Interview with Brooke Ferguson from

Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Ferguson from  For those who aren’t familiar with Brooke and her work, she leads a pretty fascinating lifestyle.  In fact, I would say she lives and breathes lifestyle design, and seems to do an excellent job teaching others how to do the same.

You hear a lot about people preaching “lifestyle design,” but Brooke actually demonstrates it.  She was even featured on the Discovery Channel (the show aired this past December), which I thought was really cool.  After coming across her blog and reading about how she travels the world, basically living out her innermost passions, I knew she was someone who I had to interview for My4HWW.

Interview with Brooke Ferguson

1) After reading about you on, I’ve come to the conclusion that you lead a rather interesting life. :)  I see you have a college degree, but did you ever enter the “9 to 5” workforce after college?  How did your life, as you know it today, begin?

I have had ‘normal jobs’ before, but have preferred the ones that were rather nontraditional.  I tried a variety of working situations but here was my quandary–the recreational / fun jobs didn’t pay enough money and were not intellectually challenging, and the ‘real’ jobs were challenging, but not enough fun and had too much structure.  I always knew I wanted to have my own business but was unclear until later in life exactly what business that would be.

2) The term “lifestyle design” is thrown around quite often these days, largely due to Tim Ferriss and his discussion about it in The 4-Hour Workweek.  What does “lifestyle design” mean to you?

For me, lifestyle design means that you have the freedom to decide.  You have designed your life so that your lifestyle comes first.  You have designed an income (or multiple incomes) that are helping you to grow in meaningful ways and you are putting away more than enough money for later.  You live somewhere beautiful.  You can continue to ‘try on’ life and see what your best fit is, and make alterations, but at the core you know and understand that you hold the key to your own destiny.

3) Tell me about your lifestyle design and business consulting program.  What is your typical interaction with clients like, and what types of projects have you undertaken?

Just after completing my MBA I had a breakthrough idea.  A wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night idea.  In one out-pour, all of the information I had accumulated for about ten years broke free.  I wrote pages that covered my entire table.  All of the theories that I’d absorbed in books and classes finally came together in a way that was clear and concise.  This was the first time that I was able to realize the full application of  what I had learned, and determine what to teach and Most Importantly:  In What Order.

I take my clients through the various stages of Lifestyle Mastery (time, money, and behavioral choices), followed by Business Growth Skills (Aligning your core values with your business mission, vision and marketing), and then show them how to Go Global (niche outreach, systems, building strategic partners, etc.) and Product Development (layering content, stacking income streams, creating coaching programs, and overall business maintenance).  The key function of my position is to encourage entrepreneurs through their own self-doubt, speed up their education while holding them accountable for continual, rapid progress.

4) What has been your biggest success to date, as an entrepreneur?

I love my business more than anything in the whole world.  The reason is because I get to help people truly transform their lives.  I get evidence of this on a regular basis through emails, blog replies, and on my coaching calls.  I never went into this thinking ‘I want to change the world’, but if I can make one person happy, and then another, and then another, I feel I am doing my job.

5) What has been your biggest failure and/or source of frustration? What did you learn from it?

Here is the thing:  I fail every day.  I fail at everything… at first.  What I’m learning is to keep failing.  Keep on through the miserable confusion of the learning curve, and keep making progress.  Fail a little bit less, and then less, and then, eventually you begin to make progress.  I’ve learned that Nothing Is Easy.  Nothing.

6) What is your biggest source of motivation, and why?

Honestly, some days I don’t even know.  Living abroad is really difficult.  All of the normal things I took for granted at home are hard here: eating, talking, going to the grocery, finding internet connections, you name it.  I guess my biggest motivation is Hope.  I hope to have a meaningful life and to help others in the process.  I find that hope by studying and interviewing other people that are doing just that.  I find it inspiring that there are others out there that have chosen a different life path and are contributing their talents in ways that are making a difference and living as an example.  That is my hope for my business, as well as my life.

7) It’s clear to me that you travel a lot, which I think awesome.  Where is your favorite location that you’ve traveled to, and why?

Travel is a funny thing.  It helps you to learn, question your values and behaviors, and to appreciate the variety that exists in the world.  But, this can feel very addictive!  The more you see, the more you want to see.

I’ve learned that spending a couple of weeks somewhere is not as enjoyable as actually living somewhere and getting to know more about the culture.  The kind of travel I plan to do from here on out would be to spend longer amounts of time in various destinations.  One of my favorites is where I’m living right now, Krabi, Thailand.  I love the beach, food, culture, outdoor activities, and ‘rule-less-ness’ of the place.  Even though it is challenging, it suits my personality.

8 ) What tips do you have for someone who currently works a typical “9 to 5” job, but wants to emerge as a successful entrepreneur?

Personally, I don’t shun the 9 to 5.  I was here nearly a year living the 4 hour workweek dream, but I got bored.  I missed people.  I had an opportunity to try out teaching, and I really enjoyed it.  Jobs offer comfort (in a paycheck), camaraderie with coworkers, and if you are living abroad, cultural experiences that you wouldn’t get anywhere else.  I believe it is smart to stack your incomes and if you work smart, you can build and run a business in conjunction with a traditional income.

I really enjoy connecting with people and sometimes that is hard to do as an ‘online professional’.  If you have various talents, I would say pursue them.  But be picky.  The fun part is that if you have more than one income, you have a variety of choices.  Try to find a combination that allows you freedom and balance.  That is why we are all here, and I wish you success in all of your endeavors!

Thanks for doing the interview, Brooke!  You provided a lot of great insight.

If you’re interested in more outstanding lifestyle tips from Brooke, she just released a free eBook: Lifestyle Mastery – Love Your Business & Your Life. Check it out!

Now, I’ll turn it over to you (the readers) – What does “lifestyle design” mean to you?  What do you think it really takes to get there?

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14 Responses to “Interview with Brooke Ferguson from”

  1. It’s always great to see somebody who’s out there “doing it.”

    I agree with the fact there’s nothing wrong with 9-to-5, heck, it’s better for some people.

    To me, lifestyle design means exercising freedom over the 5W’s: What do you do, when you do it, with whom, where you live, and “why” you make those choices (You can do things because you just feel like it)
    Andrew Walton recently posted… My First 1000 Online – 133 Day Timeline


    Eric G. Reply:

    Hey Andrew, thanks for the comment. :) Having control of the 5W’s sounds like a great way of defining “lifestyle design.”


    Brooke Ferguson | Business Backpacker Reply:

    Hi Andrew, I like the idea of the 5 W’s. It’s a great way of thinking about it. Thanks for commenting!


  2. Each to their own in terms of lifestyles, but what I liked the most about this interview was Question 5. Brooke says she fails every single day, at first, but she keeps on at it. I think that’s an awesome attitude to have, and I admire her for it :-)
    Stuart recently posted… How Do Successful People Think


    Eric G. Reply:

    Great point, Stuart. One thing I’m starting to finally figure out is that failure isn’t a bad thing – it’s an opportunity to grow and improve whatever it is you’re doing. It seems that Brooke figured this out awhile ago. 😛


  3. It’s nice to hear a perspective of someone who has actually traveled. Although my wife and I are planning to travel extensively in the near future, it’s nice to get a reality check every once and a while.

    Brooke, what would you suggest be the first destination for someone looking to live abroad? We would like to visit Europe, but our money would probably go further in other parts of the world.
    Mike Moyer recently posted… Infobarrel Earnings Rankings – December 2010


    Brooke Ferguson | Business Backpacker Reply:

    Hi Mike. I would suggest finding somewhere to go that offers things that you are in to. For example, I love diving and climbing, so I’m located in one of the best places in the world to do both of those things. What hobbies do you enjoy, and where can you best do them?
    Brooke Ferguson | Business Backpacker recently posted… Your Free 50 Page eBook- Lifestyle Mastery -Love Your Business &amp Your Life!


  4. Nice interview, it’s great to see others’ perspective. Thanks for sharing!
    Latief recently posted… Frontline Top Spot For Dogs And Cats Review


    Eric G. Reply:

    I agree – thanks for the comment! :)


  5. Hi Eric – I came through Pat Flynn’s site to yours and I’m very glad that I did too! Thanks too to Brooke for sharing her experiences and thoughts about living her own lifestyle design, or rather – crafting her own lifestyle design! Thoroughly intriguing!

    I really like this and can relate very much to it (as apparently can Stuart) – I quote…

    “I fail every day. I fail at everything… at first. What I’m learning is to keep failing. Keep on through the miserable confusion of the learning curve, and keep making progress. Fail a little bit less, and then less, and then, eventually you begin to make progress”.

    Without masses of failure I would not be living and doing what I am today – its been a journey, and each failure is a step forward, and should not be treated nearly as negatively we tend to do.

    And I can also relate to the fact that Brooke finds it pretty tricky living abroad. I’m now living in Malaysia (not far from Thailand) having upped and left the UK over a year back. It can be real tough communicating and getting things done. For example, I’m vegetarian. Quite often I go out to a local hawker center and ask for vegetarian food – the next thing I know I’ve got a bowl filled with meat and vegetables.

    And I am ‘compelled’ to quote Brooke again here, lol!

    “I believe it is smart to stack your incomes and if you work smart, you can build and run a business in conjunction with a traditional income.”

    I work online and I miss the office-type camaraderie. And it makes total sense to perhaps have a part time j o b while making a full time (or part time) income from more passive online streams. It makes the “mix” that much more palatable and thus lends itself to being more productive in making money online – being more creative and having the ability to think much more “outside the box”.

    Thanks again Eric for sharing your interview with Brooke!

    Kind regards
    Joseph Archibald recently posted… A Great Joint Venture Offer! Update on Huge Motivation from Real Disappointment


    Brooke Ferguson | Business Backpacker Reply:

    Hi Joseph, thanks for reading, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’ve enjoyed teaching – and while I’m not planning on doing it forever, it has opened up a lot of great opportunities and experiences that I wouldn’t have come across on my own. I’m also getting my Divemaster certification so I can do some diving in places I love and get paid for it along the way. What part of Malaysia are you in?
    Brooke Ferguson | Business Backpacker recently posted… Your Free 50 Page eBook- Lifestyle Mastery -Love Your Business &amp Your Life!


    Joseph Archibald Reply:

    Nice idea Brooke – getting your divemaster cert! Such wonderful waters in this part of the world what with the beautiful tropical fish and coral reefs etc!

    I’m in Kuching – the main city in Sarawak. You should pop down this way sometime Brooke – its got the best laksa in the world! Plus, there are quite a few really nice diving spots not too far from here. Would be great to meet up and share some ideas!

    Joseph Archibald recently posted… Living the Internet Marketing Dream – Its no Holiday so Get Real!


    Eric G. Reply:

    Joseph – thanks so much for stopping by and leaving some great comments!



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