When my Aunt Marge was alive, I visited her as often as possible. She was eager to hear about my travels and recent adventures. Somewhere in the conversation, she would exclaim, “Oh, you meet the most interesting people.”

I totally agreed, of course.

While I have a long list of things I love about being self-employed, Meeting Interesting People is one of my favorite perks. People who are passionately engaged in what they’re creating are pilgrims on the road to Being More.

That may not have entered their mind when they began following their ideas, but it is a powerful bonus of creating and sharing their unique offerings.

One of the things I love most is watching a new business evolve. Although I hadn’t met her at the time, I still recall the email I got from Connie Solera telling me about her plans to leave teaching and create more art.

Her Dirty Footprints Studio has been responsible for helping women from all over the world get in touch with their creative spirit. Recently, Connie did two painting retreats in Oaxaca, Mexico and shared each day’s activities on Facebook.

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who waited patiently for those lively posts that arrived every evening. Fearless Painting, indeed! Go see for yourself what these women produced.

It’s also fascinating to me how people find each other. I recently did a Skype call with Tiffoni Lewis and her husband Neil. They are building a fun mobile pottery painting business from their home near San Antonio, Texas.

A while back, Tiffoni’s father came to my seminar in Las Vegas. He later sent me a note saying he wanted to give her a gift subscription to Winning Ways newsletter. That led to an email from Tiffoni asking if we could chat.

When I was growing up, the people I knew were mostly those who lived in the same small town. Creating a business that involves travel expanded my horizons and my circle of friends.

Just this morning I had a message from Carlo Pescatori. I met this entrepreneurial Venetian when my sisters, brother and I rented an apartment from him several years ago. Last week, I had a message from Kathie Kelling in Phoenix who is planning a trip to Venice and was seeking advice. I promptly thought of Carlo’s place and sent along information to her.

Connecting people with each other is another fun perk of the Joyfully Jobless Journey.

This morning’s email also had a message from Patrice Wynne, a delightful woman I met on my trip to San Miguel de Allende in December. Patrice has a lovely textile shop that uses local talent to produce its’ products.

The shop, named Abrazos, Spanish for embrace, benefits the community in numerous ways including employing local seamstresses to produce the bathrobes, shirts, aprons and other colorful items sold in the shop.

Visit their site and read about their collaborations with museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts who are selling items from Abrazos in conjunction with exhibits of Frida Kahlo’s work and other Mexican artists.

When I was starting out in my seminar business, I offered a program on creating a mail order business. While I am enthusiastic about this sort of profit center, I wasn’t nearly so thrilled with teaching the class since it seemed to attract misanthropes. I removed it from my repertoire after only two sessions.

Of course, the internet has made it possible for people who don’t like people to run a business with no direct human contact.

That would never work for me.

As Caroline Myss so wisely advised us, “We evolve at the rate of the tribe we’re plugged into.”  Wishing you a tribe as wonderful as mine.

Last night a headline on the LA Times site caught my eye. It said,“FreeConferenceCall.com founder helped by the perfect name.”

Since my upcoming issue of Winning Ways has a piece called What Shall We Name This Business? I was especially interested in the story.

It turned out to be an intriguing piece about what has become the largest privately owned conference calling service in the country. Despite it’s continuing growth, the owner says that the majority of new customers arrive at his site because of the name he gave his enterprise.

It was also a nice profile in the entrepreneurial thinking that helped build the company. According to the piece, for the first two years founder David Erickson was the only employee: He was the accountant, the customer service agent and the Web master. “I knew what [customers] wanted to see in my service, the problems they were having, their visions for what it could be,” he said.

I promptly shared it with folks on Facebook. Now, hours later, only one person has given this piece a  “Like.” I’m certain it would have garnered more Likes had more people taken the time to read the story.

What too many people fail to notice (or care about) is that we live in a gigantic schoolhouse where we can learn all manner of useful and fascinating things simply by paying attention.There is nothing taught here that’s more visible than the class I’ll call Business Success 101.

Entrepreneurs and their stories are everywhere.We can hardly get through the day without encountering them. I have file folders bulging with newspaper clippings of inspiriing stories with titles like Lessons from America’s New Entrepreneurs.

It’s not just the media that offers up lessons. Every time we step into a store or check out a business Website, we have the opportunity to sharpen our own entrepreneurial skills.

What attracts? Repels? What might we integrate into our own way of doing things? What do we want to avoid bringing into our business?

Answers and clues abound, but they’re only useful to those who are seeking to learn.

In 1974, author Timothy Gallwey wrote a surprise bestseller called The Inner Game of Tennis. That book spawned an entire series of Inner Game books and made Gallwey a sought after speaker and trainer.

While Gallwey made a strong case for the positive benefits of being a practicing meditator, one of his other findings made a big impact on me. Gallwey said that when an ordinary tennis player spent time watching masterful players, the ordinary person’s game improved.

However, it wasn’t conscious analysis that made the difference. Simply paying close attention to seeing the game played well made a subconscious impact on the viewer. Their own game improved after putting themselves in the presence of excellence.

The same is true for getting better at business or parenting or any other pursuit that matters to us.

If you’re willing to take advantage of the Big Schoolhouse, here’s a terrific lesson for today. It’s a short (but brilliant) piece from writer and all-around creative guy Julien Smith and is called I Was Born Very Stupid and Will Die Very Smart.

Give it a look and then figure out the best way to put Smith’s ideas to work. You’re bound to get smarter if you do.