Michele Attias Life Coach

The Zen Of Freedom

Have you ever asked yourself, what freedom means to you?

When clients get curious about this question, money normally comes into the equation. However, what if real freedom is the way you choose to live your life? Can you truly feel free (regardless of how much money you make), when you're chained to your business whilst following the daily treadmill without asking yourself if there is more to life.

It is a question I have asked myself, especially in the past few months as I encountered personal family issues which I needed to attend to. Since I am originally from Gibraltar, it meant traveling back from the UK to be at my families side. There was no doubt in my mind that family comes first, however I wondered how I would conduct my business whilst abroad for a few weeks,

This is especially difficult when you're in the middle of a business deal, proposal or project. On the one hand, when your personal life is suddenly undergoing difficulty and challenges, you don't want to alienate clients or allow your work to take a back step, but personal life does need to come first.  At times you need to find a way for things to tick along whilst you are emotionally and physically unavailable.

How do you negotiate your personal life without losing your business or yourself in the process?

As this is a challenge of immense proportions, I did the following:

  • Rescheduled client coaching sessions to conduct them over Skype whilst abroad.
  • Rescheduled the clients who were unable to Skype for the week after I came back and gave them tips, videos, to get them motivated in my absense.
  • Sent  an e-mail to all my contacts to let them know my absence.
  • Sat for one hour on Hootsuite and scheduled 2 weeks of posts, updates and articles on Linkedin and Twitter which are the social media platforms I generally use.
  • Downloaded  a number of podcasts so I could learn on the go whilst I was away.
  • Backed up my iPhone, iPad and computer to take abroad.
  • Created and scheduled a mailchimp newsletter to go out to my e-mail list whilst I was away.

During this time it meant surrendering to the following:

  • My blogs would be published late for the next fortnight.
  • I would be physically unavailable to attend my networking group where I am Marketing Co-ordinator.
  • I would not be able to meet clients face to face.
  • The podcast series I'm creating would have to wait.
  • A talk I was giving at an event would have to be cancelled.

None of this was actually catastrophic.

What did I learn from this experience?

  • To run my business whilst abroad I needed 2 things, a laptop and a coffee shop with wifi where I could sit to work at every afternoon.
  • Since wifi abroad was limited, I was more purposeful and focused when I used it, hence no distractions. Life became less noisy, social media was on shut down as I had automated all my posts, therefore I was more productive.
  • It taught me one very important lesson, physical presence is not required in order to run a business. Letting go and surrendering to the fact that life at times has to stop for us to attend to our personal life and what is needed is an important process.
  • It gave me the benefit of stepping out of the busyness of my business, allowed me to slow the pace at which I operate.
  • It confirmed the decision I made to move out of the 9-5 treadmill and creating a business on my terms, working hours around my life. After spending over 20 years on the 9-5 treadmill, where I was only able to take time off and squeeze a holiday during the 21 days a year annual leave. No amount of money, job security, or work pension plan could attract me to the life I left behind, simply because I want to be productive doing what I am passionate about, whilst being available for the people I love.

Therefore, reflect on what type of quality of life you want? it's great being a highly productive creative entrepreneur, but what if the unthinkable happens. Someone you love gets sick, has an accident, divorce looms, bereavement strikes, how able are you to pick up and lift off so you can be available to your family, whilst being able to earn a living at the same time?

The Important point here is to take charge of your business, nourish and attend to it, but when you need to step away when personal matters call for, know that this is also an Important aspect of your life. There are a number of lifestyle businesses that are emerging, from network marketing to online businesses, affiliate marketing as well as coaching clients which can be done via skype rather than meet in person.

Your business no longer needs to be location dependent, since it is actually possible to run a business, earn money and attend to our personal life at the same time. When reflecting on your business, does it give you the lifestyle you want? Feel free to contact me with your thoughts on this.

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