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October 11, 2022

172 | Part 2: 6 Experiences That Changed The Trajectory Of My Life 

If you missed it,  be sure to listen to episode 171 for how I went from skipping college to a four year ESS degree, to denying jobs and starting my own business, to low key failing and changing my life with a Instagram course under $300 during my not your father’s rootbeer kitchen counter breakdown.

Today we are headed into brighter waters. Well, it’s starting off that way, then things get a little dim for a bit before we see the light again. 2018 to present day was a rollercoaster to say the least. I mean, it included a global pandemic, so perhaps that’s expected.

We left off in 2016, having purchased Marie Forleo’s B school and feeling like I actually had some direction for the online side of my business.

I’d largely built up the in person portion. That wasn’t my issue but since starting Fitdesignbyannie in 2015, the goal was ALWAYS to be fully remote. I was motivated by no alarm clocks and working from my laptop on my own time. Freedom is one of my personal and brand core values. I really hate feeling restricted by outside forces. Like a job LOL.

So, in July 2017, I’d built a sustainable business online. I had grown a following + close to full 1:1 roster of online training clients. I’d also built out a few other offers which brought in cash but were proving to not be for my ideal client long term. That’s besides the point.

Focus on the sustainable income piece.

Flashback to 2013, I marry Nate before my last semester of college – he’s working at a local high end hippy grocery store. We’re straight up poor.

Four years later, we’d both increased income significantly. We didn’t NEED more money. Of course everyone can use or want more money, but that never ends. We were comfortable and that, for Nathanael had brought up some reflection on life.

That brings us to number four of the six experiences that changed the trajectory of my life

Nate asking what if we traveled [then doing it]

I was sitting on the couch, writing programs and he walks down the hall in his towel after a shower and says to me without any preface, “what if we just traveled the world?” Just like that.

He says he expected me to push back, or question him but I literally said “Yeah okay I just need to make a bit more money online.”

And that was that. The research began almost immediately. He gave his work 8 months notice, and we were off to Santiago Chile nine months later.

I don’t think I need to unpack how traveling the world for 367 days straight changed the trajectory of my life but I will give you the bullet points. And the moral:

  • Personally, travel is amazing for perspective. Most people may never leave their home town let alone their country. For a multitude of reasons.  I’ve talked about travel, myths and expectations in other episodes, so check that out. But just to take the leap was massive. To say we’re going to take advantage of the career path Annie has chosen and do this NOW with what we have, was unmatched.
  • Business: My goodness did traveling give me SPACE. More space than I’d ever experienced in my adult life. I three ‘x’ed’ my revenue that year because of SPACE and the ability + demand to go all in. I built out three tiers of Built by Annie, added educational trainings, got rid of all past offers and built Body Weight for Weight Lifters and the Big Lift Audit. That choice led to clarity by fire.

The moral: If Nate never asks that question – if he never verbalizes that thought, our lives are completely different. Like COMPLETELY different.

If you’ve got a question, a wonder – if something has been put on your heart or mind, ASK or SAY it! You never know.

Fast forward – we loved world travels and planned a round two for 2020. Made it to Mexico, Colombia, Bolivia, Patagonia – both Chile and Argentina, Australia and then Japan before the Rona sent us back stateside.

That is like 4b because obviously the ‘rona changed our trajectory.

But the ‘rona was not a decision; though it lead to decisions. Like the one in 2021 that sticks out to me big time.

Going to Mexico in 2021

We had planned in 2020 to come home for summer, live with my mom, then take off again for travels in Sept 2020 – then reevaluate, maybe look to buy some land an build. Buying land and building was always on the docket after world travels. Or a life where both could happen to some extent.

Love my mother. She’s the most selfless person ever. My sister and her family lived with my mom for two full years while they looked for and then built a house. And my mother lives in a very modest home. 960 square feet, okay? Like, she’s a gem for sharing that.

This is a both/and scenario. Once we realized the panorama was here to stay indefinitely, we looked for land ASAP because we had nowhere to live and didn’t want to rent again. So we bumped up the life plans.

That process was LONG, and because of self employment, we needed to buy the land and build separately.

So May 2020 we move in with mumsie, and come March 2021, we got news we needed to postpone the build due to taxes/income/loan stuff. There were a lot of factors that led to the next decision. But they are not for this podcast.

I kid you not, I booked a month long trip to Mexico. We needed to get away, live somewhere else for a bit, and again, evaluate our options. It was in Mexico, after seeing that we wouldn’t be IN our new house for over a year and half, that we decided we’d move out of my moms and rent for an ungodly monthly cost because it was worth it. For my mom to have her house back. For us to have our gym space. For me to have an office and uninterrupted work. For our marriage.

Having your own space is the definition of a first world problem. Alas it was real for me as an entrepreneur – during the time I was attempting to build out a programming course I’d been dreaming about for 3 years. 

And I didn’t realize how NEEDED that decision was until we were in the rental space. In my 2021 reflections, that trip was a clear pivotal moment for me. And I hadn’t realized it at the time.

That trajectory allowed for so many other things to prosper in my personal life and in business. I want to make clear it would have been fine to stay in our situation. There would have been other pros – which we weighed in our final decision. But moving into the rental a week after returning from Mexico was a game changer.

That was in June 2021, so here we are 12-13 months after that and I can say that perhaps the rental was another reason number six came about!

Getting pregnant

Now I have unpacked that whole experience in another two part episode but I’ll bullet point it here for you like world travels.

  • Obviously the trajectory of life changes when you have a baby. I mean the same dreams can exist but you now add a small human to those, which inevitably changes things.
  • But personally, it was fear and beliefs that I had around being a mom and pregnancy that were the biggest moments of awakening. So I guess not so much a trajectory of life hanging but certainly of my mind and beliefs about myself.
  • Plans have shifted slightly in nearly every area of life – business, our home build and the plans we had for that, healthcare and insurance, travels and dreams.

Again, I encourage you to check out part 1 and part 2 of the real talk pregnancy episodes to hear me dive face first into my fears and frustrations around pregnancy and all that it entailed up to week 18 or so. It’s a real good time.

As I said in part 1, take some time to ponder the moments, big small, dramatic or anticlimactic that have changed the trajectory of your life. And remember we’re not even close to being done yet. I am sure there will more experiences like these, and I can’t want to see what they bring!

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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