Free Things to Do All Year Long

Money follows ideas.
Money does not create anything at all, much less ideas.
Money goes where ideas are.

~ Paul Hawken

Postcard from Barbara

Free Things To Do All Year Long

Final Call

Postcard from Barbara

Not everyone is as affected by extreme weather, of course, but I have learned that for me hot weather is not conducive to creative activity. When I lived in Minneapolis and the humidity would roll in, I didn’t just feel a drop in energy. Thinking clearly was not an option since my brain felt as if it had turned to spaghetti.

My solution was to remind myself that it was a temporary condition and that this was the perfect time to quietly read a book or sneak off to a movie matinee. 

Depending on what you are offering in your business, you will probably discover seasonal changes in your activities. It usually takes a year or two to see the pattern, but once you do you can schedule your activities accordingly. 

It’s not unlike figuring out if you’re most productive in the mornings or evenings and taking advantage of the livelier times to create and the less lively times to do necessary chores. 

So this is just a little PSA reminder to pay attention and honor your own personal rhythms.

Free Things to Do All Year Long

Remember what Scarlett O’Hara created with a pair of old drapes?  A former editor of Vogue said, “The two requisites of being beautifully dressed are 1) taste and 2) a severely limited budget…Mediocrity comes from having too much money.”

What applies to your closet can apply equally well to your business.

Whether you’re right in the early days  or have put them far behind you, your creative spirit comes out of your imagination, not your pocketbook.

So if you’ve been waiting for more money to invest in your enterprise you could be wasting valuable time. 

Challenge yourself to find a new way every week to invest  your imagination. Here are a few idea starters.

Go to the library. Don’t just dash in and out. Schedule time to explore with the aid of a reference library. What’s new in your field? What publications exist that your potential customers may be reading?

Your mind never outgrows its need for new ideas—and ideas are the stock in trade of libraries.

Adopt a protege. Since we learn best by teaching, what better way to sharpen your own skills than by helping someone just getting started (or in need of help to get unstuck)?

The satisfaction of encouraging and supporting another person’s success is immeasurable.

Give a speech. It won’t cost you a penny, but it can bring you new visibility for your business. Start with local groups who meet regularly and need interesting speakers.

It’s also a great confidence builder.

Write an article and get it published. Of course, you can do it online to your own audience or use it to expand your visibility. Once you’re published you may open all sorts of opportunities.

You’ll reach people who would never have found you otherwise.

Tour a booming business. Take regular field trips to all kinds of businesses—not just those that are similar to yours. Some businesses even conduct tours like the wonderful one I enjoyed at Fruit Towers, the headquarters of Innocent Drinks in London.

Even visiting a restaurant or local shop and being tuned in to how they add a personal touch or do something ordinary in an extraordinary way can be inspiring.

Host a potluck. This is a wonderfully informal way to gather like-minded people and share ideas and each other’s company.

Keep a scrapbook and/or journal. New ideas can pop up anywhere, anytime. When an ad or article grabs your attention tuck it away.  

And by all means, keep a record of the growth of your business. Going back and recalling your early days can be wonderfully inspiring.

Final Call

The next issue of Winning Ways newsletter is off to the printer and I can’t wait to get it out in the mail. In an early issue I was exploring, I had written, “I think of Winning Ways as a scrapbook of ideas that I pass along every other month. Besides tips and resources, you’ll find articles on entrepreneurial mindset, creative ways to build your business, and stories from our readers.”

And if you subscribe before August 1st, I’ll send you a bonus issue to get things rolling. There’s got to be a reason why Winning Ways is still going strong after 32 years in print!

Subscribe Now

Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

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