6 Things My Business Has Taught Me

The human brain is unique in that
it is the only container of which it can be said
that the more you put into it, the more it will hold.

~ Glenn Doman

Postcard from Barbara

6 Things My Business Has Taught Me

Postcard from Barbara

Despite not feeling well, I made a trip yesterday to my favorite health care facility—the library. I needed something gentle to keep me company during my down time. Maeve Binchy came to the rescue with a book I’d not heard of called Minding Frankie.

In the story, a bored family in Dublin welcomes an American cousin they’d never met. Emily arrived and as they were getting to know each other, told them how she’d lost her job. A friend had suggested that it was time to start the rest of her life.

So Emily made a list of all the things she wanted to do and set about taking classes. She says, “It’s just amazing—the very thing you dread most can turn out to be a huge blessing in disguise! I never realized until it was over that I spent so much of my life on trains and crosstown buses. No wonder there were no hours left to learn the Internet and small-scale gardening.”

Her enthusiasm is contagious and before long all three of her lethargic hosts are planning projects and investigating new activities for themselves. It’s a wonderful example of how contagious curiosity can be.

At this busy time of year, take a break and give serious thought to what you want to learn in the new year. Want to tackle a new language? Add a new profit center to your business?  Build a portable business? Learn to love marketing? Get published? 

A great starting point can be found at JoyfullyJobless.com on the teleclass recording page. And until midnight on Friday, November 15, you can order as many as you like for half price each. Yup, just $15 for a lot of useful information to help you create the next chapter of your life. 

6 Things My Business Has Taught Me

Every truly smart person knows that learning is a lifelong endeavor. It appears that we are, in fact, created to keep learning. It’s an obvious condition that is grossly overlooked by employers who do nothing to encourage their workers to learn.

The entrepreneur, on the other hand, can be in a constant state of learning. That’s what attracted me to my own business to begin with.    

Most of us who have heard the Eastern proverb that goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” think it refers to an individual who comes to guide us. I’d like to suggest that the proverb applies to businesses as well. 

Your business can and will teach you to uncover hidden talents, to think adventurously, to discipline yourself.

It would be impossible to identify all the things my business has taught me, things I might never have learned any other way. Here are a few I do recognize.

  • Building from the ground up is fun. My mentor used to say that we all have an architect within us, a force that wants to design and build things that have never existed before. The joy of seeing an idea come to life is one of life’s great blessings—one that entrepreneurs experience over and over again.

  • I can’t outperform my self-image. My business is always a reflection of what I think of myself and who I am in the world. Once I learned this, working to maintain a positive self-image and challenging self-doubts became a top priority that led me to a new area of study. (Note: if someone with a German/Lutheran background can do it, anyone can.)

  • Priority setting matters. Learning how to set priorities and stay focused on results is indispensable to building a business. It’s also a way to inspire ourselves to stretch and go farther.

  • It all balances out. Taking a long view is the secret weapon of every successful entrepreneur. Life is about ebb and flow; so is business, of course. If cash flow is down this month it may be unusually large next month.

    It takes a few years of being in business before you can really see how this works, but it’s still helpful to make this a basic assumption.

  • We live in a world of opportunity. I certainly didn’t know this in the days when I worked for others. Now, I am constantly in awe of how huge the possibilities are for anyone willing to take responsibility for bringing them into being.

  • The more I invest in my business, the more it returns the investment. When I spend my time and money in ways that stretch me, my business gets better.

    Books, seminars and spending time with inspired entrepreneurs are not simply indulgences. They’re power tools for success.


Taylor Caldwell said, “The true purpose of education is to enlarge the soul, to widen the mind, to stimulate wonder, to give a new vision and understanding of the world to excite the intellect, to awaken dormant faculties for the exaltation of the possessor.” 

The true purpose of business is exactly the same, but in this course you get paid to learn.

What a great way to spend a life.

Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

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