What she said…

Finding out how to do what I wanted to do. And then do it…

I really struggled with this – especially as a young female who wanted to get in there and rub shoulders with people calling the shots. So many people gave me the message that it ‘wasn’t allowed’. Whether it was through disappointed tones, looks, or downright being looked over. Then add to that a few other life challenges, like becoming a mother, and hey presto, I was starting to think that life was going to swallow me up.

That’s when I realised the power of genuinely not giving a f*ck. I mean, I do about the things I care about. But when it comes to other peoples’ agendas – like not understanding that I don’t have 2 years to build trust with them when I need flexibility for my kid who is starting prep – now. Well….I really only have one thing to say.

And it’s not something that my mother would probably like me to say, but I’m going to say it anyway. Thankfully, in some situations, people point out that you don’t really suit the situation and you can walk away (somewhat gracefully – although robbed of opportunity) but it comes down to something I heard an incredible actress say a while ago (unless she was misquoted – in which case, apologies Helen).

Now, it’s a go to conversation. Something I say to people to gauge whether or not I want to work with them or even breathe the same air as them. I ask, “Have you heard what Helen Mirren says we need to teach young women?”. Given the roles she has played I assume most would think it’s about grace or elegance.

But that is not what Helen said.

She said that we need to teach young women, as one of the first things they learn mind you, that they can say “Fuck off”.

Absolutely! Now this isn’t about being self-righteous. It’s about the fact that some people feel entitled to attempt to emotionally cripple you because of their own insecurities. They feel they deserve your time, energy, thoughts, conversation and for you to affirm them in all of their disgusting opinions.

It wasn’t until I learned this that I knew I could. I mean, I thought “Fuck off” was for angry sorts of women. But, if Helen could, then so could I (yes, I admit I must have been bound by social convention. Just a little).

I practiced my “Helen Conversation” with people. Just as an example of what women “ought” to be able to do; what we see men do with each other in the most carefree way in a variety of situations. And I LOVED it. I realised, I too could.

I worked out that there are reasons why some people make me angry. And it’s usually because their values are vastly out of alignment with mine. And that means something. It means I know what I want. And what I don’t want. And I am allowed to have a voice about that. And so, to any haters out there. To people who don’t believe in dreams, or personal freedom, or that the emotional needs of our kids shouldn’t occasionally come first, I say boldly: “Fuck. You.”

And for that, I will never be ashamed.

Meeting Natalie: Part 2 – Sexy Operating Systems

So one of my key interests as a modern woman of the world is…. freedom. What does it mean to me? And how can it sometimes be achieved through the use of Sexy Operating Procedures? If you are as intrigued as I am, then you will read on. I travelled to the Gold Coast to meet Natalie Sisson, who graciously let me ask her lots of questions about technology and business.

Natalie Sisson is currently focusing on research about freedom and has been known as “The Suitcase Entrepreneur” and the Founder of The Freedom Plan. She is a digital nomad and successfully runs her online business from wherever she is in the world.

Most importantly, Natalie realises that freedom is different for everyone, but what defines it is that you stay true to what you value. Whether it’s spending time with family, seeing sights, personal development (or a combination of the above), freedom is important to all of us.

We discovered, through talking to Natalie, that the role of technology in creating a freedom lifestyle and a freedom business is crucial. Check out the second part of the interview below:

KF: So, keeping in mind the importance of technology in business and how you have successfully set up your business to run online, can you let us know a little bit more about how people can get involved and what courses you run?

NS: Well, I am actually running a ten day blog challenge at the time of this recording. Which was quite coincidental that I was here at Problogging so that’s how important I think blogging is. Just to get people to take action and consistently turn up.

But The Freedom Plan is my like, proudest moment ever in terms of a program I’ve designed because it covers off on all the things I think you need to cover off on all the things I think you need to run a lifestyle business from anywhere. – using all the tools and technology.

And it’s basically designed about mindset, business, and lifestyle – so it’s broken down into those three stages. And I think you know, more than anyone, that you need to get your mindset into the right place before you can do anything – personally.

You need to believe in yourself, you need to understand yourself to that level and you need to know what your priorities are – and have that belief in yourself. And then you can go into choosing the right business model. Online, offline, or a combination of both.

You need to think about whether it’s passive revenue streams or active revenue streams, and then all the things we talked about – so outsourcing, sexy operating systems, systems in general, sales funnels, using the blog, using your website, building your list around your goals, talents, and desires.

And then the final part is the lifestyle stage. Do you want to work from home, do you want to work from co-working spaces? Do you want to travel the world? How remote or location independent do you want to be? So it’s kind of the whole gamut. If you want to be a lifestyle entrepreneur – if you want your business to support your lifestyle, that’s what the program is all about.

KF: That sounds pretty amazing and we have been really excited to talk to you!

NS: Well, thank you very much.

KF: We do have one more questions, just about processes. Do you write all of the processes or do you get your team to come up with them?

NS: I’ve written some and then I’ve gotten them to write their own. So anytime we’re doing anything new now I say, “Have we got an SOP (Sexy Operating Procedure) in place for this?” Because if somebody was to come along, if somebody was to get sick, if things happened, somebody should be able to open that up and just follow the exact instructions to the tea and be able pull off what we have done.

So now I really put it back into their hands and say look, write it up in your own words, your own language, do short videos if you want, videos are great, like tutorial videos. In addition to that, write out the instructions or have them transcribed and we keep them all in the same place, in google drive and people know where to get them so. So yeah, it works pretty well.

KF: That’s what we’re keen to do! So thanks so much and we are really looking forward to seeing what you continue to do.

A big thank you to Natalie Sisson for her time and all that she does for the Freedom Community!

At katherineflynn.net (more about that next time) we love to talk to people about how to make their business and operating procedures sexier and more streamlined. To find out more contact today.

So much to think about. Until next time!

Meeting Natalie!

Freedom Lifestyle and Freedom Business with Natalie Sisson: Part 1

So for a while I was doing some consulting and helping set up and create content for businesses. It was a while back now but this is the blog post that came out of meeting, someone, who, to me, is an incredible inspiration. A woman who asks questions and seeks answers, who is led by curiousity, and driven by a deeper ambition than almost anyone I have ever know. There is a bohemian and very refreshing quality to her and I just love that she is a woman! More power to the girls!!! And thanks again Natalie Sisson!:

We recently had a chat with the very interesting and completely phenomenal Natalie Sisson. Natalie is currently focusing on research about freedom and has been known as “The Suitcase Entrepreneur”. She is a digital nomad and successfully runs her online business from wherever she is in the world.

Most importantly, Natalie realises that freedom is different for everyone, but what defines it is that you can stay true to what you value. Whether it’s spending time with family, seeing sights, personal development or a combination of the above, freedom is important to all of us.

So when we met we decided to interview Natalie about the role of technology in creating a freedom lifestyle and a freedom business. Check it out below.

KF: We’re here with Natalie Sisson, the Founder of The Freedom Plan and we’re talking about how technology is shaping business. Welcome Natalie.

NS: Thank you!

KF: I wanted to start with asking you about your business.

NS: In a nutshell, I live around the world, live out of my suitcase, travelling the world, running my business from a laptop and a smartphone, and my business is essentially online education. When I’m being cheeky I say that I sell freedom, but ultimately I sell freedom to people through helping them create systems, outsourcing, and essentially monetising themselves in a way that fits with their lifestyle, so building a business to support that lifestyle.

KF: Okay, so that sounds pretty amazing! So I guess what I wanted to follow on with from that is, how critical do you think technology is to being able to achieve that with your business?

NS: I wouldn’t have a business without technology essentially. Like, a website, a way to get paid, and the internet, is pretty much all I need to run my business. So without the tools there wouldn’t be anything. Well, there would be an offline events component but how would I be letting people know about it without the online tools?

KF: What tools would you say are important for people who are looking to establish their business and get that online presence?

NS: So many tools that I love but ultimately I think a website, but you could almost get away without having a website these days if you have a Facebook page or a blog, but essentially a website and a way of getting paid, so whether that’s paypal, or gumroad, or stripe. You also need a clear offer, so you need something – a product or a service that people are willing to pay for. And then you obviously need to figure out who your market is, what they need from you, and how you are essentially going to put the solution in front of them and they’re going to be like, “Oh my gosh. That’s amazing. That’s exactly what I need.” That’s like the marketing component, that’s not a tool. That’s an understanding and something you need to know. At the end of the day, just a website, a payment tool, and a clear offer with a landing page or a sales page.

KF: I know from your course that you talk about Sexy Operating Procedures (SOP’s).

NS: Yes I do!

KF: So I think those are pretty critical – so do you use technology I guess in that respect, for your actual operating procedures?

NS: I just use google drive and google doc – I adore it and I just try to keep it really simple. So my team and I basically use google drive, asana, and slack for everything in terms of sexy operating systems, communications, and project management.

KF: So they must be really useful tools then if that’s what you’re using.

NS: Well, we’re almost switching over to using asana more for our SOP’s because you can lay out the same steps of an operating procedure in a google doc as you can in asana but you can live, real-time live schedule it out or distribute it to people so that they’re taking on ownership and deadline. So that’s what we’re shifting into a bit more – especially for launches.

KF: So with your strategies, just in terms of reaching out and getting your sites in front of people, in terms of your Search Engine Optimisation how important would you say a blog is for instance? I know you’re here for the Problogger event, how important would you say a blog is for that whole process?

NS: It’s so funny because my whole business started from a blog even though I don’t consider myself a blogger these days and I don’t blog as much, I podcast, but it’s still all about you being your own PR and marketing person so you get to put out content that relates, content that resonates, you get to distribute content at the right time, to the right people. So I think a blog is really, really important. Especially for putting out consistent content that is keyword rich. That people can basically find you online through. And it’s fresh and it’s live so google loves that and they want to see it ranked really well, so I think blogs are really important but, even outside of blogs, there’s podcasting and videos. Whatever medium of blogging that you’re putting out, whether it’s video, audio, or written is important.


A big thank you to Natalie Sisson for her time and all that she does for the Freedom Community!

At katherineflynn.net we love to talk to people about how to make their business and operating procedures sexier and more streamlined.

So much to think about before Part 2.
Until next time!

10 Day Success. Yes!!!!!

So I am finishing the Freedom Blog 10 day challenge on the right day (actually, maybe late by 5 minutes – surely that is fashionable). I have always loved a deadline and like success on my own terms and so today I say ‘yes!’. I have finished on time and completed the mission while balancing it with my current version of a freedom lifestyle.

The reason that I chose this rather bizarre sparkle Princess picture is because she has butterflies around her head – which along with birds, to me, represent freedom. And she is me. I am her. I am a sparkle Princess and when I continue to take the steps that will lead to this journey taking shape I might even smile – I find that hard to do in photos for some reason. Maybe I need to do a 10 day smile challenge!

The truth is that I feel committed to this process now. I love how it brings me back to what is important to me. Some days it is being a sparkle Princess and on others it is about being able to be real with the people I love. Most days it’s both. Either way it’s a reality check for me.

So I am committed to continuing to blog. I wonder if I will be able to continue to come up with ways to do it that are unique and interesting? For now this is something that I am doing for me. Who knows where it might lead? Either way, I am happy to have found a process that I enjoy, that helps me feel grounded, and focussed, and most importantly, it helps me to feel a sense of progress and connection with the process I am undertaking.

Of becoming free!

 

Free to Roam

So day 9 of the Freedom Blog Challenge is about location independence. Now I totally believe that this is necessary for anyone to completely attain freedom. If you are literally bound to your desk (due to whatever technical necessities confine you) then you do not have the ability to be surrounded by what and whom you love.

Sometimes it might be about the environment and sometimes it might be about the people. For me, it is always both.

My day of location independence will commence in Miami with my laptop. With access to wi-fi I can stay up to date with email, contact clients, and Skype when necessary. This means that I only take a few hours out of my day to complete my work (which is, by the way, exciting in and of itself).

Then I am free to find adventure and fun and be with the people I love. I have some amazing friends in Miami. I want to connect with another friend of mine in nearby Fort Lauderdale. And spend most of my time in generating creative programs and content and supporting clients to do the same.

I love encouraging others and so my days are mixed between purposeful connection and fun catch ups; sailing, riding motorbikes, going to the beach and mountains, dancing, and whatever other adventure might come my way.

I am so excited that technology has enabled this incredible lifestyle and that I can be truly location independent. It also means that at times when those I love are going through tough stuff I genuinely have the ability to be there. And I, for one, know how critical that can be. More than anything, this is the biggest blessing that comes from true location independence. And I cannot wait to have it!

Kate’s Adventure

I had a very exciting weekend full of adventure and what it made me realise is that I love live art. I love music, I love theatre, I love the life that oozes out of art that conveys the passion that people have and feel on so many levels. It makes me feel alive – what else can I say?

So on Day 8 of the 10 day blogging challenge I am going to write about the adventures that I had that were so good that I couldn’t write about them until 3 days later. I absolutely loved being able to go and see City Calm Down (to listen to one of their tracks click here). And what I feel when I hear them just keeps repeating what I know to be a deeply intimate truth. Music is life.

It fills me up in a way that almost nothing else can. And when you share it with people that excite you, your favourite people, the ones you love, it becomes infinitely more magical. So on day 8 of the challenge my adventure was music. And making time to share it will people I love. I hope that in some small way I will find a way to do this everyday.

Perfectly Imperfect

I am so perfectly imperfect that I just took the whole weekend off again and so this is my Day 7 of the 10 day blog challenge! Ever the rebel. Absolutely loving doing this challenge and loving life. Had so much fun on the weekend at a festival and a concert that I have lost my voice.

Because to me, freedom is live music and friends and not even switching on my laptop. The rest of the time it’s cuddles and cuteness overload with my son. Then week time comes and I know that I need to restore the balance. And ask myself what Day 7 of the Blog Challenge is about – procrastination!

I find it very easy to be in the moment and go with the flow and sometimes it can turn into procrastination. I only qualify it as procrastination if it is a week day. But how do I procrastinate? I’ve already admitted that I am a Faddict (that’s right, a facebook addict) and I know that I can manage pages without having the actual Facebook app through another simple app aptly named “Pages Manager“.

Once I am on my computer I am far less into Facebook for some reason. I think it’s the habit of picking up my phone and going straight to it. And the Events bit tickles me senseless!!! But I am going to do it. I am deleting the app from my phone because the reality is that it has become Facesuck (sucking up my time) and not Facebook for me.

How do you know when something has become an endless timesuck that could damage your dreams? My guess is that if you set out with one intention and end up doing the one particular thing that sets you off track then it might be damaging.

“But what if it’s really enjoyable?” I hear you ask. Well, I think the answer to this dilemma is, ask yourself if it is building a meaningful relationship that you plan to sustain long-term that is really for your good (like a deeply loving relationship – that could be worth getting distracted for).

If the answer is ‘no’ then find a way to can the addiction and get in touch with what will truly move you forward and see you achieving the actions that will support you and those you love. Get a strategy and work it out, day by day, so that you can find the freedom you crave. Or else you could resign yourself to singing this catchy tune. I for one, am going to give it a miss! And focus on the moment and the future – so my theme tune for now will be a little more like this.

I love the imagery and the look of freedom on her face as she takes flight. That is the choice I will make – to rise.