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  • A Change of Scenery

    The world is like a book. He who stays home reads only one page. ~ St. Augustine The place that Amy calls World Headquarters is a townhouse filled with beautiful objects gathered on her many travels. Her business was intentionally designed to include plenty of opportunities to feed her [...]
  • IdeaStarter #7 Motivation vs. Inspiration

    At last night's Golden Globe Awards, Steven Spielberg spoke eloquently about the need to nurture inspiration and not make decisions based on what's easy or popular. I don't hear people talking about that much. No wonder inspiration is dismissed or ignored. For a long time, I thought motivation [...]
  • Ideas from Everywhere: Roundup Week 2

    It felt like an entrepreneurial cyclone hit this week. Besides all the intriguing resources I’ve collected, there was much rejoicing all around me. The week began with learning that yes, indeed, there will be a revised and updated version of Making a Living Without a Job before the end of the [...]
  • Establish Yourself as an Expert

    What is the difference between a book that becomes a bestseller and one that doesn't? Why is Julia Child a household name and your Aunt Ruth, a fabulous gourmet, known only to her household? Why is someone else becoming rich and famous doing what you can do even better? As the Information Age [...]
  • Who Me? Take a Sabbatical?

    When funnyman Steve Martin's book Pure Drivel came out it enjoyed critical raves and enthusiastic sales. Although the author has long been recognized for his fertile comic mind, he told the Today Show's Matt Lauer that the book would not have happened if he hadn't taken time off. His sabbatical [...]
  • Less Can Be More: Businesses for People Who Don’t Like to Market

    Many would-be entrepreneurs get frightened off by the thought of marketing. They tremble at the erroneous notion that marketing is about finding universal acceptance, and they assume they're doomed to a life of rejection or cutthroat competition. If that sounds like a thought you've had, let [...]
  • A Field Guide to Genus Entrepreneurus

    Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~ Jane Howard One of the major obstacles to successful self-employment is not having a circle of entrepreneurial friends. When I point that out in Making a Living [...]
  • How you gonna do that?

    One of the leading characteristics of entrepreneurial thinkers shows up in their approach to goal-setting. I was reminded of that this morning when I was talking to Lisa Tarrant, who spent the weekend holding her first tag sale. She said it had been a success and she was getting ready to list a [...]
  • Change You Can Believe In

    When a word or phrase is used too often, it can lose its punch. Consider Joseph Campbell’s oft-quoted, “Follow your bliss,” which seemed breathtaking the first time we heard it. Today’s buzzword is, of course, change. It's taken a bit of a beating in the past weeks, which is a shame. When an [...]
  • IdeaStarter#3 Sharpen Your Focus

    To put your goalsetting and entrepreneurial efforts on—track and keep them there—begin by giving your year a theme. It could be a single word or a phrase that becomes your motto. Either way, it will help you gain clarity and focus. When planning your time or making a decision, a quick check [...]
  • Consistent Effort Leads to Consistent Visibility

    How do you become a household name? The simple answer: by relentlessly getting your message out, by generating publicity for yourself, by finding new ways to package information. While this can be a time-consuming activity, having a monthly goal can keep you moving forward. Here are some basic [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • So What Do You Do?

    It's fundraising week at Nevada Public Radio and since I'm an enthusiastic supporter, listener and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me fan, I received a call asking for additional support. The charming volunteer explained all the additional treats I'd receive and I found myself happily giving her my [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Leave It Better Than You Found It

    All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough. ~ Anna Quindlen The most passionate environmentalist I’ve ever known was Chris Utterback. To her, all offenses were equally serious whether it was defiling a public space with graffiti or chopping [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • More Good Stuff to Explore

    Of all the Christmas gifts that Jack has received, there's one that he remembers most fondly. When he was still dreaming about being a writer, his sister gave him a copy of Writer's Market.   It was the first time anyone had encouraged his writing aspirations—and it made a big difference. [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Done With Living a Fearful Life?

      As you know, fear is a powerful emotion. When it’s doing its job, it helps us avoid danger and harm. (Don’t get in the elevator with that scary man.) On the other hand, fear can take over and keep us from ever discovering our purpose, passion and possibility.  Fear doesn't have to run our [...]
  • IdeaStarter #13 Yes We Can

    Although I’ve lived through numerous Inauguration Days in my life, I don’t recall any previous ceremony generating the kind of excitement that today's celebration has. Even the ramp up to this day has been filled with incredible enthusiasm. Rick Steves flew from Seattle to DC yesterday and [...]
  • Broader Horizons Start Here

    Everyone going down the road to making a living without a job immediately encounters a sign saying, "Exit Your Comfort Zone Now." Not surprisingly, many would-be explorers turn around at that point and return to whatever cocoon they have left. Since many people dislike being uncomfortable—even [...]
  • 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#2 Master the $100 Hour

    Build a personal portfolio of ideas. A man I know has the unfortunate habit of running out of money. When this happens, he goes into panic, followed by depression, followed by applying for a job he hopes he won’t get. During his latest cash flow crisis, I tried to explain to him, as gently as [...]
  • IdeaStarter #17 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Ah, Venice The Elegant Home Based Business

    Venice, Italy is an exotic and mysterious place that attracts visitors from around the world. It’s been doing so for centuries. In its heyday, it was a rich and powerful center of trade and business. Poised between East and West, Venice became a city of merchants, many of whom ran their [...]
  • Benvenuto!

    Buon viaggio….good journey. How nice to have you along. This blog has been a long time brewing. Hardly a day passes when I don’t come across a fascinating new business idea, inspiring story or useful resource and want to pass it along. Up until now, I haven’t had a vehicle for doing so. That’s [...]
  • Collecting Information

    If you plan to package information, publish a customer newsletter or establish yourself as an expert by writing and/or speaking, you'll find yourself collecting information all the time. After a while, however, it's easy to depend on your regular sources and forget about the other options you [...]
  • 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 [...]