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One Person Who Really Can Change Your Life

I’ll only take a few seconds of your time. If you really are serious about wanting to look in the mirror and see the boss, then there’s someone I really want you to meet… You see, through my work at Changing Course, I’ve met thousands of aspiring self-bossers just like you. I know first-hand that the number one thing that keeps people like you from quitting your soul-sucking j-o-b is you have no idea how to actually make money doing the thing you love.

  Valerie Young with Jeff Walker

  Jeff Walker and Valerie Young

That’s why you must meet marketing guru (and I’m happy to say new friend) Jeff Walker. Jeff not only introduced me to marketing techniques that have – and I am not exaggerating here – literally doubled my income, he also happens to be one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

Jeff is one of the only big internet marketing gurus I know who genuinely cares about the “little guy.”
I cannot remember a time when I’ve been chatting with Jeff at some conference or workshop when someone didn’t come up to say that his program changed their life. I’m talking about people with little business in the crafts market, pets, horse training…

One of his most inspiring success stories is about a guy named John who put his family in debt (we’re talking food stamps here) in his quest to make and market a board game. John was a success at making the game. It was the selling part that bombed. That is, until he met Jeff…

Over the years, Jeff has helped hundreds of regular people to launch small businesses in such diverse niches as health food, knitting, horse training, even business coaching in Poland. And, like you, the overwhelming majority had no previous marketing experience…and I do mean NONE.

I know you want to change course… preferably yesterday! That’s why I’m so excited to have a way for you to “meet” Jeff via a short talk he put together. In this talk he explains why you need to start thinking now about what it will take to succeed – even if you aren’t anywhere near starting your business… or having anything to sell. As you move through the video series he also shares more and more meaty content.

The case studies Jeff shares here, and in the follow up videos, are very real. I know because I’ve personally met and talked to dozens of people who have learned and prospered from Jeff as I have. These are people who have launched very successful small businesses and in a very short period of time were able to replace their salaries. This is not hype. It is fact.

You don’t need to enter your email address to watch the video. It’s free to watch. But you DO NEED to sign up to watch the follow up case studies, which Jeff tells me are even better than the first. If there is any doubt in your mind that it’s really possible to make good money doing work you enjoy, you really do need to watch and learn from my friend Jeff.

The first 1-2 minutes of the video may not make a lot of sense to you unless you’re already familiar with the people and world of internet marketing. But hang in there for some really inspiring “regular Joe and Joanne” make good stories.

Again I highly recommend you continue to watch and learn by signing up to view Jeff’s other case studies. I guarantee they will be eye-opening. Click here to meet Jeff now ChangingCourse.com/recommends/jeff

P.S. Jeff is very upfront about the fact that he’d love you to buy his new product launch training program. I wish there was a way I could impress upon you how much what Jeff has to teach you could help you accelerate your path to entrepreneurial freedom. (Hey, the fact that I’m willing to put this horrible photo of myself out there should tell you that I’m raving fan.) But even if you ultimately decide not to make a purchase, I am confident that you will learn valuable information you can start using right away.

P.P.S. Don’t have a product or service yet? Drop an email to [email protected], and I will try to set you up with one, or perhaps a team of Outside the Job Career Consultants, to help you do a little creative brainstorming on how to turn your interests into one or more viable business ideas!


Find Your Calling by Helping Others Realize Theirs

Valerie YoungWhen I left the corporate rat race a decade ago, I did it to take control of my time. My life. But I did it for another reason, too: because I really wanted to feel as if I was doing some good in the world.

It’s not that I’m so incredibly altruistic. It just feels good to do good. It gives you a little high. You help somebody and you feel rewarded.

Now, I feel that sense of satisfaction every day. Plus I get paid for it.

You could too.

If you’re interested in following in my footsteps… you could work from home, brainstorming with people on the phone about creative ways they could turn their passions into profits and work at what they love…

That’s what I do. And I can show you how, step-by-step, you can recreate my success…

…how you can grow a business that capitalizes on your interests and talents… and feeds your
spirit while it fills your wallet.

And I’d like to do it in five days this May. That’s right. Five days.

“This kind of ‘work’ is more than work… the clients really appreciate/enjoy it immensely… there’s such a sense of gratitude from them… and I’m feeling that I’m involved in something so big… so sacred… Thanks!”

~ Kelly W., Certification Program Participant, 2007

Right now, it takes 16 weeks to go through my Outside-the-Box Career
Counselor Certification Program. They don’t feel like long weeks. Actually, they
whiz by. But still. That’s four months.

So the first week in May, I’m going to shave that 16 weeks down to a very intensive five days.

They’re going to be five days with full access to me. Five days when you’ll clear your mind of other distractions. You’ll have my undivided attention and guidance. And together we’ll concentrate on creating and building for you a business that’s both fulfilling… and viable.

A business helping other people make their dreams a reality.

It’s not just my expertise that’s important here. Something happens when you get singularly-focused people together in a room. There’s an energy that builds… and an amazing way that good ideas form, and then get molded and polished and transformed into something even better…

That’s what this immersion program, this “summit” is all about. And I’d like to invite you to be a part of it.

I’m going to teach this group everything I’ve been teaching in my 16-plus week certification program… and more.

Plus the people with me at this summit in May are also going to walk away at the end of these five days with all the initial “hurdles” to starting a business cleared.

And by that I mean: You won’t just walk away with a plan of action for yourself. But you’ll leave with things like a name for your company… business cards… your own Web site domain name… a personalized, professional e-mail address… and, well, you get the idea.

You really will be on your way. In five days.

And, too, you’ll be on my radar screen. And on the radar screen of all the other people you meet at this summit.

That’s an invaluable thing. Because when you have people who understand what you want to do thinking about ways they can help you do it — you have a powerful network for success…

I’m really still working out the details about this event. I do know it’s going to be more personalized, more intense, and more immediately productive than anything else I’ve ever offered. And to be honest, I haven’t even put a price tag on it yet.

I’ve created a First-in-Line List — and I’ll be sending updates to the folks on it, letting them know how it’s shaping up. (To put your name on it, go here: ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm)

And, naturally, I’ll let the people on that list know first when I’ll be opening the doors to registration. (Sometime in the next few weeks — just as soon as I’ve got everything finalized.)

I’m not sure yet how many people I’ll be able to take — somewhere between 15 and 20 I think. Quite possibly fewer.

In any event, it’s going to be first-come, first-served. And I suspect the seats are going to go fast.

If you’d like to have first dibs at a spot — and ongoing updates about the program — put your name on the First-in-Line List here: ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm


Follow the Trends to Find a Profitable Business Idea

Looking for an inspiring or innovative business idea? One surefire place to look is to trends. Depending on your interests it might be trends related to the U.S. housing market, global warning, parenting, fitness, food, pets, technology, travel, dating, sports… the options are really limitless.

Today we’re going to look at three examples of how entrepreneurs benefit from the trend of safety. As you will see, each one is connected to the safety trend in a very different way.

Trend #1 Back to Basics With Wooden Toys

If a year ago I had told you wood-working types that you could run a successful business building simple wooden toys you would have said I was nuts. But with millions of recalled toys manufactured in China containing lead paint and other dangerous chemicals, the makers of domestic wooden toys were swamped with holiday orders.

Ron Voake operates Vermont Wooden Toys (VermontWoodenToys.com) out of his home in Norwich, Vermont. His company makes over 135 different kinds of wooden toys from “riding size” fire trucks to doll carriages to blocks. According to an article in the New York Times, wooden toy makers like Ron can barely keep up and are hiring extra employees. “Every time there was a story about a recall,” said the 61-year-old Voake, “I got flooded with orders.”

Voake isn’t the only toymaker to benefit from the trend toward safe toys. Mark Rainville of Maple Landmark Woodcraft (MapleLandmark.com) in Middlebury, Vermont was also deluged with orders. With toy orders up 60 percent in the last quarter of 2007, he and his holiday staff of 45 were working 16-hour days. It’s clear from his company’s Web site that Mark is seizing on other current trends like the buy local movement and environmental responsibility. And speaking of the environment…

Trend #2: Safe Water and a Cleaner Environment

When Stacey Griffin graduated from Tulane School of Social Work in 1995 she was more interested in healing kids than the environment. Five years later she opened a psychiatric facility for low-income children and adolescents (MilestonesMHA.com) in New Orleans. Then she lost it all to hurricane Katrina. Safe, clean drinking water was just one of the many problems in flood ravaged New Orleans.

During the time she was rebuilding her staff and agency, Stacey got an idea from her then 3-year-old daughter who had a strong preference for juice boxes over water bottles. Why not package drinking water in juice boxes?

Initially she was discouraged to find that two other companies were doing it. When she looked closer, though, she found that one specialized in disaster relief and the other geared their product to kids. That left a huge unfilled niche – environmentally responsible people like me who hate the wastefulness of creating, shipping, and then land-filling plastic water bottles.

Stacey started Aqua2Go in 2006. She got a lot of help from her husband who worked on the business in addition to his full-time job. Things really took off when Ellen DeGeneres featured Stacey’s water boxes on her show. The very next morning a big merchant who Stacey had been working hard to contact called her at her home. Today Aqua2Go is in selected Target department stores, Winn Dixie super markets, Whole Foods in Louisiana, and other major retailers. (I plan to print out info about Aqua2Go at WaterOnTheGo.com and present it to manager of my local Whole Foods store.)

Every day 40 million plastic water bottles go into the trash or becoming litter (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5279230), putting a huge a burden on local landfills. Some communities like San Francisco have responded by banning city departments from buying bottled water for their offices. This trend toward municipal bans, the need for safe drinking water on the go, and a growing awareness about global warming all point to continued success for entrepreneurs like Stacey.

Trend #3 All Natural Products for Kids

This next example comes from Kristen Bassick of Stuff4Sprouts.com. Like Stacey, Kristen’s business idea was also inspired by her children. In Kristen’s case it was to find a natural way to treat the persistent dry skin of her own children, or little “sprouts” as she likes to call them.

So at the urging of her husband who was throwing money at products that didn’t work, Kristen decided to start her own line of kids’ skin care products formulated without using nut oils, animal products, paraben-based preservatives (to which some people are allergic), soy, artificial colors, or chemical fillers. Her company’s promise also serves as her motto: To produce products with “Nothing weird.  Nothing gross.  Just good stuff for dry skin.”

My Canadian friends who love the idea of all natural products for kids and prefer to shop local should check out an online company in the Toronto area called ParentingByNature.com. In addition to a wide range of products like an organic baby skin care line and cloth diapers they also carry wooden toys!

I love Canada but I have a soft spot for Kristen’s business because she is one of the many success stories to come out of my annual Work at What You Love seminar. I’ll let Kim share her progress report in her own words:

I came to the seminar last August unhappy with my “job” and with an idea for a new business venture.  But I was terrified by the idea of building a “business” with employees, and a building, and a manufacturing site…and all that stuff that just seemed like more than I wanted to take on.

Sitting there listening to all of the stories of micro-business owners, who didn’t have a “job” and didn’t have what I had initially thought that a “business” would need to be, opened my eyes to what was possible.

I launched my company in September after two years of putting all of the pieces into place.  Manufacturing is outsourced, distribution will be soon.  I work from my home office, available for all of the things in my actual life that demand my presence.

I was lucky to be on the receiving end of a well-timed downsizing/severance at my corporate job and now have the chance to move Stuff for Sprouts to the next level. Life is good and my new jobless job is so completely cool I just had to share!

I said I was going to share three business ideas but there is actually one more safety-related trend worth mentioning. This one is actually not a new trend. In fact, it’s been kicking around for quite some time. I call…

Safety Trend #4: Thinking Up New Excuses For Staying Stuck

There’s nothing safer than staying miserably where you are. And one of the best ways to play it safe is to come up with a litany of excuses about why dream making is always easier for the next person.

Admit it. How many of you zeroed in on the line about Kristen’s well-timed severance package and thought, “Hey, I could start my own business too if I had money coming in from a severance package!” Maybe you would and maybe you wouldn’t. But did you also see the line about spending two years putting all the pieces into place?

I’ve worked with my share of desperate people who had a full year to find and work on a business idea but waited until they had one month of severance pay left to call in full out panic mode because they were going to have to find another j-o-b. There are plenty of other people out there with either the time or the money to start their own thing – but because they are too afraid, or they lack confidence, or they don’t know where to begin, or all of the above, they do nothing. Kristen did something.

As Shirley Hufstedler said, “If you play it safe in life, you’ve decided that you don’t want to grow anymore.” If you are tired of contributing to the negative trend of coming up with reasons why you can’t leave your safe but ultimately soul-sucking job then do this one small thing. Get yourself a small notebook and label it Trends = Ideas. Then start actively being on the lookout for the thousands of trends that can be the catalyst to your brilliant business idea.

One you have an idea, take a step. Any step. Once you get the entrepreneurial ball rolling, it’s hard to stop. Besides, as Hufstedler put it, “Security is not the meaning of my life. Great opportunities are worth the risks.”


Tools to Help You Go From Creating Debt to Creating Dreams

Valerie Young and her wonder dog, By Valerie Young 

This article originally appeared in Issue 173 of the Changing Course Newsletter

The traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season in the U.S. is Thanksgiving. This year ads started popping up before Halloween.

It’s been said that holiday debt is the gift that keeps on taking. According to a survey done last year by Consumer Reports, the average bill for holiday shoppers using credit cards to buy gifts will be $626. The average American household carries $9,000 in credit card debt throughout the year and then holiday debt gets piled on top of that.

A big question for anyone looking to ditch their job and join the ranks of the self-employed is, “How can I afford to change course?” And if you’re drowning in debt, the thought of being able to strike out on your own feels all the more impossible. There are all kinds of books and other programs out there to help you get out of debt and/or create prosperity. Over the last year and a half or so I’ve had the opportunity to cross paths with a number of authorities in the field. Each offers a different take on the money theme… finding it, keeping it, and managing it.

If you need to get your financial house in order before you can change course, here are a few people and resources I believe are worth checking out.

First Things First

I first told you about Joan back in 2006. What makes Joan’s story so compelling is that she spent most of her adult life in a pattern of under earning and compulsive debting. After her two brothers tired of bailing her out, Joan discovered the 12-step program Debtors Anonymous (DebtorsAnonymous.org). It worked she says, for a while.

After building a successful business she once again ended up in serious debt forcing her to close her business and declare bankruptcy. Eight years later, at age fifty-six, Joan relocated to Santa Fe, New Mexico with a mere $200 in her pocket. Losing her business propelled Joan to learn more about her financial dysfunction by digging deeper to untangle the deep emotions and family issues associated with money.

Today Joan uses what she’s learned to help others who are similarly stuck in unproductive money patterns. Her money self-help manual, Building Your Financial Muscles, contains exercises and resources for people who are searching for a way to relieve financial pressures and change the way they deal with money. Joan also offers a number of different audio programs with titles like, “Let Go of the Aloneness” and “Discovering Your Core Financial Issues.” More recently she’s expanded into tools specifically for entrepreneurs with a CD/workbook set called, “Marketing Your Micro-Business.”

Another new addition is a facilitator kit for people who want to run support groups for others struggling to become financially healthy. Right now the facilitator kit costs $89 . If you get ten participants and each pays up to $20 per meeting then you can earn $200 per meeting. To learn about Joan and her unique approach to financial health go to ChangingCourse.com/recommends/prosperityplace

Living Debt Free

Whether you are drowning in debt, or just love the idea of living debt free, you should get to know the work of a fellow named Leo Quinn. I had the pleasure of meeting Leo last June at a workshop I attended in Denver. I discovered over breakfast one day that not only was he one of the event speakers, but with 27,000 loyal subscribers, he’s also a well-respected expert in the debt-elimination field. In fact, Leo had been doing this work long before the Internet boomed.

His most popular program is called “How to Own Your Paycheck Again.” Just to be clear, if you are not able to pay your bills or are teetering on bankruptcy, this is not the program for you. Leo specializes in working with people who want to get rid of their debt so they can live on less, retire early, or just generally spend less time working and more time doing the things they want to do. Personally what I like about it is that you can take the money you would have used to pay your credit cards or mortgage and apply that to your new business.

Normally “How to Own Your Paycheck Again” costs $97. But when I called Leo for this article he offered to extend a special $50 discount for Changing Course readers when you order before November 21st. With an iron-clad money-back guarantee you have nothing to lose but your debt. Learn more at ChangingCourse.com/recommends/leoquinn

Goodbye Boss, Hello Kids

“In the middle of difficulty,” observed Albert Einstein, “lies opportunity.” Some of the best opportunities often originate from problems – either yours or someone else’s. One of the all too common problems that savvy savings expert Darlene Arechederra saw was that of two-income families in which one of the parents (usually the mom) wants to stay home with the kids but can’t afford to. Knowing that nothing is impossible if you know what you’re doing, Dar developed a self-help program called Goodbye Boss, Hello Kids.

For the same reason my site is called Changing Course and not Jump off a Bridge, Dar talks about the need to create a transition strategy, or a “bridge” as she calls it, from where you are to where you want to be – which in this case is home with the kids. A few of the lessons working parents receive in this 10-minute a day course include Finding Money to Grow Your Coming Home Account, Eliminating One of the Biggest Expenses for Working Women, Strategies To Help You Come Home Sooner, and How Bosses and Co-Workers Can Speed Up Your Journey Home. Learn more at AffordtoStayHome.com.

Creating Money for Your Small Business

What if you don’t have kids or just want to escape your job-job to work at what you love? Well, in addition to helping her clients to “unearth potential home business ideas that make their heart sing,” Dar also helps future home business owners create the money they’ll need for their cottage industry or home business. (Fast Track members be sure to log into the Money Matters section of FastTrackHeadquarters.com to find Dar’s “5 Must-Know Secrets to Creating Money for Your Dream” in the current Money Matters e-Tip. It’s a must read for anyone who needs to find the money to jumpstart that great business idea.)  

I came to know Dar when she enrolled in my 2006 Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Program. Initially I was fascinated by her expertise in helping women specifically and people in general become financially savvy enough to jumpstart a small business. But what really intrigued me is that Dar is an introvert training for a career in a field you would think would better suit someone who is more outgoing. But like a true entrepreneur, Dar has turned what some might consider a challenge into an asset by specializing in working with other introverts! She even has a free blog called CreativeCareersForIntroverts.com. Now how smart is that?!

Journey to Abundance

Finally there is Fast Track Your Dreams member Kamin Bell. Kamin started her professional career as the U.S. Navy’s first female African-American helicopter pilot. She then went on to become a Mary Kay Sales Director and consultant. From here Kamin transitioned to having several small business ventures, the most recent of which is to publish her first book, Journey to Abundance. Kamin sent me a review copy in September and I was genuinely impressed. Using the true story of her own financial ruin, fear, and crisis of faith, Kamin takes you along with her as she discovers the abundance and prosperity God wants for us all. Whether you are Christian by faith, or simply feel guided by a Higher Power as I do, you can not help but feel enriched, encouraged, and informed by Kamin’s story and by the thought-provoking exercises she has designed to set you firmly on your own journey to abundance.” As part of the book’s pre-release Kamin is giving away a free chapter KaminBell.com/abundance

There are many paths to financial well-being and prosperity. As we move into this period of holiday spending take some time to be mindful of the role that money plays in your life. If excessive giving will put you farther into debt perhaps this is the time to realistically assess your finances, your dreams, and how your relationship with money may be serving or undermining your goals of changing the course of your life.


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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

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