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10 MORE Ways to Get Paid to Brainstorm

MThe idea people who joined me for this week’s Paid to Brainstorm Webinar discovered Why Showing People How to Find Business and Income-Generating Ideas THE Next Big Wave in Coaching.

If you missed this eye-opening webinar you can catch an ENCORE.

In fact, I showed you 15 – count’em — FIFTEEN ways you can get paid to brainstorm.

Some probably didn’t surprise you.

Like the opportunity to serve the 10,000 baby boomers who are retiring e-v-e-r-y single day.

Just the kind of people who need help coming up with ways they could make an extra $500 or $1,000 a month.

But a few of the stats in the webinar might surprise you (like the growth in entrepreneurship among female vets)!

Or maybe in addition to being an idea person you also like to teach.

If so, you’ll definitely be surprised by the different ways for you to make money speaking or running workshops.

(Beverly Farrow who you’ll meet on camera in a second, just spoke to a packed audience of men and women who showed up to hear her talk: “Find Your Genius and Work in It.”)

But truly, the 15 opportunities I shared on the webinar just scratched the surface.

Why Brainstorming Income-Generating Ideas is THE Next Big Wave in Coaching

If you want to cash in on this wave, all you need to do is follow the trends.

In fact, I created an entire Fact Sheet with a host of trends leading to opportunities for career coaches who know how to think outside the job box.

factsheet

So in addition the 15 ways I outlined in the Paid to Brainstorm webinar, here’s 10 MORE ways you can cash in on these and other trends.

NEW Opportunity #16 Stay-at-home moms

There are already millions of stay-at-home parents – mostly moms — who also want a home based business.

Add to that group, all the young parents who are still in their job-jobs but who’d l-o-v-e to find a way to afford to stay at home with their kids.

That’s why I wanted you to meet Jen Schultz (she’s the last coach in the Opportunity Detectives video below) of CreativeIncomeDesign.com from British Columbia

Jen was already a successful life coach when she and her husband were expecting their first child.

That’s when she decided to run workshops for new or expecting mothers looking to work from home.

NEW Opportunity #17:  Women eager for more work-life balance

Women present a great opportunity.

For one, women tend to have a more layered definition of success that includes things like balance, meaning, satisfaction.

Just the kind of person who needs help finding a satisfying business idea.

That’s probably why women-owned businesses have been growing at a faster rate than all businesses.

And why according to researchers…

Women entrepreneurs are happier – and better paid – than their employee counterparts.

You’ll find lots of stats in the Fact Sheet about women from all over the world.

But I have to say I’ve had some amazing male clients.

NEW Opportunity #18:  Freeing men from job jail

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Men on the other hand, have been saddled with a model of success where their self-worth is judged solely on money, status, and power.

I’ve worked with a number of high earning men who face tremendous pressure from their spouses to maintain a certain lifestyle.

So these men are expected to just suck it up.

Tim Grover from Illinois is one of those men who wants to help change that.

Tim ran his own business for 20 years so he’s pretty much hardwired for self-employment.

He doesn’t only coach men.

But being one he understands the pressures men face to stay in their soul sucking job.

So today he runs ChangingLifeBulbs.com as a fun side gig.

Another angle is recently retired men who hate sitting around doing nothing.

And having a fun side gig is just the solution!

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: People who may share your race or ethnicity

As you’ll see in your Paid to Brainstorm Fact Sheet, race is another demographic where we see an upward trend.

For instance, women of color are starting businesses at 3 to 5 times the rate of other groups.

And the highest rates of growth in entrepreneurship among Hispanics.

If you’re a person of color — or if you have a strong affinity with any racial or ethnic group – then it may make sense to niche in that community.

Even if you start out focusing more broadly you may discover that – just like a lot of women follow me or millennials tend to follow other millennials – other people of color may just naturally gravitate to you.

Or you may decide to be deliberate in reaching out specially to a specific community.

Like Maru Lozano from Los Angeles.

Maru has a real passion for entrepreneurship.

So one of the things she decided to do after graduating from Princeton was help Latino youth.

Both those who are college-bound as well as those who need someone to help them think outside the job box.

Here’s Maru talking about her experience in the course:

NEW Opportunity #19  Helping young people

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Every year my local TV station does a story on these poor high school kids on the hunt for a summer job.

They put in applications at the mall or the fast food places… but they just can’t find a job.

And every year I scream at the TV – Make a job!

Wash windows, detail cars, mow lawns, babysit, repair computers!

They’ll probably make more money and they’ll be happier too.

Instead we’ve become a nation of occupational sheep passively waiting for someone to give us a job.

That’s why I was thrilled when a school teacher in Canada named Jennifer signed up for the upcoming career coach training.

Jennifer knows the future of work is changing.

And she knows schools are going to be on the forefront of helping students (and other teachers!) expand their thinking from getting a job to creating a livelihood.

Then there’s licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach Celeste St. Hill.

She lives on the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados where she leads groups for teenage girls.

Celeste told me she encourages the girls to have big dreams.

I immediate thought of a line from a book by the oral historian Studs Terkel.

Among the people he interviewed was a young woman who said…

“I think most of us are looking for a calling, not a job.

Most of us, like the assembly line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit.”

Maybe that’s why more adults are searching for work that pays the bills and feeds their soul.

Which is a nice segue into another opportunity…

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar:  The enormous faith-based community

In addition to her work with teens, Celeste also describes herself as a Christian coach.

Here’s Celeste describing her work here and in other niches too…

NEW Opportunity #20 People with disabilities

Another group that’s very open to self-employment are people who have a disability.

I’ve personally had several clients who are blind.

And at least two of the students who trained with me were blind as well.

Sylvia Green is not blind.

But she does have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia – a condition shared by an estimated 200 to 400 million — mostly women — around the world.

In her own coaching Sylvia says her goal is to help women like herself to quote…

“find the confidence to put their health first and create their life around their work instead of the other way around.”

This next opportunity is pretty unusual!

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: People into “Weird” things

Kimberly Stewart from Colorado specializes in people who are into the kinds of off the beaten path things she likes.

Like renaissance festivals or Comic-Con which is the huge conference for comic book lovers.

Or people who are into astrology or science fiction movies or vampires and other paranormal stuff.

Exactly the kind of people who are least likely to fit into the conventional 9 to 5 grind.

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: Specific personality types

You could specialize with people who have a particular personality type – like for instance, introverts.

That’s what Julia Barnickle from England did.

Julia is an introvert herself. So she understands that introverts who start a business aren’t keen on making sales calls or going to networking events! Right?!

NEW Opportunity #21 Creative types

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In the last few years I’ve seen a real uptick in artists taking my class – adults that is 🙂

One of them is Maryjane Harford from upstate New York.

The vast majority of artists struggle financially.

But Maryjane has spent most of her life as a working artist and craftsperson.

So today Maryjane is also a coach who helps other creative types find ways they can profit from their handiwork as well.

NEW Opportunity #22 Travel lovers

The number one thing travel lovers care about is being able to work from anywhere.

So obviously they’re going to be hugely attracted to self-employment in general and portable businesses in particular.

Why don’t you be the Go-To-Person for on how to make money from the road?

Opportunity featured on the Webinar: Ex-patriots

Ex-pats as they’re known, are people who for a host of reasons are living in another country.

The bad news, it’s really hard for a non-citizen to get a work permit which you need to get a job.

The good news is, it’s much easier to start certain kinds of businesses.

In fact, there are countries in South America giving huge tax breaks to foreigners to renovate small hotels or start other tourism-related businesses.

110316_5Dominika Meirnik lives in Rome, Italy.

Dominika is originally from Poland so she’s an ex-pat herself.

When I met Dominika she was already a successful life and career coach.

At the time she was only doing traditional employment-oriented career coaching.

But now she’s able to also work with people searching for a way to work for themselves.

Frankly, I think anyone already doing career coaching needs to be able to work with aspiring self-bossers as well.

You’ll not only grow your practice but you’ll grow your earnings as well.

Here’s Dominika talking about her work and the course that helped her do just that…

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: People who want to live abroad

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Here we’re looking at people whose main motivation for moving to another country is to find a slower pace of life and as importantly, a lower cost of living.

These are the people you see on the HGTV show International House Hunters.

This is a population that’s only expected to grow.

In fact, a reported 3.3 million American baby boomers are planning to retire abroad.

A trend that’s growing among Canadians and Europeans too.

But here again, it’s not easy to get a work permit.

Which means a lot of these people are very actively looking for ways to make money without a job-job.

Like having an online business, or doing things like import-export, freelance writing, or yes — coaching.

Before we go any further, I want to make clear that you don’t have to limit yourself to any one opportunity or group.

I started the changing course newsletter in 1995.

From day one, my niche has been anyone who wanted to change course from having a boss to being their own boss.

If you landed on my website and you resonated with the Changing Course motto to…

Live life on purpose… work at what you love… and follow your own road – then you were my people!

And now that I know you’re an idea person like me – you are doubly my people!

So you can tap into any or all of the opportunities here or I talk about on the Paid to Brainstorm Final Encore webinar happening Saturday, February 25th at noon ET.

But we’re still not done!

In the video I talked about various organizations who need people who know how to think outside the job box.

Here’s a few others…

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar:  Colleges and universities

Outside of Europe, the US, and Canada young people make up the majority of the population.

No wonder Sir Richard Branson and others are actively working to introduce college students and others to entrepreneurship.

Colleges and universities everywhere are the next big frontier for profiting from your career coaches.

Think about it –

You’ve got these tremendous shifts in the nature of work itself.

You’ve got more and more people working in the so-called gig economy and the sharing economy.

You’ve also got all these parents paying these crazy high tuitions pressuring colleges to make sure their kids graduate and find a good job.

Which means administrators at liberal arts colleges especially are scrambling to match their curriculum to the job market.

But what if instead of asking, how can we prepare our students to get a job, these same college administrators asked a different question…

Namely, how do we prepare our students to create a livelihood?

A livelihood could be a job-job.

But it could also be self-employment or some combination of a job and self-employment.

A livelihood could be being able to support yourself through your art or music or writing.

Or having multiple streams of income, like I do!

The point is, the very notion of creating a livelihood is so much more expansive than getting a job-job.

So not only would students be exposed to far more possibilities…

But the ability to come up with an income generating idea whenever they need one is a skill they’d have for the rest of their lives.

So for anyone who works at a college now – or anyone who wants to partner with colleges, there’s never been a better time to do it.

You could also work with alumni too.

Every college or university has an alumni association whose mission it is to bring value resources to their members.

That could be running a webinar or setting up a table to offer free coaching advice at their next gathering.

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar:  Professors

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And students aren’t the only ones searching for alternatives. I’ve spoken at over 80 colleges and universities and I can tell you from experience that even some faculty are interested as well.

Especially faculty who didn’t get tenure or who started out thinking they wanted to go the professor route and then changed their mind.

Listen to What My Coaches Had to Say

I thought you might like to hear from a few of the people who are using my unique Profiting From Your Passions Formula.

Coincidentally, Dr. Beverly Farrow from West Virginia used to be a university professor herself. Today she still leads workshops — but for people like her who want to be their own boss.

Check out this short video of Beverly and the other “Opportunity Analysts” featured here.

 

NEW Opportunity #23 People who’ve been in prison

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If you think it’s hard for ex-pats to get a job in another country – it’s even harder for ex-cons to find employment in their own country.

That’s why you see the Texas department of corrections among other states training select groups of prisoners in entrepreneurship.

No wonder a local non-profit counseling center that helps state and federal parolees recently wrote Profiting From Your Passions® coach Beverly Farrow into a grant to lead workshops to help ex-cons start a small business.

Personally I’d much rather see someone come out of prison who knows how to sell T-shirts or ice cream than drugs.

NEW Opportunity #24 Actors, film crew, and other creative types in between gigs

Susan Baker lives in LA.

She’s also spent years in the film industry.

So she knows from first-hand experience the need that actors, script writers, stage crew and others have for flexible income streams they can turn on between gigs.

Susan also knows a lot of people in and out of Hollywood are looking to escape the job world all together.

That’s why today Susan is a professional Escape Hatcher!

NEW Opportunity #25 Multi-Passionates or “Scanners”

My friend Barbara Sher calls them “scanners.”

Margaret Lobenstein calls them “Renaissance souls.”

The new term is “multi-passionates.”

Whatever you call them – people who have multiple gifts and passions represent a great opportunity!

After all, what better way to satisfy all those different interests than with multiple streams of income!

These are the people Camille Jeanmonod from Paris is tapping.

Camille even named her coaching practice WhyChooseOnlyOne.com!

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: Niche with people in specific occupations

One of the other people you met in the video is attorney Kelly Monteiro Caesar.

Her niche is helping law students, other attorneys, and even judges who want to start a business. (If you saw Paid to Brainstorm Video #1, you saw the fun example of the judge who loved working with her hands!)

The legal profession isn’t the only one teaming with people who want to change course.

Did you know that a study found one in two doctors are burned out and have little interest in their work?

But remember what you learned in Paid to Brainstorm video #2…

Complaints equal opportunities!

110316_9Someone who seized on this opportunity is a physician named Akinniyi Osho, MD from England. But he’s also always had one business or another going on the side.

Today one of those businesses is being a Profiting From Your Passions® career coach.

Sometimes other doctors seek him out because they want to transition out of medicine altogether.

Others just want a business they can do on the side like he does.

So whether you work for the postal service… or in manufacturing… or in retail… or human resources… or sales… or in a-n-y job –

You can speak from personal experience about the frustrations of other people in your same job.

Still I’m Just Scratching the Surface

110316_10There are of course many MORE ways to profit from your gift for thinking outside the job box.

One recent graduate plans to lead retreats for others considering spending the winter in Ecuador but need to find ways to make money from abroad.

Another is traveling the country with her husband in an RV. Her plan? Partner with RV camps to put on workshops on how to earn an extra $500-$1000 from the road!

You’ll learn all about running workshops and retreats on the Webinar.

And at the end you’ll hear about a special offer that ENDS Monday, February 27th.

So you definitely want to plan to watch the Paid to Brainstorm Encore
Paid to Brainstorm

It goes away at midnight EST Monday, February 27.

I’ll even teach you some of the very techniques I use to help my own clients to profit from their passion.

Because my creative thinker friend, the only difference between you and me is I get paid to brainstorm — and as you’ll soon discover — so can you!


Coolest Success Story E-V-E-R!

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

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

But this is one of my VERY favorites!

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

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

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

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

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

She was still passionate about protecting wildlife – particularly penguins.

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

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

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

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

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

But they never begin.

Not Dyan.

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

And she never looked back.

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

She has…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And you’ll even get to ask questions!

Because… drum roll please!

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

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

With Dyan deNapoli AKA The Penguin Lady

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

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

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

Sign up here to join the fun!

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com

 


6 Simple Steps to Grow Your Dream

The late British gardening author Mirabel Osler wrote,

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

Not everyone smiles at the same work.

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

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

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

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

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

Gardening may or may not be your thing.

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

1) Wanting it with all your heart

The first step to changing course is desire.

I’m not talking about wishing or hoping.

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

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

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

2) Tend the soil

There are many ways to prepare for change.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3) Plant the tiniest of seeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You may be surprised at what pops up!

4) Keep the weeds down

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5) Practice patience

Sufficient desire to make a change — check.

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

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

Silly right?

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

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

You can get discouraged about that if you want.

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

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

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

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

But I didn’t.

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

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

So hang in there.

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

6) Enjoy the Journey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Why Teaching Others May Be Your Fastest Path to Cash

Do you enjoy sharing knowledge with others?

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

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

And now, so can you!

Opportunities in the Conference World

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

And that’s just in the United States.

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

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

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

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

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

Did you write a book on prosperity?

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

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Are you a nutritionist or a personal trainer?

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

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

Just ask Beverly Farrow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And one great idea always leads to others!

Finding Opportunities in Unexpected Places

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

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

Responding to Beverly’s success Hillary writes:

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

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

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

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

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An idea that prompted Kimberly Steward from Colorado to gush,

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

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

Opportunities on the Road

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

In addition, Audrey could:

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

Opportunities in Collaboration

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

People who already own a business need ideas too!

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

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

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

The same partnering approach can be used for many niches.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With my own retreat, participants covered their own airfare.

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

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

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

That means she’d earn a cool $29,999.

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

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

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

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

_______________________________________________

Last Chance: Registration Ends Tomorrow

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In As Little As 3 Months

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

And Launch Yourself Into a 
  Whole New Career — and Life

(Even If You Have NO
Prior Coaching Experience!)

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

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

  • Finally get paid to do what comes naturally!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Charles Handy


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


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

You can write a book or create an information product…

You can coach people or become a consultant. Or…

You can make money from speaking!

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

What’s not to love?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Understand who pays for speakers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RWA Costumes

Some period costumes from Romance Writers of America

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California Girls State meet up

eileen-collins

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

apple-green-room

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

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The very cool Facebook campus with their amazing rooftop park

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

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

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

Fundamentally, I speak about confidence.

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

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

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

And on and on…

My focus is on “unjobbing.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Know your “POV”

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

I always knew I was a decent speaker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

So how is your message different?

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

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

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

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

My POVs

Obviously there are other people who talk about impostor syndrome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Useful information… but hardly unique.

Then I come on and say things like…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.  Start where you are

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

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

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

Instead get as much practice and feedback as you can.

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

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

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

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

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

4. Decide on your business model

The speaking business is just that… a business.

And there are three ways you can make money speaking:

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

I’m definitely a keynote speaker.

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

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

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

larry

I am tremendously fortunate to make good money speaking.

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

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

suzanne-evans

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

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

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

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

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

The key is to deliver good content.

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

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

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

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

Are you getting the idea?

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

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

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

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

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

Even seasoned speakers need to constantly improve.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’m not telling you this to impress you.

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

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

And everyone loses when bright people play small.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This week Stephan is speaking in Japan.

And if he can do it… so can you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 1: Read all about the event here.

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

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

Instead you’ll receive a separate complimentary event ticket.

That’s where step 2 comes in…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Flexible Income, Flexible Life Now

The latest digital issue of International Living magazine’s niche publication Incomes Abroad just landed in my email and I immediately thought of you.

The publication is aimed at the growing numbers of people seeking to relocate to a country that offers a more affordable lifestyle and slower pace of living.

Other readers want to be able to work from anywhere in the world.

And still others simply want a way to fund their wanderlust.

In all three cases, the focus is 100 percent on how to make money without a job-job.

Which is why I thought of you.

After all, you don’t need to go to Bali or Barcelona to create a portable profit center.

portable

For you, “portable” might mean being able to work from your home-office or from your laptop in a coffee shop right in your own neighborhood.

In other words, this information-packed resource is for anyone who has a burning desire to create a flexible income… and needs help figuring out how to make it happen.

That’s the other reason I’m SO jazzed about the current issue.

No matter where your interests lie, you’ll find fascinating cases studies into the different ways regular people, just like you, saw a need and turned it into an opportunity.

I guarantee you’ll have at least one AHA moment!

Ideas agreement Investing in business innovation concept and financial commerce backing of creativity as an open lightbulb symbol for funding potential innovative growth prospect through venture capital.

Like I said, I just received this month’s issue and frankly I was blown away. It’s packed with inspiring and informative ways you can make money that don’t require a passport.

But I’ll let managing editor Shane Orman tell you what you can expect:

excerpt-international-living

In case I wasn’t clear, you don’t need to travel one bit in order to get a wealth of information that can help you change course.

But if you do want a flexible income so you can work from anywhere… and you want to be your own boss, then do yourself a huge favor and check out this extremely helpful and ridiculously affordable resource now.

Click here to get your free issue now. You’ll be glad you did!

 


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #8: Romance and Money Too


Your Path to Being a Best-Selling Romance Writer

Think there’s no money in book writing? Think again.

Does the very term “romance book” conjure up a very specific picture of a type of book, reader, or author?

If so, once again, think again!

I just returned from San Diego where I delivered a keynote address to over 2,200 people — mostly women but also some men — at the annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference.

featured speakers

Published and aspiring writers from 20 countries came to network, meet their favorite authors, and have the chance to pitch to editors of major publishing houses.

More than anything though, they came to learn. The four-day conference featured a whopping 100+ workshops.

Whether people came as complete novices or seasoned pros, there truly was something for everyone.

Topics ranged from character development… the art of the backstory… self-publishing… historical research… working with agents… online marketing… attracting raving fans… even costuming historic characters.

Here I am with members of the San Diego Costume Guild.

RWA Costumes

Did You Know?

Before RWA asked me to speak, I didn’t know a lot about this field either.

Today I know romance writing is a $1.08 billion industry.

RWA cover 1

hell or high water

I also know that despite the stereotypical image of what a romance novel looks like, there are many distinct genres. For instance…

  • Young adult romance is largely aimed at the teen market — a genre is all about G-rated firsts… first crush, first kiss, first heartbreak, first love
  • Historical romances, which are very popular, are set prior to 1950
  • Suspense/mystery has these elements as the central theme
  • Erotic romance which includes explicit sexual interaction between the two main characters
  • Inspirational or Christian romance were also referred to by the authors I met as “sweet,” meaning they have either no or closed-door sex are referred
  • Paranormal romance includes “elements beyond the range of scientific explanation.” In addition to science fiction, ghosts, and time-travel, you see this genre in the massively popular vampire-themed Twilight series which went on to become a blockbuster film.
  • Regency romance covers the British period between 1811-1820 and the early 19th According to Wikipedia, “the more traditional Regencies feature a great deal of intelligent, fast-paced dialogue between the protagonists and very little explicit sex or discussion of sex”.

Wikipedia offers an excellent overview of the century’s long history of romance writing.

You’ll find links to more information on the different genres, insights into varying tastes in romance books around the world, and the staggering success of the genre.

That’s where I learned:

  • Harlequin sells more than four books per second, half of them internationally
  • As of 2014, romance is the most popular literary genre in Russia, especially among the younger audience
  • 8 million people read an English-language romance novel in 2008
  • In the UK, over 20% of all fiction books sold each year are romance novels

The Many Faces of Romance Writers

Who do you picture when you think “romance writer”?

I’m guessing it’s not Karna Small Bodman.

Karna served in the White House under President Reagan for six years with a post on the National Security Council.

Today she draws on her unique background to write political thrillers.

The writers I met come from a wide range of backgrounds including people who were, or still are working as professors, nurses, administrators, home schooling parents…

People like award-winning Shirley Hailstock (pictured here on the left) didn’t start out as romance writers.

RWA 1Shirley earned her undergrad degree in chemistry from Howard University and her MBA in chemical marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

She went on to do sales analytics for a pharmaceutical company and was an adjunct professor of accounting at Rutgers.

Today Shirley is a seasoned published writer with 35 novels and novellas under her belt.

I also met a lot of attendees who are just starting out.

Fledging writers who came to learn the craft of writing romance and to make the kinds of connections it takes to get published.

Like Bernadette J. Campbell (pictured above on the right).

Bernadette had a long career working behind the scenes at a television news station in Philadelphia. She’s also a minister interested in inspirational speaking and writing for the Christian market.

One of the huge benefits of the RWA conference is the opportunity to pitch your book to representatives of major publishing houses like Avon Books and Harlequin.

Bernadette tried pitching at last year’s conference but didn’t get any takers.

Undeterred, she returned home, tightened up her story line, perfected her one-minute pitch, and returned to try again.

This year Bernadette got a bite!

Other writers I spoke with have published dozens of books. But it wasn’t always easy.

Roz Denny Fox has written 52 western-themed novels. Roz began writing while still working as a secretary. She was also raising four kids.

Starting out Roz told me that she wrote during the only spare time she had — between midnight and 3am.

(As impressive as that is, the quantity prize goes to best-selling writing phenomenon Nora Roberts with a whopping 214 books!)

RWA Sherry Thomas

Things weren’t always easy for Sherry Thomas either (that’s Sherry on the left after her hysterically funny as well as inspiring talk ).

Despite immigrating from China as a teen and struggling to learn English… despite the crushing disappointment of having to pass on a full academic scholarship to an elite graduate program at Harvard because of a pregnancy… and despite struggling for two years with post-partum depression, Sherry went on to become an acclaimed writer.

Hard work and perseverance paid off for Sherry and for the many other bestselling authors at the conference. Like the ones signing books for this long line of fans!

RWA Random House RWA line

The Riches Are in the Niches

Like I said, there are so many genres of romance I had no idea even existed.

Here I am with Shelley Shepard Gray who, along with writers like Cindy Woodsmall, specializes in Amish romance. (Who knew!?)

RWA AmishShelley is not Amish herself.

But she does live near Ohio’s Amish community so knows there’s a keen interest in the simpler lives and relationships found in Amish culture.

Not pictured here is a young woman named Emma Prince.

Emma decided to put her PhD in English literature and her passion for history to use by writing Scottish historical romance.

This is me with conference keynoter and award-winning author Beverly Jenkins. (Finally someone as short as I am !)

RWA Beverly Jenkins

Beverly is also a historical romance writer. But instead of Scots, her characters are African American.

In writing about black romance, Beverly filled a publishing niche that no one else had — or historically-speaking, was allowed to.

Beverly has helped all of her loyal readers become more aware of the historical realities of black Americans. But for black women especially, her work has been tremendously validating.

Click here for a short video of Beverly and fellow writers on a historical research trip to South Carolina. Following that video are a series of interviews with other writers.

Finally, there’s Tracey Livesay.

Lindsey

This former criminal defense attorney specializes in an even more specialized niche – multi-cultural romance.

Her latest book Love On My Mind is about the attraction between a successful African American PR executive who is secretly brought in by a corporation who needs her to finesse a reclusive computer genius (aka the “sexiest geek alive”) who is white.

Getting Started

First off, if you’ve never read a romance novel, pick a few authors you met here and read their books to get familiar with the genre.

Notice too that many of the writers featured here build on their previous careers, life experience, love of history, or personal factors to either build their storylines or choose a genre.

Ask yourself — is there something in your own background or experience you can draw from?

Next understand the basic structure of the romance novel. Writer’s Digest offers a good overview.

If you’re still interested in trying your hand at writing, by far the best way to get started is to join a local, international, or online chapter of Romance Writers of America.

This article about the Naples, Florida chapter will give you a good idea of what happens on the local level.

Best-selling writer Bronwen Evans from New Zealand also offers some helpful tips and links for people just starting out.

Will you become a best-selling writer? Who knows.

Sometimes it’s more about doing it for yourself without expectations.

At least that was the case for the first-time author I met who only started writing after her husband became paralyzed.

During the eight weeks she took off from her state job to care for him, she said writing was a way to cope.

Happily, she recently published her first book – a paranormal romance!

As with anything… the key is just to start.

Join the Changing Course Community Conversation!

I love inspiring you to be your own boss… but what I love even more is helping Y-O-U and seeing us all collectively help one another!

What about you? Have you ever thought about writing any sort of book?

If so, how has this article inspired you to launch this dream?

Are you a published author? If so, what advice can you offer others?

Even if you’re not a writer, what words of wisdom or support can you offer anyone who has a book inside of them?

Finally, how can I help you profit from your passion?

Just scroll down and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #9 in our 10-part series Make Your Own Cool Job!

“It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been” – George Eliot

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Know exactly what you love to do… but have no clue how to make money doing it?

Either way, learn more about my personal Work at What You Love career planning sessions now!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #7: Make Your Own Cool Job Series


Living the Seasonal Life With Multiple Streams of Income

Remember how Self-Bossing Idea #5 featured two talented Canadian jewelers who each in their own way, made their own  very cool jobs?

Well, today you’ll meet long-time Changing Course subscriber Liam Hughes.

Liam also happens to be a jeweler.  But there is so much MORE to his story.

What makes Liam unique is he didn’t make just one cool job. He made six!

He also lives the kind of seasonal life so many of my readers would die for.

You see, from August to May, Liam works out of his studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he crafts unique jewelry made from shards of broken antique and contemporary dishes.

antiqueedge

Dragon

He may not be looking to build an empire like Rachel Mielke, the Canadian jewelry designer and entrepreneur extraordinaire who I told you about last time.

But like any successful business owner, Liam knows that products don’t sell themselves.

So when he’s not in his studio, Liam travels to fine art and craft shows coast-to-coast.

He’s also savvy online too.

Over the years, Liam has built a loyal customer following by emailing seasonal promotions and other product updates to the people who stop by his booth.

irishbelleek

Then every June, Liam heads to the Emerald Isle to the cottage he lovingly restored in the land of his grandfather, County Tipperary, Ireland.

He turned a portion of his cottage into a guest house that includes the opportunity to book him for private tours.

Year round he hosts the Irish Fireside Podcast and Blog which is ranked among iTunes’ top travel podcasts.

More recently, Liam helped develop the Ireland Travel Kit smartphone app to help people discover and share Ireland’s unique and offbeat locations.

If that wasn’t enough, Liam produced a recording of Irish music to accompany his precious CD of jazz and American standards!

LemonTwist

A true Renaissance man!

Listen and Learn

A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Liam about his multiple profit centers.

If you missed that call, here’s your chance to listen in now.

High resolution graphic of an listen icon with head phones and notes.

You’ll hear how he changed course, from working in the IT department at a local college to pursue his multiple gifts and interests full-time and how he juggles different profit centers.

And just to be clear…

You don’t have to want to make jewelry, live and work seasonally, run a B&B, offer tours, or do ANY of the things Liam does to find his energy and belief that you really can make your own cool “job” to be positively contagious!

Plus, you’ll hear some great advice Liam offered several live callers.

Pay close attention to what he told the woman who was discouraged because she was unable to earn enough from her quilts.

What Liam told her was utterly brilliant and applies to everyone who wants to profit from their passion.

Oh, and if you happen to be that quilter – I’ve been looking for you! Call me!

Click here to listen to or download the recording.

Join the Changing Course Community Conversation!

I love inspiring you to be your own boss…but what I love even more is helping Y-O-U!

What about you? If you could live in different parts of the country — or the world — where would you love to live?

What do YOU love to do? And how can I or your fellow change seekers help you profit from your passion? We’d love to help!

So take a brief moment to hop over to the blog and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #8 in our 10-part series Make Your Own Cool Job!

“It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been” – George Eliot

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Or, do you know exactly what you love to do but have no clue how to make money doing it?

Either way, learn more about my personal Work at What You Love career planning sessions now!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #6: Make Your Own Cool Job Series

Three People Who Get Paid to Play—and How You Can Too

When Gary Auerback was growing up he loved playing Frisbee. 

He obviously got pretty good at it because in 1995 Gary won the World Frisbee Championship! 

Gary decided to parlay that big win into a way he could get paid to play.

And for the last twenty years he’s done just that.

Today, Gary, aka the Frisbee Guy, makes his living putting on fun shows at schools, summer camps, park and recreation departments, and birthday parties. 

For two 45-minute shows Gary gets $950. If he “tosses” in 300 autographed Frisbees, it’s $1,450.

But if you think Frisbees are just for kids, think again.

Companies also hire Gary to use Frisbees as part of employee team-building exercises. And more recently Gary has been doing motivational speaking.

You don’t have to win a championship to get paid to play.

Christine Gloster, from right here in my own town of South Hadley. Massachusetts describes herself as a “painter by nature.” In 2004 she decided to combine her passion for art and working with children into a business.

Today Christine is The Happy Face Painter.

 

She makes up to $125 an hour painting the faces of thousands of delighted children at local parties and events – and even as far away as the Caribbean!

Compare Gary’s $950- and Christine’s $125-an-hour gigs with how many hours you’d have to work in your typical minimum wage job to earn the same amount of money. 

And they’re having fun doing it! 

These are just two of the many ways to earn money in the event and party world. 

Hillary Saffran – who is also the Biz Mama at MyBizMama.com  knows firsthand that you really can make good money at parties and events.


A gifted speaker, ventriloquist, singer, and actor, she began her entertainment career over 26 years ago as a birthday party clown as a way to supplement her day job. 

Since then Hillary has entertained audiences from ages 2-102! 

But you don’t need to be the least bit “talented” to make money in the party and event world. 

In fact, there are dozens of non-entertainment ways you can cash in on the lucrative party and event world! 

If you missed Hillary’s recent class on 27 Ways to Cash in on Parties and Events, for a limited time you can sign up to catch the replay here.

You’ll discover fun ways you can make much more money than you could with the average part-time job – in far less time.

Among the many options Hillary shares, are options for people who love to travel, including getting gigs on cruises and selling at state fairs.

And even food, craft, and other products that fly off the shelves that you can sell at fairs and other events. 

My own brother has raked in as much as $3,000 a weekend selling kettle corn at local events – and that’s just his side gig! 

Not into parties and events? No problem. 

As a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® career coach, Hillary is also an expert in all sorts of money-making ideas. In fact, she even wrote a book on it! 

It’s called How to Earn $100 Per Hour Without a JOB.

The book sells on Amazon for just under $20 bucks. HowToEarnBookBizMama

But for a limited time Hillary is giving away free copies!

All you have to do to grab your FREE copy is go to My Biz Mama and sign up.

Gary, Christine, and Hillary prove that it’s possible to make hundreds of dollars an hour at parties and events.

Jumpstart Your New Life 

You too can get paid to play–or to do whatever you love to do–sometimes all you need is a little help!

Biz Mama to the rescue!

 

For a limited time you can sign up for one of Hillary’s free Jumpstart sessions.

Together you will…

  • Create a clear vision of what you want your work – and your life to look like
  • Uncover hidden challenges to creating the biz and life you really want
  • And leave your session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to finally achieve your dream of turning your interests into income 

And who doesn’t want that! Plus, it’s F-R-E-E!

To schedule your personal Jumpstart session with Hillary, the Biz Mama of MyBizMama.com, call 973-346-2663 and leave your name, number, and the best time to reach you.

Isn’t it time to finally figure out what YOU want to be when you grow up?

As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

Join the Changing Course Community Discussion 

I’m honored that you’re a part of this amazing community of change seekers.

I love inspiring you to be your own boss… but what I love even more is hearing from Y-O-U!

What do YOU love to do and what do you need to do today to begin to profit from your passion?

I know you’re busy… but it would mean a lot to me if you would take a brief moment to hop over to the Changing Course Fan page on Facebook and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #7 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

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


WEBINAR Cashing in on Parties and Events

FREE Webinar
Saturday June 25th
12PM Eastern

27 Ways to
Make Money at
Parties
& Events

Click Here to Register

jack russell dog as a surprise singing birthday song like karaoke with microphone wearing red tie and party hat isolated on white background

Join Profiting from Your Passion®
Career Coach Hillary Saffran and…

Discover Dozens of Fun Ways You Can
Make Much More Money in Less Time
Than You Could With a Part-Time J-o-b

See How a Fun Side Gig Can Easily
Be Turned into a Full-Time Income!

Hillary Saffran — AKA the Biz Mama — knows firsthand that you really can make good money at parties and events.

A gifted speaker, ventriloquist, singer, and actor she began her entertainment career over 26 years ago as a birthday party clown. Since then Hillary has entertained audiences from ages 2-102!

No “talent?” No problem!

You don’t need to be an entertainer to make money in the party and event world.

In fact, there are dozens of non-entertainment ways you can cash in on the lucrative party and event world!

Join Hillary and me Saturday, June 25th at noon eastern time and discover:

  • The pros and cons of working with agents and agencies
  • Types of parties you can specialize in
  • Little-known niche markets where you can cash in
  • Why you don’t need to be the least bit talented to make money in the party and event world
  • Party and event options for people who love to travel including getting gigs on cruises and selling at state fairs
  • How to create additional services to add to your bottom line
  • Painless ways you can promote yourself and/or your products or services to event planners
  • Food, craft, and other products that fly off the shelves that you can sell at fairs and other event
  • Fun ways you can make much more money than you could with the average part-time job – in far less time
  • How to make enough money from that fun side gig to turn it into your full-time income
  • And more!

bizmama logo

Biz Mama Hillary Saffran!

As a licensed Profiting from Your Passions® Career Coach and Global Career
Development Facilitator, the Palmer, Alaska-based career expert positively excels at helping people like you to discover your unique gifts and interests and then helping you turn them into a successful small business. Hillary 2

Career planning is nothing new to Hillary.

She began her career working in a personnel agency matching job seekers with jobs. From there Hillary joined a social service agency where she got to work with thousands of unemployed workers in workforce centers nationwide to obtain employment.

Today she’s turned her considerable expertise to helping people who want to be their own boss.

Whether you earn money in the lucrative party and event world or you feel called in a different direction, Hillary can empower and guide you to discover your unique gifts and monetize them so you can do what you love and love what you do!

Seats Are Limited

Bring a paper and pen and come prepared to ask questions on this LIVE Webinar!

Seats are limited and registration is required.

Click here now to register for

FREE Webinar
Saturday June 25th
12PM Eastern

27 Ways to
Make Money at
Parties
& Events


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #5: Make Your Own Cool Job Series

Lessons From a “Shark Tank” Winner and Canada’s Premier Craftsperson

You’re about to meet two people who made their own jobs.

They both make jewelry. Yet their stories are quite different.

And luckily for you, you don’t need to be a jeweler or in any way artistic to learn from these inspiring self-bosses how to make your own cool j-o-b!

Play Big

The first is an impressive young Canadian jewelry designer and entrepreneur named Rachel Mielke.

I met Rachel when I spoke at the Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan annual conference where she was being honored as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Little wonder… Rachel had successfully pitched her business on the forerunner of the CBS hit show Shark Tank, which in Canada is called the Dragon’s Den.

A year after getting that $200,000 investment, her company hit the million-dollar mark.

I had the chance to visit Rachel in her studio…. and pick up a few pieces for myself!

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from old iphone 11 27 2011 380

from old iphone 11 27 2011 381

Playing big allowed Rachel to outsource the actual making of her jewelry so she can focus on the part she loves – designing!

Clearly she’s doing something right because at 29, she’d been invited to attend a 2008 pre-Oscar Luxury Gifting Lounge in Los Angeles.

She went on to buy another more modestly-priced jewelry line to sell as a vendor on the famed Lilith tour.

And she’s even made jewelry for the Queen of England!

If you want to be self-employed, you need to understand marketing. Search for Rachel on YouTube and you’ll find countless examples of the brilliant ways this talented designer and her company continue to play big!

Get Help

Turns out Rachel didn’t just make her own job…

Instead she used her Dragon’s Den money to create jobs for other people including a head of marketing, an operations manager, and several other employees Rachel needed to scale her business.

There’s a huge lesson here for people who say they want to make six and even seven figures but then scoff at the idea of having a team.

I get it. I don’t like managing myself. But if you’re going to scale a business you can’t do it all.

In the beginning when funds are tight, you do need to be the creator, bookkeeper, administrative assistant, social media manager, head of sales, and marketer.

However, once you have some money coming in, you need to either hire people to do things that are not the best use of your time — or outsource these tasks to freelancers.

When I brought my Vision Implementation Manager Lisa on, it was the scariest financial decision I ever made. But having her on my team is what allowed my business to grow and to free me to focus on what I do best.

Position Yourself for Cool Things to Happen

Unlike Rachel, Natalie Austin didn’t start out to be an artisan. Rather she earned a degree in Folklore and Vernacular Culture.

Natalie picture

Fortunately, she comes from a long line of artists and craftspeople… so she knew it was possible to turn her creativity into her livelihood.

Today Natalie is a jeweler with a cause – converting household copper pipe used in plumbing into jewelry.

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“Every piece of material I can up-cycle is one less thing that ends up in the landfill,” she writes.  Adding, “Through jewelry design, I am making my own small daily cultural and environmental contribution.”

Natalie made another international contribution last week when she showcased her jewelry at the G-7 Summit in Japan!

Each of the seven major industrialized countries represented got to bring just one craftsperson to represent their entire country – and Natalie was Canada’s pick!

A remarkable achievement by any measure.  Astounding when you consider she only began making jewelry three years ago!

Natalie 2

She may be young, but Natalie’s advice to aspiring jewelers is deeply wise…

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: sometimes they lead to the most incredible creations.  Art is not linear; I found my niche through trial and error.  I’m not afraid to try new colors or styles – it’s the best way to grow as an artist!

It’s tempting to see Natalie as an “overnight success.”

Rather, I see hers as a story of what can happen when, like Rachel, you see yourself as both an artisan and a business owner… and then act accordingly.

You see Natalie and I met when I spoke at the Newfoundland/Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) in April.

When I congratulated her on the big G-7 news Natalie was quick to point out that there are many deserving artisans who’ve been at their craft far longer.

She’s right of course.

I couldn’t tell you why the Canadian G-7 committee chose Natalie to represent the entire country over others.

What I do know is it all began with a nomination from the team at NLOWE.

Something that would have never happened if Natalie had stayed hunkered down in her studio.

Instead she made the wise decision to take her work seriously and seek advice from a local organization dedicated to entrepreneurial success.

If you’re in the U.S., do a search for the local branch of the Small Business Development Center in your state.

In Canada, search by province. In other countries, search for “entrepreneurial counseling in [country].”

Whatever you do, starting repeat after me: If I want to work for myself, I need to start acting like someone who wants to work for myself.

Then do it.

Join the Changing Course Community Discussion

I’m honored that you’re a part of this amazing community of change seekers.

I love inspiring you to be your own boss… but what I love even more is hearing from Y-O-U!

Were you inspired, encouraged, or perhaps discouraged by Rachel’s and Natalie’s stories?

If your first thought is, but I don’t make jewelry… or I don’t want to build an empire…  then you’re missing the point.

What lessons can you take from Rachel’s or Natalie’s story and apply to make YOUR own job?

What do YOU love to do and what do you need to do today to begin to profit from your passion?

I know you’re busy… but it would mean a lot to me if you would take a brief moment to hop over to the Changing Course Fan page on Facebook and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #6 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

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

 

 


COOL BIZ IDEA #4: Make Your Own Cool Job Series

How One Woman Turned Her Dog into a $50 Million Empire

At 52, things weren’t exactly going Carol Gardner’s way.

She and her husband had invested in a high-end real estate venture. It failed.

Soon after, her nearly three-decade-long marriage failed as well.

Divorced, over $1 million in debt, and living on four credit cards, Carol was understandably depressed.

That’s when her divorce attorney gave her some advice: You need to either get a therapist or a dog. She chose the latter.

Carol got an English bulldog puppy and named her Zelda – so named because it started with the last letter in the alphabet and Carol “was hoping that what felt like the end might be the beginning.”

Zelda and CarolWith Zelda’s unconditional love, Carol began to heal. But she still had no income.

That’s when a friend told her about a local pet store that was sponsoring a Christmas card contest. The prize was a year’s worth of free dog food.

Carol sprang into action.

She borrowed a Santa hat from a neighbor, plopped Zelda into the bathtub and gave her a bubble beard.

The clever caption read: “For Christmas I got a dog for my husband… good trade, huh?”

She won! When Carol sent the winning card to her own holiday list, people raved.

Encouraged by the response, Carol decided to create her own line of 24 Zelda-inspired greeting cards with funny captions like “Go braless… it pulls the wrinkles down,” “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you get wet.”

The fact that Carol was still broke didn’t hold her back.

Instead she asked a professional photographer to work for free in exchange for getting in on the ground floor of her dream. He said yes.

Next she convinced a local printer to wait 90 days for payment.

Soon the cards were selling in gift stores across Oregon and Washington.

Six months later she’d sold a million cards.

Zelda Wisdom is now a global brand worth over $50 million in cards and merchandise including clothing, home goods, cell phone covers, jewelry, and much more.

Carol and Zelda have appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, and dozens of other national and regional media.

There are seven Zelda books in print and Carol penned a re-imagined fairy tale called Princess Zelda and the Frog.

She’s also a motivational speaker whose signature talk, “How to Go from Underdog to Top Dog (Without Barking Up the Wrong Tree)” inspires audiences to follow their own dreams.

Carol is also a believer in giving back.

Zelda went on to represent the Zelda/American Humane Association Children’s Hospital Project as part of a co-initiative to train and certify rescue dogs to provide animal-assisted therapy in children’s hospitals and give the dogs a chance at adoption.

Are you inspired? I am!

Most media coverage of Carol and Zelda describes the process much as you just read.

A divorced, depressed, in-debt woman turns her adorable English bulldog into a line of greeting cards.

Six months later she’d sold a million cards and Zelda Wisdom, Inc. would go on to become a $50 million international empire.

The Story Behind the Story

Make no mistake about it: Carol Gardner and Zelda Wisdom Inc. IS a story of rapid, massive success.

But the real – and rarely reported story – is what transpired in those critical six months from the cards coming off the printing press and into the hands of a million happy buyers.

It’s a story that’s important to tell because most people have wildly unrealistic notions about what it takes to grow a business. As a result, they give up way too soon.

As importantly, how Carol went about going from idea to such mega-success in such a short time offers valuable lessons for you.

Lessons that, like Zelda says, can help you, “Think outside your cage”!

Zelda cage

For starters, Carol drew from the many years she’d spent working as a creative director in advertising – a job that gave her plenty of experience designing ads and writing one-liners for clients.

That’s also where she met and worked with a gifted photographer named Shane Young and a seasoned public relations professional named Sandi Serling.

Pros Carol would later tap to help launch the card company in exchange for getting in on the ground floor.

I learned too that a few years earlier Carol had written a book called Bumper Sticker Wisdom in which she documented the one-liner form of messaging and interviewed the people who sported them.

Sales were underwhelming.

But Carol says the experience taught her a lot about the publishing industry.

More importantly, that book helped Carol to connect the dots between…

Her previous skills and experience writing one-liners

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Wisdom gained living through her recent tough times

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Winning a holiday card contest

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The healing love of a pup named Zelda

Idea in hand, Carol’s success began with a combination of sound business start-up practices, a willingness to shoot high, and to go all in.

She did things like write a business plan that included the lofty but clearly possible goal of being licensed by Hallmark.

She researched the industry looking for untapped angles… like creating a line of cards around a single living dog with a name and a personality, photographing on a white background, and making blank cards – all things that were not being done at the time.

And she had enough faith in her idea, her team, and herself to tap the last remaining $40,000 available on her credit card to launch the business.

Time to Get Very, Very Busy

 

Zelda ducks

Right after Halloween Carol bought 24 costumes on sale and then proceeded to photograph “around the clock.”

Cards in hand, they decided to roll the line out locally to both test the concept and presumably to generate enough sales to pay their printer.

Personally shopping cards around to hundreds of gift stores in Oregon and Washington would be tremendously time-consuming

Besides, hiring a rep would take a big bite out of a small budget.

Instead they wisely put Sandi’s PR skills and connections to work ultimately creating so much buzz in local newspapers and TV (who doesn’t love an adorable dog prancing around in a bikini) that gift stores began contacting them to place orders!

Cards were flying off the shelves.

The local test met with such success in such a short period of time that the team knew they had to take a giant leap of faith.

So they rented a pricey booth at the National Stationary Show in New York City where Zelda Wisdom would be one of fifteen-hundred small greeting card companies vying for the attention of major licensing companies.

So they came up with three ways to stand out and thus maximize their investment.

First, ahead of the show they sent a press kit to the top licensing company.

They also further splurged on a full-page ad in the show catalog (something unheard of for a small company).

With this attention-grabbing picture you can see why that ad investment paid off!

zelda why bee normal

Once at their booth they ran a continuous video feed of funny clips of Zelda on local television.

The six months of hard work, creativity, willingness to risk investing in their dream even while broke, and massive hustle paid off.

The top licensing group signed them and within a few years Zelda’s Wisdom was Hallmark’s number one-selling greeting card line.

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life

Every day you have the choice to act on your idea or your gift or to use that time in front of the TV or on social media.

At every step of the journey, Carol said yes to her dream and then took rapid, consistent action.

She began by researching and planning.

Then she reached out to people she knew, liked and trusted, and invited them to join her dream. She also had the guts to ask the printer to work on credit.

Had anyone of them declined, I have no doubt Carol would have kept asking until she found people who would said yes.

You might say Carol’s advertising experience gave her a huge advantage. And you’d be right.

However, I’ve had scores of clients with backgrounds and connections they could have easily tapped in the service of their own dream, but failed to do so.

Experience does of course help, but it’s just one of many ways to gain the confidence to pursue a dream.

Besides, the world is full of stories of complete novices with zero experience or connections who started from scratch and figured stuff out on their own.

I’m one.

If they (or I!) can do it, then my friend, so can you.
Zelda leapMichelangelo wrote, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

Every day you’re presented with an opportunity to shoot high or shoot low.

Right from the start Carol thought big by setting her sights on Hallmark –then she backed up her dream with equally bold actions.

Media coverage is one of the best ways to jumpstart a business.

Luckily, anyone can learn how to creatively tap the power of local or even national media.

The problem is most people either assume it won’t work (I know from ample personal experience that you have a far better shot than you think) or are just too lazy or scared to even try.

There is no “secret” to success. Fundamentally it comes down to the one thing available to all of us – and that’s effort.

Something Carol herself understands all too well.

In an interview on Moneypants.com, Carol was asked where money comes from. I loved her response.

Unless you win the lottery or are born with money, hard work is the best source. Following my divorce, my ex-husband’s accountant put his arm around me and told me he hoped I might find a wealthy husband. That was probably the most insulting AND most motivating thing anyone has ever said to me. The good news was that it made me mad enough to go out, work hard, and succeed.

Join the Changing Course Community

If you had to pick just one take away from Carol’s story what would it be?

How will you use it to advance your own path to self-bossing?

Share below!

Then stay tuned for Cool Biz IDEA #5 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

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

 


Check Out IDEA #3 in our NEW series Make Your Own Cool Job!

Does the idea of spending the rest of your life sitting in an office all day feel like dying a slow death?

Are you the outdoorsy type?

Or maybe just have a keen passion for the environment?

If you — or someone you know, said yes to any of these questions…

Or if you just want to hone your Business Idea Generation (B.I.G.) skills… you’ll love this next idea in our series…

In a quest toward more environmentally-friendly and natural solutions to lawn care and clearing unwanted vegetation, over the past decade a number of goat rental services have emerged.

Three young goats standing on a green meadow and looking to a ca

Goats will eat nearly any plant, including thistles, brambles and poison ivy. Like cows, goats are ruminants – meaning they have four stomachs.

Which helps explain why Tammy Dunakin named her Seattle-area company Rent-A-Ruminant.

In addition to the usual residential gigs, Tammy’s herd of 120 goats has cleaned up areas underneath urban highways, along railroad tracks, and submarine bases.

Prior to turning them loose on a location, Tammy surveys the area to be cleared and puts up an electric fence to keep them corralled.

In addition to property owners, Tammy has wisely gone after local and state government contracts.

Running the Numbers

Rent-A-Ruminant charges $750 a day for an average assignment with a three-day minimum and a set-up fee/transportation charge of $350 to $500.

calculator

If you do the math, it looks like her goats need to work 93 days a year to gross six figures.

Interested in launching your own goat rental business?

Tammy is ramping up to sell franchise opportunities.

And get this – she’s working with Amazon as part of a beta trial for their new Home Services campaign! (Who says the “little guy” can’t play with the Big Kids?!)

Do It Your Way

Of course Rent-A-Ruminant isn’t the only goat game in town. Nor is it the only business model.

Obviously, not everyone has the space to keep goats. So, find another way!

That’s what Go Green Goat did.

Their business is run out of Duxbury, Massachusetts. But their goats live 20 minutes away at Colchester Farm in nearby Plympton – described as a beautiful 8-acre organic CSA farm run by New England Village with a mission of enabling adults living with intellectual disabilities to live with dignity and work at meaningful employment.

And unlike Tammy who stays with her herd during the day, Go Goat customers receive instructions on how to feed and water the goats themselves.

When my own neighbors needed some land cleared they brought in The Goat Girls.

Black Goat Isolated On White

In addition to brush clearing, the Amherst, Massachusetts company also offers on-site training classes for current or curious goat owners.

And unlike Tammy who is emphatic that she is not in the kids’ party business, The Goat Girls are all too happy to tap an additional income stream when they see one!

Next Steps For This — And All — Ideas

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

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

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

Imagine your boss tells you to come up with a step-by-step plan for how an individual could start a goat grazing business.

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

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

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

Am I right?

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

To start:

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

– the going price of a goat and where to find them

– what it costs to care for goats

– local ordinances for keeping goats

-local farms where you might board your goats

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

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

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

– Take a class or seek free 1-1 counseling from your state’s State Business Development Center or comparable program in the province or country where you live.

– Check in to a Rent-a-Ruminant franchise.

– Read Raising Goats for Dummies (yes there is an actual book!) or check out their cheat sheet.

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

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

Stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #4 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

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

We’d Love to Hear from You!

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

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

 


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

Are you happiest when you’re in a kitchen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pie 4

pie shop 1

pie shop 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find Your Niche

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

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

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

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

Aussie Meat Pie

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

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

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

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

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

Teach What You Love

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

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

calculator

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

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

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

pie shop 2

Create Additional Streams of Income

That’s when a light bulb went off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Step for This–and ALL–Ideas

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

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

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

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

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

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

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

Am I right?

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

To start:

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

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

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

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

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

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t want to wait?

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

We’d Love to Hear from You!

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opportunity knocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Steps for This — and All — Ideas

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

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

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

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

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

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

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

Am I right?

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

To start:

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

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

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

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

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

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t want to wait?

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

We’d Love to Hear from You!

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

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

 


Sadly, We Are a Nation of Occupational Sheep

You see it every year.

Local TV news reporting on high school kids scrambling for summer jobs.

studentsWe see young people submitting applications at the mall or fast food joints.

The conclusion is always the same. Some kids find jobs. But many more come up empty.

At which point I scream at my television…

MAKE A JOB!!!

These kids could wash windows… detail cars…. fix and sell bicycles…

They could help seniors or at-home business owners solve computer glitches… babysit…

They could do lawn care… run errands…. refinish and sell discarded furniture…

They could walk neighbors’ dogs or care for their cats…

They could create an app…or teach others how to do it… tutor other kids…

They could find free stuff on Craigslist and sell it…

They could approach local businesses and offer to sweep their sidewalks or or do other odd jobs…

The point is, there are all sort of ways to make money that does not require being anyone’s employee.

Don’t these teens understand that when you work for yourself there’s a direct link between effort and earnings?

Or that in addition to making more money than they would flipping burgers and getting to learn important lessons about marketing, customer service, money management, and resiliency, they’d very likely be a lot happier too?

Look, I don’t blame these kids – or anyone – for failing to think outside-the-job box.

After all, the media diligently broadcasts the government’s monthly jobs report. But we never hear how many small businesses were launched that month.

College career centers and traditional career coaches are job-centric too.

They excel at helping people do things like write a resume, conduct a job search, and ace the interview.

But showing people ways they can build on their gifts and interests to create their own job? Clueless.

It’s really little wonder that…

We’ve become a national of occupational sheep passively waiting for someone to give us a job.

As a society we’ve somehow lost the ability to see opportunities; never mind seize them.

Somehow as a society we’ve forgotten that we really can use a gift or interest as the platform to create a livelihood.

And that’s a shame.

Because when you work for yourself, you don’t need to depend on an employer deciding how much you earn… You don’t have the hassles of commuting or workplace politics…

When you make a job, you get to be the boss of you!

It’s why for the past 21 years the Changing Course Newsletter has introduced readers to ways people have done just that.

When we first began, being self-employed was a relatively novel concept. Today it’s more common to follow your own road.

Still, there’s millions more who, just like you, yearn to escape from job jail.

That’s why, over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you a new series called…

billboard-MakeYourOwnJobSome of the ideas may draw a straight line to your own gifts or interests.

Others may simply offer a means to support your art or otherwise pay the bills so you can work when, where, and how you want.

Some of these ideas could replace your entire income.

Others may be better suited as one of multiple income streams, a part-time, or a seasonal thing you do to bring in extra cash… supplement your retirement income… or otherwise allow you to make money well outside-of-the-job box.

Some of the ideas will come in the form of full-blown articles.

Others require only a few paragraphs.

What I hope you discover is that you really can follow your own road.

And that Changing Course starts with a great idea!

So stay tuned for the new series and all the great ways you can Make Your Own #*!#& Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about scheduling a 1-1 Work at What You Love discovery and planning session.


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

I remember it like it was yesterday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To put it bluntly – he blew me off.

scott adams

I was CRUSHED!

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

“You don’t need me anyway.”

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

OF COURSE I NEEDED HIM!

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

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

And so do you.

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

However, there are important exceptions.

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

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

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

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

Belinda

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

Then one day she had her Big AHA…

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

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

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

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

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

Photographer at work with newborn baby boy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty cool right?!

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

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

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

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

BIG Corporate Connections. BIG Contracts. BIG Cash

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

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

Click here to register BigCorporateConnections.info

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

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

… And more!

Go It Alone or Get Help?

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

Others will need more guidance.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

That’s a huge mistake. Because…

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

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

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

Photographer at work with newborn baby boy

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

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

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

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

Another great example…

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

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

Employee Benefits placard isolated on white

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

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

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

Yet another example…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone Can Land a Big Contract – IF You Know How

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

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

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

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

BIG Corporate Connections. BIG Contracts. BIG Cash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Register for this free webinar at BigCorporateConnections.info

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

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

… And more!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RSVP at BigCorporateConnections.info now.


What the Lobster Man Can Teach You About Changing Course

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

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

photo of a whole red lobster isolated on white background

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

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

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

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

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

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

The first year he netted only $4,000.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe you’re not looking to make millions.

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

7 Immediately Usable Lessons from the Lobster Man

1. Pay attention

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

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

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

What About You?

Are you consistently paying attention to income generating opportunities.

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

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

Blueprint of bulb lamp. Stylized vector illustration.

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

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

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

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

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

What About You?

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

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

3. Bootstrap

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

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

He bought his initial lobster tank used.

And remember, he bartered for those initial gift lobsters!

What About You?

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

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

4. Treat your profit center like a business

From the beginning Dan regarded Lobster Gram as a business.

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

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

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

2013 media

He sent press releases and followed up with phone calls.

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

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

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

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

What About You?

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

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

5. Be realistic about the money

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

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

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

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

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

What About You?

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

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

6. Hustle then hire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What About You?

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

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

7. Do the thing that scares you

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

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

Dan went on TV anyway.

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

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

Join the club.

Everyone has fears and insecurities – no matter how experienced.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What About You?

In what ways does self-doubt hold you back?

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

The Bottom Line

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

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

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

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

If Dan can do it, so can you.


Super Simple Ways to Test Your Idea

You have a great idea for a small business. Or for a workshop or a book or a website.

Now what?

Contrary to what you might think, the next step isn’t to dive into the deep end of the pool.

After all, there’s a reason why I named my business ChangingCourse.com and not Jump-Off-a-Cliff.com.

Fear aside, jumping in without adequate information is just… well… dumb.

Especially when there are simple ways to test the waters. Here are four ways to do just that.

Do small product tests

Sometimes the thing you need to test is the idea itself.

Which is exactly what cycling enthusiast Robin Bylenga did – to great success.

When the single mother of three was laid off from her job at L’Oreal she took a job at a local bike shop.

It was there Robin got the idea to create a bike shopping experience aimed at the female market.

To test the concept, she bought $5oo of women’s biking apparel to sell at a local race.

When she turned that into $1,500 in sales Robin knew she was on to something.

Closeup of three bright colored city urban woman bikes tires row outdoors in the park

Today Robin is the owner of Pedal Chic with stores in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenville, South Carolina.

The same advice applies in other markets. For instance, want to go into import export?

Experienced importers will tell you not to invest in a cargo container full of inventory before you know how it will sell.

Instead return home with just enough to fill a couple of suitcases to test both products and price.

Take advantage of free market research

Even when you know a specific business is viable, you still need to test it in the marketplace.

And you can do it without spending a dime.

For example, in the late 70s I launched a line of humorous greeting cards.

In addition to selling locally, I got them into bookstores in New York City, San Francisco, Hartford, Conn., and Provincetown, Mass.

But before I invested thousands in printing, I created a feedback form and had friends rank each idea on a scale of 1-5.

Awesome added on top of a customer evaluation form with red pen ** Note: Shallow depth of field

Even if someone loved a given card, I always asked the question: How can I make it even better?

Social media didn’t exist back then. Today you can easily poll your Facebook pals.

You don’t have scores of available friends on or off-line to get free input. I do it all the time!

Say you want to run workshops or write a book…

Or you’re can’t decide on a domain name.

Just do what I do and turn to the person sitting next to you on a plane, train, bus, café – wherever – and ask them.

When I do this, it sounds like this:

Excuse me, can I get a quick opinion on something?

(Who doesn’t want to give their opinion! Especially when it’s quick!)

If you saw these three headlines/book titles/business names on a magazine cover or online – which would you pick/click on?

If a majority of people choose one over the other – go with it.

Work for someone else in a similar business

You could start a sports camp or launch a clothing line and figure it out as you go.

Or you could first get a job working at a sports camp or for a clothing designer.

Working in a similar business offers an invaluable insiders perspective.

Best of all, if you do decide to go out on your own, you just got paid to learn!

That’s what long time Changing Course reader Kristi Kelley did.

Here’s how Kristi says working for someone else rapidly accelerated her entrepreneurial journey:

In 2013 I quit my corporate job and went to work for a local, very well respected floral and events company here in Dallas.

I started as a contract employee helping on a “as needed” basis in their wedding and events department.

After about 3 months, I got accepted into their floral design apprentice program which was supposed to last 12 weeks.

Then after 7 weeks they said I was ready and sent me to their retail shop as a designer there.

I worked at the shop for about 9 months before I quit on good terms to start my own business.

Colorful flowers isolated on a white background

Kristi was not asked to sign a non-compete clause. However, depending on the business, you may be asked to do so.

Today Kristi is the proud owner of Stem and Style.

She’s working from home, already has several regular corporate clients, and Kristi says she couldn’t be happier!

Volunteer

A few years ago I had a chance encounter Steve Curwood.

Steve is the host of an engaging environmental news and information program called Living on Earth heard on over 300 Public Radio International (PRI) stations.

Lone Wolf howling in cold winter environment. ** Note: Slight blurriness, best at smaller sizes

(Right now they show is featuring fascinating research on when wolves howl.)

I immediately had the same question you should have when you meet someone doing something unique or interesting– namely:

What does it take to [fill in the blank]?

Obviously, in this case I wanted to know how a person goes about getting a show on PRI?

Steve’s advice was simple:

Before you try to pitch an idea, first volunteer at your local station to learn first-hand how public radio works.

This same advice holds true for many situations.

You may not be able to volunteer full time.

But you can find time to volunteer if even for a few days or weeks – enough to understand how things really work from the inside.

Testing out your idea helps you answer all sorts of burning questions – like:

  • Will it work?
  • Will people pay me for it — and if so, how much?
  • If it does work, will I like doing it?
  • If so, what will it take to get where I want to go?

So, what are you waiting for? Test!

Add Your Two Cents With the Changing Course Tribe

Your thoughts mean a lot to me.

More importantly, what you have to say can help inspire the other 27,000 change seekers who’ve received this article.

So, what did you just learn or re-learn?

What thoughts, ideas, or experiences on this topic can you share with your fellow change seekers?

What’s one way you can use what you just learned to help you change course?

We’d love to hear from you!


Steve Harvey Wants You to Quit Your Job – Here’s Why

BURBANK - APR 26: Steve Harvey at the 42nd Daytime Emmy Awards Gala at Warner Bros. Studio on April 26, 2015 in Burbank, California

Steve Harvey has a lot to teach the world about working at what you love.

He knows even more about what it takes to do it.

If you don’t know Steve Harvey he’s a stand up comedian, turned actor, turned radio host, turned day-time TV show host, turned author.

What you may not know is how passionate he is about inspiring people like you to follow your bliss.

Or why Harvey thinks you need to quit your j-o-b in order to do it.

Or the one thing he says you should definitely count on happening once you do.

Click on the video to hear Harvey’s inspiring and surprising advice

Now that you’re all pumped up to, in Harvey’s words, “live in your gift…” I have some really bad news for some of you.

Sadly, Most People Will Never Jump

If you watched the video then you know Harvey says that once you jump, your parachute probably won’t open.

In fact, he says you can count on getting pretty banged up and bloodied along the way.

But that’s okay… because, like Harvey says, you’ll live through it.

For Harvey, surviving the jump comes down to faith in God.

You don’t have to be religious to understand that jumping requires a certain “leap of faith.”

But getting to live your gift jumping is about something else too.

Something contained in Harvey’s own backstory.

He grew up in West Virginia, the youngest of five children. His dad was a coal miner who would later die of black lung disease.

After college Harvey tried different paths.

He sold insurance, delivered mail, cleaned carpets, even took a shot at becoming a professional boxer before finally finding his calling in comedy.

So Harvey jumped into the highly competitive world of standup comedy.

And just like he said, his parachute didn’t open.

In fact, Harvey was homeless – for a very long time.

After a divorce he was sending most of his meager nightclub earnings back home to support his two kids.

Things were so tight that when a couple of gigs fell through Harvey suddenly found himself forced to live out of his 1976 Ford Tempo.

Reflecting on that time in a 2013 People magazine interview Harvey said:

“It was so disheartening. A week is really the maximum you can do. This was three years! It was rock bottom. But even in my darkest days, I had faith it would turn around.”

And turn it around he did. But not right away.

Harvey continued to try to make it as a standup, all the while being homeless.

His big break came when he got the gig hosting Showtime at the Apollo.

LOS ANGELES - MAY 13: Steve Harvey is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on May 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California

From there he worked in a number of films before going on to star in a show that ran on the WB network from 1996 to 2002.

Harvey still hosts the weekday-morning radio show he began in 2000.

When he’s not being the newest face of the long-running TV gameshow Family Feud – a show that’s seen a ratings surge – Harvey is busy hosting his own day-time talk show.

Along the way, he’s racked up a pair of Emmy’s and scores of NAACP awards.

And if that weren’t enough, Harvey also wrote a best-selling dating advice book for women.

Clearly the man is a multi-talented go-getter whose faith has served him well.

At the same time though, Harvey was rewarded for that faith by being willing to make the sacrifices required to live in his gift.

He did it first by putting the welfare of his children above his own.

He did it again when he doggedly pursued his calling despite homelessness… a situation he endured for three long years.

Compare Harvey’s sacrifice with that required of another man with a dream.

“Joe” tells me he hates his job, knows he has gifts and interests, but doesn’t know how to make money doing.

Joe said he really wanted to be a part of my recent weekend long Work @ What You Love virtual workshop – but he couldn’t.

The problem?

Joe lives in the west coast so he’d have to be on the webinar at 7:30am. And as he put it, “That would suck because I like to sleep in on the weekends.”

The workshop sold out and if the evaluations are any indication… lives were changed that weekend. Sadly, Joe’s life was not one of them.

You don’t need to spend a single day living out of your car.

But are you willing to get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later to go after your dream?

Are you willing to put down the remote control and take one small step each day to take control of your life?

If not, then I suggest you do as I told Joe: Stick with your j-o-b.

What about you? Do you truly want to experience the joy of being able to “live in your gift”?

If so, then I invite you to learn from Steve Harvey’s inspiring example… and jump.

To help you make a safe landing, I created a planning guide designed to help you LOOK before you leap.

10 Steps To Escaping The Job World

It’s called the 10 Steps to Escape the Job World and Create the Life You Really Want Personal Planning Guide.

This is an invaluable resource that helps you track your dreams, identify the exact steps you need to take, and make a concrete plan for creating the kind of balanced, satisfying life (and work) you deserve.

Your 127-page Personal Planner includes all sorts of useful tools for getting your new life off the ground – a Business Plan template, a Multiple Income Stream worksheet, a worksheet outlining the 10 different places to look for support so you can put together your personal Dream Team… and much, much more…

Click here to Learn More.

 


5 Simple Ways to Avoid Choosing the Wrong Career

Do you know what you love to do?

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

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

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

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

Separating Fantasy from Reality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talk to people already doing what you love

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

Ask what a typical day is like?

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

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

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

Read “how to” books  

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

Of course, not all books are found in bookstores.

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

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

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

Take a Class

Are you a foodie?

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

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

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


Join an industry association

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

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

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



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

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

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

Hang out with people who are already doing what they love 

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

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

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

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

Remember… Small Steps Really Do Add Up

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

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

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

The key is to just begin.

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

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

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

How do I figure out what you love to do?

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

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

I have a great idea but where do I begin?

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

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

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

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

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

See what past participants had to say at WorkatWhatYouLoveWorkshop.com

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


The Biggest Regret of All May Surprise You

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

Some regrets are minor.

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

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

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

The good news?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Worry Factor

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

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

The way 102-year-old Eleanor sees it,

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

And 87-year-old James Huang agrees…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Will You Most Regret?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can’t Make the Dates?

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

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

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

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

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


Can You Have Too Many Passions?

I’m passionate about helping people think outside the job box.

One of the many great things about being your own boss is getting to pick your own title. Which of course is why I’ve been the Dreamer in Residence at Changing Course since 1995.

Another great thing about self-bossing is you can have as many titles as you want!

Guest contributor Kate Navarro Fessler has three

Transformation Catalyst, First Class Life Mentor, and Licensed Profit from Your Passions® Coach!

If you have “too many” passions, Kate’s here today with some helpful advice for so-called “scanners” everywhere.

Whether you have multiple gifts and interest or you’re still trying to find your calling, click here now to learn about a new group Kate’s running just for you.

Already know what you love to do, but need help turning it into a real business?

Then another recent guest contributor and Chief Inspirational Officer at Different Drummer Coaching, Linda Tomsho (Making Money From Your Art: Are You a “HO” or a “BO”?) has the perfect business building group for you!

The thing is there are only two spots left in Kate and Linda’s “dream teams.”

So if really want to work at what you love… then do yourself a huge favor and take a moment now to see if being a part of either the Idea Seekers or the Business Builder Dream Team is right for you.

Either way I know you’re going to love Kate’s article…

Jack or Jill of All Trades – Master of ??
More Advice for “Scanners” Everywhere

Kate Navarro Fessler

In my family, we jokingly call it “useless knowledge.”

Avoiding distractions and clear strategy for solutions in business leadership with a straight path to success choosing the right strategic plan with yellow green black and red traffic signs through a maze of highways.

You know, the kind where you can name every song and artist on the radio, or you have an encyclopedic recall of historic events. Random information that you read somewhere or something you’ve explored that most people don’t know or have deemed uninteresting.

It serves you well in Trivial Pursuit, but could you make a living from it?

I’ve always been interested in learning new things.

For example, when I discovered that I like wine, I took a sommelier class to learn about it in-depth. I didn’t want to be a sommelier – but if I wanted to get a deep understanding of wine, hanging out with professionals and learning the way they do seemed like the logical way to go!

But of course nobody really understood why I would go to all that trouble if I didn’t want to get a job doing it.

I used to think my thirst for knowledge meant there was something wrong with me.

I had a day job that a lot of people would be thrilled to have, but I was always piling on more learning and still, at my age, looking for my “true calling.”

On that journey, I discovered that I was a “Scanner” – a term first coined by Barbara Sher and which later became the focus of her groundbreaking book, Refuse to Choose: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams.

A Scanner is someone who loves to learn, to explore, to try new things.

They’re easily bored, and sometimes don’t finish what they start.

Scanners find it hard to choose one direction, fearing they’ll be bogged down in the sameness of it.

They’re curious, interested in practically everything, fascinated by life, and fascinating because of their wide range of knowledge and abilities.

Scanners thrive on change.

No wonder I couldn’t settle down into one thing!

While others might define this as a mild form of ADD, or commitment-phobia, the fact is that my brain is wired to always be seeking knowledge, new ideas, and new experiences.

If this sounds like you, take heart!

There’s nothing wrong with you either. In fact, you have a somewhat rare “disorder” of a renaissance mind.

In today’s culture of short attention spans and ever-changing fads and trends, it’s actually a big asset!

There are lots of ways to make a living if you’re a Scanner.

Instead of the “one big idea,” you’ll probably be happier with “multiple streams of income.” All that learning you’ve done, all those areas of mastery that you think are “useless knowledge” – those could be your ticket to living your ideal life.

Not sure how to do it?

  • First and foremost, give yourself permission to pursue your dreams! Next, take the advice of Barbara Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job and look for ways you can “get in the conversation.” In this case that could be as simple as finding other entrepreneurially-minded Scanners for mutual support and idea generation.
  • Think about teaching others – if you find something intriguing, chances are others will too. Of course, not everyone will want to “deep dive” like I did with a sommelier class. But most people will enjoy learning the highlights. More importantly, you’ll have a ball sharing what you know with others – and getting paid to do it!
  • Consider how your interests might play well together. Could you combine your love of baking with your passion for healthful ingredients and come up with a great new product trend (remember Mrs. Fields?). Or if you love to drive and meet new people, you could become an Uber driver.
  • Allow one path to lead to the next. For instance, while chatting with your Uber clients, you may discover trends in the kinds of questions asked or common gripes or challenges. After all, the first rule of business is, find a need and fill it!
  • Accept that there may not be one “grand passion” for you. There’s nothing wrong with a “temporary permanent commitment.” As Barbara Sher says, “If Scanners didn’t think they should limit themselves to one field, 90 percent of their problems would cease to exist.”

Most of the people I coach are Scanners, but they don’t always know it. They have a lot of ideas, but don’t believe any of them are worth much.

One of my clients had three ideas he was considering. We evaluated each one and focused on one to develop first.

Today he is well on his way to developing what I believe is actually a huge idea.

An idea that also gives him the freedom within the framework of the larger business to create different lines of products – which in turn feeds his “Scanner” personality.

If you recognize yourself as a Scanner, take the next step and get in the conversation!

What ideas do you have? Evaluate them one by one and see which feels like the right place to start.

As Barbara Sher wisely points out, “Once you know you’re a Scanner, you’re free to take your first step toward the life you’ve been longing for.”

So, what are you waiting for!

www.DaniMcDonoughPhotography.comKate Navarro Fessler is a Transformation Catalyst, First Class Life Mentor, and Licensed Profit from Your Passions® Coach.  Kate believes that everyone has a unique calling and purpose, and far more potential than they realize.  She has helped numerous individuals tap into that potential, define their own success, and create the life of their dreams.

As a former corporate wage slave, Kate understands how difficult it can be to shift from employee to entrepreneur, and works with her clients not only on the practical aspects of creating income streams “outside the job box,” but also on the mindset that accompanies successfully making that transition. 

Kate lives in Kirkland, Washington, with her husband, James, and chocolate lab, Freyja.  Discover more at her website, www.yourliferealized.com.

There are only 2 openings left in Kate’s Idea Seekers Dream Team and 2 in Linda’s Business Building Dream Team.

Claim your seat here now.


A surefire way to find your calling

Have you ever noticed how…

The happiest people in the world a) know what they love to do and b) found a way to get paid to do it.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be one of them (yet!!!) then you probably fall into one of these three categories:

1) “I have no clue about what I even love to do anymore.”

You’ve been so focused on doing work you either no longer (or never did) enjoy, that you don’t have a clue as to what it is you even love to do!

I affectionately refer to folks in this group as my “clueless” people.

I get that you’re frustrated.

But the great thing about being clueless is you’re starting with a delightfully blank page!

In fact, take out a blank page right now and label it… things I like to do. It could be helping co-workers trouble shoot problems or taking long drives.

Next make a list of your interests. Things like sports or current affairs or pop culture.

Finally, list your gifts.

These are the kind of things that come so easily to you that you probably take them for granted.

Like a gift for humor or selecting just the right wine or finding treasure where others see only trash.

As you make your list, remember, when you’re clueless, the possibilities are truly endless!

If you need a little inspiration, check out this super cool list of Unique Work Experiences in Far Away Places by Linda Tomsho. Linda is one of two Changing Course Dream Team coaches.

(You’ll meet Kate, the other Dream Team coach in just a moment.)

But first… maybe you fall into the second category…

2) “I know what I love to do. But I have no idea how I can make money doing it.”

There are SO many ways to earn good money in fascinating and untraditional ways!

You need to start paying close attention to all the different ways others have already found a way to turn your particular interest into income.

It may take time to find your right path.

But as long as you’re excited to find a way to make money outside of the job box – the fact that you already know what you love to do is a great start!

3) “I’m a scanner who has so many passions that I can’t pick one.”

I hear this one a lot!

If you identify as a “scanner” then you’re already familiar with the term first coined by career guru Barbara Sher.

Unlike “divers” who Barbara says have a laser-like focus on one thing – scanners have lots of gifts and interests!

To the clueless folks this sounds like heaven.

But being a scanner can also present certain challenges.

For one thing, you may find once you’ve mastered something you get bored and are ready to move on.

However, a far BIGGER challenge for scanners is this:

You’re so afraid that pursuing one passion will automatically mean you have to turn your back on all the other things you love to do — that you wind up doing nothing!

Sound familiar?

Any kind of fulfilling work life can be frustrating for scanners –more so if you want to be your own boss.

But the beauty of being a scanner is you get to fully embrace the freeing power of multiple streams of income!

The fact is, you really can restore old dolls and be a shyness coach and start a money-making YouTube channel… or pursue any number of things.

You just need a little help zeroing in on and then managing all of your multiple gifts and interests in a way that makes you happy.

Barbara’s book Refuse to Choose is a great place to start.

But if you need more…

Help for Idea Seekers Who Want to Work At What They Love

dots-5Regardless of what category you’re in, it all comes down to being able to connect the dots between what you love to do and how you can make money doing it.

If you’ve been struggling to figure it out on your own for years… or decades… and have nothing to show for it, you’re certainly not alone.

That’s why I’ve put together a solution that will work whether you’re a stay-at-home parent, a frustrated cubicle dweller, or a soon-to-be or recent retiree just starting on the track to self-employment.

For an extremely limited time, you have the chance to be a part of an intimate yet highly-focused group created specifically for Idea Seekers like you.

Think of it as a combination workshop and support group guided by an expert in how to find and profit from your passion.

A group where you’ll gain exactly the kind of personal insight and tools to…

  • Show you how to tap into long-buried gifts and interests… the things you were born to do!
  • Overcome “scanner paralysis” so you can pursue some or all of your unique gifts!
  • See income-generating opportunities just waiting to be tapped
  • Identify the roadblocks holding you back… so you can actually live the life you always wanted
  • Create a manageable plan of action for launching your dream – yes, even if you’re a scanner

The group is being led by one of my licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coaches, Kate Fessler.

Kate-FesslerAs an escapee from the corporate world herself, Kate specializes in helping people who are similarly disaffected by the demands and diminishing rewards of their current situation to reconnect with their passions.

To help you clearly define the life you want to live… to step away from the herd of those who think there’s no other way… and to realize your potential to make a living doing something (or multiple things) they love.

And now Kate can help you too.

We’re intentionally keeping this group super small.

That way you can get lots of personalized attention and ideas from your coach.

There are only 4 spots left.

And when you join in the next 48 hours you’ll also receive a FREE downloadable copy of a resource that’s already helped countless people around the world.

TrueCallingeBookIt’s called It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Calling.

Others pay $19.95 for their copy.

But it’s yours free when you join a Dream Team on or before Sunday September 13th

If you really want to work at what you love, then do yourself a huge favor and take a moment now to see if being a part of the Idea Seekers Dream Team is right for you.

If you have a powerful desire to own your life and time… if you want both flexibility and money…

And if you want to do work you enjoy – with only 4 spots left, I urge you not to miss this chance.

P.S. Whatever small step you take in the service of your dream, remember the wise words of former Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham…

“To love what you do and feel that it matters –
how could anything be more fun?”

There are only 4 seats left in licensed Profiting From Your Passions® Kate Fessler’s Idea Seekers Dream Team.

Claim your seat here now.

Join on or before Sunday September 13th and get a FREE copy of It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Calling!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take the Quiz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No one wants that.

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

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


Think BIG… No (BIGGER)!!!

The get rich quick types HATE what I’m about to tell you. But in good conscious, I have to…

Everyone who has achieved a dream struggled along the way. And that includes me.

After I left my corporate job there were definitely lean times.


Times I had to borrow money from a friend to get my computer fixed…

Times when sales were barely trickling in and clients were scarce…

Times when I’d draft plan after plan… only to not follow through…

The major turning point for me was when I joined a “mastermind” group – or what I now to think of as a “dream team.”

The original term comes from Napoleon Hill’s now classic Think and Grow Rich – a book he wrote during the depths of the Great Recession.

In it he describes a mastermind as, “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

Hill expanded on the topic in a series of television shows he filmed in the 1960s explaining,

It is the principle through which you may borrow and use the education, the experience, the influence and perhaps the capital of other people in carrying out your own plans in life.

It is the principle through which you can accomplish in one year more than you could accomplish without it in a lifetime if you depended entirely on your efforts for success

Over the past six months, Changing Course has hosted two Dream Teams.

It was a chance for people to draw on the collective wisdom and experience of other like-minded souls in order to finally, “follow through with both plan and purpose.”

After watching the growth of these members I’m able to make an even bolder claim than Hill’s one year promise.

Quite simply…

When You Join a Dream Team,
You Will Get More Done in Six Months
Than Most People Do in Six Years


And we’ve got the Success Stories to prove it!


Plus, many support groups are left to figure things out on their own.

But these Dream Teams are led by a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach.

Coaches who will guide you to think BIGGER!!!

Not just about discovering your calling or about starting or growing a business… but thinking BIGGER about your LIFE!

Two new groups are starting soon.

And since we’re intentionally keeping these groups small, I have no choice but to limit seats 6-8 people.

To see how a Dream Team can help you get more done in six months than most people do in six years — click here now.

This is your time to think BIGGER… then back it up with action.


The Myth of the Starving Artist

artbrushes

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

Artists are routinely discouraged from pursuing their passion into adulthood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest article by Linda Tomsho

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you a HO or a BO?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Don’t quit your day job (yet)

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

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

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

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

3) Always be looking for multiple income streams

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

Use your imagination!

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

4) Create your personal brand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


14 Ways to Craft a New International Career

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

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

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

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

  1. International Living magazine

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

  2. Incomes Abroad

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

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

  3. International Career Coach Dominika Miernik

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Article

9 Ways to Launch Your International Career

by Dominika Miernik

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

What about you?

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

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

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

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

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

  1.  Plan, Plan, Plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Do your research

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

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

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

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

  1. 3 Get visible and make contacts

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

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

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

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

  1. Expat yourself as an international assignee

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

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

  1. Become an entrepreneurial expat

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

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

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

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

  1. Dive in

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Get support

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Visualize

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Two More Resources to Help You Launch Your International Life

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

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

  1. Global Volunteers
     
    Volunteer vacations are a great way to immerse yourself in another country while helping with local projects.Enter Global Volunteers which organizes one- to three-week volunteer opportunities in Asia (China, India, Vietnam), Europe (Italy, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Romania), North America (Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, St. Lucia, US), South America (Peru and Ecuador), and the Pacific (Cook Islands).

    Volunteer vacations in North America are on the Blackfeet Nation and Crow reservations in Montana.

    Examples of volunteer activities include teaching English at a center for visually-impaired students in Vietnam, joining local efforts to promote girls education or assist with recycling in order to promote eco-tourism in Costa Rica, teaching conversational English in Cuba and Italy, working with at-risk or disabled youth in Greece, and many more.

    You can spend another vacation in a tourist trap. Or you can sign up to make a real difference in someone’s life… yours. All fees, including airfare, are tax deductible for U.S. citizens.

  2. Idealist.org

    Idealist.org helps you turn your values into your vocation by connecting people who want to do good (idealists) with opportunities for action and collaboration. It has a searchable database of over 100,000 non-profits where you’ll find job postings, volunteer opportunities, internships, events, and more.Site can be accessed in Spanish or French.

Keep the international conversation going! If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be — and why? If you’re not on Facebook just scroll to the bottom of the page to post your answer there.

 


A Foolproof Way to Make a Tough Decision

Which of these tough calls have you had to make:

Pretty young woman making a decision with arrows and question mark above her head

  • Take the job… or decline and hope for something better
  • Quit a toxic job… or stick it out and pray things gets better
  • Sign up for that great conference or the workshop… or pass this time and hope it comes around again
  • Relocate to a new home or community or country… or stay put

We all need to make major decisions regarding our work lives.

Two years ago I had to make a major work-life decision that had me twirling in circles.

You see most people (including ME) would rather not have to make decisions at all. Decisions make our head hurt.

After all, what if we make the wrong choice? That would really suck!

So instead we try to ignore whatever it is that prompted the need to decide in the first place and hope the whole issue/problem/opportunity just quietly goes away on its own.

Of course the obvious problem with this approach is No Decision = Status Quo.

But as my friend and massively successful business coach Suzanne Evans points out, there’s a far more serious consequence, namely:

“Indecision is a form of self-abuse”

Like I said, two years ago I had to make a tough decision when I was presented with an unexpected opportunity to buy a great house 20 miles south of the great house I already lived in.

I really wasn’t looking to make a move.

And with two major projects in the works, it couldn’t have been a worse time to juggle trying to sell one house and buy another.

All that packing and unpacking… Dealing with renovations at the old house… dealing with renovations at the new house… Time away from my business…

Still though, there was something calling me about this new place.

I loved the view… the closer proximity to the airport… the view… the fact that the house came with an attached apartment… the view… the beautiful neighborhood… the view

And did I mention the view 🙂

True, this new view was incredible. But then again, I really loved this peaceful meadow view from my current home.

meadowview

I was SO torn!

That’s when I remembered…

If You’re Having A Hard Time Deciding It’s Because Your Heart Is At War With Your Head

heartAll my head could think about was all the work I faced buying and selling a home.

My head reminded me of everything else I had on my plate right now.

When my heart would try to intervene my head would drown it out.  “There will be other houses with nice views Valerie…” And “You can always move when the timing is better.”

Still I felt called to this new home.

The best thing to do was just not think about it at all. Problem solved.

That’s when I realized by ignoring the decision I had in fact made a choice.

By not consciously deciding one way or the other, I was choosing to stay exactly where I was. And that didn’t feel great either.

Like I said, I’m not a fan of self-abuse. So instead I employed a technique I’ve used many times with my own clients who were struggling with indecision.

It’s remarkably simple, and virtually foolproof.

Flip a Coin – Seriously

A hand holding a quarter just about to flip a coin.

To some the suggestion that a flip of the coin should determine the outcome of a major life decision may sound… well, flip.

But I assure you it works. Prove it to yourself. To start think of a decision you need to make. Then…

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Take three really slow, deep breaths
  3. Now focus your emotional attention on all the reasons  you should say no.. Picture the downsides… imagine all the nagging “what-ifs” involving money, fear of failure, fear of success actually happening…
  4. Next focus your emotional attention on the part that excites you… the opportunities it presents… all the things you find so appealing about saying yes…
  5. Imagine how you will feel tomorrow if you say Yes
  6. Next imagine how you will feel tomorrow if you say No
  7. Then picture your life a year from now if you had said Yes
  8. Next picture your life a year from now if you had said No
  9. Open your eyes and flip a coin – heads is Yes; tails is No.
  10. Finally take one more deep breath and tune into your reaction

This last step is critical.

Because no matter how your coin flip turns out I guarantee you are going to have one of two reactions.

Do You Feel Relief? Or Do You Feel Disappointment?

 leapforjoydisappointed

If you feel relieved, then you know for certain in your heart of hearts what’s right for you.

If you feel disappointed, then chances are your head is getting in way.

Disappointment is a signal that you’re allowing fear, self-doubt, and other needless dream busters to rule your life.

No matter what the outcome, keep this in mind:

If you still decide to say No – ask yourself: “Am I okay with wherever I am today being where I am in a month… or a year… or five years… or possibly for the rest of my life?”

The choice my friend is yours.

Either way flip a coin and then follow your heart. It’s always worked for me.

By the way this is the fabulous new view I enjoy from my new house…

newview

I’m half an hour closer to the airport. Plus I renovated the attached apartment and it now generates anywhere from $1,600-$2,400 a month in passive income.

Bliss + Convenience + Cha-Ching!

Shameless Plug

Right this moment, a few of you are trying to make the exciting decision to join a wonderfully international Tribe of like-minded “idea people” for my upcoming Profiting From Your Passions® coach training.

If the answer to the coin flip exercise is YES, consider this a gentle reminder that the Early Bird discount ends today.

If want to change your life and save money, I urge you to register by midnight TONIGHT before the $500 savings plus the other valuable bonuses end.


Is Fear Killing Your Dream?

Comic high angle portrait of a middle-aged businessman with a scThe closer you come to leaving the security of your 9-to-5 job to do your own thing, the greater your level of excitement… and fear.

Anyone who has ever ventured out of their safe little world will tell you they had doubts. Me included.

The thing is, when it comes to making a major life change, not only is a certain amount of fear normal, it’s actually helpful.

After all, there is a reason I named my business ChangingCourse.com and not Jump-off-a-Cliff.com.

The healthy part of fear is what will keep you from quitting your job in a huff before you’ve put some other things in place.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with fear before it permanently derails your dream of changing course.

Take it S-L-O-W

If you already have a business idea, the best way to manage the fear of venturing out on your own is to start small.

If the thought of just up and quitting your day job frightens you, start building your client base on the side.

Small rapid experiments are better than one huge step.

For instance, instead of dropping six figures on a franchise, you could get a job working for that, or a similar, business to see how you like it.

Or instead of buying a bed and breakfast, try becoming a bed and breakfast sitter.

Begin with low-risk steps and gradually work your way up to the harder stuff.

Laugh in the Face of Fear

Asian woman pointing and laughing at you, closeup portrait.Did I tell you I’m closing my Changing Course business to take a senior level position at a toxic chemical company in New York City? The job pays half what I earn now and requires a horrendous three hour commute.

Do you believe me? Of course not.

The reason you don’t is because the mind rejects that which it considers absurd.

Which makes ridiculing your fears a highly effective technique for managing them. That way, you allow your natural human reaction to absurdity to take over and dismiss them.

Try it yourself. Pick your biggest fear and take it to extremes.

Paralyzed by the fear of failure?

Then picture everyone you ever knew standing outside the homeless shelter you are now forced to live in, holding a sign that reads: “We Told You So!”

Pretty ridiculous, right?

When you realize that your worst-case fantasy is just that − a fantasy – making a proactive change can now feel far more manageable.

Calculate the Risk-Reward

Fear of the unknown keeps far too many people miserably locked in job jail.

It’s why my mantra for the last 20 years has been, information will set you free.

After all, the more you know going into something, the less there is to fear.

At least that’s what the 854+ people who signed up for my recent information-packed Paid to Brainstorm webinar discovered.

The vast majority were there because they were curious about becoming a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® Business Idea Generator.

ineedidea

What they discovered is the program hands “idea people” like them, a proven system to they can use to help future paying clients to connect the dots between:

  1. What they want their life to look
  2. The things they love to do
  3. And ways they can make money doing it.

Still, I know that training for this – or any new career – can trigger another fear: “What if I make the wrong choice?”

I totally get it.

Over the years I’ve had plenty of clients who’ve spent tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on their education only to realize they hate being a nurse, engineer, college professor, electrician….

Not so with my training.

For starters, considering everything you get with the Profiting From Your Passions® program, the cost to attend is surprisingly low. (And it’s even lower if you register soon.)

Still, let’s say you take the course and then decide you’d rather write children’s books and then make money helping others do the same like former student and friend Beau Blackwell did.

skyladderThen the worst case scenario is you’ll have mastered a system to instantly recognize income-generating opportunities – a skill you will use quite literally for the rest of their life.

If you missed the Paid to Brainstorm webinar, you can watch the Replay here.

Just go to  http://PaidToBrainstorm.com/webinar now.

Don’t wait long though, because the webinar replay is only available for another two days.

Also, for a very limited time, is your chance to save an additional $250 on the cost of registering for the upcoming Profiting From Your Passions® coach training.

Combine that savings with the Early Bird discount that ends Monday, July 20th and your total savings is $500.

VY-500

I don’t know about you, but as worse case scenarios go, learning how to turn your interests into income — seems like a pretty low risk for an exceedingly high reward!

The Best Solution of All

Several people who were on the webinar wanted to know the same thing:

How do I get over the fear of starting something new?

If you have the same question I’ll tell you what I told them:

Stop trying. Seriously.

With any change – even positive changes like a new job, relocating, starting a business – you should expect a certain amount of fear to just go with the territory.

So if you’re waiting until you’re no longer afraid to pursue this or any dream — nothing will ever change.

And do you really want look back on your life with a lot of regretful “what ifs…”?

Instead of worrying about the unknown risks, change the question from, “What will happen if I take this leap?” to “What will happen if I do nothing?”

Let’s face it – no matter what your dream – shaking up your life is scary.

As Tom Peters said, “Unless you walk out into the unknown, the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.”

Remember, courage is not a matter of losing your fear so you can take action; courage comes from taking action. And that, in turn, helps you overcome your fear.

When you can act despite your fear, you will be rewarded many times over.

Life is short my friend. The thing you should be most afraid of, is doing nothing.


Most People Never Even THINK of This

lightbulbRight now 26,584 people subscribe to the Changing Course newsletter.

That alone tells me you probably want to find a way to be your own boss.

That might mean starting a business that can generate enough income to replace your current salary.

Or maybe you just want to supplement your retirement earnings or otherwise start a little side gig.

There’s just one little problem… you need a great idea!

Surprisingly most people fail to see the vast array of opportunities hiding in plain sight.

In fact, all you need to do is follow the trends!

  • Millennials are driving cars far less often than previous generations
  • More women are traveling internationally their own
  • Aging baby boomers… the so-called “silver tsunami”

Whenever something is increasing or decreasing in significant observable ways… you’ve got yourself a trend.

A trend that, IF you pay attention, can lead to an opportunity to make money doing what you love!

Here are three examples to get your wheels turning and kick your transition into self-bossing into high gear!

Trend #1 Rise in tainted imports

In a world where 3-year-olds play video games on their parent’s devices, it seems unlikely that the simple wooden toys of my youth would make a come-back.

But then a few years ago millions of toys manufactured in China were recalled due to lead paint and other dangerous chemicals.

Couple that crisis with the growing trend about product safety and voila!

Opportunity Knocks

planeAccording to an article in the New York Times, home-based wooden toy makers like Ron Voake of Vermont Wooden Toys can barely keep up and are hiring extra employees. “Every time there was a story about a recall,” said the 61-year-old Voake, “I got flooded with orders.”

Trend #2 Increasing Interest in All-Natural Products

Even when a product is considered safe, an increasing number of consumers are gravitating to organic and all-natural products.

Opportunity Knocks

Canadian parents and grandparents seeking all natural products can shop online at a family-business called by Nature.ca.

Started in 2004 by mother of three and long-time cloth diaper advocate Tamara Champion, the site sells a wide range of products like organic baby skin care line, cloth diapers… and wooden toys!

A big attraction for those who create or re-sell natural products is consumers will pay a premium for them.

auntieelsielogoI recently dropped $6 on a small package of Aunt Elsie’s Cookies at my local farmer’s market.

I did it despite my working class sensibilities saying, “Six bucks! Are you nuts?!”

So why did I buy? Because…

a) I like to support local entrepreneurs

b) I prefer all-natural, non-processed foods

c) They were a gift for my Dad,

d) I was really hungry… so sorry Dad

When I asked Aunt Elsie why she decided to start her business, her answer spoke directly to another trend… and opportunity!

Trend #3 People who want to do work that pays the bills… and feeds their soul

On Saturday I’m doing a live encore of an information-packed webinar for “idea people” called Paid to Brainstorm.

There’s a section of the webinar titled:


“Why Helping People Think Outside the Job Box Is the Next BIG Wave”

How can I make such a bold claim?

Because of the sheer number of trends that support it. Like the fact that:

  • half of survey respondents rated having a job they enjoy as “extremely important.”

  • 57 percent of Canadian women said they dream of launching a business doing “something they love.” (Bank of Montreal)

  • baby boomers aged 55 to 64 represent the most significant spike in people starting their own businesses in the US and Canada

There are SO many trends to support this claim that I put them all together in a handy free fact sheet www.PaidToBrainstorm.com/fact-sheet.

lightbulb

Trends can definitely stimulate a cool business idea. But they serve another purpose too.

Trends offer hope.

Hope that because researchers have proved that the marketplace is hungry for more funny dog videos… or are willing to spend more for natural products… or evidence that supports a need wherever your passion lies…

Then your dream of being your own boss really is achievable.

This hopefulness was clear from people who heard my talk on Wednesday

At the end of the presentation I asked people how they felt about their ability to use their creative mind to generate income.

Here’s just a small sampling of what your fellow change seekers said…

Tina – Inspired
Deborah – Confirmed
Kenny – Excited
Tina – Inspired
Clarissa – Curious and Hopeful
Butch – Courage
Deborah – Confirmed
Dori – Excited
Jennifer – Intrigued
Henry – JOY
Deana – Freedom
Gigi – Encouraged
Marsha – Validated-finally
Shaun – Not feeling flighty
Nicki – AUTHENTIC!!!!!!!!!!!
Rosalyn – Freedom
Henry – Fulfillment
Lynda – Transformation!

So if you want to find your great idea – and feel hopeful about being able to make it happen then get yourself a small note book and label it Trends = Ideas= Hope.

Then actively be on the look-out for the thousands of trends that can be the catalyst to your own brilliant small business idea – and life!

If what you read in the fact sheet spoke to you and you…

  • Are a creative problem solver who instinctively jumps in to help others  

  • Are always turning other people on to resources they never knew existed  

  • Constantly think up potential business ideas  

  • Love thinking creatively and “outside of the box” 

Then there’s still time to join me this Saturday, July 11th from noon-2PM ET for my LIVE Paid to Brainstorm encore.

That’s where I’ll personally share with you key elements of my proven system for connecting the dots between what you love to do… and how you can make money doing it.

This informational live session is FREE. Once you attend, check your email for a gift… just for showing up!

Share Your Ideas

Do you have a business idea based on a trend? Know about some trends that can help a fellow dreamer?

Share your ideas and stories below.


Avoid This Dream Crusher At All Costs

make your dreams come true - motivational slogan on a napkin witThis is a cautionary tale.

One that if heeded, will definitely help you to go from talking (and talking and talking and talking…) about being your own boss… to actually having your dream life.

Like many cautionary tales, this one starts with an encouraging one… and some advice.

The advice part is this: If you’re still looking for a money-making idea, you may not need to look any further than your own circle of family and friends.

In Kristen Bassick’s case that inspiration was her children – or little “sprouts” as she likes to call them.

Kristen wanted to find a natural way to treat her kid’s persistent dry skin.

After throwing away money at products that didn’t work her husband urged her to start her own line of all natural kid’s skin care products

stuff4sproutsToday Kristen is the proud owner of Stuff 4 Sprouts. Her company motto is to produce products with “Nothing weird. Nothing gross. Just good stuff for dry skin.”

I am particularly proud of Kristen because she attended one of my Work at What You Love workshops.

Take a moment to read this letter I received from Kristen and see what jumps out at you:

When I came to the seminar I was unhappy with my “job” and with an idea for a new business venture. 

But I was terrified by the idea of building a “business” with employees, and a building, and a manufacturing site…and all that stuff that just seemed like more than I wanted to take on.

Sitting there listening to all of the stories of micro-business owners, who didn’t have a “job” and didn’t have what I had initially thought that a “business” would need to be, opened my eyes to what was possible.

I launched my company after two years of putting all of the pieces into place.

Manufacturing is outsourced, distribution will be soon.  I work from my home office, available for all of the things in my actual life that demand my presence.

I was lucky to be on the receiving end of a well-timed downsizing/ severance at my corporate job and now have the chance to move
Stuff for Sprouts to the next level. Life is good and my new jobless job is so completely cool I just had to share!

Got “Grass Is Greener” Syndrome?

grassisgreenerThere’s nothing safer than staying miserably where you are.

And, one of the best ways to play it safe is to come up with a litany of excuses about why dream making is always “easier” for the next person.

I call it the “Grass is Always Greener” Syndrome.

For instance, did you zero in on the line about Kristen’s well-timed severance package and thought…

“Hey, I could start my own business too if I had money coming in from a severance package!”

If so, did you also see the line about spending two years putting all the pieces into place?

I’ve worked with my share of desperate people who received a full year – sometimes two – of unemployment checks.

They had income and they had all the time in the world to find and launch a business idea.

But instead they waited until they had just one month of severance pay to act.

Money-In-Glass-jarThen they called me in full out panic to schedule a Find My Perfect Business session, terrified they were going to have to find another mind-numbing j-o-b.

There are plenty of other people out there with either the time or the money to start their own thing.

But because they are too afraid… or they lack confidence… or they don’t know where to begin, or all of the above, they do nothing.

Kristen did something. And so can you.

As the American judge who served as the first United States Secretary of Education Shirley Hufstedler once said, “If you play it safe in life, you’ve decided that you don’t want to grow anymore.

If you are tired of coming up with reasons why you can’t leave your safe but ultimately soul-sucking job then do something about it.

When you finally do get the entrepreneurial ball rolling, you’ll find it’s hard to stop.

Besides, as Hufstedler put it, “Security is not the meaning of my life. Great opportunities are worth the risks.

Tomorrow I’m offering a free informational Webinar called Paid to Brainstorm: Why Helping People Think Outside the Job Box is the Next Big Wave.

If you…

  • Are you a creative problem solver who instinctively jumps in to help others?
  • Are you always turning other people on to resources they never knew existed?
  • Do you constantly think up potential business ideas?
  • Do you love thinking creatively and “outside of the box”?


If you answered YES to any of these questions, I urge you to join me and the 430 people (and counting) who have already registered.

The webinar is free, but you do need to register. Then look for an email about your free gift just for showing up!

Your Story Matters

Is the “Grass Is Always Greener” Syndrome undermining your dream? If so, how? Share your story in the comments below!


Still Searching for the Perfect
Business Idea? How to Brainstorm
Your Way Out of Job Jail

manwithlightbulbAnyone who knows me knows, I LOVE brainstorming cool business ideas.

And with next week’s informational webinar on How to Get Paid to Brainstorm fast approaching, I’m even more obsessed than normal with the topic.

In fact, as soon as the webinar hit 200 sign ups, I knew I had to make July unofficial Business Idea Brainstorming Month!

So in celebration of both that – and Independence Day here in the US – I figure it’s the perfect time to gather with friends and family to help you gain your own independence from job jail!

The Power of Brainstorming and Why Two Minds (Or Three or Ten!) Are Better Than One 

The whole concept of brainstorming has been around for so long, it may just seem like common sense.

In fact, the notion of gathering people together to encourage them to come up with wild and crazy ideas was actually invented by an advertising executive back in the 1950s!

Fortunately, today brainstorming is used everywhere as a powerful solution finding tool for groups and individuals.

And for anyone seeking the perfect business idea, brainstorming definitely has benefits. That’s because brainstorming:

  • leverages the brainpower of every participant, each bringing their own unique experiences to the group
  • shakes up our accustomed ways of thinking and clears the way for new ideas that otherwise might never see the light of day
  • allows group members to shed their usual inhibitions, communicate freely, and generate off-the-wall, innovative ideas 

Added bonus: Researchers find that fast and varied thinking causes people to experience elevated mood and energy levels.

In plain English: Brainstorming actually makes you happy too!

10 Ways to Have Productive – and Fun – Business Idea Brainstorming Session 

ineedidea1) Appoint a facilitator. As fun as brainstorming can be… some people can get pretty excited or (defensive) about their business ideas.

This first tip is optional. But still it never hurts to have a neutral facilitator whose job is to keep the idea generation moving and on topic.

2) Establish a time frame and stick to it. People can only stay focused for so long, so limit sessions to no more than an hour. Remember, shorter is better!

3) Begin with a specific outcome in mind. Instead of trying to find answers to the question: “How can I make a living without a job-job?” focus on a specific outcome like, “How can I turn my passion for [fill in the blank] into income?” Doing so will save time, keep people focused, and yield more useful ideas.

4) Set an idea target. I once participated in a brainstorming exercise where one group was told to list as many birds as they could. The other group was instructed to list 30 birds. The group without a target stopped at around 18. But the group who was given a numerical target met and exceeded their goal.

The lesson for aspiring escape artists: Be even more specific by asking the group to come up with 20 ways you could paid to write, make art, serve others, or whatever your passion.

5) Combine group and individual brainstorming: Studies have shown that combining the two is far more effective at generating ideas than group brainstorming alone.

That’s because allowing time for people to think and learn about the topic on their own before the session begins produces better results.

6) One person speaks at a time. When you have a great idea it can be hard to contain yourself.

But when people talk over each other, a great idea can get missed! So breath and remember that everyone will get their turn to talk.

7) No judgments! Okay so maybe you’re pretty confident you’re not going to be invited to be a pitcher in the major leagues. So what? The whole idea of brainstorming is to make people feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, no matter how weird or unlikely.

The more accepting the group, the better the ideas will flow. Too much judgment and analysis at this stage kills creativity.

8) Encourage off-the-wall ideas. Those crazy ideas are where creative quantum leaps come from. They’re the true expression of where our imaginations take us before we start nitpicking.

And big ideas that seem impossible at first may lead eventually to revolutionary new thoughts.

9) Build on other people’s ideas. Be positive and encouraging. Say “Yes, and…” not “Yes, but…”

So instead of “Yes, but you’ll need a lot of money to open a B&B…” or “Yes, but you don’t have space for an art studio…” or “Yes, but don’t have any coaching experience…”

You want to say, “Yes, and I’m sure we can figure out a way to fund your dream… find a space… help you gain experience.”

10) Quantity over quality. Nobel Prize winning scientist and humanitarian Linus Pauling got it right when he said,The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”-

The whole point of brainstorming is to generate as many new ideas as possible and crank them out quickly. You can sort them out at the end of the session and build on the best ones.

Opportunity Knocks  

lightbulbAnd if in the process of your brainstorming session you discover you…

  • love thinking outside the job box
  • are constantly coming up with neat business ideas
  • are forever turning other people on to cool resources…

Then I encourage you to join me and hundreds of your fellow “idea people” from around the globe to discover how you too can get paid to do what comes naturally!

To learn more and register for this free webinar go to Paid to Brainstorm.


Got Courage?

Excerpt from the forthcoming book Redesigning Your Life.

pf_1“What would life be if we did not have the courage to attempt anything?” ~Vincent van Gogh

Picture this: You’re sitting on your couch, gazing out at the night sky, enjoying a nice cup of chamomile tea.  Your mind is wandering, you are daydreaming. (Yes, at night!)

Your thoughts turn to something you’ve always wanted to do.

Skydiving, perhaps? Moving to Bali? Becoming a freelancer or starting your own business?  Writing a blog about the meaning of life or your political views or about your adventures with cooking traditional Chinese dishes? You think: “It’s time to do something about this.  What am I waiting for?  I’m going to put together a plan right now and start letting people know that I’m finally doing it!” You feel excitement.  Super-strong motivation.  This is fun!

Then suddenly it strikes!

And you know it has, because your stomach feels twisty, your chest is tight, your palms are sweating.  Your motivation level drops to an all-time low! You are suddenly overcome by…

Fear!

Fear of the unknown, fear of being hurt, fear of being criticized, fear of exposing yourself. Fear of being vulnerable.  I looked up the definition of fear this morning, and this is what I found:

  1. noun: an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
  2. verb: to be uneasy or apprehensive about.
  3. reality: something that holds us back from doing the things we really want to do; often unhealthy and stressful; a great big annoyance.

(Okay, I made up definition #3! But it’s true, isn’t it?) Fear is an insidious thing.  It comes in all shapes and sizes, and often disguises itself as logic or high standards.  We think: “Oh, it doesn’t make sense to leave a job with benefits behind. That would be foolish.” Or: “I just wouldn’t be able to do it justice. I would need a lot more practice first, and where would I find the time?” Or, we feel it wouldn’t be fair to “others.”  It would be inconvenient for them.  So we shelve our plans till the time is right.

We all feel the fear at times. 

It’s a more or less natural part of being human; the survival instinct is a strong one.  If we feel in danger, our natural inclination is to back away slowly and then run to safety as fast as we can!

But what’s the real danger here?

Who is most likely to be hurt if we do not pursue our dreams?  The first and most obvious answer is: we are.  Be it a dull ache or a sharp pain, conscious or not, we will carry it with us throughout our lifetime.  That’s how unrealized potential feels.

Yuck!

Beyond ourselves though, there’s a cast of thousands who will also feel the hurt.  Aware of it or not, they’re waiting for us to share our gifts with them. Whether our gift is teaching or healing or crafting or building or inventing or guiding or inspiring.  Or dancing or playing baseball, building a new social media platform, or horse breeding. Whatever your gifts, there is someone out there who needs them. Just as we need the gifts of others.

Consider the curious case of Vincent van Gogh.

vangoghAlthough he struggled personally and financially in his lifetime, his collective works changed the world forever.  His legacy of beauty and inspiration is incalculable.

But he didn’t go instantly from thoughts of becoming a painter to being a one-of-a-kind artistic genius.  Vincent had fears and obstacles, the disapproval of his father, and trouble putting enough money together for his paints.

He was not the most socially adept person on the planet, and this led him to painful relationship issues.

So, how did he capture the world and reflect it back so uniquely?

He practiced.

He experimented.

He failed.

He learned from his failures.

He questioned his abilities. He feared he would never achieve what he had set out to do.

Yet, he kept trying.

He found a support partner and sponsor in his brother Theo.

He actively studied the masters, including his contemporaries.

He followed his passion.

He moved to Paris, the hub of his artistic universe, then followed the light to Provence.

He spent a great deal of time in nature.

Most importantly?

He didn’t wait!

Vincent van Gogh died at the age of 37.

It’s hard to imagine a world without his Starry Night or Sunflowers.

What if he had waited?

You may be thinking: “Hey, he was a genius, he was born that way.  Not everyone can do something like that.”  But you know what?  You have your own unique genius. You have something in you that no one else has or will ever have.

So when you feel drawn to pursue a passion, go for it!

It may be scary, you may stumble and fall. (We all do!)

But if you strive to follow the “Vincent Path” — moving through the fear, practicing, experimenting, failing, trying again; and most importantly, starting now — your gifts will unfold and develop in the most delightful ways.

And then…the excitement and motivation will return.

This is fun!

Enjoy!


The Secret to Finding a GREAT Business Idea

bigstock-Blueprint-of-bulb-lamp-Styliz-58749746The Nobel Prize winning scientist and humanitarian Linus Pauling said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”

After all, the more paths you have to get where you want to go, the better your odds of getting there.

In fact, in my two decades at Changing Course I’ve found that next to fear, the biggest thing keeping people trapped in job jail is lack of ideas.

And that’s a shame.

Because if your dream is to have a portable business so you can live and work from anywhere…

Or if you crave ditching the cubicle to work from home as I do…

Or if you want to find a way you to get paid for your creativity or your writing…

Or you otherwise want to be your own boss – then a great idea is your ticket to freedom.

For instance, last week I posted seven unique ways you – or someone – could cash in on the booming wedding industry.

I say “someone” because the fact is it’s always easier to come up with ideas for other people.

Which is actually very good news.

Because if you search only for cool business ideas for yourself, then you run the very real risk that opportunity will pass you by.

Let me explain…

Why You Need To Be An Idea Junkie

If you opted to skip the wedding article because you have zero interest in a wedding-themed business – then you are missing not only the point but you are also potentially missing the boat to freedom.

fearThat’s because when you only look for ideas for yourself, then you’re far more apt to hit a wall.

Maybe it’s the “That will never work” wall…

Or, the “I can’t make enough money doing that” wall…

Or, the “But I don’t have any experience” wall…

Sound familiar?

But when you get in the habit of seeing money-making opportunities unrelated to your unique gifts or interests, you are fearless.

And because there are no walls, you’re more receptive to possibility.

Knowing that things are possible, you’ll also see how one great idea can lead to another!

And before long, you’ll find the perfect path for you.

Share the Wealth

Ideas are meant to be shared.

Thankfully, many of your fellow travelers on the road to right livelihood not only read the wedding article, but they know how fun it can be to brainstorm with others – if even virtually.

dollarinhandFive generous souls took up the Brainstorm Nation challenge and posted their own money-making ideas for all of us.

Handy with a sewing machine? Debra suggests you could make custom bridal headpieces, purses, garters, and ring bear pillows.

Lee Ann Vermeulen-Roberts from Holland by way of California took a different approach.

Being a singer, songwriter, musician, and creativity coach herself, Lee Ann naturally came up with performing live music (singing or instrumental) during the ceremony itself or being a DJ at reception.

Once you have a great idea, you need to know where to start.

So building on the helpful resources already in the article Debbie DiClaudio Orwat from Colorado posted:

If you want to be a wedding planner PlannersLounge.com has a lot of free information and articles on getting started.

Finally, for Denise Washington the wedding theme was personal – and timely!

If you have a knack for finding bargains, and you enjoy entertaining on the cheap, Denise shared a great idea for a profitable and FUN niche.

brideYou see Denise is getting married on July 24th and wisely she is doing her wedding on a budget.

So she knows first-hand that some people can or choose to drop $50,000 to well over a million dollars on their wedding, for others there is a real need for budget wedding planners and coordinators who know how to put on an event for $15K or less that still looks nice.

And Debbie adds, there is also a need for wedding planners/coordinators who specialize in showing people how to do-it-yourself (DIY) regarding flowers, dresses, decorations, and the like.

But our bride-to-be didn’t stop there. Denise generously offered not one, not two, but NINE more income-generating ideas!

1. Wedding vows writer
2. Graphic designer for programs, invites, placeholders, etc.
3. Wedding toasts writer
4. Engagement and/or wedding scrapbook (digital or printed) creator
5. Wedding day video production
6. Engagement story video production
7. Silk flowers floral arrangements and bouquets
8. Specialty garter belts
9. Offbeat wedding coordinator (roller derby, superheroes, zombie)

You see there truly is no shortage of ways to make money doing what you love!

Tap A Tribe of Idea Generators

freshideasStill I know there are lots more ways to cash in on the booming wedding industry. And when it comes to brainstorming, more brains are always better than one!

And who better to tap than people who get paid to come up with neat business ideas?

So I headed over to the private Facebook page for graduates of the Profiting From Your Passions® coach training to get their thoughts.

Cathy Summers of Inspired 4 Life Coaching in the UK also had a musical idea. But instead of singing at the ceremony, she suggested organizing an entire chorus.

childrenschoirWhen I read Cathy’s pitch to the happy couple to “hire your own chorus of angels,” I thought hmmm, wouldn’t it be interesting to organize a children’s choir! You make money as the organizer and the kids learn the value of earning their own money too.

For planner types, Cathy also suggested hanging out your shingle as a travel planner to design and run local excursions and otherwise manage travel for out of town guests.

Someone who knows a lot about weddings is Tim Grover the Career Optioneer at Changing Life Bulbs. That’s because for 25 years prior to changing course, Tim owned his own DJ service.

Since leaving the business, he’s observed a few new trends other aspiring DJs could offer. Like playing music videos in the background, bringing in a live drummer (presumably to give more of a live feel to recorded music), and providing tambourines and cowbells for guests to get into the act.

Finally, building on Denise’s pre-wedding video ideas, LA-based Solo-Entrepreneurship coach Susan Baker of EscapeHatcher.com wrote:

…my hubby is an editor and I have a background as a producer so our wedding video was editing together and interspersed with in depth interviews with both of us as well as b-roll [background shots or video of the couple] – I suspect this would be a huge hit with other couples.

Turns out Dr. Pauling was right.

The best way to have a good idea truly IS to have lots of ideas – and a Tribe of idea generators in your corner doesn’t hurt either!

It’s why I chose as my company motto: Changing Course begins with a great idea.

Armed with an idea you then need the courage to act on it.

If fear is holding you back, you’re in luck!

Keep your eye out on Monday for a great article on courage by another graduate of the Profiting From Your Passions® program — Redesign Strategist Peggy Fall of RedesignYourLife.com.

And if you love coming up with small business ideas like Cathy, Tim, Susan, and Peggy, stay tuned!

Summer School for the Profiting From Your Passions® training program begins in July.

For more information on this first and only class for people who want to get paid to brainstorm sign up here now to get on the early notification list.

Join the Brainstorm Nation Family! 

Do you have additional ideas for self-bossers who want to break into the wedding business?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post!

Don’t use Facebook? Just scroll to the bottom of this page to post your ideas!


Want to Live Happily Ever After? Start a Wedding Business!

Placing_a_wedding_ringWith all the talk from some about how marriage is “under siege,” you’d think it was a dying institution. Nonsense!

In fact, the wedding industry is booming. And with 2.5 million weddings being celebrated last year, there’s never been a better time to launch a business catering to happy couples!

So how did an industry that’s been around for over a century become red hot again?

Demographics and Cultural Shifts = Opportunity

Part of the credit goes to the Millennial Generation, or what statisticians call “Baby Boom 2.0.”

Since the late 1980s, the US birth rate has surpassed 4 million a year, the threshold that is officially considered a baby boom. The first wave of this demographic group is now in their mid to late 20s so just entering the marriage market.

Another major shift is marriage equality.

Currently more than 70 percent of the US population lives in jurisdictions where same sex-couples can legally marry.

And 19 countries – the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg, Finland and Ireland – outright acknowledge same-sex marriage.

moneytreeThis seismic shift in social attitudes toward the GLBT community has a huge financial upside.

In the first year of legalization alone, gay couples made up 17% of the total weddings in Washington State. According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, same-sex weddings infused $39 million into Washington’s economy – and that only includes couples who actually reside in the state.

Both same-sex couples and Millennials are statistically a little older when they marry and thus have higher incomes.

That means they have a bigger budget to spend on all the bells and whistles – fancy catering, posh venues, and other amenities.

They’re also more likely to want a unique wedding that expresses their personal values and interests.

And current or aspiring small business owners are perfectly positioned to reap the benefits, especially if you can offer a niche service or product.

You already know the obvious ones… wedding photographers, florists, and caterers.

If any of these float your boat, there’s always room for talented people to join in the fun.

In fact, if you’re highly organized, love managing projects, and are a romantic at heart you can train to become a certified wedding planner. Click here for a list of schools.

At the same time there are lots of other, less obvious ways you can grab your share of the $100 billion wedding industry.

Maybe one of these 7 ideas may be your perfect full or side-line business:

  1. Wedding tableDay-of-Event Coordinator – If you are highly organized but don’t want the responsibility of organizing an entire wedding consider hanging out your shingle as a Day-of-Event Coordinator.
    spacer
    Unlike a traditional wedding planner, a Day-of-Event Coordinator specializes in running the show on the big day, making sure things run smoothly and preventing wedding-day disasters.
  1. Wedding Officiant – A number of online interfaith organizations will ordain you as a minister, entitling you to legally perform marriage ceremonies.
    spacer
    At WeddingOfficiants.com I learned you can make up to $1,000 for a single wedding. During the busy summer season you could easily officiate two or more weddings a week. Cha-ching!Obviously prices vary regionally. When I entered my zip code I found local officiant Amanda Brown whose fees to preside over a wedding and write the service start at $550.There’s more to officiating weddings than understanding scripture or asking objectors to speak now or forever hold their peace.Which is why, it may be worthwhile for you to check out the training offered by the Celebrant Institute. (A very outside the box idea itself – and one with room for competition… from you!)Using Amanda’s fee as an example, the $2,400 you’d pay to be trained by the Celebrant Institute would be recouped after officiating just four weddings.

    Plus you can deduct the cost of the training as a business expense. Sweet!

    And for couples who are outside your geographic range or for do-it-yourselfers, you could always follow Amanda’s wise example and create a Do It Yourself (DIY) course on UDEMY on how to write your own wedding ceremony.

  1. Same-Sex Wedding Consultant –That means the demand for wedding consultants who know the ropes for same-sex couples is skyrocketing.
    spacer
    A same-sex wedding expert can recommend officiants and venues for the ceremony and can refer the couple to specific vendors who are gay-friendly.Live in a state or country that bans gay marriages? Remember, problem = opportunity.In these locations you could perhaps specialize in destination weddings and “Elopement Packages,” including travel, accommodations, and touring.
  1. "Dancing lesson 16507650" by Jerry Daykin from Cambridge, United Kingdom, upload by Herrick - IMG_0975. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dancing_lesson_16507650.jpg#/media/File:Dancing_lesson_16507650.jpgPrivate Dance Lessons – Have a background in dance? More and more people are seeking out instructors for private classes for the couple (or perhaps a group class for the wedding party) who want to make a big impression when they hit the dance floor at the reception.
    spacer
    Here again prices vary.In pricey London it appears you can fetch £80 for a single hour to as much as £495 for more sessions. (In dollars that’s around $89-$550).For the same number of lessons in Billings, Montana you can ask $48-$335.
  1. Pre-Wedding Boot Camp – Everyone wants to look their best for the big event. Services offered might include fitness training, teeth whitening, skin treatments, and hair removal.
    spacer
    If you don’t have the skills or licensing to provide hair and makeup services on the actual wedding day then partner with practitioners who can.
  1. Start a Wedding Website – If you’re tech savvy then create a website as an aggregator for wedding information and tips and/or to match couples with local vendors.
    spacer
    The vendors pay a fee to be on the site and you can earn more cash as an affiliate or by accepting ads.
  1. Close Up Of Detail On Wedding Breakfast Dining Table Setting WitCreate a coordinated wedding themeNot just old-fashioned stationery – more like personalized branding complete with a custom wedding theme for stationery, table linens, even decorative banners.

Thanks to social and cultural shifts, the wedding industry is hot again. And with such a wide range of opportunities, there’s something for every aspiring entrepreneur.

Join the Brainstorm Nation Family! 

Do you have additional ideas for self-bossers who want to break into the wedding business?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post!

Don’t use Facebook? Just scroll to the bottom of this page to post your ideas!


25 Cool Business Ideas for Introverts

Shy Bold Signpost Means Introvert Or ExtrovertWhen you picture a successful entrepreneur, you probably imagine someone with an outgoing, talkative personality. The kind of person who loves to socialize and meet new people.

The person you probably don’t picture is someone who is quiet, who becomes overwhelmed and exhausted by noisy environments, or avoids spending too much time around other people, especially large groups.

So where does that leave the stereotypical shy, socially reserved introvert who wants to start a business?

Better off than you think!

For starters, most experts see introversion/extraversion as a spectrum with few people at the extremes. Instead most of us fall closer to the middle. What about you?

Take the Quiz: Are You An Introvert?

  • Do you feel exhausted after an evening out with a lot of people (like at a party or networking event)?
  • Do you find you really need quiet time alone, for example, just reading, meditating, listening to music, or watching TV?
  • Do you tend to prefer to socialize in a very small group (just a couple close friends)?
  • Do you find it difficult to initiate a conversation with a stranger?
  • Do you label yourself (or do other people label you) as shy or quiet or socially inept?

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you’re probably closer to the introvert end of the spectrum. But that doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to start your own business.

Hugely successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffett are not the kind of guys you’d find chatting it up at a party. And there are plenty of actors, professional speakers, and other performers who can “do” extrovert but are in fact quite introverted – myself included!

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it’s important to know yourself and where your energy lies. In fact, think of your energy like a battery; if you are an extrovert your batteries are charged by social interaction, if you are an introvert your batteries will be drained.

That means you need to play to your strengths and get help in the areas where you’re weaker. For example, if you are an extreme introvert, you may prefer to run a home-based business rather than founding a company that requires you to interact with employees.

Or if you really do want to build an empire then like Zuckerberg, Gates, and Buffets then just know you’ll probably need to partner or hire an extrovert who loves the social stuff.

25 Small Business Ideas for Introverts

As an introvert it’s important to find the right business for you.

For instance, an online business where you sell new or used products or where you create and sell information products (written materials, audio downloads, etc.), can be a great fit for introverts because it allows all the freedom, control, and income of self-bossing with less of the frequent people contact that you find so draining.

Another benefit to a web-based business is you get to use your online interactions and presence to determine the persona the world sees. So you can be reserved Rachel or Rick at home and Rock Star Rachel or Rick in your business!

But selling stuff online is not your only option. Here are 25 other ideas that are well suited to people who enjoy solitude:

  1. Webmaster or IT consultant
  2. Artist
  3. Graphic design
  4. Photography
  5. Copywriter (using words to sell a product or service or to promote causes)
  6. Fiction writing (romance, novels, etc.)
  7. Blogger
  8. Genealogy
  9. Social media consultant
  10. Editing and/or proofreading
  11. Web designer
  12. Craft-related businesses
  13. Creating patterns: Sewing, knitting, woodworking
  14. Creating software or apps
  15. Woodworking
  16. Cooking/baking
  17. Clothing designer
  18. Working with animals
  19. Growing and selling flowers, vegetables, and/or herbs
  20. Errand service
  21. Translating
  22. Bookkeeping
  23. Fixing things: Cars, appliances, clothes alterations, broken pottery, antique clocks/watches
  24. Making things better: Custom cars, motorcycles, campers, etc.
  25. Building things: Furniture, boats, decks, etc.

Success Strategies for the Introvert Entrepreneur

Once you find your perfect business, you need to take action. To help ensure your success you’ll want to follow these simple strategies:

  • Find your passion. Your enthusiasm for your business can help you overcome your reluctance toward social interaction because you’re so eager to share it with the world.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses. Introverts may have social issues to overcome, but they have a knack for seeing the big picture and focusing on the important details.
  • Know what drains and energizes you. If you know that client meetings, long phone calls, or networking events drain you, try to schedule your day to include blocks of time for things that recharge your batteries like listening to music, meditation, reading, or even watching TV or playing a video game.
  • Automate and delegate. When you’re juggling a lot of balls it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Create systems and automation that will allow you to remove people from the equation – i.e., eliminate the need for employees, for making personal phone calls, etc. And where you can’t eliminate it, delegate heavily people tasks to a Virtual Assistant (VA) or others who are more extroverted.
  • Seek out other introverted entrepreneurs. This may sound counterintuitive, but a fellow introvert is more likely to understand where you’re coming from and is more likely to respect your social boundaries. Having other like-minded entrepreneurs around you – even if only virtually via social media– will also give you more confidence
  • Step out of your comfort zone. Finally, you may be an introvert but if you want to be your own boss then you still need to stretch yourself. Join a Toastmasters club to conquer your fear of public speaking. If you must attend a networking event set a goal of talking to just four people.

To this last point, you may even choose a business precisely because it pushes you to talk to strangers.

For example, according to International Living magazine editor Jen Stevens, one of the many great things about travel writing is it gives introverts a built-in excuse for initiating conversations with owners of inns, shops, cafes and others along the journey who can add value to your article.

(As an aside: If you’d like to learn how to become a travel writer, I highly recommend The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program.)

With so many ways today to build a small business, to communicate with clients and customers, and to make business connections without ever venturing into public, you don’t need to be bigger, louder, funnier, or more charming to build a successful business.

Instead, be true to yourself, find the right business for you, and then take action!

Join the “Brainstorm Nation” Family!

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, when it comes to ways to make a living without a j-o-b, lots of heads are always better than one!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post, including any ideas you have for the introvert entrepreneur! (Non-Facebook users, scroll down to the comment section.)


How to Get Away With Murdering Your Dream

In my two decades at Changing Course I’ve grieved the premature death of hundreds of perfectly viable business ideas.

Ideas which were totally possible – some even brilliant.

Ideas which if acted upon could have sprung their owners from job jail and made a difference in the world as well.

But sadly their owner let them perish.

There are a lot of ways to kill a dream.

For instance you can believe all those life-long cubicle dwellers who love to tell you that being your own boss is just a pipe dream.

Or you can become so overwhelmed with the thought of acting on your great idea that all you want to do is zone out in front of the television.

Or you can become consumed with the “what ifs.”

  • What if no one likes, wants, or buys my stuff?
  • What if I fall flat on my face?
  • What if I don’t know enough or am not smart enough to pull it off?

So much so that you never pause to consider what your life will be like in the far more likely event that you actually succeed!

There are dozens more of course. But by far the most common way to get away with murdering your dream is to simply keep it to yourself.

After all, if no one ever knows about your big idea they can’t possibly judge it – or you.

If you don’t share your business plan then no one will know that you didn’t lift a single finger to get it off the launch pad.

If you never let your idea see the light of day, never show your art or share your writing then no one will expect anything from you.

In other words, when you’re accountable only to yourself, then there’s no real consequence for failing to follow through.

That is of course other than spending the next ten or twenty years stuck in a job-job. 

If you think that’s too high a price to pay, then you have a choice. You can continue to slowly starve your dream to death through sheer neglect.

Or you can decide to get off the misery-go-round.

If you wisely chose the latter, here are two simple steps you can take right this very minute.

Step 1: Publicly Declare Your Intention

For five years I produced a wonderful workshop called Work at What You Love which I also co-led with and my good friend and author of Making a Living Without a Job Barbara Winter.

make your dreams come true - motivational slogan on a napkin witIn the final hour of this multi-day seminar participants were instructed to stand and publicly declare an intention. One by one upwards of 150 people rose microphone in hand to publicly give voice to their dream.

And now you can too.



The ground rules of a public declaration are simple:

  • It must be summarized in one sentence.
  • It can’t begin with “I’d like to…” or “Maybe I will…” or “It would be great if I could….” Instead, your declaration must begin with the words “I’m going to___”
  • It must include a commitment to act.

Some of the intentions shared over the years are downright inspiring!

“I’m going to be the penguin expert on a tour of the Galapagos.”

“I’m going to open a bakery-café that caters to stay at home parents and their kids.”

“I’m going to spend six months every year in the south of France.”

“I’m going to write the biography of my grandfather’s life.”

“I’m going to move to an island and open a bike repair shop.”

So you have a choice. You can murder your idea and no one will ever know.

Or you breathe life into your dream by scrolling down to either the Facebook OR the general comments section to make your own public declaration now.

Step 2: Find people who want to see your idea succeed as much as you do

The forces of fear, self-doubt, and overwhelm are mighty. That’s why you need a team of people who want to see you realize your dream as much as you do.

People who will be there to support one another, to hold each other accountable for making slow steady progress, to offer new ideas and solutions, to help one another overcome the inevitable setbacks, and to celebrate the wins big and small.

It’s interesting. Left on your own and you can feel hopeless.

But when you’re in a group like this, somehow you feel empowered. You become almost “bigger” than you usually are.

You feel a confidence that’s sometimes impossible to muster on your own. Yet with this network of supporters cheering you on, you’re inspired to go on… to plow ahead with a certain audacity that you might not normally feel you have in you.

As importantly, your productivity will soar. With a dream team behind you, you will get more done in six months than you would otherwise accomplish in six years!
Group Of Business People Are Focused On The JobThe people on your dream team can be friends, like-minded co-workers, even total strangers. You can meet in person or via conference call.

Regardless of who’s in your group or how you communicate the key is commitment. To truly succeed your dream team must commit to meeting weekly for no less than six months.

I’ve been a member in three business-building groups myself and each one has helped me grow in leaps and bounds.

I’m so convinced of the power of having a “mastermind” behind you that I recently created a formal Changing Course Dream Team.

The people who’ve already joined a dream team did so as a result of signing up for the recent Work @ What You Love workshop. (If you missed it and still want to take the class, you have until February 14 to get the complete webinar recordings.)

You don’t need to have attended Work at What You Love to join a Dream Team. That’s why I’m opening up the Dream Teams to my larger Changing Course newsletter readership.

These Dream Teams are set to begin in the next two weeks.

Right now there only 5 spots left. Once you sign up you can select your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice from various days and times.

Don’t murder your dream. Instead take a moment now to learn how you can join a Changing Course support group and to discover 5 ways a dream team can help you achieve your dream.

Even if a dream team is not for you, I encourage you to scroll down this page to publically declare your intention today. After all, a dream is a terrible thing to waste!

I hope you enjoyed this preview and I hope to see YOU in a dream team!


There Are No Coincidences

 
I’m not one to throw around words like “magical.”

But time and again I’ve seen what happens when people step into their dreams.

The smallest step can lead to pure magic.

Take Stephanie.

We were barely into our Find My Perfect Business coaching session when Stephanie made an off-handed reference to a dream she’d long abandoned.

That’s when I learned of her decades-long fascination with the world of public policy – an interest sparked by her high school boyfriend.

The topic continued to tug at her heart… and so did the old boyfriend.

As she talked, Stephanie’s entire voice changed. She was animated, excited… happy.

I was instantly reminded of something renowned mythology scholar Joseph Campbell said…

“The way to find out about your happiness
is to keep your mind on those moments when
you feel most happy, when you are really happy
– not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy.”

But Stephanie followed a different path and spent the last twenty years in the mental health field.

She was convinced it was just too late to transition into policy making. For starters she really didn’t want to go back to school for yet another masters’ degree.

Besides, even if she could break in, she lives in the Midwest and the vast majority of policy jobs are in Washington DC.

Stephanie was not opposed to moving. It’s just that her other lifelong dream was to live by a lake.

Neither of Stephanie’s dreams looked promising. Or so she thought…

I challenged Stephanie to back up her discouragement with actual facts by researching the question, “how to get into public policy.”

To further light a fire under her I issued a two week deadline.

Stephanie sprang into action!

She began reading books and articles.

She called think tanks and set up multiple informational interviews with people working in the field.

She found, and then promptly joined, a public policy group that advocates on behalf of people touched by mental illness.

Not only was a pricey public policy degree not necessary to enter this field, but her new peers were so impressed with Stephanie’s mental health credentials; they invited her to chair the group!

It gets better!

Stephanie also discovered a prestigious public policy center located two hours from home – and it’s on a lake!

And in another remarkable twist of fate, after not seeing her old high school boyfriend for decades Stephanie bumped into him in a parking lot!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote,

“At The Moment Of Commitment The Entire Universe Conspires To Assist You.”

Goethe understood amazing things happen when you stop wishing and start acting.

Confusion makes way for the gift of clarity…

People come out of the woodwork to help you…

Answers that eluded you for years suddenly appear…

Experiences you never imagined possible are now available…

I am living proof.

I started the Changing Course newsletter in 1995 with a whopping two subscribers!

In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined where my business would take me.

12115_1That I’d sit down for an intimate Q&A with billionaire social entrepreneur and adventure seeker Sir Richard Branson.

Or that while in Los Angeles I’d attend a star-studded fundraiser Branson hosted called Rock the Kasbah.

(I managed to snap this photo of Branson chatting with Sharon Stone and this one of Paula Abdul.)

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There were other stars on hand – stars in the coaching and online world. People like Ali Brown and Mari Smith, Eban Paegan, Joe Polish and Yanik Silver.

12115_4spacer 12115_5spacer 12115_6

12115_7Starting out I could have never imaged meeting Gary Vaynerchuk (known to his 1.11 million Twitter followers as Gary Vee) at a New York cafe and picking his amazing entrepreneurial brain – something his corporate clients gladly pay $75,000 to be able to do.

Or that Arianna Huffington would personally email me to ask me to blog for the Huffington Post or that Forbes magazine editor Steve Forbes’ office would call for a signed copy of my book.

When I stood up to give my first very shaky public talk it was simply inconceivable that major corporations and universities like IBM, Procter & Gamble, Boeing, Harvard and Stanford would later pay me thousands of dollars to speak for a single hour.

Or that I’d land a six-figure book deal or that my book would go on to be published in five languages – including Russian.

Starting out – none of these things seemed possible. Now I know better.

“At the moment of commitment the entire universe conspires to assist you.”

And it all began with taking one small step.

Why not make today the day you step into your dream and see for yourself how even the smallest step can lead to pure magic.

And speaking of magic…

You still have two days to join the enthusiastic tribe of change seekers from as far away as New Zealand and Egypt who already signed on for the first-ever Work @ What You Love Virtual Weekend Workshop.

Join us live online. Or take the workshop on your own schedule. Your choice.

Either way, it’s an incredibly low cost way to open the door and let a little magic into your life!


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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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