September 21, 2015
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
There's an unspeakable pleasure attending the life of a voluntary student.
~ Oliver Goldsmith
In This Issue
Postcard From Barbara
7 Questions to Help You Pick the Perfect Seminar
Road to Success
Upcoming Learning Opportunities
Barbara Online

If you have the updated version of Making a Living Without a Job, you've probably seen the nice introduction written by Steve Strauss. Steve is celebrating his 20th anniversary giving small business advice to readers of his popular column in USA Today. 
He's celebrating this milestone by sharing his 20 top tips for running a business. Imagine my surprise when I read his first tip: 
You gotta have multiple profit centers. This is probably my favorite piece of advice and certainly one I have shared several times over the years. It comes from Barbara Winter in her great book, Making a Living Without a Job .
The idea is both simple and important. Just as Starbucks started out selling coffee and now also sells food, music, Frappucinos and so on, so too should you figure out additional ways to generate revenue, aside from your core business. It evens out your business cycle and helps ensure that you will be around for the long run.
It's a power tool that can not only help you build your business, it can also expand your happiness. It's another practice that can lead you to becoming Absolutely Brilliant. 

While corporations spend millions on the training and development of their employees, if you're self-employed it's up to you to design your own lifetime learning program. 
Although the number of programs, both live and online, has increased dramatically, deciding where to spend your time and money, hasn't gotten any easier. In fact, it can be more confusing.
Here are some questions that can help you choose wisely.
  • What are your goals? Being clear about your overall objectives will help you make smarter selections. Your personal training program should include seminars that contribute to both personal and business goals.
    Seminars can also help you gain clarity. You may be wondering, for instance, if you should start an online business. A how to get started program may convince you that it's a perfect fit-or that it would bore you to tears.
  • How much time and money do you want to invest? Some people consider seminars a great hobby. I recall meeting a woman who told me she'd attended 36 programs in a single year.
    How often to you want to attend? Monthly? Quarterly? A week at a time or an evening every with for a month? Your answer to this question may vary over time.
  • Who will the other participants be? Like attracts like. If you want some new people in your life, a seminar is one of the best places to find them. Many alliances, both business and personal, are formed at such events. 
  • Does the content arouse your curiosity? When we were in high school we didn't have much to say about what we studied. Sometimes we still think of learning as a dull, arduous process to be endured because it's good for us.
    Pick events that feed and nurture your passions-or bring something new that entices your curiosity.
  • Who's teaching? Seminar leaders are like all other teachers: some are great and some could be replaced by robots. My personal preference is to learn from someone who's done what I want to do. Experience, not academic credentials, counts with me.    
  • Is there follow-up? Some seminars are priced low so the organizers can sell more costly materials and programs. The seminar is merely a teaser sales pitch.
    Others use online forums or check-in phone call that you can participate in over time. Of course, many seminars are self-contained and follow-up isn't necessary.
  • What do you expect to get? The reasons why people go to seminars are numerous. Ask yourself before you go what you want to get, but bring an open mind. The real benefits of training are often greater than our expectations.

    On the other hand, if our expectations are unrealistic (or have nothing to do with the leader's agenda) we're bound to be disappointed. Go with the intention of enjoying the people you meet, the information that you gather, the insights, that you'll gain and be open to pleasant surprises. If you do, you'll have made a wise investment in yourself.
Go Someplace
Learn Something
Go Home
Make Money from What You've Learned

Since I discovered that meeting rooms are my natural habitat, I always get excited when events are on the horizon. 
I've already alerted you to the upcoming Marketing Magic for Makers. Since then, we've added a couple of other locations for 2016. We've also made a slight change in the dates for the event happening in Sacramento/Davis. Get the scoop here:
I'll be back at the wonderful Colorado Free University on October 23 & 24 with a Joyfully Jobless Weekend. Check it out.
In November, the third Fund Your Life Overseas Conference is happening in Phoenix. This event is designed for those ready to create a portable business and take it with them wherever they go. This is a unique opportunity to learn from folks who have done just that and couldn't be happier. 

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.