Life By Design


If you could design your life the way you imagine your life should be what would it look like?

  • Would you work fewer hours?
  • Would you control your days?
  • Would you have a much more successful business and more customers?
  • Would you live in a huge house with a huge garden where you can grow your own vegetables and maybe even have your own animals?
  • Would you have a penthouse suite in New York and eat out everyday?
  • Would you leave everything behind, start again and travel the globe for a year to get your mind in place?

Regardless of what it is I bet you want changes in your life – am I right?

Some years ago when I actually sat with paper and designed my second life the first things I did was take time to sit and be quiet. The lack of noise and thought gave me time to reflect on what I needed rather than just what I wanted.

I thought I needed big houses, big cars and big everything but in the quiet I came to understand that those things were making my life more complicated. The complications in turn were now the one thing that was creating problems in my life.

The things I thought I needed and had been collecting also needed to be looked after, stored, insured and carried a fear of being stolen. On top of that there were things I never bought with cash but had loans to pay for them, they carried large monthly payments.

Now my life had become about looking after things that rust or break and struggling to pay for things that really weren’t making me happy in the long term. This meant long hour’s chasing the cash and when the cash came in it went right out again.

Finally I’d had enough, I just couldn’t do it any longer, life had become about surviving rather than thriving.

So when alone I picked up a pad and started to design my life.

Here’s how.

I wrote a random list of what I thought wanted in my life.

This list maybe had around fifty or more things on it.

I then kept going over the list during a few days adding and removing things. I then removed all the things I just wanted because I realized that a WANT isn’t as important as a need.

Finally I arrived with a list of needs.

In other words what do I need to make me happy and what then do I need to do to design my life?

Shall I share part of that list for you? OK here goes. Money: I’d had lots of money in my life and then absolutely no money and I know which I preferred and lets face it – you cannot live in this world without cash right?

So I wanted...

No debt, the ability to work where and then work the hours and times I wanted to work.

Today I have no debt and travel at least 12 weeks each year. I make my money from writing words. I have a car paid in cash and want for nothing. So this is one part of my newly designed life that is completely fulfilled.

This year we are travelling and working. So far a trip to Denmark, to London on many occasions, to Tbilisi for 12 weeks, to Moscow Russia for one week and then we are planning to head into LA for 2-4 weeks in the Autumn.

I still work yet I control and design my work around my life.

I also wanted to work less hours but earn even more. I now do that. Whilst eating dinner with Jay Conrad Levinson he shared with me that he only works on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and frankly I loved the sound of that. It took time but that is what I now do.

I also wanted a motorbike for the first time in my life as it wasn’t really something to be approved in my first life so – I passed my test and got a cool custom motorbike.

I also wanted a life that would give back more than I take from it. It wasn’t really something I had thought about in my first life so now was the time for me to make giving back part of my second life.

Money had to be less focus also and when I say money I mean the pursuit of money after all in my business life I have met a lot of miserable struggling lonely rich people – that isn’t what I wanted so money had to have less focus and actually the less focus I gave it the more it appeared in my life – interesting!

I also wanted to be the fittest I have ever been in my life and can be – that has happened and I am now moving up to a while new level of fitness and body shape as I write to you.

In other words the life I had designed on paper slowly came together. That design is still taking shape as I write to you and getting more and more refined. This includes a new relationship with a woman that actually understands my eccentricities and loves me until the ends of the earth and a work life that has to revolve around my life ethics rather than my life revolving around my job. Yes of course I have and I want cash but it isn't a driving force after all value of money can vanish at the stroke of a pen so why give so much attention to something so frail and undependable?

Going back to previous emails this idea of life design began to be put down during a visit alone to New York in 2009 New Years Eve and has been building into a picture frame life for me since then.

Don’t get me wrong there’s been a few turns I shouldn’t have taken and there’s been a few turns I should have given a miss during the past few years but all in all a new designed life is taking shape.

Why would I share this with you?

To affirm to you that life by design is possible. Life by design doesn’t have to be money focused. Life design doesn’t have to be hard. Life design and designed well can be exactly what you want it to become.

So what do you want your life to become?

Did you make promises to yourself 110 days ago on New Years Eve that in 2014 your life would change, your business would change, your fortunes would change and you’d be a happier person for it?

What’s happened?

Has your life changed?

Or is it the same old life – life number one with the same issues, same problems and still heading down a road that you hate driving down?

By the way have you done that – driven down a road you know is wrong but you keep going?

Last week I promised to drop off my eldest son back at his apartment in Manchester. As always I tried to be clever and take a new route.  So we jumped in my car at 10pm and started to drive. Rather than go down the motorway I wanted to take a country lane I had not been along before. The lane has no lights and was getting blacker by the moment. Christian my son was shouting at me, “Dad turn around this is taking forever” and I was saying back to him, no we must be almost there by now. We weren't!

The lane added an extra 45 minutes to the journey. He was mad (as always) and I kept asking myself why didn’t I just turn back and start again. It was way past midnight when I got home!

Life’s like that at times, we keep on driving and going down a route that is clearly taking us the wrong way but for a reason that can only be blamed on things like habit or a lack of consciousness we keep on moving forward in the wrong direction. Have you done that? Are you doing that right now?

Recently I met a customer that wanted advice and directions in his business. Actually this guy has had around 10 businesses in as many years and maybe 30 businesses in 25 years.

Before I could really look at his problems and solve them I really needed to understand his history because there are times the past can reveal our future. So I sat with him and went through his businesses with him.

Some things were the same in every business he had owned.

  • Long hours – very-long hours
  • Lack of cash flow
  • Staff issues
  • Lack of leads
  • Loss of interest and moving onto another business
  • No marketing
  • struggle and lots of it

But the problem was this and he had never seen it. He was repeating all of his previous business problems and rather than confront them. He found it easier to simply discard the previous business believing that the next one would be different. The business was different yet his results were exactly the same with EVERY business he'd owned. The fact is he was a slave to his work and a slave to his existence.

I have been trying to arrange a meeting with this customer now for around 4 months but he can’t find time to take out of his struggles. He leaves his house at 5:45am and returns home to his family at 7:30pm each day – 7 days a week.

If he would just stop for a moment, listen to himself for a moment; look back at his life patterns for a moment and then take an altogether different route his life could be a life by design.

Have you ever designed something?

Design takes time, it takes thought, it takes mental effort and it takes effort, real effort to get a design right. No wonder inventors throw away so many ideas before they get to the finished product.

You can be the inventor or designer of your own life but it wont happen by sitting around moaning and hoping. It won't happen if you if you don’t take time out. It won’t happen by some kind of miraculous universal intervention.

Life by design is the moment where you realise you are on the wrong road, you are chasing things that don’t exist and you need urgent changes to survive and thrive in your life.

Once upon a time when I was in the middle of a crushing divorce I had the opportunity to walk along a beach with myself and my father. He said something utterly profound to me that has stuck with me to this day and was also a driving force behind my own designed life and it was this…

“If my life were a book the last 30 years of pages would be blank”

Profound right?

My father telling me that he had not filled 30 years of life and not lived the way he wanted to live. Dad is a dreamer and loves the idea of doing things, lots of things yet he really has never allowed his own potential to be realised. Why? He just couldn’t get off the road he was on and is still driving along that road at the age of 80.

That stuck with me. It told me this: At some point life runs out so have I lived my life according to the way I want to live my life or have I just existed for my period on Earth according to the expectations of others?

Life design is about YOU and YOUR life. It will run out at some point so are you living a life that is worthy of what you deserve?

Dad didn’t realise he has written history for his children and me. His history is lesson packed and I am grateful for those lessons yet the lesson is simple – don’t live a life that is packed with regret, life a life that is a life you want to live - and enjoy.

One of my favorite changelings I have worked with this year is my wonderful scientist mentor student Nick. Yes he is a real white-coated scientist that can work – 17 hours a day – in a lab!

Last year he started to wake up, he began to realize that this wasn’t a life and he had to make changes. At the start of the New Year I started to work with Nick and his changes have been absolutely huge beyond words. Part of his life design is to make his money writing words. I can tell you he is a beautiful writer so why not. He is now well on his way.

A few years ago I met Phil. Phil is a crazy eccentric that can be all over the place. I love the fact he wakening up and I love the fact he is also taking huge changes that are not easy for him and moving forward in a new direction. He has made discoveries and massive progress since being in mentor.

Just a few weeks ago motorbike loving Stuart the tradesman decided it was now time for him to take a totally different direction with his life. He jumped into mentor and is delivering incredible results so far.

  • Mentor is about change
  • Mentor is about life design

Would you like to see what Stuart sent me? Here it is …

Daily writing – 14th April

Sitting here at 9.15pm in the evening and I have just had my first mentoring session with Alan. Well, I have to say that it was quite eye opening. Normally, I wouldn’t attempt to write anything this late at night because, for me, the best time of the day has passed to be creative, but I really feel the need to step up to the mark and make a start at least, no matter what the time is, so here goes…

I understand the importance of challenging myself to change old habits and patterns and give myself more direction. This is something that has been lacking in my life and I’m sure it has prevented me from reaching my potential. I need to know where I want to go and how I’m actually going to get there.

Of course, the first session seemed really intense. It was actually what I was expecting anyway, so, really I was prepared for that. It almost threw up as many questions as answers, but, I’m sure these will be answered as the course evolves.

But now, although I’m tired, still feeling good and quite optimistic about where I will be in the future with my business and personal life. Alan has already proved to me that he is unique and different as a mentor. This is what people like me need – someone to guide them onto better things without just selling them hope without any real substance. The business world is full of rich gurus selling nothing more than air.

It’s such a refreshing change where you can actually interact with someone through Skype, emails, phone or text. No one else does this.

Anyway… in between my mentoring session and writing this piece, I briefly went down stairs for a quick break and a glass of water. “How did it go”? Susanne asked me. I started to tell her about how I need to change some old patterns in my life if I want to make any progress. “Good” she said.

Now, my lovely wife Susanne happens to know quite a bit about astrology, birth charts and planets etc. She then informed me that in my birth chart, the planet Pluto is moving over my Moon.

Now, I don’t really get this stuff, but the deal is this: Pluto is a sign of transformation and it is responsible for turning people’s lives upside down and forcing change – for good or bad.

When Pluto is active in other aspects it can have an affect on weather patterns, causing civil unrest and can be responsible for all kinds of discord throughout the world. On the strength of that, is it any wonder that we have had one crisis after another in the financial markets, housing markets collapsing, tsunamis or rioting on the streets for instance?

She went on to say that if you acknowledge the movement of this planet and really understand it, then you can use the power of Pluto to achieve the major transformation in your own life.

Embracing the energy of Pluto to transform your life can take you from the mindset of thinking small, to thinking much bigger.

I was trying to take this in with an already fully loaded head and may not have put it down in words exactly, but still the principle is that Pluto is all about change.

This can be a topic for another day when I can understand it a bit more. Susanne makes it sound so easy, it just rolls off her tongue and she uses exactly the right words to make up a sentence.

She’s not a writer, but an excellent talker when it just comes out naturally in normal conversation. This can be useful for me when I’m doing more writing and need to know something or want a bit of inspiration. I’ve actually done that before a while ago and it formed the basis of a book that I wrote.

More on that another time maybe. Stuart Price

When does change take place?

Here is what I can share with you.

Change starts inside of you, not outside, not with job or money or anything. It begins with a realization that your life isn’t what it can be.

You feel unsettled, less and less happy and know that you either make changes or you simply do the same old thing until you die. You don’t even think about death all you know is life is over!

That is what we are told as we grow and develop and mature yet that isn’t the reality – you can change everything and you can design the life you want to live. That’s not easy yet that is absolutely possible for you.

Would you like me to work with you, to fast track you and guide you in design and change?

Mentor is about change; it is about life by design not life by accident.

I mentor just around half a dozen of student annually. That’s usually 3 at the start of the year and 3 in the second part of the year. Why am I sharing that with you? I can tell you almost all coaches and self-proclaimed mentors work on numbers – huge numbers. Some work with hundreds and in some cases thousands of guys annually. I don’t, that’s not possible and not inline with me giving back quality at every level.

So it really is 110 days since New Year but the question we should really as is how has your new year been so far?

If you like the idea of change and life design I am willing to help you.

All you have to do is go to this page and read more for yourself or hit reply or text the word MENTOR to

07793 069 486 UK

00 44 7794 069 486 Outside UK

I mentor people from all over the world – location is not a problem.

If mentor is not possible for you right now you can do this and I promise that you will feel the effect.

  • Stop and think about your life and I mean STOP everything.
  • Ask is your direction where you want to be going?
  • Think about how much life you have left?
  • Is you life a happy life now?
  • Do you thrive or exist in the struggle?
  • Write a wants and needs list?
  • Remove the wants and just leave the needs
  • Write a new list of your ideal life
  • Design a life on paper
  • Find out what you need to make this happen
  • Do whatever it takes to make it happen
  • Make sure it’s realistic for you
  • Avoid dreamers and schemers – If it sounds too good to be true it usually is!

That’s it for now I hope it helped.

Love, peace and change

Your mentor

Alan Forrest Smith