Living the dream? what does that really mean …

I had a conversation this week with someone I admire; she’s living in one of the most beautiful spots in the world, enjoying what seems to be the most amazing vocation – and enjoying the lifestyle and learning and growing with her craft. She said during the conversation – yep – ‘living the dream’. I’ve heard that said before a few times and it got me thinking.

I think it’s only now that I really understand what it means.

Living the dream used to conjure up days of inspiration and fulfilment, feeling constantly wired about life and having some kind of charmed existence that’s only reserved for the lucky ones.

Now I see that living the dream is not necessarily about everything falling into place and becoming an amazing, hassle free existence. But first of all, I must say that living the dream should be no less appealing and sought after, as it is still the best way to live.

  • For me, it’s following your heart when you feel scared.
  • It’s making decisions that others sometimes don’t understand with and having the faith and confidence to follow through.
  • It’s getting up and doing the same stuff – over and over again – including the stuff you’d rather not do.
  • It’s trying things that haven’t been done before rather than relying on how it’s been done before.
  • It’s remembering to be grateful for the days where you are struggling, along with the days you are floating on cloud nine – because you don’t get one without the other.
  • It’s enjoying every single minute as best you can, because you know you’ve chosen it and you’d rather be doing this than anything else – even with all its pitfalls.

Yes – living the dream is great, but it’s also challenging, bumpy and little bit scary sometimes. Unless your dream is to float along waiting for life to take you on its twists and turns. It’s worth following your dream, because it means you get to live your dream.

Why is it really the best way to live? Because living your dream is not about waiting for a dream to come true. It doesn’t mean you work hard knowing you’re going to get huge rewards or massive recognition. Living the dream means you’re doing what you’d do anyway. When you take everything else away, the huge financial wins, the viral posts and the massive lists. The big brand and the safe business. Whatever you seek, whatever you’re chasing, may not come about, but living the dreams means you’re happy seeking it, content in chipping steadily away at the next goal and steadily taking the next step, knowing you’re where you want to be, doing what you want to do – regardless of the outcome. THAT’S living the dream.

Not living the dream?

  • Is wondering what if.
  • Doubting and not doing.
  • Second guessing and procrastinating.
  • Fearing and failing before starting.
  • Giving up before you’ve even given it a go.
  • Living someone else’s life
  • Chasing someone else’s dreams
  • Following someone else’s path
  • Copying someone else’s vision.

No thank you…

Choose from joy. Can you make your 2018 a year of joyful choices?

As I continue my trip to England and enjoy spending time with my family here, I’m constantly reminded of lovely times from the past. Like how when I was a child, every Wednesday evening, my dad would take me to piano lessons. He’d then take me to a sweet shop where I would often spend way too long trying to choose a chocolate bar. I’m forever in awe at Dad’s patience waiting for me to choose!

It got me thinking about how powerful having a choice is. Every day (if we’re lucky) we are given SO many choices! Some small – what will I have for breakfast? What will I wear?  Some large. (Shall I marry my partner? Should I sell my house?)

Sometimes, though, it’s only when our choices are taken away do we realize how valuable it is – the ability to choose. The choice to walk, talk, sing, laugh, eat, move. Simple choices we take for granted every day, right up to those big life choices we make that shape our lives.

One choice I believe we overlook and maybe don’t appreciate is how we spend our time every day. Our ‘career’, our ‘job’ – the activity that we do every day that pays the bills and fuels our life. Most of us have a wide range of choices as to how we spend our days. From when we are young, we get given opportunities to take so many different and fulfilling paths.

So why is then, I wonder, that so many people choose every day to turn up to jobs that merely, or sometimes not even, tick the boxes, pay the bills, fill in time. How do they allow life to turn into a dreary drudge of existing with their days spent doing things that don’t fulfill their lives more than making money? When you think about it, it’s truly crazy. But I understand how it happens.

  • We choose from fear instead of faith.
  • We choose from duty instead of joy.
  • We choose from doubt – based on what we know now, rather than what we believe we can achieve.

I believe it’s as simple as my good friend Robyn Pacey reminds me – by choosing from the heart:

How do you choose from the heart? You find your own center and make a choice from there

  1. Make time and space for SELF-AWARENESS
  2. Allow yourself the ritual of SELF-CARE
  3. Listen to your true self and follow your JOY COMPASS
  4. Build your SELF-CONFIDENCE
  5. Learn how to re-center and RECOMMIT to what you truly care about.


  1. Make time and space for SELF-AWARENESS
    Self-awareness is as simple as allowing yourself time to hear your innermost thoughts and asking yourself the right questions. Sometimes they’re the ones you avoid. The more self-aware you are, the more you can make decisions that align with you and bring you more joy and fulfillment. If you find it difficult making decisions, it means you do not really know yourself and leads to making choices to please others – more duty than joy!
  2. Allow yourself the ritual of SELF-CARE
    Self-awareness incorporates self-care. Being kind to yourself means you allow yourself time to think, to breathe, to rest, to be. Instead of filling your life up with demands, duties, and distractions, you give yourself the gift of time to yourself, to refill your energy, to re-spark your life and hear and honor your desires.
  3. Listen to your true self and follow your JOY COMPASS
    When you are more self-aware, you allow time for self-care, you are more able to listen to and be your true self – and then you can recognize and follow your JOY COMPASS. Your joy compass is always there, but sometimes we hear, but we don’t acknowledge. We ignore the obvious and take the difficult path instead of the joyful one. Choices sometimes require courage to go a different way, choosing a different path – one that is non-conventional or maybe not approved by family or friends. Allowing yourself the simple gift of exploring what it is that really lights you up keeps your life on a truly joyful path.
  4. Build your SELF-CONFIDENCE
    With a clear sense of self, you are ready to test out your choices and allow yourself forgiveness of making mistakes. You know that decisions are not necessarily right or wrong, just different. You don’t let others dictate and totally guide your life, but you have faith that whatever choice you make you will accept and move forward with. You know you can handle the outcome and that it’s only a wrong choice if you decide it’s a wrong choice. Every decision, every action you make can be re-framed as the right one and every outcome can be seen as being OK if you choose to see it that way.
  5. Learn how to re-center and RECOMMIT to what you truly care about.
    And as you are self-aware, enjoy regular self-care, follow your joy compass with self-confidence – the only thing left to do is keep doing it! Making a choice one day means you need to follow it through. Most decisions require an ongoing commitment of some kind – so your task is to do what it takes to get back to your self-assured, self-confident ‘self’ to keep moving forward and take the necessary steps to keep going. It’s a circle – you listen, you take care of yourself, you make a choice based on joy, you confidently move forward and then you do it all over again!


If we could all choose from the heart, make decisions based on courage rather than fear and choose joy over duty, I wonder how the world would look?

How do you keep your hopes and dreams alive? Learn to believe.

It’s Christmas time and I’m sitting here in a coffee shop in my hometown in England, lapping up the atmosphere of Christmas Spirit they do so well over here. Well, ok it is a little over the top but I love it. They call it the silly season, but I still believe in the spirit of Christmas. Visiting your hometown is always going to be a little reminiscent especially at Christmas and it has got me thinking how as a little girl, I used to believe anything was possible. That I could do anything, be anything have anything. If I wanted something, I’d go get it. A job, a holiday, a new pair of jeans, a place at my chosen University – It was pretty simple and things kinda fell into place quite easily.

The thing is, life has a way of taking away that simple ability to choose and go get what you want. We overthink, over-plan, overwork and start doubting our decisions. Things don’t go according to plan and the wonder of life gets buried in chores, duties, and demands and our ability to believe gets watered down and possibly even washed away.

I still believe anything is possible, I’m certain that is the case, but I know now that not everything is likely. Some things that were a ‘dead certainty’ for me have turned into an ‘I doubt it now’. I’ve been dealt enough false starts to let the doubts and dreads creep in and to be honest, it’s been a bit of struggle to sometimes turn it around and keep believing in what is possible for my life. Life has chipped away at my youthful energy and replaced it with a mature kind of reality that I, and most people I know, learn to live with and accept. But I know that many people let these hurdles chip away so much that they give up on their dreams. Many even experience far worse with anxiety and fear taking over their lives on a daily basis.

Amongst all the wishing, wanting, desiring and planning, I have learned a far more valuable lesson that gives me more peace and happiness than any possessions or achievement could ever give me. Because right now, I have more purpose and meaning than I ever had, I have a deeper knowing around who I am and what I really want. I’ve found a calm, centered place that I can go to regain belief in myself, faith in my direction. A place I can go where I can believe in me again. In my choices. In my direction. And that’s pretty much everything to me.

I have the faith and belief that I can do things My Way and that will be OK. Over the years I’ve tried to fit in, stand out, do things differently, do things that I was uncomfortable with, do things I didn’t want to do but felt I should do. I’ve followed gurus and learned from ‘experts’. Now I’m learning to trust myself again and do things that I believe will work and that I believe in wholeheartedly. I’ve learned to believe in myself, in my choices.

Because after all, if we can’t believe in ourselves, who can we believe in?

There are many – MANY things we can’t 100% rely on happening. Stuff happens. Good and Bad. Things don’t always work out as planned, in fact, things rarely work out as planned. Life doesn’t stay steady any more than Santa is going to jump down our chimney. But without good, there’d be no bad, ups and downs are the natural order of things. What we can do is learn to manage how we handle events and how we bounce back and get on moving towards what we really want, without being attached to whether we get it! How we get back to believing in ourselves again – every day.

I’ve learned a few key tricks that bring me back on track, back to believing … Here’s one of my favorites, it’s a simple mantra I use if doubts creep in:


The biggest problem with making a dream happen, or following an unknown path, is looking too far ahead and looking for answers that you won’t find – yet, or looking at the skills and knowledge you don’t have – yet, or getting overwhelmed with what it’s going to take to get to where you want to go. So, instead of worrying about all that, I simply acknowledge that – maybe it’s possible. I don’t discount it and give up. I don’t worry and stress and work myself silly trying to make it happen. I just say – maybe. Then I start to look for ways forward that may be possible. I start to look for signs and ideas that could take me closer. And most of all I listen to how I want to do it, how I choose to get there, how I can make it happen rather than looking at all the ways other people have done it, or not done it. And all the while I try to stay detached from the outcome, because whether I do or whether I don’t, I have found something far more valuable, that’s having the belief that it’s possible.

Find a quiet space inside where we can go and whisper to ourselves, maybe – just maybe – I can find a way My Way.

So yes, there are a lot of things I still want. Some material, some experiences, but the thing that brings me the most peace, is the knowledge that I can now get back on track and believe in myself again, belief in my own path.

As it’s nearing the end of the year, it’s a great time to check in and recommit to your direction or to let go of what is not serving you perhaps. It’s a time of mixed feelings – relief that a break is around the corner and hope that next year will bring prosperity and happiness.

  1. What do you believe to be possible in your life?
  2. What are your dreams and desires?
  3. What have you given up on?
    Can you start with Maybe?

Following your true creative path in business

If you have a business, but you want MORE than just a business … You might be looking for an AdVenture!

I have a problem with the words ‘business’. I didn’t aspire to be a business person. I know people who are business people and they love ‘doing business’ – but for me and many others, the word ‘business’ doesn’t conjure up good vibes or inspire them to take the business path. I much prefer the ideas of having, or creating, and AdVenture. That’s a Venture with some Added fun, freedom and creativity!

The whole idea of being in business can be a bit scary, it can mean freedom – if you do it right. If you get it wrong it can be far from freedom giving.

Let’s look at a business from a different perspective to start with:

A business is “an organisational entity involved in the provision of goods and services to consumers”.

Here’s some other words you might like to explore in the context of business:

Pursuit • Activity • Life’s Work • Vocation • Walk of life • Enterprise • Purpose • Venture • Work

For me, it’s all about having my business work for me and having a business that delivers more and gives me more than money. I am happy to say that I now have a ‘FREEDOM-DRIVEN’ BUSINESS; one that offers you a lifestyle, purpose and allows you to pursue your passion.

This is MY definition of business as I like it …

A platform for self-expression, an outlet for creativity, a purposeful venture that delivers more than money. A venture that lights you up and brings you freedom, purpose, joy and personal fulfilment whilst delivering something of immense value to the world.

DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS – but you want MORE than just a business …

  • Maybe you have a business but it’s not ticking the boxes
  • You’re still in a business doing something that doesn’t light you up any more
  • You see so much more potential for you business and you want to change it
  • Or maybe you don’t really want a business, you want an outlet for your creativity or a platform to share your ideas.
  • You just want to spend your days doing what you enjoy, what lights you up and make a GOOD living out of it not just get by
  • And you want to be able to express yourself fully and openly, helping people that appreciate you and value you

If I just wanted a business, I’d be where I was 15 years ago – running a what would anyone would consider to be a successful design and marketing agency. With a staff of 15 and an enviable client base, it was by anyone’s standards – a good business. A successful business in the heart of a major city.

So why was I not happy? Why did I look for more? Why did I walk out one day and never look back?

Because I was seeking a freedom driven business. A business that was an AD-VEnture…

The thing is, many people just don’t BELIEVE that it’s possible to create a business like that. My mission is to dispel that belief and help creative entrepreneurs break free of beliefs around business that might be holding them back from finding and following their true creative path.