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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3,268 thoughts on “Barbara Sher’s Idea Party

  1. Hi all – I am “new” to Barbara Sher’s world. Can anyone recommend where to start with her videos, audio books, podcasts, Tedx or books specifically on what to do when you don’t know what you want to do?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Dnt worry, about the right way, just start. There is also a book of her “I could do anything if I only knew what it was” Good luck!

    • I picked up a copy of Wishcraft and it seems to be a comprehensive starting point – I think it was also one of her earliest books, so I assume the others will build off of it (I haven’t read any of the others myself though!)

    • An overview of Barbara’s books and online programs:

      Wishcraft for how to go after whatever you want in life without first becoming a better person or developing a better attitude.

      I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was for dealing with Resistance, that big, dumb, overprotective bodyguard who keeps trying to stop you from doing things you’re sure you really want to do.

      It’s Only Too Late If You Don’t Start Now if you think your age or looks or physical health stand in the way of doing everything you want to do.

      Live the Life You Love in Ten Easy Lessons is really great for launching a new career or a post-retirement lifestyle and having a whole new life within the next 12 months.

      Refuse to Choose! is a how-to book for those of us accused of having too many different interests or who keep going broke because we haven’t figured out how to pay the bills while exploring all of our interests and trying all the things we want to try. Barbara calls us Scanners. Others who followed her into this field (she first described us way back in 1994 in I Could Do Anything) call us names like Multipotentialites and Butterflies.

      Online, Hanging Out is for unpeeling your layers to find your real identity, the one that keeps calling to you, saying what you’re doing with your life just is not using all your gifts or serving the purpose you were put here for.

      The Survival Guide is a daily dose of help with Resistance as you go after any goal.

      Her book clubs (Refuse to Choose is next, in March) read her books and slowly work their way through all the exercises together, sharing what they’re discovering and doing.

      WriteSpeak teaches anyone with a message to share how to write your first book in a year and simultaneously launch your speaking career and make yourself known to the people whose lives you can improve. Registration opens during the free Dare to Soar Telesummit this Saturday, February 8.

      Sher Success Teams are groups led by leaders using Barbara’s copyrighted workbooks and workshop audio recordings to help get a small team of people working together to provide lots of support and accountability as they go after their goals.

  2. Ideas flow from unexpected places, so don t worry about crafting a perfectly calibrated guest list or balancing out the lawyers and artists. Invite four or five friends and ask each of them to bring someone. Keep it simple: I m having an idea party next week. Want to come? They ll press for an explanation, but resist. Intrigue is part of the fun.

  3. Hello everyone! My situation is this:
    My wish is to get a program that will solve all my problems with my long-term passion, which is independent language learning. I’ve been the most consistent with it through the years (almost a decade), unlike anything else, be it a project or a hobby. I still haven’t lost enthusiasm for that topic, but I’ve lost the ability to do it properly and in a fulfilling way a long time ago. I want, as my language of choice, to learn French to fluency, but I’ve been struggling with that one same language on and off for those 10 years and stayed a beginner, even though I want to learn so many more of them. Plus, there is a bonus offer valid for just another 10 hours, and it would be awesome to get it. But, the whole offer (minus the bonus) will last for a week from now. I’m also so much obsessed with urgency to start earning money online, to find something, that I’ve been constantly having burn-outs, and need a break, and that thing would be great for it.
    As I’ve said at the end of my wish, I’m struggling to start earning money. I’m a high-school dropout who is looking to learn skills like graphic design on Canva (I have a class on it) and offer it on Fiverr, for example, and sell my services on Facebook, for example. I don’t have anyone to buy it for me, nor do I currently have a way of getting the sum, even for the first installment, which I’d be able to pay, only if I managed to have my own damn money already. It’s $35, and only if I could get that one sum, I would give my best to earn for the remaining months.

    I’m kinda sorry to write this and don’t expect anyone to write back, but at least I tried. I’ll continue working on generating income, getting past my Resistance and deeply-rooted avoidance, fear and stress nevertheless.

    • For actually speaking the language, I highly recommend

      “Hold a 15 Min Conversation with a Native Speaker in 90 Days” is their tagline. I’ve experienced it 2x and they were the most intense 3 months in my language learning journey. You’ll be surrounded by:
      1) polyglots who consider it a given that a new language is possible -> this is very important since most of the people in your real life will say it’s ‘impossible.’
      2) you’ll also be surrounded by fellow complete beginners who share the same journey with you.

      While waiting for the Add1Challenge to open, you can try Language Hacking French by Benny Lewis. He also blogs at

    • For the graphic design, how about:

      1) Creating samples of your work: in copywriting, we make spec ads to showcase to potential clients or employers that we can do the work.

      2) Posting it on a portfolio online: my book illustrator / visual artist friend did her portfolio for free on Adobe’s Behance

      3) Warm pitches to clients. Look at a service you really love and pitch to them. (NO to mass e-mails. No need to cold call if you don’t want to.) Since you already love it, what you’ll say would be sincere.

      For example: “Barbara, I love your work and it has helped me a lot. I especially loved “How To Get What You Really Want.” What do you think of making a 2020 version that suits the aesthetic of today’s young people? I was saved by your work. I’d love to work with you in getting more people to hear your message. Call me?”

      As a graphic designer, that’s an approach you can take. You’ll show them the value you can provide. Looking for people to do certain jobs and solve one’s problems is a pain for people looking to hire. Even if they don’t say yes now, they may say yes when they need a graphic designer. It will keep you top of mind.

      4) Start small to move forward. Look at local small businesses nearby who could use graphic design help on signs or brochures. They might not even know to ask for a portfolio first. It’s a way to get money as you set-up working online.

      PS. Online marketplaces like Fiverr are a race to the bottom in terms of prices for beginners. My copywriting mentor (Nicki Krawzyck at warns against them.

    • Hi Nina, as I travelled, worked and studied abroad I always looked for places where I could meet locals. I am intrigued by their language and their culture. In your case, it is just thinking the opposite way: where do foreigners meet, where do they go/work? Ask at the local school/university if they have foreign nationals whom speak French. Restaurants, hotels, … . Once you know where to “look” for them, ask if they would be interested in meeting up for conversations.

    • Want to learn a language for no money at all? Ask at your local church, synagogue, mosque, senior center, or other gathering place if there are any immigrant grandmothers there who might be interested in conversation with you in their native tongue. Most, after children and grandchildren, are patient and highly motivated teachers who will focus on getting you talking before they drill you on grammar or vocabulary. And they are often desperate for company willing to learn their language.

  4. Hi.
    It’s snowing like wild here in Upstate NY. Its windy and very cold and I am inside-alone. I am 65,a widow of 20 years of a Vietnam veteran, and this last year I went through brain surgery to remove a benign tumor. Less than 24 hrs later my intestine ruptured. I went into severe septic shock, had to have an emergency colostomy, and almost died. I was in the hospital from Jan 27-March 8th. I also had a minor stroke when they did the brain surgery. On Aug. 2nd, I went back into surgery to have the colostomy closed. It has been a long year and I am now in financial hardship-just above the amount to prevent me from further help. I am a nurse who retired in 2017 without any financial “retirement.” after working for 42 years, but taking care of my husband and homeschooling my children.
    I love to write and have a memoir written but no money to publish it. I also love to sew and smock. I have a website, but no one orders the stuff which I am told is really nice. I live in a 4 bedroom home but my 3 kids are out on their own and have their own families and hardly any time for mom anymore.
    I wish to move on but don’t know how or where. I love my home but it’s too big now. I’ve been slowly downsizing with bags to the rescue mission but it takes forever when you’re the only one. The things I love to do have slowed down because now Carpal Tunnel has reared its ugly head. I can’t face more pain or surgery at this time, I would love to get my book published, figure out a way to get more income so I can travel, sell this house after downsizing it, and find a new, smaller place to live. Right now I can’t even afford a dumpster!!
    So here I am, alone and isolated. I am a people person but it’s hard to make new friends anymore. Everyone is so caught up in being busy. I don’t know how to get out of this. I can’t afford to take a course, attend a conference or travel. Can ANYONE help me? I implore you to respond if you can! Thank you so very much!

    • @Hansen
      I am alone here, too. I am socially isolated and haven’t enough money to function in normal ways. Someone acting very badly destroyed my means of livelihood and destroyed my life savings (and my inheritance from previous generation also). Visiting with friends or family is forbidden because it would cost a cup of coffee, or some gas money, family is too far to visit with a car that is nearly falling apart. I used to enjoy gardening but even dirt and seeds have been forbidden due to the “elaborate expense” of those “unnecessary things.”

      I once lived in Upstate NY and there were many things about it that were very beautiful. Even for me the snow was beautiful to look at, so long as I could stay warm in the house and look out at it from a cozy spot. Having a home office is a big benefit.

      I have tried to do lots and lots of free training, and found so much of it to be a complete waste of my time! It has been an empty sales-pitch that wasted 1, or 2, or 4 hours of my time just to convince me to spend $2000 on a “master class” and who knows if those are equally full of puffery and air just like the free training was.

      About publishing that book, I have had a loose social connection to an author who had a publisher. She got publication rights back to herself and re-issued her books as digital and discovered that she earned more income from the digital books than she ever got from the publishing house.

      As far as I understand, it is for the vast majority of authors (except for a few privileged stars at the very top) that the direct income from a single book is still not a huge income.

      But I am thinking that publishing a digital book might be an inexpensive path forward for this part of your hopes, and maybe it would be found practical for your situation.

      Another thought is that *maybe* you could generate enough interest with a book that you could gain income through public speaking (such as about your life experiences, wisdom that you gained along the way, and so forth.) I’ve heard some hearsay that public speaking about your book is better income than the book itself.

      Depending on your location, and your level of comfortableness and security/safety with the idea, renting some unused rooms as B&B might provide a small supplement to the income as well (usually this cannot supply a full livelihood unless you have a large facility.) If it was possible to secure guests, the flow of them could augment social life as well.

      I wonder also if it is possible to use some dictation (voice recognition) software to help ease the burden with the Carpel Tunnel syndrome.

      I wish that I had more ideas to help and if I do think of others I will intend to write again.


      • Hi Tom
        I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my letter. Yes it’s still snowing and blowing so I made cookies for the kind gentleman who has been selflessly plowing my driveway. I haven’t seen him yet today so I presume he’s waiting for it to stop snowing.
        I have mulled around the idea of digital publishing and thought of the idea of a way to use technology to write since the carpal tunnel but haven’t actually done either yet!
        Public speaking about a book is an idea to consider. I know what you mean about something I call, “not being afford to cross the street!” Gas expenses and going for coffee must be meted out at this time.
        I’ll read your response a few more times too. I appreciate the insight-especially since walls don’t talk back very well!
        Wherever you are I hope it’s warmer than this! Thanks again !

        • Hi Fran,
          I liked Tom’s suggestion of renting out rooms. Have you looked into Airbnb or (if you google room renting websites you can find a lot more of them too.) I just rented a room to a grad student who I found through a friend from church. It is helping me to pay for my home. And I have enjoyed the conversations we have from time to time. You can probably even request women only, and probably lower the rent in exchange for housecleaning or something. You will want to screen/get references for anyone living with you.

          Also, have you considered starting a blog? You could write about your life in upstate NY, your experiences as a nurse, your sewing and smocking (maybe include patterns or tips occasionally), if you cook, you could include recipes. Take photos of your handwork with your phone (assuming you have a smart phone). Pay attention to your writing so that it shows your skill. Then you can use it as a portfolio of your writing. Also, look into websites like Verblio and Fiverr to set up a profile and start writing freelance for others. Check out Etsy too, if you have things you have made that you can sell. There are videos and articles that tell you how to do all this if you just google it.

          Hope that helps!

          • Hi Debra
            Thanks for the many suggestions! I appreciate it! I don’t know how to get past the Air B/B when it comes to sharing the living space and kitchen!? I live in a ranch and the way yo the rooms is through the main part of the house!
            I’ve written and been published in many online publications. I’m considering Etsy as well. I like your ideas. Thanks so much!!

          • Hi Debra
            Thanks for you note and ideas. There’s a person in here willing to help me get a blog going. That gives me hope. Hopefully that will come to fruition!
            All I know is that something has to breakthrough soon. I’m so tired of being so limited for so long !
            Have a nice day!!

      • Hi,
        I was in a similar situation. I got an online job. I don’t have to drive. I simply show up on line, do my job and they send money to my bank account.

        • Hi!
          Yes-I do some freelance writing too and I am doing a resume. If I could get a job with regular income writing that would be a real answer to prayer!!!

          • Freelance writer here living in rural Guatemala; also doing 5 other PT freelance jobs to make ends meet and support my research (scanner much???) One recommendation I have is to sign up for the free blog and e-mails from the wonderful at “Freedom with Writing.” I love their approach because they take the thousands of opportunities out there and break down which ones are actually worth your time applying. They cover everything- blogs, magazines, genre writing, contests, content-writing, travel writing, parenting, etc. I also really like the book listed here; I have read several and found this to be the best:


    • Fran,
      I saw your post and immediately felt so connected with you, because I have been isolated and alone a couple of times in my life. It’s a horrible feeling and I am so terribly sorry you are going through it!! What helped me was taking a minute to get grounded (put away all the feelings going on inside) and just see the people in my life, maybe they were far away physically, but they were part of my life. Then I wrote their names on a paper and kept it handy, because I never realized how many people were part of my life and many of them cared about me. (The list grew with time, because I added everyone’s name who I met) Not everyone would be the kind of friend who drops everything to help me in a pinch, but there were people who genuinely cared.
      I also realized the biggest reason I felt isolated was I had shut myself down. So I started to do little things to reach out to others; a friendly email, a text message, striking a short conversation with people at the grocery store and posting here.
      I truly hope you can begin to feel love and loved!!! Please put me on your list…Sue Hough from Chicago.
      Sending you love and kindness….

      • Hi Sue
        Thanks so much for your note of support. Today I had to snowblow the driveway then I decided as long as I did that I should get out so I drove to AC Moore and was able to get a skein of yarn for a blanket I want to crochet for a new baby. It was reduced so I could afford it. Regardless of the carpal tunnel I will make it!
        I’m going to finish my writing resume and hopefully get a regular freelance job. I have to get income somehow so I can pursue other stuff.
        Many people brought meals,etc to me last March after a long hospital stretch and 2surgeries. I am forever grateful. I don’t even know some ! Problem is, like after my husband died, many around suddenly drop off. Even my own kids! please stay in touch. If I knew how to start a paying blog I’d do that but can’t afford to take a “class” to teach me how! Ugh!!

  5. Hi Christina ,
    I’ve just started to read Barbara’s book ‘Refuse to choose’ on Scanners on having too many interests , which turns out can actually be a good thing .
    I’m not sure what I actually should do work wise . I’m not sure I even know what skills I have , if any some days . My job can also be a bit boring and stressful , but its what I do to keep my head above water , just about .
    I guess I’m not sure of all my hearts wishes , I know I have more than one , hopefully that does not make me too greedy . At the moment I am focusing on trying to regain good health and getting back into some of my hobbies and interests .
    I completely hear what your saying about that it’s not always easy to follow your heart’s wish especially when you have to earn a living , but maybe you could start small , doing the things you enjoy in your spare time and see where they lead . Like , I know this sounds a bit silly but when you were a kid and just did stuff for fun because you loved it and enjoyed it . Not because you were trying to make a living or get people’s approval . There could be a path there to something you love and hopfully you could turn it into a living .
    You sound so gifted and skilled Christina , just keep reminded yourself of all your wonderful talents . I did see a video of Barbara somewhere on youtube where she advised not to quit your job but start small in your spare time doing what you love , little by little and then that in its self could create wonderful options .
    Good Luck Christina .

  6. Good morning Mandy
    You have health issues and still want to make a decent living. That is totally acceptable but In our society not easy . I also feel sometimes that people are always willing to pay for the hairdresser or dentist but to spend a lot of money for their inner development not really . Maybe that’s because I live in a small town in Switzerland it may be different in a city . I have a job it pays so can pay my bills . But it is quite boring and some times I feel like I am becoming dummer and dummer .
    But here comes the question what is enough for my life . What is enough for your life ? And what would you like to do ? And how much could you do so that your health is not compromised?
    Much appreciate your presence and your replies. Gives me a sense of connection.
    Wishing you a vital, healthy , good day .

  7. I am in the process of completing Intentional Creativity Coach training. After I complete the certification process, my wish is to have clients I really help who willingly pay me for that help.What could change in your life if this revelation was a physical reality?
    Barbara Lucas, coach-in-training

    • Dear Barbara
      I like the idea of your training very much . If this was a physical reality of my life . Hoping that I understood the question right . And would have the finances that you deserve . I think that creativity is much amiss in our society. Especially in business everybody is so tuned to just and i say just make more money every year . Forgetting and destroying our Mother Earth in the process . So there i think would be huge possibilities. Helping , coaching to look at things differently. For me this could help me to stop just going ion about change but do it . And in a war that suits me as a person cause I have never functioned in the so called way of the world . And there I would be very interested in the kreative way .
      Many blessings Christine

    • BL,
      As a fully blocked artist (aware, but embarrassed to admit), who has a thousand ideas but even more resistance (procrastination, distractions, etc) your coaching sounds really interesting. Do you work remotely or is it best to find a coach closer to me? How can we connect outside of this forum?

      • The most important thing is not location. The most important thing is to find not only someone you trust but someone who is effective.

        I am new to this forum. I don’t know the rules for connection outside of it.

  8. My wish is to find someone willing to be in a buddy-up with me. My biggest obstacle is not knowing anyone in my immediate network going out for their dreams and willing to commit the wishcraft method. I’m based in London Uk so I’m up for connecting via Zoom/Skype. I’m creative and my roles include among other things, teaching, writing and work as a business developer for others. I’m able to be brilliant at this because of the accountability element that comes with a job hence I need a buddy to help with my dreams. Anyone looking for a buddy too?

  9. My wish is to earn more money with the same amount of work , in a job where I
    can use my talents and skills. My Talents and Skills include but are not limited to: Networking, Positivity, Creativity, Think out of the box, Very keen to be in Contact with people since I like them, Extensive life experience, no fear, sales of a product that I can get behind etc.
    Obstacle one: my cv is to varied, I am either to smart or not qualified enough.
    Two: I am to old.
    Tree: my computer skills are lacking , not able to find a course where they teach what I need.
    Four : not enough money and time to learn more skills.
    Five : I actually don’t know what I want to do.
    Six : I can sell a product or promote an Idea/person yet somehow I seem to lack the skill when it comes to selling myself for a Job.
    Seven: Where I live ageism is big and people do want hire people over 55.

    • Hi Christine,
      I don’t know if this will be of any use but have you thought about PR , offering your passion , pitching for other people’s products , skills or what your passionate about or find interesting. You could promote a product, person , place , lifestyle , movie .
      You could promote via Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, coffee groups, and they could pay you for this . You could have a website as a specialist promoter or a YouTube channel. You could do a little in your spare time, be your own boss , you could provide feedback , let them know all your wonderful diverse training makes your professional advice and opinion matter and well worth the money .
      Did you know there are people making huge sums of money on YouTube from just eating their dinner in front of a camera, or ASMR slime videos or what their point of view is or reaction is , I know crazy right.
      I’m not sure if this is helpful or not , but I think your knowledge and experience is of great value and can be applied across many fields or your own interests. Good luck

      • Dear Mandy
        Thank you for your thoughtful and detailed reply . A specialist promoter that sounds so good . And in this way i could choose products that fits my Believers and my Life’s Philosophy. Cause at the moment I am reading a book that is called (genug)
        In german which means enough. Talks about all different aspects of life and how we need to find our own enough .
        So thank you again and have a fabulous, wonderful day .
        Best regards Christina

        • Hi Christina ,
          Can relate to a lot of what you said in your previous post . I’m also trying to carve out a living , struggling with health issues and don’t want a huge work load . I just found Barbara recently probably because I too have reached my enough moment also .
          I really hope you can find a way to pursue your dreams and have an abundant life , Good Luck Christina , you deserve a terrific life , we all do ☘️.

          • Hi Mandy
            I sent a reply to you this morning . But it seems to be that somehow it did not work .Struggling with health issuers but a realistic need to earn a living . This requires a delicate balance . What is you harts wish ?
            But it’s not always easy to make a living with a harts wish . I have a job that is often quite boring , but at least it covers my bills and it is not completely exhausting. Maybe I could promote your skills .
            Best wishes Christina

          • Hi Christina ,
            I accidentally posted my comment to the top of the page , if you scroll up you’ll see it , best of luck .

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