On July 15, 1993, I woke up feeling excited and apprehensive. The cause of this emotional turmoil had been years in the making. It was publication day for Making a Living Without a Job.
I had spent much of the previous year writing and rewriting and writing some more. But the story truly began decades earlier when I set out on my own rather lonely journey in self-employment.
My experience was very much like Paul Hawken’s who said, “When I started the natural food business in Boston, my business knowledge was scant. I did the best I could and began reading […] Continue Reading…
You’ve probably had the experience of coming across a new word, looking it up in the dictionary, then noticing that the word appears all over the place.
Or you start thinking about taking a trip to Paris and the next thing you know Woody Allen has a movie coming out called Midnight in Paris. A few days later, you strike up a conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop and they mention they’ve just come back from Paris.
While we often think of such happenings as synchronicity, I believe there’s another factor at work here. I call it selective awareness. […] 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.
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…
Nick Ortner, author of the wildly successful The Tapping Solution, recently wrote about encountering a powerful bit of advice. The words that got his attention were “who you spend time with…is who you become.”
He says, “I first heard this quote and concept over 15 years ago at a Tony Robbins weekend event. I was there by myself, having seen an advertisement for it while walking the streets of New York where I lived, and knowing I needed to do something different with my life.”
Of course, if you look at his life today as a bestselling author and sought after […] Continue Reading…
Julia Cameron calls them Artist’s Dates. Sarah Ban Breathnach calls them creative excursions. Whatever you call them, they are worth making a regular event in your life.
“The Artist Date need not be overtly artistic,” says Cameron, “think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration.”
The purpose of such solo events is to take time every week to make a visit to a new place to gather ideas or just […] Continue Reading…
Leo Babauta once wrote about being criticized by some of his readers for repeating himself. He said, “Repetition is often thought of as a bad thing — never repeat yourself! But actually, repetition is a powerful tool for making changes.”
I totally agree. Here are some things I repeat to myself all the time.
You are what you take time to become.
Passion: enthusiasm that must take action.
Inspiration expands our horizons.
What we call failure is often just running out of patience.
What you don’t know can be learned—or hired.
Do not take advice from uninformed sources.
Inspired entrepreneurs laugh a lot.
Stop looking for formulas. Start looking for […] Continue Reading…
If you quake at the thought of going out on your own and setting up shop, here are some fearbashers that can reroute you back to the road to success.
* Do temporary work. March into a temporary help agency and get signed up for a short term project. When you get an assignment, don’t think of this primarily as a way to earn money. Use this project to do some homework.
No matter what business you are sent to work in, observe what goes on in a detached and analytical manner.
I’m willing to guess that you’ll quickly discover that all […] Continue Reading…
As you may or may not know, Las Vegas was particularly hard hit during the economic downturn. Consequently, the local news featured at least one Job Fair being held in the city every week.
Long lines of folks showed up for the slim chance of procuring one of the few job openings. It was all rather glum.
During one such news story, a question popped into my head. “Why isn’t anyone talking about alternatives to getting a job?” I was talking about that, of course, but I couldn’t just ramble down Las Vegas Blvd. sharing that option.
Then the idea of creating […] Continue Reading…
Maybe I’m alone in this, but lately I’ve been fretting about trust fund babies. I mean who is less equipped to deal with economic upheaval? While their wealthy parents were showering them with things, they took away the really valuable stuff such as personal initiative and innovative thinking.
That’s not true for everyone who inherits enormous wealth—particularly if you’re the offspring of Warren Buffett—but there are plenty of examples of squandered lives.
During the height of the Human Potential Movement, a program was started in San Francisco to deal with the issues of guilt experienced by trust fund recipients.
Nobody really talks […] Continue Reading…
There’s a character in Nick Hornby’s delightful novel High Fidelity who constantly challenges his friends to create on-the-spot Top Five Lists. “Name your top five Dustin Hoffman movies,” he demands.
The story is peppered with Top Five Lists covering all sorts of pop culture topics. It’s not a bad exercise.
When I began experimenting with ideas about setting goals, I started breaking down my yearlong aims into 90-Day Projects. For me, the number five was also operating.
For instance, one of my writing goals was to sell five magazine articles every 90 days. It’s an easy number to work with and I […] Continue Reading…