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February 3, 2010
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Marketing is essentially a matter of making friends. Lots of friends. ~ John Kremer
In This Issue
The Little Big Things
More Big Little Things
Love a Good Mystery?
Hey Sacramento
A Final Thought
Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
We'll be talking about Good Investments on the blog all month. Join the conversation! 
Barbara in VeniceLast week Sandy Dempsey and I flew to Austin to check out venues for an exciting event we're planning for next  fall. At the top of our list was a conference center, a sister to one I'd used for Follow Through Camp in Minnesota. We had high expectations that it would be a fit, but as we drove farther and farther out of the city we began to wonder if it was too far off the beaten path.
It was raining when we arrived, so Sandy deposited me at the front door while she went to park the car. I was startled when I walked up and saw a woman and two men standing like sentries outside the entrance. "Barbara?" the woman smiled. She introduced herself and her two companions. Then I noticed that one of the men was holding a copy of Making a Living Without a Job. "Would you autograph this for us?" he asked.
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Obviously, these folks were trying to understand what kind of group they might be hosting. The two men excused themselves and Angie took us on a tour of the property, which is gorgeous. Overlooking Lake Travis, there were outdoor spaces for gathering, pools, a spa, and beautiful sleeping rooms, in addition to all manner of meeting rooms. As if that wasn't enough to convince us, I was sold when we were introduced to a woman whose official title is Director of Fun.
A large group of Avon directors had been meeting there all week so Angie arranged for us to talk to one of the group and get their impression of the facility. I was noticing that as impressive as the center is, I was more impressed by all the little thoughtful touches.
Then it was time for lunch. Steven met us in the dining room and told us a bit about the philosophy of the company. Their aim, he explained, was to provide three things: nourishment, connectivity, and community.  Their Web site explains the Community piece this way: (Great Guest Experience, Green Initiatives and Local Community Outreach) - Community  features well-trained, intuitive, passionate, committed associates, and socially responsible, wide-ranging green initiatives.
Intuitive? Passionate? Sounds like our tribe.
When we left the conference center, we checked out a Holiday Inn. The hotel meeting coordinator was pleasant, the space acceptable. When she asked if we'd like to see a sleeping room, I declined. I've seen enough hotel rooms to know that there's not much to see.
Since this visit, I haven't  stopped thinking about the businesses, big and small, that I love most and I realize that the ones that win me over pay attention to the little things. It's the way  the folks at Lands End answer the phone before you even think the call has gone through. It's the silly cartoons and quotes on the back side of the receipts at Trader Joes. It's the speedy reply to an e-mail request, it's giving a public compliment on Facebook. It's the little stuff.
If you're looking for a trademark for your business, if you want to stand out, try focusing on the Big Little Things for the rest of the year. It could be the best investment you make.
I know, I know. Some of you think I've lost my senses raving about the joys of Twitter, but I'm standing tough. If you do it right, it's a constant treasure hunt. Here's just a tiny sampling of the big little things I uncovered  yesterday  thanks to my Tweeting connections. Give yourself a few minutes to explore them for yourself.
@lizstrauss Hard to find something wrong about this IKEA ad.
@AWAI_Online Win a $100 AMEX Gift Card - AWAI Writing Challenge: What's Your Perfect Day?
Need help tuning into your inner voice? @jenlouden and 12 other world famous teachers can help.   
@KarenKAcevedo Our homes have to return to the point that they are units of production, rather than strictly units of consumption.
This is spot on. Thank you both. RT @IttyBiz The insanely brilliant @jenlouden guest posts on IttyBiz.
Love this. RT @BarbaraSher Found the letter explaining why u can't explain what happens at a WriteSpeak Retreat :-)
The next time that I'm asked, "What's the best way to become an entrepreneur?" I'm going to suggest that anyone so inclined starts seeing the world as a detective would. After all, the one big trait shared by all investigators is also shared by the most lively businessowners.
Winning WaysThe latest issue of Winning Ways newsletter hit the mail today and it's one of my all-time favorites since the theme is sleuthing for fun and profit.  After all, Winning Ways is the little newsletter that could. Heading into its twenty-fourth year of publication, it is intentionally a bit old-fashioned  in appearance, but  wildly contemporary in content.
Here's what long time subscriber Karen Backland has to say:
Today, and any day, when I read or reread one of your newsletters, I send off a balloon of appreciation for you!
The suggestion in the e-newsletter today about filing to a three-ring binder made me chuckle. I have one that goes way back and how I enjoy pulling it out from time to time to read the articles. They always seem fresh. I haven't stayed with the filing system in recent years, so the newsletters float around from pile to pile and "surprise" me when I have a session sorting my papers. Isn't it interesting that the issue that floats to the surface is the one I really need to see just then?!
Thanks for all you have given us. You are always filled with joy in what you do and you convey that joy  very sincerely in print, in person, and through the e-net. I am particularly thankful that you have kept the printed newsletter. Knowing something tantalizing is coming in the land mail is still thrilling!

Despite numerous postal increases and escalating printing costs, the subscription price has held firm for six years. Although I'm considering a price increase, I decided I'd like to see some new folks sharing the fun. So here's the offer:
One Week Only Sale for New Subscribers. Get your very own bimonthly subscription to Winning Ways newsletter for just $26. That's a whopping $10 discount. Sale ends at midnight on Wednesday, February 10. 
It's been a couple of years since I visited your fair city, but I'll be back at the Learning Exchange on February 19 & 20 with Establish Yourself as an Expert, Making a Living Without a Job and Cheap Tricks: Marketing on a Shoestring. Love to see you there. 
Last week, Time magazine joined the media frenzy  that accompanied the debut of Apple's iPad. I loved this observation about Steve Jobs: "It wasn't enough to launch the personal computer era, reinvent the music business and, with the iPhone, create the first truly mobile computer.  The man is a veritable Innovator Bunny: while competitors scramble to follow him, Jobs races ahead to invent the next thing."
Buona fortuna,
Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter

Winning Ways | PO Box 800971, Valencia, CA 91380