Of all the Christmas gifts that Jack has received, there’s one that he remembers most fondly. When he was still dreaming about being a writer, his sister gave him a copy of Writer’s Market.   It was the first time anyone had encouraged his writing aspirations—and it made a big difference. Jack’s gone on to author several books and dozens of articles.

Know someone standing on the edge of a dream? How might you show your support for that? If your friend or family member is a budding entrepreneur, a subscription to Winning Ways newsletter or a gift certificate for a teleclass might be a fit. Or select one of the books that you’ll find in the Joyfully Jobless library.

Here are some other ways to fan your own entrepreneurial spirit.

Steven Kalas is one of my favorite columnists in the Las Vegas Review Journal, as I’ve mentioned before. His recent piece called We Think a Little Too Much About Ourselves on Facebook is definitely worth a read.

Another resident of my hometown is voice artist and broadcaster Dave Courvoisier. His blog post called A Word About…Words is an eloquent reminder of why we should have paid better attention in English class.

Give yourself a break and listen to John Williams, Judith Morgan and Mike Yates, founders of the Creative Entrepreneurs Club, discuss developing an entrepreneurial mindset. It’s loaded with observations about what it takes to be successfully self-employed.

 

As you know, fear is a powerful emotion. When it’s doing its job, it helps us avoid danger and harm. (Don’t get in the elevator with that scary man.) On the other hand, fear can take over and keep us from ever discovering our purpose, passion and possibility. 

Fear doesn’t have to run our lives–no matter what the state of the world. As the wise Persian poet Hafiz pointed out: “Fear is the cheapest room in the house. You deserve better accomodations.”

Life and business coach Betty Mahalik, owner of Dynamic Solutions,  tackled this subject brilliantly in her Monday Morning Coaching e-mail with a piece called  I’ve Had it With Fear

 I urge you to read it at once if you’re looking for better accomodations. 

 

 Been wondering if you should take time to attend Compelling Storytelling 

or some other Special Event? Here are a few signs that the time is right.

 

√ You’ve reached all of your goals.

√ You’ve reached none of your goals.

√ You are in need of some fresh ideas.

√ You’d like to get a new perspective from a genuine dreambuilder.

√ 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 know you’d be inspired by spending time with other dreambuilding entrepreneurs.

√ 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.

√ You think Compelling Storytelling sounds like fun.

 

 

My brother Jim lives in California and is an avid surfer. He’s also 62 years old. One day we were talking on the phone and he said,  “I was driving to the beach yesterday morning and it was still dark. I was thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’”

“You’re doing it so you can have a lively old age,” I suggested. 

He laughed and said, “You know I surf  better now than I did thirty years ago.” I pointed out that he’d also been disciplined about keeping at it. “I still love it,” he said, then added, “You’ve got to ride more waves. It all goes in the bank.”

So what do you want to be better at doing thirty (or ten) years from now? Whatever your answer is, the time to start working on it is right now. In his wonderful little book, Mastery, George Leonard says, “We tend to assume that mastery requires a special ticket available only to those born with exceptional abilities. But mastery isn’t reserved for the supertalented or even those who are fortunate enough to have gotten an early start. It’s available to  anyone who is willing to get on the path and stay on it—regardless of age, sex or previous experience.”

We live in a time of instant results and instant gratification—not a culture that’s conducive to taking on a project and sticking with it for years. This quick results attitude aborts many wonderful ideas. Kids seem to understand the power of practice better than their elders. After all, they’re learning everything from the ground up, but oo many adults are not as willing to invest the time and effort. What a shame. Practice has other rewards besides ultimate mastery.

Recently I wrote about John Higgins, the reluctant Compelling Storytelling attendee, and I mentioned that he’d begun a daily writing practice. Here’s what he wrote to me after I pointed that out.

Thank you for writing that I had started a “writing practice.”  I had not thought of writing as I do my work with visually  impaired people as “a practice”  and now I do which gives makes it a bigger priority and much more real in my mind. 

A practice. A writing practice. A daily commitment to the discipline of writing. 

I have always loved how “practice” means too that we never stop learning and never have all the answers but we continue to practice our skills. 

I take it one step further and remind myself to practice the process and not perfection.  This keeps me from freezing up and resisting out of fear of failure because I learned that if I could not do something perfectly I would not do it at all.  Took me years to become aware I was a perfectionist that way. 

So, I practice. And, I have a writing practice. 

Damn, I like the sound of that!

 My first teacher told me, “You only have to practice on the days that you eat.” ~ Hilary Hahn

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One of the nice bonuses of living in Las Vegas is reading Steven Kalas’ Human Matters column in the Sunday paper. Today’s piece is called Those Pursuing a Calling Serve as Inspiration to Others. Take a look for yourself.