This post is the first instalment of a three-part series on the art of life-styling. I believe we are here to create the life that's true to us in every way from our health, wealth and love. Buckle up baby.
In order to continue to grow your business Melissa, you have to get ‘serious’ and get an office — no more working from home.
It’s time to put on your big girl pants, take on more responsibility, and step up.
You will only be taken seriously once you have a pretty office like so and so.
Ahhhh, hello Mean Girl…
For a short period, this is what I let her tell me... and I listened. I got the lavish office in the trendiest suburb in Sydney and decked it out to look the part. Only to find that once I had ‘arrived’, it was not my truth. It actually couldn’t be further from my truth. My creativity had been curbed and I felt like I had created a corporate job for myself which I had to go to. And because my no-longer-virtual team had turned into a physical one, I felt like I had to sit there from 8:30 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. to be the shining example of ‘hard work’.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. Like, pinch-myself-with-gratitude love; it seriously lights me up. BUT... my business has always been built on heart and intuition, and I like to create what and when it feels right for me. For someone who never forces anything, and who uses her soul as a compass, it started to feel like I was going against my grain and pushing uphill — a sure sign I needed to exit stage left, quick smart.
We are at this epic point in history, thanks to technology, where we can create a lifestyle and have the freedom that we truly desire. It’s awesome, and that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur and having an online business — you get to be the Michelangelo of your life.
So after three months of sitting in my fancy office, I let it go, returned home and couldn’t be happier. And although some people told me it was a waste of money, like everything in my life, I saw it as an opportunity for growth, a wonderful soul lesson, and a time to practice being adaptable and pivoting quickly.
I now work from anywhere, usually at home on my kitchen bench, on Leo’s desk in his bedroom, or in my bikini on my balcony — wherever I feel inspired. That’s the beauty of creating a lifestyle that’s true to you.
And the best part is, whether you work for yourself or not you can create the lifestyle of your dreams. All you’ve got to do is get a little creative.
So how do we create the lifestyle of our dreams?
First we have got to get clear on what that actually looks like for you.
Grab a pen and paper and jot down what a dream day at the ‘office’ looks like for you.
Here’s an example to get your creative juices flowing.
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. — Bum down.
This is where you sit down at your computer and turn your phone on. Before 8:30 a.m. I am presuming you have done your morning routine, showered, and had a wholesome breakfast. Then you can use this time to check emails, sort out your to-do list, get organised and work out the three most important things that need doing that day. I like to write them on a Post-It note and stick it next to my computer. If I get those three things done, awesome! If I put any more than three on my list, I go into overwhelm central.
9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. — Hour of power.
This is your ‘hour of power’ to knuckle down on the first of your three most important tasks for the day. I like to really rev up and commit here — it’s not a time for trawling social media, scanning my inbox, or generally pfaffing about; it’s a time for getting stuff done!
10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. — Pattern Break.
Sometimes I can sit for 3 hours straight and the work just flows. Other times I need a ‘pattern break’, as Tony Robbins likes to call them. In this time I will go to the bathroom, make a herbal tea, chat to my husband, jump on the rebounder, take a few deep breaths, or check my phone (I always keep it on silent).
10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. — Head down, bum up.
Then I will go back into focus time to get shiz done.
12 p.m. - 1 p.m. — Lunch time.
Take the time to prepare something with love. Sit in the sunshine (without your phone or any distractions) and take an hour to eat. Practice mindful eating and enjoy this time.
1 p.m. - 3 p.m. — Head down, bum up.
Maybe this is your time to finish off anything you need to get done, or perhaps this is when you batch your meetings or phone calls. I always try to batch my meetings so that I am not constantly breaking my flow, and I only ever book my meetings in the afternoon. That way I’ve already got my most important work done in the morning and I can relax and enjoy my meetings.
3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. — Self Love Time.
Go for a walk in nature, dive into the ocean, have a cuppa with your soul sister, read in bed, take a bath, meditate, whatever is on your self love menu.
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. — Wrap up.
This is your time to check emails and round anything out from the day. Use this time to organise your desk and your to-do list for the following day. Then close your computer and go enjoy your evening with your loved ones. Try not to jump back online or check your emails for the rest of the evening. It can wait!
Now it’s time to map out your own version. In an ideal world, what would your ‘work’ day look like? Go on, take 10 minutes with your journal to do it now.
It’s so important we get crystal clear on what exactly it is that lights us up. Then we can fill our days with more of that stuff, and delegate the things keeping us small. I am all about doing more of what feels good in my body and less of what doesn’t, and the beauty of this exercise is that it allows you to really hone in on where you’re at and where you can make improvements.
Now, getting your ideal day sorted is a great start. But as an entrepreneur, none of it matters if you don’t also have the right team players on your side. After being in business since 2011, I have learnt a lot about hiring the right people, and let it be said: it’s definitely an art. I have learnt some major lessons along the way, but I am beyond grateful for the absolute angels I have on Team MA now — they are always at the top of my gratitude list. I have literally manifested my dream team and couldn’t be more grateful. But how did I do it?
Here are my top 5 tips on how to hire your dream team...
- Get to know them. This is where you invite them over for dinner, take them out for lunch, go for a walk or yoga class together, and ask loads of questions about their past, their family and friends, their dreams, where they see themselves in 5 years, and their goals for the future.
- Forget their CV. Obviously if you are hiring a graphic designer, you need someone who’s got the necessary skills. But if it came down to two designers — one with a way more impressive CV but no drive, passion, heart or alignment, and the other just out of college but overflowing with passion and bursting for the job, I would go with the second. In the past I have hired people because of their extensive CV, but I quickly learned that while you can teach skills, you can’t teach those other important qualities. So look for heart, passion and alignment and remember that you can always teach the skills and train someone up.
- Flip them. Everyone who works for Team MA gets ‘flipped’. The Flippen Profile is based on a complex psychometric instrument that is able to pinpoint behavioural characteristics and predict future behaviour and performance. It’s awesome. Even my husband and I did it and it has taken our relationship to another level.
- Ask the right questions. In order to get to know someone on a deep level, you have to ask the right questions. It’s kinda like dating. When I’m interviewing potential team members, I ask about things like what their morning routine is. This tells me a lot about the type of person they are and if they take time for themselves. I also ask about what they are currently reading. What they do on the weekends. What they do for fun. And what their hobbies are. All these questions give me a deeper insight into them as a person.
- Would you have them around the table with your family for dinner? Ask yourself this question. If the answer is yes, brilliant! If the answer is no, then I would really rethink hiring that person. You’ve got to want to hang out and be friends with the people you are hiring — especially in a heart-centered business like mine. Basically, you’ve got to be able to trust someone so much that you would trust them with your baby.