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Next Issue Archives Previous Issue, Find Your Life Mission and Live It

Issue 199

December 30, 2008

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Compass since 1995 dedicated to helping people like you to:

~Live Life on Purpose ~Work at What You Love ~Follow Your Own Road

Inside Today's Issue

Opportunity Knocks

How Do You Overcome the Terror of Failing? 

Featured Resource

New Video: Listen as Real People Talk About How
They Found Their Calling by Helping Others Find Theirs

Special Announcement 

Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses

  • Turn Your Interests Into Income Opportunity Hour

  • Mark Victor Hansen's Mega Book Marketing University

The View From the Other Side

Resources for a Change

This ad-free bimonthly newsletter is brought to you compliments of

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. ~ Jeremy Kitson

Opportunity Knocks: Creative Ways to Make a Living Without A Job

How Do You Overcome the Terror of Failing?

By Valerie Young

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

That was the question someone asked in a recent survey of Changing Course readers. It was the second time in as many months that someone who was getting ready to start a small business talked about being “terrified” of failing. In neither case were we talking about anyone putting their home up as collateral or sinking their life savings into a venture. In fact, the stakes were relatively low. And all too often this sense of terror at the prospect of failing can be paralyzing.

Every entrepreneur experiences failures on the way to success. I am certainly no exception. While I was still in my corporate job, I decided to produce a line of humorous greeting cards on the side. I spent months drawing each card, surveying my friends to see which ones people liked best, and then invested a couple of thousand of dollars getting them printed. They sold pretty well in small gift stores in San Francisco, Boston, New York, Hartford, Connecticut, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. But about a year into it, I realized that it was the wrong business for me.

Did I spend more money than I made? Yes. But I never felt like a failure. To the contrary, I felt proud of myself for giving it my best shot. I learned a ton about the greeting card business which I’ve been able to share with others considering that same path, and I moved on to my next venture with a much clearer picture of what I was looking for in a livelihood.

No one sets out to fail and certainly no one likes it when they do. But terror? There are things worthy of being terrified about like global warming or a car bomb going off in your neighborhood. Giving something your best shot and finding out that it didn’t work, well, I call that “life.”

If you really want to change course to work for yourself, then you absolutely must readjust your emotional response to failure. This means embracing some fundamental truths about failure that have guided successful people since the first caveman’s spear missed that first wooly mammoth and he picked it up to try again.

To get you started, here are six rules about failure,mistake-making and risk-taking that every entrepreneur needs to understand:

Rule 1: You’ll strike out more often then not.

In baseball a .333 batting average is considered outstanding. If you’re not a baseball fan, what this means is that for every 10 pitches, the batter only has to hit the ball three times to be considered exceptional. Even the legendary Babe Ruth “only” batted .342. The point is, you can be at the top of your game and still strike out more often than not. No one bats 1000, so stop expecting yourself to be the exception.

Rule 2: Failures offer valuable lessons – and opportunities.

Believe it or not, there is lots of good news about failure. Henry Ford understood that, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” In engineering, the process of “failure analysis” is based on the recognition that you can learn just as much from studying what went wrong as you can from what went right. It is this understanding that led Thomas Edison to famously remark, “I have not failed. I have successfully discovered 1,200 ideas that don’t work.”

Instead of seeing your flops as evidence of your incompetence, think of them as information you can use to do better next time. Do you need to develop or hone a certain skill? Do you need more practice or a different approach? Do you need to delegate the things you’re not gifted at? What will you do differently next time? What lessons can you glean? The sooner yougrasp the learning value following what feels like asetback, the better. The key is to fail forward.

Rule 3: Failure is just a curve in the road.

I know how easy it is to be so discouraged by setbacks that you just give up. But it’s time you start seeing failure for what it is, a curve in the road and not the end of the road. Did you know that Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job for “lacking ideas”? Or that H. Macy’s store failed seven times before it caught on? Or that Michael Jordan was cut from his junior varsity basketball team? Did they give up? No.

If Abraham Lincoln had taken failure as cause to quit, it would have changed the course of history. In fact he suffered repeated failures on the road to success. After failing as a storekeeper and a farmer, Lincoln decided to run for political office. He failed. Once he finally did get elected to the legislature, he sought the office of speaker and failed. He failed in his first bid for Congress. He failed when he sought the appointment to the United States Land Office. And he failed when he ran for the United States Senate. Despite repeated public failures, Lincoln never saw failure as a reason to give up.

Rule 4: Not taking risks may be the riskiest move of all.

So much of changing course comes down to being able to shift your thinking about what “risk” really means. It worked for Janice Bennett. Whenever people begin with “What if…” right before saying “…it doesn’t work?” Janice would always finish theirquestion with, “…what if it does?“Now,” says Janice, “is the time for me to [ask myself] not only what could happen to me if I didn’t make the change, but what could happen to me if I DO? Wow, those possibilities are endless. As morbid as it may sound, at my funeral, I want it to be full, to be standing room only, to be overflowing, to know that I made a difference in people’s lives, and I touched them somehow.”

Just two weeks after Janice shared her big“aha” at the Changing Course Blog, she took her own advice. She took the plunge and signed up for the Outside of the Job Box Career Expert and Small Business Success Idea Consultant Course. I have no doubt that in the process of realizing “endless possibilities” for herself, that Janice’s ability to turn fear into excitement will indeed make a difference in the lives of everyone she touches.

Whenever you try anything new there will always the risk of failure. At the same time, not taking risks is often the riskiest move of all. The reason Michael Jordon says he made so many baskets is because he was willing to take so many shots, explaining, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-sixtimes, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Rule 5: It’s not your failures that count, but how you handle them.

Imagine making a major mistake with 1 billion people watching. That’s what Miss USA Crystle Stewart did when she fell during the 2008 Miss Universe pageant. She handled the fiasco by putting on a radiant smile, picking herself up and clapping her hands over her head as if to say, “Let’s have a round of applause.” This was not the first time Stewart had to pick herself up after a failure. It had taken her five tries before being crowned Miss Texas. As you think about launching that entrepreneurial dream, remind yourself that it’s not your failures that count, but how you handle them.

Rule 6: Choose what kind of failures you want to have.

In his commencement address at Macalister College, radio show host and author Garrison Keillor encouraged his audience to “have interesting failures.” Let those words sink in for a moment. Have interesting failures. Not only do you have a choice about how you handle failure, you also have a huge say in what kind of failures to have.

From time to time you’re going to miss the mark. So why just be a failure at parallel parking or balancing your checkbook when you can come in third at the National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships, only write one children’s book, or make it only half way up Mount Everest? The fact that you never fail is proof of only one thing – you never tried.

Every day you get to choose settling over reaching, inaction over action, continuing to live your life the way it is over the life you could have. It really is your choice. As Billie Jean King once said, “Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make a doozey, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.”

Rule 7: Make your fear work for you.

It’s one thing to quietly promise yourself that you’re going to push past your fears and finally act on those long buried dreams. It’s quite another thing to announce to the world your intention to write your first chapter, hold your own seminar, figure out how to sell your jewelry, learn a new craft, or whatever it is you’ve been “terrified” of doing. It's quite another to announce it to the world. 

Yet making a public commitment is one of the best ways to ensure that you’ll actually follow through, because now you’ve built in that all important accountability. After all, suddenly other people are watching and waiting. Sure the naysayers are watching and waiting for any setback so they can say, “I told you so.” But if you make a point to tell the “right” people I guarantee they’ll be cheering you on. And guess what? When other people see you taking steps, they’ll be inspired to act too.

That’s because action is contagious! Which is why I’m asking all of the members of the Changing Course Club to add their goals to a “Changing Course in 2009 Pledge list.” It’s a new section of the Club Forum where members get to stand up andpublicly state their goal and one action they’ll take to get there and the date they pledge to take that action. And, if they choose, Club Members can sign up to be in a small Tele-Study Group or Dream Team to help one another stay on track. (Not a member? Learn more

With the New Year comes the opportunity to start anew… to make new choices. Which will you choose – fear or action?

Add Your Two Cents

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About the Author

"Turning Interests Into Income" expert, Valerie Young, abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.

To read more articles about how to work at what you love without a job go to  

If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page. ~ Mark Houlahan

Featured Resource

New Video: Listen as Real People Talk About How
They Found Their Calling by Helping Others Find Theirs

What would it be like to sit at home (or anywhere in the world really) and brainstorm with people over the telephone about creative ways they could make a living without a job − and actually get paid to do it!

Or to run workshops on how to turn interests into income…

Or to make money 24-hours a day by selling your own eBooks, CDs, or other information products that help people do work that feeds their soul…

Well now you get to hear from (and see) some people who took my unique Outside the Job Box Career Expert and Small Business Consultant course. A friend taped the videos last April here at my home in the country when I invited them out to the house to celebrate and to network.

As you’ll see they are an amazing group of creative people determined to create a living doing what comes naturally.

I think you’ll agree that it’s a nice moving snapshot of the people… and the world… I hope you will decide to become a part of. Here’s what some of them had to say…

What If You Use Your Creative Mind to Help Other People to Brainstorm Creative Ways to Turn Their Interests Into Income… And Get Paid To Do It?

You can! To make this unique business start-up opportunity available to even more people I am now offering a Self-Study version of the Outside the Job Box Career Expert and Small Business Idea Consultant Course. Dozens of people in the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Singapore, and the UK are well on their way to finding their calling by helping other people find theirs… and now you can too.

Even though it’s a self-study program, we’ve built in a series of four monthly Q&A calls beginning in January. To make sure that your host, Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Lisa Tarrant can adequately meet everyone’s needs we have to limit the initial number of participants to 50. The early registration bonuses were snapped up already. But don’t worry -- we’ve added a few more.

For a complete course description and answers to your FAQ go to 

This program was great. It gave me all the tools I need. It’s almost like handing you a business that you can start yourself. Valerie over-delivered everything. She gave me everything I needed to know to start this business on my own. ~ Barb van Wickland


Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
~ Japanese Proverb


The Changing Course Newsletter
Copyright 2008  
Lisa Tarrant, Editor
Valerie Young, Publisher [email protected] 7 Ripley Road
Montague, MA 01351


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The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure. ~ Joseph Campbell

Special Announcement

Calling All Success Stories

As we gear up for the 200th issue of Changing Course in January 2009, I want to thank all of you for being a part of this incredible journey that began in 1995 when I changed the course of my own life. 

Since then thousands of you have taken the time to write and tell me how Changing Course has made a difference in your life. In the last year I’ve received over a dozen handwritten cards alone. And who takes the time to do that anymore! Whenever I hear that the work we do here has helped someone achieve their dream of quitting their job to work at what they love, it totally makes my day!

More importantly, when other people hear these stories it inspires them to take their own dreams seriously as well. Which brings me to my favor…

You may have noticed that we've made a few changes to the Changing Course Web site. Part of the new look included adding 10 or so short testimonial-style “Success Stories” from real people who, like you, have benefitted in some way from your association with Changing Course. This might be as a long-time subscriber (some of you go all the way back to the beginning in 1995!), a workshop attendee, a member of the Changing Course Club/Fast Track Community, or someone who bought and used one of the many products or services featured here over the years like Finding Your True Calling or Making Dreams Happen. And we'd like to feature your story there as well!

Your Progress Can Inspire Millions of Others to Change Course Too

People are always inspired by “before and after” stories – and especially the after part. It reminds them that if their dream is not at all impossible.

The most helpful testimonial is one that is as specific as possible.

So for example, instead of saying, “Changing Course inspired me to leave my job and follow my dream,” people would be more inspired to read, “Before I joined the Changing Course community I didn’t see a way break out of job jail. But by taking what I learned here I finally found the information and the support I needed to start my own business.”

Even more inspiring is data in the form of numbers or facts. For example:

  • “It took a while but today I’m earning more than I did in my old job”

  • “I signed up my first client last week”

  • “I got more done on my business or marketing plan than I had in the previous year.”

  • I started out thinking I would do “x” but you convinced me to dream bigger and go for ‘y” – and it worked!”

  • Thanks to ‘x’ I have been able to do ‘y’

If you genuinely feel that Changing Course has helped you in your journey to create a more satisfying life doing work you love on your own terms – I hope you will consider sharing your story with others.

  • Ideally, please send a photo

  • Let us know your first and last name, city/state or province

  • Provide your Web site if you have one

Please submit your testimonial to [email protected] by January 9th. And thanks in advance for sharing your stories with other dreamers and dream doers!

We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life. ~ William Osler

Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses

Here are a few featured workshops and Teleclasses; you'll find a complete listing

Turning Your Interests into Income:
The Opportunity Hour Teleclass With
"Opportunity Analyst" Valerie Young

Valerie Young

There really is no shortage of creative ways to get paid to do work you truly love. The problem is most people don't know how to profit from their passions.

Viable and fascinating business ideas are literally all around you. You just need to know where to look!

Listen in as serial "Opportunity Detective" Valerie Young delves into her vast Opportunity Files to reveal some fascinating ways that regular people – just like you – have turned their interests into income!

You don't even need a lot of money. All it takes is a little creative thinking, which is a good thing because Real Success Without a Real Job author Ernie Zelinski calls creative thinking "the poor man's wealth." Ernie was spot on when he said, "There is nothing quite as exhilarating as coming up with a brilliant idea, putting it to good use, and eventually being rewarded handsomely for my efforts by the marketplace."

So join a community of dreamers and dream doers for an exhilarating hour of creative thinking, opportunity angling, and possibility-provoking fun! The rewards could be enormous!

Do you have ideas or interests but you're just not sure if and how you can turn them into income? Post your ideas at the Changing Course Club on the Q & A Discussion Forum or email[email protected] and they could be selected for the Hot Seat at the next Opportunity Hour Teleclass!

Thursday, January 22
12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Free for Changing Course Club Members*
$19.00 for Non Members**
Click Here to Register

*This series is free to current members of theChanging Course Club.
**100 percent of Non-Members registration fees go to the non-profit micro-grant organization

Mark Victor Hansen's Mega Book Marketing University

Previous graduates of MEGA Book Marketing weekends have become New York Times best-selling authors, renowned platform speakers, top-paid publishing moguls, and the industry's most formidable information entrepreneurs. They've been featured on "The Today Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," CNN, Montel, Home Shopping Network and in countless publications worldwide.

Want to join their ranks? YOU could be the next best-selling author discovered and launched at Mark Victor Hansen's Mega event! Mark Victor Hansen

Learn from a hand-selected faculty of world-class publishers, agents and best-selling authors to share their top secrets about how to publish and promote best-selling books. Here's a sampling of what you'll learn:

  • How to get an agent, how author-agent relationships work...and the agent traps, pitfalls, and scams you must avoid

  • How to get the successful writer's mindset that gives you the confidence and motivation to get your book started...and more importantly, to get your book finished

  • What today's publishers are really looking for -- and how to present your ideas in a way that captures their attention

  • How to stand out from all the other authors by delivering content to your audience that meets their needs precisely -- and that will leap off the shelves

  • The almost-magic formula for evaluating your ideas. Know if they're worth pursuing before you start!

  • How to bypass the pain of rejections (sorry, it comes with the gig) and transform that pain into the Power of Purpose

  • The common traits of best-selling authors and how to know if you're destined to be one of them

  • How to craft book proposals that grab publishers by the eyeballs and practically force them to read and respond to your proposal

  • The publishers who may have an interest in publishing your book -- and the publishers you should avoid at all costs!

  • How to create "buzzworthy" publicity that has editors and producers filling up your inbox and your voicemail with interview requests

  • Bulletproof "tricks" that will let you carve out time from your busy schedule to make sure you're writing something every day

  • and much, much more!

February 27-March 1
Los Angeles, CA

Click Here to Learn More

Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions.~ Albert Einstein


The View From theOther Side

"Entrepreneurs are risk takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

~ Victor Kiam, owner of Remington Products



Resources for a Change

Create and Market Your Own Products
This resource is for product developers, information publishers, software developers and others who create and market products. You'll find how-to's, project ideas, project examples, tutorials, the Product Developers Newsletters, a large download library of tools and resellable products and more - to help you build your product development business. Learn more at 

Design Your Own Fabric I read about this inSpringwise, an online newsletter that features smart new business ideas for entrepreneurial minds.  from San Francisco to Singapore. Based in North Carolina, Spoonflower lets users design and print their own fabrics for just $18 per yard with no minimum order; custom swatches cost $5. You can also submit your fabric for the "Design-of-the-Week" contest and they will sell the winning fabric on their own Etsy shop. Learn more at



Note: Changing Course does not accept paid advertisements from any of the resources listed here. This list is provided to expand your thinking about just how many interesting ways there are to make a living without a job!