How to achieve a really big goal & other tips on pursuing a quest – Glimpse TV with Chris Guillebeau

KateNorthrupChrisGuillebeauWhen you feel called to say yes to an invitation, even if you’re not sure why, simply say yes.

Four years ago almost to the day my friend texted me that Chris Guillebeau was in my hometown, Portland, ME, on his book tour.

I happened to be in Portland that day with my mom. (I was living in NYC at the time, so this was unusual.) I also happened to be a block away from Longfellow Books, the venue for his book event. (On visits home I usually spent most of my time at my mom’s house. So this was also unusual.)

Third unusual thing about that day: we didn’t have any plans that evening.

I kind of recognized the name Chris Guillebeau from Twitter. I didn’t really know anything about this guy, but I saw that his book was called The Art of Non-Conformity. Sounded like something we’d be into.

So we said yes. And that was an evening that changed everything.

Chris Guillebeau is an adventurer. His dry sense of humor and quick wit balance beautifully with his profound humility. He’s inspiring, but not in a grandiose way.

He’s the kind of guy who makes you feel like you too can be an ordinary person who does extraordinary things.

Sitting at his book signing four years ago (9/14/2010 to be exact) I got an idea for a quest.

I was going to get rid of my apartment, most of my stuff, and my life as I knew it and hit the road on a trip called The Freedom Tour. I would teach workshops about financial freedom along the way, and I would see what types of adventures I would find.

(I invited Mike to join me for the first five days of the trip. Five days turned into 10 months, 41 states, 34,000 miles, and a wedding. It was a good quest.)

ChrisBookWhen Chris told me he was coming through Portland again to spread the word about his third book, The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding The Quest That Will Bring Purpose To Your Life, I immediately blocked the evening on my calendar.

This book weaves Chris’s own story of pursuing an audacious goal of visiting all 193 countries in the world by his 35th birthday with the stories of hundreds of other people on quests whom he connected with along the way.

I’ve recently become so aware that if we’re not pursuing something, life becomes lackluster. If you’ve ever felt like your life has an uncanny resemblance to Groundhog Day, you know what I’m talking about.

I wanted to share Chris and his new book with you because:

  1. I love Chris and he’s not only an awesome guy, he’s also an awesome writer.
  2. The way he tells stories is inherently inspiring and has catalyzed a great deal of action in my life and the lives of thousands (possibly millions) around the world.
  3. I believe in adventure and the way that having a pursuit of some kind brings happiness into our lives.
  4. I want that kind of happiness for you.

Chris and I sat down recently in the very bookstore where we met four years ago for our second Glimpse TV chat. (You can watch our first Glimpse TV episode from March of 2011 here.)

In this new episode we cover:

  • What to do when you’re doing something that no one else in your life seems to relate to.
  • Where happiness comes from.
  • How to turn a big goal that seems crazy, daunting, and unwieldy into something simple and doable.
  • Three specific stories of regular people who decided to do something decidedly un-regular.
  • Why finding a quest is so darn valuable to your life.

Click below to watch the episode. (This one has some extra goodness at the end where you get to see a side of Chris that doesn’t often come out in interviews.)

 

twitter_standingYou have to believe in your dream even if no one else does. ~Chris Guillebeau (Tweet it.)

 

Get yourself a copy of the book HERE.

Find out if Chris is coming to your town on his book tour HERE. I always meet incredible people at these events, which is a lovely side-benefit of seeing Chris and getting inspired by his work.

Over to you:

What’s your quest? Are you on one now? Are you thinking about starting one? I’d LOVE to hear about it in the comments below!

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My baby is one year old today.

My mom always says that a few years after I was born it was clear to her that she either had another baby or a book in her — but not both.

I always wanted a little brother, so when I was younger that story kind of annoyed me. But now I get it.

(Epilogue: She chose to birth a book, not another baby.)

A year ago today my book, Money: A Love Story, Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want, made its debut.

IMG_4990A year ago I celebrated that “birth” by being on the Today Show and throwing two big parties in cities near and dear to my heart: New York and Portland, Maine.

(Watch the highlight video from the NYC launch party, hosted by the generous folks at Betterment.com, HERE, and find out what Marie Forleo, Meggan Watterson, and Terri Cole have to say about it HERE.)

This year has been a big one. A really, really big one.

Getting married and launching a book in one year is a lot. I think my central nervous system is still recalibrating from the expansion.

This week I have a call with my publisher to talk about future projects. As I’ve prepared for the call it’s become crystal clear to me that I’m not the same person I was when I signed my first book contract.

I understand so much more about the creative process, about my own ebb and flow, about what it means to give something your all, and about the ways life must be reorganized to make space to create something worth creating.

Mike and I are talking about starting a family, and the parallels between launching a big creative project like a book and bringing a new human life into the world are particularly poignant right now.

I’ve dreamed of being a mom my entire life — but not just a mom, a truly present mom. I embarked on the path to create financial freedom by the age of 30 so I could create space for the little being(s) that are going to choose me as their mama.

As I look at the landscape of the next year — we run our life and business calendar from September to September because the freshness of fall feels way more new-beginning-ey than the dead of winter — I can’t help but make plans differently based on what I learned last year.

Here’s what I learned while launching my book that can apply to pretty much anything you may be wanting to birth:

1. Getting a creative project out in the world is an all hands on deck endeavor.

Going into the book process I had no idea the amount of time and energy it would require. (The writing part was the easy part for me. It was the getting it out into the world part that was a doozy.) Mike and I worked on the launch pretty much full time starting in July of 2013, and it continued at a fever pitch all the way through the spring of 2014. I’m really glad I didn’t know how much it would take because if I had, I probably would have said no to the whole thing. Could we have been more organized, more efficient, and gotten more help? Yes. But ultimately, I’ve found that getting a creation out there in a way that I’m proud of requires everything I’ve got. I’m keeping this in mind as I look at debuting other creations in the year and years ahead.

2. For most of us a book is not an efficient, effective way of earning residual income.

I talk to so many people who have a brilliant creative idea like a book. Many of them have even gone so far to write it. And most are under the erroneous impression that writing and launching a book (or other single creative work) is going to provide for them financially over the long haul. There are some people who hit the right chord of preparation and timing like J.K. Rowling with the Harry Potter series and are able to cash in. For most of us, though, even if you’re blessed to receive a book advance, it’s been spent by the time the book goes to print. And the continued sales of that book require constant care and tending. Ensuring that your book continues to sell requires getting on planes, showing up and shining at speaking gigs, pitching media outlets, guest blogging, doing interviews, attending conferences, coming up with and executing marketing campaigns, and more.

It’s a hustle and it is not for the faint of heart.

I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am that I have a source of income that doesn’t depend on my book being sold. Take home message: a book is not a business. It may be part of your business strategy, but if it’s the whole thing, you’re likely going to end up scrambling financially. Whatever you’re launching, be sure that you’re looking to see if there’s a way for you to earn recurring income from it and if so, how that actually will work.

I’m obviously a proponent of passion projects and getting your work out into the world. That said, getting serious about how money will be coming in the door and what you’ll need to do for that to happen is critically important to your quality of life.

This is why this year Mike and I are making building our network marketing business our top priority. When I have kiddos running around I do not want to have to get on an airplane and show up perfectly coiffed in order to bring home the bacon. (And I want to raise kids with Mike, not by myself while he’s providing for us outside the home.) This is precisely why we’re shifting our focus back to a grounded business that doesn’t depend on my showing up and looking and sounding good.

3. There’s always something else you could do. You have to choose when enough is enough.

There are endless ways to market a book (or anything else). There are tons of books, blogs, videos, training programs, and webinars you can study to learn how to get your work out to more people. And at some point you have to look at your life, decide what you want your days to feel like, and know when enough is enough. Round about March I realized how fundamentally tired I was and began to taper off the hustling.

twitter_standingGive yourself permission to say enough. (Tweet it.)

 

4. Everything you birth has a life of its own. At some point you have to let it go.

When people ask me how it’s going with the book these days I’m thrilled to be able to tell them that it’s doing great. It’s been translated into more than seven languages (including Vietnamese and Czech – how cool!) and has sold tens of thousands of copies. We get emails and social media messages every day from people who are reading it and finding it helpful. Here’s what’s cool: I trust that the book is out there doing its thing. We laid a powerful foundation for it this year, and now all it needs to do is find its way into the hands of people who need it. And besides the occasional speaking gig, interview, and media mention, I trust that it has a life of its own and I’m not solely responsible for it at this point. Fly baby fly.

5. There’s nothing more gratifying than being of service.

Every time someone comes up to me and tells me that Money: A Love Story has been helpful to them my heart expands. Though I can’t respond to every message we receive, they’re no less touching.

twitter_standingBeing of service is the biggest bang we could ask for. (TWEET IT)

 

As long as our own well is full there’s no better way to spend our time than doing what we can to make the world a better place. As tired I’ve felt at times during this process, knowing that this book has helped ease someone else’s path makes it worth it.

Over to you:

What are you birthing these days? What have you learned from getting things out into the world (babies, books, or otherwise) that you can share to support others in the creative launch journey? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment below.

 

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Missing something? I’ve got your ingredients right here.

We need each other.

There’s a lot of talk in the self-actualization space about masculine energy and feminine energy. When I first heard about this concept I got very tied up in worrying about which one I was using and whether or not I was doing it “right.”

Most of the time I felt like I was doing it wrong.

I’d determined that, like most achievement-oriented women raised in the Western world, I’d been running my life primarily from my masculine energy.

The focus on goals, external gratification, going out and getting things done, pushing through to make it happen, results rather than feelings — these are typically masculine energy actions. They’re also quite celebrated in our culture.

I wasn’t as well versed in the feminine energy actions like resting, listening internally for what was needed, slowing down, receiving, and allowing.

As I became aware of the difference between the two I found myself getting very black and white about which to use when. I also found myself getting very judgmental about my masculine energy. When I noticed I was operating from my masculine, I had a knee-jerk reaction that I was “doing it wrong.”

Running a business with my husband, Mike, has taught me a lot more about the balance of masculine and feminine energy than trying to wrangle a structured to do list from my freethinking feminine energy while working alone.

Here’s what I’ve come to realize:

Masculine energy is not better than feminine energy. Feminine energy is not better than masculine energy. We all need some of both. We all contain some of both. Different needs call for different approaches.

And the best part is masculine and feminine energy serve one another. They’re the perfect complements.

Mike and I have this thing that we do where, when I’m muddling through a challenge, I ask him if he’ll listen to me. He sits there and looks at me intently while I clean out all the nooks and crannies of my psyche out loud.

Sometimes I feel neurotic and like I’m not making any sense. But usually during the course of my verbal meanderings something clicks and I hit on something that would not have been crystallized if I’d kept my thoughts to myself.

Then, I ask Mike, “So what do you think?” and he usually replies, “About what?” because I’ve usually been monologuing for at least five minutes at this point without coming up for air.

“About anything I just said,” I reply.

“It sounds great. I love you,” he says.

My feminine chaos requires a witness in order to funnel into coherent thoughts that can be manifested into reality. Mike’s masculine energy container provides the perfect witness.

Structure craves chaos.

Waves have a tendency to crash against the rocks.

Mayhem desires a safe place to land.

twitter_standingDiscipline serves freedom. (Click to tweet)

If I sat around thinking all the time and never let my ruminations get out for a little air outside the confines of my head, I’d make myself crazy. And the delicious swirling of inspiration would never actually become anything more than a fleeting thought or an ongoing obsession.

We all need to be witnessed.

We all need to let our chaos be seen.

The feminine in each of us (whether we’re male or female) needs the masculine to contain and make manifest.

The masculine in each of us needs the feminine to spark, inspire, and occasionally overflow our edges so we don’t get complacent.

At our live weekend this fall, The Freedom Immersion, we’re going to be exploring how the way we run our energy through our lives and our businesses affects our bank accounts, our creativity, our physical bodies, and our relationships.

How we do things matters just as much as what we’re actually doing. (In fact, sometimes it matters even more.)

If you’re feeling burned out in your business, chances are good you could use a sprinkle or five of the feminine.

If you’re finding it hard to get traction on building your client base or making a profit, a few shakes of the masculine would do you well.

The mixture will change from day to day and there are signs you can look for to know how to change what you’re doing to get more fruitful results.

And guess what?

More often than not, working harder or longer hours is usually not the most effective solution.

Isn’t that a relief?

We’ll give you tools and strategies to learn what the most effective solutions are and how to course correct so that your business ship doesn’t end up in burnout land or flailing-ville.

It’s not about black and white thinking where you need to be all one way all the time or all another way all the time.

Remember: freedom thrives with structure. The feminine thrives with the masculine. Productivity thrives when coupled with rest.

It’s not about balance per se. It’s about knowing the right recipe at any given moment.

Join us for The Freedom Immersion, Oct 3-5th, this fall in Northport, Maine. You’ll walk away with the ingredients you need to cook up your ideal business and lifestyle. We’re only doing this thing one time. Find out more HERE.

 

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An intimate look behind the scenes of my business model

This week I’m taking my annual sojourn to Salt Lake City, Utah, the home of my product partner, USANA, for its international convention.

I don’t talk a ton about my network marketing business, but since I’ll be posting a lot on social media this week about my USANA family and what we’re up to at the conference ⎯ or, as I like to call it, our family reunion ⎯ I figured it was a good time to shed some light on it.

Here’s the quick version:

I created financial freedom through building a business in the direct sales/network marketing industry with USANA. My mom started me on their health and wellness products when I was 12, and I started my business when I was 18.

My vision was to have enough passive/residual income to cover my living expenses by the time I had kids so I could choose to be a stay-at-home mom if I wanted to. Mike and I achieved that goal, and we couldn’t be more grateful to this industry and to USANA. I get teary pretty much every time I talk about it.

Direct what? Network who?

I tend to use the terms network marketing and direct sales interchangeably, but basically they refer to a way of advertising and selling a product via already-devoted consumers who are paid to spread the word about the product.

A couple of weeks ago I realized I had a great Glimpse TV episode talking about this exact topic that I’d never published, and I thought now would be the perfect time to share it. The episode beautifully and transparently talks about this industry that I hold so near and dear to my heart.

(As a side note, I am flexible about my editorial calendar precisely for moments like this. Mike and I are focusing way more of our time and energy on USANA and building our USANA team, The Freedom Family, this year. Even though we filmed this episode a year ago, now is a much better time to share it with you than last August. The takeaway: Trust your timing even if on the surface it looks like something is late. In fact, it may be perfectly on time.)

This episode features the incredible Elizabeth Rider, who I will be seeing this week along with the rest of my USANA family. Liz is one of the smartest businesswomen I know. I’ve benefitted so much from her sage advice over the years, and I wanted you to enjoy it too.

In this episode of Glimpse TV Liz and I reveal:

  • What to do when you get to a point where you feel disenchanted by your business (don’t worry – it happens to everyone!)
  • What you need to give yourself permission to do every now and again
    The most common, seductive thing that knocks entrepreneurs off their path
  • Who should become a health coach and who shouldn’t
  • The most dependable way to guarantee your income as a health practitioner
  • The one thing everyone who works for themselves MUST learn how to do
  • The secret ingredient to sustainable income
  • What to watch out for when searching for a great network marketing company to partner with (and what to avoid)

Click the video below to hear a candid, value-packed conversation revealing what goes on behind the scenes of a six-figure health coach’s business.

twitter_standingIf you want to be in business for yourself you have to be a sales person. ~Elizabeth Rider (Click to Tweet!)

Awesome Bonus Content:

After watching this episode I decided to put together a free report for you with a super cheesy name. It’s called:

Don’t Join A Network Marketing/Direct Sales Company Without Reading This Free Report That Reveals The 9 Key Ingredients A Company Must Have To Be Worthy Of Your Time (Plus 6 Red Flags To Avoid Like The Plague)

To get the free report, CLICK HERE.

Why so cheesy? Because I’m practicing calling things what they are instead of creative names that are fun but leave you saying, “Huh? What is that?”.

And because I wanted it to compel you to take action.

Here’s the deal: Like in any industry (life coaching, fashion, internet marketing, personal growth), there are great network marketing companies, people, and teams and there are awful ones.

If, like Liz and I, you have a genuine desire to create true financial freedom, then I want to help steer you in the direction of a company that’s worth your time and attention.

You’re awesome and you need to only partner with the awesome.

Grab the FREE REPORT HERE and learn how to identify the awesome from the not-so-awesome amidst the sea of companies, teams, sponsors, offers, and products.

Connect with Liz:

To get free healthy recipes and wellness tips, as well as to learn more about Liz, go to www.elizabethrider.com.

Over to you:

We barely scratched the surface on what residual income is, how to leverage yourself, how to build a business as a health coach, and the network marketing/direct sales industry.

I would love to know what questions you still have after watching the episode.

Leave a comment below and I’ll get in here and answer them personally!

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Is it my intuition or is it my resistance? Here’s how to know the difference.

On the one hand, there’s listening to your body, your inner wisdom, your gut feelings, your intuition, or really whatever you want to call your divine instinct.

And then on the other, there’s resistance.

What’s the difference?

This is something I grapple with daily.

I’m a worker. I can push through and produce. I can caffeinate and make it happen if I need to. I get off on productivity.

When I’m getting a signal that it’s time to take a break, call off the event, or not move forward on a project, I get suspicious.

But I’ve found that when I heed that signal, I’m rewarded time after time.

Resistance

Resistance is when you spend two hours on Facebook instead of facing the blank page when you’ve made a commitment to write.

Resistance is being “too busy” to exercise when you have a very clear desire to care for your body.

Resistance is saying no when your friend wants to set you up with someone when you’ve tearfully shared with her that your deepest longing is for romantic love.

Resistance is succumbing to the details of your business and allowing them to prevent you from moving forward when you have a clear goal to break six figures this year.

Divine Instinct

Listening to your divine instinct is canning a project just before it goes live because the marketing feels really inauthentic.

Listening to your divine instinct is saying no to a great opportunity, even if it’s really shiny and fancy sounding, because it just doesn’t feel right.

Listening to your divine instinct is turning left when everyone else is turning right.

Listening to your divine instinct is canceling a meeting because you’re actually not that excited about the connection and, quite frankly, you could really use a nap.

Here’s an easy rule of thumb:

When we listen to our divine instinct we feel better. When we let resistance lead we may feel short-term gratification but, ultimately, we feel worse.

twitter_standingListening to your divine instinct is self-care. Resistance is self-sabotage. (Tweet it.)

 

What’s your divine destination?
Where are you headed in this precious life?
What do you really, really want?

Resistance is your sneaky little pseudo-safety mechanism preventing you from moving toward that which you truly desire.

Your divine instinct, however, knows the way and is ready to lead you if you’ll simply listen.

Over to you:

How do you distinguish between resistance and your divine instinct? How do you feel when you let resistance take the lead? How do you feel when you let the divine take the lead?

Leave a comment below  – I’d love to hear your experience with this one.

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The simple practice that could save you $700 and hours of your precious time

Taming the Inner Fascist Over the weekend Mike and I had planned to spend Saturday cleaning up our house. Saturday afternoon came around. We’d been to the gym. We’d eaten. We’d put on our cleaning clothes. It was time. I asked Mike where we should start (he’s far better at structure and sequential thinking thanContinue Reading

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I was stumped.

I’d always had a clear vision of what I wanted: a beautiful house on the ocean in Maine, an adorable (and adoring) husband, plenty of space to host friends and family, and dogs and babies running around. Plus, of course, the financial freedom to support it all so my (adoring) husband and I could beContinue Reading

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How are your petunias? On growing and dying.

This summer I’ve been home for two months straight for the first time possibly since my teens. As a result my “flower babies,” as I call them, have received a lot more attention. Deadheading Part of my morning ritual is deadheading my petunias. It sounds like something out of a horror movie but is actuallyContinue Reading

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Permission, intrinsic value, the act of creation, and making art: Insights from one wine-soaked conversation that changed everything.

It was that time in the evening when the wine and champagne had softened everyone’s edges and everything seemed to melt together a bit. We were seated at a round table laden with vegan brownie crumbs, and a lot of chairs had been abandoned in favor of the dance floor. My friend Marie and IContinue Reading

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We were together. I forget the rest.

As it turns out, planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart. There are the logistics. And then there’s the emotional stuff. It’s really easy to perseverate on the logistics to avoid feeling the emotional stuff. I’ve noticed myself veer in that direction countless times in the last year and particularly in theContinue Reading

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