These are some of the fabulous products, books, or programs that have made a difference in my work and my life, and I love sharing them with you. If you have questions or need more information, just email me from my contact page and I’ll get right back to you.
The eBook Evolution gives you everything you need to create a beautiful ebook from start to finish with open source (free) software: OpenOffice. You can do all your design work, even the cover, right in OpenOffice Writer which is a lot like MS Word but much more robust. Read about my experience with it here: A guide to designing, creating, and marketing your own ebook.
Empire Building Kit
Can you imagine having a coach who sends you an email every day that’s loaded with extraordinarily helpful information and wisdom you can put to work right away? Chris Guillebeau’s Empire Building Kit provides “case studies, video interviews, transcripts, and a 365-day email series (the longest in history) designed to help you build a lifestyle business in one year by doing one thing every day.”
I’ve finished the year-long course, and I’ve more than got my money’s worth. Chris’s calm, compassionate attitude combined with an incredible amount of knowledge is just what you need if you’re thinking of jumping ship—or already jumped, like I did—and living life on your own terms. As Chris says, “It will help you escape the tyranny of a conventional working life.”
By the way, I met Chris on his book tour stop in Philadelphia in the fall of 2010, and his integrity, intelligence, and honest desire to help people shines through in person just as much—or more so—as it does in his products and writing. I’m truly proud to recommend his work.
A-List Blogger Club and Bootcamps
Awesome. Amazing. An online education. Insanely helpful. Information overload. Inspiration. Friends. Fellow bloggers. Way more than I expected and well-worth the investment… I could fill a page or two with ways to describe the A-List Blogger Club and Bootcamps. If you’re serious about blogging and learning everything there is to know and then some, this is the place to be.
Not only do Mary Jaksch (Goodlife Zen) and Leo Babauta (Zen Habits) share everything they know via webinars, transcripts, videos, podcasts, collaboration with other blogging experts, and countless articles plus personal attention from their years of combined experience, you also get the benefit of the forum where over 1200 members (and growing!) discuss blogging challenges, problems, successes, and joys from beginner to advanced.
Since I joined in April 2010, I’ve learned far, far more than I ever could have on my own. There’s just nothing like it.
The Unconventional Guide to Freelancing
More wisdom from Chris Guillbeau, but this time we get two for the price of one. Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing teamed up with Chris and wrote this outstanding guide for running a freelance business.
Here are just a few of many questions that get answered for freelancers of almost any kind: “How can I get a better handle on my operations? Can I raise my rates and still be competitive? Speaking of competition, should I be worried?” You get a huge manual, video interviews, separate PDFs with additional information, and a checklist for agreements, contracts, and policies (extremely helpful). Depending on the package you buy, you also get to check in with Charlie about your progress.
The Unconventional Guide to Freelancing has given me just the right push and polish that I’ve needed while I rebuild my freelance writing and copyediting business almost from scratch.
Thesis WordPress Theme
There are two things—among many others—that I absolutely love about Thesis, which is the theme this WordPress site is running on.
First, it’s robust enough for me to dig in and set things up the way I want them with an almost unlimited number of possibilities. If you’re a little handy with tech stuff or WordPress (you don’t have to be an expert or even know code), you can do a lot as a beginner but still have plenty of room to grow.
Second, the support forum is amazing. I haven’t needed a lot of help, but I ran into some issues early on. My questions were always answered promptly and thoroughly by friendly experts, and in a few cases I got a response within minutes! There’s also a huge collection of resources to browse through if you’d rather figure things out on your own or do a little of both.
The price is right, too, whether you get the Personal or the Developer’s Option. I have the Developer’s Option which allows me to not only fully customize and personalize my blog but I also get unlimited use for my own sites. A lifetime of upgrades comes with it (that’s awesome), plus a 30-day money back guarantee and much more.
The 7-Week Life Cleanse
Click here to view more details Feeling tired and sluggish? Don’t know why you aren’t moving forward or where and how you lost the momentum you once had? Is clutter and chaos dominating your life? You might need to do a little Life Cleansing, and Katie Tallo’s (Momentum Gathering) 86-page ebook will help you do it in 7 weeks.
Create space and time, move differently, take stock and let go, do some soul searching, sustain the change…there are so many wonderful tips in this beautifully-designed ebook you’ll feel like you’ve gone away to a private health club in the Sonoma desert, the Swiss Alps, or a Pacific island. But you can cleanse yourself of anything that’s holding you back and regain your momentum right at home.
The 7-Week Life Cleanse is “a simple guide to infusing your life with momentum and moving directly and passionately towards the life you want. The weekly worksheets and questions are your tools for change. They’ll open your awareness, easing you towards a sustainable plan for moving forward.”
Discover Your Passion
If you’re not happy or at peace with what you do most of the time, on most days, what are you? At best, you might be trudging along, hating Monday, feeling better on Wednesday, and looking desperately for happiness on Friday and over the weekend—unless you work weekends like I did for years. Come Monday, you might be wondering, “Is this all there is?”
Career and life coach Barrie Davenport provides everything you need to get your life on track at any age. Read more in an interview I did with her here: Discover Your Passion, Find Your Peace: Interview with Barrie Davenport
I was fortunate to review the course before it went on sale, and I was impressed with all that the course offers:
Complete 7-Module, 116 page PDF course material packed with assessments, worksheets, actions steps, featuring an accountability plan and 52-week calendar.
There’s much more. 12 bonuses have been added, including a book by Tess Marshall that I own and love, Flying by the Seat of my Soul. MP3 audios, podcasts, mini-courses, ebooks by the best of the best—check it out.