have similar ideologies about life and work
  • Many location independent freelancers, entrepreneurs, and digital nomads report up to 38% increase in their income due to greater productivity, business networking opportunities and improved confidence in their abilities to generate work opportunities
  • Work hours and flexibility are considered the greatest unpaid advantages for co-working
  • People who use co-working spaces feel that there are greater opportunities for collaborative work, problem-solving and working on projects they care and are passionate about
  • Due to the transient nature of co-workers, not many issues related to office politics and workplace culture come up
  • Co-work spaces help provide a community, daily structure, and routine in an unstructured environment.

“Live life on your terms. Be free. Work and live from wherever you want. It’s the location independent lifestyle. And it’s now more possible than ever” – Stuart Jones, Founder Coworkation

What options for working and travelling are available?

Co-Work offices:

  • Grab a desk, beanbag, deckchair, stool or bench and work in a creative environment.
  • Great for short term stays, growing your network, being in a dynamic environment.
  • Located in all major cities, they’re easy to find and offer access to office facilities, for example, meeting rooms.
  • Think Sydney (We Work), London (@ Work Hubs), Bangkok (The Hive), Barcelona (Talent Garden), Amsterdam (The Thinking Hut), and Tokyo (The Snack).

Co-Work holidays and vacations:

  • Be exotic and work from a number of breathtaking locations around the world. From flotillas to poolside retreats in Bali, Mallorca, and Costa Rica.
  • Workations are short holidays from 1 week to a month (or more) with other people from all over the world. Workations offer workshops, often included, breakfasts along with activities such as yoga, pilates, and surfing
  • Work holidays often have a focus with experts presenting workshops and opportunities to learn more about running your own business, for example, branding, email list building, and strategy.
  • Another benefit is that all the details are sorted out for you, as a result all you need to do is turn up, be creative and love what you do.
  • And finally, but not least importantly they give you the option to explore new places with like minded people and without the pressure of trying to find ideal work conditions to get those all important ‘to do lists’ done each day.
  • Check out: Remote Trotters, Co-Work the world and Remote Year for trips and information.

Co-Living:

  • This means sharing an apartment, house or another living space (for example, a boat) with other entrepreneurs.
  • Co-living can be broken into three different areas,
    • Urban co-living (living with other digital nomads in big cities such as New York),
    • Travel co-living, (go traveling with other digital nomads for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months to a variety of destinations around the world)
    • Destination co-living (move to a specific place to live and work, Bali is very popular!)
  • Each co-living space is different and prices are based on size, location, and length of stay.
  • Have a look at; Co-boat in addition to Hackers Paradise

Sound good? Bags packed? We have no excuses now! Why sit at home or in an office when so many places are waiting to be discovered by you. Who knows you might have the inspiration of a lifetime and have the most abundant year yet.  Line those goals up and make them a reality. See you on the road!

And finally, download my Life Recipe workbook for FREE and purchase a copy of my handbook 101 Ways to Earn Money Whilst Traveling.