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Why 2017 Is THE Year of the Freelancing Entrepreneur!

Over the past few years, freelancing has blossomed into an industry of its own. Contributing billions of dollars to the economy annually, it now employs over 50 million workers.

While this may seem surprising to the older generations, middle-aged to younger generations are already enjoying the benefits.

The year 2017 promises to be a great year for freelancers because demand is growing rapidly.

Businesses that seek to cut costs by doing away with traditional office buildings are hiring as fast as they can accept applications.

So what does this mean for people who crave a more flexible and potentially portable livelihood?

Job Security (Really!)

Despite the belief that nine-to-five jobs offer greater job security, the reality is that increasingly freelance jobs may offer the same or better security just because there are so many opportunities available that don’t rely solely on the leadership of a single business.

The freedom offered by freelancing allows workers to select and interview for as many jobs as they want. It puts power back in the hands of those doing the labor yet costs businesses less.

Best of all, benefits are evolving. The Freelancer’s Union even offers help acquiring affordable healthcare specifically for freelancing workers, including medical, dental and vision.

New York City is also now a great place to work from thanks to their recently passed act that protects freelancers against non-payment. Other locations are likely to follow in 2017 and beyond.

Competitive Wages (Really!)

One of the more obvious reasons for increased entrepreneurial success in the freelance market is the increase in financial opportunities, with high-end freelance jobs offering over $100 per hour.

The better-paid opportunities go together with modern technological education. With so many new graduates focused on education in the tech industry, companies have a considerably greater hiring pool. For many companies, that equates to easier growth as the difficulty is no longer in finding qualified workers.

Talents involving coding or graphic design can be worth big bucks—particularly in areas without nearby tech colleges—and freelancing usually doesn’t require the worker to move anywhere to get paid.

The impact will be most significant in areas where the job market is very limited, giving remote workers the opportunity to live high-quality lives in otherwise poorer areas or countries.

Much of this wouldn’t be possible without the help of companies such asUpwork, Freelancer or even Fiverr.

They have continued to simplify the process of applying for work and for posting work, making it easier for ideal candidates to meet with ideal employers.

Plus, the pool of work is more varied than ever; there are even in-person (non-digital) freelance gigs available now through Uber and Lyft (for these services you work as a sort of on-call taxi driver).

Freelancing companies take care to make their process straight forward. If you’ve never done freelancing work before, consider making a profile on one of the above sites just to get a feel for how things work. You’ll be surprised at just how easy it can be to start earning.

Better Online Safety (Which Matters!)

Despite the growth in hacking and data theft, online workers are becoming smarter and more experienced.

As freelancers spend most of their time online, they are exposed to new scams and malware regularly.

As a result, 2017 is poised to be the year that freelancers utilize more tools than ever to ensure their internet safety. They will utilize two-factor authentication type logins (which require two passwords, one randomly generated), create stronger passwords and subscribe to modern security software.

The growth in the use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) speaks to the needs of freelancers’ mobile work. Needed to stay safe on unsecured public networks, VPNs afford protection to these workers at a small cost while also granting them anonymity.

SEO workers will also take advantage of the ability to change virtual locations to work more effectively on improving local search results for their clients.

According to Secure Thoughts, a website that provides information on VPNs, foreign workers will also benefit by navigating around geographic restrictions in the same way.

Obsolescence of Old Jobs Creates New Opportunities for Y-O-U 

As technology continues to improve, we also see old jobs removed or replaced. Anyone that’s visited a major retailer in the past year can see that the introduction of automatic checkout lanes means fewer hiring demands in big box stores.

The success of Amazon’s shipping model also threatens many in-person retail jobs and small business owners who own brick and mortar shops.

These positions are instead being replaced with a need for remote workers to accomplish data driven tasks. Because business needs vary, some of these jobs are short-term freelancing positions while others last much longer.

Many of the jobs being cut are underpaid with few if any benefits. Freelance work may not guarantee benefits, but it definitely offers greater opportunity to those looking for non-traditional jobs or who live in communities with weaker economies.

Marketing Has Changed — And Companies Need Y-O-U to Help 

The continued expansion of social media into nearly every corner of our lives has also changed the way companies market their products and services. Paying big money for a commercial slot on TV is no longer the only (or even best way) to get your product out there.

Many companies have started relying on freelance marketers to push their products on social media, on blogs, and even direct to consumers.

Realizing that people power is best, their budgets are shifting to focus on manual digital efforts; this is reflected in the listings seen on the previously mentioned freelance sites.

Some of that is driven by how Google curates content; web searches are still a top source of traffic, and getting higher on the search list means creating quality content that is useful to the consumer.

As a result, blogs, guides and other informational sources are an increasing source of work for freelancers and a bigger part of business investments.


Success is Waiting — So What Are Y-O-U Waiting For?

The bottom line is that 2017 offers newfound success to any freelancing entrepreneurs willing to put in the work.

With wages higher than ever, opportunities abound for workers with skills in the big three areas: writing (content creation), coding, and design (web and graphic).

Don’t yet have the needed skills? Once again, the Internet to the rescue!

Training is available from places such as Capella, Code School, and Codecademy — and for anyone interested in web design there’s a vast array of training choices out there.

If you’ve thought about freelancing or already work for yourself, how do you plan to make 2017 a successful year? Tell us your strategy in the comments.

Want to Get Paid to Write? 

You can, you know.

And you don’t even have to be a “gifted” writer to get started. In fact, if you can write a simple letter — you can make good money as a freelance writer.

All you need is someone to show you how.

SAVE THE DATE: Friday, June 30th at noon EDT

Then keep your eyes out for next week’s email about a FREE training on Getting Paid to Write!


Give Your New Food-Related Business a Huge Jump Start!

Are your friends and family constantly saying you should sell your homemade cheesecake, meat rub, or cucumber coconut lemonade?

Or maybe you have a food blog or you have lots of followers to your Trip Advisor restaurant reviews or your food photos on Instagram? 

If so, run don’t walk to the fast-approaching Summer Specialty Food Show.

Billed as North America’s largest specialty food and beverage event, you’ll find 180,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic foods, natural, organic and more.

Plus its your chance to connect with 2,400 exhibitors from 50 countries and regions.

Who knows… one may turn out to be your future customer or partner!

And if you’re just starting out, the Summer Specialty Food Show is your chance to attend three days of education programs for both explorers and beginners as well as seasoned entrepreneurs alike.  

Topics include:

  • funding your business
  • hot trends in the food industry
  • basics of the specialty food business
  • and many more…

You’ll learn from experts like Jon Taffer, host of the popular TV show “Bar Rescue.”

And Josh Treuhaft, founder and creative director of Salvage Supperclub.

 

Among other things, Josh started a communal dining experience where guests eat a gourmet dinner in a giant dumpster as a way to “highlight the untapped potential in often-overlooked foods and solve the world-wide problem of food waste.”

And this year you can get a front row seat as a celebrity Greek chef, a specialty produce supplier, and others pitch their business to industry experts.

Think of it as Shark Tank for the specialty food industry!

But instead of funding, they’re pitching for profitable promotional opportunities.

And speaking of funding — the cost to attend is anywhere from $99-$200 depending on your situation.

But Sorry — You Can’t Go

After I got totally pumped about the Summer Fancy Food Show it turns out it’s not open to the general public. What??!!!

The site states that because they are “a trade event designed to promote growth in commerce in the specialty food industry… [the] event is open to qualified buyers and industry professionals (18 years of age or older).”

Reading that I knew a lot of change seekers would be discouraged and give up.

And like I always say, information will set you free.

So I picked up the phone and called the organizers for more information.

I was right.

 
Turns out all you need to establish that you are a “qualified professional” is a business card (how hard can that be?!)…

Or a certificate from a culinary or wine school.

Or a pay stub that says you work in some food related job like a restaurant or a local cheese shop or on a local farm.

Or a link to your food/beverage related blog or Instagram account.

Or other evidence that you are even exploring the world of food and beverages.

If you’re not sure, post your situation on the in the comments below, and I’m happy to try to help you find a way.

The bottom line — GO FOR IT!

Can’t make it to the Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC for the June 24-27th event?

They’ve already posted dates and locations for the next three years!

That gives you plenty of time to become a “qualified professional!”

So start saving your pennies and find a way to make it happen.

And remember — when you work for yourself, anything is possible!


I’m moving to Canada! (And How You Too Can Live Where and How You Want)

I was only in Canada for seven days. Just long enough to fall in love.

My trip began with three speaking engagements in British Columbia.

One of the many great things about being your own boss is you can take vacation whenever you want.

So after my last gig, a friend and I hopped a plane for a little R&R in the spectacular Canadian Rockies.

You know how certain settings just seem to feed your soul?

Maybe for you that place is the ocean… or the desert… or the prairie.

For me it’s the mountains. (Add a lake and I’m in heaven!)

Check out this view from the summit of Sulphur Mountain in Banff…

And at the still frozen but still breathtaking Lake Louise…

And check out this view from the deck of our Airbnb rental in Canmore, Alberta!

As I sat there enjoying my morning coffee this one phrase kept running through my head…

I could live here.

Hey, with a view like this – who wouldn’t?!

Being in Canada re-affirmed for me just how important it is to live life on your own terms.

It also confirmed the approach that helped to transition me from my 90-mile-a-day commute to a cubicle to my comfy home office and the view of Mount Tom that I enjoy today.

I call it…

The Life First – Work Second Approach to Career Change

What exactly does it mean to consider your life before your career?

Well, remember how when you were a kid, adults were forever asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

But do you remember anyone ever asking, “What do you want your life to look like?”

If they had, no one in their right mind would have replied, “I’d love to wake up to an alarm clock, sit in commuter traffic, and spend five days a week working 8-to-late under florescent lights.”

Yet that describes the life of countless, millions of people.

Here’s a novel idea…

What if parents… guidance counselors… and college career advisers had focused less on what you wanted to be when you grew up and more on helping you figure out how you wanted to feel when you grew up?

I call it the Life First – Work Second© approach to career planning.

In fact, I begin every business idea generation session with the same simple question:

What do you want your L-I-F-E to look like?

The fact that you want to be your own boss tells me you have a strong desire for more control over your time.

From here though, everyone’s picture is unique.

Like the vast majority of my clients, you may want to have some sort of home-based business.

After all, being at home automatically gives you more work-life balance.

Other clients crave variety. Maybe you do too.

Maybe you want to do freelance writing or coaching or something that would allow for a portable lifestyle.

Or perhaps you want to have a seasonal business so you can work intensely for six months then take the rest of the year off.

Or maybe you just want to find a way to enjoy summers off to spend with your kids or grandchildren.

That’s why it’s so important to start on the life side of the work life equation.

If you know ahead of time that your idea of heaven on earth would be to not work in the summertime, then you’d know to look for ways to earn money that would allow for this kind of schedule.

That’s why it’s so important to continually evaluate work options through the lens of life.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “There is only one success: To be able to live your life in your own way.”

If you’re seeking a life and not just a living, start by getting crystal clear on what having a life means to you.

If you’re determined to follow your own road then you must take the time to really answer the question, “What do I want my life to look like?”

Then use your answers to evaluate any business ideas to determine if it passes the life test?

From there it’s all about taking action.

You Are Tougher Than You Know

While I was in Canada I had the honor of giving the opening keynote at the annual Spark conference WAY up north in Fort Saint John, BC.

You’ve got to be tough to live in an area with such extreme weather.

On top of that, it’s been a rough few years for the people in a region that relies heavily on the oil and gas industry.

The conference organizers could have canceled the event, waiting for a “better” time.

To their great credit, they chose instead to turn adversity into a positive by making the conference theme… “Inspired by Tough.”

Maybe you’ve had a rough go of it too.

Or, maybe you’ve just put off taking the leap because of all the things that could go wrong.

After two decades of self-employment, I can tell you with great certainty that things will go wrong.

You’re going to face rejection and setbacks. More than once.

You may even outright fail. I know because I’ve done it a few times.

It’s called life.

However, once you understand that all that worrying about what could go wrong only slows your chance to create the life you really want… it changes everything.

As Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin more intelligently.”

Like every successful person, Ford understood that failures and setbacks offer valuable lessons.

Adversity is also what makes us stronger… tougher.

If you’re waiting for that perfect time to jump — forget it.

Start now and remember — you are tougher than you know.

I’m not moving to Canada yet… but I could definitely spend my summers there.

Why not?

When you work for yourself – anything is possible!


From BROKE to writing for NFL players

My brother-in-law Eddie spent 30 years as a field technician for a major manufacturer of office equipment.

Then at age 58 the company laid him and most of their other long-time technicians off… only to later ask them to come back at minimum wage with no benefits.

So much for job security and loyalty.

He did his job well. But for Eddie, repairing office equipment was just that — a job.

His true passion was following sports – and especially football.

Eddie once told me his dream job would be to work for ESPN. He said he didn’t care if he was the guy who hauled equipment around – he just wanted to part of the game.

When I got an email from Michelle Hill I immediately thought of my brother-in-law.

Because Michelle is doing what sports lovers like my brother-law only dream about.

She found a way to make money hanging out with NFL players.

I first met Michelle in 2006 when she attended the Work at What You Love workshop in Ventura, California.

(This happens to be the same workshop Dyan deNapoli AKA The Penguin Lady attended back in Massachusetts. If you missed my interview with Dyan and her spectacular photos from Antarctica, you can still get the replay here.)

Back then, Michelle was in the baking business.

In fact, I still have the business card for Michelle’s Cookie Kitchen.

But after a year-and-a half, Michelle realized she liked donating her cookies for various non-profit benefits a lot more than she liked selling them.

So, she closed the door on her budding baking business.

But unlike my brother-in-law who’s hardwired to be an employee, Michelle was determined to be her own boss.

Considering she’d been downsized three times in nine years, it’s easy to see why.

When the economy collapsed in 2008 Michelle found herself in the same boat as millions of other Americans — living off unemployment and tapping her 401k.

Broke but not broken, Michelle sold her possessions and moved to the other side of the country to start over.

Today Michelle’s life is very different.

For Michelle, the turn-around began when she signed up for a course on how to become a freelance copywriter. (Click here for my review.)

Writing sales copy is a skill anyone can learn – and you can make great money doing it.

I know because I’ve personally paid up to three thousand dollars for promotional copy for a single product.

But for Michelle, copywriting turned out to be more of a launch pad.

Today Michelle is a ghostwriter for a number of current and former National Football League players and others in the sports world who want to publish a book.

The “Strong Copy QB” as she dubs herself, counts Levar Fisher formerly with the Arizona Cardinals and Brandon Williams who played with the Baltimore Ravens among her impressive roster.

I wanted to know how Michelle went from having to borrow gas money to working alongside major league players.

What I quickly discovered is that like all success stories, Michelle’s journey offers valuable lessons for anyone seeking to change course.

That’s why I’ve asked Michelle to be my next guest on the NEW Big Dreams Small Steps Success Stories Series!

From Broke to
Ghostwriter for NFL Players

With Michelle Hill of Winning Proof

Listen in here.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com


Coolest Success Story E-V-E-R!

How the “Penguin Lady” Turned Her Passion Into an Adventure and Income (And How You Can Too!)

In my 22 years as the Dreamer in Residence at Changing Course I’ve heard some amazing success stories.

But this is one of my VERY favorites!

Partly because, wildlife lover Dyan deNapoli already had her dream job.

As the senior penguin aquarist at the prestigious New England Aquarium in Boston, she got to work closely with these fascinating birds — both at her facility and in nature.

Then sadly, Dyan’s mother died.
My own Mom died unexpectedly at just 61 years old.

So, I know first-hand how wake-up calls can cause us to re-evaluate our lives.

After nine years at her job, Dyan had already begun to feel restless. And losing her mother just accelerated the desire for change.

She was still passionate about protecting wildlife – particularly penguins.

But Dyan now longed for the same freedom and flexibility she’d enjoyed during her days as a jewelry maker.

But how in the world do you become a self-employed penguin expert???

That was the question Dyan brought to the Work at What You Love workshop in Northampton, Massachusetts.

There, among some 125 other change seekers, is where the idea to offer interactive educational programs was hatched.

Most people talk about their business idea… they endlessly research and plan and tweak and perfect.

But they never begin.

Not Dyan.

Within days of the workshop she secured the domain The Penguin Lady and reached out to local schools, libraries, and senior citizen centers to book gigs.

And she never looked back.

Since then Dyan’s dream, her adventures, and her income have all grown in ways she could have never imagined.

She has…

  • traveled to Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, and South Africa to work with, teach about, and observe penguins in the wild

  • appeared as an expert on numerous television and radio shows, including CNN and BBC Radio

  • landed a six-figure book deal with Simon & Schuster (woo-hoo!)

  • written the award-winning book The Great Penguin Rescue
  • delivered not one but four – count ‘em – FOUR – TEDx talks!

  • been a guest lecturer on nature cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands

  • was selected to be one of 76 women scientists to take part in a leadership training program aboard a cruise ship in Antarctica

Dyan’s been doing some OTHER REALLY cool stuff — but I’m going to let her tell you herself.

And you’ll even get to ask questions!

Because… drum roll please!

Dyan is the first guest to appear in my new Dream Big – Start Small Success Stories Series!

How to Leverage Your Passion for a
Life of Adventure & Profits

With Dyan deNapoli AKA The Penguin Lady

In this inspiring and advice-packed webinar Dyan will share how she turned an unlikely interest into a life of adventure and income.

As importantly, Dyan will offer valuable tips for how you too can leverage YOUR passion for a life of adventure and profits!

And as an extra treat, I’ve also asked Dyan to share some of the spectacular photos from her most recent trip to Antarctica!

Sign up here to join the fun!

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com

 


6 Simple Steps to Grow Your Dream

The late British gardening author Mirabel Osler wrote,

“There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.”

Not everyone smiles at the same work.

Personally I discovered long ago that I like the “idea” of gardening a lot more than doing gardening.

What makes me smile is brainstorming or delivering a talk to hundreds or even thousands of people.

For you it could be photography… turning chaos into order… or making pancake art (yes there is such a thing!).

One person’s chore is another person’s joy.

I met a woman who loved cleaning refrigerators so much she wanted to start a business doing it for others!

Gardening may or may not be your thing.

But the process of growing a garden does offer valuable lessons you can use to change course to be your own boss.

1) Wanting it with all your heart

The first step to changing course is desire.

I’m not talking about wishing or hoping.

I’m talking about a deep longing to change the course of not just your work but your life.

The kind of longing where you’re done complaining about your barren landscape and gazing enviously at other people’s garden — and you’re ready to dig in to create your own.

A longing so powerful it makes you turn off the TV or tune out of Facebook (or both) because you know there’s not a moment to waste.

2) Tend the soil

There are many ways to prepare for change.

Regular doses of inspiration help. After all there is no better proof that you can make money doing what you love than the people who are doing it.

If you’ve never been self-employed, subscribe to Entrepreneur magazine as well as to interest-specific publications like The Chicken Whisperer, Model Railroader, or Art Doll.

Watch television shows like Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den as the original show is known in Canada.

Follow other knitters or tiny house builders or stamp collectors on Instagram.

Mostly though, the way to tend the soil is to make frequent trips to the well of knowledge and information.

Soak up everything you can about starting a bed and breakfast, being a consultant, owning alpacas, getting paid to write or travel or create art… or whatever it is you want to do.

3) Plant the tiniest of seeds

Even the biggest plants began as tiny seeds. And so it is with dreams.

Every major enterprise began with super small steps like… call Fred.

If you already know what you want to do, then use what you learned in step 2 to start taking small targeted steps to get there.

Buy video editing software, call your department of health about home based food business regulations, go to local estate sales.

If you haven’t the foggiest notion of what makes you smile, then plant lots of different seeds.

After all, the only way to get an idea of what excites you is to experiment.

Read a book, take a class, talk to a stranger about their work… cast lots of random seeds out into the world and see what takes.

You may be surprised at what pops up!

4) Keep the weeds down

It’s not always possible to actually “weed” people out of your life (you know how fussy loved ones can be when you disown them).

You can, though, use selective sharing to mentally root out the voices of those who poo-poo your dreams.

Instead reserve these conversations for people who understand and support your desire to change course.

Sometimes weeds come in the form of bad advice from ill-informed people.

Despite never being self-employed a day in their life, too many people are all too happy to tell you why your idea will never work.

If you don’t want to spend your life in the weeds along with them, then you need to find a way to counteract this kind of negativity and bad advice.

A simple start is to picture yourself in your future life.

Then remind yourself of what you should really be afraid of…

Namely, looking back at your life and knowing you allowed your dream to die on the vine from neglect or willingness to give up too soon.

5) Practice patience

Sufficient desire to make a change — check.

Soil tended, seeds planted, weeding done — check, check, check.

Now all you need to do is scream at your garden, “Grow, damn it!”

Silly right?

You can’t rush your dreams any more than you can rush a garden.

Some of the seeds you planted simply won’t take.

You can get discouraged about that if you want.

Or you can consider that those particular seeds weren’t meant to grow and then plant some different ones.

Other seeds seem to take forever to sprout and even longer to bloom.

Sometimes things happen so slowly you think nothing is happening at all.

During the first few years of my own business I had days when I was so discouraged I wanted “throw in the trowel.”

But I didn’t.

And neither should you because that’s usually the time when you wake up to find your first magnificent bloom.

The day you wake up and discover the life you dreamed of is the life you’re living.

So hang in there.

Patiently nurture those tender shoots and your field of dreams will grow.

6) Enjoy the Journey

As Osler observed, it’s the ongoing work of gardening that brings the joy.

You can’t just plant a garden and be done with it.

It’s like saying, “Well, I finished growing as a person now. What’s next?”

Rather, gardening is about coming up with ways to make the garden more interesting or fun or diverse.

It’s about redesigning the garden to come up with new ways to add value to the all those it serves.

Mirabel Osler’s name comes up again and again in the world of gardening writers. So I decided to do a little digging myself.

As I read Stefanie Hargreaves review of Osler’s book, A Breath from Elsewhere, I could not help but think of its application to the process of changing course:

“Osler’s argument – to break the golden rules, follow your instincts, and create the garden that you desire… effectively [draws] the reader further down the path towards the garden as refuge – a place perfectly suited for ‘inspiration or freedom, for discovery or surrender.'”


Which Would You Rather Make — $15 or $20,000?

Why Teaching Others May Be Your Fastest Path to Cash

Do you enjoy sharing knowledge with others?

If so, giving talks… leading workshops… or running retreats could be the quickest way to grow your small business – and your fastest path to cash.

People with interests as varied as fitness, image consulting, real estate, and career coaching are hearing the sound of opportunity knocking! 

And now, so can you!

Opportunities in the Conference World

According to ConventionIndustry.org, each year 205 million people attend the 1.8 million conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events and corporate/business meetings.

And that’s just in the United States.

That’s good news because conferences are a great place to get your message in front of dozens or even hundreds of future clients or customers — without having to “sell.”

In the last few months I’ve spoken to large audiences at two conferences — Women in Trucking and Romance Writers of America.

Like all conferences, participants could choose from dozens of smaller breakout sessions.

And in most cases, the people leading them are there because they asked to be.

Since attendees decide which sessions to go to, the key is to propose a topic that will appeal to the broadest possible audience.

Did you write a book on prosperity?

Offer a session called, “How to Make Sure Your Kids Grow Up Rich” — which of course, really means educating their parents.

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Are you a nutritionist or a personal trainer?

Do a talk for road warriors on how to eat healthy or stay fit on the road.

You’d be surprised at the kinds of conferences that will embrace your topic.

Just ask Beverly Farrow.

Beverly spent years earning her doctorate — only to discover that being a university professor was not fulfilling.

She could have fallen into the common trap of remaining in a job simply because she didn’t want to “waste the degree.”

Fortunately, Beverly looked instead for a way she could combine her love of teaching with her passion for helping others find a new career path of their own.

Last week, she led a workshop at a local non-profit conference in West Virginia called Strengthening Families and Children.

Even she was a little surprised at how well it went! 

I was not sure what kind of audience to expect (number of participants or background) because the conference was open to social service providers and families.

Anyway, I was blown away because my room was FULL!

It was a 90-minute session and the feedback was unbelievable– and I received a couple of invites for future engagements.

My title was. “Find Your Genius and Work in It.” Basically Valerie’s “Life First, Work Second approach to career planning from 30,000 feet.

AND I received my FIRST honorarium… which was a total surprise.

Beverly shared her big news  on a private discussion forum for other graduates of my course on how to become a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach.

I mention this because this kind of sharing inspires others to take action.

And one great idea always leads to others!

Finding Opportunities in Unexpected Places

Coincidentally, Hillary Saffran of Alaska works in social services herself.

Like most people who are transitioning from having a boss to being their own boss, she’s actively building her coaching business on the side.

Responding to Beverly’s success Hillary writes:

Just this morning I came up with an idea for a workshop and am in the process of working out an arrangement for the workshop room.

I got the idea from a commercial I heard about a local funeral home owned by “the mushing mortician.”

He states he’d love to use his funeral home for events other than funerals. It’s a large building with many rooms and lots of space.

So I contacted the manager and proposed my workshop: “Don’t Let Your Dreams Die!”

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An idea that prompted Kimberly Steward from Colorado to gush,

“Don’t let your dreams die.” Delivered in a funeral home. That is a level of genius I didn’t know existed! LOVE IT!

High praise indeed considering Kimberly wrote a book called Be Weird, Make Money: Design a Life and Living In a World Where You Don’t Feel Like You Belong.

Opportunities on the Road

Not all ideas need to be genius material to work. Sometimes all you need to do is widen your lens a bit.

For instance, one way you can take a major shortcut to your ideal customer or client is to tap into another business with a connection to your same topic or market.

When Audrey and her husband retired they traded in their house and most all of their belongings to travel the country in an RV.

The moment I heard that, my opportunity bell went off big time!

 

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That’s because in a few weeks Audrey will begin the same self-employment-focused career coach and business building training program that Beverly, Hillary, and Kimberly took.

For Audrey, earning money by showing others how to turn their own interests into income is the perfect portable business.

And the fact that she’ll be doing it from an RV herself, makes her the ideal person to deliver a talk to other full-time RVers called How to Make an Extra $500-$1000 a Month From the Road.

In addition, Audrey could:

  • sell a booklet on “Simple Ways to Make Extra Cash From Your RV”
  • partner with RV park owners or even RV dealerships to give talks at their locations
  • advertise a webinar in a publication like Workers on Wheels so she can teach hundreds of people regardless of location

Opportunities in Collaboration

RVers, retirees, and other change seekers aren’t the only ones looking for creative ways to make money.

People who already own a business need ideas too!

Did you know for example, there are real estate companies that specialize in people looking to buy or sell a campground or RV park? 

And that at least one of them, also capitalizes on the workshop model with their own sold out workshops for potential buyers?

With just a little knowledge about the business side of owning an RV park, Audrey could also offer workshops or webinars on the theme — How to Come Up With Additional Profit Centers for Your New RV Park.

The same partnering approach can be used for many niches.

For instance, our prosperity coach could give that same fiscal education for kids talk at libraries or other venues frequented by stay-at-home moms.

And our stylist could partner with clothing stores or malls to show shoppers how to build a fabulous wardrobe on a budget.

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(To test my theory, I once asked a local mall manager whether his or other malls would be open to that kind of thing. His answer:  “Absolutely!”)

But to really see how giving talks… or leading workshops… or running retreats… could be your fastest path to cash, I’m going to ask you the same question I asked Lourdes from Montreal.

Would You Rather Make $15 OR $20,000? 

Lourdes will be joining Audrey as an incoming student for the upcoming Profiting from Your Passions® coach class.

And like Audrey, she’s looking at coaching as a way to supplement her retirement income.

Right now Lourdes is applying for jobs in Montreal to teach ESL at $15 an hour.

But her BIG plan is to spend winters in Quito, Ecuador.

She’s already visited several times including renting an apartment for three months. So she knows the area pretty well.

Do you hear what I hear? It’s the sound of opportunity knocking!

What if on her next trip to Quito she mapped out a workshop-retreat-tour for other retirees considering following her same path.

I happen to know a little about the subject, because a few years ago I ran a Relax, Renew, and Reinvent retreat in Ecuador.

 

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We spent half of each day in workshop mode exploring ways participants could turn their interests into income. The rest of the time we were tourists.

Lourdes’ retreat would also include sessions on how her guests can create their own portable income streams.

But unlike my trip which was for career changers, Lourdes’ would target hers specifically for other retirees – very likely other women – who are considering wintering in Ecuador as well.

Just the kind of people who might be intimidated to explore a big city in another country on their own.

In addition to seeing the local sights, I’m picturing Lourdes introducing the group to various residential neighborhoods and walking them through the logistics of living in another country.

Things like the best places to buy groceries… how to get their mail… and do their banking, etc.

Lourdes could even offer very specific services — like helping her guests to find and secure seasonal housing for the following winter.

With my own retreat, participants covered their own airfare.

The per person cost for hotel, most meals, a van and driver, tour guide and a few other items was around $1,000.

Let’s say 10 people sign up for Lourdes’ 6-day, 7 night “Spend Your Winters in Warm and Fabulous Quito” workshop-retreat-tour.

And let’s say she charges a very reasonable $2,999 per person.

That means she’d earn a cool $29,999.

Minus $10,000 for expenses – and Lourdes’ profit is a cool $20,000!

For Lourdes to make that same amount of money teaching ESL at $15 an hour, she would need to log a whopping 2,000 hours – which translates into fifty 40-hour work weeks!

Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

If you enjoy teaching, informing, educating or otherwise awakening the joy in others… what are you waiting for! 

_______________________________________________

Last Chance: Registration Ends Tomorrow

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In As Little As 3 Months

You Can Train to Become a Licensed
Profiting From Your Passions®
Career Coach & Business Idea Generator…

And Launch Yourself Into a 
  Whole New Career — and Life

(Even If You Have NO
Prior Coaching Experience!)

  • Master a proven business idea generation and coaching system to help discover unique ways to turn interests into income
  • Quickly gain confidence in your ability to successfully work with paying clients or workshop attendees

  • Launch yourself into the perfect portable business so you can work where and when you like

  • Finally get paid to do what comes naturally!

On Tuesday we’re closing registration for the upcoming Profiting from Your Passions® coach class forever.

Fortunately for Audrey, Lourdes and 18 others from the UK, US, and Canada, this year’s class includes a Mega-Bonus.

It’s an additional 5-hours of training on How to Design and Deliver Your Own Money Making Workshops and Retreats(a $799 value)

You’ll discover how to take the 7-step Profiting From Your Passion®formula and deliver it in the form of a 30-45 minute talk… a half or full-day class, or a multi-day workshop or fabulous destination retreat — even on a cruise!

Plus we just added another extremely high value bonus – your own professionally designed website. That way you can launch your new career — and life — fast!

And because you can start earning money is as little as 3 months — the course pays for itself. 

Click here now to discover whether becoming a licensed Profiting from Your Passions® coach is right for you.  

But hurry because registrations ends Tuesday, November 15th at midnight ET.

 

For the first time in the human experience,
we have a chance to shape our work
to suit the way we want to live
instead of always living to fit in with our work…
We would be mad to miss the chance.

Charles Handy


5 Reasons You’re Trapped in the Wrong Job

The soccer game was tied “two all” when the pass came to my nephew.

Thrilled at the prospect of scoring the winning goal, Jeff began dribbling the ball down the field as fast as his five-year-old legs could carry him.

The coach yelled, “You’re going the wrong way!”

“I know,” Jeff shouted over his shoulder and kept dribbling.

Again the coach tried to correct the young player’s course.

And, again, Jeff responded with an insistent, “I know!”

The coach now waving his arms wildly hollered,

“Hey, Jeffrey, you’re going the wrong way!”

Jeff, equally exasperated, shouted back…

“I KNOW! I CAN’T TURN THE BALL AROUND!”

When my sister called to tell me the story, my first thought was, I know exactly how he feels.

I’d spent the last seven years commuting 90 miles a day to a job that paid the bills, but did not feed my spirit.

I knew I was going the wrong way.

But, I just couldn’t seem to turn the ball around.

I’m not the only one.

Far too many people wind up in the wrong job… the wrong life.

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Maybe you’re a dental assistant who should have been a math teacher.

Or an executive who should have opened a winery.

Or an architect who should be running an animal shelter.

Why Do People Go the Wrong Way?

There are many reasons why people end up in the wrong careers.

Here are five of the most common…

1)  You were encouraged to play it safe

When Robin Williams told his father about his desire to become an actor, his dad advised him to study welding, “Just in case.”

My own parents encouraged me to become a teacher. That way I’d have “something to fall back on in case something happened to my husband.”

Sadly, far too many people took the well-intentioned advice of parents to take the safest path – even if it was the least satisfying one.

2)  You don’t want to “waste the degree”

Years ago, a 28-year-old web developer and programmer named Bill wrote to say he felt stuck in a job he no longer enjoys.

He said he hates sitting in front of a monitor all day and worries that the stress of corporate life will shorten his life.

“I know,” says Bill, “I am trading money for health and happiness.”

More than anything else, Bill wants to be free. 

“This sounds crazy,” he explains, “but I want to be a locksmith or somebody who works with their hands and does not sit in a chair between four walls all day.”

So, what’s the problem?

Bill didn’t want to “waste his programming degree.”

My response to Bill or anyone at this same juncture is simple.

If you think wasting your degree is a shame, try your life.

3)  You’re a “job snob”

For some people, what begins as a desire to please or perhaps even impress others, can turn into something even more detrimental to our dreams – namely, pride.  

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One of my newsletter readers, a woman named Sandra, shared an all-too-familiar story.

When I was 19, I was working full-time as a legal secretary in Washington, D.C. The attorney, whom I was working for, was in his 30’s, said something to me that has stuck ever since.

He said, ‘You know something, Sandy, all my life, all I wanted was to become a bartender, but my parents would not go for that and made me become an attorney. I am miserable doing this.’ 

I’ll never forget that or him and how sad I felt for him.

It was his body language that I remember toohow he was slumped over behind his desk, his head drawn downthe sadness and visible pain etched on his face.

Had his parents not stood in his way, he perhaps could have owned a restaurant with a bar and lived each day fully in a way that spoke to his spirit.

I can only hope that he did one day take the courage and leave that law firm.

4)  No one ever asked you the right question

Remember when you were a kid and everyone kept asking what you wanted to be when you grew 

But, what if they’d asked a different question instead?

Here’s a 2-minute video of me on stage in Los Angeles talking about that very subject…

 

How I Turned the Ball Around

It took the unexpected death of my mother for me to finally decide to leave my corporate job and strike out on my own.

I didn’t know how exactly I could earn money.

What I did know was I wanted to work from home and work for myself.

From there I had to figure out what I loved to do.

Like you, I have multiple gifts and interests.

I’m a huge idea person.

My favorite question is, “What if…?”

Which pretty much means brainstorming is at the top of my list.

And guess what… today I get paid to do it!

I know I’m not the only idea person out there.

That’s why I created a new workshop called Paid to Brainstorm.

 

 

It’s 100 percent content.

It 100 percent free to attend.

And it starts now.

Whether you’re a seasoned life/career/executive coach looking to add another specialty to your practice (and money in your pocket) OR are just an idea person like me…

Join the party now at PaidtoBrainstorm.com!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #10: How to Get Paid (a Lot) to Speak


There are different ways you can cash in on what you already know.

You can write a book or create an information product…

You can coach people or become a consultant. Or…

You can make money from speaking!

Speaking is not only highly financially rewarding, it’s personally fulfilling as well.

What’s not to love?

As a professional speaker you get up in front of a group of people who are interested in what you have to say.

Then you spend 30-60 minutes sharing a message you believe in.

You go to bed that night knowing you’ve changes some lives. Not one or two… but an entire room full of lives.

And for all that “work” you get paid handsomely.

Most of the speakers I know make $5,000-$10,000 per gig.

With top speakers commanding $25,000 (or more) for a single talk!

If you think you’d like to get paid to speak – or you’re already a speaker but want to earn more, here’s how…

1. Understand who pays for speakers

Every day thousands of organizations around the world hold gatherings that include paid speakers brought in to educate and motivate their audiences.

Where you speak depends a lot of your topic and message. Options include:

  • Corporations (home office/field offices/company-sponsored destination meetings)
  • Colleges and universities (students/faculty/staff/alumni)
  • Association meetings (local, state, regional, national chapters)
  • Civic groups (Lion’s Club, Zonta, etc.)
  • Charitable organizations that raise funds for a particular cause (disabled vets, cancer research, etc.)
  • Non-profits (YMCA/YCWA, animal shelters, etc.)
  • Entrepreneur conferences and other events (government-sponsored, corporate-sponsored, hosted by other entrepreneurs or companies that serve this market)
  • Conferences (association, industry, or theme-related)

Again depending on your topic some of these options will be a better fit than others.

Because of my topic I’ve been invited to speak at all of them.

In the last few months alone I’ve landed gigs to speak to audiences at such diverse organizations as…

  • Apple
  • Romance Writers of America
  • Northwest Mutual Insurance
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Newfoundland/Labrador Women Entrepreneurs Conference
  • IBM
  • California Girls State (started by the American Legion to bring together 300 top high school juniors for a week to hold mock elections to learn how government works)
  • MIT (my 6th time)
  • And Facebook

Here’s a few pictures I took along the way…

RWA Costumes

Some period costumes from Romance Writers of America

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California Girls State meet up

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Retired Air Force colonel shuttle commander Eileen Collins who spoke after me at a conference sponsored by a law firm in Santa

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In the green room at Apple (turns out no one else had ever asked if that was the same toilet Steve Jobs used)

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The very cool Facebook campus with their amazing rooftop park

Keep in mind I have no expertise in technology, romance writing, life insurance, medicine, law firms, or government…

I’ve also spoken to visiting nurses, district attorneys, engineers, lawyers, opticians, jewelers, librarians, and administrative assistants. And I have zero experience in these areas either.

What I do have is a topic that cuts across industries and occupations. For me, it’s something called the impostor syndrome.

Fundamentally, I speak about confidence.

About what to do when you hear that nagging voice that says, “I’m in over my head and they’re going to find out I have no idea what I’m doing.”

The point is, audiences that consist mainly of nurses or accountants or acupuncturists or business owners still need speakers who can talk about topics like…

  • Work-life balance
  • Career management
  • Marketing/branding
  • Finding the humor in life
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Financial literacy/money angst
  • Social media do’s and don’ts
  • How to be a better leader
  • Millennials in the workplace
  • Stress management

And on and on…

My focus is on “unjobbing.”

Yet last year I was paid to speak to 200 librarians on how to think more creatively on the job.

Then there’s Marla Cilley, AKA The Fly Lady.

Marla is an organizing guru with a huge following. Every day tens of thousands of people follow her decluttering and cleaning advice.

As it turns out Marla is also a very popular speaker on the thriving home schooling conference circuit! Who knew!

Most speaking engagements are planned months and sometimes a year or more ahead.

If you already know where you want to speak, start doing your homework now so you can get on the agenda in 2017.

But before you pitch your topic you need to first nail this next step:

2. Know your “POV”

Being a great speaker is only one part of the paid-to-speak equation.

I always knew I was a decent speaker.

But today I know I could hold my own on a TED stage. (Something I wouldn’t have said just a few years ago.)

The difference is that today I know that to be an amazing speaker you need to have a strong opinion.

In other words, no matter what your subject is, you need to bring to it a clear and compelling point of view –POV for short.

Your POV is what sets you apart from all the other people who speak on your same topic.

There are lots of people who speak on how to raise healthy happy children or how caretakers can avoid burn out or how eating the right food can reduce inflammation.

Lots of people who speak on how to be an effective leader or how to overcome adversity.

So how is your message different?

If you’re not sure, imagine you’re a part of a panel brought in to discuss your general topic.

How would your solutions or approach be different from the other panelists?

How do you look at the topic slightly differently than others?

What kinds of things do other experts recommend that you strongly disagree with?

My POVs

Obviously there are other people who talk about impostor syndrome.

One is a well-known psychologist with a big bestselling book that contains a chapter on impostor syndrome.

I agree with most of what she says. But I disagree strongly on her proposed solution to just talking about your impostor feelings.

The logic is the more you talk about something, the less powerful the feelings become.

I do agree that giving voice to anything that evokes shame is an important first step.

But I am emphatic in telling my audiences that contrary to what some experts tell you, you can’t share your way out of impostor feelings.

From there I back up my POV with scientific evidence and then proceed to share the three things that do work.

Your POV is also what makes you stand out with the media.

I’ve been interviewed on numerous radio shows on the topic of career change.

Other career experts tend to talk about things like how to use social media to get a job, how to nail the interview, or doing informational interviews of people doing the job you covet.

Useful information… but hardly unique.

Then I come on and say things like…

“The problem is we’ve become a nation of occupational sheep passively waiting for someone to give us job. No one ever taught us how to make our own job!”

Or when they ask me about the key to my success I say things like…

“I think it’s because I don’t spend a lot of time in the real world.”

(A statement I quickly follow up with the fabulous quote from Will Smith who said, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”)

Do you think having a unique POV might set me apart from other career experts?

Do you see how having a unique POV would capture the attention of my host and more importantly, their listeners?

The bottom line: The more you can get your audience to think, the more successful a speaker you’ll be.

3.  Start where you are

If you know you need to work on your platform skills, join your local chapter of Toastmaster International.

If you need to polish your talk, then focus on that.

Just don’t do it by sitting at home endlessly tweaking it.

Instead get as much practice and feedback as you can.

Volunteer to speak anywhere and everywhere you can. Speak to informal gatherings in church/synagogue/mosque basements.

Speak to PTA groups or Meet Up groups or to local business owners.

When I started out I did tons of talks for free.

Trust me, no one at a conference or meeting knows whether you’re being paid or not.

Not only will you continue to grow as a speaker, but your next paying gig could very well come from someone in your audience.

4. Decide on your business model

The speaking business is just that… a business.

And there are three ways you can make money speaking:

  • Speak for a fee/keynoter
  • Speak for free and sell products or services from the stage
  • A combination (after my friend Barbara Winter speaks, she cheerily informs her audience that she’s brought along some books and “the store is open!”

I’m definitely a keynote speaker.

The person who has played a crucial role in accelerated my speaking business is six-time (count ‘em) New York Times bestselling author Larry Winget.

Larry is the one who taught me about the need to not only have a strong POV, but also not to minimize it by saying things, like… “I think…” or “In my opinion…”

(If Larry were here he’d tell you that we know you thought it because you’re saying it!)

larry

I am tremendously fortunate to make good money speaking.

But my fees are nowhere close to the $25,000 Larry commands for a one-hour talk.

You always want to be learning from people who are where you want to be. For me, Larry was – and to this day continues to be – that person.

suzanne-evans

The other person who has taught me a lot is my former business coach and friend Suzanne Evans.

Not long ago Suzanne was a gloried administrative assistant job struggling to pay the bills. Today she runs a 7-figure coaching business that’s made it onto the Inc. 500 list three times.

Unlike Larry and me, Suzanne rarely gets paid to speak.

Instead Suzanne uses speaking as a way to introduce audiences to her products and services and then offers them the opportunity to work with her.

For the record, anyone can sell from the stage without sounding “salesy.” Well-respected experts like Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter do it all the time.

The key is to deliver good content.

Are you a coach? Share your best advice and end by offering a free strategy session.

Are you a dog trainer? Talk about the biggest three mistakes people make with a new puppy and then offer a discount to anyone who signs up for your next class.

Speak on nutrition? Give great information then follow your talk with a book signing.

Leading a retreat in Belize for people who want to find their calling? Talk about the importance of slowing down long enough to hear your inner calling and then do a drawing for a free spot at your retreat.

Are you getting the idea?

So yes, both Suzanne and Larry have hugely successful businesses.

As importantly, speaking is what allowed them to also create amazing lives.

Every year Suzanne takes a group of people to South Africa to coach economically disadvantaged business owners for free.

And I have often donated my time to speak at organizations that support a worthy cause. It’s an amazing feeling to know that your words can make a difference in more ways than one.

5. Get and stay in the game: The Big Shift

Even seasoned speakers need to constantly improve.

I hate watching videos of myself on stage. But if you’re striving for continuous improvement, as painful as it is… the camera doesn’t lie.

Like anything else, getting good – and staying good – takes concerted effort.

Over the two decades as a part-time speaker, I estimate I’ve addressed over 80,000 people. As impressive as that sounds I wasn’t exactly breaking the bank.

Then three years ago I experienced a huge shift in my speaking business.

Instead of getting 7 or 8 speaking gigs year, I started booking 20+.

And for the first time ever, my speaking income began to consistently hit the six-figure mark.

I’m not telling you this to impress you.

I’m telling you this partly because a lot of people sell themselves and what they have to offer short.

Far too many of us – and women especially – undervalue ourselves and the message we have to share with the world.

And everyone loses when bright people play small.

The other reason I’m talking about money is because I want you to know that for some of you, speaking is by far your fastest path to cash – and to freedom.

For me the big shift began three years ago when I attended a speaking boot camp taught by Larry and Suzanne.

Again, using two very different models, they’ve both managed to create immensely successful businesses built on speaking.

The shift came when I applied three simple principles I learned from Larry and Suzanne.

To make it as a speaker you need to first get good, then get known, then you get paid. In that order.

I’ve grown enormously in all three areas. And so can you.

Last year a gaming enthusiastic and maker named Stephan was there.

Stephan was not a professional speaker when he arrived at the boot camp. In fact, he clearly struggled to find his voice.

But he was determined to use speaking as a platform to spread the message that games can be both fun and educational. So he kept at it.

This week Stephan is speaking in Japan.

And if he can do it… so can you.

Be My Guest at the “Build Your Speaking Business Boot Camp”

Like I said, my booking increased just in the last three years.

That’s why November 17-19 I’ll be back to Atlanta to attend the “Speaking Business Boot Camp.”

This is my third boot camp. I’m going back because it’s just that good.

Like I said, you always want to learn from people who are where you want to be.

Which is why I’m super excited that they’re adding several other $25,000+ a day speakers to the faculty.

I’d love for you to join me in Atlanta.

I have the opportunity to bring 10 guests with me. And I hope you’ll be one.

Not only will you learn a ton, but I’m also going to organize a little meet-up of everyone who joins me.

That way you’ll walk in already armed with a mighty support group!

How to take advantage of your complimentary “Friend of Valerie’s” guest pass

Step 1: Read all about the event here.

If you want to take advantage of the opportunity to be one of my 10 guests, DON’T REGISTER.

Why? Because as my guest, you won’t pay $297.

Instead you’ll receive a separate complimentary event ticket.

That’s where step 2 comes in…

Step 2: Send an email with the subject line “Speaker Boot Camp” to Valerie (at) changingcourse.com with your first and last name, primary email address, and best phone number to reach you.

Obviously they need to know how many people to expect. So all us (including me) need to put down a small deposit – but you get it back in full as soon as you arrive.

And if you’re looking for a hotel mate, let me know and I’ll try to match you up.

Step 3: Look for an email from either me or the event organizers at SuzanneEvans.org who will contact you directly to redeem your “Friend of Valerie’s” Free Guest Pass.”

The truth is: You have a message to share that the world needs to hear.

And you really can get paid to share what you already know.

Whether you want to be a well-paid keynoter like I am… or you want to use speaking as a means to grow your business…

I absolutely credit the 3-step  get good~get known~get paid I learned at the Speaking Business Boot camp with making 2016 my BIGGEST speaking year ever.

And if you can’t go? Follow the advice I just gave you and never, ever give up!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #9: Love Food Will Travel – 7 Ways to Make Money With A Food or Travel Blog

Imagine traveling around exploring the local food scene. Maybe you drop in on cooking schools. Meet with chefs. Explore street food and markets. Review fine restaurants.

Now imagine sharing what you experience with the world… and getting paid to do it!

Asian women eating delicious Focus on face

For a foodie who also loves to travel… food and travel blogging is the perfect way to go.

I’m using food and travel blogs here as an example.

But these same options apply whether you blog about cats, health and wellness, your favourite sports team, or any topic of interest to a wider audience.

1. Attract Advertisers

MOSCOW RUSSIA - DECEMBER 12 2105: Used red cap from the glass bottle of Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company is an American beverage corporation and manufacturer founded in 1886.

Aileen Adalid of I Am Aileen blogs more about travel than food.

Her followers are other millennials drawn to the young Filipino’s example of trading the rat race for life on the road.

Aileen is worth studying because of her ability to attract such heavy hitter advertisers as Coca Cola, Hilton, Marriott, Eurail, Unilever, and the Helsinki tourism bureau.

2. Get Corporate Sponsors

Pat of fresh farm butter on a butter dish with a knife to use as a spread or cooing ingredient overhead view on a slatted wooden table

Unlike advertisers, sponsors tend to make a longer brand commitment and pay a set fee.

Ree Drummon is personality behind the phenomenally successful cooking blog The Pioneer Woman.

She’s also an unapologetic fan of butter-rich recipes, an approach that clearly spoke to butter manufacturer and sponsor Land O’Lakes.

Then there’s Stefan and Sebastian, the attractive couple behind the popular food and travel blog Nomadic Boys.

In just two years, their blog attracted a loyal following particularly in the gay community.

That led to paid opportunities to collaborate with hotel brands and tourism boards as well as to speak at conferences to promote gay travel.

Stefan and Sebastian aren’t the only couple crushing it with sponsors.

Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott of the blog The Uncornered Market actively promote their availability to serve as paid brand ambassadors.

It’s this kind of proactivity that led  the couple to star in commercials for major companies like Lonely Planet and Ford.

Ambitious yes. Worth building toward? Absolutely!

After all, no matter what your dream, somebody’s going to do that cool thing… it might as well be you!

3. Sell Products

People interested in following you and your niche are also prime potential buyers of related products.

Ree’s blog led to her own cooking show on the Food Network. From there she landed an exclusive deal with Walmart to sell her own brand of cookware and other kitchen items.

And this fall she and her husband are opening their own store in an old building they renovated on the main street in their small town in Oklahoma… and they’re hiring!

But you don’t need to run an empire in order to sell products. Nor do you need to stock inventory.

Singaporean dinner icon with flat symbols of fried rice nasi goreng, chilli crab, spicy noodle soup laksa with prawns, chicken rice with hard boiled eggs and chicken liver, served on banana leaf with chopsticks and cup of green tea

Instead you can work with vendors directly to drop ship exotic or specialty ingredients or other cooking or home-related products directly to the customer.

Want to create your own products?

Companies like CaféPress or Zazzle both supply ready-made, as well as customized, products you design.

Blogging about French cuisine? Supply the vendor with images or fun sayings that appeal to lovers of all things French and they’ll print it onto coffee mugs, calendars, T-shirts, mousepads, or scores of other items. The vendor fills orders as you get them and you earn a percentage of the sale.

4. Affiliate Revenue

Camping elements equipment on top of the mountain.

A less hands-on approach is to sell products indirectly as an affiliate like Aileen does.

In addition to ad revenue, Aileen also earns money by recommending or otherwise featuring products she likes.

If someone makes a purchase using her affiliate link, she’ll receive a referral fee of anywhere from 5 to 50 percent of the sale price.

Another couple earning affiliate income are Chris and Rob Taylor of 2TravelDads.com.

Because the couple are traveling with their young kids, the 2 Dad’s Amazon store features kid-friendly products and camping gear they use and recommend.

5. Write for Others

Just because you have your own readers doesn’t mean you can’t get paid to write for other publications.

In addition to her own posts, Canadian food and travel blogger Mayssam Samaha of Will Travel for Food writes extensively for the Montreal Tourism bureau and numerous other popular travel and airline publications.

6. Sell Your Photographs

When you see Erick Prince’s, AKA the Minority Nomad, stunning photos, you’ll understand why he’s able to sell his images and videos to clients like Facebook, Shangri-La Hotels, and SAS.

Like most of the bloggers featured here, Erick has multiple profit streams of income.

In addition to making money from photos, he’s also a travel journalist for Yahoo Travel and other outlets and also serves as a luxury travel consultant for brands seeking to reach other millennials.

7. Lead Tours

Tourists using tablet computer while sightseeing in Venice

Have you ever wished you could turn others onto your favorite shopping and dining spots?

That’s what the American born Italy-based food blogger Elizabeth Minchilli does.

In addition to publishing cookbooks, creating a popular app for local travelers, and teaching cooking classes, she recently began to offer one-day food tours.

Those went so well that Elizabeth recently teamed up with her daughter Sophie to run a 6-day Week in Rome. The first tour already sold out!

Other Ways to Get Paid

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Money is important. But it’s just one reward of being a food or travel blogger.

Eight years ago Catherine Enfield of Munchie Musings started writing about the Sacramento food scene.

For Catherine, being a food blogger was less a means to replace her pay check as a state worker than it was a way to become actively engaged in her community.

Along the way she started the popular Sacramento Food Film Festival.

Catherine has since gifted the festival to the non-profit Food Literacy Program which continues the mission of using film to educate the public about the food system.

Erick also had a larger goal: To be the first African American to travel to all 90 countries and to inspire young African American males to travel as well.

These are the kinds of rewards money can’t buy.

Getting Started

For most of her eight-plus years blogging, Catherine kept her day job.

However, it was her immersion in the dining world that ultimately led to landing a cool job with a restaurant software company.

Besides you don’t need to be a full time traveler to write a travel blog.

Chris Taylor has a regular corporate job and Rob is the stay-at-home parent. In addition to frequent weekend jaunts, the family takes four or five big trips a year.

They’re able to take some of the bigger trips by adding a few vacation days to some of Chris’s work trips where some of the expenses are covered by his employer.

Similarly, sites like Tours by Locals make it easy for you to run tours right there in your own community.

Learn the blogging ropes

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If you want to make money from blogging – or indeed, from any online business – you have to know how to drive people to your site and build your audience.

Fortunately, there are thousands of books, articles, classes, even entire businesses dedicated to teaching new bloggers of any ilk how to get traffic and a fan base – much of it free.

One place to start is Aileen’s handy step-by-step guide on how to start a successful travel blog.

Prefer to learn in person?

Attend the annual International Food Bloggers conference – just one of many conferences dedicated to this niche.

Get clear

At some point you need to decide who it is you want to attract. Is it:

  • Professional or amateur cooks keen to learn about emerging or international cuisine or trends?
  • Visitors – local or international – looking for the best places to dine or food shop?
  • A future cookbook publisher?
  • People who rarely travel or cook but who nevertheless love looking at photos of fabulous food or destinations?
  • People who’d rather follow you via a video blog than read?
  • People who identify with you based on things like parenting or relationship status, age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, region, style of travel, food preferences, etc.

Your answers will inform future decisions from choosing a URL to your content to which advertisers, sponsors, and/or affiliates to pursue.

Ideally you’d figure this out before you begin. However, if you suffer from analysis paralysis then sometimes you have to just…

Jump in and just see where it leads

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Maybe you can’t move to Tuscany or become a world traveler until the kids are out of college or you retire.

But you can use the steps you just learned to start laying the groundwork.

That said, there’s a danger in trying so hard to plan everything in advance that you wind up doing nothing.

“When I started the blog,” writes Elizabeth, “I wasn’t sure what it would lead to.”

And going in Catherine definitely never expected to start a cause-driven film festival.

That’s why it’s so important that you just jump in and see where it leads you!

Your Turn!

If you could create your perfect food and/or travel blog scenario, what would it look like?

Who would be your ideal followers and what’s the message you’d love to spread?

Which of the seven ways to make money as a food or travel blogger speak to you?

As my friend Barbara Sher says, “Isolation is the dream killer.”

Take one minute right now to hop down to the comments and share your dream or to just lend some encouragement to your fellow members of the Changing Course Community!

Isn’t It Time to Profit From Your Passion?

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Still don’t know what you want to be “when you grow up?”

Know what you love to do but have no idea how to make money doing it?

Have so many ideas you don’t know where to begin?

The answers are closer than you think! And once you have a direction, doors will open you never knew existed.

Click here to learn how to schedule a personal Work at What You Love career coaching session with me or one of my licensed Profiting From Your Passions® career coaches today.


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