Posts Tagged “marketing”

Holy Sh*t, I Live in Asia: The Balancing Act

Holy Sh*t, I Live in Asia: The Balancing Act

Pairs Well With…Regalia Sunset” by Jay Harrison

I have been living in Asia a day short of two weeks now.  I feel like I did absolutely nothing productive during this span of time, but honestly, I did everything.  Have you ever done so much that you felt like you actually did nothing? It’s an odd feeling.  At the end of my days, I was asking myself where all my time went and how the days were flying by so fast.  Non-stop, on-the-go, constant round-the-clock activity.  My life is moving a mile a minute.  If nothing else, I accomplished meeting and bonding with 65 or so new people, an achievement in itself – and a remarkably important one.

I am now on a quest to find a stronger sense of balance, which has been eluding me for days.  As I continue to get acclimated to my new lifestyle and continent, I’m trying to give myself the grace to settle in.  The achiever in me feels guilty for not hitting the ground sprinting and putting endless hours into my new business.  The rational part of me knows that adjustments take time.

There’s going to be a level of self-accountability necessary to make my year successful.  The best and worst thing about Remote Year, depending on how you look at it, is that there is always something wonderful to do, someplace new to see, and someone who wants to hang out.  It basically boils down to this: distractions, wanted or not, are all around you.  It’s up to you to handle your business and accomplish what you need to.  I can already foresee Wanderlust and F.O.M.O (fear of missing out), my two new fierce, whimsical friends, trying to take over my life. Being on this side of the world still feel surreal to me, and I haven’t hit my stride of what my “new normal” is yet.

As I stroll the streets of Asia, through the farmer’s market, between rows of motorbikes praying I don’t become a walking casualty, and under the warmth of the sun, I realize how lucky I am to be here.  It’s the most beautiful thing when you find yourself in a perfect moment.  Stopped on the street corner, I was smiling for no reason other than the fact that I live in Asia and am so happy with the direction I’m heading.

This was the moment I was excitedly waiting for and knew I’d experience.  I wasn’t sure how long it would take, where I’d be when it happened or what it would feel like – but I knew it would come.

Today, it finally feels real.  Holy Shit! I live in Asia. 

Carin at KL Tower sign

Want to see what we’re up to on this side of the world?  Check out this week’s Project “Made” video showcasing our first week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

Mystery Meat & Asia Acclimation: My First Few Days of Remote Year

Mystery Meat & Asia Acclimation: My First Few Days of Remote Year

Pairs Well With… “Fill your life with adventures, not things.  Have stories to tell, not stuff to show.” 

I ate a lot of balls this week, which I believe are various sorts of colorful mystery meat. No, seriously: meatballs, fishballs, riceballs.  I started noticing a geometric pattern in my eating.  Circles represent being complete or whole, which I’m totally in tune to, especially right now.  But speaking of balls, I think it’s safe to say that I grabbed life by them when I decided to take this year long trip.  Remote Year has officially kicked off, and I have finally arrived in Malaysia.

Mystery meat adventures at their finest

I successfully (but barely) survived the 52-hour trek to get to Kuala Lumpur (KL).  Watch out world; I have arrived!  My first three days have been a blur of what day it is, what time zone I belong to, and where I need to be.  Somewhere between delirium and exhaustion, I managed to make quite a few new friends.  I’m acclimating nicely, and the only conflict in my world right now is the one that my hair is having with the humidity.  Overall, I’m starting to get the hang of things here.

First of many walking food tours


Let me give you the visual tour of how my life is shaping up.

Where I Kick It:

I live in the heart of downtown KL at The Maple Suite and am walking distance to many of the cities’ notable sites, restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and my office space for the month.  I love being able to walk to work, something I’m not accustomed to in what I’ve been referring to as “my other life.”

Spacious living and entertaining room. Ample space for an impromptu dance party.

Where I’m Working It

Located within one of KL’s premier malls is the Remote Year workspace.  It’s both bright and cozy, and only a 15 minute walk from my apartment.  While I haven’t spent a lot of time there yet, I will be- and making some career magic happen.

The Kuala Lumpur Scoop:

  • Population: 7.7 million people
  • Races: Malay, Chinese and Indian
  • Currency: Ringgit (Everything here is quite affordable since the Ringgit is not strong.  You can have a great meal for $2-$5. Cha-ching!)
  • Language: Malay, though much of the population speaks English
  • Key Landmarks & Attractions:
    • Petronas Twin Towers (a representation of modern meets historical)
    • Menara KL Tower (Stellar view from my bedroom & Instagrammed for your viewing pleasure)
    • Batu Caves
    • Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

First Few Days Observations:

I think it’s safe to say that things are off to a great start.  No one’s been mugged, fired or died of food poisoning that I know of, so I guess the world is looking up for all of us “Remotes.”  That’s optimism at its finest, right?!

Here are a few of my initial morning thoughts from the last three days:

    • Because of the heat, despite how many times you’ve showered today, you probably are already due for another.
    • This group likes to get after it, so if what they say is true about alcohol seeping out of your pores, KL will be catching the best contact buzz in the world.  Hangovers and heat are the real deal.
    • Energizing conversations and collaborations among Remotes are in initial phases and, without a doubt, this group will accomplish beyond amazing feats.
    • I will see to it that there is ample backing it up


And that, my friends, are the opening credits!

Photo Credit:
Apartment Images – Amber Brixey
Office Images – Amanda Little

Want to know what was running through my mind before takeoff and what I’m working hard to accomplish over the next year?  Tune into my guest appearance on Lindsey Heiserman’s podcast to hear the inside scoop!

It’s My Job & I’ll Quit If I Want To

It’s My Job & I’ll Quit If I Want To

Pairs Well With… “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi


What will you do for a job while on Remote Year?” asked…everyone. While I was still in the throes of determining my job, I knew immediately what I was not going to do anymore – anything that doesn’t make me happy or feed my soul. Ya feel me?

True story.

What she said…


LIFE TRUTH #1: It is just as important to know what you DO NOT want to do as it is the things you DO.

I just threw the biggest Hail Mary of the last ten years by quitting my job in search of something “more me.”  It had escaped me that I had also pulled this stunt ten years ago during a status with my boss.  During that conversation, the words “I think I’m going to resign from this job,” flew out of my mouth before my mind even had a chance to register them. He looked at me with confusion and asked, “Do you want to rescind that statement?” to which I replied, “Mmm…(3-2-1) No, thanks,” as if I were merely turning down a cookie.  “I guess it flew out of there for a reason. I’ll stick with it,” I continued.

One thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that my hand-eye coordination is superior to my mind-mouth connection, clearly.  Oh, and if history does, in fact, repeat itself, I’ve got a couple more career changes ahead before retirement.

Little did I know at the time, this “decision-making method” of mine would land me my dream job in Event Marketing…then Entertainment Marketing…and then down a path of creating and owning a few brands of my own.

LIFE TRUTH #2: You won’t find out anything new about yourself if you keep doing the same shit.

Over the last fifteen years, I busted my ass and built a successful marketing career for myself. The higher I stood on the corporate ladder, the more I felt burned out from the wear and tear of Corporate America. It is all I’ve ever known.

The demands of last minute requests causing me to rearrange personal commitments and pressures to outshine favorite colleagues for advancement opportunities got to me.  But it was the vicious “spin, twirl, repeat” cycle of the “meeting about the meeting” where teams tried to align in “real time” (and hit a word count for the day) and would “circle back” on action items by EOD.  Are you kidding me?!

All of it, little by little, began to feel like I was selling my soul for a good paycheck and excellent benefits. Because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do, right? Or so I thought…

I needed a break from the life I was leading. Actually, settling for.

So, I quit.

And figured out my plan and my new job.

LIFE TRUTH #3: Take a chance on yourself. If you won’t take a chance on you, why should anyone else?

Once I got accepted into Remote Year, I spent endless hours writing proposals, applying for jobs, setting meetings and selling my skills. Since then, I have been crushing 12-14 hour days, six days a week, for the last couple of months, and have faced more rejection in this window of time than I have in my life.  However, every morning I woke up with optimism and new-found hope that I would receive word of good news in my inbox.

One by one, I was served up these delicately phrased rejections letters, each stating a different version of the same thing: “Thanks, but no thanks.” The job interviews I had even led to rejection letters, most of which said, “We’d love to hire you when you’re back. Please keep in touch.”

Ugh. Ugh. And ugh.


When you get another job rejection letter...

Another rejection letter? You’ve GOT to be kidding me!


I quickly learned that despite having a breadth of experience, excellent background and an extensive list of accomplishments, I was going to need a new plan.  By the end of last month, I had heard it all. More often than not, I was either over qualified or an exciting, promising candidate but would be abroad. If nothing else, I could make money writing an e-course called “50 Shades of Saying No.”

But I knew I could create a new path for myself, but it was going to be a bit harder than I intended.  Lucky for me, I like a good challenge.

LIFE TRUTH #4: Quit fighting what isn’t working, and pay attention to the path you are traveling.  All paths lead to something.

There are three key things I know about myself:

  • When I stand still long enough and remain patient, the answer I’m seeking is always in front of me. Sometimes I just choose not to see it.
  • I always land on my feet, right where I’m supposed to be.
  • When it seems like I lack direction, I’m being forced to figure it out. (Spoiler alert: I figure it out every time.)


Finally, I threw my hands up and said, “F*ck it. I’m going to work for myself and create opportunities for myself.”  Now, that’s what’s up!

That, my friends, is precisely what I’ve begun to do.

LIFE TRUTH #5: The only thing that remains consistent in this life is change.

What you are doing today doesn’t always need to be done again tomorrow. Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s right for you. And because you are good at doing something doesn’t mean you need to keep doing it.

If you do the things you love, success will find you. You may just discover you’ve been standing in your own way and limiting your success. This is YOUR life. Design it in a way that appeals to YOU.



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