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Getting Paid to Brainstorm

Are you constantly thinking up potential business ideas for yourself or other people?

Are you forever turning friends and acquaintances onto resources and alternatives they never knew existed?

Do you instinctively jump in to help others brainstorm ideas?

Perhaps deep down they’d love to be a pet photographer… or write children’s books… or run a spiritual retreat center… or become a personal chef… or bring their product idea to market… or find a way to get paid to travel.

Well, they’re hardly alone.

Job dissatisfaction, downsizing, and the growing desire for more work/life balance are forcing people to think about alternative ways to make their living. And this migration out of corporate America has created a unique opportunity for career consultants and coaches.

If you love brainstorming, teaching, coaching or otherwise pointing out interesting ways other people can make money doing what they love, this is your chance to get paid to do what comes naturally…

My “Passions into Profits” Coach Training & Business Start Up Program is the first and ONLY entrepreneurial track career coach training system to hand you a proven blueprint that will enable you to…

  • Create a unique income stream to serve clients with entrepreneurial interests

  • Gain access to specialized training, tools and resources for creating careers outside traditional structures

  • Gain the tools you need for faster business growth

  • Discover literally hundreds of creative ways to make a living without a job — examples you can use with your clients again and again.

  • Quickly find key resources that help your clients turn their business dreams into reality

  • Know specific techniques you can use to help your clients develop expertise and a track record even when they have zero experience or training

  • Learn cutting-edge marketing strategies — as well as proven standbys — to help you build your Passions into Profits Coach training practice… fast!

The opportunities are endless and the timing is right….

  • people whose jobs are secure now realize the wisdom of starting some kind of small business on the side…

  • people whose jobs are being eliminated now realize that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by starting their own business. After all you can’t fire yourself!

  • people in the early stages of retirement are looking for ways to earn some extra money – preferably by being able to work at home…

Reserve your seat now for this informative Webinar. Limited seats are available, reserve yours now at

Fall 2009 Registration Now Open

“To love what you do and feel that it matters,
how could anything else be more fun?”
Katharine Graham

If You Love Brainstorming, Teaching, Coaching or Otherwise Pointing Out Interesting Ways Other People Can Make Money Doing What They Love, Then Please Don’t Miss This Chance For You to
Get Paid To Do What Comes Naturally

  • Are you constantly thinking up potential business ideas for yourself or other people?
  • Are you forever turning friends and acquaintances onto resources and alternatives they never knew existed?
  • Do you instinctively jump in to help others brainstorm ideas?

If that describes you, then I bet people love talking with you…

Maybe they even seek you out. And why wouldn’t they? After all, thinking creatively about ways to make a living without a “job-job” is something that just, well… comes naturally to you I’ll bet.

It does to me, too. Now I’d like to show you how you can share in my success as well. Since launching Changing Course in 1995, I’ve heard from literally hundreds of people who would love to get paid to do what I do:

“I’ve spent much time trying to find my own calling, and I realized that what I really like to do is help other people realize their dreams.” ~ Jean

“To see someone’s eyes light up when I’ve given them a great idea, is an incredible feeling. People are so grateful when you show them that a new path really does exist.” ~ James

“I’ve been doing this kind of thing for years for free – I might as well get paid!” ~ Gretchen

The “Passions into Profits” program is the first and ONLY entrepreneurial track career coach training system to hand you a proven blueprint.

You get everything you need to be able to offer private coaching or run workshops to show people viable ways to make money doing what they love – and get paid to do it.

To date over 130 people from as far away as Singapore, Kenya, Norway, Australia, the UK, Barbados, even Kazakhstan have learned how to launch themselves into a whole new first-time business or create a profitable add-on income stream to their existing coaching business.

This is an amazing opportunity to start your own business doing what you love – brainstorming creative ideas to turn passions into profits!

But don’t take my word for it. Listen to what people in the program had to say…

Schedule Your Free Business Brainstorming Session Today

If you are seriously considering training to become a Passions into Profits Coach so you can get paid to brainstorm with private clients or run workshops, read on…

There are two versions of this program:

The Passions into Profits Coach Training only

Or, the Passions into Profits Coach Training Marketing Jumpstart version

The last thing I want is for you to sign up for something that’s not right for you. And if you do sign up, I definitely want you to hit the ground running!

To decide which option – if either – is right one for you and to see how you can your own at-home business started for under $500, click here to schedule one of a very limited number of 15 minute Business Brainstorming sessions with me. *International callers, Valerie can phone you. (Sorry this offer is only for people considering becoming a Passions into Profits Coach. To schedule a personalized 90 minute career consultation with Valerie call 413-535-5107)

I have been circling around it for years and for various reasons and fears haven’t moved forward full steam. Somewhere inside I think I still didn’t believe that people would actually hire me or find me believable.  Not anymore…I am so impressed with all of the information we have received in this course… I feel so much more prepared and informed.

Of course I suspected I would feel this way because I have watched you for years and have always been impressed, which is why I signed up in the first place. I knew I would learn lots, especially about marketing and succeeding in my own business.

Lynn Burkholder, Ontario



“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

 Don’t miss out on this opportunity for this free 15 minute session with me… here’s the link again:


Can You Really Start Making Money in 48 Hours?

I know this sounds a little far-fetched, and if you know anything about me, then you know that I don’t like hype or far-fetched promises about overnight success. So, when I read the headline promising you could start a business …

Use Your Summer Vacation to Start Working at What You Love

Valerie Young

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 209 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Remember writing those "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essays way back when?

Summertime may not be the endless carefree season it was when you were a kid, but it’s still a great time to jumpstart your dream of working at what you love.

Here are three ways to use your summer vacation to grow a dream:

1. Become a Dream Detective

Imagine yourself a Dream Detective… someone who has an uncanny nose for scoping out unique business ventures. Like any good detective, you’ll want to take lots and lots of notes. Whether your vacation plans take you to the beach, the mountains, or the city, make sure to pack a small notebook along with the sunscreen and maps. But this isn’t any old notebook… it’s your Dream Notebook!

The idea is to use your Dream Notebook to capture as many cool business ideas as possible. If you’re traveling with kids you might even want to enlist their help by making a game of it. Maybe you’ll spy an interesting business in the airport terminal or along the roadside. Or perhaps you’ll find an existing business that’s come up with a unique income stream, like an outdoor cafe that, for a fee, will walk patron’s dogs while they dine.

If the business itself is nothing new, but they’re using some neat marketing tactic to get customers in the door, add the marketing idea to your list as well. For example, I read about a CPA who partnered with a hotel to offer weekend guests a completed tax return by checkout. Two unlikely business partners who profited from a creative idea.

The purpose of capturing cool business and marketing ideas is to shift your thinking away from the more limiting idea of "job" to the more option-expanding concept of “livelihood.” But that’s not all. Even if you have no interest in starting your own soft-serve ice cream shop/kids bookstore (with a fun hand-washing area dividing the two,
of course), a summer camp for Star Wars fans, or an antique stove repair business, just by paying attention to the wonderfully vast number of ways there are to make a living without a j-o-b can help fuel your own creative thinking.

2. Use The Longer Days To Start Working On Your Dream

Even though there’s still only 24 hours in a day, the extra hours of sunlight somehow make the day feel longer. Use the “extra” time to start actively working on your dream. For example…

If you still don’t know what you want to be “when you grow up,” read a book about tapping into your true calling. (You'll find numerous suggestions in the Changing Course Bookstore.)

If you’re in the exploring stage, consider taking an adult education course through your local college. I did a random search for courses and found such intriguing topics as How to Write and Sell Movie Treatments, Leather Bookbinding, and Opening Your Own Bed & Breakfast.

If you have a business idea in mind, you could spend the time researching your business, building your website, or working on your marketing plan. The point is to find a way to shine some of that extra sunlight onto your dreams.

3. Invest in Your Dream

One way to invest in your dream is to start spending less and saving more. If you need to save money to put toward your new home office or to purchase inventory, consider vacationing at home and stashing away the money you would have spent on a costly vacation into your “dream fund.”

The other way to invest in your dream is to make a conscious decision to spend money in the service of your dream. Sometimes the smartest (and quickest) way to start working at what you love is to invest in the skills, training, experiences, materials, or other resources you’ll need to launch your dream.

Coleman Cox asks, “Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning?” Looking ahead instead of back, the question will become, "How did YOU spend your summer?" Hopefully the answer will be, “Launching my dream of working at what I love!”

Time to Break Out of the Job Box: Readers Share Cool Ideas for Turning Your Everyday Interests Into Money-Making Small Businesses




By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 207 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Part 2 of a 2 Part Series

(Catch up on Part 1)

There is no limit to the ways you can make …

Time to Break Out of the Job Box: Readers Share Cool Ideas for Turning Your Everyday Interests Into Money-Making Small Businesses



By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 206 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Part 1 of a 2 Part Series

In his hour-long interview with Charlie Rose, Bill Gates said something that made me grab for my pen. He said, “This is the best time ever to be someone who is curious.” How true. There are so many fascinating ways to make a living without a job. To see them, though, requires a certain amount of curiosity.

Like Barbara Winter, I’m constantly “interrogating” people about their work. When I spent the night in the hospital last year, I asked a (very taken aback) physician, “Why did you decide to become a hospitalist?”

Then last month I spoke at a gathering of women optometrists meeting at a hotel in Atlanta. While I was testing out the microphone system, the hotel was setting up for a chocolate fondue and martini reception. When I saw a nice young man from a local company wheeling in vats of liquid chocolate, I pounced. I’m sure the hotel staff thought I was a bit odd, but I was curious to learn how someone would dive into chocolate – as a business, that is.

I’m not the only one who is curious. I recently held an “Opportunity Detective” contest where aspiring entrepreneurs competed for a spot in my Outside the Job Box Career Expert course. Contestants were asked to submit 10 unique small business ideas. Here are just a few of the many fascinating ideas I received. Sprinkled among the business ideas are some lessons from me on how you, too, can break outside of the job box!

For Creative Entrepreneurs, Problem = Opportunity

When you view the world from the eyes of an entrepreneur, you understand that some opportunities come disguised as problems – and all the more so in these challenging economic times. For example, there’s a company in California that (and don’t ask me how) somehow sprays green coloring onto brown lawns so homes that are For Sale or bank-owned look lived in.

Not long ago, a cooking show featuring recipes from the Great Depression would have gone largely unnoticed. But today, 91 year old Clara Cannuciari’s Great Depression Cooking segments have been picked up by all the major news outlets. The videos, shot in her kitchen by her grandson, were such a hit on YouTube that he’s packaged up the DVD to sell. They’re also monetizing the site with Google ads, but I could easily see getting big time corporate sponsors like Ronzoni or Idaho potatoes. If you could use a smile check out Clara’s site or track her down on YouTube.

Try the problem = opportunity technique yourself. Think of something challenging or stressful, then find a way to address it. Take for example, weddings. You already know about professional wedding planners. But perhaps the only thing more stressful than planning a wedding is cancelling one. It was Opportunity Detective contestant Erika Harris who turned me on to an actual business someone started as a professional event canceller. What is especially noteworthy about this business is that, like many enterprises (mine included), it started with a personal crisis.

In 2008, Lindsay Riggin went through the painful process of cancelling her own wedding. Obviously it was tough. But it also made her realize that she may be able to put her social work degree to work by helping others in the same position.

Today, this Chicago-based entrepreneur helps her clients by doing everything from notifying guests, calling vendors, re-negotiating contracts, and answering etiquette questions. Obviously, handling all these details takes someone who likes organizing things and has good people skills. But Lindsay also puts her counseling background to good use by offering therapeutic support and advice to individuals or couples.

Like the organizing/detail part, but don’t have a counseling degree? Here’s a work-around: Partner with a therapist in your area to deal with the emotional fall out and you handle the practical side of things!

Finally, sometimes other people see our gifts before we do. When a friend saw John having lots of fun with women at a conference, he encouraged John to create a training guide on “Dating For Over 40 for Men.” John’s friend even offered to market it for him!

This business may turn out to be a great funnel for John’s other idea. He even has a name for it: “No More Nervousness - Complete Confidence for The Best Man - Prewritten Toasts and Speeches for Everyone Who Has to Talk at a Wedding or Reception.” (Personally I think John could start a little side business helping people come up with catchy book and product titles… he’s obviously got a knack for it!)

There are lots of benefits to surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs. For instance, John has another friend who is a Wedding DJ, and this is one of many add-on services John and he are considering. If you don’t know other entrepreneurs, then make it your plan to seek them out.

And in these challenging economic times, it is all the more important to look beyond – or at least in addition to – the traditional job path.

“Growing” Teen Entrepreneurs

A lot of people share my passion for reaching out and helping teens start a business. When I was at Yanik Silver’s Underground Online Marketing seminar in Washington, DC last month, the entire first row was reserved for young entrepreneurs. One came as far away as the UK – by himself!

Supervising and advising all of those teens at the event was a dynamic woman named Shonika Proctor. According to her business card, Shonika is the “speaker, author, consultant, and doer” at (That’s her to the right of me in the photo.) Her organization focuses exclusively on training, coaching and promoting entrepreneurial teens across socioeconomic backgrounds and across the globe. Virtual coaching (via phone & Skype) is available for those outside of the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

I just revisited and learned that MTV is seeking contestants for a Teen CEO Reality Television Show. Obviously you would have to be a REALLY cool parent to put your family out there on national TV, but if you’re a bit of ham, it’s a great way to get exposure for your teen’s entrepreneurial dream. Unfortunately, the deadline is April 10th so go to ASAP for details and to learn about this and the other cool things they’re doing to support teen entrepreneurs.

Teens and children were another popular theme amongst Opportunity Detective contestants. For example, David’s dream is to help fathers and children spend more time together by teaching families how to start businesses together. “I want to take teenagers and get them involved in entrepreneurship [as a way to give] the vast majority who will not go to college a different option than 'just a j-o-b.'”

Here are examples of seven cool full-time businesses David says were all started by teens:

  • Popsy Cakes” -- Cupcakes on a stick! The brainchild of an 18-year-old girl enrolled in an entrepreneur program
  • Creating videos and music for special occasions and events
  • Eco Dog Treats - vegetarian dog treats
  • E&E Basket Company – gift baskets for all occasions
  • Tutoring and strategy business for college students
  • Online SAT preparation
  • Selling imported Peruvian jewelry

Walter from Canada shared this enterprising example of an even younger entrepreneur. “Grade eight Ottawa student Charlie Sobcov invented a painted, plastic window decal to save migratory birds from ‘skyscraper slaughter.’ Birds can see the ‘stop signs,’ but the paint color makes the removable decals invisible to humans. Although he’s still only testing the decals, he already has orders coming in.”

Remember how I said problems are an entrepreneur’s best friend? Walter shared another neat example of the problem-opportunity approach in action. After waiting 15 minutes in the icy cold for his bus, only to discover that he had missed it, 16 year-old student entrepreneur Eric Forkosh decided, "There has to be a better way…" So Walter reports, Erik created a hand-held Bus Alert that uses radio signals to alert him when the school bus is coming. How many kids, and parents, would love that!

Home-based businesses are very popular with the home schooling community. Another Opportunity Detective contestant named Olivia tells of homeschooled teen in her area who turned her love of plants and animals into a nature class for homeschoolers. “She teaches plant identification, how to track animals, animal and reptile habitats, etc., taking students on them on nature walks and has the class outdoors,” says Olivia. How cool is that!

Olivia has been teaching her own children to think outside the job box for a while now. Her 11-year-old even has a cake decorating business! Helping children is her passion. “I’m always looking for what their talent is and guiding them that way. After studying home-based businesses for 3 years (I’m a scanner), I’ve decided I want to help women find their uniqueness and how to profit from it. I was shocked when I found your website. It’s what my heart is! Teaching women to spot their children’s gifts and to help them think ‘outside of the box’ instead of just going down the same beaten path as everyone else is another area I want to help with.” Adding, “They’re our future!”

I couldn’t agree more! What I love about Olivia is she “gets” that there really is a way to take the thing she loves to do and share that with others who want to do the same thing. Don’t you wish you had a mother like Olivia? I’m also a huge fan of combining multiple interests into one or more income streams. For an interesting approach, one reader is taking that combines teen entrepreneurs and the green theme, go to the In the Garden section below.

The Opportunity Detective contest yielded dozens of other fascinating small business ideas. Proof that a curious mind is key to thinking outside the job box! What can you be curious about today? Practice flexing your Opportunity Detective muscles by making it
your mission to chat it up with at least one business owner you come in contact with today. It could be the person who owns the corner store or the dry cleaners… or perhaps your chiropractor, yoga instructor, the trainer at your gym, the neighbor down the street. Entrepreneurs, like ideas, are everywhere. You just need to look.

P.S. I was supposed to pick just one winner of the Opportunity Detective contest. Note to self: Never run a contest where I have to choose! I ended up choosing 4 lucky winners. They are Erika, John, Jerry and Raghu. Their curious and creative minds have earned them a complimentary spot in the Outside the Job Box Career Expert Course. I feel fortunate that they will be joining this growing community of well over 125 Outside of the Job Box Career Experts!

Too many people waste time daydreaming about being rescued by “Mr. Job,” the career equivalent of waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right. This kind of passive approach is sure to disappoint. Face it: The only person who’s going to liberate you from job jail is you! If you want to be your own boss then take a proactive lesson from Jonathan Winters who said, “I couldn’t wait for success,” he reportedly said, “so I went ahead without it.”

“Meet the Consultants”

Career Change for People Who Want A Life

Who better to talk about the Changing Course “Outside the Job Box” Small Business Idea Consultant Program then the people who have taken it?

When you watch this video of people who have taken the course, you’ll see how great it is to get to hear from people “in the know!”

Inspired to Learn More?

Click Here for More Information

Do You Love Thinking “Outside the Job Box”?


Enter the “Opportunity Detective” Contest
for Your Chance to Win Big…

You’ve been an idea-person all your life. Now here’s your chance to formally exercise your Outside the Job Box muscles – and get a chance …

Want more fulfillment in helping others discover their passion?

Are you one of those people who gets jazzed and excited about helping others discover their passion? Or maybe you’re currently a coach and realize with this down economy adding another skill to your practice would help bring some more clients and ultimately boost your income.

Today I’m writing about a unique chance to hear from three students currently enrolled in my Outside the Job Box Career Course. These are regular people just like you.

The only difference is that they are all actively working towards launching new careers as home-based career consultants and workshop leaders.

On Tuesday, March 31, you’re invited to a free 60-minute telephone seminar on which you’ll hear me interview Steve Coxsey, Janice Bennett and Laurie Cauthen as we talk about what it takes to get started helping other people discover their true calling. You’ll get to learn first-hand how three regular people are turning their knack for brainstorming and for thinking “outside the job box” into an exciting entrepreneurial opportunity!

Steve, Janice, and Laurie promise to share valuable advice, insight, and lessons useful to ANYONE looking to change course — regardless of where your own entrepreneurial path may lead you.

Sign Up Right Now To Join This Free 60 Minute Call on
Tuesday, March 31 at 8:00pm Eastern Time


On this free 60-minute telephone seminar, you’ll discover:

~ How you can turn your passion of helping others discover their out of the box careers into a business.

~ What are the tools, tips and tricks you’ve discovered along the way to help you find your own passion.

~ Pro’s and con’s of starting your own business in this down economy.

~ Why you don’t even need to leave home to start your business of being an “Outside of the Job Box Career Expert.”

~ Tips for creating a track record when you’re just starting out. (This is valuable information for any new entrepreneur!)

~ How new business owners can avoid the “expert trap.”

~ Valerie’s “Leapfrog Strategy” of how you can take your passion and turn it into a business.

~ What type of things you will need and how to get started for a lot less money than you think.

~ How you can design your career practice around your personality and fit it into your life style, not the other way around.

~ Strategies for taking that leap of finally doing what you love and moving full force to help others find their true passion and gifts.

Again, go here now to register for the call this coming TUESDAY, March 31 at 8:00pm Eastern:

In the words of J.K. Rowling, “It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” What choice will you make today in the service of YOUR dream of changing course to work at something you love?

I look forward to “seeing” on Tuesday!

To Your Dreams,

Valerie Young

Founder and Dreamer in Residence at Changing Course and Career Change Expert for People Who Want To Do Their Own Thing

P.S. If you love the idea of finding your calling by helping others find theirs, then you just CANNOT miss this call. There’s no cost to participate in this 60-minute telephone seminar except your normal long distance charges.

P.P.S. We only have 200 lines available for this call and we expect to fill them all. If you are inspired by the real life stories of real people who are actively following their entrepreneurial dreams, then I urge you not to delay. Register for the call now at:

Do You Need to Make Money Now? Avoid the Heartbreak and Myths of Marketing

Valerie and her rescue dog,
"Cokie Roberts"

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 203 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

The person on the other end of the phone was crying so hard that when she first …

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A New Direction

I decided to take the Work @ What You Love Workshop and also work one-on-one with Valerie. The workshop explored so many unusual and unexpected solutions to my specific questions. I made so many new connections to what clearly works for me in crea...

Julia Raymond
Curvology Studio

Read More Testimonials »

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