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Barbara J. Winter grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota dreaming of a life of adventure and travel. After several miserable attempts at being a good employee she realized that she wasn't getting any closer to the life of her dreams. On the day her daughter set off for kindergarten, Barbara started her first business. The Successful Woman was a training and publishing company that she founded and ran for several years from home. Gradually it dawned on her that her real passion was for helping others become creatively self-employed. In addition to being the author of Making a Living Without a Job, Barbara is also the publisher of Winning Ways, the longest-running self-employment newsletter. She travels throughout the US, Canada and Europe speaking and conducting seminars and retreats, all designed to increase the joyfully jobless population. She also blogs at her website http://joyfullyjobless.com.
This is a remarkably interesting book about how to approach self-employment. It is not a cookbook or listing of readymade businesses, but rather a guidebook about the entire process of moving into self-employment.
Published in 1993, some of the information is a bit dated, but since the primary thrust of the book is not to provide the reader with specific current opportunities, the book holds up very well over time.
There are many examples of people building different types of businesses, and advice from some well-known success stories. The book is broken into five parts, each with two or three chapters. Each chapter starts with a relevant quote, and treats a specific area of focus, such as; Doing First Things First, Uncovering Your Assets, Creating Multiple Profit Centers, Marketing On A Shoestring, etc.
While there is plenty of advice on creating and starting a business (or multiple businesses), the thing that I think is most important in this book is how the author deals with the psychological issues. Most books on starting your own business will mention the emotional and mental obstacles involved, but seldom give the reader much in the way of concrete methods for dealing with them. This book gives you the tools for dealing with the most difficult part of running your own business - your own habits and attitudes. Winter spends a great deal of time covering the psychological groundwork necessary to succeed at being your own boss. She does this in a clear manner, with examples from the real world. There is also a booklist in the back with resources for different areas, such as Personal Growth, Marketing, Entrepeneurial Inspiration, and so on.
I found this book one of the most useful in working on my attitude about being self-employed.Read more ›
Barbara Winter's Making a Living Without A Job casts self-employment as a liberating experience - one that frees the "joyfully jobless" to pursue her dream as she sees fit, not tied to the whims of managers or other creativity-killing institutions. As a result, she spends a lot of time focusing on the ideas surrounding self-employment, rather than the how-to. She sprinkled exercises designed to seek out my passions and to brainstorm "profit centers" throughout the book. I didn't take the time to go through them this time around; I wanted to finish the book first and then go back and do them. Still, during my reading I did realize that I definitely want to write and philosophize, and I've come up with several ideas for Profit Centers. In that regard, the book stimulated me to think critically about my financial future. Moreover, the author doesn't focus entirely on the theory of self-employment. With suggestions such as the $100 Hour (where you promise yourself to spend an hour per day brainstorming ways to make another $100, visualizations and affirmations, and advice on business cards and marketing, she provides a good "jumping-in" point for people (such as myself) considering the idea of becoming "joyfully jobless." She paints making the plunge as an act of faith and describes her own life as one of "Roots and Wings". She attempts to balance putting down roots (living a stable, secure life) and growing wings (seeking her dreams, living with passion and excitement). I found myself thinking that the people who can successfully do both often lift up on the ground in which they've taken root. They try to pull their loves up with them.Read more ›
My work history has ranged the spectrum from Corporate Clone to short-term contracting, and even when I was employed full-time at a "real job" I always had one or two other businesses going on the side. But, like most Americans, I'd been brainwashed into thinking everyone should have a well-defined and well-thought-out CAREER, so I didn't take my "sidelines" seriously. And, after thirty-plus years in the work force, I was still searching for the One Perfect Job that would best utilize my abilities and satisfy my soul. This book changed my thinking: Barbara Winter shows how to evaluate your talents, interests, and skills, and turn what you already like to do into multiple income streams. She gives inspiring examples, provides tools for self-analysis, and offers encouragement; she doesn't give specifics on how to create your perfect work, but she can't because everyone's combination of abilities and knowledge is unique. The book started me thinking on how I could create income sources from the things I enjoy doing, and convinced me that I don't need to find that elusive Perfect Job after all. I recommend it highly to anyone searching for a better way to work.
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I first encountered "Making a Living Without a Job:.." by Barbara Winter about 9 years ago. I had bought it for my husband, who was in between jobs, and ended up reading it myself. By the time I was done, I had determined to leave a 20 year career in computers and go to massage school. I now own my own health center in New York state.
One year I gave 10 of these books to people who were 'stuck' in their jobs/careers but who were afraid to change. As a result 14 people ended up changing their jobs/careers because the people to whom I gave the book also passed it on.
I find, as a massage therapist, that much of the stress people have is due to a poor fit in their career. What might have been right at one time in their life, no longer is good for them.
I recommend this book to someone at least once each week and have now decided to have it in stock.
I recently gave copies to two friends who might need to leave high executive positions in an international corporation.
ANYONE at any LEVEL in ANY JOB can find the step-by-step analysis in this book the most helpful thing EVER in helping them to find the job that will really be fulfilling for them!