January 29, 2014
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Regret for the things we did can be tempered with time; it's regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
~ Sydney J Harris
In This Issue
I'm Fine, Thanks
Hanging On or Moving On?
Buidling a Portfolio? Add This
Moving On Stories Worth Reading

As you may have noticed, I've been a bit quiet recently. It wasn't entirely intentional, although my boss suggested I take a few weeks off after a year of new projects that had left me feeling less than my usual sassy self.


My theme for this interlude was Completion and I was determined to tie up loose ends and unfinished domestic chores. Instead of entering a new year thinking about new plans, I wanted an empty To Do List. I was making progress and then I took a detour.


About the same time as my mini-sabbatical was beginning, my doctor recommended me for a new drug trial. Since I'd never done such a thing and thought it would be an opportunity to contribute to a medical breakthrough, I signed on. It was a blind study so neither I nor the doctor administering it knew if I was being given the new drug or a placebo.


Either way, it was a disaster that left me feeling worse and zapped both my physical and creative energy. In early January, I opted out of the study.


Thank you to everyone who inquired about my whereabouts. I am happy to report that I'm back to running World Headquarters.

Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
The theme this month is
Postcards from Barbara
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May 17




Author Elizabeth Gilbert noted that there are two main plots in fiction: 1) someone leaves home, 2) a stranger comes to town. Seems to me those two events are also the catalyst for many true stories.


On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles arrival in the US, consider this one from the young Paul McCartney:


I started working at a coil-winding factory called Massey and Coggins. My dad had told me to go out and get a job. I'd said, 'I've got a job, I'm in a band.' But after a couple of weeks of doing nothing with the band it was, 'No, you have got to get a proper job.' He virtually chucked me out of the house. So I went to the employment office and said, 'Can I have a job? Just give me anything.' And the first job was sweeping the yard at Massey and Coggins. I took it.


I went there and the personnel officer said, 'We can't have you sweeping the yard, you're management material.' And they started to train me from the shop floor up with that in mind. Of course, I wasn't very good on the shop floor - I wasn't a very good coil-winder.


One day John and George showed up in the yard that I should have been sweeping and told me we had a gig at the Cavern. I said, 'No. I've got a steady job here and it pays �7 14s a week. They are training me here. That's pretty good, I can't expect more.' And I was quite serious about this. But then - and with my dad's warning still in my mind - I thought, 'Sod it. I can't stick this lot.' I bunked over the wall and was never seen again by Massey and Coggins. Pretty shrewd move really, as things turned out.

From The Beatles Anthology


Leaving home, leaving an unsatisfying job or dead-end relationship may be the start of a great new story, but doing so comes with a big challenge.


I once received e-mail from a woman who had spent her life as a teacher. She had stuck with it long after the satisfaction had gone. Now she was ready, she said, to do something completely different. However, she wasn't at all certain what the new path should be. That happens, of course, when we become entrenched in a situation or relationship for so long that we forget that we have options.


I made several suggestions about how she could begin exploring. I heard from her again after about ten days and she was making remarkable headway. She'd even listed all of her teaching books on eBay-burning her bridges she said.


Imagine my amazement when I opened her next e-mail which was obviously written in a moment of great panic. "I only have another week to sign my teaching contract," it read. "Should I sign it?"


I was flabbergasted and promptly replied that I didn't have the answer to her question. I suggested, however, that it might be a temporary lapse on her part and then I said, "So how are you going to tell your grandchildren that you once had an opportunity to create a truly adventurous life and you chickened out?"


The moment I typed that question, I realized at a very deep level, how our acts of self-doubt don't just impact our own lives, but have a profound ripple effect. Take the low road and you'll have a procession behind you. What kind of legacy is that?


We might tell ourselves that staying in a stultifying relationship isn't really so bad or having a job that robs us of any creative enthusiasm is fine for now, but every day that we hang on we are losing precious time that could be spent building something bold and beautiful.



Winning Ways Like many folks who are drawn to self-employment, I have a low threshold of boredom. The longest I ever held a job was five years. So how, I sometimes wonder, is it possible that I'm entering my 28th year of publishing Winning Ways newsletter?


Part of the answer to that mystery goes back to why I began publishing in the first place. I realized that in my own journey there was a fair amount of backsliding, moments of doubt and not much of a cheering squad to keep me going. I was also quite certain that this wasn't something that just happened to me.


On top of that, when I get excited about something-a book, a business idea, a better way of doing things-I don't want to keep it to myself. Those new excitements keep coming all the time.


A newsletter is, quite simply, the perfect format for sharing those discoveries. Six times a year, Winning Ways arrives in your mailbox after I've sifted and sorted through loads of information and chosen the most valuable. As one renewing subscriber recently said, "Outside of checks from clients, it's my favorite thing to receive in the mail."


It's not slick and glossy, but it's loaded with resources. You won't find any formulas here, but there are plenty of idea starters. Many subscribers tell me they keep all their issues in a folder and consult them again and again.


And despite increases in printing costs and too many postal hikes to remember, it's still priced at a most affordable $36/year. Subscribe now and you'll get a bonus issue to welcome you to the tribe.


Click here to get started.  




It probably comes as no surprise that I love to read autobiographies of entrepreneurs. Although most of those stories involve building empires, which isn't my intention, these real life tales are frequently inspiring and insightful. Here are a few of my favorites.


Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland is one of my all-time favorite books. It tells the story of Strickland's determination to create a life-changing program that has impacted thousands.


He says, "It wasn't crafted out of corporate vision or business savvy. It happened because a clueless nineteen-year-old trusted his unspoken intuition that the human spirit is remarkably resilient and even in circumstances where the odds seem stacked against you, there is endless potential waiting to be freed."


Business as Unusual by Anita Roddick brings us the story of a unique entrepreneur who was determined to make the Body Shop a place to put values to work.


Good Morning, Beautiful Business by Judy Wicks is another story about an activist entrepreneur who became a champion of local economies.


Small Giants by Bo Burlingham is a collection of stories about companies who choose to be great instead of big.


Turning Tuscan by Sam Hilt shares the author's journey from Silicon Valley to expat entrepreneur. Lots of practical information about relocation, too.

Buon Viaggio,


Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter 


P.S. On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News.