072: How to get unstuck when brainstorming solo – with Carrie Anton

The Simplifiers Podcast banner/post image

Imagine this… you’ve got a super big challenge on your plate that you know you need to brainstorm out. When you’re a solopreneur, this is what happens instead of brainstorming:

  • You put on a giant pot of coffee
  • Pull out the post-it notes
  • Clear off your desk
  • Dust it down
  • Put a load of laundry on (for good measure)

In short, you fall down the rabbit hole of 80 billion other tasks you could do instead. Your inner critic shouts, “ACK! How in the world am I going to brainstorm this out all by myself!!?!”

Our guest today has co-written a brilliant book called Me, Myself & Ideas: The Ultimate Guide to Brainstorming Solo. It helps dispel the myth that you need a big team–or a whole slew of office supplies–to make magic happen. Instead, you can brainstorm solo.


Carrie Anton simplifies brainstorming solo

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why the practice of brainstorming new ideas (by yourself) is the vital first step for solopreneurs
  • How to brainstorm solo
  • Where to do it
  • What you might need along the way to get your creative juices flowing (spoiler alert: it’s less than you think)
  • How to develop creative habits in your everyday life that will help you spark more ideas in your work
  • A couple of icebreaker and brainstorm techniques from Carrie’s book to try today
  • How brainstorming solo can help you develop ideas before you pitch them to clients, co-workers, and other collaborators

Bottomline, this could help you be a better salesperson and business leader, win/win!

I loved my talk with Carrie and loved her book even more. It’s fun, playful and even if you think you don’t have a creative bone in your body (lies! vicious lies!), I know you’ll get inspired by these simple experiments Carrie shares. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.


My challenge for you this week:

What stops you from brainstorming solo? How can you develop more reliance on yourself and tap into your creative thinking? Share it with me, privately or publicly, by snapping a photo of you doing the thing and tag @thesimplifiers on Instagram for added accountability and support!

Links, people and apps mentioned:

Book: Me, Myself & Ideas: The Ultimate Guide to Brainstorming Solo – Carrie Anton & Jessica Nordskog

Link: See Carrie speak at this conference – NACE conference, July 14-17 2019, Ohio

Book: Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds – Carmine Gallo

Website: Wonder: An Idea Studio

Meet Carrie: To meet the Wonder Woman in person, check out where she’ll be, using the Tour tab on her website

Favorite quotes from this episode:

[22:13] “I love thinking that [brainstorming solo] doesn’t have to happen at a desk in my home office.” – Mary

[23:11] “One of the foundations I see of brainstorming is perspective. And if you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you’re going to go much further with seeing that idea in different ways.” – Carrie

[43:01] “If you get an idea, don’t immediately go out and buy the URL. Don’t go out and share the idea on social media. Don’t invest all this time and energy into it because as soon as you do that, now you feel invested.” – Carrie

[44:33] “If you sit on the idea for a little bit, you’re going to see it come to life in a way that you might not be able to do on your own. You can’t push and force it. It just sort of has to naturally bloom and grow.” – Carrie

[52:33] “Just know that everything within you is helping you to get to where you need to be. So stay the course and tap into that inner strength.” – Carrie

Leave a voicemail!

Tell us… what’s one tip that’s helping you simplify your work, or life these days?

Click here to send me a voicemail! We’ve added a fancy little vertical button which says ‘Send Mary a Voicemail’ on the right side of the page.

Here, you can record a voicemail through your phone or your laptop, and then we can feature you on a future episode!

So, what’s one thing that’s helping you simplify these days?

  • A time saving tip that’s helping you manage your work or
  • It’s a great book you’re loving these days or
  • Maybe you’ve simplified childcare in the summer months (and if that’s the case, spill your secrets!)

Leave us a message with:

  • Your name
  • You business name (if you own one)
  • What city in the world you’re tuning in from and
  • Tell us how you’re simplifying

Easy peasy, super simple!

Big thanks to our undercover superheroes at The Simplifiers Podcast that help us create these episodes for you – Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Janine Yardley, our Show Notes Editor. Lyden Yardley, our Director of Brilliance. Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Our advisory board includes: Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for listening and telling your peeps about us.

As always friends, keep things simple.

About Carrie:

Carrie Anton worked as a full-time author and editor for American Girl Publications’ Advice & Activity line from 2005 through 2013. During this time she wrote several contemporary nonfiction books for 8-to-12-year-old girls.

Anton left the cube life in 2013 to grow Wonder: An Idea Studio, an ideation company. At the same time, she’s girl-bossing as a freelance writer. Her writing has been published by Women’s Health, Family Circle, Oxygen, Draft, and Outside, among others. Her latest work is the co-authored book Me, Myself & Ideas: The Ultimate Guide to Brainstorming Solo.

Where Carrie hangs out online:

Website: wonderideastudio.com

Facebook: @wonderideastudio

Instagram: @wonderideastudio

Carrie’s vote for the perfect guest on The Simplifiers Podcast:

Anne Adametz – Life coach, yoga instructor and acupuncturist.

Carrie Anton - brainstorming solo

Video version of the episode

Join us and become a Simplifier!

Well hello there, thanks for stopping by and having a listen to The Simplifiers Podcast! Our mission is to take topics in business and in life… and SIMPLIFY them!

If you loved this episode, you’ll want to go ahead and hit the SUBSCRIBE button in your podcast player to get more of this coming your way.

In addition, we’ve created a free online community called the SUPER Insiders, so you can connect with other entrepreneurs and aspiring Simplifiers around the world.

Click here to join and start SIMPLIFYING

Subscribe to The Simplifiers Podcast

Don’t forget, you can tune in to the podcast on any of these fantastic FREE platforms, whatever suits your fancy:

Listen on StitcherListen on Google PlayListen on Spotify

TuneIn | Acast | SoundCloud | YouTube
| Pandora
… or find us on your favorite podcast app by searching: The Simplifiers Podcast

Disclaimer: This blog post includes affiliate links because we wholeheartedly believe in the products, books and courses featured on the podcast. Therefore, we get compensated when you click on the links above and decide to purchase these items, which helps us continue to serve and support you. We share only the very best resources with our listeners and hope you find great value in them, as well.

Leave a Reply