Celebrating Freedom! – Day 10 of the Blog Challenge

Day 10 Challenge: I want you to think back to the journey you’ve been on in the last 10 days. And in today’s blog post, I want you to write about:

  1. What you enjoyed most about your experience of taking part in the blog challenge
  2. Your favorite challenge day and why

  3. The biggest takeaway you’ve had from it

  4. The next step you’re going to take to make your freedom plan a reality

1 – The best part was doing to the challenge with one of my roommates.  She talked me into joining and I’ve enjoyed discussing each day’s topic with her.  We have very different dreams (hers is to travel as a digital nomad and mine is to build a brick and mortar business in my home city) and it has helped to see what similarities there are.  Plus it’s just fun to discuss interesting topics with a smart lady.

2 – My favorite day was where I envisioned my perfect day.  It helped me get very concrete about what my future will look and feel like.  I realized that I am looking forward to the day to day of running a business and that I see myself staying plugged in to the AA program.

3 – My biggest take away is that building a network of mentors is going to be a huge part of my success.  I’ve started a list of ladies I would like to contact and network with.

4 – My next step will be to continue the habits I am developing here.  Every morning I will get up and plan my day complete with MITs .  I may even keep blogging, especially if I can manage to add a few photos.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 10


Location Independence – Day 9 of the Blog Challenge

Day 9 Challenge: Imagine you are on a long holiday in your dream destination. There are castles to explore, secret bars to discover, and sunny beaches to laze around on. How you will balance your adventure and work while you are away on this holiday?

Since my dream is to have a Bed & Breakfast, my location will be pretty fixed.  In fact, in order to live my dream, I’ll be very, very location dependent.

In my version of the long holiday, I am driving up the west coast on Highway 1. Starting in San Diego, CA, I am spending 2 or 3 days at the various cities and parks as I make my way to the San Jaun Islands on the border with Canada.  Since my B&B is closed for June and July, I don’t have many pressing matters that need my attention.  There is an inn sitter on sight to water the plants, take in the mail, and generally keep the place looking lived in while I am traveling.  In the evenings, I have a quick call with the sitter to see what has happened during the day.  I also check the B&B’s email and maybe make updates to the website.

Although I am several hundred miles away, I can relax because I know that all is well with my business back home.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9


Choosing your Adventure – Day 8 of the Blog Challenge

Day 8 Challenge: Go out and do something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Go out play, enjoy, and come back and write about what you did. Also, write about how you can make such adventures part of your new lifestyle.

Today’s challenge was not a success. Since the blogging had to wait until after I went out and did something adventurous or at least a bit fun, it ended up not happening.  On the bright side, I have confirmed that if I want to blog, review job listings, or get anything else particularly important done, I need to make sure it happens before I leave the house.

For my adventure, I chose to get coffee and read up on bookkeeping at a local Australian-themed café.  (I’m confident that anything involving Australians counts as an adventure.) The coffee tasted pretty good, but it was horrible location for getting anything done.  Well, anything except people watching.  After a chapter, I gave up and walked across the Bridge of Lions to the grocery store which wasn’t particularly adventurous but it was pretty. Once I got home, the internet was a miss and I did not post for the day. Although I will not qualify for a prize, I will continue the challenge for days 9 & 10.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8


Beating Procrastination And Overwhelm – Day 7 of the Blog Challenge

Day 7 Challenge: For today’s challenge I want you to pick one imperfect action that you can take every day that will move you closer to the life you have envisioned. Write a post about why you chose the particular action and what you imagine it will be like if you do it every day for the next 30 days.

The older I get, the better I am at imperfection. Not that I was perfect in the past and I’m getting less perfect as time go on, I’m just getting more comfortable with my current lack of perfection.  These days I start with the assumption that I’ll be imperfect and that I’ll learn from the experience and that I’ll get better as I go along.

Cookies are a good example.  This Tuesday I made shortbread cookies for the first time in recent history and they were ok but not great.  The dough sort of melted during the baking so it lost the trademark fork prints and then the whole mass of cookie fell apart and looked more like a model of tectonic plates than a dessert.  That night I looked up what the folks at America’s Test Kitchen had to say on the subject and made some adjustments to the recipe.  Yesterday I made the updated recipe and had a much better result.  There are still one or two things I’d like to do differently next time, but I now have a solid recipe and technique under my belt.

Back to that one imperfect action, I choose ‘applying for one job a day’.  As I look for a job in New Orleans, I am picking at least one opening and sending in my resume and cover letter (after editing each to match the posting details.) I’m also reading posts on Pinterest to improve that base resume and cover letter until hiring managers can not help but see what an awesome employee/team member/cast member I would be.  If I keep doing it for 30 days, I see myself getting interviews for accounting positions.  If not, I see myself getting some other work and knowing that I tried my best to find something in accounting so it wasn’t meant to be. Although I have a preference, either one would be a good outcome.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

Finding Your Tribe – Day 6 of the Blog Challenge

Day 6 Challenge: Find 1 or 2 people who are living the kind of life you want to live, and whose tribe you’d love to be part of. Then write a short post about why you find them inspiring and the one question you would ask them if you met in real life.

Easy enough, I have already met one of the people who is living the type of life I want to live.  Sam Parry, Co-owner of Correze Cycling Holidays, has created a beautiful guesthouse in France filled with dogs and cakes and community involvement.  This summer I was lucky enough to spend nearly two months living and working with the Parry family and experiencing the guesthouse lifestyle.  Sam, and her husband James, were happy to share their experiences building the business and offering advice on what may work well for me in New Orleans.  Sam has even offered to come to the states and help me decorate once I finally buy the B&B of my dreams.

One thing I especially liked about Sam’s lifestyle is how connected she is with her local community.  She makes an effort to integrate with the local French culture including learning the language, volunteering at her sons’ schools, and eventually becoming a councilwoman for her village.

Basically, I want to be Sam when I grow up.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6



Setting Yourself Up For Success – Day 5 of the Blog Challenge

Day 5 Challenge: Create a daily success plan for yourself that takes only 15-20 minutes and schedule a time in the day where you can squeeze it in. Write a blog post about what you will do, when you will do it, and how it will get you closer to your dreams.

The best time for me is early in the morning, after a shower and before breakfast.  My roommates sleep in and I have some quiet from about 7 to 8am.  And although the common area is a social one, I find it easier the focus here than in the kitchen with the coffee to be made and the dishes to be put away. Now that I’ve figured out the where and when, on to the what and the why.

During my 15 minute Success Set Up (working title), I will do the following.  My immediate goal is to get an accounting job in New Orleans so that I can afford to buy a B&B in the next 5-10 years.  In order to reach that goal I will

  1. Check for new job postings on WorkNola.com
  2. Check for new job postings on Indeed.com
  3. Select 1 to 3 job postings from the list.  Applying to these positions will be my Most Important Actions for today.
  4. Stretch.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5


Unlocking Your Superpowers – Day 4 of the Blog Challenge

Today’s Task: What are my superpowers and how will they help me realize my dream?

Superpower #1: My Smile.

No seriously, I think my smile is one of my strengths.  I’ve had random people stop me on the street to compliment it for years and I was recently recommended for a job based on it. Back when I was a Disney intern, I was told that one of the reasons Betty White got so many acting jobs was because she was a really nice person and people enjoyed working with her. That story has stayed with me and I make an effort to be as friendly and helpful as I am able. (Note, that does not mean that I am always friendly and helpful.  Everybody has days when they are out of fairy dust.)  My smile will help me get work as I save for my B&B, deal with contractors and vendors as I build my business, and then create a welcoming environment when I am running my B&B.

Superpower #2: Cooking from scratch.

I can cook from scratch.  Even better, I like to cook using whole food ingredients.  And best of all, people seem to like to eat this from scratch cooking.  This superpower will help me reach my goals by 1. saving me money on groceries and gifts while I build my down payment 2. generating side income from selling cakes or working as a personal chef, or 3. being a networking opportunity in a city obsessed with food.

Superpower #3: Teaching

I like learning. I also like sharing things that I learn.  When I worked with EY, I enjoyed leading training sessions for the other accountants and designing guides and templates to make their jobs easier.  Before that, I enjoyed teaching Michael Leen and Catherine cooking lessons.  So, since it is something that I can do, something that I like to do, and something that not everyone else can do, it is totally as superpower.  I’m not sure how it will help me reach my goals yet, but it certainly won’t hurt.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4