When I woke up on Saturday morning, I realized I was halfway through my seminar series at UNLV in Las Vegas. Little did I know that the day was also going to bring a parade of unusually fascinating people.

After getting ready for the day, I headed to the hotel coffee shop. As I was having my first (and only) coffee of the day, I decided to check messages on my iPad.

There was only one other person in the shop, a young man with his MacBook set up, checking messages on his iPhone while listening to his iPod.  Ah, I thought, a fellow member in the Cult of Apple.

A few minutes later, he interrupted me and asked if I’d watch his things while he ran to the restroom. When he returned, I asked him where he was from. “Where do you think?” he countered.

“I think you’re from the UK,” I replied. He said I was correct and we began talking. He told me that he was on a long trip to the US that began in Miami, continued in Austin, and after his week in Las Vegas he planned to head to San Diego until his return home in the early May.“I need to get some work done so I’m ready to be in one place for a while,” he said.

Since I interrogate everyone I can about their work, I asked him what he did. Turns out he runs his own online business.He said the first two years had been difficult, but now in the third year he had made some changes and was seeing  success. He confided that he was eager to be totally portable.

I asked him if he’d encountered Marianne Cantwell, but she wasn’t familiar to him. Within a minute he had located information on her book Be a Free Range Human and was ready to acquire a copy.

When I casually mentioned that my testimonial was on the cover of Marianne’s book, he asked if Making a Living Without a Job was available on Kindle. He said he was going to order that, too.

That jolly encounter was just the beginning, however. Both of my Saturday seminars were filled with delightful students.

There was an enthusiastic young man who told us that he was annoyed about all the plastic straws he was throwing away everyday. So he found someone on Etsy to make him his very own reusable wooden straw. (Who knew?)

There was Pete Young who had flown in on Friday from Seattle for my programs. He said that for years he’d been in sales and traveled constantly. “This is the first plane I’ve been on in six years,” he grinned.

Before my final seminar of the series, a man came in the room, walked over and asked if I recognized him. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t get any farther than that. “1998. Burnsville Community Ed. Norm Kunselmann,” he said.

Of course!

Norm was the permanently cheerful program director I’d worked with back in Minnesota. He had relocated to Las Vegas and was about to start working with UNLV’s continuing education program.

Then there was one of my favorite moments of the day. When Patrice Snead, a returning student who coaches women entrepreneurs, walked up to ask me a question, I asked one first. “How tall are you?”

She laughed and said her official height was 5’11’’. Then she said, “When I’m at networking events or out meeting people, I sometimes say, ‘I’m so tall I can see opportunities you might miss.’”

Best of all, there had been plenty of networking and resource sharing going on in all four of my programs as this curious group got to know each other.

Apparently, it was a fine weekend to be a gypsy teacher. This morning Tama Kieves had this to say about her time in New York:

Last night after my A Course of Miracles workshop in NYC, a bunch of us spontaneously went out to Whole Foods. We closed the place down with laughter. Doing the work you love can create soul “family” for you, income stream, & joy. What is not “safe” about this?

One of my favorite things about the Un-Job Fair in Denver is that I have an opportunity to hang out with the wonderful Tama Kieves.

In case you haven’t had the pleasure, Tama is the author of the brilliant book This Time I Dance! Her new book, which I am eagerly anticipating, Inspired and Unstoppable, is coming out at the end of August.

As we were catching up with each other, the conversation turned to the subject of book promotion. That led us to talking about tactics which neither of us wish to duplicate.

“I am so tired,” I added, “of the snake oil salesmen who are out there gathering massive followings.”

Tama nodded in agreement and then said, “Barbara Winter. Better than a snake oil salesman.” I laughed and said I liked the sound of that.

“That could be my new tag line,” I suggested. “Actually, I’ve always thought of myself as a lot like Johnny Appleseed, going around, planting seeds, but not sticking around for the harvest.”

As an entrepreneur who is also a passionate storyteller, I am fond of metaphors. Finding the metaphor can often lead to finding clarity or to triggering a fresh idea or point of view.

In case you’ve forgotten, a metaphor is a figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common.

Creative writing classes often use metaphorical exercises to stimulate innovative thinking. You might hunt some of these exercises down (the Internet is full of them) and use them to jar your imagination.

Or you could create a metaphor (or several) to pull out when you’re asked the question, “So, what do you do?” Let me show you what I mean.

My friend Chris was visiting her local library in the small Connecticut town where she lived. There was one librarian there who had always been especially helpful so my friend made it a point to seek her out when she needed assistance.

After one such occasion, Chris shared her appreciation. The modest librarian smiled and said, “I’m just a waitress in the restaurant of knowledge.”

Pretty memorable metaphor, isn’t it?

So give it a try. What do you do?

And if you come up with a metaphor you love (or that makes you giggle) feel free to share it in the comment section here.