Steven Pressfield’s blog post this week was called Just Show Up and talked about the importance of putting yourself in the arenas where you want to succeed. So simple. So easy to resist. 


In my early days of studying success, I discovered that the folks who made the effort, who spent the time and money to attend seminars and gatherings of other entrepreneurs invariably succeeded more quickly than those who avoided such events.


Part of their success could be explained as gathering ideas and information that was helpful to their business. But that was only part. Being in the presence of other business builders also made a huge impact. 


One of the most difficult things I ever do is to convince new (and not so new) entrepreneurs to include in their plans regular attendance at events where they’ll connect with other joyfully jobless folks. How do you know when it’s time to show up? Here are some signs:



You’ve reached all of your goals

You’ve reached none of your goals

You’re in need of some fresh ideas

You’d like to get a new perspective 

Your kids think you’re a nerd and you suspect they’re right

You can’t remember the last time you felt really excited about something

You have more ideas than you know what to do with

You’re scared to death of your real dreams

You’re ready for a new adventure

You remember that a change of scenery always refreshes you

You aren’t making the kind of progress that you’d like

Nobody ever asks you what’s new

You need time to figure out your next step

You want to be bolder

Resistance is stronger than inspiration

You’re ready to have more fun with your business

You think boring and ordinary are the scariest words in the English language

You want to expand your entrepreneurial network

You believe your dreams are a good investment

Your creative spirit needs a jumpstart

You’re tired of trying to fit someone else’s idea of who you should be

It sounds like fun


Or as Steven Pressfield says, “There’s tremendous power in putting your ass where your heart wants to be.”




You can participate in events large or small. If you’d like to be part of a tiny group that’s committed to helping you gain momentum and forward movement, consider joining Alice Barry and me for Follow Through Camp coming up on November 6 & 7 in Chaska, MN. If you want to be along for this amazing event, don’t dither. From the moment I announced this next session, orders started arriving.


My weekend excursion includes a return visit to Colorado Free University in Denver followed by a quick trip to Austin to visit my grandchildren. My artistic granddaughter Zoe and I are going to see if we can locate the Chihuly glass sculpture at the Austin Museum of Art.

Even though I’ve been under the weather for the past 10 days, I’ve rounded up some terrific resources to add to your Joyfully Jobless tool kit. Check these out.

If you haven’t met Chris Guillebeau yet, here’s a great way to get to know him. You can get his new manifesto called 279 Days to Overnight Success for, as Zoe says, zero dollars. Here’s what you’ll learn:

• How I Became a Full-Time Writer in 279 Days

• The Complete Revenue Estimate for my Personal Site in 2009

• The World Domination Strategy for Establishing Your Brand

• Avoiding the Vampires who Want You to Fail

• Why Adsense (and most other Web Advertising) Sucks

• How to Stay Off the Digg Home Page and Still Get All the Traffic You 

Got wanderlust? Then you’ve got to read Christopher Elliott’s Secret to an Endless Vacation. It’s full of great advice for entrepreneurial gypsies.

Has there ever been a better time to be a career coach? Whether by choice or by chance,thousands of  people are reevaluating their choices, looking for new opportunities. If you’d like to help others find their calling, I highly recommend that you learn how to do just that from Valerie Young. Her Outside the Job Box consulting program is terrific and will help you launch a new business while helping others change course.

Seth Godin shares the secret of the new marketing. Good stuff, as always, from Seth.

Do you Twitter? If not, why not? When I came across Katherine Goldstein’s article, Twitiquette:The 5 Biggest Twitter Faux Pas, I thought she really nailed it. If you’re using this fun networking site, avoid these common annoyances.

April 15th is one of those landmark dates that’s not a holiday. I was thinking about it this year and wondering how many people would find themselves in pretty much the same situation when April 15 rolls around again next year. 

There’s one group of people who I’m certain will be making visible progress long before that ominous day. The folks who are coming to Follow Through Camp on May 15 & 16 in Dodge City, KS are going to leave with a saddlebag full of tools and a new focus and plan. There’s still room for a few more folks and if you would like to be one of them, sign up now. 

Ever think about taking a sabbatical? Here are some entrepreneurs who did just that.

Another great story from someone making the transition from employee to entrepreneur:

For more years than I care to count, I’ve dreamed of owning my own business.  I suffered an injury in 2007 and was off work for an extended period of time.  I spent a lot of that time thinking and exploring the possibility of starting my own business.  I also happened upon a description of a class you were offering in Upper Arlington, Ohio.  I promptly signed my husband and myself up for that class.

I found your class so amazing and inspiring.  I immediately read your book, signed up for your newsletter, and started doing my homework.  Doubt got in the way.  My injury healed as much as it would and I ultimately returned to my regular job….but I’ve never stopped thinking, planning, dreaming, and hoping.  A few months ago, while thinking about one of my potential business ideas, I decided to take the leap and mention it to my husband.  He was 100% supportive!  That gave me the courage to “take the plunge”.

So, I am proud to share with you that I am starting a homemade dog treat business called Jade Clare’s Canine Cookies & Treats.  I will be debuting and selling my products at a local farmer’s market this summer.  I have had so much fun applying for the market, researching laws pertaining to vendors, playing with cookie recipes, designing my display, etc.  I’m working my butt off (as I’m still employed at a traditional job as well) but loving every minute of it!!!!  This is a part-time gig right now but the sky’s the limit!  The endless possibilities make me feel so liberated and hopeful about my future.

Thank you.  Thank you for teaching, inspiring, encouraging, and empowering me for the last two years!


Ann Marie Wiley

New Albany, Ohio

Connecting with people who share the same passions affirms that you’re not alone; that there are others like you and that while many might not understand your passion, some do. ~ Ken Robinson

Those of us who met Sandy Dempsey at Compelling Storytelling last June, have watched with delight as she’s begun moving in the direction of her dreams. Part of that is her The Dreaming Cafe blog which included this part of her story this week.


I have been sitting on the fence for months, undecided whether to attend the Follow Through Camp hosted by Barbara Winter and Alice Barry May 15th and 16th in Dodge City, Kansas.

Part of me desperately wanted to go and the other part had every excuse in the book…Dodge City is two hours from the nearest airport…Kansas has never been on my list of places to visit…it’s tornado season…I don’t want to spend the money when my job could be eliminated any day…I’m not ready for this step…and on and on.

Monday a friend and I were playing around with business ideas for both of us, when I said I needed to take things to the next level in my entrepreneurial quest. Then I began telling him about the Follow Through Camp. He said, “It sounds like just want you need right now regardless of what happens here.”

You know what? He was right. I have several business ideas and have been starting to move in the direction I want to go, but I need to take it to the next level. The energy, enthusiasm and support I will receive from attending the Follow Through Camp is just what I need right now. I have so much I want to do and I am so ready to take the next steps.

Monday night after work I made the decision. Within an hour of arriving home I made my hotel reservations at The Dodge House, made my flight reservations and a car reservation and submitted my workshop registration.

But  the story doesn’t end there.

When I had difficulty making my reservations online for The Dodge House I called the hotel to make them over the phone. But, I forgot to ask for my reservation number and they forgot to give it me. Instead of calling, I went back online to send a request for it to be emailed or faxed to me. I must have entered my email address incorrectly because the next day Charla Swift, the owner, called to tell me my confirmation kept bouncing back and could I confirm my email address.

I was very impressed with her friendliness and professionalism. I never had the owner of a hotel call me personally before. We had a nice conversation and I discovered she was actually calling from Colorado where she was visiting her sons, for the holiday.

Now, where she was calling from didn’t really mean a whole lot until later that night when I received Barbara’s Joyfully Jobless Newsletter. The newsletter closed with an invitation to attend Barbara’s ‘Making a Living Without a Job’ and ‘Establish Yourself as an Expert’ workshops in, can you guess, COLORADO! Both workshops were being held in Denver at the Colarado Free University on Saturday April 18th.

It was too much of a coincidence to let go, so just for fun I went to Travelocity to check airfares. I could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered they were having a special..Philadelphia to Denver, $218, round-trip, non-stop! I could hardly believe it myself, but since it was late I decided to sleep on it.

By morning I couldn’t forget it and told my husband about it. He said, “Is that why you are so happy this morning?” I couldn’t stop grinning.

I went online again and  there was the same deal. I didn’t have time to sit on the fence and ponder this decision. So, guess I’m headed to Denver, Colorado next weekend!!

Decisions are like dominoes, sometimes. Once the first one falls, more follow. My decision on Monday to attend the Follow Through Camp in Dodge City, Kansas, was the first domino to fall.The second domino fell  with my decision to follow the signs, invest in myself, and attend two more Barbara Winter workshops in Denver, Colorado.

I am kind of curious now…what will be the next domino to fall, the next decision, the next step in building my dream?


Most of the time we don’t see the obvious opportunity–if you intentionally create the connections, you’ll get more of them, and better ones too. ~ Seth Godin

Didn’t you find it comforting when the evening news included a headline about the White House organic vegetable garden? If that was one of the major happenings on Friday, it was a fine contrast to the other stories of the day that weren’t nearly so positive. If you’re a gardening enthusiast, check out Growing a Gardening Business for thoughts on turning your passion into a profit center.

Earlier this week I mentioned that I was reading Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. It’s an eloquent reminder that daily practice is essential for mastering anything. Tharp has dozens of exercises that are also exquisite. I urge you to add this treasure to your library.

An interviewer recently asked me what one piece of advice I’d give someone thinking about making a living without a job. “Stay curious and keep your creative spirit well-exercised is not only the key to success, but also the key to growth,” I replied. I think the interviewer was expecting me to suggest taking an accounting course, but how-to skills are useless if our creative muscles have grown flabby. 

Left-brained thinkers find that a little scary, I know, but Steven Kalas, my favorite local newspaper columnist, has some terrific insights on creativity in his column last Sunday. “Creativity is not something that is done. It is more experienced, recognized and then released.” I urge you to read his entire article.

“After art comes business,” declared Andy Warhol, “and the art of doing business is the best art of all.” Warhol wasn’t the first entrepreneurial artist, however. Not by several centuries. Newsweek’s The Merchants of Venice Art introduces us to three Renaissance painters who knew a thing or two about promotion. 

Like thousands of other people, I’ve become a fan of Peter Shankman’s Help a Reporter mailings. Yesterday was the first anniversary of HARO and Peter shared his amazement with what’s happened. He wrote:

Here we are, one year later. We’ve posted close to 25,000 queries, to almost 70,000 sources, from over 10,000 journalists around the world. HARO has been mentioned in over 500 blog posts or articles in newspapers, and magazines. We’ve been featured on Good Morning America. And most importantly by far, we’ve connected thousands and thousands of sources to journalists that otherwise would not have gotten the media attention they deserve, while making thousands of journalists’ lives easier.

It’s been a pretty insane year… A year ago, I was running a PR firm with clients all over the world, as I’d been doing for ten years. I’d just sold AirTroductions, and was working hard, but not too hard. I enjoyed the work, and HARO was a thought that popped up one day when I was trying to figure out how to help a reporter who called me on deadline. That’s how these things happen, you know. I never, ever imagined it would be this big. Ever. Ever.

A year later… 75% of my time is spent traveling, for speaking engagements, teaching companies about social media, and attending conferences.

If you’re not on his mailing list, I urge you to join AND be willing to spend a few minutes scanning his three daily mailings. Even if you aren’t interested in getting publicity for yourself, it’s a terrific way to keep an eye on trends. For example, there’s been a surge of requests for tips on being thrifty. If you are interested in sharing your story, this is the easiest way I know to connect with writers you’d never have encountered on your own. Moments after I posted Time Away With a Purpose on Inspiration Station, I saw a request on HARO from a woman who is writing a book about sabbaticals. I promptly e-mailed her and it looks as if my story may find its way into her book. 

We’ve had some fun posts at Where in the World Do You Work, but would love to have more. Here are some unusual workplaces that might inspire you.

In his April travel news, Rick Steves says, “I’ve never met anyone who traveled smartly and regretted their investment in experiences that would enrich their lives for the rest of their days.” I totally agree.

That’s also true about participating in events like Follow Through Camp which will impact your business for years to come. Imagine two distraction-free days to create a fresh plan for bringing your dreams to life. 

Alice Barry and I are envisioning little carpools of participants driving to Dodge City, KS and predict that friends who share this experience will have a lively Ideafest on their drive back home. If you want to join us, it’s time to round up your friends and let us know you’re coming. You can save $100 if you take advantage of the Early Bird Discount.