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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3,318 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. Hello, my name is Erin,
    I would like to thank you all for taking the time to look at my post.

    My wish: A “good enough job” somewhere near Littleton, Colorado to support me and my 13 year old daughter and leave time for us to be together everyday and be available to help with homework and other things she may need.

    My obstacle: I’m a 45 year old woman, I have visible tattoos that are not coverable with clothing. I am only about half way through my bachelors degree, so I have an unfinished education, and I have no real skills except shoeing horses. Although I do consider myself to be resourceful and skilled in many ways. I will try anything, I am a quick learner, with a good attitude and exceptional work ethic.

    Again, Thank you for taking the time.

    • Hi Erin

      I’m from England so not in the know of employment where you are wanting.
      My first words were going to be, have you thought of coffee shop work, but I think you possibly need to start with what hours can you do/want to do. Reading your obstacles, as an employer, I don’t see any. You would be an asset to any employer. Go out there & take a look at where you feel is right for you. There will be places you will not want to work. For instance would you work in a meat factory or old people’s home? Supermarket or clothes store? Carry on with list and put your answer at the side then take your yes list and find the place

    • I have a similar problem. No tattoos, but enough visible wrinkles I am 52, and my kids are 8 & 11. It’s hard to even imagine retraining at my age. My big advantage is that I am still in pretty good shape, as I imagine you are if you shoe horses.

      I have decided to go work at a nail place near me – they are short a few techs, and apparently I can learn on the job and don’t need a licence. There is a course starting soon, and despite assurances that I don’t need it, I want to take it to feel more confident – I already have the text book and ha watched a lot of videos on YouTube about how different products are used, and will continue to practise whenever I can – I have given 2 weeks notice at my current job.

      Re: my current job
      Driving a school bus has given me a small amount of income and a four hour break each day – time to clean house, and investigate different possibilities. I spent a lot of it volunteering at a daycare near me, and occasionally got paid for filling in when someone at the daycare had an emergency. Also, if one or both of my kids was home I could bring them with me on the bus.

      Another possibility is to get trained as a PSW, or personal support worker. The hours are flexible and they are in very high demand, especially as the population ages. Apparently, there is help available with regard to paying for training, so that might be my next step after finishing my mani/pedi class in January. A lot of folks may be thinking that I should just concentrate on one thing and make it work, and I might – I’ll have a better idea of how busy I can get, how many clients I can reach, after I have finished my class. At least, from the time that I have worked at the salon so far, have found that I won’t get tired very quickly, and it is a very calm environment. The salon owner said that I could bring my kids with me on PD days, but on sick days we stay home (that means no income).

      I hope something in here sparks an idea. If the nail tech idea sounds at all interesting to you watch some videos on YouTube when you get a chance. Just search for “beginner nail tech”.

    • Hi Erin,

      can you list your skills, affinity to certain activities, previous jobs? As an inspiration you can open and look what companies look for and even filter for part-time or full-time. In any case, you can try the following: part-tiime customer service, office administration, secretary, caregiver, even accounting.

    • Erin,
      Would you be interested in massaging horses? Don’t laugh….Rocky Mountain School of Animal Acupuncture and Massage (RAMSAAM) is just up the road from you! You could start helping horses after just one course, and you would obviously have the contacts! They used to train in Elizabeth, Colorado, but I think they are now in Longmont. Good luck! Let me know what you think!!!

  2. Hello! My wish is to buy an apartment for my mom. She is retiring in the next five years and won’t be able to pay rent. I want to make her life a little bit easier.
    The obstacle: I don’t have college education. I’ve been trying to get a job anywhere that does not ask for a degree but haven’t been lucky. I don’t have almost any skill, I am willing to learn but I don’t know which one.

    I don’t know where to start. I wish I was one of those people who always find a way to get what they want but I am not. I tried a couple of online “gigs” (selling my clothes, etc) but none of them worked. I have no idea of how to get out of this.

    • Hi Sara

      Wow how lovely. Your mum will be blown away in five years time which gives you enough time to go get a college education or start an apprenticeship or even look at jobs that offer college learning along with it. Have you had jobs in the past? What were they? Did you enjoy any? Could you live with your mum share the cost or even pay the rent? Have you talked with your mum about this. She may have some ideas of her own. Tracy

      • Thanks so much for your reply. Haven’t told my mother since I wanted it to be a gift and I know she will tell me to not worry about her.
        I am thinking about going back to university, to archaeology. But that will be in the future.
        I’ve only had jobs as a waitress and I did not like much the people, that’s why I quit and didn’t realize how difficult it would be to find another job.

  3. Hi to you all,

    I‘ve read a book of Barbara and I‘ve seen some of her talks online, so I‘m really curious what‘s going to happen after this post.
    So I‘m 23 years old and I‘m not sure if the following is my biggest wish, but in any case it is an important wish for me. For about ten years now, I wanted to be able to dance contemporary dance with a partner like they do it in the Step Up movies or in videos you easily find on YouTube. First I always thought I‘m already too old to start. I got myself to classes once a week by the age of 16 for two years, but it was not a class for beginners. So I always had a hard time to follow up and stopped after those two years. So now, I still want to be able to move like that, but I‘m even older now, so is it even possible to still learn a split? Maybe, apparently I am quite a flexible person. But I dont know where to learn partner contemporary Dance to get to such a level, and also is it even possible to learn it to that level without doing it professionally?
    I am based in Hamburg, Germany. But maybe there’s still somebody around with an idea.
    So my obsticals are basically: age, time, money, where do I go, and can I just do it for fun and still get really good at it…?
    I‘m keen to hear some opinions… 🙂

    Thank you!
    I‘ve read some of the posts here so far. There are some really good ideas and i wish somebody knows how to support them!

    • Hi Sophia, I do not think that you are to old to this kind of dance if that is your wish. You could find a teacher, ask what her fee is per hour, and find enough people through Facebook to form a class. You could also make it a project with an end performance. I think it is good to satisfy this wish. After a project you can decide if you want to pursue this for a longer time. I hope this helps a little.

      • Dear Sophia,
        you are definitely not too old! I started learning ballet dancing when I was 19 and I was good in it and had much fun doing it.
        So please do it. There are so many dance schools in Hamburg offering classes in contemporary dance. Try them all until you find the right one you feel comforable.
        You could also make an advertisement in a local magazin or in your neighborhood or whereever you can post something (there are even “schwarze Bretter” in some supermarkets where you could place a sheet) to find a partner. good luck!

        • Thank you both a lot for your answers!
          I actually never considered to start a group on my own! I’ll see what I can make out of your suggestions. 🙂
          Thank you very much!

          And that’s amazing to hear that you started ballet at the age of 19!

    • Hello Sophia. I myself started late and I think it’s totally worth it.
      One think I could recommed is to look for “floor barre” clases. They focus on ballet but are helpful for almost every dance, because the exercises help you get a strong core, which is basic for ballet and contemporary.

  4. My wish is to be able to retire this year, buy a pre owned RV with my husband, travel when we can and live simply. Have plenty of time to read, visit our family and friends, play with our first grandchild. Right now I and my husband, Roy, are both in treatment for cancer, so need to stick close to home, where our medical care is. I am currently on extended medical leave, and wish I could extend it forever, as my free time has become precious. That said, I have no intention of dying from this disease. My next wish is to finally have a relationship with a woman, as I am bisexual, married to a man, and want to experience that important part of me while I am still able. I am definitely a scanner, Barbara, and so appreciate learning from your book “Refuse to Choose” that there is nothing wrong with me! Thanks.

    • Dear Gayl,

      I am neither a doctor, nor have I studied medicine or anything likewise. But I did have some people surrounding me who had cancer so I looked somewhat into the possible backgrounds.
      So I do not want to give offence to you by asking these questions: which kind of medication are you on at the moment? Have you tried any alternative treatments so far?
      I’m just gonna write this now, since I don’t know you and therefore I don’t know if you are open for anything like that or not. You can just read it and if you don’t feel like if it was something for you, just discard the idea.
      So there is a treatment, called ‘systemic constellation’ in English I believe. You can do it alone with the therapist or in a group. It works on an energetic level and is supposed to unravel unconscious issues which might also cause physical deseases. The point is, there are all sorts of people who offer such treatments, but you would want to make sure, they really know what they are doing.
      I know some I’m Germany, maybe you know some around where you are living. Otherwise I could ask here, if anybody knows anybody nearby where you live, by any chance and if that even interests you.
      I didn’t get the chance to recommend that to the people which I knew and had who had cancer, so I thought I don’t want to not give that information to you either. So the decision is up to you.
      Could be worth a try. Not as a substitute to your current medication but as an additional thing. It also can be only one treatment to decide weather it suits you or not.
      I think your dream is a really reasonable and beautiful one! Keep going and good luck 🙂

    • So – we’ve got your two wishes…what are the two obstacles?
      My recommendation is: Keep your EYES on the PRIZE…
      What makes RV living attractive?
      If your obstacle is a short leash of location… It’s costs some $, but perhaps you could sign up as a “traveler” for the hospitality group called “” Get a list of people to visit near you, or as far away as you’re willing to travel near your medical requirements. Rent an RV and go visit them as if you’re from far away.
      My idea is based on the experience that your experience traveling is based on a narrow set of routines that go on where you are. Expand those routines and poof! You’re having new “travel” experiences that are unique to whomever you visit. Your SERVAS hosts will introduce you to new experiences they think are fun about the way they live their lives – and you’ll still be next to where you need to be for treatments.

      It’s a whole lifestyle to live in an RV – renting one will give you an education about what’s involved. So many things can go wrong with an RV – because you’re combining all the “house” features with all your “car” features – AND you really have a HUGE CAR that’s much more tricky to handle. (I lived in an RV as a lifestyle for about 15 years, but I did it as a substitute for a place to live in a very small town where housing was super limited and expensive. My solution was to rent a non-live-in place, reverse my schedule and sleep during the day in the RV and stay up all night doing my thing in the non-live-in garage/warehouse. Worked well! I was never in the RV when the cops would come by to ticket me for “spending the night in my RV” which was illegal where I lived.
      But as I don’t have experience being bi-sexual, cannot help in that dept.)

  5. Hello,

    I would like to make the following Wish come true. To reduce hunger by donating 10 vertical tower gardens per year across the midwest and beyond to fight hunger, decrease obesity and engage about healthy eating.

    I run a not for profit devoted to women with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. The tower gardens would be part of our outreach ministry to fight hunger amongst seniors especially those with disabilities.

    Each tower garden including growing lights, seed growing kit and 1:1 consultation and setup will cost about $800 per person. Our organizational budget is very limited. I need help in figuring out how to get funding and or grants for this project .

    It will help combat hunger and provide nutrition foods to those in need.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Hi Necie

      How about looking at lottery funding. Could you work with your local council setting up a friends of – kind of group, there is usually funding for different kinds initiatives.

  6. My friend Sharon is a technical writer. If you’d like to talk with her, I’m sure she would be happy to share information with you. She normally works through agencies that find her the work.

  7. Dear Friends,

    My dream is to fully fund the organization I started many years ago – The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc. I was blessed with 3 college students who came out of nowhere to create fundraisers for our cause. One worked with a peer to peer portal which resulted in a campaign which starts for 10-days – Students for Grieving Children.

    It gives the Students a portal to create their own personal page, upload photos, tell their story, set a fundraising goal and reach out for donations.

    I’m not so good at asking for help so I’m turning to our group here and ask if you know of any family or friends who are college students and who have experienced a loved one’s death early in life, perhaps they’d like to participate in this, our first online event.

    It begins Friday, November 8th through Sunday, November 17th and even if you can’t pass this along to any student, perhaps you will come back and donate and comment on their page to encourage these young ones who have suffered so young in life.

    Also, if you know of any media that might write about this, or may have me on as a guest to promote this, I’d love that too. Any way we can get the word out, I’d be most grateful.

    Learn more here:

    Thank you friends.

    • What does “fully fund” mean in term of dollars? Noting that the website says your purpose is to provide funding to other organizations, can you share information with what organizations you have given to, how they used the money, etc.? Also, What sort of arrangements do you have in place with those organizations to cross-promote?

      • Hi Connie,

        Fully funded for me is having corporate sponsorship handle the administrative and marketing/promotion of the org so all that is raised can go back out to help other centers. That’s our model and we feel good about it.

        If you go to here:
        you will see our grant recipients and their individual needs.

        Unfortunately, my experience has been that most nonprofits are afraid to cross promote because they are fearful of losing a donor to another org and it’s a common occurrence.

        Do you have experience in nonprofit cross-promotion? I’ve seen corporate-non-profit promotion, but not the former.

        Have you run a non-profit? What has your experience been?


  8. I dont know if this posted, ill try again. although this is a very crazy wishful thinking, I want to be an actress in a movie or netflix show. I think my acting skills are pretty ok.The problem is im a 16 year old asian girl who is very much broke and cannot sign up for cast callings or entertainment agencies because they are pricy. I live in atlanta so I am very close to filming locations. Even a modeling gig or something that could get me closer to my dream of acting would be very helpful. Thank you to anyone who helps, this is pretty wishful thinking!!

  9. ——-I saw this on TED talk and honestly lots of i sounds too good to be true, but here is my try at it because this is something i really really want !
    I want to be in a movie, or I want to be an actress in a show, like netflix. This is probably my ultimate dream. The obstacle is that I am a 16 year old asian girl who is too broke to join an entertainment agency or pay for those online cast callings that dont give details about auditions without payment. I live near atlanta, so I am close to many filming areas. I would even take an offer at modeling, something that could get me closer to my crazy actress dream. ———-

    • Search for
      atlanta film casting
      in Google. Frequently.

      Start with the calls for extras. Use all the time you spend waiting to chat with the other talent there to learn, learn, learn. Use what they pay you to get yourself a headshot with your bio on the back (and some copies, but not a lot, because you’ll probably be changing your look or learning new tricks and need new ones). List your roles as an extra, not your high school plays, in your bio. At your age, include any sport or hobby you participate in (soccer, ballet, kite-surfing, baking, etc.), because it may be exactly what’s needed for a bit part, especially a commercial or an industrial (corporate training videos, product demos, etc.)

      Read this to get yourself ready:

      And good luck!!

  10. WISH = Writing Instruction manuals
    There are instruction manuals that come with some products that are poorly written, to the point of being useless. Nowadays, some products come with no instructions whatsoever. Or maybe they were written by a person from the country of origin, who translated it into English. I would like to take those poorly translated manuals and put them into easy-to-understand (American) language so that even the most unsophisticated person can use that product, or assemble it or whatever, by following my easy-to-understand manual.
    I can write instruction manuals for new products also. People or companies would send me one of their products with maybe (hopefully) some basic instructions, and I would learn how to assemble or work/use the product/machine/etc. and I would write up the manual. I can even draw pictures to help illustrate the product’s use/assembly or whatever.
    I’ve thought about this many times over the years, and would love to do it, but – OBSTACLE – I’ve never known how to get started – how do I find companies that need my services, how do I advertise, where do I go from here?

    • I’ve done a lot of this over the years, and hired people to do it, too.

      The job is called Technical Writer. There is a professional association: Society for Technical Communication. Only large companies will have folks on staff for this purpose. Medium-sized companies will outsource to consulting firms that offer technical writing services (who will show up at STC meetings), unless their training department’s course developers or marketing department’s copywriters do double duty as instruction manual writers. (The training department folks show up at ATD meetings.) Small companies will grab anyone they know who can write, no matter how poorly, and you can make yourself known, but jobs from the same company will be far between, so keep reminding them you’re available and you write well.

      You might want to create a sample instruction manual for some familiar but frustrating product. It’s a whole lot more convincing than a resume for landing this sort of work.

      If you can add the ability to script a video version of the same instructions, you’ll be golden.

      • Thank you, Patty. I did write a video script years ago for a company that never got off the ground. I’ve written things for various ads and situations also. It was a long time since I had looked into it, and I should have remembered that it is called Technical writing. LOL
        But I did not know about the STC. I will look into that.
        Thank you for all your help.

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