Career Change Ideas
Brainstorming is a great tool to use for transforming your interests into income opportunities. It's an interactive, positive tool allowing you to capture a wide spectrum of ideas and possibilities. Although you can use this tool alone, your results will be better if you do it with other people.
You will want to get the best benefit – or the best list of income-producing ideas. In its purest state, brainstorming is an open ideas forum with some structure and no judgment or editing. It’s a forum where “all ideas are good ideas” no matter how wacky, impractical, or seemingly impossible.
The concept behind capturing every idea, even the silly ones, is that ideas build on each other. Someone might say something that sounds impractical, but that silly idea might trigger a great idea in someone else’s mind. If you kill the first impractical idea by making a judgment then you’ll never get to the great idea. So don’t judge initially. You will have the opportunity to do this later, after your session is over.
Here’s how to set up a brainstorming session with an objective of turning your passions into profits.
Clearly define your objective so that you can communicate it to others. For example, an objective might be:
- ideas for generating income doing the things I love to do, or
- ideas for generating income streams while I’m living & traveling in my RV”, or
- ideas for generating income from my art
list of things you love to do
and turn it into a
. Make a copy of the mind map for each person you invite.
Find a few people to help with the brainstorming exercise. I like groups of 2-4 people. If the group gets too big it’s harder to manage. Who should you invite? Find people who are open-minded, supportive of your objective and tend to have a lot of creative ideas themselves. Let them know in advance why you’re asking them the get together.
Buy some drinks and snacks. People are always happy when they can be munching on something or sipping a drink. You know what your friends enjoy – provide it. Set up an atmosphere for some relaxed, fun socializing.
Flip chart or poster size paper You want everyone to be able to see all the ideas throughout the session. As you finish one page on a flip chart tape it to the wall where everyone can see it and continue with the next page. Ideas tend to build on each other and you want to make all the ideas visible for everyone.
Big, fat, dark colored markers so everyone can read the flip chart (don’t use yellow, light green, pastels, etc).
Some sticky notes or notepads and pencils for the participants to jot down their thoughts during the session. They might want to make notes on their copy of the Mind Map you’ve provided.
Drinks and snacks (just in case you forgot)
The Brainstorming Activity
1. Make sure everyone gets a chance to socialize before you get started so they get it out of their system before the brainstorming activity.
2. Once people have settled down introduce what you want them to do and tell them the agenda. This sounds very formal but you can have fun with it and give it an informal feel. You have probably already given them some idea about this but you want to make sure everyone is on the right track. So tell them the purpose of what you are doing – how you want to change your life and career and start earning income doing work that you love, and you are looking for ideas for generating income.
3. Tell them the ground rules:
a. All ideas are good ideas
b. No judgment or editing during the brainstorming session (if someone laughs out loud at an idea or makes a negative comment ignore it and record the idea anyway)
c. Find a volunteer to take notes so that you can facilitate the discussion. In the corporate world we call this person “the Scribe”. Assign someone with good handwriting and who is a good listener. Ideally this person will write down all the ideas on a chart that everyone can see. No editing.
4. Hand out your Mind Map. Give everyone a few minutes to read it and ask questions. You might want to spend a little time going through it with them and clarifying points. You’ll need to decide what will work best with your friends.
5. Ask if there are any questions – if not, then let the ideas start flowing and remind the scribe to write down all the ideas offered (no editing).
You might want to give them a time limit – like 10 or 15 minutes so that they know this won’t last all night. You can use a kitchen timer to help keep the time. If they’re still going strong after 10 or 15 minutes, extend the time until the flow of ideas starts to slow down.
Once the ideas have slowed down and you feel like there are some ideas on this list that are intriguing to you, wrap up the brainstorming session, thank everyone for their help and get back to socializing. It’s in your court after your guests leave to review the ideas, select the ones that sound good to you and begin your
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