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Turn Your Love for Sports Into an Income

Valerie and Pat Beith from
Sports Camp Empire

In the last issue of the
Changing Course Newsletter, I introduced you to my friend, Coach Pat Beith, and the informative videos he’s created on how to make money running sports

A 3-Step Process for Finding What You Love to Do and Getting Paid to Do It

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 201 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

When you are so busy just trying to do whatever job you trained for or fell into, …

Want to Live Your Dream? 5 Keys to Changing Course

I hear from a lot of people at various junctures along the road to right livelihood. Some are at the very beginning, still trying to figure out which path is right for them. Others have happily reached their destination. Others are midway on their journey.

Regardless of where you are in the process, there are five keys to changing course:

1. Set Big… and Small Goals

I know it sounds cliché, and especially at the start of the New Year, but if you’re really serious about taking control of your life, you need to set some goals for yourself. Knowing that you want to change your life or work for yourself is a great start. But expressing a desire is different from stating a goal.

In her Broadway show Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Lily Tomlin’s bag lady character remarks, “I always wanted to be somebody. I realize now I should have been more specific.” Deciding you want to earn money by making and selling gift baskets is much more specific than saying you want to make money doing something creative. But even here you need to get more precise.

One of the best ways to move a goal along is to quantify it. Using our gift basket example, the key questions are how much money do you want to make and by when. You can always shoot higher, but for now let’s think in terms of generating $5,000 in gift basket sales. From here you’d want to make your goal both real and reachable by breaking it down into smaller more manageable goals, like, for example, making and selling six gift baskets in 60 days. Actually writing the date on your calendar will make it even more real.

2. Figure Out What It Will Take to Reach Your Goal and Start Doing It

A long-time subscriber named Joe understands the importance of looking to others for inspiration. He also understands how important it is to hear not just about people that have followed their dream and made it happen, but also about, he says, “those currently traveling the pathway to a new career, setting goals for themselves, managing to keep their dream alive and staying focused on the goal of a new career.”

And setting and working toward a goal is exactly what this 33 year old software engineer from Maryland is doing. But I’ll let Joe tell you about his plans – and progress – in his own words:

“A year and a half ago I started reading a lot of real estate investing books. I wanted to get into the medical field as a Physical Therapist and needed a way to supplement my income. I took classes and soaked up all of the real estate knowledge I could get.”

“I worked with advisors until I landed my first deal. It was a rehab house, and after I repaired it I made $28,000 profit for an endeavor I spent five months on part-time. I was thrilled. I took this money and used it to help purchase a rental property and another rehab which I am now selling.”

“I set goals for myself. My big goal is a career change at five years. Presently I have four years left. I plan on generating enough income to cover all of my expenses. I also have smaller goals. At the two year mark I plan to make $1,000 net cash flow per month. At three years I plan to make $2,000 net cash flow per month. This will allow me to pursue Physical Therapy without worrying about money! I have volunteered in two hospitals and determined that this is where I belong.”

“This is my journey. It’s hard to wake up every morning and go to my current job. However I now see an end in sight. I know that in a few years I will be enjoying helping people every day. And when that day comes, it will be a dream come true.”

Some of you are probably saying, “Five years! I can’t wait that long.” You don’t have to. Joe’s goal is very specific – to generate enough money from real estate to be able to fully support him during his schooling. Depending on your goals, your financial situation, your level of commitment, and the amount of time you’re willing to invest, you can certainly change course in far less time.

Whether you want to be living your new life in five years or in five months, the point is to set a goal, quantify it, and then, one day at a time, take the small action steps required to make your goal happen.

3. Live Life Now

Shooting for a future goal is great. But I received a deeply moving email that reminded me of the importance of also remembering to live life fully in the moment. A woman named Pam wrote to thank me for inspiring her partner Bruce, a man I never met but who I apparently encouraged to live his dream. Pam has generously allowed me to share her and Bruce’s story with you.

Before he was killed instantly in a traffic accident, Bruce was living his dream. Bruce had been a computer consultant who, explained Pam, tired of the cubicle life. “Although he made a boatload of money doing it, he realized that there was more out there to do. He always wanted to do something purposeful with his life, and didn’t see that the programs he wrote made much of an impact.”

Pam went on to say that she and Bruce lived together for two very wonderful years, “living our dream. We both left the corporate grind, had opened our own business as massage therapists. Bruce was a wonderful man. He had healed so much in his life and many times said, ‘If I’m to be the kind of spiritual man I wish to be, then I need to work on this.’ He was making a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. I’m so very grateful for every moment that we shared. We were blessed to have many friends. And I plan to continue our dream.”

Although I never had the privilege of meeting Bruce, he sounds like a truly remarkable human being and one who will be missed by many. How wonderful that while he was among us Bruce was living his dream. Pam’s strength, her gratitude in the face of unspeakable grief and her resolve to continue to live their dream is inspiring indeed.

When we think about goals, we tend to think about achieving some future result. And yet as John Lennon once observed, “Life is what’s happening when you’re making other plans.” Bruce’s story serves as an important reminder that even while you strive to reach your future goals, you must live life now and with as few regrets as possible.

4. Break a Rule

Sometimes changing course can begin with the simple act of shaking up your normal routine. Take Barbara, a former coworker of mine from my corporate days. Most people spend their Saturday mornings in a frenzy of house cleaning and errands. Barbara does this stuff too but not until after she’s indulged herself by crawling back into bed with a cup of coffee and popping in a suspense movie.

Spending your Saturday morning watching a movie may not be your cup of tea, but surely there is some small fun thing you can do to shake things up. If you tend to read self-help books try a romance novel. Walk your dog in a totally new place or drive a different way to work. Visit your local historic society or museum. On the first day of each month have ice cream for breakfast. Go to the movies on a weeknight. Experiencing small changes can make the bigger ones seem more doable.

5. Use the One Step a Day Approach

When I was desperately trying to get myself out of corporate America, I promised myself that I would not go to bed at night until I had taken at least one small step toward my goal. It doesn’t have to be a big step.

For example, I knew that at least in the short term, leaving my job-job would mean I’d be earning less money. So one day I brainstormed a list of ways to supplement my income. I have a finished basement with a bath so one idea was rent it out to a commuting grad student who needed a place to stay during the week. The next day I stopped by the hardware store to see what I could find out about sound proof ceiling tiles. The following day I looked up the Web site for the housing office at the local college, and so on.

Not only do small steps add up, but just as important is the sense of momentum you’ll gain. And once you get started on a dream, it’s hard to stop!

“The big break for me,” said Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, “was deciding that this is my life.” Another year is upon us. Since this is indeed your life, let this be the year you start making your dreams happen.

How Do You Overcome the Terror of Failing?

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 199 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

That was the question someone asked in a recent survey of Changing Course readers. It was the …

Answers To Your FAQs About the “Outside the Job Box” Career

Naturally, I’m also getting loads of questions from those who took the online survey as well as in response to the email that went out this week.

I started to reply to everyone personally. But then it just got out of control. So I decided the smarter thing would be to use a FAQ (frequently asked questions) format and post them here at the blog. That way, you can post additional questions or comments. I’ll do my best to respond within 24 hours.

I highly recommend you read through the FAQs before purchasing the Self-Study Training later this week. You’ll have a lot of the information you need to make an informed decision whether this program is right for you.

I’ll warn you in advance – some of my answers to your most Burning Questions are on a little long. But I’d rather err on the side of giving you more information than less.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence


Q: What will it cost and will there be a payment plan available?

I know the economy is an issue, so I’m working on some kind of discounted pricing now. At the same time, you need to understand that this course represents over a decade of intellectual property so I can only discount things so much.

For the amount of information I’m providing – hundreds of pages of step-by-step materials, over 13 hours of actual client sessions personally conducted by me – all of which are designed to rapidly accelerate your learning curve, AND given that we’re talking about you being able to launch an entire new profit center, pricing experts tell me I should be charging three times what I have been.

I’m going to create two options. The first will be for people who already have a coaching practice or perhaps work for some kind of career center or recruiting company and really just want the parts that have to do the Changing Course Formula and the consulting process itself. Since they don’t need help with marketing, there’s no reason they should have to pay for it. So that “standard” kit will be less.

For the people who do want and need a marketing boost, there will be additional resources, obviously at a higher price point. Having this information is going to save considerable time and energy and will help you sure that once you get the consulting parts down that you can start attracting clients faster.

I will definitely offer a payment plan. I’m known for going out of my way to break things down in a way that let’s more people than who could otherwise not afford it able to get the system. Having said that…


If, God-forbid, you have lost your job or your home or your spouse/partner is going in for major surgery or you are the sole breadwinner in your family or are otherwise in dire financial straights and you need enough income from a new business to pay the bills in the short term, do not purchase this program.

Even if you have a job and have realistic expectations about what it takes to start and grow a consulting practice, honestly, if you can only afford a few hundreds dollars, regrettably this is not a good fit for you. You might want to check out Fab Job where for something like $29 you can at least get the basics of starting a wide variety of other kinds of small businesses. I know it’s not the same, but I’m trying to be honest here and at least it’s a start.

Q: Will the information in the self-study program be the same as that in the live training?

Information-wise, the answer is YES! Obviously at nearly $10,000 the people in the live 5-day training program got the highest possible level of support.

But as far as the actual training content – a step-by-step break down of the Changing Course Formula and then knowing what to do before, during, and after a consulting session – the self-study version contains the same essential information you need to be able to work effectively with clients.

Q: Would a lack of degree impact my ability to get clients?

You do not need an academic degree to be an Outside the Job Box Career Expert and Business Ideas Consultant. You don’t need to be a coach of any kind.

When you get outside of the box, you realize that there are many paths to expertise. Here’s a story I tell my clients – and you can use with your client’s too…

Imagine you’re out shopping when you spy a fabulous piece of art that would look perfect in your living room. You start to head over for a closer look when it suddenly hits you. “What if the artist doesn’t have an MFA?” As ridiculous as that sounds I’ve seen far too many people hold themselves back for fear of not being “qualified” enough. Naturally there are some professions where credentials are mandatory. But not all career paths require fancy degrees or formal training of any kind in order to achieve expertise.

Consider too, the unlikely case of self-taught weapon system expert Jeff Baxter. Despite no formal education on weapons systems, Baxter chaired the Congressional Advisory Board on Missile Defense and is a highly paid consultant to military contractors like General Atomics and Northup Grumman. His prior experience? “Skunk” Baxter, as he used to be known, was a guitarist with rock bands Steeley Dan and the Doobie Brothers. If someone can become a self-taught weapon systems expert, you can become a self-made expert on just about anything.

Then there’s Jean Nidetch. In the early 60’s, the homemaker from Queens started inviting friends to her home to support each other’s ongoing battle to lose weight. Her approach of mutual support coupled with sensible eating worked. So well in fact that Nidetch went on to found a little multi-billion dollar international empire called Weight Watchers. Notice, she did not have a degree in nutrition, or exercise physiology, or degree of any kind.

One of the topics covered in the training program – and one of the things that as an Outside the Job Box Career Expert and Business Ideas Consultant you will help your own clients to see – is that there are many paths to expertise.

Q: Is there a system to this business and do all your students follow the same guidelines?

I’ll answer this along with another question which was, “What happens if I'm in a "dry spell" with my ideas?” There very much is a system. It includes everything from what to say when a client calls to inquire about your services to a “script” to help you kick off and close every session and how and when to process the client’s credit card.

As for running out of ideas, the fact that you are interested in this program tells me that you are a creative thinker (and if you are not, you should not go into this line of work). It’s a combination of using your naturally curious mind and then having a system that includes enough tools to make sure that you never run out of ideas – and if you do, you know exactly where to go to find more!

Keep in mind, too, that what you are promising your clients is that they will walk away with at least one good idea for how they can turn their interests into income. Because each client has different interests, each one will be different. With the right process and tools, coming up with interesting ways to turn passions into profits will not be an issue!

As for everyone having to follow certain “guidelines”… I address this at length in the program description so suffice it to say that if you use my concepts you need to credit these back to me just as you would if you were talking about say Barbara Sher’s concept of “Scanners vs. Divers.”

Also this is not a franchise and therefore, nobody has to do things “my way or no way.” There plenty of structure for those who want guidelines and plenty of flexibility for people who want to create their own thing.

Red Flag Questions:

There were a few comments and questions some people raised in the survey that I consider “red flags.” Before you even think about doing this kind of work I want to make sure you a) have the right “mindset” for this work and b) understand what it is you are training to do…

Red Flag Comment 1: “What is a creative career consultant's average success rate – how many people get 'placed' as it were, in a career that they like?”

Red Flag Comment 2: "What is the success rate of clients? How many find outside the box work they love as a result of the counseling?"

ANSWER: Maybe I am being overly sensitive to words here, but I don’t want to take any chance. Words like “placed” even if they are in quotes and “find” work are both job-related. Being self-employed is about creating your own job basically.

Your clients are not ge
tting “placed” anywhere and none of them will “find work” as a result of a consultation with you. Instead you are helping people to see ways they can turn their interests into income so they can then CREATE income streams and get customers or clients to pay them for what they have to offer. There is a huge difference.

I think the real question people are trying to get at is, "How successful
are consultants at helping people discover interesting business ideas based on
their passions and interests?" Well all you have to do is read these evaluations
to know the answer to that. These are just a small sample of the 100+
evaluations previously trained consultants have received from the practice
clients that Changing Course provided to help jumpstart their new practice:

“Arthurine -- you are a truly gifted and amazing Outside the Job Box career consultant!  I deeply appreciate my consultation, and I am looking forward to moving forward to some of the ideas you gave me.  Thanks a million!!”

“I believe Craig really will be good at being a full time consultant, and recommend him to others for a great job. I enjoyed working with him, and look forward to emailing him with my future career expansions!”

“Michelle is great! She has a lot of enthusiasm and that gave me energy. She is very easy to talk with. She also offered some good ideas, and seems to really care about what she is doing.”

“Gail was great. The session was exactly what I’ve been looking for a long time. I’ve met with several career coaches, but this is the first time I felt I got worthwhile feedback. It was a great experience… the process doesn’t consider what you’re good at, but rather what you love. And what could be better than doing what you love and getting paid for it. Gail, I think you’ll be enormously successful in this field.”

Red Flag Comment 3: “How do you overcome the terror of failing?”

Actually I was going to talk about this in the next newsletter but since this is such a big issue, I’m going to give you a sneak preview.

No one likes to fail. But terror? There are things worth being terrified about like global warming or war or bombings. But giving something your best shot and finding out it’s not for you? I call that life.

At one point I decided to produce a line of humorous greeting cards. I spent months drawing them and a couple of thousand of dollars on printing. They sold pretty well in four major cities but soon into it, I realized that the business was more about selling than anything and I hate selling (marketing I like, selling I hate). So did I waste $2000? No. I gave it my best shot, learned a lot and moved on.

If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, then you need to readjust your emotional response to failure and mistake making. You need to understand some fundamental truths about failure that have guided successful people since the first spear missed the first brontosaurus.

Here are five more must-have rules for entrepreneurs about failure:

Rule 1: No one bats 1000. The fact that you identify with the Impostor Syndrome tells me that emotionally you still expect yourself to always bat 1000. To put that into perspective, consider that in baseball a .333 batting average is considered outstanding. If you’re not a baseball fan, what this means is that for every 10 pitches, the batter only has to hit the ball three times to be considered exceptional. Even the legendary Babe Ruth “only” batted .342. The point is, you can be at the top of your game and still strike out more often than not.

From time to time everybody makes bad decisions. Everybody gets egg on their face. Everybody fails. Failures, flops, and fumbles are such a part of life that Harry Truman once remarked, “Whenever I make a bum decision, I just go out and make another.” Okay, it’s hard to imagine a female president getting away with the same remark without some questioning her fitness. But you can’t control what other people think. You can only control your own response which begins with giving yourself permission to fall as flat on your face as the next person.

Rule 2: Failures offer valuable lessons – and opportunities. Believe it or not there is lots of good news about failure. Henry Ford understood that, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” In engineering, the process of “failure analysis” is based on the recognition that you can learn just as much from studying what went wrong as you can from what went right. It is this understanding that led Thomas Edison to famously remark, “I have not failed. I have successfully discovered 1,200 ideas that don’t work.”

Instead of seeing your flops as evidence of your incompetence, think of them as information you can use to do better next time. Do you need to develop or hone a certain skill? Do you need more practice or a different approach? Do you need to delegate the things you’re not gifted at? What will you do differently next time? What lessons can you glean? For example, have you ever walked away from a conversation and thought, “I sounded like such an idiot”? Everyone has. Next time, skip the self scolding. Instead use that time to replay the conversation the way you wish you’d handled it.

Now I don’t want you to mistake this for the usual negative self-talk about what you “should” have said or done. Rather what you’re doing is consciously laying down a positive new pathway in your brain, one that will make you better prepared to respond in a similar situation in the future. The sooner you glean the learning value following what feels like a set back, the better. The key is to fail forward.

Rule 3: Failure is just a curve in the road. I know how easy it is to be so discouraged by setbacks that you just give up. But it’s time you start seeing failure for what it is, a curve in the road and not the end of the road. Did you know that Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job for “lacking ideas”? Or that H. Macy’s store failed seven times before it caught on? Or that Michael Jordan was cut from his junior varsity basketball team? Did they give up? No.

If Abraham Lincoln had taken failure as cause to quit it would have changed the course of history. In fact he suffered repeated failures on the road to success. After failing as a storekeeper and a farmer Lincoln decided to run for political office. He failed. Once he finally did get elected to the legislature, when he sought the office of speaker and failed. He failed in his first bid for Congress. He failed when he sought the appointment to the United States Land Office. And he failed when he ran for the United States Senate. Despite repeated public failures, Lincoln never saw failure as a reason to give up.

Rule 4: Not taking risks may be the riskiest move of all. Whenever you try anything there will always the risk of failure. At the same time, not taking risks is often the riskiest move of all. The reason Michael Jordon says he made so many baskets is because he was willing to take so many shots, explaining, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Stepping up to take your shot is especially important because Impostors think that by avoiding risk they can dodge detection. After all, if you don’t take chances or never put yourself or your work out there, you significantly lower the chances of failures.

Here again it comes down to shifting your thinking. People often comment on what a big risk I took when I left my safe corporate job to go out on my own. But to me, the far greater risk was to look back at my life with regret and say, “I was miserable, but at least I had a good dental plan.” As the great Opera diva Beverly Sills once said, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

Rule 5: It’s not your failures that count but how you handle them. Imagine making a major mistake with 1 billion people watching. That’s what Miss USA Crystle Stewart did when she fell during the 2008 Miss Universe pageant. She handled the fiasco by putting on a radiant smile, picking herself up and clapping her hands over her head as if to say, “Let’s have a round of applause.” This was not the first time Stewart had to pick herself up after a failure. It had taken her five tries before being crowned Miss Texas. To feel as bright and capable as you really are, remind yourself that it’s not your failures that count, but how you handle them.

Not only do you have a choice about how you handle failure, you also have a huge say in what kind of failures to have. You can have the mundane ones like getting a D in physics or not getting an interview or you can take the advice that Garrison Keillor offered to students in his commencement address at Macalister College. Keillor encouraged the audience to “have interesting failures.” Let those words sink in for a moment. Have interesting failures.

Whether you like or not from time to time you’re going to miss the mark. So why just be a failure at parallel parking or balancing your checkbook when you can come in third at the National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships, only write one children’s book, or make it only half way up Mount Everest? The fact that you never fail indicates that you consistently chose settling over reaching, inaction over action. As Billie Jean King once said, “Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make a doozey, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.”

What else do you need to know…?

I am confident that a lot -- if not all -- of your questions will be answered when you see the full course description. But if you have a burning question that can’t wait, jot it down here and I will do my best to get back to you ASAP!

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

December 10, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 198 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

The thing that keeps me up at night is not the economy. Don’t get me wrong. My …

Make Every Day Thanksgiving: How Creating a Better Future Starts With What You Do in the Present

November 26, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter, Val's Comments

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 197 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

This week most Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Our Canadian friends celebrated their Thanksgiving in October. Other …

Attention Entrepreneurs, Independent Professionals and Small Business Owners

November 26, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Special Announcement, Teleseminars, Val's Comments

I'm not one to throw around big promises like "Turn your annual income into your monthly income." But I met a guy who, through much trial and error and hard work, has successful managed to do just that... and quite …

A Tale of Two Entrepreneurs: Why Joey Will Never Be A Success and How You Can Be

November 16, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Val's Comments

Joey is an old family friend with a great mind for inventions and such. He left his corporate IT job about five years ago to sell a specialty clothing item he created for skiers and other outdoor types. It’s a really good product and there is nothing else like it on the market. He even got a patent.

Joey’s first product brochure was really bad. No, make that horrible.

In my old corporate marketing job, I worked on product brochures all the time. So I tried to offer Joey some friendly pointers. When I did, he literally put his hands over his ears and said, “No, no, no.” I am not making this up.

Since then, he’s had some success traveling around the country selling his clothing at ski shows. But, when you calculate in the time and the cost of driving half way across the country and sitting at a booth for three days, it’s easy to see why Joey’s business barely breaks even.

Bad marketing aside, Joey consistently chooses the least customer friendly ways to do business. For example, he doesn’t take checks from his customers because one might bounce. He won’t accept American Express credit cards either because the fees are too high.

I’ve tried to tell him that out of many hundreds of customer orders I’ve received by check, in all that time maybe one was bad. And even if two out of 100 did bounce, he’d still come out ahead because he’d be making sales he wouldn’t have otherwise.

Like credit card fees, the occasional bounced check is just the price of doing business. Like any business expense they just come off your taxes. Joey won’t listen.

Over the years, I’ve tried to tell him that that he should be marketing his product on the internet. Joey resisted for a long time before finally throwing up do-it-yourself site. It’s ugly and not at all user friendly. Not surprisingly, he only gets a couple of orders a month at most.

Not one to give up easily, I’ve tried to talk to him about ways to drive traffic to his site, about building a list so he can keep in touch with his prospects and clients, about partnering with other companies to jointly sell his products – but Joey always comes back with some reason why “it will never work.”

Over the years, I’ve recommended different workshops or Web designers. But Joey doesn’t want to spend the money. Besides, one of them might rip off his ideas.

At one point, a major ski manufacturer was interested in licensing his product. As he prepared to talk numbers, I told him to focus on sales volume and not a per unit profit. After all it’s better make $2 on a million sales than to make $20 on 1000 sales. But Joey decided it was better to play hard ball on price instead. The deal never happened.

Why am I bothering to take time out of my weekend to tell you about a small business failure?

It’s simple. I know you want nothing more than to fire your boss and do your own thing. And, unlike Joey, I actually want you to make enough money so you can support yourself, take some nice vacations, and enjoy a good retirement.

But it’s never going to happen unless you bring the right mindset to your goal of changing course.

Case in point, compare Joey to a guy named Ted that I met last weekend at a seminar in Salt Lake City. Ted flew all the way from Florida, took three days out of his life, and spent several thousand dollars to learn a new way to drive more traffic to his Web site from an expert.

Ted is an airline pilot who was looking to start a side business in his spare time. He took a seminar on starting an online business, found a product he wanted to sell (a medical device), contracted with manufacturers and distributors, used everything he learned and made it happen. That was three years ago.

Now compare where Ted’s business is compared to Joey’s.

Ted works on his business part-time. Joey works on his full-time.

Despite spending more time on his business, Joey has made relatively little money, has a garage full of inventory, and has an increasingly impatient wife who just wants him to get a “real job.”

Ted’s business started out slowly, but today he is seeing monthly sales of about $50,000 and next year projects sales to top a million. Corporate headquarters is a spare bedroom in his condo.

“Information Will Set You Free”

There is one reason, and one reason only, why Joey’s business is not making it. He won’t listen to anyone.

Joey thinks he knows it all and sees no value in working with other business owners.

Ted on the other hand goes out of his way to find people who are more knowledgeable than he is and to learn from them. He also partnered with a parent’s organization devoted to helping young people impacted by the condition Ted’s product helps.

Joey doesn’t want to spend a dime on his business that he doesn’t have to, preferring instead to do everything himself. He thinks everyone is out to rip him off – the customer, marketing consultants, internet marketers, workshop leaders.

But like me, Ted invests heavily in his education. That’s because Ted knows for every $1 he puts in he will get $10 or $20 back in increased sales.

My changing course mantra has always been “information will set you free.” Ted gets this. Joey doesn’t.

Last week I shared some information with you about two very smart and very successful people whom I consider to be mentors of sorts – Yanik Silver and Jeff Walker.

Since purchasing their products and then getting a chance to meet and spend time continuing to learn from them, my own business has succeeded beyond my dreams. (One of the best things about making more money is it’s allowed me to give more money to my favorite international cause, and my favorite local cause, The Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.)

Both Yanik and Jeff are experts at helping people like Joey (if he’d listen), or Ted, or me, or you to start with literally nothing more than a glimmer of an idea, to turn that idea into a viable product or service, and then to sit at home reaching out to people who would benefit from our idea by marketing it via the World Wide Web.

Neither of these guys is afraid that people are going to rip them off. Quite the opposite. In fact, right now Yanik and Jeff are both giving away a TON of information that is free for the taking.

For example, Yanik is giving away almost $300 worth of products to any current or aspiring entrepreneur who wants to learn from a true master. All just to get you to give a subscription to his new Maverick Insiders newsletter a fair try.

These are not digital products he’s giving away. This is a big box of stuff that Yanik is going to mail to your home for just the cost of postage and handling. Now compare that to Joey who is too afraid that a customer will rip him off that he won’t even take a check!

Then there’s Jeff Walker. Jeff’s whole philosophy is built on being generous with his knowledge. So, for the last week or so, he’s been letting people listen in to a series of training videos that others have paid thousands to see.

Is Jeff just being a “nice guy”? Yes and no. Jeff truly is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys you’ll ever meet. I’ve been at conferences with him where some “little guy” who used Jeff’s program will come up tell him that they went from making a few hundred of dollars a month to making anywhere from $5,000 to (and I am not exaggerating here) $100,000 in a week.

Jeff knows what it’s like to barely have enough money to keep his own kids in diapers. So when people come up to thank him like this, you would think he hit the lottery! I’m guessing no one has thanked Joey.

But Jeff is also savvy enough to know that being successful in business means establishing relationships. Relationships are all about trust and credibility. You gain trust by putting your customer’s needs above profits. Like me, I know for a fact that Jeff has walked away from sales or potential business partners if it didn’t feel right.

Jeff also knows that the best way to establish credibility with prospective customers is not to guard the palace, like Joey does but rather to “move the free line” as Eben Pagan says, and give away as much free information as possible.

What can you learn from how Jeff or Yanik do business? Are there ways you can be more generous in your own business? Or offer people what Yanik calls an “ethical bribe” to try your product or service?

The Question Is: Who Do You Want To Be Like?

Technically Joey and Ted are both small business owners. But they could not be more different. If you’re dreading going to work tomorrow, then you need to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Yes or no, are you really serious about succeeding in your own business? Or is it just one of those “someday-maybe” things you tell yourself to make yourself feel better about getting up and going to your mind-numbing job?
  • If the answer is yes, go to the next question…

  • You probably invested a lot of time and money in getting some kind of a degree, right? But what have you invested in your business? If the answer is nothing, then how much are you planning to invest? Or do you think that starting a business just happens?
  • What do you need to learn to get to the next level and who can you learn from? What is your plan for actively learning from people who are doing what you want to be doing? Is there a book, a workshop, an apprenticeship, a product that will help you get there faster?
  • My plan is to continue to invest a minimum of $10,000 a year in my own education (something that would have been unthinkable to my working class brain just a few years ago).

    And I plan to continue to learn from people like Yanik and Jeff. Last week I shared some specifics about both of their programs. So I’m not going to get into all that again. Besides they both do a far better job explaining what they have to offer than I do so, if you’re interested, I invite you to go see what they have to say.

    But, if you have been thinking about starting a business that you can operate online from anywhere, then what you DO need to know now is that there is a clock on all this generosity and that clock is tick, tick, ticking…

    I honestly don’t know when Yanik plans to end the $298 in free products offer. All I know is a) it’s not going to be around forever, and b) he wrote to say he plans to kick in what he says is a “killer last minute bonus.” So, if you want to meet Yanik, to see photos with him and his pal Sir Richard Branson (talk about networking!) and how Yanik teamed up with Branson to raise money for some very good causes, and to learn more about grabbing your free products, go to:

    So many people grabbed Jeff’s program that he stopped taking orders on Friday. But he’s re-opening the doors one last time on Monday, November 17th at noon Eastern Time. But just for a few hours or until he sells out.

    To watch Jeff’s newest free informational video or just to get in line for this last chance to grab his program go to:

    Being a Successful Entrepreneur is All In Your Mind

    So much of being a successful entrepreneur has to do with your mindset. Do you want to be like Joey or do you want to be like Ted? Maybe you aren’t out to make millions. But imagine how nice it would be to make a good living on your own terms and not have to worry about money. Better yet, imagine being able to make enough to help other people too.

    Sir Francis Bacon once said, “A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” A wise woman will too. Change your thinking and it is amazing what opportunities you will invite into your life.

    Instant Career Change: Is There A Fast and Easy Way to the Top?

    November 13, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter, Val's Comments

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 196 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    I admit it. I’ve watched more than a few episodes of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? …

    From Food Stamps to Entrepreneurial Success

    November 13, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter, Recommended Resources

    If you really are serious about wanting to look in the mirror and see the boss, then there’s someone I really want you to meet…

    Valerie Young with Jeff Walker

    Valerie with
    Jeff Walker

    One of the very best ways to be an entrepreneur yourself …

    Two People Who Changed My Life… And Can Change Yours Too

    November 7, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Recommended Resources, Special Announcement

    The fastest way to become a successful entrepreneur yourself is to learn from other successful entrepreneurs. I want to introduce you to two enormously successful (we’re talking millionaires here) who have had a tremendous impact on my success.

    I am …

    Real Advice from Mega-Entrepreneurs

    November 5, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Special Announcement

    UPDATE: The webinar is now over, but you can still view the recording and learn from these amazing entrepreneurs on you to make more money, have more fun and give back more.

    On Monday, Lisa emailed my list to let …

    Want to Work for Yourself: Those Dream Jobs Don’t Just Happen, They’re Created

    October 29, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 195 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    While traveling in northern California a few years ago, I happened to tune into a local newscast. …

    Why Wish Upon a Star When You Can Reach for One?

    October 14, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter, Val's Comments

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 194 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    It’s been over thirty years since Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel traveled the country conducting interviews for …

    How to Turn a Negative Experience Into a Positive Way to Make a Living Without a Job

    October 1, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter, Val's Comments

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 193 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    You know the old expression, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. You’re about to meet seven …

    Profit from Experience: The Key to Your Right Livelihood May Be Right in Your Own Backyard

    September 18, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter, Val's Comments

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 192 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    We all know the story of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Swept away to the enchanting …

    How to Make Money by Breaking the Rules

    September 3, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 191 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    Too many people who want to work at what they love seem to suffer from the misguided notion that there are certain “rules” that must be followed. Let me give you a quick example. At the beginning of every career consultation, I ask clients to describe their ideal life. To prompt their thinking, I pose a series of questions such as what time do you want to get up in the morning, would you like to work at home or outside the home, do you want to work with other people or do you prefer to work alone? The question that gets the biggest reaction is, “Would you like to have summers off?” Invariably someone will say, “Oh, can you do that?”

    I’m always tempted to say, “I don’t know, let me consult the official Work-Life Rule Book.” The thing is, I don’t know if you can have summers off or not. But what I do know is this – if the desire to have your summers free is not consciously on your mental radar screen, then the likelihood of it happening is next to nil. If, on the other hand, you were crystal clear that you’d love to take summers off, then you’d be in a better position to make a conscious effort to come up with ways to generate income that would allow for a lengthy work break.

    This self-limiting belief that you somehow have to do things a certain way also hampers to a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs. For example, this week alone I’ve spoken with two people who had considered taking the
    American Writers and Artists Institute course on how to become a freelance copywriter. The reason they decided against it was they didn’t want to have to write promotional copy for products and services they don’t believe in. Who would? I know I certainly wouldn’t want to pitch Dr. Zildo’s amazing watermelon diet or some shady work from home program.

    But where is it written that you HAVE to take on clients you don’t like? I once had a client named Donna whose idea of heaven on earth is to have some kind of a portable income so she can spend months at a time with her daughter in England. Donna enjoys writing and even has a background in advertising. She’d considered the copywriting option in the past but again rejected it because she didn’t want to write about products she didn’t believe in.

    Instead of letting this values clash be a show stopper, Donna needed to ask herself, “So, what do I believe in enough to promote?” For Donna it’s the whole mind, body, and soul connection. In fact, her dream job is to organize events for motivational speakers. Because it would be difficult living in a relatively rural area to make a full time living organizing events, we had to come up with a supplemental – and portable – income stream.

    This meant challenging the idea that to succeed as a copywriter, or for that matter, in any business, you have to do things a certain way. What if Donna intentionally structured her copywriting business to focus entirely on motivational speakers and authors of mind, body, and soul type books? This kind of niche marketing offers a whole host of advantages.

    For one, Donna would genuinely enjoy doing the research on topics she finds interesting. She’d also get a great deal of satisfaction from helping spread the word about concepts and practices she believes in.

    Another highly practical advantage is that people in the same field tend to talk to one another. In football terms it’s known as going deep and wide. In my small world, I get to talk to like-minded souls like Barbara Winter and Barbara Sher. I’ve recommended good copywriters to them and they’ve steered me in the direction of great web masters and other vendors. In other words, when you niche market, ultimately you’ll have to do less self-marketing because your business becomes primarily referral-based.

    Okay, so what misguided rules are you operating by? Do you think you have to come up with just one way to make a living? Think again. Think you can’t turn your hobby into your career, get paid to work with animals, or that changing course means having to choose between money and happiness? If so, check my ever-increasing list of Cool Jobs at

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said, “Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” How can you stretch your mind today? Once you realize that some misguided rules about work and life can, and should, be broken, a whole new world of opportunity can open up.

    Impostors, Fakes & Frauds!

    September 3, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Impostor Syndrome

    Do you dismiss your accomplishments as a “fluke” or “no big deal”? Are you crushed by even constructive criticism? Do you feel like you’ve “fooled” others into thinking that you’re more intelligent than you “know yourself to be.” If so, join the club!

    I’ve been posing a series of questions that in some way relate to my new book on the Impostor Syndrome. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond.

    I’d like to continue the conversation. But instead of another question here, I’ve put up a special Impostor Syndrome blog at In this blog, I’ll be sharing information and articulating themes related to my book in progress on how to feel as bright and capable as everyone seems to think you are.

    It’s my first main-stream book and will be published by Crown Publishing, a division of Random House hopefully in 2010.

    Have a Great Idea for a Business? Test the Waters Before Diving In

    August 8, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Changing Course Newsletter, Val's Comments

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 190 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    Now and then I meet someone (usually a young person) who tells me they really like helping with people, so they’re thinking about going into Human Resources or HR as it’s commonly referred to. They imagine themselves sitting in their large private office eagerly awaiting a long line of interesting employees with interesting problems in need of interesting solutions.

    Ask most people who are already in HR though and they’re likely to paint a very different picture. Instead of spending time helping people, most people in HR spend the better part of their jobs days dealing with the "administrivia" of the business
    world – hiring, terminations, benefits, pensions, payroll, and all too often, petty grievances.

    A lot of jobs seem different from the outside. Think about your current career or job. Now that you’re there, is it what you thought it was going to be? Probably not.

    Fantasy vs. Reality

    Entrepreneurs are not immune to this "leap before you look" syndrome. Take the classic bed and breakfast fantasy. Clients often tell me they love the idea of selecting the colors and the furnishings, picking fresh flowers from the garden for the breakfast table, greeting the guests, and generally making everyone feel at home. Once the guests check out, they picture themselves settling into a big comfy chair with a good book or perhaps puttering in a Zen-like perennial garden. Utter bliss.

    Once the real estate is purchased, most people don’t have the capital to hire others to do the cooking, cleaning, and bookkeeping. As a consequence, once the decorating is done and the garden is planted, they realize they’ve become a combination short order cook/chamber maid/bookkeeper!

    Every business has its more mundane parts – especially in the beginning when you’re bootstrapping your business or are a "solo-preneur." But still, the goal is to love more of the work than not. So, before you leap, you need to check out just how wide the expanse is between fantasy and reality.

    How do you test out a business idea? Well, if you truly do want to run a bed and breakfast (and for people who are natural hosts, there are lots of wonderful aspects of running a B & B) the best way to get your feet wet without taking a financial soaking is to become a B & B sitter. Just like it sounds, sitters take over the day-to-day operations of established inns so the owners can go on vacation or otherwise get away. Companies like Deserve a Break actually match B & B owners in Australia and New Zealand with experienced relief workers. Similarly, in the UK, farmers can turn to a decades old company called Loring, King and Loring for relief and contract milking and agricultural staff.

    Another option is to go to "school." Sticking with our B & B example, you don’t need to earn a four year degree in hotel and restaurant management to learn how to run an inn. Many B & B’s offer weekend workshops for aspiring inn-keepers and some owners do individual consulting. If there are no classes in your area, contact a local B & B and ask if they’d let you intern with them in exchange for some free staffing time once you’re trained.

    Getting Prospective Customers to Put Their Money Where Their Intentions Are

    Even large, well established companies look before they leap. Hotel giant Hyatt ran an ad in the New York Times Magazine for its new Life Care community in Briarcliff Manor, New York. What caught my eye was not the fact that a hotel chain is branching out into senior housing, but rather the clever way Hyatt went about testing the waters before making a significant financial investment. Here is the fine print:

    Through this marketing material, Classic Residence by Hyatt is exploring the market demand for a Life Care community in Briarcliff Manor. By joining the Priority Reservation Program, you are expressing your interest in future residency at Classic Residence by Hyatt at Briarcliff Manor. A Priority Reservation agreement is not a Continuing Care Residency Agreement. All deposits will be held in escrow at Bank of New York. You may obtain a full refund of the reservation system deposit, with interest earned at the prevailing rates at any time for any reason. If a refund is requested, however, you forfeit your priority number and benefits. Your status in the program is subject to the terms of the Priority Reservation Program, which are explained in the Priority Reservation Agreement. Classic Residence by Hyatt is currently under development, with a proposed opening date of 2009. Hyatt is a registered trademark of Hyatt Corporation.

    How smart is that? In this case, it paid off. Hyatt withdrew plans to open the community due to escalating construction costs.

    Think you’d like to borrow from the Hyatt model to explore market demand for your own high priced product or service? Before you start cashing any checks, keep in mind that the people sending you money are not investors. And as such you can’t use prospective customer’s money until you actually decide to move forward with your enterprise and your customers have signed a clearly spelled out agreement on the front end. This is definitely one place where you’ll want to employ the services of an attorney. But still, if your business idea lends itself to a similar approach, it’s a fascinating example of testing the waters by getting prospective customers to put their money where their intentions are.

    There are lots of ways you can look before you leap into a new business. For example, you can:

    • Talk to people who are doing the kind of work you think you’d enjoy. Find out what they love – and don’t love – about their work, what a typical day is like, and what they would have done differently if they had to do it all over again.

    • Read "how to" books. It may not give you the total picture, but at least you’ll know more than you did.

    • Search for "how to" Web sites. As with reading books, it is not the same as test driving a business idea, more like sticking a toe into the information pool.

    • Work for someone else in a similar business. Depending on the business, you may be asked to sign a non-compete clause. Then again, if your goal is to start a specialized summer camp, the smartest way to see if you’d like running a camp is to first work at one.

    • Take classes. Check with your local adult education program, do a search for schools specializing in your area of interest, or seek out online courses. You never know what’s out there until you look. For example, The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City offers courses in how to write a proposal for a cookbook, breaking into food writing, and how to be a food stylist/ photographer (

    • Join an industry association. In addition to getting their publications, most associations offer conferences, seminars, and other opportunities to learn from and connect with people in your prospective line of work.

    • Hang out with people who are already doing what you think you’d like to do. If you’ve got an inventive mind but have never acted on it join a group like the Inventors Network in Minneapolis (, Washington, DC (, or Springfield, MA ( You’ll find a list of networks by state at

    • Find a mentor. Some people will mentor you for free. However, depending on how much time and training you need, you should expect to pay your mentor. If that person is successful in the business you’re considering, it will be well worth the investment.

    • Volunteer, intern or apprentice. I had the opportunity to chat with Steve Curwood, host of Living on Earth, an engaging environmental news and information program heard on over 300 National Public Radio stations. Naturally the first thing I did was pump him for information on how someone would go about getting their own program on public radio. Before trying to pitch an idea, Steve urged anyone interested in being on the air to first volunteer at their local station so they can learn first-hand how public radio works.

    • Take on a few clients or assignments for free. In addition to gaining experience, building confidence, and developing a portfolio or track record it’s a great way to see how you like the work before making a larger investment of time and money.

    • Start small. Everyone wants to go from nothing to having their own full blown business in a day. Not only is it not possible but you’d miss invaluable lessons. But perhaps most importantly, starting small once again allows you an opportunity to dabble in a new enterprise before deciding if it’s right for you. Small steps add up. Changing Course began when I sent away for a cassette tape on how to break into the newsletter business. That was over 10 years ago. Today I have over 22,000 subscribers. The key is to just begin.

    Do you have a great idea for a business? There are lots of ways to test the waters before you dive in head first. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better."

    Business Success Bootcamp for Fitness Enthusiasts

    Are you (or is someone you know) a personal trainer, fitness instructor, conditioning coach, or other independent fitness professional… or want to be? Are you passionate about being healthy and fit and helping other people do the same? Do you want to stop working twelve hour days and still grow your business by an extra $4000-$5000 a month?Turn Your Enthusiasm for Fitness into an Income Stream

    Then I encourage you to seriously consider grabbing a seat at fitness entrepreneur Ryan Lee’s third Personal Trainer Business Success Bootcamp happening this September in Connecticut (Fair warning: his first two Bootcamps sold out fast). The theme of this year’s mega-event is Work Less Make More.

    It would be impossible to share all the rave reviews from past attendees but here are a few standouts to give you a feel for what it’s all about… 

    “[The workshop was] awesome, fantastic, fabulous, fun, informative, high energy, non-stop excitement. I will be back. Thanks Ryan, I am amazed and awed.”
    ~ Susan Ripley, Fit for Teens

    “I can surely double or triple my income in the next year. I can’t wait to get back to London and start kicking a_ _!” ~ Gavin Walsh

    “As a newcomer to this industry, I learned more valuable and immediately useful information in 3 days than I learned in 12 years of attending events in my previous industry!” ~ Lindee Goodall

    “Ryan Lee’s Bootcamp is the single best fitness event of the year. The quality of successful independent fitness professionals is on post above all the best. If you have any aspirations of running your own successful business in fitness, you must attend this event.” ~ Jason White, Strength Radio

    Ryan is bringing together a world-class group of speakers on a wide range of income-generating and time-saving topics including…

    • How to earn an extra $100.00 a day with your own fitness blog

    • How to go from being a local fitness professional to an international fitness celebrity (gotta love those big dreams!)

    • Secrets of $75,000 per year part-time trainers: How to transition away from traditional one-on-one training

    • How to put your entire fitness business on autopilot with (I happen to know this speaker and he absolutely knows his stuff)

    Ryan has helped over 17,525 fitness professionals to dramatically increase their income. In addition to knowing Ryan personally (you will LOVE him), I’m also in a “mastermind” group with one of Ryan’s star students – a really great guy named Craig Ballantyne out of Canada who is rapidly closing in on a seven figure income. (And speaking of rapids, I’ll be white water rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking with Craig and a buch of other entrepreneurs next week in Aspen – I’ll be the one returning in a cast! But I digress…)

    When you read about the speakers and all of what will be covered I am confident you will be as impressed as I was. But what I KNOW will blow you away is the price. Ryan has made this event affordable and accessible to just about anyone.

    To learn more about this impressive business- and income-growing training event for fitness professionals at all stages of their careers, go to

    Be a Part of Valerie’s New Book

    Do you secretly worry that others will find out you’re not as intelligent and competent as they seem to think you are? Do you often dismiss your accomplishments as a “fluke” or “no big deal?” Do you sometimes shy away from or obsess about taking on greater challenges because of nagging self-doubt? Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, taking it as evidence of your ineptness? Are you waiting to be exposed as an impostor, fake, or fraud?

    If so, join the club!

    It’s estimated that 70 percent of people have experienced these feelings of intellectual fraudulence which are especially common among first generation professionals, creative types (Mike Myers says he’s always waiting for the “no talent police” to show up at his door), students, and others. Fearing that we have somehow managed to fool others “impostors” live in fear that sooner or later we are going to be “found out.”

    In March I signed a *big* book deal with Crown Publishing Group to write a self-help book on the so-called Impostor Syndrome. And I am committed to including as many voices and experiences as I can. Simply said, I need your help.

    For the next few months I’ll be posing a different question designed to help me better understand how impostor feelings manifest in the lives of my readers. I hope you will take a moment to share your thoughts, stories, fears, and solutions with me so that I may in turn, help more people to feel as smart and competent as they truly are.

    Question of the Week

    The theme this week is “success.” What does success mean to you… or in other words, how do you define success? Do you see success as being the same or different from “achievement” or “ambition” and if so, why and how?

    Please include as much information as you feel comfortable sharing – first name, current occupation, age, race, state/province/country. Share as much or as little as you like. No matter what you share, I think just reading other people’s stories will be enlightening to all.

    Thank you in advance for your input and support. I couldn’t do this without you!

    Valerie Young
    Recovering Impostor

    Turning Problems Into Opportunities

    New Page 1


    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 189 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    "In the middle of difficulty," observed Albert Einstein, "lies opportunity." Some of the best opportunities often originate from problems – either yours or someone else's. For example, like a lot of parents, Deb Cohen's problem was that after her first child was born she wanted to find a way to be a stay-at-home Mom.

    Around that same time, Deb became aware of a real problem for most homeowners – namely, finding someone reputable to do home repairs or improvements. By putting these two problems together, she came up with the perfect solution for both her problem and that of her neighbors.

    Since 1997 Deb has been owner of a highly successful company called Home Remedies of NY, Inc. (HRN), an organized referral company that matches homeowners with skilled, pre-screened independent home-repair workers.

    HRN offers homeowners referrals to reputable home improvement contractors free of charge; the contractors represented in the network pay a commission to HRN for any work secured. If you've seen any of NBC's Dateline segments on unscrupulous home repair men (I would say home repair "people" but I've never seen a segment that featured a woman) then you can imagine what a relief it would be to homeowners to be able to easily find trustworthy and competent contractors.

    In fact, a few years back I remember picking up a brochure at my local hardware store about a service that sounded a lot like this one. I only wish I'd looked into it before I hired the fly-by-night guy who replaced my roof last summer. What a NIGHTMARE!

    I first learned about Deb when the Work from Home channel at featured her as their "Mompreneur of the Month." I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Deb's business has become so successful that she has expanded to offer others the chance to launch a Homeowner Referral Network in their community. I felt instantly reassured when I read that, to date, there are more than 400 Homeowner Referral Networks operating in the U.S., Canada and abroad.

    What's nice, too, is that aspiring entrepreneurs can choose from a range of business start-up kits at different price points. The kits offer step-by-step procedures on how to start a network in your area and include contractor commission structures, liability information, a complete direct mail and advertising campaign, and how to locate, screen and represent a comprehensive network of home improvement contractors.

    All kits include The Complete Guide to Owning and Operating a Successful Homeowner Referral Network and unlimited leads from the HRN Web site. Kits range in cost from $1,995 – $6,495 with the higher priced kits including options ranging from business forms to individual phone consultations with Deb to a turnkey website and an online marketing tool designed for HRN owners to stay in touch with their clients.

    This also seems like a good opportunity for someone who wants to start their own home repair/improvement business because HRN takes care of all of the marketing and you are instantly affiliated with a company that is known for referring only quality professionals. If you've had a good experience with a home repair person, HRN is actively seeking referrals from satisfied homeowners.

    Deb’s business is just one of an infinite number of ways to turn a problem, complaint or threat into a money-making business opportunity. For example, when the news was filled with horror stories of tainted pet food from China, enterprising people leapt on the opportunity to make and sell organic pet food.

    The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to become adept at being what I call an “Opportunity Analyst.” The easiest place to begin is to consciously stay on the lookout for examples of problems, complaints or threats and see if you can come up with interesting income-generating ways that you – or someone – could solve them. Look around you. What kinds of things do you, your co-workers, friends or family complain about? Study news sources. Drive through your local neighborhoods or commercial areas.

    If you would like to learn more about this interesting business, visit Deb online at and you can read Deb's Top 10 Misconceptions About the HRN Business at

    Trust me – there are plenty of problems out there for an enterprising person to turn into a great small business opportunity! If you’d like a little help developing your “opportunity muscles,” join me for my monthly Teleclass, “Turning Interests into Income Opportunity Hour.” Learn more at

    Be a Part of Valerie’s New Book

    Do you secretly worry that others will find out you’re not as intelligent and competent as they seem to think you are? Do you often dismiss your accomplishments as a “fluke” or “no big deal?” Do you sometimes shy away from or obsess about taking on greater challenges because of nagging self-doubt? Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, taking it as evidence of your ineptness? Are you waiting to be exposed as an impostor, fake, or fraud?

    If so, join the club!

    It’s estimated that 70 percent of people have experienced these feelings of intellectual fraudulence which are especially common among first generation professionals, creative types (Mike Myers says he’s always waiting for the “no talent police” to show up at his door), students, and others. Fearing that we have somehow managed to fool others “impostors” live in fear that sooner or later we are going to be “found out.”

    In March I signed a *big* book deal with Crown Publishing Group to write a self-help book on the so-called Impostor Syndrome. And I am committed to including as many voices and experiences as I can. Simply said, I need your help.

    For the next few months I’ll be posing a different question designed to help me better understand how impostor feelings manifest in the lives of my readers. I hope you will take a moment to share your thoughts, stories, fears, and solutions with me so that I may in turn, help more people to feel as smart and competent as they truly are.

    Question of the Week

    What does “competence” mean to you? For instance, what goes through your mind as you think about starting your own business or promoting yourself as an “expert,” going after a new job or a big promotion, or taking on a new and unfamiliar project, or perhaps writing a book of your own? In these situations or others, what do you think it takes to be competent? How do you define competence? How will you know when you are “there”? Is there a story that reflects an experience where you or someone you know struggled to feel competent?

    Please include as much information as you feel comfortable sharing – first name, current occupation, age, race, state/province/country. Share as much or as little as you like. No matter what you share, I think just reading other people stories will be enlightening to all.

    Thank you in advance for your input and support. I couldn’t do this without you! 

    Valerie Young
    Recovering Impostor

    When it Comes to Your Dreams, Sometimes the Best Advice is to Ignore Everything Your Parents Told You

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 188 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    Most of the time my parents did get it right. But everything I learned about achieving career …

    Recreate Your Life: Summertime is the Perfect Time to Grow a Dream

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 187 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    Has the school calendar of your youth hardwired you into seeing September as the time for new beginnings? If you yearn for a new job, a career change or maybe even a total life makeover – summertime is by far the best time to act.

    Summer is synonymous with fun. It’s possible to make a change and still have time for recreation. In fact, the word recreation literally means to “re-create.” And what better way to spend your summer than recreating your life! Here are six ways you can use the rest of the summer to grow a dream:

    1. Catch a falling star.

    When my best friend, Elaine, and I weren’t building forts or skipping rope we could be found lying beneath a shady tree or a star-filled sky. These weren’t idle pursuits. We were flexing our imaginations. As the most carefree of the four seasons, summers are made for dreaming. It’s the perfect time to gaze upward, to look inward and to imagine what could be.

    2. Grow a dream garden.

    Look within and you may find the seeds of a dream planted long ago. Left untended though, dreams will fail to sprout. Summer is the ideal time to cultivate our dreams both old and new. Start with good soil. What is it you care deeply about? What makes you happy? What do you want your life to look like? Now get rid of the weeds – the lame excuses, apathy, self-doubt, and fear born from lack of information. Tend to your dreams and watch them grow.

    3. Take advantage of the longer days.

    Even though those so-called lazy days of summer have gotten a lot busier of late, the additional hours of daylight do seem to add a bit more time to our lives. Once you’ve engaged in some active reflection, use some of this “found time” to start working toward your goals. Even if it’s only 20 minutes a day, it’s all forward motion!

    4. Read a real thriller.

    As you’re packing for the beach leave the romance novel or who-done-it at home. Instead treat your life like the adventure that it is by picking up a real thriller like Paul and Sarah Edwards' The Practical Dreamers Handbook or Create a Life That Tickles Your Soul by Suzanne Willis Zoglio. Maybe you already have a new direction in mind. Then take this time to read up on that exciting new career.

    5. Invest in your dream.

    Save both money and time by spending your vacation at home. Make it a real vacation by doing the kinds of things a tourist on a budget might do – go on a picnic, head to a museum, take a day trip. Stash the money you would have spent on a more costly vacation into a “dream fund.” Use your savings to take career-expanding classes, buy some snappy new interview outfit or even start your own business. If your dream includes relocating, do hit the road by using your vacation as an exciting research expedition.

    6. Summer is the ideal time to ease into a new job.

    With all the overlapping vacation schedules, many organizations operate in a somewhat more relaxed mode in July and August. As a new hire, that means the trial by fire period is apt to be a little less trying. If you’ve been putting off a job move until the fall, keep in mind the slower pace makes summer a great time to learn the new job ropes before the workplace once again launches into fall overdrive.

    Recreating your life is about making choices. What choices are you willing to make to grow your dream? Whatever you decide to do, have a safe, relaxing, and inspired rest of the summer!

    One Viable Way to “Unjob,” Turn Your Interests into Income, and Still Get a Steady Flow of Income

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 186 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    I'm all about finding ways to help people to "un-job." One obvious barrier to quitting the 9-to-5 grind to work on your own is the predictability that comes with a steady job.

    Getting a regular paycheck is fabulous – that is if you love your job. But if your work is taking a toll on your health, your relationships, and your very soul, then that's a pretty high price to pay for predictability.

    So what if there was a way to do something you really enjoy, be your own boss, and still get a predictable flow of income coming in at regular intervals?

    Better yet, what if you actually were taking something you already know and care about – fly fishing or knitting or antique toys or selling on eBay - and were somehow able to create a business that brought in a relatively predictable amount of money every month. I'm not talking about a few dollars here and there. I mean anywhere from a several hundred to tens of thousands of dollars a month? Would you want to learn more?

    Well, you may recall that around this same time last year I told you about membership programs – sometimes referred to as continuity or subscriber programs. Before I get into the incredible income potential that can come from running your own membership/continuity program, let's take the example of the online dating service You may not think of this as a continuity program but I assure you their accountants do! Singles wishing to be listed or to contact singles listed on pay a monthly subscriber fee. Unless you cancel, your credit card is automatically billed every month.

    Another example I've used before is Consumer Reports magazine. For $4.95 a month I get continued access to special reports and information not available on the free portion of their site. Unless I cancel, the subscription fee will automatically be billed to my credit card.

    What makes a membership/subscriber/continuity program so popular comes down to this:

    Recurring Monthly Income: In both examples, the businesses automatically bill the consumer's credit card every month, resulting in a steady and relatively predictable stream of recurring income.

    2) Access: Members or subscribers sign on because they are getting some kind of ongoing benefit dependent on accessing the content. With online dating services, it's the ability to communicate with and potentially meet the love of your life. With Consumer Reports its' access to a regular stream of desirable information.

    3) Convenience: The consumer can sign up once without the hassle of check writing or otherwise having to remember to renew. As the business owner, you skip the hassle of sending out invoices because the money is automatically deposited into your bank account. (Sweet!)

    4) Affordability: Far fewer people would shell out hundreds of dollars all at once. But if payments are small, then recurring billing makes what's being offered more affordable to the consumer, resulting in increased sales for the business.

    Okay, now that the model is starting to make sense, you're probably thinking, "I'm not a big organization, I'm just one person – how can I possibly run my own membership site?" That's the beauty of the Internet and membership site enabling technology. Today, there are thousands of very profitable membership/continuity programs that are one-or-two person operations.

    And before you start moaning about how you don't have anything to offer that anyone would want to buy – I met a guy who is making five figures a month running a member site all about crocheting – and he doesn't even crochet!

    That's just the thing – whether you decide to go the membership route or just want to find a way to change course…

    Turning Your Interests into Income is a Lot Easier Than You Think

    The reality is, you don't even have to have personal knowledge of or experience in a particular field or subject area to start any kind of business, including a member program. I'll prove it.

    Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting a guy named Todd Brown. Todd is the founder of, a member site for massage therapists who want to grow their practice.

    Before starting this particular member site (he runs several), Todd was in the fitness field. Here is the thing – he is not a massage therapist. Instead, Todd relies on a team of "faculty" with expertise in growing a massage practice to create value-added content for his members. Todd's expertise lies in knowing how to find out what members want and making sure they get it.

    What Todd and other successful entrepreneurs get is that competence isn't about knowing how to do everything perfectly. Competence isn't doing everything yourself. Competence does not mean needing to know 150% before you consider yourself remotely qualified to wear the label: "expert." Competence means knowing how to identify the resources it takes to get the job done.

    All It Takes is A Little Creativity

    Continuity programs always revolve around the delivery of some kind information, instruction, or even entertainment. However, the type of information, and even the delivery itself, can vary widely. For example, I'm a member of master Internet marketer Yanik Silver's "Underground Secret Society." For $87.63 a month, I receive a big red envelope stuffed with marketing tips and templates and a CD with a new before-and-after Web site critique. If you want to get a better idea of how Yanik structured his member program, go to

    Yanik's program is unique in that he also puts on a big annual event on Internet marketing. In addition to saving on the registration fee, Secret Society members enjoy such perks as reserved seating and an upgraded break area and the chance to network with other members at exclusive cocktail and dinner functions.

    At the event I attended, there were at least 200 other Secret Society members. That means from just these 200 members alone Yanik is raking in over $17,500 A MONTH! And these members represent just a small fraction of overall members.

    My own member program, the Fast Track Your Dream Program, is set up a little differently. For one, the whole point is to speed up the process of going from having a boss to being your own boss. So the first thing members get is a "Fast Track Kit" full of books and CDs on a range of topics from finding your calling to how to create a step-by-step exit strategy. Members who are really in a hurry can go to a password-protected site to download much of the material immediately.

    Fast Track members also get access to a live "Turning Interests into Income" Teleclass every month, three online resource guides, and daily "inspirational nudges." And, to help fight the isolation that Barbara Sher famously cites as THE dream killer, there's also a members-only discussion forum.

    If you want to "see" what a member site might look, like you can take a short video "tour" of the Fast Track Community here: 

    Learn From the Experts

    You don't need to know how to set up and run a membership program – or any business for that matter. All you need to do is figure out who does and then learn from them.

    Last summer I introduced you to Tim Kerber and Ryan Lee. Tim and Ryan have established themselves as "the" experts on how to set up and run a highly profitable membership business. Ryan's claim to fame is that he went from struggling to provide for his young family as a physical education teacher in the Bronx to earning over a million dollars a year running a dozen different membership sites on different aspects of fitness.

    And Tim is the founder and president of a turnkey solution that handles all the technical aspects of a member program called MemberGate. Together Tim and Ryan run a very helpful program for membership site owners called, of which I am a member.

    Last summer, Ryan and Tim created a Tele-training program which obviously hit a nerve because the program sold out in less than a week. Tim wrote to tell me that they're going to open the program again sometime in the next few weeks. But before they do, they've put together a short video to give people a better idea of what it's all about. You'll see in the video some actual revenue figures from folks who went through the training last summer. The numbers range from $4,500 to a month to a whopping $193,000 a month!

    These numbers are impressive. But don't forget that starting a member site, or any reputable on- or off-line business, takes time and effort. And a member program certainly offers no fast, easy road to riches. But because of the recurring income that membership programs provide, if you are willing to put in the time and effort, it is entirely possible that by this time next year you could be earning enough from your member site to quit your job, or at the very least go part-time.

    Learn more about how easy it is to start a membership site and to make it profitable by signing up to watch the first of a series of short videos from Tim and Ryan now:

    There are lots of ways to turn what you know into income. If you've already been thinking about writing a how-to book, designing and leading workshops, teaching Teleclasses or otherwise profiting from what you already know, you may want to consider adding a member program to the financial mix. No matter which path you choose, it all comes down to just taking that first small step!

    P.S. Oh, and one other benefit to you as an entrepreneur is if you ever decide to sell your business, having a continuity program makes your business more desirable because prospective buyers can more easily project future sales.

    A Little Knowledge Can Go a Long Way

    How to Generate a Steady Cash Flow
    Using What You Already Know

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    “The number one money challenge for people who want to transition from a salaried job to being an entrepreneur is the unpredictability of their earnings.”

    There are lots of different ways to “package” and sell what you know teaching classes, writing a how-to manual, and so on. But there is another lesser-known way to turn your interests into income. And, it’s the only way I know that is actually designed to generate a steady and relatively predictable flow of income on a monthly basis.

    If You Want a Predictable Stream of Income, Create a “Continuity” Program

    From the book of the month club to the Netflix DVD rental model, member clubs (often referred to as “continuity” or “subscription” programs) have always been popular with consumers. It’s easy to see the appeal. Members like the idea that for a flat monthly fee they’re guaranteed exclusive access to a continuous flow of information, resources, entertainment, support, or products of interest.

    The huge appeal to entrepreneurs is that membership programs provide a CONTINUOUS and relatively predictable flow of income. Take Consumer Reports magazine as an example. Instead of charging the full subscription price upfront, they will automatically bill the subscriber’s credit card in monthly installments of $4.95. Ongoing “membership” allows the subscriber to access password-protected areas of the website at any time.

    You do the math. Even if you manage to attract only 1,000 members – at $4.95 a month that’s $4,950 in income a MONTH. Some continuity programs charge as much as several hundred dollars a month.

    You don’t have to be a big company to start your own member program. Successful member programs can be found in such diverse niches as embroidery, jazz guitar... even sky diving!

    Anyone Can Start a Member Program

    Not too long ago Ryan Lee was struggling to support his young family as a physical education teacher in the Bronx. Ryan still loves the world of fitness. But today he runs 48 different membership sites all in the health, fitness, and sports training field.

    Here’s where it gets interesting…

    You don’t even need to have personal knowledge or experience in a subject area to start a member program. It may surprise you to learn that the guy who founded
    has a background in fitness – but he himself is NOT a massage therapist. Instead, he relies on a team of “faculty” with expertise in growing a massage practice to create value-added content for his members.

    Turn Your Interests into Income

    As you’ve just seen, setting up a membership site can be as simple as figuring out what your audience needs and then finding the people who can provide it. But let’s take a hypothetical example of an untapped market.

    Let’s say you love fresh lavender. Hop on the internet and you’ll find there are literally hundreds of viable farms and lavender related businesses all over the world – many in the U.S. and Canada.

    Now what if one of these growers wanted to join the American, Canadian, or North American Lavender Growers Association? They could join the Australian Lavender Industry Association for $125 a year ($155 international) or the New Zealand Lavender Growers Association. It may be out there but I could not find a North American counterpart.

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

    Think about it… even if you sign up a mere 200 lavender farm owners and charge them a modest $35 in monthly member fees. You’d be bringing in $7,000 a MONTH!

    Don’t Know Where to Begin? Figure It Out!

    I’ve been in this business long enough to know that you’re probably muttering, “But how am I supposed to start a member program for lavender farmers if I don’t know anything about out it?”

    The answer comes down to three little words that every aspiring entrepreneur should memorize: Figure It Out!

    Instead of trying to guess what your prospective members want, go to the source and ask them! Do lavender growers need help marketing their products? Making operations more efficient? Finding seasonal workers? Breaking into new markets? Understanding new and existing government regulations? Creating joint ventures like advertising campaigns or events with other growers? Learning about new state or provincial programs to support agri-tourism?

    In my very limited search, I learned that as part of the planning phase prospective growers often travel to France for a first-hand look at the lavender industry in Provence. And yet, I could not find a single person running lavender farm tours to France. Now imagine if your member program sponsored tours to France and you got to go! How fun is that!

    Once you understand your market’s needs, all you need to do is find authors, successful farmers, agricultural marketing experts, botanists, organic food store owners and others who you can interview or who you can get to write articles. You could set up Teleclasses, put on regional or national conferences, and otherwise seek out other resources that your members want. Like I always say, you may not know everything there is to know about a subject but you’re always smart enough to figure out who does!

    As long as you make good on your promise to consistently deliver quality content, as a member program owner, you’ll receive a steady flow of revenue in the form of member fees.

    Where Do You Begin?

    Fortunately, when it comes to knowing exactly what it takes to set up and run a successful membership site, you don’t have to figure it out on your own.

    Remember Ryan Lee – the former P.E. teacher turned millionaire fitness membership site owner? Well, last year Ryan teamed up with a really terrific guy named Tim Kerber. Tim is the co-creator of a turn-key membership software solution called MemberGate. Together they started (are you ready…) a membership site for membership site owners.
    was created to help new and seasoned membership site owners to continue to grow and learn.

    Next, Tim and Ryan teamed up to conduct a program to teach people how to start and run their own membership programs. Not surprisingly, the program sold out in a week.

    Tim emailed me this week to tell me that he and Ryan are going to once again open up their Membership Site Bootcamp to new members.

    To help people decide whether running a membership site is right for you they’ve put together a short video to show you:

    §        How membership sites work

    §        What makes membership sites the ultimate portable business (as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection you can run your business from anywhere)

    §        The income potential including how recurring income increases the value of the business for future resale

    You also get to see some pretty amazing case studies of actual people who, in literally a matter of months, are generating a steady monthly income stream from their new membership sites. I happen to know a few of these people behind these success stories personally, so I can assure you they are very real.

    If the thought of generating thousands to possibly tens of thousand of dollars a month in steady, recurring income appeals to you I encourage you to watch the video at

    “The Way to Get Unstuck is to Get Informed”

    My guess is the first thing you feel when you hear about the income-generating potential of membership sites is excitement. After all, with a steady income you really CAN quit your job!

    After the excitement though comes fear. Am I right?

    If that sounds like you, then repeat after me: "I don't have enough information right now to be afraid OR excited."

    When it comes to changing course, information really will set you free, because the greater your knowledge, the greater your options and the less risky change becomes.

    As you watch the video, I’d like you to do two things. One, jot down any questions and/or ideas you have about member programs. Two, pay attention to any inner dialogue that is self-enabling or self-defeating. Then fill in these blanks…

    • The biggest question I have about starting and running a member program is….

    • The first idea that springs to mind is….

    • I know I can do this because… 

    • The reason I know I could never do this is…

    To learn more about how to start a member site and how to make it profitable, watch this short video now and be sure to sign up for the follow up case studies:

    Whether your passion is salsa, gardening, art, or wrestling, there are a myriad of ways to turn what you already know into your livelihood. If you are drawn to the idea of a more regular, predictable income stream that has the potential to be extremely profitable, then running your own member site may be something worth exploring.

    Dale Carnegie once said, “We all have possibilities we don’t know about. We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.” “

    Whenever you find yourself thinking that your dream is not possible, find someone who is successfully doing the thing you want to do and follow them. I guarantee that this road will lead you to a lifetime of satisfaction, well-being, and even greater possibilities than you could ever imagine.

    To your dreams,
    Valerie Young Signature
    Valerie Young
    Dreamer in Residence
    Turning Interests into Income Expert


    P.S. Get Rich Slow

    When you watch the video you’ll see some revenue figures from actual member sites that range from $4,500 to a whopping $193,000. Again, because it’s a continuity program, these figures are per MONTH.

    These numbers are impressive.

    Yet, if you’ve been following Changing Course for any time now, then you know that I do not advocate anything that even remotely smacks of “get-rich-quick.” Starting a member site, or any reputable on- or off-line business, takes time and effort. And a member program certainly offers no fast, easy road to riches. But I figure if you’re going to work hard to grow someone else’s business, you might as well work hard to build your own.

    I would not suggest you go into the membership site business necessarily expecting to be a millionaire like Ryan. And certainly not right away.

    But I do believe that if you are willing to put in the time and effort, that it is entirely possible that by this time next year you could be earning enough from your member site to quit your job or at the very least go part-time.

    The key is to begin. Here is the link again:

    No Time to Go After Your Dream? How to Turn Your Dreams Into Reality in Five Minutes a Day and Other Tips for Time-Stressed Dreamers

    Valerie and her rescue dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 185 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    You’ve already made up your mind that there has to be more to life than careers, cubicles, and commuting. Yet, the prospect of making a major life change when you’re already feeling caught between a “clock and a hard place,” feels overwhelming.

    Here are five simple steps even the busiest person seeking a major career change can take to get the process rolling:

    1. Turn griping time into planning time.

    How much time do you spend every week blowing off steam about your lousy job? Instead of wasting precious time complaining about what you DON’T want, use the time to create a clear mental picture of what you DO want. Then make a plan for getting from here to there. Five minutes a day spent working your plan will move you far closer to your goal than 15 minutes of griping.

    2. Keep your goal front and center. 

    Get out your calendar and set a target date for when you want your new life to begin. Besides being a great source of motivation, knowing how much time you have until "D-Day" lets you create a realistic plan for hitting it. Next, find creative ways to keep your dream, literally, in your face. As you come across images or quotes that reflect your dream, place them around your workspace, in your daily planner, on the refrigerator – any place you’re sure to regularly "see" your destination.

    3. Buy with an eye to the future.

    If your dream involves working from the comfort of home, you probably won’t need all those business suits overrunning your closet. Resolve now to make do with the work wardrobe you already have. When you do take the leap, you can donate your business attire to an organization like Dress for Success that assists men and women just entering the job market. Spend the money you’ve saved instead on things you’ll need for your new career or venture – like courses, buying or upgrading a home office computer, purchasing equipment, inventory, and so on.

    4. Avoid the nay-seers. 

    Erma Bombeck once said, “It takes a lot of courage to show someone else your dreams.” Erma knew that most people – especially those closest to you – tend to discourage change of any kind. Unfortunately, other people’s skepticism, like the flu, can be contagious. And, unless you’ve built up your immune system, these dream killers can knock you for a loop. Don’t look for support from pessimistic family or friends. Instead seek out people who can give your dream the support it deserves. 

    5. Do what you can – but DO SOMETHING. 

    As one Chinese proverb reminds us, moving a mountain begins by lifting one stone. To keep from being overwhelmed – while still making headway – break your larger goal down into more manageable steps. Then, no matter how hectic your day, pledge to take at least one small step. Before you know it you’ll have turned your dreams into your life.

    Breaking Into Print: How to Get Paid to be a Freelance Writer – Fiction or Non-Fiction

    Valerie and her wonder dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 184 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    You’ve always been drawn to writing – and to the freedom and flexibility of a freelance writer …

    Get Your Book Published and Learn How to Market It

    Sophfronia Scott

    How would you like to go to one place and find your every book publishing question answered, from how to find an agent to how to get money for your project? Well, I found the place that can answer all of these questions.

    Sophfronia Scott, “The Book Sistah,” has created a huge library of products and teleseminars featuring top notch experts spilling all the beans about the publishing world. She has used these materials to teach thousands of writers the ins and outs of the business and now she’s making them all available to you!

    You’ll find everything from her groundbreaking system, “The 21-Step Guide to Writing, Publishing & Marketing Your Book” to her writer’s block program for novelists, "Unleash the Bestseller Within". You’ll also find seminars with high-profile New York City agents, editors and  authors.

    Visit her web site today at  and be sure to sign up for her report, “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Most Writers Make When Trying to Get Published."

    Afraid to Take the Leap? Simple Ways to Face Down Your Fears

    Valerie and her wonder dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 183 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    The so-called safe path is always “easier.” Just ask Ursula Clay. Ursula tried to take the secure career path her immigrant parents had chosen for her. In fact, she worked incredibly hard to achieve a level of financial success and security her parents, both high school dropouts, never had. Says Ursula:

    “I worked very hard to get through law school at night, all the while working full time and struggling financially. When I finally achieved what I thought was the brass ring – i.e., good salary, fancy title, etc. – it was a thoroughly disappointing revelation that this was the end result of all the hard work. It felt very empty and meaningless, further made so by the birth of my two beautiful children. I just felt as though I could not possibly have been put on this earth to toil way for 12 hour days at a job that kept me away from my family, and which I dreaded going to every day.”

    “Unless you walk out into the unknown,” says Tom Peters, “the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.” After two years of executing her escape plan which included many moments of fear and uncertainty, Ursula is embracing the unknown. “It’s like getting out of college again, and having a clean slate. I do not know where I am going to end up, or what might come my way. In fact, staying home with my kids right now may be the next calling, and after that, who knows!”

    Laugh in the Face of Fear 

    Anyone who has ever ventured out of their safe little world will tell you they had doubts. When it comes to making a major life change, not only is a certain amount of fear perfectly normal, it’s actually helpful. For example, it’s our healthy fears that keep us from jumping off cliffs. And the great thing about fear is that there are always ways to get around it. 

    So try laughing in the face of fear. Am I kidding? No. Ridiculing your fears is actually a very effective technique for banishing them. Let me show you what I mean. 

    If I told you the U.S. Senate had just voted to relocate the capital from Washington, D.C. to Las Vegas, your response would probably be something like, “No way!” That’s because the mind rejects that which it considers absurd. It’s the same with fear. The trick is to turn your fears into a ridiculous event in your mind. That way, you allow your natural human reaction to absurdity to take over and dismiss them. 

    Try it yourself. Take your biggest fear and take it to extremes. Really exaggerate it. Let’s say you’re paralyzed by the fear of failure. Try picturing your entire family, all of your friends, your neighbors, everyone you went to high school with, even your boss, standing outside your cardboard-box home holding up signs that read: We Told You So!

    Pretty ridiculous, right? When you realize that your worst-case fantasy is just that – a fantasy – what felt overwhelming will now feel much more manageable.

    Change Is Easy – When You Take It One Step at a Time

    Another 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 freelance career on the side. Begin with low-risk steps and gradually work your way up to the harder stuff.

    You never know what is going to move you to action. It can be a book, something you saw on television, a chance conversation, a workshop… I was flattered to learn that for Ursula that chance encounter happened when in 2003 she “stumbled upon” the Changing Course website. That was enough to move Ursula to start “formulating an escape plan.” She writes, “My plan consisted of figuring what I wanted to do after I quit my job, and putting myself in a financial position that would allow me to walk away from a well-paying, but unsatisfying career.”

    Receiving a consistent message that change was possible says Ursula, “had the effect of pulling me back to my escape plan whenever I started fearing the unknown again, or just got lazy.” For Ursula that message came in the form of this newsletter. For you it might be a support group, a coach, or even a buddy who can check in to see how your plan is progressing.

    Even though Ursula has taken the leap, she’s now working on the second part of her goal – coming up with ideas for multiple income streams. The good news is that having faced down her fears once means Ursula can approach her new goal from a far more desirable vantage point. “Now,” she says, “I can read the newsletter on my home computer in my sweatpants while my daughter naps, instead of on my Blackberry while riding the 8:02 pm train back to the suburbs from work.” And to just to underscore how excited she is to be embarking on this new chapter in her life, Ursula signed off with, “Regards from the other side.”

    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 fears, you will be rewarded many times over. That’s because, as Anais Nin once observed, “Life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage.” Once I found the courage to escape job jail my life expanded in ways I never imagined possible. Life really is better over here on the “other side.” I encourage you to take one small step today to join those of us are enjoying the view from the other side.

    Have You Started a Blog Yet?

    The reason I ask is that it’s estimated that over 175,000 NEW blogs are launched every day! For many people, blogs are an easier, more natural way to create a presence online as they don’t require a designer or HTML skills.

    For some though, they just don’t know where to begin! Anik Singal and Rosalind Gardner have come up with the perfect solution for all of us “non-techies” out there.

    Not only do they promise that you can have your blog installed in 10 minutes, they recently ran a COMPLETELY free pre-course that had over 1,000 comments on it from students who were amazed at how easily they were getting their business started on a blog. Now they’re releasing over 1000 videos and a 4 week Webinar coaching group to reveal every detail on how they run their blog business.

    If you have a blog or are interested in creating one, check out the newly launched “Blog Classroom” at and have your blog be one of the many that over 1.5 million posts are made every day.  

    If You Think You Can’t Change Course… You’re Right

    Valerie and her wonder dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    This article originally appeared in Issue 182 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

    You’ve heard the expression that some people see the glass as half full while others perceive the same glass to be half empty? I had the opportunity to see this difference in perception in action.

    One summer, my father and I drove to the airport to pick up my some family members visiting from Florida. It was 100 degrees and muggy. "Knowing" there wouldn’t be any parking spaces close to the terminal, my father was inclined to head directly to the back lot where we’d be sure to find a space.

    I, on the other hand, was inclined to start with the row closest to the terminal and work my way back. Since my father was literally in the driver’s seat, he reluctantly agreed to check out the last row in the front lot. If we didn’t find something there, he said, we’d proceed directly to the back lot. Not only did we find a spot, but as we were walking to the terminal we passed a primo front row space. His response? "It probably wouldn’t have been there when we were looking."

    In other words, I prefer to think that things will work out. My dad presumes they will not. Not surprising, during his adult life, my father held two jobs. He was horribly exploited in his first job and left only at my mother’s constant urging. He stayed at his second job for over 30 years. In part, my father’s long job tenure has to do with that fact that he is a product of a time when there was a different set of rules regarding employer-employee loyalty. You got a good (or even a not so good) job and you stuck with it for life.

    There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with staying in the same job or town or anything else for an extended period of time. My mother’s family has lived in this same area of Massachusetts since the 1600s. My father’s family came at the turn of the last century. I love it here in what is known as the Pioneer Valley, and despite feeling tremendous pressure after graduating from college to go somewhere new, I have never had any desire to move any place else on a permanent basis.

    When staying in one job or place too long IS cause for concern though, is when it is not driven by a sense of contentment but by the belief that things will not work out anyway, so why bother. A lousy attitude will kill a dream faster than just about anything else.

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

    • Do you see yourself as deserving of happiness?

    • Do you think things will probably work out for the best and, if they don’t, do you see that as an opportunity to try again?

    • Do you see yourself as the director of your life or as a bit player operating from someone else’s script?

    • Do you think that life generally has it out for you and therefore it is hopeless to even try to change your life? Or do you see life as Helen Keller once described it as being, "an exciting adventure or nothing at all"?

    Pessimists THINK a lot about changing course; unfortunately those with a negative attitude rarely ever act on their dreams. If you are prone to pessimism but really DO want to go after your dream of a more meaningful work/life, you may need to first practice viewing things from a positive perspective.

    Moving from a pessimistic, hopeless view to an optimistic, hopeful one will not happen over night. It is a goal that must be worked on one day at a time. Start by taking one situation each day and trying to reframe it from a glass half-full perspective. Fake it if you have to. After a while you will find yourself readily being able to not only see the glass of life as half full, but enjoying a long, quenching drink from it as well.

    When it comes to successfully changing course, attitude really is every thing. That’s because as Henry Ford once put it, "If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right."

    Profit From Your Art

    Profit From Your Art

    Who says you can’t make money from your art? You don’t have to be a “fine artist” to have your images appear on greeting cards, prints and posters, calendars, on collector plates, in books, animation, for record companies, on coffee mugs, coasters, clothing and fabric, gift bags, fabric, shower curtains – virtually any surface that has a design. This comprehensive course by art licensing guru Michael Woodward spells out step how to get paid for your artwork. He ought to know.

    Over the past 30 years, Michael has licensed over $600 million in retail goods.

    I personally know an artist who partnered with a manufacturer and earned a 10% licensing fee. The company sold over $800,000 in products netting her over $80,000 for her images.

    Given that the artist earns a percentage of these sales, suffice it to say, Michael is not your stereotypical “starving artist.” By combining his personal “tricks of the trade” with a storehouse of information on the art licensing world, he’s compiled the most comprehensive course available today to guide artists and photographers through the licensing maze so they can start earning money from their art and beautifying the world in the process.

    To learn more about or order The Art Licensing Course, go to

    Read my complete review of Michael Woodward’s Art Licensing Course at

    Dreams Can Come True

    The 8 Key Lessons to Turning Dreams Into Reality

    Valerie and her wonder dog,
    "Cokie Roberts"

    By Valerie Young

    Early on in his career, college football coaching legend Lou Holtz made a list of 107 things he wanted to accomplish in his life. Among them were to go white water rafting, see the pyramids, meet the Pope, have dinner at the White House with a sitting president and be on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It took Holtz and his wife 25 years but together they’ve accomplished 99 of those original goals.

    My own dreams list includes attending a national political convention (okay I’m weird), witnessing the opening ceremony at the Olympics, spending at least a month on every continent, studying with a master antique book restorer, learning to water paint, taking swimming lessons, taking a year-long sabbatical and routinely having summers off.

    A big dream that’s been on the front burner for well over three years now has been finding a house with a view. I work at home so where I live is really important to me. I have this thing about wanting to live in the country. Not in the woods though. I need space. Rolling hills, fields, maybe some cows in the background (I love cows!). Think pastoral, bucolic, peaceful, private.

    I’ve been doing a fair amount of reflecting on the evolution of this dream and what I’ve learned in the process. What I’ve discovered is that there are eight key lessons to realizing a dream.

    Lesson #1: Listen to Your Inner Voices

    My obsession with a view began five years ago when I started vacationing on a small peaceful lake in central New Hampshire. There’s nothing much to do there but sit out on the deck and gaze on the reflection of the mountains reflected in the lake and listen for the enchantingly eerie call of the loons.

    Despite carting up dozens of books, I found I rarely picked them up because it would mean taking my eyes off the view. I found it utterly mesmerizing. This little voice inside kept whispering, "Pay attention Valerie, pay attention." Like most people, I ignored these inner callings.

    As the voice grew louder, it became clear that while everyone enjoys a view, I craved one. I needed the experience of having a view not for just one week out of the year but every day. I didn’t know quite how I was going to pull it off but I knew I had to listen.

    Lesson #2: Put Your Dreams Out There

    Few people reach their dreams alone. You never know who might help you get where you want to be. It could be a casual acquaintance, your dentist, a neighbor, a coworker… But one thing is for sure, if you keep your dreams to yourself, you’ll never find out.

    Throughout the last presidential election, I shared my dream of one day attending a national political convention with anyone who would listen. One such person was a seminar attendee who happened to be very high up at NBC news. Realizing an opportunity when I saw one, I pitched myself as an over-qualified but very eager intern willing to do whatever needed to be done… from making coffee, to making copies to doing van runs to the airport. He handed me his business card and told me he’d see what he could do.

    Despite my champion’s best efforts, he wasn’t able to get me in. While witnessing the democratic process in action didn’t pan out, deliberately putting my dream out there got me closer than ever before. And, hey there’s always this year!

    Lesson #3: Be Selective About Who You Talk to About Your Dream

    While making your dreams known is the key to finding champions, teachers, and other supporters, you also need to mindful of where NOT to look.

    Take my friend Carol. She’s a great person, but she’s a bit of a cynic. When I told Carol that I wanted a house with a view, her response was, "Wouldn’t we all?" While walking my dog along a roaring stream, I realized how healing I find the sound of moving water. So I added a bubbling brook to my wish list, to which Carol replied, "Well, you can’t always get what you want."

    Carol is right of course. You can’t always get what you want. But does the risk of not reaching a goal mean you just throw up your hands in defeat? As opera diva Beverly Sills reminds us, "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try."

    Lesson #4: Believe You Can

    Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right." As trite as this last lesson may sound, believing your dream is attainable is fundamental to its success.

    I need to be inspired as much as the next person. One place both Barbara Winter and I both go to when we need a boost of inspiration are the
    Making Dreams Happen CDs of which we are both a part. Listening once again to one of Barbara Sher’s presentations reminded me of the powerful link between passion and belief.

    Barbara was telling the group how deep down inside we all know what we want. "When someone says they don’t know what they want," she says, "what they really mean is they don’t think that what they want is possible." In other words, the reason most people never even attempt to go after their dream is because they don’t think they can.

    I knew getting my dream house with a view wouldn’t be easy. First I’d have to do all the painting, repairing, and landscaping required to get my current house in shape to sell. Then I’d have to put the house on the market, which, since I planned to sell it myself meant taking photos, placing ads for open houses, and learning about all the legal hoops involved in selling real estate. I’d also need to spend countless hours scouring real estate listings, going to open houses and doing drive bys. I got so desperate at one point that I wrote to homeowners to see if they’d like to sell.

    I knew the most daunting task by far though would be packing. You see I come from a long line of pack rats which meant confronting the monumental task of sorting through and packing 12 years of accumulated stuff, only to begin the unpacking all over again on the other end.

    Between my travel schedule and my work commitments, I knew that achieving my dream would not be easy… but I always new it was possible. As Louisa May Alcott once wrote, "We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving… And we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing."

    Lesson #5: Take the Long View

    Every so often I get a call for a career consultation from someone who is having one of those "job from hell" days. The desire for immediate relief is understandable. After all when your job is toxic job, you just want o-u-t, NOW!

    Like these clients, you probably don’t want to hear this, but, deep down, you already know that making any real change takes time. At the same time, you have to start somewhere. And the fact of the matter is that the next two years or five years or ten years are going to come and go as quickly as the last ones did – whether you do anything about your dream or not.

    So where would you rather be when that time arrives – in the same place you are now or where you want to be? Yes, change takes time but it’s the small steps that will get you to that better future. Which leads us to our next lesson…

    Lesson #6: Start Where You Are

    The key to achieving any goal is to simply start. Start somewhere… anywhere. If you’re up to your ears in debt, then start by making a plan to become debt free. If your life is so busy that you haven’t taken the time to even know what your dreams are, take some time this very week to find a quiet space and tune into your inner callings. If you need information about becoming an equine massage therapist, or bringing your product idea to market, or getting paid for your home design finesse – then get busy finding and then learning from those who have already done it. The bottom line here – do what you can, but do something!

    If you’re having trouble getting started, click here for six tips that can help

    Lesson #7: Live in the Now

    In an interview with Charlie Rose, Helen Hunt talked about how she got the career she always wanted. Although she wasn’t offering it as a tip, Hunt’s own experience of being grateful for what she had is informative. You see, for Hunt the four Emmys, the five Golden Globes, the Oscar and all of the rest were but icing on an already rich cake. Reflecting on her years as part of the "Mad About You" television show’s creative team, Hunt told Rose, "If none of these other things had happened and I’d had only that, I would have been a very, very lucky actress." (To read all of Helen Hunt’s success tips go to

    It would have been easy to focus on what I didn’t like about the house I already had – it was a busy street, the houses were too close together, one of my neighbors drove me up the wall. And yet, despite aggressively pursing my dream house, I never lost sight of what I already had.

    On the most basic level, I had more than millions of people around the world – a roof over my head, a bed to sleep in, heat, safety. It was also a warm, inviting, and aesthetically pleasing home. If I’d lived in that home for the rest of my life, I would have still been very lucky indeed.

    The lesson here is to not focus so much on what lies ahead that you fail to appreciate past and present blessings. Taking stock of how rich your life is right now will make any future success all the sweeter.

    A Room With a View

    It took three years, but here I sit in my fabulous new home in the country. Perched on a hill, the house offers views on all four sides… cows in the east pasture, grand sunsets over the hills to the west, woods outside my office window to the north, and I was happy to report to Carol, a bubbling brook to my south.

    Valerie's View"Well that’s nice for her," you may be thinking, "but I don’t have that kind of money." I understand what it’s like to be strapped. When I left my high paying corporate job, my income dipped nearly in half. There have been times I’ve wondered how I’d pay the bills. Over time I’ve managed to build my income up to more than my previous salary. Still, I didn’t buy a "starter mansion" and I’m not a wealthy person.

    Money, or the lack of money, is not necessarily a prerequisite to realizing a dream. True, if I hadn’t had the good fortune to have had a starter home to sell I could not have afforded the house I got. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have found another way to get my view.

    For example, I could have found a lower priced fixer upper. Or, I could have rented. Even better, I probably could have lived rent free as a property caretaker.

    My new dream? I am obsessed with the idea of introducing young people, and especially disadvantaged youth, to self-employment as an alternative to dead end minimum wage jobs. This is all very much in the seed planting stage. If these particular seeds sprout the way I think they will, I hope to make this happen on a massive scale. Oh, and also I want to work three days a week!

    Lesson #8: Trust Your Gut

    How often has your first impulse been "Yes!" only to have fear yank you back to the safety of non-action? Janet Riben has learned a lot about what can happen when you trust your gut. She writes:

    "I have always been impulsive and that is a way to make a lot of mistakes but also a way to find out a lot about yourself, about others and about the feasibility of ideas. At 59 I took off to Prague for a month course on teaching English as a foreign language (TELF).

    From there I easily got offers on jobs for teaching English around the globe. Gates were opening and at my ripe age!"

    When Janet said gates opened she wasn’t kidding. "I found a job teaching business English in Italy which then led to learning Italian which then led to being the representative of an Italian company in Scandinavia which will soon lead to owning a home in Italy. Before I am 64 I will have my dream house there. All because I followed my impulses. I didn’t listen to naysayers – they weren’t fast enough to stop me – to frighten me out of my dream’s path."

    I’ve never met Janet, but her story is a wonderful reminder of what can happen when you listen to that inner voice. As any successful self-bosser will tell you, once you walk through that first scary door and invest in yourself and your dreams some truly incredible things start to happen. To learn more about some amazing international opportunities to learn and then teach TEFL go to

    What Would Make Valerie Want to Get in Her Car and Drive to Your House?

    The idea of me getting in my car and driving to your house is not as far fetched as it sounds…

    You see I recently completed an application to be in a Mastermind group with one of THE most successful internet marketers ever. (I’ll tell you who once I know for certain I’ve been accepted).

    Applicants were asked to name the three books or programs that have had the biggest impact on our lives. I cheated and put four. It was hard to pick just three books but I ultimately settled on In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan, Barbara Winter’s Making a Living Without a Job, and The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield.

    As far as “programs” go, I have bookshelves full of binders, CDs, and other information products all designed to help me learn more about one aspect of building a successful business or another. So you would think it would be hard to pick just one. Actually it wasn’t.

    In fact, if I was “smart”, I probably would have chosen one of the programs developed by the internet guru who’s running the Mastermind. But that would have just been well, “sucking up.” I mean his stuff is great BUT…

    Hands down the program that has had THE BIGGEST impact on the success and growth of my business has been Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula.

    If I’m starting to sound like a broken record, it’s because I know how many people are either idling in neutral, just thinking about their great idea, or already have some kind of product or service but are piddling around in first gear trying to make a few sales here and there when they could be in the fast lane.

    Several people have contacted me wondering if Product Launch Formula is right for their business. One makes jewelry that she sells online. Another (a corporate VP) has come up with some ideas for how to parlay her skills as a tarot reader online. Still another has an idea for an online business that will allow her to pursue her love of travel. In all three cases, my answer was yes!

    I know some people who could really benefit from this program who are still on the fence (are you listening Creative Career Consultants?) because they just don’t fully get the power of this program Product. I do.

    Others do get it but are afraid this will become just one more pricy program that ends up sitting on their shelf. I get that. Someone even emailed to ask if I knew of anyone who could serve as a kind of personal “Product Launch Formula coach” to help hold her feet to the fire. I don’t (but it’s a great niche for someone!).

    But I might have something even better.

    A big part of me wants to get in my car, drive to your house, and physically hold your hands to your keyboards and hit “BUY.” But this is obviously not very fuel efficient.;>) So I’m going to go out on a limb here and offer to arrange a couple of Product Launch Formula Tele-Study Groups for anyone who wants to team up with four or five others into some kind of a weekly group to help one another work through the program and stay on track.

    Honestly, my plate is pretty full right now… so the thought of adding one more thing makes my head hurt. And obviously I can’t promise that everyone will be able to make the days and times we come up or even that we’ll get a big enough group. But I promise to do my best.

    Product Launch Formula Version 2.0 went on sale last week. Jeff was flooded with orders and lot of people who wanted to buy got shut out.

    Jeff is re-opening registration for 24 hours only – beginning today, Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at noon Eastern. After that the doors will close and classes will start.

    Here’s the link:

    I know some of you think I sound like a broken record. In fact, I know I will get a few angry emails from people accusing me of trying to sell them something. And I am. I’m trying to sell you on taking an incredibly important step to making your business financially viable so you can live the “boss free” life you say you want.

    But I’m willing to risk making lots of people mad if it means I get through to just one person before Jeff pulls the new version of Product Launch Formula off the market Thursday, April 3rd at noon Eastern. It is just that important.

    If you already have some kind of product or service – or you are thinking about one – I sincerely hope you will make this investment in your business and yourself. To learn more click here now:


    Update 6: Find Your Calling By Helping Others Find Theirs

    April 2, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Business Ideas, Changing Course Newsletter, Outside the Job Box Career Expert, Val's Comments

    Join Me for Five Extraordinary Days and
    Leave With Everything You Need to
    Start Your Own Business as an
    "Outside the Job Box" Career Consultant

    2008 Business Training Summit

    Northampton, Massachusetts
    May 4-8, 2008

    What could be more fun than sitting at home (or anywhere in the world really) and brainstorming with people over the telephone about creative ways they could make a living without a job − and actually getting paid to do it! Or running workshops on how to turn interests into income? Or earning passive income with eBooks and other information products?

    If you are someone who is forever thinking up potential business ideas… or turning other people onto resources and alternatives they never knew existed… the kind of person who gets a high from helping others?

    If you want to get paid to do what comes naturally, then in a few short months, you could be running your own business as an "Outside the Job Box Career Consultant." I’ll show you how.

    Everything You Need to Be Making Money in Less Than a Month

    I’m going help you get started faster and with more forward energy and confidence than you ever imagined. That way you can launch a real business in less than a week… and be making money in less than a month.

    I can’t recommend this program enough. It was both the beginning of an exciting journey for me and the realization of a long held desire to help people figure out what they want to do by thinking outside the box… Valerie offers not only the inspiration to help you realize your own calling and jumpstart your own "created career" by becoming a creative career consultant, but she hands you the keys to the kingdom – all the practical tools to get your consultancy up and running, handing down her invaluable expertise and tried and true methods along the way. She trains you to see what others may not, helping to guide your clients to life changing a-ha moments. Don’t miss this opportunity – I’ll always be grateful I didn’t! ~ Susan

    Early Bird Pricing Discount Extended – 5 Seats Left

    After a slew of emails from people waiting for tax refunds or needing more time to make vacation plans, I extended the $1800 Early Bird Discount until Wednesday, April 9th.

    There are other ways to save too. Like the $1200 "Pay for your own stay" discount option. And, for those who want to get all of the web and marketing essentials but don’t need the more extensive elements, you may take advantage of an additional $1000 savings.

    I’m not trying to pressure you by screaming ACT NOW! The people who are most interested in this unique training and business opportunity don’t really need any reminders gentle or otherwise. They already know that the last two Tele-training programs both sold out.

    The new live program in May is going to be more personalized, more intense, and more immediately productive than anything else I’ve ever offered. Because I will be working so closely with the people who do attend, I have decided to severely restrict the number of training slots. Because of my big book deal with Crown, it is also the only training I will run in 2008.

    I have recently invested in the "out of the box" career consultant certification program, and I am SO EXCITED!! I say invested because that’s what it is for me, and I’m sure many of you, an investment. It’s an investment in me and my family’s happiness and prosperity. It is the total package! I wake up excited about the additional tools I have at my disposal for starting my new businesses. I am also less anxious about how stressful my current position is because I know that it is just a temporary inconvenience. Nature is change…which means that it is natural to seek change and I am certainly ready for it. Many thank you’s to Valerie and her associates. ~ Rosalyn

    To learn more about whether the enriching life of an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant or this Certification Summit is right for you go to


    And, if you still have questions, in invite you to join four graduates from the "Class of 2006" for a live – and I guarantee – a very lively Q&A and conversation session on Thursday, April 3 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. You’ll find out where these consultants are (some of their answers will definitely surprise you) and where they’re going… Barbara Winter will be on hand too to offer her first-hand impressions of the people she’s met who’ve come through the program.

    If you can’t make the call, post your questions there:

    I’ll make sure your question gets answered. The call will also be recorded. So if you can’t make the live call, sign up anyway and I’ll send you the recording as soon as it’s available. And by the way, this is definitely NOT a sales call.

    Click here to register for the Live Q&A with the Outside the Job Box Career Consultants:

    P.S. If you’ve been following my blog, then you already know this is the costliest program I’ve ever offered. Between offering to cover everyone’s lodging and meals and the added expense of hiring a well-known marketing consultant to provide you with six months worth of individual and small group support — my per person costs are well into the thousands.

    I’m not a university so I don’t have any kind of scholarship fund that I can draw from. BUT anyone who has ever worked with me knows that when it comes to money, I always strive to be as fair and flexible as possible.

    So if you need to, for example, put down a smaller initial down payment… or maybe to wrap the down payment into the monthly installments… or you need to set up some other payment option all together, let me know and while I can’t make any promises, I will try my hardest to work something out.

    Update 5: Find Your Calling by Helping Others Find Theirs

    April 1, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Outside the Job Box Career Expert, Recommended Resources, Val's Comments

    This will be short. I’m writing from the back of a huge meeting room at Boeing where I’m delivering the keynote presentation — not the kind of thing you want to be late for! 🙂

    I know it’s short notice but it’s tough to coordinate these things from the road. But three, maybe four, of the Outside the Job Box Career Consultants from the “Class of 2006” are getting together with me for a live Q&A on Thursday, April 3rd from 10:00-11:00 a.m. — and you’re invited.

    Like I said this will be a live Q&A and I’m going to build in plenty of time for you to ask your individual questions. If you can’t make the call, post your questions below and I’ll make sure your question gets answered. The call will also be recorded. So if you can’t make the live call, sign up anyway and I’ll send you the recording as soon as it’s available.

    Click here to register for the Live Q&A with the Outside the Job Box Career Consultants.

    To your dreams,
    Valerie Young
    Dreamer in Residence

    Creating Multiple Streams of Income

    March 26, 2008by Dr. Valerie Young in Business Ideas, Recommended Resources, Val's Comments

    Valerie and her wonder dog,
    “Cokie Roberts”

    By Valerie Young

    If you are serious about becoming your own boss, then you need to start thinking seriously about how to can create multiple streams of income. If you agree, Jeff Walker just put out a new video case study that is a must see.In it Jeff talks with fellow entrepreneur Todd Brown who went from nothing to a full-blown six figure business with just one product launch. In fairness, Todd was not new to internet marketing. But keep in mind that this was a totally new niche for him with no list, no web site, no contacts, or experience in this particular field (kind of like starting out fresh as an Outside the Job Box Consultant!) If you have not watched Jeff’s videos, he is giving away a ton of free information. But don’t take my word for it. On Monday I got this very excited email from a graduate of my first Outside the Job Box training program. Glenna has a very cool niche market idea that combines her love of traveling with her passion for being an idea generator.

    Hi Valerie,

    Have you been watching Jeff’s free Product Launch Formula videos as religiously as I have? Jeff is giving away some amazing information. I could probably proceed with my business idea with the free information alone. However, I really want the whole program – especially this new update he’s launching on Thursday.

    I know I’ve been excited about programs before, but for perhaps the first time, I can see my business idea fitting this model (when he was giving the example of the guy who wants to sell “how to play guitar” info… I was mentally filling in how I could use that with my business). The fact that I’m not super experienced at this new business seems like an advantage with Jeff’s system.”


    And in case you think these videos are all made up — I got a chance to spend some time with Todd last summer in Denver. He sat next to me at a private dinner party Jeff held for eight of his “success stories.”

    Between his brilliantly simple business idea and his very impressive financial results, Todd was hard to forget. But I must say what I remember most fondly about Todd was when he turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you’re 53!” Suffice it to say I REALLY like Todd!Seriously, anyone can watch Jeff’s case study about Todd. But to get full access to all the other information-rich videos that Glenna has been watching you need to get on Jeff’s list.Click here your dreams,

    Valerie Young
    Valerie Young
    Dreamer in Residence

    P.S. Don’t worry if you don’t have a business idea yet. Just watching these videos can sometimes jog one loose!

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    A New Direction

    I decided to take the Work @ What You Love Workshop and also work one-on-one with Valerie. The workshop explored so many unusual and unexpected solutions to my specific questions. I made so many new connections to what clearly works for me in crea...

    Julia Raymond
    Curvology Studio

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