CHANGING COURSE BEGINS WITH A GREAT IDEA

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Check Out IDEA #2 in our NEW series Make Your Own Cool Job!

Are you happiest when you’re in a kitchen?

Do you dream of having a little shop where the regulars know you by name?

Even if your interests lie elsewhere… do you still love discovering ways to work and live outside the job box?

If so then you’ll love IDEA #2 in our NEW series Make Your Own Cool Job!

Maura Glennon didn’t set out to be her own boss.

To the contrary. For the last 15 years she’s been a music professor at Keene State College.

Somewhere along the line – or the highway as the case may be – Maura got restless.

On her daily two-hour round trip commute from her home in Florence, Massachusetts to her job in New Hampshire, Maura would dream of opening her own little pie shop.

When an old general store-turned barbershop closed down, Maura saw her chance and she grabbed it.

Today she and her husband Justin (also a professor) are the proud owners of the super quaint Florence Pie Bar.

Pie 4

pie shop 1

pie shop 3

Being close to home suits Maura’s new non-commuter lifestyle.

Even though running a brick-and-mortar operation isn’t the most family-friendly business model, the mother of two boys told a local reporter, “My son can ride his bike to the store after school and help out with the dishes, do his homework here.”

Opening any retail enterprise is a gamble. Fortunately, right out of the gate the Florence Pie Bar was turning out 75 pies a day.

But with prices starting at $4.75 a slice… once you do the math you’ll see, that’s a lot of dough!

My 84-year-old dad L-O-V-E-S pie.

So I decided to surprise him with a treat. (I couldn’t decide between the lemon chess and the chocolate malted — so I picked both for him.)

If my dad’s expert- taste test is any confirmation, this pie is worth the price!

Find Your Niche

On the opposite side of the country in Portland, Oregon is the Pacific Pie Company.

Chris Powell and Sarah Curtis, also a husband-and-wife team, came at the pie business from a very different angle.

Chris missed the savory meat pies he grew up with in his native Australia, so Sarah experimented with making them.

Apparently she got the hang of it because today, in addition to fabulous sounding breakfast and lunch fare, their restaurant specializes in Australian-style savory meat pies.

Aussie Meat Pie

They also offer other Australian pub favorites like chicken schnitzel and something called pie floaters described as, “a crazy but delicious Aussie dish” that consists of “your choice of meat pie or vegetarian pastie floating in a big bowl of our house made pea soup.”

Like many other foodie entrepreneurs, Sarah and Chris started out small by selling at farmer’s markets. Today they have two locations.

Something else that stood out to me about the Pacific Pie Company was the great use of video – unusual for a restaurant.

Instead of just telling their site visitors that they do catering, they actually show the kitchen crew prepping for a big event.

In another video, Sarah shares the history of meat pies explains how wives of British miners used to make them from meat, potatoes and other leftovers so their husbands could easily pack lunch to eat in the mine.

Teach What You Love

Sarah also teaches a class called Pie Making 101.  The three-hour class costs $100 and is limited to six people. 

Again, if you don’t have your calculator out yet…you should!

calculator

At the current twice-a-month schedule, Sarah will profit from her passion for baking and teaching to the tune of $14,400 a year!

Turns out back at the Florence Pie Bar, Maura also plans to offer evening classes.

I found this out after Maura’s husband Justin said he was surprised at the brisk sales of their branded mugs and T-shirts (seen here above glass case).

pie shop 2

Create Additional Streams of Income

That’s when a light bulb went off.

Hearing about these other product sales prompted me to tell Justin about Self-Bossing IDEA #1 in our Make Your Own Cool Job!

If you missed it, I profiled a company that’s already sold over 300,000 high-fashion aprons.

And I told you how, for as little as $200, you can apply to buy these aprons wholesale and sell them for as much $49 each.

Justin loved the idea that aprons (these or their own branded ones) could be a great product to sell to pie baking students!

Literally a day after posting about how these aprons would be a great addition to a local food shop I happened to find the PERFECT place to profit from this idea!

That’s why it’s so important that you keep learning about different business ideas.

You never know when that idea might help you… or someone who shares your passion for working and living outside the j-o-b box!

Next Step for This–and ALL–Ideas

Have you noticed how when it comes to acting on our dream that the brains of otherwise intelligent, capable people suddenly turn to mush?

All the more so if you tend to become easily overwhelmed by lots of steps.

Here’s an exercise to “trick” the part of you that’s overwhelmed or afraid or just not sure where to begin.

Imagine your boss tells you to come up with a step-by-step plan for how an individual could make money selling pies.

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

Your first response might be, “OMG, I have no idea what to do!”

Yet, even with any initial brain fog or self-doubt (or both), the fact that your boss needs a plan, you’d figure it out to do it.

Am I right?

That’s when it can help to pretend you really were given this assignment and then figure it out!

To start:

  1. List all the things you’ll need to find out in order to complete your plan. Things like:

– wholesale price of Flirty Aprons in order to do sales projections

– the cost and logistics of getting a table or booth at various venues

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

  1. Make a plan for how you’ll get these answers – will you look online? Start making phone calls?
  1. Next, list all things someone would need to learn or understand or do well in order to succeed in this business:

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

  1. Then make a plan for how someone could gain the required knowledge or skills.

If you really do want to open a brick-and-mortar business, I urge you to do what Maura did and seek free 1-1 counseling from your state’s State Business Development Center or comparable program in the province or country where you live.

      Walk a local flea market, chatting with vendors about what it’s like to sell there.

  1. Once you have all the information you need, list the steps in the order they need to be to happen.  Hint: You don’t have to do everything all at once!

Turning ideas into action isn’t complicated. All you need is a plan and the effort to carry it out!

Stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #3 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own #&*!*# Job!

Don’t want to wait?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about scheduling your personal Work at What You Love career session!

We’d Love to Hear from You!

If you had to pick just one take away from this story…

  1. What would it be?
  2. How will you use it to advance your own path to self-bossing?

 


Check Out IDEA #1 to Make Your Own Cool Job!

You’re all decked out for a formal party at your home. Still you need to be in the kitchen preparing food while entertaining guests.

Do you put on a frumpy apron… or don a fabulously fashionable one?

The four entrepreneurs behind Flirty Aprons banked on a lot of women going for the latter – and they were right!

Originally started as a mall kiosk business in 2009, today the company has sold over 300,000 aprons.

With bold prints, sassy styles, and over 120 designs, these are definitely not your grandmother’s aprons!

 

The aprons like in the Tessi designer collection, are so fashionable, if you sewed a back on them you could skip the cooking part altogether and just wear them out to dinner!

The company also sells colorful over-sized toddler bibs, designer oven mitts, high-end kitchen gadgets, and a men’s line with sayings like “I Turn Grills On” and “Grill Sergeant.”

So would you like to cash in on this trend in high-end aprons?

Do you have a food-related or other on- or off-line store?

Are you a fan of the booming farmer’s market scene?

If you — or someone you know – said YES to any of these questions…

Or, if you just LOVE thinking outside the job box and want to hone your Business Idea Generation (B.I.G.) skills to see cool opportunities all around you – read on because…

Opportunity knocks.

Women’s aprons generally range from $35 to $45.

But you can apply to Flirty Aprons to purchase items wholesale and pocket the difference!

The only requirement is you purchase a minimum order of $200 over a 12-month period. How hard can that be?

Obviously if you already have a retail or online store or some sort of food-related business, you can do a test sale.

Or for as little as $200 you could get enough inventory to test at a farmer’s market, flea market, cooking/garden/home show, or other public venue.

If it goes well, stick with that location or go all out and open your own mall or holiday kiosk.

Most states and provinces also have large women’s conferences that include a tradeshow. The Massachusetts Women’s Conference happens just before Christmas and the times I’ve been there, items like scarves and jewelry fly off the shelves.

Don’t want to bother purchasing inventory? Sign up as an affiliate and earn 15% on anything sold via your affiliate link.

You’ll earn less than you would as a wholesaler, but if you already have a website and traffic, it’s an easy way to make some extra money.

Or build on the success of this product by coming up with your own!

What other products could you (or someone) create that would make mundane tasks like cooking, cleaning, gardening and so on a bit more glamorous or fun?

Next Steps for This — and All — Ideas

Have you noticed how when it comes to acting on our dream that the brains of otherwise intelligent, capable people suddenly turn to mush?

All the more so if you tend to become easily overwhelmed by lots of steps.

Here’s an exercise to “trick” the part of you that’s overwhelmed or afraid or just not sure where to begin.

Imagine your boss tells you to come up with a step-by-step plan for how an individual could make money re-selling Flirty Aprons.

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

Your first response might be, “OMG, I have no idea what to do!”

Yet, even with any initial brain fog or self-doubt (or both), the fact that your boss needs a plan, you’d figure it out to do it.

Am I right?

That’s when it can help to pretend you really were given this assignment and then figure it out!

To start:

  1. List all the things you’ll need to find out in order to complete your plan. Things like:

– wholesale price of Flirty Aprons in order to do sales projections

– the cost and logistics of getting a table or booth at various venues

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

  1. Make a plan for how you’ll get these answers – will you look online? Start making phone calls?
  1. Next, list all things someone would need to learn or understand or do well in order to succeed in this business:

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

  1. Then make a plan for how someone could gain the required knowledge or skills.

For instance, take a class or seek 1-1 counseling from your state’s Small Business Development Center or comparable program wherever you live.

Walk a local flea market, chatting with vendors about what it’s like to sell there.

  1. Once you have all the information you need, list the steps in the order they need to be to happen.

Hint: You don’t have to do everything all at once!

Turning ideas into action isn’t complicated. All you need is a plan and the effort to carry it out!

Stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #2 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t want to wait?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about scheduling your personal Work at What You Love career session!

We’d Love to Hear from You!

If you had to pick just one take away from this story…

  1. What would it be?
  2. How will you use it to advance your own path to self-bossing?

 


Dilbert Creator Scott Adams Totally Blew Me Off (And I Have His Email to Prove It!)

I remember it like it was yesterday.

On July 14, 1999 I cranked up my dial-up connection to get onto the World Wide Web, excited to hear the now iconic AOL greeting, “You’ve got mail!”

To my amazement I’d received personal response from Scott Adams –creator of the enormously successful syndicated cartoon Dilbert.

In the early ‘90s, headlines were filled with stunning news that corporate giants like AT&T and IBM were laying off workers by the tens of thousands.

Perfect timing for Adams to step in and lampoon the sometimes crazy world of performance reviews, near constant re-organizations, and in his words, “evil pointy-haired” bosses.

It’s also what made 1995 the perfect time to launch the Changing Course newsletter.

I was doing what I loved and some money was following. But not enough to completely break me out of job jail.

If there were some way I could build on the Dilbert brand, I knew it would put Changing Course on the map in a BIG way.

So after reading an article about Adams in Newsweek I reached out to explore the possibilities.

To put it bluntly – he blew me off.

scott adams

I was CRUSHED!

But the line that stuck with me most was the last one…

“You don’t need me anyway.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes! Was he out of his mind?

OF COURSE I NEEDED HIM!

It took a while (okay, years…) but I finally realized Adams was right.

I already had the drive and vision I needed to make my business work.

And so do you.

The fact is, with most ventures you really don’t “need” anyone to endorse you, sponsor you, partner with you, or even believe in you.

However, there are important exceptions.

One of these exceptions takes us right back to Adams’ and my own roots in the corporate world.

There are some things that would take you and me years – if ever – to learn.

Times where we really do need a knowledgeable mentor to show us the way.

For you, that teacher just might be my friend and former corporate executive turned self-bosser Belinda Pruyne.

Belinda

When Belinda first hung up her shingle as a business and leadership coach she tried to put as much distance between herself and the corporate world as possible.

Then one day she had her Big AHA…

There’s still plenty of money to be made in corporate – and you don’t need to be an employee to do it.

Instead, Belinda realized that for a lot of people, turning a large organization into your biggest customer or client can be the absolute best way to truly profit from your passion.

Last week I introduced you to a number of non-corporate types who landed corporate contracts.

Contracts that allow them to both serve more people and make more money doing it – without compromising their values.

Like the photographer who loves photographing babies but couldn’t get enough babies in the pipeline to make it sustainable.

Photographer at work with newborn baby boy

He never knew where his next client was going to come from.

He’s now the photographer for the maternity ward at a huge hospital in New York City. So he’s there to capture all the moments surrounding many of the births in that hospital.

Or the health coach who was tired of trying to convince individuals to sign up as clients who didn’t always understand the value she provided.

Then she noticed that one of her friends from the C-suite in a big company was stressed beyond belief, exhausted, and wasn’t eating well. It gave her an idea…Employee Benefits placard isolated on white

Today, she has contracts with big corporations where she goes in, assesses all the employees in the C-suite, and develops a meal plan for the company chef.

If the company doesn’t have a chef, she creates individual meal plans and sits down with each executive’s assistant to help them support their boss.

She’s just returned from Paris doing this for a company. Before that, she was in Singapore.

Pretty cool right?!

If these people can earn $25k… $50k… $75k… from a single corporate client – then you can find a way to turn your own gifts and interests into a compelling win-win.

Like I said, my newsletter business was pretty straightforward; so I really didn’t need Scott Adams’ – or anyone’s — help.

But when it comes to knowing what it takes to sign a corporate client, you will need someone to show you the way.

That’s why I’m so excited that Belinda has agreed to put on this free online presentation called….

BIG Corporate Connections. BIG Contracts. BIG Cash

3 keys to snag BIG corporate gigs with the matching paychecks
(Even if you don’t know the first thing about the corporate world)
Tuesday, March 22nd at 1pm EST US

If you missed my announcement last week, there’s still time to jump in.

Click here to register BigCorporateConnections.info

In this powerful 1-hour presentation, you’ll learn…

  • How to turn YOUR expertise & services into compelling offers for corporations – without having to twist yourself or conform your beliefs to “fit in.”
  • The #1 secret to “get past the gatekeeper”. (Belinda has a brilliant example of how one outside vendor got past her own secretary back when she used to be the one hiring outside vendors.)
  • How to get decision makers to pay attention and take you seriouslyeven if you have no experience working in corporate yourself!
  • The BIGGEST thing you need to know about corporate decision makers BEFORE you try to connect.

… And more!

Go It Alone or Get Help?

For many of you, getting the answers to these three key questions will be all you need to hit the ground running.

Others will need more guidance.

Looking back, I so appreciate Scott Adams taking time out of his busy schedule to so nicely blow me off.

But what I really appreciate is the reminder that I didn’t need Dilbert to make my newsletter a success.

However, when it comes to corporate contracts, you definitely do want a seasoned corporate insider to at least take you through the basics.

If you’re curious to see how partnering with a large organization might help you profit from your passion in a BIG way – you do not want to miss Belinda’s free presentation Tuesday March 22 (tomorrow) at 1PM EST.

It costs nothing to attend, but you do need to register at BigCorporateConnections.info.


Want to Really Profit from Your Passion? Try This Unconventional Path

Whether you’re in business already – or you’re still trying to figure out how to profit from your passion – the key to making it remains the same:

You have to find people willing to pay you for your product or service.

In other words – you need customers or clients. That’s the obvious part.

Precisely because it IS so obvious, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking in terms of only the most obvious customer or client.

That’s a huge mistake. Because…

If You Really Want to Profit From Your Passion, You Have To Go Beyond The Most Obvious Client or Customer

Let’s look at how taking an unconventional path enabled these three people to profit from their passions.

A photographer who loves photographing babies but couldn’t get enough babies in the pipeline to make it sustainable.

Photographer at work with newborn baby boy

He never knew where his next client was going to come from.

He’s now the photographer for the maternity ward at a huge hospital in New York City. So he’s there to capture all the moments surrounding many of the births in that hospital.

It’s a win for the hospital because it gives expecting parents yet another reason to have their babies with them as opposed to a different hospital.

And he gets more work coming in than he could possibly drum up for himself.

Another great example…

A health coach who was tired of trying to convince individuals to sign up as clients who didn’t always understand the value she provided.

Then she noticed that one of her friends from the C-suite in a big company was stressed beyond belief, exhausted, and wasn’t eating well. It gave her an idea…

Employee Benefits placard isolated on white

Today, she has contracts with big corporations where she goes in, assesses all the employees in the C-suite, and develops a meal plan for the company chef.

If the company doesn’t have a chef, she creates individual meal plans and sits down with each executive’s assistant to help them support their boss.

She’s just returned from Paris doing this for a company. Before that, she was in Singapore.

Yet another example…

A LinkedIn expert who works with people on optimizing their profiles and upping their visibility.

One day, she realized that companies are now doing LinkedIn pages.

But there was a big disconnect between what the company put out versus what their C-suite executives put on their own profiles.

Ostersund, Sweden - August 1, 2015: Linkedin website under a magnifying glass. Linkedin is a business oriented social networking website.

Now, she goes into a company and handles its page, along with all the profiles of its C-level execs. So the company representation is consistent across the board.

In other words, what if you expanded your thinking from selling strictly business to consumer, and explored ways to sell business to business – aka “B2B.”

If you have no idea how to get a corporate contract – or maybe, you see corporations the same way I once did… as big huge mysterious places totally outside of your realm of experience or comfort zone – don’t worry.

Anyone Can Land a Big Contract – IF You Know How

According to Inc. magazine, companies spent 2 trillion dollars last year on outside vendors.

All you have to do to get a piece of these contracts is to package your services and expertise (the exact services and expertise you already have) in a way that shows a corporate decision maker that YOU have their solution.

Don’t worry if you have no clue how to do that.

Because in just a few days, my friend and colleague Belinda Pruyne is going to peel back the curtains and explain all of the above during a free online presentation…Belinda

BIG Corporate Connections. BIG Contracts. BIG Cash

3 Keys to Snag BIG Corporate Gigs With The Matching Paychecks
(Even if you don’t know the first thing about the corporate world)
Tuesday, March 22nd at 1 PM EST US
Go to BigCorporateConnections.info now to save your free spot.

Before she took the leap to self-employment, Belinda spent years as a corporate executive herself.

So she knows first-hand that when you’re pursuing BIG (or any!) corporate contracts – there’s 3 things you absolutely need to know…

#1 What you can offer corporate that they’re willing to pay for

Trust me – you DO have something they want. You just have to find it + know how to package it.

#2 The RIGHT way to “get past the gatekeeper”

Doing this the wrong way can ruin your chances of ever getting through to the decision maker.

#3 How to speak with decision makers in a way that’s relevant to them

Anyone can learn how to do this, even if you’ve never worked in corporate yourself and “don’t speak the language.”

Register for this free webinar at BigCorporateConnections.info

Because in this powerful 1-hour event, Belinda is going to show you…

  • How to turn YOUR expertise & services into compelling offers for corporationswithout having to twist yourself or conform your beliefs to “fit in.”
  • The #1 secret to “get past the gatekeeper.” (Belinda has a brilliant example of how one outside vendor actually got past her own secretary back when Belinda used to hire outside vendors for her company.)
  • How to get decision makers to pay attention + take you seriouslyeven if you have no experience working in corporate yourself!
  • The BIGGEST thing you need to know about corporate decision makers BEFORE you try to connect.

… And more!

Ready to get some of Belinda’s insider secrets on landing BIG corporate contracts?

Go to BigCorporateConnections.info to reserve your seat for Belinda’s online presentation Tuesday, March 22nd at 1 PM EST.

And see for yourself how landing a single corporate contract could change everything.

P.S. Belinda used to be one of the corporate decision makers who hired outside help.

But now she’s a small business owner that lands corporate contracts of her own.

Because she’s been on both sides of the fence Belinda has a unique advantage when it comes to helping other small business owners and service providers do it too.

If you’re at all curious about the world of corporate contracts, I highly recommend you listen in to what Belinda has to say next Tuesday, March 22nd at 1 PM EST.

RSVP at BigCorporateConnections.info now.


The Shockingly Simple Thing These People Did to Made Their Wildest Dreams Come True

Each of the three people you’re about to meet used a remarkably similar technique to achieve their wildest dreams.

This technique costs nothing to use.

And it takes no more than a few minutes a day to do.

In fact, you’ll be able to use this technique for yourself immediately after finishing this article.

All you have to do is take out a piece of paper and a pen right now. Trust me –you’ll be glad you did.

The Lou Holtz Technique

Lou Holtz is one of college football’s winningest coaches of all time.

He has coached teams at the Universities of Minnesota, South Carolina and Arkansas.

But he’s most associated with a long string of victories and championships at Notre Dame.

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 24: Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the NCAA Football game against the USC Trojans on November 24, 2012 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In his book, Winning Everyday: The Game Plan for Success, Holtz describes a turning point in his life.

In 1966 his wife was eight months pregnant with their third child, and they’d just used every cent of their savings for a down payment on a house.

Holtz was an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina when he lost his job.

After being unemployed for over a month, he described his savings account as being down to four figures: $10.95.

It was a difficult time for Lou.

His wife took a job as an X-ray technician to keep food on the table while he looked for another coaching job.

She also bought him The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz.

In his chapter on goals, Schwartz says if you’re bored with your life, it’s probably because you have forgotten your dreams.

He encouraged readers to get back in touch with their dreams by making a list of everything they had ever wanted to accomplish.

Lou divided his list into five categories of things he wanted to accomplish:

  • as a husband and father
  • spiritually
  • professionally
  • financially
  • simply for excitement

It was this last category, “simply for excitement,” where he let his imagination run wild.

He wanted to do things like land a jet fighter on an aircraft carrier, jump out of an airplane and go on an African safari.

Also on his bucket list were things like…

  • attend a White House dinner with the President
  • meet the Pope
  • be a guest on the Tonight Show with then-host Johnny Carson
  • be the head coach at Notre Dame

South facade and South lawn of the White House in Washington DC in spring colors

Pretty lofty stuff when you consider Holtz was not the least bit famous at the time.

Over the years Holtz chipped away at his goals. And today he and his wife have achieved 102 of the original 107 goals – including the big ones!

The Scott Adams Approach

Former cubicle dweller Scott Adams is the creator of the enormously popular Dilbert cartoon.

The syndicated cartoon lampoons the corporate world and inept “pointy-headed” bosses.

Well before Adams made it big he’d read about a technique that also involved committing goals to writing.

But unlike Holtz’s lengthy bucket list, this one focused on one goal at a time.

First you visualize the outcome you want. Then you write it down fifteen times in a row every day until it happens.

It worked for Adams in the stock market and again when he passed his graduate school qualifying exam at the exact percentile he wrote down (94th).

Then There’s Me

I heard about Adams’ technique in 1998.

At that point I’d been publishing the Changing Course Newsletter for three years. I was making steady progress. But hardly enough to support me.

Fortunately, a couple of local newspapers profiled the newsletter as did the more far-reaching Boston Globe.

But I was shooting higher.

So I decided to give Adams’ technique a whirl.

Mimicking his exact phrasing, I wrote:

“I, Valerie Young, am going to be in The Wall Street Journal.”

Within weeks two reporters called me. Where do you think they were both from?

Yup. The Wall Street Journal!

Bangkok Thailand APRIL 20 2014: Photo of The Wall Street Journal Monitor homepage on a monitor screen through a magnifying glass.

 

I’m honored to say I did get into the WSJ. There was just one “tiny” problem…

The reporter never mentioned my newsletter!

That’s when I remembered something Lily Tomlin’s bag lady character said in Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe:

“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.”

So the next time I got specific writing 15 times a day: “The Changing Course newsletter will be in The Wall Street Journal.”

Guess what?!

A year later Work & Family columnist Sue Shellenberger once again interviewed me for an article titled, The Tomorrow Trap: You Can’t Postpone Life. (Although Sue wrote this article 17 years ago, its message about not deferring our dreams is as apt now as it was then.)

My point is — Adam’s technique worked!

Why It Works 

There is nothing mystical or magical about writing down your goals.

The technique works, in part, because the process of committing something to writing makes it feel real – and therefore doable.

A phenomenon Adams spoke to in his best-selling book The Dilbert Future:

I used the affirmations again many times, each time with unlikely success. So much so that by 1988, when I decided I wanted to become a famous syndicated cartoonist, it actually felt like a modest goal.

The odds of becoming a successful syndicated cartoonist are about 10,000 to 1. I knew the odds, but figured they didn’t apply to me.

When I submitted my samples by mail to the major cartoon syndicates, I had a feeling of being exactly where I needed to be and doing exactly what I needed to do. I never once doubted it would work out the way it has.

Writing down his goals had a similar confidence-building effect on Lou Holtz.

Concept of woman hands with pen writing on notebook

So much so that before signing a coaching contract at the University of Minnesota, Holtz insisted on a clause that would allow him to leave at any time if offered the head coaching job at Notre Dame.

That day came two years later.

“From the moment we made that list,” says Holtz, “we became participants rather than spectators in life.”

Writing down your goals can definitely put you on the path to achieving them.

Unfortunately, you may still struggle with those inner voices that say things like…

“I don’t know enough.”

“I have no experience.”

And of course, “Who do you think you are?”

If confidence is holding you back, I’m working on a new program called 5 Weeks to Confidence for people just like you.

The program won’t be ready for a month or so… but if you want a heads up when it’s open, click below and I’ll give you a shout.

5WeeksButtonv2

We’ll talk about the action part of goal setting in another post.

For now I invite you to stop right now to think about a present goal.

Next get out your paper and pen and fill in the blanks:  “I, [name], am going to [goal]”?

Then every day, write it another 14 times until it happens.

For some instant accountability — why not post it here?

Who knows… a fellow Changing Course reader just may be able to help!

 


What the Lobster Man Can Teach You About Changing Course

In the 16th century Francis Bacon defined a wise man as one who “makes more opportunities than he finds.”

He could have been describing Dan Zawacki… aka the lobster man.

photo of a whole red lobster isolated on white background

The Chicago-based sales rep for Honeywell was tired of the same old holiday gift ideas for customers.

So he came up with the idea of giving each one a live lobster along with a stick of butter.

But Dan had a lot of customers and lobster is pricey. So he arranged a barter with a lobster fisherman in Maine.

When the lobsters arrived, he added a stick of butter and personally delivered boxes to his customer.

Dan was so bowled over by the response that he decided to open a small side business shipping live lobsters complete with pot, crackers, butter and bibs to crustacean-lovers coast-to-coast.

In the beginning, Dan worked out of his bedroom, storing his lobsters in a used tank in his father’s garage.

The first year he netted only $4,000.

Then one day his boss heard Dan pitching Lobster Gram, Inc. on a local radio station and promptly fired him.

I first wrote about Dan back in 1997. At that point he was a decade into his business and doing well.

Fast forward another decade and a half and Dan is doing very well!

In 2006 Lobster Gram opened an 18,000 square foot distribution center in Biddeford, Maine.

Five years later they opened a store in Chicagoland to serve the local lobster, steak and seafood lover market.

Closeup of delicious grilled lobster tails served with asparagus and bearnaise sauce

His company counts Macy Gray, Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman among their famous clientele. Fans who likely heard about Lobster Gram the same way I did – in the media.

The company has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC as well as in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Oprah’s “O” magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Readers Digest, TIME, Men’s Health, USA Today, and many more.

But it was a chance encounter with QVC buyers in New York that put Lobster Gram into the national spotlight in a big way. Today they’re one of QVC’s hottest products airing some 60-70 times a year.

The last sales numbers I could find were from 2007. At that point Lobster Gram’s revenue was a cool $12 million.

Maybe you’re not looking to make millions.

But if you want to create a livelihood that allows you to live and work on your own terms, then Dan’s example has much to teach you.

7 Immediately Usable Lessons from the Lobster Man

1. Pay attention

Creative ways to make money are all around you. Click To Tweet

Most people just aren’t paying enough attention to even notice them.

Dan saw his Honeywell customers’ reaction to their unique gift as the opportunity it was.

What About You?

Are you consistently paying attention to income generating opportunities.

If not, make a list right now of the kinds of things people around you — friends, family, co-workers — complain about, worry about, or get excited about?

Once you find a good example, ask yourself how could someone (it doesn’t have to be you) turn that into a small profit center or a full-scale small business?

Blueprint of bulb lamp. Stylized vector illustration.

2. Keep your current job — or get a new one

Seeing an opportunity is one thing – acting on it is quite another. The question of course, is… Click To Tweet

Realistically, most people can’t afford to just quit their job to start a business. Which is why Dan kept his day job until he was forced out.

If you also need that paycheck take my friend Suzanne Evan’s suggestion and think of your job as your business loan.

Note: If you log 50+ hours a week, waste hours on a long commute, or work in a toxic environment, before you launch any business, you may need to first turn your attention to finding a new “business loan.”

What About You?

Is your goal of a better future worth toughing it out for a while at your j-o-b aka your “business loan”?

If your current situation allows no time to work on your business are you willing to look for a new job even if it means a reduction in pay?

3. Bootstrap

Just because he had a good sales job doesn’t mean Dan spent a bunch of money on his business right out of the gate.

Instead, he worked with what he had using his bedroom as his office and his dad’s garage as his warehouse.

He bought his initial lobster tank used.

And remember, he bartered for those initial gift lobsters!

What About You?

Are there things like office equipment, inventory, how-to books you can buy used?

Is there garden, studio, office or other space you can barter for? What about services like web design, proof-reading, or copy writing?

4. Treat your profit center like a business

From the beginning Dan regarded Lobster Gram as a business.

After all, look at all the media coverage he got.

People who see their passion or their idea as a business do things like create a PR plan. For Dan that didn’t mean hiring a pricey PR agency.

Instead, I’m guessing Dan did the same thing I did initially to get my own business into these and many more publications in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Brazil…

2013 media

He sent press releases and followed up with phone calls.

If you currently have a small or even a side business, start small by pitching to local daily, monthly, or even monthly publications. Check out local radio too.

The great thing about PR is once you get that initial press, reporters, freelancers, and producers start coming to you.

In the last two weeks alone I was interviewed by Redbook and  interviewed as part of a 30 minute BBC documentary.

But none of these things would have happened for Dan or me if we hadn’t treated our profit center like our business and not our hobby.

What About You?

If you already have a small business — or even a solid idea for one — have you thought about, never mind, done a business, PR, and marketing plan?

What would you do differently if you treated your work as a serious business rather than a hobby?

5. Be realistic about the money

Dan didn’t expect his business to replace his salary right away.

To the contrary, the fact that he made any money served as proof of concept. Proof that had to soften the blow when Dan was fired.

moneyAfter all, if he could make $4,000 working his business part-time then he could make a lot more by going at it full-time.

It took me a decade to replace my corporate salary. Looking back there are things I could have done to earn get there quicker. (Like this next lesson.)

But still, like Dan, I didn’t start my business expecting to replace my corporate salary after just a year or two… and neither should you.

What About You?

Would you keep going if your business only brought in a few thousand the first year seeing it as a sign that you’re on the right track?

What about the second – or the fifth year? If yes, have you determined the threshold you need to hit before you quit your j-o-b to grow the business full time?

6. Hustle then hire

Dan started Lobster Gram while still employed at his job-job.

It’s not easy running a business nights and weekends. (Trust me I know!)

But Dan wanted to make a go of selling lobster tails, so he was willing to work his own tail off to make it happen.

Like most small business owners, Dan started out as a one-man show.

It was only once Lobster Gram got too big to handle that he brought on employees.

You’re not going to afford to hire help right away. It took me ten years before I felt comfortable enough to bring Lisa on – and even that was scary.

Looking back, I wish I’d done it a lot sooner.

What About You?

Even if you don’t want to manage people, can you outsource things like bookkeeping, website upkeep, and/or administrative tasks?

(To be clear, if you imagine outsourcing to mean hiring other people so you just pop your head in now and then to check on things – review all of the above.)

7. Do the thing that scares you

In an interview Dan said he really nervous on his first live QVC show.

Being on live TV in front of millions of viewers would make anyone nervous.

Dan went on TV anyway.

Maybe it was the fact that he made 600 sales in six minutes… but after that Dan said he “got the TV bug.”

If you’re scared to put your work out to potential clients or customers or are afraid of rejection or public speaking, all I can say is…

Join the club.

Everyone has fears and insecurities – no matter how experienced.

Comic high angle portrait of a middle-aged businessman with a scared fearful expression raising his fists to his face as though beseeching help, isolated on white

I’ve been speaking on the topic of confidence for 30 years.

But in a few weeks I’ll be giving a talk to 300 people at a Silicon Valley networking event being held at Apple headquarters. (If you’re in the area, this is one of rare talks that’s open to the public!)

Am I nervous? It’s freakin’ Apple – so you bet I am!

But I also know that the solution is not to wait until you’re no longer afraid.

Instead you need to act despite your fear, prepare like heck, and know that even if you fall flat on your face you’ll at least have information you need to regroup, adjust, improve or tweak… and then try again.

(If lack of confidence is among your top 3 challenges, you may like to know I’m working on a new program called 5 Weeks to Confidence. Stay tuned for details.)

What About You?

In what ways does self-doubt hold you back?

Instead of asking ‘What would I do if money were no object?’ ask, ‘What would I do if confidence were not a factor?’

The Bottom Line

All business owners experience setbacks and made missteps along the way.

There are moments of uncertainty or self-doubt… times when sales slow and money is tight. It happens.

At the same time, going from having a boss to being your own boss is a lot less complicated then people make it out to be.

Fundamentally, changing course comes down to the 7 simple things Dan did.

If Dan can do it, so can you.


All Who Wander Are Not Lost

Do you know what you want?

I didn’t. In fact, in 1993 I was totally lost.

arrow

Back then I was commuting 90 miles a day to my corporate job.

I knew I needed a change… The problem was I had no idea what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” (Sound familiar?!)

Then I got one of life’s unwelcome wake up calls. My Mom passed away totally unexpectedly of a heart attack.

My mother was just 61 years old and a mere five months short of her much awaited retirement.

Perhaps you’ve had a wake call of your own.

A lay-off. Divorce. Serious medical diagnosis – yours or someone close to you. Or like me, losing someone you love.

For me it was the catalyst to take a job at a smaller company with a much shorter commute.

It took only a few months to realize that career-wise, I’d just traded deck chairs on the Titanic.

My new boss was a door slamming, table pounder with a short fuse. The VP of customer service referred to a new hire as “the colored girl” Seriously?!?

yeller

To be fair, I also worked with some wonderful people. And gratefully I was paid well.

I feel for people who work in a toxic environment and earn very little for their trouble.

Here’s what that experience taught me.

If being miserable was all it took to change course – the world would be full of empty cubicles and commuter traffic would cease to exist. Right?

Up until then I was hoping for the self-employment of Mr. or Ms. Job to fall in my lap.

That’s when I began to do something I now refer to as…
Purposeful Wandering

It’s one thing to be wandering aimlessly with no direction or roadmap.

It’s quite another to meander with the intention of gathering insight and information that can lead you to a specific destination.

At that particular moment I only knew things:

1) I desperately wanted to be my own boss and

2) Whatever I did for work, I wanted to be able to do it from home.

I just needed some kind of direction.

trees

I got it from when Parade magazine featured a story about an enormously successful newsletter called the Tightwad Gazette.

Amy Dacyczyn and her husband put the newsletter together to share the frugal tips that allowed them to raise six kids on a Navy pension and pay cash for their home and acreage in Maine.

Their millions of devoted readers learned ways to make your money go further by making things you use last longer. Things like cutting your scrubbing pads in half (great idea) and re-using your dental floss (uh, no thanks).

The newsletter ran from 1990 to 1996 and soon after became a series of best-selling books. It stopped because the couple made so much money – they no longer needed to live frugally or publish a newsletter!

That was my aha moment!

What if I created a newsletter for people who wanted the same thing I did?

A newsletter that offered ideas and information for people who also wanted to change course from having a boss to being their own boss.

Now that the ship pointed in the right direction it was a matter of figuring out how to get to my destination.

Keep in mind this was before the internet. Back when the way to learn things was to buy a book.

So I bought a book that listed resources for people who want to start a business.

That led me to a company that specialized in newsletters. So I mailed them a check for a cassette tape on how to start a newsletter.

From that recording, I learned about a company called the Newsletter Factory that offered day-long classes on how to launch a successful newsletter. So I was off to Boston.

I was still wandering… exploring… figuring things out. But I was far from lost. In fact, I’d never felt so alive.

Because now I was wandering with a purpose.

Purpose sign with sky background

The late comedian Jonathan Winters said, “If you’re ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”

Being lost is draining. Having a clear direction is energizing. So stop waiting and start doing.

Head to your local bookstore and notice which section you gravitate to…

If you prefer to buy books online, go to Amazon and enter some key words that speak to your gifts or interests and see what pops up…

Check out the magazine rack at a large grocery or bookstore to see what catches your eye…

Pay attention to what television shows interest you…

These are all small things you can do to purposely wander in the direction of your dream.

What about you – do you have a direction?

If not, I invite you to take moment and post below one small thing you can do this week to purposefully wander closer to clarity?

If yes, what’s one small thing you can do this very day to get to your desired destination?


5 Simple Ways to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Career

Do you know what you love to do?

Claire does. I met her last week when I spoke to an auditorium full of students at the University of Oklahoma.

When I asked Claire about her career plans, this bright business manager said something I’ve heard from countless young people before…

“I love helping people so, I’d like to go into human resources.”

All I could think was, “Oh, honey — do you understand what HR is?”

Separating Fantasy from Reality

It’s one thing to know what you love to do.

It’s quite another to find the right match for actualizing that passion.

Woman HR manager at desk
Claire imaged herself sitting in her large private office eagerly helping interesting employees find interesting solutions to their interesting problems.

In reality Claire will spend the bulk of her time managing the “administrivia” of the employment world… hiring and firing… benefits and payroll… promotions and grievances.

Claire could have just as easily said she wanted to become an attorney or a pharmacist or a nurse and the fact would remain the same… most jobs look different from the outside.

Any kind of work has its highs and lows. Parts you love and parts you’ll find… less fun.

And, as my last post on running a bed & breakfast proved – it’s true for businesses too.

You May Find That a Depressing Thought – But It Should Be a Totally Liberating One

It’s why I devote an entire section in my workshop to freeing you from thetyranny of this (and three other) misconceptions that can keep you from experiencing the freedom of being your own boss.

I’m a huge fan of looking before you leap. Understanding the pros and cons helps you do just that. 

So here’s five super simple ways to stick your toe into the information pool.

Talk to people already doing what you love

Find out what they love – and don’t love – about their work.

Ask what a typical day is like?

Find out what they’d do differently if they had to do it all over again.

Never talk to just one person. There are negative Nellie’s and Ned’s in all professions, so always get a range of opinions.

Finally, make sure you talk to people who are actually successful in that business.

Read “how to” books  

Search Amazon for “how to start a landscaping business” or “how to start a pet treat business” and you’ll find dozens of books on these and hundreds of other small businesses.

Of course, not all books are found in bookstores.

After years of running a thriving home-based plant business Mike McGroarty wrote a manual to teach his system to others with a green thumb.

Not into reading an entire book? Then start with an article.

For example, here’s one I found for a client who was considering starting a food truck business.

Take a Class

Are you a foodie?

The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City offers short, less formal courses on how to do such topics as how write a cookbook, breaking into food writing, and how to be a food stylist/photographer.

There are classes on virtually every subject. Check with your local adult education program or do a search for schools specializing in your area of interest.

You never know what’s out there until you look.


Join an industry association

Professional or industry associations offer a host of opportunities to learn from and connect with people in your prospective line of work.

Everything from small newsletters to big glossy magazines. On-line seminars and self-paced classes. Local, regional meetings, and national conferences.

If, for instance, you’d been among the thousands of people from 20 countries who attended the last Romance Writers of America conference, then you’d could have learned from any number of the whopping 800 published authors in attendance. 



If you missed it, there’s still plenty of time to sign up for this year’s conference in beautiful San Diego where I’m honored to be delivering a keynote on confidence.

You don’t necessarily have to join an association to attend their events. You will of course, pay a higher non-member fee. But once there you may be able to join at a conference-goers discount.

To find an organization search [your interest] and [association]. If you want a local experience, add your state or province. 

Hang out with people who are already doing what they love 

There are lots of way to spend time with self-bossers – even if you’re not yet one yourself.

For instance, you don’t have to be an established inventor to join a local inventor group.

Groups like DCInventors.org in the Capital area also have a Google Group.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office has a list of networks by state. If you live in Canada see Enterprises Canada.

Remember… Small Steps Really Do Add Up

There are so many low cost, low effort ways to explore your passion.

For me it began when I sent a check for $39 for an audio cassette (remember those?!) on how to break into the newsletter business. That was over 20 years ago.

Since then the Changing Course newsletter has helped thousands of people just like you to live and work on their own terms.

The key is to just begin.

Imagine what it would be like if you could go from “wishing” you could work at what you love… to living the dream.

If you had someone to take you by the hand and guide you a step-by-step through a proven process.

What if in literally in a matter of hours you got answers to burning questions like…

How do I figure out what you love to do?

I know what I love to do, but how do I make money doing it?

Is there help for a “scanner” like me who’s paralyzed by the thought of having to choose just one gift or interest?

I have a great idea but where do I begin?

You can have all of this and more. It’s called… 

There are two ways you can show your dream some love this Valentine’s day weekend…

For an intimate online workshop experience — including live Q&As and brainstorming sessions — join me this weekend LIVE at the virtual Work @ What You Love workshop/retreat.

Or, act now to pre-order the recordings so you can take the Work @ What You Love workshop on your own schedule — your choice!

But don’t wait too long because registration ends Friday. 

See what past participants had to say at WorkatWhatYouLoveWorkshop.com

There’s never been a better – or a more affordable – time to start creating the life you really want.


Did He Really Just Say That?!

Adapted from Yes You Can: The Inspirational Kick in the Pants You Need to Take Control of Your Life and Go After Your Dreams

As my nephew Jason prepared to begin his first year of college, his thoughts naturally turned to potential careers. “What would you really love to do?” I asked.

Jason thought for a moment before replying, “I’d just like to have a job I don’t hate too much.”

Did he really just say that?

After a little auntie-to-nephew pep talk about the importance of shooting higher than “one notch above misery,” we got to talking about his great love of baseball.

When I suggested he look into an internship at the minor league baseball stadium just 10 miles up the road, it was clear I’d tapped a Big Dream.

It takes not one ounce of energy more to dream big than it does to settle.

Settling is the emotional equivalent of idling at a red light.

doorfield

A Big Dream, though, is like soul fuel to your inner engine. A Big Dream jump-starts real change.

I received an email from a guy named Jerry Bennett – a 50-year-old airline employee who, in his words, “dreads” going to work.

His real life’s pleasure, is carpentry. Jerry writes…

“Whether it’s building a house, cabinets or whatever, I get lost in the project. I can sit for hours and watch [the PBS program] This Old House.”

Adding, “So many people are trapped in jobs they only tolerate. I guess the fear of failure is our biggest problem, I know it is mine.”

I could practically hear the sigh on the other end of the modem as Jerry ended with a wistful, “Wish I could get the courage to make the change.”

Something in Jerry’s message told me fear wasn’t the whole problem. Part of Jerry’s “stuckness” came from the fact that he was wishing rather than dreaming.

Wishing is passive.

We wish for things over which we are powerless.

We wish we’d win the lottery, that we were taller, that the waiter would hurry up.

Oftentimes wishes are tinged with regret as in, “I wish I’d…”

Dreaming is different.

Dreams are active. They invite possibilities. You can see a dream.

I have a dream

That’s why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t say, “I have a wish.…” Dr. King knew that dreams are visual, positive – and contagious!

Jerry is pretty lucky really.

Lots of people don’t have the foggiest idea what it is they’d love to do. Here’s a guy who’s plugged into his passion and yet is letting something as natural – and manageable – as fear stand in the way of vocational heaven on earth.

The first thing I did was to remind Jerry of what he should really be afraid of, namely, spending the next 15 years dreading his work.

Next, I suggested some steps he might take to turn his passion into his livelihood like: teaching carpentry classes, writing a how-to-build-it column for the local newspaper, creating his own television segment featuring improvements he’s made to area homes (This Old Carpenter?).

None of these ideas would require Jerry to quit his full-time job right away. Each, however, has the potential to nudge his dream to the next level.

To my surprise, the idea that most intrigued Jerry was also the one most would consider to be a Big Dream – the local television show.

When he told me about a friend with a passion for video production who he could enlist to launch a joint venture, I knew Jerry just upgraded his wish to a dream.

“I am ready to start following my dreams…” he wrote. Adding, “I sure want to go out doing something I enjoy.”

That same week I had the pleasure of talking to a man with a wonderfully Big Dream. Lynn Johnson lives in his hometown of Erie, Penn.

His old neighborhood, he said, has changed a lot. What really concerns him is how few positive outlets there are for the young people there.

Lynn’s goal is to turn a boarded-up house into a multi-faceted arts program for kids.

street” complete with murals and community gardens.

As Lynn talked, a clear picture of a young people’s arts street came into view.

Girl Painting

My mind raced ahead to corporate sponsors from Mellon Bank to Burpee Seeds.

If Lynn could make me see his vision, he could make the corporate grantors see it too.

I even pictured Lynn proudly showing off his “arts street” on Oprah!

When he said he’d traveled to the capital to look into sources of state funding and has a friend who may go in with him on buying the house, I was hooked.

“If you really want this dream badly enough,” I told Lynn, “there is no doubt in my mind it will happen.”

By the long pause on other end I think he was a little taken aback by such a strong vote of confidence from a complete stranger.

But the reason I believed in Lynn was simple. It wasn’t just his passion for his community or his clear vision of how it might be different.

I believed that Lynn’s Big Dream would succeed because by taking action he’d set his dream in motion. And once a dream gets rolling it’s hard to stop.

What about your dream? Maybe all you really know is you need to make a change. That’s ok.

The important thing is to bump “make change” up a few notches and dream BIG.

Think big concept is on blue paper with a red marker aside.

If you dream of working at home, imagine doing it on an island or on a mountain top.

If you have multiple passions, picture being able to enjoy them all.

You may not get everything you want, but one thing is certain: you’ve got a lot more to lose by shooting low than you do by shooting high.

A year has come and gone. Next year will be here before we know it.

Where in your dream-building process do you want to be this time next year?

No further along?

Laying a foundation?

Living it fully?

If you opted for either of the last two options, expand your dream and reach for the stars.

Then, one day at a time, honor your dream with action.

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Join Me This February For

A Powerful Virtual
Weekend Workshop

This is your chance to...

  • Discover your calling… so you can have the life you were meant to live

  • Learn the powerful secrets for how to get paid to do what you love – even if you’re a “scanner”

  • Step out of your routine and into your wildest dreams where you can get a new perspective on where you want to be this time next year

  • Learn from someone who built two six-figure businesses working from home what it really takes to live life on your own terms

  • Burst into Monday recharged, with the action plan you need to create the more balanced and rewarding lifestyle you’ve only dreamed of

Over the years, hundreds of freedom seekers just like you have attend the Work @ What You Love workshop. But not everyone was able to make it.

In the past, people have paid anywhere from $299 to $3,999 to attend one of my multi-day workshops – and that didn’t include the cost of travel!

That’s why one of my BIG dreams has been to offer an affordable option for anyone who didn’t have either the time or the money (or both) to attend a live event.

No Brainer

Technology to the rescue!

Now for a limited time, you can experience the contagious energy of attending a live 2-day Work @ What You Love webinar workshop – at 94% less than the cost of my high-end retreats!

In fact, the super low Early Bird price makes saying YES to your dream truly a “no brainer.”

Plus, register for Work @ What You Love in the next 72 hours – and you’ll receive a FREE gift!

Click here now to discover how easy it is to live life on purpose, work at what you love, and follow your own road.

 


How to Connect the Dots to A New Career — And Life

The quest to work at what you love is truly universal.

I’ve worked with clients from every continent except Antarctica.

Change seekers hail from many countries and cultures.

Some know what they love to do… others have no clue.

In the end though, they all want the same thing as you and me. Namely…

To live life on your own terms… doing work you enjoy.

Last week I worked with a client named “Jane.”

Jane has multiple gifts and passions, among them… re-purposing old furniture, history, singing, and writing.

So called “scanners” – a term Barbara Sher coined to describe people who have so many interests they have trouble picking just one – are my specialty.

However, whereas traditional career advisors are interested in things like skills assessments, resumes, and job searches — I only work with people who want to do their own thing.

If Changing Course were an equation, it would look like this…

Discover What You Love to Do
+
See Ways to Make Money Doing It
= Freedom, Control, Flexibility

It all comes down to being able to connect the dots.

For example, last week, I worked with a fascinating client from Europe.

“Angela” was a burned out corporate sales rep. Today she is on a quest to recreate her life.

As background — Angela grew up in Sweden (where she still owns a home) and also owns a home in Barcelona.

She also travels frequently to Bangkok (she is a fascinating combination of half Croatian and half Thai) and is getting ready to relocate to Rome.

Angela’s interests are as varied as her travels.

But her core passion is one lots of other change seekers can relate to… FOOD!

cookingWhat about you…

Do you love to cook or bake?

Are you bothered by the unhealthy eating habits driving growth in obesity among kids?

Do you love community building?

Or maybe you just love eating great food!

The Business Idea Generators here at Changing Course have uncovered three cool ways that you – or someone you know — can profit from your passion.

Along with these, I’m also going to share the key resource I shared with Angela that may well turn out to be a game changer for her, and you!

But before we get to these, there’s one thing you and every other change seeker needs to know.

If you’re waiting to change course until you come up with some groundbreaking idea no one has ever thought of before, then my friend you you’re missing the opportunity boat.

More importantly, you’re missing your chance to experience the freedom and flexibility that comes with being your own boss.

What you really should do is to build on proven ideas.

Here are 3 food-related businesses you can use as a jumping off point to do just that.

The first two ideas build on billion dollar businesses like Airbnb and Uber which have already more than proven the sharing economy is booming.

1) Share Your Meal – for Money

We all know someone who is a fabulous cook.

It could be a relative… a friend… a neighbor… a co-worker…

So fabulous that you’ve wished you could pay that person to share some of that fabulous cooking with you.

Personal chefs have been around for a while now. However, not everyone can afford to pay upwards of $500 a week for meals.

Enter ShareYourMeal.net.

The site matches people who love to cook with people in their own community who love home cooked meals – but who prefer to leave the preparation to someone else.

making-food-982410_1920The company originated in the Netherlands. But they’re starting to make small inroads in the US, Canada, and elsewhere in Europe.

(Click on the language link at the top left of the Share Your Meal page for other locations.)

And that presents a money-making opportunity for anyone with the passion and skills to create some extra meals that others would gladly pay for.

And if you’re interested in the broader concept of the sharing economy, check out this informative TedX Talk by Share Your Meal founder Marieke Hart.

The Netherlands gave birth to another related idea…

2) Organize A Pop-Up Restaurant

restaurant-738788_1920

Springwise featured a cool a pop-up restaurant in Amsterdam where the organizers brought together a variety of home-based cooks to create meals for diners.

For one weekend the cooks registered with Share Your Meals and served up a variety of three course meals made right in their own kitchens.

Then the restaurant collaborated with a local bicycle courier service to get the meals to the pop-up location.

Clearly, this idea works much better in an urban area – especially the bike part.

But if you love organizing events, fundraisers or otherwise building community, a pop up restaurant with local cooks is a great idea!

Or you could build on it by organizing a collaboration between three local restaurants with each showcasing their signature course.

Alternatively, you could use the same pop up model to promote people who make and sell locally sourced foods – pickles, specialty chocolates, organic beef, and the like.

For food lovers and makers, it’s a win-win!

3) Offer Cooking Classes for Kids

Out of New Zealand comes Little Cooks, a company that offers on-site (schools, birthday parties, etc.) cooking classes for kids.

Founded by Rebecca (Bex) Woolfall and Suzi Tait-Bradley, the friends wanted to find a way to both teach kids about nutrition and as well as how they themselves could create yummy meals.

kid cookingThe kids have a ball cooking.

(What’s not to love about making “fruit hogs” or “piggy pasta”?!)

The driving force for these two enterprising entrepreneurs is giving kids the knowledge and tools to be able to make healthy food choices in the future.

And if you think you need to be a professionally trained chef to run cooking classes, think again.

Before escaping the corporate world, Bex was a marketing exec.

And while she did earn a teaching degree and taught some cooking and baking classes at school, Suzi’s more recent professional experience is leading a Brownie troop.

But perhaps her best “qualification” was an unfortunate diagnosis with Coeliac disease.

An experience that led Suzi to take a closer look at how diet affects health… and then an opportunity to birth a business to help others to do the same.

Game Changer

The moment I turned Angela on to mega Specialty Food show happening this January in San Francisco, she knew she had to be there.

Described as…

…the largest specialty food trade event on the West Coast and a showcase of industry innovation, bringing specialty food’s top manufacturers, buyers, and thought leaders together under one roof for three days of delectable discovery, January 17-19. 2016 will feature more than 80,000 products, 19,000 buyers, and 1,400 exhibitors!

(If you can’t make this one, the East Coast event happens in New York City in June.)

The great thing is you don’t need to even have a specialty food product to benefit.

The show offers three days of educational programming for people at all levels from curious explorer, to budding beginner, to seasoned entrepreneurs.

With this much exposure, contacts, and education/information I have zero doubt in my mind that for Angela, this event is going to be the game changer that will allow her to create the life she really wants.

What About You?

There are endless ways to profit from your passions.

Regardless of where your interests lie, you absolutely must break out of the trap of thinking, “I have to think up something totally new and unique before I can begin.”

The smarter thinking is – where can I find proven ideas I can build on?

Then go do it.

Still Don’t Know What You Want to Be When You “Grow Up”?

YES/NO I want to do work I love, but I’m not sure what that is anymore

YES/NO I know what I love to do, but I have no clue how to make money doing it

YES/NO I know what I love to do, but worry I can’t make enough money doing it

YES/NO I have a great idea, but I don’t know where to begin Sadly, most people spend years – even decades – trying to figure these things out on your own. When in reality…

All You Really Need Is Someone to Show You The Way

I’ve helped people just like you discover creative ways you can turn your interests into actionable income for two decades now.

I’d never describe myself as “psychic.”

But I am highly intuitive.

That means if you and I were talking about your answers to the questions above… there’s an excellent chance my mind would form a picture of you engaged in a certain kind of work.

Work that pays the bills… and feeds your soul.

Simply said, I have a gift for seeing creative ways you can make money without a j-o-b to.

And for a limited time you have the chance to put my special gift to work for you.

I’m getting ready to open up my new 8-Weeks to Work You Love 1-1 coaching program.

Since it is a new program, I’m going to offer a substantial discount.

To learn and to see if 8-Weeks to Work You Love is right for you call 413-203-9754.

I’ve got some speaking engagements this week – so if you reach my voicemail be sure to leave 3 things:

  1. Your name (naturally!)
  2. The best number and reach you (Outside North America – leave your Skype ID)
  3. The best times to reach you this week

I promise to return your call within 24 hours.

Then together, we’ll discover if this is the right time for you to create the life you really want.

And remember, if you could have figured it out on your own by now… you would have.


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