Meet Barbara Winter


Barbara J Winter is a pioneering self-employment advocate, writer and teacher who has spent the last twenty-five years pondering the question, “Why aren’t we all self-employed?” Helping others discover the Joyfully Jobless life is her favorite occupation. To readers of Read more

Benvenuto!


Buon viaggio….good journey. How nice to have you along. This blog has been a long time brewing. Hardly a day passes when I don’t come across a fascinating new business idea, inspiring story or useful resource and want to pass Read more

Travels in Your Own Backyard

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My four-year-old grandson Noah was visiting the other day when I happened to mention something about New York. “Oh,” he exclaimed, “that’s where Lady Liberty is.” I nodded in agreement and was reminded once again about the impact of travel.

Noah was a mere two years old when his family made a trip to New York. He still talks about it. And he still calls it Yew Nork.

Years ago, I became a fan of Helene Hanff after reading her most popular book, 84, Charing Cross. I identified with this frustrated Anglophile who eventually found herself making multiple visits to London.

In a later book, Apple of My Eye, she wrote about her adopted hometown, New York, and confessed she’d never visited the Statue of Liberty or several other famous landmarks.

That’s not unusual, of course. I have London friends who have never toured the Tower of London, nor explored the Victoria and Albert Museum. It’s easy to overlook treasures in our own backyards when we are neighbors.

What a shame.

Even if you don’t live in a spot that draws visitors from far and near, exploring your own part of the world can be a fascinating undertaking. At the very least, you’ll be able to entertain your family at the dinner table with tales of your local adventures.

At the very most, you’ll be giving your curiosity a wake-up call.

Spend a couple of hours now and then getting lost on purpose. Visit a new local business. Stroll through the grounds at your community college. Do a photo essay of your area. Or go looking for a community problem that you can help solve. Get connected while seeing familiar places with fresh eyes.

You may, of course, wish to travel beyond your backyard, but you can keep your travel bug well fed without a passport.

There are some hidden benefits in changing your scenery. This piece from Lifehack illustrates that beautifully:

15 Reasons Why Frequent Travelers Are More Likely To Be Successful 

A Journey of Joy

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At the end of last week I made a whirlwind trip to Denver. It’s a trip I’ve made dozens of times so I was nicely relaxed and looking forward to seeing some old friends. I was also teaching three seminars at Colorado Free University, a marvelous adult ed program that I’ve had the pleasure of working with for a long time.

What I didn’t anticipate is how this familiar trip was going to be a festival of friendliness. When my Aunt Marge was alive and I’d go to visit her, she always encouraged me to tell her about my travels. “You […] Continue Reading…

What’s in a Name?

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Business names, like book titles, matter a great deal. I confess that I’m often intrigued and horrified by the names people give their enterprises.

Do we really need another beauty salon named A Cut Above?

Nevertheless, I realize that finding the perfect name can be a challenge and sometimes we are so eager to get going that we opt for an okay moniker knowing we can always change it if a more inspired choice comes along.

You might adopt my hobby and start paying closer attention to business names that you find attention-getting—and those that repel.

When I picked up the crossword puzzle […] Continue Reading…

Becoming Ubiquitous

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In the early days of launching my business, I never turned down a speaking invitation or media interview. That led to all sorts of surprises.

On a warm Saturday evening one September, I got a call from my travel agent. “You’re on television,” she announced. The cable program produced by our library system was rerunning an interview I had done months earlier.

Soon after it was first broadcast, I called to make an appointment with my dentist. As soon as the receptionist found out who she was talking to, she said, “Dr. Klein just saw you on television.”

A couple of months […] Continue Reading…

A Week of Riches

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The first goal I ever set for myself was to never have two years that were exactly the same. I had found it frighteningly boring to spend my time going to jobs in the same place at the same time with the same people.

I wanted to welcome surprises and unexpected delights. Self-employment has made that possible in ways I never dreamed it could at the beginning of this journey.

Although much of my work is done at home, I’m always working on new projects and have found all sorts of ways to mix things up. Even so, the past week […] Continue Reading…

Try Giving Yourself Away

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I was startled when the Starbucks barista handed me my coffee and said it had been paid for. “Who is my benefactor?” I asked. She pointed to a young woman with a slightly Goth appearance who had been ahead of me in line.

Although she and I hadn’t spoken, I suspected she’d been eavesdropping on my conversation with the fellow who was part of a group headed to a church camp, as was she.

I went over to thank her and discovered that random acts of kindness seemed to be her specialty. She modestly accepted my thanks and said she was […] Continue Reading…

Who Would You Want on the Train?

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An old adage says, “Tell me who your heroes are and I’ll tell you who you are.”  We all need living models of success—even if we have to look long and hard before we find those people who inspire us to do more and be more.

When we don’t  actively look for people who inspire us, we lose the capacity for genuine appreciation. That spills over into under appreciating our own gifts and achievements.

Whether you’ve got such a list of people or it’s time to start one, here’s a little exercise to help you pay closer attention.

For years I’ve been […] Continue Reading…

A Few Things I Didn’t Know 50 Years Ago

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I headed into my birthday week thinking it was time for a fresh inventory. As I was pondering this little project, I realized (once again) what a surprising life I’ve had. It certainly has exceeded my early expectations.

I played around with that a bit and began to wonder what my expectations had been fifty years ago. (No one is more startled than I am that I was an adult fifty years ago!)

Back in 1964, I was 22, newly married and in my second year of teaching high school English and speech. I was still living in the small town […] Continue Reading…

A Simple Tool to Sharpen Your Focus

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If you are a reader of Joyfully Jobless News, this may be familiar.  When I came across it again the other day, I decided it was worth a second visit. This simple idea has added enormously to my productivity and fun.
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The sky was overcast and the wind was frigid, but there we stood huddled together with hundreds of others for three shivering hours. It was our second day in Amsterdam and we were in line to see what we had come for—the Van Gogh Museum.

My siblings and I had been planning this trip for months. Hundreds of emails hammered […] Continue Reading…

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

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The message I got about work when I was growing up pointed out that there was good work and bad work. Good work meant you didn’t have to sweat.

Nobody mentioned that sweat-free work probably would involve sitting at a desk all day doing repetitive chores.

It wasn’t until I became obsessed with the role of work in our lives that I began to challenge such limiting notions. Eventually, I came to think that the best work called us to use our minds, bodies and spirits.

That, of course, is also why the concept of having multiple profit centers appeals to so […] Continue Reading…

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