*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The Outsiders Business Incubator – A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5
Reimagining Success Podcast
Yes. Don’t worry, it’s still me. It’s Anna. I’m here. But I’m celebrating because you heard it right? We are on to Episode 200. We did it, which is very exciting in many ways, who knew that I would keep going for so long? And I think the resilience and persistence that I so often talk about is a success in itself. Because so many podcast starters, podcast hosts, start enthusiastically and then don’t stick to it. So I am nothing except persistent with my episodes. And I, of course, need to thank everybody who’s helped me over the years, whether by contributing questions or editing, or giving me ideas, or of course, listening. So a massive thank you to you, in my community, whether this is your first episode, hopefully the first of many, or you’ve been listening since the very beginning, or you’ve been discovering me recently, and going back into the backlog and digging into past episodes, whatever the case, thank you so much. I’m really glad that you found me. And I hope you continue to find value in the episodes now if you do, I have to put out a quick request here.
If you do love it, if you do find value in the episodes, I would be so grateful if you could take a moment, maybe now on your phone right away to leave a rating and a review.
You can certainly do it on Apple podcast, I think you can also leave a rating on Spotify now, possibly Google, you know your platform better than I do. But it’s obviously really meaningful to me, first of all, because I know that there are people out there listening and valuing what I do. Secondly, of course, it helps me in rankings. And you know, it shouldn’t matter. But it is fun to have a look at dancing around and the charts of getting into the top 100 UK entrepreneurship podcast. And of course, finally most important, perhaps, it helps other people like you find the podcast and hopefully get value to so I don’t have a huge amount of reviews. So each one really makes such a difference. As with any small business owner, you know, these reviews and testimonials are so valuable. So I’d really, really appreciate that. Now, I did ask in my escaping the nine to five Facebook group for ideas. We’re celebrating this episode, and I had some really good thoughtful answers. So thank you so much to you, too, Chris, and Zambia, in particular, for your ideas. And I can only hope to live up to the expectations you set to me. Unfortunately, I won’t do exactly what you suggested, mostly in the interest of time and trying to get this episode out. But I will continue to think about your suggestions and see how I can incorporate more of that, in particular, possibly bringing other people on to talk about how I’ve helped them. And how that story can teach others of course, what they can do in escaping their nine to five as well. So watch this space or either listen to this piece. But I did want to look back to when I started because this podcast 200 episodes ago started in December 2018. Now 2018 was a very big year for me, it ended up being and it started out being a bit precarious. But it ended up being a successful big year in the sense that I launched my first group program. So what is now the business incubator, the outsiders business incubator started out, I think I called it the one step outside the nine to five program. I’ve been doing one to one coaching for three years or so. And I had found the patterns, developed steps and frameworks that I felt would really support people leaving a nine to five in a group format.
So of course, a massive thank you to those people who trusted me and being part of the first cohort.
And that program still exists today. And we’ll talk about that a bit later. But that was the first thing. So I don’t know that in February 2018. I then launched my book, I was going to say my first book, it was my first book for one step outside at least leaving a corporate nine to five in October 2018. And then finally that another trumpet call launched this podcast in December 2018. So my goal was to get it launched that year. And of course, who just about managed it by the end of the year. Now, a few more stats. I haven’t spent too long going into this but a few metrics, which are quite interesting to look at. And you tell me if they’re impressive or not, I’m certainly proud of what I’ve achieved and of course, ever ambitious to grow and improve even more. Listen notes as a platform as a free platform that ranks podcasts are publicly we can dig into. According to that platform. I’m in the top 5% most popular podcasts globally again, given that so many people just start and stop and several of the podcasts I used to listen to disappeared from the face of the earth. But there are almost 3 million podcasts globally. If they’re counting all of them, I guess. So being in the top 5% Feels pretty good. Coming up to 30,000 downloads. It sounds like a lot it also I don’t know sounds like not so much but looking at the the graph over the past months and years. It’s really I don’t want to say exponentially growing. But certainly it’s taking off, shall we say the momentum is building everything that people say and if you’re thinking of launching a podcast, you know, I hope I don’t put you off by saying it really can take years to get the momentum building and of course getting people sharing Besides listening, downloading, subscribing, reviewing and so on, is not as easy as you might at first think if you ever thought it was easy, but certainly 30,000 downloads feels pretty amazing. I’ve also guested another podcast, I mean, at least 50 Or so I haven’t been doing it so much recently, but certainly something I do more obviously, if you are launching a podcast, you know, of course, if you think I can add value, I’d be happy to support you in your new endeavor as well.
Now digging into a few other stats, because again, I don’t look at huge amounts of metrics.
Of course, we track key numbers in the business every week, every month. But I’ve seen I think I’m right in saying after a quick check that I’ve had over 150,000 website visitors 400 books sold. Again, it sounds both high and low, you know, I haven’t been promoting it a huge amount. It is selling a few copies every month globally without any promotion, which is pretty good. And of course, I have plans to write other books. And my recommendation is always as I learned myself that if we write several books, of course that then layers on it builds momentum again, and and what’s the word compound interest? I was going to say? Probably not the right answer Mathematically, the right concept. And certainly having a few books selling of each book every month becomes a nice residual passive income. So over 400 books sold, and 13,000 pages read on Kindle. So again, you know, people aren’t maybe reading back to back, but that’s still a pretty nice little number.
Now, for me personally, and perhaps most meaningfully, and apologies for indulging in this, but I think it is relevant, given the whole point of designing this business around your life and so on.
I quit my job, as you will have heard me say many times, if you have been listening for a while, in 2013, I took a sabbatical to travel across South America. It was May June, July halfway through that I called up HR and handed in my notice. And then I came back to Geneva I had a month or so of sort of living out my notice. But it was mostly coffees with people not sure why I still came into the office, it was sort of more for show than anything else, because my work could already be handed over to someone else while I was gone. And then I continued to travel quite a bit in the coming months, February 2014. I almost took a job I was down to the final two for a head of I want to say head of marketing, but I think had a digital marketing role in a chocolate company. And I thought no, no, this is not what I want. And so I incorporated my company, I think it was 12 pounds at Companies House here in the UK. crocus communications was the name at the time, it’s my digital marketing consultancy. And for the first couple of years, I worked with bigger companies mostly although trying to break into the entrepreneurship startup space, I did lots of mentoring with Virgin startups with seed camp and incubator, and on platforms like Upwork, and so on, which are great for freelancers to get started. I also worked with Burberry and some of the big luxury companies as well. In between that I had an incredible time traveling well world, Malaysia, America, Australia, etc. And but I felt like it wasn’t quite giving me that freedom of flexibility that I had wanted. When I quit my job, I was still tied to the same kinds of companies and culture, and commute and so on. So I kind of quit that as well. That’s when I discovered coaching, as I naively thought I could just take my laptop on the road and be a blogger or whatever I thought at the time, fully virtually consulting. I did a an ICF accredited coach training, which I think was supposed to be two years and I did it in six months. Because I was such a keen being I did my final oral exams at three o’clock in the morning, because I was in Hawaii at the time, which of course is not on anyone’s timezone. But it was pretty fun to be there. I was in San Francisco and then Hawaii. And I then founded one step outside as a worker. So the formal company was crocus communications, but I had morphed it into my coaching, business and focused on that. So that was 2015. So again, that’s seven years ago, even that, and initially for me, it was about that freedom after the years in the corporate world.
It was about being able to travel it was really the most incredible years I had then with family, being able to plan my life and so on around being you know, seeing my niece and nephew, traveling, road tripping and my art which is amazing, spending more time and even living with my parents at some point which was so I’m so grateful for.
First of all, but so meaningful, of course, when when your parents aren’t getting any younger, and it’s really precious time to spend with with family, and so many other fun things, right. Let’s not get into the detail of what I was up to, but it was a really good time. Let’s just put it that way adventure and family and friends and all sorts. So that was incredible. I then as the story goes, fell in love with an Englishman settled back down into London, which I was able to do because his job was a nine to five and the city or rather and so he had an amazing location there at the office. And because I was location independent, I was able to work flexibly. I fell into more of a nine to five routine then Monday to Friday, because those were the hours he was working. However, where he to quit his nine to five? It won’t surprise you to hear in detail. What year could that have been? Hmm, I want to say what year are we now everything morphs into one, I will say 2019 I think it was the autumn of 2019. So pre pandemic, and we had some thoughts, you know, throw it out there, we were thinking to kind of escape the Chateau scenario of going to Portugal or France or something like that. I had visions of doing life coaching workshops while he did up the house, and so on. Or the rather the Chateau not the house darling. But that didn’t happen. And obviously, fortunately, perhaps we didn’t buy a big castle in France, because then COVID happened. In conjunction with that we spent, of course more time with family and so on a lockdown. We also along the way, had two children. So Sophia was born in 2019. And Zach in the end of 2020. So two young kids, it used to be two young kids under two not anymore because the fear is three and Zach is almost two. But that, of course, changed my life a little bit. And we’ve also taken the opportunity to move out of London as many did in conjunction with a pandemic, but also of course, with younger kids and so on, to move down to doorsets. If you don’t know British geography, Poole, Bournemouth, Dorset, it’s on the south coast, we’re actually classed as southwest England. I’ve just been to London for two hours train into London Waterloo, so not bad at all. And of course, again, the business has allowed me initially to do that digital nomad thing, then to live in London, and now to work flexibly around my children.
So that’s my own personal journey.
Obviously, in a nutshell, it’s not as simple as it sounds. But it just goes to show how long that experience can be initially falling into that kind of consulting, which, you know, was something I could do, and many people latch on to something they can do wasn’t necessarily what I wanted to do long term, but it was a great step in the right direction, gave me confidence gave me money, he gave me connections and, and the opportunity to travel and so on. Right. So that was amazing. I’ve since then. And of course, when I first started the coaching business to, again, maybe like many of you, if you’re right at the beginning, I was overwhelmed and immersed in all these free courses and PDF downloads and videos and webinars and all sorts and I guess ultimately discovered podcasts, we wouldn’t be here now. And but all these different things about lead magnets, and email sequences and formulas, and so on. I’ve worked with different coaches, of course, you know, free peer coaches, with my coaching program, gradually beginning to rest in my own working with, you know, investing really quite significant amounts in a business coach, and then, you know, finding masterminds and groups and whatever, as well as, of course, running my own. And that’s been really meaningful and effective in helping me develop the business. And what’s really nice the last couple of years is I feel really, at peace, I guess is one way to put it one way to put it, I have really been able to stop getting distracted by that shiny object syndrome, which is so tempting always to think, oh, I should be doing this, I should be doing that. Of course, I still have plenty of ideas. But I’m super focused, just like actually, which is quite nice, coming full circle to that year in 2018. I want to launch my group program, the book and the podcast, that it’s that kind of focus and determination that helps you achieve those bigger goals, right eating the frog, the big, the big rock, whatever you want to call it. And I feel like that’s what I have now. So last year 2021 I spent a lot of money. While I was while I finally invested in a web agency to design and develop wants to buy fi.com as well as my personal brand or corporate facing website, Anna lundberg.com. That was huge. I worked with a graphic designer in parallel and in preparation for that to rebrand because I had the logo and I’ve kept the logo, the dreamcatcher one step outside logo I love.
But I really wanted to elevate and I’ve been doing everything myself, I’d been using someone on Fiverr, which is a great platform when you’re starting out. But I really wanted to elevate that I didn’t have very many photos, my sister told me it was getting boring the few photos I had.
Initially when I quit my job, I got three little profile pictures, and I think only ever use two of them from a photoshoot. I then worked with them a lovely Spanish girl in London who spent an hour with me and took you know, 50 pictures with three different outfits. But even those got a bit older after a while. And so last year, I worked with a new photographer, we had a full day together and we got all the beautiful photos that you now see on the website and my social that’s 500 shots or so you know me on my phone, me and my computer outside and so on. So that gives me much more content to focus on. So anyway, last year was really an investment year.
I’m going to be honest, this year is really cutting down on expenses, and above all really focusing on growing the business.
So it’s been a lot of consolidation last year to some extent was taking a step back and I’m now reminding myself of what matters in the business and really focusing relatively single mindedly because of course, I always have lots of interesting ideas, but relatively single mindedly on it What that is so before getting, I guess to what’s next what we’re focusing on, I did want to touch briefly. And I’m seeing already that I’ve babbled on for quite some time, so won’t be able to get into too much of this, unless we want to make this episode of Super Double whammy. But of course, it’s impossible not to mention the pandemic, because that has had a huge effect on working patterns on motivations on the world and economy as a whole. And again, I won’t get into recession and those types of topics, although of course, it’s something that we might be considering. But it’s a really interesting one, when it first came about Spring, Summer 2020, I of course, created content that was very relevant. So if I remember correctly, there was the content around when to pivot, you know how to bring your offline business online, how to be resilient, and so on. I was on podcast talking about that resilience piece, and how to how to manage this. And of course, at the time, we thought it was a bit of a temporary blip, and it lasted much longer, unfortunately, than we thought it would. And but I created that content. Now, for me, knock on wood, I guess I can say that now, it didn’t really impact me. I mean, arguably, with a great resignation that I’ve talked about, and I’ve more recently had on the podcast as well, this big exodus of people leaving their corporate jobs, I should have had maybe an influx of a huge flow of clients. And that hasn’t happened either. So perhaps I haven’t done enough of a job to capitalize on that. So in a way, my company is just my business is just kind of plodding along, over the last couple of years, partly from my own limitations, because I’ve only worked a couple of days a week, I’ve had the kids. And so I will allow myself some grace and compassion for that, and perhaps haven’t quite been honest enough to throw myself into these debates and discussions and be super proactive. And that’s fine, because that’s not my season, as one of my coach colleagues and friends told me years ago, which I still hold on to, you know, the time when you have your teeny tiny kids is not most likely going to be the time when you have the peak in your career. Now, it might be you might think of someone who has the highest career success as they pop out their babies. But that’s not the case, for me. And I’ve really valued that slower pace. So although I can now look back maybe with some kind of, I don’t want to say sadness or regret. But I suppose I reflect on the fact that I could be should be further along in the business, but I’ve lived the life that I want to live. And I’ve not been totally stressed out and burnt out and having migraines and so on, I’ve been able to be present with the kids, with family and so on. And I’ve kept the business ticking along. And that’s been really key. So what is interesting, of course, is that there is this bigger awakening that is completely irrelevant and reinforces the messaging that I’ve had for years around escaping the nine to five companies have been forced into allowing more flexibility. And workers have had that freedom. Now, of course, there have been challenges with homeschooling and productivity at home. And the technology has struggled perhaps initially to keep up and schools as well, you know, having to turn all their in person teaching into online courses and using zoom and teams and whatever else that’s been a learning curve. And it’s not been easy. But I like to think and certainly that’s what the data shows that people have and anecdotes as well, right? Anecdotally people have opened their eyes to the value, the sort of a bit tempers nuclides for me, of spending more time with your family of not commuting in and out right at the office. And funnily enough, just this week, I’ve seen two or three men coincidentally, post before and after pictures of pre and post the commute and how much better they are now because they’re, I guess sleeping better. They’re exercising, making that a priority every day eating better. So and because they’re not commuting and all stressed out. So that’s hugely valuable, if that’s the case, if we’re able to prioritize our well being and so on. Now, of course, you’ve got the Elon Musk’s and the Boris Johnson’s who are now contrary, will be gone soon, who say you’re just wasting time at home and not working on and so on. And in fact, again, I won’t get into that too much. I really got quite triggered by some post on LinkedIn where they said what balance is not possible for anyone who wants to achieve any kind of success, which I wholly disagree with. And but otherwise, there is a general trend towards this hybrid working REITs working more flexibly offering hopefully more part time role roles for women in particular, coming back from maternity leave. And of course we have the four day workweek experiments happening as well. Now I at the moment of recording at least and working a three day workweek. So I have full belief and understanding and the concept of a four day workweek, certainly, obviously, it requires a rethink of the culture and your working practices and how effectively you run meetings and emails and perhaps spend more time on developing processes and training your teams on productivity and time management. But also, there’s a huge element of trust, and focusing on results rather than hours clocked in and so on. Right? So there’s some really interesting developments. And I’m getting much more engaged on these topics on things like LinkedIn, and my blog posts and my monthly newsletter on LinkedIn, and so on, and also having those conversations with companies, which might seem odd, given my message of escaping the nine to five, but really, there’s that broader idea of moving away from the nine to five, right. And that’s really interesting. So without getting into a whole analysis of this, obviously, there are movements happening, there is a shift happening in society, and I can only welcome those discussions that are happening, and hope that we’ll continue to have them. I am a big believer in the value of working for yourself, first of all, but more broadly and more. I was gonna say, generously, I suppose for people who don’t necessarily want to start up on their own, I really hope and believe that there will be more and more opportunities to create that flexibility, even within a more traditional working environment, right. So there are companies like Airbnb, and so on, which you know, there’s a perfect fit there, which allow you to work from anywhere. And that’s hugely valuable. So hopefully, the workforce will if not to move out of their jobs. And they will move towards companies that need that value that trust their employees, and that allow you to focus on those different things, right, because for me, the point is not to quit your job.
The point is, of course, to redefine success, to put what matters first to have that work life integration.
So to wrap things up, what’s next for me if you’d like to know nothing too crazy. I mentioned, of course, at the beginning, my first group program, the business incubator, I really pressed pause on that the last year or so especially after maternity, and really wound down on it, because I felt I didn’t have the capacity for groups, I’ve been really leaning into my one to one. But I was reminded by a number of things, including past clients and a new prospects of the value of this program. And so I’m really putting a lot of energy and have been putting energy and effort into resuscitating this, I suppose, wasn’t dead, but it was sleeping, and bringing it back with more one to one support more structure. And updated content. Because of course, I’ve learned so much since 2018. Work with so many other people. And my thinking has evolved. So there are new frameworks and new structures and a much more robust framework, I suppose. So I’m really excited about this. Because, you know, I’ve loved and I’ve really had great results from clients working through this program in the past, but now it can only get better, really with a new focus and new learnings and so on moving forwards. So that’s the business incubator, of course, if you’re interested in looking at that, you can go to one step outside.com, forward slash nine to five, the number nine to five, or you can message me on your favorite social platform, and we can chat about it because it’s really exciting. And I really think it is the core of what I’m trying to do here and helping you design and build that life outside the nine to five.
Now speaking about cyber nine to five, I have finally, I am in the midst of at least writing the next book, The follow up as it were to leaving the corporate nine to five. So that was sharing stories of 50 people who quit their nine to five and at the time also, because I was quite fresh from my quitting, although still, it’s been quite some years. That was all around the moment of quitting your job. And quite a few of those people have, of course, evolved their business and or even returned to a nine to five, in fact, so that’s quite interesting, as my business has matured, and I’ve been outside the nine to five for longer, and I’ve worked with other clients, and I’m sort of elevating what I’m doing, I’d become more interested in how to sustain that escape. So really looking at now what I call the five pillars of building that life outside the nine to five, which is really getting clear on your vision, your definition of success, cultivating the confidence and resilience to deal with those inevitable ups and downs, especially as the business progresses. And as you come across new challenges, choosing the right business model in the first place and of course tweaking and evolving that as you go building your personal brand to attract the right clients and opportunities to you. And of course finally designing that flexible work life integration that will support your vision and really anchor your strategies in the day to day. So that’s the book is based around those five pillars and that’s coming soon. Now if you do want to get on the waitlist, then you can email me podcast at one stop also.com Just say waitlist perhaps that’s good word waitlist podcast at one stepaside.com and I’ll be sure to ping your note to let you know when that’s coming. So hopefully very soon. I’ll give myself accountability of a concrete deadline sooner rather than later. And then apart from that, as you may know, if you’ve listened to me before I’m focusing on getting more already growing the community reaching more people getting in front of new audiences. So pitching myself to publications, I’ve had quite a few articles published this year and last year in physical magazines, which is exciting, of course, workshops that I continue to do in the online space with individuals. But also, as I hinted, they’re more at companies as well in terms of helping them redefine success and get that work life integration, and possibly more face to face as well, which is odd for me to say, given my, the huge value I put on flexibility and being able to be at home and so on. But I certainly have a little bit of itchy feet when it comes to going out and meeting people in person. So let’s see what we might create that whether there’s in person workshops to be done, that I can invite you to, to come down to the beautiful south coast of England, if that’s possible, or joining other companies and organizations to speak and do workshops there as well. So I will leave it there because it’s already a longer episode than usual. But coming back full circle, I want to say a massive thank you for following me for listening. Do please leave a rating or review. And of course, you can give me feedback too, if you want to email me at podcast at one stepaside.com for any new things you’d like to hear on the podcast, any other questions, suggestions. And of course, when you’re ready, I’d love for you to get in touch and see how we can work together. But in the meantime, happy 200 here. So the next 200 sounds exhausting. Let’s see how that goes. But certainly, it’s the next few. And for now at least I have no plans to stop anytime soon. So thank you again so much for coming along for the journey of reimagining success, then I’ll see you next week. Bye for now
WORK WITH ANNA
Let us help you design a business and a life that gives you freedom from the 9 to 5. There are several options for how you can work with us. Choose the programme that’s right for you.
The Outsiders Business Incubator
A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business. onestepoutside.com/9to5
The Outsiders Business Accelerator
An ongoing mastermind for service-based business owners, freelancers and online entrepreneurs who are ready to achieve success on their own terms. onestepoutside.com/accelerate
The Outsiders Business Academy
A self-paced course for you to work through in your own time, to learn – and implement – the foundations of building a profitable business that lets you escape the 9 to 5. onestepoutside.com/course
1:1 Coaching & Mentoring
If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching
The Outsiders Business Incubator
A year-long business incubator for experienced corporate professionals who want to translate their skills and passions into a profitable and fulfilling business.