Adventure Calling? Or Same Old, Same Old?

In times of change, learners inherit the earth,
while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped
to deal with a world that no longer exists.

~ Eric Hoffer

Postcard from Barbara

7 Ways to Invest Your Time

Time Well Spent

Learning a New Language?

Postcard from Barbara

In this not so usual time that we’re going through, I’m reminded of my all-time favorite bumper sticker from Minnesota Public Radio which challenges us to get out of our cars smarter than we got in.

We can spend this time doing the same things over and over again. Or we can invest our time in creating, exploring and learning. The second option is not only going to add to our well-being. It also holds the possibility of greater rewards in the future. 

Here are a few suggestions to add to your portfolio.

7 Ways to Invest Your Time

“We think much more about the use of money, which is renewable, than we do about the use of time, which is irreplaceable,” Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber warned. Anyone who is serious about building a business needs to be clear about both spending and investing their time and what that means.     

Just as we invest money in the expectation of a greater return in the future, we need to invest our time in the present in order to see a bigger reward later.    

Sometimes that means devoting large chunks of time to creating a product that won’t generate revenue for months. At other times our investment may be a demonstration of faith in ourselves and our vision.

It’s a practice I discovered in the early days of my business when out of town trips often involved staying in less than elegant hotels and driving Ugly Duckling rental cars. In my heart I believed I was a good investment and was willing to trade present comfort for a brighter future. 

Here are some smart ways to invest your time whether you’re a new startup or simply want to keep your self and your enterprise invigorated.    

° Take the boss for a walk. Any creative enterprise will profit from a frequent change of scenery—no matter how brief. Have you noticed how diplomats often go for a walk together when negotiations break down? Walking can both calm us down and stir up ideas and solutions.

Even if your office or studio is the happiest place on Earth, moving around a botanic garden or browsing in a hardware store (when such a place reopens) can rekindle your creative spirit.

° Hang out with some wise guys. Put yourself in regular contact with the best entrepreneurial thinkers who generously share their insights with anyone who cares to listen.

Seth Godin is at the top of my list. Sign up for his mailings and take advantage of his unique and profound insights that he shares daily. His books are equally insightful.

Don’t try to listen to everybody who is offering advice. Find your favorites and pay close attention. Don’t just read and delete. Consider how their ideas can be put to work in your enterprise. 

° Reach out and connect. I am growing quite weary of folks who declare that they can’t be bothered with social media or building new relationships. Yes, it takes time, but if you do it right the rewards are huge.     

It’s still true that we all like to do business with people we know and like. If people don’t know you, they can’t like you. Simple as that.  

° Schedule 90-Day Inventories. Regularly invest time in looking at what’s working, what needs help and what’s ready to be discarded.    

It’s easy when your business is growing to get swept along in the tide, but in order to create something satisfying and profitable, a regular evaluation is an essential tool. Put it to work for you.

This is also the time to consider the ROI you are—or are not—receiving and act accordingly.     

° Don’t be tricked by convenience. I once had a friend who was dating a most unpleasant man. When I challenged her choice of mates, she acknowledged his lack of character, but defended spending time with him by saying, “But he’s convenient.”

I’ve seen entrepreneurs use the same justification for hanging onto uncongenial clients or projects that no longer thrill them.

While there are certainly times when convenience makes sense, don’t make it a top priority when making decisions.     

° Be willing to practice. I’m not sure if Malcolm Gladwell’s assertion that it takes 10,000 hours to master something is accurate or not, but it’s certainly true that those who become more than mildly adequate invest heavily in practice.

If you need encouragement to embrace this important activity, pay a visit to The Art of Possibility by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.

° Become a No Excuses Entrepreneur. It’s astonishing how quickly we can offer excuses when a creative solution is what’s needed. Unfortunately, excuses are extremely clever at worming their way into our minds and won’t leave unless we consciously evict them.

It’s like this: we can either have our excuses or we can have our dreams. We can’t have both.

The late Jim Rohn was a huge proponent of investing time wisely. He said, “Fortunately, life has a unique was of rewarding high investment with high return. The investment of time you make now may be the catalyst for major accomplishment. It is precisely this effort that will open the floodgates to the place where great ideas can work their magic.”

Time Well Spent

Did you know that anticipation is a healthy emotion?  It’s also sadly lacking in many 9-5 lives.

Even if we can’t dust off our passports and head out to New Zealand or Provence anytime soon, building a new profit center can certainly power our anticipation. 

Want to create a portable business? Have more adventure in your life? Add to your portfolio? Build your expert status?  As Seth Godin reminds us, “Everyone gets 24 hours of fresh attention, refilled daily. But if we continue to abuse it, we won’t be able to see with fresh eyes and appreciate what’s been there all along.”

Pay a visit to the teleclass page at JoyfullyJobless.com and you may find a topic that fuels your anticipation while adding potential profits. 

And, if you enter coupon code SAVEMORE at checkout, each teleclass is only $19 when you buy before June 1st.

Learning a New Language?

When my neighbors, aged 4 and 6, are at home, they speak Spanish with their parents and live-in grandmother. When they go out the front door they switch to English. I am so delighted that they’re growing up bi-lingual.  

If, like me, you’re in charge of acquiring additional language fluency, here’s a great YouTube video for do so during lockdown.

Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

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