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.

(Your first comment below has to be approved, so it may not display instantly depending on the time of the day. Once your email address is approved you can post instantly. If you want your own profile photo to show up beside your comments, instead of the cute little design, upload your photo on and give them an hour or so to make it happen.)

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2,266 thoughts on “Idea Party

  1. Hello Barbara Sher and team.
    My name is Jacqueline and I am an American expat living in Madrid Spain. I am an English teacher going from house to house teaching English, but I am only making 6 euros an hour. ( Roughly 7.50 an hour in American dollars. ) Its very little money and it is only here and there as I am not working every day as I want to be. My wish or want is to have a degree in both Spanish and English so that I can teach English here in Madrid in a ligitimate school. I don´t have a degree, hence why I am going from house to house, and all the schooling I have is a GED.
    If you could put me in touch with some people here in Spain that could help me with this dilemma, it would be much appreciated. Also, if anyone needs help from me please let me, I am more than willing to give back as I believe strongly in reciprocation.
    Your´s truly,
    Jacqueline Havens

    • Jacqueline, take every shortcut you can. TEFL certification requires only a GED and TEFL training, which is offered online and takes just weeks. And it’s all that’s required for teaching in many schools and training programs or online. Once you have a job that pays better, it might also pay for getting a bachelor’s degree.

      You might also give some thought to who might be able to pay more for lessons and be able to benefit more, financially, from learning English, so that you can focus your efforts on landing them as clients at a higher hourly rate.

  2. My Wish is to create a healing arts and wellness event in Hawaii featuring Hawaiian healers and wellness professionals for people with chronic illness.

    I visualize taking 10-15 people with me to the Big Island.

    The obstacle is paying for the airfare and hotel. I would be extremely grateful to have at least 3-5 sponsors and I would use the funds to plan the event and provide a small stipend to my attendees to offset some of their expenses.

    Any ideas or thoughts on how to obtain sponsors for this event and what could I do or say to make it attractive for them to donate financially?

    • Necie, sponsors want positive publicity from their sponsorships. And the people they want to feel all warm and happy about what they’ve done are people who buy their products. Chronically ill people buy lots of products and services: pharmaceuticals, supplements, supplies, courses, books, medical care, physical therapy, etc. The companies who make those products and provide those services are your potential sponsors.

      You need to find the ones likely to be a good fit with your speakers. Healers and pharmaceuticals, for example, are not a great match. But healers and supplements or courses could be.

      Covering your own costs would be easy if the group you brought with you had money. You could easily arrange free transportation and hotel stays for yourself as the leader of a travel group that size. And there are plenty of chronically ill people who could afford both their travel costs and their share of the fees you’ll pay your speakers. If you take these people with you and record the event on video, you could easily share it with lots of chronically ill people who have less money.

      Asking sponsors to cover the costs of making the event look professional (printed tote bags, banners, badges with logos, maybe a free lunch) and to capture it on video so it can be shared would be a much easier sell than helping pay for you and your audience to travel to Hawaii. Or you might try asking sponsors to pay to bring your experts from Hawaii to a location where you can bring in even more than a dozen people to benefit.

    • I like what Patty has said and agree that your participants could pay to attend the retreat and you take some of this money to cover your organising time and your up front costs like your hotel room etc.

      Under this model you may not need sponsorship?

      OR what if some of your participants are wealthy, could they pay full fees and then using some of this money you provide two subsidised places for those who can’t pay full price?

      You might like to check out similar retreats to get an idea of pricing and how they offer discounts for those in financial hardship.

      Here is one in Australia that runs retreats and workshops for those with terminal illness, people experiencing grief or those with chronic conditions. You can see that most places are full fee.

      In this particular example they have a number of ways that they raise money to help fund places for people who can’t afford it:
      ” Quest for Life relies on donations, bequests and fundraising to make our services available as widely as possible. Many people need financial help to attend our life changing programs. We have a commitment to making our services available for everyone in need no matter their financial circumstances. In fact it is often those who can least afford our programs who need them the most. Your support through a donation makes a practical and tangible difference in people’s lives. So please help us make a difference today to someone in need. All donations of $2 and over are tax deductible.” Although you may not want the bother of creating a not for profit status organisation like they have, the ways they raise money might generate some ideas for you. For example they have a donation for special occasions option – where someone could ask friends and family to make a donation to the trip (for themselves or a loved one) rather than receiving a gift. You could use crowd funding pages or similar to collect the money.

      Also, you might find that sponsors prefer to donate discounted services rather than actual cash. For example you might be able to get a special cheap room rate in exchange for use of logos and publicity for the hotel you stay in. Or a local bus company might do airport transfers for a discounted rate. In my experience in raising funds it is sometimes better to get one large sponsor than several small ones. Remember each sponsor will need updates, media or social media attention etc to stay happy with the arrangement, and this all takes time.

      • Thanks for your feedback. I am going to design the event and find 12-15 people whom can afford this and move forward.

  3. I want to start an artist colony.. The barriers I have are lack of money, and no property to house an artist colony, also I don’t have a formal art education and I don’t know any other artists.

    • Well, Jeana, I think it would help us come up with the best ideas if you can tell us why you want to start an artist colony.

      • I really did leave a lot out! I love creating art. I lost a son in 2009 in Iraq. Art has helped me to rejoin the world after this traumatic event in my life. I believe that art is a great pathway to helping a person feel whole again after a traumatic life changing event. I want to create a place where people can come and learn to express themselves through art. For some people this can be a huge step in the healing process. I want a place where a person can be in residence for a period of time, away from the outside world.

  4. I would like to start a practice in which I coach individuals and groups to work through issues of shame and guilt (and other emotional issues) and create a new direction in life through the use of writing exercises, some of which I’ve developed myself. Much of this work is research-based; I have a master’s in counseling. I’m also a songwriter and game developer, so some activities are creative and light-hearted.

    Tentatively called WriteHealGrow, there can be many different workshops too. My goal is to offer an alternative to therapy for those who want confidential support but would rather have a non-clinical, creative exchange (with writing you can read and add to during the rest of the week!) Writing will also be easier for some who aren’t ready to speak their truths

    I gave one workshop, fairly general, but I would like to create 4-session workshops and find a space to do that. I know I have to stop focusing on how much money room rent is, etc., and really build a business. I can do individual work via Skype or phone.

    Also, my ultimate goal is to create a larger practice, either through online groups or writing a book and speaking.

    My “obstacles” are my ADD and a lack of a clear, step-by-step plan, as well as a need to be generating income.

    I am so grateful for Barbara and the wonderful people drawn to her community. Your advice, encouragement, or whatever about WriteHealGrow is a gift to me.

  5. I want to write humorous columns on everyday topics. I have a fair number of columns ready to go. Where can I publish these and/or present them to public? A huge barrier is that I have to be feeling good to write in this vein; but there are many situations in my life that are less than humourous. How can I write ‘funny’ when I are fighting depression and exhaustion? My ultimate goal is to have these collected and published as a book through a publishing company, not self-published or on-line. I realize I have to create an audience first in another platform.

  6. My husband and I broke up this morning. So I need to move out and find myself a new place to live. I work 3 days a week in a major German city to provide for me and my 2 ponies. Rest of time I am rather flexible. I dread the idea of having to live in an apartment in the city.
    Wish: Find a creative way for me to live in a country that knows cold weather in winter where I can commute to the city but not need being stuck in an apartment.

    Obstacle: Out of ideas at the moment. When thinking of just moving into a camper until I know what I want worrying about giving up my books, 2 pieces of furniture from my Grandma and my washing machine.

    • Carolina, I am sorry to hear although sometimes it is the best decision… Regarding your problems, here are some ideas:
      * Put your things in a storage place for now until you are based somewhere.
      * Live with friends to start with.
      * Go to a hotel for a while.
      * Volunteer in some place with horses (I know she likes horses).
      * Live with friends.
      * Find a “Wohnproject”(In principle that is what I did in a similar situation). Sometimes they have spare rooms or people are moving in and out.
      * AirBnB
      * Housesitting
      * Find some elder who needs company.
      * Rent a house
      * Buy a house.
      * Rent a flat that is spacious (so that you dont feel like you are “stuck”).

      • Thank you very much Maria for your thoughts. Things here develop better than expected on day one. Yes we broke up. Yes it does stay that way. AND I do not need to leave really soon as the decision relaxed many aspects of living together. So right now I am up to seeking a more permanent solution and luckily do not need to seek asylum at a friends. This may change again, but for right now I do enjoy that my husband helps me to find sth good for me. And we can talk about the things we need to agree on in small portions… Even working on putting dreams into the new solution… who knows.

    • What part of Germany? In which city do you work? I live in the country, and perhaps could have a room mate. There are places of horses nearby. I had horses, and love them.

      • Cynthia this is a kind offer. Is there a way we can get into contact besides this very public page? Right now my husband and I are roommates and finding our ways to organize a good life after us for both of us. At the very moment this is helpful. May change anytime, i do not know. Would love to get in touch with you anyways. Need to ask Patty if she can help us getting e-mail addresses of each other.

  7. I would like to encourage USA quilting fabric companies to come out with fabric collections in support of child abuse awareness, prevention, and healing. They already produce fabric supporting breast cancer awareness. Riley Blake Designs has come out with 2 fabric collections that support Autism Awareness.

    I had a designer willing to donate her efforts for her signature fabric license plate designs but I couldn’t find a non-profit to work with her.


    • MY obstacle I guess is I don’t even know where to start again. I gave up on it for a couple years now. Maybe I don’t have the right allies.

    • I run a not for profit.

      What is it you are seeking the not for profit to do?

      Your post does not tell me exactly what you are seeking.


  8. WISH for a friend:
    A friend needs a quiet, ecologically clean space in a warm, very dry climate to heal for 2-3 months, beginning mid-February, 2018. 1-2 rooms, even a studio would work. Price is negotiable, but economical is important. She is an EXPERT decorative painter and could do some bartering! This is the kindest, most loving person you can meet, who has done so much for others. Now she needs to be able to receive. Sedona would be perfect.

    She is allergic to mold, has heavy metal poisoning, very weakened immune system, has been quite ill for some time, & is unable currently to do traditional work/jobs. Desperately needs to heal so she can make decisions about her future. Needs to find out if living in a dry climate will help her heal.
    She doesn’t know anyone in Sedona.

  9. I wrote a magazine series (have all 12 issues ready). The magazine is earth centered and focuses on encouraging people to further develop their relationship with the earth, by learning their own unique earth language and gift. The magazine has 8 sections and can be used by families and the material can be adapted to any age.
    My obstacle is how to get this out into the world. I looked into sending it to the traditional magazines, but it didn’t fit “their vision” and I haven’t been able to find a small indie magazine either. I belong to a writers organization and when I contacted them, they said they only did books.
    I’ve been giving some thought to self publishing but am overwhelmed with how much their is to do. So far, I’ve only been able to find one article about starting a magaznine on the internet. I’d be grateful for any suggestions.

  10. I want to finish writing up my social work thesis on sex trade exit programs under the Nordic model in Sweden France and Ireland by 31/1, but I keep putting off the actual write up and feel too judged to contact my supervisor. I need a person knowledgeable in this area to run through the structure and write up so I can stop curling up in bed trying to avoid the reality and fear.

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