This week we interviewed Justine Davis from Creative Biz Formula, one powerhouse of a woman who we have a lot of gratitude towards for guiding us to clarity and focus with Whole & Happy Retreat. She is a source of inspiration for us to get up early and seize the day, to put Beyonce’s “I Was Here” in our ears and move in the direction of our dreams. Plus she’s a kick-ass Muay Thai fighter, an absolute babe, and you know you’re onto a good thing when Justine gets “full-body goosebumps”. She’s launching an Online Academy for Creative Biz Formula on March 1st – if you’re creating or building a business and feel like you need a step-by-step and someone to push you in the right direction… look no further. She’s our business fairy god-mother.
Read on for some serious New Year Inspiration….
Take us through your average morning routine..
This is my sacred part of the day, I love getting up before the sun, it’s untouched and magical. This is my prime focus time that also makes me feel like I am ahead of the day. I wake up at 4am, run through everything I am grateful for and visualise everything in my life and business that I am actively creating next. I have a healthy breakfast of fruit, oats, seeds and yoghurt with a black coffee and coconut oil. By 5am, I am at my desk and start with working ‘on’ my businesses, creating content or new strategies before I move on to the work for the day.
What’s your hot beverage of choice?
An ‘Americano’, black coffee with a teaspoon of coconut oil. My friends laugh at me but I love Nescafe Red Cup instant coffee!
What are your non-negotiables? ie. the things that are absolutely key to your happiness in life..
People. Surrounding myself with like-minded people who have a positive attitude to life, especially those who inspire, challenge and help me grow. We all have something to offer each other.
The 4 Agreements. I read this book when I was about 20 and it was a game changer. ‘Be impeccable with your word’, ’Don’t take anything personally’, ‘Don’t make assumptions’, ‘Always do your best’. I’d highly recommend anyone to read this, I live by these principles.
Vision. It’s essential for me to have a vision for my life, to consciously create the next steps.
Have Fun! My dad said this best, ‘Jus, if you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right’. I think finding joy in both the big and the little things in life is one of the keys to happiness.
What/who/where is your go-to when you’re in need of some inspiration or uplifting energy?
I love the Lewis Howes podcast ‘School of Greatness’, he hosts fascinating and inspiring interviews as well as great life and business tools and strategies. I think Garyvee is brilliant.
To energise I go to the gym most afternoons to train Muay Thai, hit the beach or surround myself with lush mountains.
Who do you admire and why?
There are many people I admire, Oprah for her ability to recognise her unique gifts, share them with the world with the vision to raise people higher, and genuinely make a difference in the creation of her legacy.
Richard Branson for his creation of a global brand with the vision to ‘do things better’ in any industry, creating financial success despite the odds, all while maintaining a fun culture in both his personal and professional pursuits, and inspiring generations to come.
I also admire anyone who is in constant pursuit of their happiness, and lives their life with a positive attitude.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Oh, daily! I have a thirst for knowledge and am always learning something new. I believe in having a go when you have an idea, fail fast, learn and keep growing.
One first that was quite transformational for me was fighting for Rawai Muay Thai a couple of months ago. I was planning my move back to Australia and wanted to fight for the gym under Kru On before my return. I’d always admired their fighter program and had witnessed how physically, mentally and emotionally challenging it was, I wanted to discover the possibilities for growth within myself. People generally don’t understand why someone would get involved in such a brutal sport, unless they are in the community and understand the culture and respect Muay Thai prides itself on upholding. Training in martial arts is an opportunity for us to go up against ourselves in every session. The discipline and rigorous training routine act as a catalyst to excel in other facets of life. This is why I train Muay Thai, it keeps my body healthy and mind sharp.
I don’t think I could have imagined actually how hard it was! For 3-4 weeks, every day I was running 10km, training 4-5 hours, and doing 600 each of knees, front kicks and sit-ups. The first day my run was more like a slow shuffle with multiple stops. I’d only really sparred with beginners for a long time then I got thrown in with the professional Thai boys and felt what it was like to have nothing left. I was so tired that eating enough was a challenge. Not to mention the mosquito bites that got infected in the Thai humidity however, each day I built more strength both physically and mentally. After that first sparring session my trainer pulled me over for a chat, “I want to talk to you about something… today you showed me 50/50, you have to have a big heart to be a great fighter, this is what makes the difference”. I knew I had this in me, I also knew I needed to prove it.
This flicked a switch, I pushed through every pain barrier whether it be emotional, physical or mental and trained to the best of my ability. Fight day came and I found out after the fight, that my opponent was flown in from Bangkok, although this was also only her 3rd Muay Thai fight, she had over 80 pro Western Boxing Fights and was on the Thailand Western Boxing National Team! I remember I saw her right before I walked out and thought ‘I’m going to lose’ until my mental strength took over to move from fear to love ‘No Justine, you got this, win or lose you are already a champion, you could not have trained harder, now go out there, have fun and enjoy every minute’. I held my head high as I walked into the ring, and had my best fight yet, not out of breath for a second. I went on to win by round 4 TKO against a very tough opponent. I look back in disbelief at the whole experience, the fight in the end was the easy part. The reason I share this story is that this experience taught me a couple of things:
- We are capable of far more than we realise, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. Fear is important, it is there to keep us safe however it doesn’t define our limits. I now replace fear with love and push through what I think is possible (without hurting others or myself of course). This is where I’ve discovered the most magical experiences in my life that have re-defined what’s possible and created both opportunity and treasured memories. I feel fearless to explore the limits of my potential in all aspects of my life and business.
- 100% Heart. When I make a decision to do something, whether it be in life or business, I align with that fully and go all in, 50/50 is exactly that, a 50/50 outcome.
Was there a catalyst or turning point that made you decide to follow your heart and build your business?
There certainly was, I was doing a 30 Day Challenge at a gym when one of the trainers mentioned she was going to start an activewear brand for athletes. I said to her, “Let me sit with you for an hour, I know I can save you tens of thousands of dollars, by learning from my experiences.” I know how tough it is to build a business, especially a fashion brand and wanted to help her by learning from my experiences. I also saw an opportunity to build something that would allow me to work from anywhere in the world.
I was inspired by the delivery of the 30 Day Challenge at the gym. We received an overview of the challenge, a guidelines book where we could set out goals, a recipe book and were part of a Facebook group where we received daily inspiration and tips to help us stay on track and achieve our goals! It was brilliant!
This really inspired me.. I thought, what if I could offer a 30 day transformational program for fashion designers wanting to start-up or scale up their business? Provide them with all the tools and structure to either launch or scale to the next level by the end of the program, as well as help them stay focussed and engaged by providing inspiration along the way? I wrote the overview in 30 minutes before catching up and she loved it. I then wrote the program week by week as she completed the tasks.
I soon realised I’d created a system that applied to not only fashion designers but both product or service businesses. I specialised in Creative Entrepreneurs as I know first-hand the challenges of having ideas and needing to develop structure and strategy to build a brand, hence ‘Creative Biz Formula’. I also couldn’t find anything else out there that specialised in helping this market niche. Since then the program has grown to 8 weeks plus a preparation week with graduates in 7 countries.
I feel so blessed to be a part of helping these entrepreneurs make their dream business become a reality. Each business and the people behind them have a unique story. One of the most fulfilling parts is witnessing not only the transformation of the businesses but the transformation and confidence building that happens within the people themselves.. they inspire me so much, it never gets old!
To date, the program has been 100% referral based which I’m really proud of. The Branding & Marketing Agency started a year ago when the graduates were asking for further branding, websites, and marketing strategy services. It’s the big sister to the academy, they work hand in hand with each other beautifully.
What has been the most challenging part?
The hardest part was making the financial decision to go all in and go for it full-time. Once I did this though, everything has flowed from there. I think there is so much power in decision, you create the space for things to happen.
What has been the most rewarding part?
Without question, it’s transformation, this has been the premise of the program from the beginning. Having the opportunity to meet wonderful people from all over the world with great talent and ideas, see them turn their dream business into a reality and, be a part of their business and personal growth journey is a joy!
What are you most grateful for today?
The wonderful people in my life, my health, and being in alignment with my purpose.
What does Whole & Happy mean to you?
To me, Whole & Happy means knowing who you are, loving who you are and using every day as an opportunity to be the greatest expression of you in all facets of life.
What does balance mean to you?
For me, it’s to listen to my intuition. I think we all know in our gut what feels right at any point in time, whether that’s needing more focus on re-charge, career, finances, relationships, health, family etc.. If I’m having a moment and don’t listen, well.. I get a reminder that’s for sure!
Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for our followers?
Be smart about the decisions you make but ultimately, listen to your gut, follow your curiosity and take action!
Your gifts and talents are unique to you. No-one is going to have a vision for your life or business or the belief in what that can achieve as clearly as YOU. Go all in, 100% heart, dare to be everything you dream is possible because it is just that, possible.
How can people find out more about you and your work?
People can email me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The academy (www.creativebizformula.com), Facebook page, YouTube channel and podcast will be launching online 1 March 18.
For the podcast and YouTube channel, we have put together an inspiring selection of interviews with brilliant creative entrepreneurs sharing their road to success, the challenges in their story and personal tips. We are interviewing our graduates from around the world and sharing their wonderful stories on the website. The site will provide access to the program along with a curated selection of resources and tips to help you navigate your own success story.