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  • Spread the Spirit

    Entrepreneurs have a well-deserved reputation for being independent. This can be both a strength and a weakness. Psychologists tell us that the maturing process happens in three stages. We go from being dependent to being independent to being interdependent.  Our working lives often follow the [...]
  • Putting Yourself in Good Company

    When my friend Peter Vogt called this morning, I happily settled in for one of our always inspiring chats. The catalyst for his call was a seminar he'd attended yesterday. "I think I was channeling you," he joked and went on to tell me a story about what he called a "smarmy SCORE volunteer" who [...]
  • Just an Idea?

    According to people who study such things, we’ve gone from the Industrial Age to the Information Age and are now entering the Idea Age. Creative thinking, often scorned by left-brained thinkers, is taking on a new importance. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, says,  [...]
  • Book a Paid Adventure

    Peter Leshak is a writer and handyman who spends part of his time fighting forest fires. When a television reporter asked him about this dangerous and difficult occupation, Leshak shrugged off his concerns by saying, "I think of it as a paid adventure." Without doing anything nearly so [...]
  • A Potential Diamond Mine in Your Back Yard

    Are you living in a place that you love, a place that attracts visitors? If so, you could be sitting on a logical profit center — the proverbial acres of diamonds in your own back yard. Hospitality is big business and there are wonderful small-scale opportunities to meet and greet guests who [...]
  • On Fear and Failure

    Three of my four siblings are coming to visit early next week so that was the impetus for me to go through a stack of magazines and move some to the recycling bin. My decluttering project slowed down, however, when I came across some articles I hadn't yet read. Three of them were worth passing [...]
  • The Business of Uncluttering

    For years, would-be entrepreneurs have been advised to "find a need and fill it." Sometimes those needs are hiding in plain sight. A couple of summers ago, I decided to spend time uncluttering my life. I planned to go through every file, drawer and closet and get rid of anything that no longer [...]
  • Five Tips for Better Storytelling

    So what does it take to be a great storyteller? The fundamentals are pretty simple. ° Curiosity. Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, who not only produced innovative ad copy, but also trained many successful copywriters, wrote, “I have never known anyone who bounced out of bed in the morning, delighted and [...]
  • Multiple Passions, Multiple Profits

    There are so many selves in everybody and to explore and exploit just one is wrong, dead wrong, for the creative process. ~ James Dickey Steven Kalas is a family counselor with a lively practice. He also plays in a band that’s been busy promoting their new CD, but I know Kalas for a [...]
  • IdeaStarter #12 Catch the Virus

    Think about an older person that you know, one you would describe as youthful. What’s the distinguishing characteristic of this lively elder? I’m guessing that curiosity about anything and everything is what stands out. It’s the same quality that makes for successful entrepreneurship. We need [...]
  • Bad Time to Start a Business?

    All sorts of folks are blogging about whether it’s too dangerous to start a business during our current economic challenges. Some of them have lengthy arguments against taking such a radical step. I’m not sure where they’re getting their advice, but the Joyfully Jobless folks in my life are [...]
  • Why I Will Never Have a Job

    Almost everyone who chooses to become self-employed faces a barrage of questions from dreambashers and skeptics. The most popular question is, "How can you give up your security?" I am tempted to say, "You mean a puny little health insurance policy and two weeks' vacation?" There are [...]
  • Planetkeeping Enterprises

    Helping others get clutter under control is, it would appear, an opportunity whose time has come. The motivations for leading a less cluttered life are varied. Some people hope that more order will lead to increased serenity and efficiency; the environmentally conscious are motivated by [...]
  • Avoid the Right Thing

    When I started my first business, The Successful Woman, I thought I'd model it after existing personal development companies. I quickly realized that many of the people making a living as motivational speakers were doing things that I had no interest in emulating. My response to some of the [...]
  • IdeaStarter #15 Refuse to Have Boring Problems

    During the bleakest time of my life, my neighbor John stopped by to see how I was doing. Relieved that someone cared about me (I told you this was bleak), I rattled off a lengthy list of my latest woes. When I finished, John put his arm around my shoulder, smiled at me and said, “Barbara, [...]
  • What Gary Did Right

    When Gary Buehler moved from Nebraska to Colorado, he brought with him his wife Duncan, toddler Adam and Hasselblad camera. After years of honing his skills as a photographer, he was ready to set up shop. They settled in Nederland, a little mountain town above Boulder. Shortly thereafter, we [...]
  • Banishing the Money Dragon

    Every so often I am asked some variation of the question, "Do you ever worry about money?" The truthful answer to that is, "Not anymore," but getting free of the Money Dragon had little to do with earning more money and everything to do with challenging my belief system about money. Allowing [...]
  • Making Your Business Visible

    British entrepreneur extraordinaire, Richard Branson, has long been noticed for his willingness to do outrageous things in order to promote his empire.  The irrepressible Branson, who reminds me of a naughty gnome, explains his frequent media appearances by saying, “Everyday television and [...]
  • On the Eve of the Most Important Election of My Life…and Yours

    My friend Steve Strauss has a thoughtful and eloquent article that I urge you to read called The True Small Business Candidate. I urge you to read it whether you've already voted or not.
  • What Would You Do For Free?

    Like many people, I became a fan of Malcolm Gladwell after reading The Tipping Point. Not only did I find his ideas fascinating (and applicable to the Joyfully Jobless life), but his storytelling made the book fun to read. So when I saw an article in Time magazine about his new book, Outliers, [...]
  • How to Spot an Inspired Entrepreneur

    ° They love innovation and ideas ° They ask "what if" alot ° They drop names of people they admire ° They study success ° They are not satisfied with the status quo ° They understand the power of practice ° They show up at gatherings of other inspired entrepreneurs ° They are tireless [...]
  • PS to Booklovers’ London

    Right after I sent out my Joyfully Jobless News today where I mentioned Booklovers' London, the new stop on Inspiration Station, I got this tip from Londoner Ken Titmuss who shared this little treasure. He writes: A very special bookshop  I can recommend is the one at Old Street Tube station. [...]
  • Is Your Business a Contender?

    No matter if you're a newcomer or seasoned veteran of the Joyfully Jobless life, your marketing can get a big boost if you stay alert to media opportunities. One easy way to put yourself in the path of opportunity is via a free service called Help Out a Reporter. Three times a day, the [...]
  • A Well-kept Secret

    Have you visited Inspiration Station yet? My plan for that part of the site is to explore different places from an entrepreneurial point of view. The current locale is one of my favorite places—Venice, Italy. I've been thinking about Venice since I wrote the pieces there, so I was particularly [...]
  • When the Going Gets Tough

    I don't have many routines in my life except for my daily trip to the post office. I grew up in a small town without mail delivery so picking up the mail has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My father used to drive us to school, but a mail stop came first. As the oldest [...]
  • Patience, Persistence & Postage

    Years ago, I stumbled across Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road on the shelves of the Santa Barbara Public Library. Although I knew nothing about the book, I soon discovered a kindred spirit. The book is a collection of letters written between Hanff, a struggling New York writer and [...]
  • A Passion for the Past

    Nancy Lindemeyer had a vision — a vision not of the future, but of the past. That vision paid off nicely and Victoria, the magazine she edited from its beginning in 1987 until she resigned in 2000, made publishing history. Not only did Victoria attract a loyal following, its lavishly [...]
  • Running a Tidy Ship

    Albert Einstein once pointed out that everything should be made as simple as possible — but no simpler. This certainly can be applied to any business that wants to keep its equilibrium. For most entrepreneurs, that requires constant vigilance since a business can become complicated and [...]
  • IdeaStarter #11 More Options, Please

    Another barrier to building an inspired business is what I call Either/Or Thinking. Too often, that’s simply a manifestation of scarcity thoughts. Consider conventional career guidance that encourages us to believe we must have a Single Lifetime Career. In this scenario your 17-year-old self [...]
  • Have a Nicer Flight

    Many things improve with age; airline travel is not one of them.  Even before increased airport security slowed things down, the flying experience was loaded with stress-inducing delays and rude behavior. Frequent flyers just grit their teeth and bear it as best they can, but a bit of [...]