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Simran Kaur, founder of leading investment podcast Girls That Invest, had a flying visit to QT Queenstown while she was in town to write her book. We sat down with her to chat about everything from working styles to her top tips when in the area.View this post on Instagram
We think Queenstown is pretty great, but what drew you here as an ‘offsite’ for writing?
I knew I wanted to work somewhere which brought me peace but also had some activities for me to do at the end of the work day. I get so inspired by nature and nothing is more magnificent to me than the beautiful mountains that tower around QT and the gorgeous Lake Wakatipu. QT was just the most obvious choice to have a working holiday, nothing else compares in my books!
What are the crucial elements when you need to get into ‘the zone?
There are a few things that I would deem as crucial, the first being routine. Trying to do emails and admin tasks in the morning and book writing in the afternoon made my brain more accustomed to what was to come and it helped my creativity flow. I think it’s also important to know how your body and mind function best. As a night owl, it just wouldn’t make sense for me to do the heavy lifting stuff in the morning, so I let myself ease into the workday with light work first (emails, social media) and then focus my attention when I’m most active/awake in the afternoon. I also made sure to set up a space that I only use for work and not let myself move it around, which helps me associate a place with work, which is hard when you’re working in a holiday destination!
You’re writing a book on investing –what do you enjoy most, numbers or words?
Funnily enough, I am a words girl more than a numbers girl, I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions that come about with personal finance and investing. A lot of us assume you need to be heavily numbers orientated to understand investing, or that you need to be able to do all these calculations in your head. It couldn’t be further from the truth! Nowadays there are so many apps, calculators, and resources to help streamline the numbers and strategies with investing, which I’m making sure to include in the book itself. For me speaking to people and explaining concepts comes naturally, I love teaching and love seeing people have the “ah-ha” moment when hard concepts are broken down to be more digestible.
PLEASE share…how do you stay focused when you’re not working in the office?!
It’s such a muscle! I like to think about focus as a muscle that we can strengthen or weaken over time. I have had periods of time where focusing is to hard to do, and as someone who is easily distracted -it’s even harder! The main thing that has helped me become better at not procrastinating is giving myself deadlines that are closer than the actual due date to trick my brain into getting into gear. I also love using a phone app that stops me from using my phone. I set timers on the app for 25 minutes as that is roughly the time limit before my brain starts to get distracted. If I try to be sneaky and pick up my phone, it tells me off. I think it’s also important to give myself breaks and not be too hard on myself if I do get quite distracted. I used to beat myself up over it but sometimes you just have to cut your losses and get back into it!
What advice would you give someone wanting to start a podcast?
Podcast aren’t so big in New Zealand compared to the rest of the world so I would say absolutely go for it, there is still so much room for brand and individuals to showcase their expertise. There’s no other form of social media where you can hold a majority of your listeners attention for over 30 minutes to an hour! You also don’t need lots of expensive equipment to start up, when Sonya and I began our podcast we used basic blue yeti microphones, and free editing and distributing software. The first time we recorded we were so nervous it took us a whole day to come up with 40 minutes of content! The best thing you can do is just get started.
What are your must-do’s for anyone visiting Queenstown?
I’m going to sound so basic but getting a Patagonia hot chocolate and sitting by the lake is something I love to do every time I visit Queenstown. The bustle of people moving around, the live music, and the breath-taking views always put me in such a good mood. I highly recommend having breakfast at the QT Bazaar, their waffles are to die for, and of course, spending a night stargazing in one of the private Onsen Hot Pools.
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