The re-design/re-launch of The Life Adventurista has been in the works for three years. Yes, THREE whole years.
It all started back in 2014, when after two years of building up my business and working with clients one-on-one, I wanted to shift, in order to do more workshops, create community, and write interactive guides. I had a plan! But you know what they say about that…
“The best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray”
Sometimes you think you are walking down a certain path and then *BAM*, there’s a fork in the road, and everything changes. That’s what happened to me.
After we hiked El Camino de Santiago, Eric and I were traveling to Austin, Texas to make a video for our travel blog (because in addition to my workshops and guides I wanted to put out into the world, we planned this whole show we wanted to create on Youtube.) We went to Austin, Texas to shoot the first episode, all about Barbecue in Texas. (We still haven’t finished editing that, but more on that later.) Anyways, on the way back from Austin, I was doing what I do best- shopping online from my phone. I was searching for cute clothes for the upcoming trips we had planned. My search led me to this FANTASTIC pair of leggings. I clicked over and landed on a website. Little did I know how that one action would completely shift my life path.
My search for those leggings led me to LuLaRoe. And when I landed on LuLaRoe’s site, I had this instant gut reaction that told me, “This. You HAVE to bring this to Lake Charles, LA.” At the time, this made NO sense what-so-ever, because we had no plans to be in one place for longer than a month. But at the same time that I had this gut feeling, we were also sent down another unexpected path. That second, unexpected life shift led us to buying an investment property in Lake Charles, which is where Eric grew up. Now, it’s not just any property- it’s the oldest church in our town, which also came with three other properties.
So here we are today, three years later. We’ve converted all the properties on our “compound”, minus the church, into rental properties, and we’ve built our LuLaRoe business up into something that fully supports our life.
This journey of building LuLaRoe and our real estate investments/renovations has been hard, painful, and long. But also amazing. Over the past three years, I have been pushed and pulled, leading to an immense amount of personal growth. Before this journey, I used to think that once I had it all figured out and things clicked, it would be easy. I could not have been more wrong.
Here are some lessons I have learned the hard way on this three year adventure. Whether you are going through a difficult time, starting something new, stopping something that you have outgrown, or are going through a period of personal growth, maybe you can relate.
1.) Be OK with making crazy changes in your life. Over the last few years, I have spent countless, unnecessary hours beating myself up for abandoning my writing and coaching business. I have told myself I am a failure for letting The Life Adventurista and our travel blog fall by the wayside. But none of that is true. We are all humans who cannot possibly do it all. When life changes directions (whether you choose those changes or not), cut yourself some slack for the things that have to fall off your plate, either temporarily or potentially even permanently. Others are not judging you in the way you are judging yourself.
2.) Sometimes you have to just get out of your own way! The other reason it’s taken me three years to re-launch the Life Adventurista site and start writing again is that I became my own worst enemy. I continuously got in my own dang way. Every time I sat down to work on the site or attempt to write, I made excuses or created busy work for myself to avoid facing that resistance I was feeling, which was all fear-based. My fears were telling me I sucked, so why even bother trying. There is no easy way to get out of your own way. The only thing that helped me was simply taking action. (Sorry, I haven’t found a secret fear-busting potion.) I had to dig deep and ask myself what it was I was hiding from. And then I had the realization that the only thing that could possibly counteract my feelings of being stuck, was to take action and do the exact opposite of what I was doing, which was sitting around waiting for those fears to go away. Feel the fear and do it anyway, right? Every day I tell myself, it’s not about being fearless, it’s about acting courageous in the face of fears. All of us have fears that are holding us back from truly living the life we are supposed to. We all owe it to “our calling”, “our why”, “our true path” (whatever you want to call it), to not let those fears hold us back. Take action every.single.day towards what you want to be doing in your life and how you want to live. There will never be a right time. Go for it now!
3.) There is a time for everything, and sometimes plans need to be put on pause. There are SO many unfinished projects in my life right now. And I have learned to be OK with that. We have yet to finish writing our Camino story. We have loads of video and notes from our journey. And while we will finish one day (my goal is towards the end of the year,) it’s not something either of us has the emotional capacity to write about right now. I used to to beat myself up about this daily, because I feel so guilty about leaving our readers hanging. The current journey we are on is very much tied to the Camino, and one day soon, we will be able to share it all! We have also had to hit pause on several other projects we are super passionate about. But in the meantime, we’ve been building a strong foundation that supports how we want to live our lives long term. For us, this means having the ability to always work for ourselves, the freedom to travel when we want, and the means to pursue all our passion projects. We’ve also found ways to combine our love for travel and LuLaRoe. So when you have to put certain things on pause, this doesn’t mean what you are doing is not worthy or good. It’s just a different plan. If I had this perspective three years I ago, I would have saved myself a ton of pain. Hello 2014 Shannon, listen to 2017 Shannon, because she knows a thing or two. Decide what your priorities are in your life right now, and focus on those. All those other ideas and projects can take a seat and wait.
4.) Things sometimes take way longer then we want. Plain and simple. I am a big picture thinker. I dream BIG and get these big, crazy visions for my life. This is a good as well as a bad thing. I tend to go with my gut, but because of that big picture thinking, I want to be living my vision, like yesterday. So getting bogged down in the details drives me INSANE. But on top of that, any plan/project is going to have obstacles. When I get caught up in the fact, that I am not where I want to be today, I give into that resistance, and fear wins. So these days, I am trying to be OK with the process. The realization I have had around this, is that as long as you are still taking action and moving forward, try to be OK with the process. Even though I had this realization, I am still learning how to actually live it. Also, remember we are all a work in progress, so be nice to yourself.
5.) Stop worrying about what others think of you! This has been huge for me! I’m a sensitive and also dramatic person by nature. So if I think someone is upset with me, not only does it eat me up, but I take it to the extreme. Over the last few years, I have really practiced letting go of worrying so much about what others think. Some of it has been painful, because it has led me to realizing I had some toxic friendships that needed evaluating. But on the other side, I have become much more comfortable with who I am. Not everyone is going to agree with the choices we make or how we choose to live our lives. Guess, what? That’s OK. Someone’s opinion of you is irrelevant to your master plan, if you are being true to yourself. Working on this one area of my life has provided me with such a sense of freedom. Again, this is still a work in progress for me. I think we mostly all care, to some degree, about what people think about us. It’s more about removing any negative beliefs people feel about you. If someone has a negative belief about you that is not true, let it go.
So what’s next for me/us?
Eric and I just converted a trailer into a mobile boutique, and we plan to take it across the country. Someimte in the near future, we will start renovations on the church. While we are anxious to get started, we are also being conscientious of giving ourselves a little breathing room. For the last three years, it’s been go-go-go: with our LuLaRoe business and rental properties, not to mention our amazing New Orleans wedding, and the tremendous amount of work that went into planning that. While there has been a ton of reward, we are ready to focus on some non-renovation projects for the next year. I once heard the quote, “In order to speed up, you have to first slow down.” These words have more relevance to me now than ever before. You cannot constantly be in a state of acceleration. Renovations will start one day and we will be turning our historic church into our house and also a B&B (one of our long-term dreams!). Next year, we are excited to pour a ton of energy into making it the most unique and amazing B&B experience. The one we’ve been dreaming about for years!
We’ve also started recording behind the scenes videos of our road trip, and we will be blogging/vlogging about our adventures. And I will be start working with coaching clients again. Coaching women and providing a space for women to live their best lives is my calling in life and while I do get to do some of that through LuLaRoe, I am excited and ready to dedicate more time to this. I hired two amazing women to help me run day-to-day LuLaRoe stuff so I can incorporate more Life Adventurista things into my life again. (Delegation is key!)
All those things you want in life, they can be yours. I know, because in 2012, I set off on a path to live the life I am living today. I didn’t know that it would look this, but when I look back on the past few years, I realize I am where I am today, because in spite of fear, I did the scary things in my life, and for better or worse, I followed those gut feelings. It’s those moments and life events that create shifts and massive long-term changes in our lives.
For now, welcome to the new Life Adventurista, a space for women to grow, get inspired, and make now their new never. It’s time we stop saying, “I’ll never be able to do that with my life”, or “I’d never do that”, and start saying “NOW is the new never!”
What do you want to start making happen now? I would love to hear from you in the comments below?
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