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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

 

I got this e-mail today and as I was answering it, I got thinking there might be other readers feeling the same way. So here’s the question and how I answered it:

I’m planning to take your upcoming class on goalsetting. I feel like I’m not sure how/what can make me focus better. I wonder if it’s even possible for me to accomplish such a path sometimes. I find I tend to feel bad not to spend time with family and friends or my mind gets lost in worrying about them or pleasing them, etc…or taking time at 10pm at night […] Continue Reading…

When I started my first business, The Successful Woman, I thought I’d model it after existing personal development companies. I quickly realized that many of the people making a living as motivational speakers were doing things that I had no interest in emulating. My response to some of the business practices I saw was to devise a list of personal rules which I have continued to follow. Unlike ordinary goals, these rules weren’t about what I wanted to do; they were about what I didn’t want to do.

Not long ago, I was thinking about those rules and how they […] Continue Reading…