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Why traveling to escape will not lead you to self-discovery.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Do you travel to explore or to escape life?

It’s amazing how your life can change within a few years or even a few months.

For several years, I had panic attacks every January because I was not living a life I truly wanted and it was literally suffocating me.

I wanted to constantly escape New York City and used travel as an excuse to escape a life I did not want to live.

I would have panic attacks every 4 months and thought that it was because I needed to travel.

But I came to realize that it was not really traveling that I needed but to change the lifestyle that I was living.

 

To finally take the steps to have the freedom lifestyle I craved and to leave a job I no longer wanted.

As I began to work towards my goals, the need to constantly escape and the panic attacks began to disappear.

I started to understand that although travel was and is a huge part of my life, it is not what is going to fulfill or necessarily make me happy.

Reaching my goals and to have freedom is what I really craved and being in a 9-5 was what I wanted to escape.

Today, as I sit here writing these words to you – earning less than my 9-5, struggling to create income and navigating my new life as a location independent entrepreneur. I am happier than I ever was at my stable day job. 

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Traveling to escape is not the answer.

If you are in the same predicament, make sure you are not looking at travel as a way to solve the issues that are in your life.

Instead, take a good look at your self and learn what you want to achieve and work on them daily.

If one of those goals is to travel to see and experience the world then, by all means, do it! But do not think that it will solve your problems.

Remember, it will still be there when you return.

So, instead of travel escape – do a bit of soul-searching and understand what will make you fulfilled and achieve your purpose.

Travel may be a part of this soul-searching but it should not be the escape from your reality.

travel to escape

Traveling to escape will not not solve your problem. 

Change your mindset

A few ways that I was able to change my mindset was to have a clear goal, which was to start and create income from my podcast.I was extremely passionate about the location independent movement and craved to finally have the freedom to take responsibility for my own happiness.

Once I made this decision, I began to work on my goal every single day which made me have a sense of purpose.

Instead of having panic attacks, I devoted my energy to creating and learning about podcasts.

I also met with amazing individuals who inspired me to pursue the goals that I wanted.

Want to learn how I earned over 11K in a month with brand sponsorships? I’ve done it with the help of Jacob Fu and Esther Julee’s e-course “No bullshit guide to working with brands”, Jacob and Esther make over 25K a month through sponsorships alone. Through their e-course I learned negotiating techniques that allowed me to triple my rates as a content creator. This e-course has been instrumental in my success in making revenue from my podcast and website. My income did not take off until I learned the negotiation techniques that Jacob shares in this e-course.

The turning point

I began to realize that it was not really traveling that made me happy when traveling no longer felt the same.

The feeling of relief when I was in a different destination lessened and instead I began to crave working on my long term goals.

I began to turn down traveling opportunities because they started to get in the way of my life purpose.

It is amazing how my life has changed within a few months. Now that I am a full-time location independent entrepreneur I have decided to travel less, even when I have every opportunity to travel full time.

Now I think of travel as a way to discover the world and have different experiences. It is no longer an escape, but an added bonus to the life I have chosen to create for myself.

What about you? Have you been using travel as an escape?


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Going beyond the hustle: 5 steps to beating burnout.

5 steps to beating burnout

We’ve talked about the importance of hustle and perseverance. Now let’s talk about the burnout.

As I am still in my day job, my time is extremely limited. There is always the feeling of never doing enough and the guilt when you take time away from work.

Recently, I have been pushing myself so hard that I would wake up with drool on my face – realizing that I had fallen asleep as I was editing content for the podcast.

I breathe, eat, and sleep thinking about my work and have to constantly push myself to even stop talking about it!

I was prioritizing my work more than my personal relationships and it finally came to a head. I either had to balance and nurture the relationships I had or lose it.

It was an eye-opening experience that even though was a hard lesson to learn, gave me the kick in the butt that I needed to take 

I am still not an expert at avoiding burnout or balancing work and personal life. However, I have come to realize how important it is to really nurture ourselves and the people around us.

Here are the five ways I have learned to beat burnout.

Schedule and checklists.

Starting a business and becoming a freelancer, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with tasks that have to get done. 

Scheduling and allotting time for specific tasks has tremendously helped my productivity. 

Google calendar and Evernote have been lifesavers when it comes to scheduling and creating checklists for me to become more organized.

Another technique that has been crucial to my time management and productivity is placing only 2-3 tasks on my list. 

If I finish those tasks I add only one task at a time so it does not become overwhelming.

Seeing how I have accomplished my goals gives me the motivation and feeling of success which allows me to keep the momentum.

beating burnout

Take time off.

This may sound easy but when you live, eat and breath work, it can be really difficult to take the time off from work. 

But I have come to realize that taking a day off actually allows me to work better and smarter.

Whether it is to take a day off or go on a vacation it can be difficult to get away from that laptop to just enjoy life. 

Yes, this can be daunting but believe me, it is necessary so that you can enjoy life and the fruits of your labor.

Because what is it all for, if you are not able to enjoy your success. Am I right?!

| Get more freelancing tips – Learn how failing helped me succeed as a freelancer. 
Get a hobby.

Getting a hobby can be beneficial for your mental health.  It is doing something just for the pure pleasure and nothing else.

The pressure of performing and deadlines are taken away and you are simply enjoying what you are doing.

Recently I’ve taken it upon myself to go for a run in the early morning.  It has helped me clear my head and to start the day feeling fresh.

I’ve also started a kickboxing class and continue to do rock climbing in my spare time.

I am still forcing myself to continue with Rock Climbing because, to be honest- I hate problem-solving.

However – rock climbing has taught me how to keep going even when I am faced with failure. So, I have promised my self to stick to it and persevere!

Stop being a perfectionist.

As a creative one of the hardest things to do is to let go and to accept that not every task has to be perfect.

The more I spend time on a task to make it perfect, the less time I am able to effectively strategize and create systems for my business. 

It has also affected my ability to make the right decisions for myself and my business. It gave me the mentality of not ever being “good enough”.

By letting go of this “perfectionist” mentality I have become more efficient. Which has allowed me to work less and earn more.

Delegate the work.

You may have heard this from several of your entrepreneur friends but it can’t be said enough. Delegation is the key to growth.

You can’t do everything and unfortunately, we can’t clone ourselves (yet), so the next best thing is to hire a VA (virtual assistant).

Having an assistant frees up your time from tasks that distract you from growth. However,  it may take some time to train someone to do the work. So be patient.

Realize that you have to invest your time and energy on someone in order to get the right results. 

beating burnout
| If you want more tips on how to delegate work – click here to get my tips to hiring and training your perfect Virtual assistant.

These 5 strategies have helped me avoid beating burnout. 

It is still a struggle and continues to remind myself to take the time to relax, in order to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Have you experienced burnout? Have you learned different strategies to minimize or beating burnout? Share your findings- I’d love to learn your strategies too!


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How I’ve made 11K in one month as a podcaster.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Before I even began my journey as a podcaster, I was completely lost, confused and on the verge of a breakdown.

I wanted to do something meaningful and didn’t know where I can make an impact.

I knew I wanted to have a creative outlet to share the incredible stories I was hearing during my travels in order to inspire others. So, instead of blogging, I decided to do a podcast.

I had no idea what to do. I am not technically savvy so choosing this medium was so foreign to me.

But my passion and determination always trump my cluelessness.

My first few episodes were, for the lack of a better word – crap. The audio was horrible, but the joy I got from speaking to amazing and inspiring people kept me going.

As I was getting more involved in the podcasting community, I kept seeing the same theme on creating income from so many podcasters.

A few that kept popping up were:

“It is hard and almost impossible to create income as a podcaster. You either need to have a huge audience from the start, have a ton of downloads or would need to create a coaching business or courses to make money.”

“Don’t even think about sponsorships when you’re first starting out. That is the hardest way to create income!”

“It takes years to make money”.

Hearing all of this, I was not expecting to actually create income my first year as a podcaster – let alone make 11K in a month from sponsorships- but I have!

Here are the 3 reasons why I’ve made 11K in a month as a podcaster:

I’ve listened to the people who make money – not the ones who can’t.

Have you ever heard of the quote by Jim Rohn — ‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’

Well, if you keep hanging out with people who tell you-you cant create income, then guess what. You won’t.

When I was listening to those naysayers, I knew that there had to be another way to approach this industry.

So, I used my platform to start talking to the right people. I was interviewing so many freelancers and entrepreneurs who gave me solid advice on how to approach sponsors, how to reach out to clients and how to negotiate -that even with the little downloads I had, I was getting noticed.

Start approaching people who are able to thrive in their industry. They do not have to be in a similar niche as you, they just need to be successful at creating income.

Once you find them, ask how they approach clients and the tricks that have worked for them.

Write down all their answers and start experimenting to see which techniques will work for you and your business.

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I’ve learned how to negotiate and sell my brand.

When you are first starting out, it can be extremely intimidating to approach and sell your brand to potential sponsors.

With every pitch I make, I don’t think about the “no’s” and believe me I have received so many.

I think of it as a job interview. The more I practice, the better I will be and when I find the right brands I’ll know how to answer their questions, and sell my product.

In the last 3 months I have emailed over 200 companies, and only received a handful of replies – many were rejections.

From that handful of replies, I was able to get several calls and have made thousands of dollars because I took the initiative and practiced my approach.

Remember, you do not need to land all 200 companies- you need less than a handful to make thousands of dollars if you know how to negotiate.

I know many of you are still in your 9-5, so you have the luxury of not having the pressure of creating income solely from your podcast, blog, vlog or whatever medium you are pursuing.

Take advantage of this opportunity and practice, practice, practice.

Like with any job interviews, you will be getting similar questions from sponsors and clients, so learn, practice and perfect your pitch.

podcaster

How did I learn how to pitch and negotiate you ask?

Well, I was fortunate enough to meet Jacob Fu and Esther Julee who are the founders of localadventurer.com – they have one of the top travel blogs in the world and have made a career from their blog.

I started asking questions and Jacob luckily has an e-course that explained everything I needed to know.

I can not talk enough great things about their e-course because it has completely changed my mindset and allowed me to become confident to ask for what I want.

By using Jacob’s techniques I was able to negotiate deals and tripled a budget that my client had, which allowed me to create more income!

If you want to check out Jacob and Esther’s e-course visit localadventurer.com/offbeat and enter the code OFFBEAT100 to get $100 off your purchase.

But with anything else, Jacob will teach you the techniques but you still have to do the leg work.

It is not easy, but if you are persistent, you will achieve it!

I don’t chase the sexy.

If you are in the travel, beauty and lifestyle industry- there is A LOT of competition.

You will find that sexy brands will never run out of people who will give them content for free.

Right now you’re asking “What is sexy and why shouldn’t I be chasing them?”.

Think about all the companies that the people in your niche are all vying for – luxury hotels, lux fashion, airlines and tourism boards to name a few.

Now think, how many of those influencers or content creators are actually getting paid versus the ones who are just getting them for free?

For the most part, unless you have amassed a huge following – you will be getting these perks for free but are never paid.

Resulting in you never actually creating income so you can never leave your 9-5.

So, start thinking out of the box.

Instead of going after what you want, start getting to know your audience and start asking them what they need and want.

Learn their pain points. What will make their life easier? What type of products do they already invest in?

Once you find this out, it will be easier for you to compile a list of companies that you can pitch your services to- resulting in the much-needed income you need to thrive as a freelancer and business owner.

If you want to get more info on how to create a sponsor list, where and how I find my contacts click here to get it.

Becoming a freelancer is not easy folks, it is not for everyone. But if you are willing to do the work and are persistent, you can become very successful.

I love hearing all your stories, so make sure to reach out to me and of course if you have any questions I am always here to help.

I am accepting applications for a mentorship with me on how you can create and monetize your own podcast. If you want to learn more about my mentorship program sign up  so we can get you to the next step!


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11 Networking tips for beginners: making a great first impression

One of my greatest strengths is that I am a people-person, I love talking to new people and learning new things.

This is definitely at the core of my business and why The Travel Women is a successful online resource and social community as I host meetups and networking events to meet members of my community in person in NYC and whenever I can around the world!

In addition to hosting events, I also have attended more networking events than I can count that have given me some of my favorite clients and long-term friends!

However, not every networking event is created equally, and some can be a total waste of time, so manage your expectations and time wisely with the following networking tips!

 

 

Set networking goals: Before I go to a conference or event I set personal goals for myself, so I make sure I avoid distractions and come out of a new event with new connections.

It can be anything like find three potential guest bloggers or tell three new potential clients about your business or hand out 50 business cards at a conference.

Research: Know what the event is about and who might be there ahead of time! Networking event titles can be misleading, so make sure you know as much as you can about the company running it, potential sponsors, who are on the guest list and the goals of the event.

Only then can you make sure it aligns with your networking goals and who you might want to talk to. Reach out to people on the guest list ahead of time if possible that you specifically want to connect with.

Go early: The best and smartest networkers always arrive early. Especially if you are looking to meet the event hosts or sponsors who are required to be there early you will likely have their full attention before they are tired and busy later during the event.

Perfect your elevator speech: It might sound obvious, but you are there to say what you do quickly in a few sentences repeatedly, so make sure those few lines are short and sweet!

Make your pitch or elevator speech easy to understand and sound intriguing so that people ask questions and want to take your business card to learn more!

Give them things to look forward to like an upcoming newsletter or list or event you’re hosting that might interest them so they are more inclined to follow up.

Do not talk to people you know: Avoid leaning into comfortable conversations by talking only to people you already know. If you can talk to them outside of this event, then spend this time meeting new connections you might not otherwise have a chance to meet!

Ask who you should talk to: It might sound silly, but not enough people ask this easy question. When you arrive and check in, ask who the sponsor representation is. The person checking people in will know who is who and can tell you the best people to talk to early in the night.

Even in round discussions, feel free to ask a group, “What brings you here” and tell them what you are looking for too like: “I am looking to connect with other people who do _____, do you know anyone I should talk to?”

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Repeat what you hear: It is so helpful to repeat names and what others say back to them not only so you can remember it but also so you can show you are listening!

Prepare questions: If you are networking in a new type of group, prepare potential thought-provoking questions that will get people to fill awkward silences and continue the conversation.

It is not what you say as much as how you say it: People might not remember the exact words you say, but they’ll remember the feeling of speaking with you, so don’t forget to let your passion shine! Your enthusiasm for your business is your best sales tool.

If you can make them feel your excitement, it is bound to rub off and they will remember how you said what you said!

networking tips for beginners

How can you help someone you meet: Networking just for networking sake or just to collect business cards is not enough. The real goal is to make long term connections with people and the best way to do this is to think outside of your goals and needs.

Ask yourself as you hear another person’s elevator pitch and what they’re up to, how you can help them? Then offer them help, “I know someone who does something similar, I would love to help connect you, would you like that?” Reaching out and trying to help others is the best way to network successfully and stand out from the crowd.

Follow up afterward: Follow up as soon as possible with an email or phone call or social media connection. Feel free to write a template of how you might want to follow up after a specific conference or event including a link(s) to recent articles maybe you mentioned, but personalize each with something you discussed, so that they remember you!

What are your favorite networking tips? Comment Below!

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