March 31, 2016
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Regret for things we did can be tempered by time. It is regret for things we did not do that is inconsolable. 
~ Sydney J. Harris
In This Issue
Postcard from Barbara
6 Ways to Stay Positive When Things Turn Negative
2 Surefire Places to Gather Ideas
Barbara Online
March 2016 will be remembered as one of the strangest months of my life. I spent most of it dealing with the longest illness I've ever had, one that stubbornly refused to leave. 
It began so innocently as a little virus. Little did I know that I'd be having my first hospital stay in several decades thanks to this malady followed by three weeks of mostly lying on the sofa and staring at the ceiling. 

Unfortunately, this mysterious little virus that produced a horrific cough was also busy making life miserable for thousands of other people. If you were one of them, you have my deepest sympathy.

And if you are one of my wonderful Winning Ways subscribers, you should be receiving the 30th anniversary issue in your mailbox this week. Alas, it will be delayed, but I'm doing my best to hasten its arrival. (And if you aren't a subscriber, you have time to order before this issue goes out.

Thank you to everyone who cheered me on as I slogged my way through March. As you may have guessed, I'm including the following article for myself as well as you.
"April is the cruelest month," mused T.S. Eliot. Obviously, he wasn't around one memorable October. While the weather had been magnificent, many people were not so inclined. For background noise there was the nightly news with an unrelenting stream of stories about political nastiness.    
Closer at hand were the two women who left their manners at home when they came to my English tea class and the burglar who removed the battery from my car.
Staying positive in a negative world is challenging even in normal times, but this felt as if guerrilla tactics were in order. Here are some of the most helpful I've found for getting past negative times and creating positive ones.
Bombard yourself with positives.  Overcompensate. Sondra Ray has a wonderful affirmation that goes, "Every negative thought immediately triggers three more powerful positive ones."
If things are looking dim, consciously create the opposite thought. 

Keep your favorite books of inspiration close at hand and read at random during crisis moments.  The War of Art  is my favorite oracle. 

Take a proactive stance-and keep it.  Nobody does a better job of explaining proactive vs. reactive behavior than Stephen Covey. 

In his classic The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People he writes, "Proactive people focus their efforts on the things they can do something about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and magnifying causing their circle of influence to increase."

If you need more information about moving into a proactive position, revisit Covey's book for practical suggestions.


Indulge a passion. One year, I created challenges for myself: to discover all the ways that chocolate and raspberries could be combined and to see all of the Monet paintings I could with my own two eyes. Both of these quests added hours of pleasure when I was traveling-and when I was not.


I highly recommend you give yourself a similar challenge.  


Catch someone doing something right and let them know. I noticed a woman at the airport in Chicago wearing a smart outfit. When she reappeared in Minneapolis, I walked up to her and told her I'd been admiring her scarf. She thanked me and said, "You can probably tell by my accent that you'd have to go a long way to get one for yourself."


"Where are you from?" I inquired. When she told me that London was her hometown, I said, "Oh, but I'm going there next month." I came away with a warm feeling and a great shopping tip.   


Take yourself on a mini-retreat. Sometimes the only way to diffuse negative energy is to move yourself completely out of it. So plan a day or two doing something you normally wouldn't do.  


Spend Wednesday doing the Sunday crossword. Watch the seasons change at a cabin by the lake. Have a massage at bedtime.

While you are so engaged, concentrate fully on what's going on in front of you-not the situation that upset you in the first place.


Discover the hidden gift in the problem. When my car was burglarized, I was mighty upset. Then one of the handsomest men I have ever met arrived at my door (wearing his police uniform) and things began to look a bit brighter. 

We even managed to laugh about the situation when he asked me to check the car for further theft. I looked around and told him all of my music CDs were in place. "I don't suppose that people who steal batteries would steal Mozart would they?" I asked.

Abraham Maslow once described the self-actualized person's response to chaos by saying they behaved like a clock ticking in a thunderstorm. It's a picture I've tried to remember in crazy times and attempted to duplicate.
None of us is immune to life's negative events, but it's possible to minimize their impact. It's really a matter of learning to starve our upsets and feed our opportunities.

Denver, April 9

When I lived in Las Vegas the local news featured at least one Job Fair every week. Most of these stories involved long lines of people competing for a handful of jobs. Why isn't anyone talking about alternatives to getting a job, I wondered. And so the Un-Job Fair was born.

Thanks to the folks at Colorado Free University in Denver, the Un-Job Fair has become an annual event-and one of my favorite days of the year. It's a day to explore, learn and connect with ideas and information about the joyfully jobless life. And since the agenda changes every year, we have lots of participants that return. 

Whether you're just thinking about self-employment or you're looking for ideas to add to your growing portfolio, this is the place to be on Saturday, April 9. We'd love to have you along!

Dallas, April 15 & 16

After some early delays, I'm excited that Marketing Magic for Makers is being launched. If you're a painter, potter, poet or photographer that wants to make money from the things you love to create, but are not quite so excited about the marketing side, this workshop is for you. 

And the Winner Is

A big thank you to new and renewing Winning Ways subscribers. I've been enjoying putting the upcoming 30th Anniversary issue together and can't wait to share it with you all. 

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.