Inspiration Shot December 2021

Safe adventure does not exist. There is no reward without risk. Fear is part of our life. Sometimes it has a function (to prevent you from harm), sometimes it holds you back, just because this new experience feels uncomfortable.

Many people think that I am not scared of anything, but I am. I just don’t let it influence my actions or hold me back from new adventures.

My hero Nelson Mandela – with whom I always feel extra connected while in South Africa- put it into words: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it”

You have a choice, every day: to focus on reasons NOT to do what you want, or to focus on moving forward. However challenging the situation you are in, there are always possibilities. In this Inspiration Shot, I offer some ‘food for thought’.

The ‘danger of travel’

As a Digital Nomad, I travel around the world, also during corona. As a result, I have multiple sources from which I get my information, which offers a different perspective. My posts on this seem to attract a lot of attention. For example, this one where I explain why I advanced my flight to South Africa as soon as the Omicron variant was found there and all borders were closing.
When 61 infected Dutchies were found on the flight FROM Cape Town, I wrote about that too. My post ‘The importance of testing’ went completely viral and now has more than 700,000 (!) views, thousands of reactions, comments, and shares.
So you see that the ‘news’ presented in your country does not always give the correct or complete picture.

Freedom is in your head

n Nelson Mandela’s country, I was a guest on a Dutch investment podcast with 65,000 members. People with financial independence are also looking for more freedom. Freedom can not (only) be found by having money; it is mainly in our head.
I love to help people with that mind shift (and the practicalities of a life in freedom).
“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Your environment tends to want to keep you in the/their familiar world. If you surround yourself with people who want to or are already doing what you want to do, you are drawn in that direction.
As a result of all the positive reactions, I developed a new program: One Year To Freedom. It means my help to achieve YOUR ultimate freedom plus access to ALL my workshops, books, videos, and … me, for a full year!

Big Brother is watching you

After archiving a few old posts, my Instagram account was suddenly blocked. Without any warning, message, or explanation. There was supposed to be a 24h block, then 48h, and now it’s already been blocked for a month. 😱
I’ve tried everything but can’t get in touch with a person, just rigid chat robots. Now my linked Facebook business/ads account is also deactivated. Luckily I can still access my Facebook, but what if… 😟
This makes me realize how vulnerable we are online. What if ‘someone’ (human or robot) decides that we ‘should not be there anymore’, then everything is gone: communication channels, your identity, your archive of photos and posts, your contacts, the possibility to express yourself…
I am now trying to get my account back through some ‘dubious channels’. In the meantime, you can follow me on Tiny Trullo and on a new account Reverse Writing where I mainly post tips and experiences about writing books. See you there, and fingers crossed 🤞

Digital detox

Coincidentally, or not coincidentally, I went on a ‘digital detox’ camp for four days last week. A 3-day hike from Cape Point to Table Mountain, without wifi, without a computer, without a telephone. Completely offline for the first time in maybe 15 years (enjoy this impression video).
It brought peace. Plus insight into how much I too am led by the fear of ‘missing out’. Automatically I reach for my phone 89 times a day (just check the number of ‘pickups’ per day in the ‘screen time’ app on your phone, you’ll be shocked!).
So the digital detox was confronting. And that’s exactly why I decided to do this more often.
Have you ever tried it? What’s the longest you’ve ever been offline?

Is it scary to work with a Virtual Assistant?

I have been working with various VA’s since 2007. I have had good and not-so-good experiences. But above all, it enables me to work ON my business instead of IN my business.
I get a lot of questions about this. Many entrepreneurs like having those extra hands, but they are afraid to give out their credit card details. But how can you trust someone with your business if you don’t trust them with your credit card? In this video, I explain how I deal with the ‘trust issue’. The remaining videos in the playlist answer other frequently asked questions about working with VAs and hiring remote team members.
I even wrote a book about it! Digital Delegation is already the #1 new release on Amazon. You can buy it in presale now for $0.99.

Movie tip: language lessons

This film was made during corona time and the entire story takes place via Zoom. Anyone who thinks that is impersonal is wrong.
A surprising, human film. One of the reviews says ‘Heartwarmingly, uncomfortably real’ and that’s exactly what it is.
Let yourself be surprised, just like I did. You can discover the link with the theme of this inspiration shot for yourself…

Did you know...?

… that it may seem like I am not afraid of anything, but that my fear is a very unexpected one? The fears that most people have are strange to me. You can drop me anywhere in the world, without money, without friends, without a phone and I’ll find my way. You can wake me up at three in the morning and put me on stage in my bathrobe in front of thousands of people, give me any topic on the spot and I’ll keep the audience engaged for an hour. I was once bitten by a tarantula, but I’m happy to hold one. While I was alone in the tented camp last weekend, a large male baboon approached me and took my phone. I kept super calm and talked to him calmly until he handed my phone back. During the hike, I walked right past the poisonous Cape Cobra (if you are bitten you will die within an hour), without flinching.
But when it comes to emotions, being vulnerable, I’m scared. Afraid of being overwhelmed by emotions, afraid of losing control, afraid of feeling weak. I feel insecure because I still don’t know that world well, even after all these years of trying to get more familiar with it.
What I have learned is that whatever you fear, the fear of the fear is often worse than the ‘thing’ you fear itself. Through (among other things) this fantastic meditation I learned that you should not run away from your fear, but actually be curious and listen to what it has to say.

Where is Esther?

I have been in South Africa for 2.5 weeks now, and I will stay until mid-February. This is the first time in 15 years that I will stay in one place for more than 4 weeks.
I live in an apartment just outside Cape Town, in Dolphin beach. With this view.
And yes, I brought my own pillow, to take extra good care of my neck… 🙂
Yoga is on my doorstep three times a week. I walk straight onto the beach where I can surf in the icy water (with a full wetsuit and even a hood!).
The seasons are reversed: it is summer here. The room service and restaurants are super good and unbelievably cheap. The people are friendly and service-oriented. Life is good here. Of course, I realize that this is a ‘bubble’ and that most people in South Africa are having a very hard time. I hope by my presence and the money I spend here I can help the local economy a little bit.
Several friends live in this complex, we are all working location independently and decided to spend the winter here. From January I will start a series of workshops on how you can achieve this kind of freedom. Check the workshop program. It would be nice if you could join us online sometime.

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