“Whether self-employment is your well-worn path or you’re just taking your first steps toward making a living without a job, welcome to the place where you’ll find ideas for running an inspired business, one that expresses your most creative self and offers you the rewards of freedom and financial independence.”—Barbara J. Winter, champion of the self-employed.
The first time I read Barbara Winter’s trademarked phrase, I wasn’t quite sure how to take it. So off I went to her website, where she promises to be your tour guide on your adventure, this journey called self-employment. I’ve since followed her on social media sites, become a newsletter subscriber, taken a teleclass, ordered her book, Making a Living without a Job. And recommended her to others.
Ideas, inspiration, expression, creative self and rewards … here’s our joyfully jobless tour guide, Barbara Winter, whom I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing. Quite a privilege.
Author, speaker, writer and seminar leader, Barbara ensures you will not walk away from a conversation, seminar or written piece without being inspired and passionate, whether you are in business for yourself or are considering self-employment.
My organizing-coaching business is all about our transitions in life, and moving onto our next chapter. So when Barbara wrote online about her adventures of moving her home and office, and used phrases such as “declutter,” “simplify,” and “living in the gap,” I asked to interview her about what she’d learned. She started her move in August and, fingers crossed, has a new home this week. She’s lived in “the gap” for awhile now.
When people move, they get a very clear sense of which belongings are important to them, and are much clearer on priorities for their time. Clearer than during normal times, so I thought her advice would be useful to any of us moving through a major life event.
In the big picture, Barbara reviews her priorities on a regular basis. Each year, she reflects on this question: “What is the 2011 version of my life?” Similar to knowing your values, creating this year’s “version” of your life will drive decisions on what items are allowed to stay in your home or on your schedule.
Barbara’s 2011 version focuses on educating people about self-employment as a strong option to working for someone else:
• Presenting again at the 2011 “Unjob Fair” at Colorado Free University (link is to the 2010 site);
• Working out other locations for the Unjob Fair concept;
• Follow-Through Camp rolls out again (“If you’re ready to become the champion of your good ideas, here’s an opportunity to do just that.”)
• And a new seminar – Small Sassy & Successful
Next a reminder from Barbara that it’s “hard to be successful when your personal life is in disorder.” Whether you’re planning a move or not, you are the only one who can take care of your personal life.
So take the time you need after any major change or transition. Heal yourself first, and then refocus on your work, self-employed or not. A major change could be a career change you wanted but it’s still a major life event. Or the transition could be into caregiving for a parent who now lives with you.
Last bit of advice for today: This particular move was not one Barbara initiated. Since it was not of her own choosing, this was a rockier adventure than other moves. She had less lead time to organize for her move this time. And with this time pressure and the fact that it was not her choice to move, getting clear on where she wanted to be next in her life took longer. “Living in the gap” is an expression she used, and I believe she meant emotionally as well as being without her own home for awhile.
Think about the last time you went through a major life event, a move, a divorce, a career change, caregiving. Didn’t you move through these stages in some fashion? And think about it: how was it different for you in a self-imposed change versus one thrust upon you? So give yourself adequate time to reflect and process what’s happening. You are the only one who can insist on this; you are your champion.
There’s more on the way: Barbara, an avid reader, gives advice on deciding which books get to stay on her shelves and which get to find a new home; how to decide which of her belongings to take with her to her new home; space and how we fill it and more on setting up a new home. Stay tuned for next blog entry with more advice on getting clear.