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


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

Zen and the Art of Growing a Business

Barbara Running an Inspired Business 2 Comments

One New Year’s Day during my daughter’s college years, she called to  tell me about her celebration the night before. “The party I thought was going to be fun wasn’t,” Jennie said, “and the one I thought was  going to be boring was terrific.”

“What a great metaphor,” I replied. 

“Oh, Mom,” she groaned, “you think everything is a metaphor.”

She was right, of course. I love metaphor and think they’re highly underrated as learning tools. I’m not alone in thinking so. In his wonderful book, Growing a Business, Paul Hawken suggests that the best training for running a business is gardening. I […] Continue Reading…

Keeping it Lively in Austin

Barbara Fellow Travelers 2 Comments

Last Saturday I flew to Austin, TX to visit my daughter and her family in their new hometown. Before we went to their house, I got the mini-tour. When I commented on all the people we saw who were running, walking or bicycling, Jennie said, “This town isn’t about buying stuff; it’s about doing stuff.” I liked it already. I got even more interested when Hector exclaimed, “What I love about this place is all the little independent businesses.”
Those words were barely out of his mouth when we passed a parking lot where there was a shiny Airstream trailer […] Continue Reading…

In business to annoy?

Barbara Running an Inspired Business Join the Conversation!  

They’re baaaaaack! Those annoying Internet flashing banner ads that disappeared for a while have returned with a vengeance. They make my eyes cross and my head ache. They do not make me think, “Oh, that looks interesting. I’d better check it out and see what I’m missing.” Same goes for local tv ads that are broadcast at twice the volume of regular programming. And do you know anyone who adores automated phone systems?
Also rating high on my Annoyance Index is my local supermarket. I only shop there for a few things that the delightful Trader Joe’s can’t supply. A […] Continue Reading…

Daytrippin’…Hunting Chihuly

Barbara Fellow Travelers 4 Comments

My love affair with  Dale Chihuly began about a decade ago when I stumbled upon a public television airing of Chihuly Over Venice. I had no idea who Chihuly was, but five minutes into watching and I was spellbound. I grabbed a videotape and popped it into the recorder sensing that what I was about to see was worth seeing again.

“In the moment of knowing a live,” says Ray Bradbury, “intensify it.” That’s just what I did, making it a personal project  to learn everything I could about this prolific artist. Since I like to spice up my travels […] Continue Reading…

A Well-kept Secret

Barbara Postcard from Barbara 1

Have you visited Inspiration Station yet? My plan for that part of the site is to explore different places from an entrepreneurial point of view. The current locale is one of my favorite places—Venice, Italy. I’ve been thinking about Venice since I wrote the pieces there, so I was particularly intrigued by a story in the latest issue of Ode magazine. 

It’s a short piece about a women’s prison on Giudecca Island, which is a short distance from mainland Venice. The Santa Maria degli Angeli project is a wildly successful enterprise run by the prisoners who have a garden, greenhouse […] Continue Reading…

Overlooked Excellence

Barbara Postcard from Barbara 1

There are only two reasons I bother to set my alarm clock: an early flight or CBS Sunday Morning. Since my local tv station carries this unfailingly informative program at revolving times (it can start anywhere from 6 AM to 7:30 AM) setting my alarm is a calculated guess. 

I am kind of a latecomer to this program. In the days when Charles Kuralt headed it, my friend Chris Utterback would often call afterwards to discuss something she’d seen on the show. Since turning on the television wasn’t part of my Sunday morning ritual, I relied on her to give […] Continue Reading…

Is Your Business a Contender?

Barbara Opportunity Knocking 2 Comments

No matter if you’re a newcomer or seasoned veteran of the Joyfully Jobless life, your marketing can get a big boost if you stay alert to media opportunities. One easy way to put yourself in the path of opportunity is via a free service called Help Out a Reporter. Three times a day, the energetic Peter Shankman sends a listing of a dozen or more story requests from reporters and freelancers in search of potential interviewees. It only takes a minute to scan the list (which is organized by subject area) and you never know when you might be […] Continue Reading…

Travel Tales

Barbara Bookshelf 4 Comments

Mythology and literature have frequently told tales of people who went on a journey and in the process discovered more about themselves. Some of these stories, such as Homer’s Odyssey (written in the 9th century BC) and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (from the 14th century), remain staples in literature classes. What these early writers show us is still true today: travel opens us to new insights as well as new experiences.

A newer story that uses this device is the lovely little book by Paulo Coehlo called The Alchemist. This popular favorite chronicles the adventures of Santiago, a young Andalusan shepherd […] Continue Reading…

How you gonna do that?

Barbara Questions and Quests 2 Comments

One of the leading characteristics of entrepreneurial thinkers shows up in their approach to goal-setting. I was reminded of that this morning when I was talking to Lisa Tarrant, who spent the weekend holding her first tag sale. She said it had been a success and she was getting ready to list a couple of unsold items on Craigslist. “We’re using the money from the sale to redecorate our living room,” she added.

“Oh, how entrepreneurial!” I replied. She agreed and told me about their decorating plans.

Did you catch what’s happening here? I’ll give you another hint. Every time I […] Continue Reading…

New Year, New Theme

Barbara Postcard from Barbara 1

1. September 2008 

Happy New Year! Even if you don’t consider September the start of a new year as I do, you can use this idea to start the new month or phase of your life.

I wouldn’t dream of starting a new year or a new project without deciding first what my theme is. After all, a party is just a party—until you give it a theme. Then your creative imagination goes to work finding ways to illustrate that them, as well as eliminating what doesn’t fit.

A theme can put your entrepreneurial efforts on track and keep them there. It […] Continue Reading…