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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2,563 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. Wishes: To find out what I have a passion for. I honestly have no idea. I have gotten back into sailing/ocean racing this year and really enjoy being with adults! I’m trying to find a way to make some extra income so my husband doesn’t have to work 60+ hours a week.

    Obstacles: There is no position in sailing that generates an income. It’s all volunteer. It’s also seasonal in anew England.

    I don’t like to list this as an “obstacle” because I chose and love being a homeschooling, stay at home mom of 3 great little boys (5,5&7). But, it leaves very little time to figure out something for me.

    • Hey CJ, I just wrote you a long comment but I failed to post it correctly!
      Just want to tell you that I feel you are passionate about your family. We don’t value that much sometimes but especially that you are homeschooling and have a desire to relieve your husband of working long hours really shows your passion and drive and commitment to your family. This is the most important work in the universe and it can be the hardest. We don’t get recognition or money for all our efforts, we get much more than that. The days of childhood are long but the years are short. You will turn around and be an empty nester. All the sweet and satisfying memories are treasures greater than money. If you were to get your dreamboat job now, you would miss out on a lot with your family. Fully embrace your passion and realize the value of your work. Not everyone can do what you are doing. Take lots of pictures, make lots of memories, that is the treasure! Every time your children smile, laugh, say something funny or dear- YOU are making that happen, your passion is their world. You deserve to be able to take a break and enjoy being with adults and having adult activities. As your children get just a few years older, it will become easier to integrate your passions. I am proud of you and your remarkable passion!

      • Is there a way to make money with supporting other women who are interested in homeschooling? Could you ask in your neighborhood if anyone would be interested to give their children to your education?
        I think too, what you do is valuable. I would want my children be rather taught in such a setting than a public school.

        • CJ if you have created interesting projects or teaching units that have excited you and your kids, you could check out and sell them to others who teach in schools or at home. I buy stuff there all the time.

  2. Hi all! It has been awhile since I have posted on any of Barbara’s fb groups…I realized my dream of owning my own business. I wanted to start a Pet sitting Business and here it is…
    So my concern is No clients yet! I have put a lot of $ into this and want to succeed and think I can. I have my income goals. O.K. Truth be told-resistance, fears coming up. I think it is getting out there and handing out biz cards, meeting/talking to people, BUT feeling confident about this being a viable business and confident about my prices! Please help with suggestions etc! Oh and by the way my other dream was to own a German shepherd and I finally got him! ‘Han’ is such a sweet boy, but bonding quickly, especially to me and a good watchdog over the kids!

    • You should make friends with some local veterinarians. (Take your lovely dog in with you for some kind of checkup or nail-cutting or something so they’ll have time with you and talk to you – and want you as a client). Tell them what you’re doing and that you’re just starting and need clients. Tell them what you believe pet sitting should be, and explain that you have the time to do it right. Say you’d appreciate any ideas they can give you.

      Put up flyers in supermarkets and see if you can make them appealing. When someone wants a pet sitter they care about how it’s done, how many animals you’re taking care of (if they come to your place) or how much time you spend with them (if you go to their place). Give a talk at the local library or community center about how to choose a pet sitter (you don’t have to promote yourself, just show that you know what you’re talking about) with some slides of you laughing and loving dogs and letting them jump on you. Think about what you would want if you left your new lovely dog with a pet sitter – and what you’d be worried about.

      Marketing a business is ongoing and never ending (though not full-time) and has to be more varied than what you’re doing. See if you can get into a local newspaper or on a local radio show or do a podcast about how to care for pets and promote that on your website. Start a discussion group about caring for animals, what problems come up, and casually mention that you know about many animals because you’re a pet sitter.

      Get t-shirts with something written on the back like “Pet-sitting! Leave your beloved animal with someone who will care” or some such thing.

      Anybody got other ideas?

      • Barbara, I love these ideas. I was just going to say: keep up the marketing, keep putting the word out there. Podcasts and youtube videos are really really important. Guest blogging (eg on Medium, or any website that will welcome a post from you) is an opportunity to link back to your own website!…

        Start scribbling little blog ideas – diary of a happy pooch?… How to care for pets?… If you’d like a cartoon of some happy pets being pampered, I can draw you one 😉

        I say all this, but I myself haven’t been doing it – I too have started my business – website , and I have an etsy page too – and I’m being a bit slow getting it all off the ground – but I’m getting there!…

        (This after previously posting on here in one of those ‘what am I doing with my liiiiiife??’ moments – so thank you, everyone, for your inspiration that time, and all the other times <3 )

        • Hello Ani,
          Buiding on what was posted before…

          Can you See yourself giving out informations on how much children profit from being raised with a dog? Informations in whatever way suits you.

          Or/and how to choose a breed that matches the individual situation of someone wanting a dog or someone in the family wanting a dog.

          Before i had a dog myself’, also a German shepheard :-), i did not know much about breeds, their needs and who fits with whom. And i did not know how easy life can be with a welltrained dog.

          Now, this can be a service, too. Training the puppy and the child how to grow into a team. Training a Dog will teach a child so many valuable qualities, everyone can profit from.

          I wanted a dog so bad, being a child, i would have went a long was to make this happen.

          ‘tutoring in dogtraining.’

          If you have more questions, i am happy to assist you.

      • Do a few free house sitting gigs, in Australia we have Happy House Sitters and Aussie House Sitters. Once you get a reputation with fabulous references you will be recommended to friends and colleagues who may be happy to pay and boom your business begins! Good luck!

    • Hi. I am new here. You might want to check out
      I used a similar website to try and find a pet sitter a few years back.
      A potential service to offer is to be people traveling that need a safe place for their dogs for a few hours or a day.

  3. Wish: To travel around the world initially for 10 to 12 months, taking advantage of my semi-retired and financially independent status, and to then take regular, 2/4 month trips per year, thereafter. I am 60 Years old, strong, vibrant and adventurous, with many things to say and do!
    Obstacle: My spouse is in a different life-stage and loves her demanding job, which takes her away from home on frequent, however, shorter, business trips, where I play reliable and full back-up for our home and gorgeous furry companions. She is not happy at the idea of me traveling without her for extended periods. Aligning our trips is impractical due mainly to the duration of the trips. She travels in short bursts and my wish is to travel for months at a time.

    • Care of the house is something you can buy help with or barter for. The real problem is your spouse’s dislike of your time apart. Could you fly home for short visits regularly? Could she fly out to visit with you? Or could you build her away destinations into your itinerary? Could you use technology to eliminate any fear of infidelity, introduce her to any new friends you make, allow her to enjoy vicariously what you’re seeing and learning? Would it make sense to book marriage education retreats in some of your destinations and invite her to join you at them, solidifying your relationship even as you stretch it into a new shape?

      • Try finding house sits in the towns she travels to, they are free and you can build up a reputation quickly. This can be a stepping stone where you start together around her schedule and then build up to longer trips where you can meet around her or holiday together. Probably haven’t worded this well but I am sure you understand. Look for win win situations with some compromise from both sides. If you can listen and understand each others reasons you should be able to work out what is important to each of you.

  4. Wish: To get over my ex girlfriend who broke up with me several months ago, ending a very toxic relationship.
    Obstacle: I still have to see her and talk to her almost every day. We are in the same class project which will last until June of this year. (Long story short, switching projects is not an option if I want to graduate college). Seeing her all the time has made it incredibly difficult for me to get the emotional space that I need to move on.

    • Sorry to hear this… Tough getting over exes.

      Useful strategy which a friend read about: “kill the ex with kindness”. Focus on being super kind to your ex every time there had to be an interaction. Just focus on being a kind, amazing human being in front of her. If she says something loaded or mean, smile kindly or in a concerned way. If she seems grumpy or stressed, be extra kind. This works on many kinds of toxic relationships…

      Look after yourself; go running, do lots of exercise, eat great food. Spend plenty of time reading revision material for your degree. Do nice things for yourself.

      And also focus on how great you are. There’s this little book, ‘The Secret – Daily Teachings’ with a really nice thing to read every day – just open it on any page and do what it says that day.

      I don’t know if any of this helps – but it is tough getting over someone, and you will manage it. You are stronger than you think.

      Good luck!

  5. wish: to become financially independent from my partner
    Obstacle: I am 41. 10 years i was supporting him and taking care of kids …all i was doing was cleaning and drawing for people for symbolic money – illustrating children’s books. I have no idea how to earn, i have difficulty communicating outside of the house…and i want to get rid of a thought i am worthless…

    • If you’ve illustrated children’s books before, then you have something that you can show people already, without using words. One idea is to barter with friends who are good at communicating (it’s often easier to market someone else’s stuff instead of your own.) Maybe some busy marketing person would love it if you cleaned their house while they put up a Facebook business page for you as an illustrator (for example). Or you can check out some online writer groups to see if anyone is looking for an illustrator. If it scares you to contact people, ask a buddy to sit with you or to be on “standby” in contact with you via text message or something while you send someone an email (I often do this, the company helps.) It also helps to break up the goal into smaller ones. Like: Earn money for one project.

    • Another thought: if you can illustrate children’s books, then you can paint murals in children’s rooms! Put a small ad in the smallest local newspaper or loal school PTA newsletter. Such a wonderful way to spread joy and make some extra money! (Word of mouth will spread when others admire your work, as well.)

    • Another thought: if you can illustrate children’s books, then you can paint murals in children’s rooms! Put a small ad in the smallest local newspaper or local school PTA newsletter. Such a wonderful way to spread joy and make some extra money! (Word of mouth will spread when others admire your work, as well.)

    • PS there is a fantastic book called ‘Overcoming Underearning’ by Barbara Stanny. Please check it out!… It gives you lots of amazing ideas for how to start calling with your money better. And it is a hugely empowering read – which sounds like what you need right now!…

      Maybe start by looking after the money you already have – shave little bits off the household income and put them in a separate bank account – in the first instance you will need them to get your business off the ground (maybe?… 🙂

      Go to a local high school and offer illustration classes? (Make a flyer, talk to art department! Maybe they’ll pay you, or maybe you could do it as free work experience!)

      Find a local cafe and talk to them about doing a small exhibition of your work that you’ve done so far!… Select a nice collection of your illustrations, frame them cheaply (IKEA) and hang them up in a public place. Start looking for a suitable space now.

      Join an artists’ group on Facebook. Ask people there – how do you support yourself?… What suggestions would you give me?… See what they say.

      Your becoming financially independent is an amazing gift for your children. It’s scary and send impossible – until finally, by taking small steps towards it, it will seem inevitable. You can do it!…

      (Love from another artist who’s not quite financially sorted yet 😉

  6. It’s hard to narrow it to one goal…a few that are intertwined.
    I want to travel (Problem: on LTD, no $$)
    I want to prepare for my future which may or may not include LTD, and if not, (the problem) how will we pay our mortgage, etc if I am cutoff–$$ again)
    I really want to fix up my house (Problem: I have chronic pain so I have to hire to get the work done, $$, my husband doesn’t care and thinks its annoying when I want to do anything to the house)

    • Sue, is your disability such that you could travel as the paid companion of someone with a different disability? Or as a volunteer?

      Is it possible you could find a way to support your husband when you’re well enough, building his income, so he can pay that mortgage? Or a way to move to a less expensive home where your disability payments are not needed to pay the mortgage but could pay for travel or home fix-ups?

      Is there a school near you that teaches building trades and might need a real-world practice opportunity your house could provide?

      Are there fixes to the house your husband might find pleasurable enough to tolerate the temporary disarray of having work done? Can you pair these with the things you’d like to fix?

  7. My wish: finish the remodeling and redecorating in my home to make it an inspired haven. I’m capable, sometimes working slowly, to do nearly all that needs to be done, and have lots of ideas for what I want it to be like.
    Obstacles: emotional overwhelm as this started in one bathroom and then went from one end to the other, left with lots of undone work and lots of details when my nephew went on to other projects. I am used to the upheaval, most days ignore it, but not happy. Afraid this will be another big fail, after difficult circumstances in the past when I moved and sold houses in the midst of upheaval in my life, and regret this decisions. I want the accomplishment and pride of my in successful completion and making my home beautiful, but I feel embarrassed and ashamed that it’s as out of control as it is. I need changes in perspective and motivation, not from feeling like I have failed…. ie, I am a failure.

    • Nope, Judy, you’re a regular human being, acting like we all do. What you need is HELP! You have to find a way to hire someone capable to come in and help you finish these projects. When you take on a project that’s too much for one person you always end up in trouble. Professionals would never consider it.

      I dont know where you are but here in NY there’s a company called ‘Task Rabbit’ that will send someone reliable for $25 an hour to come to your home and do almost anything. Sounds like they specialize in exactly the kinds of things you need. If Task Rabbit isn’t in your part of the world, I bet something like it is.

  8. I wish to be a published children’s book author.
    My obstacle is that I don’t have an amazing literary agent or publisher yet.

    • Sarah, do you have book ideas that would make an amazing agent a lot of money? Can you explain why you believe your ideas will sell better than most or have a friend who would listen to you practice your pitches? Do you have any other talents that might bring you to the attention of one of your preferred agents or publishers?

    • you don’t need an agent or publisher. you can self-publish if yo are on Facebook, join the How to Publish Your Book group with J Bruce Jones. look up his books and videos – he has a ton of material available that teaches you step by step what to do. I have self-published over 50 books – you can do it, too.

    • So, what is it about the UK that’s especially appealing, as opposed to places where you could legally do the same work, Anne Mary?

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