Barbara Sher’s Idea Party


How Does the Online Idea Party Work?

You have a dream or a wish, and an obstacle to getting there. (If you don’t think you know your wish, work through my kick-starter and read this post. To learn why you must put logic aside to find your dream, read the following.)

The online Idea Party is here to help you – and the other fellow party goers – with your wishes and obstacles.

Voices from Success Teams and Idea Parties:

Having a team to report to and hearing what everybody did each week is very exciting. It’s kept me moving all year. In the past I made some good starts on my own, but found, every time, when the energy ran out, I ran out. Now it doesn’t run out.
Jade G.
Children’s Playroom Therapist, New York Hospital

I would do a painting a year, a sketch a year. If it was only me I know I would never do it. Having to tell you makes all the difference. It’s crazy why I didn’t do this years ago, it’s so easy all of a sudden.
Caroline R. Personnel Executive, Macy’s Dept Store

Post Your Wish and Your Obstacle Here!

And help your team mates out when you can. Use the Reply link to help, the form below the comments to add your own Wish and Obstacle.

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2,882 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. Hello, I am Amy.

    I finished reading Refuse to Choose and I loved it. Right now however I find myself in the “Doble Agent” dilemma.

    My two wishes: go to med school and perform in a circus.

    The obstacle: time.
    Both things take a lot of time, and I’ve been thinking that if I go to medschool I will have to slow down on my training and by the time I graduate I will be quiet old and rusty to be accepted at a circus. Then I don’t think I will be able to take a loan to go to med school later in life, and it scares me to not go to college right now, I am not interested in any other major, and my parents would stop supporting me which would mean that I’d have to find a job and take less classes.

    I truly love both things and I believe that deep down they come from the same place: my admiration for the human body. So I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions since I gave myself a headache trying to decide and now I will be taking it more lightly.

    • I am a professional aerialist that had to retire this year (@40). You can always go to Med school. I had a friend who was an actor go to med school at 33 and he is a much better pediatrician for it. If he’d done that right away he wouldn’t have developed the life experience and character that helped him be a well-rounded doctor.
      Being a circus performer is full-time but you will not be able to do it as many years as you think. In the meantime, though, you will learn more about yourself and the type of doctor you would want to become. Honestly, you may even see the medical industry differently by then and your choices will be more informed.
      You CAN do both. But if you really want a circus career, do it now. There is really no dilemma- you only see it this way because it sounds like you are fairly young and don’t have a concept of how long life actually is. You will have many careers in your life and you CAN do it all. But don’t try to split your attention. Commit fully to one thing and when you are done, Switch. Follow your body and heart until you are 30. Then you can start listening to your brain. (Your brain doesn’t know enough to make solid decisions until you’re 30 anyway.) the one thing I’ll say is to continue studying anatomy and math while you are training for circus. Befriend some riggers and learn some rigging math, take as many anatomy classes as you can. This will benefit both careers. Find out the entrance requirements for med school and then supplement your education in those topics with online school or books while you’re with the circus. That way if you still eventually want to go to school, your brain is still sharp.

      • Thanks so much for the reply. I realized I didn’t explain that I don’t think I am good to audition right now. That’s why I have this dilemma, because I have to practice for years and it will look (to my parents) like I am really getting nowhere.
        I apreciate your answer a lot!!!

  2. I’m 58.

    My wish:

    I would love to make a living writing books about how to lessen emotional pain, from a spiritual (not religious) perspective. I’ve tried so many things that haven’t worked. I’ve studied NLP, would like to add hypnosis to that. And, also, I love the tarot and want to study how to do readings. And, somehow I’d like these things to provide sufficient income.

    My obstacles:

    A few years ago I got burnt out doing paperwork for a large construction company. I took time off, got permanent makeup training, and started my own business. Which I loved. However, I developed severe neck issues from the bending over clients for hours on end and in December had to close my business down. So, started looking for work.
    I’ve been out of work since December, and just accepted a data entry position at another construction company – low pay and long hours. (maybe ageism has been a factor in the job search?) Reality dictates that I have some income coming in, but how do I study the things I need to study, and make a new start when the job will take up all of my energy?

    • A couple of thoughts – if you want to make a living by writing something, it starts with writing something. That doesn’t take any money and doesn’t take much time. (I read about this a lot and you can get somewhere even in 5 minute increments a day…) Based on what she has said in the past, Barbara would probably suggest studying or learning something in the area you are interested in, and then writing about it in a notebook or on the computer. Nothing stops you from keeping a notebook, that in effect becomes a “book” you are writing. You can even start by writing about what you’ve already learned about the topic during your life so far. If we’re interested in something, we’re already expects on some level.

      I use this technique of hers all the time for several of my interest areas – health & fitness, self-help, coaching, etc. One day, I too may have a book out. But if not, I’ve had a blast pursuing my interests this way. Which makes for a fun life.

      Regarding the job, think about the things you are telling yourself: How do you know the job will take up all of your energy? I like to look at my job as a “good enough” job that brings in the income I need to pay the bills so I can spend my free time on other interests. Yes, there are some days that it sucks me dry – and I don’t do much else on those days. But even if I’ve had a hard WEEK, the weekend comes and I always have at least some free time and energy to work on my side projects. Even with caregiver issues for my parents and in-laws as well as all the other detritus of life! Unless your job is 7 days a week? So weekends can be the sweet spot to get a side project going.

      And if the job is not a “good enough job,” you can always start to look for something better. It is easier to get a job when you have a job.

      Even if you just go to the library and check out a book in your interest area, maybe that will give you some of the energy you need to move forward. Baby steps. When I am unmotivated and low energy, sometimes I have to take the smallest step in order to make any forward progress. And sometimes, I find that clutter clearing even one small pocket in my house frees up some energy to move forward on an interest.

      Since it seemed like energy was your biggest issue, I just wanted to give you some ideas that work for me. Good luck!

  3. Can anyone provide a quick one-week loan against my earnings as a content writer? I have proof of the payout. Problem is, the client is taking forever to change the paypal email to receive the money, and I can only request a payout on Thursday nights, so if they don’t change my paypal payout email by tonight, I’m screwed until next Friday.

    Can anyone help?? I’ll reward the kindness with a nice return when I repay next Friday…

  4. I’m 32 and I love dancing and sports.

    My Wish:

    I want to learn so many things in dancing, progress faster, train my body more frequently and become flexible too. I’d say I’m an “advanced beginner” level in dancing. I dance mostly house in my free time, but also partner dances like salsa, kizomba and especially zouk.

    My obstacle:

    I work in online advertising and sit in an office all day (Mo – Thur). I am stressed with numbers, analysis, reporting and strategy and when I finally get home after work and eat dinner, I don’t always have the mental and physical power to start dancing or exercising. I have max 2-3 hours before I get completely sleepy and just head to bed. I go to dance classes 3 times a week after work, but I don’t feel inspired there and it’s not enough for me to grow and progress. So, I am stuck. I live in a big city where dancing is not part of the culture. If I go out clubbing, people do all kinds of other things there but not dancing.

    • Yeah…when do we get to dance?
      There’s some guy who used to dance everywhere he walked. Someone saw him and decided his attitude was infectious. So the second guy decided to dance everywhere he walked too. He filmed himself, and suddenly it became for awhile sort of a local fad to dance wherever you walked.

      Then someone made a T-Shirt that said, in big letters: DANCE-WALK. Suddenly, you weren’t a nut-case when you danced down the street as the first and second person was doing…your motive had an explanation because of the Shirt.
      Possibly, because you’re in public, other people will notice you doing this and might approach you to go dancing with you. Tah-Dah! Maybe now you’re finding your “people.”

      Another idea: If you have a smart phone and don’t mind putting yourself online while dancing solo, you could join one of the video blogging sites that allow you to film yourself dancing. I watch But there are now many others besides that one. (Just make sure you use a “stage name” that isn’t connected to your Real Name along with a paid Virtual Private Network when you’re online to protect your location from stalkers.)

      But I think the Dance-Walk idea is so much more “out there” and fun.

    • Hire a freelancer to help you with your internet marketing/SEO/email marketing/whatever. Delegate! Work less, play more. Life’s short…

  5. Hi,
    I’ve written a book, “The Real Bitches of New Jersey,” a humorous photo/caption book featuring dogs with a Jersey attitude!

    I have 2,000 copies I ordered from a printer sitting in my house now. I want to get them into book stores, gift shops, dog stores, etc. I had wanted to do it in time for the holidays, but it’s running late now.

    I own the Trademark for The Real Bitches, and would like to do more books, and even maybe find someone to make it into a TV series, or online series, cartoons, greeting cards, merchandise, etc.

    My obstacle is that I have chronic health issues including vertigo at the moment, which makes it hard for me to do much when I’m not feeling well.

    I need help, and don’t have the money to pay anyone. I would like to find someone who sees the potential and is willing to help me for a percentage of profit, or who has other ideas to overcome this obstacle.

    Thank you!

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