The Gratitude Daily Interviews #2 – Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter‘s Joyfully Jobless Newsletters have been landing in my inbox for a couple of years now, inspiring me and countless others with stories of how she and many people she influences and encounters make a living without a job. So, I was delighted when Judith Morgan suggested Barbara for a Gratitude Daily interview and Barbara said YES! I am very happy to be able to share her thoughts on gratitude with you.

Barbara Winter

Julia Elmore: Tell me about yourself and what you do.
Barbara Winter: I’m Barbara Winter and I’m a writer, speaker and self-employment advocate. As my website says, I’ve spent the past thirty years pondering the question, “Why aren’t we all self-employed?” However, I’m not an evangelist. I see my business as providing ideas, information and inspiration to those who are or desire to be joyfully jobless.

My newsletter, Winning Ways, just celebrated its twenty-ninth birthday and my book Making a Living Without a Job has been in print since 1993. So I seem to specialize in longevity.

JE: When do you remember first consciously feeling gratitude?
BW: I grew up in a difficult household with an alcoholic father so I believe my first conscious feelings of gratitude involved bad things that didn’t happen. During the early years of my adulthood, I think I forgot to be grateful most of the time. For years, I focused on what I didn’t have rather than all the goodness that was around me, but totally neglected. I am most thankful that I learned to shift my focus.

JE: What does GRATITUDE mean to you?
BW: I think it’s an awareness of all the good things and people that touch my life. To me, gratitude is about appreciating what I have while working diligently to keep making things better for myself and those I’m in contact with.

JE: How do you integrate gratitude into your daily life? Is it a conscious thing or does it come naturally?
I’ve begun picking 5 things from my day and giving thanks for them when I turn off the light and get ready to sleep. I’ve also noticed that when I do that, I am less inclined to suffer from insomnia. I suspect it’s because I’m reminding myself that all is well — and tomorrow will also include many good things.

JE: Do you have a regular gratitude practice?
I also started a gratitude journal several years ago after hearing Oprah talk about it. I discovered a huge bonus with writing things down: if I’m having a difficult day or feeling discouraged, I can page through my journal and see visible evidence of all the blessings that have already shown up for me.

JE: How does it impact on your daily life?
BW: Gratitude is a basic ingredient for treating others with kindness and for running my life from a creative position, I think. If I’m feeling cranky, it’s a signal that I’m focusing on the wrong things. By the way, it took me years to figure that out!

JE: Does gratitude feature in your business?
BW: A business is a continuing opportunity to experience gratitude. The most exciting and rewarding things in my life have come about because of my business. I meet wonderful people who inspire me and have realized my big dream of having a passport full of stamps because of my business.

JE: What do you love most about what you do?
BW: I think I already answered that, but would add that I love the continual creativity and personal growth.

JE: What are you grateful for today?
BW: Besides the freedom of being joyfully jobless, I also am most grateful for my three grandchildren and that I get to be an integral part of their lives. I had no idea that small children could be such fabulous teachers.

JE: Who should I interview next and why?
BW: If you haven’t met her yet, I urge you to track down Eli Trier, an artist from Bristol who spent a year creating a marvelous Gratitude Project which became a book. You can track her down at

You can find Barbara Winter online at


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Gratitude Daily begins November 2. If you would like guidance and support in creating your own gratitude practice, sign up now and join a group of like-minded folks in sharing the things they are grateful for every day.

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