Here’s today’s assignment in Nathalie Sisson’s 10 Day Freedom Plan 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.
To some extent I’ve already found my tribe, with a ready-made set of inspiring mentors for me to approach when I need advice about blogging or travel. It’s a Facebook group for boomer travel bloggers, i.e. people born before 1964. Some of them are like me, just building up an audience and not making money yet, but some of them are already living the way I’d like to live: traveling and supporting themselves as they travel.
I’ve met some members of the group; one of them invited me to join the group after we met at my first TBEX conference. I’ve met more of them along the way since then, mostly at TBEX but also at World Travel Market in London last year.
What I love about the group is that I can post any question—really any question—about travel or about blogging, and get considered, intelligent responses. It’s been invaluable to me.
For that reason, I find today’s task difficult to answer. Narrowing it down to just one or two people who are inspiring is not really possible. Their strength is in their numbers. What I mean is that often a question isn’t easy to answer and has a variety of possible approaches or solutions. Posting a question on this group and reading the range of answers gets me a thorough, composite response that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Nevertheless, I’ll write about the two people who immediately came to mind when I read the task:
Doreen Pendgracs of Chocolatour is a writer, blogger, speaker, and chocolate-related event planner. How cool is that? And I don’t mention her just because it has to do with chocolate, though that’s what caught my attention about her in the first place.
Doreen makes her living combining a range of different activities: she earns from selling her book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate–Volume 1. She also earns from sponsors and affiliates on her blog. She is a freelance writer and public speaker. And she organizes guided chocolate events.
Doreen is inspiring to me because I’d like, eventually, to do something similar. I’d like to build up my blog readership enough to earn some money through my blog: from opening a related store on-line or through affiliate links. I’d like to have a more consistent stream of copy-writing assignments and workshop leader gigs. And I’m considering developing a sideline in trip planning.
If I met Doreen in real life, I think I’d like to ask her about her day. In other words, how does she juggle her different roles without getting all muddled and losing track?
Betsy Wuebker of PassingThru is a writer, blogger and speaker as well. In her case, I’ve met her in person several times at TBEX conferences. At the last conference I attended, in July in Stockholm, she was a speaker along with her husband, Pete, giving the audience all kinds of guidance about setting up and running a store on-line.
Politically, Betsy and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Nevertheless, I admire her writing skills in particular: beautiful, flowing, intelligent writing about the destinations she and Pete visit.
Betsy and Pete are inspiring to me because I’d like to emulate two things about them: the fact that they are location independent and that they juggle diverse sources of income.
I can’t go location independent until my husband retires in about six or seven years, but it would be great to be able to do that then. I dream about spending most of the year traveling—slow travel, which often involves housesitting—and returning to the Netherlands in the summertime.
In their case, the different income streams involve an on-line store and serving as business consultants to help others develop strategies for their “freedom plans.” To some extent, they can think bigger than I can because two of them are working on the business, but I should also be able to earn from different sources too.
The next time I see Betsy, I’d like to ask her the same thing as Doreen: what does a typical day look like? How do you juggle it all without going crazy?
This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6.