Would you agree? When reflecting on our world, I tend to reference a pre-pandemic and post-pandemic era divide. To some extent, every country is different now than before COVID. Experiences big and small feel smeared by it, and I for certain am deeply altered by the events of the past two+ years.
And with travel back in full force, you may return “home” to a place that’s changed in a way you don’t like, and that can come as a total shock. Sure, where you lived during it also isn’t the same, but you witnessed the micro dose adjustments happen in real-time — making them easier to absorb.
Okay, here’s another truth bomb: YOU’RE different too compared to when you left. And these (positive, negative, or neutral) changes are less noticeable via Zoom or over the phone but highly detectable when face-to-face. Fortunately, you can mind map transition to minimize the whiplash effect.
Right now, I’m undergoing multiple, life-altering personal and professional transitions. And although the process has been busy and at times challenging, I almost don’t dare to admit that it has been…smooth.
And that is exactly what I promise is possible. Rather than just “getting through” the hard, you can actually feel in control and enjoy the ride. How? With the right foresight and strategies.
So this week, I’ll reveal a few of my winning methods for thriving *while* in transit. They’ll include the globally tried-and-tested 4 Pillars from my signature program, Adapt and Succeed. I’ll also share some guiding questions I use to help my clients establish a clear vision.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Fun Fridays & 6-week sprints
- When it’s okay to bring your laptop to date night
- Living through layers & layers & layers of in transit
- Operating your business while on the move
- Working during low connection times
Listen to the Full Episode
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- Sundae’s Website
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- IN TRANSIT Hub
- Adapt and Succeed
- Susan Hyatt
- Trudi LeBron
- Brené Brown
- Amel Derragui
- September Waiting List
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, It is 7:00 am in New York, 1:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 6:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I am an intercultural strategist, transformation facilitator, and solution-oriented coach, and I am on a mission to help you adapt & succeed through ANY life transition.
Our lives in transit – if you know my work, you know that I see transition differently – we are constantly in transition. It could be a global transition, a transition in your family, and a health transition all at the same time. And when we are in a physical transition, let’s say like I am, moving from one continent to the next, we add another layer on top of it all.
I have been sitting in layers and layers and layers of in transit for months now. There was this moment I had the other morning by my coffee machine, it’s 5:15, my eyes are barely open, I push the button on my coffee and I think, “Why isn’t this harder?” I felt like I was doing something wrong because we are moving continents, I’m also in other transitions where kids are graduating. We are renovating a house from a distance. I’m in some interesting transitions in my business and what I’m trying to create. And I’m like, “Shouldn’t I be more stressed out?”
Because whenever I talk to people like my clients about their transitions, they are in a harder space and then I felt like I was doing something wrong. Like, “What was I missing?” Is it something I had forgotten.
And then I realized, I’m like, “Oh,” it’s because I actually apply the things that I teach, right? Because of all of the visioning, all the advanced planning, all this systematic execution of the things that have to get done, things are going pretty well.
And don’t get me wrong – it’s intense. May was a really intense month. There were wedding anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, goodbye parties, sleepovers, and I think I made about 497 thousand pancakes. BUT I’ve had a lot of fun and June is also going to be a gorgeous month. I really do believe that if you’ve got the right foresight and strategies, these kind of crazy transitions aren’t something that you have to get through, but something you can actually enjoy.
So, in today’s episode I’m going to answer a listener’s question. She reached out and she said, “Sundae, how do you plan and execute your business while being on the move?”
And when I heard that question, I actually paused because I’ve been doing this for nine years. I have a location independent business and I’ve been on the move, whether it is 10-12 weeks away on different continents for summer to see our family and extended family. Or from a political surprise and suddenly we have abrupt transition leaving a country temporarily or permanently. Sometimes it’s for sad moments like a funeral abroad. Or for celebrations like a cherished family gathering. This is something that I don’t know, actually, how to do business otherwise. It’s just part of the conditions for me to be able to do my business, to be on the move, to deal with the unexpected and keep things going.
So today, I’m going to share a little bit behind the scenes of that so that I can maybe pass something on to you and see if there’s something you might want to add to your own practices.
One of the things I think people do when they think about moves, when they think about running their business, when they think about any of those who have complex physical transitions, is they think about planning first. I’m all about planning. But what I think we miss and I want to emphasize this now, is before you plan, you have to get clear on what you’re planning. And you’re not planning the move. You’re not planning the business. You have to know, “The what?” Bigger.
So what I’m talking about is the vision. The vision of whatever you’re planning. What do you want it to look like? What do you want it to feel like? How do you want to experience it? And then from there, you start planning.
So for me, if I go to the micro level, when I looked at this continental transition. Leaving South Africa after six years, setting up our nest in Switzerland, bringing a family that is much bigger than it was before in terms of age and development. Returning to a place that is completely different after COVID. And being different than I was when I left. I wanted to establish a vision.
So the thing I want you to think about for you is ask yourself, if we’re looking short-term, let’s say it’s getting through the next three months in your business or this intercontinental move or changing jobs, or maybe even a family transition, if someone is leaving the nest or maybe you’re renegotiating how you do your relationship, whatever it is. Think about the vision that you want to have.
What would that look like? The best possible outcome. How do you want to feel? What do you want to experience? What do you want to do?
And now we’re getting somewhere. So, how do I plan and execute my business around being on the move?
There are three questions I use to guide the process, and I teach this in more detail in my course Adapt & Succeed and I will share with you briefly today. In the broadest sense they are:
- What is the vision?
- How do you want this to feel?
- What has to happen to make this vision come to reality?
That’s how I start: Vision first. And I allow myself to imagine, what would be the best possible outcome?
Now, remember, it’s not, “How do I get this done? How do I achieve all of this?” It is really first by starting to ask, “What would be the best possible outcome.” I do this anytime I am planning. But when I sat and I did it this time, I had new things come to my vision. This time my children were much more centered in my vision. This is definitely because we are moving them from one school system in one language into a totally different school system and the totally different language. So the stakes feel higher, and they’re at a developmental stage, where I feel like the type of support will be different than what they needed in the past and I want to be present with them in fresh ways.
After thinking about how to be present for my children, I got focused on where I am personally in this transition. So again, what would be the best possible outcome and my kids came first. And then I started thinking about myself and what emerged is the best possible outcome FOR ME, was if to ensure first-class self-care during this whole process, right?
Now that might seem contradictory for many people in transition because many people throw self-care right out the window during intense transitions. But if you know my work, you know I say the opposite. This is the time to DOUBLE DOWN on self-care. I know we have a lot behind us, my family and I have really been up to a lot in terms of transition. It’s taken a lot of energy. But we also have a lot ahead so that I can be fully present for this next phase, I know I have to ensure first class self-care, not just for me and my happiness, but for my family, and for my clients, for my business, all of that. So that I can take on whatever joyful or challenging projects that are on the way.
So those two things came out really clear in my vision. What would be the best possible outcome this time? Which sometimes it’s more in my business. And this time it was more in my family. And then I knew I would have to invest in time for myself so I could keep that first class self-care. That’s a huge place to start.
If you want to make the most of this exercise, you can also pick a time frame that is meaningful for you. For me, I picked June till the end of September. It also gives you boundaries around, “Okay, here’s the focus up until this time.” So there you go, pick a time that will be useful for you to focus your vision.
After I asked, “What is the best possible outcome?” I moved on to the next question: How do I want this experience to feel? Again, we’re not doing anything yet. We’re still in this process of imagining, right? How do I want this experience to feel? This really ensures that you can cherish the experience. And helps you check in and see if you are on track as you do the work to make this all happen.
So I teach this inside my on demand program, Adapt and Succeed so if you want to go a little bit deeper, I have got your back. What I am sharing is a taste of a deeper process that myself or my coaches from the coalition can lead you through. I will pop a link in the show notes if you want to check that out.
So there we go. We have looked in at the vision, the best possible outcome, how do I want this experience to feel. So vision and then how it feels. Now, you are ready for the third question, and that’s practical: What has to happen to make this vision come to reality? And of course, it is time for planning.
If you’re in the globally mobile community, you’re probably thinking about containers and packing and air freight, sea freight, carry-on luggage, temporary housing, right? These are the logistics. But do you see how that plan is going to look different now that I’ve done the vision and you’ve thought about how you want to feel during the experience?
This doesn’t even have to be for a major intercontinental move. It could be, how do you want to spend your summer? How do you want to transition jobs? How do you want to welcome a new family member? It doesn’t have to be only for an intercontinental move. This works for other transitions.
Honestly, most people make the mistake of jumping straight to planning. And I get it, you’re trying to reign in control over all of the logistics. But when you do that, you miss a huge piece of enjoying the experience. You’re not just “get through this” but create the best possible outcome.
Now is the time to plan in the big picture in your vision. Plan in your health. Plan in your family. Plan in your job. All of those things that will help you have that best possible outcome. When we started the planning phase, we took the vision and the feel ideas into the process. They were not “would be nice to have.” They were integrated into the process.
And very pragmatically we created a mind map. With time, it was a mind map online that we could share. So we knew where we were in the whole process. In time the mind map grew to look a little bit more like a spider web because it was super detailed. But we made sure the personal and professional was in there and then we divided up responsibilities and conquered that list step by step.
Another thing that we did along the way is we created regular meeting times to see if we were on track. And because level of intensity gets so big, we had to get creative about when we were doing those regular meetings. And one of the choices we had, we go out on date night on Thursdays and we could either have done a meeting or went on date night. It felt like we had to choose. But we’re like, “Oh, hell no, we are not going to stop date night because we’ve got too much to do.” So what we did and this is a little trick for those of you who are in a similar situation, we would bring – it sounds horrible, but we would bring our laptops to date night. But the fun part was, we would order a drink and then challenge ourselves to talk logistics and have it finished by the time, the drinks got to the table. So that is a way to keep the spirit alive. This idea of, “How do you want to feel? What do you want to experience?” That is a way to get creative.
And I always keep the 4 Pillars in mind. Again, this is part of everything that I teach, especially in Adapt and Succeed. The 4 Pillars are:
- Adapt as quickly and painlessly as possible.
- Expedite your success.
- Maintain connection at home in afar.
- Cherish the experience.
You can see how these four pillars are coming out, right? So: Adapt as quickly and painlessly as possible is around this detailed planning, personal and business. Expedite success is to make sure that we’ve got the roles divided and that’s clear. Maintain connection from those at home and afar is keeping date night. And those are afar is telling people where we’re going and where we’re going to visit about when we’ll be there, how we’re going to create time to connect etc. because it’s part of the vision. Then, cherish the experience.
And there was a moment where I was feeling the intensity and I was feeling tired with all of the planning and we were on our way to dinner with the family and I said to my partner I’m like, “I’m sorry to get all nerdy and interculturalist on you but let’s go back to the 4 Pillars. I think we need to elevate cherish the experience.” And he’s like, “Hey, let’s walk not the direct way to the restaurant but the long way and we’re going to catch this gorgeous sunset and these palm trees on the way.” It was a way to say, “Okay, you’re right. Let’s infuse more of the fourth pillar, cherish experience in our experience.”
So that is big picture. How to answer the question: How do you plan and execute your business around being in the move? Those 4 Pillars are central, the vision is central, the advanced planning and then dividing it, responsibilities, and then making sure that you’re executing on it that you got those regular meetings. Again, if you want more on this, let me know, send me a message and I can connect you to the material or the people that can support you with it.
I do want to share, I’ll go a little bit more on the micro level, the detailed level, for those of you who are really seasoned global expats or are solopreneurs and you want to go even further than that. I’ll share a little bit about how I do it specifically.
So one of the things that was part of my vision was slowing down a bit to allow the fuller picture of my vision to take place, not just doing all of the things. And I think this is heavily influenced by the last two years of COVID, and what I’ve been learning about my own optimal level of creativity, optimal level of giving to others. And I think one of the first people that inspired me in this direction, was Susan Hyatt. She’s has been my business coach for many years and one of the things I learned in working with her is that she does “Fun Fridays.” So she works really focused from Monday through Thursday and then on Fridays, she only schedules fun. And Susan’s philosophy is, “The more fun you have, the more money you make.” And so she kind of introduce that idea to me sort of giving me business permission to add fun into my everyday, and knowing that it will actually benefit my business.
Trudi LeBron, I have mentioned her before, I worked with her for a year to help create more equity centered practices in my business. And she does six weeks sprints where they will focus in a program for six weeks. And then they will have one week for integration. She does that for her participants, but also for her team. So allowing more gaps so that you can process what’s going on and integrate what you’re learning or what you’re experiencing. And I wanted to take more of that into my life and my business, and you’ll be seeing more of that in the future. And I can’t wait to say more this fall.
And another person I noticed is also living this, Brené Brown just recently came out on LinkedIn and said her team will see you in September. They were taking a social media pause and they were going to use that time to sort of process, rejuvenate, and reflect on what’s ahead. I love seeing successful business owners show you that it’s possible to slow down and still do amazing work.
Amel Derragui from Tandem Nomads, she’s a dear friend and a business partner, right now she’s actually hosting a slow challenge which is really embodying this idea that you can make progress in your business and make space for your life. You don’t have to choose. It’s not one or the other, it can be both.
So, just a shout out to all of those business leaders for the modeling of that and that’s something that I deeply believe in. To be honest, it took me a while to come around. I am, as you know, a recovering perfectionist and I think I had an old model in my bones of the harder you work, the more you’ll create, right? And it took me years, thinking ahead to my nine years in business, it took me years to know it was safe to take breaks and to slow down and to give those gaps for integration. In fact, to be honest, it fast tracks your creativity, your business, and your success because it’s what we need as humans.
All right, so I’m going to give you now a little behind-the-scenes look at how I use that, how I integrated those philosophies, that idea, that interest in slowing down to create more space to integrate on the micro level. So if you’re an entrepreneur, you might want to steal some of these ideas. Or if you’re just traveling with your family, on your own to see your relatives, they’re going to be some things that apply.
So when we go down to the micro level, what I did, I always think of my clients first to make sure that I can honor the commitment that I have to them and serve them. If I’m changing time zones, that might impact how we work together over this time frame. So what the first thing I do is I go into my calendar and I block off when I’m changing time zones. I block off the times when I’ll be sleeping and when I’ll be working so that I know that I can serve them in a time zone that works for them. Nothing worse than scheduling an appointment, you realize it’s at 3:00 a.m. your time and you can’t tell them that you’re not gonna be able to make it so you have to get up at 3 a.m. No way am I going to have that happen. And it also don’t want to stress out my clients by making a last-minute shift.
So that was the first thing that I did, I scheduled ahead, I went in with my team and I said, “Hey, can you schedule out all the way through the end of August to make sure that everybody’s being served at the right time when they need it?” And then it allowed me to honor my vision of, “Do I have more space open? Can I take on more clients? Or is this enough?” And what we had to do is, “Okay. We’re done. We’re going to cap it for these three months because I’m full.” If I take on more clients, then I will not be able to live the vision that I created. This idea of me, stopping work at noon and taking my kids to the gym, and going boxing, and being out of the lake. I had to put a cap on it.
Of course, for those people that were sort of on the fence and trying to decide whether they want to work with me or not, I let them know that this was the time frame, so nobody had any surprises.
Speaking of which, if you do want to work together, let me know because we got a waiting list starting September onward.
So that’s what we did. We planned it out in my schedule. We looked at capacity and then we communicated to people what was feasible and what was not.
Another thing that’s probably pretty obvious is Wi-Fi. Wherever I go, I need Wi-Fi. So whether I’m in my aunt’s house, at an Airbnb, at my parents place, or in a transitional apartment. I need to know I have high quality Wi-Fi, so I can keep my commitments, as I discussed. One thing you might not do already that might be new, is when I am looking at my scheduling and what hours I do work, I have a reduced schedule during this vacation time in the US, I looked at when is the most sensible time to work. And I decided to work during what I call low connection times. Low connection times means low face-to-face connection times. And in my family, that means early morning because people are sleeping. They tend to wake up a little bit, mid-morning and stay up later. I’m an early bird so I’ll get up early and do half a day’s work before they’ve even had a cup of coffee or watched a cartoon.
So that’s what I do. Think about when are your low connection times at your face-to-face location. If you’re working in spaces where you want to reconnect with loved ones, then think about when is a time where you could work and not miss out on much. So, those are some things that I do. Ultimately, what you’re looking at is: “I need to work with my energy. I need to work with my vision. And I also need to say ‘no’ to some things to say “yes” to my vision.”
So that’s a little bit of behind-the-scenes. I truly, truly believe that if you are committed to your vision, you can be proactive in your planning and share your commitments, and communicate that to your team and the people that are involved. You really can have both, you can have it on your own terms. You don’t have to choose between, being only with your loved ones or doing your work. You can do both. If that’s important to you. And honestly, there’s a lot of pressure to have an uninterrupted portable business, for example. I also have to say, if you want to push pause and it’s your business and you can swing it financially, give yourself permission if that’s what you want. If you’re the type of person who says, “Hey, I want to amplify my business right now and intensify,” that’s also your prerogative. It has to just match your vision. Okay, listen to what you need and what your business needs now and then you can get creative to make it happen.
It also applies, if you’re not running a business, if you’re on summer break and you’re flying around to see your family, same thing applies: Vision, Advanced Planning, Boundaries, Get Creative.
What it really is about is, I want to dare you to say “yes” to you. I want to dare you to say “yes” to shaping how you experience your life in transit. I want to dare you to say “yes” to shaping your transformation based on your definition of ambition. Give yourself permission to do that. At least get started by playing around with some of the ideas that I have here for you.
And stay tuned for next week because I’m going to share more about what I have in store for you. I am celebrating 9 years of business come next week and I want to help support you in helping you think about how can you make your right next move to get what you want based on what you need. So come join me in the next episode to celebrate my ninth year of business. I’ve got some big goals coming up. I’m happy to share some of that with you. I’m actually entering into phase two of my own ATT, my Ambitious, Transformation, in Transition
And I’m going to announce a fun series I’ve created, just for you all summer long.
Thank you for being here. You’re listening to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I appreciate you being here and can’t wait to share more. I will leave you with the words of Thomas Edison: “Vision without execution is delusion.”
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