Long before I began my life as a gypsy teacher, I was a gypsy student. I attended seminars on personal growth, on marketing, on building a business as often as I could. Since the teachers I wanted to study with weren’t showing up in my small town, I spent a great deal of time and money traveling to learn.
What I learned (among many other priceless things) is that seminar rooms are my natural habitat. I love to learn and I really love being in places where new ideas and insights also show up.
I began meeting people with the same […] Continue Reading…
It appears that I have fallen in love with the mandolin. This was no overnight love affair, however. It kind of sneaked up on me.
As a longtime fan of the music of Antonio Vivaldi, I had heard my share of mandolins and associated the instrument with music from the past.
That all began to change when I attended a performance of Prairie Home Companion and heard the amazing Peter Ostroushko play. Nevertheless, I wasn’t ready to commit.
Then it happened. Several weeks ago, while listening to the weekly broadcast of PHC, Ostroushko performed the most glorious piece, something he’d written to […] Continue Reading…
The small tree in my front yard looked pathetic. I suspected it might be dying.
So imagine my surprise on a spring morning, when I looked out the window and saw it had burst into bloom overnight. Tiny pink blossoms covered the recently barren branches.
I wonder what else I’ve condemned to a premature death, I mused.
Ever since I read Paul Hawken’s marvelous Growing a Business, I have looked for metaphors in the plant world to help me solve problems and find better ways of growing my business.
Even though I never lived on a farm, I grew up surrounded by small […] Continue Reading…
Note: I drove to Ventura again today and got thinking about this story of the Pumpkin Farmer from two years ago. Decided it was worth a revisit.
Yesterday I drove to Ventura where my sister Margaret lives. I’d been assigned the task of finding a vacation rental apartment in Paris for our sibling outing next spring and didn’t know where to begin. Margaret agreed to coach me since she’d already tracked down our Amsterdam accommodations.
In the springtime, this drive reminds me of Ireland because the craggy hills are so lush and green. Right now they’re festooned in shades of beige […] Continue Reading…
Every few months, I get the alumni magazine from my college. I usually glance through the class notes to see if there’s anyone I remember who has gotten mentioned.
Most of the entries are a bit, well, dull, saying things like, “Now retired after 30 years teaching in the same school” or “Just retired from 40 years at the bank.”
Apparently, my fellow college students were big on staying put in one place.
One time, however, an entry caught my eye. It read, “Retired after thirty-five years as a social worker and probation officer. He now spends his time as a traveler […] Continue Reading…
They’re baaaaaack! Those annoying Internet flashing banner ads that disappeared for a while have returned with a vengeance. They make my eyes cross and my head hurt.
They do not make me think, “Oh, that looks interesting. I’d better check it out and see what I’m missing.”
Same goes for local tv ads that are broadcast at twice the volume of regular programming.
And do you know anyone who adores automated phone systems?
Also rating high on my Annoyance Index is my local supermarket. I only shop there for a few things when I don’t have time to run to the delightful Trader […] Continue Reading…
My friend Chris and I loved an old cartoon in which Ziggy declared, “My idea of prosperity is a checking account with commas.”
We promptly adopted that as our prosperity symbol.
Feeling prosperous is a highly individual thing and each of us has a different notion of what constitutes prosperity.
For many people, alas, prosperity means having more than whatever they currently have.
I think it’s much healthier to find small reminders that we are creating abundance in our own lives. Here are a few of my personal favorites.
* You use up your deposit slips faster than you use your check blanks. (This […] Continue Reading…
Back in 2002, I was having a milestone birthday and thought a celebration was in order. I invited my friends and family to join me in Las Vegas, a place I had avoided for many years.
When I called my travel agent to make arrangements, she laughed and said, “Oh, Barbara, I can’t see you in Las Vegas.”
“That’s the point,” I told her.
As you probably know, that was the beginning of a surprising love affair that led me to moving to that unlikely place. That wasn’t all that happened as a result of that party.
My younger siblings decided to mark […] Continue Reading…
Many people thought my Aunt Agnes was a professional malcontent. I thought she was an adventurer.
When I was growing up, I watched her reinvent herself every few years. She was trained as a teacher, but I don’t remember her working at that. Nevertheless, she always seemed to be instructing me and my siblings about right and wrong.
Besides being the family morality enforcer, she spent several years running a college bookstore where she became friends with both students and professors. She also took advantage of the academic surroundings and studied Spanish and other subjects that caught her fancy.
After she left […] Continue Reading…
Although I have shared this before, I am doing so again in the optimistic hope that someone reads it and actually gives it a try.
What if I told you that there’s a technique that if faithfully applied would absolutely guarantee your success in starting and building your business? Well, such a technique exists although it sometimes seems like a well-kept secret.
I’ve shared it in my seminars and in my writing, but getting people to actually try it for themselves has been another matter.
Whenever I receive a call or e-mail from someone telling me that they’re stuck, I can be […] Continue Reading…