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In This Issue

As you read this issue, think about these insightful words from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

Barbara Old Hotel When people are unaccustomed to doing something, such as traveling, they're unaware of customs and procedures which are second nature to those who are experienced. Even the casual observer would notice that amateurs behave differently. It's not surprising, then, to see new business owners behave in ways that are inappropriate, but that doesn't excuse such conduct. Behaving badly will not move you toward success and will not make your journey a pleasant one. If you're taking on the role of entrepreneur, here are some pitfalls to avoid no matter what stage of development your business is in.

Never complain. And especially do not complain to your customers. A friend was checking in for a flight and was told that it had been canceled. "Could you put him on a different carrier?" I asked. The gate agent snarled at me and said that was impossible, then added, "We've been working without a contract for two years." Not only was that none of my business, it had nothing to do with the situation. If business is slow or you have unsolved problems, chose carefully with whom you will discuss these circumstances.

Never do your accounting in public. I thought confusing net worth with self worth had gone out with the last century. I was wrong. The Internet is littered with folks who rave about their seven figure incomes. At the other end are people who aren't doing well financially who also flaunt it. If you want to be a classy entrepreneur, your finances should never be the subject of discussion with anyone other than your accountant, business partners or spouse.

Tell the truth. Being ruthlessly honest is not only good manners, it will keep your relationships running smoothly with your customers and build your reputation as a trustworthy person--one worth doing business with. And if you're just getting started in business, don't exaggerate your experience, but don't be embarrassed by your lack of it, either. Emphasize what you have to offer (such as devotion to your clients) and turn the facts into assets.

Apologize only when it's appropriate. There's a hilarious scene in Wayne's World when Garth and Wayne meet Alice Cooper and prostrate themselves chanting, "We are not worthy." That may be funny in the movies, but it's pathetic to see adults with a misplaced sense of people pleasing grovel in front of their customers, apologizing for things that they aren't responsible for--such as the weather. If you make a mistake, by all means apologize, but don't apologize for the fact that you're taking up space on Earth.

Remember that half-hearted attempts create half-hearted results. If you are tentative about your business, if you never quite complete things, if you are waiting around for goodness to happen, you're not fully engaged.The world is littered with abandoned projects that could have succeeded with a full out attack. Giving up on your dreams (and blaming it on circumstances or other people) is the most unbecoming conduct of all.

In my unending quest to flood the planet with endless amounts of entrepreneurial spirit and activity, I got the idea to create an event that would give participants time away from distractions, provide an on-going exchange of ideas and some tools to nurture and grow future ideas. Then I invited Idea Artisan Alice Barry to add her considerable creative talents and Follow Through Camp was born. The debut Camp in May surpassed our wildest expectations so we can't wait to do it again. Here's what a couple of those intrepid campers told us:

Some of my non-seminar friends mentioned how they noticed I was really getting active with the business again. Several people are amazed that I'm involved with this cutting edged Twitter/ Facebook stuff. A couple think your seminar really made an impact on me and re-ignited my business dreams, since they feel I'm taking lots of action and want to see what more's in store. ~ Lynn, NY

I was starting to convince myself that I have to fix everything before moving forward with the dream. But my fellow campers have shown me again that there never really is a perfect time or situation. All we really need is our vision and the ability to get up and put one foot in front of the other. The way will reveal itself as we courageously walk forward. ~ Georgeanne, TN

Whether you've got an idea that just won't budge or you're ready to take to the next big step in your business, we'd love to have you along. The autumn Follow Through Camp is coming up on September 11 & 12 in Chaska, MN. This is a small group event and enrollment is limited. For all details and discounts, click on the link below.

Follow Through Camp, 9/09

Every season of the year brings its own special pleasures and opportunities and summer is no exception. The secret to getting the most out of this time of year is to put yourself out of sync with the rest of the world. While everyone else is crowding around popular tourist attractions, for instance, stay at home and schedule some off-season travels for yourself. Here are some other ideas for making your summer sunny and bright.

If summer is a slow time for your business, take advantage of the free time and start filling your calendar for fall. Or use the break to create a new product or service, something that requires more time and attention that you might be able to give it at other times.

Learn something. If the idea of enrolling in a full-time program doesn't appeal to you, take advantage of adult ed classes and short seminars during this time when class sizes are often smaller and a bit more casual. If you've wanted to start keeping a journal, consider Sandy Dempsey's upcoming Creative Journey to Self-Discovery-First Steps Online Journaling Workshop which you can do from the comfort of your home.

Design a summer reading project. When I remember the summers of my youth, I flash back to hours spent reading everything of interest that my small town library contained. What have you been meaning to read? Why not design a project around a theme or an author or a place in the world you love? Throw in a classic that you never got around to reading or want to revisit. Summer's a perfect time to hang out with Dickens or armchair travel to Bali.

Conduct a business meeting or Joyfully Jobless gathering at a picnic. Make somewhere beautiful an extension of your world headquarters.

Plan for Christmas. Now is the time to organize your ideas for a holiday enterprise. If you're a writer, this is the time to send out your Christmas stories and articles.

Make a commitment to grow in some way before the summer ends. If you're taking a road trip or just running errands around town, bring along some inspiring company. Sally Evans of EmbracingCreativity has a couple of splendid interviews on CD, including one with me on creating an inspired business. Sally asked good questions and the answers are informative and inspiring.

However you decide to spend the rest of the summer, decide to finish better than you started.

Let me remind you that you'll find an on-going stream of ideas, resources and examples of Joyfully Jobless folks in action at Buon Viaggio blog where the theme for July is Fellow Travelers.

I also share discoveries as I come across them via Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation.

Buona fortuna,


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