As the new year kicks off it’s a good time to take stock of the memories deeply engrained within my heart and memory. It’s so affirming to look back over the last 12 months and take an inventory of all the things that happened – the good and the not-good – and reflect on successes and lessons learned.
Last year the new year (2016) passed in a dizzy drunken blur of bad music and false friends. This year I was with my lover (and best friend) sober in Fiji. It was magic. Dinner barefoot on a sandy beach beneath a kaleidoscope of fireworks. 2017 is my year of living magically – and beautifully. (which is also why I’ve named the next self-empowerment book, Your Beautiful Mind. ..more on that later.)
Albert Einstein once said, “‘If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.’ I took his advice to heart last year – big time! Mostly I set aside more time to do what I loved.
I fell back in love with fiction. After spending much of my adult life in business roles and writing about careers—how to survive them, change them and thrive in them—I’ve become a ravenous reader of all things escapism. I love immersing myself in new worlds…especially if there is an element of history and the books are art-related in some way, like one of the books I read in 2016 – Jessie Burton’s, The Muse.
Inspired by my love of escapism I wrote two art-related romance novels under my pen name Mollie Mathews (www.molliemathews.com) and indie published them under one of my new business lines, Blue Orchid Publishing. It has been heartening to receive wonderful feedback from readers, like one Amazon reviewer who posted a five-star review and said, “Beautiful. Resonated in my soul, gives me hope that I will meet my Prince one day and he will love me for who I am.” The two books I wrote are:
The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Bride and The Italian Billionaire’s Scandalous Marriage.
The awesome feedback I’ve received is particularly encouraging as, like many successful authors, I had to ensure rejection – and worse the silent treatment from a New York agent who asked me to send her my books and then never got back to me. On the upside this experience lead me to create a new business and new brand – something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I read a book about New Zealand romance writers over ten years ago, The Passionate Pen.
Last year I truly was prolific—both in non-fiction and fiction which many of you who have followed me and purchased my books will know. I wrote and published:
Two in the Art of Success Series (The Art of Success: How Extraordinary Artists Can Help You Succeed in Business and Life:
Book One: Leonardo da Vinci (getBook.at/TheArtofSuccess)
Book Two: Coco Chanel (getBook.at/CocoChanel)
I also wrote the published the following books:
Career Rescue: The Art and Science of Reinventing Your Career and Life (getBook.at/CareerRescue)
Find Your Passion and Purpose: Four Easy Steps to Discover A Job You Want And Live the Life You Love (getBook.at/Passion)
Boost Your Self-Esteem and Confidence: Six Easy Steps to Increase Self-Confidence, Self-esteem, Self-Value and Love Yourself More (getBook.at/BoostYourSelfEsteemAndConfidence)
And a third book in the Mind-Life Career Rescue series, Employ Yourself (getBook.at/EmployYourself)
It’s been my absolute joy to have heard from so many people who told me that thanks to my books they have confidently left jobs they hated, and started living a life they loved—before it’s too late. Bravo to those of you who have had the courage to make a change for the better in 2016. And kudos to those of you who are planning your great escape. Small steps can lead to big successes over time.
I was touched to receive the following email recently which affirmed how lucky I am to work with both passion and purpose —I’ve devoted much of my life helping others to achieve the same:
“I discovered author Cassandra Gaisford when I first read her book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: How to Confidently Leave a Job You Hate and Start Living a Life You Love, Before It’s Too Late. She writes inspiring non-fiction about how to live a creative life, pursue your passion, and make meaningful change in your life. A number one bestselling Amazon author, she also writes romance and historical fiction and is a coach and speaker.Cassandra is inspiring to me because she leads by example—she follows her passion for writing and art, and she helps others find their creativity through her entrepreneurial writing business which includes coaching and speaking.”
In 2016 I invested a significant amount of time and money in developing my new career direction, including signing up for courses and attending conferences to learn from experts in their field. A real highlight was meeting Michael Hauge, a top Hollywood story expert, author and lecturer who consults with writers, filmmakers, marketers, attorneys and public speakers throughout the world.
Another highlight was receiving a phone call from Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. He helps companies like Amazon, NBC, GM, HP and Viacom grow their revenue. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 online marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies in the world. He was recognised as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 35 by the United Nations. Neil has also been awarded Congressional Recognition from the United States House of Representatives. Neil is so swamped with requests he doesn’t make individual consultations anymore – but he rang little ‘ol me – for free! When I asked ‘why’ he said, because I sounded nice and he thought it would be fun!
Neil’s pro tips to me included: “Having regular blog content is so crucial to building your business and driving traffic to your site.” It’s a great reminder offering free advise and inspiration does help.
In my coaching practice its been so heartening to pass on my skills and knowledge and to train so many wonderful people to become Certified Life and Career Coaches. Here’s just a few of the amazing people and their businesses they have started with a true passion to help others live and work with passion, joy, happiness and fulfilment:
As Clive (from Significant Lives) wrote to me, “A big draw card was the individualised approach – which just one week into training has already proved its worth! I simply wouldn’t be making the same progress if I was say, hooking into a weekly webinar with a dozen or more others and one trainer.” I love working closely with people to help them achieve their dreams.
Last year, as a result of my books going out into the world, I was contacted by many people in American, Europe, Australia and Asia and asked to share my experiences on podcasts, and in their books, including (appropriately) Write Your Book at Fifty by Jeanette Martin. Yesterday I received an email with another request to share my story in a new book which will be released later this year, called Thrive: Finding Space to Live a Creative Life. As the author, says, “It’s about connecting with your creativity (or a neglected passion), creating the time/space/lifestyle to pursue your creativity, and building habits to live a more creative life. I wrote it because for so long, I was stuck on the hamster wheel of being a workaholic and completely ignoring my creative side. I hope to help others who may also be unhappy, ” the author wrote to me.
Amazingly the theme of this book sums up last year (and my intention for those that follow) perfectly. To live and work with passion, creativity and joy you need to make space.
The not so good things that happened included:
Falling out with a couple he had thought were very dear friends. it seemed jealousy got the better of them, despite best efforts to heal the rift they moved away. Happily we have wonderful new friends in our life.
Numerous technology and computer meltdowns including my website (www.worklifesolutions.co.nz) being hacked six times. In the end I had to have it rebuilt and create a new domain. I lost content, time and money.
But other than these and a few personal challenges life (which I’ll share in my book, ‘Your Beautiful Mind” life has been pretty good. I think it helps that I’ve invested so much of my life in the personal development space—and that I meditate. And following my passion has been good for me.
So anyhow’s onto my new year’s solutions:
A few quotes that are inspiring me this year:
Do NOT sit there like ‘Oh I don’t feel like it today. I don’t feel like it tomorrow’. Feel like it! Do it! Force yourself. —James Patterson
“Know what you want and try to go beyond your own explanations. Improve your dancing, practice a lot, and set a very high goal, one that will be difficult to achieve. Because that is an artist’s million: to go beyond one’s limits. An artist who desires very little and achieves it has failed in life.” ~ Paulo Coehlo, in his book “The Spy.”
There—I’ve declared my intent for this year. Writing it down and sharing it with you makes it feel more concrete and me more accountable. It remains to be seen whether I achieve any of these, but I’m going to give them my best shot. Meanwhile I wish you a very Happy New Year. May it be beautiful, prosperous, interesting, productive and joyful
#manifest your goals
Passion Journal 2016
Journal your way to prosperity – A sneak peek into how I manifested my 2016 goals
If you GENUINELY like my books then it would be a HUGE help if you left a rating & review. It might seem insignificant, but it helps more than you might think…especially for independent authors like me. The quickest way is to go to my author page on Amazon and select the books you’ve read. Thank you! amazon.com/author/cassandragaisford
I am an artist, storyteller, intuitive guide, mentor and Reiki master. All my creations are infused with positive energy , inspiration, and light. I believe in magic and the power of beauty, joy, love, purpose, and creativity to transform your life. My greatest joy is helping your realize your dreams. That makes my soul sing!
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