Adventure Calling? Or Same Old, Same Old?

Reading gives us someplace to go when
we have to stay where we are.

~ Mason Cooley

Postcard from Barbara

Twenty-five Great Companions

Ending Soon

Postcard from Barbara

As you may have noticed, the past several weeks have been challenging. Although I was terribly disappointed that I had to cancel my Joyfully Jobless Weekend events, I set a goal for this unpredictable time. My goal is to get out smarter than I got in. 

When I do my daily gratitude review, my current read is often at the top of my list. And I’m not alone in that. As renewals come in for Winning Ways, I frequently hear, “I love your book recommendations.” 

Despite not having access to the public library, I am most grateful to have a personal library to provide much-needed companionship. I usually read non-fiction in the early afternoon while fiction is reserved for bedtime. 

Have you noticed how many fictional characters also happen to be self-employed? I’m sure that’s not an accident. After all, how many twists and turns could an author include in a tale of cubicle dweller? 

I was reminded of that when I paid a return visit to Maeve Binchy’s A Week in Winter. It’s a delightful tale of a young woman who buys an old house in her hometown in western Ireland and turns it into a small hotel.

Twenty-five Great Companions

Every room in my home—except for the bathrooms—displays part of my library. If you were to call me on Zoom, you’d see a wall of books behind me. I live surrounded by books.

What if I could only have 25 books in my library, I mused. Which ones would I keep?

It took days to compile this list, but I ended up choosing those titles that have been read and revisited several times. 

My list is also heavily stacked in favor of great storytelling and doesn’t include much how-to. It is, however, a terrific basic library for anyone involved in creative self-employment. I numbered them just to keep count, not to suggest an order of importance.

1. Growing a Business by Paul Hawken is still one of the best things written about creating a business that’s an extension of who you are.

2. Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith tackles the tricky issue of marketing services.

3. Small is the New Big by Seth Godin is my favorite from this prolific guru. Godin is at his best with short and smart pieces. This keeper is a collection of Godin’s favorite blog posts and covers a wide range of subjects.

4. Write it Down, Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser is worth an annual review. Still my favorite on goal setting.

5. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is essential reading for anyone building a business. If you understand how the tipping point is reached, you might be more patient getting there.

6. The Creative License by Danny Gregory is a brilliant workout for your creative spirit.

7. UnMarketing by Scott Stratten advises us to stop marketing and start engaging. Then he shows us how.

8. Business Stripped Bare by Richard Branson is both an autobiography and exploration of lessons learned.

9. The Hungry Spirit by Charles Handy is a thoughtful look at finding purpose and meaning in our work.

10. Callings by Gregg Levoy helps the reader learn to hear (and follow) their own personal callings.

11. War of Art by Steven Pressfield is, quite simply, the best thing I’ve ever read about resistance—and how to act in the face of it.

12. A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink is subtitled Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. What more do you need to know?

13. The Element by Ken Robinson is subtitled How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. It’s a wonderful book from a leading authority on creativity.

14. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller is the eloquent tale of how a bored writer got his passion back.

15. Hershey by Michael D’Antonio is the fascinating story behind a visionary social entrepreneur who just happened to sell chocolate.

16. In Pursuit of the Common Good by Paul Newman and A.E. Hotchner is the often amusing story of the unlikely success we know as Newman’s Own.

17. Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins by Annette Simmons shows how to put the power of storytelling to work in your business.

18. The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander is a fresh and inspiring call to actively pursue a life of unlimited possibilities.

19. Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland is an extraordinary tale about making a huge impact in a community others had thought hopeless. Your own challenges will seem tiny in comparison to those faced by the author.

20 Small Giants by Bo Burlingham shines a light on companies that chose to be great instead of big. Marvelous storytelling here.

21. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp is a handbook for anyone wanting to live a richly creative life.

22. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel by Karen Karbo is a witty collection of life lessons from a pioneering entrepreneur.

23. Ben & Jerry’s Double-Dip by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield may be harder to track down, but it’s worth the trouble to hear what our favorite hippies-turned-social entrepreneurs have to say.

24. Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher was radical when it appeared and is still a bit ahead of its time.

25. Writing to Change the World by Mary Pipher is aimed more at people with a message to share than it is at professional writers. It’s loaded with advice on crafting a powerful message.

Ending Soon

Just as I was getting ready to celebrate the thirty-fourth anniversary of Winning Ways newsletter, things came to a halt. This spunky publication did not come to an end, however. 

We’ll be back, loaded with ideas and inspiration to help you navigate your own joyfully jobless journey.  After all, learning to think like an entrepreneur is very much like learning to speak a new language. Reinforcement matters.

You won’t find many formulas here, but you will find ideas that can connect you to new ways of growing the business of your dreams. 

So come on board and you’ll receive seven (instead of the usual six) issues of this in your postal mailbox. Yes, you can even save them to consult again and again. 

This special offer ends at midnight on April 30.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

Buon Viaggio,  

Barbara Winter

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