No More Bold Advice

July 11, 2008

When I started this blog around sixteen months ago, I concentrated on giving advice to build the type of business which would consume most of your waking hours and bring you rewards later.

Trouble is, as the blog readership has grown, so have I. And I’ve realised for some time, that it isn’t the way to go. The truth is, when you’re working 18 hours a day and weekends are not much different to weekdays, you don’t have a life - you have a business.

And while I don’t deny that you may have to work more than 40 hours a week to build your business, you reach a point when you become less productive. In fact, if you go too far, you reach the point where you become like the living dead - that’s what I did.

There’s been far too much focus on building your business now, so that you can enjoy life in years to come - not just on this blog, but in many business books and websites. But later may never happen for some of us.

I know many people who do work they hate, just so that they can enjoy a two week summer holiday each year. And that’s really sad - if they live for 70 years, that means they’ll only have enjoyed 140 weeks of their lives. That’s not even 3 years, so it means they’ve spent 67 years being miserable.

Tim Ferris’s Four Hour Work Week went some way towards addressing that problem. Tim encouraged us to take mini-retirements. So instead of hoping you’d live long enough to retire, you’d take a few months out every year or so.

And while this sounds like a great idea for young singles, or people with grown up children, it isn’t really a good fit for the average person, with kids in school - unless you want to disrupt their education and spend most of your mini-retirement home educating them. So there needs to be a better way.

This blog won’t be closing down, but the tagline will be changing and many of you will have noticed that the focus has been shifting for a while.

What I hope to do, is to help and support you readers in building a business and lifestyle that is right for you. We’re not all the same - we don’t all want to live in the same place, we don’t all want to build the same type of business. Some of us are happy staying small, some of us want to grow huge and some of us want to freelance.

But I’m guessing that the one thing most of us have in common is that we want to enjoy life now - not wait until our summer vacation, or until we’re able to take one of those mini-retirements. And many of us also want the time and space to fulfil our spiritual goals.

I hope you won’t unsubscribe. And if you’re not subscribed already, why not click here to do it now.

And while you’re here, why don’t you share some of the amazing things I’ve come across recently:

The Millionaire Homeless Guy: Would you rather be a financial millionaire or a real one? Check out Jamie Harrop’s wonderful post and decide for yourself.

And if you enjoyed that moving and inspirational story, you’ll love reading - Reaching Back Through Time To Help A Single Mom Living In Her Parent’s Basement by Wendy Piersall.

Magic Happens: Want proof? Check out this post by Davina at Loving Pulse.

Talking of magic, Steve Pavlina’s first book, “Personal Development for Smart People” has reached the Amazon Top 100 already and it isn’t even out until October 2008. Now that’s what I call real blogging power. To learn more about Steve’s new book, check out this post by Hunter Nuttall. And if you’ve never read Steve’s blog before, you can find it here.

Are you hot? Most of us have had to sleep in a high temperature with no air conditioning at some point - and if you’ve done it, you’ll know it can be really uncomfortable. But it doesn’t have to be - if you check out Mrs Micah’s 5 Tips for Sleeping With No Air Conditioning.

And if you haven’t been sleeping well because you’ve been feeling down - Mare shares some brilliant tips for cheering yourself up: Create a Long List Of Ways For You To Feel Good.

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35 Responses to “No More Bold Advice”

  1. Jamie Harrop on July 11th, 2008 10:03 am

    Hey Cath,

    Thanks for the link love. :-)

    Back in 2004 when I started working from home full time I was working anywhere from 80-120 hours a week. I love every minute of it.

    Then I grew, like you. And I realised that working so many hours eventually leads to burn out. I realised that if I worked Monday-Friday, then took the weekend off, I was refreshed and much more ready to go when Monday came around again. Working less hours in the week, I got more work done because I was much more focused and “with it”.

    With regards to the shifting focus of your blog. I’ve recently gone through the exact same transition. From pure entrepreneur and self employment topics to a more “let’s enjoy life” topic (and if being an entrepreneur happens to occasionally be a part of enjoying life, then so be it).

    Don’t be scared of people unsubscribing. I think you’ll find most stick around because they’re interested in the new content. The fact is, you must be passionate about what you’re writing about. If working 120 hours a week isn’t such a passion of yours anymore, but living your best life is, this will shine through in your writing and will attract plenty of readers. :-)


    Jamie Harrop’s last blog post..Childhood Memories - Join me on an Adventure

  2. mark on July 11th, 2008 11:45 am

    Hi Cath - looking forward to your blog’s new direction!

    Speaking of which, are you stil heading for Australia? How are the plans coming…?

    mark’s last blog post..Don’t Let Anybody Tell You That You Can’t

  3. cathlawson on July 11th, 2008 11:54 am

    Hi Jamie - You’re welcome - it’s a great story and you really have a wise head for your age. And it’s great that you’ve learned the lesson that work isn’t everything really early on in life.

    Hi Mark -Tthanks. You were one of the people who emailed me when you noticed I was switching focus, so I thought I better break the news soon.

    I’m still considering Australia, but I’m also leaning towards Canada and a couple of countries in Europe. We’re getting closer to a definite decision, so hopefully it won’t take long to make it happen.

  4. Kelly@SHE-POWER on July 11th, 2008 11:57 am


    It’s so funny you write this now because I was thinking just yesterday that your blog is quite different now to when I first started reading. I really like your new focus and the way I see it you have to follow your heart, whether people unsubscribe or not (doubt they will). Besides, why write about a topic that no longer interests you? That would be a total waste of your time and energy.

    I am also mulling over what SHE-POWER means to me these days. It seems to have become a personal blog more than anything else - a bit of this and that. I must figure it out before I get my blog redesign done.

    And did you get my email re. SHE-POWER Women?


    Kelly@SHE-POWER’s last blog post..It’s official: Australians are Fat and Badly Dressed

  5. cathlawson on July 11th, 2008 12:26 pm

    Hi Kelly - Thank you. I’ll still write stuff about business too, but I want to help people do it without putting themselves in an early grave.

    I like She-Power. I wouldn’t go so far as to describe it is as a personal blog though. You write thought provoking posts. And your travel series on Europe so far has been brilliant. Also - I’m missing your weekly fiction, so I hope you recover from your jetlag soon.

    I did get the email and I feel kind of guilty. I knew you were going to be away for a while, so I put it to one side. I’ll answer the questions this weekend. You might struggle to get a photo out of me though - I really hate having my photo taken. But I’ll see what I can come up with.

  6. Lance on July 11th, 2008 12:49 pm

    I congratulate you Cath on taking this bold move. I would think there is some uneasiness in changing directions, but doing what you believe is the key. I wish you well as you head in this new direction, and am also looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

    I love what you stated above, about 3 years of happiness and 67 years of being miserable. That really puts into perspective the importance of doing something we love.

    Lance’s last blog post..Weeds?In Your Life

  7. Brett Legree on July 11th, 2008 12:53 pm


    I sure as heck won’t unsubscribe! I love what you’ve been doing so far, and I feel a lot like you in that I want to live *now* and not wait for the later that may not come.

    Many, many people have told us to wait until we retire if we want to move to another country. What if that day never comes, due to illness or accident?

    Never wait. Enjoy life now.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..a cog.

  8. cathlawson on July 11th, 2008 2:24 pm

    Hi Lance - thank you. It would be such a waste of life to be miserable for all that time wouldn’t it. Kind of like being in prison.

    Hi Brett - thank you. Waiting until you retire is a long time. You know you definitely want to go to New Zealand, so why wait?

    It’s kind of like when I threw my ex-husband out (ok - so I didn’t physically throw him - I just had the locks changed) and a relative of mine told me I ought to have waited until my kids had left school.

    Once you’ve made your mind to make a positive change in your life, it’s best to do it as quickly as possible.

  9. vered on July 11th, 2008 2:59 pm

    Not unsubscribing! I love your new direction. I completely believe in finding one’s balance. Can’t wait to read more.

    vered’s last blog post..Google Search Terms: The Funny, The Sad, And The CREEPY

  10. Hunter Nuttall on July 11th, 2008 3:10 pm

    Cath, I think it’s perfectly fine to change your focus. I don’t see why anyone would unsubscribe. If you outsourced the writing, then yes. But writing on a different but related topic is fine with me. I’m staying! Thanks for the link.

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..How To Finally Find What You Love To Do And Get Paid For Doing It

  11. Marelisa on July 11th, 2008 3:19 pm

    Hi Cath: I think that we evolve and our blogs should evolve with us. I’m a pretty new subscriber so I don’t know what your blog posts were like before, but I like what you write about now. I think that our main objectives in life should be to be happy and to find inner peace, and our thoughts and actions should be in line with those two objectives. If working 60 hours a week is making a person miserable, then by all means they should stop. Thank you for the link!

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Create a Long List of Ways for You to Feel Good

  12. cathlawson on July 11th, 2008 4:39 pm
    Thanks Vered - I’m pleased that Askimet has stopped grabbing your comments.

    Thanks Hunter - I’m glad you’re not deserting me either.

    Hi Mare - you’re welcome and thanks, I’m glad you like it.

  13. Tom Volkar / Delightful Work on July 11th, 2008 7:12 pm

    I endorse your new focus and I’m looking forward to it. Heck I think the meaning of life is to live joyfully. Like you said that’s different for each of us and what works for some may not work for others. But I agree the point is to have a business that gives you the freedom to enjoy the life and lifestyle that you want to live.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..What’s Good About Being Challenged?

  14. Brett Legree on July 11th, 2008 7:24 pm


    Exactly. Strike while the iron is hot, so to speak. Keep the momentum and energy high.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..the greatest thing since sliced vikings.

  15. Barbara Swafford on July 11th, 2008 8:09 pm

    Haha Catherine,

    You could NEVER get rid of me (unless you blocked my IP address) :)

    That’s what I like about blogs. As loyal readers we can follow an author as they transition through different phases of their life. We all know you’re a great writer, and it will be a joy to follow you as you take a different path.

    If the content is good, I think most authors can change their tag line and topics, and continue to grow a blog. (that is, as long as the name of the blog is conducive to the change)

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..FEFF - It’s Good For The Ego

  16. cathlawson on July 11th, 2008 9:34 pm

    Hi Tom - thanks. That’s the challenging part - to try to give help and info for people with different needs. But I will try my best.

    Hi Brett - That is the thing. I think the longer you wait to do something, the easier it is for others to put doubts into your minds. And the trouble is - especially when it comes to emigrating, often they’re thinking of their own needs rather than yours.

    I don’t think people do this to be mean - but because they don’t want to do the same thing themselves, it’s difficult for them to imagine that it might be a good thing.

    Hi Barbara - thank you. I would never block your IP. I will just change my tagline - not the name - unless I decide to go truly undercover.

  17. Opal @ Vegan Momma on July 12th, 2008 12:37 am

    Nothing wrong with change, I changed my focus at least twice on Vegan Momma, my interests (in real life) have not changed but what I wanted to write about and the audience I want to reach has.

    You might lose some readers. I knew I would when I made the change (mainly because of what I’m writing about, and I was ok with that) but you will also keep readers and gain new people along the way. With my last change, I lost readers, but I’ve also picked up new ones also.

    I don’t comment on blogs nearly as much as I used to but I still read via RSS feed and no I won’t be unsubscribing.

    Wishing you the best in deciding on your new home.

    Opal @ Vegan Momma’s last blog post..Mommy’s night out; Bonding with an old friend, while soaking up culture & classical music

  18. Monika Mundell on July 12th, 2008 1:27 am

    Hi Cath,

    I also noticed your change too but it doesn’t bother me at all. I love your blog and like you I changed tactics on my blog some time ago from blogging about anything to narrowing my focus on anything related to freelance writing.

    While I lost some subscribers then the blog is stronger than ever and I think the move was well received and justified.

    Like you, I was close to burnout and had to re-shift my balance focus. I also used to work 80+ plus when I first started and while I loved every minute of it it just wasn’t feasible for the long run. These days I take off at least two day every week . Making this decision has been a little scary to be honest but interesting enough it hasn’t affected my business at all. Quite the opposite actually.

    Keep it up, you have a lot to offer! :-)
    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Freelance Writing Behind The Scenes

  19. Davina on July 12th, 2008 2:00 am

    Hi Cath.

    Thanks for the link!

    I’m fairly new to your blog and you know, I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Go with the flow!

    Davina’s last blog post..The Beauty Path

  20. Akemi - Yes to Me on July 12th, 2008 3:01 am

    I love your new direction! We are moving in tandem!!

    Blogs have their own lives, right? I just adjusted my blog (Yes to Me) in terms of objective. It’s now more community oriented, and I have decided to donate all ad income to charities to support the community feeling.

    I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    Akemi - Yes to Me’s last blog post..Gratitude Friday, Week 5, Gratitude And The Gift Of Life

  21. cathlawson on July 12th, 2008 11:09 am

    Hi Opal - thank you. I know you’re often to busy to comment. But that is good because it means you’re getting plenty of work - and it’s great how your freelancing career took off so quickly

  22. cathlawson on July 12th, 2008 11:13 am

    Hi Monika - thank you. It’s great that cutting your hours has had a positive effect. Having less time encourages us to learn how to work smarter.

  23. cathlawson on July 12th, 2008 11:18 am

    Hi Davina - you’re welcome. I love how you used morning pages to bring about such positive change. Thank you. I like your avatar.

    Hi Akemi - That is brilliant. And very generous of you to donate your ad revenue too. Blogs that build community are great as you get to know so many people and many readers enjoy following the conversation as well as reading the article.

  24. Scott McIntyre on July 12th, 2008 3:12 pm

    What a great time to have discovered your blog, Cath, as you are on the cusp of change!

    I feel as if I’m joining you at your fresh start.

    No way!
    I’ve only just today subscribed! :-)

    I’m looking forward to travelling with you.

  25. Jamie Harrop | Young Entrepreneur | Video Blog » Week 26 Round-Up & Comment Awards on July 12th, 2008 4:24 pm

    [...] Subscriber High - Partly due to the StumbleUpon traffic, partly due to some incoming links from Cath Lawson and others, and partly due to some extreme commentating on blogs by myself, I hit a new subscriber [...]

  26. Ian Denny on July 12th, 2008 5:57 pm


    I think you’re right. I go through phases of absolute manicness. And what for?

    I feel as though I’m making steps towards ultimately replacing myself. But it’s slow!

    Life is too short. And working those long hours is far harder than it was 10 years ago. I get very tired and have to push myself to the point where I know I’m not as effective.

    I look forward to the change of direction because I think I need the tutoring!

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Service Targets - 17th June 2008

  27. Dr.Cason on July 12th, 2008 8:55 pm

    I look forward to seeing what new stuff you’ll be offering! I’m new so it will all still be new :)
    Dr.Cason’s last blog post..Plumeria Raindrops

  28. Cath Lawson on July 12th, 2008 9:47 pm

    Hi Scott - Thank you. I’m really looking forward to the rest of your series on Liz Strauss’s blog.

    Hi Ian - I knew you’d been busy. Give yourself a chance - it’s not all that long since you started up again. Being able to replace yourself doesn’t happen overnight - I hope we can come up with some ways to make life easier for you until then.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..No More Bold Advice

  29. cathlawson on July 13th, 2008 12:27 am

    Hi Dr Cason - Thanks for dropping by. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  30. John Hoff - eVentureBiz on July 13th, 2008 4:16 pm

    Hey Cath - I think this is a great direction and one I’m even more so interested in.

    What I enjoy seeing here is how you are growing and sharing that growth with us.

    John Hoff - eVentureBiz’s last blog post..50+ Wordpress Plugins & Hacks Candy Store

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  33. cathlawson on July 13th, 2008 9:51 pm

    Hi John - thank you. It makes it heaps better this way and I feel like I need to share everything as I go. I’ve made some huge mistakes and I really think that my readers would benefit from sharing them.

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