A love note to Barbara Winter
"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."
Barbara Winter 1942-2022
Barbara Winter was 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?” She taught seminars on self-employment and travelled throughout US, Canada and Great Britain sharing ideas and information on creative self-employment.
Barbara also started publishing a newsletter on self-employment and wrote a bestselling book called Making a living without a job. She was a pioneer of her times and I was very fortunate to meet Barbara a handful of times when she visited London to hold seminars.
I don't remember the exact date I first went to a seminar. It was around 2007 maybe. Barbara would have been in her 60's and I found her wise, smart and very kind. She was also the best storyteller I had ever encountered.
If I think back, Barbara was a big influence on me and how it shaped my working life. I was self-employed and always came away hugely inspired. The last time I saw Barbara was in 2012 at a London Scanner night. She looked more frail than I remembered - and I only turned up to see and hear her speak.
After a couple of telephone conversations a few years later, I finally was able to share with Barbara the birth of Mapology Guides. I even posted some of the first maps to her home. Many people over the years inspired and shaped my thinking - but Barbara Winter was definitely in the top three. I believe the following 9 lessons will speak for themselves and anyone who knows me will know I have absorbed them like a sponge.
It was recently - maybe around March time when I noticed I hadn't received any newsletters from Barbara. I decided to google her website, when I saw the message that she sadly passed away in October 2022. She was nearly 80 years old. A woman full of passion, full of ideas, creativity, spirited and fearless. I had such admiration for her and how she inspired 1000's and 1000's of people to follow their dreams, to start a business and to make a living without a job.
Her family - who she was very closed to - set up a Facebook meet up to celebrate Barbara's life and legacy. Many people left beautiful tributes and recounted how they met. It was heartwarming and very special.
We were all encouraged to keep sharing our own stories about Barbara and this here is mine. I feel honoured to have met her so many times in person and learned from her. She was a people gatherer and connector and she LOVED in person events.
RIP special lady. I will leave you with another quote from Barbara:
"You can either have your excuses or you can have your dream - but you can't have it all."