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February 24, 2010
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Sometimes having more fun and being happier comes from looking for each in crazy, new places; instead of waiting for them to come from where you've found them before or where others are now finding them.
~ Notes from the Universe
In This Issue
Four Success Habits of Joyfully Jobless Activists
Activists Worth Knowing
Call to Participate
Hello, San Antonio
Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
We'll be talking about Good Investments on the blog all month. Join the conversation! 
Colorful BarbaraThere was an audible gasp in the Prosperous Author workshop when speaker Jerry Gillies told the audience, "Buy one hardcover book every  week. Support the industry you want to be part of."
Seems to me that the skeptics missed the point. What Gillies suggested was quite elementary: go beyond lip service and actively support something that matters. If you're an author, don't you want to see a lively publishing industry? If you're a self-employed person of a different sort, it makes sense to support others who have taken this alternative route.
When enough people get involved, it can turn into a movement. Consider the growing number of folks who think of themselves as locavores. This interest in building self-reliant food economies by consuming things that are locally grown keeps spreading because individuals took up the cause.
What are the success habits of entrepreneurial activists? Here's my short list.

Instigate. The late singer John Denver once confessed, "I was always waiting around for somebody to do something about the world. Then I realized nobody is coming to save me. It starts with me, where I am."

Activists don't wait around for opportunity to show up on their doorstep. They look for what's missing and get busy filling the gap.

Adopt a protégé, organize a meet-up, share what you've learned about social media with a local group of businessowners. Keep asking yourself my favorite question, "How can I make it better?" and then follow the answers that you get.
Circulate. Your entrepreneurial success will expand more rapidly and easily if you actively support other joyfully jobless folks. Sometimes that means spending more to purchase a book from your independent bookseller or a tool from the neighborhood hardware store.
I like the perspective on this from Veronique Vienne. She writes, "The goods we get in exchange for what we pay are only a small portion of the full value of a transaction. A chance to put money back into the economy and give it to deserving people or causes is in fact an important part of the equation....Can you remember how you felt the last time you bought overpriced lemonade and cookies from a seven-year-old sidewalk vendor? Or how proud you were when you got a painting directly from an unknown artist and paid fair market value for it? Or how good it felt to buy a favorite niece a quaint dollhouse made of wood by a local craftsman instead of a plastic one with a clock tower and three-door garage?"
Collaborate. Business partnerships have a success rate lower than marriage, which doesn't bode well for permanent relationships. If Lennon and McCartney couldn't make it work, we need to rethink that model. (And if you have a fabulous business partnership, bless you.)
Collaboration, on the other hand, can be a terrific alternative that generates fresh thinking, new ideas and synergy. It reminds me of the first trip my daughter took to Europe when she was in college. Although the adventure was originally supposed to include several friends, the others dropped out so Jennie set off by herself. However, she met  solo travelers along the way and would sometimes spend a few days on the road with her new companions. Then they'd go their separate ways.
This works just as well in business.
Celebrate. Yesterday my granddaughter went off to kindergarten dressed as a cheerleader. What  was the occasion? Happily,  Zoe has a teacher who loves to catch his students doing something right. When that happens, he adds marbles to a big jar. Once the jar is full, the class gets a special treat. The first time around it was Pajama Day and everyone arrived in their night clothes. This time is was Costume Day.
When you're self-employed, sometimes the victories are known only to you. That doesn't make them any less important. Find ways to celebrate even small advancements. Fill up your own marble jar.

Scott Stratten is known to his fans and friends as Unmarketing. He's built an enthusiastic following on Twitter and last week shared his journey on his blog. Scott's article My ROI on Twitter is worth a look.
Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand YearsBecky McCray is an Oklahoma entrepreneur who understands multiple profit centers. She also understands how important it is to help and support other small town business owners. One of her tools for doing that is Small Biz Survival where she posts articles and resources. She also is a big instigator of events and gatherings.
It's been a while since I've been as excited about a book as I am about Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. If you need a nudge to get up off the couch and into action, Miller's story might be just what the doctor ordered. As the book jacket explains, "This story chronicles Miller's rare opportunity to edit his life into a great story, to reinvent himself so nobody shrugs their shoulders when the credits roll."
SedonaWhen I was growing up and thinking about my  career choices, I have no recollection of anyone suggesting that meaning and purpose be part of the criteria. When I saw this editorial in the Ventura County Star, I got excited. It begin this way:

What if students went to college to change the world?
Ideally, all do. But what if there was a specific course of study whose purpose was to promote social responsibility?
Those what-ifs are becoming reality at California State University Channel Islands near Camarillo, which is launching a social business institute. The effort gains momentum this week as Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus returns to the campus to help launch it.
As it turns out, that search for meaningful work that makes a positive impact in the world is a huge motivator of the Joyfully Jobless. If you are not ready to return to college to attend the social business institute, consider a shorter course that can activate your inner activist.
Join Terri Belford, Alice Barry and me for our upcoming Inspired Livelihood event in Sedona, Arizona on April 16 & 17. With this exquisite community as our backdrop, we'll explore what it means to create a business that is both profitable and meaningful.
Since this is a highly interactive and personalized event, enrollment is limited (and we're halfway sold out). Our Early Bird enrollment ends on March 15, but if you want to attend, I suggest you don't wait until the last moment or there may not be space available. In other words, Act Now!
Inspired Livelihood
I can honestly say I've never had a bad time in San Antonio so I am looking forward to another fine visit.  I'll be back on Saturday, March 13 for two seminars: Making a Living Without a Job and Establish Yourself as an Expert.

You can find out more by visiting Northside Independent School District or call 210-397-8100.
Buona fortuna,
Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter

Winning Ways | PO Box 800971, Valencia, CA 91380