I appreciate the excitement around us spending allll next month (and some of Feb and technically a day in April) in Australia! We are getting so so excited – with a dash of nervousness for flying with a 2.5 year old!
I was having lunch with someone (hi Cristina!) and she was asking me about how we could logistically/financially/emotionally/etc. make Australia a reality. I try my darnedest to share mainly positive, thought-provoking content here but also the real side of our struggles and growth over the past years.
Yes, a TON of my previous writing is still alive and kicking over at my old site ‘the new wifestyle.‘ Feel free to browse over there if you’re looking for something specific that I wrote before November 2018. I do want to make a few things clear for those also wondering “how on earth can they take off and live in Australia for so long!?”
Ryan and I have worked hard to create a life where we give, live according to our values and live by example. So, let me share with you some more of our story for new readers.
When we had $84 in our bank account in 2010, Ryan held us accountable to us always giving and we wrote a check for $8.40 to a nonprofit (I honestly fought it, saying we needed that money for our every day living but he was right).
Thankfully he got a job later that month but it took him away from me and our home in Portland for four months. He quit that job because his soul was dying and then hustled to snatch up every odd job he could find while I completed my master’s in social work. We know what it’s like to not have a ton of money or a ton of options.
We started our business and took it full time halfway through 2013, after winning The World Championship of Public Speaking. This included selling everything we owned that couldn’t fit in our small Camry and moving in with my in-laws in the suburbs of Houston. We had to get a loan from my in-laws in order to make ends meet when we moved back to Portland (we have since paid it back but it took a few years)! We couldn’t pay ourselves regularly until late 2014 and it was solely enough to pay our rent and buy food.
As our business continues to grow, we get better at what we do. Ryan is completely rockin’ his keynote game and is able to charge more. We are getting booked for more couples workshops and I am putting together a revamped coaching program. He is doing a few events around Australia while we are there so we are able to offset the cost of staying there for a while.
We were a one car family since 2009 until last year. We don’t have cable. We didn’t buy new clothes from about 2009-2016 (thanks mom for randomly sending me cute tops though)! Both of our computers are from 2010. We continue to live below our means and have weekly money meetings + life meetings to ensure we are on track. After putting money aside for giving back, our savings/investing, we then choose to spend what’s left on experiences as opposed to the latest new things.
I’m not sharing this with the need to ‘justify’ how we’re able to go but rather to remind you of something important. If you’re in the thick of it and waiting to turn a corner, keep working (smarter, not always harder) because that corner WILL appear.
The steps to take when designing your life and accomplishing big things are as follow:
- Work on your mindset and your limiting beliefs
- Dig deep on what truly fulfills you
- Set small, actionable items that move you towards living a life that is fulfilling
- Surround yourself with people who support you and limit your time (if any) around naysayers.
- Hire people to coach you and hold you accountable, especially people who have been where you want to go (this is scary at first but when we do this, it has catapulted our results)
- Stay focused, embrace the process and let people know where you want to go
Remember, we can do hard things. When we are willing to do things differently that other people won’t do, we are able to get things that other people often won’t get.