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A Death in the Family

My heart is heavy.

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

Cheryl Young died in May. Jane Kirsch in June.

Both left us too soon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jane Kirsch, North Carolina

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was no social media back then.

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

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

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

Two years later we ran into each other there again.

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

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

Back then the course was held entirely via teleclass.

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

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

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

It reminded me of something Katherine Graham once said…

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

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

Cheryl Young, Vermont

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

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

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

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

Cheryl was that kind of person.

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

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

It began with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

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

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

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

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

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

My dad was my role model for changing careers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fortunately for her clients, she did.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shooting high paid off.

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

In closing, she wrote:

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

Today creativity and flexibility are alive in my life.

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

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

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

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

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


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #10: How to Get Paid (a Lot) to Speak


There are different ways you can cash in on what you already know.

You can write a book or create an information product…

You can coach people or become a consultant. Or…

You can make money from speaking!

Speaking is not only highly financially rewarding, it’s personally fulfilling as well.

What’s not to love?

As a professional speaker you get up in front of a group of people who are interested in what you have to say.

Then you spend 30-60 minutes sharing a message you believe in.

You go to bed that night knowing you’ve changes some lives. Not one or two… but an entire room full of lives.

And for all that “work” you get paid handsomely.

Most of the speakers I know make $5,000-$10,000 per gig.

With top speakers commanding $25,000 (or more) for a single talk!

If you think you’d like to get paid to speak – or you’re already a speaker but want to earn more, here’s how…

1. Understand who pays for speakers

Every day thousands of organizations around the world hold gatherings that include paid speakers brought in to educate and motivate their audiences.

Where you speak depends a lot of your topic and message. Options include:

  • Corporations (home office/field offices/company-sponsored destination meetings)
  • Colleges and universities (students/faculty/staff/alumni)
  • Association meetings (local, state, regional, national chapters)
  • Civic groups (Lion’s Club, Zonta, etc.)
  • Charitable organizations that raise funds for a particular cause (disabled vets, cancer research, etc.)
  • Non-profits (YMCA/YCWA, animal shelters, etc.)
  • Entrepreneur conferences and other events (government-sponsored, corporate-sponsored, hosted by other entrepreneurs or companies that serve this market)
  • Conferences (association, industry, or theme-related)

Again depending on your topic some of these options will be a better fit than others.

Because of my topic I’ve been invited to speak at all of them.

In the last few months alone I’ve landed gigs to speak to audiences at such diverse organizations as…

  • Apple
  • Romance Writers of America
  • Northwest Mutual Insurance
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Newfoundland/Labrador Women Entrepreneurs Conference
  • IBM
  • California Girls State (started by the American Legion to bring together 300 top high school juniors for a week to hold mock elections to learn how government works)
  • MIT (my 6th time)
  • And Facebook

Here’s a few pictures I took along the way…

RWA Costumes

Some period costumes from Romance Writers of America

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California Girls State meet up

eileen-collins

Retired Air Force colonel shuttle commander Eileen Collins who spoke after me at a conference sponsored by a law firm in Santa

apple-green-room

In the green room at Apple (turns out no one else had ever asked if that was the same toilet Steve Jobs used)

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The very cool Facebook campus with their amazing rooftop park

Keep in mind I have no expertise in technology, romance writing, life insurance, medicine, law firms, or government…

I’ve also spoken to visiting nurses, district attorneys, engineers, lawyers, opticians, jewelers, librarians, and administrative assistants. And I have zero experience in these areas either.

What I do have is a topic that cuts across industries and occupations. For me, it’s something called the impostor syndrome.

Fundamentally, I speak about confidence.

About what to do when you hear that nagging voice that says, “I’m in over my head and they’re going to find out I have no idea what I’m doing.”

The point is, audiences that consist mainly of nurses or accountants or acupuncturists or business owners still need speakers who can talk about topics like…

  • Work-life balance
  • Career management
  • Marketing/branding
  • Finding the humor in life
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Financial literacy/money angst
  • Social media do’s and don’ts
  • How to be a better leader
  • Millennials in the workplace
  • Stress management

And on and on…

My focus is on “unjobbing.”

Yet last year I was paid to speak to 200 librarians on how to think more creatively on the job.

Then there’s Marla Cilley, AKA The Fly Lady.

Marla is an organizing guru with a huge following. Every day tens of thousands of people follow her decluttering and cleaning advice.

As it turns out Marla is also a very popular speaker on the thriving home schooling conference circuit! Who knew!

Most speaking engagements are planned months and sometimes a year or more ahead.

If you already know where you want to speak, start doing your homework now so you can get on the agenda in 2017.

But before you pitch your topic you need to first nail this next step:

2. Know your “POV”

Being a great speaker is only one part of the paid-to-speak equation.

I always knew I was a decent speaker.

But today I know I could hold my own on a TED stage. (Something I wouldn’t have said just a few years ago.)

The difference is that today I know that to be an amazing speaker you need to have a strong opinion.

In other words, no matter what your subject is, you need to bring to it a clear and compelling point of view –POV for short.

Your POV is what sets you apart from all the other people who speak on your same topic.

There are lots of people who speak on how to raise healthy happy children or how caretakers can avoid burn out or how eating the right food can reduce inflammation.

Lots of people who speak on how to be an effective leader or how to overcome adversity.

So how is your message different?

If you’re not sure, imagine you’re a part of a panel brought in to discuss your general topic.

How would your solutions or approach be different from the other panelists?

How do you look at the topic slightly differently than others?

What kinds of things do other experts recommend that you strongly disagree with?

My POVs

Obviously there are other people who talk about impostor syndrome.

One is a well-known psychologist with a big bestselling book that contains a chapter on impostor syndrome.

I agree with most of what she says. But I disagree strongly on her proposed solution to just talking about your impostor feelings.

The logic is the more you talk about something, the less powerful the feelings become.

I do agree that giving voice to anything that evokes shame is an important first step.

But I am emphatic in telling my audiences that contrary to what some experts tell you, you can’t share your way out of impostor feelings.

From there I back up my POV with scientific evidence and then proceed to share the three things that do work.

Your POV is also what makes you stand out with the media.

I’ve been interviewed on numerous radio shows on the topic of career change.

Other career experts tend to talk about things like how to use social media to get a job, how to nail the interview, or doing informational interviews of people doing the job you covet.

Useful information… but hardly unique.

Then I come on and say things like…

“The problem is we’ve become a nation of occupational sheep passively waiting for someone to give us job. No one ever taught us how to make our own job!”

Or when they ask me about the key to my success I say things like…

“I think it’s because I don’t spend a lot of time in the real world.”

(A statement I quickly follow up with the fabulous quote from Will Smith who said, “Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.”)

Do you think having a unique POV might set me apart from other career experts?

Do you see how having a unique POV would capture the attention of my host and more importantly, their listeners?

The bottom line: The more you can get your audience to think, the more successful a speaker you’ll be.

3.  Start where you are

If you know you need to work on your platform skills, join your local chapter of Toastmaster International.

If you need to polish your talk, then focus on that.

Just don’t do it by sitting at home endlessly tweaking it.

Instead get as much practice and feedback as you can.

Volunteer to speak anywhere and everywhere you can. Speak to informal gatherings in church/synagogue/mosque basements.

Speak to PTA groups or Meet Up groups or to local business owners.

When I started out I did tons of talks for free.

Trust me, no one at a conference or meeting knows whether you’re being paid or not.

Not only will you continue to grow as a speaker, but your next paying gig could very well come from someone in your audience.

4. Decide on your business model

The speaking business is just that… a business.

And there are three ways you can make money speaking:

  • Speak for a fee/keynoter
  • Speak for free and sell products or services from the stage
  • A combination (after my friend Barbara Winter speaks, she cheerily informs her audience that she’s brought along some books and “the store is open!”

I’m definitely a keynote speaker.

The person who has played a crucial role in accelerated my speaking business is six-time (count ‘em) New York Times bestselling author Larry Winget.

Larry is the one who taught me about the need to not only have a strong POV, but also not to minimize it by saying things, like… “I think…” or “In my opinion…”

(If Larry were here he’d tell you that we know you thought it because you’re saying it!)

larry

I am tremendously fortunate to make good money speaking.

But my fees are nowhere close to the $25,000 Larry commands for a one-hour talk.

You always want to be learning from people who are where you want to be. For me, Larry was – and to this day continues to be – that person.

suzanne-evans

The other person who has taught me a lot is my former business coach and friend Suzanne Evans.

Not long ago Suzanne was a gloried administrative assistant job struggling to pay the bills. Today she runs a 7-figure coaching business that’s made it onto the Inc. 500 list three times.

Unlike Larry and me, Suzanne rarely gets paid to speak.

Instead Suzanne uses speaking as a way to introduce audiences to her products and services and then offers them the opportunity to work with her.

For the record, anyone can sell from the stage without sounding “salesy.” Well-respected experts like Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter do it all the time.

The key is to deliver good content.

Are you a coach? Share your best advice and end by offering a free strategy session.

Are you a dog trainer? Talk about the biggest three mistakes people make with a new puppy and then offer a discount to anyone who signs up for your next class.

Speak on nutrition? Give great information then follow your talk with a book signing.

Leading a retreat in Belize for people who want to find their calling? Talk about the importance of slowing down long enough to hear your inner calling and then do a drawing for a free spot at your retreat.

Are you getting the idea?

So yes, both Suzanne and Larry have hugely successful businesses.

As importantly, speaking is what allowed them to also create amazing lives.

Every year Suzanne takes a group of people to South Africa to coach economically disadvantaged business owners for free.

And I have often donated my time to speak at organizations that support a worthy cause. It’s an amazing feeling to know that your words can make a difference in more ways than one.

5. Get and stay in the game: The Big Shift

Even seasoned speakers need to constantly improve.

I hate watching videos of myself on stage. But if you’re striving for continuous improvement, as painful as it is… the camera doesn’t lie.

Like anything else, getting good – and staying good – takes concerted effort.

Over the two decades as a part-time speaker, I estimate I’ve addressed over 80,000 people. As impressive as that sounds I wasn’t exactly breaking the bank.

Then three years ago I experienced a huge shift in my speaking business.

Instead of getting 7 or 8 speaking gigs year, I started booking 20+.

And for the first time ever, my speaking income began to consistently hit the six-figure mark.

I’m not telling you this to impress you.

I’m telling you this partly because a lot of people sell themselves and what they have to offer short.

Far too many of us – and women especially – undervalue ourselves and the message we have to share with the world.

And everyone loses when bright people play small.

The other reason I’m talking about money is because I want you to know that for some of you, speaking is by far your fastest path to cash – and to freedom.

For me the big shift began three years ago when I attended a speaking boot camp taught by Larry and Suzanne.

Again, using two very different models, they’ve both managed to create immensely successful businesses built on speaking.

The shift came when I applied three simple principles I learned from Larry and Suzanne.

To make it as a speaker you need to first get good, then get known, then you get paid. In that order.

I’ve grown enormously in all three areas. And so can you.

Last year a gaming enthusiastic and maker named Stephan was there.

Stephan was not a professional speaker when he arrived at the boot camp. In fact, he clearly struggled to find his voice.

But he was determined to use speaking as a platform to spread the message that games can be both fun and educational. So he kept at it.

This week Stephan is speaking in Japan.

And if he can do it… so can you.

Be My Guest at the “Build Your Speaking Business Boot Camp”

Like I said, my booking increased just in the last three years.

That’s why November 17-19 I’ll be back to Atlanta to attend the “Speaking Business Boot Camp.”

This is my third boot camp. I’m going back because it’s just that good.

Like I said, you always want to learn from people who are where you want to be.

Which is why I’m super excited that they’re adding several other $25,000+ a day speakers to the faculty.

I’d love for you to join me in Atlanta.

I have the opportunity to bring 10 guests with me. And I hope you’ll be one.

Not only will you learn a ton, but I’m also going to organize a little meet-up of everyone who joins me.

That way you’ll walk in already armed with a mighty support group!

How to take advantage of your complimentary “Friend of Valerie’s” guest pass

Step 1: Read all about the event here.

If you want to take advantage of the opportunity to be one of my 10 guests, DON’T REGISTER.

Why? Because as my guest, you won’t pay $297.

Instead you’ll receive a separate complimentary event ticket.

That’s where step 2 comes in…

Step 2: Send an email with the subject line “Speaker Boot Camp” to Valerie (at) changingcourse.com with your first and last name, primary email address, and best phone number to reach you.

Obviously they need to know how many people to expect. So all us (including me) need to put down a small deposit – but you get it back in full as soon as you arrive.

And if you’re looking for a hotel mate, let me know and I’ll try to match you up.

Step 3: Look for an email from either me or the event organizers at SuzanneEvans.org who will contact you directly to redeem your “Friend of Valerie’s” Free Guest Pass.”

The truth is: You have a message to share that the world needs to hear.

And you really can get paid to share what you already know.

Whether you want to be a well-paid keynoter like I am… or you want to use speaking as a means to grow your business…

I absolutely credit the 3-step  get good~get known~get paid I learned at the Speaking Business Boot camp with making 2016 my BIGGEST speaking year ever.

And if you can’t go? Follow the advice I just gave you and never, ever give up!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #8: Romance and Money Too


Your Path to Being a Best-Selling Romance Writer

Think there’s no money in book writing? Think again.

Does the very term “romance book” conjure up a very specific picture of a type of book, reader, or author?

If so, once again, think again!

I just returned from San Diego where I delivered a keynote address to over 2,200 people — mostly women but also some men — at the annual Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference.

featured speakers

Published and aspiring writers from 20 countries came to network, meet their favorite authors, and have the chance to pitch to editors of major publishing houses.

More than anything though, they came to learn. The four-day conference featured a whopping 100+ workshops.

Whether people came as complete novices or seasoned pros, there truly was something for everyone.

Topics ranged from character development… the art of the backstory… self-publishing… historical research… working with agents… online marketing… attracting raving fans… even costuming historic characters.

Here I am with members of the San Diego Costume Guild.

RWA Costumes

Did You Know?

Before RWA asked me to speak, I didn’t know a lot about this field either.

Today I know romance writing is a $1.08 billion industry.

RWA cover 1

hell or high water

I also know that despite the stereotypical image of what a romance novel looks like, there are many distinct genres. For instance…

  • Young adult romance is largely aimed at the teen market — a genre is all about G-rated firsts… first crush, first kiss, first heartbreak, first love
  • Historical romances, which are very popular, are set prior to 1950
  • Suspense/mystery has these elements as the central theme
  • Erotic romance which includes explicit sexual interaction between the two main characters
  • Inspirational or Christian romance were also referred to by the authors I met as “sweet,” meaning they have either no or closed-door sex are referred
  • Paranormal romance includes “elements beyond the range of scientific explanation.” In addition to science fiction, ghosts, and time-travel, you see this genre in the massively popular vampire-themed Twilight series which went on to become a blockbuster film.
  • Regency romance covers the British period between 1811-1820 and the early 19th According to Wikipedia, “the more traditional Regencies feature a great deal of intelligent, fast-paced dialogue between the protagonists and very little explicit sex or discussion of sex”.

Wikipedia offers an excellent overview of the century’s long history of romance writing.

You’ll find links to more information on the different genres, insights into varying tastes in romance books around the world, and the staggering success of the genre.

That’s where I learned:

  • Harlequin sells more than four books per second, half of them internationally
  • As of 2014, romance is the most popular literary genre in Russia, especially among the younger audience
  • 8 million people read an English-language romance novel in 2008
  • In the UK, over 20% of all fiction books sold each year are romance novels

The Many Faces of Romance Writers

Who do you picture when you think “romance writer”?

I’m guessing it’s not Karna Small Bodman.

Karna served in the White House under President Reagan for six years with a post on the National Security Council.

Today she draws on her unique background to write political thrillers.

The writers I met come from a wide range of backgrounds including people who were, or still are working as professors, nurses, administrators, home schooling parents…

People like award-winning Shirley Hailstock (pictured here on the left) didn’t start out as romance writers.

RWA 1Shirley earned her undergrad degree in chemistry from Howard University and her MBA in chemical marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

She went on to do sales analytics for a pharmaceutical company and was an adjunct professor of accounting at Rutgers.

Today Shirley is a seasoned published writer with 35 novels and novellas under her belt.

I also met a lot of attendees who are just starting out.

Fledging writers who came to learn the craft of writing romance and to make the kinds of connections it takes to get published.

Like Bernadette J. Campbell (pictured above on the right).

Bernadette had a long career working behind the scenes at a television news station in Philadelphia. She’s also a minister interested in inspirational speaking and writing for the Christian market.

One of the huge benefits of the RWA conference is the opportunity to pitch your book to representatives of major publishing houses like Avon Books and Harlequin.

Bernadette tried pitching at last year’s conference but didn’t get any takers.

Undeterred, she returned home, tightened up her story line, perfected her one-minute pitch, and returned to try again.

This year Bernadette got a bite!

Other writers I spoke with have published dozens of books. But it wasn’t always easy.

Roz Denny Fox has written 52 western-themed novels. Roz began writing while still working as a secretary. She was also raising four kids.

Starting out Roz told me that she wrote during the only spare time she had — between midnight and 3am.

(As impressive as that is, the quantity prize goes to best-selling writing phenomenon Nora Roberts with a whopping 214 books!)

RWA Sherry Thomas

Things weren’t always easy for Sherry Thomas either (that’s Sherry on the left after her hysterically funny as well as inspiring talk ).

Despite immigrating from China as a teen and struggling to learn English… despite the crushing disappointment of having to pass on a full academic scholarship to an elite graduate program at Harvard because of a pregnancy… and despite struggling for two years with post-partum depression, Sherry went on to become an acclaimed writer.

Hard work and perseverance paid off for Sherry and for the many other bestselling authors at the conference. Like the ones signing books for this long line of fans!

RWA Random House RWA line

The Riches Are in the Niches

Like I said, there are so many genres of romance I had no idea even existed.

Here I am with Shelley Shepard Gray who, along with writers like Cindy Woodsmall, specializes in Amish romance. (Who knew!?)

RWA AmishShelley is not Amish herself.

But she does live near Ohio’s Amish community so knows there’s a keen interest in the simpler lives and relationships found in Amish culture.

Not pictured here is a young woman named Emma Prince.

Emma decided to put her PhD in English literature and her passion for history to use by writing Scottish historical romance.

This is me with conference keynoter and award-winning author Beverly Jenkins. (Finally someone as short as I am !)

RWA Beverly Jenkins

Beverly is also a historical romance writer. But instead of Scots, her characters are African American.

In writing about black romance, Beverly filled a publishing niche that no one else had — or historically-speaking, was allowed to.

Beverly has helped all of her loyal readers become more aware of the historical realities of black Americans. But for black women especially, her work has been tremendously validating.

Click here for a short video of Beverly and fellow writers on a historical research trip to South Carolina. Following that video are a series of interviews with other writers.

Finally, there’s Tracey Livesay.

Lindsey

This former criminal defense attorney specializes in an even more specialized niche – multi-cultural romance.

Her latest book Love On My Mind is about the attraction between a successful African American PR executive who is secretly brought in by a corporation who needs her to finesse a reclusive computer genius (aka the “sexiest geek alive”) who is white.

Getting Started

First off, if you’ve never read a romance novel, pick a few authors you met here and read their books to get familiar with the genre.

Notice too that many of the writers featured here build on their previous careers, life experience, love of history, or personal factors to either build their storylines or choose a genre.

Ask yourself — is there something in your own background or experience you can draw from?

Next understand the basic structure of the romance novel. Writer’s Digest offers a good overview.

If you’re still interested in trying your hand at writing, by far the best way to get started is to join a local, international, or online chapter of Romance Writers of America.

This article about the Naples, Florida chapter will give you a good idea of what happens on the local level.

Best-selling writer Bronwen Evans from New Zealand also offers some helpful tips and links for people just starting out.

Will you become a best-selling writer? Who knows.

Sometimes it’s more about doing it for yourself without expectations.

At least that was the case for the first-time author I met who only started writing after her husband became paralyzed.

During the eight weeks she took off from her state job to care for him, she said writing was a way to cope.

Happily, she recently published her first book – a paranormal romance!

As with anything… the key is just to start.

Join the Changing Course Community Conversation!

I love inspiring you to be your own boss… but what I love even more is helping Y-O-U and seeing us all collectively help one another!

What about you? Have you ever thought about writing any sort of book?

If so, how has this article inspired you to launch this dream?

Are you a published author? If so, what advice can you offer others?

Even if you’re not a writer, what words of wisdom or support can you offer anyone who has a book inside of them?

Finally, how can I help you profit from your passion?

Just scroll down and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #9 in our 10-part series Make Your Own Cool Job!

“It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been” – George Eliot

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Know exactly what you love to do… but have no clue how to make money doing it?

Either way, learn more about my personal Work at What You Love career planning sessions now!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #7: Make Your Own Cool Job Series


Living the Seasonal Life With Multiple Streams of Income

Remember how Self-Bossing Idea #5 featured two talented Canadian jewelers who each in their own way, made their own  very cool jobs?

Well, today you’ll meet long-time Changing Course subscriber Liam Hughes.

Liam also happens to be a jeweler.  But there is so much MORE to his story.

What makes Liam unique is he didn’t make just one cool job. He made six!

He also lives the kind of seasonal life so many of my readers would die for.

You see, from August to May, Liam works out of his studio in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he crafts unique jewelry made from shards of broken antique and contemporary dishes.

antiqueedge

Dragon

He may not be looking to build an empire like Rachel Mielke, the Canadian jewelry designer and entrepreneur extraordinaire who I told you about last time.

But like any successful business owner, Liam knows that products don’t sell themselves.

So when he’s not in his studio, Liam travels to fine art and craft shows coast-to-coast.

He’s also savvy online too.

Over the years, Liam has built a loyal customer following by emailing seasonal promotions and other product updates to the people who stop by his booth.

irishbelleek

Then every June, Liam heads to the Emerald Isle to the cottage he lovingly restored in the land of his grandfather, County Tipperary, Ireland.

He turned a portion of his cottage into a guest house that includes the opportunity to book him for private tours.

Year round he hosts the Irish Fireside Podcast and Blog which is ranked among iTunes’ top travel podcasts.

More recently, Liam helped develop the Ireland Travel Kit smartphone app to help people discover and share Ireland’s unique and offbeat locations.

If that wasn’t enough, Liam produced a recording of Irish music to accompany his precious CD of jazz and American standards!

LemonTwist

A true Renaissance man!

Listen and Learn

A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Liam about his multiple profit centers.

If you missed that call, here’s your chance to listen in now.

High resolution graphic of an listen icon with head phones and notes.

You’ll hear how he changed course, from working in the IT department at a local college to pursue his multiple gifts and interests full-time and how he juggles different profit centers.

And just to be clear…

You don’t have to want to make jewelry, live and work seasonally, run a B&B, offer tours, or do ANY of the things Liam does to find his energy and belief that you really can make your own cool “job” to be positively contagious!

Plus, you’ll hear some great advice Liam offered several live callers.

Pay close attention to what he told the woman who was discouraged because she was unable to earn enough from her quilts.

What Liam told her was utterly brilliant and applies to everyone who wants to profit from their passion.

Oh, and if you happen to be that quilter – I’ve been looking for you! Call me!

Click here to listen to or download the recording.

Join the Changing Course Community Conversation!

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

What about you? If you could live in different parts of the country — or the world — where would you love to live?

What do YOU love to do? And how can I or your fellow change seekers help you profit from your passion? We’d love to help!

So take a brief moment to hop over to the blog and share your thoughts and ideas with others in the Changing Course Community!

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #8 in our 10-part series Make Your Own Cool Job!

“It’s Never Too Late to Be What You Might Have Been” – George Eliot

Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Or, do you know exactly what you love to do but have no clue how to make money doing it?

Either way, learn more about my personal Work at What You Love career planning sessions now!


SELF-BOSSING IDEA #6: Make Your Own Cool Job Series

Three People Who Get Paid to Play—and How You Can Too

When Gary Auerback was growing up he loved playing Frisbee. 

He obviously got pretty good at it because in 1995 Gary won the World Frisbee Championship! 

Gary decided to parlay that big win into a way he could get paid to play.

And for the last twenty years he’s done just that.

Today, Gary, aka the Frisbee Guy, makes his living putting on fun shows at schools, summer camps, park and recreation departments, and birthday parties. 

For two 45-minute shows Gary gets $950. If he “tosses” in 300 autographed Frisbees, it’s $1,450.

But if you think Frisbees are just for kids, think again.

Companies also hire Gary to use Frisbees as part of employee team-building exercises. And more recently Gary has been doing motivational speaking.

You don’t have to win a championship to get paid to play.

Christine Gloster, from right here in my own town of South Hadley. Massachusetts describes herself as a “painter by nature.” In 2004 she decided to combine her passion for art and working with children into a business.

Today Christine is The Happy Face Painter.

 

She makes up to $125 an hour painting the faces of thousands of delighted children at local parties and events – and even as far away as the Caribbean!

Compare Gary’s $950- and Christine’s $125-an-hour gigs with how many hours you’d have to work in your typical minimum wage job to earn the same amount of money. 

And they’re having fun doing it! 

These are just two of the many ways to earn money in the event and party world. 

Hillary Saffran – who is also the Biz Mama at MyBizMama.com  knows firsthand that you really can make good money at parties and events.


A gifted speaker, ventriloquist, singer, and actor, she began her entertainment career over 26 years ago as a birthday party clown as a way to supplement her day job. 

Since then Hillary has entertained audiences from ages 2-102! 

But you don’t need to be the least bit “talented” to make money in the party and event world. 

In fact, there are dozens of non-entertainment ways you can cash in on the lucrative party and event world! 

If you missed Hillary’s recent class on 27 Ways to Cash in on Parties and Events, for a limited time you can sign up to catch the replay here.

You’ll discover fun ways you can make much more money than you could with the average part-time job – in far less time.

Among the many options Hillary shares, are options for people who love to travel, including getting gigs on cruises and selling at state fairs.

And even food, craft, and other products that fly off the shelves that you can sell at fairs and other events. 

My own brother has raked in as much as $3,000 a weekend selling kettle corn at local events – and that’s just his side gig! 

Not into parties and events? No problem. 

As a licensed Profiting From Your Passions® career coach, Hillary is also an expert in all sorts of money-making ideas. In fact, she even wrote a book on it! 

It’s called How to Earn $100 Per Hour Without a JOB.

The book sells on Amazon for just under $20 bucks. HowToEarnBookBizMama

But for a limited time Hillary is giving away free copies!

All you have to do to grab your FREE copy is go to My Biz Mama and sign up.

Gary, Christine, and Hillary prove that it’s possible to make hundreds of dollars an hour at parties and events.

Jumpstart Your New Life 

You too can get paid to play–or to do whatever you love to do–sometimes all you need is a little help!

Biz Mama to the rescue!

 

For a limited time you can sign up for one of Hillary’s free Jumpstart sessions.

Together you will…

  • Create a clear vision of what you want your work – and your life to look like
  • Uncover hidden challenges to creating the biz and life you really want
  • And leave your session renewed, re-energized, and inspired to finally achieve your dream of turning your interests into income 

And who doesn’t want that! Plus, it’s F-R-E-E!

To schedule your personal Jumpstart session with Hillary, the Biz Mama of MyBizMama.com, call 973-346-2663 and leave your name, number, and the best time to reach you.

Isn’t it time to finally figure out what YOU want to be when you grow up?

As George Bernard Shaw said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

Join the Changing Course Community Discussion 

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

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

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

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

Then stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #7 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

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


WEBINAR Cashing in on Parties and Events

FREE Webinar
Saturday June 25th
12PM Eastern

27 Ways to
Make Money at
Parties
& Events

Click Here to Register

jack russell dog as a surprise singing birthday song like karaoke with microphone wearing red tie and party hat isolated on white background

Join Profiting from Your Passion®
Career Coach Hillary Saffran and…

Discover Dozens of Fun Ways You Can
Make Much More Money in Less Time
Than You Could With a Part-Time J-o-b

See How a Fun Side Gig Can Easily
Be Turned into a Full-Time Income!

Hillary Saffran — AKA the Biz Mama — knows firsthand that you really can make good money at parties and events.

A gifted speaker, ventriloquist, singer, and actor she began her entertainment career over 26 years ago as a birthday party clown. Since then Hillary has entertained audiences from ages 2-102!

No “talent?” No problem!

You don’t need to be an entertainer to make money in the party and event world.

In fact, there are dozens of non-entertainment ways you can cash in on the lucrative party and event world!

Join Hillary and me Saturday, June 25th at noon eastern time and discover:

  • The pros and cons of working with agents and agencies
  • Types of parties you can specialize in
  • Little-known niche markets where you can cash in
  • Why you don’t need to be the least bit talented to make money in the party and event world
  • Party and event options for people who love to travel including getting gigs on cruises and selling at state fairs
  • How to create additional services to add to your bottom line
  • Painless ways you can promote yourself and/or your products or services to event planners
  • Food, craft, and other products that fly off the shelves that you can sell at fairs and other event
  • Fun ways you can make much more money than you could with the average part-time job – in far less time
  • How to make enough money from that fun side gig to turn it into your full-time income
  • And more!

bizmama logo

Biz Mama Hillary Saffran!

As a licensed Profiting from Your Passions® Career Coach and Global Career
Development Facilitator, the Palmer, Alaska-based career expert positively excels at helping people like you to discover your unique gifts and interests and then helping you turn them into a successful small business. Hillary 2

Career planning is nothing new to Hillary.

She began her career working in a personnel agency matching job seekers with jobs. From there Hillary joined a social service agency where she got to work with thousands of unemployed workers in workforce centers nationwide to obtain employment.

Today she’s turned her considerable expertise to helping people who want to be their own boss.

Whether you earn money in the lucrative party and event world or you feel called in a different direction, Hillary can empower and guide you to discover your unique gifts and monetize them so you can do what you love and love what you do!

Seats Are Limited

Bring a paper and pen and come prepared to ask questions on this LIVE Webinar!

Seats are limited and registration is required.

Click here now to register for

FREE Webinar
Saturday June 25th
12PM Eastern

27 Ways to
Make Money at
Parties
& Events


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

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

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

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

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

Play Big

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

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

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

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

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

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from old iphone 11 27 2011 380

from old iphone 11 27 2011 381

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

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

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

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

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

Get Help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Position Yourself for Cool Things to Happen

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

Natalie picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

Natalie 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

She’s right of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then do it.

Join the Changing Course Community Discussion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t Want to Wait?

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

 

 


COOL BIZ IDEA #4: Make Your Own Cool Job Series

How One Woman Turned Her Dog into a $50 Million Empire

At 52, things weren’t exactly going Carol Gardner’s way.

She and her husband had invested in a high-end real estate venture. It failed.

Soon after, her nearly three-decade-long marriage failed as well.

Divorced, over $1 million in debt, and living on four credit cards, Carol was understandably depressed.

That’s when her divorce attorney gave her some advice: You need to either get a therapist or a dog. She chose the latter.

Carol got an English bulldog puppy and named her Zelda – so named because it started with the last letter in the alphabet and Carol “was hoping that what felt like the end might be the beginning.”

Zelda and CarolWith Zelda’s unconditional love, Carol began to heal. But she still had no income.

That’s when a friend told her about a local pet store that was sponsoring a Christmas card contest. The prize was a year’s worth of free dog food.

Carol sprang into action.

She borrowed a Santa hat from a neighbor, plopped Zelda into the bathtub and gave her a bubble beard.

The clever caption read: “For Christmas I got a dog for my husband… good trade, huh?”

She won! When Carol sent the winning card to her own holiday list, people raved.

Encouraged by the response, Carol decided to create her own line of 24 Zelda-inspired greeting cards with funny captions like “Go braless… it pulls the wrinkles down,” “Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you get wet.”

The fact that Carol was still broke didn’t hold her back.

Instead she asked a professional photographer to work for free in exchange for getting in on the ground floor of her dream. He said yes.

Next she convinced a local printer to wait 90 days for payment.

Soon the cards were selling in gift stores across Oregon and Washington.

Six months later she’d sold a million cards.

Zelda Wisdom is now a global brand worth over $50 million in cards and merchandise including clothing, home goods, cell phone covers, jewelry, and much more.

Carol and Zelda have appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, and dozens of other national and regional media.

There are seven Zelda books in print and Carol penned a re-imagined fairy tale called Princess Zelda and the Frog.

She’s also a motivational speaker whose signature talk, “How to Go from Underdog to Top Dog (Without Barking Up the Wrong Tree)” inspires audiences to follow their own dreams.

Carol is also a believer in giving back.

Zelda went on to represent the Zelda/American Humane Association Children’s Hospital Project as part of a co-initiative to train and certify rescue dogs to provide animal-assisted therapy in children’s hospitals and give the dogs a chance at adoption.

Are you inspired? I am!

Most media coverage of Carol and Zelda describes the process much as you just read.

A divorced, depressed, in-debt woman turns her adorable English bulldog into a line of greeting cards.

Six months later she’d sold a million cards and Zelda Wisdom, Inc. would go on to become a $50 million international empire.

The Story Behind the Story

Make no mistake about it: Carol Gardner and Zelda Wisdom Inc. IS a story of rapid, massive success.

But the real – and rarely reported story – is what transpired in those critical six months from the cards coming off the printing press and into the hands of a million happy buyers.

It’s a story that’s important to tell because most people have wildly unrealistic notions about what it takes to grow a business. As a result, they give up way too soon.

As importantly, how Carol went about going from idea to such mega-success in such a short time offers valuable lessons for you.

Lessons that, like Zelda says, can help you, “Think outside your cage”!

Zelda cage

For starters, Carol drew from the many years she’d spent working as a creative director in advertising – a job that gave her plenty of experience designing ads and writing one-liners for clients.

That’s also where she met and worked with a gifted photographer named Shane Young and a seasoned public relations professional named Sandi Serling.

Pros Carol would later tap to help launch the card company in exchange for getting in on the ground floor.

I learned too that a few years earlier Carol had written a book called Bumper Sticker Wisdom in which she documented the one-liner form of messaging and interviewed the people who sported them.

Sales were underwhelming.

But Carol says the experience taught her a lot about the publishing industry.

More importantly, that book helped Carol to connect the dots between…

Her previous skills and experience writing one-liners

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Wisdom gained living through her recent tough times

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Winning a holiday card contest

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The healing love of a pup named Zelda

Idea in hand, Carol’s success began with a combination of sound business start-up practices, a willingness to shoot high, and to go all in.

She did things like write a business plan that included the lofty but clearly possible goal of being licensed by Hallmark.

She researched the industry looking for untapped angles… like creating a line of cards around a single living dog with a name and a personality, photographing on a white background, and making blank cards – all things that were not being done at the time.

And she had enough faith in her idea, her team, and herself to tap the last remaining $40,000 available on her credit card to launch the business.

Time to Get Very, Very Busy

 

Zelda ducks

Right after Halloween Carol bought 24 costumes on sale and then proceeded to photograph “around the clock.”

Cards in hand, they decided to roll the line out locally to both test the concept and presumably to generate enough sales to pay their printer.

Personally shopping cards around to hundreds of gift stores in Oregon and Washington would be tremendously time-consuming

Besides, hiring a rep would take a big bite out of a small budget.

Instead they wisely put Sandi’s PR skills and connections to work ultimately creating so much buzz in local newspapers and TV (who doesn’t love an adorable dog prancing around in a bikini) that gift stores began contacting them to place orders!

Cards were flying off the shelves.

The local test met with such success in such a short period of time that the team knew they had to take a giant leap of faith.

So they rented a pricey booth at the National Stationary Show in New York City where Zelda Wisdom would be one of fifteen-hundred small greeting card companies vying for the attention of major licensing companies.

So they came up with three ways to stand out and thus maximize their investment.

First, ahead of the show they sent a press kit to the top licensing company.

They also further splurged on a full-page ad in the show catalog (something unheard of for a small company).

With this attention-grabbing picture you can see why that ad investment paid off!

zelda why bee normal

Once at their booth they ran a continuous video feed of funny clips of Zelda on local television.

The six months of hard work, creativity, willingness to risk investing in their dream even while broke, and massive hustle paid off.

The top licensing group signed them and within a few years Zelda’s Wisdom was Hallmark’s number one-selling greeting card line.

Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life

Every day you have the choice to act on your idea or your gift or to use that time in front of the TV or on social media.

At every step of the journey, Carol said yes to her dream and then took rapid, consistent action.

She began by researching and planning.

Then she reached out to people she knew, liked and trusted, and invited them to join her dream. She also had the guts to ask the printer to work on credit.

Had anyone of them declined, I have no doubt Carol would have kept asking until she found people who would said yes.

You might say Carol’s advertising experience gave her a huge advantage. And you’d be right.

However, I’ve had scores of clients with backgrounds and connections they could have easily tapped in the service of their own dream, but failed to do so.

Experience does of course help, but it’s just one of many ways to gain the confidence to pursue a dream.

Besides, the world is full of stories of complete novices with zero experience or connections who started from scratch and figured stuff out on their own.

I’m one.

If they (or I!) can do it, then my friend, so can you.
Zelda leapMichelangelo wrote, “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.

Every day you’re presented with an opportunity to shoot high or shoot low.

Right from the start Carol thought big by setting her sights on Hallmark –then she backed up her dream with equally bold actions.

Media coverage is one of the best ways to jumpstart a business.

Luckily, anyone can learn how to creatively tap the power of local or even national media.

The problem is most people either assume it won’t work (I know from ample personal experience that you have a far better shot than you think) or are just too lazy or scared to even try.

There is no “secret” to success. Fundamentally it comes down to the one thing available to all of us – and that’s effort.

Something Carol herself understands all too well.

In an interview on Moneypants.com, Carol was asked where money comes from. I loved her response.

Unless you win the lottery or are born with money, hard work is the best source. Following my divorce, my ex-husband’s accountant put his arm around me and told me he hoped I might find a wealthy husband. That was probably the most insulting AND most motivating thing anyone has ever said to me. The good news was that it made me mad enough to go out, work hard, and succeed.

Join the Changing Course Community

If you had to pick just one take away from Carol’s story what would it be?

How will you use it to advance your own path to self-bossing?

Share below!

Then stay tuned for Cool Biz IDEA #5 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

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

 


Check Out IDEA #3 in our NEW series Make Your Own Cool Job!

Does the idea of spending the rest of your life sitting in an office all day feel like dying a slow death?

Are you the outdoorsy type?

Or maybe just have a keen passion for the environment?

If you — or someone you know, said yes to any of these questions…

Or if you just want to hone your Business Idea Generation (B.I.G.) skills… you’ll love this next idea in our series…

In a quest toward more environmentally-friendly and natural solutions to lawn care and clearing unwanted vegetation, over the past decade a number of goat rental services have emerged.

Three young goats standing on a green meadow and looking to a ca

Goats will eat nearly any plant, including thistles, brambles and poison ivy. Like cows, goats are ruminants – meaning they have four stomachs.

Which helps explain why Tammy Dunakin named her Seattle-area company Rent-A-Ruminant.

In addition to the usual residential gigs, Tammy’s herd of 120 goats has cleaned up areas underneath urban highways, along railroad tracks, and submarine bases.

Prior to turning them loose on a location, Tammy surveys the area to be cleared and puts up an electric fence to keep them corralled.

In addition to property owners, Tammy has wisely gone after local and state government contracts.

Running the Numbers

Rent-A-Ruminant charges $750 a day for an average assignment with a three-day minimum and a set-up fee/transportation charge of $350 to $500.

calculator

If you do the math, it looks like her goats need to work 93 days a year to gross six figures.

Interested in launching your own goat rental business?

Tammy is ramping up to sell franchise opportunities.

And get this – she’s working with Amazon as part of a beta trial for their new Home Services campaign! (Who says the “little guy” can’t play with the Big Kids?!)

Do It Your Way

Of course Rent-A-Ruminant isn’t the only goat game in town. Nor is it the only business model.

Obviously, not everyone has the space to keep goats. So, find another way!

That’s what Go Green Goat did.

Their business is run out of Duxbury, Massachusetts. But their goats live 20 minutes away at Colchester Farm in nearby Plympton – described as a beautiful 8-acre organic CSA farm run by New England Village with a mission of enabling adults living with intellectual disabilities to live with dignity and work at meaningful employment.

And unlike Tammy who stays with her herd during the day, Go Goat customers receive instructions on how to feed and water the goats themselves.

When my own neighbors needed some land cleared they brought in The Goat Girls.

Black Goat Isolated On White

In addition to brush clearing, the Amherst, Massachusetts company also offers on-site training classes for current or curious goat owners.

And unlike Tammy who is emphatic that she is not in the kids’ party business, The Goat Girls are all too happy to tap an additional income stream when they see one!

Next Steps For This — And All — Ideas

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

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

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

Imagine your boss tells you to come up with a step-by-step plan for how an individual could start a goat grazing business.

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

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

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

Am I right?

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

To start:

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

– the going price of a goat and where to find them

– what it costs to care for goats

– local ordinances for keeping goats

-local farms where you might board your goats

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

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

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

– Take a class or seek free 1-1 counseling from your state’s State Business Development Center or comparable program in the province or country where you live.

– Check in to a Rent-a-Ruminant franchise.

– Read Raising Goats for Dummies (yes there is an actual book!) or check out their cheat sheet.

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

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

Stay tuned for Self-Bossing IDEA #4 in our series Make Your Own Make Your Own Cool Job!

Don’t Want to Wait?

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

We’d Love to Hear from You!

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

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

 


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

Are you happiest when you’re in a kitchen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pie 4

pie shop 1

pie shop 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find Your Niche

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

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

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

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

Aussie Meat Pie

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

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

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

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

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

Teach What You Love

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

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

calculator

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

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

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

pie shop 2

Create Additional Streams of Income

That’s when a light bulb went off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Step for This–and ALL–Ideas

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

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

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

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

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

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

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

Am I right?

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

To start:

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

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

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

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

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

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t want to wait?

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

We’d Love to Hear from You!

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opportunity knocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next Steps for This — and All — Ideas

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

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

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

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

Oh, and your boss needs your report ASAP!

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

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

Am I right?

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

To start:

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

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

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

– how to file for a state or provincial tax ID

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

– basic bookkeeping

– customer service

– marketing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t want to wait?

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

We’d Love to Hear from You!

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

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

 


Sadly, We Are a Nation of Occupational Sheep

You see it every year.

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

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

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

At which point I scream at my television…

MAKE A JOB!!!

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

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

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

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

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

They could find free stuff on Craigslist and sell it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s really little wonder that…

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

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

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

And that’s a shame.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of these ideas could replace your entire income.

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

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

Others require only a few paragraphs.

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

And that Changing Course starts with a great idea!

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

Don’t Want to Wait?

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


Get a C.L.U.E.

There are two types of people in the world: Chronic complainers and chronic complainers with a clue.

Both groups can always find something to gripe about.

The difference is, the clueless complainers will go to their grave railing against everyone and everything. Which, of course, only confirms their biggest complaint, namely: “life sucks and then you die.”

“In the middle of difficulty,” observed Albert Einstein, “lies opportunity.” What makes clued-in whiners different is that they have grasped the fundamental genius of success:

Complaints
Lead to rush nutrition solutions which
Ultimately, with effort,
Equal opportunity

In other words, take just about any problem or situation worthy of complaint — annoying telemarketers, bed bugs, lack of eligible dating partners.

Then add a dash of creative problem solving and you’ve got all the makings for a whole range of positive possibilities. For more info visit https://www.facebook.com/pastor.ed.young

Last time I featured great resources for earning money by:

  • Creating floral arrangements

  • Growing and selling plants from home

  • Working on the farm with a little help from farm school

In This Issue

Today we’ll look at three more cool jobs for aspiring self-bossers.

Each has the potential to solve a problem for someone else while putting money in your pocket!

  • Man Camp – teaching what dads forgot to teach

  • Breaking up is hard to do – but you can help!

  • For some breaking up is fun to do – divorce parties and other ideas

As always, some of the cool ideas you’re about to “meet” come from people in an international community of licensed Profiting From Your Passion® coaches. I hope these ideas inspire you to make your own job!

Cool “Job” #13: Man Camp – teaching what dads forgot to teach

Like many entrepreneurial ideas, this one came disguised as a problem.

My friend Beau Blackwell was lamenting the fact that his father never taught him how to replace a toilet, trouble shoot a stalled car engine, or other stereotypically “guy stuff.”

hammer“Wouldn’t it be great,” said Beau, “if young guys like him could go to “man camp”? Indeed!

If you know how to do basic home maintenance or auto repairs you could teach the classes yourself. If not, find some retired guys who can.

Building On That Idea

You could of course earn money from registration fees. But there are other ways to go.

For instance, you could round up one or more local sponsors to foot the bill. Instead of it being your event it could be billed as Man Camp sponsored by Homey Hardware Store or Best Ever Used Cars.

In addition to sponsor income, being connected with a local business has other advantages like instant credibility, sponsor help in promoting the event at their location, on social media, and on their website, as well as increased chances for local media coverage.

Another way to generate revenue is to work the food and beverage angle.

I remember my friend Barbara Winter telling about a famous herb farm that used to operate in Connecticut. They didn’t have a license to serve food. So they charged a fee to tour the gardens that included a free lunch!

beerSo what if you tap a local brewery as a sponsor? That way you can include a free sample which in turn allows you to up the registration fee. (Just don’t teach classes involving any buzz saws!)

Man Camp is a great idea. But as a home owner there are a lot of things I wish my dad had taught me too – things that neither of my two brothers learned either.

So you could always organize a similar class for women who tend to be less intimidated learning how to dry wall or change spark plugs in the company of other women.

Cool “Job” #14: Breaking up is hard to do – but you can help!

brokenheartAnyone who’s been dumped knows that breaking up really is hard to do.

You don’t feel like eating. Everything reminds you of your ex. You obsess about how incredible they were while developing amnesia about their faults.

As you’ll learn from an informative and entertaining video called The Science of Love, there’s a physiological reason why you have a hard time getting over your beloved.

brainAccording to researchers, the same regions of the brain are activated during a breakup as when an addict is going through withdrawal.

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

The video features several newly single people trying out five steps like identifying three things you learned from the relationship and mediation.

Building on That Idea

The 5-step process got me thinking about things like offering Break Up Recovery Coaching, Break Up Support Groups, even Break Up Retreats to cool locations.

You don’t need to be a psychologist or other mental health provider. Rather if you have coaching experience or simply organizing skills, you can partner with someone else to do the emotional heavy-lifting.

singingThe video ends with a singer composing a customized rap song for the people featured in the video.

If you have a knack for songwriting, this could be just the cool job for you!


2014Profit-From-your-passion-600

What If You Could Get Paid to Share Cool Business Ideas?

  • Are you an idea person?

  • Do you love to brainstorm?

  • Would you like to get paid to do what comes naturally?

You’re not alone!

In less time than you think you can train to become a licensed Profiting From Your Passion® coach.

Here’s what one student had to say as she started digging into the course material…

The resources on the student site are unbelievable. I can’t even imagine the time, energy, finances and mental/physical exertion you have poured into this.

 

Most of what I have experienced appears to have lead me to this work! Thanks again for all the work you have put into this program.

 

Robbie Penney
Bakersfield, CA

An accelerated version of this online course begins September 8th. Seats are limited.

Click here to learn how you can get started for as little as $379.

Cool “Job” #15: For some, breaking up is fun to do — divorce parties and other ideas

Some newly single people moved from healing to celebrating and there are party planners who are all too eager to help them do it in style.

According to a growing number of party favor and event planning companies specializing in divorce parties, business is booming.

Today you can buy divorce party favors like “pin the tail on the ex” and divorce party coasters. Others like Kissed the Wrong Frog and fabletics sell clothing, lip gloss, and shot glasses.

The owner of Los Angeles-based The Divorce Party Planner books at least three parties a month. At $5,000 to a whopping $20,000, helping people celebrate a new beginning can also be highly profitable.

Building on that Idea

If you prefer a service-based business, a quick search of other major cities like Atlanta and Denver didn’t turn up any divorce party planners there. So, why not become the go-to planner in your area?

Don’t know where to begin? Pick up a copy of Divorce Party Handbook.

If you’re not into the angry ex going to a strip club with her gal-pals scene that means there are others who feel the same.

So why not offer an alternative for divorcees looking for more Zen-like or spiritually-based rituals. It could be as simple as a weekend at a local retreat center or spa or as high-end as a group trip to Sedona or Machu Picchu.

If you want to specialize even more, you could create events that appeal to gay divorcees, Jewish divorcees, devout Christian divorcees – add your own here.

Not a people-person?

Then set up an online store selling divorce-themed party favors and other products.

No offense to really dated looking The Divorce Shower Store (the link to Myspace nailed it) – but it wouldn’t be hard to come up with a more polished look or one aimed at an upscale market.

With enough traffic you can also attract ad revenue.

To increase your search engine optimization (SEO) and stand out from the competition at the same time,you can use one of the best seo in montreal agency or supply visitors with a steady stream of articles on topics like surviving the divorce, rocking it as a single parent, and getting back in the dating scene.

Or maybe you’re more the creative type? For a premium, you can offer divorce voodoo dolls customized to resemble a cheating ex.

Or you can design your own products like this funny “break-up prevention” T-shirt I saw in the Pittsburgh airport which would make a great coffee mug or wall plaque too.

The marriage may have ended, but the possibilities for creative self-bossers to create their own cool job are truly endless.

Add Your Voice to the Cool Job Tribe

Thousands of heads are always better than one!

How would you build on any of these cool jobs? What other options, ideas, or additional profit centers did you picture? What other cool jobs have you spotted lately? Post below!


Turning Passions Into Profits

When the October issue of More magazine arrived, I tossed it into the pile with the other mail. I didn’t remember subscribing to More. But then it wouldn’t be the first time I ordered something and then forgot I did it. Turns out I had forgotten more than I realized. 

Two days later I got a call from a producer named Noreen from WPIX Channel 11 in New York City. She was calling about my interview on career re-invention in the latest issue of – you guessed it – More magazine!

In my defense the More interview happened months ago. I’d given several other interviews since then and with writing a book and everything, it just slipped my mind. Anyway, Noreen loved the article and wondered if I could come to New York to do an on-camera interview.

I’m not telling you this to impress you. I’m telling you this because over the course of the next few days I re-learned some valuable lessons about turning passions into profits that can benefit you as well.

Pay Attention to What Excites You

You would think being interviewed by a major New York television station would be exciting enough. But really the highlight of my 3-day romp around Manhattan (besides seeing the fabulous Broadway show Wicked) was the opportunity to sit down with mega-entrepreneur and social media phenomenon Gary Vaynerchuk at his enormous offices in the Village.


Here I am with Gary Vaynerchuk in his office

Talk about turning a passion into profit! While working at his immigrant parent’s New Jersey liquor store, he realized that the average person not only didn’t know a lot about wine. And because of the snob factor, most were too intimidated to ask.

So he set up a small video camera at his kitchen counter and started taping himself talking to the average Joe and Jane about wine. And with that Wine Library TV was born! 

If you haven’t seen Gary teaching people about wine, you’re missing out. All too often people think the only way they can be successful is to some somehow turn themselves into someone they’re not. Not true.

Just by being himself – in fact because he was being himself – Gary’s viewership swelled to over 80,000 a day, and his family’s wine business grew from $5 million a year to over $60 million. Since then he’s made television appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Ellen DeGeneres, NBC’s Today Show, and elsewhere and has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today… the list goes on and on.

There was a time when starting a business meant you had to have a big marketing budget. But gone are the days when you have to spend $50,000 on an ad in the New York Times or have a commercial during the Super Bowl to get noticed.

Gary’s latest passion is letting everyone who wants to profit from their passion know that money is no longer a barrier. I’ll let Gary tell you himself…

Gary is about to release a new book called Crush It: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In On Your Passion. It goes on sale starting Tuesday, October 13th but you should reserve your copy now. In a minute I’ll tell you how you can get a free copy.


Pay Attention to What Excites Other People

If you see other people getting excited about something, it often signals an opportunity. When I was in New York, the winners of the annual Vendy Award were being announced. It’s an award that goes out to the best street food vendors in the city.

The fact that New Yorkers are excited about being able to buy gourmet waffles or falafels from the side of a truck, or that the one-year-old Big Gay Ice Cream truck which sports toppings like toasted curried coconut or wasabi pea dust, was among the Vendy Awards finalists, tells you that people in your community would probably be excited to have a way to get that same kind of fast but good food in your area. (Okay so maybe the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck might be somewhat less popular among some members of some communities, but you get my point.)

Similarly, you’d expect an entrepreneur like Gary Vaynerchuk to be passionate about turning passions into profits. What I didn’t expect was the enthusiastic response from the people at WPIX. It was really just a five minute interview of me sharing many of the same tips I’m sharing here with you and about the importance of dwelling in the world of possibilities.

But when the interview ended, Noreen and Bart the videographer were positively breathless. “That was so inspiring!” said Bart “We never get to talk to people like you!” Then Noreen said, “Have you ever thought about having your own TV show?”

As flattering as it was, honestly, I was more struck by their excitement than by any future fame. Noreen talked about how hungry people are for this kind of information. I’ve already begun to think about how a "Passions Into Profits" make-over show might work! Even if it doesn’t happen, it’s exciting to know that more and more mainstream people are open to the idea of being their own boss.

Hang Out With People Who Are Already Profiting From Their Passions

The whole reason I was going to Manhattan in the first place (besides meeting with my editor at Crown Publishing) was because my friend Carrie Wilkerson AKA The Barefoot Executive asked me to film a segment for her new online TV show.


Carrie Wilkerson the Barefoot Executive and me before our shoot.

Carrie also invited a soon-to-be-new friend and kindred spirit, marketing guru Suzanne Evans.


Suzanne, Carrie and me at the studio 


Perry Lawrence, Ask Mr. Video

Someone else along for the excellent adventure was my friend Perry Lawrence from AskMrVideo.com. I got to know Perry when we were both in Aspen on a Maverick Business Adventure trip. To say that Perry is a “nice guy” is truly an understatement. He’s also passionate about helping people create their own online television series, something else we’ll talk more about in the coming weeks.

Take Action

Loving something alone is not enough to turn it into a business. You have to DO something with your passion. If the path is not clear, here are some ways to get started:

Apprentice: Find someone already doing what you want to do and see if you can study under them. You’ll need to work for free or pay for the individual attention or both. Still, there’s no better way to get hands-on training than to learn from a master.

Volunteer: If you want to work in radio, volunteer at a radio station. If you want to stage events, volunteer to help someone stage their event. If you want to start an organic farm, put in some time at an organic farm. An hour a week or one weekend a month can add up to give you valuable experience and contacts.

Take a Course: Most communities have continuing education programs through a community college or the state university system. For example, I recently signed up for a course through my local community college on how to be a talk show host. I could have just as easily registered for cheese making, transforming trash into art, or import export – and come next spring, I just may!

When I take courses like this it’s not so much about me wanting to be a talk show host or make cheese or import things. For me it’s about fueling my mind so I can pass that information along to you and to the people who have taken my Outside the Job Box Career Coach Training program so they, in turn, can share it with their clients.

Pay Attention to Coincidences

Check this out…

  • I “just happened” to have been interviewed by More magazine. And Noreen, the WPIX producer, “just happened” to see it and think it would make a cool story…

  • I “just happened” to be on my way to New York when Noreen asked if I’d come to their New York studio for an interview…

  • I “just happened” to register for a $39 course on how to be talk show host a week before Noreen suggested I have my own show…

  • Carrie “just happened” to hear about me because she heard me speak on a recording that was made at an Ali Brown event…

  • Carrie “just happened” to set up that amazing meeting with Gary Vaynerchuk…

  • Carrie also “jut happened” to invite Suzanne Evans who I am now partnering with to help more aspiring entrepreneurs who hate to market….

Most importantly, I believe that none of this is coincidence. I believe successful people make their own luck. We reach out, we show up, we act – even when we don’t yet feel fully confident – and we put in the effort.

Are you still in search of your passion? Or do you wonder how to turn your passion into money? Trust me, there are “forces” that are trying to communicate with you every day. It could be a bumper sticker on that pokey car you got stuck behind, a random conversation with someone at the hardware store, someone you saw on television, or indeed this very newsletter.

So often you really do know what you need to do. You just need to pay attention to the voices guiding you and allow yourself to go there.

Get Paid to Help Others Turn Their Passions Into Profits

What I’m passionate about is helping people change course to work at what they love. I also love teaching people how to do what comes naturally to me.

Even though I have not met many of them in person, I consider the previous graduates of my Outside the Job Box Career Coach training program to be a part of “my tribe.” It’s hard to meet everyone. Some live as far away as Singapore, Kenya, Norway, Australia, the UK, Barbados, Canada, and even Kazakhstan!

Others I have met only over the phone or through the special “Connect & Collaborate” networking site we set up just for the consultants to meet, share, and support one another. (Like the two California coaches who recently discovered they live in the same town and met for lunch to brainstorm ways they might work together. How cool is that?)

Some of the people who’ve completed the training are taking private clients. Some are doing group coachings. Some are running workshops. Some are writing articles, running blogs, writing books, and creating information products. Some are still in the process of creating their web sites or devising their marketing strategies.

There is one thing that everyone who has gone through the Outside the Job Box Career Coach course shares in common. And that’s a strong passion for helping people see how they too can profit from their passion. In fact, I’m very seriously thinking of renaming the entire program the "Profit from Your Passions Coach Training Program"!

Is This Your Passion?

To date over 75 people have signed up for the Self-Paced version of this one-of-a-kind training program bringing the total number of trainees including those who have attended the Teleclass version and my live program to over 125 people worldwide!

I’m particular proud of the Self-Paced program. That’s the system I developed to allow people anywhere, regardless of time zone or circumstance, to learn how to be an Outside the Job Box Career Coach.

When we met up with some of these people last spring, Lisa asked them to share their thoughts with you. It’s energizing to see people so passionate about their work and about the opportunities the future holds…

Registration Starts Next Week

Starting next week, I’ll once again open registration to another very limited number of trainees. In the meantime, I’m working on some very cool bonuses including even more tools to help you start earning money, faster.

For starters, the first 35 people to register will get a free copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book Crush It: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In On Your Passion. Plus I have another video Gary did to share with you. As you can see it was a total video fest!

I’ve also got some very cool brainstorming calls coming up just for the people on the Priority List. Being on the Priority List guarantees you’ll also have a head start on registering before I open the course up to all 40,000 people on my list.

If your passion is teaching, coaching, writing about or otherwise helping others turn their passions into profits then make sure you get your name on the list!

Go there now: ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm

As Lou Stoops wrote, “It has been estimated that well over ninety percent of the things people worry about never happen! What a waste to spend time pondering ‘what ifs’ when we could be pursuing ‘what might be!’”

A passion is a terrible thing to waste. Find yours, then imagine what might be if you really got serious about profiting from your passion!

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
Passions into Profits Expert


How to Turn Simple Ideas Into Financial Freedom

Valerie Young

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 208 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

Sometimes the smallest things can have the biggest impact on your life. Two weeks ago I attended a workshop in Stamford, Connecticut …


The Surprising Four Letter Formula for Success… It’s Not What You Think

Everyone is always looking for ways to get the “secret formula” to business success. The older I get, the more I see that in one way or another, the secret to success always comes down to one very simple little …


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


Valerie

Young

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 RenegadeCEOs.com. (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 RenegadeCEOs.com 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 www.RenegadeCEOs.com 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.”


Post Your Burning Questions on the Outside the Job Box Career Expert Course

The doors are now open at http://OutsideTheJobBox.com for the Outside the Job Box Career Expert Course. If you still have any questions after reading the course description, please post them here.


“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


The Doors Will Be Opening Soon For You to Get Started with Your “Outside the Job Box” Career….

If you were on the call last night, which was totally inspiring, we unfortunately didn’t have any time to answer questions. So I’m opening up my blog now, if anyone has any questions, please click on the comments button below and I will do my best to answer all of your questions within 24 hours.

Also, here’s more information about last night’s call and if you want the replay – this was a fantastic free 60-minute telephone seminar on which you’ll hear me, Valerie Young, Founder and Dreamer in Residence at Changing Course and Career Change Expert for People Who Want To Do Their Own Thing, interview Tom Kennedy, a former consulting client of mine who took the ideas we talked about and ran with them, and two graduates of the Outside the Job Box Career Expert Course, Cheryl Young and Sherrie Porterfield.

All three of these individuals offered a unique perspective on why now is the perfect time to start your own home-based business. In fact, Cheryl kicked off the call by sharing a little bit about her work with the National Department of Labor with the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education and how they are working to prepare people on unemployment to transition to entrepreneurship.

In fact, it’s not too late to get on my First In Line Priority Notification List. If you’re interested in taking your passion of helping others find their calling, sign up to be on my First In Line Priority List for my Outside The Job Box Career Expert Course. I have over 900 people signed up on the priority list and only 150 spots. When you’re on this list you will have a full 24 hours to decided if this course is right for you before I then open the course up to my list of over 40k people.

So if you’re at all interested in my course, sign up now to be on the priority list.

Don’t forget, if you have any questions, please use the comments button below. I’m happy to answer all your questions!

To your dreams,


And the Winner of the Opportunity Detective Contest IS…

We had so many wonderfully creative entries to our Opportunity Detective Contest. Thanks to EVERYONE who entered and took the time to share your inspiring ideas with the all of us.

With so much entrepreneurial creativity, picking a winner was an incredibly tough decision. In fact, “Note to Self…” never hold another contest, because it is just too hard to pick! But we finally did.

And the winner is… drum roll please!

Okay, I couldn’t pick one winner.

So I picked FOUR winners all of whom will receive the complete set of ALL of the Outside the Job Box Career Expert training materials — hundreds of pages of training manuals, training CDs plus marketing jumpstart CDs, templates of all forms, scripts, and email templates, and more… The program materials alone are valued in the thousands. Add to that the income potential from actively using your new-found knowledge and skills to grow your own small business, and the value is incalculable!

Let’s Congratulate the Four Lucky Winners Who Are:

Erika for persistence (key to success for entrepreneurs!)

John for juggling multiple income streams… as we speak!

Jerry for community spirit and for applying what he will learn to help his own struggling community!

Raghu for already deciding to reach out to fellow IT people in Silicon Valley to offer a free seminar. California, like Michigan and Florida, is hit so hard right now. So go Raghu.

In a world where everyone talks about changing course but few ever lift a finger to get that ball rolling EVERYONE who entered the contest is a winner in my book.

I’ll leave you with the words of George Bernard Shaw who once said, “The possibilities are numerous once we decide to act and not react.” THANK YOU for deciding to act!

Thanks again everyone!
Valerie Young


Do You Love Thinking “Outside the Job Box”?

***CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED***

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 …


Ten Tips for Figuring Out How to Get Paid to Do What You Love  

Valerie and her rescue dog,
“Cokie Roberts”

By Valerie Young

This article originally appeared in Issue 204 of the Changing Course Newsletter.

I love proving people wrong. Not all people… just the ones who are operating under the kind …


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 …


Answers To Your FAQs About the “Outside the Job Box” Career

Naturally, I’m also getting loads of questions from those who took the online survey as well as in response to the email that went out this week.

I started to reply to everyone personally. But then it just got out of control. So I decided the smarter thing would be to use a FAQ (frequently asked questions) format and post them here at the blog. That way, you can post additional questions or comments. I’ll do my best to respond within 24 hours.

I highly recommend you read through the FAQs before purchasing the Self-Study Training later this week. You’ll have a lot of the information you need to make an informed decision whether this program is right for you.

I’ll warn you in advance – some of my answers to your most Burning Questions are on a little long. But I’d rather err on the side of giving you more information than less.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com

 

Q: What will it cost and will there be a payment plan available?

I know the economy is an issue, so I’m working on some kind of discounted pricing now. At the same time, you need to understand that this course represents over a decade of intellectual property so I can only discount things so much.

For the amount of information I’m providing – hundreds of pages of step-by-step materials, over 13 hours of actual client sessions personally conducted by me – all of which are designed to rapidly accelerate your learning curve, AND given that we’re talking about you being able to launch an entire new profit center, pricing experts tell me I should be charging three times what I have been.

I’m going to create two options. The first will be for people who already have a coaching practice or perhaps work for some kind of career center or recruiting company and really just want the parts that have to do the Changing Course Formula and the consulting process itself. Since they don’t need help with marketing, there’s no reason they should have to pay for it. So that “standard” kit will be less.

For the people who do want and need a marketing boost, there will be additional resources, obviously at a higher price point. Having this information is going to save considerable time and energy and will help you sure that once you get the consulting parts down that you can start attracting clients faster.

I will definitely offer a payment plan. I’m known for going out of my way to break things down in a way that let’s more people than who could otherwise not afford it able to get the system. Having said that…

I DO NOT WANT ANYONE GOING INTO DEBT TO PURCHASE THIS PROGRAM.

If, God-forbid, you have lost your job or your home or your spouse/partner is going in for major surgery or you are the sole breadwinner in your family or are otherwise in dire financial straights and you need enough income from a new business to pay the bills in the short term, do not purchase this program.

Even if you have a job and have realistic expectations about what it takes to start and grow a consulting practice, honestly, if you can only afford a few hundreds dollars, regrettably this is not a good fit for you. You might want to check out Fab Job where for something like $29 you can at least get the basics of starting a wide variety of other kinds of small businesses. I know it’s not the same, but I’m trying to be honest here and at least it’s a start.

Q: Will the information in the self-study program be the same as that in the live training?

Information-wise, the answer is YES! Obviously at nearly $10,000 the people in the live 5-day training program got the highest possible level of support.

But as far as the actual training content – a step-by-step break down of the Changing Course Formula and then knowing what to do before, during, and after a consulting session – the self-study version contains the same essential information you need to be able to work effectively with clients.

Q: Would a lack of degree impact my ability to get clients?

You do not need an academic degree to be an Outside the Job Box Career Expert and Business Ideas Consultant. You don’t need to be a coach of any kind.

When you get outside of the box, you realize that there are many paths to expertise. Here’s a story I tell my clients – and you can use with your client’s too…

Imagine you’re out shopping when you spy a fabulous piece of art that would look perfect in your living room. You start to head over for a closer look when it suddenly hits you. “What if the artist doesn’t have an MFA?” As ridiculous as that sounds I’ve seen far too many people hold themselves back for fear of not being “qualified” enough. Naturally there are some professions where credentials are mandatory. But not all career paths require fancy degrees or formal training of any kind in order to achieve expertise.

Consider too, the unlikely case of self-taught weapon system expert Jeff Baxter. Despite no formal education on weapons systems, Baxter chaired the Congressional Advisory Board on Missile Defense and is a highly paid consultant to military contractors like General Atomics and Northup Grumman. His prior experience? “Skunk” Baxter, as he used to be known, was a guitarist with rock bands Steeley Dan and the Doobie Brothers. If someone can become a self-taught weapon systems expert, you can become a self-made expert on just about anything.

Then there’s Jean Nidetch. In the early 60’s, the homemaker from Queens started inviting friends to her home to support each other’s ongoing battle to lose weight. Her approach of mutual support coupled with sensible eating worked. So well in fact that Nidetch went on to found a little multi-billion dollar international empire called Weight Watchers. Notice, she did not have a degree in nutrition, or exercise physiology, or degree of any kind.

One of the topics covered in the training program – and one of the things that as an Outside the Job Box Career Expert and Business Ideas Consultant you will help your own clients to see – is that there are many paths to expertise.

Q: Is there a system to this business and do all your students follow the same guidelines?

I’ll answer this along with another question which was, “What happens if I'm in a "dry spell" with my ideas?” There very much is a system. It includes everything from what to say when a client calls to inquire about your services to a “script” to help you kick off and close every session and how and when to process the client’s credit card.

As for running out of ideas, the fact that you are interested in this program tells me that you are a creative thinker (and if you are not, you should not go into this line of work). It’s a combination of using your naturally curious mind and then having a system that includes enough tools to make sure that you never run out of ideas – and if you do, you know exactly where to go to find more!

Keep in mind, too, that what you are promising your clients is that they will walk away with at least one good idea for how they can turn their interests into income. Because each client has different interests, each one will be different. With the right process and tools, coming up with interesting ways to turn passions into profits will not be an issue!

As for everyone having to follow certain “guidelines”… I address this at length in the program description so suffice it to say that if you use my concepts you need to credit these back to me just as you would if you were talking about say Barbara Sher’s concept of “Scanners vs. Divers.”

Also this is not a franchise and therefore, nobody has to do things “my way or no way.” There plenty of structure for those who want guidelines and plenty of flexibility for people who want to create their own thing.

Red Flag Questions:

There were a few comments and questions some people raised in the survey that I consider “red flags.” Before you even think about doing this kind of work I want to make sure you a) have the right “mindset” for this work and b) understand what it is you are training to do…

Red Flag Comment 1: “What is a creative career consultant's average success rate – how many people get 'placed' as it were, in a career that they like?”

Red Flag Comment 2: "What is the success rate of clients? How many find outside the box work they love as a result of the counseling?"

ANSWER: Maybe I am being overly sensitive to words here, but I don’t want to take any chance. Words like “placed” even if they are in quotes and “find” work are both job-related. Being self-employed is about creating your own job basically.

Your clients are not ge
tting “placed” anywhere and none of them will “find work” as a result of a consultation with you. Instead you are helping people to see ways they can turn their interests into income so they can then CREATE income streams and get customers or clients to pay them for what they have to offer. There is a huge difference.

I think the real question people are trying to get at is, "How successful
are consultants at helping people discover interesting business ideas based on
their passions and interests?" Well all you have to do is read these evaluations
to know the answer to that. These are just a small sample of the 100+
evaluations previously trained consultants have received from the practice
clients that Changing Course provided to help jumpstart their new practice:

“Arthurine -- you are a truly gifted and amazing Outside the Job Box career consultant!  I deeply appreciate my consultation, and I am looking forward to moving forward to some of the ideas you gave me.  Thanks a million!!”

“I believe Craig really will be good at being a full time consultant, and recommend him to others for a great job. I enjoyed working with him, and look forward to emailing him with my future career expansions!”

“Michelle is great! She has a lot of enthusiasm and that gave me energy. She is very easy to talk with. She also offered some good ideas, and seems to really care about what she is doing.”

“Gail was great. The session was exactly what I’ve been looking for a long time. I’ve met with several career coaches, but this is the first time I felt I got worthwhile feedback. It was a great experience… the process doesn’t consider what you’re good at, but rather what you love. And what could be better than doing what you love and getting paid for it. Gail, I think you’ll be enormously successful in this field.”

Red Flag Comment 3: “How do you overcome the terror of failing?”

Actually I was going to talk about this in the next newsletter but since this is such a big issue, I’m going to give you a sneak preview.

No one likes to fail. But terror? There are things worth being terrified about like global warming or war or bombings. But giving something your best shot and finding out it’s not for you? I call that life.

At one point I decided to produce a line of humorous greeting cards. I spent months drawing them and a couple of thousand of dollars on printing. They sold pretty well in four major cities but soon into it, I realized that the business was more about selling than anything and I hate selling (marketing I like, selling I hate). So did I waste $2000? No. I gave it my best shot, learned a lot and moved on.

If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, then you need to readjust your emotional response to failure and mistake making. You need to understand some fundamental truths about failure that have guided successful people since the first spear missed the first brontosaurus.

Here are five more must-have rules for entrepreneurs about failure:

Rule 1: No one bats 1000. The fact that you identify with the Impostor Syndrome tells me that emotionally you still expect yourself to always bat 1000. To put that into perspective, consider that in baseball a .333 batting average is considered outstanding. If you’re not a baseball fan, what this means is that for every 10 pitches, the batter only has to hit the ball three times to be considered exceptional. Even the legendary Babe Ruth “only” batted .342. The point is, you can be at the top of your game and still strike out more often than not.

From time to time everybody makes bad decisions. Everybody gets egg on their face. Everybody fails. Failures, flops, and fumbles are such a part of life that Harry Truman once remarked, “Whenever I make a bum decision, I just go out and make another.” Okay, it’s hard to imagine a female president getting away with the same remark without some questioning her fitness. But you can’t control what other people think. You can only control your own response which begins with giving yourself permission to fall as flat on your face as the next person.

Rule 2: Failures offer valuable lessons – and opportunities. Believe it or not there is lots of good news about failure. Henry Ford understood that, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” In engineering, the process of “failure analysis” is based on the recognition that you can learn just as much from studying what went wrong as you can from what went right. It is this understanding that led Thomas Edison to famously remark, “I have not failed. I have successfully discovered 1,200 ideas that don’t work.”

Instead of seeing your flops as evidence of your incompetence, think of them as information you can use to do better next time. Do you need to develop or hone a certain skill? Do you need more practice or a different approach? Do you need to delegate the things you’re not gifted at? What will you do differently next time? What lessons can you glean? For example, have you ever walked away from a conversation and thought, “I sounded like such an idiot”? Everyone has. Next time, skip the self scolding. Instead use that time to replay the conversation the way you wish you’d handled it.

Now I don’t want you to mistake this for the usual negative self-talk about what you “should” have said or done. Rather what you’re doing is consciously laying down a positive new pathway in your brain, one that will make you better prepared to respond in a similar situation in the future. The sooner you glean the learning value following what feels like a set back, the better. The key is to fail forward.

Rule 3: Failure is just a curve in the road. I know how easy it is to be so discouraged by setbacks that you just give up. But it’s time you start seeing failure for what it is, a curve in the road and not the end of the road. Did you know that Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job for “lacking ideas”? Or that H. Macy’s store failed seven times before it caught on? Or that Michael Jordan was cut from his junior varsity basketball team? Did they give up? No.

If Abraham Lincoln had taken failure as cause to quit it would have changed the course of history. In fact he suffered repeated failures on the road to success. After failing as a storekeeper and a farmer Lincoln decided to run for political office. He failed. Once he finally did get elected to the legislature, when he sought the office of speaker and failed. He failed in his first bid for Congress. He failed when he sought the appointment to the United States Land Office. And he failed when he ran for the United States Senate. Despite repeated public failures, Lincoln never saw failure as a reason to give up.

Rule 4: Not taking risks may be the riskiest move of all. Whenever you try anything there will always the risk of failure. At the same time, not taking risks is often the riskiest move of all. The reason Michael Jordon says he made so many baskets is because he was willing to take so many shots, explaining, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Stepping up to take your shot is especially important because Impostors think that by avoiding risk they can dodge detection. After all, if you don’t take chances or never put yourself or your work out there, you significantly lower the chances of failures.

Here again it comes down to shifting your thinking. People often comment on what a big risk I took when I left my safe corporate job to go out on my own. But to me, the far greater risk was to look back at my life with regret and say, “I was miserable, but at least I had a good dental plan.” As the great Opera diva Beverly Sills once said, “You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

Rule 5: It’s not your failures that count but how you handle them. Imagine making a major mistake with 1 billion people watching. That’s what Miss USA Crystle Stewart did when she fell during the 2008 Miss Universe pageant. She handled the fiasco by putting on a radiant smile, picking herself up and clapping her hands over her head as if to say, “Let’s have a round of applause.” This was not the first time Stewart had to pick herself up after a failure. It had taken her five tries before being crowned Miss Texas. To feel as bright and capable as you really are, remind yourself that it’s not your failures that count, but how you handle them.

Not only do you have a choice about how you handle failure, you also have a huge say in what kind of failures to have. You can have the mundane ones like getting a D in physics or not getting an interview or you can take the advice that Garrison Keillor offered to students in his commencement address at Macalister College. Keillor encouraged the audience to “have interesting failures.” Let those words sink in for a moment. Have interesting failures.

Whether you like or not from time to time you’re going to miss the mark. So why just be a failure at parallel parking or balancing your checkbook when you can come in third at the National Jigsaw Puzzle Championships, only write one children’s book, or make it only half way up Mount Everest? The fact that you never fail indicates that you consistently chose settling over reaching, inaction over action. As Billie Jean King once said, “Be bold. If you’re going to make an error, make a doozey, and don’t be afraid to hit the ball.”

What else do you need to know…?

I am confident that a lot -- if not all -- of your questions will be answered when you see the full course description. But if you have a burning question that can’t wait, jot it down here and I will do my best to get back to you ASAP!


Update 6: Find Your Calling By Helping Others Find Theirs

Join Me for Five Extraordinary Days and
Leave With Everything You Need to
Start Your Own Business as an
"Outside the Job Box" Career Consultant

2008 Business Training Summit

Northampton, Massachusetts
May 4-8, 2008

What could be more fun than sitting at home (or anywhere in the world really) and brainstorming with people over the telephone about creative ways they could make a living without a job − and actually getting paid to do it! Or running workshops on how to turn interests into income? Or earning passive income with eBooks and other information products?

If you are someone who is forever thinking up potential business ideas… or turning other people onto resources and alternatives they never knew existed… the kind of person who gets a high from helping others?

If you want to get paid to do what comes naturally, then in a few short months, you could be running your own business as an "Outside the Job Box Career Consultant." I’ll show you how.

Everything You Need to Be Making Money in Less Than a Month

I’m going help you get started faster and with more forward energy and confidence than you ever imagined. That way you can launch a real business in less than a week… and be making money in less than a month.

  • Learn how, step-by-step, to parlay your creative instincts and your curiosity into work you enjoy… and gain not just pleasure, but profits too…

  • "Power-Start" your new business with hand-holding from experts who really know their stuff. So you can avoid those rookie mistakes and be up-and-running fast… and in the right direction…

  • Forget "selling." Learn simple, low-cost and no-cost marketing techniques proven to attract a steady flow of paying clients…

  • Get the "Silver Platter Treatment"… everything you need to start making money in as little as three weeks from your own web site to a professional headshot to six months of marketing mentoring from a leading expert…


I can’t recommend this program enough. It was both the beginning of an exciting journey for me and the realization of a long held desire to help people figure out what they want to do by thinking outside the box… Valerie offers not only the inspiration to help you realize your own calling and jumpstart your own "created career" by becoming a creative career consultant, but she hands you the keys to the kingdom – all the practical tools to get your consultancy up and running, handing down her invaluable expertise and tried and true methods along the way. She trains you to see what others may not, helping to guide your clients to life changing a-ha moments. Don’t miss this opportunity – I’ll always be grateful I didn’t! ~ Susan
 

Early Bird Pricing Discount Extended – 5 Seats Left

After a slew of emails from people waiting for tax refunds or needing more time to make vacation plans, I extended the $1800 Early Bird Discount until Wednesday, April 9th.

There are other ways to save too. Like the $1200 "Pay for your own stay" discount option. And, for those who want to get all of the web and marketing essentials but don’t need the more extensive elements, you may take advantage of an additional $1000 savings.

I’m not trying to pressure you by screaming ACT NOW! The people who are most interested in this unique training and business opportunity don’t really need any reminders gentle or otherwise. They already know that the last two Tele-training programs both sold out.

The new live program in May is going to be more personalized, more intense, and more immediately productive than anything else I’ve ever offered. Because I will be working so closely with the people who do attend, I have decided to severely restrict the number of training slots. Because of my big book deal with Crown, it is also the only training I will run in 2008.


I have recently invested in the "out of the box" career consultant certification program, and I am SO EXCITED!! I say invested because that’s what it is for me, and I’m sure many of you, an investment. It’s an investment in me and my family’s happiness and prosperity. It is the total package! I wake up excited about the additional tools I have at my disposal for starting my new businesses. I am also less anxious about how stressful my current position is because I know that it is just a temporary inconvenience. Nature is change…which means that it is natural to seek change and I am certainly ready for it. Many thank you’s to Valerie and her associates. ~ Rosalyn
 

To learn more about whether the enriching life of an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant or this Certification Summit is right for you go to ChangingCourse.com/livecertification.htm

ONLY 5 SEATS LEFT!

And, if you still have questions, in invite you to join four graduates from the "Class of 2006" for a live – and I guarantee – a very lively Q&A and conversation session on Thursday, April 3 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. You’ll find out where these consultants are (some of their answers will definitely surprise you) and where they’re going… Barbara Winter will be on hand too to offer her first-hand impressions of the people she’s met who’ve come through the program.

If you can’t make the call, post your questions there:
ChangingCourse.com/blogg

I’ll make sure your question gets answered. The call will also be recorded. So if you can’t make the live call, sign up anyway and I’ll send you the recording as soon as it’s available. And by the way, this is definitely NOT a sales call.

Click here to register for the Live Q&A with the Outside the Job Box Career Consultants: http://tinyurl.com/2q4yka

P.S. If you’ve been following my blog, then you already know this is the costliest program I’ve ever offered. Between offering to cover everyone’s lodging and meals and the added expense of hiring a well-known marketing consultant to provide you with six months worth of individual and small group support — my per person costs are well into the thousands.

I’m not a university so I don’t have any kind of scholarship fund that I can draw from. BUT anyone who has ever worked with me knows that when it comes to money, I always strive to be as fair and flexible as possible.

So if you need to, for example, put down a smaller initial down payment… or maybe to wrap the down payment into the monthly installments… or you need to set up some other payment option all together, let me know and while I can’t make any promises, I will try my hardest to work something out.


Update 5: Find Your Calling by Helping Others Find Theirs

This will be short. I’m writing from the back of a huge meeting room at Boeing where I’m delivering the keynote presentation — not the kind of thing you want to be late for! 🙂

I know it’s short notice but it’s tough to coordinate these things from the road. But three, maybe four, of the Outside the Job Box Career Consultants from the “Class of 2006” are getting together with me for a live Q&A on Thursday, April 3rd from 10:00-11:00 a.m. — and you’re invited.

Like I said this will be a live Q&A and I’m going to build in plenty of time for you to ask your individual questions. If you can’t make the call, post your questions below and I’ll make sure your question gets answered. The call will also be recorded. So if you can’t make the live call, sign up anyway and I’ll send you the recording as soon as it’s available.

Click here to register for the Live Q&A with the Outside the Job Box Career Consultants.

To your dreams,
Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
http://ChangingCourse.com


2008 “Outside the Job Box” Career Consultant Training 

Join Me this Spring…

And Over Five Extraordinary Days,
Discover How You Can Find Your Own Calling
by Helping Others Realize Theirs

2008 Certification & Training Summit

Become an “Outside the Job Box” Career Consultant
Northampton, Massachusetts
May 4-8, 2008

What could be more fun than sitting at home (or anywhere in the world really) and brainstorming with people over the telephone about creative ways they could make a living without a job − and actually getting paid to do it! Or running workshops on how to turn interests into income?

If you’re a creative thinker, are entrepreneurial, love to brainstorm, and want to get paid to do what comes naturally, then in a few short months, you could be running your own business as an “Outside the Job Box Career Consultant.” I’ll show you how.

What if you had a chance to build a business like mine?

I really do make a living working for myself, doing what I love. A good living.

And you can, too — by following in my footsteps.

People around the world are clamoring for the kind of help I provide. Without a doubt: There’s plenty of room on this path.

Of course, the question you have to answer is: Is it the right path for you? Ask yourself…

  • Are you somebody who’s always clipping out articles for friends and acquaintances? Always turning other people on to resources and alternatives they never knew existed?

  • Are you a creative problem-solver?

  • Do you instinctively jump in to help others?

  • Do you find yourself constantly thinking up potential business ideas?

Find your calling by helping others find theirs...If that describes you, then I bet people like talking to you…

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

It does to me, too. So we already share that in common.

Now I’d like to show you how you can share in my success as well.

And I’d like to do it in a way that will help you get started faster and with more forward energy and confidence than you ever imagined.

A way for you to learn all the hard-won secrets I’ve discovered over the last decade. So you can launch a real business in less than a week… and be making money in less than a month.

  • Learn how, step-by-step, to parlay your creative instincts and your curiosity into work you enjoy… and gain not just pleasure, but profits too…
  • “Power-Start” your new business with hand-holding from experts who really know their stuff. So you can avoid those rookie mistakes and be up-and-running fast… and in the right direction…
  • Forget “selling.” Learn simple, low-cost and no-cost marketing techniques proven to attract a steady flow of paying clients…
  • Get the “Silver Platter Treatment”… everything you need to start making money in as little as three weeks…

The 2006 and 2007 Certification classes both sold out. The Spring 2008 program is going to be more personalized, more intense, and more immediately productive than anything else I’ve ever offered. It is also the only training I will run in 2008.

Registration and Special Savings are Happening NOW

Registration for the 300+ people on the First in Line advance notification list began this past Tuesday, March 18 at noon. The first registration came in within 30 minutes and kind of snow balled from there. There is a substantial early registration discount that is in effect until March 26th as well as a $300 Travel Credit Discount that ends Friday, March 21 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

I’ve also added two other creative ways you can afford to take advantage of this unique training and business start-up opportunity…

I was planning to foot the bill for your lodging and meals. But if you are local, have friends in the area, or are practiced in the art of traveling “on the cheap” you can take advantage of the “Pay for Your Own Stay” option (a $1,200 savings).

Already marketing and web site savvy? If what you really want is to take advantage of the Outside the Job Box career consulting skills/business training and tools only you may opt to forego the extensive web site assistance and 6-months of additional marketing and mentoring with a self-promotion and marketing expert and save yourself an additional $1,000.

Seats Are Limited

To learn more about whether the relaxed life of an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant or this Certification Summit is right for you – and to find out about these new ways to save even more – go to ChangingCourse.com/livecertification.htm

“This program is a great opportunity for anyone interested in helping others to change course. It’s something that can put you in business immediately after completion, if you choose. It’s fun, challenging and inspiring. I’m so excited about doing this and full of ideas. Thank you, thank you for giving me all the tools I need to get going.” ~ Barbara


Update 4: Find Your Calling By Helping Other People Find Theirs

Advanced Registration Date Set and Program Pricing

Registration Date Set

Barring any last minute technical difficulties, the advanced registration process will begin on TUESDAY, MARCH 18th at NOON EASTERN TIME.

I’m not sending the link now because initially this link is going ONLY to people on the First in Line list because they requested advanced notification. So look for the link in this week’s Changing Course Newsletter. Now for the answer to the BIG question…

Now for the answer to the BIG question…

What’s the Program Price?

You need to understand that it took me a few months to even decide to offer this live training program. The idea has me incredibly energized and excited, but putting together and leading this live 5-day intensive “summit” really, is going to require a lot of work and a lot of intense interaction on my part..

That last part is particularly scary for me. I mean I love working with people on this topic… listening to my previous trainees on those Preview calls talk about how my certification program has changed their lives was incredibly humbling. But the amount of work on my part and all the extra marketing and web support I’m building in also made it incredibly difficult to price.

But after sleeping on it one more night, I have arrived at what I believe to be a fair price.

This is the highest cost item I have ever offered (hence the hold up with my merchant provider). That’s why it’s really important to me that you understand how I arrived at the final cost. I also want to give you some suggestions about how you can decide whether this is the right investment for you.

I’m still going to be sharing ALL of my intellectual property so you’ll know exactly what to do before, during, and after a client consultation. Your still getting a step-by-step guide in the form of my Changing Course Formula to use with your own clients.

But with this live 5-day Summit I’m also paying to…

…get you moving FASTER by bringing in marketing guru Ilise Benun to speak and meet with you during the program PLUS provide you with personalized individual and small group mentoring for a full six months following the program…

… get you moving FASTER by hiring web guru Lisa Tarrant to be on site to get you all set up on the web (everything from setting you up with a website or blog template, domain name, hosting, merchant account so you can accept payment from clients all over the world, and more)…

… get you moving FASTER by having a professional photographer on hand to take a great looking headshot for your site

…AND paying for your 5 days of lodging and meals so you don’t stress about the additional travel costs…

This program will be unlike anything else I have ever done – or ever seen really. But like I said, it’s not for everyone. And that’s really a necessity because I can only accommodate around 21 people and right now there are over 320 people on the First in Line list which means not everyone who wants to will be able to get in.

Part of the sheer joy of being an Outside of the Job Box Career Consultant is that when you start viewing the world through the lens of opportunity as I do – suddenly problems aren’t problems at all…

Instead you begin to realize that most problems come disguised as opportunities. For example…

Problem

Everybody’s financial situation is different. So, when it comes to money, I know that for a lot of people, the price of this program will be an issue. Let’s face it, pricing a product or service is always tricky. And as the buyer, how do you know what’s a fair price?

I know what this program is worth. But how do you determine what the cost of freedom means to you?

Easy. You do your homework.

Opportunity

When my own consulting clients are baffled as to how they should price their SAT tutorial business, walking tours in Rome, or proof writing services I tell them the same thing I’m going to tell you:

Do your homework and make sure you compare ‘apples to apples.’

What does this mean?

The Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Summit in May is NOT a self-study course or a Teleclass. As you’ll learn when you read the entire program description on Tuesday March 18th, this is a highly interactive, live, hands-on training, mentoring, and small business development program.

Since this particular program is happening over 5 days instead of the usual 16 weeks, its also set up to help you generate paying customers literally within weeks of the training summit.

Given the level of training and support you get the Certification Program could easily have been set up as a formal franchise. But making you do things ‘my way or no way’ flies in the face of everything I believe about designing your business to fit your life- and not the other way around.

So while not a franchise, this program gives you the same – and in many cases — significantly more training and support than you would if you bought a traditional franchise.

So now that we’re comparing apples to apples – do your homework. Go to http://franchisegator.com and click on ‘Work from Home’ or ‘Business Services.’

Here are just a few examples of total capital required for some somewhat related businesses…

~ Doody Calls pet waste pick up $45,000-$67,000 (truly a recurring business… sorry I couldn’t resist J)

Okay so here are more consulting oriented examples:

~ Mars Venus Coaching – $31,500 Total Capital Required

~ The Entrepreneur’s Source – $72,500-$81,500 Total Capital Required

~ One Coach: $100,000-$750,000 Total Capital Required and $500,000 -$1,000,000 in Net Worth Required

The Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification won’t cost you nearly that much. In fact, once you factor in the extensive level of training, tools and ongoing support, I think you’ll agree that the cost of freedom is actually pretty darn low.

When I delivered this program by Teleclass, there were still plenty of costs for CD duping, printing, and recordings. But nothing like the costs to put on a live event with meeting space and breaks and such.

Especially not a live event where I’m also tacking on six-months worth of marketing mentoring and support… or the kind of extensive web site assistance you’ll receive… and certainly not where your meals and lodging are included.

Given all of the above, I have decided to price the 5-day live Certification intensive at $11,500. With the early registration discount and other incentives it is possible to get into this program for about $3000 less. I’ve also put together a very generous installment plan option to make it as affordable as possible for as many as possible.

If you have to “blame” anyone for the price, blame some of the people in my 2007 program. This whole idea of a higher priced program got started when an attendee sent me this email mid-way through the program…

“Just as a side note, this course has a lot of details that we need. I am becoming surprised that the registration is not set at $8k-10k for all the training. Val, I believe you can do both, bump up the price and have more attendance for the next class.” ~ Craig Duck

Craig went on to say I was delivering way more than he expected. I always strive to over-deliver but I was kind of kicking myself on the under-pricing part.

On the next Teleclass I joked that I was going to make the new price retroactive. The next day I received this email from another attendee…

“YES I agree with Craig you should be charging more!  I told a bunch of folks at the Work at What Your Love workshop last summer that your work is a STEAL.”  ~ Joan McAndrews

Keep in mind Craig and Joan were saying the TELECLASS version should be priced at $8,000-$10,000!

The more I thought about it, the more I realized what I was giving away – and more importantly – what these aspiring self-bossers were getting.

This has been a very long way of saying when you look at your investment in this training summit – at this investment in YOURSELF – you have to consider what it is you are buying. Whether you seize this particular business start-up opportunity or not, when it comes to changing course, this simple truth remains…

ALL change is scary – even positive change. Fear just comes with the change territory. Period. My mantra is “Information will set you free.” The more you know the less there is to be afraid of. So do your homework…

Read or re-read the FAQ by clicking here.

Find a few moments of quiet, and listen to what your heart is telling you. Either way, your gut will never let you down.

And don’t forget to check your email TUESDAY at 12:00 P.M. EASTERN for a more complete overview of the entire Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Certification Program and decide whether it’s the right path for you.

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
Changing Course

P.S. To read more about how information can spring you from ‘job jail’ read my article Trapped in a Job You Hate? Where to Search for Freedom go to https://www.changingcourse.com/2012/05/15/trapped-in-a-job-you-hate-where-to-search-for-freedom/


Update 3: Find Your Calling By Helping Others Find Theirs

Answers To Your FAQs About The “Outside the Job Box” Career Consultant Certification Program & An Important Date Change

If you caught last Friday’s issue (March 7th) of the Changing Course newsletter then you already saw the video where previous attendees in the Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Certification program talked about their experience.

If you missed this newsletter and want to watch the video click here now:

http://ChangingCourse.com/archives/issue179.html

Apparently, their enthusiasm was contagious because ever since then there’s been a flood of interest from people who love the idea of getting paid to help people brainstorm interesting ways to turn their interests into income. Naturally, I’m also getting loads of questions.

I started to reply to everyone personally. But then it just got out of control. So I decided the smarter thing would be to use a FAQ (frequently asked questions) format and post them here at the blog. That way you can post additional questions or comments. I’ll do my best to respond within 24 hours.

I highly recommend you read through the FAQs before the registration period begins at the end of this week. You’ll have a lot of the information you need to make an informed decision whether this program is right for you.

I’ll warn you in advance – some of my answers to your most Burning Questions are on a little long. But I’d rather err on the side of giving you more information than less.

NOTE IMPORTANT DATE CHANGE

Northampton, Massachusetts is a college town and tourist destination. The interest in this live Certification program has exceeded all expectations. Which is great but it also got me worried that there may not be enough hotel room capacity over what is turning into very busy tourist weekend…

So the training dates have moved up one day.

The Certification Program will begin on SUNDAY, May 4th and run through THURSDAY, May 8th. My apologies for any inconvenience or confusion!

Hold the Date! Free Live Teleclass!

On Thursday March 13th you’ll get to hear current and previous attendees talk about their experience in a live Teleclass.

Morning Teleclass: 10:00-11:00 a.m. Eastern
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Evening Teleclass: 8:00-9:00 p.m. Eastern
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

To your dreams,

Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com

Burning Question #1

“I love the idea of helping people in their careers (and would also like to work with other coaching goals as well). What attracted me to your program is the level of support you will provide. What scared me about the form was the specific information you wanted (e.g., number of clients, annual income goals, etc) – I just haven’t gotten that far yet (and feel like I need some help sorting all that out). So the primary question I want to ask you is if this training is geared towards people who are a little farther along in the business development process than I am?” Elizabeth

ANSWER

You do NOT need to have any previous business experience to qualify for this training program or business. In fact 90 percent of past program participants had NO previous experience. What they did have – and what you will need — is a passion for helping, for creative brainstorming, for making a living without a job and for helping others discover how to do the same.

The form Elizabeth was referring to is Pre-Qualification and Needs Survey. I amended the survey to make it clear that there are no “right” or “wrong” answers to any of the questions!

So if you have not yet completed the survey – or you started and got overwhelmed –please don’t stress out over questions like whether you already do coaching or currently have a website. You do NOT need either previous coaching/business experience or a website to qualify or to succeed in this program.

Also don’t get hung up on the questions about how many clients you think you’d like to have in a week… your financial goals… whether you’d like to work with clients over the phone or in person… niche markets you might like to work with… and so on. These are exactly the kinds of questions you’ll get a chance to really hone in on during the Certification program itself. Believe me… by the end of the Certification you will be crystal clear on all of these questions and more.

For now these questions are as much for YOU as they are for me. Part of your work as an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant is encouraging your clients to create work AND a life they love… I’m hoping you will use these questions as an opportunity to start imagining what you would like YOUR future life to look like as well.

Once you sign up to be on the First in Line priority notification list you will automatically receive an email with a special link to the survey. If you are not yet on the list you may do so now at:

http://ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm

Burning Question #2

“How do you get people to pay for this service?”

ANSWER

Honestly, I’m not sure if the questioner is asking, “How do you convince someone that your services are worth paying for” which is a marketing question. Or whether it literally means, “Considering that these consultations occur over the phone,  are do clients pay by cash, check or credit card”?

I already covered the marketing question in the March 1 Certification Update which you can jump to now if you like. So let me come at this question from the nuts and bolts “How do I receive payment?” perspective.

As part of the Certification, web guru Lisa Tarrant will be on hand to help you set up a merchant account so you can accept payment via credit card. You will also get an Intake Script to use when a prospective client calls. Talking about money makes some consultants uncomfortable. The script explains exactly how and when to ask for and process a client’s credit card payment.

Essentially people give you their credit card information at the time they book an appointment. However, the consulting fee is not charged to the client until after the consulting session. In other words, you would never pre-bill for services that have not yet occurred. Once you process the credit card your consulting fee is automatically deposited into your bank account. (That’s my favorite part!)

Burning Question #3

“I have done traditional career counseling in the past and found that I didn’t enjoy working with groups of people. I prefer the one-on-one counseling. To be successful at coaching, however, it seems like a great advantage to work with groups. Is it possible to be successful without doing workshops and training sessions?” Laurie

ANSWER

Yes! It is not at all necessary to do group work to be an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant. I do one big workshop a year – all of my other consulting work on this topic is done with individual clients.

While you can certainly apply what you learn to a workshop setting, the Certification is all about working with individual clients. Most people prefer working with someone who offers a one-to-one approach because the time is 100 percent dedicated to them, their passions and goals. Working one-to-one also means you get to work with more people because there is no travel involved for the client.

Since the consultations are conducted over the phone your client can be from anywhere in the country – indeed in the world. Which leads me to the next…


Burning Question #4

I’ve already heard from people from as far away as France, England, and the Bahamas. Armelle asks, “Does your program work only for working in the US, or is it global enough for people from Europe to benefit?”

ANSWER

The yearning for freedom, control, and satisfaction are truly universal. Fortunately, not only is this the kind of business you can run from anywhere in the world but the tools and techniques you’ll be learning really can work anywhere! I have personally worked with clients from Great Britain, Italy, Pakistan, Spain, and Australia.

And I’m sure my international friends have thought about this already but with the dollar the way it is right now this program will be a steal for attendees traveling in from abroad.

If your goal is to reach an international audience, there are lots of sites around the world looking for fresh content. Some in some unexpected places… like Fred Ouma’s article “Are you bored by your work” that appeared at a site called The New Vision which promotes itself as Uganda’s largest website (http://www.newvision.co.ug). Contributing articles to sites and publications like this isa great way to become internationally known!

How cool would it be for the U.S. and Canadian consultants to team up with the international consultants to offer some kind of “live your dreams” tour and retreat for people who love to travel!

Burning Question #5

“I am a 69 year old wanna-be. I currently work [at a job] and need to “retire” to my own business. Would you advise someone in my age group to consider the program?” Myra

ANSWER

Age is really not a factor in your ability to do this kind of consulting work or to be successful.

Without knowing you and going “just” on age though I would suggest you consider “riding the horse in the direction the horse is going.” What I mean by that is you might specialize in working with people over 60 who are either retired, semi-retired, or fully retired but need or want to continue to generate an income but are sick and tired of having a traditional job. You would have a lot more credibility in this niche than someone who is 30, 40, 50…

I would offer this same advice to someone in their twenties or thirties. Several people in this year’s Certification program plan to target other young people who want to ditch their job-job for more a more satisfying livelihood and more freedom.

Burning Question #6

“I am interested in how some of the previous graduates of the course are doing with their own businesses.” Jan

ANSWER

Previous program graduates are in different places depending on two things — their interests and how much time and energy they’ve put into developing their businesses.

From the “class of 2006” for example, one person has written a book aimed at his niche market (attorneys) and created over 300 podcasts with career change experts… Several have launched their own online newsletters… Some are leading workshops while others are focusing exclusively on individual clients.

One Canadian consultant has just returned from a Florida meeting with a mastermind group she has joined with other entrepreneurs… Still another quit her job as a school teacher, enrolled in a six week course in black and white photography in Maine and is moving to the mountains of North Carolina to pursue two income streams – photography and career consulting.

The current Certification program is still in progress. Everyone is pretty much where I would expect them to be. They are working on their web sites and their marketing plans.Everyone has completed at least one practice session with actual clients – some have conducted two or three practice sessions.

Here are just a few of the many testimonials people enrolled in the current Certification class have received from their practice clients:

“Arthurine-you are a truly gifted and amazing Outside the Job Box career consultant!  I deeply appreciate my consultation, and I am looking forward to moving forward to some of the ideas you gave me.  Thanks a million!!”

I believe Craig really will be good at being a full time consultant, and recommend him to others for a great job. I enjoyed working with him, and look forward to emailing him with my future career expansions!”

“Michelle is great! She has a lot of enthusiasm and that gave me energy. She is very easy to talk with. She also offered some good ideas, and seems to really care about what she is doing.”

“Gail was great. The session was exactly what I’ve been looking for a long time. I’ve met with several career coaches, but this is the first time I felt I got worthwhile feedback. It was a great experience… the process doesn’t consider what you’re good at, but rather what you love. And what could be better than doing what you love and getting paid for it. Gail, I think you’ll be enormously successful in this field.”

Can you imagine what a high it was for these new consultants to get this kind of feedback?!

Most of the consultants in the current class also collaborated with me to record a CD called Advice From the Dream Team II. This is something I will be doing for attendees in the May program as well.

Not only do you get a public forum to pass along on your collective words of wisdom but now you also have your first information product. This is something you can then sell if you like, offer as a free bonus, or otherwise use to promote yourself and your new business.

Some of the people in the current Certification are zooming ahead. One has already filled a four-week program she designed around what she learned in the Certification and another just received her first speaking invitation!

Burning Question #7

“What is the certifying body for this type of certification?”

ANSWER

Changing Course is the certifying body. I am certifying that you understand the Changing Course Formula (TM) and have been trained in my methods and processes.


Burning Question #8

“How much does the Certification cost?”

ANSWER

I am still crunching the numbers so I don’t have a firm answer yet. I have some figures in mind but the reason I haven’t yet totally settled on a final tuition is that there are a lot of “parts” to consider.

Obviously since this is a live event it means there are major costs that were not a factor when pricing the Teleclass version of the Certification. Since I know a lot of people are interested in putting on public seminars themselves, I thought it might be useful to have a better idea of what goes into producing an event like this.

If you’ve ever put on a live workshop then you know that booking five days of meeting space that include morning and afternoon breaks (this is where the hotels make their money!) very quickly runs into thousands of dollars.

But if it means getting to deliver the training in person where I get to work with you – and you with each other – in a much more personal way then is possible with a Teleclass, then to me it’s worth the extra cost.

Another big expense I need to factor is the many thousands of dollars in per participant expenses. This includes things like printing and duplication costs for all of the materials (a very big step-by-step consultant manual, actual client consultations case studies on CD including written transcripts, all of client case studies loaded onto your own MP3 player so you can listen in at the workshop, the entire contents of my Fast Track Tool Kit (http://ChangingCourse.com/fasttrackyourdream.htm) among other things.

The current program includes a lot of marketing training and tools all of which will be included in this live version as well. This training is all about getting where you want to go faster.

To facilitate this business acceleration process, one big and very costly difference between the Teleclass version and this live program is that directly following the training portion of the program that I will be delivering personally, you will receive six months of mentoring with marketing expert Ilise Benun of http://Marketing-Mentor.com

I went into great detail about the marketing mentor portion of the Certification program in a previous post (click here to go there now). Cost wise Ilise normally charges $900 for three months of individual and small group mentoring.

But, to help ensure your rapid success, I’ve arranged for a full six months which means you get $1800 worth of mentoring and training.

You will be working closely with Ilise to identify three achievable marketing goals and then receive the training and mentoring you need to reach them. The importance of this kind of support cannot be underestimated. In fact I thought it was so important that you and Ilise meet in person that I am paying her normal speaking fee and travel expenses to bring her to Northampton to speak to and meet you all personally.

Another big difference between this program and the Teleclass version is that we are going to do much of the work of getting you ready to do business on the internet for you. That means I’ll be hiring internet guru Lisa Tarrant to come in to walk you through setting up your own web site or blog template, registering your domain name, setting you up with a host, and applying for a merchant account so you can process payments by credit card.

In addition I’ve also paid a professional copywriter to create pre-written marketing copy for you and to then work with you to create a personalized bio that works even when you have no previous track record. I’m even paying a photographer several thousands of dollars to be on site to take a professional head shot for your website or blog. (So bring your favorite outfit and colors!)

When you consider the level of support you’re getting it’s like having an entire business handed to you on a silver platter.

I’m also doing something that you just don’t see in the seminar or training business. I’m covering your lodging and meals for five days.

The event is being held at the historic and elegant Hotel Northampton (we’re not talking “budget hotel” here). With the Certification coming during graduation season they’re able to charge premium rates. But you don’t have to worry about that because it’s on my tab.

My brain is pretty full right now, so I know I’m forgetting some things. But hopefully I’ve given you an idea of what some of the major expenses I need to factor into the final price of this training and business development opportunity.

All of these costs I just outlined can be quantified. That’s not the hard part. There are two things that make pricing this particular training more difficult.

For one – and this is significant – you need to understand that I am giving away literally ALL of my intellectual property. And I do mean all. Every technique and process that I have taken a decade to develop is at your disposal to use with your own clients.

For example, if you’ve had a consultation with me you already know that each of my clients receives a password-protected link to a complimentary copy of “Finding Your True Calling: The Handbook for People Who Still Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up.”

This 100-plus eBook is not just a “bonus.” Finding Your True Calling is your client’s pre-work. The pre-work is a way for your clients (and you) to prepare for the consulting session. When you sign on for the Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Training Program you will be granted exclusive usage rights to Finding Your True Calling for 2 full years.

That means for the first two years of your business you can use Finding Your True Calling with as many of your paying clients as you like, as often as you like. The hardcopy version of this book sells on Amazon for $24.95. The electronic version is not available for purchase separately at any price.

However, with your exclusive product licensing agreement you’ll have unlimited access for two full years. Having a tool like this available any time you need it is a great way to kick off your new business and instant credibility.

The marketing tools and support you will receive will be comprehensive. All the handholding and help you’ll get with your web site and blog will save you tons of time and hassles. Getting to use my eBook with your clients for free is great. But all of these things are really just the frosting on the cake.

The CAKE is getting to tap into a decade worth of knowledge and experience about what it takes to help your future clients to turn their interests into income… the incredible store of information and resources I have amassed… and the proven process for working with clients that I have perfected with literally hundreds of clients.

I’m going to be breaking down every nuance of my 5 Step Changing Course Formula ™. Once you master this powerful process you will know exactly what to say and do with your paying clients.

When you stop to think about it you can get marketing and web support just about anywhere. You can have the best marketing plan and the coolest web site in the world. But what are you going to do when you get a live client on the phone? Do you know what to say? Do you have a process? I do. And I’m going to teach it to you.

Sharing with you all of my intellectual property is not the only thing that makes this Certification so hard to price. The other big thing I need to factor in is my time.

Instead of delivering the content every other week for 90 minutes over the phone, for the first time ever, I will be conducting the program in person. That means you’ll be getting lots of individual attention from me.

I love meeting and working with people in this intense way. But frankly its a lot more work on my part. From the time we begin on Sunday, May 3rd at 9:00 a.m. to the big farewell barbeque at my house here in the country on Thursday, May 8th, I will be giving you 110 percent of my time and attention.

I know that for some people the cost will be a make or break thing. I knew when I came up with the idea of a live, five-day intensive that a lot of people would be priced out. And I definitely do not want anyone taking out a second mortgage on their home to pay for this program.

A couple of people indicated on the survey that they thought at $5000 the Certification would be “expensive but still worth it.” Now that you have some insight into what this live program is costing me to put on –and more importantly what you will gain in terms of essentially being handed your own business and then giving you everything you need to ramp it up very, very quickly… I hope you understand that there is just no way I can offer this level of intensive, live training and ongoing support and cover all of your lodging and meals at anywhere near that price. I would go broke.

That is a very long way of saying all I can say on the price right now is that I will have a firm answer this week. I promise to let you know before registration begins so you know what to expect.

In the meantime I do want to point out something you may not have thought of: Even if you are just starting out, you can deduct the cost of this training in 2008 as a legitimate business expense.

It’s true! As far as the IRS is concerned, as long as you are making what they call a “good faith effort” to earn a profit in the future – you can begin deducting any money you invest in building your business right away. And what could be more proof of your intention to succeed then signing on for an extensive training course designed to help launch you into your own profitable business!

Burning Question #9

“Is this really something that someone with no prior experience in career counseling can do?” Elizabeth

ANSWER

Absolutely! I would be really surprised if you did have prior experience doing the kind of non-job career consulting that I do because, frankly, I don’t know anyone else who is doing it!

You do not need a special degree or previous training to do this kind of work. What you are training to do is to brainstorming ways your clients can turn their interests into income.

Before I go any further, there are two things you really need to know right up front.

One, if you’re looking for more traditional career counseling training that incorporates things like skills assessments and personality profiles – this program is definitely not for you. You see, I’m not particularly interested in what a person is “good” at. I mean I’m good at typing and mowing the lawn but that doesn’t mean I want to do either for a living!

This program is NOT about counseling people who want to be a junior accountant, a human resources manager, or a pharmaceutical rep. In fact it has nothing whatsoever to do with the world of job searches, resumes, or interview skills.

Quite the contrary…

Being an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant is all about helping people see all the different ways there are to make a living doing what they love without a “job-job.”

Likewise, this program will not train you to become a general “life coach.” Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t offer your clients ongoing coaching to help them keep their dream on track. But this program will not train you to be a coach. If that’s what you’re looking for, I can refer you to some excellent coach training programs.

So, what’s the difference between a consultant and a life coach? 

For one, coaches typically work with clients over a period of several months, even years. I work with people on a one-time basis. That’s because I have a laser-like focus on one goal and one goal only. And that is helping my clients generate creative alternatives to working 9-to-5. 

Once again, you may decide to structure your practice to offer multiple sessions (and frankly you’ll make more money if you do). But 99 percent of my clients tell me they got exactly what they needed in just one session.

The other difference between a consultant and a coach is that, generally speaking, the job of a life coach is to guide people to discover their own answers. But the way I see it, if my clients already knew how to make a living doing what they love – they wouldn’t be calling me.

People hire me because they want expert advice. They also want someone who knows about resources for people who want to start a doggie day care or become a motivational speaker or have a flair for home design or become a travel writer…

When you sign on for the Outside of the Job Box Career Consultant Certification Program, you’ll learn how to give your clients the ideas, information, and advice they need to get out of the grind of working for someone else and to profit from their passions.

Again, this course will not teach you to administer and interpret tests and inventories. You won’t be learning about job hunting strategies. And we definitely won’t talk about how to use the Labor Department’s Occupational Handbook.

In a nutshell… this course will prepare you to take a client’s interest in say gardening, dogs, art, or the environment and a) immediately see possible income streams and b) point them to the resources they need to turn a particular interest into a successful small business.

The Career Consulting Skills side of this program will be extensive.

I’ve spent the last decade helping people tap into their deepest desires and work at what they love. Much of what I learned was through trial and error. When you do something for so long, you start to figure out what works, and frankly what doesn’t.

Once you learn all the core concepts as part of the Certification process I will arrange for you to work with several practice clients. This is where you get to practice doing the initial Client Intake, communicating with the client about their pre-work assignment, preparing for the session, using the client’s pre-work to actually conduct the brainstorming session, and doing the follow up.

By far this has been one of the most beneficial aspects of the program because it’s where everything you’ve learned about the Changing Course Formula ™… about where to find information and resources the client needs… and about the techniques for working with clients all come to life. A consultant enrolled in my current Certification program just signed up her first paid client — a referral from a very satisfied practice client!

In addition to getting to try out your new found skills, the practice sessions are also a way for people with no previous experience to establish a track record. That way when a paying client calls you’ll have some real life success stories to share. Plus you walk away from the practice sessions with something worth its weight in gold — client testimonials that you can proudly display on your web site.

Just because I had to learn all of this stuff the hard way doesn’t mean you have to. The Changing Course Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Training Program is designed to give you all of the training, tools, and support you need to effectively consult with clients and to get your first paying client in as little as 4 weeks.

Burning Question #10

“Is there still room in the May class?” Pat

ANSWER

If everything goes as planned it looks like registration for people who are on the First in Line list will begin on Saturday, March 15th.

Registration for the general public will begin two days later on Monday, March 17th.

If you have not yet signed up to receive advance notification you can do that now at:

http://ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm

If you want to speak to me directly, feel free to call me at 413-535-5107. And, don’t be surprised when I answer the phone myself – it’s just me and the dog – and he won’t lift a paw around here!

I’d love to hear your questions or comments. I’m especially interested to hear why you feel drawn to do this kind of work… Click on “comments” now to share.


Update 2: Find Your Calling by Helping Others Realize Theirs

What could be more fun than sitting at home (or anywhere in the world really) and brainstorming with people over the telephone about creative ways they could make a living without a job − and actually getting paid to do it! Or running workshops on how to turn interests into income?

I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to know that the work you do makes some small difference in other people’s lives. Helping someone see possibilities, recognize their gifts, and connect the dots so they can turn their interests into income, is something that just comes naturally to me. Maybe it comes naturally to you too.

If you’re a creative thinker, are entrepreneurial, love to brainstorm, and want to get paid to do what comes naturally, then in literally days, you could be running your own business as an “Outside the Job Box Career Consultant.” I’ll show you how.

Like me, 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 Williams, 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. You’ll get to meet and then spend a full six months being personally mentored by Ilise Benun author of The Art of Self-Promotion and four other marketing guides. Together with this internationally known marketing expert you will create and carry out a personalized strategy for generating a steady stream of clients.

Something else 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 and host… marketing copy… 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…

The Spring 2008 Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Certification program will take place Sunday, May 4 through Thursday, May 8th in Northampton, MA.

Over 150 people have asked to be on the First in Line list to receive updates and advance notification of when the registration period will begin. The yearning for freedom, control, and satisfaction are truly universal… I’ve already heard from people from as far away as France, England, and the Bahamas.

Fortunately, not only is this kind of business you can run from anywhere in the world but the tools and techniques you’ll be learning really can work anywhere!

To learn what previous attendees had to say watch the video…

Outside the Job Box Career Certification Video

REGISTRATION INFORMATION: I am planning to open up the registration process at the end of next week.

The 2006 and 2007 Certification classes both sold out. The Spring 2008 program is going to be more personalized, more intense, and more immediately productive than anything else I’ve ever offered. If you have not yet gotten on the “First in Line” list to get updates, including advanced notification of when the registration doors open, you should to do that now:

ChangingCourse.com/firstinline.htm

“This program is a great opportunity for anyone interested in helping othersto change course. It’s something that can put you in business immediately after completion, if you choose. It’s fun, challenging and inspiring. I’m so excited about doing this and full of ideas. Thank you, thank you for giving me all the tools I need to get going.”
~ Barbara van Wickland,Certification Program Participant, 2007 


Update 1: Important Certification Program Announcement

I am getting really close to finalizing all the details of the upcoming Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Program. I’d hoped to have everything set by now but with a live training event that covers as much ground as this one will there are a LOT of details to cover.

What I do know is when and where the Certification will occur.

I also have some VERY exciting news for all of you who wrote or called wanting to know what kind of ongoing marketing and client generation support you can expect from the program.

But first things first…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WHEN: Sunday 9:00 a.m. May 4 –
Thursday 3:00/6:30 p.m. May 8, 2008

WHERE: The historic Hotel Northampton,
Northampton, Massachusetts

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was able to reserve a fabulous light-filled space for our class sessions. And despite this being prime graduation time in a college town, I got them to hold a small block of overnight accommodations. (Remember your hotel and meals are included in your tuition).

The Certification Program will end at 3:00 on Thursday May 8th followed by a late afternoon BBQ and networking session overlooking the stream and fields at my house in the country.

Northampton is a 90 minute drive from Boston, three hours from New York City. If you plan to fly or take a train it’s 50 minutes from the Hartford, CT airport and 20 minutes from the Amtrak station in Springfield, MA. To make your life easier, door-to-door round-trip ground transportation from either location is also included in your tuition.

Okay now for the BIG news…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Launching Your Own Business Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Right now 124 people have requested to be on this “First in Line” list. With that much interest I’ve been getting bombarded with questions. Not surprisingly, a lot of these are about marketing and getting clients.

For example…

Wendy wanted to know: “How much salesmanship is involved in keeping the business afloat? Do you have to be an extrovert to be successful at this?”

Cheryl asked: “What’s needed in order to get started after the training, i.e. resources, getting clients, etc.?”

Keisha is curious whether “With this type of coaching, is the advice to have a niche still applicable?”

And Karen wants to know, “How do I start finding or getting clients; will you have a referral service or will I need to do all the marketing?”

I’m glad you asked!

Back in my old corporate days I headed up the marketing department. Since going out on my own I have to say I’ve been pretty successful on the marketing front…

I somehow figured out how to get a web site up and running (this was back 1997 and with zero technical skills), publish a newsletter and build a list of 23,000+ subscribers, get the attention of dozens of national and international magazines and newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Globe & Mail, Glamour (UK), Woman’s Day, Red Book, and Entrepreneur magazine (just to name a few). And just last week I landed a six-figure book deal! (WOO HOO!)

Suffice it to say I’ll be teaching you everything I know about finding clients (plus a lot of other ways to make money including generating passive income). But my real expertise is in helping clients find creative ways to turn their interests into income – and in training you how to do the same. I guarantee you will learn a ton…

But as for marketing and quickly generating a steady stream of clients, I want to give you the absolute fastest running start on success as I possibly can.

So I’m bringing in the “big guns!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meet Marketing And Self-Promotion Guru Ilise Benun

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am 100 percent committed to your success. So, at my own expense I’m bringing in a internationally-recognized guest speaker who is an expert on self promotion and marketing for freelancers and small business owners. Her name is Ilise Benun of http://www.Marketing-Mentor.com.

Ilise has been teaching people to promote themselves and their services since 1988. When you attend the live training event, she talk to you directly about her proven techniques for getting known and attracting clients. She ought to know… she’s been self-employed for all but 3 years of her working life.

Ilise is also the author of 5 books, including “The Art of Self-Promotion,” “Self Promotion Online,” “Designing Web Sites for Every Audience,” “Public Relations for Dummies,” and “Stop Pushing Me Around.” Ilise also wrote the book (literally) on marketing for introverts.

Her articles have been published in national magazines such as Inc. Magazine, HOW Magazine, Nation’s Business, Self, Essence, Crains New York Business, and Working Woman.

When she’s not working one-on-one mentoring small business clients, Ilise is delivering marketing workshops for international organizations including the International Association of Business Leaders, the HOW Design Conference, NYU Entrepreneurship Summit, the American Marketing Association, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Family Business Council.

During this live presentation customized specifically for people training to become Outside the Job Box Career Consultants Ilise will teach you “5 Simple Marketing Steps You Can Take to Immediately Begin Generating Income from Clients.” And to make sure you get your individual questions answered you’ll have plenty of time for a live Q&A.

There’s another reason I asked Ilise to travel to Northampton and meet everyone in the program personally…

I know that getting to meet and learn from Ilise in a live workshop setting is going to be amazing. But I also know how easy it is for people to leave a program like this all charged up only to get stuck on the marketing side of running a business.

That’s why when you register for the Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Certification Program you will also be entitled to receive…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One-On-One & Small Group Training & Coaching From

Your Own Personal “Marketing Mentor”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You see, when I came up with the idea for an in-person, on-site 5-day “laser” version of my Certification program I knew I wanted the program to be extremely “high-touch.” So I’ve contracted with Ilise to be your personal “marketing mentor.” That means you’ll be working closely with Ilise for a full SIX months following the Certification Training.

Here’s how the program will work:

You already know you have a gift for encouraging others to follow their dreams. But like I said, I know how easy it is to get all fired up about a new venture only to let procrastination get in the way. So I’ve asked Ilise to make sure there is plenty of “handholding” before, during, and at the end of the six month Marketing Mentor program.

After filling out the Marketing Mentor Getting Started Questionnaire, the Marketing Mentor program kicks off with a 30-minute one-on-one call between you and Ilise. Together you’ll decide on three 3 realistic goals and choose a market you want to focus on.

Then once a month for the next six months, you’ll join Ilise and three of your fellow Certification participants for a 60 minute group conference call. This is where you’ll learn about such key marketing skills like finding a niche market and building a list of prospective clients, writing an e-newsletter, getting publicity, networking locally, as well as marketing techniques specifically designed for introverts.

In addition to getting additional personal attention, you’ll get to learn from Ilise and everyone on your “marketing team.” The marketing tools you’ll learn here can be used with any market you may want to target in the future.

At the three-month mark you’ll have individual access to Ilise again for a mid-program check-in. And you’ll have another 30 minute one-on-one meeting at the end of the marketing program to make sure you have everything you need to keep going at full speed.

There’s more too. The Marketing-Mentoring segment of the Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Program also includes:

~ A free copy of Ilise’s latest book The Art of Self-Promotion plus an invaluable assortment of other products, e-books and mp3s from the Marketing Mentor Store

~ Email access to Ilise Benun (and guaranteed 24-hour response to your messages)

~ Light editing on newsletter and blog copy

~ Real time feedback for situations that arise

~ Answers to burning marketing questions

~ Advice on marketing opportunities that arise

~ Support to overcome reluctance or resistance

~ Hand-holding, gentle reminders and (if necessary) a little bit of nagging

~ The wisdom of your fellow participants and their years of experience in work and life

~ Access to a recording of each small group conference call for future reference

~ Best of all, you get a personalized plan to follow so you won’t get sidetracked — and if you do, you’ll know exactly how to get yourself back on track.

If you worked with Ilise directly (and you are more than welcome to), this level of coaching and support would cost you $1800. But when you register for the Outside the Job Box Career Consultant Certification Program it’s free.

I honestly don’t know of any other coaching or consulting training program that provides this level of personalized ongoing marketing training and mentoring. It is the kind of support that makes the difference between strolling and galloping toward your ultimate financial freedom.

A few people have asked how many people will be accepted into the program. All I can say right now is that it will is going to be large enough to get the synergy going among participants, but small enough to make sure you get the individual attention you need. Like I said, 124 people have asking to be on this First in Line list. That’s more than 100 people than I have slots for.

I don’t mean to scare you but I know a lot of people on the priority notification list simply won’t be able to take the training right now because of the cost.

The fact of the matter is this kind of high-touch, hands-on training and mentoring does not come cheap. And you haven’t even heard about the other HUGE ways I’ve come up with to totally eliminate the other major start-up hassles other new business owners have to contend with.

Even if you can afford to attend – (and there’s no other way to say this) – you may not be right for this program. The Outside the Job Box Career Consulting Certification Program is for people who are first and foremost, idea people. But you also need to possess some other characteristics of successful entrepreneurs… like vision…persistence… enthusiasm… optimism, and the strong belief that you have every right to making a living doing what you love.

You’ll be receiving a lot more details about this Certification program over the next week to ten days. But I also need to know a little about you and whether you’re a fit for this program.

So early in the week I’ll be sending you a link to an online application form. This is also your opportunity to ask any additional questions you may have about the Certification program – or you can just post them here on the blog using the Post a Comment link below.

To make the application process easier I suggest you take a few minutes this weekend to seriously consider about two things: 1) Why do you want to be an Outside the Job Box Career Consultant, and 2) How do you image your life would be different if you do decide that your calling is to help others find theirs.

To your dreams,
Valerie Young
Dreamer in Residence
www.ChangingCourse.com

P.S. The opportunity to meet, get trained by, and be personally mentored by a master small business marketer like Ilise Benun is only the beginning. I’m in the process of putting together a handout called “13 Ways This Program Will Help You Build a Thriving Creative Career Consulting Practice… Fast.”

I’m pretty confident the handout will answer any question you might have about getting paying clients. I’ll include this when I post the application form.


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


Praise

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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