Up next in our speaker spotlight: the fantastic Ellen Bard! Ellen is a work psychologist, author, and one of the best productivity-tip-givers I know.
She’ll be on the 7in7 stage in Bangkok this October talking about balance and productivity. But before that, let’s get to know her a little bit better…
You do so much, from your coaching to consulting as a work psychologist to your writing – you seem like superwoman. What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day?
Ha! I’m definitely not superwoman 🙂 This is going to sound ultra-geeky, but organising myself, so knowing what I have to do the next day, helps me to relax. I’m a woman who likes to have a plan!
I’m also a huge reader – I love sinking into a book, where I can live vicariously, travel through time, have many loves, and other wonderful adventures. Plus, it can count as research for my own writing, so it’s a twofer. Efficient, no?
I’ll admit that I also love writing, so if I’m writing fiction, I can be really absorbed by that and it doesn’t so much feel like ‘work’.
Apart from hanging out and chatting with friends, which I love, my other mini-vice is American Crime Dramas like Criminal Minds, Castle or CSI – I watch very little TV, but I probably watch 2-3 episodes of these a week, and I just work my way through a box set at a time.
If you could go back to when you were just beginning to live the location independent lifestyle, what advice would you give yourself?
So difficult, because if I think about how much my life has changed in the last four years, it’s exponential, and I couldn’t have imagined the life I live now at the start of my journey. But I think if pushed, it would be to develop my comfort with change.
I would tell myself that the more flexible and comfortable I am with ambiguity, and can adapt myself to new situations, the easier life will be. That goes for working in different cultures especially, where sometimes, somewhere like China or Saudi Arabia, I really have no clue what is happening, and I have to be ok with that. It also speaks to my plans – as above, I tend to prefer a highly structured world, and yet I live a life with very little big picture structure – I can work anywhere most days, I could visit any country, and I haven’t even booked the ticket from Thailand to the UK that I am planning on for two weeks’ time. I balance that by having a lot of micro-structure – goals, daily tasks, weekly accountabilities etc.
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a nomadic entrepreneur?
That anyone can be one. On the one hand I think it’s a path open to a more diverse group as it tends to be at the moment (there are a lot of single white males in their twenties). On the other hand, I think it takes certain personality traits and motivations to be successful. For example, you need to be able to work autonomously, set your own goals, work hard, be independent, and then both self-contained, as you might go a while without being able to talk to people in your native tongue, but also prepared to talk to strangers. (I have more on this here if people are interested!)
Bonus: what are your reading right now?
I usually have a few books on the go, typically, a novel and a non-fiction book on the Kindle, and some more fiction as an audiobook. I’ve just finished the excellent ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport, which I highly recommend as a personal development book which is backed by evidence-based research, and The Miracle Morning for Writers, which has nudged me back into including a short meditation in my morning routine again. I’m reading some ‘New Adult’ (sexy romances) as I’m thinking of writing into that genre, and then I’ve also just started the Man Booker Prize winner ‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang. If people want to see all the books I read, they can check me out on Goodreads!
I will definitely be adding a few of those to my reading list!
Join Ellen and the rest of our amazing speakers in Bangkok from October 27-28, 2016. It’s going to be epic.