She did it all for love. Did you think I meant love for a boy?? Love is a powerful motivator and at this point in my life, I’ve discovered many versions of it. Love is what wakes us up each morning. It’s what keeps us moving forward when the doubt and the uncertainty start to sink in and we question ourselves. Why am I doing this? What is it for? Well...it’s for the love.
But love is not what this post is about. We’ve only just met, haven’t we? I can’t start out this relationship with too much sappiness. So, love is my motivator, but motivation is nothing without the proper tools to help us move forward towards our goals and keeping our sanity.
To help balance it all, here are the five tools and skills I focus on using and honing every single day.
1. Get Organized. I can't stress enough how important it is to find a good organizational system that works for you. Personally, paper planners don’t do it for me, but Google calendar is a daily staple that keeps everything from unraveling. My life has become a strict system of color coded tasks and reminders, allowing me to add/edit on any of my devices. Organization, just like everything you do, takes discipline and sometimes a little creativity. Now that I have established my system and assigned my favorite colors, I can move through my tasks easier and I can access them from anywhere (a must for a traveler like me!) If managed properly, an organizational tool like Google Calendar or whatever you decide to use, allows you to move through your tasks one-by-one and you won't miss the deadlines, meetings, (or in my case) birthdays!
2. Technology is your friend. There is an app for everything and I’ve downloaded them all. I probably use about 75% of them, but staying connected has allowed me to work from anywhere in the world, and technology lets me do that. The big game changer for me isn’t Uber or Square, but Dropbox! I can’t live without it. I have every useful document scanned and stored in the cloud and accessible from anywhere. Using an electronic storage app, whichever you decide to use, can be an incredibly useful tool for any number of emergencies. Lost my passport in Tulum? I’ve got a scanned copy available to expedite the process. My accountant needs my 2015 tax returns? A few clicks and it’s in her email, no need to fly back to Dallas. Anytime access to important documents is such a game changer. That’s not to say my food delivery and car service apps don’t get plenty of mileage. They're there, why not use them?
3. Find your Tribe and surround yourself with people who get it. This lifestyle isn't for everyone. I know that the monthly return trips will eventually disappear as I settle into something more permanent. In the meantime, I’m incredibly lucky to be surrounded by people that can pick up the conversation from where we left off or a team of employees who've been empowered to "run with it". Equally as important is dating someone who also gets it and doesn't put any undue pressure on the relationship. Part of loving so much (and so many!) is allowing for my relationships to live in the now.
4. Get help. This is probably the hardest for me, because I don't want to feel like I'm burdening others. Over the years I've learned to let go and get help. I lean on those amazing people that make up my tribe, and they get me through the tough stuff. I could never feel comfortable asking for help if I didn't have those people in my life. Professionally, I came to the realization that I can't do it all and stay above water. The daily details of three separate businesses were pulling me under - so I broke down and hired part-time help and OMG! I can breathe again! And now, as I’m building a team around me, I realize I can focus on big picture and focus on the work I love - and not sweat the small stuff.
5. Dig in with Passion. In those moments when I ask myself, What am I doing all this for? I quickly remember it's because I've become passionate about HOW I want to live my life. Sure, I work more hours now than I did when I had a boss. But hey, I'm not trapped in a cubicle, abiding by office hours and working hard for someone else to pursue their dreams. I’m not even tied to a specific city! The cliche is true, I really am living life on my own terms. I can be anywhere I want to be, plug in and work for something that I love and get excited about, without watching the clock or starving for Friday. Now, I work hard and long but when passion is fuel, the tank’s always full.
Don't get me wrong. I haven't perfected being in two places at the same time. San Francisco is where my future is but Dallas will always be home. I'll always miss out on the occasional birthdays and girls' nights, but I'm learning to water the grass on whichever side I happen to be standing on.