Greetings from a very sunny, springtime NSW South Coast.☀
Last week, we finally moved into the apartment we bought in a coastal town called Gerringong, just south of Sydney. It’s a culmination of teamwork and shared dreams between my husband and I. We are delighted!
But 12 years ago, home ownership in Australia seemed an unobtainable dream. We were on the cusp of financial breakdown. In 2010, Fran and I sold our family home in Geneva, Switzerland and moved to Sydney, Australia with our kids (8 & 9 years old at the time).
It was a move forced by the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. I was gutted & terrified. I loved our life in Switzerland and our family was thriving; upheaval was unwelcome but it was necessary.
Due to the GFC, we lost most everything (stability, money, savings, investments, business) and had to start nearly from scratch. We had 28 months of zero income – not a penny. This is a story for another time, but what we did have was each other. And I knew this would be our Super Power; as a couple and as a family.
Team work, I realised, would be the key to our future success. Together we stand, divided we fall. And I was NOT about to let us fall.
Yes, many times we argued and resented each other in ways that only a financial crisis can effect a marriage; I spent too long blaming him for our woes and ugly crying in the shower.
Eventually, I realised I was being unfair by playing the victim, so I picked myself up and changed my attitude. I started journaling and learning about the Law of Attraction. And each year, I glued a vision board on the front cover of my annual journal. Back then, all this was totally new to me. And it was powerful.
I wrote out my ideal day as if it were already happening. I worked on my attitude, my perspective, my mindset, the positives amongst all the negatives. And I started setting FEELING goals.
But most importantly, I included Fran in my process. I shared the stuff I was reading, the goals I had, the hopes & fears I harboured. And he did the same.
Together, we were aiming in the SAME direction.
And we shared the SAME dream: to live semi-retired while earning full-time.
The first weekend exploring our neighbourhood!
My early journals for dreaming and planning
Notice the word HOME cut out and glued on the top of the blue journal from 2015. Home is a key theme in my life. In 2010, selling our forever home in Geneva broke my heart. I spent the next 12 years in a personal, domestic wilderness, making each rental a home as much as I could. But it wasn’t the same. I felt bereft.
So last week, moving into our OWN HOME in Australia was momentous. We bought it together through the combined efforts of our OWN BUSINESSES. Not working for The Man, but working for ourselves.
Today, we are living semi-retired and earning full time. As per our original dream. It took 12 years of consistent action-taking, of small steps, of trusting even during times of bleakness, of deliberately designing a lifestyle to suit us. Of working TOGETHER towards a common DREAM.
I want you to start thinking of ways you can start working as a team with your partner or those who play a significant role in your life. Think of your creative business as a beautiful bough of a magnificent tree; a tree you plant and grow together. You don’t cultivate this tree alone.
So often business teachings focus on the individual effort of the business owner, as though our businesses exist in a solitary vaccuum. But I want you to start thinking of your business as a joyous contribution to a bigger picture.
What does that bigger picture look like for you? How can you bring teamwork and shared dreams into your creative business – and life?