Inspired by the lovely and ass-kicking Kat Loterzo who I deeply admire for being a freaking idea machine AND (even more importantly) a killer idea-executer, I wanna share what sucked ass for me in 2015 and the lessons I learned as a result.
May thou learneth from my fails and wins and repeateth only the latter!
And just for the record: I don’t believe in failure. I believe in valuable lessons instead. So allow me to correct my bad mouth here and say: May thou learneth from my lessons and enjoy the pleasure of not having to learn them the hard way. You areth welcome my Lords and Ladies.
Alright, enough with the crazy talk, now let’s get right to it:
Oh no, wait! One more thing ;)
These mistakes and bloopers don’t mean that 2015 sucked ass. NO WAY!
2015 was about the best year I ever had and I could not be more grateful for my life and my experience and the people who I’m sharing it with.
2015 was the year that I took off as a homeless, digital nomad. I traveled the world, I’ve literally circled the planet, I’ve been to Costa Rica, New Zealand, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Croatia, Bali, Cyprus, Miami, LA, Canada, Madrid, Thailand, France, Sweden, Switzerland and so many other places, I’ve lost count.
Sunset in the rice fields in Bali
2015 was the year that I met and re-connected with soul mates and people I consider family. It was a year of growth in every possible meaning of the word.
2015 was also the year in which I made more money than ever, scored top-notch dream clients and grew my business like a maniac.
So it was an incredible year and I give massive thanks for that. Just so you know. And now let’s take a look at the “bad” stuff and learn from it:
What didn’t work and sucked major ass for me in 2015
1. Doing it all on my own
It just ain’t happening…
See, in 2015 my word for the year was GROWTH. But how fucking stupid am I if I truly believe that if I want to grow, things could remain the same old, lame old way they’ve been all along?
I mean it makes no sense, right? Right.
So then finally in 2015 – and I mean FI-NA-LLY!!! – I got over myself and started to accept help.
Has it changed my life? My business? My sanity?
You bet your cute little toosh it has. So the lesson here is: learn to accept help. You can only go so far on your own. And even if you do go far… it’s still way more fun if you don’t have to walk alone!
I now have a VA who helps me with all the tech shit I hate and the details I’m just not good at. (She also loves what she does and she IS freaking good at it, so it’s a win-win situation all around.)
I have a wonderful mentor who’s helping me to stay on track, get shit done and expand into the bigger-picture version of myself.
I have a lovely guy who helps me to get into Facebook ads without wanting to wrap the Facebook headquarters in toilet paper.
And I’m not done hiring :)
It’s freaking awesome and so much fun!
So if you wanna grow and expand, you need to accept help.
Whether that’s a cleaner, a babysitter or a virtual assistant… just allow yourself to lighten the load on your shoulders by letting go of the need to control everything, by letting go of doing the things you naturally kinda suck at and instead giving someone else the opportunity to excel at what they do.
You can thank yourself later.
Striking a pose at the Vatican in Rome
2. Breaking a bone and trying to pretend it didn’t happen
Sometimes shit hits the fan. And in my case it happened in July in Auckland, NZ.
I broke my big toe.
Not a big deal, you think?
That’s right I thought the same thing!
So even though I was stuck in a “moon boot” (and not the cutesy kind you’d wear when it’s all snowy and wintery outside), I thought I could still go on and travel the world and do my thing, pretending nothing ever happened.
Me and the moonboot in stunning New Zealand
See, I was all like “fuck that broken bone, who cares, look how strong I am, I can totally do this, I don’t need my left foot to be an awesome world traveler, I’ll just live off of positive energy and manifest a super quick, painless healing… bla bla bla.”
But the truth is… sometimes you get sick. Or injured. Or something “bad” and unexpected happens in your life. (And it happens to all of us.)
So when it DOES happen to you… there’s always a lesson to learn.
After I went from Auckland to Los Angeles and then on to Stockholm, Sweden and Nice, France in my moonboot… I realized that it just ain’t working.
I had to take a break. I had to go home (even though I didn’t have a home). And I had to take care of myself first.
The world can wait. Business can wait. And everybody else can wait too.
YOU are your most important asset, my friend. So puh-lease take care of yourself properly. Please love yourself and pamper yourself and treat yourself and give your body everything it needs in order to support you on your journey.
So the (not surprising) lesson is? Health comes first. Period.
Make sure you don’t learn this one the hard way like I did!
Me going on a hike in the cast and ignoring my injury in gorgeous Piha, NZ
3. Converting time zones “in my head”
It’s not a secret that I suck at math. I don’t know why… my brain just refuses to think in numbers or something.
So guess what happens if I literally live in 7 different time zones throughout the year and try to serve my clients who – again – live in every possible timezone under the sun…
I MESS THIS SHIT UP.
So treat yourself with a scheduling system that does this magic trick FOR you. Whether you prefer timetrade or acuity or calendly or whatever… just please get one and don’t make yourself get up at 6am or stay up until 1am to do calls in your sleep. It’s no bueno!
(I use acuity scheduling now and totally love it!)
My jungle desk in Costa Rica
4. Comparing myself to others
A classic that deserves its own bullet point year after year. I’ve gotten SO MUCH better at this and hardly ever do it but… it still happens sometimes:
I compare myself to others.
And yes, sometimes it can feel good and be your kick in the ass but honestly, most of the time it makes you feel like the ugly duckling.
Her list is so much bigger than mine.
Her post got 384 likes and mine got only 12.
Her products are selling like hotcakes with iPhone 6s inside – I’ll never be able to sell anything. Ever.
Did you see her ass? It must be made of steel or something, how the fuck did she do that especially after having 3 kids!?
My neighbor just bought a lambo… Me and my Toyota are gonna feel ashamed and small for the rest of our lives every time we pull up into the driveway.
AND SO ON.
Bullshit after bullshit topped off with more bullshit.
Seriously, darling. You don’t need that. So unless comparing yourself to others really fuels you to get into action mode, then for Christ’s sake: please don’t do it.
Get off people’s lists if it makes you feel like crap (or any negative emotion in general).
Hide people from your Facebook newsfeed if they annoy the shit out of you.
And don’t ever get off YOUR unique path because you see somebody else walking theirs and it makes you feel like a fucking loser.
You’re one in a gazillion and the world needs you to authentically do YOU. You know what they say: Everybody else is already taken!
Just me taking a selfie at the Soul Gathering event in South France
5. Getting shit done on the plane
You know I travel like a crazy person.
In 2015 alone, I’ve been on about 40 flights. (Wtf!?)
And in my head it made a lot of sense to get some work done while I’m sailing smoothly through the sky at a shit ton of miles per hour.
Surprisingly, that works for some people.
And not so surprisingly: Turns out I’m not one of them.
If you’ve been hanging out with me for a while then you know that I used to be scared like shit from the moment I booked a flight to the liberating second of touching solid ground again whenever I landed somewhere.
And while I managed to conquer my fear of flying and can now at least pretend to be cool on a plane, I’m still not loving the feeling.
It’s always either too hot or too cold.
It smells funky.
And it’s a freaking metal bird riding thin on air with 364 annoyed, transpiring people crammed into its belly.
Not exactly an inspiring environment to get creative – in my opinion.
So eventually I just gave up on the idea of “leveraging my travel time”.
And I decided that being on a plane is not the perfect place to work.
But that it’s actually the perfect place to watch movies you’ve already seen twice or would never watch unless you’re desperate and slightly drunk. It’s the perfect place to talk to random strangers from all across the globe who you’d otherwise never talk to unless you’re desperate or slightly drunk. And most of all it’s the perfect time to figure out which semi-acrobatic sleeping positions will actually make you feel even more tired after you wake up (no matter if you were drunk or not).
So what I’m saying is: If I’m on a plane now, I just try to relax, I re-watch 21 Jump Street (BEST. MOVIE. EVER!) or listen to music while I try to catch some Zs.
If you’re one of those lucky people who can focus on a plane: GREAT! Keep focusing!
But if you’re like me, then just let it go. You deserve to relax and enjoy while you’re traveling through the skies, looking down at our beautiful planet and approaching yet another exciting destination.
No-filter sunset in Thailand. Sigh.
6. Super Strict Deadlines
See, super strict deadlines can be highly motivating. They can be the ultimate kick in the butt, they can pump the adrenaline right through your veins (or wherever that shit goes?!) and they can be just what you needed in order to make sure you get. shit. done.
But do you know the feeling…
When a strict deadline kinda stifles you and the whole thing backfires?
When it makes you feel trapped and pressured and it freaks you out because you know that it’s coming closer and closer and what if you can’t make it and why on earth did you ever agree to that and you’re basically just going crazy and wanna scratch your eyeballs out anytime you think about the deadline.
This bitch is hovering over your head like a big, dark, annoying cloud that won’t let you enjoy anything unless you get rid of it asap.
See, honestly I’ve experienced both versions.
And many, many times the pressure of the approaching deadline gets me really pumped and I turn into this maniac of a copywriting machine, shooting out sales pages and email sequences like an AK47. (Ok, it’s not really THAT dramatic but you get the point).
But I think it depends on 2 things:
- Your Lifestyle
If you’re a digital nomad, a world traveler and an adventurer like me… super strict deadlines might not work well for you.
Because the traveling lifestyle is certainly not one of certainty.
Flights get delayed (or cancelled), spontaneous road trips can happen anytime and maybe it’s sunny after 5 days of rain and you’re in Costa Rica so you really need to go ziplining or pet some raccoons.
How bad would it suck if you were the one who has to stay at home to get shit done?
(Answer: Really bad!)
Bottom-line is that if THIS is your lifestyle, super strict deadlines might feel more restrictive and imprisoning than motivating.
- The Work You Do
It also depends on what you need to get done.
See, I’m running a super creative business. All I ever do is create.
And sometimes creativity can be a bitch.
It’s like the muse that kisses you with her sweet lips of inspiration… or not! We’ve all had days where the muse just didn’t show up (might have gone ziplining too, who knows!?) and you’re left all alone and inspiration is nowhere to be found. We’ve all had days where we just feel like crap and we wanna stay in bed and eat peanut butter cups and re-watch 18 episodes of Friends.
Such is life, this shit happens.
But when you have a strict deadline, then you can’t just be you and do your thing (whatever that means)… but you have to function instead.
Bottom-line is: Creativity is like an orgasm. You can’t force it. You can’t “function” it. (You can fake it, yes, but that’s kinda like missing the point of an orgasm in the first place).
Orgasmic view of Auckland from that Volcano that probably has a name which I forgot
Do I have an amazing, magical solution for you?
Not really. (Wow, that was disappointing, I know!)
But I’m open to your suggestions, so let’s have a little chit chat in the comments and tell me:
How do strict deadlines work for you? Motivating or crippling? How do you handle this?
What sucked ass for you in 2015?
And what supa dupa valuable lessons have you learned from it?
We wanna hear YOUR story, so don’t be shy and share away! (Unless you’re a creeper or troll, then get the fuck outta here please and get a life! Thanks.)
Big love to you and I can’t wait to read what you got!
Costa Rican sunset with my girl Maria