Several years ago, I confessed to the participants in my Making a Living Without a Job seminar that I was mysteriously drawn to learning to play poker. A man, who looked as if he might have sat at a few poker tables himself, shook his head and said, “You won’t be good at it.”

I laughed and said I knew exactly what he meant. After all, when I was in high school my mother had warned me by saying, “Your problem, Barbara, is that you wear your heart on your sleeve.”

It was not intended as a compliment, of course.

Although I decided not to become a professional poker player, I have created a business that is all about letting me wear my heart on my sleeve.

I’ve been publishing Winning Ways newsletter for 27 years without getting bored. I’m certain my enthusiasm has remained high  because it’s a perfect vehicle for sharing the treasures I uncover in my own Joyfully Jobless Journey.

In fact, a really good business is simply a way to repeatedly share what we love with others.

So it always startles me when I get a friend request on Facebook from someone I don’t know with no profile picture, no biographical information, or, even, a mention of where they live.

In ordinary life, we become friends with people who share our interests or make us laugh or enrich our lives in some way. Over the years, my closest friends have all introduced me to new pleasures and inspired new explorations of things I knew nothing about.

That couldn’t have happened if they kept these passions private.

One of the things I love most about social media is that it becomes another outlet for sharing passions. Anyone of my Facebook friends who is paying attention knows that I am passionate about books, treehouses, and Venice, in addition to being fervent about self-employment.

So this month, I’m going to write about some of those passions on this blog and want to suggest that you consider how things that seem to have nothing to do with your business can actually inspire it.

I love the way Robert Weider puts it: “Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative person looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.”

And then they wear it on their sleeve.

One Response to “Heart on Your Sleeve?”

  1. Esme

    Wow, Barbara. This is such a timely message!

    I’ve recently become aware of the importance of following all kinds of passions / interests, whether or not they make me money (or may do in the future).

    My main passion is music – although I’ve managed to turn it into a treadmill rather than something filled with joy and exploration.

    I’ve also realised that neglecting my other interests doesn’t feed my music; it actually starves it. (I guess it all comes down to balance at the end of the day!)

    It’s really important to nourish your inner life (and acknowledge your nature – even if others don’t appreciate or understand it).

    And the best and healthiest way to do this is to follow our natural curiosity rather than downplay it because it’s too whimsical (or not ‘grown up’ enough).

    I bet if you look back, you’d be full of stories about how following your curiosity led to all kinds of adventures – as well as some unexpected income!

    (I’ve now subscribed to your blog in the hope I’ll get to here more about these unexpected journeys). 🙂

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