In 2013, I quit my corporate marketing job and REIMAGINED SUCCESS as an independent consultant. I set my own rates, learned a lot about what it takes to work for yourself, and had the opportunity to travel in between contracts.
In 2015, I REIMAGINED SUCCESS by saying “no” to more of those big contracts and instead trained and certified to be a coach, planning a location-independent business as I travelled while working. In 2017, I fell in love with an Englishman who had a 9 to 5 here in the UK, and I REIMAGINED SUCCESS away from travelling the world by myself and started to settle back into London, where we eventually bought a flat together.
And now I’m looking ahead to 2020 and a new year, and a new decade, taking care of a new baby alongside my business.
Reimagining success is not something you do once – you quit your corporate job and then, TADA, that is now success for you. You may pivot and change direction in your business. You may meet *Someone*. You may choose to take another full-time job. You may have a baby (or three)!
Have a listen to this week’s podcast to explore what reimagining success in 2020 could look like for you – and why now is the time to start!
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
The One Step Outside Facebook group – Join us over in the Facebook group to meet like-minded people who are working on reimagining success in their life and business and to get access to direct support and free training sessions from Anna. www.facebook.com/groups/onestepoutside
Get ready for new year
Hello there and welcome to episode 50 of the Reimagining Success Podcast!
I am so excited to have come this far. It’s basically been a weekly episode for almost a year since there are 52 weeks in a year and I started this podcast right at the end of 2019. So starting a podcast was one of my three goals for 2019 and I managed to just about fit in there before the year ended in December.
And I, first of all, want to say a massive thank you to all of you for listening to each of you.
Every single listener is so valuable to me and I’m really honoured that you’ve come along for the ride with me and I really hope that this has been a useful new addition to sort of the One Step Outside ecosystem to be able to listen to the audios. It has evolved since I started. I’d planned some slightly longer episodes as I think I say in the intro and now they’re around sort of 15 minutes. I initially was more or less kind of reading from my notes and my blogs and now I’m going much more freestyle, which you may notice if you’re carefully listening to what I’m saying.
But whatever it is I’m doing, I hope that it’s adding value for you. And as ever as I have been trying to say throughout until now, I’d love to hear your questions, your feedback. Of course if you’re loving it, I would be so, so grateful if you could leave a rating and review on Apple or whatever your podcast app, if you could share with a friend, if you can recommend and keep listening above all, subscribe, if you haven’t already subscribed, to make sure you don’t miss any episodes. And again, let me know if there’s anything specific you want me to cover.
So massive thank you to you for listening and I hope you will continue joining me in the months, years to come. Let’s see what 2020 has in store. In fact, that is what we’re talking about today and beginning to talk about. So beginning to shift gears, looking at getting ready for 2020, because this is not just a new year, it is a new decade. And of course, the whole name of the podcast is Reimagining Success. And I often talk and I do focus on the career part, the business part and so on. But if you did listen to the first couple of episodes and if you’ve been following me for a while, you know that it’s not just about the workpiece, the business piece, the career, the impact and so on.
That’s so important. It’s fulfilment, it’s the stuff that gives you the money that lets you do everything else you want to do in your life, that can help and support your family time and your health, that can [inaudible 00:02:27] absolutely crucial, but it’s just one part of life. And so I really want to begin now over the next few weeks together with you to take a bit of a step back and look at lots of different aspects of success and not just the workpiece and business piece. But of course, don’t worry. That will still be here because I know that’s one of the key concerns for you.
Now I just wanted to share a little bit sort of an insight of the ongoing process of Reimagining Success.
And I know I’ve shared bits and pieces of my story here and there, but I wanted, for those of you who are new especially, and even those of you who know me very well, might not have already sort of noticed the different shifts and pivots I’ve made over the years.
Now, the classic story that I always tell is that I was the good girl.
I followed the conventional conveyor belt path of school, good grades, university, good job and so on. And then in 2013, I quit my corporate marketing job. I’d been there for about seven years at Procter & Gamble, so big multinational corporation, really fantastic. I’d met so many great colleagues. I’d learned so much. It was my first real job after university, but something was not right, I guess. It wasn’t that I hated it. It wasn’t that I had burned out as such. Although I did have a lot of migraines and apparently I did cry at the beginning of the time. I think it was quite a classic thing, unfortunately, for the new people to be quite put under pressure, shall we say, but it was overall a really positive experience.
But there was a disconnect for me because there was… I had never intended to go into marketing into this particular company. I’d wanted to work at the UN. I’d studied development and so on and so on.
Now that’s not what I want to talk to you about today, but I just wanted to talk about that first change I made when I reimagined success. So I quit my corporate marketing job in 2013. I’m sometimes saying 2013 and sometimes 2013. I don’t know what’s the correct one, but sorry if I’m mixing these up. So 2013, I reimagined success away from the traditional corporate marketing job towards being an independent consultant. So you can imagine what that involved. And of course that’s a big piece of what I talk to you about. I set my own rates. I learned a lot. There was a very steep learning curve around what it takes to work for yourself. I again made some fantastic friends and met new colleagues and so on. I went to different corporations and applied what I’d learned, but in a different context. Really fantastic learning opportunities, earning money and really a great way to transition out of the corporate job I had.
Above all, I had the opportunity then to have the flexibility to travel in between contracts.
So that was obviously a massive redefinition of success for me, from being on this linear promotional path within one particular company to being much more in control of my destiny, I suppose in terms of work and being able to choose clients and being able to say, “No, I don’t want to stay longer than three months, six months, nine months,” whatever it was, setting my own rates, leaving the office at the end of the day, whatever that might be.
So reimagined success from corporate marketing job to being an independent consultant. So that was 2013. Now, 2015, I again reimagined success because as much as all this was a massive step in the right direction and a real improvement in terms of that freedom and flexibility from being in a full-time corporate job, I was still very much tied to the clients’ offices. It was still stressful, big sort of corporations, politics, all that stuff. I still had bosses, my goodness me, managers and micromanagement and that kind of thing, and I was still doing the same kind of work in essence.
So I once again reimagined success by saying no to taking more of those big contracts and instead over time, I trained and certified to be a coach while I was travelling. So I took my fledgling business on the road. I really planned to make it completely location independent to write, to coach and so on while I was travelling.
So very big shift there as well away from working with big corporations towards working with startups, entrepreneurs and individuals, away from taking those big contracts to working on much smaller projects and away from being settled in a particular place to actually being on the move continuously. So that was quite a bit of change in terms of the definition of success across different areas of my life really, the way I lived and worked and moved about.
Now that was 2013 leaving my corporate job, 2015 leaving that sort of consulting job. 2017, we went a bit more personal because I fell in love.
I fell in love with an Englishman who had, God forbid, a 9 to 5 right here in the UK. So ironically all my friends laugh at me because I travelled the world and then I ended up falling in love with someone who grew up just around the corner from me here in the UK.
And then, there was another shift for me because on the work level, of course, that meant that I was no longer, although I was still location independent, I gravitated towards London. I wasn’t quite as nomadic as I had been. It didn’t necessarily mean that I was going to take on big corporate clients and so on, but there was the possibilities. And so I was more settled in London to have more face to face opportunities to do some in-person work and so on.
And I of course on a personal level reimagined success away from travelling the world by myself and of course being single, and that’s a massive shift as well, being very single, independent, doing my own thing, and so on. And of course there are pros and cons with each of these scenarios, but that was a massive shift, 2017, 2017. And ultimately last year we actually bought a flat in London together. So, of course, again, a massive shift compared to the dream of being free, having that complete freedom, location independence, no ties, being nomadic, to actually wanting to have that belonging, that anchoring the roots here in London.
And now it’s the end of 2019. I’m looking ahead to 2020, and oh, I should maybe not skip over so quickly what’s happened this year because this year I had a baby.
So I now have my little Sofia. She is coming up to six months as I talk to you now. I don’t need to tell you what’s a massive shift that is in terms of becoming a parent, in terms of the changes to my lifestyle, to how I’m working and really to how I see myself. So I’m reimagining success as a mother alongside, of course now taking care of a new baby with my business as well.
So reimagining success is my point, after all this rumbling, is not something you do once. It’s not that as I thought originally, you quit your corporate job and you go “Ta-da, this is now success. I’ve made the big courageous decision, I’m free. This is it, and this is the business I’m going to do,” because you are going to pivot and change direction in your business. You may meet that special someone and fall in love. You may choose to actually go back and take another full-time job. You may take some part-time work that isn’t quite where you want to do, but you need the money while you build your big dream business. You may have a baby or three. You may divorce. You may change location. You may move. You may settle. You may become nomadic. Who knows?
So as illustrated by my few years just since leaving my job, and that’s the pivot I generally talk about is “Oh, I quit my job,” but that’s not it. That is not all. It’s not just about working out the one solution to all your troubles. You’re burning out. You don’t like you’re working. “I’m going to find this dream business.” Set that up. Ta-da. I’ve reimagined success, and that’s it. I’m going to live the rest of my life happy days with my new definition of success because it’s going to happen continuously.
Now we don’t want to be constantly chopping and changing, because these bigger goals and visions do take time and you want to make sure you’re laying the foundation, taking the steps towards that bigger vision. But in the meantime, there may well be and probably will be lots of shifts along the way. So let’s explore what reimagining success in 2020 could look like for you. Most importantly, I want to talk this week around why now is the right time to start.
So even if you think you’ve done this already, “I’ve done these exercises, I know what success is,” please bear with me. Please just sort of hold on and consider revisiting some of those questions that you’ve looked at in the past.
Now I’ve talked about this many times. In fact, this was one of the big things I came across when I first certified to be a coach around goal setting. I was always a big goal setter, visions and goals. And I looked a lot at new year’s resolutions. And of course we’re coming up to a new year, 1st of January, I’m sure you have, as I have felt full of energy and motivation, you wake up, unless you’re hung over from the night before, let’s forget about that for a second. But you wake up full of a desire to change, to shift, to make all these incredible resolutions, usually superficial things, let’s be honest, that we feel we should do.
So lose weight, go to the gym, need to do this, need to change my job, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And it’s not so surprising then that only, a statistic that’s often thrown around is that only 8% of those resolutions are ever kept. And that’s, by the way, only the people actually set resolutions. The ones who don’t even set a goal don’t keep them at all, of course, because you at least need to set the goal in order to have any chance of achieving them.
So we set the goal, we failed to achieve them, and that happens again and again to the point that we don’t even believe ourselves anymore. We know we’re not going to stick to that. So we haven’t made a real commitment to sort of a false commitment, and we just know that eventually the diet is going to not work anymore. We’re going to stop going to the gym. We’ll get sort of disillusioned or we’ll stop procrastinating about the business or the book we were going to write, or the podcast we were going to start, whatever it is.
So the other thing that can happen is that we say, “Okay, we’re going to start tomorrow.” And now it’s November. So we think, “Okay, well what were the diets? Oh so many parties now, and it’s Christmas and there’s no point in dieting now. I’ll just start again on 1st of January, or oh, I’m so tired today. I’ll have lots of coffee and red bull” whatever it is you have today “and tomorrow I’ll cut down on that, or next year, or when I have this, when I have the next promotion, when my kids are grown up, when I have kids, when I don’t have kids, when the doors have settled, when I’ve moved, when I haven’t moved,” who knows what else, right?
So it’s so easy to say I will do it when. But the best time to start, and I think we all know this deep down is today, is now, and that’s why I always talk about the one step. So rather than postponing this sort of reimagining of success until the 1st of January, let’s already lay the foundation. Let’s get a head start now so you can really hit the ground running when the year starts, knowing that you have already started, you’ve made progress and you know you’ve laid the groundwork.
So just as a few examples, let’s say diet. We can start making small changes now. And in fact, I have just done that as of today. We’ll see how that goes. I’m cutting down because things have got a little bit crazy with Halloween sweets and chocolates and cake making over the last few days and weeks.
So why not start making small changes now instead of having to make drastic changes and cuts in January? We can still indulge then when Christmas comes and new year and parties, but that means that on sort of the ordinary days, we’re not going too overboard.
If it’s a career move you’re thinking about,
why not start reflecting now on what could be next for you so that you give yourself time to explore that rather than postponing it and then being really desperate and making the decision urgent or even reaching burnout or being made redundant and then starting to explore it. It’s too late then. Let’s start reflecting now.
And if it’s your business, let’s start now reviewing results for this year to date, setting goals for new year, taking action, growing the audience, creating content, starting to have conversations with potential clients and so on, rather than have that desperate push when you get to 2020 and you’re suddenly thinking, “Oh my goodness, I need all these clients.” And you then take on work and projects and clients that you don’t actually want to do.
So just some examples there that hopefully illustrate the importance of getting started now. I’m taking this advice tart as well and I’ll be working on this myself over the coming weeks and that is what I’m going to be helping you do at the same time. So a few little pieces coming up just to tease and hopefully invite you along for the journey. So next week, I’m going to be talking about the five pillars of a sustainable escape plan. So this is again coming back to the core escape of escaping the 9 to 5 and so on. But it really is, as you’ll see, very much connected to other areas of your life and that’s very much important to consider in terms of work-life integration and that broader definition of success.
The week after that, end of November, we’ll be running another Escape Plan Workshop. This is the free 9-to-5 Escape Plan which is happening over in the Facebook groups. If you’re not already a member, do join us over there. It’s on One Step Outside on Facebook where you can go to onestepoutside.com/community. Lots of free training sessions there and these workshops are happening every couple of months.
And then as I said for the rest of the year, I’m going to be helping you reimagine success.
So using my Five Ls Model that I’ve talked about again at the beginning of the podcast and it may be a distant memory for you and certainly it’s important to bring it back. So again, looking not just at career and business but holistically at the different areas of your life that matter. So we’ll be looking at LIVE, wellness and wellbeing, LOVE, relationships and romance, LEARN, development and growth, LEAD, career and impact and LAUGH, fun and spontaneity.
So that was a bit of a tease I guess, a bit of an intro to the next few weeks and months as we begin to look at Reimagining Success. But I hope this has given you a bit of a kick up the backside to start now rather than postponing, procrastinating once again, to really work on setting deep and meaningful goals and looking at your definition of success rather than just setting those superficial resolutions, and above all to recognising that this is only the beginning of the journey or it’s the next stage of the journey, if you’ve already started.
We are going to be reimagining success over the course of our lives. It’s not just that one brave decision we make. It’s really ongoing. And again, not that we should be changing every day, but really, the big picture stays possibly quite consistent, but there will be shifts in the things that you value, shifts in who you want to spend time with, what you’re focusing on [inaudible 00:16:41], and even in the business. As you refine, as you get more experience, as you work with clients, you’ll be able to evolve that business idea and maybe even shift entirely.
So it’s not something we do once and forget all about it. We’ll revisit it at least once a year, if not more often. And now is the best time to get started if we haven’t already for 2020.
So thanks so much. And again, massive thank you for listening. Hooray. 50 episodes. Here’s to 50 more. We’ll have a big celebration when we get to a hundred next year. And I look forward to continuing the journey with you. Thank you so much. I’ll see you next week. Bye for now.
Connect with Anna:
If you’re ready to start to reimagine what success could look like for you, here are some of the ways in which Anna can support you:
Get private mentoring for your business – Partnering with a business coach can help you see those blind spots and get both external accountability and expert guidance to take your business to where you want it to be. www.onestepoutside.com/freeconsultation
Get private career coaching – Individual coaching is fully tailored to your specific goals and desires so we can create the programme that works best for you, with the support that you need to move forwards. www.onestepoutside.com/claritycall
Grab a copy of Leaving the Corporate 9 to 5 – After interviewing 50 people who have left the corporate 9 to 5 to forge their own path, Anna has collected their stories in a book that will inspire you with the possibilities that are out there and reassure you that you’re not alone in looking for an alternative. www.leavingthecorporate9to5.com
Join the One Step Outside the 9 to 5 Business Incubator – This is your roadmap to transitioning from a corporate job into setting up a meaningful business that will bring you more freedom, flexibility and fulfilment outside of the corporate 9 to 5. www.onestepoutside.com/9to5
Up-level with The Outsiders Business Accelerator – This is a mastermind for entrepreneurs, freelancers and small business owners who want to create a long-term sustainable brand and business. www.onestepoutside.com/accelerate