LIVE & WORK ON YOUR OWN TERMS

Making Money Mending Broken Hearts

Have you ever had a painful break up?

I have. Twice. And is sucks.

Everything reminds you of your beloved and all the wonderful memories you shared.

You either don’t feel like eating… or you can’t stop.


You can’t imagine ever being with anyone else.

The depression can last weeks or months…

And for some, moving on can take years.

It turns out there’s a reason why it feel like your heart truly is breaking.

A few years ago I shared a video called 12-Step Program to Getting Over a Breakup: The Science of Love.

The video was created by the digital media company SoulPancake (the company co-founder is actor Rainn Wilson of the American version of the hit TV show, The Office).

It explains how there are actual physiological reasons why we have a hard time getting over an ex.

Including the fact that the same regions of the brain are activated during a breakup as when an addict is going through withdrawal.

So it stands to reason that a 12 step-based model like Alcoholics Anonymous could facilitate recovery from heart-break as well.

The video is both informative and moving and features several newly heartbroken people trying out five steps to recovery.

Opportunity Knocks

It also made me curious as to how self-bossers are serving the needs of the brokenhearted.

A quick search turned up a three-day retreat called Renew Break Up.

The 3-day retreat is held in a beautiful rural location an hour outside of New York City and is the brainchild of Vancouver-based Amy Chan.

Reading about the retreat was interesting — but so was all the press it’s gotten.

It was actually from one of the many camp-related articles and television appearances that I learned about other enterprises aimed at the brokenhearted.

Like the break up coach in Toronto who makes up to $2,500 per client working primarily via email.

The articles also pointed to other opportunities for aspiring self-bossers.

For instance, two articles were by reporters who attended the camp in order to write an article.

Neither were recently heartbroken (which to me skews their experience).

More importantly, both writers were turned off by the same things: The New Age spiritual tone of the camp and the price.

Do you hear what I hear?

It’s the sound of opportunity knocking.

Clearly there are others who don’t care for this particular form of positive thinking. Which presents an opportunity to create either a non-spiritual or a different spiritual option for this audience.

Price is a relative thing.

For $1,500 for a single room ($1,000 for shared) you get a full weekend of yoga, acupuncture, delicious food prepared by a personal chef, group and individual counseling from three different experts all in a tranquil farm-like setting.

If you make good money, then it’s a small price to get what you need to move on.

For most people though, the price is out of reach.

Which means there’s an opportunity to create a lower priced event – or even some sort of online option.

By the way, you don’t need to be a coach, psychologist or other mental health provider to start your own heartbreak event, product, or service.

If you’re good at making things happen, you can partner with others who are better equipped to do the emotional heavy-lifting and you handle the marketing and logistics.

I noticed one final way you serve the brokenhearted.

At the end of The Science of Love video is a singer who belts out a customized rap song to comfort each of the people featured in the video.

If you have a knack for songwriting, then this could be the perfect profit center for you!

And if not, you could always hire songwriters on Fiverr!

Final Lesson

Do you need to launch your business on a budget?

If so, then take note of the national and even international press Chan was able to get for her retreats — including an appearance on The Doctors.

PR continues to be THE most underused yet immensely powerful way to promote a business.

And – it’s F-R-E-E!

Media can attract customers, clients, speaking gigs, book publishers, and potential partners or collaborators.

It can also position you as an expert in your field.

Even solo-entrepreneurs like you can get the attention of the press.

Look at me… these are just a few of the media where my career-related advice has appeared.

And if I can do it — trust me, so you can you.

So What About Your Dreams?

My mom died five months before her much-awaited retirement.

So what really breaks my heart is seeing people turn their back on their dreams.

What about you…

Are you still trying to figure out what you want to be when you “grow up”?

Or, maybe you know what you love to do… but have no clue how to make money doing it?

If you’re ready to start living the life you really want, I can help.

Click here to learn more about my Life First-Work Second approach to “outside the job box” career planning.

I’m booked for September but still have a few openings next month.

As George Elliott wrote, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”


10 MORE Ways to Get Paid to Brainstorm

MThe idea people who joined me for this week’s Paid to Brainstorm Webinar discovered Why Showing People How to Find Business and Income-Generating Ideas THE Next Big Wave in Coaching.

If you missed this eye-opening webinar you can catch an ENCORE.

In fact, I showed you 15 – count’em — FIFTEEN ways you can get paid to brainstorm.

Some probably didn’t surprise you.

Like the opportunity to serve the 10,000 baby boomers who are retiring e-v-e-r-y single day.

Just the kind of people who need help coming up with ways they could make an extra $500 or $1,000 a month.

But a few of the stats in the webinar might surprise you (like the growth in entrepreneurship among female vets)!

Or maybe in addition to being an idea person you also like to teach.

If so, you’ll definitely be surprised by the different ways for you to make money speaking or running workshops.

(Beverly Farrow who you’ll meet on camera in a second, just spoke to a packed audience of men and women who showed up to hear her talk: “Find Your Genius and Work in It.”)

But truly, the 15 opportunities I shared on the webinar just scratched the surface.

Why Brainstorming Income-Generating Ideas is THE Next Big Wave in Coaching

If you want to cash in on this wave, all you need to do is follow the trends.

In fact, I created an entire Fact Sheet with a host of trends leading to opportunities for career coaches who know how to think outside the job box.

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So in addition the 15 ways I outlined in the Paid to Brainstorm webinar, here’s 10 MORE ways you can cash in on these and other trends.

NEW Opportunity #16 Stay-at-home moms

There are already millions of stay-at-home parents – mostly moms — who also want a home based business.

Add to that group, all the young parents who are still in their job-jobs but who’d l-o-v-e to find a way to afford to stay at home with their kids.

That’s why I wanted you to meet Jen Schultz (she’s the last coach in the Opportunity Detectives video below) of CreativeIncomeDesign.com from British Columbia

Jen was already a successful life coach when she and her husband were expecting their first child.

That’s when she decided to run workshops for new or expecting mothers looking to work from home.

NEW Opportunity #17:  Women eager for more work-life balance

Women present a great opportunity.

For one, women tend to have a more layered definition of success that includes things like balance, meaning, satisfaction.

Just the kind of person who needs help finding a satisfying business idea.

That’s probably why women-owned businesses have been growing at a faster rate than all businesses.

And why according to researchers…

Women entrepreneurs are happier – and better paid – than their employee counterparts.

You’ll find lots of stats in the Fact Sheet about women from all over the world.

But I have to say I’ve had some amazing male clients.

NEW Opportunity #18:  Freeing men from job jail

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Men on the other hand, have been saddled with a model of success where their self-worth is judged solely on money, status, and power.

I’ve worked with a number of high earning men who face tremendous pressure from their spouses to maintain a certain lifestyle.

So these men are expected to just suck it up.

Tim Grover from Illinois is one of those men who wants to help change that.

Tim ran his own business for 20 years so he’s pretty much hardwired for self-employment.

He doesn’t only coach men.

But being one he understands the pressures men face to stay in their soul sucking job.

So today he runs ChangingLifeBulbs.com as a fun side gig.

Another angle is recently retired men who hate sitting around doing nothing.

And having a fun side gig is just the solution!

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: People who may share your race or ethnicity

As you’ll see in your Paid to Brainstorm Fact Sheet, race is another demographic where we see an upward trend.

For instance, women of color are starting businesses at 3 to 5 times the rate of other groups.

And the highest rates of growth in entrepreneurship among Hispanics.

If you’re a person of color — or if you have a strong affinity with any racial or ethnic group – then it may make sense to niche in that community.

Even if you start out focusing more broadly you may discover that – just like a lot of women follow me or millennials tend to follow other millennials – other people of color may just naturally gravitate to you.

Or you may decide to be deliberate in reaching out specially to a specific community.

Like Maru Lozano from Los Angeles.

Maru has a real passion for entrepreneurship.

So one of the things she decided to do after graduating from Princeton was help Latino youth.

Both those who are college-bound as well as those who need someone to help them think outside the job box.

Here’s Maru talking about her experience in the course:

NEW Opportunity #19  Helping young people

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Every year my local TV station does a story on these poor high school kids on the hunt for a summer job.

They put in applications at the mall or the fast food places… but they just can’t find a job.

And every year I scream at the TV – Make a job!

Wash windows, detail cars, mow lawns, babysit, repair computers!

They’ll probably make more money and they’ll be happier too.

Instead we’ve become a nation of occupational sheep passively waiting for someone to give us a job.

That’s why I was thrilled when a school teacher in Canada named Jennifer signed up for the upcoming career coach training.

Jennifer knows the future of work is changing.

And she knows schools are going to be on the forefront of helping students (and other teachers!) expand their thinking from getting a job to creating a livelihood.

Then there’s licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach Celeste St. Hill.

She lives on the beautiful Caribbean island of Barbados where she leads groups for teenage girls.

Celeste told me she encourages the girls to have big dreams.

I immediate thought of a line from a book by the oral historian Studs Terkel.

Among the people he interviewed was a young woman who said…

“I think most of us are looking for a calling, not a job.

Most of us, like the assembly line worker, have jobs that are too small for our spirit.”

Maybe that’s why more adults are searching for work that pays the bills and feeds their soul.

Which is a nice segue into another opportunity…

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar:  The enormous faith-based community

In addition to her work with teens, Celeste also describes herself as a Christian coach.

Here’s Celeste describing her work here and in other niches too…

NEW Opportunity #20 People with disabilities

Another group that’s very open to self-employment are people who have a disability.

I’ve personally had several clients who are blind.

And at least two of the students who trained with me were blind as well.

Sylvia Green is not blind.

But she does have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia – a condition shared by an estimated 200 to 400 million — mostly women — around the world.

In her own coaching Sylvia says her goal is to help women like herself to quote…

“find the confidence to put their health first and create their life around their work instead of the other way around.”

This next opportunity is pretty unusual!

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: People into “Weird” things

Kimberly Stewart from Colorado specializes in people who are into the kinds of off the beaten path things she likes.

Like renaissance festivals or Comic-Con which is the huge conference for comic book lovers.

Or people who are into astrology or science fiction movies or vampires and other paranormal stuff.

Exactly the kind of people who are least likely to fit into the conventional 9 to 5 grind.

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: Specific personality types

You could specialize with people who have a particular personality type – like for instance, introverts.

That’s what Julia Barnickle from England did.

Julia is an introvert herself. So she understands that introverts who start a business aren’t keen on making sales calls or going to networking events! Right?!

NEW Opportunity #21 Creative types

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In the last few years I’ve seen a real uptick in artists taking my class – adults that is 🙂

One of them is Maryjane Harford from upstate New York.

The vast majority of artists struggle financially.

But Maryjane has spent most of her life as a working artist and craftsperson.

So today Maryjane is also a coach who helps other creative types find ways they can profit from their handiwork as well.

NEW Opportunity #22 Travel lovers

The number one thing travel lovers care about is being able to work from anywhere.

So obviously they’re going to be hugely attracted to self-employment in general and portable businesses in particular.

Why don’t you be the Go-To-Person for on how to make money from the road?

Opportunity featured on the Webinar: Ex-patriots

Ex-pats as they’re known, are people who for a host of reasons are living in another country.

The bad news, it’s really hard for a non-citizen to get a work permit which you need to get a job.

The good news is, it’s much easier to start certain kinds of businesses.

In fact, there are countries in South America giving huge tax breaks to foreigners to renovate small hotels or start other tourism-related businesses.

110316_5Dominika Meirnik lives in Rome, Italy.

Dominika is originally from Poland so she’s an ex-pat herself.

When I met Dominika she was already a successful life and career coach.

At the time she was only doing traditional employment-oriented career coaching.

But now she’s able to also work with people searching for a way to work for themselves.

Frankly, I think anyone already doing career coaching needs to be able to work with aspiring self-bossers as well.

You’ll not only grow your practice but you’ll grow your earnings as well.

Here’s Dominika talking about her work and the course that helped her do just that…

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: People who want to live abroad

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Here we’re looking at people whose main motivation for moving to another country is to find a slower pace of life and as importantly, a lower cost of living.

These are the people you see on the HGTV show International House Hunters.

This is a population that’s only expected to grow.

In fact, a reported 3.3 million American baby boomers are planning to retire abroad.

A trend that’s growing among Canadians and Europeans too.

But here again, it’s not easy to get a work permit.

Which means a lot of these people are very actively looking for ways to make money without a job-job.

Like having an online business, or doing things like import-export, freelance writing, or yes — coaching.

Before we go any further, I want to make clear that you don’t have to limit yourself to any one opportunity or group.

I started the changing course newsletter in 1995.

From day one, my niche has been anyone who wanted to change course from having a boss to being their own boss.

If you landed on my website and you resonated with the Changing Course motto to…

Live life on purpose… work at what you love… and follow your own road – then you were my people!

And now that I know you’re an idea person like me – you are doubly my people!

So you can tap into any or all of the opportunities here or I talk about on the Paid to Brainstorm Final Encore webinar happening Saturday, February 25th at noon ET.

But we’re still not done!

In the video I talked about various organizations who need people who know how to think outside the job box.

Here’s a few others…

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar:  Colleges and universities

Outside of Europe, the US, and Canada young people make up the majority of the population.

No wonder Sir Richard Branson and others are actively working to introduce college students and others to entrepreneurship.

Colleges and universities everywhere are the next big frontier for profiting from your career coaches.

Think about it –

You’ve got these tremendous shifts in the nature of work itself.

You’ve got more and more people working in the so-called gig economy and the sharing economy.

You’ve also got all these parents paying these crazy high tuitions pressuring colleges to make sure their kids graduate and find a good job.

Which means administrators at liberal arts colleges especially are scrambling to match their curriculum to the job market.

But what if instead of asking, how can we prepare our students to get a job, these same college administrators asked a different question…

Namely, how do we prepare our students to create a livelihood?

A livelihood could be a job-job.

But it could also be self-employment or some combination of a job and self-employment.

A livelihood could be being able to support yourself through your art or music or writing.

Or having multiple streams of income, like I do!

The point is, the very notion of creating a livelihood is so much more expansive than getting a job-job.

So not only would students be exposed to far more possibilities…

But the ability to come up with an income generating idea whenever they need one is a skill they’d have for the rest of their lives.

So for anyone who works at a college now – or anyone who wants to partner with colleges, there’s never been a better time to do it.

You could also work with alumni too.

Every college or university has an alumni association whose mission it is to bring value resources to their members.

That could be running a webinar or setting up a table to offer free coaching advice at their next gathering.

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar:  Professors

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And students aren’t the only ones searching for alternatives. I’ve spoken at over 80 colleges and universities and I can tell you from experience that even some faculty are interested as well.

Especially faculty who didn’t get tenure or who started out thinking they wanted to go the professor route and then changed their mind.

Listen to What My Coaches Had to Say

I thought you might like to hear from a few of the people who are using my unique Profiting From Your Passions Formula.

Coincidentally, Dr. Beverly Farrow from West Virginia used to be a university professor herself. Today she still leads workshops — but for people like her who want to be their own boss.

Check out this short video of Beverly and the other “Opportunity Analysts” featured here.

 

NEW Opportunity #23 People who’ve been in prison

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If you think it’s hard for ex-pats to get a job in another country – it’s even harder for ex-cons to find employment in their own country.

That’s why you see the Texas department of corrections among other states training select groups of prisoners in entrepreneurship.

No wonder a local non-profit counseling center that helps state and federal parolees recently wrote Profiting From Your Passions® coach Beverly Farrow into a grant to lead workshops to help ex-cons start a small business.

Personally I’d much rather see someone come out of prison who knows how to sell T-shirts or ice cream than drugs.

NEW Opportunity #24 Actors, film crew, and other creative types in between gigs

Susan Baker lives in LA.

She’s also spent years in the film industry.

So she knows from first-hand experience the need that actors, script writers, stage crew and others have for flexible income streams they can turn on between gigs.

Susan also knows a lot of people in and out of Hollywood are looking to escape the job world all together.

That’s why today Susan is a professional Escape Hatcher!

NEW Opportunity #25 Multi-Passionates or “Scanners”

My friend Barbara Sher calls them “scanners.”

Margaret Lobenstein calls them “Renaissance souls.”

The new term is “multi-passionates.”

Whatever you call them – people who have multiple gifts and passions represent a great opportunity!

After all, what better way to satisfy all those different interests than with multiple streams of income!

These are the people Camille Jeanmonod from Paris is tapping.

Camille even named her coaching practice WhyChooseOnlyOne.com!

Opportunity Featured on the Webinar: Niche with people in specific occupations

One of the other people you met in the video is attorney Kelly Monteiro Caesar.

Her niche is helping law students, other attorneys, and even judges who want to start a business. (If you saw Paid to Brainstorm Video #1, you saw the fun example of the judge who loved working with her hands!)

The legal profession isn’t the only one teaming with people who want to change course.

Did you know that a study found one in two doctors are burned out and have little interest in their work?

But remember what you learned in Paid to Brainstorm video #2…

Complaints equal opportunities!

110316_9Someone who seized on this opportunity is a physician named Akinniyi Osho, MD from England. But he’s also always had one business or another going on the side.

Today one of those businesses is being a Profiting From Your Passions® career coach.

Sometimes other doctors seek him out because they want to transition out of medicine altogether.

Others just want a business they can do on the side like he does.

So whether you work for the postal service… or in manufacturing… or in retail… or human resources… or sales… or in a-n-y job –

You can speak from personal experience about the frustrations of other people in your same job.

Still I’m Just Scratching the Surface

110316_10There are of course many MORE ways to profit from your gift for thinking outside the job box.

One recent graduate plans to lead retreats for others considering spending the winter in Ecuador but need to find ways to make money from abroad.

Another is traveling the country with her husband in an RV. Her plan? Partner with RV camps to put on workshops on how to earn an extra $500-$1000 from the road!

You’ll learn all about running workshops and retreats on the Webinar.

And at the end you’ll hear about a special offer that ENDS Monday, February 27th.

So you definitely want to plan to watch the Paid to Brainstorm Encore
Paid to Brainstorm

It goes away at midnight EST Monday, February 27.

I’ll even teach you some of the very techniques I use to help my own clients to profit from their passion.

Because my creative thinker friend, the only difference between you and me is I get paid to brainstorm — and as you’ll soon discover — so can you!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #5: Make Your Own Cool Job Series

Lessons From a “Shark Tank” Winner and Canada’s Premier Craftsperson

You’re about to meet two people who made their own jobs.

They both make jewelry. Yet their stories are quite different.

And luckily for you, you don’t need to be a jeweler or in any way artistic to learn from these inspiring self-bosses how to make your own cool j-o-b!

Play Big

The first is an impressive young Canadian jewelry designer and entrepreneur named Rachel Mielke.

I met Rachel when I spoke at the Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan annual conference where she was being honored as Entrepreneur of the Year.

Little wonder… Rachel had successfully pitched her business on the forerunner of the CBS hit show Shark Tank, which in Canada is called the Dragon’s Den.

A year after getting that $200,000 investment, her company hit the million-dollar mark.

I had the chance to visit Rachel in her studio…. and pick up a few pieces for myself!

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from old iphone 11 27 2011 381

Playing big allowed Rachel to outsource the actual making of her jewelry so she can focus on the part she loves – designing!

Clearly she’s doing something right because at 29, she’d been invited to attend a 2008 pre-Oscar Luxury Gifting Lounge in Los Angeles.

She went on to buy another more modestly-priced jewelry line to sell as a vendor on the famed Lilith tour.

And she’s even made jewelry for the Queen of England!

If you want to be self-employed, you need to understand marketing. Search for Rachel on YouTube and you’ll find countless examples of the brilliant ways this talented designer and her company continue to play big!

Get Help

Turns out Rachel didn’t just make her own job…

Instead she used her Dragon’s Den money to create jobs for other people including a head of marketing, an operations manager, and several other employees Rachel needed to scale her business.

There’s a huge lesson here for people who say they want to make six and even seven figures but then scoff at the idea of having a team.

I get it. I don’t like managing myself. But if you’re going to scale a business you can’t do it all.

In the beginning when funds are tight, you do need to be the creator, bookkeeper, administrative assistant, social media manager, head of sales, and marketer.

However, once you have some money coming in, you need to either hire people to do things that are not the best use of your time — or outsource these tasks to freelancers.

When I brought my Vision Implementation Manager Lisa on, it was the scariest financial decision I ever made. But having her on my team is what allowed my business to grow and to free me to focus on what I do best.

Position Yourself for Cool Things to Happen

Unlike Rachel, Natalie Austin didn’t start out to be an artisan. Rather she earned a degree in Folklore and Vernacular Culture.

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Fortunately, she comes from a long line of artists and craftspeople… so she knew it was possible to turn her creativity into her livelihood.

Today Natalie is a jeweler with a cause – converting household copper pipe used in plumbing into jewelry.

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“Every piece of material I can up-cycle is one less thing that ends up in the landfill,” she writes.  Adding, “Through jewelry design, I am making my own small daily cultural and environmental contribution.”

Natalie made another international contribution last week when she showcased her jewelry at the G-7 Summit in Japan!

Each of the seven major industrialized countries represented got to bring just one craftsperson to represent their entire country – and Natalie was Canada’s pick!

A remarkable achievement by any measure.  Astounding when you consider she only began making jewelry three years ago!

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She may be young, but Natalie’s advice to aspiring jewelers is deeply wise…

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: sometimes they lead to the most incredible creations.  Art is not linear; I found my niche through trial and error.  I’m not afraid to try new colors or styles – it’s the best way to grow as an artist!

It’s tempting to see Natalie as an “overnight success.”

Rather, I see hers as a story of what can happen when, like Rachel, you see yourself as both an artisan and a business owner… and then act accordingly.

You see Natalie and I met when I spoke at the Newfoundland/Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) in April.

When I congratulated her on the big G-7 news Natalie was quick to point out that there are many deserving artisans who’ve been at their craft far longer.

She’s right of course.

I couldn’t tell you why the Canadian G-7 committee chose Natalie to represent the entire country over others.

What I do know is it all began with a nomination from the team at NLOWE.

Something that would have never happened if Natalie had stayed hunkered down in her studio.

Instead she made the wise decision to take her work seriously and seek advice from a local organization dedicated to entrepreneurial success.

If you’re in the U.S., do a search for the local branch of the Small Business Development Center in your state.

In Canada, search by province. In other countries, search for “entrepreneurial counseling in [country].”

Whatever you do, starting repeat after me: If I want to work for myself, I need to start acting like someone who wants to work for myself.

Then do it.

Join the Changing Course Community Discussion

I’m honored that you’re a part of this amazing community of change seekers.

I love inspiring you to be your own boss… but what I love even more is hearing from Y-O-U!

Were you inspired, encouraged, or perhaps discouraged by Rachel’s and Natalie’s stories?

If your first thought is, but I don’t make jewelry… or I don’t want to build an empire…  then you’re missing the point.

What lessons can you take from Rachel’s or Natalie’s story and apply to make YOUR own job?

What do YOU love to do and what do you need to do today to begin to profit from your passion?

I know you’re busy… but it would mean a lot to me if you would take a brief moment to hop over to the Changing Course Fan page on Facebook and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #6 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about scheduling your personal Work at What You Love planning session.

 

 


Check Out IDEA #2 in our NEW series Make Your Own Cool Job!

Are you happiest when you’re in a kitchen?

Do you dream of having a little shop where the regulars know you by name?

Even if your interests lie elsewhere… do you still love discovering ways to work and live outside the job box?

If so then you’ll love IDEA #2 in our NEW series Make Your Own Cool Job!

Maura Glennon didn’t set out to be her own boss.

To the contrary. For the last 15 years she’s been a music professor at Keene State College.

Somewhere along the line – or the highway as the case may be – Maura got restless.

On her daily two-hour round trip commute from her home in Florence, Massachusetts to her job in New Hampshire, Maura would dream of opening her own little pie shop.

When an old general store-turned barbershop closed down, Maura saw her chance and she grabbed it.

Today she and her husband Justin (also a professor) are the proud owners of the super quaint Florence Pie Bar.

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pie shop 1

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Being close to home suits Maura’s new non-commuter lifestyle.

Even though running a brick-and-mortar operation isn’t the most family-friendly business model, the mother of two boys told a local reporter, “My son can ride his bike to the store after school and help out with the dishes, do his homework here.”

Opening any retail enterprise is a gamble. Fortunately, right out of the gate the Florence Pie Bar was turning out 75 pies a day.

But with prices starting at $4.75 a slice… once you do the math you’ll see, that’s a lot of dough!

My 84-year-old dad L-O-V-E-S pie.

So I decided to surprise him with a treat. (I couldn’t decide between the lemon chess and the chocolate malted — so I picked both for him.)

If my dad’s expert- taste test is any confirmation, this pie is worth the price!

Find Your Niche

On the opposite side of the country in Portland, Oregon is the Pacific Pie Company.

Chris Powell and Sarah Curtis, also a husband-and-wife team, came at the pie business from a very different angle.

Chris missed the savory meat pies he grew up with in his native Australia, so Sarah experimented with making them.

Apparently she got the hang of it because today, in addition to fabulous sounding breakfast and lunch fare, their restaurant specializes in Australian-style savory meat pies.

Aussie Meat Pie

They also offer other Australian pub favorites like chicken schnitzel and something called pie floaters described as, “a crazy but delicious Aussie dish” that consists of “your choice of meat pie or vegetarian pastie floating in a big bowl of our house made pea soup.”

Like many other foodie entrepreneurs, Sarah and Chris started out small by selling at farmer’s markets. Today they have two locations.

Something else that stood out to me about the Pacific Pie Company was the great use of video – unusual for a restaurant.

Instead of just telling their site visitors that they do catering, they actually show the kitchen crew prepping for a big event.

In another video, Sarah shares the history of meat pies explains how wives of British miners used to make them from meat, potatoes and other leftovers so their husbands could easily pack lunch to eat in the mine.

Teach What You Love

Sarah also teaches a class called Pie Making 101.  The three-hour class costs $100 and is limited to six people. 

Again, if you don’t have your calculator out yet…you should!

calculator

At the current twice-a-month schedule, Sarah will profit from her passion for baking and teaching to the tune of $14,400 a year!

Turns out back at the Florence Pie Bar, Maura also plans to offer evening classes.

I found this out after Maura’s husband Justin said he was surprised at the brisk sales of their branded mugs and T-shirts (seen here above glass case).

pie shop 2

Create Additional Streams of Income

That’s when a light bulb went off.

Hearing about these other product sales prompted me to tell Justin about Self-Bossing IDEA #1 in our Make Your Own Cool Job!

If you missed it, I profiled a company that’s already sold over 300,000 high-fashion aprons.

And I told you how, for as little as $200, you can apply to buy these aprons wholesale and sell them for as much $49 each.

Justin loved the idea that aprons (these or their own branded ones) could be a great product to sell to pie baking students!

Literally a day after posting about how these aprons would be a great addition to a local food shop I happened to find the PERFECT place to profit from this idea!

That’s why it’s so important that you keep learning about different business ideas.

You never know when that idea might help you… or someone who shares your passion for working and living outside the j-o-b box!

Next Step for This–and ALL–Ideas

Have you noticed how when it comes to acting on our dream that the brains of otherwise intelligent, capable people suddenly turn to mush?

All the more so if you tend to become easily overwhelmed by lots of steps.

Here’s an exercise to “trick” the part of you that’s overwhelmed or afraid or just not sure where to begin.

Imagine your boss tells you to come up with a step-by-step plan for how an individual could make money selling pies.

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

Your first response might be, “OMG, I have no idea what to do!”

Yet, even with any initial brain fog or self-doubt (or both), the fact that your boss needs a plan, you’d figure it out to do it.

Am I right?

That’s when it can help to pretend you really were given this assignment and then figure it out!

To start:

  1. List all the things you’ll need to find out in order to complete your plan. Things like:

– wholesale price of Flirty Aprons in order to do sales projections

– the cost and logistics of getting a table or booth at various venues

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

  1. Make a plan for how you’ll get these answers – will you look online? Start making phone calls?
  1. Next, list all things someone would need to learn or understand or do well in order to succeed in this business:

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

  1. Then make a plan for how someone could gain the required knowledge or skills.

If you really do want to open a brick-and-mortar business, I urge you to do what Maura did and seek free 1-1 counseling from your state’s State Business Development Center or comparable program in the province or country where you live.

      Walk a local flea market, chatting with vendors about what it’s like to sell there.

  1. Once you have all the information you need, list the steps in the order they need to be to happen.  Hint: You don’t have to do everything all at once!

Turning ideas into action isn’t complicated. All you need is a plan and the effort to carry it out!

Stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #3 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own #&*!*# Job!

Don’t want to wait?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about scheduling your personal Work at What You Love career session!

We’d Love to Hear from You!

If you had to pick just one take away from this story…

  1. What would it be?
  2. How will you use it to advance your own path to self-bossing?

 


Check Out IDEA #1 to Make Your Own Cool Job!

You’re all decked out for a formal party at your home. Still you need to be in the kitchen preparing food while entertaining guests.

Do you put on a frumpy apron… or don a fabulously fashionable one?

The four entrepreneurs behind Flirty Aprons banked on a lot of women going for the latter – and they were right!

Originally started as a mall kiosk business in 2009, today the company has sold over 300,000 aprons.

With bold prints, sassy styles, and over 120 designs, these are definitely not your grandmother’s aprons!

 

The aprons like in the Tessi designer collection, are so fashionable, if you sewed a back on them you could skip the cooking part altogether and just wear them out to dinner!

The company also sells colorful over-sized toddler bibs, designer oven mitts, high-end kitchen gadgets, and a men’s line with sayings like “I Turn Grills On” and “Grill Sergeant.”

So would you like to cash in on this trend in high-end aprons?

Do you have a food-related or other on- or off-line store?

Are you a fan of the booming farmer’s market scene?

If you — or someone you know – said YES to any of these questions…

Or, if you just LOVE thinking outside the job box and want to hone your Business Idea Generation (B.I.G.) skills to see cool opportunities all around you – read on because…

Opportunity knocks.

Women’s aprons generally range from $35 to $45.

But you can apply to Flirty Aprons to purchase items wholesale and pocket the difference!

The only requirement is you purchase a minimum order of $200 over a 12-month period. How hard can that be?

Obviously if you already have a retail or online store or some sort of food-related business, you can do a test sale.

Or for as little as $200 you could get enough inventory to test at a farmer’s market, flea market, cooking/garden/home show, or other public venue.

If it goes well, stick with that location or go all out and open your own mall or holiday kiosk.

Most states and provinces also have large women’s conferences that include a tradeshow. The Massachusetts Women’s Conference happens just before Christmas and the times I’ve been there, items like scarves and jewelry fly off the shelves.

Don’t want to bother purchasing inventory? Sign up as an affiliate and earn 15% on anything sold via your affiliate link.

You’ll earn less than you would as a wholesaler, but if you already have a website and traffic, it’s an easy way to make some extra money.

Or build on the success of this product by coming up with your own!

What other products could you (or someone) create that would make mundane tasks like cooking, cleaning, gardening and so on a bit more glamorous or fun?

Next Steps for This — and All — Ideas

Have you noticed how when it comes to acting on our dream that the brains of otherwise intelligent, capable people suddenly turn to mush?

All the more so if you tend to become easily overwhelmed by lots of steps.

Here’s an exercise to “trick” the part of you that’s overwhelmed or afraid or just not sure where to begin.

Imagine your boss tells you to come up with a step-by-step plan for how an individual could make money re-selling Flirty Aprons.

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

Your first response might be, “OMG, I have no idea what to do!”

Yet, even with any initial brain fog or self-doubt (or both), the fact that your boss needs a plan, you’d figure it out to do it.

Am I right?

That’s when it can help to pretend you really were given this assignment and then figure it out!

To start:

  1. List all the things you’ll need to find out in order to complete your plan. Things like:

– wholesale price of Flirty Aprons in order to do sales projections

– the cost and logistics of getting a table or booth at various venues

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

  1. Make a plan for how you’ll get these answers – will you look online? Start making phone calls?
  1. Next, list all things someone would need to learn or understand or do well in order to succeed in this business:

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

  1. Then make a plan for how someone could gain the required knowledge or skills.

For instance, take a class or seek 1-1 counseling from your state’s Small Business Development Center or comparable program wherever you live.

Walk a local flea market, chatting with vendors about what it’s like to sell there.

  1. Once you have all the information you need, list the steps in the order they need to be to happen.

Hint: You don’t have to do everything all at once!

Turning ideas into action isn’t complicated. All you need is a plan and the effort to carry it out!

Stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #2 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t want to wait?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about scheduling your personal Work at What You Love career session!

We’d Love to Hear from You!

If you had to pick just one take away from this story…

  1. What would it be?
  2. How will you use it to advance your own path to self-bossing?

 


Sadly, We Are a Nation of Occupational Sheep

You see it every year.

Local TV news reporting on high school kids scrambling for summer jobs.

studentsWe see young people submitting applications at the mall or fast food joints.

The conclusion is always the same. Some kids find jobs. But many more come up empty.

At which point I scream at my television…

MAKE A JOB!!!

These kids could wash windows… detail cars…. fix and sell bicycles…

They could help seniors or at-home business owners solve computer glitches… babysit…

They could do lawn care… run errands…. refinish and sell discarded furniture…

They could walk neighbors’ dogs or care for their cats…

They could create an app…or teach others how to do it… tutor other kids…

They could find free stuff on Craigslist and sell it…

They could approach local businesses and offer to sweep their sidewalks or or do other odd jobs…

The point is, there are all sort of ways to make money that does not require being anyone’s employee.

Don’t these teens understand that when you work for yourself there’s a direct link between effort and earnings?

Or that in addition to making more money than they would flipping burgers and getting to learn important lessons about marketing, customer service, money management, and resiliency, they’d very likely be a lot happier too?

Look, I don’t blame these kids – or anyone – for failing to think outside-the-job box.

After all, the media diligently broadcasts the government’s monthly jobs report. But we never hear how many small businesses were launched that month.

College career centers and traditional career coaches are job-centric too.

They excel at helping people do things like write a resume, conduct a job search, and ace the interview.

But showing people ways they can build on their gifts and interests to create their own job? Clueless.

It’s really little wonder that…

We’ve become a national of occupational sheep passively waiting for someone to give us a job.

As a society we’ve somehow lost the ability to see opportunities; never mind seize them.

Somehow as a society we’ve forgotten that we really can use a gift or interest as the platform to create a livelihood.

And that’s a shame.

Because when you work for yourself, you don’t need to depend on an employer deciding how much you earn… You don’t have the hassles of commuting or workplace politics…

When you make a job, you get to be the boss of you!

It’s why for the past 21 years the Changing Course Newsletter has introduced readers to ways people have done just that.

When we first began, being self-employed was a relatively novel concept. Today it’s more common to follow your own road.

Still, there’s millions more who, just like you, yearn to escape from job jail.

That’s why, over the next few weeks, we’ll be bringing you a new series called…

billboard-MakeYourOwnJobSome of the ideas may draw a straight line to your own gifts or interests.

Others may simply offer a means to support your art or otherwise pay the bills so you can work when, where, and how you want.

Some of these ideas could replace your entire income.

Others may be better suited as one of multiple income streams, a part-time, or a seasonal thing you do to bring in extra cash… supplement your retirement income… or otherwise allow you to make money well outside-of-the-job box.

Some of the ideas will come in the form of full-blown articles.

Others require only a few paragraphs.

What I hope you discover is that you really can follow your own road.

And that Changing Course starts with a great idea!

So stay tuned for the new series and all the great ways you can Make Your Own #*!#& Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

Click here to learn everything you need to know about scheduling a 1-1 Work at What You Love discovery and planning session.


Dilbert Creator Scott Adams Totally Blew Me Off (And I Have His Email to Prove It!)

I remember it like it was yesterday.

On July 14, 1999 I cranked up my dial-up connection to get onto the World Wide Web, excited to hear the now iconic AOL greeting, “You’ve got mail!”

To my amazement I’d received personal response from Scott Adams –creator of the enormously successful syndicated cartoon Dilbert.

In the early ‘90s, headlines were filled with stunning news that corporate giants like AT&T and IBM were laying off workers by the tens of thousands.

Perfect timing for Adams to step in and lampoon the sometimes crazy world of performance reviews, near constant re-organizations, and in his words, “evil pointy-haired” bosses.

It’s also what made 1995 the perfect time to launch the Changing Course newsletter.

I was doing what I loved and some money was following. But not enough to completely break me out of job jail.

If there were some way I could build on the Dilbert brand, I knew it would put Changing Course on the map in a BIG way.

So after reading an article about Adams in Newsweek I reached out to explore the possibilities.

To put it bluntly – he blew me off.

scott adams

I was CRUSHED!

But the line that stuck with me most was the last one…

“You don’t need me anyway.”

I couldn’t believe my eyes! Was he out of his mind?

OF COURSE I NEEDED HIM!

It took a while (okay, years…) but I finally realized Adams was right.

I already had the drive and vision I needed to make my business work.

And so do you.

The fact is, with most ventures you really don’t “need” anyone to endorse you, sponsor you, partner with you, or even believe in you.

However, there are important exceptions.

One of these exceptions takes us right back to Adams’ and my own roots in the corporate world.

There are some things that would take you and me years – if ever – to learn.

Times where we really do need a knowledgeable mentor to show us the way.

For you, that teacher just might be my friend and former corporate executive turned self-bosser Belinda Pruyne.

Belinda

When Belinda first hung up her shingle as a business and leadership coach she tried to put as much distance between herself and the corporate world as possible.

Then one day she had her Big AHA…

There’s still plenty of money to be made in corporate – and you don’t need to be an employee to do it.

Instead, Belinda realized that for a lot of people, turning a large organization into your biggest customer or client can be the absolute best way to truly profit from your passion.

Last week I introduced you to a number of non-corporate types who landed corporate contracts.

Contracts that allow them to both serve more people and make more money doing it – without compromising their values.

Like the photographer who loves photographing babies but couldn’t get enough babies in the pipeline to make it sustainable.

Photographer at work with newborn baby boy

He never knew where his next client was going to come from.

He’s now the photographer for the maternity ward at a huge hospital in New York City. So he’s there to capture all the moments surrounding many of the births in that hospital.

Or the health coach who was tired of trying to convince individuals to sign up as clients who didn’t always understand the value she provided.

Then she noticed that one of her friends from the C-suite in a big company was stressed beyond belief, exhausted, and wasn’t eating well. It gave her an idea…Employee Benefits placard isolated on white

Today, she has contracts with big corporations where she goes in, assesses all the employees in the C-suite, and develops a meal plan for the company chef.

If the company doesn’t have a chef, she creates individual meal plans and sits down with each executive’s assistant to help them support their boss.

She’s just returned from Paris doing this for a company. Before that, she was in Singapore.

Pretty cool right?!

If these people can earn $25k… $50k… $75k… from a single corporate client – then you can find a way to turn your own gifts and interests into a compelling win-win.

Like I said, my newsletter business was pretty straightforward; so I really didn’t need Scott Adams’ – or anyone’s — help.

But when it comes to knowing what it takes to sign a corporate client, you will need someone to show you the way.

That’s why I’m so excited that Belinda has agreed to put on this free online presentation called….

BIG Corporate Connections. BIG Contracts. BIG Cash

3 keys to snag BIG corporate gigs with the matching paychecks
(Even if you don’t know the first thing about the corporate world)
Tuesday, March 22nd at 1pm EST US

If you missed my announcement last week, there’s still time to jump in.

Click here to register BigCorporateConnections.info

In this powerful 1-hour presentation, you’ll learn…

  • How to turn YOUR expertise & services into compelling offers for corporations – without having to twist yourself or conform your beliefs to “fit in.”
  • The #1 secret to “get past the gatekeeper”. (Belinda has a brilliant example of how one outside vendor got past her own secretary back when she used to be the one hiring outside vendors.)
  • How to get decision makers to pay attention and take you seriouslyeven if you have no experience working in corporate yourself!
  • The BIGGEST thing you need to know about corporate decision makers BEFORE you try to connect.

… And more!

Go It Alone or Get Help?

For many of you, getting the answers to these three key questions will be all you need to hit the ground running.

Others will need more guidance.

Looking back, I so appreciate Scott Adams taking time out of his busy schedule to so nicely blow me off.

But what I really appreciate is the reminder that I didn’t need Dilbert to make my newsletter a success.

However, when it comes to corporate contracts, you definitely do want a seasoned corporate insider to at least take you through the basics.

If you’re curious to see how partnering with a large organization might help you profit from your passion in a BIG way – you do not want to miss Belinda’s free presentation Tuesday March 22 (tomorrow) at 1PM EST.

It costs nothing to attend, but you do need to register at BigCorporateConnections.info.


Want to Really Profit from Your Passion? Try This Unconventional Path

Whether you’re in business already – or you’re still trying to figure out how to profit from your passion – the key to making it remains the same:

You have to find people willing to pay you for your product or service.

In other words – you need customers or clients. That’s the obvious part.

Precisely because it IS so obvious, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking in terms of only the most obvious customer or client.

That’s a huge mistake. Because…

If You Really Want to Profit From Your Passion, You Have To Go Beyond The Most Obvious Client or Customer

Let’s look at how taking an unconventional path enabled these three people to profit from their passions.

A photographer who loves photographing babies but couldn’t get enough babies in the pipeline to make it sustainable.

Photographer at work with newborn baby boy

He never knew where his next client was going to come from.

He’s now the photographer for the maternity ward at a huge hospital in New York City. So he’s there to capture all the moments surrounding many of the births in that hospital.

It’s a win for the hospital because it gives expecting parents yet another reason to have their babies with them as opposed to a different hospital.

And he gets more work coming in than he could possibly drum up for himself.

Another great example…

A health coach who was tired of trying to convince individuals to sign up as clients who didn’t always understand the value she provided.

Then she noticed that one of her friends from the C-suite in a big company was stressed beyond belief, exhausted, and wasn’t eating well. It gave her an idea…

Employee Benefits placard isolated on white

Today, she has contracts with big corporations where she goes in, assesses all the employees in the C-suite, and develops a meal plan for the company chef.

If the company doesn’t have a chef, she creates individual meal plans and sits down with each executive’s assistant to help them support their boss.

She’s just returned from Paris doing this for a company. Before that, she was in Singapore.

Yet another example…

A LinkedIn expert who works with people on optimizing their profiles and upping their visibility.

One day, she realized that companies are now doing LinkedIn pages.

But there was a big disconnect between what the company put out versus what their C-suite executives put on their own profiles.

Ostersund, Sweden - August 1, 2015: Linkedin website under a magnifying glass. Linkedin is a business oriented social networking website.

Now, she goes into a company and handles its page, along with all the profiles of its C-level execs. So the company representation is consistent across the board.

In other words, what if you expanded your thinking from selling strictly business to consumer, and explored ways to sell business to business – aka “B2B.”

If you have no idea how to get a corporate contract – or maybe, you see corporations the same way I once did… as big huge mysterious places totally outside of your realm of experience or comfort zone – don’t worry.

Anyone Can Land a Big Contract – IF You Know How

According to Inc. magazine, companies spent 2 trillion dollars last year on outside vendors.

All you have to do to get a piece of these contracts is to package your services and expertise (the exact services and expertise you already have) in a way that shows a corporate decision maker that YOU have their solution.

Don’t worry if you have no clue how to do that.

Because in just a few days, my friend and colleague Belinda Pruyne is going to peel back the curtains and explain all of the above during a free online presentation…Belinda

BIG Corporate Connections. BIG Contracts. BIG Cash

3 Keys to Snag BIG Corporate Gigs With The Matching Paychecks
(Even if you don’t know the first thing about the corporate world)
Tuesday, March 22nd at 1 PM EST US
Go to BigCorporateConnections.info now to save your free spot.

Before she took the leap to self-employment, Belinda spent years as a corporate executive herself.

So she knows first-hand that when you’re pursuing BIG (or any!) corporate contracts – there’s 3 things you absolutely need to know…

#1 What you can offer corporate that they’re willing to pay for

Trust me – you DO have something they want. You just have to find it + know how to package it.

#2 The RIGHT way to “get past the gatekeeper”

Doing this the wrong way can ruin your chances of ever getting through to the decision maker.

#3 How to speak with decision makers in a way that’s relevant to them

Anyone can learn how to do this, even if you’ve never worked in corporate yourself and “don’t speak the language.”

Register for this free webinar at BigCorporateConnections.info

Because in this powerful 1-hour event, Belinda is going to show you…

  • How to turn YOUR expertise & services into compelling offers for corporationswithout having to twist yourself or conform your beliefs to “fit in.”
  • The #1 secret to “get past the gatekeeper.” (Belinda has a brilliant example of how one outside vendor actually got past her own secretary back when Belinda used to hire outside vendors for her company.)
  • How to get decision makers to pay attention + take you seriouslyeven if you have no experience working in corporate yourself!
  • The BIGGEST thing you need to know about corporate decision makers BEFORE you try to connect.

… And more!

Ready to get some of Belinda’s insider secrets on landing BIG corporate contracts?

Go to BigCorporateConnections.info to reserve your seat for Belinda’s online presentation Tuesday, March 22nd at 1 PM EST.

And see for yourself how landing a single corporate contract could change everything.

P.S. Belinda used to be one of the corporate decision makers who hired outside help.

But now she’s a small business owner that lands corporate contracts of her own.

Because she’s been on both sides of the fence Belinda has a unique advantage when it comes to helping other small business owners and service providers do it too.

If you’re at all curious about the world of corporate contracts, I highly recommend you listen in to what Belinda has to say next Tuesday, March 22nd at 1 PM EST.

RSVP at BigCorporateConnections.info now.


The Shockingly Simple Thing These People Did to Made Their Wildest Dreams Come True

Each of the three people you’re about to meet used a remarkably similar technique to achieve their wildest dreams.

This technique costs nothing to use.

And it takes no more than a few minutes a day to do.

In fact, you’ll be able to use this technique for yourself immediately after finishing this article.

All you have to do is take out a piece of paper and a pen right now. Trust me –you’ll be glad you did.

The Lou Holtz Technique

Lou Holtz is one of college football’s winningest coaches of all time.

He has coached teams at the Universities of Minnesota, South Carolina and Arkansas.

But he’s most associated with a long string of victories and championships at Notre Dame.

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 24: Manti Te'o #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the NCAA Football game against the USC Trojans on November 24, 2012 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In his book, Winning Everyday: The Game Plan for Success, Holtz describes a turning point in his life.

In 1966 his wife was eight months pregnant with their third child, and they’d just used every cent of their savings for a down payment on a house.

Holtz was an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina when he lost his job.

After being unemployed for over a month, he described his savings account as being down to four figures: $10.95.

It was a difficult time for Lou.

His wife took a job as an X-ray technician to keep food on the table while he looked for another coaching job.

She also bought him The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz.

In his chapter on goals, Schwartz says if you’re bored with your life, it’s probably because you have forgotten your dreams.

He encouraged readers to get back in touch with their dreams by making a list of everything they had ever wanted to accomplish.

Lou divided his list into five categories of things he wanted to accomplish:

  • as a husband and father
  • spiritually
  • professionally
  • financially
  • simply for excitement

It was this last category, “simply for excitement,” where he let his imagination run wild.

He wanted to do things like land a jet fighter on an aircraft carrier, jump out of an airplane and go on an African safari.

Also on his bucket list were things like…

  • attend a White House dinner with the President
  • meet the Pope
  • be a guest on the Tonight Show with then-host Johnny Carson
  • be the head coach at Notre Dame

South facade and South lawn of the White House in Washington DC in spring colors

Pretty lofty stuff when you consider Holtz was not the least bit famous at the time.

Over the years Holtz chipped away at his goals. And today he and his wife have achieved 102 of the original 107 goals – including the big ones!

The Scott Adams Approach

Former cubicle dweller Scott Adams is the creator of the enormously popular Dilbert cartoon.

The syndicated cartoon lampoons the corporate world and inept “pointy-headed” bosses.

Well before Adams made it big he’d read about a technique that also involved committing goals to writing.

But unlike Holtz’s lengthy bucket list, this one focused on one goal at a time.

First you visualize the outcome you want. Then you write it down fifteen times in a row every day until it happens.

It worked for Adams in the stock market and again when he passed his graduate school qualifying exam at the exact percentile he wrote down (94th).

Then There’s Me

I heard about Adams’ technique in 1998.

At that point I’d been publishing the Changing Course Newsletter for three years. I was making steady progress. But hardly enough to support me.

Fortunately, a couple of local newspapers profiled the newsletter as did the more far-reaching Boston Globe.

But I was shooting higher.

So I decided to give Adams’ technique a whirl.

Mimicking his exact phrasing, I wrote:

“I, Valerie Young, am going to be in The Wall Street Journal.”

Within weeks two reporters called me. Where do you think they were both from?

Yup. The Wall Street Journal!

Bangkok Thailand APRIL 20 2014: Photo of The Wall Street Journal Monitor homepage on a monitor screen through a magnifying glass.

 

I’m honored to say I did get into the WSJ. There was just one “tiny” problem…

The reporter never mentioned my newsletter!

That’s when I remembered something Lily Tomlin’s bag lady character said in Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe:

“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific.”

So the next time I got specific writing 15 times a day: “The Changing Course newsletter will be in The Wall Street Journal.”

Guess what?!

A year later Work & Family columnist Sue Shellenberger once again interviewed me for an article titled, The Tomorrow Trap: You Can’t Postpone Life. (Although Sue wrote this article 17 years ago, its message about not deferring our dreams is as apt now as it was then.)

My point is — Adam’s technique worked!

Why It Works 

There is nothing mystical or magical about writing down your goals.

The technique works, in part, because the process of committing something to writing makes it feel real – and therefore doable.

A phenomenon Adams spoke to in his best-selling book The Dilbert Future:

I used the affirmations again many times, each time with unlikely success. So much so that by 1988, when I decided I wanted to become a famous syndicated cartoonist, it actually felt like a modest goal.

The odds of becoming a successful syndicated cartoonist are about 10,000 to 1. I knew the odds, but figured they didn’t apply to me.

When I submitted my samples by mail to the major cartoon syndicates, I had a feeling of being exactly where I needed to be and doing exactly what I needed to do. I never once doubted it would work out the way it has.

Writing down his goals had a similar confidence-building effect on Lou Holtz.

Concept of woman hands with pen writing on notebook

So much so that before signing a coaching contract at the University of Minnesota, Holtz insisted on a clause that would allow him to leave at any time if offered the head coaching job at Notre Dame.

That day came two years later.

“From the moment we made that list,” says Holtz, “we became participants rather than spectators in life.”

Writing down your goals can definitely put you on the path to achieving them.

Unfortunately, you may still struggle with those inner voices that say things like…

“I don’t know enough.”

“I have no experience.”

And of course, “Who do you think you are?”

If confidence is holding you back, I’m working on a new program called 5 Weeks to Confidence for people just like you.

The program won’t be ready for a month or so… but if you want a heads up when it’s open, click below and I’ll give you a shout.

5WeeksButtonv2

We’ll talk about the action part of goal setting in another post.

For now I invite you to stop right now to think about a present goal.

Next get out your paper and pen and fill in the blanks:  “I, [name], am going to [goal]”?

Then every day, write it another 14 times until it happens.

For some instant accountability — why not post it here?

Who knows… a fellow Changing Course reader just may be able to help!

 


What the Lobster Man Can Teach You About Changing Course

In the 16th century Francis Bacon defined a wise man as one who “makes more opportunities than he finds.”

He could have been describing Dan Zawacki… aka the lobster man.

photo of a whole red lobster isolated on white background

The Chicago-based sales rep for Honeywell was tired of the same old holiday gift ideas for customers.

So he came up with the idea of giving each one a live lobster along with a stick of butter.

But Dan had a lot of customers and lobster is pricey. So he arranged a barter with a lobster fisherman in Maine.

When the lobsters arrived, he added a stick of butter and personally delivered boxes to his customer.

Dan was so bowled over by the response that he decided to open a small side business shipping live lobsters complete with pot, crackers, butter and bibs to crustacean-lovers coast-to-coast.

In the beginning, Dan worked out of his bedroom, storing his lobsters in a used tank in his father’s garage.

The first year he netted only $4,000.

Then one day his boss heard Dan pitching Lobster Gram, Inc. on a local radio station and promptly fired him.

I first wrote about Dan back in 1997. At that point he was a decade into his business and doing well.

Fast forward another decade and a half and Dan is doing very well!

In 2006 Lobster Gram opened an 18,000 square foot distribution center in Biddeford, Maine.

Five years later they opened a store in Chicagoland to serve the local lobster, steak and seafood lover market.

Closeup of delicious grilled lobster tails served with asparagus and bearnaise sauce

His company counts Macy Gray, Sharon Stone and Gene Hackman among their famous clientele. Fans who likely heard about Lobster Gram the same way I did – in the media.

The company has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC as well as in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Oprah’s “O” magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Readers Digest, TIME, Men’s Health, USA Today, and many more.

But it was a chance encounter with QVC buyers in New York that put Lobster Gram into the national spotlight in a big way. Today they’re one of QVC’s hottest products airing some 60-70 times a year.

The last sales numbers I could find were from 2007. At that point Lobster Gram’s revenue was a cool $12 million.

Maybe you’re not looking to make millions.

But if you want to create a livelihood that allows you to live and work on your own terms, then Dan’s example has much to teach you.

7 Immediately Usable Lessons from the Lobster Man

1. Pay attention

Creative ways to make money are all around you. Click To Tweet

Most people just aren’t paying enough attention to even notice them.

Dan saw his Honeywell customers’ reaction to their unique gift as the opportunity it was.

What About You?

Are you consistently paying attention to income generating opportunities.

If not, make a list right now of the kinds of things people around you — friends, family, co-workers — complain about, worry about, or get excited about?

Once you find a good example, ask yourself how could someone (it doesn’t have to be you) turn that into a small profit center or a full-scale small business?

Blueprint of bulb lamp. Stylized vector illustration.

2. Keep your current job — or get a new one

Seeing an opportunity is one thing – acting on it is quite another. The question of course, is how. Click To Tweet

Realistically, most people can’t afford to just quit their job to start a business. Which is why Dan kept his day job until he was forced out.

If you also need that paycheck take my friend Suzanne Evan’s suggestion and think of your job as your business loan.

Note: If you log 50+ hours a week, waste hours on a long commute, or work in a toxic environment, before you launch any business, you may need to first turn your attention to finding a new “business loan.”

What About You?

Is your goal of a better future worth toughing it out for a while at your j-o-b aka your “business loan”?

If your current situation allows no time to work on your business are you willing to look for a new job even if it means a reduction in pay?

3. Bootstrap

Just because he had a good sales job doesn’t mean Dan spent a bunch of money on his business right out of the gate.

Instead, he worked with what he had using his bedroom as his office and his dad’s garage as his warehouse.

He bought his initial lobster tank used.

And remember, he bartered for those initial gift lobsters!

What About You?

Are there things like office equipment, inventory, how-to books you can buy used?

Is there garden, studio, office or other space you can barter for? What about services like web design, proof-reading, or copy writing?

4. Treat your profit center like a business

From the beginning Dan regarded Lobster Gram as a business.

After all, look at all the media coverage he got.

People who see their passion or their idea as a business do things like create a PR plan. For Dan that didn’t mean hiring a pricey PR agency.

Instead, I’m guessing Dan did the same thing I did initially to get my own business into these and many more publications in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Brazil…

2013 media

He sent press releases and followed up with phone calls.

If you currently have a small or even a side business, start small by pitching to local daily, monthly, or even monthly publications. Check out local radio too.

The great thing about PR is once you get that initial press, reporters, freelancers, and producers start coming to you.

In the last two weeks alone I was interviewed by Redbook and  interviewed as part of a 30 minute BBC documentary.

But none of these things would have happened for Dan or me if we hadn’t treated our profit center like our business and not our hobby.

What About You?

If you already have a small business — or even a solid idea for one — have you thought about, never mind, done a business, PR, and marketing plan?

What would you do differently if you treated your work as a serious business rather than a hobby?

5. Be realistic about the money

Dan didn’t expect his business to replace his salary right away.

To the contrary, the fact that he made any money served as proof of concept. Proof that had to soften the blow when Dan was fired.

moneyAfter all, if he could make $4,000 working his business part-time then he could make a lot more by going at it full-time.

It took me a decade to replace my corporate salary. Looking back there are things I could have done to earn get there quicker. (Like this next lesson.)

But still, like Dan, I didn’t start my business expecting to replace my corporate salary after just a year or two… and neither should you.

What About You?

Would you keep going if your business only brought in a few thousand the first year seeing it as a sign that you’re on the right track?

What about the second – or the fifth year? If yes, have you determined the threshold you need to hit before you quit your j-o-b to grow the business full time?

6. Hustle then hire

Dan started Lobster Gram while still employed at his job-job.

It’s not easy running a business nights and weekends. (Trust me I know!)

But Dan wanted to make a go of selling lobster tails, so he was willing to work his own tail off to make it happen.

Like most small business owners, Dan started out as a one-man show.

It was only once Lobster Gram got too big to handle that he brought on employees.

You’re not going to afford to hire help right away. It took me ten years before I felt comfortable enough to bring Lisa on – and even that was scary.

Looking back, I wish I’d done it a lot sooner.

What About You?

Even if you don’t want to manage people, can you outsource things like bookkeeping, website upkeep, and/or administrative tasks?

(To be clear, if you imagine outsourcing to mean hiring other people so you just pop your head in now and then to check on things – review all of the above.)

7. Do the thing that scares you

In an interview Dan said he really nervous on his first live QVC show.

Being on live TV in front of millions of viewers would make anyone nervous.

Dan went on TV anyway.

Maybe it was the fact that he made 600 sales in six minutes… but after that Dan said he “got the TV bug.”

If you’re scared to put your work out to potential clients or customers or are afraid of rejection or public speaking, all I can say is…

Join the club.

Everyone has fears and insecurities – no matter how experienced.

Comic high angle portrait of a middle-aged businessman with a scared fearful expression raising his fists to his face as though beseeching help, isolated on white

I’ve been speaking on the topic of confidence for 30 years.

But in a few weeks I’ll be giving a talk to 300 people at a Silicon Valley networking event being held at Apple headquarters. (If you’re in the area, this is one of rare talks that’s open to the public!)

Am I nervous? It’s freakin’ Apple – so you bet I am!

But I also know that the solution is not to wait until you’re no longer afraid.

Instead you need to act despite your fear, prepare like heck, and know that even if you fall flat on your face you’ll at least have information you need to regroup, adjust, improve or tweak… and then try again.

(If lack of confidence is among your top 3 challenges, you may like to know I’m working on a new program called 5 Weeks to Confidence. Stay tuned for details.)

What About You?

In what ways does self-doubt hold you back?

Instead of asking ‘What would I do if money were no object?’ ask, ‘What would I do if confidence were not a factor?’

The Bottom Line

All business owners experience setbacks and made missteps along the way.

There are moments of uncertainty or self-doubt… times when sales slow and money is tight. It happens.

At the same time, going from having a boss to being your own boss is a lot less complicated then people make it out to be.

Fundamentally, changing course comes down to the 7 simple things Dan did.

If Dan can do it, so can you.


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