Ready to leave behind the 9-to-5 world and start building some-thing on your own? Don’t know where to start? Millions of Americans have already traded in their corporate lifestyle for the satisfaction, freedom and creative challenge of jobless earning. So can you. This seminar is for everyone who has dreamed of being their own boss, as well as for those who are out of work, soon to be out of work, or wishing they were out of work.

After “real” jobs as a teacher, employment counselor and interior designer, Barbara J. Winter decided to test her own ideas and strike out on her own. That was in 1974 and she’s been joyfully jobless ever since. She shares her experience and passion with would-be self-bossers in this informative seminar. Barbara will give you the basics you need to join the ranks of the successfully self-employed.

You’ll learn:

  • Three important techniques for success
  • How to recognize and manage the obstacles you’ll face
  • How to develop multiple income channels
  • How to design a work life that’s perfect for you
  • How to get started quickly with little or no money
  • The best ways to make a living without a job
  • How to find support and resources for building momentum

While the conventional wisdom may still be telling you, “Get a job,” this class will show you new possibilities for working when you want, where you want and how you want. Whether you want to make the transition from employee to entrepreneur or create another source of income, don’t miss this one-of-a-kind seminar. Come prepared to be inspired and informed.

I have attended various seminars before on wealth, personal development, making a fortune in real estate — this, that and the other thing. None can compare to the three hours I spent with you.

~ Gail M. Ferris

Almost everyone who chooses to become self-employed faces a barrage of questions from dreambashers and skeptics. The most popular question is, “How can you give up your security?” I am tempted to say, “You mean a puny little health insurance policy and two weeks’ vacation?”

There are tradeoffs, of course, but the skeptics have no idea what they really are. When I traded in my job, here’s what I got back.

Mobility. I can live anywhere I want or live nowhere if I want. With today’s technology, running a business is only a cell phone and laptop away.

Creativity. Never again do I have to experience the frustration of being unable to bring my ideas to life. Like most self-bossers, I have discovered that ideas beget more ideas. Now I get to try them outÑthe good ones and the bad.

A lovely working environment. No cubicle or windowless office could possibly be as welcoming as my home office. I can listen to classical music, burn incense, watch my orchids bloom. If I had pets, they’d be in here, too.

Personal growth. Running a business is the ultimate seminar in self-discovery. No year in business leaves me the same person as when the year began.

Security. When most people think of security, they think of health insurance, a regular paycheck, etc. When I think of security I think of knowing—absolutely—that I have the ability to create everything I need and want regardless of the economy or world events.

Values in action. What I am most passionate about is what I express through my business. I never have to compromise the things that matter most to me.

Variety. Doing the same thing, in the same place, with the same people day after day is death to the creative spirit. I love doing many things, but I don’t want to do any one of them every single day.

Freedom. Now more than ever our freedom is threatened. Participating in one of our greatest freedoms, the free enterprise system, is standing up for this valuable gift. People who take freedom for granted are most likely to lose it.

Health and longevity. Studies show that people who love what they do for a living are apt to live longer and age more dynamically. Without the stress that accompanies most jobs today, we are free to become as healthy as we can be.

Fascinating friends. I love being around people who are passionate about the contribution they’re making in the world, who are excited about new ideas, who are committed to their own growth. I can’t imagine spending time complaining about my supervisor, the company, or co-workers.

Mistakes. Yes, you read correctly. I have no fear about making mistakes and even failing miserably sometimes. It’s part of the learning process. It’s also really empowering to know I can make mistakes and it’s not the end of the world. Most of the time it’s a learning opportunity.

Perfect benefits. Being the boss means I get to decide what benefits I should give myself. Retirement accounts, health insurance, and time off are available to the self-employed, too. The difference is we get to decide what the package should contain. Mine once gave me an eight-month travel sabbatical.

Tax advantages. The American tax system is structured to favor the very wealthy and the self-employed. I may never love paying taxes, but I am delighted to take advantage of the breaks given to a small business.

Lifelong learning. For me, the best thing about being self-employed is that it gives me a perfect excuse to keep learning. Staying curious is also essential to longevity and personal growth.

There’s more where this came from.
Order Winning Ways now!

British entrepreneur extraordinaire, Richard Branson, has long been noticed for his willingness to do outrageous things in order to promote his empire.  The irrepressible Branson, who reminds me of a naughty gnome, explains his frequent media appearances by saying, “Everyday television and newspapers need visually interesting stories to feature. We just try to help them out by doing interesting things in public places and making sure they know where we’ll be and what we’ll be doing.”

As the entrepreneurial revolution continues to grow, so does the media interest in stories about engaging small businesses. It’s up to you to take advantage of this curiosity by helping reporters and interviewers discover what makes you newsworthy and being willing to share your story and information with them. Here are some simple ways to get started right in your own backyard.

1. Make a list of local media outlets and possibilities. Study all of the newspapers, even the giveaway ones, in your area. Listen to radio stations and find out who does interviews on talk shows. Check area television programming to see who does stories and interviews with local people. Make this an on-going project, since the media is a changing environment.

2. Get to know the interviewing style and interests of local reporters. Listen to talk radio, read the newspaper, and study regional magazines with an eye to analyzing the slant and area of interest of various reporters. The more familiar you become with their work, the easier it will be to find a “hook” that will interest them in what you’re doing.

3. Keep looking for opportunities that are appropriate to you. One Sunday, I noticed a tiny paragraph in the business section of our newspaper which said, “Have you left corporate life to start something on your own? If so, we’d like to hear from you for an upcoming story we’re doing about career changers.” I promptly called the reporter’s voice mail, introduced myself and explained that while I hadn’t done exactly what she was looking for, I did have some information that might be of interest to her since I do seminars on self-employment around the country, had written a book on the subject and had talked to thousands of people wanting to leave corporate life. The reporter called and interviewed me a couple of days later. When the story appeared— as a front page headliner—my comments were sprinkled throughout the article giving me the appearance of being the local expert.

Another of my favorite tools is the lowly letter to the editor. If you see a story that deals with an area related to your business, your professional comments may be welcomed. You could write to applaud the original article or add additional information or disagree with what’s been printed.

4. Find ways to be visible and the media may find you. Numerous invitations and interviews have come to me because of my teaching in adult education. One of those interviews, went out on the wire services and was published in newspapers all over the country. In fact, Making a Living Without a Job became a book because an editor saw the course description in an adult education catalog and contacted me, starting a chain of happy events in motion.

So agree to be part of a panel discussion, accept the speaking invitation from your local Rotary club, donate a prize for your church raffle. Well promoted local events often get media notice—and some clever journalist might just track you down. Never underestimate the value of community involvement.

5. Pay attention to Joan Stewart and Peter Shankman. Joan, a former reporter, now helps small businesses get media exposure. Her Web site, Publicity Hound, is loaded with useful information and her weekly mailings are always full of fresh insights and resources. Be sure to sign up.

Peter Shankman is the genius behind Help a Reporter which sends out mailings three times a day with requests from journalists, freelancers and bloggers looking for folks to interview on specific subjects. I had two interviews that resulted in exposure in national magazines as a result of responding to requests on HARO. It’s a bit tine-consuming to monitor all the resources, but absolutely worth the effort.

6. Don’t be discouraged if your efforts don’t produce immediate, measurable results.  Of course, it’s always wonderful if your telephone starts ringing or you’re flooded with orders after you’ve made an appearance. But that doesn’t always happen. I remember a small business expert being interviewed in Time magazine and then publicly complaining that it hadn’t brought her any new business. She simply didn’t understand the process, although it’s easy to sympathize with her disappointment.

Frequently, the main value of media exposure is that it helps people become more familiar with you and your name. That may not translate into new business overnight. I often have people who show up in my seminars clutching old, yellowing newspaper articles about me that they clipped years ago. Treat media interviews as seed planting expeditions and trust that good will come from every effort sooner or later.

Zoom has become my new best friend. And brainstorming about self-employment is one of my favorite ways to use it.

If you have an idea but don’t know what comes next or have several ideas and are not sure which deserves your attention or are just feeling stuck, let’s talk.

Here’s how it works. Send me an email at and explain what you’d like to discuss. If I can help, we’ll set a time to talk after you register by clicking the button below.

The price for a 45 minute session is just $49. 

Looking forward to helping you create wonderful work that you love…that loves you back.

It’s different here. There’s not a cubicle in sight. You won’t find any One Size Fits All Business Plans or formulas to follow here, either. We see self-employment as an opportunity to share our unique gifts, passions and eccentricities with others so every citizen proudly creates a one of a kind enterprise that is a perfect fit for them.

We’re a peace-loving tribe. We spend no time trying to convince others to quit their jobs and join us. We’re delighted to be ambassadors, but we’re not missionaries. Staying inspired is a daily practice here. We’re not big on competition, although we love to collaborate.

Here are a few other things to know about Joyfully Jobless Land:

Citizenship: Voluntary

Language: English spoken, along with every other language on Earth, but you’ll seldom hear words like can’t or shouldn’t. You will hear lots of conversation about ideas and encouragement.

Currency: We operate with multiple currencies, of which money is one; other popular currencies include satisfaction, laughter, joy and innovation.

Priorities: We place a high value on independence and creativity and urge every citizen to thoughtfully consider what matters most to them and to build a life that supports those things.

Mission: To leave it better than we found it.

Dreamers Welcomed.
Whiners? Not so much.

Listen in…

Barbara talks to Maureen Anderson on her Air America show Doing What Works about the importance of connecting with others. She includes tips on how to do just that.

Learning to generate cash flow is, of course, an essential ingredient for making a living without a job. It requires leaving behind the single paycheck mentality and moving into the exciting world of multiple profit centers.

In this teleclass we’ll explore ideas to help you develop a healthier relationship with the money aspect of your entrepreneurial life and develop a relaxed and confident approach to creating a steady cash flow. This is not a Make Big Money Fast approach, but a thoughtful exploration of incremental growth.

You’ll learn:

  • A disciplined way to generate cash flow ideas
  • How to recognize money blocks and eliminate them
  • How to build a portfolio of money-making ideas
  • How to stage a Money Fling
  • Taming the Money Dragon once and for all

If you’re ready to have everyday be payday, this teleclass is for you. You’ll leave with dozens of ideas you can put to work for you immediately.

There are so many selves in everybody and to explore and exploit just one is wrong,
dead wrong, for the creative process.
~ James Dickey

Steven Kalas is a family counselor with a lively practice. He also plays in a band that’s been busy promoting their new CD, but I know Kalas for a different reason: he writes Human Matters, my favorite column in the Las Vegas Review Journal. Like many people with multiple interests, he’s found ways to incorporate his diverse interests into satisfying ways of making a living.

Of all the ideas in Making a Living Without a Job, none has ever gotten a stronger response than the notion of incorporating eclectic interests into a unique livelihood. Many people have felt stalled in their lives trying to fit themselves into the Single Occupation mold. There’s often a visible sense of relief when I suggest that it’s possible to create a business from diverse passions.

Whether you have diverse interests or a strong singular passion that you’re building around, the key to a solid business is what I call Multiple Profit Centers (MPCs). Quite simply, a profit center is any activity that generates cash flow. Whenever you add another product or service to your enterprise, you’re creating another profit center. It’s also important to realize that profit centers come in all different sizes. Some will provide the largest percentage of income for you, while others will be fillers.

There’s a practical side to the MPC notion, as well: multiple income sources can level out cash flow. No business, no matter how large or small, is immune from the ups and downs of income. To everything there is a season, including cash flow. Having a variety of sources is one way to even things out a bit, since each profit center will have its own cycle.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind when planning your profit centers.

  • They don’t have to all be the same size in order to be valid. Some profit centers will be occasional, some will peak and then decline, some will be major income sources. Keep in mind the Mall Model where you find anchor stores on the corners with smaller shops in between. Your business will be a small scale version of that.
  • Under one umbrella or separate identities? If your profit centers are completely unrelated (eclectic rather than clustered), you will probably need to have individual identities for them. It’s up to you whether or not you want to have one bank account for various things or a different one for each. Whatever makes things easier for you, is probably the best choice. At the same time, you don’t want to confuse your market by clustering things that don’t go together.
  • If it matters to you, it belongs in your portfolio. If your interests are diverse, you may decide that some ideas aren’t serious enough to turn into a profit center. More likely, your apprehension comes from the old belief that if it’s fun and pleasurable, it should remain a hobby.

    Nobody tackles this issue better than Steven Pressfield who writes in The War of Art about turning pro. He says, “The conventional interpretation is that the amateur pursues his calling out of love, while the pro does it for money. Not the way I see it. In my view, the amateur does not love the game enough. If he did, he would not pursue it as a sideline, distinct from his ‘real’ vocation.”

  • Differing activities can boost creativity. In the name of efficiency, we’ve turned many of the workers of this world into robot-like machines who show up in the same place at the same time to do the same things day in and day out. The capacity to think creatively is the first casualty of that system.

    Creativity thrives on variety and setting up your profit centers to give you a wide range of experiences is ultimately as good for your imagination as it is for your bank account.

  • Take inventory on a regular basis. Many profit centers require a lot of time and attention at their launch, but become somewhat self-sufficient after that. It makes sense to review the various projects you’re working on and align your attention with what each one needs.

    Sometimes a profit center becomes a noisy child and takes you away from the others. At other times, you’ll find you’ve grown bored with an idea and it’s time to consider a different future for it. Every 90 days or so, do a review and make changes where necessary.

  • Be wary of multitasking. Time magazine did a story about Suze Orman, a woman who clearly understands MPCs. She is not an advocate of multitasking, however. “I think it’s the absolute ruination of the perfection of a project,” she says. “The people who multitask do everything to mediocrity at best. While they are getting a lot done, they are getting it done in such an inefficient way that they usually have to do it again.”

    One way to stay focused, is to assign different days of the week to different projects. When you’re throwing pots, you aren’t writing your pottery seminar, for instance.

  • It’s evolution, not instant creation. Profit centers evolve over a long period of time. Ideas morph, new ones show up, old ones have served their time. The important thing is to create a business that engages your talents and imagination, and pays you to do what you love doing most. As Paul Hawken reminds us, “The business you can succeed with is distinctly and utterly you and yours. It is unlike any other business in the world.” You have your MPCs to thank for that.

Several years ago, I had a lovely long-term consulting assignment which kept me both busy and solvent.  One morning I woke up and realized that it was coming to an end and I had nothing lined up.  After a few moments of panic, I decided to get serious about creating my next income source.  I didn’t have a great deal of time to devote to this, so I gave myself the challenge of finding a way to earn $100—an easily accomplished goal.  What I didn’t realize at the time, was that I had just created a new habit that has kept my business—and cash flow—moving smoothly along.

Over time, I’ve learned that there are other benefits to this simple technique.  For instance, I teach a seminar called “Making a Living Without a Job” throughout the United States and Canada.  Nearly every seminar has at least one person who tells me that they want to be self-employed but don’t know what kind of business to start.  Using this technique is a wonderful way to sample a number of different possibilities, while training you to be creative.  In other words, you’ll learn to think like an entrepreneur.

There’s an old saying, popularized by Robert Schuller, that goes, “By the inch, it’s a cinch. By the yard, it’s hard.” Any successful goalsetter will tell you that reaching goals big or small is dependent on breaking the big picture into tiny, doable steps.  That’s the essence of my favorite idea, the $100 Hour. It works with such infallible certainty that once you make it a regular part of your plans, it’s like a rocket propelling you to your goals.

You can begin implementing the $100 Hour even if you now have a job or other commitments that clamor for your time.  Begin by making a pact with yourself that you will set aside time daily, if possible, or at scheduled intervals for the purpose of finding an idea that will bring you $100.  You needn’t complete the plan in the hour, but if time permits use your surplus to get your idea rolling.  Do research, make calls, write letters—anything that advances your goal.  If you’re focusing your energies on a single profit center, then come up with an idea for expanding it in a way that will earn another $100.  If you’re going to try a number of different ideas in order to figure out what you most want to do, then this time can be spent designing a variety of projects.

A word of warning is in order here.  While this idea works wonders, your ego may tell you that $100 is too insignificant to bother with. Ignore it. After all, great fortunes and grand achievements have been accomplished by steadfast devotion to creating tiny successes—which ultimately add up to enormous successes.  The discipline that comes with using this technique is perhaps its greatest bonus.  However, once you start seeing results, don’t stop using it.   With continued practice, you’ll find it gets easier and easier to come up with a $100 idea.  At that point, you can raise the monetary stakes, if you like. At any rate, you’ll discover that the quality of your ideas gets better and better with practice.

$100 Idea Starters

To show you how easy this is and to get you thinking along these lines, I’ll give you some of the $100 ideas that have appeared on my lists and those of others who are joyfully jobless.  Each of these could be worth far more than $100 and each can be adapted and embellished to suit your interests and skills.

* Be a broker.  Match up a buyer with a seller and collect your fee.  If you’re smart about automobiles, for example, you could be a consultant for people shopping for a used car.  Or you could develop a referral service for professionals.  That’s what speakers’ and writers’ agents do. If you know a lot about art, you could broker the work of artists as a couple I saw on television do.  These folks live on an island off Vancouver and run an international art business via the Internet.  Read some classified ads and see whether you might be a matchmaker between someone offering something for sale and a potential buyer.

* Clean out a closet.  There may be cash in your trash. Isn’t it time for a yard or tag sale? I know several folks who run sales every month, earning at least $100 each time.  If you’re really loaded with old stuff you want to sell, consider renting a table at a flea market.  Clothes, especially high-quality ones that are in good repair, can be taken to a consignment shop—as can toys, sporting equipment and computers.  You could also organize and promote a neighborhood sale, and collect a small fee from other sellers in exchange for doing the advertising and promoting.  Now that recycling is trendy again, used merchandise is politically correct.

* Sign on as a temporary worker.  All sorts of temporary agencies match workers with work.  Many are general, such as Kelly Services, while others specialize in computer operators or medical workers.  Some people make a career out of doing temporary work; you may want to use it as an emergency profit center, since it can be tedious.  You may have to put in a lot of hours to earn $100 this way, but it’s nice to know you can if you must.

* Eliminate an expense that doesn’t bring you joy.  Every so often, use your $100 Hour to save $100 that you’re now spending.  It’s the same as earning it, in a way.  Quit smoking. Or find a credit card company with a lower interest rate than you’re now paying.  Find a tax deduction you’ve overlooked.  Cancel the movie channel you never watch.  Sometimes our spending becomes automatic and habitual.  It’s healthy to reevaluate and change old spending habits from time to time.

* Deliver a valentine.  There are dozens of possibilities if you’re a natural romantic. You could specialize in enhancing romance all year long. (If you’re good at this, you may not realize that you have a gift!)  How about selling a basket of erotic massage oil and other romance-enhancing treats? Or catering breakfast in bed? Or setting up mystery evenings in conjunction with a limousine service?  If you love love, this one’s for you.

* Organize a tour.  Is there a geographic area or subject that you know a lot about? Do you live near a historic battlefield or favorite fishing spot? You could create a tour right at home that would appeal to visitors to your area.  Several companies in London offer fascinating walking tours covering everything from Shakespeare’s London to places where the Beatles hung out.  If you long to travel, find a travel agent or company that will work with you to organize a trip abroad.  In exchange for marketing the tour, you can receive a free trip.  A focused specialty tour offers the best possibilities, so concentrate on planning a trip around your area of expertise.  You could produce regular $100 Hours with this one.

* Take in a paying guest.  You may not want a full-time roommate, but what about an occasional out-of-town visitor?  You could specialize in providing homey accommodations for business travelers in town for long-term assignments, or hook up with a local college that hosts visiting professors and conference-goers.  If you speak a foreign language, be a paid host to travelers who aren’t sure about their English.

* Barter services.  Some people thrive on exchanging services, building their own underground economy.  This moneyless way of doing business can be great fun if you find other traders who enjoy bartering, too.  I’ve known people who have bartered for everything from laser printers to time in a vacation home. There’s a fabulous architectural drawing hanging over my sofa that I got in exchange for some promotion services for a home furnishings consignment store.

* Clean something.  Windows and floors always need cleaning, but you might aim at something larger—like an airplane or boat—and collect your $100 more quickly. It’s unfortunate that cleaning is considered lowly work, since the opportunity to clean things is enormous.  If you find tidying up a satisfying occupation, you could easily clean up financially with this one.

* Give your opinion.  Market research companies are always looking for people to try new products or sample old ones.  For this they rely on consumers who are potential users of the product.  Check your Yellow Pages for such firms in your area and ask to be added to their database.  If you like telling people what you think, why not get paid for your opinions?

* Teach a class.  Not long ago I found an old $100 Hour list of mine.  One of the ideas was to send a proposal to Open U in Minneapolis for a class called “Making a Living Without a Job.” That single idea has brought me tens of thousands of dollars in income and hundreds of hours of bliss in the classroom.  What are the hobbies you love? Where’s your expertise?  Build a class around what you know and start teaching.  This idea can, of course, be repeated endlessly, bringing you many $100 bills.

* Throw a party.  Planning special events can be fun and profitable. Or offer to cook for your busy friends for the price they’d pay in a restaurant.  If you have abilities as a confident host, this is a wonderful way to indulge your partygoing personality—and get paid.  Companies, too, engage the services of professional party planners; or you might specialize in class reunions or wedding receptions.

* Get a grant.  Thousands of dollars go unclaimed every year.  All sorts of private foundations offer grants for a huge range of projects. If you want to do research, work on a product design, or investigate another culture, there may be a grant just waiting.  You need to do lots of legwork and proposal writing for this, but don’t overlook this option for acquiring cash.  Your reference librarian can point you to the directories of available grants.

* Contact former customers.  Remind them that you’re available and willing.  Generating repeat business can be easier than finding new customers all the time.  Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Once your have customers to call your own, keeping in touch with them should be a regular event.

* House-or pet-sit.  House- and pet-sitting are popular ways to earn money. You could have a specialty, such as caring for cats or vacant houses waiting to be sold.  One enterprising fellow offered his services through real estate agents, housesitting for people who had moved, but not yet sold their house. He’d bring in some oriental rugs and a few pieces of nice furniture, making the empty space more attractive. One woman I know got hired to housesit for a client’s home in the south of France. If you’re flexible and love a change of scenery, this could be perfect.

* Finish things.  How about a follow-through service to complete unfinished projects? If you’re handy at repairs or household jobs, you could complete things that do-it-yourselfers didn’t do.  Needlework is another area where enthusiasm sometimes diminishes before the work is done.  Busy people often start more than they can finish so you could find a gold mine here—and relieve a bit of guilt.

Every single one of these ideas can be started easily and inexpensively, so there’s no excuse for not getting your own $100 Ideas List started.  Better yet, each of these have the potential to grow into large, luscious profit centers.  You might think of them as acorns, harboring an oak inside. Get busy planting.

In my scrapbook is a page of Making a Living Without a Job memorabilia that I’ve titled “The Class That Became a Business.” Indeed, it was only after people repeatedly said, “I’d love to be doing what you do,” that I began to realize there was an opportunity to share what I had learned. You may have your own opportunity hiding in plain sight.

“The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few,” said John Naisbitt, “but information in the hands of many.” This boom in information, technology and communication has made creating and packaging information a popular enterprise for self-bossers. And rightly so. Not only can you capitalize on years of experience and learning, you can start building your own information brokerage immediately—and do it from the comfort of home.
Information packagers are often people who have a real passion for their subject; others are passionate about communication and may write and speak about a number of subjects. Good communication skills are, of course, basic to making this work.
While it does take planning to create and produce information packages, you can get started with a minimum of expenditure. People are turning to experts with practical experience—people who have done what they’re teaching. Whether you are a world-class mountain climber, financial planner or legendary party giver, your audience awaits you.
Here’s a quick overview of the possibilities for packaging and marketing the information that’s already at your fingertips.
Teach a class or seminar. You can, of course, market your own classes. If you’re just getting started, however, you’ll save a lot of frustration if you join forces with someone who can promote your teaching such as a community college or professional association. Community education programs, art centers and even libraries are also possibilities.
Give a speech. Conventions and professional groups are always seeking speakers who can motivate, train and educate. Professional speakers need stamina, but the financial rewards can be great. Many successful speakers begin their careers more modestly, however, offering to speak to local groups which offer exposure and experience—not much money.
Write articles. Magazines, newsletters, newspapers and association journals, which number in the tens of thousands, are good markets for how-to information. Some online sites also pay for material. You may be able to produce articles that you can sell several times to non-competing markets.
Self-publish. Desktop publishing has made it possible for impatient authors to produce their own reports, books and so forth. The profit margin is greater than with conventional publishing, but distribution can be more difficult when you do it yourself. However, self-publishing makes a great mail order venture. Or you can follow the lead of other successful self-publishers who also do public speaking and market their books at the same time.
CDs, DVDs and videotapes. The market for tapes and CDs has grown so large that many publishing houses have audio/video divisions. Again, tapes make a wonderful product to sell in conjunction with classes and public speaking.
Newsletters. While a newsletter can be a good profit center, it may not be profitable enough to be your single source of income. Newsletters are a great way to update and expand the information that you dispense in other formats.
Consulting. Working with others on a one-to-one basis can be a lucrative way of sharing the information and experience of a lifetime. Many consultants limit their work to a few select clients, leaving time for other information pursuits.
Internet. The world of cyberspace offers ample opportunities for sharing information. Since much of it is free, you need to establish your own position about how you want to operate online. Some websites share free information and market additional products, such as books and tapes. Becoming an online expert for someone else’s site is another way of taking advantage of the Internet.

There’s more where this came from.
Order Winning Ways now!


“I know what I like to do,” the little thinker smugly says, “but I couldn’t possibly make money doing it.”

Many of us carry around a belief (often hidden) that earning money is only appropriate when we’re not having too much fun doing so. What nonsense. If you look around, you’ll see that some of the most abundant people are also those who are having great fun with their work.

Of course, you need to examine your own thinking and see if you’re carrying around outmoded ideas about what is and what is not possible for you. Even more important, you need to begin with the assumption that any passion you have can become the basis for earning money, if you so desire.

A useful exercise is to write down a broad passion (e.g., working with teens, flying airplanes, collecting china, writing essays), and then start a list of all the possibilities you can come up with to make money.

My friend Chris Utterback was the publisher of the Herban Lifestyles newsletter. She once created such a list of possible ways that a passionate gardener could earn money. In fact, her first venture came about because of her love of gardening. She says, “I was overjoyed when my first harvest of French tarragon grew. I was overwhelmed when it grew into a huge patch. Not having any idea how I could use up all of my crop, I thought I might interest some Denver chefs in it and earn myself some extra income. Not only were the chefs interested, they were delighted. My tarragon was my entree into the world of making a living without a job.”

Chris was so delighted that her avocation could also be the start of a new vocation that she kept generating new ideas about other ways garden lovers could make money from their passion. Here’s her list of wonderful ideas:

Lecture to garden clubs and other small groups. The most inventive use of miscellaneous talent that I’ve seen was a lecture given to our garden club by a man whose flyer read, “Gardener, Photographer, World Traveler.” He was also a member of the Actor’s Guild in New York. His slide presentation of “Monet’s Gardens at Giverny” was a perfect mesh of his talents. While narrating his show, he drew upon his acting ability to play the part of Monet. This enterprising man received $125 for his time. Moreover, he had created a “product” he could market over and over again.

Sell your passion. If you love to photograph gardens, for instance, but you hate the thought of teaching, sell your slides to those who would like to lecture but haven’t the visual aids to do it. I’d love to teach a garden design class (a subject in great demand), but since my gardens aren’t completed or it’s the wrong time of year to take garden photos, I lack the visual aids I need. Purchasing the photos of others would get me going.

Perhaps woodburning is your hobby. Why not make custom herb garden markers and sell them at weekend flea markets? Other products of interest to your fellow gardeners could be marketed at summer fairs, garden shows or farmer’s markets.

Sell your excess. My abundance of tarragon was unbelievably easy to sell to chefs. I started by making a list of all the restaurants that were French or that I knew used fresh herbs. Then, on a Saturday, I cut my tarragon, divided it into quarter-pound bunches and placed them in buckets of water in our van. My husband drove me to each restaurant on the list, where I knocked on the kitchen door, tarragon now in a large flower basket, and was greeted enthusiastically by the chefs. The chefs sniffed, caressed and tasted my tarragon. They were impressed by the freshness and wanted more. I had to make it clear that I could only produce random amounts and that they should continue to get it through their usual distributor. They appreciated my honesty and continued to buy from me when I had it available.

You could sell flowers, seedlings and many other self-produced items this way, too. Here in New England, gardeners put a table and sign on their front lawn to sell berries, flowers and excess produce to passing motorists.

Enter county fairs. A friend of mine tells me that every year her entire family enters houseplants, pies, herb vinegars, jellies, etc. in several local fairs. They win numerous ribbons and money for their entries. Check with your local extension office for dates and applications.

Write. Many newspapers, newsletters and magazines include an article on herbs in every issue. If you find writing enjoyable and are willing to learn what it takes to get things published, then you could easily start to bring in income for your efforts. You may be able to circulate the same article over and over to noncompeting markets, too. After you’ve written a number of articles, you may decide that there is a book in you, thus producing long-term income through royalties. Writing also gives you the recognition that could lead to many open doors in the future.

Flaunt your garden. That masterpiece that you have toiled over just may produce added income if you enjoy the company of others touring your garden. Display gardens are very alluring to other gardeners. Even if you have a full-time herb farm, bookshop or restaurant, a garden adds to its attractiveness. You may also be able to attract media attention and/or create other opportunities such as consulting and lecturing by opening your garden to the public and gaining visibility as an expert.

Don’t overlook related interests. Even though my primary focus became writing an herb newsletter, I also became proficient in another field, desktop publishing. Because of this I have been able to pick up freelance publishing and typesetting jobs and have been asked to teach seminars for the local computer store.

An idea-starting list such as the one Chris wrote for her gardening passion can start your imagination working. You may find that your passion leads to several undertakings, each with a satisfaction of its own. As Nobel prize winner Linus Pauling reminds us, “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.” Maintaining an ongoing idea file is a necessary means for keeping track of ideas as they come to you. Not only will such a file become a valuable personal resource, challenging yourself to add to it on a regular basis will generate fresh and innovative notions that can become the seeds of great enterprise.

There’s more where this came from.
Order Winning Ways now!


Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
~ Jane Howard

One of the major obstacles to successful self-employment is not having a circle of entrepreneurial friends. When I point that out in Making a Living Without a Job seminars, I often see participants who look doomed. Not knowing anyone who is joyfully jobless does not have to be a permanent situation. It can be a call to expand your horizons.

“Where do you meet self-bossers?” is a frequent question that I hear. A good starting place, I point out, is to be entrepreneurial yourself and then go to their natural habitats for closer contact. Here are some ways to track down those dreamers and doers so you can study their habits up close.

  • Starbucks. Yes, the ubiquitous coffeehouse is loaded with entrepreneurial energy. In fact, new businesses have been dubbed Starbucks Start-ups because so many are conceived there. It’s also a popular meeting place for home based business owners, their clients and peers. It you have good eavesdropping skills, you can learn a lot while sipping your latte.
  • Seminars. Spend an evening or an entire day in a business oriented seminar and you’re bound to make a connection—if you bother. In observing behavior in my meeting rooms, I notice that not everyone makes the effort to introduce themselves to other participants. Many people don’t even greet the person sitting next to them, unless it’s an opening exercise. What a waste of potential opportunity to connect with a kindred spirit.
    In a recent seminar of mine, a young man came up to purchase a copy of my book and I asked him what his plans were. When he told me he was on his way to Japan, I said, “You’ve got to meet Patrick (another participant). He just got back from working there for eleven years.”
    I’ve had students come back from a break who met someone in those few minutes and saw a potential joint project. This can only happen if you let people know who you are. Do talk to strangers.
  • Conventions and trade shows. As writer Alan Epstein points out, you can get a list of such
    events in your own hometown from the Chamber of Commerce of Convention Bureau. Some of these events will be entrepreneurial beehives. You can meet other attendees and talk to exhibiters. Not only can you get some valuable information, but, as Epstein illustrates, “You’ll undoubtedly come away with a greater awareness of the cutting-edge trends and developments in the business that interests you. And you’ll refresh that interest by being among people who share your enthusiasm.”
  • Associations. While many small business organizations have had a short shelf life, niche groups seem to do better. Perhaps the kind of business you’re passionate about already has a group in place.
    How do you locate such an association? You can check the Yellow Pages, watch your local paper’s meeting calendar, or contact your Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a directory. A valuable locator tool is the extensive Gale’s Encyclopedia of Associations which you’ll find in your library’s reference section. Once you’ve tracked down a potential group, see if you can attend a meeting as a guest. Groups have personalities, after all, and you may or may not feel rapport, so check them out before you join.
  • Retreats. I could go on a retreat every month. There’s nothing quite so powerful as spending several days with a small group of people who are actively engaged in building their dreams. Most importantly, the longer time frame makes it possible for participants to get to know each other and share specific ideas and suggestions that can move mountains.  Of course, if you’re self-employed, such experiences have the added benefit of being tax deductible, but that’s not the primary reason to take a retreat. As monks and mystics have long known, putting yourself in a beautiful environment can be miraculous in many different ways.
  • Field trips. Every entrepreneur should set aside time occasionally to visit other small businesses. If you plan such an excursion, try to pick a time when the business won’t be too busy so you can chat with the owner. Do this only with entrepreneurs who are excited about their ventures, however. As Sarah Ban Breathnach reminds us, “A disgruntled dreamer makes a risky mentor.”

You can also observe entrepreneurs working at flea markets, art fairs and community festivals. Be conscious of behaviors that you find magnetic—and those which you don’t.

Begin tracking and observing the habits of Genus Entrepreneurus and you’ll soon see what Jim Rohn was talking about when he said, “Formal education will make you a living. Self-education will make you a fortune.” It just takes a willingness to learn from others with an entrepreneurial spirit.