One of my favorite things about being self-employed...

When setting out on a journey do not seek advice from those who have never left home.

~ Rumi

Postcard from Barbara

10 Ways to Keep Inspiration On Your Side

Postcard from Barbara

When I was writing Making a Living Without a Job, my editor Leslie Meredith predicted that it would have a long shelf life. Of course, I had no idea what that actually meant. I certainly didn’t anticipate that this book which debuted on July 15, 1993, would still be around on July 15, 2019. 

After all these years, I still feel both grateful and humbled by the messages I receive from readers who share their personal stories about changing direction in their lives after reading my book. 

I was recently reminded of the late Senator Paul Wellstone’s mantra that we all do better when we all do better. Certainly, sharing our gifts and our passions through our own one of a kind enterprise is a huge contribution to making things better in our own corner of the world. 

Thank you for joining me on this journey and making the difference only you can make.

10 Ways to Keep Inspiration On Your Side

Dreams are extremely fragile. Like babies and seedlings, they need to be nurtured and surrounded by support. 

  • Passion must be present. While a dream may be born in passion, it’s up to you to keep it alive. If you’re halfhearted and lukewarm about them, your dreams will never come true.

    One way to keep passion high is to spend a few minutes every day visualizing the successful completion of your dream. How does it look, smell, taste, sound, feel? Allow that vision to keep pulling you forward.
  • Take good care of the boss. It doesn’t matter how great a dream is if the dream keeper is too tired or too uninspired to bring it to life. 
    Sometimes the easiest things to do are also the easiest to overlook—like drinking plenty of water and avoiding toxic people. Dreamkeepers have an obligation to create the healthiest and most balanced life possible.

  • Make your workspace a place that inspires you. Whether you work on a beach with your laptop or in an extra bedroom in your home, make it inspiring as well as efficient.
    Cover your wall with art or an inspiration board that features pictures of your dream. And if you’re sitting on a beach, pick one with a great view.
  • Take responsibility for staying inspired. There are three ways to run a business: Inspired, Uninspired or With Occasional Flashes of Inspiration.
    Identify the things that inspire you and expose yourself to them frequently. Whether it’s music, words from a favorite author or other entrepreneur, or some spot in nature, know where your Inspiration Well is located and go there often.
  • Create your own Hall of Fame. Ask a successful actor or musician who inspired them and they’ll probably answer quickly. Ask a would-be entrepreneur the same question and you’re apt to be greeted by a shrug of the shoulders.
    If you’re going to succeed, you need to be inspired by real people. Read biographies or interviews of successful people and pay attention to the philosophies that guide them.
  • Be open to being inspired at all times. You never know where a great idea or solutions to a problem will come from. 
    Like Sir Richard Branson, carry a notebook with you at all times so you can jot down ideas as they occur. If you spend a lot of time driving, you may want to carry a voice-activated recorder to capture your thought. Do not, however, text them to yourself while driving.
  • Notice what catches your attention. What makes you happy? What causes an emotional response? These are clues. Apathy is not a success tool.
    Take time to pay attention to advertising and marketing that you like—and that you loath. Consider how you can bring the qualities you respond to into your business. 
  • Collect entrepreneurial friends. There’s almost nothing more rewarding than spending time in the presence of kindred spirits who can add their own creative ideas and encouragement to what you’re doing.
    Cultivating such friendships will be one of the best investments you can make. Seminars and coffee shops are great places to scout for new friends. 
  • Change the scenery. There’s nothing that dulls the creative spirit more quickly than daily routine. 
    You can counteract the dulling effect of that by taking a field trip or creative excursion at least once a week. Take your laptop to a park, visit a museum or walk in a Japanese garden. Challenge yourself to come up with new backdrops that feed your soul.
  • Invite me into your mailbox. I’m finishing up the next issue of Winning Ways newsletter and, as always happens, I can’t wait to share the treasures it contains.Over and over again subscribers tell me it shows up just when they need a boost.
    And since it reappears six times a year, it’s a great source of ideas and inspiration that you can use in your own business building.  
    If you subscribe before August 1, I’ll also send you a bonus issue to get you going. 

Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

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