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In This Issue
-- BACK TO BASICS
-- GET FOCUSED, BE THRIFTY
-- 5 GREAT PERKS FOR SELF-BOSSERS
-- IDEAS EVERYWHERE

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Rob Gilbert:

Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success.


BACK TO BASICS
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Barbara Old Hotel Years ago, my mentor Bob Conklin wrote an essay that became a guideline for every project I've tackled. Bob wrote, "I would like to share a method which I have observed to be incredibly effective for becoming wealthy, achieving great purposes or making your life count in service to others.

"It works with such absolute certainty that, if understood and practiced with tireless consistency, success in any worthwhile endeavor can be guaranteed. It is so simple (all great ideas are) that you can put it to work immediately. Like most profound truths, you may already know it, have seen its dramatic impact. The formula consists of only two words: Find Five!

"If you would launch a new business, sell products, expand a noble purpose, achieve financial independence, found a religion or change an institution, then, first, 'Find Five!' Find five people who are dedicated to the same objectives as you. Then give them all you have of your time, effort, talents and knowledge. You have succeeded the moment you become committed to that principle."

There's a character in Nick Hornby's delightful novel High Fidelity who constantly challenges his friends to create on-the-spot Top Five Lists. "Name your top five Dustin Hoffman movies," he demands. The story is peppered with Top Five Lists covering all sorts of pop culture topics. It's not a bad exercise.

Even before I read Bob Conklin's article, I had noticed that the number five showed up often in my life, almost as a pattern. Besides being the oldest of five children, I also could see that many things in my life ran in five year cycles. Later, when I began experimenting with ideas about setting goals, I started breaking down my year-long aims into 90-Day Projects. Again, the number five seemed to be operating. It was an easy number to work with and I repeatedly used it in setting goals.

You may have a different favorite number that repeats itself in your life. Use whatever number you like to help you focus. Start by incorporating it into your lifetime goal list. Here are some examples:

* Travel to five continents

* Create five strong and dependable profit centers

* Create five experimental profit centers


* Have five causes that I support financially

* Discover five pastimes that I'm passionate about

* Meet regularly with five entrepreneurial friends

* Coach five protégés

Assigning a number to a project can help you focus and give you a finish line. Numbers work equally well for subtracting things from your life that you no longer want. Assigning a number to a necessary, but not necessarily pleasant, task can break through procrastination and get positive momentum going.


GET FOCUSED, BE THRIFTY
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While Bob Conklin introduced me to the world of personal growth and development, another big influence in my early days of being joyfully jobless was Bernice Fitz-Gibbon. Fitz, as she was known to her friends, grew up on a farm near Waunakee, WI and went on to revolutionize department store advertising in New York. In her brilliant autobiography, Macy's, Gimbles and Me, she says, "Thrift was thrust upon me."

As I quickly learned, starting my first business on a very thin shoestring, thrift was thrust upon me, too. Fortunately, I hadn't brought along spendthrift behavior that is common with corporate escapee who have been lulled into unconscious spending thanks to their expense accounts.

What I didn't realize, was that learning to be thrifty in building a business was the gateway to expanded creative thinking. If you're ready to use your imagination more and your pocketbook less, join me for How to be a Thrifty Entrepreneur Without Being a Cheapskate, my fun teleclass that's coming up on Thursday, January 8. Or take advantage of my thrifty discount and sign up for two or more teleclasses and get some practical tools for getting your year off to a roaring start.

If you can't make the live teleclass, you can still enroll and receive the audio download of the class.

Joyfully Jobless Teleclasses


5 GREAT PERKS FOR SELF-BOSSERS
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I don't use the word "should" too often, but here are five things you really should consider giving yourself:

A massage therapist who makes house calls. Having your massage at home eliminates the stress of driving when it's over and saves you time, too. Besides that, it's a little bit of luxury to have your own in-home therapist. A friend of mine schedules hers late in the evening and can count on an especially good night's sleep to follow.

A medical savings account. Although they've been around for a while, MSAs have not been well publicized, but if you're self-employed you'll want to find one for yourself (unless you live in a more civilized place where health insurance isn't an issue). Essentially, an MSA allows you to put money into a special account to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. This money is not taxed, however. One carrier that offers medical savings accounts is Blue Cross.

A techie friend who knows more than you do. To be honest, almost all my friends know more than I do about technology. Lisa Tarrant and Peter Vogt have patiently coaxed me into learning new things. And on a dreadful afternoon when I thought I had erased my hard drive, Peter dropped everything and came to my office to restore order. Everyone needs such a willing friend.

An accountant who understands small business. It might seem sexy to hire a large accounting firm (although big firms aren't as prestigious since the Enron scandal) but don't do it if you're a one-person business. People trained to handle corporate affairs won't understand what you're up to. So find an accountant who works from home or from a very small office--one who is self-employed.

A diary. Journals are great for exploring thoughts and ideas, but a diary is a factual running record of your life. If you can find an old-fashioned five-year diary and write in it faithfully, you'll have an ongoing account of your growth. As you jot down the events of your day, it's fun to look back at the same date a year or two ago to see what you were doing. I just began my eighth year of keeping a diary and wish I had started sooner.


IDEAS EVERYWHERE
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Add some creative energy to your 2009 plans by stopping by my Buon Viaggio blog every day in January to see what's happening at the Ideafest! Business ideas, resources, tips on entrepreneurial thinking, as well as ideas from our readers will give your efforts a positive boost.

Joyfully Jobless Ideafest


Buona fortuna,

Barbara


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