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Your Time is Now!

Were you able to join us for the first and possibly only Great Reset 2020 Work at What You Love virtual workshop? We had an amazing group of people participate; we were honored to have so many wonderful Change Seekers in attendance.

Have you been pondering whether it’s time for you to make a big change in your life and livelihood? What’s holding you back?

One of the questions that came up was, “can I be successful and still be “nice?” We all have images of successful people who are, quite frankly, not people we’d like to have in our social circle, much less our family! But success takes many different forms, and people don’t become monsters just because they achieve their goals (although it may seem that way from who we’re used to seeing held up as “role models”).

The consciousness of our society is evolving–becoming more values-based and ethical. People who are yearning for success don’t have to compromise themselves or become someone they don’t want to be. The opportunity exists to create your life and livelihood on your terms.

In the new Changing Course membership group, we want to nurture you and your dreams so that you can share your gifts and talents with the world. Now don’t get nervous. You don’t need to have a big idea or be front and center in a movement. Ordinary people doing ordinary things with purpose and passion can accomplish real change that results in extraordinary shifts in everyday life and in the culture as a whole.

When we let our lights shine, follow our dreams, and use our gifts and talents to serve the people who need us, we free ourselves to be who we truly are and to become the people we’re meant to be.

Whether you feel a slightest tug in your heart or a deep yearning in your soul to live your life in a different way, we invite you to become a charter lifetime member of Changing Course for a one-time fee of just $99!

Membership benefits include:

  • Unlimited access to the recording, workbook, and slides from the Great Reset 2020 Work at What You Love workshop – watch whenever and as many times as you wish!
  • Monthly Q&A and Brainstorming sessions
  • Life-Changing Book Club
  • Educational webinars
  • Private Facebook community of supportive fellow Change Seekers
  • Dream Team accountability groups for those who are ready to move forward
  • Exclusive access to 25 years of Changing Course archived content
  • NEW! Lifetime charter members receive a discount of $97 on all programs priced $197 or higher – forever!

We know that we’ll attract all the right people to be with us on this journey, and we hope you are one of them.

This opportunity is only available until midnight August 2, 2020 – this coming Sunday!

How long have you been waiting? How long have those dreams been simmering inside of you, just waiting for you to let them out? Your time is NOW! Join us today, invest in your future, and take the first step toward realizing the life and livelihood you’ve always wanted!

Six figures hanging holiday lights?

Christmas may be over.

But your chance to realize your dream of self-bossing may just be starting.

It definitely was for Josh Trees.

Josh’s light bulb moment came in 1997 when he launched a business installing holiday lights.

In three short years, We Hang Christmas Lights saw a net profit of about $138,000!

Here’s how Josh did it – and as you’ll soon learn, how you can too.

Get Real

The biggest reason we either never start a business or launch one only to quickly peter out isn’t a lack of money or time.

The reason dreams die is because we give up too soon.

When I started the Changing Course newsletter 25 years ago I made a little money – very little. It took at least five years before I made enough to live on.

Josh told The Penny Hoarder that he likely lost money his first year.

But he didn’t give up.

Success requires patience and PERSISTENCE.

Recognize That Most Problems Are Just Opportunities in Disguise

You desperately want to follow your own work road.

So one day you come up with a great new business idea.

You’re super excited… but then your mind jumps to all of the potential challenges.

So you abandon your idea and with it your dream.

Look, there’s going to be challenges with any endeavor. It’s called life.

Fortunately, most problems are nothing more than an opportunity in disguise.

Let’s use the Christmas light installation business as an example.

What kinds of things would worry you? How about…

Is there a really big need for holiday lighting?

It’s a great question. No matter what the business, you should first consider, is this market likely to grow or shrink?

Baby Boomers are aging. Families are busier than ever.

That means the demand to hire younger people to take overhanging lights and other formerly do-it-yourself jobs will only increase.

It’s a seasonal business, how will I pay the bills for the rest of the year?

Did I mention Josh made six figures in year three?

Two decades later his residential and commercial light hanging business appears to be more than booming.

If the potential to earn six figures works for you, then you can work hard during the holiday season and enjoy a less hectic pace for the rest of the year.

Or you can have a different business in the off-season.

Then again, who says lighting has to be a seasonal business?

Christmas will always be the busiest season for lighting.

But there’s plenty of year-round opportunity to do wedding lights, outdoor party lights, indoor special events, and landscape lighting.

No way I want to be up on a ladder!

Who says YOU have to be the one on the roof? That’s what hired workers are for!

Besides, there are plenty of other things you can do like… marketing, operations, customer service, and of course, depositing those big five-figure checks from installing lights at malls, businesses, and other big commercial jobs!

How will I find and keep reliable workers, especially seasonal ones?

As for finding installers, Josh already figured this one out for you.

All you have to do is connect with local landscaping, roofing, pool or solar installers, tree trimmers and seasonal companies that often lay off help once it turns cold.

Since valued seasonal workers are more apt to stick around if they know they have work year-round, it’s a win-win for you, these business owners and the workers themselves.

And to retain his workers, one of Josh’s students incentivizes them by adding an extra $1 per hour each week that they stayed on through January when displays need to be taken down.

Did you catch the “student” part? More on that in a second.

I have no idea where to begin.

With this or any business, you don’t need to know where to begin. You just need to know who does, and learn from them.

Fast Track Your Dream

Josh says one reason he didn’t make money his first year is because he made lots of costly mistakes including throwing money away on cheap lights.

The reason he made six figures two years later is that Josh learned from those mistakes.

Which is why today, Josh is also in the training business helping others avoid those mistakes so they can make money more quickly.

Smart move.

After all, once you figure out how to make money in whatever business, you’re now in a position to help other people fast track their dream by teaching them what you know.

That’s what I did.

In 2006 I started teaching other entrepreneurially-minded people how to get paid to brainstorm.

Today I’ve shown over 300 people from 19 countries how to be an “outside the job box” career coaches who can connect the dots between what a client loves to do and how they can make money doing it.

(Click here to be notified of up-coming classes.)

Josh went one step further and created an entire association.

Today, in addition to offering 2-day business start-up trainings in cities around the US, the Christmas Light Installation Professionals Association (CLIPA) hosts an annual conference for their growing ranks of dues-paying members.

How are students doing?

The first year investment in lights and other equipment means some students will start out breaking even and then build from there.

One early student saw significant growth.

Roofing contractor Jeff Krall says it would have taken a couple of years to learn how to do things like light rooflines, wrap trees, or make his own extension cords.

But thanks to the CLIPA training, Jeff learned this and more in a couple of days.

And it paid off.

In its first Christmas season, Jeff estimates his company, American Holiday Lights, served around 30 customers.

Soon his several dozen employees were lighting that many houses in a single day.

With an average price of $1,400 to $1,500 per house – you do the math!

It’s worth repeating, growing any business requires effort and patience.

But being willing to invest in the right training from the start can make a world of difference.

Obviously, installing Christmas tree lights isn’t the right business for everyone. Still, the three core lessons remain the same:

  1. Set realistic expectations of how quickly your business will generate revenue and don’t give up when things aren’t happening as quickly as you’d like. Effort and persistence are the cornerstones of all success.
  2. Recognize that most opportunities come disguised as problems. Make a list of the potential challenges you may face in your new business. Then generate ways each challenge could be met.
  3. Education remains the best way to fast track your dream. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to do it.

    You can read a book or subscribe to a magazine in your niche (be sure to peruse the ads for clues as to how other people are making money from this interest area).

    You can join an industry association or attend a conference.

    Or to grow even faster, you can invest in an in-depth how-to course.

The bottom line: There are unlimited ways to make money doing what you love.

You only need to take the first step.

Steal This Idea Part 2

A few weeks back I shared some very cool ways people are cashing in on the enormous popularity of yoga.

Well, I’ve dug up some more neat business ideas. These too, happen to be in the yoga space.

WARNING: If you think this article is about starting a yoga business you’re not only missing the boat, you may be missing your calling!

Because just like last time, this article is really about how you can “steal” the essence of other business ideas to come up with your own money-making business.

1) Combine Two Unrelated Things

For instance, last time I told you about how enterprising self-bossers who found a way to link yoga with kids, dogs, even horses.

Indeed, some of the best business ideas come from combining two unrelated things.

Would you ever think to combine knitting and yoga?

Knitting enthusiast Lisa B. Evans did.

She took these two unrelated interests and turned them into popular workshop-retreats in scenic Vermont, Maine, and New Mexico.

For the last twelve years, enthusiastic knitters have paid between $975 and $1,875 plus lodging to go on one of Lisa’s “Knitting and Yoga Adventures!

Steal this idea

Make a list of your own interests and gifts. Think too about any enduring trends…

  • football
  • Reiki
  • rodeos
  • shopping
  • the environment
  • mystery novels
  • auto repair
  • specialty teas
  • anthropology
  • beer making
  • gardening
  • orienteering
  • Italian cooking

Then look for unlikely connections between your interest and other seemingly unrelated things.

What about a mystery tea shopping tour in London?

Or a pop-up massage studio for rodeo riders?

Or beer making classes that end with participants enjoying a frosty one while watching Monday night football or include a visit by a former NFL player?

Keep in mind your new income stream could be:

  • full time or part-time
  • seasonal
  • something you do once a year in connection with a fair, film festival, or other local event
  • holiday-related
  • something that builds on some other date-specific theme or event like a championship series, the summer solstice, etc.

Instead of trying to find an idea that will replace your entire salary, see if you can come up with a way to generate $10,000. And start there.

2) Make it a vacation

If someone will pay to engage in an activity at home, there’s an excellent chance they’ll travel to partake in that same interest elsewhere.

No wonder Yoga retreats are hugely popular.

So much so that when Jessie and Brad Wigh were looking for a way to make Belize their year round home they decided a full-time yoga retreat was the way to go.

yoga, fitness, sport and healthy lifestyle concept – group of people in tree pose on beach

Today Belize Yoga offers both ocean side and jungle getaways.

You don’t need to relocate or own your own retreat center to cash in on the vacation-retreat model.

The Kalani in Hawaii is one of many existing centers eager for you hold your gathering at their location.

Steal this idea

Remember, you don’t have to practice yoga to sell to people who do.

But the fact that there are so many yoga retreats tells us there are opportunities to be had.

One way to exercise your idea muscles is to visit some yoga retreat centers (or any niche business really) to see what add-on products or services you might provide to owners.

For example, if there’s no store on site, you could provide a pop-up store featuring customized yoga-apparel as well as some of the more unusual products featured in the last post.

Or forget yoga

Instead make a list of other popular hobbies or interests like ballroom dancing, dogs, or photography.

Next research vacations that cater to people with these interests and study these offerings.

Then design a lower or higher priced, longer or shorter, or otherwise unique vacation experience aimed at that same market

3) Go corporate

There are two ways to sell products or services.

You can sell to individual consumers.

Or you can start a business that sells products or services to other businesses – otherwise known as B2B.

Sticking with our yoga example…

Every day medium to large cities and resort areas play hosts to conferences and corporate gatherings.

If you’ve been to one of these, then you know participants spend eight or more hours sitting.

Yoga Farm is one of many studios that partners with hotels or event meeting planners to supply early morning and break time yoga for sitting-weary conference participants.

Steal this idea

How can your current idea or business lend itself to the needs of other businesses – or for that matter, government or non-profits?

What value can you offer these organization’s employees, customers, or constituents?

For instance, someone who teaches art or cooking, could partner with local employers to bring your class into the workplace or offer employee discounts.

If you think corporations wouldn’t bother with a solo-business person like yourself – think again.

I once partnered with a local bank to lead a lunch-and-learn series for small business owners.

Participants paid a small fee to attend and as importantly, I gained the credibility of being endorsed by the bank.

Every day corporations hire coaches, fitness instructors, personal chefs, product vendors, social media consultants, senior assistance and pre-retirement experts, and others to help them achieve their HR and sales goals.

Belinda Pruyne ought to know. As a corporate executive, she was one of the people signing big contracts with outside vendors.

Belinda put together a training video training on what it takes for the “little guy” to get big corporate contracts.

And who better to learn from than someone who was essentially writing the checks!

Are You Ready to Find YOUR Calling?

Learn more about my laser focused idea generation and planning consultation here.

I still have a few openings in October.

Life is short my change seeking friend.

If you’re ready to work at what you love – even if you don’t work with me — please don’t let your dream wait another day.

How Yoga Can Teach You to Turn Your Ideas into Income

Would it surprise you to know that yoga is more popular in Canada than in India?

It definitely surprised me!

Third on the list is the US where a whopping 20.4 million Americans partake in the ancient practice.

Sometimes a single surprising fact is all it takes to discover your perfect business idea.

And you don’t even have to do yoga to benefit from its enormous popularity.

In fact, anything with millions of fans from golf to quilting to Harry Potter presents enterprising change seekers opportunities to turn interests into income.

Here are four unique ways people are profiting from the yoga boom plus ways you can “steal” these ideas to profit from your own passion.

1) Lighten Up

Who would have thought yoga had a humorous side?

I suppose it’s not surprising when you consider the well-documented health benefits of laughter.

It’s why in 1995, a family physician in Mumbai, India, Dr. Madan Kataria, decided to experiment with ways to apply those benefits.

Like most ideas, this one took some trial and error.

But it didn’t take long before laughter yoga was born.

Today it’s so popular there’s even an annual conference!

Search the term “funny yoga products” and you’ll find scores of humorous ways people are making money.

You’ll find clothes sporting slogans like “Let’s get it om,” and “My favorite pose is downward facing naps.”

There are humorous calendars that use digital technology or illustration to feature puppies and farm animals positioned in classic yoga postures.

And of course, funny yoga videos.

Some are parodies. Others are the always popular bloopers.

Steal This Idea

Have video scripting or editing skills?

Build on the success of others by putting your own unique spin on a funny yoga video.

Attract a large enough YouTube following on and you can generate some serious ad revenue.

Certainly, not everything lends itself to humor.

But if you can find a way to bring some humor to your business/idea, you may be laughing all the way to the bank.

2) Make it hip

AirBnB is now advertising classes, tours, and other things to do when you travel.

That’s where I learned about “sky yoga.”

Part yoga, part dance, part cool social meetup, event production company, Bender, describes itself as an “urban playground for body and soul.”

The company produces yoga-dance events complete with DJs.

And they do it on warehouse rooftops and in other inspiring places in LA, Chicago, and coming soon — Melbourne.

The evening events seamlessly transition from yoga to a night of dancing and cocktails under the stars.

The Bender website says that they “work with a team of the most experienced and creative yoga teachers, DJs, designers, and other collaborators – each hand-picked for their specific voice and fit with our flavor.”

Sounds to me like they may be open to proposals for collaboration from other creative/healing types or people with access to creative urban settings.

Steal this idea

It’s hard to make certain businesses like bookkeeping or SEO consulting cool.

That said, I know a realtor who hosts an annual April 15th/IRS deadline happy hour for clients, building contractors, lenders, and others in her vast network.

Depending on what you want to do, look for ways to make it newsworthy by adding an element of hip to it!

3) Tap a new demographic

When you think of yoga enthusiasts you probably picture fit people in their 20s and 30s. Or at least adults.

That’s what Jamie Dix thought too until the early childhood educator and certified yoga instructor started using storytelling to get her students to experience different yoga positions.

Soon her colleagues were asking her to teach them how to do the same with their students.

So Jamie and her siblings teamed up to launch Imagination Yoga.

Today, her program is offered to kids aged 2-to-12 in schools, daycare centers, and camps across the US.

Even within the adult population, there’s plenty of opportunity to niche.

There are yoga classes designed specifically for people with diabetes and chronic fatigue, as well as yoga for veterans, pregnant women, and people who use a wheelchair.

There’s even yoga laughter designed for the unique needs of seniors in nursing or other elder care facilities.

Steal this idea

As you think about your own gifts or interests (travel, creative writing, repairing things, sports, etc.) – ask yourself, what are the obvious and less obvious markets you can tap?

Don’t just think in terms of age, gender, race, and the like.

Consider too, groups who share a common experience or challenge…

Maybe grieving parents… teens aging out of foster care… people struggling with addiction… survivalists… rural singles…

Whether you feel personally called to serve a specific group — or you just see a market need — additional audiences mean additional income.

4) Tap a new species!

Third graders and seniors are one thing.

But who connects yoga and animals?

Miami-based yoga instructor Suzi Teitelman and the creator of Doga Dog did.

Her classes consist of a series of yoga poses that dog owners can incorporate with their pooch.

The dogs seem to lap up the light stretches, massage, and relaxed bonding time with their humans.

And their time-squeezed/guilt-ridden dog owners appreciate being able to get in some exercise while also spending time with their best friend.

Dogs aren’t the only four-legged creatures getting into the yoga act.

Yoga classes end with the traditional Hindu salutation “nameste” which in Hinduism means, “I bow to the divine in you.”

But if you’re showing people how to do yoga atop a horse, then make that “neighmaste.”

There are several books on equestrian yoga which emphasizes balance, building core strength, breathing, and mindfulness.

At the cleverly named Equine Om in Saint Augustine, Florida, yoga instructor and horsewoman Miranda Inabinett teaches classes to riders and trains other instructors in her method as well.

Finally, the vacationers at Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado near Steamboat Springs don’t do yoga while atop a horse.

Instead, they enjoy a popular girlfriend getaway that combines the fun of riding with a morning yoga class all wrapped around a luxury vacation.

If you haven’t acted on your own great idea because it feels too overwhelming to tackle on your own, take heart.

This unique vacation idea was born when a cowgirl from Montana who went to college on a rodeo scholarship (who knew?!) and a former social worker turned yoga and meditation instructor living in Florida were introduced by a mutual friend at a horse sanctuary in Hawaii.

They went out and found a ranch to partner with and have been riding strong ever since!

Steal this idea

Like to write?

Then take a page out of Brenda Bryan’s book Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi.

It’s just one of half a dozen books on the subject. Proof that writing pays.

Again, you don’t have to be engaged in a given activity to look for practitioners in need of a ghost writer for their own niche-specific book.

Or maybe you have an insider’s perspective on the horse world and think equine yoga could be the next big thing.

If you have marketing experience — or just a determination to learn — then partner with an equestrian yoga instructor to scale the training nationally or internationally.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to making money without a job-job, there are endless ways to take a single idea and build on it.

Just remember… changing course starts with a great idea – and the willingness to act on it.

Ready to find your perfect business idea? Check out my laser-focused Profit From Your Passion coaching now.

(I’m booked for August but still have a few fall openings.)

Life is short my friend. Whatever your dream, please don’t make it wait another day.

Find Your Dream Biz Fast! PLUS — Booming Vintage Trend!

Want to find your dream business? All you have to do is connect the dots!

But which dots?

Traditional career coaches are all about helping clients find the perfect job-job.

So they work with dots like skills assessments, personality profiles, resumes, and job search tools.

But, if you want to do your own thing then you need to connect a very different set of dots.

Over my two decades at Changing Course, I’ve come up with some 60 potential dots.

Once you know what to look for, you’re able to quickly make that all important connection between the things you like to do and ways to turn those interests into income.

I’m going to share some of the dots I used to turn a 53-year-old change seeker named Roy on to a fun and potentially lucrative business idea.

And you can use these same dots to discover your dream business too!

Or you can just steal one of the many ideas you’ll find here!

Step 1: Identify the Dots

The “What Do I Want My Life to Look Like” Dot 

I’ve talked about my signature Life First-Work Second approach to career planning before.

In a nutshell — Roy doesn’t need a new job… he needs a whole new LIFE!

After spending most of his career in IT, Roy is burned out on spending 40-plus hours a week sitting at a desk and staring at a monitor.

But it goes beyond just working in tech.

Roy does what I call “head work.” And now he’s eager to find a way he can work with his hands.

He mostly wants to work on his own. But Roy is also open to working with a partner.

The Happiness Dot

Roy has lots of gifts and interests.

Among them, he enjoys being handy. He can get lost tinkering in his workshop or garage.

The Experience Dot 

Let me be clear on this one.

Lack of experience or a track record should never be a barrier. There are ways to acquire both.

That said, turns out that while he was in the military Roy used to supplement his meager salary by repairing and selling used washer/dryers to other young families on the base.

Step 2: Look for Ways to Monetize 

The Opportunity Dot 

This is where you take the known dots above, and connect them to one or more income-generating opportunities.

Opportunities come in the different forms. It could be…

  • a problem, complaint, or threat
  • the desire to work with or otherwise cater to a particular demographic group
  • a particular interest or hobby
  • a personal experience or crisis
  • a growing or shrinking trend – BINGO!

The Enormous Trend in Vintage Restoration

As Roy and I talked, I instantly thought of a company out of northwest Georgia called Antique Appliances.

The company does a thriving business restoring vintage stoves and refrigerators from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Some of the appliances are ones they buy, repair, and sell themselves.

However, most of their work is done on commission by clients looking for refurbished appliances that will fit in with their period home or business.

The All Important “Money Dot”

Some opportunities hold the potential to generate more income than others.

That’s why before you begin any new venture you need to do your homework.

A great place to start is to see what other people are charging.

At Antique Appliances I found this 1930 Frigidaire 2-door selling for $12,000!

And this 1951 mint green Chambers stove is priced at $7,800.

Coincidentally, I once rented a house with a Chambers stove just like this one only white.

I LOVED that stove – especially the griddle!

When I moved out my landlord wanted to take it to the dump.

I was so upset I paid to have it carted to my new house, stored it in my garage for a few years, then sold it for a couple hundred bucks.

Somebody got a great deal on that one!

The Demand Dot

Ok, so we know people will pay thousands of dollars for a restored appliance.

But is there really enough market demand for Roy to jump in?

Another visit to Antique Appliances and I learned that as of April, the company had approximately 159 antique appliances under contract for restoration.

The wait for gas stoves is two years and for electric ones, a year.

And if you want to get your vintage refrigerator restored, you’ll have to wait 36 months!

Knowing this, do you think Roy – or anyone who loves working with their hands and has a willingness to learn a new skill – would be wise to get in on the vintage appliance trend?

Other Vintage Restoration Opportunities

Appliances aren’t the only way to cash in on the restoration boom.

There’s a market for vintage vending machines

Vintage RVs are very hot right now.

And if the prices they’re pulling in at Steel Vintage in the UK are any indication, vintage bicycles present a great opportunity as well.

(If you really want to dig deep into the vintage bike world, check out this list of resources courtesy of The Ann Arbor Bicycle Show.)

Once you settle on a product, Craigslist, eBay, garage and estate sales, old barns in rural areas are all good places to either find or advertise for vintage stuff in need of repair.

Not Just for Men

Bailey Sisson is one of three mechanics at Nova Motorcycles vintage repair shop up the road from me in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

According to her bio, after growing up in a family of machinists, “she realized she wanted to be a mechanic professionally when she discovered the art and pleasure of making things work perfectly.”

Adding that Bailey, “…has a strong desire to leave things better than she found them.”

And check out this You Tube video about Carlita Belgrove AKA “The Stove Lady” in Yonkers, New York

After 30 years in business Belgrove Appliances must be doing something right!

Getting Started

Look for “how to” books

I couldn’t find one specifically on appliances… which itself presents an opportunity to team up with a restorer to write one.

But there are books on repairing vintage and other items.

If you’re open to exploring possibilities, go to Amazon and type in: How to repair vintage [leave the what part blank] – and see what comes up!

Look for “how to” videos on You Tube

I didn’t find any training videos that take you soup-to-nuts.

But there are some shorter ones where you can pick up some tips.

Or see if you can find other sites like where they post photos that break down the restoration process one stage at a time.


There are lots of magazines out there that cater to the vintage and antique markets:

Join the club — literally

Sure their website looks like something out of the 1980s… (Another opportunity?)!

But what matters are the how-to manuals and other benefits available to members of the Old Appliance Club.

Apprentice with someone

Years ago a local bookbinder named Bill Streeter used to take on apprentices.

Every three months another student would happily plunk down $3,000 for the chance to learn from a master craftsman.

Go to school

After graduating high school early, Bailey attended the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Arizona – one of 12 locations in the US.

Better Yet… Start Your Own School

You don’t need to be handy to cash in on the vintage restoration craze.

The biggest challenge for Roy – or anyone who needs to learn a new hands-on skill – is lack of experience.

But remember, problems are just opportunities in disguise.

Are you organized?

Do you like setting up events or programs?

Have a background in education?

Are you a go-getter who likes to make things happen?

Any of these things position you to partner with an existing company who likes the “idea” of establishing a training business but doesn’t have the time to make it happen on their own.

Or just hire one or two people who know the repair end and start your own.

Let’s say you charge $5,000 tuition.

All you need are 40 students a year and you’ve got yourself a nice little $200,000 a year business!

Remember, changing course starts with a great idea… and the willingness to act on it.

FREE OFFER: Need Help Connecting the Dots to YOUR Dream Business?

Do you have no clue what it is you even love to do?

Or, do you know what you love to do, but have no clue how to make money doing it?

Life is short my friend.

Click here now to discover more about how my surprisingly affordable Outside the Job Box brainstorming session can help you.

Be among the first three people to schedule your consultation and you’ll receive my inspirational ebook – a $19 value!

So, if you’re ready to take control over your time and life and work at what you love – give me a call! 

And, if you liked this article… please share the love!

6 Reasons Why Summer is the Best Time to Launch YOUR Dream Business

The school calendar of your youth may have hardwired you to see Fall as the time for new beginnings.

But summertime is THE best time to launch your dream business.

Don’t worry — you can change course and still have time for summertime recreation.

After all, the word recreation literally means to “re-create.”

And what better way to spend this summer than recreating your LIFE!

Here are six ways you can use this summer to grow your dream:

1) Be lazy and still make progress

As the most carefree of the four seasons, summer is made for dreaming big. The key is to be deliberate about it.

One way is to make an appointment with yourself to go to your favorite park bench or other outdoor spot.

Give yourself a full half hour (ideally longer) to just lay back and watch the clouds roll by or gaze lazily at a star-filled sky.

As your breathing slows you’ll find the day-to-day trials and tribulations that consume us now seem trivial.

Start to imagine what could be…

Taking in the vastness of the sky reminds you to see your life in more expansive terms as well.

If you find yourself still thinking small, remember the wise words of Michelangelo…

“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.”

2) Take advantage of the longer days

Yes, lazy days of summer are still busy.

Still, the additional hours of daylight do add a bit more time to our lives.

Why not use this “found time” to do things like…

  • take a class
  • start your blog
  • build your inventory
  • hone your craft or other skills like writing or speaking
  • read up on ways to make money doing what you love

Even if you can only dedicate 20 minutes a day or one morning a month, it’s all forward motion!

3) You don’t need a yard to plant seeds

Summer is the ideal time to cultivate that dream.

Start with good soil by asking yourself some core questions like…

  • Who and what do I care deeply about?
  • What makes me happy?
  • What do I want my life to look like? (click here for some tips on where to start)

Now get rid of the weeds – the lame excuses, apathy, self-doubt, and fear born from lack of information.

Next plant a few seeds that move you closer to your dream life.

  • Interview someone doing your dream job
  • Start or join a group of other self-bossers
  • Write a business plan (or at least a loose outline) of what you want to do and steps needed to get there.

Of course you could always plant a real garden – and make some real money doing it!

To get started check out Homesteading for Beginners: How To Build A Profitable Homestead Backyard Farm and Make Money From Urban Farming by an enterprising Brit named William Walsworth.

The biggest “complaint” about his book is that it focuses on the business aspect of homesteading… which is precisely the info every aspiring self-bosser needs!

4) Find yourself in a real summer thriller

Light summer novels are great.

But how about treating your life like the adventure it could be by reading some books to help you change course? Like…

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski

Or if you’re still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up there’s always…

Wishcraft by Barbara Sher (her first and still my favorite book)

Or instead of losing yourself in a summer novel, why not find yourself one of the many exercises in my own book — It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Calling.

Or, if you already have a new direction in mind, use this time to read a “how to” book on this new path.

Go to Amazon and search for “How to start a [fill in the blank] business.” You’ll be amazed at what you find!

Or check out courses with a proven track record on things like how to turn your photos into cash or how to get paid to travel.

5) Take a tax-deductible vacation

If your dream includes relocating, hit the road by using your vacation as an exciting research expedition.

Plan ahead to do things like arrange informational interviews with local entrepreneurs or craftspeople or to otherwise gather research about things like local costs, vendors, groups, and opportunities.

Say you spend two out of seven days doing research, calling on future customers, or even collaborators.

As long as you make what the IRS* considers a “good faith effort” to make a future profit within three years, then you should be able to deduct that portion of your trip as a tax-deductible business expense. (Tip: Be sure to document how you use your time)

You don’t have to be contemplating a move to take a tax-deductible road trip.

If you want to cash in on the profitable romance writing genre then head to the annual Romance Writers of America conference happening this July in Orlando.

I was at the 2016 conference to deliver a keynote to 3,000 attendees.

And I was blown away at the quantity and quality of the workshops as well as opportunities for aspiring writers to pitch to agents and publishers.

Or maybe beer making school in Germany or one of the many boat building schools are more your thing!

Again, if you’re acquiring training in order to go on and earn money — then it should be a tax-deductible expense.

*My friends outside the US will want to check on your country’s tax law.

6) Or take a “staycation” and invest in your dream

Use some or all of your summer vacation time to gain more passion-related knowledge, experience or connections locally.

In addition to doing any or all of the actions listed in #5, use your vacation time to take a local class, to volunteer, or maybe even do a super part-time apprenticeship.

Or just save both money and time by spending your vacation at home.

If you do, be sure to make it a real vacation by doing the kinds of things a tourist on a budget might do – go on a picnic, head to a museum, take a day trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go.

Then stash the money you would have spent on a costly vacation into a “dream fund.”

Use your savings to take career-expanding classes or even start your own business.

Then use at least a few vacation days to work on your action plan.

Re-creating your life is about making choices.

Hop on down to the comments and share one way you can use your summer to launch YOUR dream business… and life!

May I ask a favor?

If you liked this article, would you please share with others? Thanks in advance for your support!

Why 2017 Is THE Year of the Freelancing Entrepreneur!

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

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

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

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

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

Job Security (Really!)

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

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

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

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

Competitive Wages (Really!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better Online Safety (Which Matters!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Want to Get Paid to Write? 

You can, you know.

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

All you need is someone to show you how.

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

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

7 Ways to Cash In On the College Market


I just returned from on a whirlwind 5-city speaking tour in beautiful British Columbia.

Coincidentally, my topic – the impostor syndrome – was also a major theme of actress Natalie Portman’s Commencement address at her alma mater, Harvard.

May is the time when millions of students graduate from college.

And if you want to be your own boss, May should also be the time when you start thinking about creative ways to tap the college market.

Within a 10 mile radius of my home are three Ivy League colleges, a small super expensive private college, and a large state university.

If you live near a college you know how much the student population contributes to your local economy.

If you want to be your own boss, then these same students can boost your personal economy as well!

There are lots of ways to profit from the lucrative student or faculty market. Here are 7 ideas to get you started.

Sell to Parents

Conventional business wisdom says to avoid a target market that lacks a lot of disposable income. When it comes to college students however, you’ll want to ignore that rule.

For one, there are plenty of students attending elite schools who have money to spend.

More importantly, there will always be parents with both the desire and the financial means to provide every advantage for their pampered offspring.

So let’s begin with ideas aimed primarily at parents of current or college bound students.

1. Private admissions consultant Competition at elite colleges and universities is fierce. So much so that according to USA Today, there’s a huge surge in parents are willing to plunk down as much as $3,000 for a “private admissions consultant” to assist with their kids’ college application. How huge? In 2013, 26% of applicants to Stanford University hired a consultant – triple the number from just a decade earlier.

Man underwear2. Student concierge Wealthy parents are eager to eliminate anything that might otherwise distract their child from his or her studies. Enter Lana Drew’s Student Concierge Service.

Parents of students attending elite Brown University and other colleges in Providence, Rhode Island tap Lana’s “Lifestyle Management” services to do anything from moving into dorms to handling dry cleaning and laundry to installing a sound system. Her company even has doctors, attorneys, and bankers on call to assist her client’s offspring as needed.Clearly aimed at wealthy parents who will gladly pay to give their kid every possible advantage, Lana’s concierge services start at a whopping $2,500 a semester and can go much higher.

3. Care package creator understands that virtually all parents (and grandparents) want to make college life a little easier – and fun. The site offers an assortment of care packages for different occasions like new students, final exam period and Sample cpa exam questions, or graduation.There’s definitely room in this space for you to put together your own care packages of healthy snacks or junk food, toys, birthday cakes, funny t-shirts, gift certificates to a local yoga studio, iTunes… get creative!

duster-with-glove_M11i8PKu4. Dorm cleaning service – College janitorial services are typically limited to bathrooms, hallways, and other public areas. A lot of students with dorm or fraternity/sorority rooms that resemble those in the film Animal House would love to hire someone to clean up.

Since they’re small, dorm rooms can be cleaned quickly. And if parents aren’t willing to cover the cost then suite occupants may be willing to split it.

If you don’t want to do the actual cleaning yourself then build on the Dorm Mom app model and find local students to do the work.

5. Tutor If you’re knowledgeable in a particular academic subject, earn money helping a struggling student pass a class. If you’re targeting undergraduates, marketing-wise you may want to target the paying parent, it may be the parent footing the bill.

When I was studying for the Graduate Entrance Exam (GRE) I personally hired a math tutor to help me brush up on my algebra and geometry.

So don’t forget to tap all those students either applying for advanced degree programs or who need to pass final licensing exams also need help preparing for the various examinations.

If you don’t want to deal with promoting your services yourself then sign up with a clearing house like Take Lessons. Algebra tutors on their site get paid $15-$35 for 30 minutes of tutoring.

Push pin on sudy text6. Coach ADD/ADHD/autistic students – Most schools have on-site professionals to assist with students with a variety of special needs including attention deficit and/or hyperactivity or autism.

That said, there’s plenty of room for customized private coaching for those students who need one-to-one help to negotiate the maze of university bureaucracy, deal with the social and academic demands of college, manage money, stay fit, and juggle laundry and other chores new to many young people out on their for the first time.

Parents are already paying through the nose for tuition. What’s another $200-$500 a month to ensure their son or daughter graduates?

7. Career advising for lost students – Imagine spending a small fortune on your kid’s tuition only to have him or her drop out, flunk out, or graduate but still be utterly directionless.

My friends Tim and Martha were dismayed when their daughter Katie flunked out of her pricey private high school. So they sent her to a private career counselor.

In addition to doing a bunch of testing, the counselor arranged for Katie to spend a month with a volunteer organization in Latin America as well as other experiential outings.

The bill… $3,000 plus the cost of travel!

Once again, you don’t need to be the one providing the counseling. You just need to find the counselors and promote and manage the business.

With 21 million college students in the US and another 1.7 in Canada, there’s ample opportunity to cash in on students — and their paying parents.

And since college doesn’t start up again until the fall, that gives you a full three months to start putting your ideas in place. So… what are you waiting for? Your future profit center is waiting for you!

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have another idea for tapping the lucrative college market? Share it with your fellow Changing Course change seekers here!

If you don’t use Facebook, just scroll down to post there.

The best idea will receive a FREE copy of Being Realistic is Killing Your Dream (a $19 value)

How to Cash in on a Trend… And This is No Game

Chess against grunge background

By far one of the best ways to come up with a cool – and profitable – business idea is to pay attention to trends.

For example, if you spend much time on public transportation, in coffee shops, or other public places you’ll see people of all of ages compulsively playing Angry Birds or other games on their devices. (I am an admitted Solitaire junkie!)

But did you know there’s a huge surge in the popularity of good old fashioned board games like Monopoly or Dungeons and Dragons?

According to a recent segment on NBC news, board game sales increased 10 percent in 2014. Sales of the childhood favorite Operation are up a whopping 40 percent!

Fueling this increase is another trend — the growing desire to unplug from our devices and connect on a more personal level.

Some entrepreneurial souls are cashing in on the board game trend in a big way. And with a little creative thinking, so can you.

Cup Of Coffee And A Couple Of Cookies Making A Welcome BreakTake for instance, the aspiring entrepreneurs from Gold Ira Company Glendale, CA who launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to open a game-themed café. It took just two months to raise the funds to open GameHaus Café.

Besides enjoying the wide-ranging menu of drinks and casual fare, for a $5 cover charge customers can access over 900 board games. The café also hosts events like International Table Top day at a cost of $15 for the day.

Other game bars and cafes like The Uncommon in population dense New York City are heavily events driven with specific dates and times regularly reserved for lovers of chess, Star Trek, and other games.

Even though they’re in a pricier area, The Uncommon also charges just $5 a head. Undoubtedly, the owners know the games are a way to bring the customers in. The real money is made on the food and beverage side.

The mark up on coffee alone explains why it’s known in the restaurant industry as “black gold.”

Still, when you consider 100-200 people at 5 bucks that’s an additional $500 to $1,000 a day in revenue! Even if they pull in that many people over the course of an entire week, you’re looking at $26,000-$52,000 annual profit just on the cover charge. Not bad for a one-time purchase of a bunch of board games.

Opportunity Knocks

moneytreeExamples of location-specific businesses like these are ripe with opportunities for people who want to change course. After all, being a brick and mortar operation means they can’t be everywhere. So unless these café owners plan to offer franchises, anyone can replicate or modify what is now a tested business model.You can now even get some of the best coupon deals online and save money with it.

You could of course open your own bar or café. But if you’re looking for a more modest investment or something that doesn’t require you to be tethered for hours on end to a physical location, there are other potential options.

Set Up a Board Game Events Company I can see a lot of restaurant or coffee shop owners loving this idea but not having the time or energy to set it up.

What if you purchase a bunch of new or used board games to rent out to restaurants looking to host their own events?

To earn even more, provide a done-for-you service that, in addition to publicizing the event, includes board game delivery and set up. For a more engaging experience (at an additional charge), include MC services where you lead quirky contests complete with equally quirky prizes.

The restaurant or café gets the additional food and drink revenue and you keep the cover charge.

Whether you offer your services to existing businesses OR you rent out space to host your own events, consider offerings specific to different demographics groups. For instance:

Singles: What better way to meet a potential romantic partner than at a low pressure environment like board game night? In addition to lots of laughter, you definitely learn a lot about a person based on how they play individually competitive games like Monopoly, Scrabble, or Battleship or a team game like Pictionary or Taboo. Be sure to bring name tags for this one.

Single Parents: The kids get to meet and have no-tech fun with their peers. The parents get a much needed break playing games or conversing with other adults. For single parents who need to get employee, business, or school related work done you can set up workstations with printers.

Rent out Saturday mornings at a dinner-only restaurant, a childcare center, or other space. Set up a cereal buffet bar for the kids and maybe some children’s films for the toddlers and you’ve got yourself a great weekend business.

Family playing board gameFamily Game Night: Pizza for the kids… a glass of beer or wine event for the adults…  What could be more fun? If your venue does not have a liquor license check with your local officials to see if a “bring your own” permit is available where you live. Or host an alcohol free event.

There could be college student, young professionals unplug, or new guy or gal in town night. Game days for kids with special needs or corporate team building events. Afternoon events aimed at retirees. Even bring your dog to game day complete a supervised romper room for canine play.

Once you start thinking outside the job box you’ll quickly see the possibilities are truly endless!

Finally, for the record, you can still tap into this trend without organizing events. That’s what the founders of Board Game Quest did.

The site began as a simple blog. It was a way says founder and avid gamer known simply as Tony to, “play games, post reviews and session reports, and maybe encourage others to discover something new.” [Wonder if the reason Tony and the other staffers don’t use last names is because they’re in the process of changing course from having a job-job to being full-time self-bossers…]

However, like so many enterprises that started out small, things grew from there. Today Board Game Quest features weekly board game reviews, news, interviews with game designers, and information on upcoming board game related Kickstarter campaigns.

That’s why its so important not to wait until you’ve got it all figured out. Instead just jump in and be open to where your business takes you!

The key is to stay alert to trends. When you find one that peeks your interest, look for proven — or creative — ways to build a business around it.

Join the “Brainstorm Nation” Family!

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 other interesting ways someone could turn similar interests into income! (Non-Facebook users, scroll down to the comment section.)

5 Ways to Fund Your Dream Part 2

When it comes to changing course, money – or rather the lack of it – stops a lot of people in their tracks.

So to help, I’ve put together a five-part series on creative ways to fund your dream.

You may not be able to take advantage of every idea or resource. In fact, none of the five ideas may be right for you and your personal situation. You need to read them anyway. Why?

First, the strategy that may not be a fit for you today may indeed be the one that launches your dream a few years from now.

Second, just knowing that options truly do exist will remind you that your crazy dream is not so crazy after all.

And finally, one of the ideas or resources you see here may be perfect for someone you know. Pass it on and you just might change a life!

Strategy #2: Get Your Priorities Right

Comedian and actor Chris Rock remarked in an interview, “Having money doesn’t make you rich. Having options makes you rich.”

Arianne and Scott Bennett didn’t have either. The couple desperately wanted to travel. But they didn’t have any expendable income.

However they were both able to afford their $4.50 pack a day cigarette habit. Smoking had become a priority.

So in 1998 they both decided to quit and stash the money they saved into a travel fund. Ten months later the couple had enough money to fly to Amsterdam where some friends had recently moved. Check the e cigarette reviews

falafelThey loved the canals and the old world charm. But what Arianne and Scott really fell in love with were the many falafel shops. So they returned to the states to open their first Amsterdam Falafel shop and today run a booming franchise business.

Arianne and Scott’s dream began with a simple decision to put their money into something that would bring them joy. Can you say that about where your money goes?

If not, where can you cut back? Could you cancel or downgrade a pricey cable bill. Pack your lunch. Skip the daily latte. Whatever you do be sure you redirect the money you save into a special Dream Account.

For my friends Linda and Waino saving money isn’t a strategy. It’s a lifestyle.

Throughout his life Waino had a series of low-paying jobs, including school bus driver and hired hand at a dairy farm. Linda started out as an English teacher but soon discovered a love of making pottery.

For the last 30 years she’s thrown pots in her well-lit basement studio. In the spring and fall, Linda teaches pottery classes at a local college. And for a few weeks each summer, she runs classes for kids in her studio.

Of course like everyone, there are times when, Linda feels pressured by the demands for her work. But while her employed friends get a measly 2-3 weeks of vacation, Linda takes ten.

Freshly-Harvested-VegetablesThe couple grows much of their own food. So she takes three weeks off in May to plant their massive vegetable garden. The entire month of August is spent reading books, playing cards, and swimming at a rustic cottage on a remote lake in Maine that the couple own with Linda’s sister and her husband.

After a hectic few month run up to the busy Christmas craft season Linda takes three weeks off in January to cross country ski from her front door and to catch up on things around the house.

This isn’t Linda’s only vacation time. In the last few years she and Hanne Eidberg cross-country skied their way across a part of Switzerland, spent a week with other long-time friends and me in Cozumel Mexico, and last year she accompanied a friend to Ecuador.

Did I mention that Linda and Waino’s combined income has never been more than $50,000? If you’re wondering how they can do all of this and still afford to take over ten weeks off a year, it has everything to do with priorities.

The couple prides themselves on living a full but frugal life. Ardent environmentalists, they repair rather than replace, buy only what they need and for everything else they go used, barter with friends, or go without. They raise chickens for the eggs and grow and preserve a fair amount of their own food.

The mortgage on their small but comfortable home has long been paid off and they have more saved for retirement than the vast majority of those earning two-to-three times more.

If you live in pricy areas like New York City, Boston, or San Francisco it’s not always easy to live on less. So if you’re ready for a change of scenery, consider relocating to a more affordable place where your dollar will go much further.

cafeIf you’re up for re-prioritizing in a big way, you could always go international. Running an existing portable business or starting a new business in another country is actually pretty doable. There are ex-pats opening cafes, using Skype to continue to work with clients back home, and importing crafts and other products back home.

Getting a job in another country can be a major challenge, but it’s not impossible. The reason Linda went to Ecuador was to accompany a friend who couldn’t afford to retire in the U.S. and wanted to check things out. On her first visit the friend got a job teaching English and has since relocated there full-time.

You don’t have to retire to benefit from this list of best places to retire from International Living magazine.

Nor do you need to move, raise your own chickens or grow your own food. But, if you’re serious about finding a way to fund your dream – and enjoy more life – then consider ways you can live on less. In a word: Prioritize.

As Margaret Young said:

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”

Strategy 1: Find a Contest Related to Your Dream and Enter It
Strategy 3: Make and Stash Some Extra Cash
Strategy 4: Barter
Strategy 5: Know Your Options

Cool Jobs #16 and #17

Get Paid to Speak or Hold Cool Events – Or Both!

Picture yourself delivering a presentation or leading a workshop on a topic you love.

Maybe that topic is spirituality, abundance or effective leadership. Or what about how leading with spirit results in an abundant bottom line?

Or perhaps you’d love to speak about how sports or learning to play a musical instrument can be a metaphor for academic or business success.

Or on how to find your true calling, self-care for caretakers, or a thousand other topics.

excited groupNow imagine earning four – or even five – figures per speaking gig sharing your passion with others.

Welcome to my life!

I became a paid speaker at 26. My first gig earned me a whopping $150. Good money when rent was $400!

Last year I earned six figures speaking, and this year I’m on track to do the same.

Over the years I’ve addressed well over 70,000 people at countless organizations from Intel to the YWCA.

And I’ve had the honor of sharing the main stage with the likes of Martha Stewart and Gloria Steinem (now that’s a combination!)

I’m not telling you this to impress you.

Rather, it’s because I’ve learned a thing or two about how to succeed as a professional speaker – including what mistakes to avoid.

The 3 Biggest Mistakes Aspiring Speakers Make
and How to Avoid Them

The first mistake is actually the worst one because it keeps a lot of talented people with a message to share from ever even trying to get into the speaking business.

Mistake #1: Thinking You Don’t Know Enough

Far too many perfectly capable people think they don’t have enough knowledge to talk about a subject. If you’re one then I have news for you.

speakerYou really don’t know everything there is to know about your topic. But guess what? Neither does anyone else.

There’s always more to learn!

A related mistake is the misguided belief that you can’t possibly speak credibly on a topic unless you have an advanced degree – or indeed any degree.

You don’t need three PhDs and 20 years of experience. You just need to know more than your audience does. As the saying goes, to 3rd graders, 4th graders are gods!

Look at talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Despite regularly dishing out “expert” and often controversial opinions and advice on human behavior, “Dr. Laura” as she is known and is not a physician as many of her listeners presume.

Nor is she a psychiatrist, or even a psychologist. Although she did go back and study marriage counseling after starting in radio, the “doctor” designation is from a doctorate in physiology where she studied the effects of insulin on rats.

In fact, an effective counter to the internal or external pressure to be highly credentialed is to proudly proclaim yourself as the “anti-expert.”

In her book French Women Don’t Get Fat, Mireille Guilano lets readers know right up front that she’s not a nutritionist, a psychologist, an exercise physiologist or any other kind of “ist.”

Instead, Guilano says, she’s just a woman who happens to have observed and experienced the French diet and is sharing that knowledge with people who’d like to eat well and not gain weight.

Mistake #2: Not Understanding How Speakers Get Paid

There are three ways you can get paid to speak. You can

a)     Get hired by organizations

b)     Earn money from your adoring audience

c)      Generate revenue from event sponsors

Which model or models you choose depends on your topic, your financial and business goals, and your personal preference. Let’s take a brief look at each.

Get Hired by Organizations

Other than running the occasional workshop or retreat for people who want to change course, this is my primary business model.

Because my topic – confidence – is so far reaching I can speak to a variety of different audiences.

Speaking at corporations

Having worked for a Fortune 500 company I’m comfortable working with such diverse companies as Boeing, IBM, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s Europe division (sweet!) and Motley Fool.

motleyfoolAnother plus of speaking to for-profit companies is they pay the most!

A topic like “how to raise sane, healthy teenagers” or “how to find your calling” typically won’t fly for employee training. But there’s another way most people don’t know about – so called “spousal meetings.”

Lots of large corporations hold at least one multi-day, off-site meeting a year where attendees (usually executives or top performing sales people) are encouraged to bring their spouse or partner and sometimes the kids too.

While the employees attend mandatory meetings, their family can choose from a range of age-appropriate activities which include speakers!

Speaking at colleges and universities

I’ve spoken at over 70 major colleges and universities. Depending on your message you can specialize in addressing undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and/or staff.

Whenever you can try to maximize my travel time by grouping my speaking gigs based on location.

For instance this year I will have spoken at Cornell (4x) and nearby University of Syracuse, at North Carolina State University and the neighboring University of North Carolina as well as two California trips to speak at Stanford, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, and University of the Pacific.

Professional or industry associations or charitable organizations

Large professional or industry associations need keynote and break out session speakers for their national, regional, or state-wide events.

Examples from my own experience include American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Alberta Business Women, and Utah Women Attorneys.

Charitable organizations also hire speakers for their fundraising events. Like the dog chef who travels to speak at events put on by the SPCA and other dog shelters.

These organizations tend to operate on a shoe-string, so expect to earn the least here. Keep in mind though that you may be able to arrange selling your book after your talk or to get a professional videotape of your talk.

Earn Money From Your Adoring Audience or From Sponsors – Or Both

If you know what you’re doing you can make insane amounts of money running your own events.

Registration fees

Registration fees are the most obvious source of income. These can range from $5o for a couple of hours to $5,000 for a multi-day event.

Toss in some big name speakers and depending on your audience it’s not unheard of to charge as much as $25,000.

If the material you’re delivering is intended to help your audience to use the information to earn money themselves, then you can charge more. Here again, it has to do with your topic.

Naturally people are willing to pay more for an event on how to make 7 figures selling information products than they are for one on how to write your first screenplay.

Product sales

Another model is to keep the registration fee low – or even free – and instead earn money from so-called “back of the room” sales.

Most often this would mean selling books, CDs, videos and other information products – your own or other peoples.

However, if your event is on fashion or how to write a best-selling cookbook, then you could just as easily sell clothing and accessories, make up, cookware, and other topic appropriate products on site.

Masterminds and other coaching or mentoring programs

Income from registration fees and products can be substantial. But in addition to these revenue streams, the most financially successful speakers use their events another way.

They still provide attendees with valuable content.

However, the secondary goal is to use the event to showcase your credibility and value in order to inspire a smaller segment of the audience to sign up to join your coaching or mentoring program.

It worked for me. I signed on to “mastermind” with three different experts this way. In all three cases it was money well-spent.


Selling sponsorships for your event is another highly lucrative and often under-used way to get paid to speak.

Depending on your topic, sponsors could be a local newspaper or bank, a major corporation, or even a solo-practitioner like a chiropractor or life coach.

Sponsors win because they in front of potential customers in a forum that aligns with their brand and message. You win because sponsor fees can cover part or all of your event costs.

Case in point is Entrepreneur magazine’s annual Growth Conference (an event I highly recommend). The event is free to attend because UPS foots the entire bill – including lunch!

When you can attract 5 to 25 corporate or other major sponsors at the $5,000, $15,000, $25,000, and even $50,000 level, then my friend you are looking at serious revenue.

Bottom line, putting on your own events is a great avenue if:

  • There aren’t a lot of organizations who are willing or able to pay you to speak on your particular topic
  • Your topic is entrepreneurial in nature and/or your primary audience is business owners
  • You want to offer coaching or mentoring after the event
  • You have products to sell
  • You can attract enough attendees to make your event attractive to sponsors

Mistake #3: Not Investing In Your Success

Whether you’re just now launching your speaking career or are a seasoned pro who wants to increase your bottom line, from a financial perspective the BIGGEST mistake you can make is not being willing to make even the smallest investment in yourself and your business.

Speaking skills not as strong as they could be?

You don’t need to spend a dime to join a local chapter of Toastmaster or watch Ted Talks.

To get there much faster though I suggest you attend a formal training program where you can learn from someone who is more experienced, skilled, and further along than you.

LarryValThat’s what I did. This is me and my speaking mentor five time New York Times best-selling author and television personality Larry Winget.

As someone who has earned the right to command a $25,000 speaker fee, I knew he could help me take my own business to the next level. And I was right.

Everyone can become a better speaker. That includes me. Like all great speakers, Larry never stops practicing his craft and neither should you.

Working with Larry cost me a small fortune.

Fortunately, there are two free resources that are happening this very week.

Own the Stage: 7 Strategies to Create a Speaking Business that Attracts Clients, Connection and Cash Flow

This three-part video series is compliments of Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA.

darnyelleA sought-after speaker and award-winning business coach, Darnyelle has been featured in Black Enterprise, Essence and O Magazines and has shared the stage with some of the greats – Suze Orman, Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Lisa Nichols, Willey Jolley, Delatorro McNeal, and Ali Brown… to name a few.

Darnyelle will share the tips and techniques that helped her launch a speaking business that generates $20,000 a month from corporate and other speaking gigs. These include:

  • A sure-fire technique to turn your audience into raving fans and grow your own “groupie” line
  • The three different types of speaking engagements and how to maximize your earnings in each
  • Must-have marketing materials you need to get you booked again and again

Video 1 comes out today (September 4th) so you’ll want to register for Darnyelle’s speaker training series now.

Sold Out to 7 Figures: The LIVE Event Formula for Cashing In

bariIf you’re already comfortable on stage and are ready to put on your own events there is simply no one out there better to learn from than Suzanne Evans of Hell Yeah Coaching and Bari Baumgardner of Sage Event Management.

You may not know Bari by name. But you may recognize some of her clients.

Bari and her team have planned and managed highly profitable events for people like Ali Brown, Lisa Sasevich, Fabienne Frederickson, Adam Urbanski, Bernadette Doyle, and many others.

Two words that describe Bari are class act.

suzanneOn the other hand there’s my friend Suzanne Evans. (One of the things I love most about Suzanne is that she’d be the first one to laugh at that transition.)

In just a few years this unapologetically big, brash, tell-it-like-it-is business coach has built a multiple 7-figure company.

But style will get you only so far.

What landed Hell Yeah on the Inc. 500 list of fasted growing companies in the US not once, but twice, are their sold-out live events.

After started out with 11 people in a crowded conference room of a dingy chain hotel quickly turned into almost a thousand enthusiastic attendees at a swank luxury hotel.

If you want to put on highly profitable live events this is your chance to learn from Suzanne, Bari and other event professionals.

Get all the details here.

More importantly I hope you realize that with the right message, the right training, and the determination to make a difference in the lives of your audience that you too can get paid to speak.

Get a C.L.U.E.

There are two types of people in the world: Chronic complainers and chronic complainers with a clue.

Both groups can always find something to gripe about.

The difference is, the clueless complainers will go to their grave railing against everyone and everything. Which, of course, only confirms their biggest complaint, namely: “life sucks and then you die.”

“In the middle of difficulty,” observed Albert Einstein, “lies opportunity.” What makes clued-in whiners different is that they have grasped the fundamental genius of success:

Lead to rush nutrition solutions which
Ultimately, with effort,
Equal opportunity

In other words, take just about any problem or situation worthy of complaint — annoying telemarketers, bed bugs, lack of eligible dating partners.

Then add a dash of creative problem solving and you’ve got all the makings for a whole range of positive possibilities. For more info visit

Last time I featured great resources for earning money by:

  • Creating floral arrangements

  • Growing and selling plants from home

  • Working on the farm with a little help from farm school

In This Issue

Today we’ll look at three more cool jobs for aspiring self-bossers.

Each has the potential to solve a problem for someone else while putting money in your pocket!

  • Man Camp – teaching what dads forgot to teach

  • Breaking up is hard to do – but you can help!

  • For some breaking up is fun to do – divorce parties and other ideas

As always, some of the cool ideas you’re about to “meet” come from people in an international community of licensed Profiting From Your Passion® coaches. I hope these ideas inspire you to make your own job!

Cool “Job” #13: Man Camp – teaching what dads forgot to teach

Like many entrepreneurial ideas, this one came disguised as a problem.

My friend Beau Blackwell was lamenting the fact that his father never taught him how to replace a toilet, trouble shoot a stalled car engine, or other stereotypically “guy stuff.”

hammer“Wouldn’t it be great,” said Beau, “if young guys like him could go to “man camp”? Indeed!

If you know how to do basic home maintenance or auto repairs you could teach the classes yourself. If not, find some retired guys who can.

Building On That Idea

You could of course earn money from registration fees. But there are other ways to go.

For instance, you could round up one or more local sponsors to foot the bill. Instead of it being your event it could be billed as Man Camp sponsored by Homey Hardware Store or Best Ever Used Cars.

In addition to sponsor income, being connected with a local business has other advantages like instant credibility, sponsor help in promoting the event at their location, on social media, and on their website, as well as increased chances for local media coverage.

Another way to generate revenue is to work the food and beverage angle.

I remember my friend Barbara Winter telling about a famous herb farm that used to operate in Connecticut. They didn’t have a license to serve food. So they charged a fee to tour the gardens that included a free lunch!

beerSo what if you tap a local brewery as a sponsor? That way you can include a free sample which in turn allows you to up the registration fee. (Just don’t teach classes involving any buzz saws!)

Man Camp is a great idea. But as a home owner there are a lot of things I wish my dad had taught me too – things that neither of my two brothers learned either.

So you could always organize a similar class for women who tend to be less intimidated learning how to dry wall or change spark plugs in the company of other women.

Cool “Job” #14: Breaking up is hard to do – but you can help!

brokenheartAnyone who’s been dumped knows that breaking up really is hard to do.

You don’t feel like eating. Everything reminds you of your ex. You obsess about how incredible they were while developing amnesia about their faults.

As you’ll learn from an informative and entertaining video called The Science of Love, there’s a physiological reason why you have a hard time getting over your beloved.

brainAccording to researchers, the same regions of the brain are activated during a breakup as when an addict is going through withdrawal.

So it stands to reason that a step-based model like Alcoholics Anonymous could be used to facilitate recovery from heart-break as well.

The video features several newly single people trying out five steps like identifying three things you learned from the relationship and mediation.

Building on That Idea

The 5-step process got me thinking about things like offering Break Up Recovery Coaching, Break Up Support Groups, even Break Up Retreats to cool locations.

You don’t need to be a psychologist or other mental health provider. Rather if you have coaching experience or simply organizing skills, you can partner with someone else to do the emotional heavy-lifting.

singingThe video ends with a singer composing a customized rap song for the people featured in the video.

If you have a knack for songwriting, this could be just the cool job for you!


What If You Could Get Paid to Share Cool Business Ideas?

  • Are you an idea person?

  • Do you love to brainstorm?

  • Would you like to get paid to do what comes naturally?

You’re not alone!

In less time than you think you can train to become a licensed Profiting From Your Passion® coach.

Here’s what one student had to say as she started digging into the course material…

The resources on the student site are unbelievable. I can’t even imagine the time, energy, finances and mental/physical exertion you have poured into this.


Most of what I have experienced appears to have lead me to this work! Thanks again for all the work you have put into this program.


Robbie Penney
Bakersfield, CA

An accelerated version of this online course begins September 8th. Seats are limited.

Click here to learn how you can get started for as little as $379.

Cool “Job” #15: For some, breaking up is fun to do — divorce parties and other ideas

Some newly single people moved from healing to celebrating and there are party planners who are all too eager to help them do it in style.

According to a growing number of party favor and event planning companies specializing in divorce parties, business is booming.

Today you can buy divorce party favors like “pin the tail on the ex” and divorce party coasters. Others like Kissed the Wrong Frog and fabletics sell clothing, lip gloss, and shot glasses.

The owner of Los Angeles-based The Divorce Party Planner books at least three parties a month. At $5,000 to a whopping $20,000, helping people celebrate a new beginning can also be highly profitable.

Building on that Idea

If you prefer a service-based business, a quick search of other major cities like Atlanta and Denver didn’t turn up any divorce party planners there. So, why not become the go-to planner in your area?

Don’t know where to begin? Pick up a copy of Divorce Party Handbook.

If you’re not into the angry ex going to a strip club with her gal-pals scene that means there are others who feel the same.

So why not offer an alternative for divorcees looking for more Zen-like or spiritually-based rituals. It could be as simple as a weekend at a local retreat center or spa or as high-end as a group trip to Sedona or Machu Picchu.

If you want to specialize even more, you could create events that appeal to gay divorcees, Jewish divorcees, devout Christian divorcees – add your own here.

Not a people-person?

Then set up an online store selling divorce-themed party favors and other products.

No offense to really dated looking The Divorce Shower Store (the link to Myspace nailed it) – but it wouldn’t be hard to come up with a more polished look or one aimed at an upscale market.

With enough traffic you can also attract ad revenue.

To increase your search engine optimization (SEO) and stand out from the competition at the same time,you can use one of the best seo in montreal agency or supply visitors with a steady stream of articles on topics like surviving the divorce, rocking it as a single parent, and getting back in the dating scene.

Or maybe you’re more the creative type? For a premium, you can offer divorce voodoo dolls customized to resemble a cheating ex.

Or you can design your own products like this funny “break-up prevention” T-shirt I saw in the Pittsburgh airport which would make a great coffee mug or wall plaque too.

The marriage may have ended, but the possibilities for creative self-bossers to create their own cool job are truly endless.

Add Your Voice to the Cool Job Tribe

Thousands of heads are always better than one!

How would you build on any of these cool jobs? What other options, ideas, or additional profit centers did you picture? What other cool jobs have you spotted lately? Post below!

5 Ways to Fund Your Dream Part 2

When it comes to changing course, money – or rather the lack of it – stops a lot of people in their tracks.

So to help, I’ve put together a five-part series on creative ways to fund your dream.

You may not be able to take advantage of every idea or resource. In fact, none of the five ideas may be right for you and your personal situation. You need to read them anyway. Why?

First, the strategy that may not be a fit for you today may indeed be the one that launches your dream a few years from now.

Second, just knowing that options truly do exist will remind you that your crazy dream is not so crazy after all.

And finally, one of the ideas or resources you see here may be perfect for someone you know. Pass it on and you just might change a life!

Strategy #2: Get Your Priorities Right

Comedian and actor Chris Rock remarked in an interview, “Having money doesn’t make you rich. Having options makes you rich.”

Arianne and Scott Bennett didn’t have either. The couple desperately wanted to travel. But they didn’t have any expendable income.

However they were both able to afford their $4.50 pack a day cigarette habit. Smoking had become a priority.

So in 1998 they both decided to quit and stash the money they saved into a travel fund. Ten months later the couple had enough money to fly to Amsterdam where some friends had recently moved.

falafelThey loved the canals and the old world charm. But what Arianne and Scott really fell in love with were the many falafel shops. So they returned to the states to open their first Amsterdam Falafel shop and today run a booming franchise business.

Arianne and Scott’s dream began with a simple decision to put their money into something that would bring them joy. Can you say that about where your money goes?

If not, where can you cut back? Could you cancel or downgrade a pricey cable bill. Pack your lunch. Skip the daily latte. Whatever you do be sure you redirect the money you save into a special Dream Account.

For my friends Linda and Waino saving money isn’t a strategy. It’s a lifestyle.

Throughout his life Waino had a series of low-paying jobs, including school bus driver and hired hand at a dairy farm. Linda started out as an English teacher but soon discovered a love of making pottery.

For the last 30 years she’s thrown pots in her well-lit basement studio. In the spring and fall, Linda teaches pottery classes at a local college. And for a few weeks each summer, she runs classes for kids in her studio.

Of course like everyone, there are times when, Linda feels pressured by the demands for her work. But while her employed friends get a measly 2-3 weeks of vacation, Linda takes ten.

Freshly-Harvested-VegetablesThe couple grows much of their own food. So she takes three weeks off in May to plant their massive vegetable garden. The entire month of August is spent reading books, playing cards, and swimming at a rustic cottage on a remote lake in Maine that the couple own with Linda’s sister and her husband.

After a hectic few month run up to the busy Christmas craft season Linda takes three weeks off in January to cross country ski from her front door and to catch up on things around the house.

This isn’t Linda’s only vacation time. In the last few years she and a friend cross-country skied their way across a part of Switzerland, spent a week with other long-time friends and me in Cozumel Mexico, and last year she accompanied a friend to Ecuador.

Did I mention that Linda and Waino’s combined income has never been more than $50,000? If you’re wondering how they can do all of this and still afford to take over ten weeks off a year, it has everything to do with priorities.

The couple prides themselves on living a full but frugal life. Ardent environmentalists, they repair rather than replace, buy only what they need and for everything else they go used, barter with friends, or go without. They raise chickens for the eggs and grow and preserve a fair amount of their own food.

The mortgage on their small but comfortable home has long been paid off and they have more saved for retirement than the vast majority of those earning two-to-three times more.

If you live in pricy areas like New York City, Boston, or San Francisco it’s not always easy to live on less. So if you’re ready for a change of scenery, consider relocating to a more affordable place where your dollar will go much further.

cafeIf you’re up for re-prioritizing in a big way, you could always go international. Running an existing portable business or starting a new business in another country is actually pretty doable. There are ex-pats opening cafes, using Skype to continue to work with clients back home, and importing crafts and other products back home.

Getting a job in another country can be a major challenge, but it’s not impossible. The reason Linda went to Ecuador was to accompany a friend who couldn’t afford to retire in the U.S. and wanted to check things out. On her first visit the friend got a job teaching English and has since relocated there full-time.

You don’t have to retire to benefit from this list of best places to retire from International Living magazine.

Nor do you need to move, raise your own chickens or grow your own food. But, if you’re serious about finding a way to fund your dream – and enjoy more life – then consider ways you can live on less. In a word: Prioritize.

As Margaret Young said:

“Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.”

Strategy 1: Find a Contest Related to Your Dream and Enter It
Strategy 3: Make and Stash Some Extra Cash
Strategy 4: Barter
Strategy 5: Know Your Options

5 Ways to Fund Your Dream

When it comes to changing course, money – or rather the lack of it – stops a lot of people in their tracks.

So to help, I’ve put together a five-part series on creative ways to fund your dream.

You may not be able to take advantage of every idea or resource.  In fact, none of the five ideas may be right for you and your personal situation. You need to read them anyway. Why?

First, the strategy that may not be a fit for you today may indeed be the one that launches your dream a few years from now.

Second, just knowing that options truly do exist will remind you that your crazy dream is not so crazy after all.

And finally, one of the ideas or resources you see here may be perfect for someone you know. Pass it on and you just might change a life!

Idea #1: Find a Contest Related to Your Dream and Enter It

If you’re a writer or an artist or you love to make music or fancy cakes or you have a great business idea or a host of other things, why not enter a contest?

penguinIf you think it’s a total long-shot let me tell you about my friend Dyan DiNapoli aka The Penguin Lady.

Dyan didn’t enter a contest. But she did have a dream of working with sea animals at an aquarium. Not everyone supported her decision to go back to college to pursue the required degree.

It’s not that they thought she wasn’t up to the task. Rather they worried that the odds were not good, telling Dyan, “It’s too competitive.”

I loved Dyan’s response: “I just kept reminding myself – somebody’s going to get that cool job. It might as well be me.”

The same thing applies here. Someone is going to win that contest. It might as well be you!

In fact, it was a contest that launched the writing career of a registered nurse named Elizabeth Berg. Her first attempt came at nine when she entered a poem contest in American Girl magazine. Twenty five years later Elizabeth entered and won a writing contest sponsored by another magazine.

She penned magazine articles for ten years before writing her first novel. Today Elizabeth has numerous New York Times best-selling books to her name.

To be clear, entering a contest is not the same as sitting on your hands hoping to hit the lottery. Rather in each case you actually have to take positive action in order to win.

Finally the great thing about entering a contest is that even if you don’t win the contest you’ll still have won because you’ll have improved your craft and learned a ton along the way.That’s how some of the biggest Agency SEO have made it.

To get your own creative juices flowing, I’ve pulled together three of the countless contests happening this very moment.

The Staples’s Make Your Idea Happen Contest

Can you capture your great idea in 100 words or less? Well, you’ll need to if you want to win one of 10 prizes office supply giant Staples is giving out.

winnerGrand prize is $25,000, first prize is $15,000, and second prize $10,000. All prizes are all in the form of tech and office store products of your choice.

Plus winners receive something even more valuable. Free specialized business coaching from an impressive line-up of experts including a well-known chef, jewelry designer, and author.

And a lucky seven runners-up can cash in on $5,000 in products.

But you’ll have to act FAST because entry is due February 3 at 5PM eastern. That’s TODAY!

The only catch is you have to “Like” them at Facebook to enter and give them more pay for twitter followers. (A very clever marketing tactic you may use in your own business.)

Once you hit “like” you’ll find helpful sample entries and bios of the panelists. So… what are you waiting for!

Pillsbury Bake-Off

I grew up hearing about winners of the Pillsbury Bake-Off. The prize back then was $10,000. No small sum at the time.


Today the grand prize is a cool $1 million and a spot on Queen Latifa’s show! To learn about all of the recent winners of the 46th bake-off – and most importantly — to get on their list for news of the next one, go here.

Pillsbury isn’t the only game in town. King Arthur flour sponsors baking contests at dozens of state fairs.

And if cake decorating is your thing this Cake Decorating Classes site lists upcoming contests in the US, Canada and the UK.

Baking and cooking contests are so popular that there are entire websites dedicated to the topic – which is a cool business idea itself. Two I found are Cooking Contest Central and Contest Cook.

John Lennon Songwriting Contest


Since 1997 this international songwriting contest has awarded millions in prize money and products to amateur and professional songwriters who submit entries in 12 categories including rock, hip hop, Latin, gospel, country, children’s, and more.

The contest is open year-round and features two sessions — with 72 Finalists, 24 Grand Prize Winners, 12 Lennon Award Winners and 1 “Song of the Year.”

You don’t need a professional recording and instrumental compositions are encouraged. Entries will be judged on originality, melody, composition, and (when applicable) lyrics.

This year’s prize packages total over $300,000.00! Among the judges are Bob Weir, Jesse Harris, The Black Eyed Peas, The Bacon Brothers and The Veronicas!

What if you don’t win? Then enter another one and another one until you do.

Your Turn

Know of another contest? Get an aha? Or even just a boost of inspiration? Great! Scroll down to post your thoughts and ideas here!

Strategy 2: Get Your Priorities Straight
Strategy 3: Make and Stash Some Extra Cash is available
Strategy 4: Barter
Strategy 5: Know Your Options

Announcement: Registration for the Spring 2014 Profiting from Your Passions® career expert training starts soon. If you love to think outside the job box and help others, get on the Priority Notification page to learn more.

Baby Boomers, forget about retirement

The words smacked me in the face…

“Baby Boomers, forget about retirement. We’ll be working for the rest of our lives.”

So began a recent USA Today article, “Boomers Don’t Give Up Your Day Jobs” before going on to cite low retirement savings, higher than expected debt and other financial factors impacting boomers.

As a result, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found 37% of boomers say they’ll have to wait until after age 65 to retire. Even then, a senior researcher at EBRI said, “Some people will need to take on a part time job.”

Who wants to be 65-plus and have your fate depend on someone decades younger “giving” you a j-o-b? Seems pretty risky to me. Besides what if you want to be able to travel or spend winters in a warmer climate? What kind of a portable job could the average person get?

That begs the question, why don’t articles like this ever offer an alternative?

The media and the government alike seem incapable of thinking outside the job box. And I think that’s one of the key reasons why so few people even consider creating their own jobs.

After all, the monthly U.S. federal jobs report tells us how many jobs were created. But there is no such thing as the monthly small business start-up report. If there were I’m convinced that just having that regular entrepreneurial drumbeat alone would surely plant a seed the minds of at least some of the unemployed.

3 Business Ideas Hidden in Plain Sight Inside USA Today

There is no scarcity of ways to make a living without a job. Granted I’ve made it my business to be able to spot income-generating ideas. In fact I created an entire career coaching process that connects the dots between what a person enjoys doing and how they can make money doing it.

To date I’ve trained and licensed over 250 people around the world how to be outside the job box career coaches. Last week I trained another group of “idea people” how they can get paid to brainstorm like I do. That particular class was held at a hotel in San Francisco, which meant that every day I received a complimentary issue of my favorite newspaper – USA Today.

Whether the editors know it or not, virtually every issue contains business ideas hiding in plain sight. Here are three headlines and the entrepreneurial ideas they sparked.

Headline 1: ‘On Looking’ peers into our attention-deficit lives

The subhead, “It’s an exploration of all the things we miss every day,” opens the review of Alexandra Horowitz’s book On Looking: Eleven Walks With Expert Eyes. In short, when we walk down the street, the author says, “We see, but do not see.”

So Horowitz takes the reader on a set of walks mostly in her own Upper West Side Manhattan neighborhood. Walks that take in the view through the eyes of a geologist, an urban sociologist, a typographer, a woman who is blind, a naturalist, a wildlife researcher, a sound designer and engineer, an illustrator, her toddler son, and her dog.

Opportunity knocks

Have an equally curious mind? Then why not enlist the help of local experts to do the same thing in their own neighborhood or corner of your world. Even with only half the number of experts, I can see an entire series of fascinating walks. The finished product could take the form of a printed book like Horowitz’s complete with walking map. Or it could be an audio tour or even an app.

Bonus idea: Approach the local Chamber of Commerce, tourism board, or historic society to see if any funding is available. If not, try to enlist them, along area hotels and bed and breakfasts to sell your finished product or at the least, help get the word out.

Headline 2: Execs learn ethics the Marine Way

Next was a story about a three-day course on ethical leadership for executives. The twist? This one is led by the Marine Corp on a base in Quantico, Virginia. This is no theoretical training. The executives are issued weapons, carry packs and sleep on the cold ground.

Run by Georgia State University, the program grew out of the finding that company CEOs who had served in the military are less likely to be involved in fraud. To impart this same value system that emphasizes ethics and responsibility the course puts participants in high tension ethical decision making scenarios that are disturbingly realistic.

Opportunity knocks

There are only so many people who can go through this – or for that matter any training. That leaves the door open for anyone with leadership experience in the military to put together a similar training. Would it be easy? Of course not. Is it doable? Absolutely.

Headline 3: Boy Scouts may welcome gays

With corporate and public support for the Boy Scouts waning due to its ban on gay Scout and troop leaders, the national organization is reconsidering their policy. Instead decisions on membership and leadership would be up to the local governing councils and sponsoring civic and religious groups.

Opportunity knocks

As the Boy Scouts inch closer to the views and policies of the Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs, and the US military, this presents opportunities to conduct sensitivity training for leaders of local chapters and parents to address concerns by exploring and debunking stereotypes about gays and lesbians.

Financial strains will still require more people to work well into their golden years. But at least now you know you have a choice: Look to others to give you a job – or follow the news for opportunities to craft your own livelihood.

New Class Begins Next Week

Train to become a licensed Profiting from Your Passions® Career Coach. To learn more to register visit and discover how you can begin for as little as $282.

Still Don’t Know What You Want To Be Those “Crazy” Business Ideas Often Turn Out to Be the Best

When Bob Page told his friends and family he wanted to quit his auditing job to start his own business, they were less than encouraging to him. Well, that’s actually an understatement. Basically what they told him was he was crazy.

Fortunately he didn’t listen. Instead he figured that if he could devote time to doing what he loved, he could make money – even if it was less than what he was earning at a CPA. Bob was right on the first count. When you love what you do, it’s hard not to make money. What Bob didn’t realize at the time was that his “crazy” idea would wind up making him more money than he’d ever dreamed of.

You see, today Bob’s company, Replacements Ltd. is the world’s largest supplier of discontinued china, glassware, flatware, and collectibles. It all started when Bob bought a part interest in a Greensboro, North Carolina antique store. A customer asked if he could find some missing pieces for her china set. He did. And then an interesting thing started to happen. According to his website:

“As friends learned of his interest in china and crystal, they asked him to be on the lookout for particular dinnerware patterns they needed as well as pieces they had lost or broken. Bob quickly found himself devoting more and more time to his hobby, often staying up until the early morning hours to fill orders. Bob stored the china and crystal in his attic, while his bedroom served as his office.”

When the Small Business Administration (SBA) refused him a loan saying his idea would never work, Bob convinced the owner of a commercial building to rent him retail space. He got the word out by placing small ads in magazines.

His crazy idea worked! In his first year he grossed more than $150,000 in sales. In 2002, sales exceeded $69 million and in 2008 (the latest figures available) sales exceeded $85 million.

Now, the company’s 455,800 square foot facilities house an inventory of nearly 13million pieces from over 340,000 patterns, employs some 500 people, and serves more than ten million customers worldwide.

So much for the wisdom of friends, family, and the even the experts at the SBA!

Speaking of finding support, try to imagine what Katie Wainwright’s family and friends had to say when she told them she wanted to pick up dog poop for a living.

You read right. In 2003 Katie started Doggy Doody Disposal in my home town of Agawam, Massachusetts. The company provides “doody scooping” or bagged doody removal for clients in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.

In addition to residential clients, they also service commercial property owners, pet related businesses, golf courses, parks, realtors and more. The company credo is “We do doody so you won’t have to.” And as a dog owner myself I appreciate the added touch of keeping their client’s informed of any changes in their dog’s doody. I mean who does that?!

These are just a couple of the countless other “crazy” ideas that have proved the nay sayers wrong and helped catapult the idea maker out of a job they hate into a life they love. The next time you get a crazy idea for a small business do two things:

First, get a notebook and label it Crazy Business Ideas. In one section, collect examples of crazy idea that have worked. In another keep a running list of your own crazy money making ideas.

Next, seek out people who will support your idea. Unless you come from a family of entrepreneurs, chances your supporters aren’t in your family or immediate circle of friends. Where will you find them? You don’t have to own a business to join an organization inhabited by entrepreneurs. Although I have zero interest in inventing a product, I once joined a local inventors group because I love the energy of being around can-do, make-it-happen type people.

Similarly, you don’t have to be a business owner to join your local Chamber of Commerce. Many communities also have some sort of association of small business owners that meet on monthly basis.

As the great actor Katherine Hepburn once said, “Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting.”

Some of the most interesting means of support begin as a crazy idea. The key is to keep coming up with them, then when you find one you love, recognize that the only sane response is to go for it.

Registration for the February 2012 Profiting from Your Passions Career Coach Training Starts Soon

What if you could be at home — or anywhere in the world — and get paid to brainstorm with clients over the telephone about creative ways they can turn their interests into income.

Stay at home moms, recently downsized or retired folks, returning vets, recovering attorneys all have one thing in common…

They’re hungry for ways to make money without a j-o-b.

If you’re bullish on self-employment, naturally think outside of the job box, and want to start or grow an existing coaching business doing what comes naturally, then in literally a few weeks you could be earning income as a licensed Profiting from Your Passions Career Coach.

I recently shared this short video with the 400+ people who’ve already expressed a keen interest in being a part of the next training.

You’ll discover the 3 key characteristics you absolutely must possess to effectively help others see ways to turn interests into income.

The video also answers to some of the most pressing questions received so far from the coach training survey.

And, you get to meet my dog Cokie Roberts. 🙂 too!

Registration for the next Profiting from Your Passions Career Coach Training doesn’t open until next week.

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

Now and then I meet someone (usually a young person) who tells me they really like helping with people, so they’re thinking about going into Human Resources or HR as it’s commonly referred to.

They imagine themselves sitting in their large private office eagerly awaiting a long line of interesting employees with interesting problems in need of interesting solutions.

Ask people already in HR though and they’ll paint a very different picture.

Instead of spending time helping people, they end up dealing with things like hiring, terminations, benefits, pensions, payroll, and grievances.

A lot of jobs seem different from the outside.

Think about your current career or job. Now that you’re there, is it what you thought it was going to be? Probably not.

Fantasy vs. Reality

Entrepreneurs are not immune to this “leap before you look” syndrome.

Every business has its more mundane parts, especially in the beginning when you’re bootstrapping your business as a “solo-preneur.”

But still, the goal is to love more of the work than not. So, before you leap, you need to check out just how wide the expanse is between fantasy and reality.

How do you test out a business idea?

Well, if you want to run a bed and breakfast (and for people who are natural hosts, there are lots of wonderful aspects of running a B & B) the best way to get your feet wet without taking a financial soaking is to become a B & B sitter.

Just like it sounds, sitters take over the day-to-day operations of established inns so the owners can go on vacation or otherwise get away.

Companies like Deserve a Break actually match B & B owners in Australia and New Zealand with experienced relief workers. Similarly, in the UK, farmers can turn to a decades old company called Loring, King and Loring for relief and contract milking and agricultural staff.

Another option is to go to “school.”

Sticking with our B & B example, you don’t need to earn a four year degree in hotel and restaurant management to learn how to run an inn.

Many B & B’s offer weekend workshops for aspiring inn-keepers and some owners do individual consulting.

If there are no classes in your area, contact a local B & B and ask if they’d let you intern with them in exchange for some free staffing time once you’re trained.

How the Penguin Lady Found Her Wings and Launched a Dream

Valerie Young

By Valerie Young

At 32, Dyan deNapoli decided to pursue her childhood dream of working with fishes so she wanted the best 55 gallon fish tank. Despite fears that she wasn’t “smart enough” to handle the rigorous …

What Do Paula Abdul, Gary Vaynerchuk, Richard Branson, and Baby Bull Named Boris Have in Common?

My Year in Pictures and What It Taught Me That Can Help You Too

By Valerie Young

I talked to a friend recently who, despite starting out the year with the best of intentions, feels really discouraged about how little …

“I love what I do and do what I love.”

These are the very words a wonderfully gifted artist named Louise Minks uses to describe her life.

Can you say the same thing about what you do? Take a moment now to think about exactly how you would describe your life as it is today.

Now read how Louise describes her life…

“When I am not visiting with customers or painting at my gallery and working studio in a restored 1834 mill, I am off to my favorite painting locations, usually in New England and not far from home.

Sometimes I’m lucky enough to bunk with friends so I can paint in Kenya or travel with a daughter in Guatemala, returning to work on a series about the rainforest. Other painters join me to paint in the Southwest or Vermont or Martha’s Vineyard. In the winter, I’m likely to explore new painting ideas or old favorites like junk cars and trucks.”

Sounds like heaven doesn’t it? When you see the photos of Louise at work (, you’ll be even more determined to take control of your own destiny as well.

One reason I wanted you to meet Louise is because it’s important that you know people like this really do exist and you really can make a living doing what you love.

Having role models like Louise help you counter all the naysayers who tell you to forget your silly dreams and stick with your job… no matter how stressful it is or how miserable it makes you.

The other reason I wanted you to meet Louise is because I just signed her on to be a part of a unique event called, “Profiting from Your Passions” — a highly personalized weekend workshop and retreat get-away I’ll be facilitating right in my home in beautiful Montague, Massachusetts from February 26-28.

I’m calling it a workshop/retreat but it’s essentially me doing
3 days of intensive private consulting and brainstorming with a very small group of only 6 or so people. There will be plenty of exercises designed to get your mind buzzing and answers flowing.

The “retreat” part is important too. The view from my expansive living room windows alone will make you think bigger about your life… and your dreams.

In fact Louise is just one of several local artists and entrepreneurs who have generously agreed to host a stop on the “Profiting from Your Passions Tour.” On the tour, you’ll get to meet Louise in her peaceful studio by the water and chat about how she managed to turn her dream into reality.

While everyone attending the workshop will have their own gifts and interests, the destination is the same — to hone in on what you love to do and then figure out how you can make money doing it. And with my expert guidance and 15 years experience, that’s exactly what will happen.

If you love the idea of…

~ living life on your own terms…
~ discovering what it is you truly love to do…
~ determining viable ways to turn your passions into profits…
~ learning from inspiring entrepreneurs who are already making a living without a job…
~ walking away with a plan — and a built in weekly support group to make sure you follow through…

…Then don’t miss your chance to get away from the noise of every day life where you can take maximum advantage of the tools, the information, the guidance, the perspective, and the support you need to FINALLY be able to say, “I love what I do and do what I love.”

To learn more about the “Profiting from Your Passions” Workshop and Retreat — including travel details — go to

Life is short. Isn’t it time you made the commitment to finally figure out what you want to be “when you grow up” and how to actually make money doing it?

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence

P.S. I’m waiting to hear back from a few more entrepreneurs who you’ll get to meet and learn from in February. I’ll keep you posted as I do.

The whole point of doing this intimate workshop is to give people the kind of personalized laser coaching that’s impossible to do in a large 75-150 person seminar. Since I can only accommodate a very small number of people in my home, I expect Profiting from Your Passion workshop and retreat to fill quickly.
Here’s the link again:

What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence

How many times did you hear that question when you were a kid?


Back then, it really didn’t matter too much what you said… you could say you wanted to grow up to be a ballerina or a major league ball player or the "ice cream man" and ride around in an ice cream truck all day.

At age 5 or 8 or 11, no one took these career leanings too seriously. That is until you got a bit older. At which point the idea that you were serious about being a ballerina or a ballplayer or the ice cream man was probably met with a lot of resistance from most of the adults in your life.

People told you to put away your silly ideas about being "happy" and just get a "good job."

So everyone from your guidance counselor to your mother swayed you toward being a teacher or an engineer or an executive. There’s just one problem. You’re miserable.

And sadly, you’re not alone. As Benjamin Disraeli once said, "Most people will die with their music still in them."

But, what if the most "real" thing you can do is to do work that reflects your authentic self? To find a way to actually live your life on your own terms?

What if what you really need to do is to get "unreal."

After all, as Will Smith reminds us, "Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity." Is that what you really want?  

I mean you only have this one life. And how you live it is up to you.

Perhaps you’ve buried your dreams for so long that you don’t even know what they are any more…

Or, maybe you already know what you love to do, but you just haven’t figured out how to make money doing it…

Either way, I’d like to help.

You see, I’ve helped literally thousands of people answer these same questions for themselves.

In my coaching practice, I obviously work with people on a one-to-one basis. These are 90-minute laser brainstorming events. I call them "laser" sessions because I have a laser-like focus on my client and how he or she can take one or more of the things they love to do and turn it into one or multiple profit centers.

Some people prefer having the time to delve in more deeply and thrive on the energy of a group. Over the last 15 years I’ve run seminars from coast to coast called "Work at What You Love."

Here you’re looking at upwards of 150 people coming together in big hotel ballroom seeking answers to the question, "What do I love to do — and how can I make money doing it?"

Being able to spend concentrated time with one person is great because it really is all about helping them in a highly focused and personalized way.

And yet, there is really nothing quite like a room buzzing with the energy of dozens and dozens of aspiring entrepreneurs. Everyone learning together and encouraging one another’s dreams. It’s an amazing time.

But here’s the thing…

Everyone at my big seminars learn a ton.
But what they don’t get is lots of time with me.

As fun and energizing as these big workshops are, when the group gets over even 25 people, there’s really no practical way for me to connect with and work intensely with people on a really personal, individual level.

That is until now! Drum roll please…

After much "noodling" in my head, I finally came up with a way we can both have it all.

"Intensive Time And Personalized Coaching With Me
PLUS The Energy, Excitement, And Support Of
Like-Minded Souls Who, Like Me, Are Raring To
Help You Finally Discover AND Profit From Your Passion

Want to know what I’ve cooked up for you? Click here to learn more. But don’t wait because my big idea is happening really soon!

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence

P.S. George Eliot wrote, "It’s never too late to be what you might have been." Isn’t it time you finally made the commitment to discover the work you were meant to do? CLICK HERE NOW to learn how.

Getting Paid to Brainstorm

Are you constantly thinking up potential business ideas for yourself or other people?

Are you forever turning friends and acquaintances onto resources and alternatives they never knew existed?

Do you instinctively jump in to help others brainstorm ideas?

Perhaps deep down they’d love to be a pet photographer… or write children’s books… or run a spiritual retreat center… or become a personal chef… or bring their product idea to market… or find a way to get paid to travel.

Well, they’re hardly alone.

Job dissatisfaction, downsizing, and the growing desire for more work/life balance are forcing people to think about alternative ways to make their living. And this migration out of corporate America has created a unique opportunity for career consultants and coaches.

If you love brainstorming, teaching, coaching or otherwise pointing out interesting ways other people can make money doing what they love, this is your chance to get paid to do what comes naturally…

My “Passions into Profits” Coach Training & Business Start Up Program is the first and ONLY entrepreneurial track career coach training system to hand you a proven blueprint that will enable you to…

  • Create a unique income stream to serve clients with entrepreneurial interests

  • Gain access to specialized training, tools and resources for creating careers outside traditional structures

  • Gain the tools you need for faster business growth

  • Discover literally hundreds of creative ways to make a living without a job — examples you can use with your clients again and again.

  • Quickly find key resources that help your clients turn their business dreams into reality

  • Know specific techniques you can use to help your clients develop expertise and a track record even when they have zero experience or training

  • Learn cutting-edge marketing strategies — as well as proven standbys — to help you build your Passions into Profits Coach training practice… fast!

The opportunities are endless and the timing is right….

  • people whose jobs are secure now realize the wisdom of starting some kind of small business on the side…

  • people whose jobs are being eliminated now realize that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by starting their own business. After all you can’t fire yourself!

  • people in the early stages of retirement are looking for ways to earn some extra money – preferably by being able to work at home…

Reserve your seat now for this informative Webinar. Limited seats are available, reserve yours now at

Fall 2009 Registration Now Open

“To love what you do and feel that it matters,
how could anything else be more fun?”
Katharine Graham

If You Love Brainstorming, Teaching, Coaching or Otherwise Pointing Out Interesting Ways Other People Can Make Money Doing What They Love, Then Please Don’t Miss This Chance For You to
Get Paid To Do What Comes Naturally

  • Are you constantly thinking up potential business ideas for yourself or other people?
  • Are you forever turning friends and acquaintances onto resources and alternatives they never knew existed?
  • Do you instinctively jump in to help others brainstorm ideas?

If that describes you, then I bet people love talking with you…

Maybe they even seek you out. And why wouldn’t they? After all, thinking creatively about ways to make a living without a “job-job” is something that just, well… comes naturally to you I’ll bet.

It does to me, too. Now I’d like to show you how you can share in my success as well. Since launching Changing Course in 1995, I’ve heard from literally hundreds of people who would love to get paid to do what I do:

“I’ve spent much time trying to find my own calling, and I realized that what I really like to do is help other people realize their dreams.” ~ Jean

“To see someone’s eyes light up when I’ve given them a great idea, is an incredible feeling. People are so grateful when you show them that a new path really does exist.” ~ James

“I’ve been doing this kind of thing for years for free – I might as well get paid!” ~ Gretchen

The “Passions into Profits” program is the first and ONLY entrepreneurial track career coach training system to hand you a proven blueprint.

You get everything you need to be able to offer private coaching or run workshops to show people viable ways to make money doing what they love – and get paid to do it.

To date over 130 people from as far away as Singapore, Kenya, Norway, Australia, the UK, Barbados, even Kazakhstan have learned how to launch themselves into a whole new first-time business or create a profitable add-on income stream to their existing coaching business.

This is an amazing opportunity to start your own business doing what you love – brainstorming creative ideas to turn passions into profits!

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what people in the program had to say…

Schedule Your Free Business Brainstorming Session Today

If you are seriously considering training to become a Passions into Profits Coach so you can get paid to brainstorm with private clients or run workshops, read on…

There are two versions of this program:

The Passions into Profits Coach Training only

Or, the Passions into Profits Coach Training Marketing Jumpstart version

The last thing I want is for you to sign up for something that’s not right for you. And if you do sign up, I definitely want you to hit the ground running!

To decide which option – if either – is right one for you and to see how you can your own at-home business started for under $500, click here to schedule one of a very limited number of 15 minute Business Brainstorming sessions with me. *International callers, Valerie can phone you. (Sorry this offer is only for people considering becoming a Passions into Profits Coach. To schedule a personalized 90 minute career consultation with Valerie call 413-535-5107)

I have been circling around it for years and for various reasons and fears haven’t moved forward full steam. Somewhere inside I think I still didn’t believe that people would actually hire me or find me believable.  Not anymore…I am so impressed with all of the information we have received in this course… I feel so much more prepared and informed.

Of course I suspected I would feel this way because I have watched you for years and have always been impressed, which is why I signed up in the first place. I knew I would learn lots, especially about marketing and succeeding in my own business.

Lynn Burkholder, Ontario



“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

 Don’t miss out on this opportunity for this free 15 minute session with me… here’s the link again:


Can You Really Start Making Money in 48 Hours?

I know this sounds a little far-fetched, and if you know anything about me, then you know that I don’t like hype or far-fetched promises about overnight success. So, when I read the headline promising you could start a business …

Use Your Summer Vacation to Start Working at What You Love

Valerie Young

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 209 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Remember writing those "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essays way back when?

Summertime may not be the endless carefree season it was when you were a kid, but it’s still a great time to jumpstart your dream of working at what you love.

Here are three ways to use your summer vacation to grow a dream:

1. Become a Dream Detective

Imagine yourself a Dream Detective… someone who has an uncanny nose for scoping out unique business ventures. Like any good detective, you’ll want to take lots and lots of notes. Whether your vacation plans take you to the beach, the mountains, or the city, make sure to pack a small notebook along with the sunscreen and maps. But this isn’t any old notebook… it’s your Dream Notebook!

The idea is to use your Dream Notebook to capture as many cool business ideas as possible. If you’re traveling with kids you might even want to enlist their help by making a game of it. Maybe you’ll spy an interesting business in the airport terminal or along the roadside. Or perhaps you’ll find an existing business that’s come up with a unique income stream, like an outdoor cafe that, for a fee, will walk patron’s dogs while they dine.

If the business itself is nothing new, but they’re using some neat marketing tactic to get customers in the door, add the marketing idea to your list as well. For example, I read about a CPA who partnered with a hotel to offer weekend guests a completed tax return by checkout. Two unlikely business partners who profited from a creative idea.

The purpose of capturing cool business and marketing ideas is to shift your thinking away from the more limiting idea of "job" to the more option-expanding concept of “livelihood.” But that’s not all. Even if you have no interest in starting your own soft-serve ice cream shop/kids bookstore (with a fun hand-washing area dividing the two,
of course), a summer camp for Star Wars fans, or an antique stove repair business, just by paying attention to the wonderfully vast number of ways there are to make a living without a j-o-b can help fuel your own creative thinking.

2. Use The Longer Days To Start Working On Your Dream

Even though there’s still only 24 hours in a day, the extra hours of sunlight somehow make the day feel longer. Use the “extra” time to start actively working on your dream. For example…

If you still don’t know what you want to be “when you grow up,” read a book about tapping into your true calling. (You'll find numerous suggestions in the Changing Course Bookstore.)

If you’re in the exploring stage, consider taking an adult education course through your local college. I did a random search for courses and found such intriguing topics as How to Write and Sell Movie Treatments, Leather Bookbinding, and Opening Your Own Bed & Breakfast.

If you have a business idea in mind, you could spend the time researching your business, building your website, or working on your marketing plan. The point is to find a way to shine some of that extra sunlight onto your dreams.

3. Invest in Your Dream

One way to invest in your dream is to start spending less and saving more. If you need to save money to put toward your new home office or to purchase inventory, consider vacationing at home and stashing away the money you would have spent on a costly vacation into your “dream fund.”

The other way to invest in your dream is to make a conscious decision to spend money in the service of your dream. Sometimes the smartest (and quickest) way to start working at what you love is to invest in the skills, training, experiences, materials, or other resources you’ll need to launch your dream.

Coleman Cox asks, “Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” Looking ahead instead of back, the question will become, "How did YOU spend your summer?" Hopefully the answer will be, “Launching my dream of working at what I love!”

Time to Break Out of the Job Box: Readers Share Cool Ideas for Turning Your Everyday Interests Into Money-Making Small Businesses




By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 207 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

(Catch up on Part 1)

There is no limit to the ways you can make …

Time to Break Out of the Job Box: Readers Share Cool Ideas for Turning Your Everyday Interests Into Money-Making Small Businesses



By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 206 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

In his hour-long interview with Charlie Rose, Bill Gates said something that made me grab for my pen. He said, “This is the best time ever to be someone who is curious.” How true. There are so many fascinating ways to make a living without a job. To see them, though, requires a certain amount of curiosity.

Like Barbara Winter, I’m constantly “interrogating” people about their work. When I spent the night in the hospital last year, I asked a (very taken aback) physician, “Why did you decide to become a hospitalist?”

Then last month I spoke at a gathering of women optometrists meeting at a hotel in Atlanta. While I was testing out the microphone system, the hotel was setting up for a chocolate fondue and martini reception. When I saw a nice young man from a local company wheeling in vats of liquid chocolate, I pounced. I’m sure the hotel staff thought I was a bit odd, but I was curious to learn how someone would dive into chocolate – as a business, that is.

I’m not the only one who is curious. I recently held an “Opportunity Detective” contest where aspiring entrepreneurs competed for a spot in my Outside the Job Box Career Expert course. Contestants were asked to submit 10 unique small business ideas. Here are just a few of the many fascinating ideas I received. Sprinkled among the business ideas are some lessons from me on how you, too, can break outside of the job box!

For Creative Entrepreneurs, Problem = Opportunity

When you view the world from the eyes of an entrepreneur, you understand that some opportunities come disguised as problems – and all the more so in these challenging economic times. For example, there’s a company in California that (and don’t ask me how) somehow sprays green coloring onto brown lawns so homes that are For Sale or bank-owned look lived in.

Not long ago, a cooking show featuring recipes from the Great Depression would have gone largely unnoticed. But today, 91 year old Clara Cannuciari’s Great Depression Cooking segments have been picked up by all the major news outlets. The videos, shot in her kitchen by her grandson, were such a hit on YouTube that he’s packaged up the DVD to sell. They’re also monetizing the site with Google ads, but I could easily see getting big time corporate sponsors like Ronzoni or Idaho potatoes. If you could use a smile check out Clara’s site or track her down on YouTube.

Try the problem = opportunity technique yourself. Think of something challenging or stressful, then find a way to address it. Take for example, weddings. You already know about professional wedding planners. But perhaps the only thing more stressful than planning a wedding is cancelling one. It was Opportunity Detective contestant Erika Harris who turned me on to an actual business someone started as a professional event canceller. What is especially noteworthy about this business is that, like many enterprises (mine included), it started with a personal crisis.

In 2008, Lindsay Riggin went through the painful process of cancelling her own wedding. Obviously it was tough. But it also made her realize that she may be able to put her social work degree to work by helping others in the same position.

Today, this Chicago-based entrepreneur helps her clients by doing everything from notifying guests, calling vendors, re-negotiating contracts, and answering etiquette questions. Obviously, handling all these details takes someone who likes organizing things and has good people skills. But Lindsay also puts her counseling background to good use by offering therapeutic support and advice to individuals or couples.

Like the organizing/detail part, but don’t have a counseling degree? Here’s a work-around: Partner with a therapist in your area to deal with the emotional fall out and you handle the practical side of things!

Finally, sometimes other people see our gifts before we do. When a friend saw John having lots of fun with women at a conference, he encouraged John to create a training guide on “Dating For Over 40 for Men.” John’s friend even offered to market it for him!

This business may turn out to be a great funnel for John’s other idea. He even has a name for it: “No More Nervousness - Complete Confidence for The Best Man - Prewritten Toasts and Speeches for Everyone Who Has to Talk at a Wedding or Reception.” (Personally I think John could start a little side business helping people come up with catchy book and product titles… he’s obviously got a knack for it!)

There are lots of benefits to surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs. For instance, John has another friend who is a Wedding DJ, and this is one of many add-on services John and he are considering. If you don’t know other entrepreneurs, then make it your plan to seek them out.

And in these challenging economic times, it is all the more important to look beyond – or at least in addition to – the traditional job path.

“Growing” Teen Entrepreneurs

A lot of people share my passion for reaching out and helping teens start a business. When I was at Yanik Silver’s Underground Online Marketing seminar in Washington, DC last month, the entire first row was reserved for young entrepreneurs. One came as far away as the UK – by himself!

Supervising and advising all of those teens at the event was a dynamic woman named Shonika Proctor. According to her business card, Shonika is the “speaker, author, consultant, and doer” at (That’s her to the right of me in the photo.) Her organization focuses exclusively on training, coaching and promoting entrepreneurial teens across socioeconomic backgrounds and across the globe. Virtual coaching (via phone & Skype) is available for those outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

I just revisited and learned that MTV is seeking contestants for a Teen CEO Reality Television Show. Obviously you would have to be a REALLY cool parent to put your family out there on national TV, but if you’re a bit of ham, it’s a great way to get exposure for your teen’s entrepreneurial dream. Unfortunately, the deadline is April 10th so go to ASAP for details and to learn about this and the other cool things they’re doing to support teen entrepreneurs.

Teens and children were another popular theme amongst Opportunity Detective contestants. For example, David’s dream is to help fathers and children spend more time together by teaching families how to start businesses together. “I want to take teenagers and get them involved in entrepreneurship [as a way to give] the vast majority who will not go to college a different option than 'just a j-o-b.'”

Here are examples of seven cool full-time businesses David says were all started by teens:

  • Popsy Cakes” -- Cupcakes on a stick! The brainchild of an 18-year-old girl enrolled in an entrepreneur program
  • Creating videos and music for special occasions and events
  • Eco Dog Treats - vegetarian dog treats
  • E&E Basket Company – gift baskets for all occasions
  • Tutoring and strategy business for college students
  • Online SAT preparation
  • Selling imported Peruvian jewelry

Walter from Canada shared this enterprising example of an even younger entrepreneur. “Grade eight Ottawa student Charlie Sobcov invented a painted, plastic window decal to save migratory birds from ‘skyscraper slaughter.’ Birds can see the ‘stop signs,’ but the paint color makes the removable decals invisible to humans. Although he’s still only testing the decals, he already has orders coming in.”

Remember how I said problems are an entrepreneur’s best friend? Walter shared another neat example of the problem-opportunity approach in action. After waiting 15 minutes in the icy cold for his bus, only to discover that he had missed it, 16 year-old student entrepreneur Eric Forkosh decided, "There has to be a better way…" So Walter reports, Erik created a hand-held Bus Alert that uses radio signals to alert him when the school bus is coming. How many kids, and parents, would love that!

Home-based businesses are very popular with the home schooling community. Another Opportunity Detective contestant named Olivia tells of homeschooled teen in her area who turned her love of plants and animals into a nature class for homeschoolers. “She teaches plant identification, how to track animals, animal and reptile habitats, etc., taking students on them on nature walks and has the class outdoors,” says Olivia. How cool is that!

Olivia has been teaching her own children to think outside the job box for a while now. Her 11-year-old even has a cake decorating business! Helping children is her passion. “I’m always looking for what their talent is and guiding them that way. After studying home-based businesses for 3 years (I’m a scanner), I’ve decided I want to help women find their uniqueness and how to profit from it. I was shocked when I found your website. It’s what my heart is! Teaching women to spot their children’s gifts and to help them think ‘outside of the box’ instead of just going down the same beaten path as everyone else is another area I want to help with.” Adding, “They’re our future!”

I couldn’t agree more! What I love about Olivia is she “gets” that there really is a way to take the thing she loves to do and share that with others who want to do the same thing. Don’t you wish you had a mother like Olivia? I’m also a huge fan of combining multiple interests into one or more income streams. For an interesting approach, one reader is taking that combines teen entrepreneurs and the green theme, go to the In the Garden section below.

The Opportunity Detective contest yielded dozens of other fascinating small business ideas. Proof that a curious mind is key to thinking outside the job box! What can you be curious about today? Practice flexing your Opportunity Detective muscles by making it
your mission to chat it up with at least one business owner you come in contact with today. It could be the person who owns the corner store or the dry cleaners… or perhaps your chiropractor, yoga instructor, the trainer at your gym, the neighbor down the street. Entrepreneurs, like ideas, are everywhere. You just need to look.

P.S. I was supposed to pick just one winner of the Opportunity Detective contest. Note to self: Never run a contest where I have to choose! I ended up choosing 4 lucky winners. They are Erika, John, Jerry and Raghu. Their curious and creative minds have earned them a complimentary spot in the Outside the Job Box Career Expert Course. I feel fortunate that they will be joining this growing community of well over 125 Outside of the Job Box Career Experts!

Too many people waste time daydreaming about being rescued by “Mr. Job,” the career equivalent of waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right. This kind of passive approach is sure to disappoint. Face it: The only person who’s going to liberate you from job jail is you! If you want to be your own boss then take a proactive lesson from Jonathan Winters who said, “I couldn’t wait for success,” he reportedly said, “so I went ahead without it.”

“Meet the Consultants”

Career Change for People Who Want A Life

Who better to talk about the Changing Course “Outside the Job Box” Small Business Idea Consultant Program then the people who have taken it?

When you watch this video of people who have taken the course, you’ll see how great it is to get to hear from people “in the know!”

Inspired to Learn More?

Click Here for More Information

Do You Love Thinking “Outside the Job Box”?


Enter the “Opportunity Detective” Contest
for Your Chance to Win Big…

You’ve been an idea-person all your life. Now here’s your chance to formally exercise your Outside the Job Box muscles – and get a chance …

Want more fulfillment in helping others discover their passion?

Are you one of those people who gets jazzed and excited about helping others discover their passion? Or maybe you’re currently a coach and realize with this down economy adding another skill to your practice would help bring some more clients and ultimately boost your income.

Today I’m writing about a unique chance to hear from three students currently enrolled in my Outside the Job Box Career Course. These are regular people just like you.

The only difference is that they are all actively working towards launching new careers as home-based career consultants and workshop leaders.

On Tuesday, March 31, you’re invited to a free 60-minute telephone seminar on which you’ll hear me interview Steve Coxsey, Janice Bennett and Laurie Cauthen as we talk about what it takes to get started helping other people discover their true calling. You’ll get to learn first-hand how three regular people are turning their knack for brainstorming and for thinking “outside the job box” into an exciting entrepreneurial opportunity!

Steve, Janice, and Laurie promise to share valuable advice, insight, and lessons useful to ANYONE looking to change course — regardless of where your own entrepreneurial path may lead you.

Sign Up Right Now To Join This Free 60 Minute Call on
Tuesday, March 31 at 8:00pm Eastern Time


On this free 60-minute telephone seminar, you’ll discover:

~ How you can turn your passion of helping others discover their out of the box careers into a business.

~ What are the tools, tips and tricks you’ve discovered along the way to help you find your own passion.

~ Pro’s and con’s of starting your own business in this down economy.

~ Why you don’t even need to leave home to start your business of being an “Outside of the Job Box Career Expert.”

~ Tips for creating a track record when you’re just starting out. (This is valuable information for any new entrepreneur!)

~ How new business owners can avoid the “expert trap.”

~ Valerie’s “Leapfrog Strategy” of how you can take your passion and turn it into a business.

~ What type of things you will need and how to get started for a lot less money than you think.

~ How you can design your career practice around your personality and fit it into your life style, not the other way around.

~ Strategies for taking that leap of finally doing what you love and moving full force to help others find their true passion and gifts.

Again, go here now to register for the call this coming TUESDAY, March 31 at 8:00pm Eastern:

In the words of J.K. Rowling, “It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” What choice will you make today in the service of YOUR dream of changing course to work at something you love?

I look forward to “seeing” on Tuesday!

To Your Dreams,

Valerie Young

Founder and Dreamer in Residence at Changing Course and Career Change Expert for People Who Want To Do Their Own Thing

P.S. If you love the idea of finding your calling by helping others find theirs, then you just CANNOT miss this call. There’s no cost to participate in this 60-minute telephone seminar except your normal long distance charges.

P.P.S. We only have 200 lines available for this call and we expect to fill them all. If you are inspired by the real life stories of real people who are actively following their entrepreneurial dreams, then I urge you not to delay. Register for the call now at:

Do You Need to Make Money Now? Avoid the Heartbreak and Myths of Marketing

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 203 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

The person on the other end of the phone was crying so hard that when she first …

Turn Your Love for Sports Into an Income

Valerie and Pat Beith from
Sports Camp Empire

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

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

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Red Flag Questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What else do you need to know…?

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

A Little Knowledge Can Go a Long Way

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

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone Can Start a Member Program

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

Here’s where it gets interesting…

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

Turn Your Interests into Income

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where Do You Begin?

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

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

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

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

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

§        How membership sites work

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

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

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

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

“The Way to Get Unstuck is to Get Informed”

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

After the excitement though comes fear. Am I right?

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

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

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

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

  • The first idea that springs to mind is….

  • I know I can do this because… 

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

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

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

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

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

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


P.S. Get Rich Slow

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

These numbers are impressive.

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

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

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

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

Update 6: Find Your Calling By Helping Others Find Theirs

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

2008 Business Training Summit

Northampton, Massachusetts
May 4-8, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

  • Learn how, step-by-step, to parlay your creative instincts and your curiosity into work you enjoy… and gain not just pleasure, but profits too…

  • "Power-Start" your new business with hand-holding from experts who really know their stuff. So you can avoid those rookie mistakes and be up-and-running fast… and in the right direction…

  • Forget "selling." Learn simple, low-cost and no-cost marketing techniques proven to attract a steady flow of paying clients…

  • Get the "Silver Platter Treatment"… everything you need to start making money in as little as three weeks from your own web site to a professional headshot to six months of marketing mentoring from a leading expert…

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

Early Bird Pricing Discount Extended – 5 Seats Left

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creating Multiple Streams of Income

Valerie and her wonder dog,
“Cokie Roberts”

By Valerie Young

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

Hi Valerie,

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

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


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

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

Valerie Young
Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence

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

2008 “Outside the Job Box” Career Consultant Training 

Join Me this Spring…

And Over Five Extraordinary Days,
Discover How You Can Find Your Own Calling
by Helping Others Realize Theirs

2008 Certification & Training Summit

Become an “Outside the Job Box” Career Consultant
Northampton, Massachusetts
May 4-8, 2008

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

If you’re a creative thinker, are entrepreneurial, love to brainstorm, and want to get paid to do what comes naturally, then in a few short months, you could be running your own business as an “Outside the Job Box Career Consultant.” I’ll show you how.

What if you had a chance to build a business like mine?

I really do make a living working for myself, doing what I love. A good living.

And you can, too — by following in my footsteps.

People around the world are clamoring for the kind of help I provide. Without a doubt: There’s plenty of room on this path.

Of course, the question you have to answer is: Is it the right path for you? Ask yourself…

  • Are you somebody who’s always clipping out articles for friends and acquaintances? Always turning other people on to resources and alternatives they never knew existed?

  • Are you a creative problem-solver?

  • Do you instinctively jump in to help others?

  • Do you find yourself constantly thinking up potential business ideas?

Find your calling by helping others find theirs...If that describes you, then I bet people like talking to you…

Maybe they even seek you out. And why wouldn’t they? After all, thinking about creative ways to make a living without a “job-job” is something that just, well… comes naturally to you.

It does to me, too. So we already share that in common.

Now I’d like to show you how you can share in my success as well.

And I’d like to do it in a way that will help you get started faster and with more forward energy and confidence than you ever imagined.

A way for you to learn all the hard-won secrets I’ve discovered over the last decade. So you can launch a real business in less than a week… and be making money in less than a month.

  • Learn how, step-by-step, to parlay your creative instincts and your curiosity into work you enjoy… and gain not just pleasure, but profits too…
  • “Power-Start” your new business with hand-holding from experts who really know their stuff. So you can avoid those rookie mistakes and be up-and-running fast… and in the right direction…
  • Forget “selling.” Learn simple, low-cost and no-cost marketing techniques proven to attract a steady flow of paying clients…
  • Get the “Silver Platter Treatment”… everything you need to start making money in as little as three weeks…

The 2006 and 2007 Certification classes both sold out. The Spring 2008 program is going to be more personalized, more intense, and more immediately productive than anything else I’ve ever offered. It is also the only training I will run in 2008.

Registration and Special Savings are Happening NOW

Registration for the 300+ people on the First in Line advance notification list began this past Tuesday, March 18 at noon. The first registration came in within 30 minutes and kind of snow balled from there. There is a substantial early registration discount that is in effect until March 26th as well as a $300 Travel Credit Discount that ends Friday, March 21 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

I’ve also added two other creative ways you can afford to take advantage of this unique training and business start-up opportunity…

I was planning to foot the bill for your lodging and meals. But if you are local, have friends in the area, or are practiced in the art of traveling “on the cheap” you can take advantage of the “Pay for Your Own Stay” option (a $1,200 savings).

Already marketing and web site savvy? If what you really want is to take advantage of the Outside the Job Box career consulting skills/business training and tools only you may opt to forego the extensive web site assistance and 6-months of additional marketing and mentoring with a self-promotion and marketing expert and save yourself an additional $1,000.

Seats Are Limited

To learn more about whether the relaxed life of an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant or this Certification Summit is right for you – and to find out about these new ways to save even more – go to

“This program is a great opportunity for anyone interested in helping others to change course. It’s something that can put you in business immediately after completion, if you choose. It’s fun, challenging and inspiring. I’m so excited about doing this and full of ideas. Thank you, thank you for giving me all the tools I need to get going.” ~ Barbara

Update 4: Find Your Calling By Helping Other People Find Theirs

Advanced Registration Date Set and Program Pricing

Registration Date Set

Barring any last minute technical difficulties, the advanced registration process will begin on TUESDAY, MARCH 18th at NOON EASTERN TIME.

I’m not sending the link now because initially this link is going ONLY to people on the First in Line list because they requested advanced notification. So look for the link in this week’s Changing Course Newsletter. Now for the answer to the BIG question…

Now for the answer to the BIG question…

What’s the Program Price?

You need to understand that it took me a few months to even decide to offer this live training program. The idea has me incredibly energized and excited, but putting together and leading this live 5-day intensive “summit” really, is going to require a lot of work and a lot of intense interaction on my part..

That last part is particularly scary for me. I mean I love working with people on this topic… listening to my previous trainees on those Preview calls talk about how my certification program has changed their lives was incredibly humbling. But the amount of work on my part and all the extra marketing and web support I’m building in also made it incredibly difficult to price.

But after sleeping on it one more night, I have arrived at what I believe to be a fair price.

This is the highest cost item I have ever offered (hence the hold up with my merchant provider). That’s why it’s really important to me that you understand how I arrived at the final cost. I also want to give you some suggestions about how you can decide whether this is the right investment for you.

I’m still going to be sharing ALL of my intellectual property so you’ll know exactly what to do before, during, and after a client consultation. Your still getting a step-by-step guide in the form of my Changing Course Formula to use with your own clients.

But with this live 5-day Summit I’m also paying to…

…get you moving FASTER by bringing in marketing guru Ilise Benun to speak and meet with you during the program PLUS provide you with personalized individual and small group mentoring for a full six months following the program…

… get you moving FASTER by hiring web guru Lisa Tarrant to be on site to get you all set up on the web (everything from setting you up with a website or blog template, domain name, hosting, merchant account so you can accept payment from clients all over the world, and more)…

… get you moving FASTER by having a professional photographer on hand to take a great looking headshot for your site

…AND paying for your 5 days of lodging and meals so you don’t stress about the additional travel costs…

This program will be unlike anything else I have ever done – or ever seen really. But like I said, it’s not for everyone. And that’s really a necessity because I can only accommodate around 21 people and right now there are over 320 people on the First in Line list which means not everyone who wants to will be able to get in.

Part of the sheer joy of being an Outside of the Job Box Career Consultant is that when you start viewing the world through the lens of opportunity as I do – suddenly problems aren’t problems at all…

Instead you begin to realize that most problems come disguised as opportunities. For example…


Everybody’s financial situation is different. So, when it comes to money, I know that for a lot of people, the price of this program will be an issue. Let’s face it, pricing a product or service is always tricky. And as the buyer, how do you know what’s a fair price?

I know what this program is worth. But how do you determine what the cost of freedom means to you?

Easy. You do your homework.


When my own consulting clients are baffled as to how they should price their SAT tutorial business, walking tours in Rome, or proof writing services I tell them the same thing I’m going to tell you:

Do your homework and make sure you compare ‘apples to apples.’

What does this mean?

The Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Summit in May is NOT a self-study course or a Teleclass. As you’ll learn when you read the entire program description on Tuesday March 18th, this is a highly interactive, live, hands-on training, mentoring, and small business development program.

Since this particular program is happening over 5 days instead of the usual 16 weeks, its also set up to help you generate paying customers literally within weeks of the training summit.

Given the level of training and support you get the Certification Program could easily have been set up as a formal franchise. But making you do things ‘my way or no way’ flies in the face of everything I believe about designing your business to fit your life- and not the other way around.

So while not a franchise, this program gives you the same – and in many cases — significantly more training and support than you would if you bought a traditional franchise.

So now that we’re comparing apples to apples – do your homework. Go to and click on ‘Work from Home’ or ‘Business Services.’

Here are just a few examples of total capital required for some somewhat related businesses…

~ Doody Calls pet waste pick up $45,000-$67,000 (truly a recurring business… sorry I couldn’t resist J)

Okay so here are more consulting oriented examples:

~ Mars Venus Coaching – $31,500 Total Capital Required

~ The Entrepreneur’s Source – $72,500-$81,500 Total Capital Required

~ One Coach: $100,000-$750,000 Total Capital Required and $500,000 -$1,000,000 in Net Worth Required

The Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification won’t cost you nearly that much. In fact, once you factor in the extensive level of training, tools and ongoing support, I think you’ll agree that the cost of freedom is actually pretty darn low.

When I delivered this program by Teleclass, there were still plenty of costs for CD duping, printing, and recordings. But nothing like the costs to put on a live event with meeting space and breaks and such.

Especially not a live event where I’m also tacking on six-months worth of marketing mentoring and support… or the kind of extensive web site assistance you’ll receive… and certainly not where your meals and lodging are included.

Given all of the above, I have decided to price the 5-day live Certification intensive at $11,500. With the early registration discount and other incentives it is possible to get into this program for about $3000 less. I’ve also put together a very generous installment plan option to make it as affordable as possible for as many as possible.

If you have to “blame” anyone for the price, blame some of the people in my 2007 program. This whole idea of a higher priced program got started when an attendee sent me this email mid-way through the program…

“Just as a side note, this course has a lot of details that we need. I am becoming surprised that the registration is not set at $8k-10k for all the training. Val, I believe you can do both, bump up the price and have more attendance for the next class.” ~ Craig Duck

Craig went on to say I was delivering way more than he expected. I always strive to over-deliver but I was kind of kicking myself on the under-pricing part.

On the next Teleclass I joked that I was going to make the new price retroactive. The next day I received this email from another attendee…

“YES I agree with Craig you should be charging more!  I told a bunch of folks at the Work at What Your Love workshop last summer that your work is a STEAL.”  ~ Joan McAndrews

Keep in mind Craig and Joan were saying the TELECLASS version should be priced at $8,000-$10,000!

The more I thought about it, the more I realized what I was giving away – and more importantly – what these aspiring self-bossers were getting.

This has been a very long way of saying when you look at your investment in this training summit – at this investment in YOURSELF – you have to consider what it is you are buying. Whether you seize this particular business start-up opportunity or not, when it comes to changing course, this simple truth remains…

ALL change is scary – even positive change. Fear just comes with the change territory. Period. My mantra is “Information will set you free.” The more you know the less there is to be afraid of. So do your homework…

Read or re-read the FAQ by clicking here.

Find a few moments of quiet, and listen to what your heart is telling you. Either way, your gut will never let you down.

And don’t forget to check your email TUESDAY at 12:00 P.M. EASTERN for a more complete overview of the entire Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Certification Program and decide whether it’s the right path for you.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
Changing Course

P.S. To read more about how information can spring you from ‘job jail’ read my article Trapped in a Job You Hate? Where to Search for Freedom go to

Page 1 of 212


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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