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In This Issue
-- DISCOVER THE SPIRIT IN FARAWAY PLACES
-- WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT LEARNING
-- PLACES TO CONNECT...
-- AND CONNECT...
-- THE YEAR OF THE IDEA
-- THERE'S STILL TIME IF YOU HURRY

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Eric Hoffer:

In times of change, learners inherit the earth because the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.


DISCOVER THE SPIRIT IN FARAWAY PLACES
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Venice Street Two years ago, my siblings and I rented an apartment in Venice from Carlo Pescatori, a delightful entrepreneur. Since I love finding the entrepreneurial spirit in action wherever I am, here's what I wrote about that:

When my family and I arrived at the vaporetto stop in Venice, we were greeted by our temporary landlord Carlo. He shook hands with each of us and then escorted us back to the 500-year-old building he owns which housed our apartment. The first thing I noticed about him was that he didn't actually walk: he bounced. And he smiled a lot.

The next afternoon he stopped by to make sure that things were running smoothly. "So, Carlo," I asked, "where did you learn to speak English so well?" The grin got even bigger and he told us how he'd decided to learn English when he was 16 and began his lessons by listening to Simon and Garfunkel which we found amusing. (I listen to Andrea Bocelli all the time and I haven't learned Italian.) We invited him to sit down and tell us more about this building which he was renovating. What followed was a delightful story about creative entrepreneurship.

He said he'd been a pharmacist, but when the building came into his family rather unexpectedly, he left his pharmacy to devote himself to this new enterprise. His parents occupied an apartment on the ground floor. There was another space he rented to a group of architects. Carlo lived on the top floor while the other four apartments were vacation rentals.

Redoing the building had obviously been a huge undertaking and he seemed to be enjoying it all. I tried to imagine how difficult it would be to rehab an old building in a city where everything had to be brought and removed by motorboat. It seemed daunting.

When Carlo told us that he was facing a couple of off-season months with few takers, my sister Margaret suggested he advertise on Craigslist, which he was unfamiliar with. To our delight-and his-he promptly got two bookings after posting on that popular site. If there are more charming landlords than Carlo, I have yet to meet them.

Since that trip, we've talked about how much we enjoyed our stay. And we've wondered how Carlo is doing. Imagine my surprise when I answered the phone this morning and heard a man say, "Oh, I didn't know I'd get to talk to you. This is Carlo from Venice."

He's has been receiving Joyfully Jobless News and told me he often shares the quotes with his yoga classmates. But that wasn't the reason for his call. He wanted to sign up for the upcoming Outsmarting Resistance teleclass and had some questions. I learned that Carlo's been adding other profit centers to his portfolio including one that uses Skype. "I've started a little language school," he said. His Website is Parlo Con Carlo (I talk with Carlo) and provides one-on-one tutoring.

"Could you use some more students?" I asked. He laughed and said he'd be glad to expand his tutoring. If you or someone you know wants to improve your conversational Italian, click on the link below.

Parlo Con Carlo


WHAT I'VE LEARNED ABOUT LEARNING
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When it comes to technology, I would much rather be shown how to do something than handed a manual. I learned how to knit and crochet with personal tutoring to begin with, although now I can decipher printed instructions for more advanced stitches.Even though I'm a voracious reader and gather lots of information that way, if I really want to learn how to do something, I want another human teaching me.

Several years ago, I got interested in yoga and bought a book called Yoga Made Easy thinking I'd teach myself. It was hopeless. Instead of graceful poses, I'd have to stop and start, going back to the directions before making a move. I was pretty sure this wasn't the way to run a practice. Videos worked better, since I could follow along, but I got a bit bored with the repetition.

On a long weekend visit to my family in California recently, my sister Margaret and I went to a yoga class taught by my niece Gretchen. Not only did I discover that Gretchen is a terrific teacher, I learned something that I thought I already knew. I discovered that there's a power and focus that happens in a room with others who are engaged in the same learning that's completely different from studying on your own.

With information a mouse click away, I think it's easy to forget that. The other day I had an inquiry from someone in the UK asking if the material in my Making a Living Without a Job seminar that's coming up in London was the same as in the book. I explained that while the basic principles are the same in both, being in a seminar adds a dimension that isn't present in a book. There are advantages in moving through a book at your own pace, of course, but connecting with others on the same path of inquiry adds a great deal to the learning.

Two weeks ago, Don Woodruff came to Establish Yourself as an Expert here in Las Vegas. He'd done that seminar several years ago when I taught at his program in Rochester, NY. Since then, Don's become a traveling adult ed teacher himself. By the time I got home from the class, Don had left a message on my answering machine raving about how much he'd learned. It was a great reminder that we can repeat a learning experience and it will be entirely different the second time around...not because the class changed, but because we've changed.


PLACES TO CONNECT...
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Since I've spent the past six weeks or so, working feverishly to finish the new Making a Living Without a Job manuscript, I can't wait to get back into some seminar rooms and share ideas and information with real live people. Best of all, these events are all priced to please thrifty entrepreneurs who are also lifelong learners. Here's where I'll be in the coming weeks.

Next Saturday, February 28, I'm back in San Antonio TX where we'll be exploring Making a Living Without a Job in the morning and Establish Yourself as an Expert in the afternoon. If you're in the neighborhood, love to see you there. For more details, use the link below.

San Antonio Classes


AND CONNECT...
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When I was on my sabbatical ten years ago, I met an artist in London who urged me to contact Alternatives in Piccadilly. I paid no attention to her at the time, but a couple of years later discovered that this is one of the liveliest venues in the city. I'm thrilled to be returning with two of my favorites, both all-day programs (programmes?).

On Sunday, March 29, Making a Living Without a Job, is happening followed by What Would an Entrepreneur Do? on Saturday, April 4. You can find out all about both programs by clicking on the link below.

Alternatives London


THE YEAR OF THE IDEA
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You may have notice a trend here. In January, my Buon Viaggio blog was the scene of a month-long Ideafest. Last week, Alice Barry and I debuted a new Better Than Brainstorming teleclass. And Alice and I have more plans to help lower the population of neglected and abused ideas.

A two-day, ultimate ideafest is taking place in Dodge City, KS on May 15 & 16. We're calling it Follow Through Camp and I'll be telling you more about it soon. However, if you're curious you can get a sneak peek by visiting Special Events.

Follow Through Camp


THERE'S STILL TIME IF YOU HURRY
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The last of my February teleclasses are coming up next week. If you hurry, you can still join me for Outsmarting Resistance and I Hate Marketing. If you can't attend in person, you can register and receive the audio download.

February Teleclasses


Buona fortuna,

Barbara


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