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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4,325 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. I want to go live in USA
    But my constant depression and anxiety episodes makes me moody and I constantly loose interest in even living a life

    • Hello Krupali, my heart goes out to you. As a Homicide Survivor, I manage depression/ anxiety with a multitude of Tools.
      I am as well a Grief Recovery Coach/ Lufecoach and my advice is to get support.
      No one can expect you to do this on your own; Sometimes it takes a Village!
      Make Mental Hralth Support a priority and you’ll be able to Conquer this and other challenges as well
      Maureen Joy

  2. Hi.Am new here.I have just recently discovered Barbara and reading ‘Refuse to choose’ help me realize how much of a scanner iam.I have no idea what i want.I am 32,have a respiratory therapy degree which i have no intention of using.I love film,stories,so i write,poetry and i have started about a dozen books since i was about 14 and none are finished.I want to start a business,not sure what kind but my home country is very hot and i wanted to start an icecream truck business.
    I love to travel and i wanted to do that for an entire year.i have money saved up for this but my partner wants us to get married next year and he likes to travel with me but he is a homebody.It breaks my heart knowing this might drive us apart because if i give up wanting to travel i will resent him and if i do go,we might be over.Iam getting older and i do want a family but i was hoping i can do both things.
    I also live in a very small town in upstate and it is so hard to make friends here.I want to have an idea party with real people and not online.I want to do what Barbara did and help myself and others be happy in doing all the things they love.
    I would love to be in one movie,write one book,travel the whole world and do advocacy work.i underwent some stuff that i would not wish any girl to experience so i want to advocate for human rights too.
    My problem is,i dont know how to start anything without feeling am missing out.Also i want friends.
    I want people i can discuss things with,travel with,talk about books with.i want to teach english abroad but i have an accent,my diction is not great.
    I sometimes feel like i know exactly what i want until i dont.
    Anyway,thats my story. And oh btw,i had started business school and quit,law school and quit,journalism too….people say i am a quitter so i finished my respiratory therapy degree just to prove iam not.
    Oh well.Thanks for listening to me.

  3. Hi. I’m a new one here. Greetings and warm wishes of good health to everyone.
    I have a wish that I’ve been unable to easily express infront of the people close to me. Because of this one desire, I’m having a hard time focusing on the things I must attend to at the moment. Now I’m in a pinch I never thought I would be in, mentally.
    I’m not sure how but I sincerely look forward to your help.
    My wish: To build an app
    Obstacles: No prior programming knowledge, don’t know how it works, no money and time to attend a course that teaches how to build one, I’m not old enough to have a job or earn money, under pressure of various exams, am not allowed to make my own decisions in choosing my career.
    Might be forced to join medical school instead of engineering school just because my family wants me to…

    • Search Google for app building tutorial. There are many online tutorials, and many are free and brief. Making an app is not a career choice. It’s a project. If you enjoy the project, you might turn app-building for others into a career. Or you might be the rare app creator who actually makes real money from their app, but this will require that you also learn marketing or hire a good marketer to promote your app everywhere and plow any early profits back into advertising. To appease your family (assuming you need their money to go to school), try searching out a bioengineering degree program, combining medicine and engineering. Or learn German and apply to an engineering program there.

    • Hello Sanahe! I’ve been following the stories here for a while, but I often gave up on responding out of fear, as I’m not fluent in English and I use translation programs. But I confess that your story caught my attention because I identify with this desire to create an application, and I am well aware of this problem of not knowing how to program and not having time to spend learning too. I love researching, studying and learning new things. In my research, I found a new way to create applications and software that I was very excited about: not code. And I did a lot of research to find out if it really would be possible to create something good and functional without bugs through a non-code platform. And the answer is yes, it’s perfectly possible, and there are already several companies that have created everything from simple applications to e-commerce through non-code platforms. I suggest you start the searches, search on, see the templates. I bet you will like it a lot and will want to start a project. My suggestion, think of a very repetitive or manual problem or process that could be automated, either for you or someone close to you, that would make it easier to do the tasks.

      Hope you can develop something you like.

      I apologize for the probable errors in the text.

  4. Hi, I’m new here. A friend of mine told me about this site and I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m starting a health and fitness coaching business and I’m not sure whether or not I want to use social media. I’m more of an in person type of person. Also, feeling stuck on content and length of program. Any advice or insight welcome!!! Thanks in advance!
    Pam Boyd

    • Hello there! I am new here as well, but I do think that you should have at least the basics in social media -just because the world has moved online so much (especially this last year). I am not a fitness person at all. but I do believe you will reach a larger audience with your message and ideas if you include social media. It will also draw in new clients to your physical space. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, look into using Fiverr or Upwork and search for someone to do it for you. It may cost a bit up front, but it should bring you more income as people hear about you and come in for your guidance on health and excercise.

    • Hello there! I am new here as well, but I do think that you should have at least the basics in social media -just because the world has moved online so much (especially this last year). I am not a fitness person at all. but I do believe you will reach a larger audience with your message and ideas if you include social media. It will also draw in new clients to your physical space. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, look into using Fiverr or Upwork and search for someone to do it for you. It may cost a bit up front, but it should bring you more income as people hear about you and come in for your guidance on health and excercise.

  5. I am more and more thinking of being closer to nature and moving to a friendly to foreigners country like costa rica to offer my healing massage and to teach it. Leave my legacy to a country kind of idea in return for x.
    I like the idea of massage offered outside.
    I have created 3 niche massages where there should be demand for.
    My work is based on self-healing and connecting to the body.
    I would even go to florida since i like how its governed there even ifs part time i guess.
    i have developed expertise in these areas and many people feel the difference when they receive.
    Hopefully this time i will hear from you.

      • i was not even thinking that way, but now that i do…i believe its being alone with this unique gift…or being unprotected if i am in another country. or simply i don’t remember ever feeling such peace and this may require some visualization and affirmations or asking… just not used to big things …i still have to meditate on this more..but i have to say that god has to be part of it all. and being a leader and impactful is maybe a new thing since i cannot hide no more. not sure if i am clear but maybe i can get better at clarifying as i go too?

  6. I’m a 72-year old woman who is a retired Illustrator and I’d like to do free-lance work in the arts. The obstacle is I can barely walk, even with a walker, so I’m housebound. Any ideas?

    • Linda, could you use your circumstances to get lots of publicity that brings in business? Do something crazy with your art, (paint something on your floor while sitting on it, create a bunch of new intriguing new menus for local restaurants, design a set for your favorite play, open an Etsy or Zazzle or Cafe Press shop with your designs and put them on display in your home, create a series of decorated canes and walkers), then notify your local TV news channels. These days, they all need some feel-good stories with a visual element.

      Or choose an easily discovered online audience, like new podcasts or yoga teachers, and offer a package of publicity materials, including a show logo.

    • hi linda nice to hear that you are a consummate illustrator…i have taken lessons/been part of an art group for 2 years…i love this art. and when i thought of you with a little bit of “i wish i had all her training so that i can do more ” I thought how lucky you are to just use your 2 arms/hands and draw anywhere without needing much?? is that correct?
      you can be a wonderful teacher to the more young/less old too and bring your legacy to them and to very young too..And you can bring together people through art….young and old..maybe online for now…but you can just do it…do Art..and use it anywhere or even on clothing…art is not just on paper is it?
      continue my friend and bring your beauty to the world.
      i would like to see your art too? ty gd

    • You should definitely keep doing illustration if this makes you happy!!! Everything is traveling more online. If you are comfortable with online, you may want to list your services on a site like Fiverr or Upwork (these are the only 2 I know right off hand) because you can get paid by interested clients to illustrate for them. If you are not comfortable, do you have someone that is more comfortable working on the online part that you could have do it for you?

  7. My wish :I want to meet the members of IGOT7 band of South Korea ,especially Park Jin Young shi .
    My obstacle :My parents will not allow me because of the money plus I have no idea how to meet them .

    • If they ever play anywhere near where you live, could you volunteer for an event they will play at? Or get a job with the stadium they will appear in?

      If you are good with designing and managing websites, could you create a new fan page for a special subset of their fans and attract enough members to get their attention when you email them to ask for a Zoom interview with Park Jin-Young for the website?

      • Well ,volunteering is possible if they play anywhere near me and if the organizers take volunteers in ,definitely i can do that .But regarding the websites ,i’m just a science graduate so i don’t think i know anything about it.
        Thank you for your efforts !

    • I love the idea of a fanpage. You could start it also on your favorite social Media, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.

      • But there are already so many fan pages on the internet. I don’t think that will do any good. What do you think?

        • Specialize! It will get you noticed. Run the fan page for people who meet a particular description. You’ll get lots of referrals (people like to share with friends when they find something targeted at their friend), and you will stand out from the other fan pages.

    • Jyoti, it’s true that becoming a super-fan (going to all the concerts, creating the most popular fan page, wearing their t-shirts all the time, naming a new element you’ve discovered after them, etc) is the best way to get their attention but why do you want to meet them? If meeting celebrities in general is an interest of yours, maybe entertainment journalism, or professional audio tech is your best career choice rather than lab work or med school or whatever your plan is. If you know the “why” first, the “how” will become clear.

  8. my wish: I want to buy from the truly beauty brand products with CBD,the pineapple haze line ,bulberry kush line and the acnee patches.

    my obstacle:I live in romania and these products are legal but a license is needed to sell them and the only company with license I know of is sephora but they don t sell the blueberry and pineapple products just other CBD products from truly beauty.

      • They don t have a store where I live,I wrote them an email if they plan to sell more of their products outlineing that only they can sell CBD truly beauty products here and they responded they don t .Now I wrote an email if there is a possibilty to buy through them.Thank you for the idea.

  9. MY WISH: After living 12 years in Mexico, not being able to find much work (and nothing but a few Fiverr gigs during Covid), having watched my savings slip to zero and then past zero into debt, I want to move back to the U.S. for five years with a job that pays at least $60,000 so I can afford to support myself and my Mexican partner and our two dogs (or hit the ground running with a couple of writing/editing or PR strategy or business development clients). Why five years? Because if my partner of 11 years and I legally marry and have a U.S. residence for five years, he qualifies for spousal benefits on my Social Security. Then we’ll move back to Mexico, since we cannot afford to live in the U.S. on Social Security alone, and I will want to retire when I can.

    WHAT I’M DOING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN: I’m networking and applying for jobs and reading the business pages in the two locations where we most likely will want to live: the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota area or in Houston, Texas. Minneapolis because that’s where I came from and where my network is (for years I made 6 figures there as a freelance corporate speechwriter and PR strategist at $200/hour, but that market is long gone), and Houston because a friend from there also owns a home here in my Mexican town and will retire here within the next year or two, and she will rent us her condo, which allows dogs! Also because the weather is warmer in Texas, and there are no staggeringly huge winter heating bills to contend with. Plus we can live on a household income of $60k in Texas but it would have to be $80k in Minnesota, as the cost of living is higher and there is a housing shortage there, so home prices and rental rates are outrageous. However, I am a political liberal and my partner is dark skinned, and we both worry about living in a red state. My partner will be eligible to perform and teach music if I can get him a P-visa (for artists) but Covid and politics have delayed the renewal of his regular tourist visa for over a year, so now he can’t even come up with me on a reconnaissance mission to look for work.

    (1) No money. It’s like being in handcuffs. A peso earned is a peso spent for food, rent, cell phone bills, bottled water (cannot drink from the tap here), and what I earn in $USD goes straight to the credit card debt, which keeps increasing because often I can’t afford to pay more than the minimum. My partner has been dubbed “the hardest working man in Mexico” by our friends, as he works two full-time jobs, a junior high teacher by day and a professional musician by night. And I am finally earning in drips and drabs again after losing my work as a book editor and as a popular local karaoke host at several venues a week because of Covid. Still, I can barely stay solvent after relying on credit cards for everything but rent for a year and a half (my partner is only now recovering the music gigs that went away, and his teacher’s salary is equal to our rent—so I’ve had to cover everything else.
    (2) My partner is Mexican, and right now the U.S. is a scary place for Mexicans or anyone else brown-skinned. He is fluent in English and has been to the U.S. on band tours and for music school but still they are hassling him at the Consulate here, telling him he can’t just renew his visitor visa but must reapply (expensive) and wait for an interview which cannot be scheduled until February 2022. Again, the handcuffs. Plus it will take 6-12 months to get a P visa for him, as that involves writing to the Musicians’ Union in NYC and getting them to agree that his talents are unique enough that he won’t be taking an American musician’s job (and they are, but will he be approved?). People with money hire an immigration attorney to expedite all of this. We can’t afford that.
    (3) Somehow we need to get two adults, two dogs, and a few precious possessions (including some very large artwork that I brought down years ago) but our car is a 2002 Ford Explorer that may not make the trip, and in that vehicle we can bring the artwork or the dogs, not both. We will not put them on a plane and can’t afford that anyway. Nor can we afford the cost of proper art moving (they build special crates for each piece, which are essential, but all we can afford is to bubble wrap everything and lay it down in the back of the car. Once we’re up there, we will need a new car because this one, even if it does make it up for one trip, will not be safe to drive all the way back down (8 hours south of the border) and back up to Houston. So how do we get the money to get there even if I do find a job, and how many trips will it take? The art is like a child to me—I won’t leave it.

    WHEW! Thoughts?

    • Sounds like you need working capital and a PR strategy for your talents. May I suggest seeking long-distance projects that bring in at least $10K to cover your relocation costs and allow you to stay put while your partner goes after his P visa?

      As a strategy, you might want to write a speech for someone who will speak at a corporate conference scheduled for one of those cities. Then, when you pitch companies in the area, you can reference that you wrote a speech for that event. You can find conferences by city online pretty easily. Then check the lineup and start pitching a speech on spec (or even suggestions for the speech they have already written or given in the past): they pay only if they use the speech. Target folks high enough up in the organization to be authorized to pay you and low enough to want to climb. And drop them personal letters or emails or Facebook personal messages. Offer them a discount if they will also allow you to use the speech you wrote for them to show others what you know about speech writing. Put nice red circles or yellow highlights with call-outs on key parts: * Anticipatory segues keep your audience involved, * Lead with what the audience came for, not your credentials, * Reveal your credentials when they are most relevant, etc.

      As you say, speech writing is no longer a market of its own. It’s now subsumed under corporate communications in general, but there are lots of writers and editors, fewer competent speech writers. And nothing better than an executive in the organization delivering your words to impress all the others you can pitch. A great speech can land you writing and editing jobs as well.

      Please note that tourist visas are not issued to people the US (i.e., the particular official reviewing the application) believes will overstay that visa. My daughter-in-law was unable to get one to come into the country when my father was dying, even though my son had a full-time job in her country; she was suspect just because she was married to a US citizen. But because my son was not earning the sort of money he would earn in the US, he could also not sponsor her for an immigration visa. Fortunately, I was financially able to sponsor her. If he can’t get a P visa, you will most likely need to get a good-paying job in the US before he can enter. And it sounds like you will need a car that can make the trip twice, once with the dogs and once with the artwork. So, you need to earn money remotely or live apart. I recommend the former, especially for someone with the talent to put together a strategy for self-promotion.

      Once he’s in the US, look for International Baccalaureate (IB) schools if he wants to teach. They value teachers from other countries.

      • Patty, thank you so much for taking the time to respond. You’ve offered suggestions along the lines of what I’m already doing, and I wrote a long response to clarify but it has disappeared somehow, and I don’t have the time right now to repeat it all. So I’ll repeat my thanks. I appreciate your insights.

        • I hate when messages disappear, Anne. Some browsers drop their connection to the site and erase the message after a certain amount of time. I wish we were able to fix it from the end. Best of luck to the two of you.

    • There’s a website I have come across called “Freedom with Writing”, they have info about a lot of writing opportunities, some full time jobs. Maybe you could find something helpful there.
      They send out emails with opportunities – here’s one for you:
      Good luck!
      Also, I live in Miami with my Venezuelan husband, here 60% of the population is Latin, so maybe it could be a good place for you! No heating bills here, either.

      • Hana,

        Thanks so much—I just submitted a story for the Chicken Soup series and will keep digging through the website!

        I hadn’t thought of Miami, as I assumed there would be no jobs for us there and that it might be a dangerous place to live. A Mexican friend married to a Cuban man was living there for a while but are now renting out their home and living in Mexico, where he finds lots of construction work and she feels safer being a full-time mom to their little one. Maybe if I had connections there…

        I haven’t actually visited Miami but I once co-owned a home in Mount Dora (NW of Orlando) with a former partner and loved it there.

        Lots to think about!

  10. Hi there I am writing from Ireland. Married with 3 kids, and I’m a stay at home Mom.
    For some time now I’ve been burning inside to return to singing on a professional level.

    I literally lock myself in our ensuite bathroom, I put on my earphones and I sing into a phone app. But it’s not enough, I need to be able to sing louder and express myself fully.

    Wish: Is to sing and record music, and share my voice once again with the world. To fully express myself again in a creative way.

    Obstacle: I have no outlet in which to begin, the bar scene for live bands is dead in the water since covid, and even before then it was starting to die out. I have no real connections in the music industry.

    But I have a fire in me that won’t go out. I’m 41 yrs old and I need to sing again.
    I sang in various bands in my 20’s, I auditioned and recorded music. Travelled to New York to try and get discovered, but just kept hitting brick walls because I had no contacts there.

    I hope someone can help me reignite this fire of creativity again

    Thank you x

    • Hey Suzanne,

      The only suggestion that comes to my mind is to start social media pages and post your singing. Post reels and videos on Instagram, TikTok, Youtube, Pinterest where you sing, talk about yourself sometimes. Follow fellow singers around you on these apps and message them to see what they’re doing and if you can be a part of it. Do collaborations also, maybe.

      I hope this helps.

      • Hey Suzanne, The internet is the outlet to your music. Just let it out. Put videos of you singing on youtube and instagram. Don’t worry about the pandemic and not being able to go out. The internet is your stage. Give it a try. Don’t worry about the connections. Your work will bring connections to you.

    • Suzanne, I’m a karaoke host in Mexico (not my “real job” but Iove doing it!). All my venues were closed during the pandemic but are opening again now, and I plan to return to hosting four nights a week by mid-August. I’m not a professional singer and in fact the only reason I ever started doing karaoke is that I wanted to be the entertainment for my 40th birthday party, so I took classes and I did it! That was back in the U.S., and when I moved to Mexico a few years later (I’m 59 now), I learned Spanish by practicing karaoke songs. Now when a Mexican tells me how good my accent is, I tell them it’s because I learned by imitating Spanish language singers. My karaoke “regulars” (the loyal fans) are my posse, my community. And every once in a while, one of them tries out for a TV show like “La Voz Mexico” or (for the expats who live here) “America’s Got Talent” and there are other shows like that, too, where they get a celebrity coach, etc. When they’re preparing for their audition, they call me to play the tracks for them and to be encouraging. What if you were to seek out karaoke venues (maybe you do that already) so that you’re vocalizing regularly outside the bathroom (haha) and look for opportunities to perform at parties, where you’ll even get paid, and then also on the TV voice contest shows, on telethons, at local charity benefits, anything else more public. You can even start a band again. Join the local musicians’ and karaoke groups on Facebook or Meetup or Instagram so you hear about bands looking for singers, karaoke contests, etc. From a karaoke host’s point of view, it’s always a special treat to have a really talented singer join in because most of us are just doing it for fun and will never be that good. So it’s like you’re giving us a concert and I’m sure you would love how everyone supports you! Let me know how it goes. You can find me on Facebook at SMA Karaoke Club (group). Also, I am of Irish heritage (my great-grandfather Peter Glynn and family are from Ballinasloe, near Athenry), and I have visited Ireland several times. So I’m rooting for you for that reason too! Slainte! ~ Annie

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