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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
  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!


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.


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!   

Treat Yourself to More Time and Happiness


If you’re thinking about improvements you want to make in your life, there is never a bad time to put those goals into motion. Think about the changes you want to make and put together a to-do list that includes activities and products that help you move in that direction.

Ideas for Mindfulness and Relaxation


  • Adult coloring books. Adult coloring books are a great way to set your mind free. The stress of everyday life tends to pile up and it can be hard to tune that out when we want to relax. Coloring is an easy and effective way to channel your energy into what’s on the page while enabling your mind to let go of nagging thoughts. The simple act of coloring actually helps you practice mindfulness – the process of focusing on the present moment without judging your thoughts or feelings. On top of the relaxation you get from the process of coloring, the end result of creating something gives you a sense of accomplishment.
  • Happiness planner. It may sound funny to plan happiness, but it can take making happiness a goal, writing it down, and actively working towards it to avoid letting it slip by the wayside. A happiness planner reminds you of this goal every day and gives you prompts to focus on achieving it.
  • Music. Huffington Post lists music as one of the top scientifically proven ways of reducing stress. If your goal is relaxation or finding more joy in life, explore music that is upbeat and makes you feel good. Consider investing in a nice set of headphones to add more music to your life wherever you go.

Ideas for Living Life to the Fullest

  • Simple pleasures – One of the simple joys in life is looking at pictures of our favorite people and memories. Look for creative ways to get your pictures off the iPhone so you can enjoy them all the time. This gallery wall idea created with photo decals is a unique and customizable way to do just that.
  • Reclaim your time – No matter how much stuff you have, few things can add joy to life better than having more time to do the things you love. Cut down on the time you spend planning and preparing meals by buying into a meal delivery service. This type of service gives you back valuable hours otherwise spent cooking (and shopping) so you can focus on activities that make you smile.
  • Get healthy – Even if getting fit isn’t on your must-do list of life goals, physical health boosts your happiness and relieves stress tremendously. Fitness gear can be pretty high tech these days, which actually makes it easier to find an activity you truly enjoy and stick with it. Along with buying the right gear, you can join an exercise or dance class you’ve always wanted to try. You may find a completely new passion!

  • Travel – Whether you seek adventure or tranquility, traveling is one of the best ways to make memories that last a lifetime. Give yourself the gift of travel any time of year by planning ahead and saving a small amount each paycheck. You can also invest in travel accessories for trips you already have planned.

Living life more fully is the best way to ensure success, no matter your definition of the word. Start with these ideas to give yourself something that truly adds value to life and helps you reclaim the time and happiness you deserve.


Julie Morris is a life and career coach who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. She spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways. You can reach her at

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