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 hurt.

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 when I don’t have time to run to the delightful Trader […] Continue Reading…

My friend Chris and I loved an old cartoon in which Ziggy declared, “My idea of prosperity is a checking account with commas.”

We promptly adopted that as our prosperity symbol.

Feeling prosperous is a highly individual thing and each of us has a different notion of what constitutes prosperity.

For many people, alas, prosperity means having more than whatever they currently have.

I think it’s much healthier to find small reminders that we are creating abundance in our own lives. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

* You use up your deposit slips faster than you use your check blanks. (This […] Continue Reading…

Back in 2002, I was having a milestone birthday and thought a celebration was in order. I invited my friends and family to join me in Las Vegas, a place I had avoided for many years.

When I called my travel agent to make arrangements, she laughed and said, “Oh, Barbara, I can’t see you in Las Vegas.”

“That’s the point,” I told her.

As you probably know, that was the beginning of a surprising love affair that led me to moving to that unlikely place. That wasn’t all that happened as a result of that party.

My younger siblings decided to mark […] Continue Reading…

Many people thought my Aunt Agnes was a professional malcontent. I thought she was an adventurer.

When I was growing up, I watched her reinvent herself every few years. She was trained as a teacher, but I don’t remember her working at that. Nevertheless, she always seemed to be instructing me and my siblings about right and wrong.

Besides being the  family morality enforcer, she spent several years running a college bookstore where she became friends with both students and professors. She also took advantage of the academic surroundings and studied Spanish and other subjects that caught her fancy.

After she left […] Continue Reading…

Although I have shared this before, I am doing so again in the optimistic hope that someone reads it and actually gives it a try.
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 What if I told you that there’s a technique that if faithfully applied would absolutely guarantee your success in starting and building your business? Well, such a technique exists although it sometimes seems like a well-kept secret.
I’ve shared it in my seminars and in my writing, but getting people to actually try it for themselves has been another matter.
Whenever I receive a call or e-mail from someone telling me that they’re stuck, I can be […] Continue Reading…

We’re on birth alert around here right now. No, I am not expecting another grandchild. The arriving baby belongs to my doula daughter’s client.

I had never heard of birthing doulas until a few years ago when a student in one of my Sacramento seminars told me that she was one.

According to Wikipedia, this is an ancient profession that originated in Greece. A doula is a nonmedical person who assists before, during and after childbirth. The continuous support during labor is associated with improved maternal and fetal health.

How Jennie became a doula still intrigues me.

One morning about seven years ago, she […] Continue Reading…

Every truly wise person knows that learning is a lifelong endeavor. It appears that we are, in fact, created to keep learning. It’s an obvious condition that is grossly overlooked by employers who do nothing to encourage their workers to learn.

The entrepreneur, on the other hand, can be in a constant state of learning. That’s what attracted me to my own business in the first place.

Most of us who have heard the Eastern proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” think it refers to an individual who comes to guide us.

I’d like to suggest […] Continue Reading…

This week I made my first visit to the Genius Bar at my neighborhood Apple Store. Like the previous ones I’d hung out at in Minneapolis and Las Vegas, this one is staffed with folks who are smart and eager to help.

Even though my appointment was at 10 AM, their opening time, the place was buzzing by the time I arrived. About a dozen kids were clustered around a table dressed in the same t-shirts with the Apple logo that the store employees wear. They were participants in one of the summer programs Apple runs in their stores.

I still […] Continue Reading…

Five years ago today, my phone in Las Vegas rang about 8:30 in the morning. It was my daughter Jennie who didn’t usually call so early in the morning.  I asked if she was planning to give birth later in the day. “He’s already here,” she said.

I jumped in my car, drove to Valencia, connected with my sister Margaret and Zoe and we headed to the birth center at UCLA where I met the newest member of our family. I had no idea what adventures were on their way.

In just a few short years, I have a memory bank […] Continue Reading…

For me, meeting interesting people, however briefly, is one of the great rewards of travel.  On my last evening in Los Angeles several years ago, my daughter suggested that  we have dinner at The Milky Way.

This tiny restaurant is lovingly run by Leah Adler, a little pixie who just happens to have given birth to Steven Spielberg.  Her utter joy in making her customers happy is obvious as she flits from table to table chatting with everyone.

She seemed to be having such a good time that I thought being a restauranteur must be a new occupation for her. When […] Continue Reading…