Get Your FREE Full-Length Audio of
How to Work When, Where and How You Want"

Quit your job and find work you love with Valerie Young.

Enjoyed by 23,000+ people!

Privacy Policy: We will never sell, rent or trade your email. Period.

Click here to return to the Changing Course home page

live life on purpose work at what you love follow your own road

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

Issue 204

March 10, 2009

About Your Subscription

Prefer the text version? Change Your Subscription

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

Ten Tips for Figuring Out How to Get Paid to Do What You Love

Featured Resource

Using the Internet and Information Products to Make More… and Work Less  

Learning Opportunities

  • LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER "How to Attract Clients" Teleseminar with Fabienne Frederickson

  • Multiple Video Profit Streams Teleseminar

  • How to Get Out of Your Way So You Can Finally Be On Your Way Opportunity Hour Tele-Brainstorming Call with Your Host, Valerie Young 

The View From the Other Side

Resources for a Change

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

Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises. ~ Demosthenes

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

Ten Tips for Figuring Out How to Get Paid to Do What You Love  

By Valerie Young

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

I love proving people wrong. Not all people… just the ones who are operating under the kind of faulty self-limited assumptions that prevent them – or the people around them – from working at what they really love. That was definitely the case for a client named Ellen (not her real name). Ellen was totally convinced she’d be, as she put it, my “first failure,” a belief she’d repeat several times throughout our session.

To prepare for our phone meeting, I asked Ellen to send me a list of things she loves to do. It was pretty clear right from the get-go that she held out little hope of turning any of her passions into viable income streams. “I don't think there is any money maker in my Love to Do's,” she wrote, adding, “I really worked at this list. I am not sure you can help since this is all I came up with.”

Boy was she wrong. By employing a few simple techniques, I was able to help Ellen come up with not one, not two, not three, but seven ways to make a living doing exactly what she loves.

Using Ellen as an example, I’ve put together ten tips to help you discover the income generating possibilities and opportunities hiding inside your own passions. In other words you’re about to attend Opportunity Analyst Boot Camp! And, just in case any of the books I recommended to Ellen resonate with you, for your convenience they’re available in the Changing Course Bookstore at

Before we begin, take a minute to read Ellen’s “Things I Love to Do” list to see if you can come up with any ways she might turn them into income. Ellen loves to:

  • Go to art museums

  • Travel

  • Politics

  • Photography

  • Writing

  • Research

  • Archeology

  • Planning things

  • Get dressed up

  • Different cultures

Okay, any ideas?

If you came up empty or close to empty, that’s understandable. What often gets framed as a lack of creativity, I happen to think, is really just a lack of information. The information-gathering phase is critical to discovering ways to make a living from your passions. Which leads us to our first tip…

1. Ask Good Questions

If you want to come up with great income-generating ideas, you’ve got to get into the habit of asking questions… lots and lots of questions. Take Ellen’s list for example. Presumably, she knows what “research” and “planning things” mean, but did you? I didn’t.

As silly as it might sound, you need to start asking yourself some questions too… questions like, “What exactly DO I mean when I tell people I love to cook or surf the net or write…?” What kind of cooking, surfing, or writing? Do I want to do it for or with other people? Do it at home? Do it outside of home? Do it every day, a few times a month, a few times a year…? I could go on and on, but you get the idea.

For now, use Ellen’s list to practice flexing your Opportunity Analyst muscles by making a list of questions. For example, do you want to learn more about what her love for “politics” is all about? What does she mean when she says she loves “different cultures?”

2. Focus on Your Life First, Work Second

In short, despite everything we’ve learned from guidance or career counselors, making a living isn’t only about work, careers, or income. Making a living is also about making a life. Your quest for right livelihood must start with a clear vision of what you want your LIFE to look like. In fact, I can’t even begin to help someone figure out what their ideal job might be until I understand what they want their ideal life to be.

Once you’ve determined the kind of life you want, your vision then becomes a bench mark by which to evaluate various career options – or what I call the Life First Test. For example, if you want to work from home and work best alone, opening a bookstore wouldn’t pass the Life First Test… but being a freelance writer might.

Like a lot of people, Ellen’s ideal life is a combination of working from home and being out in the world. In her case, it means starting her day at home researching things that interest her… like history and travel. In the afternoon she’d like to get outside. When I asked Ellen what she might like to do outside the home, she reluctantly told me about what she called her “crazy dream job”… being the organizer of a big museum installation like the King Tut exhibit.

I didn’t think Ellen could land her fantasy job overnight, but I didn’t think it was crazy either. What I did wonder was whether it would pass the Life First Test. You see, Ellen’s ideal life includes living in the country… so living in any city big enough to support a large museum was definitely out. But still, the excitement in her voice was too important to just dismiss this interest in big exhibits. Which leads to the next technique every Opportunity Analyst must know…

3. Go Deeper

I decided to probe beneath the surface to try to understand what exactly it is that Ellen likes about being in charge of a big museum installation. What really excites her is doing things on what she referred to as “a grand scale.” “The biggest event in most people's lives,” she explained, “is their own wedding. I think events like this should be really wonderful and grand."

In this case, going deeper meant figuring out what kind of grand scale events, in addition to weddings, Ellen could put on that would really jazz her? I’ll give you a hint… the answer is in her list. Take a look… any ideas?

Since Ellen loves history and research, I asked her what she thought of specializing in coordinating large and elaborate family reunions? Not only could she do all the event planning, but with a little training in genealogy, Ellen could also offer to research the family tree. And, depending on what she uncovered (and the client’s budget), she could get her grand-scale kicks by organizing historical re-enactments using local actors or somehow involving the family members themselves. Ellen loved the idea!

To help launch her new business, I suggested she take a page out of Barbara Winter’s Establishing Yourself as an Expert class and create a tip sheet. She could put together The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make in Planning a Family Reunion or a piece called 5 Ways to Guarantee a Stress-Free Family Reunion.

She could use the tips in a press release to her local newspaper, include them in a brochure, or on her website. To educate herself on the event planning business, I also suggested Ellen get a copy of a book called Dollars & Events: How to Succeed in the Special Events Business by Joe Goldblatt, Frank Supovitz.

And what about the Life First Test? If Ellen lived in jeans and sneakers and liked to be in bed by 9:00 p.m., we probably would have nixed the idea of putting on gala affairs. Instead we’d have explored how she could put her passion to work putting on fantastic children’s parties or mega- picnics. Fortunately, since Ellen loves dressing up and is a night owl, the family reunion and wedding planning idea passed the test with flying colors. But why stop here…

4. Go Even Deeper

We could have stopped here, and Ellen would have been perfectly happy, but during this same conversation she also told me about an armor exhibit she’d seen at the Metropolitan Museum. The fact that Ellen was not the least bit interested in medieval weaponry and yet clearly so taken with the exhibit told me there was more gold to be mined here. Time to keep digging.

It didn’t take much probing before Ellen was practically gushing as she described how incredible the shiny armor looked displayed in front of the rich, colorful tapestry. As we talked, it became clear that Ellen also loves arranging things for maximum aesthetic value. Any ideas on how she might use this passion?

Ellen was only mildly interested in room décor so we quickly dismissed interior decorating. Instead I suggested she think about freelancing as a window dresser for retail stores or as a photo stylist. Photo stylists are the people who clients pay to arrange products, props, food, and the like so they look good in print ads, catalogs, TV, film, and so on. I pointed Ellen to theAssociation of Stylists and Coordinators where she could learn all about what it takes to break into this fascinating field.

5. Be Specific

We know from Ellen’s list that she liked writing… but that’s pretty broad. Normally when I ask someone what kind of writing they like, he or she will say they enjoy fiction, non-fiction, romance, children’s books, technical writing, etc. But the first word that popped out of Ellen’s mouth was “concise.” Ellen likes writing paragraphs, not pages and she also prefers non-fiction. Any ideas leap to mind?

My first thought was that Ellen had all the makings of a columnist. She loved the idea but naturally had lots of questions about how to get started… so I pointed her to a book called You Can Be A Columnist by Charlotte Digregorio. The more specific you are, the better able you are to pinpoint what kind of information you need to get started.

6. Turn Deficits Into Benefits

Ellen also enjoys politics. So writing a political column was a perfect fit. Unfortunately, political columns are the toughest kinds of columns to land. That’s because the powers that be want established “experts,” which is really just short hand for political insiders.

The fact that Ellen is considered a commoner among the political elite doesn’t need to be a dream stopper. The trick is to find a way to make this apparent disadvantage work for her. For example, by calling her column (and maybe ending each one with), “But, Hey What Do I Know?” she just might be able to use her “just a regular Joe-anne,” “average woman on the street” type status to her advantage. It worked for  Ross Perot! And if a millionaire businessman can convince millions of Americans that he’s just like them, then Ellen’s got a shot at selling her column to a local editor.

7. Look for More Than One Way to Use Your Gifts

Like most writers, Ellen also likes editing. What if, I suggested, she offered her editing services to professors and graduate students who need to write papers but for whom English is a second language? Since she also enjoys doing research, for an extra fee, she could also help them track down information.

8. Think Outside the Box

Chances are you may have wondered what kind of photography Ellen loves. Bridal? Portrait? Nature? Animals? Action? When I put this question to Ellen, she once again hesitated, fearing I’d find her answer odd. Quite the opposite… I found it utterly fascinating! You see Ellen’s loves photographing unusual buildings… and she works exclusively in black and white. How cool is that!

Okay, you’re wondering, but who’s going to pay Ellen for her cool black and white photos of interesting buildings? Well, there’s a bank in my area that hands out free calendars featuring vintage photographs from the surrounding towns. What if she pitched the idea of a calendar featuring unusual architecture to a community-minded bank or to the Chamber of Commerce? If it worked out, it could lead to a whole series of calendars or perhaps even posters or framed photos. Which leads me to the next thing every Opportunity Analyst should know…

9. Always Think Big!

There’s more than one bank and more than one Chamber of Commerce. In fact, there are thousands of them, and they’re everywhere! Since Ellen loves to travel, why not make this same pitch in towns and cities all over the country? She could even make a name for herself as the unusual building photographer and publish a book – or better yet, a whole series of books!

10. Leverage Your Time and Talents

Since Ellen’s going to be traveling the country taking photographs anyway, why not tap into her love of writing by becoming a travel writer? Not only can she make some money, but travel writing is a great way to defray the costs.

Just ask Duane and Harlene Harm. According to travel organizer Barb Perriello at Agora Travel, Duane and Harlene attended the American Writers and Artists Institute Travel Writing Course in Paris. Then they spent the following summer traveling across the western U.S.

All told, they visited 23 different dude ranches in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana over a three-month period, staying for an average of three days at each ranch. The total value of their summer stays? About $55,000... and they didn't pay anything. Not one cent.

What's more, they wrote an article for “Steamboat Magazine,” a high-end coffee-table publication based in Steamboat Springs, CO that comes out twice a year. And they were paid for their work. (You can learn more about careers for people who love to travel

Okay, back to your Opportunity Analyst training. You already know Ellen likes travel and writing, right? But there’s another clue that told me travel writing was the perfect fit… do you know what it is?

It was Ellen’s reference to “different cultures.” By employing the previous nine tips, I discovered that Ellen has a real passion for learning about different cultures… but not by reading alone. What Ellen loves is tracking down and visiting the places the locals like to go. She’s also fascinated by local traditions and etiquette. All this tells me Ellen won’t be writing about the typical tourist haunts. Instead, she’ll be using her interest in cultural diversity to educate her fellow travel lovers about how to see an area through the eyes of its residents.

Nobody likes to be proven wrong… that is unless the thing you’re wrong about is thinking you can’t profit from your passions. Follow these ten tips, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming an Opportunity Analyst… and one giant step closer to earning your living doing exactly what you love!

P.S. Does thinking about creative ways to make a living without a j-o-b get you totally jazzed? Do you love the idea of getting paid to brainstorm ways that people can turn their interests into income? You’re not alone!

In mid-December, I opened up my new “Outside the Job Box Career Expert and Small Business Idea Consultant” Self-Paced Training Program. The response was so overwhelming we had to temporarily close the program to new people. If all goes according to plan I SHOULD be able to open up some spots later this month.

If you’d like to be notified when spots become available, sign up for the “First in Line” early notification list now at

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 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  

High achievers spot rich opportunities swiftly, make big decisions quickly and move into action immediately. Follow these principles and you can make your dreams come true.
~ Robert Schuller

Featured Resource

Using the Internet and Information Products to Make More… and Work Less

Alexandria Brown, Ezine QueenWere you one of the over 4,700 people who signed up for Ali Brown's FREE  "How to Create Your OWN Strong Economy This Year... With Online Information Marketing" teleseminar?

If you weren't, there's still time for you to download the audio. Just go here:

(But do it soon as you only have a few days before the link is coming down.)

Along with sharing a TON of great information, Ali made a very special offer on the call. She's going to gift you $500.00 off her BRAND NEW 2009 *Online Success Blueprint System!* (But only through tomorrow, so act quickly!)

This product is incredibly resource-rich. It includes DVDs, CDs, and a complete workbook. And Ali has NEVER offered her Online Success Blueprint System at THIS LOW price before -- especially with DVDs.

But you only have until Wednesday, March 11, to get the $500 off.

You may have heard me tell this story before, but a few years ago I attended Ali Brown's (a.k.a. the Ezine Queen) Online Success Blueprint Workshop. Over the years I'd heard 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 I’d learn "something." After all, a workshop being run by a woman who has managed to build a business that generates $100,000 in sales… a MONTH is bound to contain at least a few nuggets of wisdom. Right?

"Online Marketing Made Easy"

Boy was I wrong. There is a reason why Ali subtitled her workshop "Online Marketing Made Easy." This workshop did not contain "a few" nuggets… it contained HUNDREDS of nuggets. There were times during the workshop when I literally couldn’t write fast enough. And I wasn’t the only one. A lot of the people I met there were in the early stages of launching their consulting, writing, speaking, or coaching businesses.

As my idea list grew to 16 pages long, I remember thinking to myself, if someone like me who already has an ezine and who has been selling information products for years is walking away with this many tips, I can only imagine how blown away the other people in the room are. Keep in mind, too, that my personal idea list was on top of all the resources and templates I had at my fingertips in the nearly 297 (that’s double-sided) pages of printed materials that came with the workshop.

Even if you choose not to invest in her program, you'll want to download the audio from this call before it's too late... here's that link again:


Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ Thomas Edison


The Changing Course Newsletter
Copyright 2009  
Lisa Tarrant, Editor
Valerie Young, Publisher [email protected] 7 Ripley Road
Montague, MA 01351


All About Your Subscription

You're welcome to forward this newsletter in its entirety to other dreamers.

If someone sent this to you, don't depend on your friend for this great information. Get your complimentary subscription at

Please do not reply to this message.

Subscribe or Change Your Address:

Previous Issues:

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Learning Opportunities

"How to Attract Clients" Teleseminar with Fabienne Frederickson

If you are a consultant, speaker, author, healing practioner, or other solopreneur who is selling services, Fabienne Frederickson is the marketing expert for you.

Fabienne first got onto my radar screen because we are are both contributing authors in Ali Brown's book, Power and Soul. But my first real connection was when she and I were guests on one of Ali's Teleseminars. Since then we've had the opportunity to chat a few times by phone and over the last year I've gotten some really great feedback about her Client Attraction program.

Fabienne began a free 3-part Teleseminar series in January where she's been breaking down her own step-by-step system for attracting ideal high-paying clients while working less and making more - anywhere from an additional $5000 to as much as $85,000 a month. The steps she used are easy to replicate so you can adapt them to attract clients to your business as well.

Fabienne's final free Teleseminar in the Client Attraction Marketing & Mindset Breakthroughs is coming up Tuesday March 10th. If you missed the first two calls don't worry. Once you sign up for the March Teleseminar you'll get to listen to the previous classes.

**TONIGHT** Tuesday, March 10, 2009
8:00pm Eastern Time
Cost: Free
Click Here to Register

PLAN AHEAD: These calls are a great way to preview Fabienne's *live* workshop coming up April 15-17 in Los Angeles, California.

At the end of upcoming Teleseminar, she'll be making an special offer to those actually on the call. There were over 2500 people on her first call so be sure to register early to make sure you can get on the line.

If you can't make tonight's call - or just want to plan ahead by learning more about the live workshop and the special time-limited payment plan option now - go

Multiple Video Profit Streams Teleseminar

Perry Lawrence (a.k.a.Mr. Video) is holding a call this week to share how you can create multiple video income streams (without the use of an expensive video camera). He's going to talk about 5 income streams using video including:

  • YouTube Strategies for 1.5 million views!
  • A secret video opportunity that generates up to
    $5000 per video
  • Strategies that built one client's email list to over 50,000
  • Selling your videos - Yes You Can!
  • Distributing your Video Series Instantly on iTunes
  • And More...

Thursday, March 12, 2009
9:00pm Eastern Time
Cost: Free
Click Here to Register

How to Get Out of Your Way So You Can Finally Be On Your Way "Opportunity Hour" Tele-Brainstorming Call with Your Host,Valerie Young 

In a recent survey of Changing Course Newsletter subscribers, a whopping 61% cite fear as the biggest challenge in starting their own business.

This month's opportunity call will be addressing how to overcome the fear and get out of your way so you can FINALLY be on your way!

In this Teleseminar I'll be sharing:

  • Name that fear (hint it may not be what you think it is)
  • Why success can be scarier than failure
  • What do luck, timing, and personality have to do with success?
  • Time management tips for change artists

I hope you'll join me, along with the members of the Changing Course Club, for an exhilarating hour of creative thinking, opportunity angling, and possibility-provoking fun! The rewards could be enormous!


Monday, March 23
12:00-1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Free for Changing Course Club Members (Sign Up in the Club Lounge)*
$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


Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow. ~ Doug Firebaugh


The View From theOther Side

 "I think entrepreneurs, at times, try to do everything themselves. You just can’t be successful unless you know what your strengths are and you get the right people in the right places."

~ Tina Aldatz Norris, President Foot Petals



Resources for a Change

Equine Photography Combine your love of photography and horses with the Equine Photographers Network. They have a contest (for all levels of photographers) coming up with a March 20th deadline as well as a workshop and online courses. Learn more about this fascinating work at

Self-Published Authors Writer's Digest magazine is holding their 17th Annual Self-Published Authors competition. Whether you're a professional writer, part-time freelancer, or a self-starting student, here's your chance to enter the only competition exclusively for self-published books! There is an entry free to submit your work, but they're giving out more than $17,000 in prizes (and the opportunity to have them promote your book to major review houses such as The New York Times.You'll find all the rules and guidelines

So You Wanna... You could spend hours on this site. Not totally work related but the ones that are offer great information in categories like so you wanna be a sitcom writer, comic book artist, pitch a TV show, publish your poetry, write a business plan, and lots more.


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!