In this episode, I will be chatting with Kim Tuohy, an Instructional Design and founding Director of Belvista Studios. You don't want to miss this episode of abundance in the way Kim lives her life. Through traveling Australia in a van with solar powered panels to running her own business, she gives great tips on the balance of it all. She seeks to live a life of joy everyday!
Listen to this episode below:
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Kim decided that the corporate world was not for her as she wanted to live a life of freedom. She started Belvista Studios and within the first year was able to hire on! She loves what she does as an Instructional Designer and believes in human centered design. She has been traveling through Australia and living a life of abundance. Keep reading to get Kim's unfiltered perspective on finding the joy everyday!
Enjoy the Episode Transcript below:
Robin Sargent I have here with me today, the Kim Tuohy is the founding director of Belvista Studios, which is its own learning and development agency. And I can say so much about Kim about what she's meant to me as a friend and a colleague in this industry and the amazing work that she does at Belvista Studios and all of her channels. But Kim, would you go ahead and do a better job of introducing yourself.
Kim Tuohy Okay, human being first of all, I run Belvista Studios, we're an end to end instructional design eLearning company, we take a human centered approach, we got global clients, we are a remote team, like I haven't seen my team in months, I live in a van very like yet just move into the rhythm of my intuition. And connecting with people like you that add value to my life. Just amplify it to the best that it can be from the inspiration and stuff. So yeah, I'm just living life, getting paid to do what I love. With who I love 24/7 It's a day filled with joy.
Robin Sargent Is this our first episode together? I mean, I've been on your podcast, but you haven't been on...
Kim Tuohy Actually we were Instagram friends for a while. And I came on talking about freelancing years ago.
Robin Sargent Yes. Okay. So we didn't we didn't talk about it. So you know, they might be familiar with the other episode on freelancing, but you've come so far since then, even in your own business. And, and that was before the van life. I know, that's probably probably on the roadmap, if you will. But it wasn't actually happening. So now you're on the road. So I know that we talked probably in that last episode, like how you started your business and things like that. But for people who haven't listened that episode, will you just do a quick overview of kind of how you got started?
Kim Tuohy Yes, sweet, I have a learning and development background and graphic design as well. And I just was pursuing like, my passions. It's something adds value to my life, get it in more something that doesn't get it out of my life, basically. And that's where I got exposed to learning and development. And then I was like, this is cool. I really love it. I worked in a government agency just like local government, basically, career job, became a disengaged employee from the cultural perspective was like, I never want to work for someone, again, that can control my life. That way, I must have full control over the culture and the work life because of basically how much time we spend at life, or at work. And then I was like, I'm starting a business. I love learning and development, it's going to be an eLearning. And I went, actually, I was about to start my own business, because I really just was like, eww I don't like corporate land. But then I got headhunted to work for an eLearning company. And I was like, oh I'll go there. I don't know how to quote, I don't know how to do project management for projects. So I'll go and learn. And when I'm ready, then I'll do my business. So I was there for almost a year. And did that's where it came about instructional design, action mapping, all of that stuff. So I didn't even know what an instructional designer was going to that eLearning agency. And then I basically was like, This is not for me this again, like disengaged, I was like your values and my values are very misaligned. And I think that's going to be a problem for life. So I need to create an organization where I can just be my authentic self the whole time, and there is no friction. And then I basically quit with nothing to go to. And within a week had my first contract my first client, and now we're six years in business, and I've got two employees, one person comes in from time to time as well. And we use subcontractors. And yeah, so I'm an instructional designer, and develop eLearning and run a business and lead a team and all of those things. That's the very short version.
Robin Sargent And when you started Kim, it was you're just a solopreneur you're all on your own. How long did it take you to get your first employee and I bet a lot of people who are maybe freelancing right now in the instructional design world are kind of looking like well, how do you know when it's time to grow and expand and add to your team and how do you pick that person.
Kim Tuohy God Yeah, like we've got a couple of things where I have shared that in like on our YouTube but like on a It was early like I It would probably have been within my first year. And it's Hannah, for anyone that is familiar with us. But we've worked in that government organization together. And I was her supervisor. And I was like when I started a business didn't even know what Belvista Studios was at the time. But I was like, I will start a business and she will be my first employee. So what I what I recognize, and what I think is important when you are searching for someone is basically put out your authentic self and align to other humans on a values level. Now, we're all three of our team are very different in terms of what our values are, but we have values and the integrity for each of our individual values is very strong. So that's that commonality. But what I loved about Hannah back in the day and still appreciate about her, and that's come through with the second employee as well is initiative. There's an element of self love in there, they probably won't recognize that but I recognize that they do believe in themselves, they do see their worthy human now they do have like impostor syndrome and self belief creeps in from time to time, but I can see it in their souls that they're good. And they want to learn, right, so that they want to learn they recognize, could have done that better, slicked up, whatever. But that reflection process was built in so that we basically just go, oh, what would you do differently next time and they are already on it using their initiative. Sometimes we don't even have to do that. They just go, Oh, next time, I'm gonna do this and you guys should know about it. So you don't f*ck up. So look for that initiative. Look for a good human. And you just just go do it. I think Gary Vee says something along the lines of like, fire fast fire faster. So now I'm not saying fire people but be willing to get let it go like clarify expectations, communicate what those expectations are realign give the learning opportunity. And if you have people that use their initiative and and want to learn and love themselves and be the best version of themselves, it's just a beautiful cycle when you are on some journey together. And I always say like, for me, Belvista Studios is a vehicle to our ultimate lives. So our lives look very different. And our needs are very different. But this is the place where we can enable that in terms of hiring. The minute you have anything that you hate doing, pay someone else to do it. That is the first thing that came from me. I was like, I hate admin. It's my procrastination, there was holding me back from creativity, strategic thinking, the lifestyle that I want all of the things that I'm really good at or that I love, right? So the minute that you hate something, you must outsource it. I think a good test. Actually, this is probably just one practical tip. So I don't go on, like deep rant. But if you whatever you pay yourself, right, so I'm 260 Australian dollars an hour for consulting. Okay. So if I wouldn't pay someone else that 260 bucks for an hour of their time, then I absolutely shouldn't be doing that task. That is the decision maker. Would you pay what you pay yourself? But pay someone else to do it? If the answer is no, you must find someone else to do that task.
Robin Sargent Yeah, I mean, and even in general business advice. They always say hire your admins first anyway, but all of that. I mean, it's just so interesting that it was your first year. And so did you also have a certain amount of clients to where you just knew that you were on a roll and you're going to be able to support having your employee.
Kim Tuohy So good. Look, I hated admin. I was just like, that had it had the potential to make me not have a business, right? Because I was I'd spend 30 hours trying to do stupid things. Probably this isn't an over exaggeration, but a lot of time, probably three times as long because I was procrastinating right. And then I was like, I can't do this, like I will not function as a business. And it was so scary for me to have and it is scary for your first employee. And I said, What can I afford? Right? Literally worked out the figures. I was like, What is a good investment of money, right? And now I think about money is that it's an exchange of energy. So even just that mindset shift is a lot different. It's never an expense to hire someone unless you're like correcting their stuff and then they're not the right fit anyway. So always think of it it is an investment. I'm getting time back. It's the return on investment to me is this the return on investment to the best version of myself to apply myself to a task is this, I can serve my clients better if I spend this. So back to it was so scary for me, I figured out, I could afford five hours of someone of Hannah's time when I could offer to pay her. And I was like five hours. Oh my God, I hope this goes well. The other motivation was I love Hannah. And I still do love her. At the time, she was kind of looking at her next steps. And from a life perspective, I was like, she was gonna go to Europe, right. And I was like, Go quit your job, oh, my God. So I wanted to be able to enable her next steps in quitting her job having no income. And I was basically like, behind the scenes going, Oh, my God, I could give her five hours of work. And that would like pay her basic needs, when she could go have this adventure. So I wanted I was trying to figure out how I can support that. So that was almost like a kick in the bum like motivated, because I cared more. So I think that motivation, side of it's important as well, like, I cared so much. I was like, I'm going to try and make it work and five hours, I'm going to make that work. And I think within like two weeks or something she was on full time, there was just like, like the she's brilliant. She had all those things. It made sense. I was like, more, more, more, more more.
Robin Sargent Yeah. And so and even just that first decision has now led you to have now you have two people. And plus you have contractors where you have been able to design your life in such a way that just brings you joy, and that includes the van. And so I'm sure people are like, What are you doing in your van? Where are you going? How does that work with work? What does that look like?
Kim Tuohy Yeah, well, I think like, for me, the one thing that I've been aware of for like 10 years now is like, I have to live a fulfilling day, every day, right? I want to if I die in this form, it means I must have no regrets, basically. So fulfilling day means that it's got joy. It's got purpose, meaning all of this sorta good stuff. So that self awareness was like, what does that look like in a day? Right? And I started thinking like, how would I spend my day? What would I be doing? What are the things that bring me joy? How can I get more of that into my life. So now I always say to everyone, especially like people like that have their own business, freelancers, that sort of stuff. But it is also possible if you're an employee is that you must schedule your joy, whatever that is for you into your day into your week, first. So on a Sunday afternoon, evening, I have an actual calendar invite that says scheduled joy for the week. And I know in there, I even have examples because I forget. So I'm like it's surfing, it's skate meet up. So it's calls with my girlfriends, it's a facial, it might be walks on the beach, it might be exploring a new place, whatever it is, right? So I have the things that I've identified, give me joy, I then go in there and I go, right, where am I having them. I'm like, I've got a big day of workshops today. Like we've done a two hour workshop with the client this morning. Then I have the report that comes out. I've done that now. I've got this. I've got the team catch ups this afternoon with my team. And I've got a client dinner tonight. Very, for me, energetically draining day. Right? So I knew that was coming up. So what do I do is I go where does the joy had that? So that energetically over the week, I am my best version of myself. So I went to museums, the Australian Open Tennis is on at the moment I went to that tomorrow I'm also going to another museum and I've got like a lunch date with myself, you know, so I'm there all the things that bring me joy they came in, and then it was around, okay, how am I scheduling my day with my work that like my schedule is very, very on point, like work on the business time, client time, team time, sales, learning, all of this sort of stuff, right? So I've got a lot of things in there. But number one thing is joy. So for me every day is my number one value is freedom, right? So if you want us everyone always like wants to just like choke when they see my my schedule my calendar, but it's like, because there's like so many things in there. But actually with my value, number one value being freedom. It is so flexible. So I know my working style. I'm very good in the morning. So I put my high cognitive stuff in there where I can do my best work. I'm a vegetable in the afternoons. So that's when I'm out exploring. I'm doing something that brings me joy. I come back in the evenings after dinner, living in the van. There's not too much in Australia, a lot of where I am In Australia, it gets dark. So bloody early here. I'm not where I am at the moment, but like, by 6pm It's dark, right? Shops close early, I don't go to shops, but like things closed, there's nothing to do really, I don't want to be roaming the streets for too long in the dark. So therefore, I'm coming back and doing my work, right. So basically, what is my joy? I wake up, I do my little self thing. I've got like my little morning routine of like meditation ta da da, but then I do something that brings me joy. Sometimes I go surfing. Sometimes I go to the skate park, sometimes I have a call with my best friend's. So there's something in there. And then boom, 730 Generally I start work. No, sometimes I'm not feeling the work. And I push it back if I don't have a commitment. So yeah, I've got work time. And then I've got like lunch, that kind of thing. My little activity that I'm doing in the afternoon, sometimes with the van like I'm moving locations, right? So my lunchtime, I'm like driving an hour and a half or I'm driving three hours to get to my next destination. And then I'm setting up checking in when I get to a new place immediately. I'm like, explore what's here? So then the you know, it's already dinnertime. I'm probably eating out like, Guys, van life. Okay, there's two things. I got like cleaners and a chef. Basically, I use public toilets every single day and I eat in restaurants quite a lot. The second side of it is that Instagram life. It looks beautiful. It is the reality isn't my reality. Like it's like, yeah, I'm not going around with drones and things like that. And then there's some funny stories that happen. Like when you do have van life and the interruptions that come in, like, the amount of times like if I need to go to the bathroom, it's quite funny is like, I got to work. Sometimes I gotta walk 500 meters to van site or to the toilet from my van, right? And then all these people, they're like, they want to chat to you. I'm like, oh my god, like I need to get back to a client call or whatever I got, like, I gotta go. They're all like ray nomads and they're like retired so I'm gonna have this like chat. Anyway, so it's very flexible. I come back in the evening then and I might do some work next day could be completely flipped around. So yeah, that's sort of the day number one joy then work fills in work isn't always like work work for me because it's like, I love it. Right. So it's just another hobby fitting in there. Yeah, that's that's kind of, I don't know, some insight into it. But I'm just like in Australia at the moment during the van life. I've done all the East Coast I've done Tasmania, which is the little island at the bottom. And then now I'm working my way across the bottom but like, today is Wednesday Friday. I am actually in a hostel at the moment for good internet. I came here for I'm in a big city and the it was just easier to be in a hostel with a private room. I mean, luxury I have a bathroom in my room today. I'm here because I want it like the caravan site to too far away but Friday I check out I actually don't know where I'm going. So I need to figure that out. I have an idea that I'm headed like West but I don't know the town I have nothing booked so I need to plan that. So sometimes, like Yeah, that's that's also freedom. And that's also like, WTF where am I going next? And then you make a spontaneity like call and you're like, Okay, I need somewhere now and this is where I'm going. But it's always like I'm a not a big rambler people basically I'm verbal vomiting and I hope that the people listening take something and action it and get value from their life. But yeah, it's just like, What do I feel like? What does my intuition what's going to bring me joy at the moment is it mountains and hiking and no internet? Is it beach time and surfing and cafes and restaurants and that sort of thing.
Robin Sargent So even if nobody has the freedom that you have, you know, they might be have a family or, or a full time job or whatever, but so many of us are remote, even if we are even if they are in full time roles, or they're contractors and so there is more freedom, but just that peace of thinking about what brings you joy as the first thing to schedule into your day. So how did you come up with all the lists of things that bring you joy because I could I can also list you know, I also like to go surfing and those but those things are like out of my realm of possibility while I have three boys and a husband on the daily and so how did you come up with your with your list? Because it's very it's very personal to you. It sounds like did you like sit down just write it out or figure it out or what?
Kim Tuohy Yeah, like I'm very reflective, right? So there was a time where it kind of was like, I used to love this as a little girl. Why don't I do it anymore? Why don't I do art anymore? Like, why don't my color why don't my draw and then I was like I'm gonna give it a go. And then I was like, I love that, like, that was really fun. Okay, f*cking get a couple of textures and pencils and bring them with you, you know. So anytime I basically am like that really was fulfilling for me, I need more of that in my life because afterwards, I am energized, I am feeling connected, whatever those kinds of words are that are important to me. I'm like, I need more of that in my life, right? And then there's a secondary side of it now. I meet that I meet so many people in a day I meet families that have given up everything sold their house to do the van life and homeschooling their kids and all of that. People that are corporate executives got their family in the caravan behind them, grey nomads, whatever. Right? So what I would say is, if you set your mind to it, you can work it out. So the list for me is like, what, what do I crave as a human being? Do I crave connection? Do I crave stimulating conversations, stimulating experiences, tasty food? What is it that I want? That I know, leaves me a better human right? And so I write those down. And then I'm like, What do I know gives me that? And then what am I like, maybe that would give me it. Or maybe I want to try that. And I put it in there. And then when you have like responsibilities, or you want to share other things with other people, like for example, this is one thing. I was in a particular area in Australia. And I loved it. I was like, oh my god, this is beautiful. Like I really, this is amazing. And I want to experience this with other people. And I want people that I love to experience this for them. Because I know the value it's bringing into my life, right? It was great cafes, the cheesecake, I cannot wait. It's like 30 hours drive away from where I am at the moment. But I have that on my return list. Right? It was surfing, it was good nature. It was visually beautiful. Just the like outdoors, right? And I was like, this has had such an impact on me. I want others to experience this the people that I love. So what do I do, I paid for them to come to me and provided them with that experience. Now I'm, I'm not like rich in the financial sense. But I have a rich mindset, which is around abundance. And that's where that came from. So when you have a family, when you have other people with commitments, you say, what is my responsibility? And how can I enable the need for myself with their involvement? And do I need their involvement, sometimes you book a holiday with your girlfriends, and the husband's is staying behind? Or the partners are staying behind? You know, like, you work it out? What is my need? How will I get it, work it out and make it happen.
Robin Sargent And I imagine and I don't know if this is somehow connected. But I imagine that this kind of way that you've designed your life and have been so reflective and have found your joy and aligns your values. Also kind of points to your love of human centered design. And Belvista Studios because and I just want to hear you talk about you know what it is what human does us a human centered design approach is For you what does that mean? And is it connected? I mean, your love of it? Is it connected somehow to how you actually live your life.
Kim Tuohy I'm reflecting live on this now. Thank you for picking on that. I think you're onto something there. Definitely. I looked at what is the problem I'm trying to solve, which is like what we do in learning. And for me, it was like how do I live a fulfilling life every day? And then you think about like learning objectives. So what are those things that I need to have a fulfilling day every day? And then it's about putting things in taking things out? So yes, I would say that. Yeah, that's that's the simplest level knowing who I am. What I want, what am I needs? How do I provide those needs to achieve success?
Robin Sargent Yeah. And you are basically doing that for your leaner's.
Kim Tuohy Yeah. 100%
Robin Sargent So what do you think is okay, so we, I mean, just adding joy to your life would probably frickin change people's lives, right there.
Robin Sargent But what are some of the ways that you I mean, because it is such a fresh perspective. So what are some of the things that you do, as I know that you're not even you're not even really a freelancer but if you were to talk to people who have control over their business or how they run things. What are some of the other things that you've learned along the way that have really just added to how smooth things run? Or how you've been able to grow? I know you've kind of touched on mindset through anything else, that you're like, Oh, well, because I did XYZ or when I, you know, budget things this way, like, what is it for you that? You know, you're like, Man, I wish you would have done this sooner. Any of that.
Kim Tuohy I listened to a lot of podcasts to kind of open my thinking, because I find it very difficult to do that. So I looked at people that I admired. And there's a surfer called Stephanie Gilmore, she's achieved the highest levels of success in her life. She's also a beautiful human being. So two aspects of cool things. Living life on her term relates to me as a human. I also listened to people that I don't agree with. So like, people, that might be billionaires, I have no aspirations to be that rich, or even to be a millionaire, like I am. I'm not about that, right. But I do listen to people, because I'm looking for patterns, and just how they thought about their life and how they got to their, their situation that they're stoked in. If they are, that's what I'm looking for, is they're happy in their life living their thing. What could that open up for me to think differently? And basically use that as stimulus? Because I think it's hard when you don't know. And you can only benchmark against, like, my parents, or my friends or people in our industry. And I think there's probably like, wouldn't it be cool just to think different from those around me. So therefore, I just go out there and be stimulated by people of all walks of life. And like I'll talk to people, like I'll sit on a bench Buster, I'm talking, I want to know, what's going on your life, you know, like, I'll stop and talk to people that might be like begging for money on the street. I want to know about the human, probably more human centered design coming in there. Right. So 10 year plan, and then you work backwards? What does that look like in five years? What does that look like in two years? What does that look like in 12 months? And what it looks like is what does the day look like? What does the month look like? What is the financial aspect of that? And then you break it down? 12 months, every single month? So the 12 month goal broken down monthly? Because then it might be 100 sales? $100,000.
Kim Tuohy $100 I don't know, whatever, in 12 months, what is that? That's so I can't do much right now. But that's so many per month. And then what does that look like on a weekly level and a daily level? That was my first thing, right? And then from there, I was like, okay, cool. How do I hold myself accountable to this? So actually, just before I get to the accountability, I'll just talk about the first thing that I started with was I call it my fire and my why, right? So what do I get so fired up about that I get so emotional, to use as my motivation. When I first did this activity, that was if my parents died, I would be so devastated that I use that as a motivator. So that's what I mean is find that fire that emotional thing to hook you to know why you're doing what you're doing and why that 10 year plan actually f*cking matters in your life. Right? You have to be connected to a point where like, I can get tears in my eyes when I go to that level of emotion on it, then you know, you have the right thing. You're not doing it for someone else. You're not I want to be I want to earn a million dollars, because everyone says that number, but do they actually need that number for the reality of their life? Probably not. So you need, it's about the emotional thing. Then when you work all that 10 year plan down to the week, the month, the day, whatever it is the level that you want to go to the accountability, I said, right, this is hard. And that's a lot. And this is a new habit I'm building. So I need accountability from someone else, because I'm not going to hold myself accountable the emotions there, but it's also a little bit hard. Life's busy, I'm running a business, I want to do other things. So a client actually told me about this tactic, which was 10 questions. And it is 10 things that if you did them every single day would allow you to achieve those outcomes that you want for yourself. They're like the foundational habits. So when I first did it, it was things like I needed to meditate in the morning, eat a nutritional diet, see blue sky, be inspired all of these things, right? Whatever they are. So you figure out 10 questions, and then you say to your buddy, whoever is going to ask you those questions asked me the questions, or you can respond is yes and no, I did them in my day. Right? They can't judge. They just are there to ask you the question. So I'd ask different people in my life at different times have held this role, but they just text me and they'll say 10 questions. And then I go through each of my 10 questions, and I go, Yes, I did it today. No, I didn't. Yes, yes, yes, no, no, no, whatever it was right. And then I just respond and say, seven out of 10/10 out of 10, four out of 10. And that daily calibration, allowed me to go Kim, this is now five days in a row where you said no to a nutritious diet. And you know that you get brain fog, that you're grumpy, that you are sluggish when you don't eat a nutritious diet. Get your act together, right. So that's one of the activities and you do it over time. And then what you're doing there, it's just building habits for yourself. So now then I don't have to think did I? Oh my God, what's my meal choice today, like because I'm, I'm out there having the best f*cking meal. But like, because I eat out a lot. And it's an important thing to me. But then it just, it makes me calibrate and think about my, like, decisions. It doesn't make me think sorry, overtime, we're building a habit. So now I don't think about it anymore. I am more in tune with my body or it just happens naturally. It's like, oh my god, like I'm just craving some fresh air, I'm gonna go outside and have a little walk for 10 minutes, right. Whereas in the past, it was a burden for me. So that's one activity 10 questions, accountability with someone else, ask them to be non judgmental on your response. They're just there to hold you so you can build habits for yourself. Another thing was that 10 year plan initially, I actually booked that a check in with myself every quarter. And what I did was I booked a hotel at a place that I loved so that I could go there be in a stimulating environment and basically reflect on it. And then we'd like plan, how to calibrate and get me on track for the next kind of sprint, because we're working in a quarterly sprint to reach the 12 month goals. And that time was a reward for well done, you've spent the last three to four months doing whatever you know, so go the hotel, have the cool things, eat the nice food, whatever it is that you can create that experience for yourself, reflect because we do swim. And we need to be proud and reflect on the growth and see the accomplishments and also see our our actions leading us towards that 10 year goal. I reconnect with my fire again. And then I basically go okay, cool. Here's some things that are working well. This is something I haven't done. Is it a priority? Should I be actioning it? How do I plan and get myself calibrated? Because otherwise 12 months is just like, falls into the drain and we don't ever achieve it. So I need that accountability. And when I'm in that reflection and goal setting time, I am not available to clients. I'm not available to my team. It is just me on me. And the last task I do at the end of that time that said that 10 year plan in beginning took me four days, four full days, including stimulus reflection, time to work it out, but I was waking up in life. So four days on the scheme of it. There's nothing there was a long weekend. And then now I have it down to I can really do it in two days. And the last task that I do is I booked the next one. So where's my next reflection and goal setting time? booked the hotel, so it's locked in, and then I can plan my projects around it. So that's the next thing down is every quarter, then every Monday morning, I have time that is working. It's the first aim of the day. And it's called working on the business time. It's my strategy time. And the first task I do is I wake up, and I reflect on my fire. So I look at it. And mine is like a fulfilling day. What does the fulfilling day look like? It means that I have no regrets in the actions and decisions that I've made. I don't know, there's all whatever it is, but it's very, it's basically my learning objectives, if you think of it at that detail level, and I look at them and I read them, and I feel every single one of them if I'm successful in it. The second part of the activity is if I fail, what does it mean? If I am not a good leader, for example, maybe that has a negative effect on Hannah and Victoria. And they might leave and I'm really I don't like, that's me failing, if they left, that is something I fear. So then I go f*ck, am I giving them what I need, I serve them at the end of the day. So it recalibrates me into that emotion state again, on a weekly basis. So I do my reflection on my fire. And if I fail, to not achieve my fire, what that might mean for my life, then I go into updating my little sticky notes. So this is the kind of calibration against those quarterly goals where I've gone, I need to make this many business contacts, I need to whatever the business building activities for me that helped me achieve my goals. So be different for everyone. I update that because when I do that, I'm in a state of like, I, as I said hate admin, I don't like sales, anything like that. When I see that there, it makes me a little bit more heightened, to take action to respond to the email today, as opposed to three days later, right. So that's why I do that. Then after that, I do silent time, right. So I literally, sometimes I wear a blindfold, like I don't want any stimulus for an hour, I put a timer on. And I just sit in whatever comes up for that reflection and action period of time. And then I just actually like write down whatever comes up, which is normally actions. So now we're two hours into the Monday. Then after that I have time where I schedule those actions, right? And that's based on priority, like do they need to be done right now? Are they happening in a month's time just chunk them into the calendar, like depending on the priority, then what I do, then it's the it's execution time, which is I probably have like two hours left before lunch, and then I'm back in. But in that time, I'm not available to the team. It's purely just keep focusing on doing what I need to do to get me there. So that's kind of like how I look at my goals. And then how I don't do goals anymore, like but I just live in a kind of vision statement for myself, like you could have a vision board. That's one of the activities I used to do. But now I'm not striving for things out there. I'm existing in a place within myself. So it's a little I'm in a little bit of a different place. But one of the activities as well that I'd recommend is like the wheel of life. And it basically is like a wheel, you can just Google a template. And it will help you calibrate, you basically have like segments of a pie and it's health, spirituality, career finance, relationships, social and you color in or the way I do it is I color in where do I sit in each of these are they fall or they have fall? Where they are? And then I say a different color? Where do I want them to be? Do I want to be is am I satisfied with it being 50% Because right now I'm focusing on my learning and development for myself. So therefore I don't have time to be social. So but even though social is low, I'm actually comfortable that it's low at the moment, because I want all my energy to go into the learning and growth that I'm putting into myself. So I go and I just calibrate. Is it where I need it to be so that I'm fulfilled, that I'm content with where my life's act? And then I just go the third part of that activity is what is one action I can take to get it from its current state to its future state, which is an empathy map, right? Current state, future state when we talk about human performance benchmarking, changing behavior when it looks at our like, L&D life. That's a really good one. I probably do that every quarter, or I do it whenever I'm like, something feels off in my life right now. What is it? That's the activity that kind of highlights it for me. And then I go from there. So that okay, we've just done the life ones. I can go into like the project, scheduling and all that budgeting if you want. I don't know what's next Robin? Is this valuable?
Robin Sargent While I'm taking notes, and one other thing I thought was really interesting, Kim was when you said that you're 10 things, you know, that you send off to get accountable to help you meet your 10 year goals, that they were all habits that just kind of make you healthier and happier, none of them were actually things 10 Things that you need to do to meet your budget benchmarks.
Kim Tuohy No, one of them at a time was, did I smile today? Like that's the foundational habit that makes me the best version of myself.
Robin Sargent So you're 10 Things are your foundational habits, but like you said, then you break it down even further, where you already if you have the habits, and you have like the peace of mind, and you have the health and you have the energy, then all the tasks become easier. All those other tasks.
Kim Tuohy Yeah, like one of the things that I really struggled like, as I said, admin, I hate it. That includes responding to emails. So when I first was building, my habits was one of my 10 questions was, did I respond to my client emails that I received today? Because I need that's important to me. And also that like client, I think of as like, team, that sort of stuff as well. So it's not just clients. It's like stakeholders, it's, maybe it's some best friend, that's text me, like, if that's important to me, did I respond to that? Because I'm the kind of person that's like, three weeks later, you're getting response. And the other thing was like, Did I do a business building activity? Because I knew that that, like, I've got responsibilities. I've got Hannah's life. And I've got Victoria's life, that it's not just Kim. I'm enabling them to eat to live their lifestyle. So I have a big responsibility on two human lives. So that's why yeah, those ones there.
Robin Sargent Oh, my gosh, I mean, you were just talking about the wheel. I mean, I just love that you've actually done it when did you do your 10 year plan? How long ago?
Kim Tuohy I think it was like I started this, like maybe two or three years ago.
Robin Sargent I've used radical shifts. I want to know, I mean, obviously, I know you have, but I just be can you tell everyone else?
Kim Tuohy Yeah, well, I think a big one for me, like back then was like it was a financial goal. I wanted to earn a certain amount of money in my salary. I also had a, it was very financially driven. Like, yes, there's Kim salary to fund my ultimate life. But then there's like, You got to fund your employees, right? So I needed to hit a monetary thing. And then because everyone else was talking about profit, and numbers, I was like, I need profit, I need big numbers. And then I was like, as I learned more about myself, I was like, I don't need profit, and I don't need big numbers. That's not what I'm here for. Like, that's very stressful for me, doesn't add value to my life actually takes from my life. So just even that self awareness to question like, why do I need profit? Why do I need to have that amount of revenue coming through Belvista studios? And I was like, what, what do I actually need? And I always encourage people to think about this from like, my, my earning dollar amount. If you do like, if you're going for a salary in a job, if you're trying to figure out your freelance hourly rate, I say forget all numbers. Design your day, and your lifestyle and how much that costs in a year. Right? So I want to be able to eat out all the time and never question an item on the menu. I want to have this many weeks of holidays, I want to put this amount into my future savings funds. I've got school fees, da,da,da if I live my ultimate life, how much do I need. And when you figure out that number, it's actually not that much. Like, you can do it. You can have your fulfilling life for very easily. I don't want to give numbers because everyone's journey is different. But figure out the ultimate life and then actually figure out how much that costs and then go from there. And that's your non negotiable when you go for a salary, that hourly rate, that kind of thing. So anyway, money that was driven and then I started to question that, and I was like, money doesn't bring joy to me. Like I don't care about money. What's it gonna do? Nothing? What do I care about? I care about experience I care about feeling like a good human, and that I can make choices on time and how I live my day. That's more important to me freedom and aliveness, right they're my two things that are most important. How do I get more of that? So now I'm not driven by money which I was back then my goals now are just literally like am I making decisions and taking actions that give me exponential joy. Does this time with you? And I do I say yes to the podcast? Or do I pursue the podcast or whatever it is? Does it give me exponential joy? That's one of my criterias. Absolutely hanging out with you is a delight. Yes. Am I being my authentic self? That's another thing. That's another goal of mine. Am I able to be authentically Kim by being here? Absolutely. Yes. Am I moving to the rhythm of my intuition? Does my intuition want to do this? Is there any friction? No, I'm just like, I'm just like, whoa, give me this. It's an expansion feeling. So that's what my goals are now. It's not financial at all. The minute as well, this I only did this like six months ago, I'm going to say is I, everyone talks about money, right. And I'm going to backpackers at the moment. And it's really interesting, because I had an omelet sandwich and a coffee for $12. Today, that is cheap as hell. I listen to the backpackers and they're like, it's so expensive. The cafe here, I'm like, wait, were you ever getting that food like, so money, that money thing is like really limiting and I just those conversations, they didn't feel right to me, I just said, I don't want to I don't want that energy around me anymore. So I'm just going to tell myself that I have an abundance of money. And I have an abundance of time, right? And so this was to challenge my thinking about money and what everyone else was projecting on me as important. So I then said, basically, I just used as I was trying to, like, convince myself, right, it just became a mantra. So every morning, I'd wake up and I'd say I have an abundance of money. And I have an abundance of time. And that changed everything for me. Now, this means this is how simple it is. Right? Is a couple of examples. I went to free camping free camping is where you have no electricity. The toilet is like literally like a hole in the ground. If you're lucky, you have toilet roll, right? So I went there, there was normally it's pretty secluded, but there was something on that there was like 100 people there. There's two toilets, okay. And these toilet rolls are not getting filled up. Like that's kind of like the council might come, the rangers might come once a week, right? So the toilet roll is gonna go very easily with all these people. And so you get there. And I'm like, Oh, my God, that toilet roll, and they've got so much toilet roll. And I did not have to worry about that for the weekend. And what did I have? Because I was that this energy exchange that that's like what I mean about abundance of money, there's an abundance of toilet roll. And I have an abundance of toilet roll to give. So I exchanged and when I left, I left the toilet roll there. So that is something that I think about differently. Another thing was a beautiful story I was eating, went to an Indian restaurant. And you can't sit there and you just go it's a woman. It's her pride and joy. And she says one thing. And basically I went there, and I was eating at the counter, we just got into a conversation I was standing there I finished my samosa is my bread, my like rice and my curry. So that's how long I was standing there. She told me that any customer that gives her cash, she puts it into a little box because she wants to go back to India and build a property that is a school and health and everything that she can give to the community for free. Right? And so I'm hearing your story. I was like, oh my god, that's amazing, right? I was like, I want to pay you cash, I don't want to pay by card because then it just goes into our business that was probably illegal. And that's where I'm not gonna give too much for me around where she is and stuff. But anyway, she I wanted to be able to give her cash because then I can contribute to her dream, and her school and her medical thing that she wants to build in India. So I go to the ATM. And like the way that ATM works is you can't, you can't get the exact amount, right? It was something like 25 bucks, you have to only get like, certain intervals of money, which was either less or more. Okay, then what I owed her. And I was like, it doesn't matter. I'm just gonna give her the note that comes out. So the note that came out was significantly more than what I owed her, right? And she was like, oh, no, no, no, like, I give you the change and I was like, no, just take it take the money right? And she then wanted to offer me all the food to make up for I was like I live in a van like I can't take the food just gonna go off like all this sort of stuff. I was like, just have it like this is for the school. No, this is for that right? So anyway, that's like a beautiful thing. But then what happens for me is with that abundance, that energy exchange, I go I'm going to the movies after that, and I want ice cream and I'm like I'm going all out I'm gonna get a Sunday this oh my god this Sunday was like brownie chocolate ice cream, and like all the syrup and all of the things I was treating myself, right. Just as I'm about to pay, I see another flavor that I've never seen before. And I was like, oh my god regrets. I want that bloody flavor. I don't want the flavor that I chose. And so I'm like, I have an abundance of money. And so then it goes, Okay, pay for the extra scoop. Right? I don't want to have regrets, because I've all hate that. So I just say to the person behind the counter, Hey, can I get an extra scoop of ice cream? I'd love to try that flavor. What do they do, they reach in, they scoop, the biggest freaking scoop of ice cream like this is a place where they're like, they weigh the bloody ice cream, you know, those kinds of places, I hate them. But that person dug in there. And it was a f*cking huge scoop of ice cream. So but then at the end, they didn't charge me for that extra scoop. So I paid the regular price for the Sunday and got a scoop of ice cream free. And that's what I mean about an abundance of money. That mindset has allowed me to just give and buy and make choices abundantly. And also I am equally, if not exponentially receiving money, whatever that might look like, in abundance, as well. That has been a big shift for me. So yeah, from financial goals to just living in abundance. I'm probably like, I could go deeper, I'm just conscious of time. So I'm kind of like, that's why I'm trying to give as much like something to just spark something like I could get very practical on how I make this happen and how it exists for me. But trust me, I live in a constant state of bliss. And it is all of these things, all of that woo woo all have the Instagram quotes, I know that you can have them and live in them, you just got to take action.
Robin Sargent I mean, I'll just confirm all of these things. And there really is it is true when you it's almost like when you stop focusing on what kind of money I do have or what kind of money I need to have. And you just accept that you have all that you need. It just like opens, it opens a floodgate. And I know that that might be a strange thing for some people to be hearing right now on this episode, especially if they are trying to transition into a place where they are, like into a new career field or things like that. We're looking at time and being conscious time. I think one of the things that you really could talk about Kim that would probably speaking to a lot of people's lives is what are some of the ways like this mentality about abundance of of money and an abundance of time? How can we also translate that to making the transition to our career field and instructional design? You know, because I know that I in the IDOL course Academy have a lot of students and there's I sometimes their their emotions are so mixed, you know, when they first get in, they're so excited, but they're like scared at the same time. And what are some of the things that you would tell them at the beginning of their journey?
Kim Tuohy I love this, this is good call. There is an abundance of opportunity, abundance of jobs, abundance of clients, abundance of projects, everything, abundance of how much you want to earn abundance of how you want to earn abundance of how you want to use your time, all of that how you want to work, who you want to work with. Robin and I are competitors. Like really, if we think about the traditional sense of life, or more so back in the day, like I know you've you, you don't take on clients anymore. And that kind of stuff is much like it's that the academy is your jam. But like, technically, we shouldn't be friends. According other people. I just think you're a beautiful human, I want your energy in my life. I know that having conversations with you, and the things that you're doing inspire me to be a better human, a better business person, right? There is an abundance of opportunity. So don't listen to anything that tells you otherwise. You just gotta have that rule. I have zero rules, like zero tolerance rules. So there's certain things that I'm like, just zero of that in my life. Right? So like a simple thing is I'm a vegetarian, I mean, zero animals that I you are as well.
Robin Sargent Well, pescetarian I eat the fish.
Kim Tuohy Okay. I didn't even know that. So what does that mean for me is that I actually have a rule on LinkedIn. That if I see someone posts in my network, and it comes up in my feed, and that's obviously out of our control, right, like with the algorithms and stuff, but if I notice that person comes into my feed twice with something negative, I hide them, I, and I will love them as a human or whatever. But that negativity cannot impact me. So if someone's talking about the scarcity, or fear, or whatever, or there's too many people come into our industry, or there's not enough jobs, or you need this amount of experience, bullsh*t, and eliminate that from your life, because there is an abundance of opportunity. When you are in there, I think it's about safety nets, like when we're learning new career transition, you go into the academy, you're like, where do I start, there's so many amazing things in there, there's so much opportunity your academy works, the amount of people that are reaching their goals, they're getting their dream jobs, like it works. And there's proven success stories out there of people having that abundance for them, as a result of going through. They are your benchmark, they're your inspiration, your aspiration. They have done it. And they've proven that for you actually, sorry, this, this reminds me we're starting a blog specifically to unveil that and check it out on our YouTube. So Belvista studios, YouTube, but it's basically a day in the life of an instructional designer. Because I know back in the day, 10 years ago, I knew nothing, zero self awareness, zero anything of who I am, I was just a baby. Then I needed access to information once I got access to information, which was a supervisor saying, hey, read this book him go on this course. I was like, holy, holy sh*t, okay. And that's where I, my momentum grew into who I am. But without access to information without seeing what's possible, who's doing what the amount of people that go through your academy and Robin, the amount of people that get jobs from your academy, the sales that you make, on the book, you even saying, I am going to write a book. I'm like, wow, if Robin can do that, what is possible for me to and I think that that's why we're doing the vlog is so we can show people, what does a day in the life look like when you have templates and systems and the employee experience that we have at Belvista studios, because we want to provide access to say it is possible we are living in it, we are living in breathing, and we are having that. What is your like, take on the abundance for those people because you it is the systems and support. Sorry, that's where I'll disclose my thought is that have the systems in place. So for example, that's where I'm saying, have Robin as a role model, and go, if Robin can do that, and inspire me, Kim, I can have it too. Who's my accountability, buddy, Robbins and accountability buddy. Like we meet up every month, we check in with each other. I've got other people like that in my life that made me that when we do our podcast in our team, I literally did that because I wasn't dedicating time to learn myself. And I was like, if I do, I need to learn. I have to I crave it as a human, but I'm not motivated to do it. As much as I need it for what I want in my life. So what do I do hold myself accountable to the world who expect me to learn and put that out there hold myself by having a weekly chat with my team that is around development. So I put those systems in place so that I can have that accountability to reap the rewards of the abundance. Okay, so back to you, Robin, what are your tips and perspectives on that abundance? Like for people entering the industry? Or starting off?
Robin Sargent Oh, my gosh, I mean, are we are on the same exact page. I mean, for me, it's even just like you said we'd be technically considered competitors, but I don't look at people as competitors. I look at them as co-collaborators, or they're just hidden, you know, you're like the lines in your feet. And it's the same exact thing be you're right. And it's there are a lot of people who live in that mindset. And they will say like all what's the competitive, you know, field out there or whatever. But I mean, just to encourage you, I mean, it's not even just us saying to live in an abundant mindset. It really is something that you can find out there if you want to, you know, take the risk and believe that there is enough opportunities for everyone. For example, Deloitte is investing $1.4 billion into their learning university alone. And that just came out this month, which is January 2023. That information that is just one piece of information and just think about how many people and jobs and contractors and whatever else will need to serve that one initiative, just that idea. So just give you an idea about how much abundance and opportunity that there is in this field. And it really does when you remove the idea of competition, and you look as Oh, who can I collaborate or co-create with the world also opens up in that way too. So you might go to, you also never really know how things are connected, you might go to an interview and not get that job for whatever reason, but then that person was impressed by you, and they recommend you somewhere else. Or maybe you shouldn't have because you know, the perfect job lands in your lap. And so a lot of it just also comes down to being able to do what you need to do, like take the action, so that you can trust that it's there for you at the at the end of the road. Really, it's almost as if you have to do the actions to get your mind in the same place as where you want to end up, you know, supporting the belief that you can make that.
Kim Tuohy Yeah, yeah, you're so right. I would just say to help people with that exact thing is, you ask yourself right now, am I coming from a place of fear? If the answer is yes, then you just say, What does love look like in this moment? How can I come from this a place of abundance, because that's how you shift it from this scariness because it is scary. It's scary to put yourself out there for a job to do an interview, to start your business and get your name registered and starting a website and all that sort of stuff. Right? It can be overwhelming to the point of stunting yourself. So if you think, what am I coming from a place of fear right now? Am I coming from a scarcity mindset? What does love look like in this moment? What does abundance look like in this moment, and that's where you choose to take your next step from.
Robin Sargent I just want to integrate here it was anything else. There it is.
Kim Tuohy Then Robin, I recognize you. Because I think I love to hear your wishes and your dreams for instructional designers. I just, you get so passionate when you're thinking about the impact that you have on people's lives. And I just think that's so beautiful. It always comes from your heart. And I want to recognize you for that, first of all, and then how you execute on that is you're constantly thinking, How do I make the academy better? How do I get people jobs? Better? How do I give them more resources, what course is missing? What's a gap in here, that I can feel that from your own product range and all of that you're constantly just helping people have the lives that you know, are possible for them. And I want to recognize that because I do think it comes from a place of love, every single interaction that I've had with you comes from a place of love. And I think that's beautiful. And I know that that's something I respect and appreciate you as a human in my life and for the industry. Now going to leave it.
Robin Sargent Oh my gosh, well, thank you Kim I you know, when you said like where I get a different place, maybe then some of our listeners, I think it definitely is a different place, because I really have found purpose. And for me it is 100% serving my learners who happen to be Yeah, people that come through the academy or, or are come across IDOL courses, and all those kinds of things. So I appreciate that, Kim, oh, my gosh, you I just know that this is not really a traditional type of interview. But I just know that so many people are going to find a lot of value and even the planning that you talked about, and the mindset shifts and and our industry is just it's so intertwined with so many different disciplines that why not a little woo. So thank you so much can I really appreciate you and all that you've given us today.
Kim Tuohy Thank you. It's a privilege to be here.
IDOL Freelancing with Kim Tuohy from Belvista Studios |14
Taking the Leap: Transitioning from Teaching to Freelancing ID
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