Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

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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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2,806 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. I currently live in Taiwan and am in Semiconductor field for 20+ years. Would love to find a path back to Austin, TX.

    How not to scare potential employers away knowing I luve overseas currently?

    • Hey there,
      Why do you think living abroad will share employers away? Did you try applying already? I think experience abroad makes you even more valuable because you probably gained useful knowledge! What exactly is your obstacle?
      All the best! Lina

    • Hi, Henry.

      You’re certainly in the right field for Austin!

      Is it absolutely necessary for you to have a job lined up before you move back to Austin? Perhaps you need a work visa sponsored by an employer, but if not, maybe you could move first and then search.

      Otherwise, I suggest you do anything you can to distinguish yourself from the many people who just want to be in the US — anywhere in the US.

      Would you be able to get a leave from your current job and spend it in Austin? That would help convince companies that you’re serious about moving, and moving to Austin in particular.

      When I’ve hired people, if an applicant lives far away but states that they will be moving to my location by a certain date, that makes me more comfortable. (The move is definite; where they’ll work is the part that’s to be determined.) Also, if the applicant tells me they’ve previously lived in my location and explains in their cover letter why they’re moving back, that helps, too.

      Do you have a friend or relative in Austin who’d be willing to have you list their address on applications? Then it would be more believable if you say you’re “in the process of moving back to Austin.”

      If you can make some Austin-area contacts in the field, they might be able to give you advice or put in a good word for you with their companies’ management. Do you already belong to the professional organizations that Austin semiconductor folks belong to? Could you go to a conference in Austin? (I assume semiconductor conferences happen in Austin regularly.)

      I hope one or two of these ideas are helpful.

      Good luck!

  2. My dream is to be a professional novelist. Not just that, I want to make my own hours, have like minded people to bounce ideas off of, and spend days making my dreams come alive on paper.
    Obstacles:
    – Type 2 narcolepsy (tired all the time, but no passing out) so after work I’m counting the minutes until my kids are asleep so I can
    – I feel guilty taking time away from my family to write
    – I am a full blown scanner and still don’t know how to channel that to stay consistent

    Help me out. What do you got?

    • Hi Shane,
      I am an actor and writer myself, and I dabble in novel-like writing and I understand the devotion that the craft requires and why it would make someone feel guilty for giving time to something that seems selfish when you have a family that loves you.
      I am all about collaboration, so if you need someone to bounce ideas off, shoot me an email. Also, if you’d like to hear some great novelist, sign up to one of them at Masterclass online.

    • Hey Shane!

      I’m a mother of 3, Scanner supreme, and writer is one of those major passions. I have 3 published books, so it can be done.

      1 – Unfortunately, I am not familiar with narcolepsy or a medical professional. So I don’t feel that I can help with suggestions on your 1st obstacle.
      2 – Have you ever heard the saying “You can’t love someone unless you love yourself first?” Think about that. If you are not happy, then you can’t help your family to be happy. It may sound selfish, but you have to think of yourself first and foremost. If you aren’t at your best, then you aren’t giving them your best. What’s the point of that? And worse.. what harm can that do? When I am not happy, I am guilty of lashing out and getting angry at my family. It’s not their fault that I feel unable to satisfy my passions and overwhelmed with daily life struggles. However, if I chose to indulge in a passion (even if it means shutting myself in my room to write for a few hours), and then I can emerge refreshed, happy, and even satisfied… who’s the better Mom? And trust me, they don’t even notice I’m missing with their noses buried in their games. But if I come out and ask if they want to play a family board game because I’m happy, they will light up and be happy too. And that’s the memory of me they will hold onto.
      3 – I only write when I FEEL it. I have ideas and stories and scenes and characters that will overwhelm me day and night until I write them down. So I just jump into it and write them out of my head, even if it’s a scribbled out scenario or outline. I will write until it no longer bothers me. If you have a book that truly wants to be finished and calling to you, try scheduling time for yourself. Maybe even take a laptop (if you have one) to a coffee shop an hour or two a week and write. Find a tip that works with your life and personality to force yourself into your goal until you get it done. **Quick tip: I bought a fairly inexpensive program a while back called Scrivener that changed my writing/planning process for the best.

      But the biggest thing that helped me actually become a PUBLISHED author was changing from a huge novel to something smaller. Before I had any works out, I had many stories and 1 non-fiction in the works for at least a decade. I finally decided to start smaller and wrote a children’s book. I published that within a month! My non-fiction was then published 6 months later, and my 2nd non-fiction 4 months after. Yup, that’s 3 works in about a year and only 1 was in the works beforehand. I could keep going, but in typical scanner fashion, I’ve jumped that ship (for now).

  3. I just realized something I always wanted to do was acting in movies.
    The obstacle: I have no contacts, no talent, I have phobia to public speaking, really low self confidence and the camera hates me.

    • HI Lynda, My suggestion for you would be to start small. Find a group in your area that are making short films and volunteer to come on board as a PA. This will get you on the film set and comfortable working with the film people and the ins and outs of working on a film set. When you are comfortable with this, then move from behind to in front of the camera. I am a Film Producer, Director and Screenwriter in the Atlanta area. I have been working in the film industry for years and have a Production Company. Working on a film set is so much fun and very creative but it is also sometimes a long day. I hope this helps.

      • Great advice, Patricia. Also, if there’s a college nearby, see if they have a film-making department. They always need amateur actors (if you’re willing to carry the cameras too – but it’s fun). Go to the admin department and ask if you can volunteer to act in student films.

    • Linda, Patricia and Barbara gave some great advice! Here’s my two cents, take some acting lessons. You can do so online nowadays. That will help with the talent obstacle, and the contacts b/c you’re meeting other who are at your level or higher on the “food chain,” and the rest b/c then you’ll really see if you’re ready for the challenge. Also, depending on where you live — get signed up with Central Casting. That way you can get a taste for what it’s like to be on a Film / TV set. I hope this helps!!

    • Linda, Patricia and Barbara gave some excellent advice! Here’s my two cents, take some acting lessons. You can do so online nowadays. That will help with the talent obstacle, and the contacts b/c you’re meeting other who are at your level or higher on the “food chain,” and the rest b/c then you’ll really see if you’re ready for the challenge. Also, depending on where you live — get signed up with Central Casting. That way you can get a taste for what it’s like to be on a Film / TV set. I hope this helps!!

    • After you get used to volunteering as an extra for college students making films, you can audition for actual films by signing up with your state film office. Don’t know where you are but in the USA each state has a state government film office with website and phone number. They usually have a sign in website for people willing to work in films. They can answer all your questions. Film companies especially Hollywood and LA but also Indie Film makers contact state film offices for tax incentives to get extra money to do their films. The state has to help locate their shoooting locations sometimes etc, accommodations, etc. Just google the name of a state and film office. Attend Film festivals. There you will meet filmmakers and sometimes get free classes for skills in different film departments. Many small towns have film festivals and they are the easiest to get free knowledge and skill and how to network. The largest ones are Sundance and SXSW in Austin, TX aka South by Southwest. Hot spots besides California are New Orleans and Atlanta GA. New Orleans is easier to get into for acting. Read online how to make a proper audition resume. You will need a CD or link online to yourself in a short film clip acting so keep copies of your freebie work. Ask the college students for a copy of a scene of yourself if you vollunteer with colleges.

    • Hi Lynda,
      I am an actor myself, and I can tell you right now, that everything that you are going through is as normal as it can be. I would be concern if you didn’t have these feelings and thoughts. Over the years performing in terrible plays and short movies, the one thing that you do start getting better is just being seen, which is the most daunting factor of acting, showing what’s private within to a public audience. Here’s a TED talk about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrB9JBEk1ds
      In this craft, I’ve learned that the more you do it, the better you get at it, and the crux really is in refining your instrument, your voice, your speech, your body (this doesn’t mean diet, this means being comfortable in the uncomfortable situation).
      I’ve been for the past seven years, just honing my craft, and now more than ever I feel confident, but the doubts still do creep in, they are part of the show, you couldn’t run without them. Listen to other actors speak. Here’s a great article on why it’s never too late to go into acting by a great actor named Ann Dowd: https://www.glamour.com/story/actress-ann-dowd-on-what-its-like-not-finding-success-until-her-50s
      Enjoy!

  4. When the evening is over, expect to get compliments on this party, because Idea Parties are fun! Ask people to leave their names and numbers if they want to be called for the next Idea Party. And if they want to host an Idea Party themselves, that’s great! Go to their house next time!

  5. My dream is to be a stand up comedian.

    My obstacles:

    1. I have a full time job and six kids, when will I have the time?

    2. I don’t have the money to go far away from my home in NC for gigs.

    • Take two minutes each day(one for each kid and one for work) and jot down something said kid did to make you laugh,cry, or pause. Create a routine called “What my kid just did.”
      Contrast you colleagues’ and your kid’s behaviors.

      Create a comedy podcast. Start with 3 minutes. Make of it weekly online series that you stream out of your home. After 3 months pitch to comedy clubs. Pitch to PTA groups.
      Have guests. Create dueling mother comedy shows.
      Have fun!

      • Take two minutes each day(one for each kid and one for work) and jot down something said kid did to make you laugh,cry, or pause. Create a routine called “What my kid just did.”
        Contrast you colleagues’ and your kid’s behaviors.

        Create a comedy podcast. Start with 3 minutes. Make of it weekly online series that you stream out of your home. After 3 months pitch to comedy clubs. Pitch to PTA groups.
        Have guests. Create dueling mother comedy shows.
        Have fun!

      • Go check out Jerry Corley on YouTube. He breaks down the joke writing and humor to a science. You will feel like it is possible to achieve this dream.

  6. Ok Everyone! I became really inspired after reading Barbara’s Idea Book so here’s my next wish!

    My Wish: To start a business called “Dinner Parties for Dreamers”.

    What is it?: It’s a business where I host a dinner party in a cozy home/location equipped with a kitchen and dining room and I conduct an Idea Party while we share a delicious home-cooked meal prepared by me. I will basically lead a group of 6 women who are like-minded and want to know more about discovering/pursuing their dreams and we help each other after we feast and get to know each other.

    Each of the Ladies, after they pay online on my website, will receive a downloadable/printable workbook to bring with them and fill out to take notes. The sessions will be recorded and they will also receive the recording by email so they can listen to it again.

    Here are my Obstacles?

    1. I prefer not to host people in my home (security reasons)

    2. I prefer not to pay up the nose to rent a place equipped with a kitchen. Currently, I think AirBnB does not allow hourly rentals.

    3. How and Where to find like-minded folks to join a complete stranger (me) to discuss
    their dreams and dine with me? How to develop a recurrent stream of clients?

    4. Don’t know what to charge. Cooking for 6 people will be labor and time intensive, not to mention the amount of energy live Group Coaching will entail. I’m an Introvert/Highly Sensitive Person so I need to use my energy reserves wisely to deliver on what I promise.

    5. If Dinner proves to be too much (I’ve got two little ones), then perhaps I can do afternoon tea? This will fulfill my dream to celebrate tea with other ladies! 🙂

    Thank you so much everyone, in advance!

    -Connie

    • I LOVE this idea! Could you make the dinner a potluck, so you can focus on the dreaming, rather than the cooking? I bet teachers would LOVE this idea….Perhaps put a bulletin out in Elementary schools…..Where are you? I would totally come if you are in my neck of the woods!

      • Hi Karla!

        Thank you so much for your enthusiastic interest! You are right, I think that a potluck might be more feasible.

        Any idea what I should charge if it turned out to be a potluck style get-together, along with the coaching aspect?

        Maybe advertise in the summer when they have more time? I know teachers are completely consumed during the school year! (My Hubby is a Schoolteacher!)That way they are more relaxed and in “vacation mode” to be free and clear to think BIG!

        I’m in San Antonio Texas! Are you close?

        Thank you so much for your input!

        • I grew up in Houston, but am now outside of Pensacola, in Florida. Barbara or Patty might be able to help you with pricing. You could maybe plan for it to be an eight week program and charge from there. Have you seen Barbara’s turnkey business of coaching with her tapes? Not sure if San Antonio is already full of coaches, but thinking maybe not. Or charge maybe a one time fee per group session? Not sure of the $ that people would pay in San Antonio…surely more than they would pay where I live.

          • I’m sorry we’re not close.

            Never been to Pensacola. Only visited Miami!

            Not too familiar with Barbara’s coaching and tapes. I need to check them out.

            Thank you again Karla for all of your suggestions! 🙂

    • Rent fellowship hall at a church that has a kitchen. There are also private rooms for rent with commercial kitchens in cities for private parties. They vary in price, usually require deposit and clean up fee or clean up afterward yourself. Or don’t cook but have at a private back room in a restaurant and preregister with deposits for the cost of the meal so the restaurant is guaranteed a certain amount of sales in leu of a room rental fee and offer two or three choices in a main dish, that way there is no expense.

  7. My wish: I want to finish preparing 3 bilingual books covering my 16 years of experience researching the subtleties of climate change impact in Central America.

    Obstacle 1: I have been working 7 low-paid jobs to meet living expenses, and am burned out. I need 2 months to be able to sit in one place, cover living costs, and focus on the writing. Manuscripts are 75% finished. To do this, I need donor support of $4000.

    Obstacle 2: I need help navigating publishing options to determine what will work best for me and review of my proposal

    Obstacle 3: I need to connect to people interested in my work for professional paid seminars, and to be recognized as a thought leader.

    Open to any and all suggestions!

    • Hi Rachael, my Daughter works for an Indigenous Climate Change group in Canada. I saw your post and forwarded it to her – to see if she has suggestions! I am keeping my fingers crossed for you! 16 years is a huge commitment WOW!
      Thank You for caring about our beautiful planet and all the living creatures that are affected by climate change!
      Gina

    • Hi, Rachael.

      Since this topic is getting so much attention right now, Kickstarter might be a good source of funds. If you can show publishers that you got a lot of supporters through Kickstarter, they’ll be more confident that they can sell your book.

      If you’re interested, here are some links:

      To see how others are using it for similar projects, here’s a link to publishing projects with the search term, “climate:”
      https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/advanced?term=climate&category_id=18&sort=magic&seed=2603114&page=1

      Here’s the Kickstarter Handbook:
      https://www.kickstarter.com/learn?ref=nav

      I don’t know if that will be helpful; either way, good luck!

      • Thanks- I tried Kickstarter, but got nowhere with their platform. My GoFundMe and Patreon sites have been more useful; but I am still trying to “make it” on a guaranteed “income” of $160/ month which is not nearly enough.

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