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Ep. 203: How this former advertiser sold all her belongings to travel and become a full-time remote coach with Pascale Côté

In this episode, I speak with Pascale who is a remote coach and founder of Change Your Latitude, where she provides creativity and conscious coaching for unconventional entrepreneurs. 

In 2014, Pascale decided to design a location-independent lifestyle. Looking for more flexibility and freedom, she quit her advertising job, started an online business, and sold her belongings to travel full time. 

Today, she coaches her client to step away from outdated ways of operating, so they can build a mindful business that serves their conscious and creative living and allows them to do less and be more.

Listen on to find out how Pascale has been able to become a successful remote coach.

Listen Below:

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My Offbeat Journey: Biggest lessons I learned building an online brand while still in my 9-5

Transcription:

Debbie:

Hey everyone. Thank you so much for being here. I’m really excited to speak with my guest today, Pascale. 

Hey Pascale, how are you? 

Pascale:

I am doing really well. Thank you so much for inviting me. 

Debbie

I’m really excited to talk about you and how you’ve been doing. Can you tell us about you and why you live an offbeat life? 

Pascale:

Yeah. Well, I am currently living in Montreal but I’ve been traveling full time for the past six years before all this situation happened. 

So I had a fully nomadic lifestyle and I was traveling full time around Europe and pretty much everywhere and I built my business around that. So I really wanted to have that freedom to be able to travel and to have an alternate lifestyle. 

And so I’ve designed my life and my business around that desire.

Debbie:

How were you able to travel around the world and what type of business has allowed you to do that? 

Pascale:

I would say I started my career in advertising because at the time I thought it was the perfect mix between two of my passions which we’re creativity, arts, business, and marketing. And so I thought advertising would be the perfect blend between the two but it ended up not being what I thought it would be.

At the time I was working 12 hours a day. I was really hustling, I was drained, and I really wanted to be able to travel full-time but I wasn’t able to do so with that type of career. And so I started looking around and seeing what I could actually do in my life or change in my life to be able to create that freedom-based lifestyle. 

And so for me, the first step was to become a freelancer. So I was actually doing the same kind of jobs with marketing and advertising but I was freelancing. And so I was working from home mostly. And eventually, will I realize that I could do that pretty much anywhere in the world. 

And so I started traveling with this freelance marketing business for a few years and eventually that business experience led me to start other types of businesses. I had a vegan skincare line and I also owned a travel agency for a little while. 

So I had no experience in various Industries with product-based businesses and service-based businesses and eventually, that led me to what I’m doing now which is remote coaching. And that’s a very easy way for me to be able to travel because I pretty much just need my computer. 

Debbie:

I love that you tried so many different things before you landed on what you’re doing now. Was there anything that you had to do in order to prepare to make all of these different changes that you are doing with your life and to make this more sustainable? 

Pascale:

Yeah. Well, I thought that taking the leap between a full-time 9-to-5 advertising job to starting my own business was a bit too much for me. 

So at the time I really took it step-by-step. I wanted to be able to know first how to manage my schedule because when you don’t have anyone else to tell you what to do, when to do it, and when to end it, it can be a bit tricky to manage your own schedule in your time and be productive. 

So I wanted to learn on my own; to know how to manage my own schedule at home. So freelancing was a great way for me to start with that to just understand the basic stuff behind managing your own business without necessarily having the component of building and finding clients because I was mostly using platforms to get clients.

But I still wanted to learn a few things: learn taxes and how to manage my own finances. And eventually, when I learned all of these different things and I was comfortable in doing so, I started looking into what I actually wanted to do which led me to start this skincare line and eventually moving to a travel agency.

I really wanted to make sure to know how to manage my finances, how to manage my time, my energy, know how to manage projects and clients before I add more things that come with entrepreneurship – if that makes sense. 

Debbie:

We definitely all make that realization when we go into this; that there’s so much more than just starting a business and there’s a lot of things that are in the back end that you didn’t anticipate.

Pascale:

Yeah.

Debbie:

You talked a little bit about finances, how much did you actually save before setting off to travel the world and be location independent and how were you able to budget to make your income last?

Pascale:

Well, I would say that my plan was more to be able to travel while I would be working as well. So I didn’t necessarily save up which wasn’t necessarily a good idea. 

Looking back, I would say try and see how you can put between six months to a year of savings, just the basic things, to be able to give yourself a bit of breathing room while you build a business because it can have a lot of pressure.

And when you have this financial pressure you don’t always make the right decisions in terms of business and it can add a lot of stress and a lot of pressure to succeed in reaching certain financial goes really fast. When you work from that place, like I said, it can be very easy to take the wrong decisions and to kind of drain yourself and burn yourself out. 

So having that six months may be of savings aside is, I think, enough to just help you make it a bit more manageable.

Debbie:

What were some of the things that really helped you make this transition and to make your business work? Because it is a lot of struggle in figuring out and I know that you tried a few different things before you finally settled on something.

What were you doing to finally realize or to do something that actually stuck? 

Pascale:

Yeah, that’s a great question. I think that by pivoting my business a few times, I eventually realized that it wasn’t so much you know; the knowledge about business or marketing or certain things like that that was really important but more of the mindset behind it and some important skills that I needed to learn in order to be able to have a sustainable business and to also feel like a healthy entrepreneur.

Because it can be really easy to kind of want to chase tactics and strategies and learn more and more and more about certain subjects in business. But the more you do it, the more you realize it’s not so much about that but it’s way more about the way you approach it and your mindset around the business. 

Debbie:

Well, we all have that “what now” moment, Pascale,l after we leave are either at or 9-to-5 or a regular life as we all think about it. What was yours like? What was your “what now” moment after you finally took those steps to travel the world? 

Pascale:

What do you mean? Sorry.

Debbie:

We all have that “what now” moment when we realized, “Oh my goodness, I finally left my job. I’m going to do this.” And was there ever a moment where you’re like, “What am I doing? What now?”

Pascale:

So it’s a moment where I kind of feel like, “What am I doing now with everything?”

I quit the job. I’m on my path but what am I doing now?

Debbie:

Yes.

Pascale:

Yes. It happened a few times I would say but I always had this trust that it would work out. I would also say that my parents were both entrepreneurs so I also had this reference for me that just saw that it can work out.

But I think I just build this trust within myself to know that even if I don’t have a plan, even if I don’t know exactly how it unfolds, I know that by trusting that every step that I’m taking with the information that I’m having is going to help me see more clearly what’s the next step after that to be able to make the right decisions.

Debbie:

And once you finally set off, once you started traveling, what has been the biggest setback that you have encountered, even today, that has really stopped you in your tracks and how did you pivot from that? 

Pascale:

So while traveling I would say that it was to just find myself back in a sense because you’re really on your own pretty much and you’re kind of creating a new life for yourself. So it’s kind of unsettling to be traveling full time into, to be on your own, and to have to find a new community and then eventually having to leave that community behind and creating a new one. 

So it’s a lot of goodbyes, it’s a lot of relationships that you create and it helps you see a few things in life and have it in a different light: relationships or a lot of things that you thought they were in a certain way but they’re completely different. And it sheds a different light on what those are. 

Debbie:

And when you are in different places and I know you have to say goodbye to a lot of the people that you care about, so when you’re on the road how do you make sure you create a community? Because it can get really lonely.

Pascale:

Absolutely. I think it’s very important that whenever you know that you’re going to move soon to a place, what I personally do, and it helps me, is to kind of create that relationship before I get there. So either I find some meetup groups or some Facebook groups where I can find a community of ex-pats or nomads wherever I’m going.

There’s a lot of communities out there and they’re usually very open-minded and very welcoming. So I make sure to kind of try to feel that communication and that connection before I get there. And I just put myself out there whenever I get to that place to make sure that I start creating those relationships.

I would say that in my first experience, I didn’t necessarily do that and you kind of expect that you’re going to make friends which you are going to be making friends. But it’s not the same because people there, the locals, are not necessarily looking to make friends, they have their own life. 

And so I think it’s easier to create that connection with people that are just living the same kind of lifestyle which is why I think ex-pats groups or nomads groups are a great way to get to make those connections.

Debbie:

Yeah. It’s really interesting how there are so many ex-pat groups. But I do have to say that taking that extra step to actually learn the people that are from that country and to learn the culture is also really important as well because if you think about it there are a lot of ex-pats but then if we just stay in that group then that’s the only thing we’re going to learn.

And you’d be surprised how many locals are really interested in foreigners and their language and maybe even swap languages – it happens a lot. Personally, whenever I go to a different country and I meet new people, especially in their culture, how welcoming they can be as well. 

So there are definitely so many options for you to have if you want to create a community whether it’s an ex-pat or for people who are in that community or in that culture which is also really important. 

Pascale:

Yeah absolutely. I agree and I would say that most of the friends that I made are locals but I find that it might be in some cases for people that are new to this new lifestyle. It’s an easier transition to kind of start making friends but it’s extremely important to immerse yourself in the culture, learn the language, that that’s really important. 

And start being curious about the culture because you’re traveling for a reason which means that it’s very important to immerse yourself in the culture as well

Debbie:

Yeah. Otherwise, you may as well just stay in your own neighborhood, right?

Pascale:

Exactly.

Debbie:

So since the lockdown all of these things started happening to all of the ex-pats, digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs that kind of put a lot of damper on what’s in your lifestyle right? 

You can’t really travel as much or there’s a lot of restrictions. How has this affected you and your lifestyle? And what have you been doing to kind of go around it? Because we get really itchy when you’re in this type of place in your life where you constantly want to travel and meet new people and go to different places. It really stops you. 

So what have you been doing? Is there anything that you’ve been doing that has changed and how did you pivot? 

Pascale:

Yeah, it was really tricky. I actually was about to move to Bali the night before. I canceled my flight because of COVID. So I had packed up everything, I was gonna change the license plate of my car and rented my own space in Montreal. I was getting ready to move across the globe and I decided to just cancel everything because at that time it didn’t really look good. And I’m glad I did.

It was a tricky year on my end because I had rented my own place and I had to move around in my own city. But eventually, I got back to my own place and what I’m doing now is I’m kind of preparing the space to be super AirBnB-friendly in the hopes of traveling again pretty soon. That’s another kind of passive income stream if you will.

So I’m kind of focusing my energy on making that space super friendly for people that are traveling to Montreal. So that when I’m ready to move again then I have this space ready for it.

But I would say that I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer traveling around my own province here which I hadn’t done before and that’s pretty crazy. A lot of people that I talked to, we kind of go everywhere in the world.

We travel the world but we don’t know a lot about our own country, our own providence, or our own local community. So I spent a lot of time this summer going around and I was quite surprised by the landscapes that we have here.

I’ve been spending a lot of a great time outdoors just doing hiking and things like that just to get over the fact that I couldn’t really travel off my mind. It’s been quite tricky. How about you?

Debbie:

Yeah. I mean, I have been doing the same things. I think I’ve really been super appreciative of just what I can do locally and around the neighborhood. I mean, I love just hiking and going to new places around the area. So that has really been what I’ve been doing. 

It’s really great when we find gems that are a few hours from us and I think we do underestimate what’s really around us because we’re always looking to go as far as we can. But now that we don’t have as much choice, we have to kind of think outside of the box and really see what’s close to us which is nice. It’s really nice to do that.

It’s really great to be able to see so many things locally and even though there’s a lockdown and we can’t really go too far, I’ve been really having fun just trying to see new local gems as they say.

Pascale:

Yeah, absolutely.

And the great thing about being a full-time traveler is that you create those relationships with people all over the world. So I’ve also been spending time being on Skype with people all over the world and it kind of made me travel in some way.

Debbie:

When you are working on the go, when you are talking to your clients online, how have you been able to make that work? Because a lot of online entrepreneurs still have a hard time getting it around their heads; how can they make sure that their communication with their clients is really efficient and effective.

Are there some tips that you can give us to make it work? 

Pascale:

Yeah, absolutely.

Well, communication is really, really important. And I think that there are so many different tools that you can implement in your business to make sure that you create that strong relationship. Because when you don’t have this in-person connection you have to make sure that you build that strong bond with them. 

So I would say it depends on the type of business that you have but it’s really important to have maybe that space to have. A weekly status, for example, where you just jump on a 20-minute call every Monday at a certain time just to make sure that the client is reassured in some way.

I remember back then when I was freelancing, I was wondering if my client felt reassured that I was actually working which I was but how it can be. And I think just implementing those weekly statuses or maybe it’s just an email at the end of the day to let them know where you’re at with the project and what needs to be done the next day.

It depends on the business that you have but just having those checking points to make sure that you both know where you’re at on the project, what needs to be done, what’s the role of each person, and having those touchpoints is really, really important. 

Debbie:

Yeah. I think that is the key to all of this is making sure that you’re communicating where you are at the project because that’s one of the biggest things that I hate when either it’s a client or someone that I’m working with just doesn’t communicate or doesn’t answer when you email them or messaged them – that’s a big no-no. 

So you definitely need to keep up with the communication when you’re working with somebody that you can’t see face to face. 

Pascale:

Yeah, exactly. And you’re a business owner so you have to own the project and kind of create some tools for both you and the client to know where each one is at with the project and know what you should expect and when to do it so that you’re on the same page. Creating those tools is a really great way to do so.

Debbie:

What are some of the best resources that you’ve used, Pascale, that has helped you make your business more efficient? 

Pascale:

It’s going to be weird as an answer but it’s nothing that is related to business. I would say what has helped me the most is mindset work, inner child work, a lot of work around limiting beliefs. 

I took some courses, I had a spiritual teacher for a couple of months that really helped me just overcome a few beliefs that I had about myself and about what’s possible for me in business and kind of unlock that to be able to take the right action steps. 

Because sometimes we can prevent ourselves from creating certain results in our businesses because we’re not taking the right action steps. And we’re not doing so because we believe certain beliefs about ourselves. 

So I would say that what has helped me the most is really mindset work, inner child work, things like that, and not so much business. 

Debbie:

We are our own worst enemy and everything that we tell ourselves in our head is actually worse than what most people are talking about us. 

Pascale:

Absolutely.

Debbie:

That is something that we all need to do especially during these times. So I can go with that, Pascale. 

Let’s fast forward to 50 years from now and you’re looking back at your life, what legacy would you like to leave and what do you want to be remembered for? 

Pascale:

Such a great question. I think I want to be remembered for someone who helped creative minds really be able to spend time creating. 

And what I mean by that is that I see a lot of creative entrepreneurs out there struggling with business stuff and thinking that they cannot succeed, they cannot make money and make the impact that they want to make because they are in creative fields which I think is not true. 

And so part of my work is to help those creative minds be able to manage their business in a very, very simple way and really focus on what’s essential so that they can create that space to be creative and do the work that they wanted to. 

That’s a big part of the work that I’m doing and I want to be able to change perspectives on a few topics about business and about the traditional way of living. 

Yeah, that’s mostly what I want to do. How about you?

Debbie:

That’s a great way to do it, right? 

I feel like, with me, I’m always changing every year. There’s always something new that I want to make an impact in but really the one thing that never changes is just to help as many people as I can to create a freedom lifestyle.

Pascale:

I feel the same. 

I feel like our “how” changes a lot but when we’re really clear on why we’re doing it and what is the big goal we’re trying to reach then the different ways of doing it can change.  

Creativity is a huge value of mine. And so I want to make more space for it. But I think, like you said, the way I do it is going to change a few times.

Debbie:

Yeah. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I think we become different as we get older, our priorities shift but for the most part, most of us, most entrepreneurs just want to help other people. 

It’s still the same but, like you said, the way we do it can become different. That’s not bad because you’re learning as you go and sometimes you realize what you want to do and what you don’t want to do in the process. 

Pascale:

Yeah. And I think if you get too attached to how it looks like or how you do it, eventually it can prevent you from actually doing what you’re supposed to do – if that makes sense. 

Debbie:

Absolutely. It definitely makes a lot of sense and that’s why I think we beat ourselves up when we don’t see the exact results that we want. But at the end of the day, I think it’s more of enjoying your process and how you’re getting there and learning from it. That’s really the most important. 

Pascale:

I agree .100%.

Debbie:

So when you are trying to figure out where you’re going to settle, how do you find the right place? Because there are so many spots in the world even now, even if you can’t leave Canada yet, there’s still a lot of places that you can go to in your country, right?

How do you make sure that you find the right place? Is there a checklist that you have for each of the places that you go to that they need to have otherwise you don’t go? 

Pascale:

That’s a great question. I would say that I can be a bit of a different digital nomad. I’m more of a slow traveler and I really make sure to kind of follow the energy I’m in. So I don’t know if this is too whoop for now but I kind of make sure that I am really intentional about the energy that I want to bring into the next, let’s, say 3 to 6 months.

So let’s say I’m working on something. I’m working on creating a course and I need to be very focused, I need to be surrounded by a bit more peace and calm, and something that’s more inspiring. Then I think those criteria become very important: the choice of city or the choice of a country that I make. 

But it’s not necessarily the same criteria every time. It really depends on what type of energy I’m in and what’s the goal I’m trying to reach because if, let’s say, I want to write a book and I need to be super focused and I want to be very peaceful then going into a very noisy city might not be the right choice even if it’s a super active and creative city. 

So I just make sure that my intention for the next 6 months aligns with the qualities of the place that I’m going to choose.

Debbie:

And I think going back to you’re changing constantly. So whatever you’re feeling like at that time is really going to push you in the direction that you need to go. 

And that’s a really great way to do it because you’re trusting your instincts, you’re trusting yourself. And, again, you don’t have a set schedule and that’s really what I love about this lifestyle is we have the freedom to do that. 

Pascale:

Yeah. It’s a big part of why I chose to do that. I didn’t really see how it would make sense to be always the same person with the same level of energy everyday in a 9 to 5 job. And I wanted to make sure that I could kind of work around my own productivity schedule which might not be 9 to 5. 

And so I apply the same logic to traveling and making sure that I choose the right setting for the intention or the cool that I’m trying to reach.

Debbie:

And it doesn’t get boring when you do it like that.

Pascale:

Yes, exactly.

It’s always a surprise.

Debbie:

Because sometimes when you have a checklist of things, you end up in similar places in a lot of ways. Similar people go there so when you kind of switch it up, you’re not going to have the same experiences which are nice. 

Pascale:

Yeah. And when you have this traveler’s mind, you are all about being very open-minded and being all about exploring, discovering, and trying new things out. 

So if you always go to the same places with the same criterion then it’s not really traveling at some point. 

Debbie:

Yeah, that’s true. Like I said, you may as well just stay home. 

Pascale:

Exactly.

Debbie:

So what are you working on currently that is really exciting to you?

Pascale:

I have just launched a new course which I’m really excited about and I’ve been wanting to launch this course for a little while. 

I used to just offer one-on-one remote coaching but now, I have this new course. I’m super excited about it and I’ve spent the whole summer on it which was kind of a great thing that I didn’t travel a lot because I could really focus on launching this course. I’m super excited about it. 

And yeah, I’ve been working a lot on this course so now I’m just excited and I’m in the launch process. So it’s really cool.

Debbie:

That’s exciting.

If our listeners want to know more about you, where can they find you? And of course, when you launch your new course, where should they go? 

Pascale:

Of course. Well, they can find more information about my remote coaching on ChangeYourLatitude.co I also have a podcast, the name is also Change Your Latitude

And the course that I’m about to launch is called Insight and Impact. It’s a course on market research and it also has private remote coaching components. So I really walk you step-by-step with the market research process and I make sure that you implement everything you’re learning through that process in your business. 

You can also find me on Instagram at @pascalecote  but I’m sure you’ll leave the links in the show notes with my French name.

Debbie:

Yes, absolutely. I can’t wait to look at all of that. And also make sure you all go to TheOffbeatLife.com because we’re going to have the extended interview with Pascale ‘cause she’s going to talk about the importance of market research when you guys are building your own online business. So that’s going to be really exciting. 

Thank you so much, Pascale, for being here with us today. I am so happy that you were able to share your journey with us. We really appreciate it. 

Pascale:

Thanks so much for having me.

GET THE EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH PASCALE WHERE SHE SHARES THE IMPORTANCE OF MARKET RESEARCH WHEN STARTING AN ONLINE BUSINESS.


Show Credits:

Audio Engineer: Ben Smith


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