It’s OK!

VulnerableWhen most people think about being “vulnerable” it immediately evokes negative thoughts and feelings. After all, who wants to be susceptible to an attack or criticism – or even position themselves to be wounded or hurt? More than likely it is accurate to say, nobody!

Well, the good news is being vulnerable doesn’t have to be all negative,  according to Brené Brown, whose recent stint on Oprah’s LifeClass series has everyone rethinking how they feel about being vulnerable! When it’s all said and done, she says, opening yourself up to vulnerability brings:

  • Creativity
  • Happiness
  • Joy
  • Contentment
  • The feeling that you have a place in the world
  • Connection, and more

If you would like to expand your perceptions, gain or enhance your sense of self-worth or simply just learn how to become courageous when faced with being vulnerable, please join us for our upcoming Open-Mic event. See details below.

Brene Brown flyer– The IDEAWorks® Team

“I found that the more truthful and vulnerable I was, the more empowering it was for me.”

~Alanis Morissette  



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Make it HAPPEN

MAKE Ideas HappenMost “creative” people never seem to run out of great ideas, but in the words of author Scott Belsky, most of these ideas never see the light of day! Thomas Edison said it best though – “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

Sometimes making your vision a reality can be a bit difficult! So, after studying the habits of successful and productive people for years, Belsky devised five tips for making ideas happen. His suggestions include:

  1. Avoid a Reactionary Workflow – We are all bombarded with incoming communication (emails, phone calls, etc). Rather than be proactive with our energy, we spend all of our energy reacting. To avoid this reactionary workflow, schedule “windows of non-stimulation,” avoiding email and all other incoming communication.
  2. Strip Projects to Three Primary Elements – Reduce projects to three key elements: 1. Action steps, tasks that can be articulated succinctly; 2. Backburner items, ideas that are not actionable, but may be later; and 3. References, articles, notes, and other information that you collect.
  3. Measure Meetings with Action Steps – Meetings are generally held in the morning – when a large amount of people are most productive. These meetings usually end without any action steps having been captured. A meeting that ends without action steps should have been a voice mail or email. End each meeting with a quick review and capture the action steps.
  4. Reduce Your Insecurity Work – Insecurity work is stuff that we do to make sure we’re “safe,” but it: 1. Has no definable outcome; 2. Does not move the ball forward in any way; and 3. Takes up so little time that we can do it multiple times a day without realizing it. The first step in reducing this type of work is to become self-aware.
  5. The Creative Process is About Surviving the “Project Plateau” – Most ideas are abandoned at what Belsky calls the “project plateau”: the point when creative excitement wanes and the pain of deadlines and project management become burdensome. To escape this pain, we generate a new idea, abandoning the one we were working on. Belsky urges you to show your ideas some respect and spend some energy improving how you execute.

Click here to see all the details on Belsky’s tips – and start the process of implementing your ideas today!

– The IDEAWorks® Team


“A good idea is about ten percent and implementation and hard work, and luck is 90 percent.”

~Guy Kawasaki  




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Escape the box!

Out of the BoxTo ‘think outside the box’ – thinking creatively, unimpeded by orthodox or conventional constraints, is a cliché that has been used since the early 1970’s. The use of a box symbolizes restrained, unimaginative thinking. So to be creative and innovative, you must think outside the box or just plain get out of it, as Mitch Ditkoff, president of Idea Champions advises!

Ditkoff says that if you can begin to really understand what the six sides of a box represent, you’ll improve your chances of getting out of the box. Doing so, he says, will increase your knack of coming up with that next big idea or the solution to a problem that you’ve been searching for!

To get started, Ditkoff provides “The Six Sides of the So-Called Box” and why most people are trapped inside the box. They include:

  1. Fear – If you want to increase the odds of being trapped in a box for the rest of your life, all you need to do is increase the amount of fear you feel.
  2. Powerlessness – Powerlessness is a state of mind in which people think they have no choice – that they are victims of circumstance, that the act of attempting anything new is futile.
  3. Isolation – A box is usually small and confining. Rarely is there enough room for more than one person. The result? Isolation – with no one to talk to, no one to bounce ideas off, and no one to collaborate with.
  4. Assumptions – Assumptions are the guesses we make based on our subjective interpretation of reality. Ultimately, it’s our assumptions that shape our world.
  5. Mental Clutter – If you find yourself in the box, it would be fair to say that the box contains you. But what do you contain? If you are like most people in today’s over-caffeinated, hyper-kinetic, information overloaded world the answer is simple: too much.
  6. Narrow Mindedness – When you’re in the box, it’s hard to see! Sight lines are limited. Vision is obscured. You become shortsighted. Vision conforms to that which confines it. You become, soon enough, narrow-minded.

Click here to take an in-depth look at Ditkoff’s reasons why most people can’t see beyond their immediate surroundings – and actually get out of the box!  Leave your comments below. We would love to know what you think!

– The IDEAWorks® Team


“If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can’t, you’re right.”

~Mary Kay Ash


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Early Risers

Early RisersIt’s seems to be more than just a cliché that “the early bird gets the worm!” However, for most people, getting out of bed before the sun rises is never easy! It is doable and advisable though, especially if you want to be counted among those who are “productive.”

According to author Ciara Conlon, dragging your tired body out of bed has a lot of benefits when it comes to being successful. Conlon names a number of successful people from Churchill to Obama, from Branson to Darwin who rose with the morning sun! You are more than likely knowledgeable about some of their achievements, but do you know how they personally benefitted from having the “mind over mattress” mentality? If not, here is a brief list:

  • The Winners Mindset – Beating your inner voice (that wants five more minutes of sleep)
  • More Time – Getting up just one hour earlier would gain you an additional 15 days in a year
  • Get Active – Exercising in the morning sets you up for the day with energy, focus, and enthusiasm
  • Quiet Time – This is time that you could use doing things that you want to do, undisturbed – like painting, writing, or something else creative

Click here to take a look at the entire list of things that the writer says make successful people productive! And, why not try to implement some of these things in your life? After all, what would you have to lose except the potential of being victorious?

– The IDEAWorks® Team


“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”


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It’s the Weekend, Baby!

WeekendWhew, you made it to the end of the week! And, as you’re sitting at your desk anxiously awaiting that 5 o’clock bell to ring (like Fred Flintstone) so that you can start your weekend rejuvenation, why not think about refreshing your innovation and creativity skills?

Don’t fret! You don’t have to sit and figure out ways to make it happen! Joel Falconer, editor of the gaming publication StartFrag, has devised a list of 30 tips that you can use to revive not only yourself this weekend, but also your imagination!

Following are some of the tips that Falconer suggests to keep those ideas flowing:

  1. Surround yourself with creative people -Hang out with writers, musicians, poets and artists. Often, just being in a creative environment will inspire you and refresh your creative mind.
  2. Never stop learning.
  3. Imitate the real world – Find beauty (or the ugly, depending on what inspires you) and try to extract the essence of it into your work. This may lead you to what you need to create, or it may just warm up the muse.
  4. Drink too much coffee – Sometimes.
  5. Do something new – Play chess. Read a book if you watch television and watch television if you read. Go outside. Sing in the shower.
  6. Don’t be too precious about your work – Being inspired by ‘the muse’ is important, but if the doctor and the garbage man can do their jobs every day, then those in a creative line of work can too. Change your attitude towards your work.
  7. Meet new people – from different walks of life. Gain insight into their perspectives on life. Strike up a conversation on the bus.
  8. Shut out the world – Instead of sucking in new information, sit quietly, go to sleep, or meditate. Stop thinking and clear your mind so that the clutter doesn’t get in the way of your thoughts.
  9. Don’t be a workaholic – Take breaks. Your mind needs a chance to wind down so it doesn’t overheat and crash.

10. Trash what you’re working on. Start again.

Click here to view the entire list. TGIF!

– The IDEAWorks® Team


 “We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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