Call for Collaborators

The first problem for all of us,
men and women, is not to learn,
but to unlearn.

~ Gloria Steinem

Postcard from Barbara

Call for Collaborators

Connect With Entrepreneurial Spirit

Online and In Person

Postcard from Barbara

My most popular post on Facebook last week said,  “Finally did an inventory and discovered I've taught my Joyfully Jobless seminars in 40 cities and 5 countries. Best of all, I've met some wonderful people along the way. Bliss!” The response was both thrilling and humbling as people shared their stories about the impact of showing up for a seminar that set them off in a new direction.

Although I don’t recall where I was, I still remember floating out of a lively seminar I’d just taught and having the thought, “Meeting rooms are my natural habitat.”  Sadly, the wonderful independent adult ed programs that had been my favorite source of meeting rooms, began to disappear as the internet caught everyone’s attention. Today, the marvelous Colorado Free University in Denver remains one of the few survivors.  

While teleclasses and webinars have taken over, there’s one thing they can’t produce. It’s not just information that matters, after all. There’s another dimension to learning that takes place when you enter a room filled with others exploring the same subject.     

Connecting with others is a vital success factor that is frequently overlooked. But as Paul Hawken pointed out, “Owning a business and working for one are as different as chalk and cheese.”     

Most of us have had years of conditioning to think like employees, but not much attention to what it means to think like an entrepreneur. That’s why we must pay attention. Connect with others on the same journey. Share ideas and resources and encouragement. Failure to do so will probably be an investment in failure.

Call for Collaborators

For the past two years, health problems have kept me close to home, but I am ready and willing to take to the road again. Since I really enjoyed collaborating with enthusiastically self-employed people in the past, I’d love to do so again.  If you’d like to collaborate with me in holding an event in your part of the world (and add a profit center to your portfolio) send me an email at and I’ll send you the details. 

Connect With Entrepreneurial Spirit

My definition of job security is having a strong, healthy entrepreneurial spirit.  Building an entrepreneurial mindset is an evolutionary, long term process that’s filled with surprises and detours and regular aha moments.     

That can only occur if you feed and exercise your mindset regularly with activities and thoughts that are nurturing.     

Here are some of my favorite ways to do just that.

Give yourself a change of scenery. If may be efficient for factories to standardize their production lines, but our creative selves thrive on variety. Take a different route when running errands, take a sabbatical, take a vacation, take your laptop to the park. You can be productive without being routine.

Create a research project. What would you like to learn more about? Look for a way to fund your research. Start by checking the grant directories at your local library. You may have a project that someone is eager to fund. Get clear about how this will enhance you personally and entrepreneurially.

You could find yourself photographing mosaics in Morocco or interviewing artisans in Ecuador.

Use your imagination to come up with a fresh research project that excites you.

Share what you already know. Write a tip sheet and get it published—or publish it yourself and get it distributed. Mentor a new entrepreneur or a kid. Put your experiences together and teach a seminar.

There’s no better confidence builder than sharing your unique insights and experiences.

Collect great entrepreneurial stories. There are thousands of inspiring stories out there. Make it your hobby to find them. I have an entire shelf on my bookcase with biographies of business owners I admire. These stories matter. After all, it’s our tribal history.

Be a cheerleader for small enterprise.  Whenever possible, be their customer.

Recommend them to friends and on Yelp.

Offer praise. Master the art of composing an exquisite fan letter. Let other people know that you noticed their efforts. Catch others doing something good and let them know you appreciate it.

It’s good for them and it’s good for your soul.

Learn to synthesize ideas. We should have learned how to do this in school, but I fear most of us haven’t.

It’s equally valuable to look at enterprises that are nothing like yours and figure out what you can adapt from their way of doing things. Listen for philosophy, too.

Borrow this idea. Whenever this pops up on Facebook it gets a lot of support. Here’s the idea: Instead of Baby Showers let’s host Business Showers. When a friend starts a business, we all come together, congratulate them and bring resources for their business.

Attend with a friend. I always like to see pairs of people showing up together for seminars.

I realize that sometimes a friend or family member comes along hoping to discourage their companion from doing something foolish. However, sharing a learning experience with an entrepreneurial friend can be a great way to extend and deepen the lessons learned.

There’s nothing like building dreams with someone who gets it.

Record your journey. Keep an illustrated journal of your business life. Don’t just include the big events. Do a photo essay of an ordinary day in the life of your enterprise.

The sooner you do this, the better. It might become your grandchildren’s favorite storybook. More importantly, this is a reminder to yourself that what you’re doing matters.

Online and In Person

One of the bonuses of my business is getting to watch others who I’ve met along the way grow their enterprises. Here are a couple of  them for you to investigate.

Stephanie Chandler has created the amazing Nonfiction Authors Association to help new and experienced writers create and market their work plus connect with each other. The resources she’s put together are quite dazzling. Learn More Here 

If you’re a subscriber to Winning Ways newsletter, you have encountered Connie Solera who shared her journey from school art teacher to running her own business. “My mission as an artist, teacher, and writer is to help women embrace their artist calling, untangle it, define it on their own terms, and then sink into it with complete abandon and joy.” Her retreats and online classes are wildly popular. Visit her website and you’ll see why. Learn More Here

Finally, you can expand your horizons and your entrepreneurial mindset by becoming a Kiva supporter. If you haven’t made their acquaintance, investigate at once and you’re bound to be inspired by the determination of small businesses from around the world.     

You can get started for a mere $25 loan and keep reloading as long as you like. The most difficult part of being a Kiva backer is picking which idea to support. Learn More Here

Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News. 

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Joyfully Jobless

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