April 20, 2016
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Greetings!
With low overhead, frugal means, and a fragile budget, you can't buy your way out of problems. You have to learn your way out. The creativity and tenacity you have to develop will make it hard for you to be put out of business. 
~ Paul Hawken
In This Issue
Growing a Bumper Crop
Need an Idea? Dig Here
Cause to Celebrate
Barbara Online
GROWING A BUMPER CROP 
Even though I never lived on a farm, I grew up surrounded by small family farms and went to school with kids who lived on those farms. I didn't realize they were teaching me many things that would serve me well as a non-farming entrepreneur.
    
In most places in the Midwest, spring is for planting, summer is for growing and autumn is for harvesting. I remember noticing that even though side-by-side farms endured the same weather conditions and shared the same soil, they didn't necessarily produce the same results. 

The human factor had a great deal to do with a farm's success or failure.
    
Your business may resemble a garden more than a farm, but if you want to see visible progress come harvest time do one simple thing: consistently do something- anything-every day to grow your business. 
   
Here are some lessons gleaned from good farmers that will also work in a business.   

Make business a daily practice. Eastern disciplines such as yoga and meditation talk about the power of daily practice. 

Paul Hawken says, "Business is no different from learning to play the piano or to ride a surfboard. With most activities there is no presumption of excellence in the beginning, but many newcomers suppose that they should sit down at the desk on the first day and become SuperBusinessperson, in full command of the situation."
    
Even if you have not made the transition from employee to entrepreneur, having a
regular time every day to move closer will bring big results over time. And if you are years into running a business, be diligent about cultivating new ideas. 

Complacency is the beginning of the end of even the best business ideas.
    
Get rid of the weeds. After a recent seminar I taught on thinking like an entrepreneur, I received an email from one of the participants, telling me that her first project after the program was to get her home office in order. That involved removing nine bags of trash.
    
Even if the clutter is gone, spend time every day pulling a weed or two. Get rid of a self-limiting thought. Eliminate or revise procedures that aren't working. Refuse to spend time with negative people. Keep your tools in tiptop shape. You get the idea.
    
Build a Seed Bank. Like a regular bank, a Seed Bank is a physical space where you store ideas. Constantly be on the lookout for ideas and write them down when they come. 

Cocktail napkins should only be temporary. Your Seed Bank deserves its own special place whether it's a journal or jar.
    
Challenge yourself to see possibilities. If you faithfully did this for the next 90 days, you'd have more ideas than you could use in a year.
    
Don't be afraid to get dirty. The Joyfully Jobless life is participatory, not a spectator sport. Try things. Be willing to do things badly. Reconfigure. Learn to approach problems by finding creative solutions, not running away.
   
Keep watering and nurturing. Too many people forget that staying inspired and creating an excellent business requires on-going attention. Know what inspires you and refresh yourself often. Connect frequently with people who fan your own creative spirit.
    
I often end a three-day seminar with dinner at a wonderful restaurant. When dinner is over, I notice participants standing on the sidewalk reluctant to leave their new entrepreneurial friends. Once you've spent time with a group of creative thinkers, it's a pleasure you'll want to repeat.
    
As Goethe said, "To know someone, here or there, with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distance or thoughts unexpressed-that can make this earth a garden."

NEED AN IDEA? DIG HERE
I'm excited to announce this upcoming event with Marianne Cantwell and Selina Barker. The Ideas Adventure is their once-a-year course for people who don't even HAVE a business idea yet, but know they want to start their own thing. They feel like there's something more they could be doing in the world but are still looking for the Right Idea of what that could actually be.  

What's involved? According to Marianne, "We get under the surface on what works to take them on a journey from the sidelines of just reading about other people who are doing their own thing.... to understanding how to figure out the right direction for themselves."

Most importantly, the Ideas Adventure will demystify the process, and show you how to find an idea that comes from your core, rather than from a textbook. If you've  been reading books and making lists about your skills and strengths and still hitting a wall, this course will show you a completely different way.

It's co-run with Marianne Cantwell (of Free Range Humans land) and Selina Barker (the UK's top 'get unstuck' coach on this topic) and it's the only course they're running on this topic all year. Yes, people can and do join from anywhere in the world.

CAUSE TO CELEBRATE 
While I think it's important to celebrate victories large and small, I don't always manage much more than an extra piece of chocolate to mark an accomplishment. This time, however, I'm wildly excited and finding all sorts of small celebrations to mark the 30th anniversary of publishing Winning Ways

As I write in this milestone issue, "What kept me going? As the Internet has caused an information explosion, I thought I could save time and confusion for others by curating and weeding out the distractions and the snake oil.

"Of course, I never forget that change is smoother with a champion. Moving from employee to entrepreneur is only the first change in the Joyfully Jobless Journey. Change is a constant when you're self-employed and without encouragement it can be daunting."

I've had a couple of detours in getting this issue out, but it's already one of my favorites. The theme is Small is Still Beautiful and it's loaded with ideas and information that have been gathered over time and proven to make the journey a joy.

Many longtime subscribers tell me that when a new issue arrives, they make a cup of tea and read it from cover to cover.

If you want to see for yourself how this little newsletter keeps chugging along, you can get your very own subscription here.

Buon Viaggio,

 

Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter 

 

P.S. On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News.
Winning Ways, PO Box 800971, Valencia, CA 91380
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