Hi. I’m Lidiya K.
If you aren’t satisfied with your current lifestyle, if you aren’t as productive as you want to be, if you can’t seem to build the discipline required to get further in life, if you can’t take your online business off the ground…that’s alright.
You are not the problem. Your mindset and system are.
I believe that with a smart approach, good strategy, action plan, optimized environment, and consistency, pretty much anything is achievable.
If other people are living the ideal lifestyle, so can you!
How Let’s Reach Success Can Help You
With anything I publish on Let’s Reach Success, I aim at making your journey to personal, spiritual and business growth easier.
You can use this blog as a personal guide with the advice, tips, ideas and opinion you’ll find on how to get 1% better every day, by changing our way of thinking, giving up some activities and habits and picking up new ones.
There are many guest posts too, as I like seeing other points of view and let people share their life lessons.
You’ll often hear me talk about some of the most successful entrepreneurs that are crushing it in every possible way. I like to study their habits, daily rituals and how they do business, and turn it into practical blog posts (or talk about it on the podcast).
There’s a lot to learn from others who’ve already succeeded.
For the tools I use and recommend, head to the Resources page.
Image: Phi Phi islands, Thailand. The place that made me believe there really is heaven on earth.
I’m a blogger, author and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking and entrepreneurship. I also freelance, publish books, run this site, learn the ins and outs of Internet Marketing and work on improving myself daily.
I found my passion – personal development – and combined it with the best medium for me – writing. That’s how I turned what I love doing into a career and became my own boss.
Over time, after trying things, learning how to manage my time and money, saying ‘no’ way more often and having a clear vision of how exactly I want my life to look like, I became location independent (moved to Amsterdam – my favorite city), and able to work while traveling (enjoyed Thailand for 5 weeks in February and March, and regularly travel across Europe with a laptop in my backpack).
I can call myself a lifestyle designer now, but it all began with personal development. So yes, change does begin on the inside.
I believe that anyone can achieve the ultimate freedom, which is doing what you love for a living, reclaiming your time and spending it in productive and enjoyable ways, doing meaningful work, building better habits and staying focused on an end goal, while living every daily slowly and consciously.
Here are some of the things I believe in, which you’ll feel in everything I write and publish on the blog too.
We’re all capable of more than we consider possible.
Doubts, insecurities, fear of failure, caring what others think, following the norms society creates… all these are the obstacles we need to overcome. Once we eliminate this, what’s left will be the potential within and the ability to set goals and take consistent action upon them.
Doing meaningful work.
‘Work’ has become something people avoid these days and even the thought of which is overwhelming. So is the word ‘job’.
These have negative meaning because people are doing what they are supposed to, finding no real meaning and passion in the thing they dedicate their most active years to, but following a trajectory that’s considered successful and a good choice.
Happiness is not part of their life, and these are also the people who live for the weekends and holidays. But even the time off doesn’t let them clear their head and truly enjoy their days.
The other way to do work, and to live life, is to find what you love doing, what you’re good at, what comes naturally to you, and start investing time in it daily. Then, build the necessary skills, do the work long before the money starts coming in, care about what you do, create things, solve problems people have, and find a way to give them value with your work.
Thats when they will pay you, love your business, become fans of your brand and tell their friends about it.
I’ve found my passion in life – personal development, and combined it with the best way I know to express myself – writing. Then, I created a blog, started freelancing for clients to begin making an income, self-published books cause I enjoy it, and am constantly producing more content in multiple ways, and thus creating different income streams, inspiring people, and doing exactly what I want to do with my time every day.
I’m satisfied with this, and that helps me do work that matters. I’ll never complain about it because it’s also my passion. And passion never goes away.
If you still aren’t motivated enough to build something on your own, check out what self-employment really leads to, some easy ways to make your first dollar online, and even how to start a startup for less than $100.
Leaving the comfort zone.
Something I’m always trying to do with my life, and encourage everyone else to do, is leaving the zone of comfort we often create for ourselves without realizing.
Then we’re stuck, do nothing new, complain and make excuses, don’t live life or appreciate anything we have, don’t build skills or improve.
Getting out of this trap happens by challenging yourself, doing what feels uncomfortable, even seeking discomfort and uncertainty, doing what you don’t feel like doing, making drastic changes and taking risks that can turn your whole life around.
With most of my posts I try to share tips on how to get comfortable with discomfort, to let go of fear, to put yourself in new environments in order to become more adaptive.
How you manage your time is how you manage your life.
That’s another thing I’ve realized as a result of working on myself, making mistakes, contemplating and defining what really matters in life.
Productivity and time management are some of the key topics the blog is created around. Doing meaningful work, being focused, strategic and not letting distractions get in the way, means you’ll also get things done much faster, will save precious time that you can invest in more profitable and enjoyable activities, and your performance will be better too.
In fact, you can’t start and run a business without having mastered productivity and knowing how to manage your time. It’s about priorities, tracking things, using time management hacks, saying ‘no’ to any task or activity that doesn’t give you the results you want, and being completely present when working on something.
Once you get better at this, you’ll see that you suddenly start managing your whole life much better. Because the principles of how you control your time are the same as the ones applying to money, relationships, career, and life in general.
There are life lessons in everything.
Wisdom comes with accepting what is, being alright with failure, not judging or blaming, and being a lifelong student.
Then, nothing will really upset you as you’ll be enjoying the good moments in life, and being truly grateful for the bad ones as they make you stronger and give you knowledge and experience.
Mistakes and failure are powerful. All leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and big figures from history know that. It’s not the success they’re after, it’s the trial and error, which inevitably leads to progress and knowing exactly what not to do next time.
It’s super fun for me to extract the wisdom and lessons in anything, from daily life to the big things.
Where I Come From and How I’m Making a Statement with My Life
You might be planning to do big things, you might talk about making things happen, but nothing will really be real until you take action. And every little step you take in daily life shapes your future and who you become, and is part of your legacy. So it’s worth making it one to remember.
So, here are some facts about my life, what I’m changing about the different aspects of my personality and lifestyle, and what’s the purpose of that:
1. The place you come from doesn’t need to be where you stay your whole life.
I’m Bulgarian and have been living there till a few months ago.
But coming from a country that’s not developed enough, where you don’t like the way the average person thinks, means you need to get out of there as soon as possible as the environment becomes limiting.
I love my country, and will always come back there often (it’s one of the benefits of being location independent, after all – to always have the time to visit family and friends at home). It’s also where I had a great childhood, all the freedom I needed, and formed my first impressions of the world.
But I wanted more out of the country I’m based in. My heart and soul are international. I’ve been reading and writing in English since I can remember, I was always interested in other cultures, learned foreign languages and couldn’t wait to visit a new destination.
Over the years, I made friends from all over Europe and kept in touch with them, visiting each other during the winder, spending the summers together. Mainly at one popular resort in Bulgaria close to my city, where I got introduced to people from countries like Denmark, Sweden, UK, Australia, Germany, and many, many more, and got to know their way of thinking and learned a lot from them.
Conclusion: your homeland doesn’t define you. You can live anywhere in the world.
2. Find your dream location and move there.
One country, its people and culture, stood out, though – the Netherlands.
Open-minded individuals, who were so easy to communicate with. Honestly, no other nation thinks like dutch people. Might be just my personality that fits their mindset, but I did take the decision to eventually move there years ago.
After visiting friends a few times, spending time in different areas of the country and seeing and hearing about enough typical dutch things, I was just waiting to become location independent before I officially move there.
In my case, that was turning my passion and what I’ve started doing online into a real businesses, becoming financially independent, fixing the legal part so that I can be at peace and just keep doing my work from anywhere in the world, learn how to manage my money well, and then leave home.
Now, I’m waking up and going to bed with a smile every single day just because of the fact that I’m in Holland, and – in particular – Amsterdam.
I had friends here I could count on if something went wrong, but I really did want to do this on my own.
So, I booked a place in Amsterdam for 10 days using AirBnB, and came with a one-way ticket.
In the worst case, I’d return home if I couldn’t find something for longer and make it work.
But I did. During these 10 days here I met with people across the city to check out rooms and places to rent. I had to choose and act fast. My main requirements were to find something affordable in a good neighborhood. The point was to just start my life here. In the near future, of course, it would be a bigger, better and more central place that I’ll actually turn into a home.
Choosing Amsterdam as the exact city was a bit random actually, but I can’t be more grateful I made that choice. Turns out, it’s my dream location. I just didn’t know it before.
Maybe it’s because it’s the only part of Holland that’s dutch, and yet international. This city has anything a person like me can wish for.
All types of people live and come here and walking around and exploring the city is true pleasure. Even the weather, using public transport (will get a scooter soon, though), and some little issues that come up or things about my current home that I don’t like – are something I’d never complain about simply because I’m exactly where I want to be.
The dream location does exist.
I even realized I’ve never truly loved a city before. But every time I get to the center of Amsterdam, I feel like it’s the first time there and I fall in love with it all over again.
The city is good for location independent creatives like me. It’s not a rare thing to just start conversations with awesome individuals on the streets. The shopping opportunities, restaurants and nightlife are amazing. And there’s the history and art side of this and Amsterdam has a lot to offer in terms of this.
Everyone says it’s expensive. I don’t think so.
My budget isn’t big, it’s just enough to afford this and live life on my own terms. That’s the real meaning of a lifestyle business, after all.
Conclusion: if I can come from a country like Bulgaria and move effortlessly to and live happily in one of the best cities in the world, you can do it to.
3. You can make it on your own.
There isn’t a single person in my surroundings who’s doing what I’m doing.
During my childhood, I wasn’t pushed towards leaving Bulgaria, or working online, or being self-employed.
And while I do have a real-life example in the face of my mother, who’s started many businesses in front to my eyes and believes in me no matter what, I still think environment isn’t an obstacle to defining the ideal lifestyle for yourself and doing what it takes to create it.
Most of my friends back home are living an average life, and like it this way. I mean, they graduate from university, get a job in the field, don’t get to know other cultures, don’t travel the world, don’t become their own bosses, don’t find joy in their work or look for the life lessons in anything.
And that’s okay. Not everyone wants more out of life as it takes a ton of hard work, there’s uncertainty and risk involved, and for some it’s just stressful.
But I just can’t settle down for less because I do believe there’s potential in each of us, and finding what you love doing, turning it into your career, freeing yourself from the system and letting go of conventional wisdom, is the way to go.
Conclusion: you don’t need support from family and friends. Environment is just an outer factor. So get to know yourself better, define what you truly want, make a plan on how to get there, and do the work.
4. Formal education is BS.
I graduated from a good university of Economics in Bulgaria, with a degree in Marketing
Do you know how much of the knowledge that was presented to me I use in real life now, either to make money or reach goals?
Not a single fact!
I don’t believe in formal education. And these 4 years at uni were the last thing I did in my life that was related to what society expected me to do, and not what I felt was right.
But it was these years that I did something else, and maybe the free time and dissatisfaction with the standard educational system were the main motivators.
It was then that I finally found my true calling. It has always been right in front of my eyes, but there were too many distractions.
That was writing. And I started writing more.
What’s even more important though, I started doing research daily and explored all the opportunities of the Internet, started reading the stories of successful entrepreneurs, or just freelancers who were living the ideal lifestyle doing meaningful work that they love.
For a start, I realized it’s possible that I can have this too.
Then, as a writer, I know that reading leads to writing, and to get better and find your voice, you need to write all the time. So, that’s what I did.
I rarely attended lectures at uni and was studying like crazy for the exams. That led to nothing more than passing them together with stress, useless information I was remembering for a short period of time which was then simply gone, and hating the way the system works even more.
Plus, I found out that I really don’t like being told what to do. Especially when I think there are more effective ways to get the thing done and more productive ways to spend your time.
So, these were also the years I started writing. And not just about anything, but exactly the things I’m passionate about – personal growth, the human potential, the lessons of life, and so on.
I loved every second of it and it’s no different today.
University doesn’t mean anything if you’re not passionate about it.
My advice? Turn to self-education.
It’s what most millionaires, owners of big brands and businesses, professionals and lifestyle designers, have realized early on. So they stopped listening to what others are telling them, and started reading books, learning from experience, traveling, trying things, failing and learning from it.
That’s what it means to be a student of life. And these are the things I’m doing every single day.
Conclusion: Go to university if you want to, but it’s must cheaper, smarter, more productive and a better use of your time to build the exact skills you’re interested in, learn anything you can about the industry you’re passionate about, and gather all the information you need that’s essential and which you’re going to use.
5. You can have the ideal day, every day.
My usual day now goes like this: I wake up in the morning (not because I have to, but because I want to), I make coffee and tea, and get to work. I dedicate the first 4 hours of my day to focused work. That’s more than enough because I’m present, focused and productive.
I can work more later on, but usually that produces enough results. That’s what happens when you’re working on the right things, manage your time well, and do it before any distraction has come in the way.
My work is one of my priorities in life, so I put it before anything else. Which means long before I eat (this makes me lazy), communicate with others, go out or think about other things.
Then, I take a break, do some chores or administrative tasks related to the business that need to be done but don’t require my full attention. After that I go to the gym and have an intense session of lifting weights (took me years to turn this into a habit, now I love it and it brings discipline to my life).
After that, I can relax as much as I want to, see friends, go out, or do anything I feel like.
And these are the days when I’m not traveling, or doing something special.
And you know what? There’s no boring moment, nothing I want to skip, nothing I’d change, nothing I’d complain about, and nothing that would make me wish to live anyone else’s life.
Why? Because I’ve consciously transformed every area of my life so that it can become like this.
I’ve worked my ass off to be able to have this freedom – freedom to work whenever I want to, creative freedom to choose my own projects, topics and clients, financial freedom, location freedom to be able to do it from anywhere.
When you’ve deserved it – and when you keep working on keeping this – there’s no other way but to enjoy every second of it.
Your ideal day might be completely different from mine. And that’s perfectly fine. But it’s really important to define it and start creating it.
Conclusion: you can live a life you need to vacation from. Start by defining what you don’t like about your days now and how you can eliminate it. Then, add what can be added until you have the ideal day. Have it once a month first, then once a week, then let it become your daily life.
6. You don’t need meat to build muscles.
I don’t talk about this often as I don’t want to tell others what to do and what lifestyle choices to make – I haven’t even written about it on the blog (I might do soon, though). But I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 9 years now.
And not a single person in my surroundings, from the many friends I have or even those I’ve spent time with for some time in the past, is living without meat. Not a single person in my family either.
How did I decide to do this?
I was 16 and read a book explaining what meat really consists of, why the human body isn’t created to digest it, and what’s really going on in the slaughterhouses. And I never, ever put meat in my mouth ever again.
That’s why I say books are powerful. When you find the right one, that’s informative but also resonates with you, it’s life-changing.
Of course, I did a research. I didn’t even think about the moral side of this until later. And it was just a few years ago that I found out the shocking things going on with industrial livestock production.
Well, turns out so much of the Earth is being deforested to provide land to the excessive number of farm animals, so much water and food used to feed them (the amounts of which can easily feed whole countries of the Third World), so many pesticides used to produce the meat corporations tell you is good for you, and more.
Hundreds of studies show how vegetarians suffer from less diseases and are happier and more peaceful. Researchers have found how exactly meat affects the body, how we simply can’t digest it properly and what chemical reactions it creates in the brain.
There’s enough proof that the vegetarian lifestyle is ideal for kids and pregnant women too. Not to mention that by not eating meat you don’t consume the growth hormones given to animals and the misery and pain they died with (that’s energy after all, and it stays in the cells of their bodies until we consume it).
Anyways. Enough of that.
My point is different. I’ve never told anyone to stop eating meat. But when they ask me, I let the facts speak for themselves.
And here are the facts:
I’ve never had digestive issues since the day I stopped eating meat. My mind has never been clearer, I catch the flu much less often now, I feel lighter, I build muscles in the gym, I have enough energy to do anything I want, I’m productive and never expressed the desire to taste meat again.
It feels good not to be eating animals and to thus show respect to them. Also, ever since I’ve taken this decision, I admit it was one of the best choices I’ve made in my life.
It’s not true that you’ve got nothing to eat if you’re a vegetarian, or that meals will require preparation or the food will be more expensive, or that you’ll be considered weird in any way.
Also, when I’m in doubt whether or not I can build a new habit or break an old one, I just remember that it took me one decision to decide to never eat meat again and thus see benefits that I’m not even aware of yet.
7. Anyone can start a business and work from anywhere.
Image: Checking email at a rooftop pool in the heart of Bangkok.
You don’t need initial capital, knowledge, experience, connections, diploma, skills, support, a million-dollar idea, or anything else you’re using as an excuse.
To start an online business, you need a desire to create something out of nothing, a laptop and a PayPal account.
Why only a small percent of all those who want to become self-employed, earn passive income and live the laptop lifestyle succeed?
Because it takes weeks, months or years to see the first money coming it.
Because it takes learning, researching, developing skills, getting feedback, making mistakes and learning from them, losing hope and finding it again, testing many ideas until one works best, dealing with aspects you might not like, and more – all this never ends. You just learn to love it and get better at seeing what doesn’t work and skipping it, and working smarter rather than harder.
Truth is, most people are lazy.
The idea of writing 100 posts on a certain topic before you see some steady traffic from Google doesn’t appeal to them. But that’s what it takes to create a successful blog, believe it or not.
The idea of starting 5 startups that fail and letting hundreds of hours of hard work go away, before you succeed with the next project you begin working on, isn’t something they’re willing to do.
The idea of cutting their expenses to the bare minimum, quitting their regular job and living in uncertainty for a few months while starting an online business from scratch, isn’t something they’d try.
The thought of waking up early every morning, dedicating every free hour in the evening and their whole weekends for a few months so that they can start doing their work remotely and break free from the system, or just start a business on the side, sounds overwhelming.
These people prefer to keep living their current life because it’s easier. Otherwise, there’s change and risk involved. And that scares them.
These are also the people who read about entrepreneurs, social media influencers, digital nomads and best-selling authors, and wonder how they got there.
Because the things I listed above, are exactly what it really takes to start a profitable business, and let it change your life and the life of your customers.
On Lifestyle Design
Image: Somewhere on a beach in Barcelona.
I’m a lifestyle designer now, but some time ago I was just an Internet user reading about it.
Lifestyle design, or living life on your own terms, is one of my most favorite concepts, mindsets, philosophies, ways of living, or whatever it is that you wish to call it.
Years ago I was reading about this and how lifestyle designers were creating businesses to live a life on their own terms, how their work was meaningful. They had reclaimed their time and were doing exactly what they wanted to with it.
Back then it was something I wouldn’t even allow myself to dream about having. That’s how much of a beginner I was in personal development. Because insecurities, fear of failure and not aiming higher, are obstacles on the way to actually getting where you want to in life.
But it all starts with reading about the life you want to lead some time from now.
That’s when you realize it’s possible, read the stories of those who started from nothing but are living the ideal lifestyle now, and even learn a few tricks and start making some plans on how to do that yourself.
I’m truly grateful that they decided to share their journey, the mistakes they made, the lessons learned, the businesses created. Each detail was crucial, although all these people were doing it their way.
That’s why I constantly mention them throughout my blog posts. I love linking to their articles, resources, homepages, podcasts and products as these are exactly the things that encouraged me to stop making excuses and focus on making things happen in my life.
And now that I’m sharing the steps I take on my journey to creating a life I need no escape from, I’m helping those who are just starting out.
So, what’s lifestyle design?
Lifestyle design means designing your life the way you want it to be. It’s when you create yourself and your environment and turn your vision into reality.
Lifestyle design is about freedom, reclaiming your time, doing things you like, spending each day in the best way possible, feeling the way you want to, spending your time in ways you find enjoyable, and making it all meaningful by helping others with what you do and leaving a dent in the universe.
Lifestyle design is for serious players only.
If you decide to go for it, you’re investing the rest of your life, accepting failure as the most natural thing in the world, becoming adaptive and decisive.
To live life on your own terms, you’ll have to not just play the game, but change it completely.
We’re talking about innovation, questioning anything other people or society tell you, not settling for anything less than success, and taking another direction when necessary.
As Corbett Barr says in this post, “it’s about examining your life and your goals and thinking unconventionally about how to make things possible now instead of later. It’s about designing your life instead of letting society design it for you.”
So if you’re having doubts, and even if reading about so many other people out there who succeeded in becoming their own bosses and living the dream, I’m yet another person to assure you:
Life is what you make it. If you manage to get out of the system at an early age, and ruthlessly follow a direction of your own, while putting in the work and desire, you’ll not just get far, you’ll get even further than that.