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How Real People Turned Their Interests into Serious Income

If you think it’s not possible to live and work on your own terms… to do work that’s both personally rewarding and helps others… think again.

I recently shared how I went from doing just ok, to earning six figures in six months.

I’m not the only one to see remarkable success in a short period of time.

Thousands of lives have been forever changed by New York Times best-selling author, business and product launch expert, and I’m proud to say, my friend Jeff Walker.

Jeff has perfected a way for everyday people to start or grow a business online.

People with an astonishing array of interests…

From training dogs to helping people understand fetal alcohol spectrum disorders or coaching people to overcome money blocks…

From empowering women in Africa by teaching them about real estate…  to teaching yoga or painting, even teaching people how to scream…

As a result of Jeff’s training they were able to quit their day job… buy a first home… get out of debt… travel the country in their RV… grow a struggling business into a thriving one…

…and most importantly, like me, they’re now able to enjoy the freedom of living and working on their own terms.

And isn’t that what we all want? If so, read on…

Step 1: Find the Real Life Story That Makes You Say, “Wow!”

Scan through the list of case studies.

Look for the story or stories that most spoke to you. Why? Because the universe is trying to tell you something.

At the end I’ll share how you can listen to these inspiring self-bossers tell their story in their own words.

I’ll also share how you too can benefit from Jeff’s once-a-year product launch training before it closes tonight at midnight.

From Hobby to Six-Figure Business… in One Year
Anne LaFollette was close to retiring from her longtime corporate job… and then she was laid off. She signed up for Jeff’s product launch training, turned her pattern-making hobby into a business – and is about to cross the six-figure line just a year after her first launch.

Foster Dad’s Discovery Has Helped Thousands of Families
Jeff Noble teaches people about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), which are the leading cause of developmental disabilities. Even though he’s not a doctor or therapist, he’s used launches to turn his passion into a global mission, and now travels the world to teach people how to cope with this misunderstood health condition.

First Launch $2k, Second Launch $90k… Teaching Yoga in Italian
Max Guidi teaches yoga courses online for the Italian market. After planning and executing his Seed Launch in just a week (and making a respectable $2,000 for his effort), he launched his course again… and it brought in around $90,000. Max now helps to train both students and yoga teachers all over the world and is currently developing an online yoga school.

She’s Made Millions Training Dogs (and Their People, Too)
Susan Garrett was already a successful business owner, traveling the world teaching people how to train their dogs. But her schedule was exhausting and unsustainable. When she bought Jeff’s product launch training, she was hoping to make enough to pay it off before the credit card statement came in and her husband found out. Her first launch made $27,000… but she didn’t stop there. Susan now does million dollar launches in the dog training niche.

Overcoming All Odds to Do Her Own Thing
After she was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, Gabriela Pereira decided she had to leave her dream job. Then she found Jeff’s product launch training, and used it to create a business helping writers master their craft. Being in control of her business means she can operate on her own schedule, even on days when her health is a challenge.

Improving Life for Women in Zimbabwe and Beyond
Thembi Bheka arrived in Canada with just $5 in her pocket after leaving an abusive relationship in her native Zimbabwe. She knew nothing about online marketing when she discovered Jeff’s training, and launched her first course in just six months. Now she’s empowering women in Africa and teaching people about real estate investing. And she recently celebrated her first six-figure launch!

From Living in a Tent to Earning $400,000 Helping People With Chronic Pain
Before she discovered Jeff’s training, Elisha Celeste had been living in a tent. One year later, she’d collected a massive $400,000 from two launches – and moved into a house. Her specialty is helping people get rid of chronic pain… and she has far more impact, and income, from going online than she did after years in private practice.

Thirty-Something and Making Seven Figures Per Launch
Dylan Frost and his partners built a successful business selling physical products on Amazon. They developed a system for wholesaling products, and started teaching their method to other sellers. Then they started using what they learned from Jeff and their first launch brought in $147,000 and each of the last four launches brought in more than $1 million. Dylan anticipates crossing the $10 million mark this year.

Starving Artist? More Like Seven-Figure Artist
Nicholas is a fine-art artist who has led offline workshops to teach people how to paint. Then he used Jeff’s training to bring his workshop online – he started from scratch and his first launch did over $400,000 in sales. And he followed that up with another launch that made around the same. (I got to meet Nicholas a few years ago and can tell you, no one was more surprised than him to bring in that kind of money from painting!)

Designing Fabric… and $342,000 in Her First Launch
Bonnie Christine’s story is one of the most amazing. Her market is designing fabric and wallpaper… and her first launch did $342,000! With that kind of success right out of the gate you can bet Bonnie, didn’t stop there!

Six Figures from Teaching People to Scream
David Wu and Sean Johnson are passionate music fans who knew they enjoyed teaching, and knew their audience wanted something cool and unique. So they spent 3 months learning how to scream… and then created a training product to teach others. Their launch brought in six figures… and they’re just getting started.

Teaching others how to make historically accurate corsets
Cathy Hay has a membership site where she teaches people how to make beautiful, historically accurate corsets. She started the site long ago, and sales were OK… but not really growing. And then she started using Jeff’s product launch training … and the results were dramatic.

Musician Making More (and Working Less) as a Stay-at-Home Dad
Keyboardist Michael Walker loved touring and interacting with his audience… but he wanted to be home with his bride and start a family. Now he helps other musicians grow their fan bases and tour profitably. Starting with no list, Michael now has a sales funnel that has made $30,000-$50,000 a month – every month – since he started 18 months ago. And he has plenty of time to enjoy his toddler son.

Helping People in the Bedroom – From Her Own Living Room
Vanessa Marin had a sex therapy business where she worked with clients on a one-on-one basis. She had a thriving business, but she thought she could help more people with an online business. She and her husband discovered Jeff’s training… and they’ve never looked back. Their first launch brought in $15,000… and their results grew from there. Their next launch did $45,000 and the one after that did $105,000.

Helping the Growing Latin Market
Luis Carlos Flores and his wife are psychotherapists who help Latin American parents become great parents. They put together their first launch in just 3 weeks, netting 130 new students in 10 days. Six-figure launches are now the norm, even though their Latin American market doesn’t usually buy online. But the best part is the daily thank you notes from happy clients…

Launching Her Way Around the World
Polly Alexandre is a coach who helps people with their “money blocks.” Her first launch brought in over $51,000 dollars… which snowballed into another launch and then a mastermind event. From just one launch Polly made an astounding $531,170… all while globetrotting between London, Ibiza, and Los Angeles.

Teacher Launches While 7 Months Pregnant – $300k in 4 Months! Busy mom-of-four Kayse Morris planned her first launch while she was 7 months pregnant. She met her launch goal of $25,000 in just a few hours… and her first two launches brought in more than $300,000 in less than 4 months. Kayse’s market? Showing teachers how to sell their lesson plans online.

After an Accident, He More Than Replaced His Income
Barry was a very successful entertainer. Then he had a mountain biking accident that left him unable to perform… and his business (and income) were dead in the water. Then he found Jeff’s product launch training and it changed everything in his business…

Accountant Quits His Job and Makes $220,000
Erik was not sure what he wanted to sell at first… but he knew he was ready for something different after 26 years as an accountant. He found a surprisingly hungry audience and did his first launch, bringing in $10,000 before even creating his product. In just 10 months after starting his online business, Erik made $220,000 in revenue (and is already planning his second launch).

Her Paintings Sell for $12,000 Each – and Her Courses Are Always Full Mary Gilkerson is a painter who decided to take her experience teaching college-level art and use it to create an online course. Before Jeff’s product launch training, she brought in a pretty respectable $12,000… but afterward, her launch brought in $54,000. Now Mary’s online art courses are consistently full, and she’s selling more of her own work than ever before. AND she’s using the same formula to sell her paintings for up to $12,000 each!

Parenting Blogger Helps Others and More Than Pays the Bills
Dayna Abraham started a parenting blog with the hope she’d be able to earn enough to pay for a box of wine. But by using Jeff’s training, she’s made more than enough for that wine – she’s raked in enough to fulfill her dream of opening a school! Her first launch made her over $16,000… her next one brought in $71,000… and the one after that brought in a staggering $209,000.

From $5,000 to $68,000 – for the Exact Same Product!
Bill O’Hanlon had a very nice business – but it was unleveraged. He was traveling three or four times per month, and his lifestyle suffered from his grueling travel schedule. So he created an online course to give himself time freedom. That course made $5,000. Then he got Jeff’s training program and did a $68,000 launch with the very same course… and he was just getting started.

A Year’s Worth of Seafood Sales – in a Week As a farmer, Blaine Hitzfield wasn’t sure if Jeff’s training would work for his family’s business. But his wild-caught fish launch brought in $38,000 in 7 days – double the amount the farm would normally make on seafood in an entire year. He thought it was a fluke… until he did a launch for his grass-fed and pasture-raised beef… and the numbers were just as crazy.

Stable Cash Flow for Her Seasonal Business
Shelley Brander had a successful brick-and-mortar yarn store… but it suffered every year with the seasonal swings of the market. Then she started selling online and credits Jeff’s product launch training with changing everything in her business (and her life).

Doctor Sells Physical Products While Traveling in Her RV
Dr. Karen Leggett helps women keep their hormones balanced. Burnt out from long hours and paperwork, she did her first Seed Launch with no list and no product. Now she makes $30,000 a month selling her physical products – and she loves launches. Karen has another doctor manage her busy private practice, while she runs her online business and travels with her husband in their RV.

B2B Launch and Seven Figures from a Tiny Email List
Renee Fink has a B2B business in the “employer records” industry. Faced with an ill business partner and the company losing money fast, she turned to Jeff’s product launch training. Renee’s second launch led to a seven-figure contract… from an email list of just 1,000 names that she’d built from scratch, without spending any money on advertising.

First She Launched… Then She Bought a House
Kara Andretta helps cake decorators run successful home businesses. She had a blog that got lots of readers, but very little revenue. In her first launch, Kara more than doubled her list and made $91,000.

The B2B Launch – $700k (and $400K More in the Pipeline)
Craig Peterson is a computer engineer who sells very high end B2B networking and computer security hardware, software, and services. He recently sold $700,000 from his launch… with another $400,000 in the pipeline.

Exponential Gains with Every Launch (and 8900% More Opt-ins)
An urban farmer, Stacey Murphy was passionate about bringing healthy foods to the world. To expand her reach, she created an online course but couldn’t get much traction with her audience until she found Jeff’s product launch training. Her first launch brought in 3x the revenue of her solo launch. She doubled that with her second launch, and her opt-ins have increased by an incredible 8,900%.

He Put His Non-Profit in the Black… For Good
Rob Schwarz runs a non-profit that trains therapists and healers. Despite having a ton of great assets and trainings, the non-profit was struggling. And facing his second straight year of losses, he wondered if he would have to close the doors and shut down the business. Then he discovered Jeff’s training and put it to work. He’s done $1.2 million in launches since 2015… impacting thousands and securing a bright future for his non-profit.

$11,500 for a Product that Didn’t Exist (Yet)
Kat and Jason O’Neill are in the cannabis industry. Their first Seed Launch brought in $11,500… and that was technically before their course even existed, which means they got paid to create the course! Now after doing their Seed Launch, they know so much more about their audience, and they’ve got ideas for a bunch of cool new products.

126% of Her Launch Goal – In the First Hour
Sylvie wasn’t sure what she wanted to launch, so she did a launch for her painting instructor. She beat her goal of 30 sales, making 68 sales in just the first hour of the launch – and eventually pulling in $200,400. Sylvie is already planning her next launch.

Single Mom Multiplies Her Income by Staying Home
Tanya Charlotte Targett had a great income, but her business was unleveraged. She had to travel constantly – her health suffered and she was away from her daughter far too much. Then Jeff’s product launch training transformed her business…

Former Fitness Skeptic Makes $94,000 from Her Health and Wellness Launch
Oonagh Duncan runs a business called Fit Feels Good. She’d been making offers every month for more than a year to a dwindling list. She was starting to get worried about business sustainability when she came across Jeff’s training. Her most recent launch is on track to generate $94,000, and her clients are not only losing weight… they’re going out into the world and transforming their lives.

Surpassing His Goal with a Seed Launch – and Broadening His Impact
Eric Goll had figured out how to help his family navigate daily life with his sister’s disability… but would it sell? Eric did a Seed Launch to find out – and starting with no list or product, he surpassed his goal by 65%. His new goal? Helping 100,000 families affected by intellectual and developmental disabilities live life to the fullest.

Doubling in Size with Every Launch
Feng shui expert Patricia Lohan had already launched on her own and saw modest results… but then she Jeff’s product launch training and her numbers really took off. The first time she used it, she brought in the equivalent of her annual salary at her last job. These days, Patricia is nearly doubling her list and her profits with every launch.

Launching Online Grew Her Brick-and-Mortar Business
Dr. Julie Helmrich practiced psychology in a traditional setting. She wondered if she could take her mental health training online. Her first launch brought in $17,000 – and her second launch, three times that. An unexpected bonus? Her brick-and-mortar practice is stronger than ever.

One Launch… 180 people… $15,000
Ross Grant teaches actors about high performance… he had a blog, but he wasn’t making any money. In fact, he was losing money with his blog every month. Then he did a launch using what he learned from Jeff and made $15,000 from a list of 180 people…

Tiny Niche + Tiny Market = Six Figure Launches
Des and Micheal O’Neill have a business consulting practice with accountants in Ireland. Their first launch using Jeff’s training did 180,000 Euros and completely transformed their business… and that’s just the start of their story.

Launching Her Artwork from the Road… in an RV
Debbie Arambula is the “Heart Artist” – she paints hearts, and she’s very successful at it. This is how she uses Product Launch Formula to sell her paintings and prints while traveling in an RV.

Former Technophobe Turns Serial Launcher, Making Tens of Thousands
Kami McBride started from scratch (a few years ago she didn’t even have a cell phone), and she’s now done four launches in the last year – and three of them have done more than $10,000 in sales…

10X the Sales with Product Launch Formula
Jason Miles and his wife Cinnamon had a very small business selling doll clothes – then they used Product Launch Formula to multiply their results by 10x…

His Membership Site Went from Stagnating to Skyrocketing…
Troy Dean had a successful membership site, but was frustrated because his business was stuck – and he couldn’t figure out how to grow it. Then he got Jeff’s product launch training and put it to work – and four launches later he’s built his business to the seven-figure level…

Then There’s ME!
In 2005 I created a program to train idea people to be career coaches for people who want to make a living without having to rely on traditional jobs. Since then I’ve has done numerous launches for different products… consistently bringing in $50,000 to $90,000 every time.

Step 2: Dive deeper

So, where there one or two stories that really spoke to you?

Where you found yourself saying, “Wow! I’d like to do that!” Or, “How did they do that?!”

If so, I recommend you do a deeper dive to better understand what they did and how.

You can hear each of their stories for yourself here.

Step 3: ONLY if you’d like to learn how to launch or grow your own online business, product, service, course, or member site …

If your answer is yes… or even maybe, then it’s only fair I tell you that registration ends TONIGHT at midnight – which means today is your last chance to get train with Jeff.

This training course has literally changed the Internet Marketing world – it’s been responsible for over a billion dollars in sales in virtually every niche you can think of.

Jeff’s program has been off the market for a full year…

It’s available NOW… but it’s coming off the market TONIGHT at midnight.

Everything you need to make an informed decision is here.

P.S. One more thing – Jeff has added three extra bonuses to the mix… check them out:

  1. A full-blown course on how to build and profit from a list – this is his “Launching Your List” course.
  2. A complete course on Product Creation that will take you from start to finish and get you your own products.
  3. A full-out 3-day LIVE WORKSHOP with Jeff… this is a high-end in-person workshop led personally by Jeff. This is one of the most powerful events in the industry… you walk in with an idea, and you walk out with a launch plan.

You get these extra bonuses if you register, but you need to do it now.

 

 

 

Notice to My Valued Readers: Since 1995 I’ve kept the Changing Course Newsletter ad-free. However, I do need to pay the bills. Some pre-screened resources I review or promote may result in a referral fee.  That said maintaining my 24+ year reputation means far more to me than making a few bucks promoting stuff I don’t believe in. Be assured that I only endorse products, people, or resources I know to be of value to my readers and never recommend anything I either have not or would not personally use myself.


Six figures in six months!

I could not be more excited!

My marketing mentor — and one of the smartest and nicest guys you’ll ever meet — Jeff Walker is about to put on his wildly popular Launch Masterclass… for FREE

Whether you already have a business… or you’re starting from scratch…

I am not exaggerating when I say that what you will learn in this Masterclass will be a complete game-changer.

I know because in 2006 I went from making a very modest living to earning six figures in six months.

It literally changed my life.

I’m hardly alone.

Since 2005, almost a million people have gone through Jeff’s launch workshops – and the success stories are legendary (some will blow you away).

And they aren’t all online businesses.

You could offer guitar lessons or provide tax services or teach dog obedience or coach people… and the launch strategy would still work.

In fact, some of the case studies Jeff shares are about people in such wide-ranging niches as…

  • a mental health non-profit
  • teaching yoga in Italy
  • grass-fed beef
  • painting
  • how to make corsets
  • teaching people how to get paid to brainstorm (wait — that’s me!)
  • and get this… even someone who did a 6-figure launch teaching people how to scream!

As important as how much these people earned is the unbelievable impact they were able to have on other people’s lives.

The best part about the upcoming Launch Masterclass for y-o-u is that it’s completely free.

Which is remarkable when you consider that Jeff is delivering 12+ hours of pure content LIVE (and he’s even answering questions LIVE).

It’s going to consist of four different classes, each building on the prior lesson – combined they make up a complete course (that’s why it’s a masterclass).

This “Launch Masterclass” is only going to be available for a few days.

Here’s the catch: because the entire training is being delivered LIVE… this is a time-limited opportunity.

There will be recordings available, but only for a limited time. So you need to go sign up and get registered now.

 

P.S. This first lesson covers the one launch strategy that’s generated over a billion dollars in results for Jeff’s students.

No wonder when Jeff talks, people like me listen – and learn. And if you truly want to thrive in self-employment, then you should too.

Register for the live broadcast here.

 

 

 

 

Notice to My Valued Readers: Since 1995 I’ve kept the Changing Course Newsletter ad-free. However, I do need to keep the lights on. So some pre-screened resources I review or promote may result in a referral fee. That said maintaining my 24+ year reputation means far more to me than making a few bucks promoting stuff I don’t believe in. Be assured that I only endorse products, people, or resources I know to be of value to my readers and never recommend anything I either have not or would not personally use myself.


A Death in the Family

My heart is heavy.

Two members of the extended Changing Course family have passed away.

Cheryl Young died in May. Jane Kirsch in June.

Both left us too soon.

To my knowledge, Cheryl and Jane never met, but they had a lot in common.

They were both fiercely committed to finding a way to be their own boss.

They both had a passion for helping other aspiring self-bossers to connect the dots between what they too could make money doing it.

Little wonder Cheryl and Jane were among the early wave of students in the “Outside the Job Box” career coach training (later known as Profiting From Your Passions career coach training).

Jane was in the inaugural class of 2006; Cheryl came into the program the next year.

This week has been bittersweet because I found a video of one and the writings of another.

I share them here partly as a tribute to two kindred spirits who were members of what I’ve come to think of as the Changing Course Tribe.

But I also hope their words and stories move you to do as Cheryl and Jane did and act on the Changing Course mission I set forth in 1995, to…

Live life on purpose ~ Work at what you love ~ Follow your own road

Jane Kirsch, North Carolina

If I had to pick one word to describe Jane, it would have to be lovely. She was truly a lovely human being.

When you watch this short video you’ll know why.

The touching wisdom of her final words here brought me to tears.

The video was shot in 2007 at the Work at What You Love workshop in Northampton, Massachusetts.

It was one of many such workshops I produced and co-led with guest presenter Barbara Winter, author of Making a Living Without a Job.

The voice behind the camera is my trusty assistant and friend Lisa Tarrant who I’d helped break out of job jail just two years earlier.

There was no social media back then.

Instead, Jane and I stayed more or less in touch through the Changing Course newsletter.

About six years ago we ran into each other at the Chautauqua Institute in western New York where I was vacationing with friends from Pittsburgh who had a second home there.

Turns out Jane grew up in Pittsburgh and her family also owned a home at Chautauqua.

Two years later we ran into each other there again.

I remember sitting across from Jane at lunch and thinking how lucky I was to know her.

I learned of Jane’s passing from Dawn Dominique, a student in her same Outside the Job Box coach class.

Back then the course was held entirely via teleclass.

So the two had never actually set eyes on one another until the Northampton workshop.

A dozen years later the two stayed in touch. Dawn told me that just last fall she and Jane met up in North Carolina for lunch and a stroll through the local art galleries.

Of her friend, Dawn wrote, “She touched a lot of people and made a positive difference in the world.”

It reminded me of something Katherine Graham once said…

“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?”

Jane, you and your work mattered to many. You will be missed, my friend.

Cheryl Young, Vermont

As with Jane, I heard about Cheryl’s passing through another member of the Changing Course family, Wendy Heileg, who was in Cheryl’s same class.

It’s tremendously gratifying to know that Changing Course has facilitated so many wonderful and lasting friendships.

I lost touch with Cheryl…but I never forgot her.

She was larger than life. Perhaps that’s why despite never having met in person… I felt I had.

Cheryl was that kind of person.

When you’ve run a business like mine for 24 years you’ve got a lot of old computer files.

A search for “Cheryl Young” and voila – up popped a sixteen-year-old assignment she’d submitted for class.

It began with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and create a trail. 

And that’s exactly what Cheryl did. Here, in her own words, is some of her changing course journey.

Growing up in Nebraska, I was fascinated with the Oregon Trail and the pioneering spirit.

That pioneering spirit has guided my life as I have created and discovered many new trails. 

I come from a large Swedish family where I was surrounded by entrepreneurs. I had 7 uncles, 2 brothers, my father and 2 grandfathers who were either farmers or small business owners. 

My dad was my role model for changing careers.

He had been a business teacher/high school sports coach, who eventually changed careers to start a grocery business.

My mother was an elementary teacher, so I grew up hearing about both business and education as equal options for a living. 

My own foray into the world of entrepreneurship began after 20 years in education… Then there came a day when I asked myself an important question:

How could I prepare students for the world of work if I had never been employed outside the world of education? 

I had either been a student or a teacher for the last two decades. 

So I left the classroom and began my adventure exploring the world of work.

I sought “real life” career experience which took me into administration of programs, college teaching, insurance sales, land sales, writing, self-publishing, traveling, public speaking, producing and marketing educational and training programs—experience was my teacher.

By becoming an Educator in Private Practice I found a way to integrate my experience and skills with my passion for entrepreneurship.

So, it was only natural that I was drawn to Valerie Young’s “Out of the Job Box” Career Consultant certification program.

I loved the idea of creating your own living out of things you love to do…that you’re not limited to making a living by working for someone else for the next 10, 20, 30 years or so.

It’s so exciting to discover opportunities to work anywhere, with anyone, at any time while contributing to my client’s lives in a meaningful way.

And I have to admit, I also love the freedom, flexibility, creativity, setting my own schedule, working from the comfort of my Vermont home, and meeting fascinating people.

What I remember most about Cheryl was that she was FEARLESS!

Sometimes, new coaches hesitate to take a first client out of fear that they “still don’t know enough,” aren’t yet “expert” enough – Cheryl dove in.

Fortunately for her clients, she did.

At one point, Cheryl talked about helping a WWII female pilot set up and market a speaking tour.

Did she have any experience organizing or marketing speaking tours? Heck no.

Instead, she just understood that the best way to learn most things is to just do it and grow as you go.

She also described helping a new client who was in the process of parlaying her experience as special education teacher and entrepreneur to create a four-million-dollar high school to house a combination of culinary arts, store, artist gallery, herbal garden, sewing shop and a restaurant to teach special needs youth in community impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

This was the ideal client for Cheryl because she herself always went BIG!

She thought nothing of reaching out to people in her even state government to see how they might team up to support entrepreneurship in the state.

Shooting high paid off.

Cheryl would go on to become the Vermont Ambassador for Entrepreneurship Education.

In closing, she wrote:

I transitioned out of education knowing that there would be risks – and the risk paid off.

Today creativity and flexibility are alive in my life.

I believe everyone should have the opportunity to create a life they love doing work they create… outside the box!

Before he died, Michael Landon said, “Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.”

We spend so much time being afraid to take risks, when what we should worry about is how much we have to lose by never ever trying.

Thank you, Cheryl and Jane, for being sources of inspiration to us all and for refusing to die with your music still in you. Rest in peace, my friends.

If you would like to leave a remembrance of Cheryl or Jane… or just share what inspired you about their lives, comment below.


How to Start a Business in a Weekend

Is it really possible to come up with a great idea on Saturday, be in business by Monday, and hit the $1 million mark in the first year?

You can if you’re willing to ditch a lot of lame rules that hold most people back.

That’s what serial entrepreneur Maria Elena Ibanez did.

It all began at her hairdresser’s when she struck up a conversation with another woman who had a background in the Latino food business.

The chance meeting stimulated Ms. Ibanez’s hunger — not for food – but for opportunity. In that instant, she decided to become a player in the Latino food business.

That was in 2002.

By the end of year one, her business, Intermark, had $1 million in sales from four food products. Today her brand, El Latino, carries 256 products.

Ms. Ibanez did have a background in business. In fact, she’d already launched two successful international computer distribution businesses and sold one.

So, starting a business was nothing new.

But this new enterprise was in an entirely different industry.

In fact, she knew absolutely nothing about the food business whatsoever.

Despite a lack of knowledge, Ms. Ibanez leapt at the opportunity!

What can you learn from this “weekend business launcher” that can help you jumpstart your own entrepreneurial dreams in a matter of days? Plenty!

Lesson 1: Find People Who Know More Than You Do

Stop thinking you need to know everything before you can begin. As Woodrow Wilson once said, “I use all the brains I have and all that I can borrow.”

There are lots of ways to tap the expertise of other people.

You can partner with a subject matter expert, you can apprentice with an expert, or you can pay someone to consult with you from time to time.

Lesson 2: Create Your Own Crash Course

You don’t need to get an MBA or have worked in a field for 20 years to figure out the basics. Ms. Ibanez ordered a couple cases of books on Amazon and spent a few weeks creating her own crash course in the food and grocery industry.

Pretend your boss told you to put together a three-month self-paced training program on how to make money growing irises in your backyard or how to get a syndicated sports radio show.

You’d figure it out, right?

So why not do it for yourself?!

Make a list of what you need to know to move your dream forward.

Then create a plan for how you’ll find the information, skills, and/or resources you need.

Lesson 3: Trust Your Instincts

Humans tend to make things more complicated than they need to be.

For example, Ms. Ibanez built her brand by going into an under-served niche in the Latin food market — dairy foods.

How did she know to specialized there? By walking the aisles in the supermarket.

How many times have you seen a solution right under your nose only to second guess yourself because it’s too “obvious”?

That’s why you need to trust your instinct.

If your gut is telling you to DO IT you need to pay attention because, within seconds, another voice will chime in.

That other voice is the one you mistakenly think of as your more “practical” or “logical” side.

“Well, if cheese for the Latin market is such a great idea, someone else would have thought of it, right”?

The thing is, this so-called “logical” side is usually the far more emotional and fearful side.

If something looks like an opportunity and acts like an opportunity and your heart is saying, “Yes, go there!” then pay attention.

Lesson 4: See Problems as Opportunities

Opportunities often come disguised as problems.

Rather than pull back during the slow economy Ms. Ibanez capitalized on it.

Cheaper rent and more available brainpower looking for work are just two reasons why she says an economic downturn is the best time to start a business.

What problem can you capitalize on right now?

If you lost your job, can you use the extra time between job hunting to read a book on marketing or create a small profit center?

If you have no idea what you want to be when you grow up, can you invite a group of friends to dinner and ask them what they think you should “be.”

[Warning: Only invite friends who are entrepreneurially minded… otherwise your brainstorming session will probably lead you back to working in a glorified cubicle.]

Lesson 5: Take Action

Notice Ms. Ibanez did not spend days, weeks, months or years locked in analysis paralysis.

She made a decision, and two days later was in full-blown action mode.

So fast in fact, that the Latino food expert she met at her hairdresser’s on Saturday reported to work in Ms. Ibanez’s home office on Monday!

She didn’t even have time to tell her husband.

Fifteen years later, Amazon announced a partnership with El Latino to offer foods from every country in South and Central America in its Miami deliveries.

The Bottom Line

You don’t have to run out and start an empire tomorrow.

But imagine what you could do if you just dove in and started somewhere…. anywhere!

Will you make mistakes along the way?

I certainly hope so. Because if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning anything.

Will you go from 0 to a million in a weekend?

Not unless you’re doing something illegal. What about a year?

Ms. Ibanez’s story proves that some people do. But this is definitely the exception.

Does that mean you shouldn’t start? Not at all.

It took me about seven years before I became an “overnight success!”

If I’d understood these five simple lessons at the outset, I could have cut that time by more than half.

There are lots of ways you can profit from your own passion.

Lots of ways to turn interests into income.

Lots of ways to make money on your own terms.

Lots of ways to go from having a boss to enjoying the freedom and satisfaction of being your OWN boss.

Use all five lessons, and there is no reason why you too can’t get your own entrepreneurial dream in motion in a weekend.

Why waste another moment when you can take the first step creating the life you really want?


Your Dream

When you think summer, you probably think picnics, swimming, outdoor games, and other forms of recreation.

The word recreation literally means to “re-create.”

So what better way to spend your summer than recreating your life!

Here’s how you can use this summer to grow your dream of changing course.

Catch a falling star

When I was a kid, my best friend Elaine and I were always busy building forts or skipping rope.

But we also did plenty of nothing… most often lying under a shady tree or a star-filled sky.

These weren’t idle pursuits.

We were flexing our imaginations.

As the most carefree of the four seasons, summers are made for dreaming.

So take time to gaze upward, look inward, and imagine what could be.

Grow a dream garden

Look within and you may find the seeds of a dream planted long ago.

Left untended though, dreams will fail to sprout.

Summer is the ideal time to cultivate our dreams, both old and new.

Start with good soil.

What is it you care deeply about?

What makes you happy?

What do you want your life to look like?

Now get rid of the weeds – the lame excuses, apathy, self-doubt, and fear born from lack of information. Tend to your dreams and watch them grow.

Take advantage of the longer days

Even though those so-called lazy days of summer have gotten a lot busier of late, the additional hours of daylight do seem to add a bit more time to our lives.

Once you’ve engaged in some active reflection, use some of this “found time” to start working toward your goals.

Even if it’s only 20 minutes a day, it’s all forward motion!

Read a real thriller!

As you’re packing for the beach leave the romance novel or who-done-it at home.

Instead, treat your life like the adventure that it is by picking up a real thriller like my friend Carrie Wilkerson’s The Barefoot Executive or Barbara Winter’s Making a Living Without a Job.

Already have a business idea?

Dive into a book on how to start a business.

Have an idea but don’t know where to begin? You don’t need to because someone else has already figured it out for you.

Just go to Amazon or Google and type in: How to start a [fill in the blank]. Then take this time to read up on that exciting new business.

Still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up?

Barbara Sher’s first book, Wishcraft, is still my favorite.

Know what you love to do, but no clue how to make money doing it?

Treat yourself to a Work at What You Love session with me.

I’m SO confident I can help you that I offer something unheard of in the coaching world – a money back guarantee!

Invest in your dream

Save both money and time by spending your vacation at home.

Make it a real vacation by doing the kinds of things a tourist on a budget might do – go on a picnic, head to a museum, take a day trip.

Stash the money you would have spent going out of town into a “dream fund.”

Then use your savings to take a class, create your website, buy inventory, or otherwise take steps to launch your dream business.

If your dream includes relocating, hit the road by using your vacation as an exciting research expedition.

Summer is also the ideal time to ease into a new job-job

Are you operating in a toxic job environment?

Do you have a crazy long commute or a job that demands crazy long hours?

If you answered yes to either or both questions, then before you can even think about being your own boss, your first step may be to get a new job-job.

With more time and improved well-being, you’ll be better positioned to build your dream job on the side.

Summer is also the perfect time to take a new job.

The reason? With all the overlapping employee vacation schedules, many organizations operate in a somewhat more relaxed mode in July and August.

As a new hire, that means the trial by fire period is apt to be a little less trying.

If you’ve been putting off a job move until the fall, keep in mind the slower pace makes summer a great time to learn the new job ropes before the workplace once again launches into fall overdrive.

Just because you’re still in a job-job, doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of your dream of being your own boss. In fact, my friend Barbara Sher says to think of your job as your business loan!

The bottom line

Recreating your life is about making choices. And summertime is the perfect time to do it.

What choices are you willing to make to grow your dream?

Whatever you do, have a safe, relaxing, and inspired rest of the summer!


Great Home-Based Biz Ideas for Introverts

When you picture a successful entrepreneur, you probably imagine someone with an outgoing, talkative personality. The kind of person who loves to socialize and meet new people.

The person you probably don’t picture is someone who is quiet, becomes overwhelmed and exhausted by noisy environments, or avoids spending too much time around other people, especially large groups.

So where does that leave the shy, socially reserved introvert who wants to start a business?

Better off than you think!

For starters, most experts see introversion/extroversion as a spectrum with few people at the extremes. Instead, most of us fall closer to the middle.

What about you?

Take the Quiz

  • Do you feel exhausted after an evening out with a lot of people (like at a party or networking event)?
  • Do you find you really need quiet time alone, for example, just reading, meditating, listening to music, or watching TV?
  • Do you tend to prefer to socialize in a very small group (just a couple close friends)?
  • Do you find it difficult to initiate a conversation with a stranger?
  • Do you label yourself (or do other people label you) as shy or quiet or socially inept?
  • If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you’re probably closer to the introvert end of the spectrum.

But that doesn’t mean you’re not cut out to start your own business.

Hugely successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, or Warren Buffett are not the kind of guys you’d find chatting it up at a party.

And there are plenty of famous actors, professional speakers, and other performers who can “do” extrovert but are in fact quite introverted – myself included.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, it’s important to know yourself and where your energy lies.

In fact, think of your energy like a battery; if you are an extrovert your batteries are charged by social interaction, if you are an introvert your batteries will be drained.

That means you need to play to your strengths and get help in the areas where you’re weaker.

So, if you are an extreme introvert, you may prefer to run a home-based business rather than founding a company that requires you to interact with employees.

Or, if you really do want to build an empire like Zuckerberg, Gates, and Buffet, then just know you’ll probably need to partner or hire an extrovert who is good at the more social parts.

25 Money Making Ideas for Introverts

As an introvert, it’s important to find the right business for you.

For instance, an online business can be a great fit for introverts because it allows all the freedom, control, and income of self-bossing with less of the frequent people contact that you find so draining.

Another benefit to a web-based business is you get to use your online interactions and presence to determine the persona the world sees.

So you can be reserved Rachel or Raphael at home and Rock Star Rachel or Raphael in your business!

But selling online is the only way to generate income. Here are 25 other ideas that are well suited to people who enjoy solitude:

  1. Webmaster or IT consultant
  2. Artist
  3. Graphic design
  4. Blogger
  5. Copywriter (using words to sell a product or service or to promote causes)
  6. Fiction writing (romance, novels, etc.)
  7. Travel writer (see how-to info below)
  8. Genealogy
  9. Social media consultant
  10. Editing and/or proofreading
  11. Web designer
  12. Craft-related businesses
  13. Creating patterns: Sewing, knitting, woodworking
  14. Creating software or apps
  15. Woodworking
  16. Cooking/baking
  17. Clothing maker
  18. Working with animals
  19. Growing and selling flowers, vegetables, and/or herbs
  20. Errand service
  21. Translating
  22. Bookkeeping
  23. Fixing things: Cars, appliances, clothes alterations, broken pottery, antique clocks/watches, appliances
  24. Making things better: Custom cars, motorcycles, campers, etc.
  25. Building things: Furniture, boats, decks, etc.

Finally, you may be an introvert but if you want to be your own boss then you still need to stretch yourself now and then.

Join a Toastmasters club to conquer your fear of public speaking. Or if you must attend a networking event set a goal of talking to just three people.

To this last point, you may even choose a business precisely because it pushes you to talk to strangers.


For example, International Living magazine editor Jen Stevens, says one of the many great things about travel writing is it gives introverts a built-in excuse for initiating conversations with owners of inns, shops, cafes and others along the journey who can add value to your article.

(And if you do love to travel and like the idea of making money while you do it, I highly recommend The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program.)

For even more ways to make money without a job-job, check out the Cool Jobs and Ideas page at Changing Course.

With so many ways today to communicate with clients and customers and to make business connections without ever venturing into public, you don’t need to be an extrovert to become your own boss.

Instead, be true to yourself, find the right business for you, and then take action!


How Dave Murdered His Dream

In my 24 years at Changing Course I’ve grieved the premature death of hundreds of perfectly viable business ideas.

Ideas which were totally possible – some even brilliant.

Ideas which, if acted upon, could have sprung their owners from job jail… and made a difference in the world as well.

But sadly their owner let them perish.

There are two main ways to kill a dream.

Death by Discouragement

For starters, you can believe the life-long cubicle dwellers who love to tell you that being your own boss is just a pipe dream.

Or, you can become so overwhelmed with the thought of acting on your great idea that all you want to do is zone out in front of the television.

Or you can become consumed with the “what ifs.”

  • What if no one wants my art, repair service, writing?
  • What if I fall flat on my face?
  • What if I don’t know enough to be a [fill in the blank]?

That’s what happened to Dave.

Today Dave has a corporate job. But as a child he spent time in foster care

Dave’s dream was to open a sports camp just for kids in foster care.

Family and friends had lots to say about Dave’s dream.

“Never work.” “Too much liability.” “Where would you hold it?”

Sadly, Dave became so discouraged, overwhelmed, and fearful about what might happen if he failed, that he never paused to consider what his life and the lives of the campers would be like if he was successful.

Death by Silence

The most common way to get away with murdering your dream is to keep it to yourself.

After all, if no one ever knows about your big idea they can’t possibly judge it… or you.

If you don’t share your business plan… then no one will know that you didn’t lift a single finger to get it off the launch pad.

If you never let your idea see the light of day, never show your art or share your writing or perform your comedy act… then no one will expect anything from you.

In other words, when you’re accountable only to yourself, then there’s no real consequence for failing to follow through.

Or is there?

When you murder your dream you’ve made the decision to spend the rest of your life in job jail.

If you think that price is too high, then you have a choice.

You can continue to slowly starve your dream to death through sheer neglect.

Or you can decide to get off the misery-go-round.

If you wisely chose the latter, here are two simple steps you can take right this very minute.

Step 1: Publically Declare Your Intention

For five years I produced a fabulous two-day workshop called Work at What You Love which I co-led with my friend and author of Making a Living Without a Job, Barbara Winter.

At the end, I’d ask each person to publicly declare an intention.

One by one upwards of 150 people rose, microphone in hand, and declared their dream to a room full of people.

“I’m going to spend summers living on a river barge in the south of France.”

“I’m going to write the biography of my grandfather’s life.”

“I’m going to open a bike repair shop.”

Your Turn

The ground rules of a public declaration are simple:

  • It must be summarized in one sentence.
  • It can’t begin with “I’d like to…” or “Maybe I will…” or “It would be great if I could….” Instead, your declaration must begin with the words “I’m going to___”
  • It must include a commitment to act.

So you have a choice. You can murder your idea and no one will ever know.

Or you breathe life into your dream by going on to social media or emailing your closest friend and making your own public declaration now.

Step 2: Do your homework

In the beginning, you don’t have enough information to be excited or scared.

You need information.

Who else is succeeding at the thing you want to do? After all, if someone else is doing it, then there must be both a need and a way.

Had Dave done a search for “summer camps for foster kids” he’d have found many examples of thriving enterprises.

A simple online search for “camp insurance” would have led him to dozens of companies that offer quotes for sports and non-sports camps.

As for how to begin, this is just one of many “how to start a summer camp business guides” Dave could have found to get the ball rolling.

Take five minutes now and see just how much you can find out about your dream business.

Step 3: Find people who want to see your idea succeed as much as you do

The forces of fear, self-doubt, and overwhelm are mighty.

That’s why you need a team of people who want to see you realize your dream as much as you do.

People who will be there to support one another, to hold each other accountable for making slow steady progress, to offer new ideas and solutions, to help one another overcome the inevitable setbacks, and to celebrate the wins big and small.

Left on your own and you can feel hopeless.

But when you’re in a group of supporters you feel empowered.

You become almost “bigger” than you usually are.

You feel a confidence that’s sometimes impossible to muster on your own.

Yet with this network of supporters cheering you on, you’re inspired to go on… to plow ahead with a certain audacity that you might not normally feel you have in you.

As importantly, your productivity will soar.

With a dream team behind you, you will get more done in six months than you would otherwise accomplish in six years!

The people on your dream team can be friends, like-minded co-workers, even total strangers. You can meet in person or via conference call.

Regardless of who’s in your group or how you communicate the key is commitment.

After all, a dream is a terrible thing to waste.


Serving Seniors: 30 Ways to Turn One Interest into Income

Some of the best business ideas come out of personal experience or crisis.

Kate watched several family members go through some rough medical times in their later years.

From that experience came a burning desire to start a business that served people 60 years old and older.

FYI, Kate had gone to nursing school – but she hated it. So she had no interest in working on the medical side.

In fact, Kate was really specific with her coach about what she did – and didn’t want – in a business.

It had to:

  • be a business she can run alone
  • not involve direct medical care
  • potentially involve teaching and helping
  • not be too expensive to start and generate income within a short time
  • involve some time working alone and some time with others
  • involve no driving
  • ideally, include research and problem-solving
  • not require more education
  • not involve the insurance industry
  • potentially use her gift for writing
  • not involve running errands for people

30 Money-Making Ideas for Working with Seniors

There are SO many ways to serve the booming senior market. Here are just a few that meet Kate’s criteria:

  1. Internet research specialist
  2. Product/service reviewer (nursing homes, senior discounts, etc.)
  3. Family relationships/connections
  4. Senior webzine
  5. Memoir author
  6. How-to guides for seniors (ebook author)
  7. Senior stories videographer/photographer
  8. Matchmaking services
  9. Helping family find housing options for seniors
  10. Website for 60+ regarding health issues
  11. Online dating coach or profile writer
  12. Career coaching
  13. Employment agency for seniors
  14. Handywoman services
  15. Social event organizer
  16. Fitness consulting
  17. Personal organizer / mover
  18. Tour guide / trip planner
  19. Computer consultant
  20. Antique appraisal
  21. Meal planning & delivery
  22. Dog walking or sitting (check out Rover.com)
  23. Delivery service
  24. Household manager
  25. Mediator
  26. Spiritual advisor
  27. Home Stager
  28. Online store owner
  29. Patient advocate
  30. Vacation or travel companion

And if Kate tapped Barbara Winter’s brilliant concept of having multiple income streams, several smaller enterprises could add up to a nice livelihood.

The point is, there are SO many ways to turn your interests into income

All it takes is a little creative thinking!

Need help coming up with your own money making idea?

Isn’t It Time to Profit From Your Passion?

Still don’t know what you want to be “when you grow up?”

Know what you love to do but have no idea how to make money doing it?

Have so many ideas you don’t know where to begin?

The answers are closer than you think! And once you have a direction, doors will open you never knew existed.

Click here to learn how to schedule a personal Work at What You Love career coaching session with me or one of my licensed Profiting From Your Passions ® career coaches today.


Overlooked Key to Freedom from Job Jail

Every guidance counselor, career coach, or academic advisor talks about skills assessments, resumes, and job searches.

But you hear far less about another element that is essential to any successful career change – namely, gratitude.

Researchers already know the benefits of a positive, appreciative attitude including:

  • greater success in work
  • greater health
  • peak performance in sports and business
  • higher sense of well-being
  • faster rate of recovery from surgery.

So imagine what gratitude could do for someone like you who wants want to break out of job jail and do your thing?

I think the reason gratitude is an overlooked key to career change is because it requires you to focus on the present.

And when you hate your soul-sucking job or your lousy commute or micro-managing your boss, your mind is naturally going to be yearning for your future freedom versus being mindful of those blessings, however small, that you have right now.

The thing is, living life from a perspective of gratitude is not just an exercise in happy thinking.

It goes much deeper than that.

Perhaps Melody Beattie said it best:

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity…It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons.

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Gratitude Cheat Sheet 

If you’re having trouble finding things to be grateful for then ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • What do I take for granted?
  • What moves me?
  • What would give me daily joy if I’d just notice it?

Here are ten ideas to get you started…
1. The senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. If you have these daily miracles, gratitude is in order.

2. The plant world. From the productivity of a late-summer tomato plant to the delicate unfurling of a fern to new growth on a house plant, nature’s exuberance and tenderness is something to behold.

3. Young children. They serve as wonderful models of important elements of changing course like curiosity, resilience, and playfulness. If you don’t have young children in your life right now, stop to notice them at a playground or even on YouTube. 

4. Beauty. What do your eyes feast on? What splendor makes your soul rejoice? It is all around us every day. Make it a point to spend a moment to just drink it in.

5. The ability to learn. There is no age limit on learning—period. When we stop learning, we really stop living. And when it comes to changing course, information truly will set you free!

6. Color. It’s all around you – and it’s free. Sunsets, Gauguin paintings, the green and reds in your super market’s produce section, blue eyes or deep brown ones. Imagine a world without color and be grateful if you can see it.

7. Music. Music has the ability to inspire, motivate, and lifts our mood. What does it for you? Is it African drumming, violin concertos, Rock & roll, show tunes, gospel, Latin music? Or perhaps for you it’s the sound of a nightingale, a chick cry of the loons?

8. Opportunity. Our steady companion, opportunity is always ready to take us down a path yet unknown. (Hint: We have to say “Yes!”) A quick check of past posts will open your eyes to just how many opportunities there are to make a money without a job-job.

9. The ability to give. Every act of generosity benefits the giver as much as the receiver. Changing course is as much about giving support as it is getting it. Helping someone else see creative ways to profit from their passion, can help you see options for yourself. 

10. Change. It’s unavoidable; the only constant. Change can be unsettling or challenging. But the mystery of it and what lies beyond it can keep us young at heart. Instead of fighting it, be grateful that you have the capacity to change yourself and your life.

Like most healthy habits, gratitude can be difficult to sustain.

So many of us are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives.

And for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives, it needs to become more than just something we practice at Thanksgiving.

We have to learn a new way of looking at things, a new habit. And that can take some time.

Super Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude


That’s why practicing gratitude makes so much sense.

When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

  • Keep a gratitude journal in which you list things for which you are thankful. You can make daily, weekly or monthly lists. Greater frequency may be better for creating a new habit, but just keeping that journal where you can see it will remind you to think in a grateful way.
  • Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.
  • Practice gratitude around the dinner table, start your day texting what you’re grateful for to a friend, or make it part of your nighttime routine.
  • Make a game of finding the hidden blessing in a challenging situation.
  • When you feel like complaining, make a gratitude list instead. You may be amazed by how much better you feel.
  • Notice how gratitude is impacting your life. Write about it, sing about it, express thanks for gratitude.

As you practice, an inner shift begins to occur, and you may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful you are feeling. That sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

As always, I encourage you to go after your dreams.

At the same time, life is too short to put off happiness until you’ve achieved it.

In other words, with a dream, as with life, the journey is just as important as the destination.

As you enjoy a drink of clean water, a warm bed, or the company of a loved one today and every day, pause and be grateful for what and who is in your life right now.

Go after that better future full of freedom and joy… but also be here now and savor the journey.

 

Author’s content used with permission, © Claire Communications

 


8 Easy Ways to Make a Tough Decision

Let’s face it — making a big decision can be tough.

Which is a big reason why far too many people follow through on their longing to change course.

For starters, whether you dream of opening a bakery or relocating halfway around the world, dreams require a big GO-NO-GO decision.

Assuming you say yes, then you’re faced with quite literally hundreds of other decisions…

What to name your business… where to find good freelancers… which way to get the word out about what you have to offer… where to live… to name a very few.

You probably have your own way of making decisions.

Maybe you carefully consider the pros and cons.

Or you consult with experts.

Or you ask a trusted friend, colleague, or family member what they think you should do.

If none of that has worked so far, there are more creative methods you can try.

As you read through the list, check off the ones you’d like to try.

1. Flip a coin

When faced with the decision to act on your dream or to maintain the status quo, your rational mind will do its best to protect you from the unfamiliar.

A fool-proof way to override that protective mechanism is to flip a coin.

Then pay close attention to your gut response to the outcome. Are you relieved or disappointed?

Either way, there’s your answer.

2. Use a dartboard

Like with the coin flip, the point here is to tune into how you feel when the dart hits its mark – or misses.

If you discover you unconsciously try harder to hit a bulls-eye when thinking of going with option A over option B – pay attention!

(Bonus of using a dartboard is you can do it over a beer at the pub 🙂 )

3. Role-play

Let each person or thing represent a different aspect of the decision.

What does each perspective have to say?

What would your pet tell you to do? Einstein? A wise tribal leader? A historical or contemporary figure you admire?

To make it even more interesting, imagine what perspective a thing might bring to the decision.

What might a flowering plant or a far-off planet say?

Would the constant waves of the ocean see your decision differently than a say a still lake or a raging river?

4. Meditate

When you quiet your mind, the answer may bubble up easily. We know this is true.

Yet we rarely quiet our minds long enough to allow the answers to come.

Instead, we run from friend to friend, or we hop on social media to get everyone else’s take.

When, much like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz discovered, often the answers are right there in your own emotional backyard.

5. Make a drawing or collage

Even if you’re not visual by nature, consider each option pictorially.

Your most attractive option may become obvious.

And don’t worry whether you’re creative or an “artist.” You can also cut images out of a magazine to create simple collages.

Stick figures drawn at different scales and using different colors can reveal which path to take just as well as any Rembrandt.

6. Sleep on it

Before you go to sleep, write out the issue you’re grabbling with.

When you awake, consider any dream to be an answer to your query—or the question behind the question.

Make sure you have something to record your dream on right next to your bed and make sure you capture even the essence of your dream before you get up.

7. Dance each option

If you’re the kind of person who responds to things physically then this approach may prove helpful.

Trying to decide whether to move near the ocean or a bustling city? Or whether to become a speaker, a chef, or a tour guide?

Which feels better in your body? Which flows through you more fluidly?

8. Sing

Make up a song about the decision.

Before you discount it as silly, you might also be really surprised by what comes out of your mouth.

You can do this while you’re in the shower or driving alone in your car or on a walk. And as with drawing, don’t fret about writing a Top 10 hit.

Instead, go for something you’d sing to a three-year-old.

What matters is how each song tells you about what you truly think and feel about your decision.

Deciding Not to Decide

You may be so terrified of making the “wrong” decision, that you do nothing.

Deciding not to decide, IS a decision.

My friend Suzanne Evans says indecision is a form of self-abuse. 

Think about that for a moment.

Few decisions are irreversible.

When it comes to changing course, often a single decision is the first step to a whole new life.

You don’t have to use all eight creative decision-making techniques. But one of them just might lead to the exact right decision for you.

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications


First He Called Me Stupid, Then He Called Me an Idiot!

I’m not used to being called names. But this time the guy doing it was absolutely right.

Let me explain.

Every guru on the planet touts some so-called “secret” to success.

Larry Winget takes a different approach.

There is no secret to the core message that runs through all of his books: You’re responsible for your life.

Larry has written five New York Times best-sellers with head-turning titles like Shut Up, Stop Whining and Get a Life, to Your Kids Are Your Own Fault, and You’re Broke Because You Want to Be.

To Larry there is no secret to creating the life you want, writing:

“Your thoughts, your words, and your actions created the life you are living. You create your results — no one else.”

Nor is he a fan of wishing and hoping that the Law of Attraction will get you where you want to go.

Instead Larry says, “What you think about, talk about, and get off your ass and do something about, comes about.”

My favorite Larry Winget book is, People Are Idiots and I Can Prove It.

In it, Larry looks at the kinds of things we humans constantly “say” we want.

We say we want to be healthy…

We say we want to have more money….

We say we want a good relationship…

We say we want to lose weight…

But our ACTIONS say something very different.

I’m certainly no exception.

When I saw the inscription Larry wrote in my book I laughed out loud!

It read simply, “Valerie — Don’t be an idiot!”

Guess what? I’m taking his advice!

For starters, I NEVER EXERCISE IN THE MORNING!

But the day after Larry wrote that inscription, there I was in Phoenix going for an aerobic walk at freakin’ 6:30 am!

Sometimes you just need to hear something said in a different way to get off of your duff and take action.

For me that something was the distinction Larry made between being “ignorant” or “stupid” and being an “idiot.”

If you are ignorant about the dangers of smoking or that a high fat, high sugar diet leads to obesity…

Or if you were never taught how to handle money responsibly…

Or you’re ignorant to the fact that there’s a fabulous conference out there that could be the key to you doing your ideal work…

…then you can’t be held responsible for the outcome.

BUT once you are informed… once you KNOW the danger of acting or not acting…

Once you KNOW what’s out there or what to do…

…and you STILL fail to change your behaviors – then you’re an idiot.

The fact is, I KNOW I need to get more exercise.

And by not taking action I WAS BEING AN IDIOT.

So I’ve stopped with the excuses…

No time, too tired, too dark, too early, too late… bla, bla, bla.

Do I fall back on old habits? Of course — we all do.

The key is getting back on track.

How to Stop Being An Idiot About Your Dreams

It’s the same with changing course.

Few of us grew up knowing there were alternatives to having a job-job.

And even fewer were ever tuned into my friend Barbara Winter’s liberating notion of multiple streams of income.

Which means most people are ignorant about the unlimited opportunities there are to make money doing what you love… on your own terms.

But if you’ve followed my newsletter at all over the last 23 years – or you’re reading it today for the very first time — then now you know.

And if you SAY you want to create the life you really want…

If you SAY you want to have more freedom and flexibility in your life…

…but you take no steps to do it – then like Larry says, that makes you, well, stupid.

So what about you?

What’s one thing you SAY you want to do – but somehow never seem to act on?

What’s one thing you KNOW you need to change?

What needs to happen for you to not continue to be an “idiot”?

What kind of support do you need to get out of your own way?

What kinds of simple things can you do to get yourself moving?

For me, it’s the simple act of putting on my sneakers in the morning.

If I say I need to go for a walk, by brain hears, “That would be nice but why don’t you just have another cup of coffee and watch the news.”

But if I tell myself, “I’m just going to put on my sneakers,” then “I’m just going to step outside…”

That’s enough to get me out. Even if it’s just 20 minutes. I’m moving my body.

And that my change seeking friend, is what Larry – and I — would call smart!

Hop down to the comment box to post your answers

I’m sure Larry would agree.

The simple act of putting it in writing is itself a great first step to not being an idiot.

And if you need help getting going, then ask me and your fellow dreamers for what you need.

One thing we all need sometimes is a kick in the behind.

A few years ago I did a fun interview with Larry. I left “smarter” and more inspired to continue to take steps in the direction of my own dreams. I am confident it will do the same for you.

Click below to listen or download to your device. That way you can listen while you’re on your new exercise program!


More Don’t Miss Conferences

Last week you discovered how conferences are a fun and easy way to learn how to make money doing what you love from experts and people who are doing it.  

It’s also a place to: 

– scope out entrepreneurial opportunities 

– find potential clients/customers 

– find vendors

– meet potential joint venture partners

– or even a possible business  

Every year hundreds of thousands of conferences large and small happen all over the world – some even in your own backyard. 

Click here to learn about conferences for romance writers, beer lovers, early American history buffs, dog lovers, and bloggers.    

Here are six more don’t miss conferences — plus tips on how to find the right conference for you and your unique interests.  

2019 Will Be Here Before You Know It   

Larger conferences start advertising a year ahead. 

And 2019 will be here before you know it!  

After all, conferences happening in January open registration in the fall. 

This gives you time to: 

  • do some research about your new career path/business opportunity 
         
  • start saving for the registration fee and take full advantage of any early bird pricing 
          
  • get a credit card that gives you airline or hotel points 
           
  • and otherwise prepare to take maximum advantage of your conference experience 

Horses and Healing  

 

Love horses and serving others? You’re not alone!   

The Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association sprang out of the growing movement to use horses to help disabled children, veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress, and others to learn, heal, and grow. Their 2018 conference is over – but the agenda is still available. 

That way you can get an idea of what it’s all about and get on the mailing list so you’re ready for next year’s event.  

Furniture Making 

The Furniture Society conference happened earlier this year as well.  

But you can still view the agenda from the 2018 conference, to get a feel for what it’s all about. 

If you’re like me, you may be surprised by both the range of topics and how many speakers were women!  

Senior Movers  

As people age or become widowed they often look to downsize to smaller homes or over 55 communities.


Those who can no longer live on their own, will move to assisted living or nursing facilities.  

Packing up a lifetime of belongings is daunting at any age. All the more so for seniors and their adult children who may not live nearby. 

If you love organizing and enjoy working with seniors, you need to know about the growing field of helping seniors who willingly or reluctantly are facing relocation. 

The 2018 annual conference of the National Association of Senior Movers is over. Fortunately, you can purchase the conference recordings.  

That way you’ll be well prepared when you go to the 2019 event in San Diego. 

If you’re more curious than committed, for $59 you can purchase an overview of the specialty via a 45 minute webinar.

Beading 

Would you love to learn how to craft and sell exquisite glass beads? 

The International Society of Glass Bead Makers has regional chapters in the US and Canada as well as Italy, Germany, Turkey, and Australia. 

The site also offers books and other educational information including links to members and organizations that offer classes. 

The annual US conference is next April in Las Vegas. 

Or for a far more international experience, head to The Borneo International Bead conference 

How to Find the Right Conference for You 

The quickest way is to do a search for [your interest] and the word conference.  

If you don’t want to travel far, start by searching more locally either by state/province or region. 

It may take some digging.  

For instance, when I typed in New England organic farm conference I found an association with outdated event listings from 2012. 

Turns out though, that there is a Northeast Organic farmer

Once you reach any association site look for a link that says events.  

My own 2-minute search uncovered a fabulous conference happening six miles from my house! 

If nothing comes up, start looking specifically for associations. Then click on their event tab. 

With minimal effort you could find your tribe, gain valuable education and connections, and launch a whole new life doing what you love!  

Still Trying to Find Your Calling?

Since 1995 I’ve helped thousands of people go from confusion to clarity. 

If you’re still trying to find a way to connect the dots between what you love to do and how you can get paid to do it, schedule one of a limited number of Work at What You Love consultations today. 

To find out if a Work at What You Love consultation is right for you call 413-203-9754 eastern. 

Outside the US send an email to [email protected] with your Skype ID and I’ll get back to you with a meeting time. 

Whether you want to make an extra $500-$1,000 a month or replace your paycheck, it all begins with a great idea! 


9 Don’t Miss Conferences

Want a fun, easy way to learn how to make money doing what you love from people who are doing it? 

Every year literally hundreds of thousands of conferences large and small happen all over the world – some may even in your own backyard. 

I’ve put together a fun list of don’t miss conferences on a host of topics.

Obviously, not all of these conferences will speak to everyone.

But just knowing what’s out there serves as a powerful reminder that there are endless alternatives to having a job-job. 

And next week, I’ll tell you how to find the right conference for you and your unique interests.

Romance Writing 

A few years ago I delivered a keynote to some 3,000 attendees at the annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference

I met writers in genres I didn’t even know existed…There’s western romance, young adult, Christian, para-normal, historical, interracial — even Amish romance. 

Romance writers come from all walks of life. Some didn’t finish high school and others have PhDs. I met homemakers, physicians, even a former senior official in the White House! 

Next week’s annual RWA conference in happening in Denver. It features scores of educational sessions on everything from writing technique to period costumes to building a social media following. In addition to networking with highly successful published authors you also get to pitch your book to potential agents and publishers. 

RWA isn’t the only game in town. 

There are upcoming conferences around the world. 

Not quite ready to commit to an entire conference? 

Start by attending a meeting of your local RWA chapter

You’ll get to know published authors in your area and get a ton of information and support from people who genuinely want you to succeed.     

Dog Trainer 

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers convention this October in Memphis is also jam packed with educational sessions. 

(Once you go to the site, click on the conference brochure to see the full agenda.) 

If you’re not a professional dog trainer, this session called Do What You Love for a Living is for you!  

Here’s the description: 

Calling all long-term “weekend” dog trainers, hobbyists, and new trainers: 

If you fantasize about making a good living as a dog trainer, but instead find yourself training nights and weekends while working your “real job” Monday through Friday, this session is for you. 


If you’re a new trainer trying to figure out how to start and transition into a full-time dog training business, you’ll want to attend this one, too. 

Veronica and Gina of dogbiz (formerly dogtec) will show you how to turn your part-time or hobby business into your full-time career by building a personalized step-by-step transition plan. (Yes, it really is possible!) 

We’ll cover all the pesky paperwork you’ll need to get out of the way, too. (Don’t worry—it’s as easy as training a Border Collie to sit. Almost.) 

Find Your Tribe and Learn at the Same Time

Blogging, Pinterest, Podcasting 

There is no shortage of blogging conferences happening in the US, Canada, and the UK. 

And there’s something for everyone including  the Beer Bloggers conferencethe Wine Bloggers conference, the Women in Travel conference, and a conference for entrepreneurial Pinterest users    

In a few short weeks the largest conference for podcasters, Podcast Movement Conference, is happening in Philadelphia. 

One of this year’s keynotes is also my favorite radio show host (which is after all the original podcast) Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air. 

For a more general marketing-oriented conference for power bloggers check out the interestingly named Type A Parent conference

And if you also happen to be Latino, head to the annual Hispanicize conference is in Los Angeles this October. 

Hispanicize is the parent company of the Latina Mom Bloggers network, Being Latino, Hispanicize Wire, and the Hispanic PR Blog.

This massive 3-day event is billed as “the iconic, largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in journalism, blogging, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship.”

History and Ale Lovers 

Every year Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia offers conferences on a host of topics related to early American history and crafts.

The one that caught my eye was Ale Through the Ages happening October 19-21.

The organizers of this weekend of beer and history described the event as follows:

Beer is the oldest recorded recipe in the world. The ancient Egyptians first documented the brewing process on papyrus scrolls around 5,000 B.C. 

Then, beer eventually made its way from the Middle East across the Mediterranean to Europe, where it became an integral part of life and was valued both for its nutritional value and as a safe alternative to contaminated drinking water. 

Beer arrived in the New World with the first European colonists and Americans have been brewing ever since. 

Ales through the Ages offers a journey through the history of beer with some of the world’s top beer scholars. We will explore ancient ales and indigenous beers of the past, examine the origins of brewing and discover the ingredients brewers have used through time.

If you dream of opening your own micro-brewery…

Or you’d love to be the next “Indiana Jones of Beer” — this may be right up your alley!

Yes, most beer scholars have fancy degrees.

But there’s no reason why you can’t become a self-taught beer expert!

You could partner with area bars and restaurants to host events where guests sample different micro-beers while you delight them with fascinating stories about the history of beer.

Get Creative 

Tiny Houses and More

While not technically a conference, there are tiny house festivals happening all across the US.   

As with any conference, you want to go with an eye for entrepreneurial opportunities. 

What kinds of businesses are currently operating in this space?

What products or services do tiny house owners need?

You could teach people how to build their own tiny house.

Design tiny houses for companies looking to use them as marketing.  

Rent tiny houses to vacationers looking for a unique experience or rent land to people with tiny houses on wheels.

So, what other ways could you monetize a tiny structure? 

Maybe a unique meeting space for groups of 10-20? 

Add a second tiny house with full kitchen and dining area, another for massage or other spa treatments or a business center, add some lovely gardens and you’ve got yourself a tiny retreat center! 

Or, you could bring a tiny chapel to the happy couple.  

That’s what this retired pastor with a passion for tiny houses did.  

For $500 the minister will provide the chapel and officiate the wedding or re-commitment ceremony.

He charges less if the couple comes to him. 

Not all tiny chapels need to be on wheels. The concept could also work well as a permanent rental at a location popular for outdoor weddings. 

Click here to see the inside of one chapel for sale in Texas.

Still Trying to Find Your Calling?

Since 1995 I’ve helped thousands of people go from confusion to clarity. 

If you’re still trying to find a way to connect the dots between what you love to do and how you can get paid to do it, schedule one of a limited number of Work at What You Love consultations today. 

To find out if a Work at What You Love consultation is right for you call 413-203-9754 eastern. 

Outside the US send an email to [email protected] with your Skype ID and I’ll get back to you with a meeting time. 

Whether you want to make an extra $500-$1,000 a month, replace your entire paycheck, or grow an empire — it all begins with a great idea!   


Want to Live Your Dream? 5 Keys to Changing Course


Over my 23 years here at Changing Course, I’ve heard from a lot of people at various junctures along the road to right livelihood.

Some are at the very beginning… still trying to figure out which path is right for them.

Others have happily reached their destination.

Others are midway on their journey.

Regardless of where you are in the process, there are still some very specific steps you need to take to change course.

Here are five keys to get you started:

1. Set Big… and Small Goals

I know it sounds cliché, but if you’re really serious about taking control of your life, you need to set some goals.

Knowing that you want to change your life or work for yourself is a great start.

But expressing a desire is different from stating a goal.

In her Broadway show Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Lily Tomlin’s bag lady character remarks, “I always wanted to be somebody. I realize now I should have been more specific.”

Deciding you want to earn money by making and selling gift baskets is much more specific than saying you want to make money doing something creative. But even here you need to get more precise.

One of the best ways to move a goal along is to quantify it. Using our gift basket example, the key questions are:

  1. how much money do you want to make?
  2. by when?

You can always shoot higher, but for now let’s think in terms of generating $10,000 in gift basket sales.

From here you’d want to make your goal both real and reachable by breaking it down into smaller more manageable goals, like, for example, making and selling six gift baskets in 60 days.

Actually writing the date on your calendar will make it even more real.

2. Figure Out What It Will Take to Reach Your Goal – Then Start Doing It

Some years back I heard from a long-time subscriber named Joe.

Joe understood the importance of looking to others for inspiration.

But he also understood the value of not only hearing about people that have followed their dream and made it happen, but those whose dreams are in process.

The people, Joe described as, “currently traveling the pathway to a new career, setting goals for themselves, managing to keep their dream alive and staying focused on the goal of a new career.”

All the things this then 33-year-old software engineer from Maryland was doing.

But I’ll let Joe tell you about his plans – and progress – in his own words:

“A year and a half ago I started reading a lot of real estate investing books. I wanted to get into the medical field as a Physical Therapist and needed a way to supplement my income. I took classes and soaked up all of the real estate knowledge I could get.”

“I worked with advisors until I landed my first deal. It was a rehab house, and after I repaired it I made $28,000 profit for an endeavor I spent five months on part-time. I was thrilled. I took this money and used it to help purchase a rental property and another rehab which I am now selling.

I set goals for myself. My big goal is a career change at five years. Presently I have four years left. I plan on generating enough income to cover all of my expenses. I also have smaller goals.

At the two-year mark I plan to make $1,000 net cash flow per month. At three years I plan to make $2,000 net cash flow per month. This will allow me to pursue Physical Therapy without worrying about money! I have volunteered in two hospitals and determined that this is where I belong.”

“This is my journey. It’s hard to wake up every morning and go to my current job. However, I now see an end in sight. I know that in a few years I will be enjoying helping people every day. And when that day comes, it will be a dream come true.”

Some of you are probably saying, “Five years! I can’t wait that long.”

You don’t have to.

Joe’s goal is very specific – to generate enough money from real estate to be able to fully support him during his schooling.

Depending on your goals, your financial situation, your level of commitment, and the amount of time you’re willing to invest, you can certainly change course in far less time.

Whether you want to be living your new life in five years or in five months, the point is to set a goal, quantify it, and then, one day at a time.

Then take the small action steps required to make your goal happen.

3. Live Life Now

 

Shooting for a future goal is great.

But I also received a deeply moving email that reminded me of the importance of also remembering to live life fully in the moment.

Pam wrote to thank me for inspiring her partner Bruce, a man I never met but who I apparently encouraged to live his dream.

Pam has generously allowed me to share her and Bruce’s story with you.

She told me that before he was killed instantly in a traffic accident, Bruce was living his dream.

He’d been a computer consultant who, explained Pam, was tired of the cubicle life.

“Although he made a boatload of money doing it, he realized that there was more out there to do. He always wanted to do something purposeful with his life, and didn’t see that the programs he wrote made much of an impact.”

Pam went on to say that she and Bruce lived together for two very wonderful years…

“…living our dream. We both left the corporate grind, had opened our own business as massage therapists. Bruce was a wonderful man. He had healed so much in his life and many times said, ‘If I’m to be the kind of spiritual man I wish to be, then I need to work on this.’ He was making a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. I’m so very grateful for every moment that we shared. We were blessed to have many friends. And I plan to continue our dream.”

Although I never had the privilege of meeting Bruce, he sounds like a truly remarkable human being and one who will be missed by many.

And how wonderful that while Bruce was among us, he was living his dream.

Pam’s strength, her gratitude in the face of unspeakable grief and her resolve to continue to live their dream is inspiring indeed.

When we think about goals, we tend to think about achieving some future result.

And yet as John Lennon once observed, “Life is what’s happening when you’re making other plans.”

Bruce’s story serves as an important reminder that even while you strive to reach your future goals, you must live life now and with as few regrets as possible.

4. Break a Rule

Sometimes changing course can begin with the simple act of shaking up your normal routine.

Take Barbara, a former coworker of mine from my corporate days.

Most people spend their Saturday mornings in a frenzy of house cleaning and errands.

Barbara does this stuff too but not until after she’s indulged herself by crawling back into bed with a cup of coffee and watching a suspense movie.

Spending your Saturday morning watching a movie may not be your cup of tea, but surely there is some small fun thing you can do to shake things up.

  • If you tend to read self-help books, try a romance or a suspense novel
  • Walk your dog in a totally new place or drive a different way to work
  • Visit your local historic society or museum
  • On the first day of each month have ice cream for breakfast
  • Go to the movies on a weeknight

Experiencing small changes can make the bigger ones seem more doable.

5. Use the One Step a Day Approach

When I was desperately trying to get myself out of corporate America, I promised myself that I would not go to bed at night until I had taken at least one small step toward my goal. It doesn’t have to be a big step.

For example, I knew that at least in the short term, leaving my job-job would mean I’d be earning less money.

So one day I brainstormed a list of ways to supplement my income.

At the time I had a finished basement with a bath.

Mind you this was decades before Airbnb or VRBO or other short-term stay options were even a thing.

My idea was to rent out the space to a commuting grad student who needed a place to stay during the week.

Ideas only work with action.

So, the next day I stopped by the hardware store to see what I could find out about sound proof ceiling tiles.

The following day I looked up the Web site for the housing office at the local college, and so on.

Not only do small steps add up, but just as important is the sense of momentum you’ll gain. And once you get started on a dream, it’s hard to stop!

“The big break for me,” said Jon Stewart of the Daily Show, “was deciding that this is my life.”

Since this is indeed YOUR life, let this be the year you start making your dreams happen.

Speaking of making dreams happen…

That’s also the name of an amazing workshop I did with career and self-employment guru’s Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter.

Never before, or since, have the three of us been in one place offering our very best strategies to help you discover and then create the life you really want.

For a limited time, you can get a recording of the entire 4-day Making Dreams Happen workshop for $25 off the regular price.

Click here and then enter code MDHyes at check out to receive your discount.


Valerie is the founder and Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com where she’s been showing people how to make a living without a job since 1995. The Changing Course newsletter is read by over 20,000 change seekers around the world. She has trained and licensed over 350 people from 19 countries to show aspiring self-bossers how to turn their interests into income.

Her career-related advice has been cited around the world including BBC radio, Yahoo Financial News, CNN Money, Wall Street Journal, USA Weekend, Inc., Kiplinger’s, O magazine, Entrepreneur, Science, Elle, Redbook, Woman’s Day, The Chicago Tribune, and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Valerie is also an internationally recognized expert on impostor syndrome. She’s spoken to such diverse organizations as Boeing, Facebook, BP, Intel, Chrysler, Apple, IBM, Merck, Ernst & Young, Procter & Gamble, the Space Telescope Science Institute, American Women in Radio and Television, Society of Women Engineers, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, and many others.

Valerie’s books include It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Calling and Being Realistic is Killing Your Dream (Changing Course Publications) and her award-winning book The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer From Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive In Spite of It (Crown/Random House) is now available in five languages.


Survey Uncovers Our Biggest Regrets – This One May Surprise You

Regrets are an inevitable part of life. Fortunately, not all regrets are created equal.

Some regrets are minor.

You regret buying those too tight shoes just because they were on sale….

Or picking up the phone as you were trying to leave the office….

Or ordering the fish when everyone in your party is raving about the pasta.

The good news?

Regrets like these (often referred to as “First World problems”) are ones we can learn from and hopefully, minimize the chance of repeating.

Utmost regrets, on the other hand, are more problematic because the consequences are so much bigger.

Utmost regrets, are also more difficult – and sadly, sometimes even impossible to reverse.

I’m referring to the kinds of things you’d absolutely hate to know would one day be etched on your headstone.

Vivian could have been a great writer, if she’d tried.

Sam could have changed a lot of lives, if he’d had the courage to act on his idea.

Ordering the fish is one thing. Bailing on your dream of helping unadoptable kids or entering a writing contest is quite another.

Elizabeth Berg learned a lot about dreams. However, she learned even more about regrets while working as a nurse with terminally ill people.

In an article titled, Dreams Are Not Enough, the award-winning novelist wrote movingly about how not pursuing our dreams may be the riskiest move of all.

It is a lesson she learned from those whose time had almost run out.

Those dying people I cared for believed, as most of us do, that they would have time for everything. So they put things off… Then suddenly their days were almost gone.

They were out of the time they thought they would have forever. And while I bathed them, they stared out the window and talked about what they had missed.

They might say, ‘I always wanted to see Hawaii, but… I don’t know. I never did.’

The sense of regret was so strong that we both ached.

I wanted to lift those people up out of bed, put them in a wheelchair, and take them to the airport. ‘Hawaii, please,’ I wanted to tell the ticket agent.

Everyone has dreams, sadly far too often they get put on hold.

Asking, and then answering her own question, Berg writes:

“What happens to our dreams? They die of lack of nourishment, that’s what. ‘Later,’ we say, and when we turn around, they’re gone.”

The Worry Factor

According to many of the 1,200 elders who took part in Cornell University’s Legacy Project, there is a powerful link between regret about the past and worry in the present.

When asked what they most regret when they look back on their lives, the answer most often given was they wished they hadn’t worried so much.

The way 102-year-old Eleanor sees it,

You just can’t go on worrying all the time because it destroys you and your life, really…. You have to put it out of your mind as much as you can at the time. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if possible, but you can’t always do that because things don’t always happen the way you were hoping. So the most important thing is one day at a time.

And 87-year-old James Huang agrees…

Why? I ask myself. What possible difference did it make that I kept my mind on every little thing that might go wrong? When I realized that it made no difference at all, I experienced a freedom that’s hard to describe.

The thing that takes a lot of people by surprise is this.

We waste our lives worrying about the “unknown risks” that change can bring, when in reality we should be more scared of the known risk of spending the rest of lives in the same place we are today.

If we fail to at least try to create the life we really want, we risk making good on Benjamin Disraeli’s often quoted prediction that “most people die with their music still locked up inside them.”

The sudden loss of my mother at just 61 totally changed how I viewed time (we can choose how we use it)… money (things work out)… and life (it’s all too short).

I won’t lie.

Walking away from a good job with good benefits was – and still is – not without risk.

Yet I knew that the real risk was looking back at my life and saying, “I was miserable, but at least I had a good dental plan.”

What Will You Most Regret?

Take a moment now to choose the THREE things you would most regret not doing in your lifetime.

Now name one small thing you can do today – not tomorrow, not next week or next year, but today – to help prevent this utmost regret from occurring.

I first posed this question three years ago. And was moved by some of the responses I received.

Like Sandra who wrote:

I’m tired of my lack of pursuing my dreams. Procrastinating! Love to write songs, and wanting to write plays. The 9-to-5 for 25 years is coming to an end. The children are grown with their own families no more excuses. Time to get busy. Age not a limit.

Or Pat…

No regrets here, I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 so I live life one day at a time and enjoy every minute of each day. I applied for a patent for my design am waiting for the approved patent to get the product on the market.

Sandi spoke about the fear…and excitement of changing course.

I actually just left a soul-sucking job with good benefits and am in transition to living a life of my own design. My biggest fear was that I would lose disability insurance coverage (I’m not as afraid of dying as I am of surviving and being unable to take care of myself) — but I realized that staying in the stressful job was more than likely going to ensure that I would indeed become disabled at some point from all the stress-induced illness that are so common when we are unhappy and unfulfilled.

So…. I was staying in a job that would most likely either kill or disable me — just so that I could have life and disability insurance??? That’s nuts! Once I figured out that it was a no-win situation, I pulled the plug on that sick logic and took the leap into my new adventure. SO exciting to know that whatever happens, at least I made the choice from freedom instead of fear.

Marsha shared a similar experience…

Staying in my old administrative job for as long as I did is my utmost regret. In March 2014 I quit that soul-sucking job without really knowing what I would do instead. I just knew that I couldn’t stick it out for 10 more years – the time it would take to retire with health benefits – in a job that was so out of alignment with my values. Staying in that job for 13 years seemed to have drained the passion I’d had for anything. I’m finally on to something and taking baby steps toward it.

Your turn…

What are the THREE things you would most regret not doing in your lifetime?

What’s one small thing you can do today – not tomorrow, not next week or next year, but today – to help prevent this utmost regret from occurring?

Can’t wait to hear from you!

P.S. If one of your three biggest regrets would be to spend the rest of your life in a soul-sucking job… I’d like to help.

I just created a version of my popular Work at What You Love workshop that’s immediately accessible (and ridiculously affordable).

If you want to find your calling and a way to make money doing it, I invite you to become a part of the growing community of inspired change seekers.

Then, when you go to bed tonight, try not worrying about what will happen if you fail.

Instead, worry about what you have to lose by not ever trying.


The 7 Fears Keeping You From What You Want


Fear often stands between us and our ability to make decisions, take actions, ask for what we want—even to know what we really want. It is the gatekeeper of our comfort zone.

But as poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.”

Below are 7 fears that stand between you and your dream of following your own road.

As you go through the list, think about your own concerns about changing course from having a boss to being your boss.

You may experience them all.

But since not all fears are equal, take a moment to rank order each from 1-7 with 1 being the number one fear that’s holding you back.

1. Fear of being judged. Needing approval from family or peers can keep us from going after dreams and goals. And the people who love you the most are the least likely people to support your dream of doing your own thing.

2. Fear of rejection. We worry that no one will like our art or read our novel or want us to coach them. When in fact, rejection just means that someone else has a different opinion.

3. Fear of embarrassment. What if your first talk flops? Or no one comes to your gallery showing? Making mistakes publicly is awful only when we let ourselves feel ashamed.

4. Fear of being alone/abandoned. It’s a lot easier to change course when your spouse or partner has you back. A strong sense of self-worth and what we can offer the world reduces this fear.

5. Fear of failure. A biggie for most of us and born of the notion that it’s not OK to fail, learn from what happened, and try again.

6. Fear of success. More responsibility, more attention, pressure to perform can be frightening when we don’t believe in ourselves.

7. Fear of the unknown. The number one reason people stay in miserable jobs or relationships or locations that they really could leave is simple — fear of the unknown.

At least you know your crappy job or area.

What if you can’t make enough money from your idea?

What if you don’t really like living in Belize or Paris or on an island off the coast of Maine?

Or what if you find out you don’t really want to run a little bookstore in a village in England or be a life coach or any other dream you’d had forever…
The unknown can be exciting and vast if we shift our fear to curiosity.

More importantly, as Tom Peters said, “Unless you walk out into the unknown, the odds of making a profound difference in your life are pretty low.”
If you want to make a profound difference in your life… I’d like to help.

I recently found a way to turn my popular Work at What You Love workshop into a class you can take whenever you want,
The workshop is divided into four parts:

  1. Get clear
  2. Get paid
  3. Get unstuck
  4. Get a plan


I mention this because the Get Unstuck section includes still more reasons why people fail to pursue their dreams. Reasons that go beyond fear.
Things like…

  • procrastination
  • self- doubt/lack of confidence
  • perfectionism
  • lack of support/other people’s skepticism or negativity
  • finding the time
  • money
  • lack of sales or marketing experience/know-how
  • the willingness to make the sacrifices or investments of even limited amounts of time/money required to create the life described when you got clear.

Sound familiar?


If so, I just opened the doors to the new Work at What You Love On Demand Workshop.

If you’ve been letting fear – or any of these other challenges – stand between you and the life you really want…

And, if you want to discover what you love to do and how to make money doing it… then I invite you to sign on now.

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications


4 Simple Steps to Work at What You Love


Years ago Studs Terkel traveled the country conducting interviews for his book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do.

Among them was a worker named Nora Watson who said, something I never forgot…

“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.”

I think the same can be said for our dreams.

Most people have dreams that are too small for their spirit.

Perhaps you do too.

Not long ago I told you about someone who started out as a workshop participant and soon became a friend.

Her name is Dyan deNapoli.

And her inspiring story serves as a guide to how you too can do work that pays the bills… and feeds your soul

1) Return to your childhood

Dyan’s big dream began as a child with a family vacation to Sea World where she was fascinated with the people who trained and cared for the animals.

Decades later she decided to pursue her childhood dream to find a way that she too could work with marine life.

So the then 32-year-old self-employed silversmith returned to college for a degree in animal science.

Following back-to-back stints as an intern and volunteer at the New England Aquarium in Boston Dyan was hired to be the Senior Penguin Aquarist.

Among the many highlights of her career was participating in the rescue of 40,000 penguins at risk from a massive oil spill off the coast of South Africa.

Then sadly, Dyan’s mom died.

My own mother died unexpectedly at just 61 years old. So, I know first-hand how wake-up calls can cause us to re-evaluate our lives.

After nine years at her job, Dyan had already begun to feel restless. And losing her mother just accelerated the desire for change.

She was still passionate about protecting wildlife – particularly penguins.

But now Dyan longed for the freedom and flexibility she’d enjoyed when she worked for herself.

But how on earth do you become a self-employed penguin expert???

That was the question Dyan brought to the 2007 Work at What You Love workshop in Northampton, Massachusetts.

There, among some 125 other change seekers, is where the idea to offer interactive educational programs at local libraries, senior centers, schools, and civic organizations was hatched.

2) Talk less, do more

Most people talk about their dreams… they endlessly research and plan and tweak and perfect.

But they never begin.

Not Dyan.

A mere three months later Dyan became “the Penguin Lady” and was already booked to deliver the first of what would be many local – and paid – talks.

I was so impressed I invited her back to next year’s Work at What You Love workshop to share her progress.

I loved hearing how Dyan had found a way to make money without a job-job.

But it was also clear that she’d only scratched the surface of what was possible.

I told Dyan if she really wanted to help save the penguins, she should think nationally – and even internationally.

Something I said must have clicked — because the next day Dyan stood up and announced her next big goal:

To be the onboard penguin expert on a nature cruise to the Galapagos Islands.

Within three months Dyan had collaborated with a local travel agent to be the penguin expert on a 10-day cruise to the Galapagos!

A few months later CNN came calling to interview her about a mass penguin stranding off of Brazil.

Then just a year after the Galapagos cruise she was tapped to be the on-board penguin educator on a cruise to Antarctica.

And remember that South African oil spill rescue operation Dyan worked on?

She signed a six-figure contract with Simon & Schuster to write about it – which became her award-winning book The Great Penguin Rescue.

Since then, Dyan’s dream, adventures, and income have all grown in ways she could have never imagined including…

  • traveling to Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, and South Africa to work with, teach about, and observe penguins in the wild
  • appearing as an expert on numerous television and radio shows, including CNN and BBC Radio
  • Delivering not one but four – count ‘em – FOUR – TEDx talks!
  • Being selected to be one of 76 women scientists from around the world to take part in a leadership training program aboard a cruise ship in Antarctica
    In fact, as you read this, Dyan just left for her next big adventure as an expert guide on the prestigious National Geographic’s Antarctica expedition!

How cool is that?!

3) Ask the question – “Why not me?”

Do people tell your dream is “unrealistic”?

The first time Dyan heard it was when she decided to earn the science degree she needed to pursue her childhood dream.

Math and science were not her strengths.

All the more reason, Dyan said, “I had to believe in myself and ignore the people who kept telling me, ‘There’s too much competition,’ or, ‘It’s too hard.’”

But Dyan kept telling herself, “Someone is going to get that cool job—it might as well be me.”

Think about it…

  • Why Suze Orman, Mia Lin, or the sibling stars of The Property Brothers and not you?
  • Why Rachel Ray, Mary Kay Ash, or Vera Wang and not you?
  • Why Anita Roddick, Damon John, Amy Tan and not you?
  • Why Margaret Mead, Tyler Perry, or Toni Morrison and not you?
  • Why Louise Hay, Jane Goodall, Richard Branson, Annie Leibovitz and not you?

Not one of these accomplished men or women are or were inherently smarter, better, luckier, or more amazing than you are.

True, they acquired certain knowledge, skills, and experience.

But the operative word here is acquired.

An improbable television phenomenon like Julia Child did not come out of the womb being “Julia Child,” cooking legend.

She became Julia Child – and at 49-years-old at that.

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s turning point came when a friend told her that “the way to be taken seriously is to take yourself seriously,”

You can have a big dream without becoming a household name or making millions.

In fact, sometimes shooting higher involves the bold decision to live a smaller, slower, but ultimately more content life.

It takes just as much courage, if not more, to walk away from what everyone else considers a “dream job” to follow your own road. Just ask Dyan.

Today, the self-employed penguin expert lives and works on her own terms.

Best of all, she’s making a living and making a difference.

4) Dream big

Deep down maybe you’ve always wanted to study tile making in Greece or shamanism in Ecuador or wine making in Napa.

Or maybe you’d like to have your own TV show… open a board game café… run yoga retreats in Bali… or help disadvantaged youth become entrepreneurs.

For the record, not every dream has to be work related.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to hike the Camino trail… or interview octogenarians in your community… or go fly fishing in Alaska… or learn sign language.

I know it sounds cliché to say, but you really can do anything you put your mind to.

It takes not one ounce of energy more to dream big than it does to settle.

And you’ve got a lot more to gain by shooting high than by shooting low.

Do you want work that feeds your soul and pays the bills like Dyan did? If so, I’d like to help.

Next week I’m opening up my NEW Work at What You Love On Demand Workshop.

This is your chance to…

  • Discover your long buried gifts and interests – the things that make you truly happy
  • See how having multiple interests actually position you to enjoy the benefits of multiple streams of income
  • Quickly spot ways you can turn your interests into income
  • Find the money, time, courage, and support to act on your dream
  • Take steps to live and work on your own terms
  • Ask me anything!

I’ll be in touch with more details about the on-demand workshop shortly.

But first, would you take 30 seconds to help me?

I want to make this the best Work at What You Love experience EVER

Would you be so kind as to click here now and answer a few super quick questions…   

Thank you in advance. I’m truly grateful for your willingness to help me to best help YOU!


Changing Course “Work at What You Love” On Demand Workshop Survey

I’m so grateful for your willingness to answer these three super quick questions.

With your help, we can make this the BEST Work at What You Love experience ever!



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Take the Purpose Quiz

Thomas Carlyle wrote, “The person without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder.”

Considering Carlyle was a philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, translator, historian, mathematician, and teacher – I’d say he had lots of rudders!

What about you?

Do you love what you do for a living?

Do you look forward to going to work every day or do you grudgingly show up in order to pay the bills?

Do you work past quitting time because it’s expected or because you’re “into it” and lose track of time?

The luckiest people in the world are the ones who’ve 1) found a calling – or like Carlyle – maybe lots of different callings and 2) who have freedom.

In other words, people who live their life “on purpose.”

I spent seven years waking up at 5:30 am to make a 90-mile-a-day commute to my corporate job.

It was a great company and I worked with great people. I even liked my manager – a lot.

There were just a few things missing.

These missing elements would become the tagline for the Changing Course newsletter…

Live life on purpose
Work at what you love
Follow your own road

That was in 1995.

Just four years later the Lutheran Brotherhood commissioned a study consisting of a single question…

What would you ask a god or supreme being if you could get a direct and immediate answer?

The third most often thing people wanted to know was, “Why do bad things happen?”

Second was, “Will I have life after death?”

The most frequently asked question American’s (and I’d venture to guess most people) want the answer to is…

“What’s my purpose here?”

Perhaps you’ve wondered the same thing?

Take the Purpose Quiz

If so, this Purpose Quiz can help you determine the extent you’re living a purposeful life right now.

As you’ll soon discover, purpose goes beyond what you do for work.

True or False:

  1. When I get up in the morning I look forward to the day ahead, whether it’s a work day or my day off.
  2. I love the work I do — any external reward I receive I consider “the icing on the cake.”
  3. My work makes me feel rewarded and motivated rather than drained and exhausted.
  4. When I have spare time I participate in activities that I’m passionate about, and those activities reflect my purpose.
  5. I know what my greatest talents and strengths are, and I apply those attributes to my work in some capacity every day.
  6. I know I’m living my true purpose when others notice and compliment me on my abilities.
  7. My life, personal and professional, reflects and is in alignment with my core values.
  8. I consistently base my decisions on my beliefs, not on the expectations of others, and, overall, I’m happy with the outcomes.
  9. If money were not an issue I wouldn’t change much of what I do and how I do it.
  10. My work environment is supportive of my personality and talents and allows me to not only show up as my true self, but to perform at my optimal level.
  11. When my work environment fails to provide me with opportunities to utilize my unique abilities, I look to make a positive change.
  12. The good (and great days) at work far outweigh the occasional “bad” days.
  13. The work I do is mostly enjoyable.
  14. By fulfilling my own dreams and desires, I am making a positive contribution to the world as a whole.
  15. Determining one’s life purpose can take a long time, but I’m confident that, even when I question what my purpose is, I know that I have one.

Sadly, most people answer false to many of these questions.

If you did too, then it may be time to look for ways to live a more purposeful life.

You don’t have to quit your job tomorrow.

After all, purpose can be as much about how you do things (with love, attention, passion and focus for example) as it is about what you’re doing.

That said — if the work you do is out of alignment with your core values… if you come home depleted by your job… or worse, you are utterly miserable… then a major work-life change is in order.

Thomas Edison saw purpose in highly practical terms, writing:

“The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”

I’d add to that, “thinking” about changing course is not doing either.

Eleanor Roosevelt, said “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.

Are You Ready to Make This the Year You Finally Change Course?

It’s been two years now since I’ve led my workshop on how to live and work on your own terms.

It’s called…

“Work @ What You Love”


A Powerful Virtual Workshop

  • Discover your calling… so you can have the life you were meant to live
  • Learn the powerful secrets for how to get paid to do what you love – even if you’re a “scanner”
  • Step out of your routine and into your wildest dreams where you can get a new perspective on where you want to be this time next year
  • Learn from someone who built two six-figure businesses working from home what it really takes to live life on your own terms
  • Burst into Monday recharged, with the action plan you need to create the more balanced and rewarding lifestyle you’ve only dreamed of
  • Get LIVE 1-1 coaching from me!

I’m still making some important change to the upcoming workshop. 

My #1 goal is to make it the most accessible, affordable, and powerful Work at What You Love workshop EVER!  

I should have all the details in a week or two.

Until then — do you want to save even more? 

Just add your name now to the Early Bird Notification List.

Life is short my friend. And the first step is for you to decide to live your life on purpose starting today!

Want to share the Purpose Quiz with others? Use the buttons below!

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications


6 Simple Steps to Grow Your Dream

The late British gardening author Mirabel Osler wrote,

“There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.”

Not everyone smiles at the same work.

Personally, I discovered long ago that I like the “idea” of gardening a lot more than doing gardening.

What makes me smile is brainstorming or delivering a talk to hundreds or even thousands of people.

For you it could be photography… turning chaos into order… or making pancake art (yes there is such a thing!).

One person’s chore is another person’s joy.

I met a woman who loved cleaning refrigerators so much she wanted to start a business doing it for others!

Gardening may or may not be your thing.

But the process of growing a garden does offer valuable lessons you can use to change course to be your own boss.

1) Wanting it with all your heart

The first step to changing course is desire.

I’m not talking about wishing or hoping.

I’m talking about a deep longing to change the course of not just your work but your life.

The kind of longing where you’re done complaining about your barren landscape and gazing enviously at other people’s garden — and you’re ready to dig in to create your own.

A longing so powerful it makes you turn off the TV or tune out of Facebook (or both) because you know there’s not a moment to waste.

2) Tend the soil

There are many ways to prepare for change.

Regular doses of inspiration help. After all, there is no better proof that you can make money doing what you love than the people who are doing it.

If you’ve never been self-employed, subscribe to Entrepreneur magazine as well as to interest-specific publications like The Chicken Whisperer, Model Railroader, or Art Doll.

Watch television shows like Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den as the original show is known in Canada.

Follow other knitters or tiny house builders or stamp collectors on Instagram.

Mostly though, the way to tend the soil is to make frequent trips to the well of knowledge and information.

Soak up everything you can about starting a bed and breakfast, being a consultant, owning alpacas, getting paid to write or travel or create art… or whatever it is you want to do.

3) Plant the tiniest of seeds

Even the biggest plants began as tiny seeds. And so it is with dreams.

Every major enterprise began with super small steps like… call Fred.

If you already know what you want to do, then use what you learned in step 2 to start taking small targeted steps to get there.

Buy video editing software, call your department of health about home-based food business regulations, go to local estate sales.

If you haven’t the foggiest notion of what makes you smile, then plant lots of different seeds.

After all, the only way to get an idea of what excites you is to experiment.

Read a book, take a class, talk to a stranger about their work… cast lots of random seeds out into the world and see what takes.

You may be surprised at what pops up!

4) Keep the weeds down

It’s not always possible to actually “weed” people out of your life (you know how fussy loved ones can be when you disown them).

You can, though, use selective sharing to mentally root out the voices of those who poo-poo your dreams.

Instead, reserve these conversations for people who understand and support your desire to change course.

Sometimes weeds come in the form of bad advice from ill-informed people.

Despite never being self-employed a day in their life, too many people are all too happy to tell you why your idea will never work.

If you don’t want to spend your life in the weeds along with them, then you need to find a way to counteract this kind of negativity and bad advice.

A simple start is to picture yourself in your future life.

Then remind yourself of what you should really be afraid of…

Namely, looking back at your life and knowing you allowed your dream to die on the vine from neglect or willingness to give up too soon.

5) Practice patience

Sufficient desire to make a change — check.

Soil tended, seeds planted, weeding done — check, check, check.

Now all you need to do is scream at your garden, “Grow, damn it!”

Silly right?

You can’t rush your dreams any more than you can rush a garden.

Some of the seeds you planted simply won’t take.

You can get discouraged about that if you want.

Or you can consider that those particular seeds weren’t meant to grow and then plant some different ones.

Other seeds seem to take forever to sprout and even longer to bloom.

Sometimes things happen so slowly you think nothing is happening at all.

During the first few years of my own business, I had days when I was so discouraged I wanted to “throw in the trowel.”

But I didn’t.

And neither should you because that’s usually the time when you wake up to find your first magnificent bloom.

The day you wake up and discover the life you dreamed of is the life you’re living.

So hang in there.

Patiently nurture those tender shoots and your field of dreams will grow.

6) Enjoy the Journey

As Osler observed, it’s the ongoing work of gardening that brings the joy.

You can’t just plant a garden and be done with it.

It’s like saying, “Well, I finished growing as a person now. What’s next?”

Rather, gardening is about coming up with ways to make the garden more interesting or fun or diverse.

It’s about redesigning the garden to come up with new ways to add value to all those it serves.

Mirabel Osler’s name comes up again and again in the world of gardening writers. So I decided to do a little digging myself.

As I read Stefanie Hargreaves review of Osler’s book, A Breath from Elsewhere, I could not help but think of its application to the process of changing course:

“Osler’s argument – to break the golden rules, follow your instincts, and create the garden that you desire… effectively [draws] the reader further down the path towards the garden as refuge – a place perfectly suited for ‘inspiration or freedom, for discovery or surrender.'”


A Letter from a Fellow Traveler on the Road to Changing Course

It’s hard to believe it’s been 23 years since I ditched my 90-mile-a-day commute to become the Dreamer in Residence here at Changing Course.

In that time I’ve received scores of letters from change seekers just like you.

Some had recently taken the leap to being their own boss and wanted to share the good news.

Others, like the woman you’re about to meet, were just starting the journey.

I found Jody’s letter while I was cleaning out old files.

Her story once again brought me to tears.

Dear Valerie,
 
I have felt driven to write to you all day today, to tell you how finding your web site has changed my life.
 
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Jody and I am from the Detroit area. I am a forty-eight year old grandmother of three, and someone who has spent the past twenty years of her life not having a life.
 
Being a retail manager in a 24-hour store for years meant not only working long shifts or undesirable shifts, but every shift. It meant being robbed at gun-point twice, being spit on, insulted, spoken down to, and just generally abused on a daily basis. It also required being open for every holiday, missing family weddings, graduations, anniversaries; you name it. Sobbing in my car to and from work had become the norm. All the while, I did this while raising four sons alone in Detroit.
 
Fortunately, my sons grew up and moved out; I paid off my house and the company closed down my store; all in that order. I did not know what to do, so I went back to college.
 
College has been a wonderful experience! It is stimulating and has built my self-esteem, both of which are things I was in great need of. Every word they say to you however is specifically directed at landing you in a corporate office somewhere. That is the last place I want to be!
 
To continue, I ran across your site quite by accident two weeks ago. I did not pay it much attention at first and thought it was just another one of those, “Buy my book and you’ll be rich”, scams. Something made me keep going back and reading more. You see, I have been telling myself for all these years that I do not know how to do anything except pump gas, sell candy bars, and write “A” papers at school. (Who really cares about that except me?) Nevertheless, I read on.
 
Something strange started to happen. I became excited! It had been so long since I had been excited about much of anything, that it was a little scary. I was reminded of the times when I used to do things I loved, and proved that I was also very good at. Writing has always been a passion of mine. The back of my closet holds volumes of books and children’s stories which have only been passed around to my family and neighbors.
 
I continually find myself editing letters and reports for people, tweaking their resumes, and all on my own time and without compensation. I also thought back to all of the years I was the neighborhood pet-sitter for vacations and what-have-you, and again, all for free. I had thought of two things which I could be good at and love doing! Suddenly I thought of myself, “wow”!
 
Since then, I have been like the “Energizer Bunny”; going non-stop. I have read everything I can get my hands on. I have decided to pursue both of my ideas.
 
As for pet-sitting, I have already checked into and received the forms for licensing, registered for a certification class, and also for a pet first aid course. At this time I am researching domain names, business forms, and professional organizations to join.
 
While in class on Saturday, I mentioned my idea to the class, and had four people ask me if I was serious, and if so, they were in need of my services. Three people have offered to give me paying jobs this week alone, although I have not yet begun to open a business.
 
It has been very uplifting, and through this endeavor I am fortunate to have received compliments, which otherwise I may have never known. Compliments from fellow students and my professor about how I am thought of as trustworthy and responsible because of my academic demeanor.
 
Finally, I would like to say that even if this idea does not pan out in the end, something else will. Running across your site was the kick in the pants I needed. I suppose someone else needed to remind me that I’m still in here somewhere. Just the motivation to remember myself for the past two weeks has been a huge thrill. Thanks a million for the boost and the support!
 
Regards,
 
Jody
 
P.S. I believe that it is no small accident that the same day I found your site, I had just read an article by Dr. Phil McGraw concerning the difference between living your “authentic” life and living your “fictional” life.

What You Can Learn From Jody

It’s been nine years since Jody sent her letter.

And I’m as moved by her story now as I was then.

Her’s is a wonderful reminder that, as George Elliot wrote, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”

True, it took Jody 48 years to realize it really is possible to live and work on your own terms.

Still, it’s a lesson that so many others trapped in low-wage, low satisfaction jobs never learn.

And “learn” truly is the operative word here.

So many people throw up their hands claiming they can’t move ahead because, “I don’t know how.”

Instead Jody rolled up her sleeves and did her homework.

She put her dream out there and the universe rewarded Jody with encouragement — and very likely, her first customers.

Most importantly, Jody took A-C-T-I-O-N.

I wish I could tell you Jody’s launched her businesses and lived happily ever after.

The fact is, I don’t know what happened next.

And that made me a little teary.

Because there are only two ways this story ends.

The optimist in me hopes a very determined Jody took the next step and the next and the next… and is now blissfully self-employed.

But after 22 years in this business, I also know how easy dreams can get derailed.

6 Reasons Dreams Fail

1) You got side-tracked by the next cool idea.

2) You hit a road bump and lost faith… and confidence.

3) Worse, you never had the confidence to begin in the first place.

4) You’re surrounded by people who say you need to be”realistic.”

5) You expected overnight success and when that didn’t happen… you gave up.

6) You love so many things that you can’t pick one. Which makes you what my friend, Barbara Sher, calls a scanner.

The reason all of these dream killers make me cry is because they are SO freakin’ avoidable!

So I’m considering putting something together to help make sure you and all the Jody’s of the world don’t get stuck.

I haven’t put all the pieces together in my head…

But it will definitely be online so no one has to travel.

I may make it free (still noodling that one in my head) or at least super affordable.

But before I put too much work into creating something, I really need to get a handle on where YOU are in the changing course journey.

In other words are you:

1) Still trying to figure out what you love to do

2) Know what you love to do — but don’t know how to make money doing it

3) Have a great idea but don’t know where to begin

4) Other…

Tell me which number best describes where you’re at in the comment section below, or email me at [email protected].

If I get enough interest, then I’ll move to phase 2… making a plan.

And if Jody from Lincoln Park, Michigan is out there…

Your fellow travelers and I would love to know how you’re doing on the road to changing course!

Join the Conversation!

Let me know where YOU are in the changing course journey by commenting below.


3 Fab New Biz Ideas You Can Steal

I’ve been on a bit of a yoga kick these days.

If you caught the last two newsletters, you know I’ve been using examples of yoga related businesses as a way to get your own creative juices going.

And I’m going to do it one last time.

It’s worth repeating…

This is NOT an article about starting a yoga business.

Instead, I’m going to do the same thing I did in Part 1 and Part 2.

Namely… I’m going to show you three more examples and ways you can “steal” what makes these businesses successful in order to jumpstart your own!

Idea #1 Organize a conference

If you’re good at throwing a party or planning a move, then you can organize a conference.

Conferences or training events can be highly profitable.

Of course, one source of revenue is the registration fees.

Fees are all over the map. I’d attended training events that cost $3,000-5,000 and others that charged $199.

Generally speaking, if the point of the event is to show people how they can make money by say blogging or investing in real estate or making money online, the more you can charge.

When I produced the Making Dreams Happen workshop featuring Barbara Sher, Barbara Winter and myself, I charged $1700 for the four-day event.

We capped it at 55. So, that event grossed $93,000.

But when I put on the popular 3-day Work at What You Love workshops around the country, we only charged $399-$499 but we also brought in 100-150 people.

For some, the real money comes in the form of fees from sponsors and vendors who pay for things like:

  • space at a tradeshow
  • ads in the conference brochure
  • company-branded items in the swag bag
  • the opportunity to present to your audience that ends with an offer to purchase their product or service (with this model the event host typically receives 50 percent of all sales)

I know entrepreneurs who regularly bring in a quarter of a million dollars on sponsor and vendor fees alone.

Every single month there are dozens of yoga conferences happening around the world.

And not all vendors at these events are selling yoga gear.

Sponsors at Canada’s big Yoga Conference included coffee brewers, kale chips makers, and dozens of other small businesses targeting health-conscious consumers.

Even regional conferences can pull in big numbers.

The Northwest Yoga Conference attracts 1,000 participants from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, British Columbia, and elsewhere.

A booth costs vendors $800.

The more participants you have the more vendors you can attract.

You don’t have to fill a huge exhibit hall.

If you had five rows with 20 vendors per row (10 on each side), at $800 that would be $80,000 in fees.

A conference can also be a way for a company to expand its reach.

Yo Kid organization teaches yoga instructors how to work with children.

But by hosting the 2017 National Kids Yoga Conference, the Alexandria, Virginia-based company is able to attract a national audience and position itself as a leader in its field.

How You Can Steal This Idea

If you love organizing events, look for opportunities to host niche-specific conferences.

If you don’t know where to start, begin by researching entrepreneurial trends.

For inspiration read up on the many YouTube conferences.

Many were started by regular people who saw an opportunity and grabbed it.

You can also make money on the back-end by selling recordings of the live event to people who couldn’t be there.

To have the entire Making Dreams Happen workshop recorded and then turned into a product cost around $15,000.

But we made that back 10 times over.

A big part of the initial costs was the production and packaging of a 24 CD set.

However, since most people today just want to download Mp3s it will cost you a lot less to steal this idea.

(Converting to a downloadable product also allowed me to knock off $100 and pass the savings along to customers.)

Finally, you can always do what Yoga Festival did and capitalize on conferences by charging hosts a fee to be listed.

Idea #2 Sell to other businesses within a specific niche

Businesses that cater to the needs of other businesses are known as B2B.

Services like event planning or senior day-care can benefit a wide range of businesses.

But a B2B business can also be aimed at a single market.

Obviously the bigger the market – the greater the opportunity.

It’s worth repeating…

Yoga is more popular in Canada than in India.

And third on the list is the United States where a whopping 20.4 million Americans partake in the ancient practice.

Which means there are lots of other yoga-related businesses in need of solutions too. Like…

  • independent yoga instructors
  • studio owners
  • retreat centers
  • businesses that make yoga gear

Take for example, the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance,

The non-profit business was created to provide community support and networking among a specific demographic group with a shared interest.

With 100 people attending their first major event, I’d say the organizations’ two founders tapped into a very real need.

Then there’s a company called International Yoga.

Most of their revenue comes from individuals who sign up for a yoga retreat.

But the company also saw an opportunity to help instructors wanting to host their own retreats internationally.

Planning and running a retreat are the easy parts.

The challenge for instructors (like all business owners) is the marketing.

But remember, problem = opportunity.

Wisely, International Yoga also offers instructors full retreat management and logistical services “so teachers can focus on what they do best.”

To qualify for these services, however, instructors must already have some international retreat experience under their belt.

The easiest way to gain experience is to teach at someone else’s event.

The problem, of course, is finding one.

For Yoga Trade it’s also an opportunity since they match travel-loving instructors looking for adventure with yoga centers seeking instructors.

How You Can Steal This Idea

Think of a group you’d love to work with.

Then make a list of the problems, complaints, or threats that are unique to that demographic.

Next, brainstorm ways you can address these issues.

Have a knack for videotaping or marketing? Find a niche market who needs marketing help and pursue them.

Love to teach? Compile a list of resources like the ones listed here and teach a class on how to grow a yoga – or other niche – business for fun and profit.

Like doing research and writing? Put together an ebook on 101 Cool Ways to Cash in On the Yoga Craze.

Have a winning personality? Create a YouTube channel on this or any number of niche topics.

Love connecting people? Start your own association or matching service.

Idea #3 Make money by making a difference

For most, yoga people is a form of exercise.

But for others, it’s a means to serve the greater good.

In 2003 nurse practitioner and yoga instructor Mary Lynn Fitton decided to pilot a program to teach yoga to under-served, exploited, and incarcerated girls who had experienced trauma.

Today, Fitton’s California-based 501C3 nonprofit organization The Art of Yoga Project has served over 6,000 girls.

There are other initiatives using yoga to help underserved and incarcerated youth and adults of both genders.

Like Uprising Yoga in Los Angeles.

And the inspiring Africa Yoga Project (be sure to watch the video!) which is making yoga accessible to even impoverished communities.

How You Can Steal This Idea

If you think you’d like to start a non-profit, take a year or so to pilot your idea like Mary did.

If the initiative has legs, figure out how you’ll serve your audience and what grants, fundraising efforts, and other revenue models you’ll need to cover basic expenses moving forward.

Figure out too who your natural partners and potentially paying customers will be.

For example, Uprising Yoga works directly with the Los Angeles County Probation Department, mental health facilities, group homes, and social work agencies.

You might also partner with a local hospital, center for cancer survivors, substance abuse treatment program, or senior center.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to coming up with viable ways to generate income, there are endless ways to take a single idea and build on it.

And remember, changing course starts with a great idea – and the willingness to act on it.

Ready to find your perfect business idea?

Learn more about my laser focused idea generation and planning consultation here.

Life is short my change seeking friend.

And I can only take a few clients a month.

Whether you work with me or not — please don’t let your dream wait another day.


Steal This Idea Part 2

A few weeks back I shared some very cool ways people are cashing in on the enormous popularity of yoga.

Well, I’ve dug up some more neat business ideas. These too, happen to be in the yoga space.

WARNING: If you think this article is about starting a yoga business you’re not only missing the boat, you may be missing your calling!

Because just like last time, this article is really about how you can “steal” the essence of other business ideas to come up with your own money-making business.

1) Combine Two Unrelated Things

For instance, last time I told you about how enterprising self-bossers who found a way to link yoga with kids, dogs, even horses.

Indeed, some of the best business ideas come from combining two unrelated things.

Would you ever think to combine knitting and yoga?

Knitting enthusiast Lisa B. Evans did.

She took these two unrelated interests and turned them into popular workshop-retreats in scenic Vermont, Maine, and New Mexico.

For the last twelve years, enthusiastic knitters have paid between $975 and $1,875 plus lodging to go on one of Lisa’s “Knitting and Yoga Adventures!

Steal this idea

Make a list of your own interests and gifts. Think too about any enduring trends…

  • football
  • Reiki
  • rodeos
  • shopping
  • the environment
  • mystery novels
  • auto repair
  • specialty teas
  • anthropology
  • beer making
  • gardening
  • orienteering
  • Italian cooking

Then look for unlikely connections between your interest and other seemingly unrelated things.

What about a mystery tea shopping tour in London?

Or a pop-up massage studio for rodeo riders?

Or beer making classes that end with participants enjoying a frosty one while watching Monday night football or include a visit by a former NFL player?

Keep in mind your new income stream could be:

  • full time or part-time
  • seasonal
  • something you do once a year in connection with a fair, film festival, or other local event
  • holiday-related
  • something that builds on some other date-specific theme or event like a championship series, the summer solstice, etc.

Instead of trying to find an idea that will replace your entire salary, see if you can come up with a way to generate $10,000. And start there.

2) Make it a vacation

If someone will pay to engage in an activity at home, there’s an excellent chance they’ll travel to partake in that same interest elsewhere.

No wonder Yoga retreats are hugely popular.

So much so that when Jessie and Brad Wigh were looking for a way to make Belize their year round home they decided a full-time yoga retreat was the way to go.

yoga, fitness, sport and healthy lifestyle concept – group of people in tree pose on beach

Today Belize Yoga offers both ocean side and jungle getaways.

You don’t need to relocate or own your own retreat center to cash in on the vacation-retreat model.

The Kalani in Hawaii is one of many existing centers eager for you hold your gathering at their location.

Steal this idea

Remember, you don’t have to practice yoga to sell to people who do.

But the fact that there are so many yoga retreats tells us there are opportunities to be had.

One way to exercise your idea muscles is to visit some yoga retreat centers (or any niche business really) to see what add-on products or services you might provide to owners.

For example, if there’s no store on site, you could provide a pop-up store featuring customized yoga-apparel as well as some of the more unusual products featured in the last post.

Or forget yoga

Instead make a list of other popular hobbies or interests like ballroom dancing, dogs, or photography.

Next research vacations that cater to people with these interests and study these offerings.

Then design a lower or higher priced, longer or shorter, or otherwise unique vacation experience aimed at that same market

3) Go corporate

There are two ways to sell products or services.

You can sell to individual consumers.

Or you can start a business that sells products or services to other businesses – otherwise known as B2B.

Sticking with our yoga example…

Every day medium to large cities and resort areas play hosts to conferences and corporate gatherings.

If you’ve been to one of these, then you know participants spend eight or more hours sitting.

Yoga Farm is one of many studios that partners with hotels or event meeting planners to supply early morning and break time yoga for sitting-weary conference participants.

Steal this idea

How can your current idea or business lend itself to the needs of other businesses – or for that matter, government or non-profits?

What value can you offer these organization’s employees, customers, or constituents?

For instance, someone who teaches art or cooking, could partner with local employers to bring your class into the workplace or offer employee discounts.

If you think corporations wouldn’t bother with a solo-business person like yourself – think again.

I once partnered with a local bank to lead a lunch-and-learn series for small business owners.

Participants paid a small fee to attend and as importantly, I gained the credibility of being endorsed by the bank.

Every day corporations hire coaches, fitness instructors, personal chefs, product vendors, social media consultants, senior assistance and pre-retirement experts, and others to help them achieve their HR and sales goals.

Belinda Pruyne ought to know. As a corporate executive, she was one of the people signing big contracts with outside vendors.

Belinda put together a training video training on what it takes for the “little guy” to get big corporate contracts.

And who better to learn from than someone who was essentially writing the checks!

Are You Ready to Find YOUR Calling?

Learn more about my laser focused idea generation and planning consultation here.

I still have a few openings in October.

Life is short my change seeking friend.

If you’re ready to work at what you love – even if you don’t work with me — please don’t let your dream wait another day.


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.”


How Yoga Can Teach You to Turn Your Ideas into Income

Would it surprise you to know that yoga is more popular in Canada than in India?

It definitely surprised me!

Third on the list is the US where a whopping 20.4 million Americans partake in the ancient practice.

Sometimes a single surprising fact is all it takes to discover your perfect business idea.

And you don’t even have to do yoga to benefit from its enormous popularity.

In fact, anything with millions of fans from golf to quilting to Harry Potter presents enterprising change seekers opportunities to turn interests into income.

Here are four unique ways people are profiting from the yoga boom plus ways you can “steal” these ideas to profit from your own passion.

1) Lighten Up

Who would have thought yoga had a humorous side?

I suppose it’s not surprising when you consider the well-documented health benefits of laughter.

It’s why in 1995, a family physician in Mumbai, India, Dr. Madan Kataria, decided to experiment with ways to apply those benefits.

Like most ideas, this one took some trial and error.

But it didn’t take long before laughter yoga was born.

Today it’s so popular there’s even an annual conference!

Search the term “funny yoga products” and you’ll find scores of humorous ways people are making money.

You’ll find clothes sporting slogans like “Let’s get it om,” and “My favorite pose is downward facing naps.”

There are humorous calendars that use digital technology or illustration to feature puppies and farm animals positioned in classic yoga postures.

And of course, funny yoga videos.

Some are parodies. Others are the always popular bloopers.

Steal This Idea

Have video scripting or editing skills?

Build on the success of others by putting your own unique spin on a funny yoga video.

Attract a large enough YouTube following on and you can generate some serious ad revenue.

Certainly, not everything lends itself to humor.

But if you can find a way to bring some humor to your business/idea, you may be laughing all the way to the bank.

2) Make it hip

AirBnB is now advertising classes, tours, and other things to do when you travel.

That’s where I learned about “sky yoga.”

Part yoga, part dance, part cool social meetup, event production company, Bender, describes itself as an “urban playground for body and soul.”

The company produces yoga-dance events complete with DJs.

And they do it on warehouse rooftops and in other inspiring places in LA, Chicago, and coming soon — Melbourne.

The evening events seamlessly transition from yoga to a night of dancing and cocktails under the stars.

The Bender website says that they “work with a team of the most experienced and creative yoga teachers, DJs, designers, and other collaborators – each hand-picked for their specific voice and fit with our flavor.”

Sounds to me like they may be open to proposals for collaboration from other creative/healing types or people with access to creative urban settings.

Steal this idea

It’s hard to make certain businesses like bookkeeping or SEO consulting cool.

That said, I know a realtor who hosts an annual April 15th/IRS deadline happy hour for clients, building contractors, lenders, and others in her vast network.

Depending on what you want to do, look for ways to make it newsworthy by adding an element of hip to it!

3) Tap a new demographic

When you think of yoga enthusiasts you probably picture fit people in their 20s and 30s. Or at least adults.

That’s what Jamie Dix thought too until the early childhood educator and certified yoga instructor started using storytelling to get her students to experience different yoga positions.

Soon her colleagues were asking her to teach them how to do the same with their students.

So Jamie and her siblings teamed up to launch Imagination Yoga.

Today, her program is offered to kids aged 2-to-12 in schools, daycare centers, and camps across the US.

Even within the adult population, there’s plenty of opportunity to niche.

There are yoga classes designed specifically for people with diabetes and chronic fatigue, as well as yoga for veterans, pregnant women, and people who use a wheelchair.

There’s even yoga laughter designed for the unique needs of seniors in nursing or other elder care facilities.

Steal this idea

As you think about your own gifts or interests (travel, creative writing, repairing things, sports, etc.) – ask yourself, what are the obvious and less obvious markets you can tap?

Don’t just think in terms of age, gender, race, and the like.

Consider too, groups who share a common experience or challenge…

Maybe grieving parents… teens aging out of foster care… people struggling with addiction… survivalists… rural singles…

Whether you feel personally called to serve a specific group — or you just see a market need — additional audiences mean additional income.

4) Tap a new species!

Third graders and seniors are one thing.

But who connects yoga and animals?

Miami-based yoga instructor Suzi Teitelman and the creator of Doga Dog did.

Her classes consist of a series of yoga poses that dog owners can incorporate with their pooch.

The dogs seem to lap up the light stretches, massage, and relaxed bonding time with their humans.

And their time-squeezed/guilt-ridden dog owners appreciate being able to get in some exercise while also spending time with their best friend.

Dogs aren’t the only four-legged creatures getting into the yoga act.

Yoga classes end with the traditional Hindu salutation “nameste” which in Hinduism means, “I bow to the divine in you.”

But if you’re showing people how to do yoga atop a horse, then make that “neighmaste.”

There are several books on equestrian yoga which emphasizes balance, building core strength, breathing, and mindfulness.

At the cleverly named Equine Om in Saint Augustine, Florida, yoga instructor and horsewoman Miranda Inabinett teaches classes to riders and trains other instructors in her method as well.

Finally, the vacationers at Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado near Steamboat Springs don’t do yoga while atop a horse.

Instead, they enjoy a popular girlfriend getaway that combines the fun of riding with a morning yoga class all wrapped around a luxury vacation.

If you haven’t acted on your own great idea because it feels too overwhelming to tackle on your own, take heart.

This unique vacation idea was born when a cowgirl from Montana who went to college on a rodeo scholarship (who knew?!) and a former social worker turned yoga and meditation instructor living in Florida were introduced by a mutual friend at a horse sanctuary in Hawaii.

They went out and found a ranch to partner with and have been riding strong ever since!

Steal this idea

Like to write?

Then take a page out of Brenda Bryan’s book Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi.

It’s just one of half a dozen books on the subject. Proof that writing pays.

Again, you don’t have to be engaged in a given activity to look for practitioners in need of a ghost writer for their own niche-specific book.

Or maybe you have an insider’s perspective on the horse world and think equine yoga could be the next big thing.

If you have marketing experience — or just a determination to learn — then partner with an equestrian yoga instructor to scale the training nationally or internationally.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to making money without a job-job, there are endless ways to take a single idea and build on it.

Just remember… changing course starts with a great idea – and the willingness to act on it.

Ready to find your perfect business idea? Check out my laser-focused Profit From Your Passion coaching now.

(I’m booked for August but still have a few fall openings.)

Life is short my friend. Whatever your dream, please don’t make it wait another day.


Find Your Dream Biz Fast! PLUS — Booming Vintage Trend!

Want to find your dream business? All you have to do is connect the dots!

But which dots?

Traditional career coaches are all about helping clients find the perfect job-job.

So they work with dots like skills assessments, personality profiles, resumes, and job search tools.

But, if you want to do your own thing then you need to connect a very different set of dots.

Over my two decades at Changing Course, I’ve come up with some 60 potential dots.

Once you know what to look for, you’re able to quickly make that all important connection between the things you like to do and ways to turn those interests into income.

I’m going to share some of the dots I used to turn a 53-year-old change seeker named Roy on to a fun and potentially lucrative business idea.

And you can use these same dots to discover your dream business too!

Or you can just steal one of the many ideas you’ll find here!

Step 1: Identify the Dots

The “What Do I Want My Life to Look Like” Dot 

I’ve talked about my signature Life First-Work Second approach to career planning before.

In a nutshell — Roy doesn’t need a new job… he needs a whole new LIFE!

After spending most of his career in IT, Roy is burned out on spending 40-plus hours a week sitting at a desk and staring at a monitor.

But it goes beyond just working in tech.

Roy does what I call “head work.” And now he’s eager to find a way he can work with his hands.

He mostly wants to work on his own. But Roy is also open to working with a partner.

The Happiness Dot

Roy has lots of gifts and interests.

Among them, he enjoys being handy. He can get lost tinkering in his workshop or garage.

The Experience Dot 

Let me be clear on this one.

Lack of experience or a track record should never be a barrier. There are ways to acquire both.

That said, turns out that while he was in the military Roy used to supplement his meager salary by repairing and selling used washer/dryers to other young families on the base.

Step 2: Look for Ways to Monetize 

The Opportunity Dot 

This is where you take the known dots above, and connect them to one or more income-generating opportunities.

Opportunities come in the different forms. It could be…

  • a problem, complaint, or threat
  • the desire to work with or otherwise cater to a particular demographic group
  • a particular interest or hobby
  • a personal experience or crisis
  • a growing or shrinking trend – BINGO!

The Enormous Trend in Vintage Restoration

As Roy and I talked, I instantly thought of a company out of northwest Georgia called Antique Appliances.

The company does a thriving business restoring vintage stoves and refrigerators from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Some of the appliances are ones they buy, repair, and sell themselves.

However, most of their work is done on commission by clients looking for refurbished appliances that will fit in with their period home or business.

The All Important “Money Dot”

Some opportunities hold the potential to generate more income than others.

That’s why before you begin any new venture you need to do your homework.

A great place to start is to see what other people are charging.

At Antique Appliances I found this 1930 Frigidaire 2-door selling for $12,000!

And this 1951 mint green Chambers stove is priced at $7,800.

Coincidentally, I once rented a house with a Chambers stove just like this one only white.

I LOVED that stove – especially the griddle!

When I moved out my landlord wanted to take it to the dump.

I was so upset I paid to have it carted to my new house, stored it in my garage for a few years, then sold it for a couple hundred bucks.

Somebody got a great deal on that one!

The Demand Dot

Ok, so we know people will pay thousands of dollars for a restored appliance.

But is there really enough market demand for Roy to jump in?

Another visit to Antique Appliances and I learned that as of April, the company had approximately 159 antique appliances under contract for restoration.

The wait for gas stoves is two years and for electric ones, a year.

And if you want to get your vintage refrigerator restored, you’ll have to wait 36 months!

Knowing this, do you think Roy – or anyone who loves working with their hands and has a willingness to learn a new skill – would be wise to get in on the vintage appliance trend?

Other Vintage Restoration Opportunities

Appliances aren’t the only way to cash in on the restoration boom.

There’s a market for vintage vending machines

Vintage RVs are very hot right now.

And if the prices they’re pulling in at Steel Vintage in the UK are any indication, vintage bicycles present a great opportunity as well.

(If you really want to dig deep into the vintage bike world, check out this list of resources courtesy of The Ann Arbor Bicycle Show.)

Once you settle on a product, Craigslist, eBay, garage and estate sales, old barns in rural areas are all good places to either find or advertise for vintage stuff in need of repair.

Not Just for Men

Bailey Sisson is one of three mechanics at Nova Motorcycles vintage repair shop up the road from me in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

According to her bio, after growing up in a family of machinists, “she realized she wanted to be a mechanic professionally when she discovered the art and pleasure of making things work perfectly.”

Adding that Bailey, “…has a strong desire to leave things better than she found them.”

And check out this You Tube video about Carlita Belgrove AKA “The Stove Lady” in Yonkers, New York

After 30 years in business Belgrove Appliances must be doing something right!

Getting Started

Look for “how to” books

I couldn’t find one specifically on appliances… which itself presents an opportunity to team up with a restorer to write one.

But there are books on repairing vintage and other items.

If you’re open to exploring possibilities, go to Amazon and type in: How to repair vintage [leave the what part blank] – and see what comes up!

Look for “how to” videos on You Tube

I didn’t find any training videos that take you soup-to-nuts.

But there are some shorter ones where you can pick up some tips.

Or see if you can find other sites like PopMachines.com where they post photos that break down the restoration process one stage at a time.

Magazines

There are lots of magazines out there that cater to the vintage and antique markets:

Join the club — literally

Sure their website looks like something out of the 1980s… (Another opportunity?)!

But what matters are the how-to manuals and other benefits available to members of the Old Appliance Club.

Apprentice with someone

Years ago a local bookbinder named Bill Streeter used to take on apprentices.

Every three months another student would happily plunk down $3,000 for the chance to learn from a master craftsman.

Go to school

After graduating high school early, Bailey attended the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Arizona – one of 12 locations in the US.

Better Yet… Start Your Own School

You don’t need to be handy to cash in on the vintage restoration craze.

The biggest challenge for Roy – or anyone who needs to learn a new hands-on skill – is lack of experience.

But remember, problems are just opportunities in disguise.

Are you organized?

Do you like setting up events or programs?

Have a background in education?

Are you a go-getter who likes to make things happen?

Any of these things position you to partner with an existing company who likes the “idea” of establishing a training business but doesn’t have the time to make it happen on their own.

Or just hire one or two people who know the repair end and start your own.

Let’s say you charge $5,000 tuition.

All you need are 40 students a year and you’ve got yourself a nice little $200,000 a year business!

Remember, changing course starts with a great idea… and the willingness to act on it.

FREE OFFER: Need Help Connecting the Dots to YOUR Dream Business?

Do you have no clue what it is you even love to do?

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

Life is short my friend.

Click here now to discover more about how my surprisingly affordable Outside the Job Box brainstorming session can help you.

Be among the first three people to schedule your consultation and you’ll receive my inspirational ebook – a $19 value!

So, if you’re ready to take control over your time and life and work at what you love – give me a call! 

And, if you liked this article… please share the love!


6 Reasons Why Summer is the Best Time to Launch YOUR Dream Business

The school calendar of your youth may have hardwired you to see Fall as the time for new beginnings.

But summertime is THE best time to launch your dream business.

Don’t worry — you can change course and still have time for summertime recreation.

After all, the word recreation literally means to “re-create.”

And what better way to spend this summer than recreating your LIFE!

Here are six ways you can use this summer to grow your dream:

1) Be lazy and still make progress

As the most carefree of the four seasons, summer is made for dreaming big. The key is to be deliberate about it.

One way is to make an appointment with yourself to go to your favorite park bench or other outdoor spot.

Give yourself a full half hour (ideally longer) to just lay back and watch the clouds roll by or gaze lazily at a star-filled sky.

As your breathing slows you’ll find the day-to-day trials and tribulations that consume us now seem trivial.

Start to imagine what could be…

Taking in the vastness of the sky reminds you to see your life in more expansive terms as well.

If you find yourself still thinking small, remember the wise words of Michelangelo…

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

2) Take advantage of the longer days

Yes, lazy days of summer are still busy.

Still, the additional hours of daylight do add a bit more time to our lives.

Why not use this “found time” to do things like…

  • take a class
  • start your blog
  • build your inventory
  • hone your craft or other skills like writing or speaking
  • read up on ways to make money doing what you love

Even if you can only dedicate 20 minutes a day or one morning a month, it’s all forward motion!

3) You don’t need a yard to plant seeds

Summer is the ideal time to cultivate that dream.

Start with good soil by asking yourself some core questions like…

  • Who and what do I care deeply about?
  • What makes me happy?
  • What do I want my life to look like? (click here for some tips on where to start)

Now get rid of the weeds – the lame excuses, apathy, self-doubt, and fear born from lack of information.

Next plant a few seeds that move you closer to your dream life.

  • Interview someone doing your dream job
  • Start or join a group of other self-bossers
  • Write a business plan (or at least a loose outline) of what you want to do and steps needed to get there.

Of course you could always plant a real garden – and make some real money doing it!

To get started check out Homesteading for Beginners: How To Build A Profitable Homestead Backyard Farm and Make Money From Urban Farming by an enterprising Brit named William Walsworth.

The biggest “complaint” about his book is that it focuses on the business aspect of homesteading… which is precisely the info every aspiring self-bosser needs!

4) Find yourself in a real summer thriller

Light summer novels are great.

But how about treating your life like the adventure it could be by reading some books to help you change course? Like…

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski

Or if you’re still trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up there’s always…

Wishcraft by Barbara Sher (her first and still my favorite book)

Or instead of losing yourself in a summer novel, why not find yourself one of the many exercises in my own book — It’s Never Too Late to Find Your Calling.

Or, if you already have a new direction in mind, use this time to read a “how to” book on this new path.

Go to Amazon and search for “How to start a [fill in the blank] business.” You’ll be amazed at what you find!

Or check out courses with a proven track record on things like how to turn your photos into cash or how to get paid to travel.

5) Take a tax-deductible vacation

If your dream includes relocating, hit the road by using your vacation as an exciting research expedition.

Plan ahead to do things like arrange informational interviews with local entrepreneurs or craftspeople or to otherwise gather research about things like local costs, vendors, groups, and opportunities.

Say you spend two out of seven days doing research, calling on future customers, or even collaborators.

As long as you make what the IRS* considers a “good faith effort” to make a future profit within three years, then you should be able to deduct that portion of your trip as a tax-deductible business expense. (Tip: Be sure to document how you use your time)

You don’t have to be contemplating a move to take a tax-deductible road trip.

If you want to cash in on the profitable romance writing genre then head to the annual Romance Writers of America conference happening this July in Orlando.

I was at the 2016 conference to deliver a keynote to 3,000 attendees.

And I was blown away at the quantity and quality of the workshops as well as opportunities for aspiring writers to pitch to agents and publishers.

Or maybe beer making school in Germany or one of the many boat building schools are more your thing!

Again, if you’re acquiring training in order to go on and earn money — then it should be a tax-deductible expense.

*My friends outside the US will want to check on your country’s tax law.

6) Or take a “staycation” and invest in your dream

Use some or all of your summer vacation time to gain more passion-related knowledge, experience or connections locally.

In addition to doing any or all of the actions listed in #5, use your vacation time to take a local class, to volunteer, or maybe even do a super part-time apprenticeship.

Or just save both money and time by spending your vacation at home.

If you do, be sure to make it a real vacation by doing the kinds of things a tourist on a budget might do – go on a picnic, head to a museum, take a day trip to a place you’ve always wanted to go.

Then stash the money you would have spent on a costly vacation into a “dream fund.”

Use your savings to take career-expanding classes or even start your own business.

Then use at least a few vacation days to work on your action plan.

Re-creating your life is about making choices.

Hop on down to the comments and share one way you can use your summer to launch YOUR dream business… and life!

May I ask a favor?

If you liked this article, would you please share with others? Thanks in advance for your support!


Give Your New Food-Related Business a Huge Jump Start!

Are your friends and family constantly saying you should sell your homemade cheesecake, meat rub, or cucumber coconut lemonade?

Or maybe you have a food blog or you have lots of followers to your Trip Advisor restaurant reviews or your food photos on Instagram? 

If so, run don’t walk to the fast-approaching Summer Specialty Food Show.

Billed as North America’s largest specialty food and beverage event, you’ll find 180,000 products including confections, cheese, coffee, snacks, spices, ethnic foods, natural, organic and more.

Plus its your chance to connect with 2,400 exhibitors from 50 countries and regions.

Who knows… one may turn out to be your future customer or partner!

And if you’re just starting out, the Summer Specialty Food Show is your chance to attend three days of education programs for both explorers and beginners as well as seasoned entrepreneurs alike.  

Topics include:

  • funding your business
  • hot trends in the food industry
  • basics of the specialty food business
  • and many more…

You’ll learn from experts like Jon Taffer, host of the popular TV show “Bar Rescue.”

And Josh Treuhaft, founder and creative director of Salvage Supperclub.

 

Among other things, Josh started a communal dining experience where guests eat a gourmet dinner in a giant dumpster as a way to “highlight the untapped potential in often-overlooked foods and solve the world-wide problem of food waste.”

And this year you can get a front row seat as a celebrity Greek chef, a specialty produce supplier, and others pitch their business to industry experts.

Think of it as Shark Tank for the specialty food industry!

But instead of funding, they’re pitching for profitable promotional opportunities.

And speaking of funding — the cost to attend is anywhere from $99-$200 depending on your situation.

But Sorry — You Can’t Go

After I got totally pumped about the Summer Fancy Food Show it turns out it’s not open to the general public. What??!!!

The site states that because they are “a trade event designed to promote growth in commerce in the specialty food industry… [the] event is open to qualified buyers and industry professionals (18 years of age or older).”

Reading that I knew a lot of change seekers would be discouraged and give up.

And like I always say, information will set you free.

So I picked up the phone and called the organizers for more information.

I was right.

 
Turns out all you need to establish that you are a “qualified professional” is a business card (how hard can that be?!)…

Or a certificate from a culinary or wine school.

Or a pay stub that says you work in some food related job like a restaurant or a local cheese shop or on a local farm.

Or a link to your food/beverage related blog or Instagram account.

Or other evidence that you are even exploring the world of food and beverages.

If you’re not sure, post your situation on the in the comments below, and I’m happy to try to help you find a way.

The bottom line — GO FOR IT!

Can’t make it to the Summer Fancy Food Show in NYC for the June 24-27th event?

They’ve already posted dates and locations for the next three years!

That gives you plenty of time to become a “qualified professional!”

So start saving your pennies and find a way to make it happen.

And remember — when you work for yourself, anything is possible!


I’m moving to Canada! (And How You Too Can Live Where and How You Want)

I was only in Canada for seven days. Just long enough to fall in love.

My trip began with three speaking engagements in British Columbia.

One of the many great things about being your own boss is you can take vacation whenever you want.

So after my last gig, a friend and I hopped a plane for a little R&R in the spectacular Canadian Rockies.

You know how certain settings just seem to feed your soul?

Maybe for you that place is the ocean… or the desert… or the prairie.

For me it’s the mountains. (Add a lake and I’m in heaven!)

Check out this view from the summit of Sulphur Mountain in Banff…

And at the still frozen but still breathtaking Lake Louise…

And check out this view from the deck of our Airbnb rental in Canmore, Alberta!

As I sat there enjoying my morning coffee this one phrase kept running through my head…

I could live here.

Hey, with a view like this – who wouldn’t?!

Being in Canada re-affirmed for me just how important it is to live life on your own terms.

It also confirmed the approach that helped to transition me from my 90-mile-a-day commute to a cubicle to my comfy home office and the view of Mount Tom that I enjoy today.

I call it…

The Life First – Work Second Approach to Career Change

What exactly does it mean to consider your life before your career?

Well, remember how when you were a kid, adults were forever asking, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

But do you remember anyone ever asking, “What do you want your life to look like?”

If they had, no one in their right mind would have replied, “I’d love to wake up to an alarm clock, sit in commuter traffic, and spend five days a week working 8-to-late under florescent lights.”

Yet that describes the life of countless, millions of people.

Here’s a novel idea…

What if parents… guidance counselors… and college career advisers had focused less on what you wanted to be when you grew up and more on helping you figure out how you wanted to feel when you grew up?

I call it the Life First – Work Second© approach to career planning.

In fact, I begin every business idea generation session with the same simple question:

What do you want your L-I-F-E to look like?

The fact that you want to be your own boss tells me you have a strong desire for more control over your time.

From here though, everyone’s picture is unique.

Like the vast majority of my clients, you may want to have some sort of home-based business.

After all, being at home automatically gives you more work-life balance.

Other clients crave variety. Maybe you do too.

Maybe you want to do freelance writing or coaching or something that would allow for a portable lifestyle.

Or perhaps you want to have a seasonal business so you can work intensely for six months then take the rest of the year off.

Or maybe you just want to find a way to enjoy summers off to spend with your kids or grandchildren.

That’s why it’s so important to start on the life side of the work life equation.

If you know ahead of time that your idea of heaven on earth would be to not work in the summertime, then you’d know to look for ways to earn money that would allow for this kind of schedule.

That’s why it’s so important to continually evaluate work options through the lens of life.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, “There is only one success: To be able to live your life in your own way.”

If you’re seeking a life and not just a living, start by getting crystal clear on what having a life means to you.

If you’re determined to follow your own road then you must take the time to really answer the question, “What do I want my life to look like?”

Then use your answers to evaluate any business ideas to determine if it passes the life test?

From there it’s all about taking action.

You Are Tougher Than You Know

While I was in Canada I had the honor of giving the opening keynote at the annual Spark conference WAY up north in Fort Saint John, BC.

You’ve got to be tough to live in an area with such extreme weather.

On top of that, it’s been a rough few years for the people in a region that relies heavily on the oil and gas industry.

The conference organizers could have canceled the event, waiting for a “better” time.

To their great credit, they chose instead to turn adversity into a positive by making the conference theme… “Inspired by Tough.”

Maybe you’ve had a rough go of it too.

Or, maybe you’ve just put off taking the leap because of all the things that could go wrong.

After two decades of self-employment, I can tell you with great certainty that things will go wrong.

You’re going to face rejection and setbacks. More than once.

You may even outright fail. I know because I’ve done it a few times.

It’s called life.

However, once you understand that all that worrying about what could go wrong only slows your chance to create the life you really want… it changes everything.

As Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin more intelligently.”

Like every successful person, Ford understood that failures and setbacks offer valuable lessons.

Adversity is also what makes us stronger… tougher.

If you’re waiting for that perfect time to jump — forget it.

Start now and remember — you are tougher than you know.

I’m not moving to Canada yet… but I could definitely spend my summers there.

Why not?

When you work for yourself – anything is possible!


From BROKE to writing for NFL players

My brother-in-law Eddie spent 30 years as a field technician for a major manufacturer of office equipment.

Then at age 58 the company laid him and most of their other long-time technicians off… only to later ask them to come back at minimum wage with no benefits.

So much for job security and loyalty.

He did his job well. But for Eddie, repairing office equipment was just that — a job.

His true passion was following sports – and especially football.

Eddie once told me his dream job would be to work for ESPN. He said he didn’t care if he was the guy who hauled equipment around – he just wanted to part of the game.

When I got an email from Michelle Hill I immediately thought of my brother-in-law.

Because Michelle is doing what sports lovers like my brother-law only dream about.

She found a way to make money hanging out with NFL players.

I first met Michelle in 2006 when she attended the Work at What You Love workshop in Ventura, California.

(This happens to be the same workshop Dyan deNapoli AKA The Penguin Lady attended back in Massachusetts. If you missed my interview with Dyan and her spectacular photos from Antarctica, you can still get the replay here.)

Back then, Michelle was in the baking business.

In fact, I still have the business card for Michelle’s Cookie Kitchen.

But after a year-and-a half, Michelle realized she liked donating her cookies for various non-profit benefits a lot more than she liked selling them.

So, she closed the door on her budding baking business.

But unlike my brother-in-law who’s hardwired to be an employee, Michelle was determined to be her own boss.

Considering she’d been downsized three times in nine years, it’s easy to see why.

When the economy collapsed in 2008 Michelle found herself in the same boat as millions of other Americans — living off unemployment and tapping her 401k.

Broke but not broken, Michelle sold her possessions and moved to the other side of the country to start over.

Today Michelle’s life is very different.

For Michelle, the turn-around began when she signed up for a course on how to become a freelance copywriter. (Click here for my review.)

Writing sales copy is a skill anyone can learn – and you can make great money doing it.

I know because I’ve personally paid up to three thousand dollars for promotional copy for a single product.

But for Michelle, copywriting turned out to be more of a launch pad.

Today Michelle is a ghostwriter for a number of current and former National Football League players and others in the sports world who want to publish a book.

The “Strong Copy QB” as she dubs herself, counts Levar Fisher formerly with the Arizona Cardinals and Brandon Williams who played with the Baltimore Ravens among her impressive roster.

I wanted to know how Michelle went from having to borrow gas money to working alongside major league players.

What I quickly discovered is that like all success stories, Michelle’s journey offers valuable lessons for anyone seeking to change course.

That’s why I’ve asked Michelle to be my next guest on the NEW Big Dreams Small Steps Success Stories Series!

From Broke to
Ghostwriter for NFL Players

With Michelle Hill of Winning Proof

Listen in here.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com


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.

factsheet

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!


Coolest Success Story E-V-E-R!

How the “Penguin Lady” Turned Her Passion Into an Adventure and Income (And How You Can Too!)

In my 22 years as the Dreamer in Residence at Changing Course I’ve heard some amazing success stories.

But this is one of my VERY favorites!

Partly because, wildlife lover Dyan deNapoli already had her dream job.

As the senior penguin aquarist at the prestigious New England Aquarium in Boston, she got to work closely with these fascinating birds — both at her facility and in nature.

Then sadly, Dyan’s mother died.
My own Mom died unexpectedly at just 61 years old.

So, I know first-hand how wake-up calls can cause us to re-evaluate our lives.

After nine years at her job, Dyan had already begun to feel restless. And losing her mother just accelerated the desire for change.

She was still passionate about protecting wildlife – particularly penguins.

But Dyan now longed for the same freedom and flexibility she’d enjoyed during her days as a jewelry maker.

But how in the world do you become a self-employed penguin expert???

That was the question Dyan brought to the Work at What You Love workshop in Northampton, Massachusetts.

There, among some 125 other change seekers, is where the idea to offer interactive educational programs was hatched.

Most people talk about their business idea… they endlessly research and plan and tweak and perfect.

But they never begin.

Not Dyan.

Within days of the workshop she secured the domain The Penguin Lady and reached out to local schools, libraries, and senior citizen centers to book gigs.

And she never looked back.

Since then Dyan’s dream, her adventures, and her income have all grown in ways she could have never imagined.

She has…

  • traveled to Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, the Galapagos Islands, and South Africa to work with, teach about, and observe penguins in the wild

  • appeared as an expert on numerous television and radio shows, including CNN and BBC Radio

  • landed a six-figure book deal with Simon & Schuster (woo-hoo!)

  • written the award-winning book The Great Penguin Rescue
  • delivered not one but four – count ‘em – FOUR – TEDx talks!

  • been a guest lecturer on nature cruises to Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands

  • was selected to be one of 76 women scientists to take part in a leadership training program aboard a cruise ship in Antarctica

Dyan’s been doing some OTHER REALLY cool stuff — but I’m going to let her tell you herself.

And you’ll even get to ask questions!

Because… drum roll please!

Dyan is the first guest to appear in my new Dream Big – Start Small Success Stories Series!

How to Leverage Your Passion for a
Life of Adventure & Profits

With Dyan deNapoli AKA The Penguin Lady

In this inspiring and advice-packed webinar Dyan will share how she turned an unlikely interest into a life of adventure and income.

As importantly, Dyan will offer valuable tips for how you too can leverage YOUR passion for a life of adventure and profits!

And as an extra treat, I’ve also asked Dyan to share some of the spectacular photos from her most recent trip to Antarctica!

Sign up here to join the fun!

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com

 


6 Simple Steps to Grow Your Dream

The late British gardening author Mirabel Osler wrote,

“There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.”

Not everyone smiles at the same work.

Personally, I discovered long ago that I like the “idea” of gardening a lot more than doing gardening.

What makes me smile is brainstorming or delivering a talk to hundreds or even thousands of people.

For you it could be photography… turning chaos into order… or making pancake art (yes there is such a thing!).

One person’s chore is another person’s joy.

I met a woman who loved cleaning refrigerators so much she wanted to start a business doing it for others!

Gardening may or may not be your thing.

But the process of growing a garden does offer valuable lessons you can use to change course to be your own boss.

1) Wanting it with all your heart

The first step to changing course is desire.

I’m not talking about wishing or hoping.

I’m talking about a deep longing to change the course of not just your work but your life.

The kind of longing where you’re done complaining about your barren landscape and gazing enviously at other people’s garden — and you’re ready to dig in to create your own.

A longing so powerful it makes you turn off the TV or tune out of Facebook (or both) because you know there’s not a moment to waste.

2) Tend the soil

There are many ways to prepare for change.

Regular doses of inspiration help. After all, there is no better proof that you can make money doing what you love than the people who are doing it.

If you’ve never been self-employed, subscribe to Entrepreneur magazine as well as to interest-specific publications like The Chicken Whisperer, Model Railroader, or Art Doll.

Watch television shows like Shark Tank or Dragon’s Den as the original show is known in Canada.

Follow other knitters or tiny house builders or stamp collectors on Instagram.

Mostly though, the way to tend the soil is to make frequent trips to the well of knowledge and information.

Soak up everything you can about starting a bed and breakfast, being a consultant, owning alpacas, getting paid to write or travel or create art… or whatever it is you want to do.

3) Plant the tiniest of seeds

Even the biggest plants began as tiny seeds. And so it is with dreams.

Every major enterprise began with super small steps like… call Fred.

If you already know what you want to do, then use what you learned in step 2 to start taking small targeted steps to get there.

Buy video editing software, call your department of health about home-based food business regulations, go to local estate sales.

If you haven’t the foggiest notion of what makes you smile, then plant lots of different seeds.

After all, the only way to get an idea of what excites you is to experiment.

Read a book, take a class, talk to a stranger about their work… cast lots of random seeds out into the world and see what takes.

You may be surprised at what pops up!

4) Keep the weeds down

It’s not always possible to actually “weed” people out of your life (you know how fussy loved ones can be when you disown them).

You can, though, use selective sharing to mentally root out the voices of those who poo-poo your dreams.

Instead, reserve these conversations for people who understand and support your desire to change course.

Sometimes weeds come in the form of bad advice from ill-informed people.

Despite never being self-employed a day in their life, too many people are all too happy to tell you why your idea will never work.

If you don’t want to spend your life in the weeds along with them, then you need to find a way to counteract this kind of negativity and bad advice.

A simple start is to picture yourself in your future life.

Then remind yourself of what you should really be afraid of…

Namely, looking back at your life and knowing you allowed your dream to die on the vine from neglect or willingness to give up too soon.

5) Practice patience

Sufficient desire to make a change — check.

Soil tended, seeds planted, weeding done — check, check, check.

Now all you need to do is scream at your garden, “Grow, damn it!”

Silly right?

You can’t rush your dreams any more than you can rush a garden.

Some of the seeds you planted simply won’t take.

You can get discouraged about that if you want.

Or you can consider that those particular seeds weren’t meant to grow and then plant some different ones.

Other seeds seem to take forever to sprout and even longer to bloom.

Sometimes things happen so slowly you think nothing is happening at all.

During the first few years of my own business, I had days when I was so discouraged I wanted to “throw in the trowel.”

But I didn’t.

And neither should you because that’s usually the time when you wake up to find your first magnificent bloom.

The day you wake up and discover the life you dreamed of is the life you’re living.

So hang in there.

Patiently nurture those tender shoots and your field of dreams will grow.

6) Enjoy the Journey

As Osler observed, it’s the ongoing work of gardening that brings the joy.

You can’t just plant a garden and be done with it.

It’s like saying, “Well, I finished growing as a person now. What’s next?”

Rather, gardening is about coming up with ways to make the garden more interesting or fun or diverse.

It’s about redesigning the garden to come up with new ways to add value to all those it serves.

Mirabel Osler’s name comes up again and again in the world of gardening writers. So I decided to do a little digging myself.

As I read Stefanie Hargreaves review of Osler’s book, A Breath from Elsewhere, I could not help but think of its application to the process of changing course:

“Osler’s argument – to break the golden rules, follow your instincts, and create the garden that you desire… effectively [draws] the reader further down the path towards the garden as refuge – a place perfectly suited for ‘inspiration or freedom, for discovery or surrender.'”


Which Would You Rather Make — $15 or $20,000?

Why Teaching Others May Be Your Fastest Path to Cash

Do you enjoy sharing knowledge with others?

If so, giving talks… leading workshops… or running retreats could be the quickest way to grow your small business – and your fastest path to cash.

People with interests as varied as fitness, image consulting, real estate, and career coaching are hearing the sound of opportunity knocking! 

And now, so can you!

Opportunities in the Conference World

According to ConventionIndustry.org, each year 205 million people attend the 1.8 million conventions, conferences, congresses, trade shows and exhibitions, incentive events and corporate/business meetings.

And that’s just in the United States.

That’s good news because conferences are a great place to get your message in front of dozens or even hundreds of future clients or customers — without having to “sell.”

In the last few months I’ve spoken to large audiences at two conferences — Women in Trucking and Romance Writers of America.

Like all conferences, participants could choose from dozens of smaller breakout sessions.

And in most cases, the people leading them are there because they asked to be.

Since attendees decide which sessions to go to, the key is to propose a topic that will appeal to the broadest possible audience.

Did you write a book on prosperity?

Offer a session called, “How to Make Sure Your Kids Grow Up Rich” — which of course, really means educating their parents.

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Are you a nutritionist or a personal trainer?

Do a talk for road warriors on how to eat healthy or stay fit on the road.

You’d be surprised at the kinds of conferences that will embrace your topic.

Just ask Beverly Farrow.

Beverly spent years earning her doctorate — only to discover that being a university professor was not fulfilling.

She could have fallen into the common trap of remaining in a job simply because she didn’t want to “waste the degree.”

Fortunately, Beverly looked instead for a way she could combine her love of teaching with her passion for helping others find a new career path of their own.

Last week, she led a workshop at a local non-profit conference in West Virginia called Strengthening Families and Children.

Even she was a little surprised at how well it went! 

I was not sure what kind of audience to expect (number of participants or background) because the conference was open to social service providers and families.

Anyway, I was blown away because my room was FULL!

It was a 90-minute session and the feedback was unbelievable– and I received a couple of invites for future engagements.

My title was. “Find Your Genius and Work in It.” Basically Valerie’s “Life First, Work Second approach to career planning from 30,000 feet.

AND I received my FIRST honorarium… which was a total surprise.

Beverly shared her big news  on a private discussion forum for other graduates of my course on how to become a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® coach.

I mention this because this kind of sharing inspires others to take action.

And one great idea always leads to others!

Finding Opportunities in Unexpected Places

Coincidentally, Hillary Saffran of Alaska works in social services herself.

Like most people who are transitioning from having a boss to being their own boss, she’s actively building her coaching business on the side.

Responding to Beverly’s success Hillary writes:

Just this morning I came up with an idea for a workshop and am in the process of working out an arrangement for the workshop room.

I got the idea from a commercial I heard about a local funeral home owned by “the mushing mortician.”

He states he’d love to use his funeral home for events other than funerals. It’s a large building with many rooms and lots of space.

So I contacted the manager and proposed my workshop: “Don’t Let Your Dreams Die!”

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An idea that prompted Kimberly Steward from Colorado to gush,

“Don’t let your dreams die.” Delivered in a funeral home. That is a level of genius I didn’t know existed! LOVE IT!

High praise indeed considering Kimberly wrote a book called Be Weird, Make Money: Design a Life and Living In a World Where You Don’t Feel Like You Belong.

Opportunities on the Road

Not all ideas need to be genius material to work. Sometimes all you need to do is widen your lens a bit.

For instance, one way you can take a major shortcut to your ideal customer or client is to tap into another business with a connection to your same topic or market.

When Audrey and her husband retired they traded in their house and most all of their belongings to travel the country in an RV.

The moment I heard that, my opportunity bell went off big time!

 

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That’s because in a few weeks Audrey will begin the same self-employment-focused career coach and business building training program that Beverly, Hillary, and Kimberly took.

For Audrey, earning money by showing others how to turn their own interests into income is the perfect portable business.

And the fact that she’ll be doing it from an RV herself, makes her the ideal person to deliver a talk to other full-time RVers called How to Make an Extra $500-$1000 a Month From the Road.

In addition, Audrey could:

  • sell a booklet on “Simple Ways to Make Extra Cash From Your RV”
  • partner with RV park owners or even RV dealerships to give talks at their locations
  • advertise a webinar in a publication like Workers on Wheels so she can teach hundreds of people regardless of location

Opportunities in Collaboration

RVers, retirees, and other change seekers aren’t the only ones looking for creative ways to make money.

People who already own a business need ideas too!

Did you know for example, there are real estate companies that specialize in people looking to buy or sell a campground or RV park? 

And that at least one of them, also capitalizes on the workshop model with their own sold out workshops for potential buyers?

With just a little knowledge about the business side of owning an RV park, Audrey could also offer workshops or webinars on the theme — How to Come Up With Additional Profit Centers for Your New RV Park.

The same partnering approach can be used for many niches.

For instance, our prosperity coach could give that same fiscal education for kids talk at libraries or other venues frequented by stay-at-home moms.

And our stylist could partner with clothing stores or malls to show shoppers how to build a fabulous wardrobe on a budget.

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(To test my theory, I once asked a local mall manager whether his or other malls would be open to that kind of thing. His answer:  “Absolutely!”)

But to really see how giving talks… or leading workshops… or running retreats… could be your fastest path to cash, I’m going to ask you the same question I asked Lourdes from Montreal.

Would You Rather Make $15 OR $20,000? 

Lourdes will be joining Audrey as an incoming student for the upcoming Profiting from Your Passions® coach class.

And like Audrey, she’s looking at coaching as a way to supplement her retirement income.

Right now Lourdes is applying for jobs in Montreal to teach ESL at $15 an hour.

But her BIG plan is to spend winters in Quito, Ecuador.

She’s already visited several times including renting an apartment for three months. So she knows the area pretty well.

Do you hear what I hear? It’s the sound of opportunity knocking!

What if on her next trip to Quito she mapped out a workshop-retreat-tour for other retirees considering following her same path.

I happen to know a little about the subject, because a few years ago I ran a Relax, Renew, and Reinvent retreat in Ecuador.

 

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We spent half of each day in workshop mode exploring ways participants could turn their interests into income. The rest of the time we were tourists.

Lourdes’ retreat would also include sessions on how her guests can create their own portable income streams.

But unlike my trip which was for career changers, Lourdes’ would target hers specifically for other retirees – very likely other women – who are considering wintering in Ecuador as well.

Just the kind of people who might be intimidated to explore a big city in another country on their own.

In addition to seeing the local sights, I’m picturing Lourdes introducing the group to various residential neighborhoods and walking them through the logistics of living in another country.

Things like the best places to buy groceries… how to get their mail… and do their banking, etc.

Lourdes could even offer very specific services — like helping her guests to find and secure seasonal housing for the following winter.

With my own retreat, participants covered their own airfare.

The per person cost for hotel, most meals, a van and driver, tour guide and a few other items was around $1,000.

Let’s say 10 people sign up for Lourdes’ 6-day, 7 night “Spend Your Winters in Warm and Fabulous Quito” workshop-retreat-tour.

And let’s say she charges a very reasonable $2,999 per person.

That means she’d earn a cool $29,999.

Minus $10,000 for expenses – and Lourdes’ profit is a cool $20,000!

For Lourdes to make that same amount of money teaching ESL at $15 an hour, she would need to log a whopping 2,000 hours – which translates into fifty 40-hour work weeks!

Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”

If you enjoy teaching, informing, educating or otherwise awakening the joy in others… what are you waiting for! 

_______________________________________________

Last Chance: Registration Ends Tomorrow

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In As Little As 3 Months

You Can Train to Become a Licensed
Profiting From Your Passions®
Career Coach & Business Idea Generator…

And Launch Yourself Into a 
  Whole New Career — and Life

(Even If You Have NO
Prior Coaching Experience!)

  • Master a proven business idea generation and coaching system to help discover unique ways to turn interests into income
  • Quickly gain confidence in your ability to successfully work with paying clients or workshop attendees

  • Launch yourself into the perfect portable business so you can work where and when you like

  • Finally get paid to do what comes naturally!

On Tuesday we’re closing registration for the upcoming Profiting from Your Passions® coach class forever.

Fortunately for Audrey, Lourdes and 18 others from the UK, US, and Canada, this year’s class includes a Mega-Bonus.

It’s an additional 5-hours of training on How to Design and Deliver Your Own Money Making Workshops and Retreats(a $799 value)

You’ll discover how to take the 7-step Profiting From Your Passion®formula and deliver it in the form of a 30-45 minute talk… a half or full-day class, or a multi-day workshop or fabulous destination retreat — even on a cruise!

Plus we just added another extremely high value bonus – your own professionally designed website. That way you can launch your new career — and life — fast!

And because you can start earning money is as little as 3 months — the course pays for itself. 

Click here now to discover whether becoming a licensed Profiting from Your Passions® coach is right for you.  

But hurry because registrations ends Tuesday, November 15th at midnight ET.

 

For the first time in the human experience,
we have a chance to shape our work
to suit the way we want to live
instead of always living to fit in with our work…
We would be mad to miss the chance.

Charles Handy


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #10: How to Get Paid (a Lot) to Speak


There are different ways you can cash in on what you already know.

You can write a book or create an information product…

You can coach people or become a consultant. Or…

You can make money from speaking!

Speaking is not only highly financially rewarding, it’s personally fulfilling as well.

What’s not to love?

As a professional speaker you get up in front of a group of people who are interested in what you have to say.

Then you spend 30-60 minutes sharing a message you believe in.

You go to bed that night knowing you’ve changes some lives. Not one or two… but an entire room full of lives.

And for all that “work” you get paid handsomely.

Most of the speakers I know make $5,000-$10,000 per gig.

With top speakers commanding $25,000 (or more) for a single talk!

If you think you’d like to get paid to speak – or you’re already a speaker but want to earn more, here’s how…

1. Understand who pays for speakers

Every day thousands of organizations around the world hold gatherings that include paid speakers brought in to educate and motivate their audiences.

Where you speak depends a lot of your topic and message. Options include:

  • Corporations (home office/field offices/company-sponsored destination meetings)
  • Colleges and universities (students/faculty/staff/alumni)
  • Association meetings (local, state, regional, national chapters)
  • Civic groups (Lion’s Club, Zonta, etc.)
  • Charitable organizations that raise funds for a particular cause (disabled vets, cancer research, etc.)
  • Non-profits (YMCA/YCWA, animal shelters, etc.)
  • Entrepreneur conferences and other events (government-sponsored, corporate-sponsored, hosted by other entrepreneurs or companies that serve this market)
  • Conferences (association, industry, or theme-related)

Again depending on your topic some of these options will be a better fit than others.

Because of my topic I’ve been invited to speak at all of them.

In the last few months alone I’ve landed gigs to speak to audiences at such diverse organizations as…

  • Apple
  • Romance Writers of America
  • Northwest Mutual Insurance
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Newfoundland/Labrador Women Entrepreneurs Conference
  • IBM
  • California Girls State (started by the American Legion to bring together 300 top high school juniors for a week to hold mock elections to learn how government works)
  • MIT (my 6th time)
  • And Facebook

Here’s a few pictures I took along the way…

RWA Costumes

Some period costumes from Romance Writers of America

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California Girls State meet up

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Retired Air Force colonel shuttle commander Eileen Collins who spoke after me at a conference sponsored by a law firm in Santa

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In the green room at Apple (turns out no one else had ever asked if that was the same toilet Steve Jobs used)

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The very cool Facebook campus with their amazing rooftop park

Keep in mind I have no expertise in technology, romance writing, life insurance, medicine, law firms, or government…

I’ve also spoken to visiting nurses, district attorneys, engineers, lawyers, opticians, jewelers, librarians, and administrative assistants. And I have zero experience in these areas either.

What I do have is a topic that cuts across industries and occupations. For me, it’s something called the impostor syndrome.

Fundamentally, I speak about confidence.

About what to do when you hear that nagging voice that says, “I’m in over my head and they’re going to find out I have no idea what I’m doing.”

The point is, audiences that consist mainly of nurses or accountants or acupuncturists or business owners still need speakers who can talk about topics like…

  • Work-life balance
  • Career management
  • Marketing/branding
  • Finding the humor in life
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Financial literacy/money angst
  • Social media do’s and don’ts
  • How to be a better leader
  • Millennials in the workplace
  • Stress management

And on and on…

My focus is on “unjobbing.”

Yet last year I was paid to speak to 200 librarians on how to think more creatively on the job.

Then there’s Marla Cilley, AKA The Fly Lady.

Marla is an organizing guru with a huge following. Every day tens of thousands of people follow her decluttering and cleaning advice.

As it turns out Marla is also a very popular speaker on the thriving home schooling conference circuit! Who knew!

Most speaking engagements are planned months and sometimes a year or more ahead.

If you already know where you want to speak, start doing your homework now so you can get on the agenda in 2017.

But before you pitch your topic you need to first nail this next step:

2. Know your “POV”

Being a great speaker is only one part of the paid-to-speak equation.

I always knew I was a decent speaker.

But today I know I could hold my own on a TED stage. (Something I wouldn’t have said just a few years ago.)

The difference is that today I know that to be an amazing speaker you need to have a strong opinion.

In other words, no matter what your subject is, you need to bring to it a clear and compelling point of view –POV for short.

Your POV is what sets you apart from all the other people who speak on your same topic.

There are lots of people who speak on how to raise healthy happy children or how caretakers can avoid burn out or how eating the right food can reduce inflammation.

Lots of people who speak on how to be an effective leader or how to overcome adversity.

So how is your message different?

If you’re not sure, imagine you’re a part of a panel brought in to discuss your general topic.

How would your solutions or approach be different from the other panelists?

How do you look at the topic slightly differently than others?

What kinds of things do other experts recommend that you strongly disagree with?

My POVs

Obviously there are other people who talk about impostor syndrome.

One is a well-known psychologist with a big bestselling book that contains a chapter on impostor syndrome.

I agree with most of what she says. But I disagree strongly on her proposed solution to just talking about your impostor feelings.

The logic is the more you talk about something, the less powerful the feelings become.

I do agree that giving voice to anything that evokes shame is an important first step.

But I am emphatic in telling my audiences that contrary to what some experts tell you, you can’t share your way out of impostor feelings.

From there I back up my POV with scientific evidence and then proceed to share the three things that do work.

Your POV is also what makes you stand out with the media.

I’ve been interviewed on numerous radio shows on the topic of career change.

Other career experts tend to talk about things like how to use social media to get a job, how to nail the interview, or doing informational interviews of people doing the job you covet.

Useful information… but hardly unique.

Then I come on and say things like…

“The problem is we’ve become a nation of occupational sheep passively waiting for someone to give us job. No one ever taught us how to make our own job!”

Or when they ask me about the key to my success I say things like…

“I think it’s because I don’t spend a lot of time in the real world.”

(A statement I quickly follow up with the fabulous quote from Will Smith who said, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”)

Do you think having a unique POV might set me apart from other career experts?

Do you see how having a unique POV would capture the attention of my host and more importantly, their listeners?

The bottom line: The more you can get your audience to think, the more successful a speaker you’ll be.

3.  Start where you are

If you know you need to work on your platform skills, join your local chapter of Toastmaster International.

If you need to polish your talk, then focus on that.

Just don’t do it by sitting at home endlessly tweaking it.

Instead get as much practice and feedback as you can.

Volunteer to speak anywhere and everywhere you can. Speak to informal gatherings in church/synagogue/mosque basements.

Speak to PTA groups or Meet Up groups or to local business owners.

When I started out I did tons of talks for free.

Trust me, no one at a conference or meeting knows whether you’re being paid or not.

Not only will you continue to grow as a speaker, but your next paying gig could very well come from someone in your audience.

4. Decide on your business model

The speaking business is just that… a business.

And there are three ways you can make money speaking:

  • Speak for a fee/keynoter
  • Speak for free and sell products or services from the stage
  • A combination (after my friend Barbara Winter speaks, she cheerily informs her audience that she’s brought along some books and “the store is open!”

I’m definitely a keynote speaker.

The person who has played a crucial role in accelerated my speaking business is six-time (count ‘em) New York Times bestselling author Larry Winget.

Larry is the one who taught me about the need to not only have a strong POV, but also not to minimize it by saying things, like… “I think…” or “In my opinion…”

(If Larry were here he’d tell you that we know you thought it because you’re saying it!)

larry

I am tremendously fortunate to make good money speaking.

But my fees are nowhere close to the $25,000 Larry commands for a one-hour talk.

You always want to be learning from people who are where you want to be. For me, Larry was – and to this day continues to be – that person.

suzanne-evans

The other person who has taught me a lot is my former business coach and friend Suzanne Evans.

Not long ago Suzanne was a gloried administrative assistant job struggling to pay the bills. Today she runs a 7-figure coaching business that’s made it onto the Inc. 500 list three times.

Unlike Larry and me, Suzanne rarely gets paid to speak.

Instead Suzanne uses speaking as a way to introduce audiences to her products and services and then offers them the opportunity to work with her.

For the record, anyone can sell from the stage without sounding “salesy.” Well-respected experts like Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter do it all the time.

The key is to deliver good content.

Are you a coach? Share your best advice and end by offering a free strategy session.

Are you a dog trainer? Talk about the biggest three mistakes people make with a new puppy and then offer a discount to anyone who signs up for your next class.

Speak on nutrition? Give great information then follow your talk with a book signing.

Leading a retreat in Belize for people who want to find their calling? Talk about the importance of slowing down long enough to hear your inner calling and then do a drawing for a free spot at your retreat.

Are you getting the idea?

So yes, both Suzanne and Larry have hugely successful businesses.

As importantly, speaking is what allowed them to also create amazing lives.

Every year Suzanne takes a group of people to South Africa to coach economically disadvantaged business owners for free.

And I have often donated my time to speak at organizations that support a worthy cause. It’s an amazing feeling to know that your words can make a difference in more ways than one.

5. Get and stay in the game: The Big Shift

Even seasoned speakers need to constantly improve.

I hate watching videos of myself on stage. But if you’re striving for continuous improvement, as painful as it is… the camera doesn’t lie.

Like anything else, getting good – and staying good – takes concerted effort.

Over the two decades as a part-time speaker, I estimate I’ve addressed over 80,000 people. As impressive as that sounds I wasn’t exactly breaking the bank.

Then three years ago I experienced a huge shift in my speaking business.

Instead of getting 7 or 8 speaking gigs year, I started booking 20+.

And for the first time ever, my speaking income began to consistently hit the six-figure mark.

I’m not telling you this to impress you.

I’m telling you this partly because a lot of people sell themselves and what they have to offer short.

Far too many of us – and women especially – undervalue ourselves and the message we have to share with the world.

And everyone loses when bright people play small.

The other reason I’m talking about money is because I want you to know that for some of you, speaking is by far your fastest path to cash – and to freedom.

For me the big shift began three years ago when I attended a speaking boot camp taught by Larry and Suzanne.

Again, using two very different models, they’ve both managed to create immensely successful businesses built on speaking.

The shift came when I applied three simple principles I learned from Larry and Suzanne.

To make it as a speaker you need to first get good, then get known, then you get paid. In that order.

I’ve grown enormously in all three areas. And so can you.

Last year a gaming enthusiastic and maker named Stephan was there.

Stephan was not a professional speaker when he arrived at the boot camp. In fact, he clearly struggled to find his voice.

But he was determined to use speaking as a platform to spread the message that games can be both fun and educational. So he kept at it.

This week Stephan is speaking in Japan.

And if he can do it… so can you.

Be My Guest at the “Build Your Speaking Business Boot Camp”

Like I said, my booking increased just in the last three years.

That’s why November 17-19 I’ll be back to Atlanta to attend the “Speaking Business Boot Camp.”

This is my third boot camp. I’m going back because it’s just that good.

Like I said, you always want to learn from people who are where you want to be.

Which is why I’m super excited that they’re adding several other $25,000+ a day speakers to the faculty.

I’d love for you to join me in Atlanta.

I have the opportunity to bring 10 guests with me. And I hope you’ll be one.

Not only will you learn a ton, but I’m also going to organize a little meet-up of everyone who joins me.

That way you’ll walk in already armed with a mighty support group!

How to take advantage of your complimentary “Friend of Valerie’s” guest pass

Step 1: Read all about the event here.

If you want to take advantage of the opportunity to be one of my 10 guests, DON’T REGISTER.

Why? Because as my guest, you won’t pay $297.

Instead you’ll receive a separate complimentary event ticket.

That’s where step 2 comes in…

Step 2: Send an email with the subject line “Speaker Boot Camp” to Valerie (at) changingcourse.com with your first and last name, primary email address, and best phone number to reach you.

Obviously they need to know how many people to expect. So all us (including me) need to put down a small deposit – but you get it back in full as soon as you arrive.

And if you’re looking for a hotel mate, let me know and I’ll try to match you up.

Step 3: Look for an email from either me or the event organizers at SuzanneEvans.org who will contact you directly to redeem your “Friend of Valerie’s” Free Guest Pass.”

The truth is: You have a message to share that the world needs to hear.

And you really can get paid to share what you already know.

Whether you want to be a well-paid keynoter like I am… or you want to use speaking as a means to grow your business…

I absolutely credit the 3-step  get good~get known~get paid I learned at the Speaking Business Boot camp with making 2016 my BIGGEST speaking year ever.

And if you can’t go? Follow the advice I just gave you and never, ever give up!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #9: Love Food Will Travel – 7 Ways to Make Money With A Food or Travel Blog

Imagine traveling around exploring the local food scene. Maybe you drop in on cooking schools. Meet with chefs. Explore street food and markets. Review fine restaurants.

Now imagine sharing what you experience with the world… and getting paid to do it!

Asian women eating delicious Focus on face

For a foodie who also loves to travel… food and travel blogging is the perfect way to go.

I’m using food and travel blogs here as an example.

But these same options apply whether you blog about cats, health and wellness, your favourite sports team, or any topic of interest to a wider audience.

1. Attract Advertisers

MOSCOW RUSSIA - DECEMBER 12 2105: Used red cap from the glass bottle of Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola Company is an American beverage corporation and manufacturer founded in 1886.

Aileen Adalid of I Am Aileen blogs more about travel than food.

Her followers are other millennials drawn to the young Filipino’s example of trading the rat race for life on the road.

Aileen is worth studying because of her ability to attract such heavy hitter advertisers as Coca Cola, Hilton, Marriott, Eurail, Unilever, and the Helsinki tourism bureau.

2. Get Corporate Sponsors

Pat of fresh farm butter on a butter dish with a knife to use as a spread or cooing ingredient overhead view on a slatted wooden table

Unlike advertisers, sponsors tend to make a longer brand commitment and pay a set fee.

Ree Drummon is personality behind the phenomenally successful cooking blog The Pioneer Woman.

She’s also an unapologetic fan of butter-rich recipes, an approach that clearly spoke to butter manufacturer and sponsor Land O’Lakes.

Then there’s Stefan and Sebastian, the attractive couple behind the popular food and travel blog Nomadic Boys.

In just two years, their blog attracted a loyal following particularly in the gay community.

That led to paid opportunities to collaborate with hotel brands and tourism boards as well as to speak at conferences to promote gay travel.

Stefan and Sebastian aren’t the only couple crushing it with sponsors.

Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott of the blog The Uncornered Market actively promote their availability to serve as paid brand ambassadors.

It’s this kind of proactivity that led  the couple to star in commercials for major companies like Lonely Planet and Ford.

Ambitious yes. Worth building toward? Absolutely!

After all, no matter what your dream, somebody’s going to do that cool thing… it might as well be you!

3. Sell Products

People interested in following you and your niche are also prime potential buyers of related products.

Ree’s blog led to her own cooking show on the Food Network. From there she landed an exclusive deal with Walmart to sell her own brand of cookware and other kitchen items.

And this fall she and her husband are opening their own store in an old building they renovated on the main street in their small town in Oklahoma… and they’re hiring!

But you don’t need to run an empire in order to sell products. Nor do you need to stock inventory.

Singaporean dinner icon with flat symbols of fried rice nasi goreng, chilli crab, spicy noodle soup laksa with prawns, chicken rice with hard boiled eggs and chicken liver, served on banana leaf with chopsticks and cup of green tea

Instead you can work with vendors directly to drop ship exotic or specialty ingredients or other cooking or home-related products directly to the customer.

Want to create your own products?

Companies like CaféPress or Zazzle both supply ready-made, as well as customized, products you design.

Blogging about French cuisine? Supply the vendor with images or fun sayings that appeal to lovers of all things French and they’ll print it onto coffee mugs, calendars, T-shirts, mousepads, or scores of other items. The vendor fills orders as you get them and you earn a percentage of the sale.

4. Affiliate Revenue

Camping elements equipment on top of the mountain.

A less hands-on approach is to sell products indirectly as an affiliate like Aileen does.

In addition to ad revenue, Aileen also earns money by recommending or otherwise featuring products she likes.

If someone makes a purchase using her affiliate link, she’ll receive a referral fee of anywhere from 5 to 50 percent of the sale price.

Another couple earning affiliate income are Chris and Rob Taylor of 2TravelDads.com.

Because the couple are traveling with their young kids, the 2 Dad’s Amazon store features kid-friendly products and camping gear they use and recommend.

5. Write for Others

Just because you have your own readers doesn’t mean you can’t get paid to write for other publications.

In addition to her own posts, Canadian food and travel blogger Mayssam Samaha of Will Travel for Food writes extensively for the Montreal Tourism bureau and numerous other popular travel and airline publications.

6. Sell Your Photographs

When you see Erick Prince’s, AKA the Minority Nomad, stunning photos, you’ll understand why he’s able to sell his images and videos to clients like Facebook, Shangri-La Hotels, and SAS.

Like most of the bloggers featured here, Erick has multiple profit streams of income.

In addition to making money from photos, he’s also a travel journalist for Yahoo Travel and other outlets and also serves as a luxury travel consultant for brands seeking to reach other millennials.

7. Lead Tours

Tourists using tablet computer while sightseeing in Venice

Have you ever wished you could turn others onto your favorite shopping and dining spots?

That’s what the American born Italy-based food blogger Elizabeth Minchilli does.

In addition to publishing cookbooks, creating a popular app for local travelers, and teaching cooking classes, she recently began to offer one-day food tours.

Those went so well that Elizabeth recently teamed up with her daughter Sophie to run a 6-day Week in Rome. The first tour already sold out!

Other Ways to Get Paid

Portrait of a happy african american man traveling with bag and headphones

Money is important. But it’s just one reward of being a food or travel blogger.

Eight years ago Catherine Enfield of Munchie Musings started writing about the Sacramento food scene.

For Catherine, being a food blogger was less a means to replace her pay check as a state worker than it was a way to become actively engaged in her community.

Along the way she started the popular Sacramento Food Film Festival.

Catherine has since gifted the festival to the non-profit Food Literacy Program which continues the mission of using film to educate the public about the food system.

Erick also had a larger goal: To be the first African American to travel to all 90 countries and to inspire young African American males to travel as well.

These are the kinds of rewards money can’t buy.

Getting Started

For most of her eight-plus years blogging, Catherine kept her day job.

However, it was her immersion in the dining world that ultimately led to landing a cool job with a restaurant software company.

Besides you don’t need to be a full time traveler to write a travel blog.

Chris Taylor has a regular corporate job and Rob is the stay-at-home parent. In addition to frequent weekend jaunts, the family takes four or five big trips a year.

They’re able to take some of the bigger trips by adding a few vacation days to some of Chris’s work trips where some of the expenses are covered by his employer.

Similarly, sites like Tours by Locals make it easy for you to run tours right there in your own community.

Learn the blogging ropes

Learn written by a hand isolated on white background

If you want to make money from blogging – or indeed, from any online business – you have to know how to drive people to your site and build your audience.

Fortunately, there are thousands of books, articles, classes, even entire businesses dedicated to teaching new bloggers of any ilk how to get traffic and a fan base – much of it free.

One place to start is Aileen’s handy step-by-step guide on how to start a successful travel blog.

Prefer to learn in person?

Attend the annual International Food Bloggers conference – just one of many conferences dedicated to this niche.

Get clear

At some point you need to decide who it is you want to attract. Is it:

  • Professional or amateur cooks keen to learn about emerging or international cuisine or trends?
  • Visitors – local or international – looking for the best places to dine or food shop?
  • A future cookbook publisher?
  • People who rarely travel or cook but who nevertheless love looking at photos of fabulous food or destinations?
  • People who’d rather follow you via a video blog than read?
  • People who identify with you based on things like parenting or relationship status, age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, region, style of travel, food preferences, etc.

Your answers will inform future decisions from choosing a URL to your content to which advertisers, sponsors, and/or affiliates to pursue.

Ideally you’d figure this out before you begin. However, if you suffer from analysis paralysis then sometimes you have to just…

Jump in and just see where it leads

Retro effect and toned image of a woman hand writing a note with a fountain pen on a notebook. Handwritten text TAKING THE LEAP IS THE HARDEST PART business success concept

Maybe you can’t move to Tuscany or become a world traveler until the kids are out of college or you retire.

But you can use the steps you just learned to start laying the groundwork.

That said, there’s a danger in trying so hard to plan everything in advance that you wind up doing nothing.

“When I started the blog,” writes Elizabeth, “I wasn’t sure what it would lead to.”

And going in Catherine definitely never expected to start a cause-driven film festival.

That’s why it’s so important that you just jump in and see where it leads you!

Your Turn!

If you could create your perfect food and/or travel blog scenario, what would it look like?

Who would be your ideal followers and what’s the message you’d love to spread?

Which of the seven ways to make money as a food or travel blogger speak to you?

As my friend Barbara Sher says, “Isolation is the dream killer.”

Take one minute right now to hop down to the comments and share your dream or to just lend some encouragement to your fellow members of the Changing Course Community!

Isn’t It Time to Profit From Your Passion?

opendoor

Still don’t know what you want to be “when you grow up?”

Know what you love to do but have no idea how to make money doing it?

Have so many ideas you don’t know where to begin?

The answers are closer than you think! And once you have a direction, doors will open you never knew existed.

Click here to learn how to schedule a personal Work at What You Love career coaching session with me or one of my licensed Profiting From Your Passions® career coaches today.


Flexible Income, Flexible Life Now

The latest digital issue of International Living magazine’s niche publication Incomes Abroad just landed in my email and I immediately thought of you.

The publication is aimed at the growing numbers of people seeking to relocate to a country that offers a more affordable lifestyle and slower pace of living.

Other readers want to be able to work from anywhere in the world.

And still others simply want a way to fund their wanderlust.

In all three cases, the focus is 100 percent on how to make money without a job-job.

Which is why I thought of you.

After all, you don’t need to go to Bali or Barcelona to create a portable profit center.

portable

For you, “portable” might mean being able to work from your home-office or from your laptop in a coffee shop right in your own neighborhood.

In other words, this information-packed resource is for anyone who has a burning desire to create a flexible income… and needs help figuring out how to make it happen.

That’s the other reason I’m SO jazzed about the current issue.

No matter where your interests lie, you’ll find fascinating cases studies into the different ways regular people, just like you, saw a need and turned it into an opportunity.

I guarantee you’ll have at least one AHA moment!

Ideas agreement Investing in business innovation concept and financial commerce backing of creativity as an open lightbulb symbol for funding potential innovative growth prospect through venture capital.

Like I said, I just received this month’s issue and frankly I was blown away. It’s packed with inspiring and informative ways you can make money that don’t require a passport.

But I’ll let managing editor Shane Orman tell you what you can expect:

excerpt-international-living

In case I wasn’t clear, you don’t need to travel one bit in order to get a wealth of information that can help you change course.

But if you do want a flexible income so you can work from anywhere… and you want to be your own boss, then do yourself a huge favor and check out this extremely helpful and ridiculously affordable resource now.

Click here to get your free issue now. You’ll be glad you did!

 


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #8: Romance and Money Too


Your Path to Being a Best-Selling Romance Writer

Think there’s no money in book writing? Think again.

Does the very term “romance book” conjure up a very specific picture of a type of book, reader, or author?

If so, once again, think again!

I just returned from San Diego where I delivered a keynote address to over 2,200 people — mostly women but also some men — at the annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference.

featured speakers

Published and aspiring writers from 20 countries came to network, meet their favorite authors, and have the chance to pitch to editors of major publishing houses.

More than anything though, they came to learn. The four-day conference featured a whopping 100+ workshops.

Whether people came as complete novices or seasoned pros, there truly was something for everyone.

Topics ranged from character development… the art of the backstory… self-publishing… historical research… working with agents… online marketing… attracting raving fans… even costuming historic characters.

Here I am with members of the San Diego Costume Guild.

RWA Costumes

Did You Know?

Before RWA asked me to speak, I didn’t know a lot about this field either.

Today I know romance writing is a $1.08 billion industry.

RWA cover 1

hell or high water

I also know that despite the stereotypical image of what a romance novel looks like, there are many distinct genres. For instance…

  • Young adult romance is largely aimed at the teen market — a genre is all about G-rated firsts… first crush, first kiss, first heartbreak, first love
  • Historical romances, which are very popular, are set prior to 1950
  • Suspense/mystery has these elements as the central theme
  • Erotic romance which includes explicit sexual interaction between the two main characters
  • Inspirational or Christian romance were also referred to by the authors I met as “sweet,” meaning they have either no or closed-door sex are referred
  • Paranormal romance includes “elements beyond the range of scientific explanation.” In addition to science fiction, ghosts, and time-travel, you see this genre in the massively popular vampire-themed Twilight series which went on to become a blockbuster film.
  • Regency romance covers the British period between 1811-1820 and the early 19th According to Wikipedia, “the more traditional Regencies feature a great deal of intelligent, fast-paced dialogue between the protagonists and very little explicit sex or discussion of sex”.

Wikipedia offers an excellent overview of the century’s long history of romance writing.

You’ll find links to more information on the different genres, insights into varying tastes in romance books around the world, and the staggering success of the genre.

That’s where I learned:

  • Harlequin sells more than four books per second, half of them internationally
  • As of 2014, romance is the most popular literary genre in Russia, especially among the younger audience
  • 8 million people read an English-language romance novel in 2008
  • In the UK, over 20% of all fiction books sold each year are romance novels

The Many Faces of Romance Writers

Who do you picture when you think “romance writer”?

I’m guessing it’s not Karna Small Bodman.

Karna served in the White House under President Reagan for six years with a post on the National Security Council.

Today she draws on her unique background to write political thrillers.

The writers I met come from a wide range of backgrounds including people who were, or still are working as professors, nurses, administrators, home schooling parents…

People like award-winning Shirley Hailstock (pictured here on the left) didn’t start out as romance writers.

RWA 1Shirley earned her undergrad degree in chemistry from Howard University and her MBA in chemical marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

She went on to do sales analytics for a pharmaceutical company and was an adjunct professor of accounting at Rutgers.

Today Shirley is a seasoned published writer with 35 novels and novellas under her belt.

I also met a lot of attendees who are just starting out.

Fledging writers who came to learn the craft of writing romance and to make the kinds of connections it takes to get published.

Like Bernadette J. Campbell (pictured above on the right).

Bernadette had a long career working behind the scenes at a television news station in Philadelphia. She’s also a minister interested in inspirational speaking and writing for the Christian market.

One of the huge benefits of the RWA conference is the opportunity to pitch your book to representatives of major publishing houses like Avon Books and Harlequin.

Bernadette tried pitching at last year’s conference but didn’t get any takers.

Undeterred, she returned home, tightened up her story line, perfected her one-minute pitch, and returned to try again.

This year Bernadette got a bite!

Other writers I spoke with have published dozens of books. But it wasn’t always easy.

Roz Denny Fox has written 52 western-themed novels. Roz began writing while still working as a secretary. She was also raising four kids.

Starting out Roz told me that she wrote during the only spare time she had — between midnight and 3am.

(As impressive as that is, the quantity prize goes to best-selling writing phenomenon Nora Roberts with a whopping 214 books!)

RWA Sherry Thomas

Things weren’t always easy for Sherry Thomas either (that’s Sherry on the left after her hysterically funny as well as inspiring talk ).

Despite immigrating from China as a teen and struggling to learn English… despite the crushing disappointment of having to pass on a full academic scholarship to an elite graduate program at Harvard because of a pregnancy… and despite struggling for two years with post-partum depression, Sherry went on to become an acclaimed writer.

Hard work and perseverance paid off for Sherry and for the many other bestselling authors at the conference. Like the ones signing books for this long line of fans!

RWA Random House RWA line

The Riches Are in the Niches

Like I said, there are so many genres of romance I had no idea even existed.

Here I am with Shelley Shepard Gray who, along with writers like Cindy Woodsmall, specializes in Amish romance. (Who knew!?)

RWA AmishShelley is not Amish herself.

But she does live near Ohio’s Amish community so knows there’s a keen interest in the simpler lives and relationships found in Amish culture.

Not pictured here is a young woman named Emma Prince.

Emma decided to put her PhD in English literature and her passion for history to use by writing Scottish historical romance.

This is me with conference keynoter and award-winning author Beverly Jenkins. (Finally someone as short as I am !)

RWA Beverly Jenkins

Beverly is also a historical romance writer. But instead of Scots, her characters are African American.

In writing about black romance, Beverly filled a publishing niche that no one else had — or historically-speaking, was allowed to.

Beverly has helped all of her loyal readers become more aware of the historical realities of black Americans. But for black women especially, her work has been tremendously validating.

Click here for a short video of Beverly and fellow writers on a historical research trip to South Carolina. Following that video are a series of interviews with other writers.

Finally, there’s Tracey Livesay.

Lindsey

This former criminal defense attorney specializes in an even more specialized niche – multi-cultural romance.

Her latest book Love On My Mind is about the attraction between a successful African American PR executive who is secretly brought in by a corporation who needs her to finesse a reclusive computer genius (aka the “sexiest geek alive”) who is white.

Getting Started

First off, if you’ve never read a romance novel, pick a few authors you met here and read their books to get familiar with the genre.

Notice too that many of the writers featured here build on their previous careers, life experience, love of history, or personal factors to either build their storylines or choose a genre.

Ask yourself — is there something in your own background or experience you can draw from?

Next understand the basic structure of the romance novel. Writer’s Digest offers a good overview.

If you’re still interested in trying your hand at writing, by far the best way to get started is to join a local, international, or online chapter of Romance Writers of America.

This article about the Naples, Florida chapter will give you a good idea of what happens on the local level.

Best-selling writer Bronwen Evans from New Zealand also offers some helpful tips and links for people just starting out.

Will you become a best-selling writer? Who knows.

Sometimes it’s more about doing it for yourself without expectations.

At least that was the case for the first-time author I met who only started writing after her husband became paralyzed.

During the eight weeks she took off from her state job to care for him, she said writing was a way to cope.

Happily, she recently published her first book – a paranormal romance!

As with anything… the key is just to start.

Join the Changing Course Community Conversation!

I love inspiring you to be your own boss… but what I love even more is helping Y-O-U and seeing us all collectively help one another!

What about you? Have you ever thought about writing any sort of book?

If so, how has this article inspired you to launch this dream?

Are you a published author? If so, what advice can you offer others?

Even if you’re not a writer, what words of wisdom or support can you offer anyone who has a book inside of them?

Finally, how can I help you profit from your passion?

Just scroll down and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #9 in our 10-part series Make Your Own Cool Job!

“It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been” – George Eliot

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Know exactly what you love to do… but have no clue how to make money doing it?

Either way, learn more about my personal Work at What You Love career planning sessions now!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #7: Make Your Own Cool Job Series


Living the Seasonal Life With Multiple Streams of Income

Remember how Self-Bossing Idea #5 featured two talented Canadian jewelers who each in their own way, made their own  very cool jobs?

Well, today you’ll meet long-time Changing Course subscriber Liam Hughes.

Liam also happens to be a jeweler.  But there is so much MORE to his story.

What makes Liam unique is he didn’t make just one cool job. He made six!

He also lives the kind of seasonal life so many of my readers would die for.

You see, from August to May, Liam works out of his studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he crafts unique jewelry made from shards of broken antique and contemporary dishes.

antiqueedge

Dragon

He may not be looking to build an empire like Rachel Mielke, the Canadian jewelry designer and entrepreneur extraordinaire who I told you about last time.

But like any successful business owner, Liam knows that products don’t sell themselves.

So when he’s not in his studio, Liam travels to fine art and craft shows coast-to-coast.

He’s also savvy online too.

Over the years, Liam has built a loyal customer following by emailing seasonal promotions and other product updates to the people who stop by his booth.

irishbelleek

Then every June, Liam heads to the Emerald Isle to the cottage he lovingly restored in the land of his grandfather, County Tipperary, Ireland.

He turned a portion of his cottage into a guest house that includes the opportunity to book him for private tours.

Year round he hosts the Irish Fireside Podcast and Blog which is ranked among iTunes’ top travel podcasts.

More recently, Liam helped develop the Ireland Travel Kit smartphone app to help people discover and share Ireland’s unique and offbeat locations.

If that wasn’t enough, Liam produced a recording of Irish music to accompany his precious CD of jazz and American standards!

LemonTwist

A true Renaissance man!

Listen and Learn

A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Liam about his multiple profit centers.

If you missed that call, here’s your chance to listen in now.

High resolution graphic of an listen icon with head phones and notes.

You’ll hear how he changed course, from working in the IT department at a local college to pursue his multiple gifts and interests full-time and how he juggles different profit centers.

And just to be clear…

You don’t have to want to make jewelry, live and work seasonally, run a B&B, offer tours, or do ANY of the things Liam does to find his energy and belief that you really can make your own cool “job” to be positively contagious!

Plus, you’ll hear some great advice Liam offered several live callers.

Pay close attention to what he told the woman who was discouraged because she was unable to earn enough from her quilts.

What Liam told her was utterly brilliant and applies to everyone who wants to profit from their passion.

Oh, and if you happen to be that quilter – I’ve been looking for you! Call me!

Click here to listen to or download the recording.

Join the Changing Course Community Conversation!

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

What about you? If you could live in different parts of the country — or the world — where would you love to live?

What do YOU love to do? And how can I or your fellow change seekers help you profit from your passion? We’d love to help!

So take a brief moment to hop over to the blog and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #8 in our 10-part series Make Your Own Cool Job!

“It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been” – George Eliot

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Or, do you know exactly what you love to do but have no clue how to make money doing it?

Either way, learn more about my personal Work at What You Love career planning sessions now!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #6: Make Your Own Cool Job Series

Three People Who Get Paid to Play—and How You Can Too

When Gary Auerback was growing up he loved playing Frisbee. 

He obviously got pretty good at it because in 1995 Gary won the World Frisbee Championship! 

Gary decided to parlay that big win into a way he could get paid to play.

And for the last twenty years he’s done just that.

Today, Gary, aka the Frisbee Guy, makes his living putting on fun shows at schools, summer camps, park and recreation departments, and birthday parties. 

For two 45-minute shows Gary gets $950. If he “tosses” in 300 autographed Frisbees, it’s $1,450.

But if you think Frisbees are just for kids, think again.

Companies also hire Gary to use Frisbees as part of employee team-building exercises. And more recently Gary has been doing motivational speaking.

You don’t have to win a championship to get paid to play.

Christine Gloster, from right here in my own town of South Hadley. Massachusetts describes herself as a “painter by nature.” In 2004 she decided to combine her passion for art and working with children into a business.

Today Christine is The Happy Face Painter.

 

She makes up to $125 an hour painting the faces of thousands of delighted children at local parties and events – and even as far away as the Caribbean!

Compare Gary’s $950- and Christine’s $125-an-hour gigs with how many hours you’d have to work in your typical minimum wage job to earn the same amount of money. 

And they’re having fun doing it! 

These are just two of the many ways to earn money in the event and party world. 

Hillary Saffran – who is also the Biz Mama at MyBizMama.com  knows firsthand that you really can make good money at parties and events.


A gifted speaker, ventriloquist, singer, and actor, she began her entertainment career over 26 years ago as a birthday party clown as a way to supplement her day job. 

Since then Hillary has entertained audiences from ages 2-102! 

But you don’t need to be the least bit “talented” to make money in the party and event world. 

In fact, there are dozens of non-entertainment ways you can cash in on the lucrative party and event world! 

If you missed Hillary’s recent class on 27 Ways to Cash in on Parties and Events, for a limited time you can sign up to catch the replay here.

You’ll discover fun ways you can make much more money than you could with the average part-time job – in far less time.

Among the many options Hillary shares, are options for people who love to travel, including getting gigs on cruises and selling at state fairs.

And even food, craft, and other products that fly off the shelves that you can sell at fairs and other events. 

My own brother has raked in as much as $3,000 a weekend selling kettle corn at local events – and that’s just his side gig! 

Not into parties and events? No problem. 

As a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® career coach, Hillary is also an expert in all sorts of money-making ideas. In fact, she even wrote a book on it! 

It’s called How to Earn $100 Per Hour Without a JOB.

The book sells on Amazon for just under $20 bucks. HowToEarnBookBizMama

But for a limited time Hillary is giving away free copies!

All you have to do to grab your FREE copy is go to My Biz Mama and sign up.

Gary, Christine, and Hillary prove that it’s possible to make hundreds of dollars an hour at parties and events.

Jumpstart Your New Life 

You too can get paid to play–or to do whatever you love to do–sometimes all you need is a little help!

Biz Mama to the rescue!

 

For a limited time you can sign up for one of Hillary’s free Jumpstart sessions.

Together you will…

  • Create a clear vision of what you want your work – and your life to look like
  • Uncover hidden challenges to creating the biz and life you really want
  • And leave your session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to finally achieve your dream of turning your interests into income 

And who doesn’t want that! Plus, it’s F-R-E-E!

To schedule your personal Jumpstart session with Hillary, the Biz Mama of MyBizMama.com, call 973-346-2663 and leave your name, number, and the best time to reach you.

Isn’t it time to finally figure out what YOU want to be when you grow up?

As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

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!

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 #7 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.


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