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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.


The Biggest Regret of All May Surprise You

Regrets are an inevitable part of life. Fortunately not all regrets are created equal.

Some regrets are minor.

You regret buying those too tight shoes just because they were on sale….

Or picking up the phone as you were trying to leave the office….

Or ordering the fish when everyone in your party is raving about the pasta.

The good news?

Regrets like these (often referred to as “First World problems”) are ones we can learn from and hopefully, minimize the chance of repeating.

Utmost regrets, on the other hand, are more problematic because the consequences are so much bigger.

Utmost regrets, are also more difficult – and sadly, sometimes even impossible to reverse.

worryI’m referring to the kinds of things you’d absolutely hate to know would one day be etched on your headstone.

Vivian could have been a great writer, if she’d tried.

Sam could have changed a lot of lives, if he’d had the courage to act on his idea.

Ordering the fish is one thing. Bailing on your dream of helping unadoptable kids or entering a writing contest is quite another.

Elizabeth Berg learned a lot about dreams. However, she learned even more about regrets while working as a nurse with terminally ill people.

In an article titled, Dreams Are Not Enough, the award-winning novelist wrote movingly about how not pursuing our dreams may be the riskiest move of all.

It is a lesson she learned from those whose time had almost run out.

Those dying people I cared for believed, as most of us do, that they would have time for everything. So they put things off… Then suddenly their days were almost gone. They were out of the time they thought they would have forever. And while I bathed them, they stared out the window and talked about what they had missed. They might say, ‘I always wanted to see Hawaii, but… I don’t know. I never did.’ The sense of regret was so strong that we both ached. I wanted to lift those people up out of bed, put them in a wheelchair, and take them to the airport. ‘Hawaii, please,’ I wanted to tell the ticket agent.

Everyone has dreams, sadly far too often they get put on hold.

Asking, and then answering her own question, Berg writes:

“What happens to our dreams? They die of lack of nourishment, that’s what. ‘Later,’ we say, and when we turn around, they’re gone.”

The Worry Factor

According to many of the 1,200 elders who took part in Cornell University’s Legacy Project, there is a powerful link between regret about the past and worry in the present.

When asked what they most regret when they look back on their lives, the answer most often given was they wished they hadn’t worried so much.

The way 102-year-old Eleanor sees it,

You just can’t go on worrying all the time because it destroys you and your life, really…. You have to put it out of your mind as much as you can at the time. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if possible, but you can’t always do that because things don’t always happen the way you were hoping. So the most important thing is one day at a time.

And 87-year-old James Huang agrees…

Why? I ask myself. What possible difference did it make that I kept my mind on every little thing that might go wrong? When I realized that it made no difference at all, I experienced a freedom that’s hard to describe.

The thing that takes a lot of people by surprise is this.

regretnothingWe waste our lives worrying about the “unknown risks” that change can bring, when in reality we should be more scared of the known risk of spending the rest of lives in the same place we are today.

If we fail to at least try to create the life we really want, we risk making good on Benjamin Disraeli’s often quoted prediction that “most people die with their music still locked up inside them.”

The sudden loss of my mother at just 61 totally changed how I viewed time (we can choose how we use it), money (things work out), and life (it’s all too short).

I won’t lie. Walking away from a good job with good benefits was – and still is – not without risk.

Yet I knew that the real risk was looking back at my life and saying, “I was miserable; but at least I had a good dental plan.”

What Will You Most Regret?

Take a moment now to choose three things you would most regret not doing in your lifetime. Of these, which would be the biggest?

Now name one small thing you can do today – not tomorrow, not next week or next year, but today – to help prevent your biggest regret from occurring.

Finally, take a moment to post it either in the Facebook comment section, or scroll down for the general comments area. Just by putting your regret and your intention into words is itself a powerful first step!

And, if one of your three utmost regrets is spending your life in a soul-sucking job, I have good news.

As I write this, scores of your fellow change seekers from across the US, Canada, and Europe have signed on for the fast approaching Virtual Weekend Retreat.

WWL-MLWVirtual2015-Click2If you share the dream of finding your calling and a way to make money doing it in order to live a life where you get to calls the shots, then don’t worry…

You still have time to join us. The Early Bird 96% SAVINGS ends Wednesday February 3, 2016.

But don’t wait too long, because after that the price DOUBLES.

Spending twice as much money is not the worse regret in life. But wouldn’t it be nice to instead use the money you’ll save in the service of your dream?

Can’t Make the Dates?

No problem. You can still get access to the Work @ What You Love Roadmap.

For a limited time you can pre-order recordings of the entire 2-day workshop. That way you won’t miss a thing. Plus you can take the class on your own schedule and pace — and retake it as often as you like.

To make sure you get maximum value from the replay, you’ll still receive a complete set of the 30+ page Work @ What You Love handouts.

Whether you join us live or you take the Work @ What You Love workshop on your own schedule… remember this:

When you go to bed tonight, don’t worry about what will happen if you fail. If you must fret at all, worry about how much you have to lose if you never even try.


I figured this would happen [Take the quiz explains why]

In some ways my father and I are a lot alike. For instance, in high school our respective classes both elected us “class wit.”

But in other ways we couldn’t be more different.

So I wasn’t surprised by what happened a few years back when my Dad and I drove to the airport to pick up my brother.

It was mid-August, 102 degrees and humid as heck.

“Knowing” there would never be a parking spot close to the terminal, my father wanted to head directly to the back lot where spaces were plentiful.

I preferred to start with the row closest to the terminal and work our way back.

After much prodding, my father agreed to try the lot nearer to the terminal. But only as far as the last row.

If we didn’t find something there, he informed me, we’d proceed directly to the back lot.

Not only did we find a spot, but on our way into the terminal we walked past a primo parking in the very first row.

My Dad’s response was, “It probably wouldn’t have been there when we were looking.”

In other words, I prefer to think things will work out. My father presumes they will not.

I was reminded of a quote often misappropriated to Henry Ford that says…

If You Think You Can, Or You Think You Can’t, You’re Right

I understand that pessimism is just a defense mechanism to shield you from disappointment.

But I also know that this self-limiting notion that, “Things won’t work out anyway… so why bother?” keeps a whole lot of people stuck from ever living their dream.

If you find yourself automatically driving to the back lot of life, maybe it’s time to do an attitude check…

Take the Quiz

  • Do you see yourself as deserving of happiness?
  • Do you think things will probably work out for the best?
  • If things don’t work out do you see it as an opportunity to either try again or to find a different approach?
  • Do you see yourself as the director of your life or as having no control over the outcome?
  • When a traffic light turns red do you think, “Just my luck!”? If yes, do you feel the same way when you catch a green light?

If you have a positive attitude then you have a great foundation from which to launch your dream of working at what you love.

If however, you tend to assume the worse –– then changing course is going to be more challenging – but still entirely possible.

In fact, my friend and career change guru Barbara Sher insists you don’t need to think positive to achieve your dreams.

On the occasion of her best-selling book Wishcraft turning 30 Barbara wrote…

Everyone has “…everything they need inside them to create the life they want, and to see that the reason they haven’t achieved their dreams so far is because humans can’t sustain positive thinking, they need structure, accountability and support.

Isolation and a lack of structure can create disorientation and fear.

That’s why I repeat, over and over, ‘Isolation is the dream killer, not your lousy attitude.”

So you see, how you answered the quiz is not important.

What really matters is do you want to create the life you want? And if so…

Are You Finally Ready To Either
A) Find Your Calling or
B) Take Massive Action On An Existing Idea Or Business?

The thing is you can keep trying to figure everything out alone.

Getting overwhelmed… or becoming discouraged when the ideas or the money doesn’t follow as quickly as you’d like… then procrastinating, and finally giving up.

No one wants that.

That’s why I created an affordable and highly effective way you can get the ongoing support you need to create the life you really want.

Click here now to read about seven people who – regardless of their attitude — made more progress on their dreams in six months than most people do in six years!


The Myth of the Starving Artist

artbrushes

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

Artists are routinely discouraged from pursuing their passion into adulthood.

In fact, there is perhaps no more occupation that symbolizes popular notions about “unrealistic” careers than that of so-called starving artist.

Certainly there are lots of artists, actors, musicians, and other creative types who take low-paying side jobs while they’re “waiting for their big break.”

Most people who desperately want out of their own low-wage jobs aren’t waiting for anything other than to hit the lottery. Yet no one talks about the “starving secretary” or the “starving bus driver.”

These creative types may be waiting… but at least they’re waiting with a purpose! At least they’re showing their art or going on auditions or otherwise practicing their craft.

The fact is, you really CAN get paid for your art!

That’s why I’m so excited about this week’s Guest Article by licensed Profiting From Your Passions® expert Linda Tomsho.

An article Linda begins by posing an important and to some perhaps, SHOCKING question…

Namely, are you a “HO” or are you a “HO” or a “BO”? I’ll let Linda explain!

Making Money From Your Art
Are You a “HO” or a “BO”?

Guest article by Linda Tomsho

“Being good at business is the most fascinating kind of art.  Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” – Andy Warhol

Every summer I look forward to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh’s big art event of the year, where hundreds of artists and performers come to show their best work.

While visiting the Festival, I attended a talk by Rebecca Harris, Director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University called “Women Artisans to Entrepreneurs.”

Her point was that many women artists (and men as well, in my experience) neglect the business end of things. “I don’t understand all that business stuff, and I don’t have time for it. I’m an Artist, and if I create great art, people will seek me out.”

If that sounds like you, the question my business coach, Suzanne Evans, would ask you is this…

“Are you a HO or a BO?”

dollarinhandIn other words, are you a Hobby Owner who creates art but doesn’t effectively monetize it?

Or are you a Business Owner, serious about growing your market and making a real living?

Essentially, if you don’t see your art as a business, you’re probably indulging in an expensive hobby instead of creating a viable livelihood.

If you really do want to become a serious working – by which I mean self-employed – artist, then you need to treat your artwork or your crafts or whatever it is that you produce, like a real business.

After all, there’s a lot of competition out there. So if you want to break out of the pack and make a real living doing what you love, you have to leverage your talent with sound business practices – and thinking.

1) Think of yourself as a professional artist – right now

artists palletYou may need to begin by changing your mindset about who you are and what you do.

Even if you’re still paying the bills by waiting tables or telemarketing, you need to define yourself as an artist and therefore as the owner of an art business.

That means you should be studying everything you can find about how to succeed in your industry. For example, how to get your work into galleries or how to sell on Etsy…

Depending on what kind of art you create, you should be educating yourself about the lucrative world of art licensing.

You also need to have a website and a social media presence.

Finally, you should always be thinking about building your portfolio and actively looking for opportunities to promote yourself and your work. That means networking at least once a week and attending events where you can expand your connections.

2) Don’t quit your day job (yet)

laptop-insideworkingObviously the plan is that someday your art will earn enough to support you. But the fact is, most artists or performers I know who are on their way up have a day job.

Maybe you have what career coach and author Barbara Sher calls the “Good-Enough Job” – a job that 1) isn’t toxic and 2) doesn’t demand more than 40 hours a week.

In other words, you can support yourself without getting stressed out and still have time to work on your goals. Or you can have a side gig that pays the bills.

Either way, if you can think of your j-o-b as a “business loan” for your art business it will make it more tolerable!

3) Always be looking for multiple income streams

manwithlightbulbSomething that you enjoy doing that hopefully fits in with your creative work and what you want your life to look like. You could offer lessons to others… start a podcast… write a book… or sell your work to a greeting card company.

Use your imagination!

Start small with just one or two “alternative profit centers,” then add more if you want to. If one doesn’t work out, you can always bag it and try something else!

4) Create your personal brand

What do you want to be known for? What’s your niche?

You could be like Linda Barnicott, a pastel artist whose claim to fame is beautiful nostalgic paintings of Pittsburgh scenes.

Or you might become famous as the photographer who creates those distinctive images of newborn babies, post-industrial landscapes, or maybe even dressed-up Weimaraners (it worked for William Wegman!).

When you have a recognizable brand or niche, you become more memorable.

Linda Tomsho headshotLinda Tomsho is the CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of Different Drummer Coaching. As a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach, she helps clients connect the dots between their interests, skills, and experience to discover their “right livelihood,” then guides them through the process of starting their own business using Valerie Young’s “Life First, Work Second” philosophy.

Linda started her career in the corporate marketing world but soon realized the cubicle life was not for her. Being a self-bosser allows her the freedom to pursue multiple passions including blogging about movies, writing, dog rescue, cooking, travel, and curating her eclectic collections.

Linda lives near Pittsburgh with her husband Matthew and canine companions Bijou and Zelda. She is the mother of 3 adult children, each following a unique path of their own.

As a cancer survivor, Linda understands the importance of making the most of our time on this earth. If you dream of creating a life that suits you and working at something you love, don’t waste another minute!

Visit her at Different Drummer Coaching, and to book your FREE 30-minute Discovery Session, send an email to linda@different-drummer-coaching.com with your phone number, time zone, and best time to reach you.


14 Ways to Craft a New International Career

Hong Kong Old Pagoda And New SkyscrapersI recently became a contributor to this wonderful publication that’s 100 percent dedicated to help aspiring self-bossers like you find portable streams of income and other ways to fund your international lifestyle.

What if you could live and work in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong or another bustling international hub?

Or perhaps working from a quaint villa in the Italian country side or an island bungalow is more your thing?

If so, I have some fabulous resources to get you there faster!

  1. International Living magazine

    International Living magazine is one of the best resources if you’re really serious about moving overseas. In each issue they detail in-depth information on moving or retiring overseas, making money, saving money and learning all the ins and outs on buying property abroad. You’ll also hear from expats who have already made the move.

  2. Incomes Abroad

    I recently became a contributor to this wonderful publication. What I love about it is it’s 100 percent dedicated to help aspiring self-bossers like you find portable as well as on-location ways to fund your international lifestyle.

    If you muse about the day you can leave the stress of the rat race behind, grab control of your life, and head off on an adventure abroad – with an income that went with you…  with Incomes Abroad to guide you, that day could be a lot sooner than you think.

  3. International Career Coach Dominika Miernik

    It can be hard enough to land a satisfying (or any) job or start a business if you’re a native. Being an ex-pat is even trickier.

    That’s where having an experienced career coach can definitely help. Like the multi-talented and multi-lingual Dominika Miernik.

    Originally from Poland, Dominika lived and worked for many years in the UK. Today she operates her own successful career coaching practice in Rome where she specializes in working with ex-pats.

    And if self-employment is your thing, Dominika is also a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® business idea generator.

Either way, Dominika has generously offered to share nine of our 14 ways to launch your international career — and life.

Guest Article

9 Ways to Launch Your International Career

by Dominika Miernik

In our increasingly global economy more people than ever are choosing to live and work in another country. There are lots of reasons my clients decided to chart a new international career and life.

What about you?

Maybe you’d love to start your own business or create a portable business you can run from anywhere.

Or maybe after spending years in a 9-to-5 job you’re looking to really shake up your life with a new career in a strikingly different location.

Then again for you, an international move may be a necessity. For instance, despite having much to offer opportunities may be limited in your own country. Or, perhaps your partner was transferred overseas and now you need to craft a new livelihood as well.

Regardless of the reason for an international career move, the question is always the same: How do I start this new journey?

Here are nine simple steps to help you to plan your international career.

  1.  Plan, Plan, Plan

First and most important, prepare an action plan. To begin, take some time to reflect and ask yourself:

  • How would I like my life to be?
  • What would I like my international career or business to look like?
  • What are my personal, professional and financial goals?
  • What do I really want?

Then write down a random list of steps which you can take to achieve your goals.

For example, if you are thinking of swapping to a part-time job and work on your business simultaneously, you may first want to speak with your boss or manager to discuss this possibility.

At the same time, you’ll want to prioritize your goals by giving each one a deadline. For instance, when exactly will you speak with your boss?

Solid plans will give you clarity and guide you to your vision.

  1. Do your research

Who What Why When Where Signpost Showing Confusion Brainstorming And ResearchStop for a moment and think about your background. What do you have to offer to a new employer or the market? What are you good at?

If you want to get a job, search for companies you’d like to work for in the location you want to live.

If you’re looking to start a business, explore your business idea including the practicalities of being your own boss abroad. For example, check whether or not your visa or work permit limits your options for starting a business.

Analyze the local business sector to identify your clients or customers. Are there natural partners you can tap for collaboration or cross-promotion? Who are you your local competitors?

  1. 3 Get visible and make contacts

Explore international networking groups. They’re a great way to make new contacts, learn about the country and local culture, and learn the language.

Networking is also a great way to develop contacts that can lead to a job or new clients or customers. Just be sure to resist the temptation to tell the people you meet that you’re looking for a job as it can put them on defense. Instead, say you’re open to new international opportunities, share your future vision, and ask them about their own careers and strategy.

If you want to start a business abroad, look for local business networking opportunities and join in. You’ll also find plenty of entrepreneurs to connect with offline and online.

Once again, show interest in their business and ask lots of questions.

  1. Expat yourself as an international assignee

When possible, get a job with a company in your home country where you know the potential exists to be sent on an international assignment. Not only can international experience boost your career, but you can get a taste for living abroad at the same time.

Here too, show your interest and willingness to move aboard or work on international projects and ask lots of questions.

  1. Become an entrepreneurial expat

If you’re already working at an international job but dream of being your own boss, know that there’s no one right way to go about starting a business.

For example, you don’t have to give up your full time job and sacrifice your full time pay check right away. Rather you can start small by working at your job during the week and focusing on your business evenings or weekends.

Or you can negotiate a part-time contract and do your business at the same time.

Once you have a business idea make sure it will fit with your desired. If so, then go for it.

  1. Dive in

moneytreeYou can always move abroad and then look for a job when you get there. While this is definitely the most challenging strategy, it’s not impossible.

The key is still to make a plan for each step.

Maybe you saved some money which you can invest to start your new life. If not, then you need to consider your financial commitments and come up with a way to fund the first few months in a new country.

  1. Get a taste for your new career and international home

Before uprooting your entire life, look for ways to test out your new professional path or business idea as well as a new country.

You could for instance, take a three month sabbatical. Depending on your business or business idea, if you are doing actual work while you’re there, it’s possible you could turn this time into a tax-deductible business expense.

Another way to see how you like living abroad is to volunteer there. If you sign up via a registered non-profit you may be able to deduct your travel and living expenses.

Only when you’re there, will you find out if a particular career path and place is right for you.

  1. Get support

Starting an international career, whether it is a traditional job or starting your own business, is exciting. But sometimes it can also be tough.

With any major work life change its easy to lose your energy and motivation. Plus when you’re in a very different culture where you don’t speak the language your self-esteem can decrease quickly.

That’s why you need to surround yourself with people who will support you.

If you don’t have people in your life who support your dream, then shore up your confidence by reading positive stories of others who’ve successfully made the move.

If you’re serious about making a change and need a business or career coach, then start there.

  1. Visualize

Goal Puzzle Shows Business Targets, Objectives And AimsBelieve in yourself and what you can achieve by imagining that you have already turned your dream into reality.

“Seeing” yourself happily living the international life– if even in your minds-eye – can help you gain the courage to leave your comfort zone and reach your professional goals.

These simple steps really can help you start working at what you love and live the global lifestyle you want.

Remember, a good action plan is the first step to success. It will help you keep on track and will automatically motivate you to go further with your career project.

DominikaMiernikInternational Career Coach and licensed Profiting From Your Passions® career expert Dominika Miernik helps multi-passionate expats discover their dreamiest career path or find the perfect business idea so they can live the global lifestyle.

After a decade of living, studying and working internationally Dominika decided to reorganise her life to make work fit into her life instead of the other way around. She draws from her professional experience and psychological training to help her clients create realistic action plans so they can thrive in their international careers. V

Visit www.dmcoaching.eu to get your FREE career coaching e-course “Clarify Your Career Goals in 3 Days.” Contact Dominika to schedule Free Expat Edge Session to discover how to start working at what you love and fulfill your ambitions.

 

Two More Resources to Help You Launch Your International Life

Like Dominika said, volunteering can be a great way to get a taste for international living.

Whether you ultimately want to make a living while making a difference – or just want a unique way to get your feet wet – here are two resources to get you started: 

  1. Global Volunteers
     
    Volunteer vacations are a great way to immerse yourself in another country while helping with local projects.Enter Global Volunteers which organizes one- to three-week volunteer opportunities in Asia (China, India, Vietnam), Europe (Italy, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Romania), North America (Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, St. Lucia, US), South America (Peru and Ecuador), and the Pacific (Cook Islands).

    Volunteer vacations in North America are on the Blackfeet Nation and Crow reservations in Montana.

    Examples of volunteer activities include teaching English at a center for visually-impaired students in Vietnam, joining local efforts to promote girls education or assist with recycling in order to promote eco-tourism in Costa Rica, teaching conversational English in Cuba and Italy, working with at-risk or disabled youth in Greece, and many more.

    You can spend another vacation in a tourist trap. Or you can sign up to make a real difference in someone’s life… yours. All fees, including airfare, are tax deductible for U.S. citizens.

  2. Idealist.org

    Idealist.org helps you turn your values into your vocation by connecting people who want to do good (idealists) with opportunities for action and collaboration. It has a searchable database of over 100,000 non-profits where you’ll find job postings, volunteer opportunities, internships, events, and more.Site can be accessed in Spanish or French.

Keep the international conversation going! If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be — and why? If you’re not on Facebook just scroll to the bottom of the page to post your answer there.

 


A Foolproof Way to Make a Tough Decision

Which of these tough calls have you had to make:

Pretty young woman making a decision with arrows and question mark above her head

  • Take the job… or decline and hope for something better
  • Quit a toxic job… or stick it out and pray things gets better
  • Sign up for that great conference or the workshop… or pass this time and hope it comes around again
  • Relocate to a new home or community or country… or stay put

We all need to make major decisions regarding our work lives.

Two years ago I had to make a major work-life decision that had me twirling in circles.

You see most people (including ME) would rather not have to make decisions at all. Decisions make our head hurt.

After all, what if we make the wrong choice? That would really suck!

So instead we try to ignore whatever it is that prompted the need to decide in the first place and hope the whole issue/problem/opportunity just quietly goes away on its own.

Of course the obvious problem with this approach is No Decision = Status Quo.

But as my friend and massively successful business coach Suzanne Evans points out, there’s a far more serious consequence, namely:

“Indecision is a form of self-abuse”

Like I said, two years ago I had to make a tough decision when I was presented with an unexpected opportunity to buy a great house 20 miles south of the great house I already lived in.

I really wasn’t looking to make a move.

And with two major projects in the works, it couldn’t have been a worse time to juggle trying to sell one house and buy another.

All that packing and unpacking… Dealing with renovations at the old house… dealing with renovations at the new house… Time away from my business…

Still though, there was something calling me about this new place.

I loved the view… the closer proximity to the airport… the view… the fact that the house came with an attached apartment… the view… the beautiful neighborhood… the view

And did I mention the view 🙂

True, this new view was incredible. But then again, I really loved this peaceful meadow view from my current home.

meadowview

I was SO torn!

That’s when I remembered…

If You’re Having A Hard Time Deciding It’s Because Your Heart Is At War With Your Head

heartAll my head could think about was all the work I faced buying and selling a home.

My head reminded me of everything else I had on my plate right now.

When my heart would try to intervene my head would drown it out.  “There will be other houses with nice views Valerie…” And “You can always move when the timing is better.”

Still I felt called to this new home.

The best thing to do was just not think about it at all. Problem solved.

That’s when I realized by ignoring the decision I had in fact made a choice.

By not consciously deciding one way or the other, I was choosing to stay exactly where I was. And that didn’t feel great either.

Like I said, I’m not a fan of self-abuse. So instead I employed a technique I’ve used many times with my own clients who were struggling with indecision.

It’s remarkably simple, and virtually foolproof.

Flip a Coin – Seriously

A hand holding a quarter just about to flip a coin.

To some the suggestion that a flip of the coin should determine the outcome of a major life decision may sound… well, flip.

But I assure you it works. Prove it to yourself. To start think of a decision you need to make. Then…

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Take three really slow, deep breaths
  3. Now focus your emotional attention on all the reasons  you should say no.. Picture the downsides… imagine all the nagging “what-ifs” involving money, fear of failure, fear of success actually happening…
  4. Next focus your emotional attention on the part that excites you… the opportunities it presents… all the things you find so appealing about saying yes…
  5. Imagine how you will feel tomorrow if you say Yes
  6. Next imagine how you will feel tomorrow if you say No
  7. Then picture your life a year from now if you had said Yes
  8. Next picture your life a year from now if you had said No
  9. Open your eyes and flip a coin – heads is Yes; tails is No.
  10. Finally take one more deep breath and tune into your reaction

This last step is critical.

Because no matter how your coin flip turns out I guarantee you are going to have one of two reactions.

Do You Feel Relief? Or Do You Feel Disappointment?

 leapforjoydisappointed

If you feel relieved, then you know for certain in your heart of hearts what’s right for you.

If you feel disappointed, then chances are your head is getting in way.

Disappointment is a signal that you’re allowing fear, self-doubt, and other needless dream busters to rule your life.

No matter what the outcome, keep this in mind:

If you still decide to say No – ask yourself: “Am I okay with wherever I am today being where I am in a month… or a year… or five years… or possibly for the rest of my life?”

The choice my friend is yours.

Either way flip a coin and then follow your heart. It’s always worked for me.

By the way this is the fabulous new view I enjoy from my new house…

newview

I’m half an hour closer to the airport. Plus I renovated the attached apartment and it now generates anywhere from $1,600-$2,400 a month in passive income.

Bliss + Convenience + Cha-Ching!

Shameless Plug

Right this moment, a few of you are trying to make the exciting decision to join a wonderfully international Tribe of like-minded “idea people” for my upcoming Profiting From Your Passions® coach training.

If the answer to the coin flip exercise is YES, consider this a gentle reminder that the Early Bird discount ends today.

If want to change your life and save money, I urge you to register by midnight TONIGHT before the $500 savings plus the other valuable bonuses end.


Is Fear Killing Your Dream?

Comic high angle portrait of a middle-aged businessman with a scThe closer you come to leaving the security of your 9-to-5 job to do your own thing, the greater your level of excitement… and fear.

Anyone who has ever ventured out of their safe little world will tell you they had doubts. Me included.

The thing is, when it comes to making a major life change, not only is a certain amount of fear normal, it’s actually helpful.

After all, there is a reason I named my business ChangingCourse.com and not Jump-off-a-Cliff.com.

The healthy part of fear is what will keep you from quitting your job in a huff before you’ve put some other things in place.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with fear before it permanently derails your dream of changing course.

Take it S-L-O-W

If you already have a business idea, the best way to manage the fear of venturing out on your own is to start small.

If the thought of just up and quitting your day job frightens you, start building your client base on the side.

Small rapid experiments are better than one huge step.

For instance, instead of dropping six figures on a franchise, you could get a job working for that, or a similar, business to see how you like it.

Or instead of buying a bed and breakfast, try becoming a bed and breakfast sitter.

Begin with low-risk steps and gradually work your way up to the harder stuff.

Laugh in the Face of Fear

Asian woman pointing and laughing at you, closeup portrait.Did I tell you I’m closing my Changing Course business to take a senior level position at a toxic chemical company in New York City? The job pays half what I earn now and requires a horrendous three hour commute.

Do you believe me? Of course not.

The reason you don’t is because the mind rejects that which it considers absurd.

Which makes ridiculing your fears a highly effective technique for managing them. That way, you allow your natural human reaction to absurdity to take over and dismiss them.

Try it yourself. Pick your biggest fear and take it to extremes.

Paralyzed by the fear of failure?

Then picture everyone you ever knew standing outside the homeless shelter you are now forced to live in, holding a sign that reads: “We Told You So!”

Pretty ridiculous, right?

When you realize that your worst-case fantasy is just that − a fantasy – making a proactive change can now feel far more manageable.

Calculate the Risk-Reward

Fear of the unknown keeps far too many people miserably locked in job jail.

It’s why my mantra for the last 20 years has been, information will set you free.

After all, the more you know going into something, the less there is to fear.

At least that’s what the 854+ people who signed up for my recent information-packed Paid to Brainstorm webinar discovered.

The vast majority were there because they were curious about becoming a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® Business Idea Generator.

ineedidea

What they discovered is the program hands “idea people” like them, a proven system to they can use to help future paying clients to connect the dots between:

  1. What they want their life to look
  2. The things they love to do
  3. And ways they can make money doing it.

Still, I know that training for this – or any new career – can trigger another fear: “What if I make the wrong choice?”

I totally get it.

Over the years I’ve had plenty of clients who’ve spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on their education only to realize they hate being a nurse, engineer, college professor, electrician….

Not so with my training.

For starters, considering everything you get with the Profiting From Your Passions® program, the cost to attend is surprisingly low. (And it’s even lower if you register soon.)

Still, let’s say you take the course and then decide you’d rather write children’s books and then make money helping others do the same like former student and friend Beau Blackwell did.

skyladderThen the worst case scenario is you’ll have mastered a system to instantly recognize income-generating opportunities – a skill you will use quite literally for the rest of their life.

If you missed the Paid to Brainstorm webinar, you can watch the Replay here.

Just go to  http://PaidToBrainstorm.com/webinar now.

Don’t wait long though, because the webinar replay is only available for another two days.

Also, for a very limited time, is your chance to save an additional $250 on the cost of registering for the upcoming Profiting From Your Passions® coach training.

Combine that savings with the Early Bird discount that ends Monday, July 20th and your total savings is $500.

VY-500

I don’t know about you, but as worse case scenarios go, learning how to turn your interests into income — seems like a pretty low risk for an exceedingly high reward!

The Best Solution of All

Several people who were on the webinar wanted to know the same thing:

How do I get over the fear of starting something new?

If you have the same question I’ll tell you what I told them:

Stop trying. Seriously.

With any change – even positive changes like a new job, relocating, starting a business – you should expect a certain amount of fear to just go with the territory.

So if you’re waiting until you’re no longer afraid to pursue this or any dream — nothing will ever change.

And do you really want look back on your life with a lot of regretful “what ifs…”?

Instead of worrying about the unknown risks, change the question from, “What will happen if I take this leap?” to “What will happen if I do nothing?”

Let’s face it – no matter what your dream – shaking up your life is scary.

As Tom Peters said, “Unless you walk out into the unknown, the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.”

Remember, courage is not a matter of losing your fear so you can take action; courage comes from taking action. And that, in turn, helps you overcome your fear.

When you can act despite your fear, you will be rewarded many times over.

Life is short my friend. The thing you should be most afraid of, is doing nothing.


Most People Never Even THINK of This

lightbulbRight now 26,584 people subscribe to the Changing Course newsletter.

That alone tells me you probably want to find a way to be your own boss.

That might mean starting a business that can generate enough income to replace your current salary.

Or maybe you just want to supplement your retirement earnings or otherwise start a little side gig.

There’s just one little problem… you need a great idea!

Surprisingly most people fail to see the vast array of opportunities hiding in plain sight.

In fact, all you need to do is follow the trends!

  • Millennials are driving cars far less often than previous generations
  • More women are traveling internationally their own
  • Aging baby boomers… the so-called “silver tsunami”

Whenever something is increasing or decreasing in significant observable ways… you’ve got yourself a trend.

A trend that, IF you pay attention, can lead to an opportunity to make money doing what you love!

Here are three examples to get your wheels turning and kick your transition into self-bossing into high gear!

Trend #1 Rise in tainted imports

In a world where 3-year-olds play video games on their parent’s devices, it seems unlikely that the simple wooden toys of my youth would make a come-back.

But then a few years ago millions of toys manufactured in China were recalled due to lead paint and other dangerous chemicals.

Couple that crisis with the growing trend about product safety and voila!

Opportunity Knocks

planeAccording to an article in the New York Times, home-based wooden toy makers like Ron Voake of Vermont Wooden Toys can barely keep up and are hiring extra employees. “Every time there was a story about a recall,” said the 61-year-old Voake, “I got flooded with orders.”

Trend #2 Increasing Interest in All-Natural Products

Even when a product is considered safe, an increasing number of consumers are gravitating to organic and all-natural products.

Opportunity Knocks

Canadian parents and grandparents seeking all natural products can shop online at a family-business called by Nature.ca.

Started in 2004 by mother of three and long-time cloth diaper advocate Tamara Champion, the site sells a wide range of products like organic baby skin care line, cloth diapers… and wooden toys!

A big attraction for those who create or re-sell natural products is consumers will pay a premium for them.

auntieelsielogoI recently dropped $6 on a small package of Aunt Elsie’s Cookies at my local farmer’s market.

I did it despite my working class sensibilities saying, “Six bucks! Are you nuts?!”

So why did I buy? Because…

a) I like to support local entrepreneurs

b) I prefer all-natural, non-processed foods

c) They were a gift for my Dad,

d) I was really hungry… so sorry Dad

When I asked Aunt Elsie why she decided to start her business, her answer spoke directly to another trend… and opportunity!

Trend #3 People who want to do work that pays the bills… and feeds their soul

On Saturday I’m doing a live encore of an information-packed webinar for “idea people” called Paid to Brainstorm.

There’s a section of the webinar titled:


“Why Helping People Think Outside the Job Box Is the Next BIG Wave”

How can I make such a bold claim?

Because of the sheer number of trends that support it. Like the fact that:

  • half of survey respondents rated having a job they enjoy as “extremely important.”

  • 57 percent of Canadian women said they dream of launching a business doing “something they love.” (Bank of Montreal)

  • baby boomers aged 55 to 64 represent the most significant spike in people starting their own businesses in the US and Canada

There are SO many trends to support this claim that I put them all together in a handy free fact sheet www.PaidToBrainstorm.com/fact-sheet.

lightbulb

Trends can definitely stimulate a cool business idea. But they serve another purpose too.

Trends offer hope.

Hope that because researchers have proved that the marketplace is hungry for more funny dog videos… or are willing to spend more for natural products… or evidence that supports a need wherever your passion lies…

Then your dream of being your own boss really is achievable.

This hopefulness was clear from people who heard my talk on Wednesday

At the end of the presentation I asked people how they felt about their ability to use their creative mind to generate income.

Here’s just a small sampling of what your fellow change seekers said…

Tina – Inspired
Deborah – Confirmed
Kenny – Excited
Tina – Inspired
Clarissa – Curious and Hopeful
Butch – Courage
Deborah – Confirmed
Dori – Excited
Jennifer – Intrigued
Henry – JOY
Deana – Freedom
Gigi – Encouraged
Marsha – Validated-finally
Shaun – Not feeling flighty
Nicki – AUTHENTIC!!!!!!!!!!!
Rosalyn – Freedom
Henry – Fulfillment
Lynda – Transformation!

So if you want to find your great idea – and feel hopeful about being able to make it happen then get yourself a small note book and label it Trends = Ideas= Hope.

Then actively be on the look-out for the thousands of trends that can be the catalyst to your own brilliant small business idea – and life!

If what you read in the fact sheet spoke to you and you…

  • Are a creative problem solver who instinctively jumps in to help others  

  • Are always turning other people on to resources they never knew existed  

  • Constantly think up potential business ideas  

  • Love thinking creatively and “outside of the box” 

Then there’s still time to join me this Saturday, July 11th from noon-2PM ET for my LIVE Paid to Brainstorm encore.

That’s where I’ll personally share with you key elements of my proven system for connecting the dots between what you love to do… and how you can make money doing it.

This informational live session is FREE. Once you attend, check your email for a gift… just for showing up!

Share Your Ideas

Do you have a business idea based on a trend? Know about some trends that can help a fellow dreamer?

Share your ideas and stories below.


Avoid This Dream Crusher At All Costs

make your dreams come true - motivational slogan on a napkin witThis is a cautionary tale.

One that if heeded, will definitely help you to go from talking (and talking and talking and talking…) about being your own boss… to actually having your dream life.

Like many cautionary tales, this one starts with an encouraging one… and some advice.

The advice part is this: If you’re still looking for a money-making idea, you may not need to look any further than your own circle of family and friends.

In Kristen Bassick’s case that inspiration was her children – or little “sprouts” as she likes to call them.

Kristen wanted to find a natural way to treat her kid’s persistent dry skin.

After throwing away money at products that didn’t work her husband urged her to start her own line of all natural kid’s skin care products

stuff4sproutsToday Kristen is the proud owner of Stuff 4 Sprouts. Her company motto is to produce products with “Nothing weird. Nothing gross. Just good stuff for dry skin.”

I am particularly proud of Kristen because she attended one of my Work at What You Love workshops.

Take a moment to read this letter I received from Kristen and see what jumps out at you:

When I came to the seminar I was unhappy with my “job” and with an idea for a new business venture. 

But I was terrified by the idea of building a “business” with employees, and a building, and a manufacturing site…and all that stuff that just seemed like more than I wanted to take on.

Sitting there listening to all of the stories of micro-business owners, who didn’t have a “job” and didn’t have what I had initially thought that a “business” would need to be, opened my eyes to what was possible.

I launched my company after two years of putting all of the pieces into place.

Manufacturing is outsourced, distribution will be soon.  I work from my home office, available for all of the things in my actual life that demand my presence.

I was lucky to be on the receiving end of a well-timed downsizing/ severance at my corporate job and now have the chance to move
Stuff for Sprouts to the next level. Life is good and my new jobless job is so completely cool I just had to share!

Got “Grass Is Greener” Syndrome?

grassisgreenerThere’s nothing safer than staying miserably where you are.

And, one of the best ways to play it safe is to come up with a litany of excuses about why dream making is always “easier” for the next person.

I call it the “Grass is Always Greener” Syndrome.

For instance, did you zero in on the line about Kristen’s well-timed severance package and thought…

“Hey, I could start my own business too if I had money coming in from a severance package!”

If so, did you also see the line about spending two years putting all the pieces into place?

I’ve worked with my share of desperate people who received a full year – sometimes two – of unemployment checks.

They had income and they had all the time in the world to find and launch a business idea.

But instead they waited until they had just one month of severance pay to act.

Money-In-Glass-jarThen they called me in full out panic to schedule a Find My Perfect Business session, terrified they were going to have to find another mind-numbing j-o-b.

There are plenty of other people out there with either the time or the money to start their own thing.

But because they are too afraid… or they lack confidence… or they don’t know where to begin, or all of the above, they do nothing.

Kristen did something. And so can you.

As the American judge who served as the first United States Secretary of Education Shirley Hufstedler once said, “If you play it safe in life, you’ve decided that you don’t want to grow anymore.

If you are tired of coming up with reasons why you can’t leave your safe but ultimately soul-sucking job then do something about it.

When you finally do get the entrepreneurial ball rolling, you’ll find it’s hard to stop.

Besides, as Hufstedler put it, “Security is not the meaning of my life. Great opportunities are worth the risks.

Tomorrow I’m offering a free informational Webinar called Paid to Brainstorm: Why Helping People Think Outside the Job Box is the Next Big Wave.

If you…

  • Are you a creative problem solver who instinctively jumps in to help others?
  • Are you always turning other people on to resources they never knew existed?
  • Do you constantly think up potential business ideas?
  • Do you love thinking creatively and “outside of the box”?


If you answered YES to any of these questions, I urge you to join me and the 430 people (and counting) who have already registered.

The webinar is free, but you do need to register. Then look for an email about your free gift just for showing up!

Your Story Matters

Is the “Grass Is Always Greener” Syndrome undermining your dream? If so, how? Share your story in the comments below!


Still Searching for the Perfect
Business Idea? How to Brainstorm
Your Way Out of Job Jail

manwithlightbulbAnyone who knows me knows, I LOVE brainstorming cool business ideas.

And with next week’s informational webinar on How to Get Paid to Brainstorm fast approaching, I’m even more obsessed than normal with the topic.

In fact, as soon as the webinar hit 200 sign ups, I knew I had to make July unofficial Business Idea Brainstorming Month!

So in celebration of both that – and Independence Day here in the US – I figure it’s the perfect time to gather with friends and family to help you gain your own independence from job jail!

The Power of Brainstorming and Why Two Minds (Or Three or Ten!) Are Better Than One 

The whole concept of brainstorming has been around for so long, it may just seem like common sense.

In fact, the notion of gathering people together to encourage them to come up with wild and crazy ideas was actually invented by an advertising executive back in the 1950s!

Fortunately, today brainstorming is used everywhere as a powerful solution finding tool for groups and individuals.

And for anyone seeking the perfect business idea, brainstorming definitely has benefits. That’s because brainstorming:

  • leverages the brainpower of every participant, each bringing their own unique experiences to the group
  • shakes up our accustomed ways of thinking and clears the way for new ideas that otherwise might never see the light of day
  • allows group members to shed their usual inhibitions, communicate freely, and generate off-the-wall, innovative ideas 

Added bonus: Researchers find that fast and varied thinking causes people to experience elevated mood and energy levels.

In plain English: Brainstorming actually makes you happy too!

10 Ways to Have Productive – and Fun – Business Idea Brainstorming Session 

ineedidea1) Appoint a facilitator. As fun as brainstorming can be… some people can get pretty excited or (defensive) about their business ideas.

This first tip is optional. But still it never hurts to have a neutral facilitator whose job is to keep the idea generation moving and on topic.

2) Establish a time frame and stick to it. People can only stay focused for so long, so limit sessions to no more than an hour. Remember, shorter is better!

3) Begin with a specific outcome in mind. Instead of trying to find answers to the question: “How can I make a living without a job-job?” focus on a specific outcome like, “How can I turn my passion for [fill in the blank] into income?” Doing so will save time, keep people focused, and yield more useful ideas.

4) Set an idea target. I once participated in a brainstorming exercise where one group was told to list as many birds as they could. The other group was instructed to list 30 birds. The group without a target stopped at around 18. But the group who was given a numerical target met and exceeded their goal.

The lesson for aspiring escape artists: Be even more specific by asking the group to come up with 20 ways you could paid to write, make art, serve others, or whatever your passion.

5) Combine group and individual brainstorming: Studies have shown that combining the two is far more effective at generating ideas than group brainstorming alone.

That’s because allowing time for people to think and learn about the topic on their own before the session begins produces better results.

6) One person speaks at a time. When you have a great idea it can be hard to contain yourself.

But when people talk over each other, a great idea can get missed! So breath and remember that everyone will get their turn to talk.

7) No judgments! Okay so maybe you’re pretty confident you’re not going to be invited to be a pitcher in the major leagues. So what? The whole idea of brainstorming is to make people feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, no matter how weird or unlikely.

The more accepting the group, the better the ideas will flow. Too much judgment and analysis at this stage kills creativity.

8) Encourage off-the-wall ideas. Those crazy ideas are where creative quantum leaps come from. They’re the true expression of where our imaginations take us before we start nitpicking.

And big ideas that seem impossible at first may lead eventually to revolutionary new thoughts.

9) Build on other people’s ideas. Be positive and encouraging. Say “Yes, and…” not “Yes, but…”

So instead of “Yes, but you’ll need a lot of money to open a B&B…” or “Yes, but you don’t have space for an art studio…” or “Yes, but don’t have any coaching experience…”

You want to say, “Yes, and I’m sure we can figure out a way to fund your dream… find a space… help you gain experience.”

10) Quantity over quality. Nobel Prize winning scientist and humanitarian Linus Pauling got it right when he said,The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”-

The whole point of brainstorming is to generate as many new ideas as possible and crank them out quickly. You can sort them out at the end of the session and build on the best ones.

Opportunity Knocks  

lightbulbAnd if in the process of your brainstorming session you discover you…

  • love thinking outside the job box
  • are constantly coming up with neat business ideas
  • are forever turning other people on to cool resources…

Then I encourage you to join me and hundreds of your fellow “idea people” from around the globe to discover how you too can get paid to do what comes naturally!

To learn more and register for this free webinar go to Paid to Brainstorm.


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