Sun, 2 July 2017
As I come off my 3 month business sabbatical, I realized that you can have a little sabbatical every single day of your life.
Through practicing what I talked about in Season 1, Mindfulness, Meditation, breathing and I am right now studying “The Science of Happiness” through edX which is an awesome online platform of amazing courses from incredible universities around the world.
I am actually going to be revisiting a lot of what I spoke about in Season 1 back before I knew so little and now I’ve learned so much. It has absolutely opened my mind how every single day it’s the little things that you do in 10, 20 or 30 minutes of time that all radically change how you feel and how much more freedom you have.
In this episode, I am going to talk about a daily freedom routine because I think it’s really important.
Before I jump into that I just want to share with you a snippet from Hilary Rushford of The Elegant Excellence who went on a sabbatical about a year ago for three months as well.
This is a one snippet from her video where she was talking about the fact that there was never going to be another time like now when she’d have all this time to read, relax, chill out and learn.
And when I first listened to it I was like, “Yeah I think you are right!”, but now having been on a sabbatical when I have all the time to read, relax and learn you still don’t because it is a journey. It is ongoing. It is an everyday commitment to being your best self, to giving yourself the space and time to be.
Here is the snippet and her insights are really useful:
“I've now built what is now over a million dollar revenue a year business in the first five years. And for me, 3 months into sabbatical I just realized, I am not doing the things that I wanted to do. I am not changing in the ways that I wanted to change. There's still those things on my list where "I am wishing that I have more time to do" things and here I am on sabbatical, one of the most times ever.
And so I really just started to dive in and explore why are we not doing these things? And I think one big reason for me is that I have these visions of "It's got to be done perfect. It's got to be this epic change. It's got to be hours of a week. I've got to commit to it now for every single day for eternity".
That's wonderful but it so rarely happens.
And so challenging myself to just take 10 minutes a day. Commit just 10 days and to not do things in some perfect epic change but just something, just take a step.
Make a small step towards what I think is the biggest game changer that not enough people talk about in business which is you as a CEO, your joy, your peace, your rest, your emotional health, your ability to make big decisions, your ability to tune into your gut and what you really want.
And I think the reality is that so many of us are exhausted, anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, unhappy. We want this to be just a little bit easier but we are not actually doing the steps to make the change.”
And then recently I received an email from Suzi Dafnis who owns herbusiness.com and she said this:
Since starting my business 23 years ago, I’ve been given lots of advice. And, one of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to hit the “pause button”.
What? Wasn’t I meant to be hustling?
There have been times where what I really needed to do, was pause.
Pausing is not stopping.
Pausing is simply taking time to reflect, recharge and renew - free from distractions and free from the daily push and pull of commitments and catering to others’ expectations.
In his book Thank You for Being Late, the New York Times best-selling author, Thomas Friedman writes:
"... opting to pause and reflect, rather than panic or withdraw, is a necessity. It is not a luxury or a distraction — it is a way to increase the odds that you’ll better understand, and engage productively with, the world around you."
'When you press the pause button on a machine, it stops. But when you press the pause button on human beings they start,' argues my friend and teacher Dov Seidman, CEO of LRN, which advises global businesses on ethics and leadership.
You start to reflect, you start to rethink your assumptions, you start to reimagine what is possible and, most importantly, you start to reconnect with your most deeply held beliefs. Once you’ve done that, you can begin to reimagine a better path.”
Choosing to pause has been hard.
Up front, it's felt expensive and like an investment I couldn't afford. I had so much to do, so many commitments and deadlines.
Looking back, I know that had I not made the investment in pausing, I would not be where I am today.
I would not have made important pivots and changes that have allowed me to stay in business, to continue to evolve, to keep loving my business — and to stay relevant and producing results.
This October I am taking time out to 'pause' once again.
Thank you Suzy for those wonderful wise words!
That’s exactly what I’ve found on this business sabbatical where little times business-y things would creep back in where I am tempted to check on email or how things were going. But when I wasn’t and when I was just being, enjoying and learning, I was back in my creative zone. I have had so many wonderful thoughts, ideas and improvements that I want to make.
I’ve got my mojo back for my business!
And I’ve also got a whole new perspective on it that I just couldn’t see before I took a break because I wasn’t giving myself space to pause, reflect and observe.
I also spoke to my friend Colin Wright recently of Exile Lifestyle, who like me for so many years has lived out of the suitcase, travelled the world and every 3 months he lets his community choose where he is going to travel next.
I had emailed him about my Suitcase Entrepreneur book and updating his story in it since the third edition is coming out in September. Woohoo!
Anyway, he told me what he’s been up to and I was really really blown away but also super excited for him. Here’s what he said:
“I've been meaning to learn to cook for years, and finally got around to doing that; have made every meal for almost a year and am loving it as a craft. I've also wanted to learn to play the piano, and to learn some music production skills to go along with the guitaring and singing I've always done, so that's also been quite rewarding.
Beyond that, I wanted to do really, truly boring things, like buy furniture, because I haven't done so since 2009. I haven't owned a car in all the time, and I was curious how I would use such things, and live such a life, now that I've done so many other things and been so many other places. Getting mail is a novelty, as is having reliable and consistent internet access and electricity. So bizarre how much cultural understanding is dependent on having these things. So many things I could understand intellectually, but not really get. I do get them now, though, to some degree.
I'm sure you can relate to that — do anything long enough, and it becomes a little bit predictable. And the one thing I kept coming back to that scared me a little was holding still in one place for a bit, buying my own furniture, and owning a car. Weird, but the concept was mildly frightening to me. So, of course, I had to do it :)”
So I just love that people around me are doing what they need to do to pause, to reflect, to recharge, to re energize, to take these many sabbaticals from not only their business but their everyday life.
So if you are like, “Natalie, I can’t take three months off!”
Well, first off, I challenge you, you should be able to. It’s your life. You get to choose.
And I appreciate other things get in the way, you might have commitments and family but instead today I am offering you up a few doses of daily freedom routines that you can include to have a more simplistic, beautiful day and those little moments to yourself.
I got some of my freedomists and my Freedom Plan community to share some of their routines.
The first is from Fiona Hall:
“My freedom chores in the morning I journal three questions. This helps me get my mind see it really fresh and ready for the day. The first question I ask is what am I curious about?
That’s from Elizabeth Gilbert's book “Big Magic”. I love that question. It gets my mind into problem-solving mind and I always come up with something new and exciting for myself. The next question I ask is how am I feeling? Because if I don’t acknowledge how I am feeling and I am not feeling that good, it really impacts on my productivity, on my fun, on my ability to deal with my children first thing in the morning.
And then the last question I ask is a productivity question it is what actions am I going to take today? And because of those first two questions I find the action one as really simple. I’ve worked through what am I curious about, what am I feeling and process anything that I need to process until I am ready for the day and my mind is how I need it today. And the other things I do in terms of exercise as I try to is 30 minute walk 3-4 times a week.”
This next one is from Ricardo Ferreira:
“I ride a bike everywhere.I think it’s one of the ultimate expressions of freedom. You can go almost anywhere on a bike.
You can be fast or take your time and you're free to stop whenever and wherever you wish. It’s on a bike that you start thinking more about enjoying the journey and concerning less about the destination.”
What about this one from Sif, the vet:
“Working in my little garden. I love to take a break from the computer and go outside work in the garden, dig in the dirt, rearrange things and plant seeds and watch the flowers and the vegetables grow.
I really love the feeling of growing some of my own food which makes me feel extra free. And this is what I do to be calm everyday because you have to work in the garden everyday.”
Here’s Stephanie McGuirt freedom routine for her inbox:
“My daily productivity tip or routine would be to use an extension, it’s a Chrome extension by Baydin called Inbox Pause and that actually does like it says it stops messages from coming into your inbox until you unpause your inbox or unless you have them scheduled to come in at certain times.
So I know that at 9am and 3pm everyday, I will get all of my messages that have been sent outside those times and I can focus on them for the next 30 minutes or hour and outside of 9am and 3pm, I am focused on other tasks. So it has really increased my productivity and I highly recommend it for anyone that is overwhelmed by their inbox.”
So I hope that you learned a lot from these lovely people who offered up simple, little tactics related to business and life that they are doing to create more time, space and freedom.
Of course I have a ton more of my own I talk a lot about them in the Freedom Plan.
On my business sabbatical, I thought of so many improvements to my signature program and just how much more amazing I can make it for you to really truly learn how to reclaim your time, make more money, work less, earn more and be free.
I hope you tune in to the next episode we are still on a digital sabbatical and the business sabbatical theme and how you can incorporate this in your life. I am going to share the results of my business sabbatical essentially as come into first of July when I am officially back on board for business.
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