I’m Lidiya, a blogger and lifestyle designer based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
I started as a freelance writer but turned my passion for writing into a full-time blogging career. I run this site to help others achieve freedom through self-improvement, side hustles and passive income.
Around 7 years ago I started reading about successful entrepreneurs, lifestyle designers, people making money online and quitting their day jobs to travel the world. It wasn’t anything I’d ever dream of doing with my life, but I kept reading.
Over time, I realized it’s possible and it’s a matter of focused work. But that’s where most people get it wrong.
You need to actually put in the work (and do it for years) before you expect anything back (money, freedom, independence and all the other benefits).
But I stuck with that.
5 years ago I started a self-improvement blog called Let’s Reach Success. Back then I had no idea what blogging was all about.
Fast forward to now, it gets half a million visitors, is approached by sponsors all the time and earns me thousands of dollars each month thanks to the different monetization strategies I’ve implemented over the last 2 years.
There are 2000 articles in its archives and new content is being published DAILY. It’s turned into a resource informing and inspiring people from all over the world.
There’s more to that. This income has allowed me to leave the 9 to 5, travel, leave my home country and start a whole new life in my dream destination (Amsterdam, the Netherlands).
I’m convinced blogging can do the same for you!
I wasted a ton of time, but all this has now allowed me to help others cut the learning curve in half and make money blogging much sooner.
That’s why I packed all my knowledge and experience to create an epic course called Financial Freedom Through Blogging.
There are over 80 lessons organized in 8 modules, covering all you need to know to start your own blog, make money from it, and avoid the mistakes and not waste years of your life trying to figure out how things work.
Check out the course. It’s now open for enrollment with early-bird pricing.
Now, let’s talk about this site.
How Let’s Reach Success Can Help You
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!
And if you don’t believe this, here are some of the interviews I’ve published on Let’s Reach Success with people who started from nothing and now live the life they want:
- How to Start an Online Business, Move to Thailand and Earn $500K a Year: Interview with Jill from Screw The Nine to Five
- Traveling 40 Countries in 4 Years and Running 7-Figure Businesses: The Laptop Lifestyle of Yuli Azarch
With anything I publish on Let’s Reach Success, I aim at making your journey to personal, spiritual and business growth easier.
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 release free courses on the topics.
Let’s Reach Success covers ways you can start an online business and grow it so you can leave your 9 to 5 job and be location independent. You’ll see how to earn online, make passive income, and come up with ideas for side hustles.
In addition, you’ll see how to be on top of your productivity, provide value with your work and design the life of your dreams.
Here are some resources to start with:
10 Things I Did in The Last 6 Months to Double My Income and Make $5,000 a Month – It takes some courage and strategic actions to double your income online. Here’s exactly how I did it.
67 Best Side Hustle Ideas to Make an Extra $1000 a Month – Check out the ultimate list of side hustles you can start on your own and while working full-time that can be your chance to achieve financial independence.
My Monthly Income Reports – If you’re curious how bloggers make a living online, check out my income reports. I publish these monthly and share all the numbers together with the lessons I learned and the new things I’m working on.
Launch Your Profitable Blog Today– If you just want to take the first few steps in your blogging journey, I have the right resource for you. This is a free course and will help you set up a site in less than an hour so you can move onto creating content, building your brand and monetizing your site.
How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer – In this post, I outline the exact steps from shifting my mindset back when I didn’t believe I could be making any money online to finding my first client, making my first $1,000/month, moving to another country and becoming location independent.
I’m a blogger in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking and entrepreneurship. 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.
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 day slowly and consciously.
What I Did Over The Past Few Years
Realized I wasn’t satisfied with my life back then.
Read The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss (one of my mentors) and opened my eyes.
Didn’t care about university but did my best to pass my exams and get it over with.
Dedicated my free time these 4 years to learning how the digital world works.
Created this blog.
Defined my passion – personal development.
Found a way to monetize it (by combining it with writing).
Started making my first dollars by writing for clients.
Kept publishing content on my blog and turned it into my portfolio.
Got published in TIME magazine.
Started self-publishing books.
Chose the country I want to live in – the Netherlands.
Started making a living from my passion.
Registered it as a business back in my home country.
Hacked my productivity and focus.
Learned how to manage my time.
Took my work seriously and developed discipline.
Built a name for myself in the self-improvement industry.
Became location independent.
Turned Let’s Reach Success into an authoritative site.
Graduated from uni and decided I’m done with formal education.
Saved some money.
Got a one-way ticket to Amsterdam at the end of 2016.
Found a place to live in the next 10 days.
Successfully started my life there.
Fixed all documents so I’m more independent than ever.
Traveled to Thailand and spent 5 weeks there (beginning of 2017).
Took control of my finances.
Diversified my income (half of my money comes from freelance writing, and the other half from sponsored content here on the blog).
Phase 4 (now)
Took Let’s Reach Success to the next level (solid hosting, premium theme, fast loading, brand, etc.)
Raised my prices.
Registered a company in Amsterdam (beginning of 2018).
Became more grateful and patient than ever.
Tripled my income.
Image: Phi Phi islands, Thailand. The place that made me believe there really is heaven on earth.
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.
That’s 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.
I used to be scared of change and uncertainty.
Now I thrive in them.
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.
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.
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 until 2 years 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.
Conclusion: your homeland doesn’t define you. You can live anywhere in the world.
2. Find your dream location and move there.
After getting to know most European countries and the people there, one nation stood out – Dutch people. I fall in love with the culture so much, that I took the decision to eventually live there early on. 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 business, becoming financially independent, fixing the legal part so that I can 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.
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 worked out pretty well.
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.
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 too.
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 the environment isn’t an obstacle to defining the ideal lifestyle for yourself and doing what it takes to create it.
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. The 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.
Do you know how much of the knowledge that was presented to me in university 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.
University doesn’t mean anything if you’re not passionate about it.
My advice? Turn to self-education.
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.
My work is one of my priorities in life, so I put it before anything else. 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. 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.
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.
Because these things are exactly what it really takes to start a profitable business and let it change your life and the life of your customers.
I believe in a simple solution to creating the ideal lifestyle – earning passive income. And one great way to do that is to start a blog, grow it, monetize it strategically, and allowing it to earn you money for years to come while you move onto other business ideas. That’s why I created a free online course showing you how to turn your blog into a passive income stream.
On Lifestyle Design
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.