jump to navigation

How to live a remarkable life May 25, 2018

Posted by nicholas gill in advertising, agency life, career, digital nomad, freelance, office life, remote working, social media, Uncategorized.
add a comment

TOT.001

This is Thalassa. Thalassa is happy. Not just because of the Tony’s Chocolonely in her hand. Because she’s engineered a way to make her work fit her life goals. Just look at her and how happy she is.

She always had a dream to live and work in Barcelona, a city she feels is home rather than her native Netherlands. (Apart from Tony’s Chocolonely which elicits the reaction you see in the photo). But life gets in the way… rent or mortgage… relationships… career… and then your goals become dreams… and then the dreams become unattainable because of the shackles of the life you created because of societal norms.

What would happen if you really focussed on making those dreams and goals happen?

Well, Thalassa is the result.

Although kick-started by a relationship ending, it gave her the momentum to make the change. She set out to start breaking the ties from needing to be present in an office to do her job. How could she take her skills and abilities and make them attractive to people to pay her money? How could she help people overcome the need for someone to be physically present? Partly she’s helped here by a shift toward more remote-working and organisations seeing the benefits of both giving more autonomy to people to work in a way that suits them best alongside an uptick in outsourcing to trusted partners rather than off-shoring for cost efficiency alone.

So she set out a plan to generate clients and to also create a passive income plan based on her experience to support or supplement as required. This wasn’t easy. Part of what you don’t see on the surface too is the investment in networking and talking to others in her situation, providing as much assistance as receiving.

And then the time came when she was confident enough to cut the ties, book the one-way ticket and move. She doesn’t have an office but uses the local co-working space in Barcelona which is hugely impressive, vibrant and is right next door the marina. A premium setting to work and to meet people. Which is exactly what we did when we went out to see her with our equally wonderful client who we all work with.

And you know why she’s managed to make this a reality? Because she’s damn good at what she does. She always delivers what she says. She’s smart, imaginative, creative and trusted. She’s flexible to work however we want whether that’s via Slack, using the community management tools clients prefer or on the phone. As a result we’ve grown our scope with her and the results and the way of working are just fabulous. What’s better is that she’s enjoying what she does, focussing on projects that also make her happy. Eventually getting to a place where she can pick and choose the projects that she wants to do, not just the ones that pay the bills.

So what’s my version of this? I think this is what I’ve struggled with for some time and why I’m now finally trying to work through this. To look beyond the immediacy. I don’t have the answers yet and I’m going to try and work through it but one thing that feels like it’s going to help me, at least to set the broad parameters, is Debbie Millman’s technique for living a remarkable life.

It’s pretty simple. Write a letter to yourself from the future. Ten years ahead. Write how you want to be, what you’re doing, be as descriptive as possible. And re-visit the letter every year. It’s uncanny how many of her students have realised their dreams using this technique. So I’m going to start here.

Here’s a neat site that summarises this technique and points to the interview with Debbie.

Here’s to a remarkable life… and here’s to Thalassa!

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: