We’re all pilgrims on the same journey,
but some pilgrims have better roadmaps.
~ Nelson deMille

New ideas, information and inspiration arrive in your mailbox (your real mailbox, not the one on your computer) six times a year when you subscribe to Winning Ways newsletter.

In my own journey, I’ve discovered that just wanting to grow and change isn’t enough. We need tools, ideas, reminders and role models to keep us moving ahead. That’s exactly what you’ll find in Winning Ways. That and much, much more!

This isn’t a slick and glossy publication; it’s more like a scrapbook of the good things I’ve uncovered that I now use in my own business. Each issue brings you ideas, information, inspiration and insights on the Joyfully Jobless Journey. You’ll find:

  • Creative ideas for turning passions into profits
  • Profit center ideas and success stories
  • The best books for self-bossers
  • Shoestring marketing tips
  • Resources to feed your entrepreneurial spirit
  • Fresh ideas to spark your imagination
  • Ideas for taking care of the boss
  • Tools for helping you tune into opportunity

So while you’re busy building your business, I’m busy researching books, articles, blogs and Websites looking for the very best ideas to pass along. My hours of research will save you time—and costly mistakes.

(Click to Read a Sample Issue)

Give Winning Ways a try and you’ll see why every day brings mail like this one from Jean in Ireland:

You have no idea what your newsletter means to me. Winning Ways has sustained me on an inspirational path all through last year when my beloved dad was diagnosed with advanced, inoperable lung cancer in February. The sight of those bright, cheery envelopes bringing each new issue kept me connected and inspired all the year through. How I love to see e-mails from your site, but nothing beats the morning sound of the postman’s flop of an envelope on my hall floor. Thank you for all your inspiration and motivation. May you be truly enriched as you have enriched me.

If you are living or you want to live the Joyfully Jobless life, if your idea of building a business is as much about having fun as it is about turning a profit, if you are part of the new breed of entrepreneurs that see self-employment as an opportunity for personal growth, Winning Ways is for you. After all, lifestyle is just as important as livelihood.

Now in its twenty-fifth year, Winning Ways continues to be a favorite of intrepid entrepreneurs around the world. In fact, many longtime subscribers tell us they keep every issue, referring back to them again and again as they’re growing their own businesses. Not only l save you time—and costly mistakes.

has Winning Ways built a loyal following, it’s also the longest-running newsletter of its kind.

Subscribe and find out why it’s outlasted the others.

New Subscribers

$36/year in USA $41/year outside USA

Renewing Subscribers

$29/year in USA $34/year outside USA

I’ve been a subscriber to Winning Ways for almost 10 years now and have been uplifted and motivated by each issue. I appreciate your perspective on joyful joblessness. Your message has touched my life in very profound ways.

Lori, California

Here at Winning Ways, we don’t use the word “should” too often, but here are five things you really should consider giving yourself:

A massage therapist who makes house calls. Having your massage at home eliminates the stress of driving when it’s over and saves you time, too. Besides that, it’s a little bit of luxury to have your own in-home therapist. A friend of mine schedules hers late in the evening and can count on an especially good night’s sleep to follow.

A medical savings account. Although they’ve been around for a while, MSAs have not been well publicized, but if you’re self-employed you’ll want to find one for yourself (unless you live in a more civilized place where health insurance isn’t an issue). Essentially, an MSA allows you to put money into a special account to pay out-of-pocket medical expenses. This money is not taxed, however. One carrier that offers medical savings accounts is Blue Cross.

A techie friend who knows more than you do. Actually, I have two such friends. (To be honest, almost all my friends know more than I do about technology.) Blair Hornbuckle and Peter Vogt are two gentle giants who patiently coax me into learning new things. And on a recent afternoon when I thought I had erased my hard drive, Peter dropped everything and came to my office to restore order. Everyone needs such a willing friend.

An accountant who understands small business. It might seem sexy to hire a large accounting firm (although big firms aren’t as prestigious since the Enron scandal) but don’t do it if you’re a one-person business. People trained to handle corporate affairs won’t understand what you’re up to. So find an accountant who works from home or from a very small office — one who is self-employed.

A diary. Journals are great for exploring thoughts and ideas, but a diary is a factual running record of your life. If you can find an old-fashioned five-year diary and write in it faithfully, you’ll have an ongoing account of your growth. As you jot down the events of your day, it’s fun to look back at the same date a year or two ago to see what you were doing.

There’s more where this came from.
Order Winning Ways now!


Jan Dean and I became friends because of our mutual love of books. Several years ago, Jan was doing conferences and workshops in northern Texas on starting a home based business. She ordered Winning Ways, the newsletter which I publish, and promptly wrote me a charming letter telling me about her affection for 84, Charing Cross Road, which I had mentioned in that issue. That love of reading and our joint passion for everything English has kept our friendship going for over a decade. When I did seminars in Dallas, Jan and I always planned time together — time that usually involved at least one bookstore visit.

Last year, Jan told me one of her goals for the year was to learn about book collecting. Her enthusiasm was contagious and I began reading about book collecting, too, and promptly realized a potential (and natural) profit center waiting to be born.

Like many avid readers, Jan has found a way to share her love with others. She is the author of The Gardener’s Reading Guide, which lists hundreds of books on all aspects of gardening. Her passion for cozy mysteries led her to start a specialized newsletter called Murder Most Cozy, which shares news about this genre. Every year, Jan leads a tour to England that is designed especially for other cozy lovers. Here’s a bit of what the tour brochure promises:

The Cozy Crimes & Cream Teas tour was created so you can truly experience the picturesque English villages where many cozies are set. You will fall in love with Burford, Chipping Campden, Bibury, Stow-on-the-Wold, and many other tiny and not-so-tiny Cotswold villages. In addition, you will have a chance to meet and chat with the English authors who write the cozy mysteries.

Obviously, Jan has found a wonderful niche in the vast world of books. If you’re a bookworm, perhaps you, too, can find a way to combine your love of books with a nifty profit center. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Read for a living. Kathy Baxter is a professional librarian who has found several outlets for sharing her expertise. For years, Kathy has been a popular speaker on the subject of books and kids. She regularly delivers book talks to other librarians, teachers, parents and schoolchildren. After Kathy submitted an article about her approach to giving booktalks to Library Journal, the industry publication, her visibility as an expert expanded even more. Not only did the magazine like her article enough to publish it, they asked her to do a regular column which now appears in that publication and is called “The Nonfiction Booktalker.” Kathy has also written a book called Gotcha! Getting Kids Excited About Books. In addition, Kathy is a founder of the Maud Hart Lovelace Society, a national organization that brings together lovers of the Betsy-Tacy books.

There are numerous other ways to turn reading time into bottom line. For instance, many newspapers use freelancers to read and review new books. Film producers and some publishers use the services of reader’s advisers to comb through piles of manuscripts and make recommendations about those that seem feasible for production.

Then there’s the business started by Linda Seger, who describes herself as a script consultant. “There were so many people in the movie business who wrote, produced or made decisions about developing a film,” she explains, “but there was no one to come in and spot problems in the script from an objective viewpoint. That’s what I do. I troubleshoot scripts.” She now works with more than 150 clients a year who pay her anywhere from $750 to $3,000 for her advice. In addition, she conducts seminars and has written a book for others who would like to start a similar service.

Sell books. Next to opening a restaurant, running a dear little bookstore seems to be the most popular business fantasy around. As every booklover knows, independent bookselling has become a most unstable occupation. (Of course, if you have your heart set on it and financial backing, by all means ignore this warning.) Even in this age of superstores and Amazon, specialty booksellers with a bit of imagination can carve out a place for themselves.

Collette Morgan opened a children’s bookstore called Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis with the intention of making her store “something a corporate mind would never dream up and that a large company could never sustain.” Her bookstore sells children a good time along with books and is thriving despite competition from the chains.

That’s just what Debbie Cravens did. After she left her job at the Wisconsin Historical Society, where she’d been a book buyer and done searches for out-of-print books, she found that “I could not not sell books.” That led her to start a business to do searches, which eventually became a business specializing in gardening books. That turned into a mail order business called Wood Violet Books, although Debbie does a great deal of marketing through garden fairs, as well. Thanks to the Internet, Debbie says she’s doing more book searches than ever — and finding it easier to track down elusive titles.

Because the world of books is so huge, those wishing to market books would be wise to find a niche and become highly specialized. For many years, Jan Longone has operated a successful mail order bookstore devoted to culinary subjects, tracking down books from around the world. Without ever advertising or even owning a fax machine, Jan’s Wine and Food Library, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has built a devoted clientele, including Julia Child and the late M.F.K. Fisher. “This business suits me perfectly,” she says. “We’re surrounded by good books, good food, travel and we’ve made friends around the world.”

Travel, cooking, scholarly, architectural and mystery specialty shops have flourished in many places; a mail order and/or Internet counterpart could offer opportunities to those wishing to specialize.

Antiquarian and other book specialists also market through book fairs and other book-related events, as well as conventions, special meetings and conferences. If you market childrearing books, for instance, setting up shop at parenting conferences is a logical way to build your business. And, of course, selling books is a natural add-on profit center for many kinds of businesses.

While booksellers may not become fabulously wealthy, most agree that one of the great bonuses in selling books is that it brings them in contact with others who share their passion — making business the pleasure it should be.

There’s more where this came from.
Order Winning Ways now!

After we opened our gifts last Christmas, my daughter said, “I was going to give you a Blackberry, but I didn’t want to feed your e-mail addiction.” Although I protested that it wasn’t that bad, she had evidence to the contrary.

What Jennie doesn’t understand is that my e-mail is usually full of interesting stuff. Reading it isn’t a chore at all. Here’s a sampler of a few things that have recently arrived.

The other morning, my handywoman sister Margaret sent this brief message: ”I must right a listing Christmas tree before a seafaring man comes home for the holidays.” The next message I opened was from Pat Peterson, a lively woman from Des Moines who had attended a Las Vegas event and Camp Jumpstart. Seems she had started a new business–or, to be more accurate, a new business had found her. It was such a delightful story that I asked her for permission to include it in the next Winning Ways.

Charla Swift, who just attended Compelling Storytelling, sent a message titled Still Reeling from Las Vegas. She began her update by writing, ” To say I’ve had idea overload is an understatement!  The first night my son Justin and I stayed up late talking about all the wonderful marketing ideas we came up with around the campfire. And the ideas just keep coming.” She went on to tell me about their exciting plans which are already in motion less than a week after the seminar. Charla ended her message by saying, “I cannot thank you enough for opening a whole new world for me to embrace. (Justin merely smiled as I told him of my revelation…do you suppose he already suspected???)  Sometimes, as the story goes, the mountains are much more visible from the plains. How true!  In addition to this new discovery, I have discovered more kindred spirits in my tribe.  Just when I think I can’t discover anything new, I find how little I know.” 

What’s more fun than hearing from an excited entrepreneur? Hearing from many excited entrepreneurs. Jay Hepner wrote to tell me he’d started a new blog. His first post called Taking My Own Advice is terrific.

Then there was this message from a complete stranger:

I don’t typically e-mail people who write newsletters but today is an exception!  Your latest newsletter will be forwarded in its entirety to many friends who are facing change in the hope that they will embrace the challenges positively.

My own story includes periods of time of purposeful disconnection from employment. Early on people couldn’t understand why I left very good job at the peak of my career and downsize at an age when the majority of people are focused on career and the accumulation of wealth.

My answer was complicated but the simple answer was “To live my life with integrity.” I had bought into the American Dream and was incredibly unhappy. I knew the process of connecting with my purpose in life would be challenging but I did not realize that the search would be as dramatic and enlightening as it has been. 

Over the last five years I have been a teacher at a high school in North Carolina where I taught Foods I and II (nutrition and cooking); a substitute teacher in WV and VA;  hiked miles of trails including the AT and other trails in the east;  visited with my children including my grandson who will be a year old in January; started a farmers market; grown a garden; met new people; and earned my personal trainer certification.  I am still not “employed” but I am happy making contributions to the communities were I live. 

As I write Good Morning America is airing interviews with people who have lost their jobs. My heart goes out for them as they are being jolted from the comfort of life as they knew it. Their paradigms are being imploded. People who have their identity defined by their employment and career no longer feel valuable. Self-esteem is challenged, ideas are challenged. Soul searching will begin. 

I gave up job hunting. Now I barter for what I need. Right now I am a professional domestic and personal chef and love it!   It is my hope that I can help people transition during these challenging times to see their value and to redefine what they need to be happy. 

Change is all we can count on.

Thank you for living your life with integrity and sharing your thoughts.

Ms. Harmony Leonard

Currently in Bradford PA but that could change next week!

Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.~Yeats