With hearts, flowers and chocolates everywhere at this time of year, it’s hard to avoid thinking about love.

I would not think of starting a business unless I was its first customer.

~ Mel Ziegler

Postcard from Barbara

A Business You Would Love

A Valentine in My Mailbox

A Valentine to Send to Yourself

Postcard from Barbara

With hearts, flowers and chocolates everywhere at this time of year, it’s hard to avoid thinking about love. 

Of course, we repeatedly hear about the importance of love despite the fact that it can seem elusive. 

I certainly never heard any suggestion that love and work could mate when I was growing up. Find something that doesn’t suck too much seemed to be the message. I’m so glad I rejected that advice and kept looking. 

To my delight and astonishment,  I discovered that once I could identify what I loved, I could create a business that had love as its Chief Operating Officer. Quite simply, I wish everyone was committed to making the same discovery. 

As Kahlil Gibran admonishes, “Work is love made visible. And if you can't work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy.” 

If you haven’t found joyful work, keep looking. Don’t stop until you do. 

If you have found work you love, keep spreading it around.  After all, you can celebrate Valentine’s Day as often as you like. 

A Business You Could Love.

In a recent issue of Winning Ways, I shared Mel and Patricia Ziegler’s book, Wild Company. I had been fans of their creative approach to running Banana Republic, but had never known how the business came to be. Here’s a tiny bit of what I learned.

Mel Ziegler started out as a journalist, but grew increasingly frustrated by his inability to have creative control over his life. He and his wife Patricia started their first business because Mel loved to wear bush jackets and khakis, but he couldn’t easily find any. “The closest you could get to something authentic was in the surplus world, particularly British Army Surplus,” says Ziegler. “It was magnificent. We saw the surplus and were excited by it. We just played with it.”

Banana Republic began life as a mail order business. They didn’t just sell clothes; they sold clothes in which you were certain to have an adventure. Patricia drew the catalog and Mel wrote it. 

“We just created it more as a theatrical experience than a retail experience,” he says. “Neither of us had business experience. The only way I know how to create a company is for myself.” 

That may sound simple, but it’s quite revolutionary. Walk through any mall and you’ll see a proliferation of stores selling look-alike jeans and T-shirts. How does any one of them build a loyal customer base, I’ve wondered, when their merchandise is all the same?

The old paradigm (still much in vogue) has entrepreneurs studying demographics and putting together focus groups hoping to infiltrate the consumer mind. But the artistic entrepreneur knows better.

The creative entrepreneur knows that it’s possible to start a revolution by changing the way things are done. Usually that means starting with a clean palate and bringing your own unique perspective to the creation.

When it comes right down to it, being an entrepreneur is nothing more than spending our days sharing what we love with other people. What could be better than that? 

And it’s not that difficult. Finding a better way may be as simple as remembering to delight yourself first.

A Valentine in my Mailbox

I just wanted to say thank you for my Winning Ways newsletter plus backdated copy which I tore into when I came home this evening.

As ever, you spoke straight to my heart.

I’ve become aware just how much I’ve been ‘trying’ since moving to Bristol. Trying to be a ‘good girl’, do everything right, go to every exercise class, keep busy, keep moving, play by the rules, but it’s been exhausting at times. It got me thinking about magnetism and how I can become more magnetic to what I actually want, most probably by creating space, but I’ve really been playing with what that actually feels and looks like, since all I’ve ever known since being a child is to push and chase after things.

Sure enough I pick up the first copy and there you are talking about magnetism! 

The synchronicity with your work always bowls me over.

And it was just the note I needed to remind me to relax and enjoy my time here a little more!

Natalie Edwards, Bristol, UK

A Valentine to Send to Yourself

I started Winning Ways newsletter to share things I loved with others who were living their own Joyfully Jobless adventure. That mission has never changed. 

Of course, at the beginning 33 years ago, I had no idea the Information Explosion was on its way. So part of my mission is to explore volumes of information and pass along only the most valuable to my readers. Not only does that save you an enormous amount of time, as a subscriber you get ideas, information and inspiration that you can also keep as a permanent resource as you build your business. 

As I mentioned last time, there’s a price increase on the horizon that kicks in on March 1. Whether you’re a new subscriber or a renewing one, you can take advantage of my ridiculously low prices throughout the month of February. 

Of course, I’d love to have you along, but don’t wait if you want to be thrifty. If you’re a new subscriber, I’ll promptly send you the current issue plus a bonus previous issue to get you started. If you’re renewing, your subscription will be extended a year no matter what month you’re expiration comes up.


Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

P.S. 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. 

P.P.S. I have updated my privacy policy to address the new standards introduced by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can view that policy here.

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