July 29, 2013
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Dear Lisa,
In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.  
~ Eric Hoffer

In This Issue
The Biggest Return on Investment
Two Great Places to Invest
Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
The theme this month is
Postcards from Barbara
 Barbara Winter Investors and entrepreneurs talk about and monitor ROI, the return on investment.  They often use formulas to determine whether their money was well spent, if the profit met their expectations. If the ROI is disappointing, they take their money elsewhere.


While it's relatively easy to measure ROI with investments of money, we need to become a lot more conscious of the ROI when spending our time. As the droll Quentin Crisp once pointed out, "It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, 'Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.' By then, pigs will be your style."


What we become is a mirror of our investment of time. 


Several months ago, I received an e-mail from a man that I named his Why I Can't Manifesto. As I read it, I thought of Richard Bach's warning, "Argue for your limitations and, sure enough, they're yours."     


A very successful and creative entrepreneur named Bob once wrote about an exercise he and his wife conducted. They added up all of their investments, including stocks, bonds, real estate and learning. What they discovered was surprising, even to them. "Far and away the biggest return on our investment came from the time and money spent on learning. Seminars paid back a bigger return than any other item in our portfolio."


While many people keep close track of the return on their financial investments, they're not nearly so diligent about their time.  In Jean-Louis Servan-Schrieber's The Art of Time, he makes this observation: "We think much more about the use of money, which is renewable, than we do about the use of time which is irreplaceable."


Lack of money is often seen as the villain, but that is seldom the case. The simple truth is that our dreams are far more dependent on the investment of time we're willing to make. 


Nowhere is this more poetically illustrated than in Paulo Coelho's little gem, The Alchemist. The hero of this tale is a young Spanish shepherd named Santiago who has already traded his parents' dream of his becoming a priest for his own dream of traveling. 


On his travels, he encounters a wise man who prods him to achieve his personal destiny. To add motivation, the wise man points out a number of people who traded in their dreams for a seemingly secure life. One of those is a shopkeeper who hires Santiago to work for him.                                   


Suddenly, his lackluster business booms as the shepherd-turned-clerk begins to attract new business. Nevertheless, the shopkeeper resists fulfilling his lifelong dream of a trip to Mecca. At one point he says to Santiago, "Today, I understand something I didn't see before: every blessing ignored becomes a curse." 


What the shopkeeper demonstrates so poignantly is a universal truth: when we trade our dreams for a lesser life, we are doomed to unhappiness. If we trade our fears and doubts for our own Dream Quest, satisfaction and joy that we have never known are inevitable. 


So what would you have to invest in order to be fully living your dream? You're already spending your time and energy doing something. Why not make it an investment that includes joy, satisfaction, and abundance with the biggest possible return?  Argue for your dreams and, sure enough, they're yours.


As I was running errands this morning, I got to thinking about the times when my business had its greatest growth spurts. In each of these instances, there was a common ingredient that seemed to make the difference. Without exception, my business has always grown the most during times when I had a close entrepreneurial friend.


I met my first such friend at a marketing seminar. My friend Chris Utterback and I met after she invited me to speak to a home business group. My closest self-employed friends have also been strangers who shared a seminar experience. 


Coincidence? I don't think so.


Sometimes running a solo business is a lot like being a single parent. You have lots of freedom, but lots of responsibility as well. It's easy to get so bogged down in the dailiness of that and miss opportunities and ideas that can take you to the next step. 


That's why taking yourself away to a  place with positive, supportive, savvy self-bossers can be a huge tonic. Besides gaining clarity and increased enthusiasm for your dreams, you'll suddenly be surrounded by others who care about your dreams, too. How much is that worth? 


When we're new in business--or even after several years--we sometimes forget that the challenges we face have been faced by others. That's another great bonus of coming to an event. We've probably solved a problem or two that you are currently handling. Our experience might just get you through it faster. 


Two events are on the horizon and if one of them is a fit for you, get yourself signed up.


The next Mastermind Magic: Overcoming Obstacles and Maintaining Momentum is coming up in Denver on August 9-11.  


I'm equally excited to be heading back to Toronto after several years absence from this glorious city. The first Joyfully Jobless Weekend is happening there on August 16 & 17.


Spend a few minutes reading more about one or both of these events and decide if you're ready for a nice ROI on your investment of time and money.


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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