Yesterday I spent a great deal of time browsing through back issues of Winning Ways newsletter. Even though I’ve been publishing it for twenty-six years, I’m always delightfully surprised when I go back and come across an article or idea or quote that I had forgotten—or forgotten to put to work in my business.

As I reread things I’d written more than a decade ago, I knew that I wanted to share several of the stories on this blog. After all, collecting entrepreneurial stories is a valuable aspect of building an inspired business and I love passing along those that catch my fancy.

For example, I came across reference to a study that found almost anyone can be a boss, but not everyone is cut out to be a subordinate.

So even though I’m a bit late in getting started this month, I’m excited that our theme for August is Catch the Spirit. I decided on that after reading something I wrote in the July/August 2003 issue that seemed a perfect way to set the stage for what’s coming.

I also think it exposes one of the best kept rewards of the Joyfully Jobless Journey. Here it is:

“There’s an unspeakable pleasure attending the life of a voluntary student,” said Oliver Goldsmith. I know he wasn’t talking about entrepreneurs, but I think that’s the real spirit that drives enterprising people.

What can we learn? What if we traded predictability for exciting experiences? What can we discover within ourselves that we didn’t know was there? How can our business be a blessing for those whom it serves?

Those are the kinds of questions that fire our entrepreneurial spirits—and keep us searching for answers.

If fear is holding you back, it’s a sure sign you’ve haven’t caught the spirit yet. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to change that.

A small success, reclaiming a neglected passion or a glimpse of a bigger vision can do the trick. You can speed up the process by exposing yourself to people who are already infected.

But be warned: while the entrepreneurial spirit is contagious, there’s also no known remedy for it. Once caught, it’s a permanent condition.

The symptoms are easy to spot. You’ll see opportunity everywhere. You’ll have more ideas than you can ever handle. Life will feel like an endless adventure. You may even begin to see symptoms of it spreading to the people around you.

Best of all, you will discover that what once seemed impossible is within reach.

Who’d want to recover from that?

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