October 22, 2012 
Barbara Winter's Joyfully Jobless News
Dear Lisa,

Ideas are the beginning point of all fortunes. Ideas are the products of the imagination. ~ Napoleon Hill

In This Issue
Postcard From Barbara
Ideas: Surplus or Shortage?
Final Idea-Filled Events for 2012
Barbara Online
Buon Viaggio Blog
The theme this month is
Build a Better Business

B at Bellagio

So far, October has been Idea Festival here at World Headquarters. Not only has my year of birthday celebrations been in full swing, The Joyfully Jobless Collaboratory has been busily working to set up workshops in numerous new locales.


In 2013 I'll be heading to new stops including Phoenix, Asheville, Ottawa, Milwaukee and Houston as well as visiting some favorite old locations such as Dallas, London, Toronto and Las Vegas. Details will be forthcoming.


Like most entrepreneurs, I thrive on ideas. I also have discovered that ideas-or the lack thereof-bring challenges. Happily, these are challenges that can be met with willingness and gusto.


Since this was on my mind, I wanted to pass along some tips to make your idea gathering and activating a regular activity.


The two most frequent complaints I hear are, "I have too many ideas,"

and "I have no ideas." While these appear to be opposite problems, the results are the same: inaction.


Neither condition will clear up by itself. You can't out wait idea overload, nor is waiting for an idea to drop into your lap especially effective.


A change in behavior, however, can work wonders. If you are serious about solving the idea dilemma, it may not be that difficult to do.


If an Idea Shortage is your problem, here are five ways to get new ones flowing.


  • Stop Doing What's Not Working. No more whining and moaning, "I don't know what I want to do!" That  becomes a mantra that is guaranteed to keep ideas at a comfortable distance.

    Give up asking dead-end questions, also. What's a dead-end question?

    How about, "Why don't I ever have any good ideas?"  
    Instead, learn to ask  yourself idea-generating questions. Many inventors and entrepreneurs frequently ask themselves questions that begin with, "What if..." What if parents could rent toys and return them when their child outgrew them? 
  • Go on an Idea Quest. Purposefully notice good-and bad-ideas when you see them. You're not making a commitment, you're simply becoming more aware of how the world is made up of all sorts of things that first sprouted in someone's imagination.

    Keep a notebook of ideas that catch your fancy and spend time thinking about how you might adopt features of things you like to your own projects. Be especially aware of what's missing. Pretty soon, you'll be having asking yourself, "I wonder why nobody has ever...?" and out of that may come a perfect opportunity for you.  Richard Branson is famous for his casual research, He says, "My staff are maddened to hear that I met a man on the airport bus who suggested that we offer on-board massages. They call it  Richard's Straw Poll of One. But time and again the extra services which Virgin offers have been suggested to us by customers. I don't mind where the ideas come from as along as they make a difference." So pay attention.   
  • Practice Mindless Movement. Many creative folks know that a long walk can get ideas flowing again. Sitting and trying to think up an idea is not nearly so effective. The trick seems to be doing something that doesn't involve heavy concentration, but moves your body.

    Personally, I find vacuuming the floor is the right combination of no thinking and movement. Driving on a little-traveled road is another possibility.  
  • Put Yourself in an idea-rich environment. A survey conducted by Edward Glassman found that  the majority of people perceive that the biggest boost to their creativity comes from interacting with other people.

    It's also true, of course, that these idea-stimulating folks almost never show up at our front door inviting us to brainstorm. We have to put ourselves in places where those connections can occur.  
  • Honor Your Own Ideas. On further examination, it appears that many people who claim to have no ideas, actually have plenty. They simply undervalue and discard the ones they have. This is a classic example of resistance at work.

    As Marianne Williamson so eloquently reminds us, " We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world."  
    If an Idea Surplus is keeping you stuck, here are five things that can lessen the overwhelm.  
  • All Ideas Are Not Created Equal. When our mind is our Idea Bank, it's hard to see that. Writing ideas down and then assigning a priority to each one can add enormous clarity.

    You'll also find it easier to see which ones really excite you and which ones are simply okay. And, of course, a written list will help you identify ideas you can discard.        
  • Make Visible Progress. There's nothing wrong with a little instant gratification. Go ahead and get that  big project started, but include short term  projects on a regular basis to give you a concrete sense of accomplishment.  
  • Be Like Leonardo. di Vinci left a staggering body of work, along with notebooks full of ideas he never got around to implementing.  You don't have to be a genius to borrow his key to success: treat whatever you're doing as if it's your one and only In other words, give full attention to the idea at hand.  One thing that's worked well for me is to assign different projects to different days of the week.  
  • Spend, Don't Hoard. Idea hoarding is more common than you may imagine. Holding onto ideas, waiting for perfect conditions or a guarantee of success is a surefire recipe for frustration.  While it is often wise not to talk prematurely about your plans, quietly moving ahead with your ideas starts the momentum which attracts resources, support and additional ideas.

    And don't be afraid to give away an idea from time to time. After all, there's more where that came from and you might help launch or grow someone else's business.  
  • Create an Idea Board of Directors. This could be one other person or a small group of created thinks who can help you keep your focus and perspective. Of course, you'll help them do the same.

While I've never been a big fan of success formulas, I am passionate about creating workshops and programs that trigger ideas. Whether you're on the verge or a seasoned veteran of the Joyfully Jobless life, I'd love to have you join me in Denver on October 26 and 27 or in Las Vegas on November 2 and 3 for these business-building programs.


Here's the itinerary.

Idea Safari Colorado Free University

Become a Great Idea Detective

Making a Living Without a Job

How to Support Your Wanderlust


UNLV Continuing Education 

How to Support Your Wanderlust

Establish Yourself as an Expert

Making a Living Without a Job

Buon Viaggio,


Barbara Winter

Barbara Winter 


P.S. On occasion, I may receive a commission or compensation when you participate or purchase a product or service I recommend. That being said, I strive to always offer useful content and resources in each issue of Joyfully Jobless News.