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April 1, 2015
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Dear Barbara,

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. 


~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In This Issue
Oh, the People You'll Meet
Expand Your Horizons and Meet Interesting Strangers
People Say the Nicest Things
Barbara Online
Upcoming Events


Las Vegas, NV

April 10 & 11

Edmonton, AB

April 24 & 25 


Sacramento, CA

May 1 & 2



Cirque statue

On my recent trip to Seattle, my travels were enlivened by conversations with strangers along the way. That got me thinking about a frequent traveler I know who confessed that he finds it difficult to talk to strangers and wondered how I do it.


Since my Do Talk To Strangers Policy is a vital component of traveling, I started to consider how I actually go about it. 


Some of it it purely intuitive. For instance, when a stranger plunks down next to me on an airplane, I take a breath, take a look and see if I'm moved to start a conversation. Most of the time I get it right. Once in a while, I know from my opening question that my seatmate is inclined toward solitude and I stop there.


Whether you're standing in line at the post office or waiting for a train, here are a few ideas to help you uncover the fascinating folks around you.


  • Make it a game. Decide ahead of time that you want to find an interesting story or inspiring acquaintance. I have been on long flights that seemed to pass in a moment because I had landed next to a great storyteller. 
  • Don't wait. Instigate. Be willing to be the one who takes the first step. A griendly smile is a good way to test the water. If it's not reciprocated, move on.
  • Look for common ground. I often open a conversation with a compliment or observation about something the stranger is wearing or carrying or something that's happening around us. 

    When I hopped into a London taxi that was covered in promotional material for the Rolling Stones, I suspected I had a fascinating chat ahead of me. And I did.

    I learned that my driver was the only cab in the city promoting the Stones, that he earned an 750 a year by putting advertising on his cab. He was hoping he might get tickets to a Stones concert as a bonus.
  • Be politely curious. Our reluctance to talk to strangers may be caused by thinking it's about us. Wrong. It's about them. Yes, you might be subjected to a tedious story now and then, but it's worth the risk.

One of my most memorable conversations was with a young man who was a linguistic professor who spoke seven languages. When I asked him the best way to learn a new language his replay was, "Be a kid." I laughed and asked, "What's the second best?"


Those are the moments that keep me talking to strangers who unknowingly enrich my life. Like with everything else, it gets easier with practice.



The MuseRight from the start, my seminars brought curious participants who were ready to create the next chapter in their lives. Best of all, showing up at a Joyfully Jobless Weekend is an opportunity for explorers to find one another. (Misanthropes don't usually join us.)


If you're ready for such an experience, here's where you can find us in the next several weeks investigating Making a Living Without a Job, Establish Yourself as an Expert and I Hate Marketing


Las Vegas, NV  April 10 & 11 

Edmonton, Alb, April 24 & 25

Sacramento, CA May 1 & 2 (rescheduled due to illness)



After reading your book, many years ago I drove up from Huntington Beach to take your class in Sacramento. I bought a cassette recorder at a store in Sacramento to record all the thoughts I had on that drive home..an 8 hour drive and 2 tapes' worth of ideas!

                                                                                ~ Kimber Smith-Fidler


Barbara literally wrote the book on joys and challenges of the entrepreneurial lifestyle: Making a Living Without a Job. She's been living the life herself for several decades, and never ceases to be an inspiration to those interested in doing the same.

~ Colorado Free University


It was a really great group you drew together. What a wonderful opportunity; and a thoroughly enjoyable, stimulating and growth-provoking time.

~ Diana Lynn



Buon Viaggio,


Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter 


P.S. On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News.