Our Adventure

Together we share our journey. The good, the bad, & the beautiful.

208 Days Left // Eye on the Prize!

By Ashley | Dec 24, 2018 | 2 Comments

Every time I write a post here, our plans have changed, which is totally fine. This is a brand new adventure for us and it’s something that we’ve never done before, so change is bound to happen for sure! That’s the whole point of documenting the journey from start to finish, so other people who are hoping to make the leap from living a “normal” life to being completely self sufficient and free!

So last time I wrote we had decided to live in our pop-up camper. Well… that plan didn’t last very long at all. I mean, there are bears out there and we didn’t feel like we’d be too safe in a pop-up when we are boondocking. Plus, I do not want to have to keep the truck and it’s monthly payment of $430 and I also don’t want to have to put up and take down our home every time we move, which will be pretty often since you can only stay in most places a max of 14 days. The pop-up idea was just a bad one from the beginning.

Laith has been home the last few months really taking care of me while I work my corporate job and design for clients. He’s been doing a LOT of research on RVs and RV life in general. We are for sure going to boondock as often as possible, which basically means to camp for free in remote areas. Of course, we can always stay at campgrounds, resorts, RV parks, etc. but we want to use this adventure to save as much of a nest egg for ourselves as we can.

We’ve discovered that we want to live in a Toyota RV, and there are quite a few models but we really love the Dolphin. Other models are Sunrader, Odyssey, Winnebago Warrior, Itasca Spirit, Conquest, and Sea Breeze. We will take anything that’s at least 1986 as those models and newer have the best axles.

Why a Toyota RV?

So many reasons! They are nice and short, about 21 feet long total so it will fit in a long driveway, and take up a little more than one spot when grocery shopping. They are easy to drive around town. They have all the necessities with good layouts and enough space for both of us to be able to chill out and relax comfortably and without being on top of each other.

Here’s some photos of one we really like on Craigslist:

CHANGES

Today we canceled our DirecTV. This is huge. Seriously, it sounds ridiculous but I almost feel like we’ve been scared to cancel our TV because it’s like WTF this is happening! It’s a small step, but one that is going to save us $200+ per month (our monthly bill was always around $240). We signed up for YouTube TV for $40 a month and it has more than enough sports and entertainment for both of us.

I’m sort of insane and made a list of my must-watch TV shows and how I will be able to watch them. If you’re curious, these are my fav shows and where I can watch them:

  • RHOBH – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • RHONY – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • RHOP – Hulu
  • RHOC – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • Keeping Up With the Kardashians – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • Love Island – Hulu
  • Big Brother – YouTube TV
  • The Bachelor – Hulu
  • The Bachelorette – Can buy season/episodes
  • Bachelor in Paradise – Can buy season/episodes
  • Celebrity Big Brother – Can buy season/episodes
  • Southern Charm – Can buy season/episodes

I might not watch as much TV on the road, but it’s totally one of my most fav things to do and I have no shame in saying that!

We’ve stopped the water delivery service as well and will start to just buy water jugs from the grocery store. I haven’t called to cancel it officially yet since we still have a few jugs left, but this is also a small but sort of important step for us. There’s no water delivery on the road!
 
Laith has been doing a LOT of cooking these past few weeks, focusing on using what we have and staying healthy. He’s gotten VERY good at it as well! He’s made so many tasty dishes using inexpensive staples like rice, quinoa, frozen veggies, chicken, fish. We have always eaten a lot of Mexican food but are now getting more inventive with the recipes. Buying groceries and making meals starts to feel different knowing we will be on the road soon, and we are starting to really think of things we will be able to keep, store, and cook in our camper.
 
We are learning how we are going to handle the logistics of things as well, like where we will get our mail, what our domicile state will be, how we will connect to the internet, health insurance, setting up our business, etc. We know for sure we want our home state to be South Dakota. Lots of full time RVers use SD as their home state because they really cater to full timers better than other states. I’m sure I’ll write up a full post about these logistics in the future as we get closer to going there to get our driver’s licenses and all the official paperwork taken care of.
 
 
Where’s the money coming from?!
 

I was going to be quitting my job at the end of this month but ended up crushing my quota so now my bonus check is going to be pretty large which means I need to be employed on 1/18/19 in order to get it paid out. This means I will be putting my notice in at the end of January instead of, well, now. It will be hard to quit if I end up getting a good bonus for January as well, but if anything I will fight to get it and still be able to quit. My time is more valuable than a paycheck considering I will be building business that will provide for years and years to come.

I haven’t booked any new clients yet, which freaks me out, but I know once I quit my job I can get super serious about my marketing.

 
I’ve decided to keep my current computer setup. I’ll work mostly off my 2011 MacBook Pro which I’ve recently upgraded to be just like new. I can always use the iPad as a second screen on the laptop if I need it.
 
I’m not sure if I’ll end up bringing my 27 inch iMac. The more I think about it the more I’m thinking we should sell it and just use the laptop, 12 inch iPad Pro, 7 inch tablet, and our phones for entertainment and work. I like the idea of having as little as possible, and lugging around an iMac doesn’t seem to fit into that mentality. Laith just came into my office and I told him what I was thinking about and he said if anything we can get a cheap TV or monitor to hook up to. So, we shall see. 
 
I also think Laith needs his own laptop. I know he wants to write blog posts as well so he should for sure have his own laptop, but maybe just something small and light.
 
I am pretty nervous about being all-in with making our own money. There’s literally no security, but I am optimistic that God will provide and I will book enough clients to allow us to live our dream lifestyle. I need to just keep having confidence in my skills and talent and know that the clients will come!
 
 
I’ll be relaunching Luxe Design Co. in February and this time it’s a whole new look. I want to keep our lifestyle blog and design business very similar in style and I’m going for a tropical, beachy, super chill vibe that is super fun and above all FRESH. Fresh design, unique graphics, and very creative.
 
I def still want to launch the T-Shirt line and we want to incorporate a cohesive theme of camping, traveling, adventure, dirt biking, being active, and living life to the fullest. That’s down the line for sure, but I’d love to get it 100% operational before we actually hit the road.
 
I also want to launch the blog by April at the latest. I’d love to launch it ASAP but I want it to be super fresh from the start. April sounds like a good launch date.
 
 
TIMELINE – it’s getting more real! (and detailed!)
 
  1. DEC – Finish Nicole and Jen Sites
  2. JAN – Finish Liz’s site + ask Sarah for referrals
    • Last month of full-time, corporate employment!
  3. FEB – FULL TIME @ HOME! – Luxe is #1 focus
    • go thru Sian’s courses
      • my main offering, services, value, and process (1:1 coaching?)
    • rebrand and launch luxe
    • content and marketing strategy nailed down – month’s worth of posts: business/design/marketing/social media
    • invest in FB and IG ads
    • Luxe Shop: presets, fonts, social templates, themes, e-course or ebook – go thru Wonderlass training on selling fonts
    • SELL JEEP! BUY RV?
    • start daily running and yoga
    • walk dogs twice per day with Laith
    • start shooting YouTube videos – video diary about our  journey to full time freedom
  4. MAR – CLEAR HOUSE / SELL STUFF
    • list truck/camper
    • launch our blog
    • content and marketing strategy nailed down – month’s worth of posts
    • invest in FB and IG ads: email list- freebie?
    • setup marketing automation: AMP all to our stuff – READ SECRETS REVEALED! SETUP AUTOMATION FOR THAT
    • design t-shirts and launch t-shirt shop: stickers, etc.
  5. APR – SELL STUFF DOWN TO WHAT TAKING W/ US
    • book campsite if needed for Washington race
    • Radiantly Well? running/yoga/recipes/minimalistic recipes/meal plans – frugal, simple, healthy – run to cool yoga spots – free yoga videos on YouTube mixed with running – free ebook of recipes, workout plans, meal plans – hiking?
  6. MAY – Fix up RV and move in
    • go on a test trip! see if we need anything else
  7. JUNE – GET RV/LIFE SETUP FOR FULL-TIMING
    • get internet figured out
    • go on a test trip for a week with all the stuff we plan to take
  8. JULY – HIT THE ROAD!
    • get internet setup
I was just telling Laith that these next few months I’m going to have to work the hardest I’ve ever worked to launch not only a wildly successful design business but also a kick-ass design shop, a complete blog, and a t-shirt line. This is for sure going to be a lot of work, but I feel like everything I’ve experienced and learned has brought me to this point in my life to really prove to myself that I can do this and be the badass business woman I’ve always wanted to be. I’m really going to do it all!
 
With money I’m always searching for stability. Jobs have always given this to me, but with just living expenses and overspending I’ve never created the nest egg I’ve always craved. That’s why I want to be booked with clients months in advance and have a solid passive income coming in before we hit the road. It’s now or never!
 
 
We still plan to hit the road in July. We will hit up South Dakota first to get all squared away with the logistics, then go onto Washington for Laith’s dirt bike race. From there we will head down to Oregon and spend a lot of time with Laith’s friends and family. From there, we don’t have any set plans! We will decide where to go when the time comes. Of course, we want to see the whole US and a lot of Canada.
 

I know Laith’s dad wants us to spend the holidays with him one of these days, but I almost think it would be cool to come back down to Arizona for Thanksgiving and Christmas to sort of regroup after being on the road for 4 months. Plus, it will be winter and we want to stay where it’s warmer most of the time.

THE FUTURE

This brings me to what we’ve been talking about for our future. We would love to enjoy ourselves for a few years, and then just see how we feel. 

We don’t have any concrete plans but we can picture ourselves having a kid while on the road and eventually buying or building a cabin on some land. I’d love to have a place here in Arizona to be near family, maybe somewhere like Payson or Flagstaff. I think if we do have kids we will want to be near family even more.

Maybe we will invest in real estate and have a few different properties across the country. Laith has been looking at acreage in different states. I def want to always have the RV and be ready to adventure whenever it calls us.

The main vision for our future is financial freedom, financial stability, freedom, adventure, and time with family.

Now, it’s time to go finish Nicole’s website!

Cheers til next time 🙂

Day 256 // Our Escape Plan!

By Ashley | Nov 5, 2018 | 0 Comments

Okay, we have a plan! 

I had to get it out, so I put it all in a list organized by month.

PLAN SUMMARY:

  1. NOV – FOCUS ON CLIENTS / START MARKETING
  2. DEC – FOCUS ON CLIENTS / BOOKING CLIENTS
  3. JAN – FOCUS ON CLIENTS / BOOKING CLIENTS
  4. FEB – FULL TIME @ HOME! MARKETING IS #1
  5. MAR – CLEAR HOUSE / SELL STUFF + VEHICLES
  6. APR – SELL STUFF DOWN TO WHAT TAKING W/ US
  7. MAY – BUY RV IN CASH / FIX IT UP: BARE MIN.
  8. JUNE – GET RV/LIFE SETUP FOR FULL-TIMING
  9. JULY – HIT THE ROAD! SPEND MOST TIME IN OR.

I will work at VT for three more months, then I’ll be a full time business owner and designer!

That’s when we will be able to focus on clearing out the house, selling all of our things, and saving up for our RV, which we will buy cash.

Laith has found a ton of RVs under $10,000 that are in very good shape, are Chevy diesel, with all the things we want in an RV. So, there’s options out there, and we will find the right one when it’s time!

UPDATE 11/11/18 – WE ARE GOING TO LIVE IN OUR POP UP!

I can now update our countdown timer to a more realistic timeline. I’ve set the date to 7/20/19 to give us over a week to drive to Washington.

Seven months until we are free birds with only ourselves to rely on!

I feel like this is a very solid plan, and writing it all out I’m realizing that we can make this happen! Just have to work work work work work work work as much as I can to make it a reality, then I can take a bit of a break after we are settled on the road and business is going well.

LUXE DESIGN CO. UPDATE:

I got a lot done design-wise this weekend. I stayed up from 7am Sunday to 7am today, Monday. A full 24 hours I was working non-stop on finishing up one of my client’s sites.

I figured out how I’m going to share every aspect of a client project with the client as well. It’s called ClickUp and it’s similar to Asana, but it’s not $40 a month. It allows the client to see exactly where I’m at in my process, with timelines, comments, a calendar, a task list, and communication. I’m going to add my next client project to it as soon as I can.

I’m still behind on logos, I have two clients that need logos like yesterday. I’ll get it done. I’ve worked since I got up today at 1:30pm, so now it’s time for bed, I’m beat.

Always Changing… Always Growing!

By Ashley | Nov 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

I don’t know when we will hit the road. I don’t have a countdown anymore. But we do have a plan…

 

A new plan, which is fine! I had a complete breakdown yesterday. The Shropshire household had truly broken. Both of us are freaking the FUCK out, but today is a good day. Well, NOW it’s a good day. It was a very rough start. Lots of fighting. Over the stupidest of things!

I took today off. I needed a mental health day BADLY. I needed to get caught up on some design work and I needed a long NAP. I am definitely getting sick. My nose has been running all day and I’ve been sneezing way too often. I took some Sudafed (the good kind!) and I feel a bit better. Laith went grocery shopping and cleaned up the house a bit.

I got a good amount of design work done. Still lots to do, but I’ll get there.

I took a restless two-hour nap. Now I’m here, writing about where we are at, listening to Christian music while Laith looks at RVs on his phone. I’m glad he’s seeing the possibilities out there. I always tell him he needs to read more about the RV world, so he can see there are all kinds of ways to RV full time.

I don’t want to speak for Laith, but I think he’s been severely depressed and anxious about our future. Until about an hour ago. Thank GOD he’s changed his thinking!

He started looking up RVs online that we could buy NOW. RVs that range anywhere from $5000 to $18000. I think he is feeling like this can actually happen now. I think he’s realizing this is going to work. I know I am. So, I’ve updated our plan. I asked Laith to help me work through it, but it’s too much for him to think about so I did it on my own. I think he’s just felt so hopeless, and I started to feel that same way as well. Nasty thoughts run through my head on a daily basis. Thoughts like, “nothing will change, we will be unhappy forever”. Laith would say things like, “I’ll just get another job and be unhappy and work forever and miss all my races.” But over the past hour, things have changed BIG TIME. He’s been saying things like, “we could easily get a loan to pay for the RV” and “I can race races all over the country!” and “our friends will help us fix up the RV”.

It’s so crazy how much your mindset can change your life. A simple switch in thinking can change your life life. The past two days I’ve fixated on hopelessness. NOT ANYMORE!!!

CHANGE IS HARD. Especially when the time is so limited, there’s a lot of pressure, money is short. It can feel like there is no bright future.

I break badly under extreme pressure, and this is the most I’ve felt I think in my whole life. But, I have to remember this will be one of the hardest points in my life. If I can make it through this, I can make it through anything.

The biggest worry is MONEY. Damn money. I hate money. I suppose I hate when I have LITTLE money. Right now, we have very little. Since Laith quite his job the other day, I know my businesses are the only way we will make money for our future. Which has really always been the case, but now it’s SO REAL. Right now, my job in sales is how we are paying the bills, and the current clients I have as well. There is no extra leftover.

This is the kick in the ass I’ve needed because now, it’s really NOW OR NEVER. If I can’t make this work now, it will probably never work out.

It’s my time now to do a killer job on the clients I do have while getting my businesses up and running. And I need to work FAST. I need to get everything up and running as quickly as possible because we are running out of money every day.

Our OLD plan was as follows:

  1. Build & grow businesses $$$
  2. Get on the same work schedule
  3. Sell Jeep when paid off: Feb.
  4. Fix and sell the camper: Jeep
  5. Pay off all of our card debt
  6. Sell all of our stuff
  7. Work hard + save for RV down payment $5k to $10k
  8. Buy our RV + move into RV park
  9. Keep working + build savings
  10. Get health insurance
  11. Plan our destinations!
  12. Quit our jobs and hit the road!

Now, our NEW plan is as follows:

  1. Ashley build businesses
    1. Web + Graphic Design
    2. Monthly Marketing Services
    3. IG Affiliate Marketing
    4. T-shirt line
  2. Sell truck and camper
  3. Go month-to-month in our house
  4. Quit my job
  5. Clear out house: sell it ALL
  6. Buy our RV: fixer upper!
  7. Fix up RV + blog journey
  8. Sell the Jeep + get trailer for bike
  9. Hit the road!

We will get health insurance, pay off our debt, and start saving money once we are on the road.

Laith is on the phone with his friend right now, and I just heard him telling his friend about where we are at right now, saying “she’ll work on her websites and I’ll ride my dirtbike”. That’s all I want! It truly is going to be our dream life. Me, writing, designing, making money, securing our financial future, reading, hanging out with the dogs, watching my TV shows, being active, enjoying nature… BEING FREE. All I’ve ever wanted was to be free. And we are making it happen!

I think his therapy is talking things out, mine is writing things out. I can never articulate things as well when speaking with people as I can when I’m writing.

I told Laith this is going to be the hardest part, once we get through this, once we get all the things marked off our NEW plan, we will be living our best life!

 

Speaking of work, I’ve laid out my plan in my calendar of when I’m doing what with each branch of the business.

  1. Focus on my design clients.
  2. Get my business organized.
  3. Launch design business.
  4. MARKET LIKE CRAZY.
  5. Setup my IG marketing automation.
  6. BOOK MORE CLIENTS.
  7. Start bringing in passive income.
    1. money marketing services
    2. my affiliate income
  8. Design t-shirts and setup business.
  9. Keep blogging WHOLE journey.

Laith was on the phone with his dad. His dad said he may be able to give us some money to help get the RV. He also said the land in Christmas Valley has some hookups, so we can park there to get it all fixed up. Then Laith can build a dirtbike track on the land. That could be our main home base.

Okay, time to enjoy some pizza, a few episodes of “Community” and then back to work!

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS:

PS: I don’t know if I want to sell the Jeep. I’d prefer to tow it, so we have a car, but we will see what happens…

Maybe March 1st is a good goal date to drive to Oregon. It’s after my mom and sister’s birthdays. I think Oregon will be our first destination. I’ve updated the countdown!

“LESS STRESS, MORE GOD!” – Laith

Once I quit my job I will publish this site and start taking it seriously.

Change is Bound to Happen!

By Ashley | Oct 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

Oh, how things have changed since I last wrote.

Yesterday, my husband decided to quit his job. He had been thinking about it for a few weeks now as he was unhappy with the work he did and the pay structure. He was also quite unhappy with the intense micromanagement he had to endure. So, yesterday he had had enough and decided to put in his resignation.

Where does this leave our plans?

Well, life isn’t exciting without a challenge and this is going to be a huge challenge for us, but one that I am excited about.

Why would I be excited?!

Well, there are a few things I’m not excited about, and a few things I am excited about.

I’m happy that Laith will now be home full-time and be able to take care of the house, the cleaning, the cooking, and taking care of the dogs. I’m excited he can babysit whenever my family needs him to.

I’m also excited because this just means that I need to work harder than I have before on my business to allow myself to quit my job. I’ve set a goal date of December 31st to quit my job. I’ll put in my two weeks notice on 12/31/18 so I can pursue my web design business full-time.

This means that I have two months to get my business fully set up and operating smoothly, finish up the current design projects I have and also book out as many clients as I can in the process.

This means that I have to utilize every waking moment to put in my best work to get the most done possible.

I also might be freaking the fuck out.

I’ve been sitting at my computer today since I work up around 10am. It’s almost 4pm. I haven’t accomplished much. I did the bills. I organized my to-do list. I created my content workbook to send to clients.

I think I’m just freaking out about the uncertainty of our future. Both of us having jobs allowed me to know how our bills were going to be paid. I also knew that we could get approved for an RV or a house since we both had jobs. Now, our only option for getting into a house would be on 2-3 years of self-employment income. And the only option to purchase an RV would be through a cash only offer.

I’d rather pay cash for our RV, but the fact that the RV I want ranges between $60-$70k is a bit worrisome.

This just means I need to make money more than ever. But I don’t want to feel desperate. I was able to book the design clients I have now because I was cheap and trusted. How am I going to book clients for more? How am I going to create recurring and passive revenue?

I know I can make money on Instagram, I just need a product and to setup my automation software.

I could sell Instagram growth services.

I could sell some sort of online class.

Today people are making tons of money online. I just need to figure out how I will do it.

Thinking about everything I need to do is overwhelming and I just want to go lay in bed and no nothing.

I need to create a clear vision for my business with a solid roadmap. I need to have monthly objectives. I need to act fast. I need to be 100% focused with my time.

What do I want for my business, what is my vision?

I want to have a web design business that runs smoothly, and on auto-pilot. I want to book clients every two weeks. I want to give myself time off. I want to have a solid design process. I want to sell products and do affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Income:

  • Elementor
  • Astra
  • Hosting / Domains
  • Dubsado
  • Gmail
  • IG Affiliates – funnels to:
    • AMP training – “how this couple quit their jobs to RV full time across the country”
    • secrets exposed book
    • free design consultation
    • luxe marketing service

 

Products I can sell:

WordPress Themes -too much work? support? not excited about this

Ebooks on topics – leads to different funnels

Graphics (social media, facebook/twitter/pinterest headers, story templates, blog post templates)

Lightroom Pre-sets

 

Right now, I don’t quite know what the future holds. And that is SCARY. All I know is that I need to get to work. I need to create some killer logos and web sites for my current clients. I need to launch my design business on social media. I need to book more clients. And keep booking clients. Between client work I will do all the extras. I also want to focus on learning my craft. Becoming a better designer. I want to make time to read books. I need to go through the courses that I’ve purchased.

We are going to sign another year lease and stay in our house. Maybe we will have a baby. I’m 32 and it feels like it’s now or never.

My Must Watch TV Shows

By Ashley | Oct 28, 2018 | 0 Comments

JANUARY

  • The Bachelor – Hulu + YouTube TV
  • Schitt’s Creek – YouTube TV
  • Celebrity Big Brother – YouTube TV
  • FEB 12th: RHOBH – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • MARCH 3RD: American Idol – YouTube TV
  • APRIL: RHONY – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • APRIL: Southern Charm – Can buy season/episodes
  • MAY: The Bachelorette – Can watch on ABC.com for free 8 days after airdate – maybe on youtube tv? – Hulu next day
  • JUNE: Big Brother – YouTube TV
  • JUNE/JULY: RHOC – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • AUGUST: Bachelor in Paradise –Can watch on ABC.com for free 8 days after airdate AND Hulu
  • OCTOBER: Keeping Up With the Kardashians – YouTube TV/Hulu
  • Walking Dead – YouTube TV/Netflix – behind
  • Fear the Walking Dead – Hulu – behind
  • The Good Place – Hulu – watch as they air
  • Love Island – Hulu – watch as air
  • RHOP – Hulu – unsure if renewed

lindsay lohans beach club – MTV.com, no streaming options

285 Days // All for Leroy

By Ashley | Sep 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

As I’m sitting here, I keep thinking that every day we wait to hit the road is another day that Leroy gets older.

Damn puppy commercial. There was a commercial on a bit ago of happy puppies running in grass and mud. I want that for Leroy!

Leroy is our Schnauzer-Yorkie-Poodle mix who we have had for the past five years.

One of my personal main drivers for hitting the road is to give Leroy a good life.

I was just thinking I wonder how long he will live so I do what anyone would do and I Googled it. The average lifespan of a Schnauzer-Yorkie mix, aka Snorkie, is 12-15 years. Holy moly. He is almost 10 so we only have a few good years left with him. I wish he would live forever.

Once we hit the road he will be in his retirement years and I want to give him the best life ever.

My next door neighbor, Lisa, agreed to walk the pups with me every night once the sun goes down, so I hope we stick to that. I want to get him healthy, he’s gained quite a bit of weight because I spoil him with treats and I never walk him.

Anyway, I’ve realized one of my big motivators for hitting the road as soon as possible is Leroy.

Another big motivator is Laith. I want him to be happy on a daily basis. And work does not make him happy. I want to give him time to explore his passions and to make the most of his life.

And of course, a big motivator is for me. I want to be happy and do my favorite things on a daily basis. What makes me happy? Doing things on my own time. Owning my time. Being able to do what I want when I want. This new lifestyle will give me that every day. Of course, I will be running this blog along with our business, but I will schedule my work when I want.


Picking up where I left off last night, I ended up finishing the iA website, but I stayed up til 6am and then called out sick from work since I was so tired… I woke up at 1pm in a haze. I slept for 7 hours straight! Not sure why I’m surprised, I just was going back and forth on calling in sick. I felt like I could totally go to work, I would just be insanely tired. Not sure how I would have done. Plus, now I have to deal with the anxiety of being out sick. I only work tomorrow and then I’m off for five days straight since we are going to Glen Helen for Laith’s race. I told my boss I’d work on Monday to make up for my sick day, so I guess that’s four days off for the race. I have to tell myself this job isn’t my life and the anxiety will fade and it’s not even a big deal, lots of people call out sick. It wasn’t too much of a lie either, I have been severely sleep deprived the past few weeks and I needed another day of rest.

So today I must finish the iA mobile site, resize and compress the images to increase speed, and make sure the contact form works. Also, link the social media icons. The site looks different on my MacBook Pro than on my iMac so I want to look into that as well.

I allowed myself to watch my shows all day today, Big Brother, Real Housewives of Orange County, and Bachelor in Paradise. Now just threw on The Good Place and started writing this post.

Now it’s time to get to work again! Yay! haha

Here’s where I left off yesterday:

  1. 9/10 MON Finish iA site TONIGHT
  2. 9/10 MON Send iA invoice – Chase Quick Pay is fine
  3. 9/11 TUE Setup Dubsado client intake forms
  4. 9/11 TUE Send Maya questionnaires
  5. 9/12 WED Pack for trip
  6. 9/13 THU Leave for Glen Helen at 5am!

Time to get to it!

296 Days Left // We Found the BEST RV!

By Ashley | Sep 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

296 Days Left // We Found the BEST RV!

Yesterday, I was procrastinating, as usual, and I stumbled upon the BEST RV I have ever seen in my LIFE!

I have been looking at RVs on RVTrader.com for weeks and weeks now. Sometimes for hours at a time.

I thought I’d seen them ALL!

Apparently NOT!

I logged into the website just to peep in on the ones I’d liked so far and one of the featured RVs was one that was being sold in Scottsdale, AZ. I decided to check it out since it was so close to home and I am so glad I did! It is my DREAM RV and it could not be more perfect for me and Laith!

Just click on these photos and see what I mean!

From my research the 2015+ floor plans are the best. They have the larger rounded sink versus the smaller circular sink AND the models older than 2015 don’t have the “foyer” little table thing and I really want that to put keys in when we walk in the door. Plus, I think it’s a great spot to hang up my purse. The metal rod thing just looks lame, so 2015 and newer it is!

Even though the interior is well designed we want to make it our own so we plan to paint EVERYTHING white and gray. I want it to feel as modern and homey as possible. 

You can see another version here, same year and floor plan:

I found all of the images above at this website.

So, it’s day 296, and where do we stand?

We are still working on steps 1 and 2. As a reminder, for you and for me, the 10 step plan is as follows:

  1. Build & grow businesses $$$
  2. Get on the same work schedule
  3. Sell one of our cars & the camper
  4. Pay off all of our credit cards
  5. Sell all of our stuff
  6. Work hard + save for RV down payment
  7. Buy our RV + move into RV park
  8. Keep working + build savings
  9. Plan our destination!
  10. Quit our jobs and hit the road!

As we speak I am supposed to be finishing up the Institute of Aesthetics website TONIGHT, yet I’m writing this blog post because I felt like I had to get it out that we found the perfect RV for us! I am quite obsessive… I’ve been thinking about it all day and it helps clear my mind when I can write about it and add the photos for myself to view later.

So this brings us to still being on steps 1 and 2. I’m working on building my web design business. I’ve found the perfect platforms that I will design on (Astra & Elementor) and I’ve found the perfect CRM to run the business (Dubsado). 

I’ve booked two, maybe three, web design clients so far and I’m working on finishing up the iA site now so next week I can begin client #2’s site (my next door neighbor Maya’s beauty website). My possible third client is my friend Courtney for her real estate website. I need to reach out to her and book a date to meet. I hope she hasn’t chosen someone else to work with.

Today I was supposed to have been DONE with the iA website, but I didn’t work as hard as I should have. Yesterday I perfected the home page and then watched The Good Place all night, fell asleep at 9pm and then woke up around 8am this morning. I was so tired! I sat down to work today and spent way too long designing the iA email signature. Once I was done with her signature I got distracted… and I’m not even sure what I did that was productive after that. I just remembered. I researched if Firefox or Chrome was better for designers… while Firefox is cool, Chrome has more design tools I use on a regular basis. Blog post on that to come, one day.

That brings me to now. I’m about to finish the iA site, which includes adding all of the interior page’s content. It’s going to be a long night but I told her it would be live by morning so I have to make it happen! I think I will work well under a huge time crunch.

Laith just gave me a talking to, he came in and saw me typing this and he knows I have to finish the site tonight. I’m working on it! LOL

Anyway, the point of me writing this was to give you an update on where we are at.

I’m working on my business setup, these next few nights I’ll be setting up my services and redesigning my Luxe site on the new design platforms. I’ll be setup my backend questionnaires and invoicing, basically my intake process. I want to do a relaunching campaign as well over social media because my end goal is to be booked out with sites as far in advance as possible and then eventually quit my job so I can do more sites to make more money to save for our RV lifestyle. Plus, I want to be booked out to have money on the road. AND I want to create some automatic income too, so I’m going to have to go live with this blog sooner rather than later so I can start doing some affiliate marketing and actually sharing what our goals are. I don’t feel right sharing about our goals to both leave our jobs when as far as they know I plan to work there for awhile.

This brings us to step #2. Laith’s boss is saying maybe next month he can get his schedule switched to match mine… I feel like it’s taking forever! Once we get on the same schedule we can sell one of the cars and pay off our credit cards OR now we are talking about using that money to put a down payment on an RV if we find one. We will probably just pay off the credit cards though. On days where we hate our jobs it’s fun to fantasize about leaving NOW. But it’s going to take time.

There you have it. The progress we’ve made is that we are now a bit closer to our goal by just being another day older. I feel like I’ve made some mental progress, though. So, if I’m thinking about how we are closer I can say we are closer for the following reasons:

  1. I’ve realized that I’m meant to be a designer (visual designer is what I will call myself)
  2. I’ve rediscovered my love of learning and plan to study Graphic Design and really master my craft (Adobe product master!)
  3. I’ve figured out how I’m going to design client sites
  4. I’ve figured out how I am going to manage my business
  5. I’ve figured out the exact RV we are going to buy
  6. I’ve figured out which web browser is my favorite
  7. I found my all time favorite purse (it’s a backpack purse!)
  8. I’ve stopped shopping like I used to and only buy things that will go on the RV
  9. I started putting stickers on my teal Hydro Flask… because it’s cool
  10. Today, Laith and I are both 50 days sober from alcohol 🙂
  11. I know before we hit the road I want to upgrade to an iPhone X, because PORTRAIT MODE!
  12. I have also realized I need the Moment iPhone lenses for said iPhone X
  13. Oh, and I read an old journal from when I was 15… and I wrote that I wanted to be a writer and a web designer and NOW LOOK AT ME!
I think that is about it for now. I MUST finish the iA site TONIGHT or else Jenn is going to be pretty upset!

I can sleep tomorrow.
 
Real quick tho… THINGS I NEED TO DO TODAY/TOMORROW/BEFORE WE LEAVE FOR GLEN HELEN:
 
  1. 9/10 MON Finish iA site TONIGHT
  2. 9/10 MON Send iA invoice – Chase Quick Pay is fine
  3. 9/11 TUE Setup Dubsado client intake forms
  4. 9/11 TUE Send Maya questionnaires
  5. 9/12 WED Pack for trip
  6. 9/13 THU Leave for Glen Helen at 5am!

Okay, goodnight for real this time. I’ve cleared everything I’m thinking about out of my brain so now it’s time to finish these soon to be beautiful inside pages for iA/Jenn! Laith came in and helped me out too, so now we are on the same page with the plan for the next few weeks!

311 Days Left // Step No. 1

By Ashley | Aug 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

As of today, we have exactly 311 days until we hit the road and it seems so far away…

It’s been about a month and a half since we decided to go ALL IN on our dream of living on the road full time and we haven’t even marked off our step one yet, but that’s okay! I knew step one would take some time, especially since we are starting our busy season at work.

What is step one you ask? For Laith and I to get on the same schedule at work. (Since the start of writing this post I have changed step one to being: Set up business to make money! and step 2 is now to get on the same work schedule, so now at least I can feel like I am working towards step one, which will be something I have to work on until we leave anyway!)

This will allow us to sell one of our cars since we will be able to carpool every day. With the money from our car, we will pay off all of our credit cards to start building up our credit.

Once we sell one of our cars I feel like that will be the first BIG MOVE we’ve made towards our dream! Selling one of the cars will be HUGE for us! We haven’t decided which one to sell yet, either my Jeep Patriot or Laith’s Chevy Silverado. It’s tough because Laith LOVES his truck, and we still will need it to go to the races until we actually purchase our RV. This means we will most likely sell the Jeep and use the truck every day for work.

Until we get to complete step one, I need to hunker down and fully commit all of my free time to building my businesses up to make at least $5000 per month. This brings me to my favorite topic: HOW WE WILL MAKE MONEY TO SUPPORT OUR LIFESTYLE!

This is a topic that fills my thoughts every single day.

I know the most stable money maker will be web and graphic design. And this is something Laith and I can run together since we used to work together at GoDaddy in the web design department. I was a web designer and Laith was a design support rep who basically spoke to the clients, got all of their files, content, and photos together, talked to them about their goals, then handed everything over to me to turn into a killer site. We will be able to use this experience with our design business. It will be exciting to work together with him! I think we will make a great team in business just like we do in life!

My goal is to start booking clients over the next year and then have clients booked out at least six months to ensure we have money coming in. This way any money I make now with web design can be put into savings for when we purchase our RV and then have clients booked out for our living expenses while we are on the road.

The thought of just relying on web design does scare me, so I am also going to be working on building up my affiliate marketing BIG TIME through this blog, but mainly through Instagram. I plan to stay off of Facebook until we finally have announced to our work our plan… I want to ensure by the time we hit the road (7/4/19) that we have at least a few thousand dollars in passive income coming in through our affiliate channels.

How am I going to do that?! Instagram funnels and my own Instagram growth service, sold as an add-on to all of my design clients. EVENTUALLY, Laith and I want to start our own t-shirt line as well… but that will have to wait until we have actual income coming in since that is more of a passion project, albeit one that will be profitable.

  1. Finish iA.com
  2. Fix up CE.com
  3. Get Luxe Design Co. off of Squarespace
  4. Create Luxe services – blogs, business sites/shops, logos, social media graphics, photo editing, Instagram growth service
  5. Design Luxe Design Co. site on WP – find the themer/builder I want to use
  6. Setup Luxe process on Dubsado
  7. Create LLC – time to get OFFICIAL!
  8. Once Luxe is up and running smoothly I will finish my AMP training and setup all of my funnels to promote my business. I will promote Luxe, this blog, along with my free ebook, AND possibly the Secrets Exposed ebook.

Insta Funnels:

  1. Luxe – email subscribe – steps to starting a business, pitching my services ebook
  2. A+L Blog – email subscribe for how to start a blog email course – hosting affiliate $$$
  3. Insta growth service – leads to a landing page of my service to buy growth subscription, testimonials, actual results w/ discount
  4. Oasis MX – FB ads, insta ads, leads to shirt shop

I feel like I have a good plan for how we are going to make money between now and while we are on the road. What I’ve talked about in this post makes me feel like I can have a solid business plan that will bring in at least $5000 a month with both services and passive income.

Once I finish iA.com (which will be by tonight! I’m staying up all night until it is FINISHED) I will be able to dive in and start redesigning the Luxe site and figure out which builder I will use on all of my client sites (I’m leaning towards Beaver Builder). This will allow me to really test out each builder I’ve been looking at. Once Luxe is up and live I can focus on really working on this blog. Although, I have a feeling working on this blog will be something I do pretty often, both writing and designing the site.

I just have to remember, I AM A DESIGNER. I love to create, I love to dream, I love to feel inspired and creative, and I love running my own business.