May 10, 2012 
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Dear Lisa,
We need to look in the mirror and see the opportunities that are in us. While the job market may be challenged, we have more opportunities than ever before to find our own freedom. It is time to look in the mirror and be the entrepreneur of yourself.  It is time. Your time.
~ Hugh MacLeod via Gapingvoid
In This Issue
Taking Inventory
7 Ways to Build a Stronger Portfolio
What's an Un-Job Fair?
Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
The theme this month is
Postcard From Barbara

The wonderful @joblessmuse giving a brilliant free range sermon at #scannersnight

Any Sunday that finds me at home will also find me taking on the Sunday crossword puzzle. To my surprise, I discovered something while doing the puzzle that also works in my business. 


When a puzzle had me stumped, I used to sit and stare at it trying to figure out the correct solution. What I found was that if I get stumped, put the puzzle down, go do something else and return, the missing answer is often ridiculously obvious.


As I was returning from my delightful trip to the UK in April, I decided to designate May as Build a Better Business Month. After being away for a bit, it seemed a perfect time to take a look at what I am doing, what I want to do more of and what I want to eliminate.


Many of these changes won't take place overnight, but a few of them are already in motion. I plan to continue (because I enjoy it so much) having regular Idea Safaris. 

I'll be announcing the upcoming one in another week or so.


And I certainly intend to keep passing along information and inspiration via Winning Ways newsletter. Even though I've been publishing for 26 years, gathering good ideas and resources to pass along to my subscribers is still one of my favorite activities. 


If you'd like an ongoing travel guide for your Joyfully Jobless Journey, become a new subscriber before the end of May and you'll receive the March/April issue as a bonus.


Winning Ways



We have Charles Handy to thank for popularizing the idea of the portfolio career.

It was a concept Handy first adopted in his own life. He explains, "I created what I call 'a portfolio life', setting aside 100 days a year for making money, 100 days for writing, 50 days for what I consider good works, and 100 days for spending time with my wife.


 "I mark these days out in my diary. When people phone and ask me to do something, I can then say, 'I'm terribly sorry, that's my day  with my wife'. 


 "It is a freeing way of life. A 100 days a year for me is enough for making money, there is no point in making more; and I find I do as much work in 100 days as I used to in a year."


Of course, you know that I'm a big advocate of this approach. The single lifetime career is over. Thank goodness. 


When creating your personal portfolio, here are some things to keep in mind.


  • Give new ideas a fighting chance.  A smart entrepreneur starts quickly, abandons slowly. I like Phil Laut's suggestion that you make a commitment to stick with each new project until it has earned at least $100. Then evaluate whether or not to continue. 
  • Assemble different sizes. In my Making a Living Without a Job seminars I talk about the Mall Model.  Anyone who's visited a large shopping mall knows that the popular building format has been one that includes a large anchor store on each corner with smaller shops of varying sizes in between.  Your portfolio can mirror that notion with several major income sources and a variety of smaller ones. Not only does this approach expand your skills, it also is a proven way to eliminate boredom.

    Bonus idea: create your own Mall Model Vision Map and hang it in your world headquarters. Keep filling up the spaces between your anchor clients with as many smaller incomes sources as you can handle.   
  • Keep challenging your imagination. Alice Barry introduced me to a fun website that had my mind racing as I thought of new possibilities.  In fact, I've come to think of it as a gym for your entrepreneurial spirit.

    If you haven't participated, I urge you to check out , a site that bills  itself as  the place for people to share things they're willing to do for $5. Pay Fiverr a visit and challenge yourself to create a $5 offer.                         
  • Trap ideas as they arrive. "I'll never forget that idea is the Devil's whisper," warned Richard Bach. I suspect you've heard the whisper, as have I. 

    One of the easiest ways to avoid losing a good idea is to have a physical place to store them as they come. It could be a box that holds articles and lists of interesting possibilities or a computer file.

    Building an inventory of options not only makes financial sense, it also gives you a place to search on the mornings you get up and aren't sure how you want to spend your day.
  • Play the Ubiquity Game. While some folks are busy ranting about social media as a big waste of time, others are quietly tweeting and friending their way to bigger and better businesses. 

    Show up. Participate. Connect. Get busy building relationships with kindred spirits near and far.

    Challenge yourself to find new and different ways to get the word out about who you are and what you have to offer.       
  • Pay attention to yearly cycles. Some of your profit centers will operate all year long, but others will have a season when they're most robust. Figuring out those cycles makes planning your time more effective.                      
    For example, I discovered that adult ed classes did really well in southern cities in July and August, but slowed to a crawl in places like Minnesota where summertime was devoted to outdoor activities. Once I saw the pattern, I scheduled my seminars to take advantage of those cycles. 
  • Take inventory regularly.  Review your offerings and eliminate those you've outgrown or become bored with to create space for new ideas. After all, running a portfolio business is about creating something that reflects who you are now-not who you were then.    

And remember this bit of advice from Charles Handy:  "If somebody asks what you do, and you can reply in one sentence, you're a failure. You should need half an hour." 


Back in 2008 when I was living in Las Vegas, the local news frequently reported on the latest Job Fair. These events, which were popping up weekly, often drew huge crowds of job seekers, although few openings were available.


After watching these stories for several weeks I began to wonder why nobody was talking about alternatives to getting a job. In fact, it seemed to me that the employment situation was so dreadful that job  fairs were feeding discouragement, not inspiration.


That's when I got the idea for the Un-Job Fair. Happily, the folks at Colorado Free University liked the idea as much as I did and the first such event was held in 2010. Drawing on their faculty, they put together a day of workshops which took some of the mystery out of embarking on the Joyfully Jobless Journey.


If you're in the Denver area (or want to get yourself there) join us for the third Un-Job Fair coming up on Saturday, June 2. I'll be there, along with Steve Veltcamp (a goldmine of self-employment ideas) and Tama Kieves, the author of the wonderful This Time I Dance and the upcoming Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding at Your Life's Work!


After participating in a day of lively workshops, you can participate in my favorite part of the day-the opportunity to ask questions of a panel of speakers. Best of all, you can learn from these seasoned self-bossers for less than $100. In fact, the entire event is a mere $66 (and even less if you're CFU Member).


 Un-Job Fair

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.
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