House Sitting – can it help out your dream?

This is my daughter on our first house sitting assignment!  An older dog who liked to be pushed in a push chair!

This is my daughter on our first house sitting assignment! An older dog who couldn’t walk far and liked to be pushed in a push chair!

If you’ve been listening to the podcast recently you may have spotted that I have been including a sponsor in the show – they are Trusted Housesitters.  I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little but about housesitting as I do think it’s a really great idea and something that can definitely be incorporated in to many dreams!

First of all, what is house sitting?  Well, it’s looking after someone’s house for them while they are away on holiday, business or similar.  Often the house will come with pets to look after and it helps the home owners by not paying for kennel or cattery fees and it also keeps their house occupied.  Result!  The house sitters will look after the home and pets, in exchange for accommodation.  Some people do charge, but there is a growing trend for it to be a swap whereby it’s an equal exchange.  With the internet making the world so small you can imagine where this could take you!

As you know, I like, no love travelling!  When we were planning our big trip last year I came across the idea of house sitting and was really intrigued by it.  I think I’d read about someone who started their Round The World trip with 3 months somewhere like Ecuador.  It sounded amazing – what a way to ease yourself in to a huge lifestyle change.  My mind went in to overdrive as I imagined how we could incorporate this idea in to our travel plans.  I signed up to Trusted Housesitters and started the process of applying for anything that seemed like it would fit us.

We’re a family and I thought that it would be tricky for us to get sits, and really I wasn’t sure if we’d enjoy it either, so I applied for a couple of local sits too so we could get experience, a feel for how it works and some references from people who weren’t friends and family.  We had a great time housesitting for some lovely little West Highland Terriers (a dog we’ve loved the look of and often wished for) and realised that yes, we could see us doing this in future.  We eventually managed to get 2 house sits while we travelled, one in France and one in Scotland.  I was over the moon – this meant we could settle for a bit and explore really deeply in an area, we could save money and we could enjoy having some pets (we’ve rented houses for a while so pets haven’t been allowed).

All sounds very easy and I’d love to say it was, but being a family made it tricky.  Not everyone welcomed the idea of kids!  But with determination and persistence we managed to make it work.

Now what has this to do with dreams?  What has this to do with Untrapped Life?

Well, quite often I hear that my listeners and readers want to live a freer life.  It might not mean travel, but it means freedom to go and do what they want.  It can be hard to shake of the chains of our lives though, yes?

Housesitting could be an excellent idea if you want to experience living life with no ties.  It can enable you to live for a few months in another country while still being able to work (if you work online) or maybe just for you to explore your own country.  It can be tricky to get the courage to leave our normal lives behind, but with a ‘home’ and some pets waiting perhaps it can be make the transition easier.  Perhaps it will enable you to start earlier as you have less outgoings to think about,

It could also simply just be another idea to help you take a vacation while you’re saving for your big dream to happen.

For some people it turns in to a life style all on its own!  Take a look at Jodie and Nat from International House Sitting and you’ll see what I mean!  If you have a dream to travel but you don’t know how to then maybe see if this might work for you!

Alternatively, maybe you have pets of your own.  Could house sitters help you?  Could it free you up to achieve a dream?

There are many house sitting sites too, but the one I have knowledge of and experience actually getting sits through is Trusted Housesitters.  It’s got a wealth of listings for you to choose from and they have recently added a feature where the home owners can specify if they are open to applications from families – amazing for us!

As it happens we’re embarking on the house sitting road again very soon and hope to make it something we do regularly as it really fits our lifestyle, or what I hope our lifestyle will be when we set off travelling again.  And if you ever know of any pets that need some love and attention, you can always contact me and see if we’re available to sit for you!

I’d love to hear your stories of house sitting – have you done it before?

Can you succeed and reach your dreams without a plan?

as long as you don't stopI know I talk about having a plan and knowing where you’re going quite a bit.  I was thinking earlier on today about if it’s possible to actually succeed and reach your dreams without a plan.  What do you think?

Do you need a plan?

There’s a great phrase that goes something like this:

it’s the journey, not the destination

and you know what, I love that.  I absolutely agree that life is all about the journey and we should embrace and enjoy that as much as we can.  BUT, I also don’t think that we should go through our lives without a thought at all either.

You can be successful

I don’t think there can be any doubt that people who meander along in life with no real plans can still be successful.  It can absolutely happen!  Doors can open wide and by having no set agenda you can be free to pursue any avenue you like.

We can be successful at work, academically or financially without a plan.  Absolutely.  We can have all the trappings of a ‘successful’ life…

but

Is it what you wanted?

This is the thing that matters though.  As I said, there can be no doubt that we can be successful despite having plans, but is the success the thing you wanted?  Yes, you might have reached promotion at work and have everyone saying how successful you are, but what if you just want to live a simple life in the country with a few chickens?  All of a sudden the ‘success’ doesn’t seem like it’s right does it?

Plans direct you where you want to go

If we know what we want we can see where we need to go to get it.  There really isn’t anything wrong with having focus and a desire to achieve your goals.  After all, we have one go at this life and we need to make sure that we have no regrets when we get to the end of it.  Let’s not regret even giving it a try right?  Everything is possible if we only reach out and aim for it.

 

So what if you’re the type of person who really needs plans?  Well, I have an idea for you!  I have launched my new programme which is just for people who feel lost without a plan and who are worried that if they don’t sort themselves out life will pass them by  and their dreams will stay as dreams.  The Dream Action Plan helps you combat overwhelm and combat that running round in circles feeling and truly helps you become clear on what you want and how to begin getting there.

If you need more help I do offer one on one calls, including a discovery session.  Check out my mentoring packages and see if anything fits you!

 

Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it’s something.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop ~ Confucius

Don’t be afraid to fiddle with your plan

It would be really easy for me to say that once you have a plan formulated for your dreams, whether they are business related or more towards the leisure end of the spectrum, that you have nothing left to do but implement it.

That *can* be the case, and I do know that having that rock solid plan at the start is going to completely help you get momentum and get going, but there is one thing that might get to off track and feel like you’re failing and I don’t want you to feel that way.

Sometimes as we go along, we have great ideas and we are so excited to get started we throw ourselves completely in at the deep end.  Which is great at first, it’s exhilarating to be doing what we want and to be making progress.  But then sometimes we get a bit tired.  It’s hard to keep treading water in at the deep end of the swimming pool and it’s hard to do that in life too.  But what do you do?  Move to shallow waters and fail?  Or keep going until you might burn out?

Well, to put this in context, I have felt like this myself very recently.  As many of you know I host a podcast and it was being broadcast 3 times per week.  I love podcasting, it’s making me do things I never knew I could do before and I wanted to capitalise on my feelings.  I’d initially planned to do a show twice a week and then I upped it fairly soon after starting – I wanted to interview more people and I had a huge list of people to feature.   Which all went well and I was ahead of myself until I used up most of my ‘banked’ interviews while I was away on holiday.  Then a cancellation here and there and all of a sudden I was struggling to keep on schedule and have time to fit it all in.  I wasn’t tired, I still loved it, but I was starting to feel like it was taking over and I wasn’t moving forward with my other goals and my dream overall.  I decided last week I was going to go back to 2 shows a week, I’m back on top of it all and still having time to do everything else.

So what has this to do with your dreams then?

Well, if you noticed, a word that I don’t like crept in back there.  Fail.  By moving to 2 shows a week I could have felt like I’d failed.  By trying anything that is on your plan and realising it’s not working and fiddling with it you could feel like you’ve failed.  You haven’t.  I haven’t.

What I have done is fiddled and made it work for me.  I have re-evaluated what’s important and what needs to be focused on.

That is not failing.  By planning, taking action and deciding it’s not for you, that is not failure.  It’s GREAT!

So I want to encourage you all to have your plan, but do NOT in any way feel like you’ve not succeeded if you do not follow it to the letter.  Life is fluid, we are constantly learning, changing and evolving.  By taking action and responding to how that works or doesn’t work, you can never be considered a failure.

 

When was the last time you just said YES?

yesor perhaps, more to the point, when was the last time you said NO to an opportunity that might have changed your life?

Maybe it didn’t even seem like something that would change something, maybe it was just the offer of a cup of coffee with someone, or a walk along the beach.

What if you’d said YES?

You know, the most amazing things happen when we open ourselves up to the world and say yes.  We just don’t know what is in store, so why not just give things a go?

If you’re completely happy with your life and don’t want to change, then I can understand why you might be be content and why you might turn down opportunities.  But if that’s not you, and you want more from life, or maybe you’re just curious as to what it might offer you then I urge you, next time something comes up, it doesn’t matter what it is, JUST SAY YES!

If someone asks you to go to coffee with them – say yes

If someone asks for some help online – say yes

If there’s a place you’ve always wanted to go – say yes

If someone asks you to do something you’ve never done before – say yes

Really, what is the worst that could happen?  I’ve had moments where I’ve not done things because I was worried about driving there, or getting a parking spot, or talking to people once there.  The times I’ve bit the bullet and done it though?  It was never nearly as bad!  Right now I am coming across opportunities through my business that I couldn’t have even imagined 6 months ago, what’s going to happen if I’m too scared to say yes to all of them?  That’s right, not a lot!  So I’m saying yes, giving things a go and learning a heck of a lot about myself in the process.

When was the last time you said YES?  When was the last time you said NO and regretted it?

 

Where to start if you want to have your own podcast

Podcast logo yellow300As many of you will know, podcasting has taken off in my world and my business is growing by the day because of it. I thought I’d write a little post about the benefits and where I’ve found help to start a podcast.

So, why start a podcast?

Many people have a podcast as a means to an end and hope to turn that in to a business. Many, like John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur on Fire have done this wildly successfully. His podcast generates sponsorship which on it’s own is amazing (like seriously amazing money!!), but he has also branched out into teaching others like with his programme Podcasters’ Paradise. I’ll talk a little bit more about that in a bit, but there are many ways you could use a podcast to launch something else.

Other people, and this includes me, have added a podcast to an existing business to give depth and provide another outlet to give value on. Not everyone likes to read blog posts, some like to listen to audio and some like to watch video. This helps cover such a broad area and enable you to be everywhere!

There’s also that chance that you’ll love chatting in to a microphone as much as I do – and you never know where that might lead!

Where should you start?

There are many, many online tutorials and kit lists and ways to podcast.  First you need an idea, then you need to get the gear and then you need to start recording.  Sounds simple huh?

It can be simple, and I’m really good at gleaning stuff from the internet for free, but I’ll tell you something – I don’t think I’d have managed if it wasn’t for joining the aforementioned programme.  I’d done most stuff before I joined it and I think I’d have even managed to get it uploaded too, but I know I’d have struggled.  Heck, I struggled even with hand holding videos guiding me through.  It’s a steep learning curve for sure.

Once the technical side of producing a podcast is on top of, you need to get it out there, promote it and try and get some downloads.  I’m imagining this could have been a fairly lonely journey to face.  What you need is a community to ask questions, give feedback on your show and just push you forward.  There is nothing more inspiring than seeing a group of people who are really serious about podcasting around you to make you up your game.

So, my advice to you if you want to know where to start is Podcasters’ Paradise.  Seriously.  And I say this as someone who doesn’t like to pay out for things if I don’t have to.  It’s worth it.

Not only do you get all the videos that you’ll need to do all the technical side, and it would be worth it for that alone (there are LOTS and more added all the time), you also get monthly webinars with John and special guests (past guests have been Pat Flynn and Lewis Howes) that are solely for the people who are in the programme.   Then on top of that is the community.  It has all the things that I mentioned before that I really think were influential in me doing so well with my show.

My show is doing well, we’re at the moment getting near to 25,000 downloads overall and I can absolutely attribute some of that success to this.  I’m not even sure I’d have launched half as well without it, maybe I’d have given up without the community.  I don’t know.  But I can really recommend it and if you’d like to look into it more then please head over to Podcasters’ Paradise and check it out.  You won’t be sorry!

(links are affiliate links – if you click on them and decide to buy you’ll be helping me out and I will love you forever)