31 Days of Ideas

One of the great ideas I’ve run across online is something called #VEDA. Twice each year Amy Schmittauer of SavvySexySocial.com takes ownership of an internet meme called #VEDA — which stands for Video Every Day in August (or April …hence the twice-each-year…).

While Amy didn’t personally create this month-long challenge to motivate individuals to commit to a habit of recording and publishing a daily video for 31 (or 30) days, she’s certainly stepped up to lead the tribe. under the adapted #SSSVEDA banner …er… hashtag.

The last time I participated in the #VEDA challenge was three years ago. I stuck mostly with Amy’s list of helpful prompts (which she conveniently provides as a month of daily scheduled tasks on a #VEDA Google Calendar which you can add to your own Google Calendar). My first attempt at #VEDA was a useful (and fun) experiment. I proved to myself that I could absolutely produce a daily video — I completed all 31 days in a row — if I wanted to. Which, as it turns out, I didn’t really want to do back then!

I certainly have other daily content creation challenges that I’ve committed to and haven’t missed a day yet — but video wasn’t a big priority for me back then.

With the increase in video consumption over the years that followed my #VEDA challenge, and the easy web and mobile-based video production tools which have only gotten improved over time, I decided to take another stab at doing the #VEDA challenge for August 2017.

This time I decided to forgo the simple suggested prompts and turn my #VEDA videos into a series 31 individual brainstorms.

The video I posted on Day 1 was an invitation to my social media friends and followers asking them to leave a comment with a topic, a problem, or a challenge they’d like me to apply little extra creative power toward solving. Even if they had an idea of their own that they simply wanted some advice on putting it into action — for the next 30 days I’d be happy to help them through these daily videos.

Just like that I had a list of topics that would easily carry me through my first week.

This offer is also open to you, my dear blog reader!

Just leave a comment below with a topic and some basic details of what you’d like me to apply my creativity to on your behalf, and I will do my best to cover it in one of the videos I produce this month.

Who knows? If I get enough topics submitted, perhaps I’ll continue recording daily videos into September (or beyond!) But I can’t do it without your help! Please leave your comment below (to make sure you get your topic on the list sooner!) and then use one of the social sharing buttons on this page to forward this post to just one or two people you know that might benefit from a little creative insight form Don The Idea Guy!

PS: I am embedding the #VEDA2017 video playlist below this post. This way you’ll have one place to go to catch up on every video I post (in case you miss a an individual daily link).

31 Days of Ideas Playlist


Fires and Flames

Who lights your fire?Who lights your fire?
Who fans your flames?
Some people can fire you up, but you also need people who can turn up the heat and help push you to get things done.

You likely have one or two people who inspire you to think big thoughts and explore big concepts. A lucky few of you have at least one person who motivates you to take action and put those big ideas into motion.

Sometimes those individuals are the same person.

Sometimes different people serve different purposes.

Some people are really good at firing you up

Their words, music, pictures inspire you to consider what could be. The raise a level of emotion and energy and adrenaline that revs your engines and gets you burning hot.

Other people are good at fanning the flames and focusing your energy

Lighting the fire isn’t enough. It can burn hot and then burn out. You need people who can fan the flames, feeding your passion while directing the energy toward a focused goal. They demonstrate through their own actions (not just words) that what you dream about can be made real. Because they’ve done it personally. Because they’ve helped others achieve their own goals, and those people serve as witness.

Who inspires you to think bigger?
Who shows you a path to accomplish your goals?

I have been very fortunate to have more than one person cross my path at different times in my life and help me think bigger and put bigger ideas into action.

Recently (within the last couple of years) that person has been Jason Zook of Buy My Future. I wrote about him last year and let my experience serve as a witness to the help and support he’s given me to bring bigger and better ideas into the world. This year, as Jason once again puts his future up for sale — all the products and software and services that he has ever created (and every will create!) are all for sale for a single flat rate.

This kind of thing was pretty impressive last year when he did it, but this year it’s even more so. Firstly, because there is another year of product releases which add value to the quickly amassing collection of success-building tools, and secondly because the futures involved have doubled. Jason got married this year to another creative soul and content maker named Caroline Kelso (now Caroline Zook) and they thought it was only fair that since their personal futures had been joined, so should their commercial ones. And so Buy My Future became Buy Our Future.

You can click here to see what the Buy Our Future offer contains (it expires in a few days, so I recommend clicking soon!) but more importantly, I wanted to chime in and say that things I have access to as a member of the Buy Our Future community have helped me put more of my own ideas into action. As The Idea Guy I have no problem generating ideas. What takes more focused effort is picking which ideas to put into action, and finding the best platforms from which to launch them.

Buy Our Future tools like the course platform Teachery, or the Course Workbook site ofCourseBooks, and (one of my favorites) BumpSale help me launch and sell new content more quickly. I’m actually using BumpSale right now on the recently relaunched FiveBuckBrainstorms.com website where I am inviting visitors to buy all the ideas.

These tools are in addition to advice and lessons and content in the form of how-to courses and case studies from Jason (and now Caroline) on how they’ve launched and profited from their own businesses. They’ve been down this path. They know the way. You’d be silly not to at least be on the look out for the trail markers they’ve left behind.

Probably one of the most valuable items included in this collection is access to the rest of the BOF community via a private Slack channel. Everyone is everyone else’s biggest fans. Everyone wants every other member of the community to succeed. I’ve never seen a more engaged or encouraging group of individuals. It’s a private club like no other. It actually inspired me (fanned the flames) toward the creation of my own private community which is currently in BETA (I have a small group already taking action and plan to add 3 or 4 more within the next couple of months).

The tools and advice Jason and Caroline have (and will) develop are helping me personally focus and take action on my own ideas. I know they can help you as well.

Click here to get more details.
If you decide BOF is right for you and decide to join, be sure to say hello to me in the Buy Our Future community. As my own personal way of welcoming you, I will give you access to all the ideas on FiveBuckBrainstorms.com — Just reach out to me in the BOF Slack channel and ask for access!

Buy Our Future, Jason Zook

BuyOurFuture is available for purchase from March 28 – April 11, 2017

Magazine Revenue Ideas

I recently participated in an hour-long brainstorm session with Ron McDaniel, leader of the Micro Mag Publishing community. We bounced around ideas for local publishers on the topics of non-traditional revenue generation, selling ideas (versus selling advertising), sponsorship opportunities, featured content ideas, how to stay motivated, and a myriad of other topics (until I ran out of coffee!)

Our brainstorm session was recorded as exclusive video content intended for his Micro Mag Publishing members-only area, but Ron has generously made the audio-only version available to the Idea Guy community for a limited time. Frankly, I think the advantage here goes to people who don’t have to stare at my ugly mug while I am coming up with ideas (and I’m not necessarily talking about my coffee mug.)

You don’t have to be a magazine publisher to consume or apply these ideas. There are TONS of concepts here which anyone can adapt and apply to their own business and projects, no matter your area of focus or business category.

Click this link to access the brainstorm audio or click on the image below.

And please leave a comment below to let Ron and me know if you enjoyed the brainstorm — if we get enough positive response (or suggestions for future topics) this could become a regular thing!

magazine brainstorm

Are You Building a Wall or a Bridge?

A Wall prevents progressThe conversation regarding the building of a certain wall (and who will pay for said wall) is certainly a hot topic in the news these days, but this article is about more building metaphorical walls (and bridges) rather than physical (or political) ones.

Rather than reading these words and thinking about national borders or politicians with tiny hands and big orange heads, think about the conversations you had yesterday. Think about how you responded to requests on the phone or in email from co-workers and clients and family members.

In every conversation you have, every decision you make, and every action you take, you have the choice to build a wall or build a bridge.

A Wall is literally a barrier to progress

  • Walls are a device to prevent advancement (they stop forward movement)
  • Walls are exclusive (you can’t come in here)
  • Walls are restrictive (you can’t leave here)
  • Walls are selfish (this is mine, you can’t have any)
  • Walls are inflexible (they are intended to be rigid and unyielding, but crumble over time)
  • Walls block exploration (you can’t see or interact with what’s on the other side)

Walls keep people apart.

A Bridge enables connections

  • Bridges fill gaps (between people and places)
  • Bridges create links (creating daisy chains of ideas and neighbors)
  • Bridges provide a path (to bring people together)
  • Bridges allow for exploration (and discovery)
  • Bridges are flexible and adapt to change (ever see a bridge adjust to heavy winds?)
  • Bridges solve problems (it’s a way to overcome challenges and barriers)

Bridges provide a place to meet in the middle.

While both options require the effort of “constructTION” — only one option is truly “construcTIVE”.

A bridge enables connections

Calling it quits

You have an idea and you fall in love with it.
Maybe a little too much.

But you struggle with the relationship and it doesn’t seem to love you as much as you love it.

It eventually becomes an extremely one-sided relationship.
You devote heart and soul to the idea, but there’s no reciprocation.
Your idea doesn’t love you back.

Soon you see your concept running around with someone new.
This new person is getting all the love and recognition from the idea, and as much as you’d like to shout from the rooftops that you loved the idea first, in your heart you know that it’s over.

Sometimes it’s just best to just to call it quits.
Break-up with an idea so that you can free yourself up and move on to better things.

Find an idea that will love you back.


Gains and Losses

There is no denying that 2016 was a big year for losing some big names to the great beyond. We lost a Thin White Duke and a Prince. A man who floated like butterfly, a man who floated among the stars, and a woman who played soulmate to a super-powered “strange visitor from another planet”. We lost two TV cops from Barney Miller, a couple TV Dads and a few of TV Moms, along with the guy who created many of the classic TV shows that have crossed two or three generations so far (and countless more generations to come), and so many, many more individuals who’ve made an impact on so many lives.

But why lament on the individuals we’ve lost when many of us have had just as many (or perhaps many more) individuals who have been added to our lives and helped us gain more this year?

One new connection can be worth their weight in gold — or even better in my case if they are worth MY weight in gold! (I should really drop a couple extra pounds in 2017…)

Jim Keenan from A Sales Guy wrote a post about the one person who helped him the most in 2016 (Chris Brogan) and that article made me think about who had helped me the most this year and I had a hard time narrowing it down to a lone individual. As a matter of fact, I easily came up with a list of five people with whom I connected this year who not only contributed to my success and ideas in 2016, but will also impact my ideas and action for the coming year.

1. Jason Zook

I connected with Jason a couple years ago when he was still running a business called IWear YourShirt.com. When he launched Buy My Future last year I started trading more frequent emails with him, and once I invested in BMF his seemingly endless supply of energy for putting ideas into action really began to influence me. I launched a 50-episode daily podcast, a collection of Writers Worksheets, and an experimental “course/box” project — and I already know of two or three projects I’ll be launching in 2017 because I was in Jason’s orbit.

2. Nick Loper

Nick Loper was just a disembodied voice to me at the beginning of the year. He hosted one of my favorite podcasts and side-business communities, Side Hustle Nation. I was a fan of the show and contributed ideas to my fellow community members and Nick invited me on to the program to talk about generating ideas for side hustle businesses. Nick was open to doing something creative with that episode and we turned it into a live brainstorming session for his listeners. Nick says it was one of the most popular episodes of the year (I won’t rest until it’s the most popular of all time!!) and now we’re talking about working together to create ongoing content with future episodes or segments that provide the citizens of Side Hustle Nation with creative solutions to their toughest business challenges. Being on Nick’s podcast exposed me to a new audience and I’ve met another half dozen people who’ve made my 2016 a better year, and will postively impact the coming year.

3. Beck Power

Beck is a person I connected with this year because my new friend Nick Loper was scheduled to appear in a virtual Idea Summit Beck was producing. I didn’t know her, but I reached out and asked how I could become involved because I thought someone called “The Idea Guy” ought to be able to add some value to that event (fortunately, Beck agreed)! From there we continued the conversation on Facebook and I even participated in a mastermind group Beck and her “business bestie” (Hannah) hosted virtually from their house in Thailand. Last month Beck posed the concept of a 30-day email that provided a strongly-worded morning pep talk for creative minds. She said she’d create the content if at least 10 or 20 people would agree to signup and pay for it. I fell in love with the idea and immediately shared it with several of my friends who immediately signed-up and the “Daily Bitchslap” was born! Now I’ve introduced Beck to more of my friends and she can add the same positive impact to their year that she’s added to mine.

4. Hannah Dixon

When you connect with one cool person, you will soon connect with another. This is absolutely the case with Hannah Dixon. If it weren’t for becoming friends with Beck, I might never have crossed paths with Hannah (at the very least it could have taken a lot longer to meet her). After meeting Hannah by participating in the “Hustle House” mastermind session I mentioned above, she immediately sent me a friend request on Facebook (beat me to it by about three seconds!) and now I can keep up with all the awesome stuff Hannah is bringing into reality. The most recent project was a “5-Day VA Challenge” to help people find and monetize the unique value and services they can provide people as a Virtual Assistant. I’m just starting to learn all the cool things Hannah has planned, but her energy, enthusiasm, and quick path to idea implementation had a positive influence on me with just a short amount of time left in 2016 — I can only imagine how much of a difference knowing her will make on my success in the coming year.

5. Mr. Explainer

Lee is a new client who found me because of some of the new people I’ve met over the past year (including those mentioned above). Lee is a creative freelancer with a strong and interesting brand as Mr. Explainer which started as an animated video production company, but has the potential to expand in some really interesting directions. We’ve had a couple really productive and interesting and invigorating brainstorm sessions, and I know we’ll have some new projects to bring into reality in 2017. This is a guy to watch and add to your list of “cool people I should connect with in 2017”.

Choosing just these FIVE names was pretty limiting.

It was a no brainer to rattle off another five names to make it an even ten…

Ozeal: Smooth-talking host of the No Permission Needed podcast who shares the incredible stories of his guests and his a hardcore creative hustler himself. I am excited to see what he does with his course to help mobile bartenders, and to see if there’s a project we might collaborate on when he visits the Buckeye State sometime in the future.

Doug Farrick: We were introduced by way of my interview on the Side Hustle Nation podcast. Doug is the creator of many side hustle business initiatives , but my current favorite (which I’m twisting his arm to let me help with!) is a unique twist to selling original paintings from an online gallery called Pleinairly.

Steph Halligan: Creator of the ArtToSelf daily art project which had the same kind of vibe as my own daily project at BigYellowSticky.com, but she was much more successful at monetizing her content and reaching a wider audience. Even though her daily content production on that site has come to an end, I still look forward to the lessons I can apply to my own efforts.

Robin Miller: I met Robin because we both have a mutual crazy-awesome friend in Whitney Bishop. Robin struck-up a conversation online and when I heard she’d be in my city for an unrelated event, I had to invite her to meet-up in the real world. We had a blast bouncing around ideas over some tasty craft beers and have continued the conversation in regard to some interesting concepts for event-based brainstorming. I hope we get to work together more in 2017. You can connect with Robin at Nest Community Marketing (#seewhatshedidthere?)

Anthony Iannarino: I met this guy years ago when he was just a “baby blogger” getting started online (I take full credit for telling him it was perfectly acceptable to add the word “The” to the front of a domain name he liked but which had already been reserved by someone else.) I add his name to my 2016 list because his brand seemed to simply skyrocket — loads of speaking gigs all over the world, connections with the top gurus and influencers in every category, appearances on major media, and oh yeah… a best selling book titled The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. Talk about a guy who provides continual inspiration and keeps raising the bar!

But even these names still only scratch the surface and I know I’m leaving off interesting people. Here’s a question for you: Can you name five or ten people you’ve met this year that helped you achieve the biggest gains in your personal or professional life?

Here’s an even bigger question…
Will your name be on someone else’s list?



First came BEANstorming: generating business ideas and action plans with clients over coffee. Then came BEERstorms (same thing, just add beer!)

Now there’s a new location for idea generation (hey, that rhymes):


If you’re in Honolulu next week, a member of the Hawaii Association of Broadcasters, and would like to bounce around a few revenue-generating ideas while sitting seaside, under a blue sky, while sipping a Mai Tai (what’s with all the rhymes??) you can get details for reserving a one-hour-one-to-one idea session at: Beachstorming.com.

This is the exact same process (albeit in a waaaay better environment!) I’ve used to help media companies earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in new revenue, maintained price integrity, increase profits, develop multiple streams of non-traditional revenue, and command the highest CPM rates on their websites — all while producing strategic and innovative award-winning marketing campaigns which delivered incredible results for new (and established!) local direct clients who raved about the response rates and qualified leads resulting from their investment.

Join Don The Idea Guy on the island of O’ahu for beachside brainstorming sessions designed to increase revenue for your station and results for your clients!

Visit www.beachstorming.com to request additional information.

Beachstorming with Don The Idea Guy

Places You Can Sell Your Ideas

The only question I get asked more than “how do I come up with more ideas?” is “where can I sell my ideas?” — and these two questions couldn’t be further apart.

The answer to the first question is all about efforts and exercises to produce creative concepts in large quantities, whereas the most successful and profitable answer to the second question is more about access, influence, establishing value, and creating solutions to very specific problems.

If ideas are a dime-a-dozen:
Where can I find lots of people with lots of dimes?

places you can sell ideasFor the first time ever, I’ve assembled a collection of some favorite places for showcasing and selling creative ideas, as well as finding problems and challenges to be solved (at a profit!) I know about these resources because I’ve either used these exact resources (or similar ones) to market and sell and profit from my own ideas.

My latest Five Buck Brainstorm is titled Places You Can Sell Your Ideas and includes almost 20 individual strategies and dozens of resources and links that can help you sell the ideas you have swimming around your head.

This brainstormed list includes links to websites offering high-dollar bounties to people who can come up with winning ideas to corporate challenges and lists of resources you can use to make your own idea a reality (and generate recurring profits for yourself.)

Some of these resources may be new to you, some may be familiar (although shared in a new context), but all hold potential for you to profit from your ability to conceive of creative and innovative solutions and position them in a marketplace full of people willing to trade you some dimes (in some cases lots and lots of them!) for your best ideas.

And just like all the collections of ideas available on FiveBuckBrainstorms.com — you get all the ideas to explore, experiment with, and expand upon immediately delivered to you in a downloadable PDF document for just $5.00.

Get This Brainstorm!

Podcasts Running Through My Mind

Running Through My Mind PodcastI decided to jump in and launch a podcast this week.

Over the last 6-12 months I’d been trying to recruit a few business associates, past project partners, even my spouse to commit to creating and co-hosting an ongoing podcast program, but I couldn’t get any takers.

They were all interested, but no one seemed to want to pick a day and start (and keep going). I even thought about having one-shot temporary co-hosts. Each show would be hosted by me and “whomever”, but then I worried I’d spend more time trying to find people to co-host than having any fun actually creating the show.

I really wanted a co-host because I enjoy bouncing ideas (and one-liners) off of other people. I look smarter when I have smart people to talk to. Doing a solo podcast seemed too much like talking to myself. It would just be me, staring at a microphone, rambling. That’s already pretty close to what’s happening with my own internal monologue, so I wanted something a little more… “more”.

Daily content for the daily commute

A year or two ago I started a daily commute that take 30 minute or more (one way), five days a week. Today’s broadcast radio programming suuuuuuucks (and melts your brain) so I tend to use my vehicle as a mobile classroom and listen to audio books on CD. Then I joined Audible and started downloading audio books to my phone. I love them — lots of dead time that I can put to use by “reading”. I prefer the digital audio to the physical CDs because I can listen to them at an increased playback speed and get through an 8-hour book in 5 or 6 hours. Plus, I find that some narrators talk too slow, or my mind wanders as they talk in the background. Listening at an increased speed adds more energy to the audio and I find myself paying even more attention for fear of missing something interesting.  If I do feel I missed something, the audio player has a 30-second rewind feature that works beautifully. I can also add “digital bookmarks” to jump back to section of interest (like I did with “Contagious” by Jonah Berger, so that I could skip back to his short list summary of six “STEPPS” of what makes ideas spread.)

A lengthy, unabridged, business audio book can be a commitment.

You have the cost of the book plus the time it will take to consume it. Sometimes you don’t need/have time for/or are hungry enough to consume a 6-course meal. Sometimes you want a light lunch or a quick snack.

That’s how I got hooked on podcasts

You can find a podcast on just about any topic, a host to suit almost any personality, and a program length to fit any time period. 30-45 minute commute in the morning and an interest in earning a little extra cash on the side, no problem — try Side Hustle Show with Nick Loper.

Are you a sales professional with a longer 45-60 minute drive (or want to a program to span your day in the car driving from appoint to appointment) — allow me to suggest In The Arena with Anthony Iannarino. or the podcast Sell or Die with Jeffrey Gitomer and Jennifer Gluckow.

Are you a creative person short on time but have a long list of ideas you’d like to put into action — you have to listen to Jason Zook’s Action Army Podcast. and Chris Brogan‘s invaluable (but far too infrequent!) The Owner’s Mind podcast.

Excited and inspired to take action

Excited and inspired by these shows, their content, and their hosts, I really wanted to start my own. I thought I had some value to offer an audience (if only a chance for them to learn from my mistakes!), so this week I took a lesson from a recent audio book I completed (“The 10X Rule” by Grant Cardone — you really need to listen to this one at 2X speed!) and simply dove in before I had a chance to “prepare my way out of it”. You know, that thing where you have an idea that you really want to put into action, but you talk yourself into “getting ready and doing all the vital research required to make it successful? <cough-cough-BULLSHIT-cough-cough>

Instead, I decided I would simply pull into my parking spot at work, launch the Spreaker podcasting app on my iPhone and use my cheap-bastard-brand Bluetooth headset to record all the things I was thinking about on my drive to work. The new ideas I wanted to explore, lessons I learned from the podcast I was listening to,  cool projects that friends of mine were putting out into the world — basically all the stuff that was just running through my mind that day that I felt might be of value.

An audio action agenda, a talking to-do list, a mental monologue.

I didn’t worry about setting up a landing page or registering a domain or the audio sound quality or even a name for the show — I called it what is was “Running Through My Mind“.

I’m sure the domain and dedicated web page will come soon enough. For now you can reach it with a redirected link from my site and play individual episodes or subscribe to the podcast feed on the Spreaker show page.

I hope you find it of value, I hope you’ll choose to subscribe, I hope you’ll send me a message or post a comment and maybe even recommend it to someone else who has been making excuses instead of actually making stuff.

It’s easy — just hit record and then hit post.

Here is my inaugural episode.

Let me know what you think!


500+ Idea Summit

register for the free Idea Summit and get 500 free business ideas!A great big congratulations to my friend Beck Power for launching her Idea Summit today!

Not only has she shared interviews with 20 different people on the topic of ideas, creativity, and putting those creative ideas into action — she’s also created a list 500 quirky business ideas that she’s giving away for free in exchange for your registration to her Idea Summit (which is also free!) So, combine the 500 free ideas she’s giving away with the nearly infinite number of ideas you’ll be able to glean from the individual interviews and it’s an event you really don’t want to miss.

Now that’s a big idea!

Join Beck and her roster of guests: best-selling author and podcaster James Altucher; author, inventor and professional idea-licenser Stephen Key; entrepreneur, for-profit t-shirt wearer, and future-seller Jason Zook; Side Hustle Nation founder, podcast host, and author Nick Loper, and just a TON of other idea guys and gals (including yours truly!) as they share humorous and candid interviews with Beck asking fun and powerful questions about generating ideas and how to profit from putting them into action.

The topic of my interview with Beck is about finding people interested in buying your creative ideas and places where you can sell your ideas for a profit. Everyone who registers through my link (yes, it’s an affiliate link and I get credit for everyone who enters the Idea Summit through my door) will get free access to latest Five Buck Brainstorm with a dozen resources and concepts for “Where To Sell Your Ideas“.

Registration for the Idea Summit is free and you watch them all, on-demand, as many times as you wish, at no cost whatsoever — but only from September 7 through September 10.

If you’d like to retain access to these invaluable videos after the summit ends, you can buy VIP Access for just $97 (which is a huge bargain if you only put one idea into action from even ONE of those interviews — and Beck is granting access to all 20+ videos).

BUT, if you buy during the active summit dates you can get the whole shebang for just $67 (which, if you’re doing the math is an even better value!)

Whether you just watch the interviews during the free period or invest in yourself by adding the valuable advice shared in these videos to your own learning and earning library, Beck is giving you her list of 500 business ideas to keep and act on and profit from just as her way of giving you even more value for attending the Idea Summit.

Click here to register now and get immediate access to the Idea Summit!

Free Idea Summit