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

Issue 189

July 24, 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

Turning Problems Into Opportunities

Featured Resource

If You’re Organized – and Love to Get Things Done – You Can Start Your Own Business as Personal Concierge 

Be a Part of Valerie's New Book

Guest Article

Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses

  • Opportunity Hour Teleclass

  • Travel to Ecuador this Summer

The View From the Other Side

Resources for a Change

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

There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction. ~ John F. Kennedy

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

Turning Problems Into Opportunities

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

"In the middle of difficulty," observed Albert Einstein, "lies opportunity." Some of the best opportunities often originate from problems – either yours or someone else's. For example, like a lot of parents, Deb Cohen's problem was that after her first child was born she wanted to find a way to be a stay-at-home Mom.

Around that same time, Deb became aware of a real problem for most homeowners – namely, finding someone reputable to do home repairs or improvements. By putting these two problems together, she came up with the perfect solution for both her problem and that of her neighbors.

Since 1997 Deb has been owner of a highly successful company called Home Remedies of NY, Inc. (HRN), an organized referral company that matches homeowners with skilled, pre-screened independent home-repair workers.

HRN offers homeowners referrals to reputable home improvement contractors free of charge; the contractors represented in the network pay a commission to HRN for any work secured. If you've seen any of NBC's Dateline segments on unscrupulous home repair men (I would say home repair "people" but I've never seen a segment that featured a woman) then you can imagine what a relief it would be to homeowners to be able to easily find trustworthy and competent contractors.

In fact, a few years back I remember picking up a brochure at my local hardware store about a service that sounded a lot like this one. I only wish I'd looked into it before I hired the fly-by-night guy who replaced my roof last summer. What a NIGHTMARE!

I first learned about Deb when the Work from Home channel at featured her as their "Mompreneur of the Month." I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that Deb's business has become so successful that she has expanded to offer others the chance to launch a Homeowner Referral Network in their community. I felt instantly reassured when I read that, to date, there are more than 400 Homeowner Referral Networks operating in the U.S., Canada and abroad.

What's nice, too, is that aspiring entrepreneurs can choose from a range of business start-up kits at different price points. The kits offer step-by-step procedures on how to start a network in your area and include contractor commission structures, liability information, a complete direct mail and advertising campaign, and how to locate, screen and represent a comprehensive network of home improvement contractors.

All kits include The Complete Guide to Owning and Operating a Successful Homeowner Referral Network and unlimited leads from theHRN Web site. Kits range in cost from $1,995 – $6,495 with the higher priced kits including options ranging from business forms to individual phone consultations with Deb to a turnkey website and an online marketing tool designed for HRN owners to stay in touch with their clients.

This also seems like a good opportunity for someone who wants to start their own home repair/improvement business because HRN takes care of all of the marketing and you are instantly affiliated with a company that is known for referring only quality professionals. If you've had a good experience with a home repair person, HRN is actively seeking referrals from satisfied homeowners.

Deb’s business is just one of an infinite number of ways to turn a problem, complaint or threat into a money-making business opportunity. For example, when the news was filled with horror stories of tainted pet food from China, enterprising people leapt on the opportunity to make and sell organic pet food.

The key to being a successful entrepreneur is to become adept at being what I call an "Opportunity Analyst." The easiest place to begin is to consciously stay on the lookout for examples of problems, complaints or threats and see if you can come up with interesting income-generating ways that you – or someone – could solve them. Look around you. What kinds of things do you, your co-workers, friends or family complain about? Study news sources. Drive through your local neighborhoods or commercial areas.

If you would like to learn more about this interesting business, visit Deb online and you can read Deb's Top 10 Misconceptions About the HRN Business

Trust me – there are plenty of problems out there for an enterprising person to turn into a great small business opportunity! If you’d like a little help developing your "opportunity muscles," join me for my monthly Teleclass, "Turning Interests into Income Opportunity Hour." Learn more

Add Your Two Cents

Want to comment on this article? Click here to hop over to the Changing Course Blog!

About the Author

"Profiting From Your Passions" 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

Go for it now. The future is promised to no one. ~ Wayne Dyer

Featured Resource

If You’re Organized – and Love to Get Things Done – You Can Start Your Own Business as A Personal Concierge

We all do a balancing act every day, and since most of us don’t have a personal assistant to make the phone calls and run the errands for us, we try and cram them into the weekend and on our lunch hour during the week. In fact, many people feel that there are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done. Right? Well, for those individuals and businesses that can afford to hire an organized person to jump in and handle the details, help has arrived!

If You're Organized - and Love to Get Things Done - You Can Start Your Own Business as a Personal ConciergeAlthough the personal concierge industry is fairly new, the number of entrepreneurs who are catering to time-starved people is skyrocketing, as is the customer demand for such businesses. Why? Simple. People are trying to squeeze 36 hours into a 24-hour day.

As a personal concierge you can set your business up any way you like. For example, you could help your clients to do things like:

  • Search for tickets to concerts and special events

  • Arrange for transportation services

  • Make restaurant recommendations and reservations

  • Pick-up/deliver dry cleaning

  • Grocery shopping

  • Offer pet services

  • Care for seniors

  • Modified house sitting

  • Secure tickets to concerts and special events

  • Travel and vacation planning

  • Meeting and event planning

These are only a few of the many services a concierge can offer. There are dozens and dozens of things you can do. In fact, one of the best things about this business is that there are so many revenue streams you can attach to it. 

That’s because in addition to – or, if you prefer, instead of – serving busy parents and professionals, you can also work with larger business clients. For example, a growing number of corporations are offering concierge services as a work/life benefit for their employees and clients. Real estate management companies are setting up lobby concierge services in their apartment and office buildings and neighborhoods. Concierges are being added to hospitals, universities, shopping malls, airports and more. Travel Agencies and Meeting Planners are also adding them to their list of services. As you can see, personal concierges are the wave of the future.

The biggest challenge to starting any new business is knowing where and how to begin. A client of mine raved about the training she received from Triangle Concierge, so I did a little investigating. I learned that the company was founded in 1998. Since then Triangle Concierge has been providing concierge training and servicesto thousands of clients from both small and large companies including corporations from the United States, across Canada and over 40 countries from around the world.

I was pleased to see that they offer a range of educational options for different budgets and learning styles. You can get a "how to" manual for under $30, attend a two-day live training, get a home-study system, sign up for individual mentoring from co-owner Katharine Giovanni … just to name a few. In addition to being an author, speaker, consultant and International Concierge Training Expert, Katherine is also Board Chair and Co-Founder of the International Concierge and Errand Association (ICEA).

Naturally this business isn't for everyone (owners Ron and Katharine Giovanniwill attest to that). But if you love helping people, are organized, and are the kind of person who likes getting things done, this may a wonderful opportunity for you. Learn more


Your life will be no better than the plans you make and the action you take. You are the architect and builder of your own life, fortune, destiny. ~ Alfred A. Montapert


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



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Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.
~ Danny Kaye

Be a Part of Valerie’s New Book

Do you secretly worry that others will find out you’re not as intelligent and competent as they seem to think you are? Do you often dismiss your accomplishments as a "fluke" or "no big deal?" Do you sometimes shy away from or obsess about taking on greater challenges because of nagging self-doubt? Are you crushed by even constructive criticism, taking it as evidence of your ineptness? Are you waiting to be exposed as an impostor, fake, or fraud?

If so, join the club!

It’s estimated that 70 percent of people have experienced these feelings of intellectual fraudulence which are especially common among first generation professionals, creative types (Mike Myers says he’s always waiting for the "no talent police" to show up at his door), students, and others. Fearing that we have somehow managed to fool others "impostors" live in fear that sooner or later we are going to be "found out."

In March I signed a *big* book deal with Crown Publishing Group to write a self-help book on the so-called Impostor Syndrome. And I am committed to including as many voices and experiences as I can. Simply said, I need your help.

For the next few months I’ll be posing a different question designed to help me better understand how impostor feelings manifest in the lives of my readers. I hope you will take a moment to share your thoughts, stories, fears, and solutions with me so that I may in turn, help more people to feel as smart and competent as they truly are.

Question of the Week

What does "competence" mean to you? For instance, what goes through your mind as you think about starting your own business or promoting yourself as an "expert," going after a new job or a big promotion, or taking on a new and unfamiliar project, or perhaps writing a book of your own? In these situations or others, what do you think it takes to be competent? How do you define competence? How will you know when you are "there"? Is there a story that reflects an experience where you or someone you know struggled to feel competent?

Please include as much information as you feel comfortable sharing – first name, current occupation, age, race, state/province/country. Share as much or as little as you like. No matter what you share, I think just reading other people stories will be enlightening to all.

Thank you in advance for your input and support. I couldn’t do this without you! 

Share Your Response

Click here to share your answer to this Question of the Week

Valerie Young
Recovering Impostor


In order to discover new lands, one must be willing to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. ~ Andre Gide

Guest Article

10 Steps Towards Thriving as an Entrepreneur

By Bill Lampton

Twelve years ago, I left the administrative career I had built for twenty-three years, and started my own business. Why? For some of the same reasons that attract other pioneers, such as you..

You want to be your own boss.

You want to unleash your creativity, which your current job stifles. You expect to double or triple your income. You are eager to implement your lifelong fantasy. You lost a previous job, and you don't want to face being downsized again.

Yet, whether you have taken that step or merely intend to, you're afraid. You know former business colleagues whose new businesses failed.

Fear no more. I offer these guidelines for success, which I have used since launching my company in 1996.

One: Involve Your Family

Entrepreneurship will bring family changes, for sure. Your home office takes away the guest bedroom, and startup expenses strain the family budget.

From the outset, let every family member know what you are doing, why, and how it will impact them. Then listen. Solicit, and respond to, their advice. Welcome their objectivity, which you're lacking in your euphoria. Talk candidly about these changes before they happen, and you'll gain valuable teammates.

Two: Network, and Keep On Networking

In Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty, Harvey Mackay wrote: "If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I've met over a lifetime, I'd say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts."

Mistakenly, during the first six months, I tried going it alone. The results were dismal.

Then I sought advisors, who helped me immensely, giving constructive feedback about my Web site, company name, motto, logo - practically every significant component. I still meet monthly with a group of my peers. We share marketing strategies, and even a few leads.

I encourage you to join civic groups and your professional association, and start your own informal group.

Three: Master the Clock and the Calendar

Time will become your most valuable commodity. Treasure it, protect it, use it wisely. Decline politely when your Thursday afternoon golf buddy calls on a warm, sunny day.

Use time-savers like these:

  • Organize your work area, so you can find information quickly.

  • Rely on a contact management program, such as ACT, to keep track of prospects/clients.

  • Start each day with a to-do list, arranged in priority order.

  • Limit the length of phone calls and meal breaks.

  • Outsource work that others will perform well at a reasonable price.

Four: Get Physical

To endure your long work hours, you must remain in top physical shape. Exercise regularly, eat nutritious foods, reserve adequate sleep time, take short stretch breaks, and schedule your annual physician's exam.

I start each day with a one-hour workout at a fitness center. Rather than tiring me, the session ignites me.

Establish your own health-supporting routines. Stick with them five or six days a week, and you will enjoy feeling better, thinking more clearly, and having more energy.

Five: Nurture Your Spiritual and Emotional Needs

Remember to nourish the needs that go beyond the physical realm. Daily, you will require exceptional motivation, reinforcement, rededication, resilience, and sheer courage. Many successful entrepreneurs rely on sources not seen and touched.

For me, memorizing and repeating inspirational passages boosts my morale. Select whatever method uplifts you - meditation, reading, attending religious services, walking down a nature trail, or others.

Six: Get Technical

Most entrepreneurs don't start out with administrative assistants. We are SOHOs - single owners, home offices. Then who does the correspondence, records, research, and filing? You do.

So if you are technologically impaired, or you're somewhat competent but lack proficiency in programs like PowerPoint and Desktop Publisher, enroll in a nearby computer course. Fortunately, even small community colleges offer them as noncredit evening courses, modestly priced.

Take another step - learn how to produce audios and videos. You'll need that skill to keep pace with your competitors.

Seven: Become - and Remain - an Expert

Will prospects return your calls? Will appointments turn into contracts? They will when you demonstrate that you have mastered your field.

Expertise doesn't happen by accident. Successful entrepreneurs read voraciously, attend conferences, interview leading authorities, explore their topic on the Internet, pursue advanced degrees, and earn special accreditation.

And we don't stop learning. "Continuing education" is a redundant phrase. To be educated means that we keep learning the latest advancements in our profession.

Eight: Hire a Coach

Tiger Woods, possibly the greatest golfer ever, wasn't reluctant about hiring a coach. Presidents, actors, and industry leaders rely on coaches.

Almost two years ago, I hired a coach to jet propel my marketing efforts. We worked together for three intensive months. With his help, I revolutionized the way I seek business. I consider his fee one of my wisest professional investments.

Nine: Spend Wisely

Friends told me the writer's conference in Maui was one I must attend. I considered the cost, and went to a regional conference instead, where I learned plenty and kept my creditors happy.

Spending wisely becomes especially essential when we understand that an entrepreneur's income, typically, is cyclical. We can't let a highly lucrative month or quarter lull us into lavish life styles. Soon we'll face months with less income - possibly even no income. Set aside cash reserves for those non-revenue periods.

Ten: Reject Rejection

Yes, turndowns will happen, when you just knew your proposal was powerful, and your presentation flawless. How could they have chosen someone else, you ask in bewilderment?

In the words of Thomas Paine, "These are the times that try men's souls." The more you are rejected, the more you question your ability. Your confidence drops.

I suggest that you reject rejection. Realize that losing a contract doesn't mean that you are inferior or your work is substandard. Somehow, there wasn't a fit between you and the organization. Really, the company paid you a high compliment by selecting you for an on-site interview. That alone affirmed your credentials, programs, and product.

Think of the rejection as a rehearsal for your next potential client. Learn what you can from it, and then go find someone who embraces the value your services will bring.

About the Author

Bill Lampton, Ph.D. - author of The Complete Communicator: Change Your Communication, Change Your Life! - helps individuals "Learn More... Earn More," through his expertise in communication, motivation, customer service, and sales. His speeches, seminars, and communication coaching have benefited top-tier clients, including the Ritz-Carlton Cancun, Gillette, Duracell, Procter & Gamble, Missouri Bar, CenturyTel, British Columbia Legal Management Association, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Visit his Web site to sign up for his complimentary monthly E-mail newsletter: Call Dr. Lampton to discuss how his services will benefit your organization: 678/316-4300 or email him at [email protected]

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Upcoming Workshops and Teleclasses

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 Analyst" 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!

Millionaire Entrepreneur Agrees to Business Idea Brainstorming Session and Open Q & A

Ryan Lee, The Millionaire Workout

Ryan Lee

On Thursday, July 24 we’ll be joined by a very special guest – author of the Millionaire Workout and entrepreneur extraordinaire - Ryan Lee.

Ryan knows all about what it takes to change course. After struggling to support his family from his teaching job, he put together a membership site for fitness trainers. This led to other fitness related membership sites and ultimately to a seven figure business.

But this is NOT a Teleclass JUST for people who are intrigued by the potential membership sites have for bringing in recurring monthly income AND how they can make a difference in the lives of your members. It is for anyone who wants to get better at coming up with ways to turn their interests into income.

Ryan Lee, The Millionaire WorkoutRyan is ALSO an expert on list building, becoming an expert, writing a book, developing your own information product… the list goes on and on. And fortunately for us, he’ll be on hand to brainstorm business ideas and let you tap his entrepreneurial expertise.

Ryan will definitely be on the MORNING class. Right now he and his wife are knee-deep in packing boxes fresh from their move from Florida to Connecticut. Ryan says if he can get his two young kids into bed okay (parents understand how this goes!) he’ll drop in for at least a portion of the EVENING session. Knowing Ryan I have a feeling he’ll try to be there.

Again, even if you have ZERO interest in starting your own membership site, I know you’ll benefit from Ryan’s and vast experience and creative entrepreneurial mind. Plus I’ve asked some of my Outside the Job Box Experts to be on hand to chime in with ideas as well. Know of some cool business ideas yourself? Bring them to share!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Morning Session
12:00-1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Free for Fast Track Members*
$19.00 for Non Members**

Click Here to Register

Evening session
7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Free for Fast Track Members*
$19.00 for Non Members
Click Here to Register

Monday, August 11, 2008

Morning Session
10:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern Time
Free for Fast Track Members*
$19.00 for Non Members**

Click Here to Register

Evening session
7:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Free for Fast Track Members*
$19.00 for Non Members
Click Here to Register

*This series is free to current members of the Fast Track Your Dream Community. **100 percent of Non-Members registration fees go to the non-profit micro-grant organization


Travel to Ecuador this Summer and Learn How Easy it Can Be to Turn Your Vacation Snapshots into Cash… Plus Master Spanish in Just a Week!

Join the American Writers and Artists Institute for this amazing journey and you’ll:

  • Learn how to take beautiful photographs in a dream setting with professional photographer, Rich Wagner as your guide...

  • Explore and photograph colorful leather and craft markets...

  • Try out a Spanish immersion + "Super Thinking" program, geared to teach you Spanish in just days...

  • Capture breathtaking views of the Andes and local villages...

  • Plus, enjoy a relaxing soak in a healing thermal spa...

Hotel, some meals, and all adventure included.
Get the details here:

NEW DATES! August 30-September 6, 2008
Cotacachi, Ecuador

It takes a touch of genius--and a lot of courage--to move in the opposite direction.
~ Albert Einstein


The View From theOther Side

"Don’t ever let anyone tell you that something is too competitive. Once you subtract the people who don’t work very hard, or the people who aren’t as good as you, your competition shrinks dramatically."

~ Maggie Mason, founder of Mighty Goods



Resources for a Change

Train Women To Do Their Own Home Repair This woman-owned business seeks to educate women to become confident, competent homeowners by offering workshops and a range of lighter-weight tools designed to fit a woman's grip. They're actively seeking entrepreneurial women to learn how to become trainers and earn money on the sale of the tools. Think of it as being an Avon rep but with tools. The Problem: A friend tried it and discovered that it's not easy finding other women who have the time to host an in-home party. My Work-Around Idea: Hold your workshop at a local tile, furniture, window treatment, or other store where home-owners shop. The store gets the traffic and you get free advertising and meeting space. (

Mindset: A New Psychology of Success
How you
think about intelligence, achievement, failure, and what it takes to succeed has everything to do with whether you achieve your dreams or watch them slowly whither on the vine of life. Next to the War of Art, this book by highly-regarded Stanford psychology professor Dr. Carol S. Dweck is my new favorite book! Dweck masterfully makes the leap from academic to self-help author offering example after powerful example of how everyone from well-known sports figures, artists, business leaders and to young children labeled as non-achievers have flourished or stumbled depending on which of two mindsets they embrace. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a parent, a teacher, a coach (sports or life) or just a human being eager to make the most of their life you must read this book. Can you tell I’m excited?!

Last Chance If you love the idea of building an online community with like-minded people, creating or gathering information, and having a business designed to bring in a steady revenue stream, then take a few moments to watch these short case studies of successful membership sites in some unusual niches: Or, learn about the nearly sold-out 2008 Membership Site Bootcamp before the doors close late this week at And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, but are curious about why I am so gun-ho on this business model, read my article "A Little Knowledge Can Go a Long Way: How to Generate a Steady Cash Flow Using What You Already Know" available 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!