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Changing Course Newsletter!

3 Key Lessons on the Road to Right Livelihood

I’ve been producing the Changing Course Newsletter for 17 years. During that time I’ve learned a thing or two thousand about what it really takes to change course.

For starters…

It’s good enough right now!

So many people seeking to change course want to make sure they get everything — their web site, their logo, their business card — just right. As a consequence they never launch.

Recently I came across my very first Changing Course business card. I printed them myself from my computer onto flimsy perforated paper designed for this purpose. I did it on the cheap and they looked it.

It was a wonderfully visual reminder of the need to start where you are with what you have. Your first anything will never be as great as your future everything. As success coach Mike Litman says,
“You don’t have to get it right. You just have to get it going.”

Don’t let the turkeys get you down.

I recently did my first ever webcast presentation. That meant that for an hour I had to act natural delivering a PowerPoint presentation while speaking directly into the camera perched on top of my computer. In other words, they could see me but I couldn’t see them.

The webcast was for a prestigious organization called the Conference Board. I was already nervous. Then I learned that rather than their typical 75-100 registrations, I’d be addressing a faceless audience of 375 executives.

I’ve been in business long enough to know that whether it’s delivering a presentation or starting your own small business or doing just about anything, there will always be the occasional turkey out there trying to ruffle your feathers.

In my case it was literally — turkeys!

Just as the webcast was about to begin a pair of mating turkeys decided to spend the next hour one foot from my ground level window and thus in my direct line of vision.

For the entire hour, the male strutted back and forth fanned his tail feathers all in an attempt to attract the female. He definitely distracted me. But she was like, “Whatever dude.”

You may not have mating turkeys outside your window. But there will always be people or situations that intentionally, or unintentionally, distract you from your goals.

Don’t let them. No matter what or who gets in your way, press on despite the distractions.

Finally, speaking of keeping going….

Allow yourself to be where you are… then keep going

When I was in Orlando, I ran into several people who’d attended one of my “Work at What You Love” workshops. One was Tracie Hall from Detroit.

It’s hard to forget Tracie because she was so determined to change the course of her life that in 2006 she and a couple of friends drove all night to Kennebunkport, Maine to attend the workshop I did there with Barbara Winter and Nick Williams.

She’d made so much progress that a few years later I invited Tracie to speak at the “Work at What You Love” workshop in Madison, Wisconsin. When I followed up on her progress a few years later, Tracie replied that things were good — but provided few details.

Now I know why… While in Orlando, Tracie told me she had an epiphany. She realized she’d been avoiding me because she was ashamed that she was not further along the entrepreneurial path.
I know what it takes to totally transition from having a boss to being your own boss. Especially for someone like Tracie who has a high-demand and high-paying job. So I never judge where someone is — or isn’t.

What broke my heart was the shame.

When you hide out because of shame you miss so many opportunities. More importantly, as the Hindu yogi Kripalvananda once said, “Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart.”

There’s no shame in going slow or hitting a road bump or for that matter, in taking a break altogether. The only shame is in giving up on yourself and your dreams.

I’m putting the finishing touches on the next “Work at What You Love” Workshop and Retreat happening June 20-24th here at my home in Montague, Massachusetts. (For those considering flying in, the Hartford, CT airport (code BDL) is closest.)

To ensure everyone gets time with me, there are only 12 spaces available. Details should be available next week. Click here if you want advance notice add your name to the list.

There are 4 comments. Add yours.

  1. satish

    I like the content as i am also passing through a phase where i am not able to know what is close to my heart. What do i want to pursue as a passion. So sometimes such contents give some clues. But most of them are very short term. How do i know what i want to do???

  2. There are many ways to find your passion for example things people compliment you on or things you loved to do as a child.

    Every month I have openings for 6 clients from all over the world who want to figure out what they love to do and then find a way to make money doing it. If you’re interested you can visit to learn more and/or call me directly at 413-367-0222.


  3. Valerie, I have purchased your e-learning products more than 4 years ago. They help me even til today!

    I am an American and currently live in India. Gosh, I hear you on the distractions- built up with moving to a new culture and dealing with a different infrastructure! I was about to give a webinar the other night- and the power went out! We have a power back up- but I had to find the right room with the outlet that had power! I was scrambling 10 minutes ahead of time, and with sweat dripping down my brow, I made it into the webinar with minutes to spare and believe it all went pretty well! Nice story.

  4. Wow Jennifer, and I thought turkeys were a distraction! Good for you for rolling with it. Yeah!


A New Direction

I decided to take the Work @ What You Love Workshop and also work one-on-one with Valerie. The workshop explored so many unusual and unexpected solutions to my specific questions. I made so many new connections to what clearly works for me in crea...

Julia Raymond
Curvology Studio

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