Live life your way

Next week I finish at Begin Bright, the company that I started in it’s first form nearly 14 years ago. It’s a strange feeling to know that something that I have gone to sleep nearly every night thinking about and wake up dreaming about and constantly try and work out ways to make it better, is just done. I sold in July, 2016 and have been on an earn out period which hasn’t gone at all like I wanted to (but that’s a whole other story that unfortunately I’ll never be able to talk about) and when I wake up next Friday, I’ll no longer be part of Begin Bright. It is certainly the end of era but you know what they say, “When one door closes, another opens” and I am so excited for the next chapter of our lives. 

My husband and I have been having massive conversations the last few weeks in trying to decide what’s next. I’ve always lived my life on such a structured plan. I first discovered personal development when I was a teenager and I absolutely fell in love with the idea that you could create any life that you could dream up and just live it and ever since, I’ve been chasing after that vision. My life is incredible and I’m extremely lucky to get all of the opportunity that I get that so many women around the world can’t access and it’s something I never take for granted. 

But, back to the structure. So when funds and time is tight, I find it easiest to deal with in a super structured way. I make a 10 year vision, a 5 year plan, break it into 1 year goals, broken into 90 day action plans and then weekly and then each day is broken into 15 minute increments and tasks are allocated so that every minute is maximised and I don’t have to feel overwhelmed because I know it’s all there and will all work out if I just follow the plan. 

I have no doubt that I would have been able to build Begin Bright to what it was without doing that in the difficult times. But it also led to some pretty significant burnout. I want to make sure that I don’t ever work like that again where I have to just double down and get shit done. 

So that leads me to what’s next. I’m trying to stay more open and see where the world will take us. 

I started Jay St, the jewellery company as a bit of fun in December and it’s actually taken off really well so that now has a team behind it and we can see where that’s going to go. I’m getting fantastic speaking opportunities and have amazing people that I get to business coach each month. I’m having meetings (yeah, they seem to go no where, but people are still talking to me) about the film I’m trying to make, I’m launching a podcast, The Female Advantage, in a few weeks, The Tutoring Institute launches next month to provide online business coaching for tutors and things are starting to flow in thick and fast before the last chapter door is even closed. 

But there’s one thing that we’ve been talking about for over a decade and that’s travelling around the world for a year. On the list is diving through caves in Phillipines, riding bikes along the Great Wall of China, training at the Shaolin temple, living in Lake Como in Italy, staying in a igloo and watching the Northern Lights, sailing around the Greek Islands, walking with turtles at the Galapagos Islands, feeding pink flamingos in the Bahamas, going across America in an RV and so so much more! It’s a huge thing to just pack everything up, say goodbye to our fabulous friends, take the kids out of school, grab a bag and hit the road. 

From a business perspective, it’s a terrible time to go. We should be capitalising on the momentum that’s coming our way. But here’s the thing about opportunities, I think that there’s rarely a “once in a lifetime opportunity”. I hope that we have long lives and we get to live many different types within that and by leaving, who knows what that will bring. 

I’ve always said that I can run businesses from anywhere with a laptop and a good wifi connection and this will be a beautiful way to put that theory to the test. Speaking is the only thing I won’t be able to do. Everything else should be able to continue to grow no matter where I geographically am. 

So today we booked our tickets. We’re throwing away life as we know it and in September we’ll be embarking on a year of nomadic adventure. Although I said that I don’t believe in once in a lifetime, there’s an exception to that - our children. My boys are aged 8 & 10 and they’re at the perfect age for long term travel. They’ve had a lot of practice on short trips and love exploring culture and academically, it’s a great time to take them out of school and have it impact positively instead of negatively. I want to be able to have an experience with my family that we can cherish forever and freeze some memories in time. There’s no way I’ll be sitting chatting to my husband on the back deck when we’re 70 and say “I wish we hadn’t gone on that trip and instead grew our businesses”! There will be plenty of time for that. 

I LOVE to travel and my favourite feeling in the world is that of wonderment. An inspired life is the only way to live. A good day fuelled by inspiration is one of the greatest feelings you can experience. 

We really do need to start focusing on finding our bliss and what makes us feel alive and inspired. There are too many people I see living unhappy lives because they feel like it’s just their lot in life or the cards they were dealt and that breaks my heart. Sometimes, you do need to “Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do” (Oprah), but work towards your bliss. Then you’ll notice that energy is never an issue , you have energy for days for the things that truly light you up.

Life is too short not to live the life you’ve imagined. Too often we think of everything that can go wrong and overthink all of the implications. It’s certainly something that we’ve done in this process because we’re trying not to make a big mistake or screw up our lives and our children’s. I’m trying a bit of unthinking though, and getting on with JUST DO IT. 

Time is the only thing we can’t get back. 

If you want to start that business, start it. If you want to go on that trip, go. If you want to leave the job you hate, hand in your notice. Life is too short and we all need more people in the world who have joy in their hearts. 

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Tina Tower