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In This Issue

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Helen Keller:

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do children as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.

Barbara with the Bulls Shortly after seeing a headline that read, "Co-worker couples lose both incomes at once as layoffs mount," I called my sister Nancy in Rome. She told me a story about some financial difficulties her friends in Greece were experiencing which led to us talking about the global reach of this recession. Then she said, "You're going to come through this better than anyone."

I'm pretty sure she's right about that and it isn't because I'm extraordinarily clever. I flashed back to something Gregg Levoy wrote years ago in This Business of Writing and immediately knew I wanted to pass it along to you. I really hope you'll pay attention to what he says:

Security is an inside job (and the more belongings you have, the more you become a curator of your possessions rather than an owner.) This applies directly to anyone with a hankering to be self-employed and who worries about the lack of security that accompanies it.

As a freelance writer, I know I can always get work. I can live close to the edge if I have to and I can never lose my job. I knew none of those things when I was employed. And the bouts of insecurity I have weathered as a freelancer, none has rivaled the shock of losing a job. "The insecure way is the secure way," Joseph Campbell said. Or as a friend once told me, "It wasn't the poor people who were throwing themselves out of windows during the Depression."

In the final tally, your best hedges against disappearing into an economic Bermuda Triangle are your own ingenuity and adaptability, traits that self-employed people learn by necessity.

The craving for security has probably done more harm to progress than any other single factor. Everything about it is contrary to the central fact of life: that it changes. Security is about being safe and stable, free from worry, isolated and fortified. But life does not promise that kind of security; only death does. Life is about flux. By trying to protect yourself from change, you isolate yourself from living.

The more desperate you are to be secure, the less inclined you will be to get grass stains on your jeans, to spend money without guarantee of return, to take on risky and exciting projects, even to pursue your dreams at all. Although you certainly want to set aside money for a time in your life when you may not want to work so hard, if you have to do work you detest to make that money, then you are merely saving for a rotten future.

This week, President Obama defended his economic stimulus plan by repeatedly saying, "We are not going to reuse failed economic policies." Seems like good advice for individuals, too. Remember that old saying that insanity is doing things the same way and expecting to get different results?

Job security is an oxymoron that, sadly, too many people cling to without noticing that the insecure are busily and calmly finding creative ways to deal with changing times. That looks like sanity to me.

Since the new year rolled around, I've been racing to create more tools to help anyone who is determined to come through this chaotic time with grace and serenity. Information and ideas are powerful confidence-builders, as well as business builders.

What better way to warm up a chilly winter evening than to curl up and participate in a lively teleclass? I know it always warms me up to share tools that I've used successfully to create my Joyfully Jobless life.

For starters, there's a brand new class called Better Than Brainstorming which is, in fact, the brainchild of Alice Barry. It's impossible to spend even a short time with Alice and not come away with a new idea-or a dozen. Alice and I will show you how to generate bigger and better ideas AND what to do with them once you've got them. Better Than Brainstorming is happening on Wednesday, February 18, 8-9:30 PM Eastern, 5-6:30 PM Pacific.

That teleclass will be followed by the ever-popular Outsmarting Resistance on Monday, February 23 (same times) and I Hate Marketing on Wednesday, February 25. Sign up for two or three, and you'll get a nice discount.

Note: Invariably, some people wait until the last moment to enroll in a teleclass. This can cause a problem in that I many not receive notification immediately and sometimes the class has passed before an order comes through. Last minute enrollments also don't have the advantage of the pre-teleclass info which sometimes asks for you do some exploring in order to be ready for the class. So the earlier you commit, the better.

Joyfully Jobless Teleclasses

As I was working on this mailing, I got a message from Michele Hill which echoed the piece by Gregg Levoy. Here's her update:

Downsized for the third time this past Thursday has provided yet another opportunity to do those things that I love. Since CA is broke and not currently paying unemployment, the child in me is a little scared but the stronger entrepreneur in me is terribly excited about the possibilities before me.

I have already tapped into people in my network for projects as a Personal Assistant, Personal Chef, and of course my own venture, Winning Proof. The 3 r's define me: resilient, resourceful, and rewarded.

Time to re-visit the $100 Hour Idea Starters. Thanks to you, Barbara, I already have a running start.

Two days before I got layed-off, a good friend told me that my way of thinking had outgrown having a j-o-b. It was an ah-ha moment that I wholeheartedly agreed with. Now, it shall be put to the test which I have no doubt I will pass - bad economy or not.

Woo Hoo!!!!!

I predict that Winning Proof is going to be more than the name Michelle gave her business; it's going to be a description of the next chapter of her life.

Michelle Hill's Winning Proof

The single greatest power in the world today is the power to change...The most recklessly irresponsible thing we could do in the future would be to go on exactly as we have in the past. ~ Karl W. Deutsch

We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden. ~ Goethe

Buona fortuna,


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