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The Real Success Resource Center


 Real Success Stories about Real People Working

in Their Dream Jobs

Career Change Image #2Lots of people learn great stuff about successful living, and even go out of their way to restate this knowledge for others, but not so many actually put their knowledge into practice in their own lives. Some do, however.

This webpage will feature real success stories about real people working at their dream jobs who live a life that is about as good as it could get.

I have also included letters from readers of The Joy of Not Working and Career Success Without a Real Job who are thinking of escaping corporate life or have in fact succeeded in making a living without a real job. Other people are creating dream retirement jobs by reading the two books, of which you can have the free downloadable ebook editions.


Real Success Story #1

 A Woman Who Lives the Life of Riley

Darlene Livingston (her name has been changed due to the nature of the email) of Cincinnati, Ohio, sent me this message in December 2006:


Dear Mr. Zelinski

Congratulations!  I just finished reading your new book, Career Success Without a Real Job. Needless to say, you've done it again!   I found this book to be informative, inspirational, and encouraging.  I wrote to you a few years ago after reading the incredible The Joy of Not Working, which has become my second bible. I wonder why your books have not been on the New York Times Best Seller List? Perhaps you need a publicist who will get the word out on just how great your books really are.  I believe if more people actually KNEW about your books, they would certainly read them.  I was lucky to stumble on "The Joy of Not Working" by accident.  What a life-changing and wonderful accident it was!

I hope you are doing great, Mr. Zelinski, because you sure deserve it.  I knew my thinking was on the right track after losing my job of 21 years -- I give so much credit to your book The Joy of Not Working.  It's incredible how my family put pressure on me after losing my job, even though I knew I would be 100% okay without having to work again.  People want you to jump right back into the job market with all the stress and strain you had before.  I feel some people are jealous of my new life style of leisure and happiness because THEY have to work.  I feel I've earned my new stress-free life because of all the pressure, rushing, migraine headaches, and high blood pressure I endured for many years.  Those things all went away after losing my job and I couldn't be happier.  I've really found my Life of Riley!

Unfortunately at this time, I feel forced to lie to my family and tell them I am working  when in fact I'm not working much at all.   The pressure, criticism, and judgment is getting too much for me to bear.  Every time I see a family member, they ask me if I'm looking for a job, what I'm doing, etc.  It's really none of their business, but telling a little white lie will get them off my back.  The fact is as long as I live alone and don't ask anybody for anything, my life and choices should be my own -- PERIOD!  I know this is what I really should tell people, but I feel I will gain a little more respect if I tell them I am working; they will never know.

Do you know of a website called Whywork.org?  It's a great place to see what other people go through in the work force and all the opinions and experiences people have.  Some are even as lucky as I am to not have to work. They to feel pressured and judged by people and feel they have to explain themselves.  I really enjoy this site and you might too.  But nothing changed my life for the better the way The Joy of Not Working did!  I thank you again, Mr. Zelinski, for being a blessing in my life! Wishing you a wonderful holiday season as well.   

Respectfully yours,  

Darlene Livingston


Real Success Story #2

 A Journalist Who Intends to Chuck His Real Job

and Experience

Below is the content of a email I received from a chap in Taiwan.

Go figure: It's hard to find a copy of Career Success Without a Real Job in any Chapters bookstores in Canada. Yet this guy buys a copy of the book in a bookstore in the world's tallest building in Taipei.

Dear Mr. Zelinski,
I bought your book Career Success Without a Real Job at a book store inside the world's tallest building, Taipei 101 in Taiwan, and it's the most exciting book I've ever read.
My name is Enzo Ciancia, I'm 47, a journalist living in Taiwan, and completely fed up with my daily life. Until one of the nastiest people I've ever met became my boss, I thought my present job was still bearable, despite the long hours - many of them spent watching TV - the excruciating boredom, and the emptiness. But I thought the relatively high salary - by Taiwanese standards anyway - compensated for all of that.
After this new boss arrived, I knew I had to leave, so I started dreaming, I read Po Bronson's "What Should I Do with my Life?" and Daniel H. Pink's "Free Agent Nation."
But it wasn't until I read your book that I really went from dreaming to planning. I've now decided to hand in my resignation by the end of the year and spend the following six months doing the things I like. I will write a piece of fan fiction for a James Bond web site, I will finish a thriller that I've already written 160 pages of (working by bits and pieces over the past six months), I will take yoga classes, and I will design a board game about Taiwan politics for local use. I will also do some painting in the time in between. Do I want to do too much? Maybe. I read your advice about having a focus on a limited number of activities, but this is just for my six months of exploration. Once that period comes to an end, I hope to have found where my unreal job is.
Earlier, I thought about giving the food sector a go, by introducing new European desserts to Taiwan, or by going into franchising, but I agree with your warning that food equals long and tiring work. So my hope now really lies with my first love - writing.
With thanks for your wonderful book and wishing you more good books ahead
Enzo Ciancia
Taipei, Taiwan




Career Change Image #2The Career Book for People

Too Smart to Work in Corporations


Career success is much more than having a real job and earning a decent income. Real career success is truly enjoying what you do for a living and having the personal freedom to perform your work virtually any time you want.

This bold, unconventional career guide challenges and inspires you to:


  • Create your dream job or operate a micro-business.
  • Gain courage to escape the corporate world so that you don’t have to spend the rest of your life in a cubicle.
  • Gain the confidence, power, and will to attain the lifestyle of your dreams.
  • Experience more personal freedom and well-being.
  • Above all, get the most out of your life — personally and professionally.


This revolutionary book is for those millions of organizationally averse individuals who would like to break free of corporate life so that they have complete control over their lives. It will also benefit the millions of baby-boomer “retirees” who want to continue working, but not in a traditional corporate setting.


Positive, lively, and captivating, Career Success Without a Real Job is designed to help you live an extraordinary lifestyle that is the envy of the corporate world — there is no life like it!

Real Success Story #3

 A Creative Individual Who Has

a Plan to Pursue His Dream Job


Dan Ryan from Toronto wrote to me in the summer of 2006. Here is the content of his letter:


Hi Ernie:

Hope you are doing well. Enclosed find a Starbucks gift card on me. I understand that you frequent coffee bars now and then.

I am a huge fan of your books. I have three and an now savoring my favorite again – The Joy of Not Working. I should be done in time to get to your next book Career Success Without a Real Job . . . can hardly wait.

I am 48 years young and working full time in a profession (that I dislike very much). But the important thing is that I have a master plan to escape [corporate life] one year from July 2006. This plan consists of selling my $700,000 house in North Toronto and moving 2.5 hours out of the city. I have a wife and two kids who have been strangers for far too long. I also have some RRSPs and a few other small investments.

I dream of an Art studio to pursue my childhood passion of being a painter. Why a year from now? I will be free and clear with no more debts of any kind and I will be pushing the big “50”. It’s more than time for a change.

Your books have been a big part of this, prompting me to examine my life and living frugally to pay all the stuff we accumulate. I am sick and tired mentally and physically of this city and lifestyle. I want to live a life of purpose instead of being a robot-like consumer driving asleep at the wheel.

Thanks again and enjoy your summer.


Dan Ryan



WARNING: The Real Success Resource Center may be too radical and challenging for most workaholics, government workers, corporate deadbeats, the politically correct, and the creatively inadequate. On the other hand, it can be an invaluable source of information and inspiration for ambitious individuals who want to earn a good living and live a real good life outside the corporate world!