January 29, 2008
Above all, challenge yourself. You may well surprise yourself at what strengths you have, what you can accomplish. ~ Cecile Springer
Opportunity Knocks: Creative Ways to Make a Living Without A Job
Are Your Attitudes About Money Holding You Back?
Part 1 in a 2-Part Series About Women and Money
Valerie and her wonder dog,
By Valerie Young
I’m the owner of an online business. I’m also a woman. What that means is I often have to manage something a lot of my male counterparts do not, namely women’s attitudes – including my own – about money. Certainly there are men who have money issues. But when it comes to either investing money in our dreams or making a lot of money ourselves, I find women struggle a lot more than men.
I knew there was no way I could tackle such a complex topic myself, so back in December I asked my readers for input. I’ve included some of their comments here. Others were kind enough to let me post their comments on my new blog (ChangingCourse.com/blog). I hope you’ll add yours as well.
What prompted the discussion about women and money was a Teleseminar I conducted with Alex Mandossian. Alex is an expert on how to develop your expertise and build a list of prospective customers using Teleseminars. During the call, Alex gave example after example of people he’d worked with who’d made tens of thousands of dollars in product sales as a result of introducing themselves to potential customers via a single Teleseminar. He also made a point more than once of underscoring that getting to this level of success takes at least three years.
I got a ton of positive feedback about the call. But I also heard from a woman named Agnes. Agnes told me she wanted to sign up for Alex’s training program but, she said, “I couldn’t help but wonder if it isn't just a little ‘smarmy’ or something to make soooo much money so quickly? Even though I rationally know there really isn't anything wrong with it – I can’t seem to put my finger on my own hesitation.”
It was Agnes's next comment that got me thinking about a wildly popular method for making fast money that no one blinks an eye at – namely, the lottery. She writes, “I would love to win the lottery like everyone else and that doesn't seem sleazy. I'm not a stranger to hard work and am very willing to work – it’s almost like I feel like I have to work very, very hard in order to deserve to make a lot of money – although now I work very hard and DON’T make a lot of money! Why does that seem ‘okay’ on some level?”
Even people who never play the lottery can relate to the allure of becoming an instant millionaire. I know I can. But clearly there is something deeper going on.
Chance vs. Effort
I don’t know why it seems more acceptable to get rich by chance than by effort, but I certainly can relate to Agnes’s confusion. I’ve been self-employed for about twelve years now. It took 11 years of hard work and sacrifice, but I finally had my first high five figure week. It was a major turning point in my business and in how I looked at money. It was also cause for celebration.
So I made reservations at a pricey area restaurant and treated a small group of friends to a fabulous dinner. When I was growing up, the only fine dining I ever knew was the very occasional Friday night fish fry at Howard Johnson. So it felt great to say, “Order everything you want!” and boy did we! The celebration was in high gear when some mutual friends happened by our table and asked what all commotion was about. “Tell them how much money you made this week, Valerie!” exclaimed my exuberant dinner companions.
I wanted to tell them. In fact I wanted to tell the entire restaurant. But instead of feeling proud, I felt embarrassed. I mean it’s one thing to share the good news with a few close friends, but to talk about how much money you made so publicly? I just wasn’t raised that way. But deep down I knew there was more than just my working class roots kicking in here.
In that moment I remember thinking how I wish I’d won the money on a lottery ticket. No one would blink an eye if I leapt on the table, winning lottery ticket in hand. In fact there would have been high fives all the way around! I know I certainly would have felt different about the whole thing. Intellectually I knew that I had worked, as Agnes said, “very, very hard.” Yet, still, I felt awkward talking about it.
Why is an unearned windfall from an inheritance, gambling, the lottery, or other form of chance somehow more internally acceptable than earning it through our own talents, hard work, and determination? Why do women feel undeserving to be affluent? Why is the desire for financial prosperity considered somehow wrong? I certainly don’t have all the answers but here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
“If I’m Too Successful, People Won’t Like Me”
For better or worse, men’s self-worth is often tied to how much they earn. The downside to this is that it puts a lot of pressure on men to prove themselves financially. On the plus side though I find most men are also a lot more comfortable charging more for their services or with wealth-building in general.
Women, on the other hand, tend to measure our worth based on the richness of our relationships – not our bank account. Talking about a windfall could be construed as being “too full of ourselves” which could make people think less of us. Being relationship-oriented also means taking care of other people’s feelings. A longitudinal study conducted with young girls enrolled in the gifted class found that if a girl earned an A on a test but her little friend only got a B, she would lie and say she got a B too. Women learn at a young age not to talk about their accomplishments to avoid making others feel bad.
Some women are afraid that if they are “too successful” other people won’t like them. It may be harder to relate to friends and family, a spouse or partner may be threatened if you start earning substantially more, co-workers may resent your promotion.
I happen to think that maintaining healthy relationships and caring about the impact of our behavior on others is an important virtue and skill. It’s what makes women great managers and in some ways, marketers, and, I believe, what will ultimately save the planet. It’s finding that balance that is the key.
I’d like to see women have both – rich, rewarding relationships and freedom from financial worries. I also want us to find ways to feel good about and even celebrate our accomplishments. For example, these same researchers helped the gifted girls brainstorm ways they could continue to care about their friend’s feelings but also feel proud of their accomplishments.
That leads me to another important clue to understanding women’s attitudes about money. This, too, has to do with relationships, but here it is about how we feel about money and those who have it.
Our Love-Hate Relationship With Money
Part of my old corporate job included organizing these incredibly lavish sales retreats to reward the top sales people. The events were held in places like Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, or Monaco. We flew in a film crew from New York to shoot video montages, paid a song writer to compose a theme song, constructed elaborate sets. No expense was spared. Needless to say, the sales people qualifying for these events were very well off with no shortage of millionaires. That was when I became consciously aware of my conflicting feelings of contempt and envy around money and people who had it.
So it’s in that context that I try to understand the occasional emails I receive from people – almost always women – who are not just angry, but enraged with me if they are unable to afford to purchase something I may be offering. After all, the reasoning goes, if you really cared, you wouldn’t charge me.
I’m not the only one who has observed this resentment toward successful people. “When do women leave behind the mindset of poverty?’ writes Sandra. “When can they take on the mantle of success and not feel bad about it?” Rather than feeling contempt or envy, Sandra feels inspired. “I like to look to Ali Brown of Ezine Queen for some inspiration. She is not ashamed or shy to flaunt her success. And I mean flaunt in the best way.” I know for a fact that Ali also receives her share of hate mail. (If you don’t know Ali, scroll down to this week’s Featured Resource)
Perhaps part of the reason some women have strong negative feelings about people who flaunt their success is that women often devalue their own skills. After all, we think, if I can do it, anybody can. We have a really hard time attaching a dollar figure to our work and an even harder time assigning a high value. Not surprisingly, studies show that women are more likely to take the first salary offer while men are more apt to negotiate.
But here’s the thing. Once you learn to place a higher value on your knowledge, skills, and time, you start to charge more. And when you charge more you become more financially successful. And when that happens, you’ll run into other people who struggle with the same contempt/envy response I had. Some may even secretly want you to fail. This brings full circle… “If I’m too successful people may not like me… and I may not like myself.”
Personally I’ve never aspired to be a millionaire. Even if that were to happen, I’d give a lot of the money away. I mean how much money does one person need? Basically, I don’t want to die a poor old woman and I don’t want you to either.
There is of course much more to say about women and money but I’ll save that for the next issue. In the meantime, I hope you will take a moment to join the conversation at my new blog.
Add Your Two Cents
Want to comment on this article? Click here to hop over to the Changing Course Blog!
About the Author
"Turning Interests Into Income" expert, Valerie Young, abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com 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 iVillage.com. 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 ChangingCourse.com/articles.htm
Courage is about doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. ~ Eddie Rickenbacker
A Step-by-Step “Blueprint” to Online Business Success
Do you know Alexandria Brown, a.k.a. "The Ezine Queen"?
You may have heard me tell this story before, but a few years ago I attended Alexandria (Ali) Brown’s (a.k.a. the Ezine Queen’s) Online Success Blueprint Workshop. Over the years I’d hear about all these big time Internet marketing gurus who make big promises. But I’d never actually been to any one of their seminars. Since I know money is an issue for a lot of my readers, I was curious to see first-hand whether these high-priced Internet marketing seminars delivered enough content to justify the cost.
Don’t get me wrong... I knew that any workshop being run by a woman who has managed to build a business that generates $50,000 in sales… a MONTH was bound to contain at least a few nuggets of wisdom. Right?
Well I was wrong. The workshop contained hundreds of them. Instead of dangling exciting "magic pill" solutions in front of you, or selling "the next big thing," Ali tells it like it is. Over the course of three full days, she shared her step-by-step, internet-based plan for dramatically increasing your business while working LESS.
The bad news of course is that Ali’s sold out Online Success Blueprint Workshop that happened last November has come and gone. But, the GOOD news is, after hours of editing, polishing, and coddling, the brand new 2008 Version of her "Online Success Blueprint-in-a-BOX" is now ready. This self-study version contains everything you would have gotten in the live event only you get the benefit of learning from home – and at a vastly reduced price.
If you are a coach, consultant, writer, speaker, or other solo entrepreneur and are ready to learn what it takes to build your business online, you'll want to jump on this FAST, because Ali is only releasing 147 copies of this version of the program. And from what she told me yesterday, she's already 35% SOLD OUT.
This is Ali's 2nd year of honing this program to perfection, and I can honestly and confidently tell you -- there is NOTHING else out there like this. And “blueprint” is not a figure of speech. You actually get a big blueprint mapping out every step that you can hang on your wall.
I know this product, and if you are ready to make it happen, I can honestly say that the Online Success Blueprint-in-a-Box program can change your business and your life. Learn more at ChangingCourse.com/recommends/blueprintbox
Dreams take time, patience, sustained effort, a willingness to fail, if they are ever to be anything more than dreams. ~ Bryan Linkoski
It's important to have a plan, a big picture. You can deviate from it or change it completely, but it gives you something to work for. ~ Shannon Miller
Special Announcement - First in Line List Just Posted
Find Your Calling by Helping Others Realize Theirs
When I left the corporate rat race a decade ago, I did it to take control of my time. My life. But I did it for another reason, too: because I really wanted to feel as if I was doing some good in the world.
It's not that I'm so incredibly altruistic. It just feels good to do good. It gives you a little high. You help somebody and you feel rewarded.
Now, I feel that sense of satisfaction every day. Plus I get paid for it.
You could too.
If you're interested in following in my footsteps... you could work from home, brainstorming with people on the phone about creative ways they could turn their passions into profits and work at what they love…
That's what I do. And I can show you how, step-by-step, you can recreate my success…
…how you can grow a business that capitalizes on your interests and talents… and feeds your spirit while it fills your wallet.
And I'd like to do it in five days this May. That's right. Five days.
“This kind of 'work' is more than work... the clients really appreciate/enjoy it immensely... there's such a sense of gratitude from them... and I'm feeling that I'm involved in something so big... so sacred... Thanks!"
~ Kelly W., Certification Program Participant, 2007
Right now, it takes 16 weeks to go through my Outside-the-Box Career Counselor Certification Program. They don't feel like long weeks. Actually, they whiz by. But still. That's four months.
So the first week in May, I'm going to shave that 16 weeks down to a very intensive five days.
They're going to be five days with full access to me. Five days when you'll clear your mind of other distractions. You'll have my undivided attention and guidance. And together we'll concentrate on creating and building for you a business that's both fulfilling… and viable.
A business helping other people make their dreams a reality.
It's not just my expertise that's important here. Something happens when you get singularly-focused people together in a room. There's an energy that builds… and an amazing way that good ideas form, and then get molded and polished and transformed into something even better…
That's what this immersion program, this "summit" is all about. And I'd like to invite you to be a part of it.
I'm going to teach this group everything I've been teaching in my 16-plus week certification program… and more.
Plus the people with me at this summit in May are also going to walk away at the end of these five days with all the initial "hurdles" to starting a business cleared.
And by that I mean: You won't just walk away with a plan of action for yourself. But you'll leave with things like a name for your company… business cards… your own Web site domain name… a personalized, professional e-mail address… and, well, you get the idea.
You really will be on your way. In five days.
And, too, you'll be on my radar screen. And on the radar screen of all the other people you meet at this summit.
That's an invaluable thing. Because when you have people who understand what you want to do thinking about ways they can help you do it -- you have a powerful network for success...
I'm really still working out the details about this event. I do know it's going to be more personalized, more intense, and more immediately productive than anything else I've ever offered. And to be honest, I haven't even put a price tag on it yet.
I've created a First-in-Line List -- and I'll be sending updates to the folks on it, letting them know how it's shaping up. (To put your name on it, go here: ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm)
And, naturally, I'll let the people on that list know first when I'll be opening the doors to registration. (Sometime in the next few weeks -- just as soon as I've got everything finalized.)
I'm not sure yet how many people I'll be able to take -- somewhere between 15 and 20 I think. Quite possibly fewer.
In any event, it's going to be first-come, first-served. And I suspect the seats are going to go fast.
If you'd like to have first dibs at a spot -- and ongoing updates about the program -- put your name on the First-in-Line List here: ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm
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 atChangingCourse.com/courses.htm
Work at What You Love:
The Life Changing Workshop for People Who Want to Quit Their Job and Work at What They Love
Find out how you can escape the J-O-B box… and uncover a whole new world of possibilities.
Tap your wildest dreams...and start making a plan to make them happen right now...
Discover the powerful secret to turning almost anything into an alternative to a so you can transform your passion into your job...
Come away with the tools you need to create work – and a life – you really love.
Highly successful entrepreneurs do it instinctively. Now you can, too. Learn powerful, proven techniques for marketing your business without the fear of rejection.
Join "Outside the Job Box" expert Valerie Young and Barbara Winter, best-selling author of Making a Living Without a Job for what promises to be an extraordinary two days – filled with energy, enthusiasm, wisdom...and practical, life-changing know-how.
April 11-12, 2008
Click Here to Learn More
**Note: New Early Bird Registration Deadlines**
Extreme early bird registration discount $199 ends February 24th (WAS March 15th)
Still great early bird registration discount $249 ends March 15th
"After the workshop I decided that life was too short not to follow my dreams...and I started planning my future. About a year later, I resigned from my "big salary" job to pursue my dreams." ~ Suzanne Willis
Mark Victor Hansen's Mega Book Marketing University
If you're an author, an aspiring author or interested in book publishing, here's why you need to sign up RIGHT NOW for MEGA Book Marketing 2008:
The publishing industry is changing by the minute.
Without experts to help you navigate your way through the "publishing jungle", you're sure to get eaten up alive…and forgotten before your book ever has a chance to make it to best seller status.
Many folks who have attended the MEGA Book weekends have become international speakers, New York Times best-selling authors, successful information entrepreneurs, and top-paid publishing pros.
Many of our attendees will pitch their book ideas to Top Agents and Publishers.
There are only a select few lucky individuals who will receive a FREE ticket for a friend when they sign up before February 10. (After February 10, that same ticket will be $695). These FREE tickets may already all be gone by the time you read this email, but if you claim yours now, I'm hoping you can still take advantage of this offer.
When you take advantage of the Early Bird offer, you'll also receive the 21-CD set of MEGA Book 2007.
Whether you're a new author or an author of five best sellers, you've got to wonder…
"How can I make my book a success when the 'old Book Publishing model' is dead and today's model is constantly changing?"
Find out the secrets of publishing your book faster, easier, and less expensively than ever before, using the latest methods and technology.
February 29 - March 2
Los Angeles, CA
Take advantage of the Early Bird offer, which is only available for a limited time, at ChangingCourse.com/recommends/megabookmktg
Broaden Your Horizons as You Expand Your Bank Account! Help the Poor and Gain More Fulfillment and Fun.
Ecuador Import & Export Tour
After 12 years of traveling, digging, exploring and enjoying themselves all over Ecuador; Gary and Merri Scott invite those of you who want to really get out there to experience the Export Trail with them. You’ll gain exciting ways to increase your security, independence, freedom, wealth and well-being while helping this very deserving country and its indigenous people.
Improve the quality of your life, expand your horizons and reduce the tax you pay as you increase asset protection by having an overseas company and overseas income!
You’ll go to the high Andes. You’ll see products from Zuleta where they create handmade "green" cotton one-of-a-kind tableware, shirts, and specialty items. You’ll travel every day to see different markets, crafts people and masters who create special products that will make your eyes gleam with delight…both for their uniqueness and salability.
Ecuador Import & Export Tour
February 18-23, 2008
Learn More at ChangingCourse.com/recommends/ecuadortour
[Note from Valerie: I have met and worked with Gary and Merri as well as a past student of theirs who has now launched her own import business. Gary and Merri Scott and their course are the real deal. If you are serious about importing, especially from Latin or South America, this program will get you started faster than you could ever do on your own.]
"How to Become Joyfully Jobless" Teleclass Series hosted by Barbara Winter
Learn what it takes to live the joyfully jobless life from the master − Barbara Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job. A vivacious and wildly popular speaker, Barbara will address such topics as the power of multiple income streams… how to stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like an entrepreneur… why starting small is the smartest (and most profitable) way to launch your new enterprise… and much more.
Like mini-workshops, these monthly Joyfully Jobless Teleclasses are interactive, which means you get to ask questions and benefit from firsthand feedback from the woman I call the "Muse of Self-Bossing."
This series is free to current members of the Fast Track Your Dream Community*. Non-members are welcome to attend for $19 with all proceeds going to the non-profit micro-grant organization TrickleUp.org**
*To learn more about how you can fast track your dream of working at what you love - and get a two month membership FREE - go to ChangingCourse.com/fasttrackyourdream.htm
**A portion of all revenue from this Teleclass will go to support the entrepreneurial aspirations of impoverished people in the US and internationally via the micro-grant organization TrickleUp.org
The world is blessed most by men who do things, not by those who merely talk about them. ~ James Oliver
The View From theOther Side
According to a survey conducted by Make Mine a Million $ Business™
98 percent of female entrepreneurs are satisfied about owning a business regardless of the challenges.
Major reasons for female business entrepreneurs to start a business are:
Work life balance 29%
Being your own boss 22%Building a legacy 11% Fulfilling dream passion 5%
Resources for a Change
The Make Mine a Million $ Business Community is a network of over 35,000 women entrepreneurs who have pledged their commitment to break the million-dollar barrier and build a successful million-dollar enterprise. To learn more about this organization or about the March 4 conference in Phoenix click hereMakeMineAMillion.org
Learn How to Communicate with Animals
What does communicating with animals have to do with changing course? Well, if you heard the panelists at the 2006 Work at What You Love summit who are Fast Track Your Dreams Members or got to listen via the Inspired Entrepreneurs CD series, then you know that this is how Animal Communicator Dawn Allen makes her living. I’m fascinated that owners pay her to communicate with their animals – often over the phone. What I find even more amazing though is how much money she makes doing it. If this is a path you would be interested in pursuing, a good first step would be to attend one of Dawn’s upcoming seminars. According to Dawn, “the seminar will help you realize your natural ability to communicate telepathically with all creatures. You will learn how to better understand animal companions, gaining insight into their behavior, health, and happiness. The seminar includes specific exercises and meditations geared towards opening your senses and your heart.” Learn more atDawnAllen.org
Tour the Galapagos with Penguin Expert Dyan deNapoliI introduced former Work at What You Love attendee Dyan deNapoli to you in Issue 165 last summer. I was delighted at all the progress she had made since attending the workshop. Now, Dyan is the onboard penguin expert for a nature based cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Sometimes, we need a different perspective on our dream to really see that it can happen. I encourage you to consider this opportunity. Learn more atSensationalTravel.com
How To Market & Prosper From Your Music Whether you're promoting your fast-growing indie label or your one-man or one-woman act from your basement, Bob Baker's Guerrilla Music Marketing Handbook has been described as the next best thing to a college course on music marketing. The Handbook is chock full of low-cost ideas for doubling your CD sales in 90 days, getting media coverage, financing your next recording project, and more. And what could be better than a one-year money back guarantee! (Bob-Baker.com)
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!