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

A Genius Idea

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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

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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…

Live Long & Prosper

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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…

Strangers Who Inspired

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After spending ten days with my siblings in Lucca, Italy, I planned to take the train back to Venice, have a bonus afternoon in my favorite city, then fly home the next day. That plan began to unravel  when I went to buy my train ticket and discovered a 24-hour strike was scheduled for exactly the time I wanted to travel.

I made numerous telephone calls to find an alternative option, but was assured that some trains would still  be running. What I wasn’t told was that I’d be making a five hour sidetrip to Bologna. That little surprise didn’t […] Continue Reading…

First Things First

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Not long ago, I sent myself a card that caught my eye at Trader Joe’s. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” it challenged.

While there are many ways to measure success, one of the best is adding up the number of Firsts in your life. When we’re children, everything is a first. As time goes on, many people simply cease doing anything that is not a repeat of a past performance.

It’s the path to early senility.

How can you experience a life filled with Firsts? How can you find yourself exclaiming, “I’ve never done that […] Continue Reading…

Serenissima

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I make no secret of the fact that I’m in the midst of a love affair with Venice. It almost didn’t happen.

My first visit was decades ago when I participated in a whirlwind tour of Europe. We zipped through Venice, were escorted to a glass factory store specializing in selling over priced goods to tourists and whisked away.

I was not impressed.

It wasn’t until 1999, on a short stay with my daughter, that I began to uncover the charms of Venice. Suddenly I understood why artists, poets, writers and musicians kept returning for fresh inspiration.

In its’ heyday, it was a […] Continue Reading…

The Lucky Siblings Club

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Almost anytime I mention my siblings to someone who’s never met them, they smile and say, “You have the most interesting family.”

Although I think that my siblings are all fascinating people, I sometimes forget what a uniquely adventurous group we are. Until three years ago, getting together was a rare event that insured we were all on our best behavior when we congregate, but I think it goes much deeper than that.

Our siblings are, after all, the longest relationships most of us have. That shared history, no matter how good or how bad, lays a foundation that can’t quite […] Continue Reading…

Heart on Your Sleeve?

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Several years ago, I confessed to the participants in my Making a Living Without a Job seminar that I was mysteriously drawn to learning to play poker. A man, who looked as if he might have sat at a few poker tables himself, shook his head and said, “You won’t be good at it.”

I laughed and said I knew exactly what he meant. After all, when I was in high school my mother had warned me by saying, “Your problem, Barbara, is that you wear your heart on your sleeve.”

It was not intended as a compliment, of course.

Although I […] Continue Reading…

Building a Hothouse For Your Dreams

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What many people fail to realize is that dreams are extremely fragile—especially in their early days. Dreams need to be nurtured and surrounded by support.

Here are a handful of easy ways to get your dreams off to a great start.

° Passion must be present. While a dream may be born in passion, it’s up to you to keep it alive. If you’re halfhearted and lukewarm about them, your dreams will never come true.

One way to keep passion high is to spend a few minutes every day visualizing the successful completion of your dream. How does it look, smell, taste, sound, feel? […] Continue Reading…

Creating Perpetual Prosperity

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                     They’re your dreams; it’s your life. No one else is going
              to make things right for you. Only your actions can provide the
              kind of life you want.
                                                           Harry Browne

Marnie loves the symphony, but with a business in its infancy season tickets are a bit out of reach. That didn’t stop her from enjoying the full spectrum of concerts last year, however.

She became an usher at Symphony Hall and heard every note. In addition, she was […] Continue Reading…