2014 Wrap Up! Living the Laptop Life in 14 Countries and Hustling for a Million
You know that thing you do, where you dream about how business and life will look ONE day? You make a vision board, perhaps, and bask in its possibility …
You journal and dream …
You write goals and affirmations and you even MANIFEST some pretty awesome shit …
And through it all you can truly feel that one day? This is ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN.
I know exactly how all of that feels because for as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed bigger than just about anybody I know, and actively cultivated a vision of what my life will be like when I’m the entrepreneur and ME I’ve always know I could be.
And this year?
I brought those dreams to life.
2014 has been one of the most extraordinary, thrilling, exciting, scary and WONDROUS years I’ve experienced.
A year which I began with $11 in my bank account and ALL my emergency reserves used up, plus over 100k of debt, a year which followed a year of having DELIBERATELY broken my business after previously having built it to multiple 6-figures, because I knew it wasn’t in alignment, a year which also followed one of the toughest experiences I’ve faced personally – a pregnancy which kept me bed-riddden and often hospitalised as we wondered whether either myself or the baby would make it (we did, and well), a year which, to be frank, began with me ALMOST starting to wonder if I’d just about broken myself.
A year which is now ending with me having created a million dollar business (over 100k a month, and climbing monthly, in consistent revenue).
A year which is now ending with us having been on the road living what is now a first class laptop life for coming up to 13 months, traveling from country to country and experience to experience with our 2 young children and my income fully online.
A year which, if I really had to sum it up, I’ve once and for all proven to myself and I’d like to think many people along the way that whatever you dream? WHATEVER you dream. Well baby you CAN have it all, and you CAN have it now. But if you want it? You better go on out there and claim it.
Here’s how I dreamt big and made shit happen in 2014.
Back in 2007, when I first started online (gosh, how many times have I begun a blog with that sentence!), I had a dream. The whole online thing? To be honest it started because I’d been to a few fitness conferences, in my at the time biz of personal trainer, where I learned that to be a 6-figure trainer you needed to think beyond just one on one. You needed to do group work and corporate work and oh! Have a newsletter.
So, I started one.
I decided my new business name would be Kickass Life Training (which was also the name of my first website, I built it MYSELF!), and I created a MAMMOTH of a newsletter for my clients, stuffed to the gills with images and colour heavy headers. I was so proud of it! And so excited! My clients were also (I think!) although less so when trying to download the darn thing pretty much crashed all their work servers. The only thing for it, if I was going to continue to include so MUCH, was to put it online.
So, I did.
I began blogging online at http://katrinaeden.wordpress.com/and between that and my Kickass Life Training site where I could run amok with as many images and colours as my heart desired, I was good to go! I still remember my first business coach back then exclaiming in horror at how many bright colours I was trying to include in my branding 🙂 … to this day my web design experts exclaim in horror at all my bright colours.Ha! TOO BAD PEOPLE I LIKE BRIGHT!
Anyway … the blogging thing. I wrote about fitness and life and I began using the tagline that has stuck with me to this day – Life is Now. Press Play. One of the posts I recently found back on that first blog, a post I wrote in 2008, shows pretty clearly that my thoughts about living life on your terms? Haven’t really changed much 🙂
But the blog was really just that, a blog. It was an online newsletter which I guess I figured was important because I’d been told that online was the way to go. I didn’t really imagine it was going to make me any MONEY, except in the sense that it would hopefully help me get more personal training clients, and maybe some corporate work. Both of these scenarios became rapidly true, and I did start to make a bit of a name for myself in my hometown of Melbourne. I was the only one really doing anything beyond just gym work in the PT industry at the time, and I even threw on a workshop or two in a city church hall. I was on my way to the big-time as a trainer, or at least that was the plan!
Or at least it was the plan until somewhere along the way I came across the concept of ebooks. I think the first ebook I bought was Mike Geary’s “The Truth About Abs” AFFILIATE LINK LINK LINK <<<<<<<<<<<<<< – a book which to this day has the guy at the forefront of the ebook industry worldwide. He literally prints millions with it, possibly even millions daily! Seriously – a guy worth reading up on. When I read the book though, I was just as pissed off as I was inspired. The stuff he was writing about was stuff I could talk about in my SLEEP! There was nothing ground-breaking (for a holistic personal trainer and nutrition coach) HERE. He’d even studied at the same places I had!
What the frick?! I decided that this, CLEARLY, was the path I needed to set out upon. I was going to be an ebook millionaire! I become an affiliate of Mike’s and started reading up on his suggestions, although before I really did anything with them I found myself side-tracked by something VERY intriguing.
I’d come across an author named Alexis Dawes, and she wrote a pretty successful ebook called Desperate Buyers Only. In it she outlined how you could take just about any topic, so long as it was one people were DESPERATE to have answers about, and either write from your current knowledge on it or research it out; even outsource the writing of it. She taught how to pick a topic using keywords and then how to do everything from the writing to the marketing and sales. I was HOOKED on the idea of this ebook thing, and even got on the phone with Alexis to get her advice. I remember promising her that I was DEFINITELY one of the few who would actually go ahead and do it! And I did …26 long months later 🙂
As for the millions? Well my initial launch was closer to the (few) hundreds, but since then that first book of mine “Secrets of Lasting Weight Loss Revealed” (which I initially had titled Desperate Dieters Only in a not so subtle attempt to mirror Alexis’ own branding!) has made around 30k so I guess I should be there in another 1000 years or so.
To be fair, I never really gave the whole market and sell and leverage the crap out of this thing a fair go. For me the creation of it was my true challenge, and by the time I finally got over all my STUFF about whether I could write a book and just DID it I’d since moved on to, past, or through a good gazillion or so new ideas.
Again … not much has changed 🙂 to this day my business weakness remains setting up systems and leveraging my existing work rather than just merrily continuing on my creative path. Which is on the one hand a great case study in being able to build a million dollar business primarily by focusing on what you love creating, and on the other hand a reminder to myself to give myself a swift uppercut and get my shit together and stop leaving money and the ability to HELP more people on the table!
Which I’m doing 🙂
So – the laptop life thing. Somewhere around this time I came across the work of Yaro Starak, one of Australia’s premier and most highly regarded bloggers both then and now. Yaro runs a blog called Entrepreneurs Journey, and back in ’08 his was the very first blogging or online business course I took. I even took on board his tech person referral and used that guy for all my online works until he got stolen from me last year by WordPress itself!
Yaro’s Blogging Mastermind course >>>>> AFFILIATE LINK <<<<< was an exercise in EYE OPENING WONDER for me. I learned the basics of what I needed to do online and how to build a name for myself but more importantly, I learned to dream a new dream. He spoke about how he lived the ‘laptop life’, and there was a particular photo of him, sunnies on and sitting in a cafe by the beach with his laptop. He mentioned having recently spent 9 months traveling the world while running his online business, and to me it just seemed like the most amazing and cool idea ever. I could barely imagine what it must be like to be able to be anywhere I pleased, armed with just coffee and a laptop, and able to make money doing what I loved, but there was one thing I knew for sure –
If Yaro could do it, then so too could I. I always think that if you look at the successes of others and are INSPIRED rather than envious or frustrated, then you invite in that same success for yourself.
As I set forth more fervently on my laptop journey I imagined myself one day being in Yaro’s shoes. Perhaps if I was lucky I’d be able to make a full-time living as a writer; as much as 80k a year! At the time it seemed so far off as to be surreal, but I KNEW it was possible and I was determined to one day see that dream come to life.
Note: ANY time you decide to yourself that a dream is possible and you then choose to make it possible for you, ALL you have to then do is make it essential. Time will do the rest and your dream WILL come to life.
This is supposed to be a 2014 wrap up, so I won’t continue on with the whole story 🙂 I’ve written it many times before anyway, and if you do want to read my whole business story then this series is a good place to start.
Let’s get to the good part!
In May of LAST year, 2013, I decided that it was high time to stake claim on this whole laptop life thing. I’d had it in the back of my mind for so long I often forgot it was there; it was almost part of me and my underlying assumption about life was that one day I’d just start living it on the go. From a money point of view the truth is we probably could have upped and left and lived location free from mid-2012 on. I guess it just wasn’t very on the radar then, probably because money, while it often DID flow, was very up and down. I felt trapped in my ability to build wealth and frustrated by the fact that as fast as I seemed to make money the debts and bills still cropped up faster. I knew I had to sort this shit out, and I entered 2013 determined for it to be the year of MONEY.
Which it was – but not in a good way at ALL! Unless you count lessons, which I do 🙂 2013 was the year I broke my business and nearly chose bankruptcy. It was a year of personal, emotional and financial TURMOIL, but what I see now is that it was a year of FINALLY shedding the many layers that I’d allowed to bind me.
When you’ve dug yourself in nice and deep on a path that’s not quite right (or not at all!) there comes a point when the only thing that can dig you back up again is a destruction of sorts.
For me, it was the destruction of everything I’d based my business on, and the simultaneous FAST decrease of any financial security I’d been clinging to. This downward phase picked up extra good speed in the latter part of the year, but meanwhile back in May, I’d made a decision.
And when I’d made that decision – which was to begin our laptop life starting a year into the future, May of 2014, and in Munich, Germany, I’d also committed. To my clients, to my audience, to Facebook (where it counts, right?!) and even by opening a special bank account titled Munich May 2014. I put $20 a week in there on automatic payment. That plus a further $20 a week for Savings was all I felt I could afford to set aside – I was barely staying afloat despite my best income month that year being 72k! I was dealing with years of debt and poor money management but mainly with a cripped mindset about wealth and self-worth.
Side note: a key person in helping me to get past my money ‘stuff’, and someone who I recommend as my most transformative support person EVER, is Kerry Belviso. Seriously. Book in with her on Skype.
The $20 a week was of course NOTHING in the grand scheme of things. It was hardly going to add up to enough, over even a year, to fund an entire laptop life! But it was a SYMBOL and it was a COMMITMENT and if there’s ONE thing I’ve learned about money above ALL the things I harp on and on about in my It’s Only Money, Honey! breakthrough program, it’s that MONEY NEEDS A HOME.
As 2013 drew to an end
Becoming the Sole Breadwinner
Adjusting to 2 Kids!
Hitting the Million Dollar Income Mark
(fitness, chocolate, sleeping in, anger)
THe 100 Million Dollar Club
Going First Class
Giving Money a Home
Dealing with my Debt
The Fighting (oh God, the fighting!)
Coming Out Online
Huffington and Yaro oh My!
My Books – Avoidance and Courage, a Dance Between the Two
Dreaming Bigger and Bigger Still
What it Really Takes to Succeed
My Top Ten Posts of 2014
Warrior or Wannabe
Don’t forget –
Life is Now. Press Play.