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

Welcoming Serendipity

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After a conversation with a delightful stranger, I shared the experience on Facebook saying, “Oh, I love serendipity.” After I’d posted, I began to wonder if calling it serendipity was accurate.

While the common understanding of serendipity defines it as unexpected good fortune, it goes further than that. In The World of Serendipity, author Marcus Bach explains why some people enjoy a large measure of unexpected good while others rarely have such experiences.

He writes, “Once upon a time, there lived an Englishman named Horace Walpole. He was best known for his passion for writing letters. For most of his life, he kept the postman busy lugging mail away from his home.

“On one occasion, Walpole wrote that an old Persian fairy tale had made a deep impression on him. The tale had to do with The Princes of Serendip. These three young noblemen, traveling the world, rarely found the treasures they were looking for, but continually ran into other treasures equally great or even greater than the ones they were seeking.

“Even though their goals eluded them, they were more than rewarded with their wayside discoveries, and soon it was as if an unseen power and guidance seemed to know better than they knew what was best for them.”

Therein lies the key to serendipity. It does not occur when we are passively waiting for something you happen. We must be actively engaged in the pursuit of some goal and, yet, be willing for it to turn out differently than imagined.

I’m reminded of a woman who called and excitedly announced, “I had the best time today being Joyfully Jobless!” She told me about some new people she’d met and discoveries she’d made for her business.  A year and a half earlier, this same woman was feeling hurt when she was dismissed from her job with a large corporation.

Would this enthusiastic conversation have happened if she was still punching a time clock?

Letting go of situations, relationships and belongings that have outlived their usefulness is also important if we are to experience grander possibilities for ourselves.

Marcus Bach explains, “This is one of the deep secrets of serendipity. While serendipity means finding joy and meaning in discoveries on the way to a stated goal, the secret is to look upon incidental goals as substantial and upon accidental happenings as purposeful.”

Make room for unexpected good fortune in the weeks and months ahead. If you do, you’ll find yourself greeting each day with an enthusiasm and anticipation you never had before.

Did I mention that enthusiasm and anticipation are magnets for serendipity?

Plug In

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When my Aunt Marge was alive, I visited her as often as possible. She was eager to hear about my travels and recent adventures. Somewhere in the conversation, she would exclaim, “Oh, you meet the most interesting people.”

I totally agreed, of course.

While I have a long list of things I love about being self-employed, Meeting Interesting People is one of my favorite perks. People who are passionately engaged in what they’re creating are pilgrims on the road to Being More.

That may not have entered their mind when they began following their ideas, but it is a powerful bonus of creating and sharing their unique offerings.

One of the things I love most is watching a new business evolve. Although I hadn’t met her at the time, I still recall the email I got from Connie Solera telling me about her plans to leave teaching and create more art.

Her Dirty Footprints Studio has been responsible for helping women from all over the world get in touch with their creative spirit. Recently, Connie did two painting retreats in Oaxaca, Mexico and shared each day’s activities on Facebook.

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one who waited patiently for those lively posts that arrived every evening. Fearless Painting, indeed! Go see for yourself what these women produced.

It’s also fascinating to me how people find each other. I recently did a Skype call with Tiffoni Lewis and her husband Neil. They are building a fun mobile pottery painting business from their home near San Antonio, Texas.

A while back, Tiffoni’s father came to my seminar in Las Vegas. He later sent me a note saying he wanted to give her a gift subscription to Winning Ways newsletter. That led to an email from Tiffoni asking if we could chat.

When I was growing up, the people I knew were mostly those who lived in the same small town. Creating a business that involves travel expanded my horizons and my circle of friends.

Just this morning I had a message from Carlo Pescatori. I met this entrepreneurial Venetian when my sisters, brother and I rented an apartment from him several years ago. Last week, I had a message from Kathie Kelling in Phoenix who is planning a trip to Venice and was seeking advice. I promptly thought of Carlo’s place and sent along information to her.

Connecting people with each other is another fun perk of the Joyfully Jobless Journey.

This morning’s email also had a message from Patrice Wynne, a delightful woman I met on my trip to San Miguel de Allende in December. Patrice has a lovely textile shop that uses local talent to produce its’ products.

The shop, named Abrazos, Spanish for embrace, benefits the community in numerous ways including employing local seamstresses to produce the bathrobes, shirts, aprons and other colorful items sold in the shop.

Visit their site and read about their collaborations with museums including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts who are selling items from Abrazos in conjunction with exhibits of Frida Kahlo’s work and other Mexican artists.

When I was starting out in my seminar business, I offered a program on creating a mail order business. While I am enthusiastic about this sort of profit center, I wasn’t nearly so thrilled with teaching the class since it seemed to attract misanthropes. I removed it from my repertoire after only two sessions.

Of course, the internet has made it possible for people who don’t like people to run a business with no direct human contact.

That would never work for me.

As Caroline Myss so wisely advised us, “We evolve at the rate of the tribe we’re plugged into.”  Wishing you a tribe as wonderful as mine.

Spooky Questions

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I know Halloween is long past, but I came across this piece I’d posted on my blog five years ago and decided it was worth another visit. I also shared it in Joyfully Jobless News in November. It’s a reminder that the learning never ends when you’re building a dream.

*******

My mailbox has been getting some truly spooky messages lately. It’s not the first time, of course, but I’m still startled when I get one of these cries for help.

The scariest of these messages goes like this: ”I think I want to start my own business. What should I do?”

I also shiver when someone asks, “I want to write. What should I do?”

No, these aren’t zombies asking the question, but they send chills down my spine because they remind me that too many of us are lacking some basic tools—tools that could get us pointed in the right direction and keep us heading that way.

The next time someone asks, “What should I do?” I’m going to send them this list of answers.

° Start an investigation. Do your homework. Head out to the library. See if your community has resources that can be of help. As Jim Rohn said, “If you wish to find, you must search. Rarely does a good idea interrupt you.”

° Make space. If you’re going to start a new project, you need to make room for it. That frequently means you must first clear out some space. Frequently, that requires spending your time on things that don’t serve your true goals.

“What I discovered,” says architect Sarah Susanka, “is that when you make the time and space for what you long to do, everything else shifts to accommodate it. It never works the other way around. If you wait until there’s time to do what you want, you’ll be waiting until your eighty-fifth birthday.”

° Listen to informed sources. Seems so obvious to me, but I’m astonished at how often people take advice from people who don’t know. The more you investigate, the wiser you’ll become about who has the information that you can use.

° Learn to synthesize. Adopting and adapting in order to produce something new is a time-honored tool of the creative spirit.

If you’re growing a business, that means paying close attention to the things you like and don’t like as a consumer and asking yourself which policies and procedures you will integrate into your own enterprise—and which you’ll consciously avoid.

° Break your goals into 90-Day Projects. Give your projects a theme. Immerse, don’t dabble.

At the end of 90 days, evaluate and decide if you’ve accomplished your objectives. If not, decide if you are up for giving it another 90 days.

° Remember this: “Good things as well as bad are caught by a kind of infection,” writer C.S. Lewis pointed out. “If you want to get warm  you must stand near the fire; if you want to get wet you must get into the water.If you want joy, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them.

“They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you; if you are not, you will remain dry.”

Throughout our Joyfully Jobless Journeys we’ll need help. New goals require new information, new ideas, new connections.

Don’t hesitate to look for it, but also realize that the ultimate responsibility for making your dreams happen is in your hands.

8 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Business

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bjwun-job-fairIt’s National Boss’s Day, a day that I celebrate heartily since I have the perfect boss. It took her awhile to figure things out, of course, but lifelong learning is one of the gifts of self-employment.

When I started my first business, I didn’t know another self-employed person who was creating something unique. There was no internet and not many books that were written for someone wanting to start a one-person operation. It was all trial and error…lots of error.

Today there are abundant resources, but some of the most important things I learned still aren’t being acknowledged. Here are eight things I wish I had known sooner.

° The business you start out with is not the business you end up with. By its’ very nature, business is an evolutionary process. As you change and grow—and as the marketplace changes and grows—you’ll make adjustments.

The good news is that you can get started wherever and whenever you want without having to know every detail. Be willing for your business to deliver pleasant surprises and lessons.

° Refuse to take advice from uninformed sources. It’s easy when you’re filled with self-doubt to listen to dream bashers. Don’t do it. And don’t solicit advice from those who have failed.

It’s amazing to me how often I talk to people who have abandoned a great idea because someone who knew nothing about their business (and probably wasn’t even an entrepreneur themselves) talked them out of it.

As the Persian poet Rumi wisely advised, “When setting out on a journey, do not seek advice from someone who has never left home.”

° Know the difference between an expense and an investment. Many new self-bossers see any outlay of money as an expense. While your business will have costs associated with running it, spending money now to produce a greater good in the future is an investment.

Your money needs to go to both. Some of the biggest return on investment comes when you invest in yourself.

° What you don’t know can be learned. Learn how to research your ideas and connect with informed sources. If you operate on the assumption that you can acquire the information and skills you need at every stage of development, you’ll always have the pleasure of being a voluntary student.

Equally important is determining which parts of doing business make your heart sing and which make your heart sink. Once you know that, you can farm out the parts you’re not good at. Know what you want to know and know what you don’t care about knowing.

° Personal growth is a daily activity. Paul Hawken says, “Being in business is not about making money. It’s a way to become who you are.” I became an entrepreneur because I was curious about what I could become. Self-employment continues to be my best teacher.

In order for your enterprise to reach its’ fullest potential, you have to reach yours. An occasional seminar or personal growth book or CD isn’t going to have the impact that daily work does, even though those tools are also important.

° Don’t confuse a project with a dream. Your dreams are your ultimate destination. A project is a step along the way. Too many people use a project failure as an excuse to abandon their dreams.

Know the difference and don’t make that mistake.

° Patience is your best friend. There’s a fine line between being patient and being a procrastinator. It seems to me that what many people call failure is simply running out of patience, giving up before their idea had a chance to blossom.

Remind yourself that you can’t possibly know how long it will take to accomplish something you’ve never done before. Be willing to be impatiently patient.

° Know the difference between taking a risk and taking a calculated risk. Timid people who are not self-bossers think that you’re a wild person jeopardizing your family and your finances. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Studies have shown that successful entrepreneurs take risks, but they’re cautious, calculated ones based on research and intuition. Do your homework. Take a step.

Of course, part of the appeal and adventure of being joyfully jobless is not always knowing exactly how things will turn out. Be willing to let things turn out better than you imagined.

Patiently Impatient

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This past weekend I did my first seminar series of 2016. In the nearly thirty years that I’ve been a gypsy teacher, this is a startling contrast to my previous years when I was teaching every month.

This unusual experience began with the evil virus I contracted in March. Not only did I have to cancel several events, I was unwilling to book future classes not knowing when or if I would recover.

As I headed to Sacramento I was filled with trepidation. Would I remember how to do this? Had I gotten rusty?

Fortunately, my classes had delightful participants and I savored being back in my natural habitat.

I was also encouraged by a mailing done by author and speaker Tosha Silver a few weeks ago. She wrote, “If you feel like you’ve been through the mill this year, oh my, no, you’re not crazy.

“All through 2016, we’ve been in a profound and often deeply challenging death and rebirth on many dimensions. I write this days after a major solar eclipse in Virgo; up next is a big lunar eclipse in Pisces on September 16.

“Both these events start a ‘refilling’ after an important ’emptying’ that’s dominated most the year, through endless retrogrades and preparation. In a way, you could say the pot has been agonizingly cleaned to the bottom and is ready to cook.

“You may feel like your inspiration and vitality is finally returning, even if it’s just in the earliest stage. (And if not, don’t worry, movement is likely on the way.)

“Personally, I’m happy to be ready to teach in person again. (No matter how often people asked for this in 2016, I was totally stopped). So I’ll be doing the first small, private class in ten months in NYC on October 1.”

When I read that I took a deep breath and thought, “Aha. So it wasn’t just me.”

I also reminded myself of the memorable line of Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

Seems like I’ve been in the asking year. I can’t wait to encounter the answer.

How about you?

5 Ways to Find Reliable Information

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If you plan to package information, publish a customer newsletter or establish yourself as an expert by writing and/or speaking, you’ll find yourself collecting information all of the time. Once you begin doing so, it’s easy to depend on your regular sources and forget about the other options you have for finding useful material.

To make your information gathering more effective, you’ll want to tap into as many sources as possible (without making yourself dizzy).

Before you do, however, set up a system for handling the material that you collect. A series of folders or files labeled with broad categories is likely to be the easiest system whether you are clipping artless of saving online discoveries.

Since ideas are fleeting and can occur at  anytime and anyplace, you have to be prepared to preserve them on the spot.

Although you’ll depend on personal experience for some of your writing and speaking, your work will be livelier and have more impact if you support what you have to say in a  variety of ways.

Here are some sources to consider.

° Conduct a poll or design a questionnaire. We love to know what other people are thinking and doing. As a result pollsters have created a booming business interviewing folks on every conceivable subject. You don’t need to be Gallop to conduct a poll of your own and  publish the results.

If you have a mailing list, you could send a questionnaire to your readers. Or you could  spend a few hours at a mall or airport polling anyone who would talk to you.

Members of an affinity group, conference attendees or trade show exhibiters also make fine candidates for polling.

Subjects might be right in front of you. John Schroeder, author of  Garage Sale Fever,  created a poll by asking folks running the sales he visited how they planned to spend the money they earned from their efforts.

Once you’ve got the results (and it doesn’t have to be highly scientific), write a press release or include your findings in some other work.

° Interview interesting people. Experts in your field, your peers, unusual folks in your neighborhood are all good subjects for interviewing. More and more video interviews are showing up online in blogs and YouTube channels.

The key to a successful interview is to come prepared with questions you want answered. Sometimes that requires doing preliminary research on your subject. At other times, you  can ask your subject for suggestions about topics they most want to discuss. Or you may find a combination of both fits.

° Subscribe to related publications in your field. What are the trends in your industry? New discoveries? Who are the movers and shakers? Keeping up in the information age can be challenging, but the better informed you are, the more credible your work will be.

Take time to glean information from trade journals, general publications and specialty newsletters. Subscribe to blogs that are a fit.

As an expert, one of your jobs is to scour huge amounts of information and pass along the most pertinent to your audience.

° Keep up with the latest books. Of course, you want to keep posted on the newest titles in your field. If you regularly review books on your blog or newsletter, you may find that book publishers are willing to send you review copies of their new titles. (Yes, for free.)

Here’s how it works. First of all, you must request titles that are new or nearly new. When you come across a title that appeals to you, write to the promotion department of the  publisher. Keep your message simple and to the point.

Say something like, “As book editor of Move Ahead News, I would like to receive a  review copy of Fred Brebble’s Secrets of Fabulous Fortunes, which I believe would be of interest to our success-minded readers. Thank you.”

Not all requests will be granted, but when you do review a book, send two copies to the publisher. You may even find an excerpt from your review included as a testimonial when the book comes out in paperback.

° Do hardcore research. Your reference librarian can be a great asset to your research efforts. Take time to get to know what resources your local library has—and doesn’t have.

Backing up your ideas with quotes, examples and stories from other experts in yourfield can add credibility and also demonstrate that you’ve done a thorough job of investigating your subject. Don’t skimp.

Sometimes your information gathering will take on the personality of a detective hunt. At other times, information will seem to drop into your lap.

Either way, the more you have to draw on, the more interesting the search will be for both you and your audience.

Time for a Creative Excursion?

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Julia Cameron calls them Artist Dates. Sarah Ban Breathnach calls them Creative Excursions. Whatever you call them, they’re worth making a regular event in your life.

“The Artist Date need not be overtly artistic,” says Cameron, “think mischief more than mastery. Artist Dates fire up the imagination. They spark whimsy. They encourage play. Since art is about the play of ideas, they feed our creative work by replenishing our inner well of images and inspiration.”

The purpose of such solo events is to take time away regularly to visit a new place, gather ideas, or just feed your soul. Although it’s easy to find new destinations, it’s equally easy to find excuses not to do so.

When people tell me they have no idea what they want to do with their life, I’m pretty certain that creative excursions have not been on their agenda.

With that in mind, here are a few idea starters to get you thinking about potential excursions of your own.

° Visit a Japanese garden or arboretum. You don’t have to be a gardner yourself in order to find pleasure in beautiful landscapes. For several years, I lived within walking distance of a Japanese garden and I visited it whenever I needed a lift.

° Spend time browsing at a flea market or community festival. Imagine yourself as a vendor. What kind of booth would you have? What catches your eye? What turns you off? How would you welcome visitors?

° Go to your public library and explore an area you don’t normally browse in. Read a couple of unfamiliar magazine while you’re there. See what resources are housed in the reference area.

° Explore the scrap booking aisles at a craft store. Consider starting a scrapbook of favorite cartoons so you’ll always know where to look when you need a laugh.

° Slip off to the movies on a midweek afternoon. It’s almost like having a private screening if you catch the first showing on Tuesday. You may also feel slightly decadent.

° Gather travel brochures and pictures of destinations still to be visited. Make a collage for your office.

° Make or buy a card of congratulations and send it to yourself. Then send another to someone in need of encouragement.

° Take a nature hike. Gather seashells if you’re near an ocean or wildflowers or weeds for a bouquet if there’s a woods nearby.

° Visit a hardware store and investigate gadgets you’ve never seen before. Imagine having a project to use one of these tools.

° If you haven’t visited a local museum or art gallery, it’s time you paid a call.

° A great junk store or antique mall is another perfect place to stroll. Talk to the folks working there and find out what kinds of treasures are popular.

° Pretend you’re an investigative reporter and visit stores secretly making notes on their customer service—or lack thereof.

° Start a new collection and begin a treasure hunt. You could begin by finding all the treasures hidden in your own neighborhood. It’s not unusual for folks to overlook things in their own backyard that visitors come to see.

6 Ways to Move Closer to Self-employed Success

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Trying to build a business without entrepreneurial thinking is like trying to build a house with a toothbrush. An employee mindset is not a useful tool for such an important project.

Fortunately, learning to think like a successful self-bosser is something we can teach ourselves. Here are some proven ways of expanding entrepreneurial consciousness.

° Make persistence your personal trademark. We’ve all heard the stories of multiple experiments conducted by Thomas Edison before he figured out how to make a light bulb. Edison’s not the only one, of course, to succeed by not giving up.

During the remarkable renaissance of Tina Turner a few years back, the entertainer remarked, “I’m just now reaping the rewards for twenty-five years of hard work.” That persistence landed her on many Most Admired Lists, too.

By the way, psychologists and others who have studied the lives of successful people rate persistence as more important than intelligence.

° Embrace repetition. Most people operate on a limited budget of ideas. When one or two things don’t work out, they quit. Like persistence, constant practice is also a trademark of the successful.

If you need to be reminded that excellence requires repeated effort, consider this: when GQ magazine celebrated a milestone, they put Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford, two of the most photogenic creatures on Earth, on the cover. The photographer who took the cover shot used sixty-three rolls of film to get the perfect picture.

° Reframe the way you think about a current job, if you have one. Stop thinking that your job is a permanent condition. Instead think of it as your first profit center in your growing portfolio. It’s the one that allows you to generate cash flow while you create your next one.

Thinking of yourself as a service provider, not an employee, will change your relationship. If you start thinking of your job as a profit center, chances are greater that you’ll be saying good-bye to it sooner.

° Have a phantom mentor. If you could pick anyone, living or dead, to advise you, who would it be? Choose someone you admire greatly and have imaginary conversations with them. It’s not as weird as it sounds.

Or start asking yourself, “What would an entrepreneur do?” and see what answers spring to mind.

° Find the hidden gift in goal setting. A few years ago, I was considering buying both a desktop and a laptop computer, but was unsure about which to get first.

On a flight to Amsterdam, my seat mate was a pleasant man who told me he worked for a company that made hinges for laptops. I had no idea that this was a thriving industry and bombarded him with questions.

When I told him I was planning to get a MacBook, he said, “They’re coming out with something spectacular. If you can wait until August, do. I can’t tell you any ore about it since what I know is confidential.”

Later I realized there’s a gift given to goal setters and it’s this: when you are clear about your goals, life suddenly is filled with recognizable coincidences.

° Let love lead. A friend and I went to a sold out concert of Clannad, the Irish band, at London’s Royal Albert Hall. As we were leaving, I said, “Imagine saying, ‘Let’s start singing Celtic folk songs. I’m sure that will be a hit.’”

Of course, Clannad did nothing of the sort. They simply determined that they would spend their lives sharing the music that they loved, knowing that they wouldn’t be alone.

How many others shared that love was something that they couldn’t know ahead of time. There’s not always a way to do market research when love is your motive.

Trusting your instincts, however, can lead you to your perfect place. Like Royal Albert Hall.

9 Ways to Recharge Your Batteries

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Writers talk about (and agonize over) a condition they call writer’s block. When this occurs even experienced authors report feeling stuck. It’s not just limited to writers, of course. Any creative endeavor can get bogged down when the creator feels blocked.

Psychologists suggest that we can shorten our down time by doing something unrelated to the project that has us stymied. In other words, we can solve the problem by walking away from the problem…for a while.

With that in mind, I polled several of my creative friends and asked them, “What do you do when you need fresh inspiration?” Every one came back with a response.

Here, then, are some proven ways to give yourself a creative jolt.

° Keep an inspiration journal. Use it to collect anything that feeds your soul. Fill it with quotes, stories of people you admire, pictures of beautiful places.

Page through it when you have forgotten that the world is a wonderful place.

° Visit somewhere that’s busy. An airport of shopping center are excellent places for people-watching. Make up stories about the people you see.

Imagine what their lives are like, their occupations, where they live and so forth. Since you’re keeping it to yourself, make the stories as outrageous as possible.

° Dance or exercise. Moving your body can also get your imagination moving again.

° Organize a brainstorming session. Round up a few of your most creative friends and let them throw ideas at you. Pay attention to even the silliest ideas.

One of the reasons brainstorming works so well is that the other members of the group don’t have the same emotional attachment to your project that you do. There can be clarity in detachment.

° Put your hands to work. Do needlework or carpentry or something that involves using your hands. Dig in the garden.

These can be stress-lowering activities which also can reinvigorate. I’d pick up my crochet hook rather than Prozac.

° Be quiet. Meditate. Go for a walk. Stare out of the window. Browse in a bookstore or library. Schedule quiet time daily to rest and restore.

° Practice mindless motion. Take a drive in the country. Or do something truly mindless like vacuuming the rug.

The key here is to incorporate movement that doesn’t require you to think deeply.

° Call a trusted friend. Not just anyone will do, however. Ask questions of your wisest friend and see what insights they may have. Listen.

° Expose yourself to a new idea or two. Read a book on a subject you don’t normally investigate. Take a class and absorb the energy of being in a room with other explorers. Look for new ideas or  consider a different opinion or viewpoint about old ideas.

The key, as this poll would suggest, is to shift gears. When you return to the project that has you perplexed, you’ll bring a new energy and perspective.

Even if you’re not currently bogged down, after working on a project for an hour or so, take 15 minutes and do one of the activities names above. Pick one that you don’t ordinarily do. Notice how you feel when you resume your task.

Whether you need a quick lift or want to prevent creative blocks from taking up residence, having an inventory of alternative activities can be a surprisingly effective way to keep things moving forward.

Choose an Inspiring Motto

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They were having a discussion about political slogans this morning on NPR. Apparently, presidential candidates have been using them for decades. Not all of them were effective nor memorable.

Whether we realize it or not, most of us have a collection of slogans that are stored in our brains. Like its cousin the mantra, a slogan regularly resurfaces and repeats itself.

Many of these have been with us since childhood and were more of a warning than a guide to living a great life. Money doesn’t grow on trees. If you can’t do it perfectly, don’t bother doing it.

I’m guessing you have a list of your own family favorites.

Slogans, mottos, mantras are incredibly powerful when repeated. They can stop us dead in our tracks or propel us forward.

My office has favorites displayed all over the room. Above the door is a large sign reading, “There’s no such thing as small change.”

Another favorite reminder from John Ruskin says, “We are not sent into this world to do anything into which we cannot put our hearts.” On the bulletin board over my desk is this challenge: do something today that your future self will thank you for.

When I was going through some boxes in my office closet, I came across a list that I’d created for a seminar. It’s really a collection of some of my favorite quotes and I urged participants to borrow one or several and make it their personal motto.

I offer you the same challenge.

Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make them come true. ~ Cardinal Suenens

We dream ourselves into being. ~ Ray Bradbury

Being in business is not about making money. It’s a way to become who you are. ~ Paul Hawken

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement. ~ Mary Oliver

All the arts we practice are apprenticeship. The big art is out life. ~ M.C. Richards

Life is too short for you to be the caretaker of the wrong details. ~ Alexandra Stoddard

Be with those who help your being. ~ Rumi

I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes. ~ Sara Teasdale

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. ~ Anais Nin

It is better to err on the side of daring than on the side of caution. ~ Alvin Toffler

Success means living the life of the heart. ~ Francis Ford Coppola

What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible. ~ Theodore Roethke

Fortune is not on the side of the faint-hearted. ~ Sophocles

In the quest for happiness, partial solutions don’t work. ~ Mihaly Czikzentmihalyi

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far to go. ~ T.S. Eliot

We are all pilgrims on the same journey, but some pilgrims have better road maps. ~ Nelson DeMille

Somebody has to do something and it’s just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ Jerry Garcia

I don’t want to be saved. I want to be spent. ~ Fritz Perls

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