118 – The Secret 3 Steps to Building A Freedom Lifestyle Business

Social Media Business Hour with guest Natalie Sisson

Natalie Sisson is No #1 bestselling author, podcaster, speaker and adventurer who believes everybody has the right to choose freedom in business and adventure in life. Shes on a mission to ensure 100,000+ entrepreneurs do just that by 2020 over at the SuitcaseEntrepreneur.com

Born in New Zealand Natalies built her multiple six figure business from her laptop over the last 5 years while living out of her suitcase, traveling to 70 countries and showing others how to build a profitable online freedom business that supports their ideal lifestyle through her definitive Freedom Plan program.

A Mission Of Freedom And Adventure…

Natalie is on a mission. Her mission is to ensure that 1,00000+ entrepreneurs will have their well-deserved freedom with their businesses and an adventure in their life by Year 2020.

She provides some terrific resources at suitcaseentrepreneur.com.

Natalie’s Magic Formula For Success

Do you ever wonder how successful entrepreneurs streamline their business? In this interview Natalie shares with us the magic formula for creating freedom and success, which she admits, took her awhile to figure out.

What is that magic formula? The answer isn’t as simple as just one thing BUT if there was one very important element that stands above all others, it is  DISCIPLINE. She tells us that the more disciplined you are around your team, the more disciplined and organized your team is.

Just watch.  As you become more disciplined, you’ll see your team change in the way they take care of your business.

Natalie’s “Sexy Operating Procedures”

Natalie further said, because she and her team work with discipline and strictly follow her protocol (named “The Sexy Operating Procedures”) she can take as much time off as she wants (within reason) and still be confident that her business will still make money.

Even without her being physically there, her business still operates just fine.  

If You’ve Ever Wondered How To Do It, Then Just Ask Some One Who Already Has…

Natalie has found what she absolutely loves.  She is able to travel around the world, taking on new coaching clients and leisurely write new blog entries… all because of her supreme confidence in having built a tremendous business.

Success Isn’t Always Easy

Knowing she wanted an awesome lifestyle, Natalie committed herself with incredible discipline, to building her community, portfolio of products & programs.

Natalie’s Timeless Business Advice

Her one piece of advice, live and breath what you preach. If you focus and discipline yourself into just one thing that you truly love, the rewards will be wonderful.  Don’t forget to put a lot of effort and fun into it.

Make sure you make an effort to build a business around people who  appreciate what you offer, your work and share the same vision.

Find people who want to have the same adventure and share the same definition of freedom as you do.  

Why Would YOU Want To Live A Suitcase Life

Natalie describes herself as an entrepreneur who is Rich and Homeless. She is living a “suitcase life”. Natalie does indeed own a house and she doesn’t care about what other people think of, her property and belongings. All Natalie cares about is that her place is enjoyable, where her guests can feel comfortable  and welcome.

She believes that material things really don’t matter.

Even if you have the fanciest car, the most incredible sofa, the most amazing artwork hanging on your wall, none of this stuff matters.

How To Leave Your Legacy Intact

Natalie shares with us, that there is so much more beyond having possessions. Let’s just say that you were to leave this planet tomorrow. Nobody will remember you for the car or the expensive artwork that you had.  You have to aim and hope that people will remember you for the legacy that you’ve left through the amazing work you’ve done and from the people, whose lives you’ve touched. That is much more important than material things.

Invest in experiences and in memories that can never be taken away. In the end, those things are really your priceless possessions…and no amount of money can buy them.

Three Stages Of Building A Freedom Lifestyle Business

Natalie quickly turned her attention to building an online business that helps others escape the confines of an office, work remotely, still be productive and earn good money.

Below, Natalie shares with us her time-tested, three stages of building a “Freedom Lifestyle” for any business.

  • The Freedom Mindset –  This is the stage that is the hardest for people to really understand. It’s the freedom mindset. She explains that once you have a business or a career that affords you to have a little bit of more flexibility, a lot of people start to struggle. Their mindset changes to “I don’t necessarily have to work a normal working week nine to five”, “I can take more time off”, “I can take a mid week weekend”, “I don’t have to be based in an office”. “I don’t need to have clients that are in the same location as mine”.Despite the flexibility, you should not lose your vision and still be clear about it. Having great friends and family who keep you reminded about your vision is also a good idea and will also help you stay on track.
  • The Financial Freedom – The second stage “Financial Freedom” which really comes down to how we setup our business or career. Do you have enough revenue and income to afford a great lifestyle, that will not tie you down at the same time?Natalie’s goal for financial freedom is having a revenue stream or a stable cash flow that will allow flexibility in whatever you’re doing and lets you be involved either actively or passively in your business. These are the nuts and bolts of building an online business.If you want Financial freedom in your business, you should carefully consider your business model.  As an example, what are your plans for social media, sales strategies, sales funnels and outsourcing?  What are the systems you’ll used to create your business?
  • The Lifestyle Freedom – And the final part is lifestyle freedom. This is asking yourself, “What sort of a lifestyle do I want?” “How am I going to live it?”, “How often do I want to travel, how much time do I want to spend at home?”, “How will I travel?”, “how do I pack lightly?”. It’s really thinking about minimalism and how do you get rid of unnecessary possessions that are weighing you down to be more free.

Natalie Talks About The Transparency Of Living A Suitcase Life

While she says that she “really enjoys the constant change” her travel brings, it also gives her a few downsides. For instance, it can often be difficult for her to forge long-lasting, meaningful relationships with people. Structuring days can also pose a challenge for her. She hoped that her businesses will get over the fact that she doesn’t need to be present to reach out and connect with people and still add value.

As a result of this, she plans on slowing things down.

Natalie is looking forward to spending a little longer in the places she visits. She looks forward to finding somebody who’s up for an adventure to share and for moving around as well.

The Ultimate Goal

Natalie hopes that more people will be able to live her way in the future.

She wants more entrepreneurs to build and design their businesses based on what they love doing and around their lifestyle needs. She hoped also that everyone will aim on having a lifestyle business that will give all the freedom to take a time off at any time.  This means especially for that time you might need to drop everything to take care of yourself, relationships and family.

In that circumstance, she wants you to still have the confidence that your business will be stable and will still generate income even when you’re not around.

Please Click Here to View the Entire Transcript of the Show +

Natalie: Hi. I’m Natalie Sisson, the suitcase entrepreneur and I once was almost arrested in Sydney airport for being a little bit silly with one of the security officers and telling him that he wouldn’t find explosives in my suitcase. That he’d actually in fact find them strapped to my chest. I thought it was really funny at the time. He didn’t think it was funny at all. If I’d been in America I probably would’ve been arrested. Not my smartest move on my travels.

Woman: In business and know the way forward most include social media. Perhaps you find it a bit confusing. Even frustrating. Well, you have no idea how to make it work for your business. Fear not. We interview some of the best social media experts in business who will share their experiences, ideas and knowledge. Plus offer tips and tricks to make using social media a breeze. Leverage the power of social media and grow your business now. Welcome to social media business hour with your host Nile Nickel.

Jordan: Hello and thank you again for joining us. This is Nile’s trusty sidekick and co-host Jordan and I’d like to take a moment to share with you how you can benefit from Nile’s incredible experience using social media for real business success. If you’re an entrepreneur or thinking about starting your own business then using social media might be the most cost effective and time effective way to get your business real results. That’s not to mention much of what you can do to get those terrific results on social media is even free. Take Linked In for example. Nile always says it’s the best social media platform for business today. And that’s why I recommend you go to linkedinfocus.com and start your social media education today. Sign up for Nile’s free tips, tricks and strategies. Once again, it’s free and it only takes a few seconds. Go to linkedinfocus.com today. You’ll be glad you did.

Nile: Hey, welcome back. And after our funny news story there -- obviously you heard the tease at the beginning of the show with Natalie Sisson and by the way with the tease that Natalie gave us at the beginning of the show -- if you take a picture of Natalie I think if I was on the other side of that I would be laughing but let me tell you a little bit about Natalie. Maybe together with her. But Natalie Sisson is a number one bestselling author, podcaster, speaker and adventurer. Definitely an adventurer. Who believes everybody has the right to choose freedom in business and adventure in life. She’s on a mission and I love this mission. In fact, Natalie I’m going to ask you about this as soon as I tell everybody what your mission is. Your mission is to ensure 100000 plus entrepreneurs have freedom in their business and adventure in their life by 2020 over at suitcaseentrepreneur.com how did you come up with that and how do you go about helping people do that?

Natalie: Actually I just changed it recently to a million because somebody told me I was playing too small and when I started my business around five years ago that seemed like a pretty big number for me to reach either directly or indirectly through spreading the word in my books and my podcast and my blog and my programs and my retreats and my workshops around the world so now it’s a million people. So I’ve got a lot of work to do. But how I help people doing that is really showing them what’s possible and I think a lot of people are able to build a business that supports their ideal lifestyle. They just have to get really clear on what their ideal lifestyle looks like. And freedom means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and so for me it’s just getting them really clear about if you could wake up tomorrow and do whatever you wanted, spend time with the right people, be in a location that you wanted, what would your life look like and what would you be doing and how would you be spending your time? And it’s a great place for people to start and from there I can then get them to look at how they’re going to monetize themselves, build a business that’s mobile and really make revenue and make enough money to support their lifestyle and have an amazing life. That’s not the specifics of how I help them do it but that’s essentially the overall division of what I’m trying to help them with.

Nile: One of the things that I find fascinating is people might detect you have a little bit of a different accent.

Natalie: I have a different accent. Awesome accent.

Nile: Might even say a southern accent. I think it’s awesome too. Sounds very romantic I might add but that’s just me. But you come from New Zealand and you came up with this big bold thing. You’ve been living it, you’ve been doing it so by the way, this isn't a -- just a vain promise. You’ve been out there doing it. But New Zealand’s a fairly small country, not heavily populated. What brought all this on? I’m just really curious.

Natalie: That’s a great question. Well, it is paradise here in New Zealand. I’m actually just back here visiting family and it is a beautiful place but it’s also as I like to say on top of the world so there’s a whole lot more world out there to explore. And ever since I was a kid I’ve been traveling, my parents have been amazing. They’re both from Europe. They took my sister and I on tons of boat travels and so I just have this massive curiosity about the rest of the world and the countries and the cultures that I wanted to explore but what lead me to this point of living out of a suitcase and running a business and teaching other people how to travel the world and create a business that they love is really I think just kind of partly by accident and partly because I really wanted to not be stuck in an office working for other people so when I did finally go out on my own and become an entrepreneur and start my business and run some workshops I took everything that I did online and thought if I can make money from anywhere online from my laptop then I don’t need to be in one place to do it. So that’s what started the adventure and freedom quest.

Nile: So you’ve mentioned that your parents took you as a younger adult, a child on a number of trips. Is that where the inspiration really came from?

Natalie: I don’t know. I mean, I love that they’ve always encouraged us to travel. But as I said the inspirations probably come from a myriad of things that happen in my life. I recently found a photo of myself in a suitcase when I was a kid. I’m like literally poking out of a suitcase. And if I look back on my university studies, all my corporate jobs that I used to host, the cofounding and technology company, everything’s always been around technology, information management, communications, presenting, magazine style work and travel combined so I really just pulled together marketing, brand management from my corporate jobs, the technology side and social media from the company I cofounded and then my love for being able to teach, learn, teach and learn and just really be able to do that from anywhere. So it was -- like I think an accident or genius really on my behalf to be able to do it and probably a very strong longing from the get go to still be able to incorporate travel into anything that I do.

Nile: How many miles would you say that you travel in a given year?

Natalie: Oh, I don’t know because I work in kilometers. But a lot. For example, just coming back --

Nile: Well, we could go to kilometers. That’s fine.

Natalie: Do you know what? I’ve never really actually taken the time to look at that because probably it would scare me. But just for example coming back to New Zealand I -- it was a 37 hour journey because I had a flight from Lisbon to Dubai. Then I had a nine hour wait in an airport which was actually not as bad as it sounded. Then I had a 13 hour flight to Melbourne, a four hour wait there and then a three and a half hour to New Zealand and I think I was looking and there were at least 10 -- or was it 12 and a half thousand kilometers on one of those legs alone so I’ve taken a lot of trips already this year and more to come so I don’t even know. Probably more like you with your 100000 miles I’m used to do in a year.

Nile: Yeah, well, one of the things that I found and I’m going to get a little personal with you if it’s okay. I know that -- I had a family at the time and it was really hard on my family life to do that. I’ve got to believe for family or dating or whatever it may be that’s a pretty difficult thing to do. Have you found that or does it matter?

Natalie: Yeah. I mean, obviously if I had family independence which by the way is not something that I do want so that’s the reason that I can't be even more free. I’m sure it would be even more complex or challenging but I’ve actually interviewed and profiled a lot of people in my community. I have lots of customers and clients who have families and they do make it happen. It’s awesome to see how they do it. They go off in RVs around the world and they go off to Guatemala and get their kids involved in nonprofits or working on the land or home schooling so there’s always ways to do what you want even with families. But for me personally I enjoy being single and I enjoy traveling the world. I enjoy having romances on some of my trips but for sure it makes it having a relationship a lot harder and that’s probably my next stage is how do I make that happen and make it more appealing to a person that I meet that oh, look. I’m heading off in a week here. Why don’t you come with me? Or being a bit more stable and sticking around in a few places which is my aim right now is to have a few more bases around the world and actually spend my time in fewer places, more time in the communities that I want to be in getting to know people, developing better relationships with friends and people and settling a little bit more so I think that time is coming up.

Nile: Well, that makes sense and I could see that being the next book that will be coming out.

Natalie: Maybe.

Nile: I mean, I’m planning seeds here.

Natalie: Well, I did touch on it in my Suitcase entrepreneur book. I did touch on how to manage relationships with family and friends while you’re traveling and also as a single person or as a couple but I didn’t go deeply into how do you find love on the road because frankly I don’t have the answers for that and I know a lot of people do struggle with it so I think when the times comes you put your mind to what you want to do. You’ll make things happen and you’ll put the effort in priority into that but this -- it is always challenges whether you’re single or married or whatever so it’s really up to you to kind of figure out what you’re wanting out of that.

Nile: It absolutely is. One of the things that I have been really fascinated with -- clearly people go to your website which we’ll have in the show notes so we’ll make it easy for everybody but they go to your website, they look at your book, they see any of that. Clearly you’ve had a lot of success in what you’re doing. Now, that requires promotion and branding and all sorts of things like that. That being the case, how have you found the magic formula to do that as you’re on the road all the time?

Natalie: The magic formula ironically to have all this freedom is discipline and it took me a while to figure that out. so the more disciplined I am around having assistants and a team and processes and what I call sexy operating procedures but most people call it standard operating procedures has really helped me to streamline my business so that I don’t have to spend much time on it. I can take as much time off as I want within reason. The things will still operate without me that I’ll still make money without it and that’s from all the years and hard work and hustle of building community and building up my portfolio of products and programs and committing everything that I have really to this and living the lifestyle as well. Living and breathing what I preach. So I think it’s taken focus and discipline and now I get to reap the rewards which is wonderful. But I still love what I do so I put a lot of effort into it but it’s fun and it’s wonderful because I built it around what I wanted it to be and I really appreciate getting to help people all the time with choosing their own adventure and their version of freedom.

Nile: Well, I could clearly see that. I mean, your book the Suitcase entrepreneur -- if you look on Amazon at that it’s a five star review which isn't easy to get and reading through the comments that people have left I would say the majority of them are positive. Some of them are not so positive. But what I see and what I find about you through this process is through everything it appears that you’re very real, down to earth and transparent.

Natalie: Absolutely. 100 percent. And I don’t want to be anything else. That’s funny that you say that about Amazon though because I think the very first one that comes up is a one star review saying living -- selling the dream or something. And the lady is really complementary about me. She’s like I’m sure Natalie would be a great person to hang out with. She seems really fun and cool but can't help but think that she’s selling a dream here and it’s such an interesting thing that you come up against because even just being back in New Zealand so many people look at this and they’re like well, how does somebody do that? How do you run a business from a laptop? How do you make really, really great money and be able to make an impact by selling how to make a business or how to run a business, how to live this lifestyle. So I get it. And it’s something that people have really taken a while to _____22:39 onto. How do you become a digital nomad. Use software and tools and technology and outsourcing to run any type of business actually from the road. And I think the biggest thing that’s been my success as you’ve mentioned Nile is just being really open and transparent about everything. My screw ups, my failures, the good times, the bad times. I recently ran a webinar and I totally forgot to plug in the Wi-Fi router and I was right at that critical moment of talking about my program that people could join and it cut out and I was like oh my god. This is ridiculous. And I just laughed out loud and then I shared it in a podcast. Like how not to run a webinar or how to -- things to avoid based on what I just did and people really appreciate that. It’s not all perfect. I don’t think there is this magic formula, I don’t try and put on a front and I think people appreciate that it’s just real and you show them the good, the bad and the ugly of being an entrepreneur and traveling the world.

Nile: Now, so the next thing that I’m really curious about and I’m going to come back to the social media and the promotion and all of that in a bit but you mentioned a 100000 people that you really want to -- if you will transform their lives. And that wasn’t big enough. Now that it’s a million how are you going about that and how are people enrolling in this process because I assume that that’s where they say yeah. That’s what I want. How do I get it? So tell me a little bit about that.

Natalie: Yeah. It’s a great question. Well, what’s coming out this year that I’ve been really excited about is social enterprise that I’ve been considering in my head for way to long which is why I need to take action and it’s still based around freedom. It’s called the Right to freedom and to answer your question I feel that’s the movement, that’s the initiative that’s going to spike hopefully up to a million people to join. So it’s still very much based on my Suitcase entrepreneur business and what I’ve been doing there but I’ve always had this long held belief that underneath the soul there’s a greater desire for me to understand what freedom really is because in the US it’s completely different to other parts of the world and I’m just fascinated by it now and I still see people getting blocked in my community that I’m working with and I think it’s because we have this real disparate idea around can I have an amazing lifestyle and a really successful career or business, family and all the freedom that I want or is that being too greedy, is it even possible and so Right to freedom is this movement that I’m going to be beginning actually later this month to start working on social enterprise and the first hopefully global study on freedom and from there I’m going to be expanding out into a whole bunch of things. Hopefully a documentary and a book and a whole assessment type profile where people can understand and learn more about how they can have more freedom. So that to me is the -- what I’ve been working to for the last five years with my business has gotten me this place where I’m like great. Now I can work on an even bigger initiative with a nonprofit aspect that has a huge amount of potential to be one of the most scary but exciting things I’ve embarked on but also make a huge impact on the world. So that’s why I’ve stepped it up to a million people this year because I finally feel I’m ready for the next five to seven years to go on this journey.

Nile: One of the things I’m interested in is -- and the US is sort of a unique place if people haven’t traveled outside the US. The majority of my listeners are US based but that’s not true of all of the listeners. We’ve got people listening all throughout Europe and Asia and so on and so forth. But that being the case, you mentioned the difference in the US and how sometimes their idea of their right to freedom or that freedom view that they have is different. Talk to me a bit about that.

Natalie: Oh, sure. I mean, I’m probably insulting people right now because I have a lot of American friends and I love them and I love visiting and being in America but it always blows my mind that people there are like having to be busy and working all the time and if they’re not seen to be doing that then something’s wrong. Like having time off, taking time out, enjoying half a day off from your business seems like you’re not doing the right thing or that something’s going wrong if that’s what you’re doing. And there’s a huge inherent nature there to be just hustling all the time, to be ambitious, to be making money, to be working as hard as you can, to be setting up that American dream and I think you’ve got it all wrong. Completely the wrong way around. And what you end up doing is working so hard to earn as much money as you can to buy things and more things and more materials that you don’t need that ultimately make you unhappy and you see so many people over there who’ve done really well for themselves, super wealthy and they’re miserable. So I’m not saying that’s indicative of all of the US but there is this -- very much this nature there that you have to push hard, work all the time and everything is a priority and a commitment in that respect and I’m like why are you doing all this work and why are you working so hard when your life is sitting there waiting for you to live it and go on adventures and really enjoy it and spread happiness and cherish every single moment and live like there is no tomorrow.

Nile: That’s an interesting observation. We’ve got the phrase in the States and you’ve probably heard it as much as you’ve been here. Keeping up with the Joneses. Do you think what you observe with a  lot of people in the US is a bit of that keeping up with the Joneses syndrome?

Natalie: Yeah. And I don’t think it’s just limited to the US but for sure it’s there. I mean, you see it in other cultures as well. And I get it but I just don’t agree with it. Like I mean, here’s a person speaking -- it’s easy for me to say. I live out of a suitcase but if I eventually buy and live in a house I frankly don’t care what other people think of my house, of the goods and the things that I have inside it. I want it to be my place, I want to enjoy it, I want people to feel comfortable and welcome there. It’s not about that I have the fanciest car or the most incredible sofa or the most amazing artwork on the walls. None of that stuff matters. If you were to leave this planet tomorrow nobody is going to remember you for the car that you had or the artwork that you had. I hope. I hope they’re going to remember you for the legacy that you’ve left through the work you’ve done or the people’s lives that you’ve touched. So all of that stuff just seems so unimportant in the scheme of things.

Nile: I’m curious because I think in my own life apart from my family there are very few material possessions that I really, really enjoy and most of them are relatively small. I'm curious if you have any of those material possessions that find their way in the suitcase and travel around with you.

Natalie: Short answer is no.

Nile: Okay.

Natalie: I mean, obviously if I lost my new Macbook tomorrow or my iPhone six I’d be a little bit frustrated but it’s -- all of it is replaceable. And even to the point that my mom bought me a beautiful ring for Christmas, the Christmas we just had and I love it and it’s the only thing that I wear every single day but even if I lost that it’s -- I’ve still got the memory. It’s more important that mom’s here than the ring that she gave me so I would say there’s pretty much nothing. Sometimes when I get a bit sick of my suitcase I’m kind of excited that if it got lost by the airlines because I’d have to go out and buy something new and refresh my wardrobe and start it fresh and just keep it interesting.

Nile: Well, there you go. Well, no. I think of that. As I said, there’s very few things. I have for example a silver dollar money clip and that’s what I carry every -- the physical currency that I carry around is in that money clip. But I’ve now had that money clip probably for 25 years and is it materially worth a whole lot? No. it’s just worth something to me. But I -- little things like that that I enjoy. I was curious if you had any of those little things like that. you mentioned the ring but that’s interesting because it’s really -- if you get down to it and there’s a big fire or a big flood and you’re going to lose everything or virtually everything other than what you can carry in the palm of your hand; I always like to ask people what would that be because it really sort of defines a lot of things about you.

Natalie: It does. And you know what? the things that nobody can ever take away from you or be lost is memories, experiences and the people and the relationships that you have so that’s the most valuable thing in my life right now and the reason I’m even back home in New Zealand right now is my dad was in the hospital and it was incredible to just see how I dropped everything. I finally had plans to stay in Portugal for a few months which is quite a long time for me and I was really loving it. I’d actually bought a scooter for the first time, I was doing Portuguese lessons. I was actually trying to integrate into society a little and enjoying it and I just dropped everything to come back here because family, friends are just so much more important than anything else that you could ever own. So experiences as I said and memories that can never be taken away from you and they’re worth millions of dollars in my mind.

Nile: Yeah. No. I would agree with you. Other than the fact that I’m getting a little bit older and some of those memories fade. I’m not sure you can --

Natalie: Yeah. That’s true. You need to write a book maybe. You need to write a book.

Nile: Yeah. That might be it. I’ll have to read it to remind myself. That’s all.

Natalie: Yeah.

Nile: Well, again, I want to go back to the promotion and I want to go back to the promotion because when -- you typically promote to a community and you typically build that community from people that you know, like and trust or people that know, like and trust you. so as you’re traveling around the world obviously you’re meeting a lot of people but that marketing gets to be challenging and I think you have an interesting take on it which is I guess why I wanted to get there. It’s certainly not what I want people to focus on with the interview with Natalie here but I think you’ve got some interesting takes on it so what -- how do people get to know you?

Natalie: That’s a great question. I mean, I think you touched on it earlier. It was a really lovely compliment. I’m pretty open, I’m very transparent and recently I was in Berlin and I held a meet up there with my community and one of the guys from Netherlands said oh, you’re just like you sound like on your podcast and you look like in your videos and you’re just you. And he’s like we thought you’d look like a celebrity when you walk in and we’re all -- but no. but you came straight over and talked to us. And I was like well, what did  you expect me to do? So I think people get to know the real me if they ask the right questions for sure. As you said, I meet people all the time every single day and it can be overwhelming to remember every single person you’ve met but some people you just really connect with and those ones that usually share a curiosity and love for life. They ask intelligent, smart questions. You have discussions over all sorts of topics and from there you forge friendships and you actually make an effort to keep in touch and I’ve met up with several people around the world in two or three different countries. It’s kind of becoming a theme with some of my good friends is to see how many places we can meet up with around the world and share more experiences and good times so people just have to ask and get in touch.

Nile: Well, one of the things I guess I was going on was you do an awful lot of your business on social media and social media I think has become a little bit of cornerstone in your business. But it’s social at the same time. So I -- at least from what I could see a lot of people that get to know you and a lot of your marketing for that matter is social media based.

Natalie: Absolutely. Yeah. Precisely. So I’m anywhere and everywhere on social media because I love it and it’s how I built my business so very, very important and has allowed me to just have my unique voice and be who I am and people really connect that way. I think they feel they can reach out on Twitter, through Facebook messages and Periscope which I’ve started using and through my blog and podcast and all of it has just helped to build an engaged audience and community of -- I call freedom fighters who get what journey I’m on and want to be on a similar journey but on their own unique path.

Nile: Do you find that there are people that engage with you and you mentioned that engagement. That’s one of the things that we talk about quite a bit because you could do a lot of things and a lot of big marketing programs that people do but unless you engage it just doesn’t matter. But do you find that there are a lot of people that engage with you and that initial part of the engagement is following you to really build their belief that this could really be done? I mean, are they -- do they question that can she really do this and this is the way she lives her life and they follow you and find out that maybe it is?

Natalie: I think that people have told me a lot in the past that they live through me vicariously until they can take their own leap of faith and build their own freedom plan. So yeah. I think that’s a huge part of it and why I like to live and breathe my brand and I do show it. I mean, obviously it is possible. There are some people who may be cut out to be entrepreneurs perfectly but it doesn’t mean that they can live the lifestyle that has more freedom or they couldn’t incorporate more of those things into their daily life so I love to -- I’m all about taking action and showing what’s practical and implementing so people who like that and actually want to get something done, not just talk about it generally are the type of people who -- I'm in their lives and they're in mine if that makes any sense. And you do start to attract a certain kind of person. I’ve seen that with big brands online how often men will attract men of a similar age or women will attract women who were into that particular topic or thing that they’re talking about. So I’m pretty sure I attract some weird ass awesome people who want to achieve all sorts of different things and travel the world or even just stay at home but experience more adventure. Yeah.

Nile: Before I transition to sort of the heavy question I have to ask one of the light questions. Whenever you travel a lot you come up with some different strange stories. And you and I were talking a little bit before the interview about some of the strange stories and you said well, so many things happen to me I don’t even know where to go. And I have to give you an example because -- and just like me I’m sure that you have hundreds if not thousands of these stories but I got stuck in an airport and they gave us meal vouchers. Not an uncommon thing. And so the only thing that was open was a little sundry shop and you could go in and get cookies, crackers, potato chips and drinks or whatever. That was going to be dinner so I went in and I got a box of cookies and I knew that I didn’t need the whole box of cookies and if anybody looks at my social media profile you’ll know I didn’t need the box of cookies either but nevertheless I got a box of cookies and something to drink and I was reading the paper and I opened up -- reach in my bag and I open up the box of cookies and I pull out a cookie and I have one and there’s a little boy playing there and he’s probably four or five years old. And he comes over and he reaches in and gets one of the cookies and I go well, that’s sort of interesting. He didn’t ask or anything and his mom just looks up and smiles at me and so at this point in time I’m reaching in and getting a cookie and he’s reaching in and getting a cookie. And we go on like this until the last cookie of the box comes out. And I pull out that last cookie and his bottom lip comes out and starts that quiver. And I’m going what? I’m just eating my cookies here. And his mom doesn’t say one word to me. She reaches over and she takes the cookie from me and she breaks it in two and she gives him half and me half. And I’m going wow. I’m a little bit blown away by this but I really don’t need the whole box of cookies but I was just looking at it from -- there was no discussion and it was my box of cookies and all of that. And so we get ready to load the plane finally and we get on the plane and I go in and sit down and I open up my briefcase and in my briefcase was my box of cookies. And so I realize I’d been eating his box of cookies the whole time. Gives you a little bit of a paradigm shift there. I reached across the aisle and the mom and the kid were there and I gave her my box of cookies back -- or my box of cookies and we just both laughed because both of us were like well, this is interesting. But that’s just -- hey, I’ve got hundreds of stories like that. But I bet you’ve got even more. So I’m going to put you on the spot. I need some of your stories.

Natalie: Well, I’d say -- I mean, I’ve got some pretty funny ones. I tend not to attract too much drama into my life so I’m sure what other people would tell a tantalizing tale about -- I just kind of take in my stripe but probably one of the most significant and it was pretty scary at the time and ridiculous afterwards. In Vietnam a year and a half ago and I’d actually just been -- I’d won over the role of being an editor for a book for startups in Asia and I’ve been editing this book about Vietnam for entrepreneurs so I’ve been learning tons about the culture and the way in which they do business but also the safety of the country, the communication, the political setup and I remember writing about this particular area of Ho Chi Minh City where you shouldn’t really stand as a tourist and it’s notorious for theft and you have to be careful and you should catch taxis and I’ve just come back on a six and a half hour bus ride from Mui Ne. I’ve been on the coast and I’ve been enjoying some beach time and relaxation and a digital sabbatical. Time offline. And I got back into the capital and got off the bus and I knew that my hotel was only a five minute walk away because I’ve been there before and the taxi driver’s like you want a life? And I was like no. no, I’m good. I’m going to walk because I’ve just been on a bus for six and a half hours and I’m walking along with my suitcase in my hand. Obviously rolling it along. And I had my laptop bag with every single thing in it tied around the handle of the suitcase and I’m looking at my phone which I’m holding pretty firmly in my hand but I’m looking at the map to go yeah. I think it’s this way and not that way. And out of nowhere comes this scooter like a sort of a very, very quiet scooter motorbike, two guys on it and then they suddenly speed up and I’m like totally off in my own world. I’m tired and I’m jetlagged and I’m looking at this phone. And they just came by and they grabbed my laptop strap out of my -- like off my shoulder. And just sped on and I just remember spinning around and shouting out no and watching my entire life like speed off down this street and I started running after -- I wouldn’t have had any chance in hell of catching them but all I could see was my purple suitcase and my laptop bag and everything just gone and I start running towards them like yelling going darn you. And they dropped it. they dropped the whole thing because what had happened as I -- one thing that I did as a safety move was I attached as I said my laptop loosely, the strap around the suitcase handle and so by grabbing a laptop bags that also hooked to my suitcase and it was just too heavy and they couldn’t get away with it. So then some respects I was -- I just stood there and went oh my god. My suitcase just saved my life because I had my passport in there, all my money, my hard drive, my computer, everything. I hadn’t even split anything out onto myself. Normally I will hide like another card somewhere else or I just won't have everything in one place and also it was the only time that I put a jumper in my laptop bag. I don’t know why. Sort of a jacket which padded the fall when it fell down so my laptop didn’t smash. Nothing got broken. It was incredible. And I just remember standing there going you are an idiot. Like you wrote about this in a book and here you are standing in the exact place. I’d even crossed over the road to be on the quiet side so there wasn’t anybody around for once which is pretty not common in Vietnam and yeah. It was incredible. So that was my story that I got everything back and I felt ridiculously lucky and fortunate to have all my stuff back and be alive.

Nile: Well, it’s always interesting when we get those reminders like that too. Now, you teased everybody with a story about coming back into Australia and making a joke that maybe wasn’t a good joke so we can't let that story go either.

Natalie: Oh, yeah. That was just another wonderful moment where sometimes my sense of humor which we talked about before doesn't go down so well. So I was waiting for a flight out of Sydney. This was back when I was in the corporate world and I was waiting in line to actually just check in on the flight and this guy came up to me, a security guy and he’s like ma’am do you mind if I check your bags? And I was like no. That’s fine. Go ahead. But can I ask you what you’re checking for. And I knew what he was checking for but I just wanted to make conversation because frankly I’ve been on the airport for a while and it was a bit boring. He’s like I’m checking for any explosives. And I was like well, you’re not going to find them there. I’ve got them strapped right here and I pointed at my chest. And I was wearing quite a fitted top so it was clearly obvious that I didn’t have anything strapped under there and I thought it was hilarious and he just -- that’s a federal offense ma’am. I could have you arrested right here on the spot. I’m not going to but that was stupid. Don’t do it again. And I was like okay. The more people that I told about that -- they were just like Natalie what were you thinking? Like what an idiotic move. So every so often even as a frequent traveler you do do some pretty stupid things.

Nile: See what lack of sleep could do to a person. Well listen, we don’t have a huge amount of time yet but one of the things that I’d love to talk about if it’s okay -- in your book you talk about the three stages of building a freedom lifestyle business and I found that fascinating and I don’t know if I could indulge you but would you mind sharing those with us?

Natalie: Absolutely. So _____45:01 is not surprising. The first stage is the -- I think the hardest one for people to get their head around. It’s the freedom mindset so once you do have a business or a career that affords you a little bit more flexibility a lot of people really struggle with oh, that means I don’t necessarily have to work a normal working week nine to five. I can take more time off, I can take a mid week weekend. I don’t have to be based in an office. I don’t have to have clients that are in the same location as me so it’s that -- there’s a lot more to it. There’s also dealing with friends and family which we’ve talked about here and really getting clear on your vision for how you would like to live so that freedom mindset is the first stage that I take people through. the second stage is financial freedom which really comes down to how you’re setting up a business or a career so that you have enough revenue and enough income to afford you a great lifestyle but also not tie you down; your revenue streams that you have allowing you to be flexible in what you do; how active or passively do you want to be involved in the work that you do as well. so that’s all the nuts and bolts of building an online business, the business model, the social media aspect and strategy, your sales funnel, outsourcing, systems etcetera. And the final part is lifestyle freedom. So what sort of a lifestyle do you want? how are you going to live, how often do you want to travel, how much time do you want to be spending at home, what does that look like to you, how do you travel, how do you pack lightly. Really talking about minimalism as well and how do you get rid of a lot of those possessions that are weighing you down to be more free.

Nile: I like that travel hack. I noticed you’ve got a few interesting terms like travel hack and digital nomad and things like that.

Natalie: Yeah. I don’t make them up but they’re quite common in my world. But for people who’ve just heard them for the first time they’re like oh, digital nomad. I like that. And I’m like yeah. I didn’t make it up.

Nile: Well, that is quite alright. I know that you’ve got an awful lot to share with people. We will have the links up on our website and it will be on social media business hour. Episode 119. But can you tell a little bit of -- the listeners -- share with us what you have and what you do and how people could engage with you?

Natalie: Yeah. So a little bit more about kind of how I run my business or what I have on offer?

Nile: What do you have that you offer people so that they could learn to do what you do and sort of roam around the world and be fun and fancy free.

Natalie: Well, most of what I do actually is free for people which is great. So I do have a blog at the suitcaseentrepreneur.com and I have a twice weekly podcast which is also free on iTunes. And the Suitcase entrepreneur all within the branding. The book which is really, really affordable on Amazon and just a ton of stuff that I put out there free. I do webinars, I do -- I’m starting to do more Periscopes and I just love teaching people and sharing how they can do this for themselves. And then I have digital products that I sell on my site that are all related to building an online business and also using crowd funding to sort of kick start your business if you need. And my most definitive program that I’m really excited about launched last year which is my main stand. Every single piece of advice and experience and learning has gone into it. It’s the Freedom plan and you touched on the three stages. There’s what basically makes up the Freedom plan so it’s 12 modules. There’s a lot more to it than that but essentially I take people through those three stages with 12 modules of online learning, support and community involved and that’s my baby that I’m really wanting to get more and more people through because I’m starting to see incredible results that people are getting. And as I said, I think it’s like everything that I’ve accumulated over my entire lifetime but also five years in business to help people do this for themselves.

Nile: Well, I can't recommend highly enough. As I said, you’ve got a five star rated book. When you look at all of the ratings on Amazon. The Suitcase entrepreneur. I recommend that. We’ve got that available as a link on the show notes as well for episode 119. And I have to say I’ve got the privilege -- I like all of the pictures on your website and everything like that but one of the pictures that just says freedom to me is your Skype picture and I’m not sure that everybody gets to see your Skype picture.

Natalie: Oh, does it? I should look at it. Oh, that one.

Nile: Yeah. Well, you’re up high. I don’t know if it’s a mountain top. I’ll call it a hill top. But beautiful scenery behind you. There you are with a great smile and two thumbs up and to me that just says freedom in a really great way so I love it.

Natalie: That’s true. I should probably put that one out. That was actually a panorama looking across the _____49:51 it reminded me of the hobbit’s land and Middle Earth because it’s just so beautiful so maybe I’ll incorporate that into my blog.

Nile: It needs to be because it really is a great picture that says freedom in a big way. But Natalie I would like to thank you so much for joining all of us today on the social media business hour. And for our listeners, I want to thank you too. Hopefully you learned a few new ideas or concepts. Maybe a dream got started. Maybe you were just reminded of a few things that you already know but you haven’t been doing to improve or grow your business or your life. Our desire is you take just one of the things that you learned or were reminded of today and you apply it this week to your life or business. We know that a small change can make a big difference and I’m committed to bringing you at least one new idea each week that you could implement so go back and identify just one small change that you could make to your business or your life this week and see what a big difference it will make for you. So until next week, this is Nile Nickel. Now, go make it happen.

Woman: Social media business hour is powered by linkedinfocus.com. For show notes, updates and to pick up the latest tips and tricks head over to socialmediabusinesshour.com. Until next time. Thanks for listening.

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Twitter: @nataliesisson

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