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In This Issue

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Richard Branson:

If you opt for a safe life, you'll never know what it's like to win.

Note: This first appeared on my Buon Viaggio blog last February. I am happy to report that Zoe's business has continued to flourish at a pace she can handle.

I was busily working on my book revisions when a call came in on Skype from my daughter Jennie asking me to settle a mother/daughter dispute. It seems that Jennie had told 4 1/2 year old Zoe that when she was a little girl she'd made books and went door to door selling them to our neighbors. Zoe loved the idea and promptly recognized a hot business opportunity right on her street. It was also a natural for this pint-sized artist. Her mother wasn't comfortable with the idea, being new in the neighborhood and all.

I listened to both sides (although Zoe was more whiny than persuasive) of the story, then suggested to Zoe that she start out by selling to people she already knew. "I'd buy one," I volunteered. "How much is it?"

Zoe perked right up. "Zero dollars," she said.

I suggested she rethink her pricing. We finally decided that $3.00 would be the right price. "I bet Margaret and Jim and Becky would each buy one, too," I said, committing my siblings who didn't even know about this fabulous product we were envisioning.

"Do you take checks or credit cards, " I asked. "Or is this a cash only business?" Jennie chimed in and said they weren't set up for credit card sales and Zoe hadn't opened a business checking account yet. I said that was not a problem and I'd tuck $3.00 into Zoe's Valentine.

Then Jennie asked, "Would you like to have it mailed or would you prefer to wait and pick it up when you visit us in a couple of weeks?" I said I'd be happy to wait. "Oh, Zoe," she said, "she's saving you shipping and handling." Zoe broke into a big grin as if I'd done her a huge favor. She went off to begin production.

So here's what Zoe learned that timid people ten times her age haven't figured out yet. In order to start a business, all you need to do is: 1) find a product/service you love 2) then find your first customer.

Now you're in business. Period. Begun. Open. Then just do it again. And again. And again.

Zoe's too young for teleclasses, of course, (and she gets free consulting from Grandma Vegas whenever she wants) but you're probably just the right age. Want to learn how to generate a steady stream of good ideas? Join Alice Barry and me for Better Than Brainstorming on Wednesday, June 24, 8:30-10:00 PM Eastern. 

Sometimes all it takes to turn a good idea into a great one is to get a different perspective (see Zoe story for example). Or, perhaps, you'd like to have suggestions about how to keep fresh ideas flowing. You'll get a host of idea-generating tools in this lively teleclass.

The following week, I'm on my own for Outsmarting Resistance (which Zoe wouldn't need yet) on Monday, June 29 at 8:30--10 PM Eastern. As I've repeatedly said, we can't eliminate resistance, but we can work around it. This teleclass will show you how.

Sign up for both and you can take a nifty discount. And, of course everyone who registers will receive the audio download for the teleclass whether they attend in person or not.

Joyfully Jobless Teleclasses

Since I had long layovers on my trip to Madison last week, I decided I needed a compelling story as my companion. At the last minute, I selected to reread a book I first enjoyed several years ago. I picked Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, which is a recollection of his time in Paris before he became rich and famous.

Although Hemingway earned his reputation for fiction, his storytelling skills are put to great use in this memoir. I also was struck by his attitude about creating a rich life that had nothing to do with finances. Consider this passage:

To have come on all this new world of writing, with time to read in a city like Paris where there was a way of living well and working, no matter how poor you were, was like having a great treasure given to you. You could take your treasure with you when you traveled too.

You don't have to be an aspiring writer to be inspired by the story of a man of endless curiosity exploring his adopted home. If you are an aspiring writer, you'll learn a great deal about the importance of paying attention to the world around you.

We're still working on the final details, but if you want to be one of the small group attending the next Follow Through Camp, our tentative dates are September 11 & 12 in the Minneapolis area. Stay tuned for the official announcement coming soon.

Buona fortuna,


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