In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

We’ve all had what we thought was a great idea: a new invention that’ll make us millions, the perfect scheme to get back at our petty neighbor, the solution to end world hunger… 

Okay maybe nothing that grand, but you get the point; There are hundreds of ideas that play bumper cars in our minds on a daily basis. 

And yet, the majority of these ideas stay there, rotting away because we lack the tools to put them out into the world and/or confidence to ensure they survive first contact with the “enemy” (which is often ourselves). 

Today’s episode is chock full of tools / strategies to help you get your best ideas out of your head and into the world. We’ll cover: 

  1. What to do if you can’t think of any good ideas
  2. Essential questions to ask before moving forward with an idea
  3. Mind Mapping: populating, connecting & Sorting and pressure testing
  4. Brainstorming: rules of engagement 

This episode is brought to you by The Art of Coaching Speaking School:

Whether you’re pitching investors for more money, asking supervisors for a raise, presenting at a national conference or coaxing your kids to bed, your ability to refine a message, understand your audience and deliver information in a way that will not only captivate but move them to action is one of the most important skills you can cultivate.

We’re keeping this event small and intimate to facilitate practice, repetition and feedback. Spots and limited and going fast- 

Check out for more details. 

Today’s episode is also brought to you by Dynamic Fitness & Strength. Dynamic is our title sponsor and our go-to equipment guys. If you need anything for your home or full-sized gym- they offer the most affordable, customizable, durable equipment on the market.


Ali Kershner  0:04  

Today’s episode is brought to you by the art of coaching speaking school. And we are really excited because our first workshop date is coming up soon, May 28, and 29th, we will be in Atlanta, Georgia, and we only have a few spots left. So if you’ve been considering this, or if you’re interested, check out for the most recent information, and to grab a spot before they all fill up. Now, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, this is a workshop we created because we know that every single person, you included, has a story to share. And speaking isn’t just about getting up in front of people. It’s about knowing that despite our weaknesses, and imperfections, and maybe even fear, we have something more to offer, and people need our ideas. So whether you want to get in front of a crowd and present at a national conference, or you want to pitch to a board of directors, or maybe you just want to coax her kids to go to bed at an earlier hour, we want to give you the tools to do so more effectively. And because it’s us, we’re gonna have you practice and rehearse in real time so that you can get live feedback and refine in the moment. Now again, we have two dates coming up may 28, and 29th and November 12, and 13th, both in Atlanta, Georgia. So check out for all the current details and for upcoming events. All right now on to today’s show. Check it out,


Brett Bartholomew  1:33  

check it Welcome to the Art of coaching Podcast. I’m Brett Bartholomew. And at a young age poor communication nearly cost me my life. Now, I help others navigate the gray area of social interaction, power dynamics and communication so they can become more adaptable leaders regardless of their profession, age or situation. This podcast is for everybody who is fascinated with solving people problems. So if you’re in the no nonsense type who appreciates frank conversations, advice you can put to use immediately and learning how others navigate the messy realities of leadership. You’re in the right place. I’m glad that you’re joining us. Let’s dive in


Hey, guys, welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I’m here with my co host Ali Kershner Ali been a minute since we’ve had yawn.


Ali Kershner  2:37  

I know. Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been on the podcast, but I didn’t see you seven days ago. So hasn’t been that long.


Brett Bartholomew  2:43  

Yeah. And we’ll see each other plenty on the road again soon. But it is always nice to have you here with me. I think if we were joking one time, if every other career thing failed. You are the one person that I would love to just go and be a radio DJ with interview. Interesting, probably super weird people. But I feel like we do really good on a radio station. Do you think that we could keep jobs in that context?


Ali Kershner  3:07  

Yeah, I was trying to think about, you know, what would be our like, signature segment, you know, like, people are known what we’re known for across the world, like, you know, the Ali and Brett minute or like, something like that? I don’t know, what would that be?


Brett Bartholomew  3:19  

I think, you know, one guy that I’ve always wanted to have on here is like Jude Angelina, who used to work in that Jenny Jones Show. And he’s got something on m&ms Like shade 45. And it’s what would you do? And, man, sometimes his advice is really common sense straight to the point other times, like, you’re like, Wait, what just came out of your mouth, but he’s got the best radio voice and he just kind of cuts to the chase and doesn’t not always take the side of that person calling. So I always like knowing how you’d handle things, I think. So I would probably just be like, what would you do? And then we could game it out like three different ways. But we could probably get a lot more creative than that if we had to.


Ali Kershner  3:58  

Yeah, I think we could also like react to funny memes and like viral YouTube videos, because I feel like you have very different takes on some things that I do. And it would just make for a really interesting discussion,


Brett Bartholomew  4:09  

without question. So I mean, I want to take an audience poll of that if you guys I mean, you’ve heard us do a lot of different podcasts on a lot of different things. We’ve done solo episodes, a lot of guests episodes, Ali and I doing collaborative episodes. You’ve heard things on people watching, you’ve heard serious, what if Ali and I had a radio show, what would that format look like? And you know, maybe we’ll do it. But today I want to touch on something that’s all about idea extractions, specifically, people that and I know I wasn’t one of them. I don’t know if I can speak for everybody. But there were plenty of times that I’d got I’d get haunted by my own ideas. I think some of those good, I’d write it down wouldn’t pursue it. Another thing is good. Maybe I pursue it for a little bit. But all of them just kind of seemed either alright. I’m not quite sure what the next step of that would be. Or some of them would be like, I don’t know if anybody would take me seriously with that. And it wasn’t really always like this fear of judgement, or could I do it, it’s just life got busy. But I did always find that I wish I had written some of these ideas down, then the irony is, when I write them down, I’d also forget about where I wrote them down because technology’s evolved. So point being giving people a strategy and sharing our lessons and our learnings, from putting ideas out there Road, testing them, refining them, and making sure that people understand that if you do have an idea, or maybe you have 1000 of them, we guarantee some of them are pretty good, and somebody in the world needs it. So maybe helping those things get out of your own head. Did I miss anything there?


Ali Kershner  5:36  

No, I think this is such a crucial lesson for really anybody because getting them out of your head and onto paper is really the first step. And I think that’s where most of us stall. I know, even for myself, like even just having it physically, like I have about 50 different post it notes, which it seems overwhelming at the time, but it’s so much better than living in my head. And so I’m you know, I’m excited to talk about this. Because this is a tool honestly, that I need to remind myself about more often than I do.


Brett Bartholomew  6:03  

So to give you guys and I appreciate that disclosure, to give you guys listening an idea of how we’re going to cover this, then we want to make this as real life applied as possible. So we’re going to talk about the concept of again idea generation how to kind of map on how to know which ones are maybe worth pursuing, what aren’t, regardless of context. And then we’re going to share a lot of examples of how we’ve adapted, I am definitely a recovering perfectionist, that still persists in many areas of my life, I’m going to do a whole episode on perfectionism and things like that, how do you know when it’s really self handicapping, but we want to map this out, give you context, real examples of those things. 


So first of all, I’m going to start with this. I think something that helped me that I hope helps those of you listening is realizing we don’t really live in an age anymore, where you put this perfect thing out there you spend, it’s almost like this statue of David, you don’t just work on this sculpture, this statue, this idea for a given amount of time, maybe undefined amount of time. And then one day you present it to the world. Now we live in a culture that whether it’s the iPhone, whether it’s some automobiles, any product, really you get updates, I mean, even the software from the road podcast kind of platform we’re using here, it gets updates, you get firmware, updates, everything updates. And that was something that helped us is, you know, let’s say we use our art of coaching apprenticeship, for example, a workshop that by and large is about having tough conversations, learning how to play the game power dynamics, what that looks like now having over ran it for over two and a half years. Very different than how it looked then. So we’ll talk about what that is and how that got there. 


Ali. What else do you think is really important to cover before we get into kind of a step by step guideline for coming up with ideas and writing them down?


Ali Kershner  7:47  

You know, I think it’s not only right, the tactics of generating ideas, and then knowing which ideas to keep which ideas to run, which ideas to kill, but then also, how many understanding that even if you like the ideas that they still might not work? And like, how do you what do you do with that? Because you can, I mean, it’s one thing to create something that’s great for something that solves a problem in your life. But that still might not help anybody else. And so I think it’s this entire process of not only getting ideas out of your head, figuring out which ones to run with, but then which ones are actually helpful to other people. And how do you know which ones to keep and kill when others are involved in not just your own head making these decisions? 


Brett Bartholomew  8:30  

Yeah, that’s a valid point. And for those of you who have taken our blind spot, course, this might sound familiar, because this is really a big part of module three. And for those that are more visually oriented, you know, again, soft sell here, but if you want something, we have this in an entire course, but we’re just going to give a sampling today. So let’s look at this and for those following bad habit, it’s slide 139. But we think about just mapping, what we talked about is mind mapping. And this helps me my mind Ali is so much more gifted than I am in terms of staying organized. When I get ideas immediately. neurons and synapses fire 1000 different ways. And sometimes they can be overwhelming and I feel like Allah you’re you’re much more like collected and concentrated. But something that happened for me is alright, well first start with the core of the idea and think alright, what is the job to be done here? What is the idea Help with what does it teach? What does it solve? What are you actually giving in this? What are you sharing? How am I entertaining, so I promise to link this to real world. So for me, when this concept of the apprenticeship or workshop all about communication, power dynamics, and everything took place, I’m like, you know, I wish that I had something that helped me and really sticky moments in life when I was dealing with really manipulative people or maybe people that didn’t really give me much in return. And when I had looked out in the market, I saw there were like conflict resolution courses, but they were very filled with like very much filled with management, DS, corporate culture, HR kind of mediation stuff. or there was your classic kind of FBI negotiation pieces. And I was like, well, I need something multivariate. And I also need something that is a mix of PowerPoint, because I’m visual role playing, because I want something to be experiential, and then group based so that I can get outside of my own head. So I was like, what about this workshop that we can teach around the world, and it can help people literally in their personal and professional lives, by helping them deal with some of the biggest moments in their life that they don’t often get to prepare for? That was the base idea. 


So what did it teach and solve and all that? Well, one, you can read whatever book you want, you can go to any kind of website you want, listen to any podcasts you want. But with conversations and communication, unless you’re in that that moment, you don’t really know how you’re going to reply. It’s very much like the Mike Tyson, quote, everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the nose, or the mouth, rather. And that’s what this was. So that was where it started. Ali I’m gonna turn it over to you real quick, and see if you have an add on there or anything that I may be missed.


Ali Kershner  11:02  

Yeah, I actually think that, that’s a huge point. And I hope that other people kind of pick up on what you just did, by asking yourself those questions as a starting point, because I think it’s very tempting. And a lot of idea generation material that’s out there tells you to just sit down unfiltered record all of your thoughts about anything and everything. And to a certain extent, that’s great. You know, there’s like mourning pages and journaling and all of that. But I think, at least for me, personally, when I give myself some constraint, or some even broad stroke topic to ideate, around, my ideas are much richer and much better. And I think there’s this misunderstanding that constraint doesn’t always constrict ideas, but sometimes it enhances them. And I think that when you start with this general, overarching theme of what you said, with the apprenticeship is like this is a place to come practice. It’s experiential, you started with some constraints, so that when you went to put pen to paper with your ideas, you weren’t necessarily pulling ideas about when to take the dog out for a walk and you want, you know, some new candle that you want to create, right? That’s just overwhelming, your brain goes to many places. So starting with one layer of constraint really focuses idea creation, even before you get into the tactical part of what that thing looks like.


Brett Bartholomew  12:25  

Great example right there. And I know some people inevitably will ask, Well, do you write this down on an iPad? Do you do that sometimes guys, I’ll just hit the voice recorder function on my phone. And like Ali said, Just dump, just talk a little bit. Now that can be painful, because you’re going to use a lot of disfluencies. There are other times and if you watch this on YouTube, you’ll see me holding up, we hold all use sticky notes. And I’ll literally one idea per note, and I’ll cover a desk. And then we’ll talk about this a little bit more later. But I start to see what are common themes of the notes that I put there. And then I’ll group them. But I think in the context of the apprenticeship, and we even do it for the podcasts, just so you know, it can be big or small. You have to just think what’s out there? What are people asking what are people needing? And so that is another example of why even when I wrote conscious coaching, I knew we had to do an online course. And then a live workshop because you can read a book that knowledge isn’t wisdom until you’ve experienced it. So okay, let’s give people a way to put a little bit more skin in the game. Now we have an online course. Okay, let’s evolve that. And let’s create something that’s got our most current information. And put that out there. But then it also helped me thinking of, again, what does it teach? What does it solve, subtracting, so we ran a couple beta events. And I caught myself trying to do too much. So I’m like, remember, what this is supposed to teach is how to handle this. Alright, so I need to subtract these things. What this is supposed to offer as an experience like this, so I need to subtract that. I mean, I think at one point in time, we had 336 slides in the apprenticeship. And you’re over two days. And some of those slides granted, you’re on for like a second, some you might be on for three minutes. But you know, then we were able to whittle it down to 286 225. Other times, we ran a lot of more improv than we did serious role playing, people liked that. But then they wanted more role playing. 


So my point is, is we just had to get some reps out no different than a sparring partner or a scrimmage. So I’m going to stop there. The whole point is, if you don’t understand when you create that idea, what somebody would be paying for and you can’t clean that up, like what is the clear job to be done? And that answer isn’t overwhelmingly simple than keep going. Literally. That’s what led to the apprenticeship because people would say, How do I handle this situation? How do I handle a boss or colleague? So what are these people paying for? They’re paying for the ability to learn how to navigate power dynamics and difficult discussions. That is an overwhelming answer because they’re gonna get practice at it. So I knew that I do is we’re generating Ali take us to the next step. Maybe Have like mind mapping, or the step after mind mapping?


Ali Kershner  15:06  

Yeah. So I think what kind of what you described right is when you’re first ideating around a particular topic or concept or lecture that you want to give or anything, right, this can be as broad as a whole workshop, or it can be as narrow as a blog you want to write, the step that Brett was just sort of describing was what we call the Populate stage, which is where you basically, I mean, if it helps you set a timer for like 10 15 minutes and just do that fate, that process where you don’t edit yourself and just get all the good ideas and bad ideas out on paper. And it should look like a big mess, right? Whether that’s on post, it’s like Brett said, whether it’s in your journal, whether it’s a voice recording, get them all out. And then what we tend to do, at least in our company, and I know you do this, and I do this, Brett is sort of like a connecting and sorting phase, where you then look at all those ideas you just generated. And you start kind of putting them in themes or in concepts, you can use sort of like a like a big word web, right? So if you’ve got like, five ideas around power, and five ideas around perception, okay, well, now you start sorting those by these big themes. And that really helps you identify patterns. And maybe those are concepts, you didn’t really even think that we’re going to show up, but because they obviously were top of mind, and you came back to them two or three times need to figure prominently in this thing that you’re creating. So I’ll pause there and pass it back to you. Did I miss anything on the connecting and sorting piece? 


Brett Bartholomew  16:33  

No I think that’s a big piece, I think just making it actionable. Like let’s change gears for a second and say, within that populate, connected store, we’re running our first speaker school event. And if you guys haven’t heard about it, this was something that was a dumb moment to us. But we didn’t really, we underestimated the value of this until you guys told us hey, why don’t you do this? We were running workshops on building helping coaches and leaders build their own brand, especially in a non kind of schemee salesy way. And we were helping coaches deal with conflict and power dynamics, but somebody who’s like, Hey, I’d like to be better at public speaking. And I feel like there’s a lot of robotic things out there. And would you guys ever do that. And so I remember Ali and I, at first were kind of like, ah, we have a lot going on. And we don’t want to take on too much. But we do always kind of just consider it. So we populated some ideas. And then we started to connect and sort. 


So for example, Ali, and I knew that some of those ideas, what would a cool speaking event look like? Well, one, it would give people a lot of different opportunities to practice. And they don’t have to worry about like being up on stage for like 10 20 minutes. At the event, maybe it’s just three, maybe it’s four to six little micro practices of three to four minutes. And that way, people can get confidence and specific feedback, instead of just building up all this anxiety, like, oh my god, I’m gonna go to this workshop, and then one, I’m either not gonna practice at all, I’m just gonna see videos or presentations on how to present and be a better speaker or two, I’m gonna have to be in front of people for like, 18 minutes, it’s like, nope, let’s give them enough so they can get their hands dirty, but not so much that it becomes emotionally overwhelming. So connecting sort, we took anything that was practice oriented, practicing your speech, practicing giving other people feedback, practicing your nonverbals anything that was practice was in one column 


Ali, what would be another column in the context of speaker school in terms of content material, or the way that material was delivered?


Ali Kershner  18:35  

Yeah, I mean, I think that there’s obviously the different types of speaking, you know, events that people might do, or the types of speaking in general that people struggle with. So whether that’s giving a presentation, whether that’s getting up in front of a group of investors and pitching an idea, whether that’s talking and trying to convince your boss or your wife, or your husband or your kids of something, there’s so many different places that we need to show up and be persuasive speakers. And so I think another part of it is, how do we make it inclusive for all of those different types of individuals, and not just the person that wants to present formally, but also the people that don’t have aspirations of that, but still need to know the mechanics of how to craft an effective message that will get and move people to action?


Brett Bartholomew  19:20  

Yep. And then another one of those was all right. We know that people want feedback. So videoing it audio, recording it on audio, and then giving them an actual it’s one thing to get feedback there. I don’t know if you guys listening feel this way. But I always hated leaving and not having something that I could actually see that feedback on. So us actually creating an evaluation. So we looked at the feedback, anything that was connected, and sorted in terms of experience. We’re like, alright, well feedback that can look like video breakdowns, audio breakdowns, feedback at the time of the event, and then an actual tool where they can read this and they can go back and look at it and have a really what we call a practice plan. So that it’s not just like, Alright, I got that feedback at the event, I have all this material, it’s like, no, we’re going to while you’re there while you’re at our speaker school, we’re going to build with you a practice plan that over the next three days or three weeks, what does that look like? So that was another piece. 


And then also just guys, point blank. When you’re running a live event, you have to think about what will keep it engaging, not only what will make it informative and useful, but also fun like Ali, what’s one thing that you think whether it’s speaker school, which we have coming up at the end of May, or the apprenticeship, that you think is just fun, you know, a fun part of engaging part of that experience?


Ali Kershner  20:39  

Well, for sure, at the apprenticeship, it’s when we do the improv games as a way to train lateral thinking skills and bring in outside influences to kind of get you out of your own head and stuff like that. I think at speaker school, it might be something similar, where we just kind of throw a bunch of disparate, seemingly disparate ideas at somebody and make them craft a message around that I just made that up. But I think that would be really fun. But it’s usually the experiential parts where people have to kind of get a little bit weird show a little bit of their maybe vulnerabilities. That ends up being the best and most fun parts to me, at least 


Brett Bartholomew  21:14  

Yeah, no, I think and so taking that back guys, again, to the preceding step, remember, you turn on your recorder, you get some notes, you open up your iPad, whatever you want to do, like Ali said, you just dump these things. But you see, right then we thought about as we started to sort them out, how am I entertaining? Ali just give you ways we try to keep it engaging. We try to keep it fun. It can’t be heavy all the time. What are we sharing with Speaker school? That’s easy. I’ve been speaking professionally since 2012. in some capacity, so what am I sharing tips and tricks that can help you avoid the mistakes, the embarrassment, the efficacy at times all that that, you can’t pay for perspective, you know, and so what are we offering, we’re offering a way to get feedback, which most people don’t give you, we’re offering a way to get that feedback in a multimodal way. So see, we start to group this. And now we’re like, Alright, now we got this event that we know how people are gonna practice. We know how they’re going to get feedback, we know how they’re going to be entertained. And then of course, knowing how they’re going to be educated is going to be the subject matter material on this story. So we just start sorting 


Ali before we move on to like pressure testing. Is there a lower stakes example? Even if it was somebody trying to figure out crafting a morning routine for themselves? Or the best way? Like I know you adopted a dog, right? And you’re like, Alright, how like, is this a good idea to get a dog? I’m just trying to give the audience so many different ways to think about decision making processes or ideas or how do they craft something? Is there another low stakes example?


Ali Kershner  22:45  

Yeah, I mean, I think about this every time that I go to write, in general, like so before I joined art of coaching, I was dabbling in blog writing. And this was just something that I found to be immensely helpful, because the tempting thing for me to do is to write one major blog to solve all the blogs, right, and just like throw all these ideas at once, when in reality, a good blog is tight. It’s short, it’s concise, and it’s very on theme. And so I would literally, like you’re saying, I’d be like, Okay, what’s top of mind right now, because there’s obviously something that prompted me to feel like writing. So then I would write down this big word in the middle of the page, and I would just write down everything that I’ve researched, or know or thought about. So like, I would have feelings, I would have thoughts, and I have like, solid facts about that thing, too. And then I would just sort of just let it flow. And then I’d go back and I take my highlighter, and I would actually highlight, okay, pink means, you know, things that pertain to the research side, and yellow pertains the things, the commentary that I want to say about this thing. And then I would start making a list under each of those pieces of like, okay, what do I want to keep? What can be saved for the next time, and on and on and on? And I mean, it’s just, I’m a very visual person. So this really works for me. But I mean, like, it literally can be done, like you’re saying, for any even hard conversation that you need to have, maybe before you have it, right, you write down all the things you’re thinking because when we get mad, we tend to spiral and make something about what it’s not. And so this could even be helpful to keep you on task or on a single track when you’re trying to have a very specific direct conversation with somebody to not let it become about something else. Right? Like, if it’s about figuring out who’s gonna take out the trash. Maybe you start by writing out okay, this conversation is about the trash and this is evidence I have about so and so not taking out the trash and this is why it would really help me if they would, and then you start connecting those ideas before you present them might help you a little bit. I know.


Brett Bartholomew  24:43  

Yeah, no, I think that helps a lot. The more applications the better. So then eventually guys becomes a chance to pressure test it and we have resources that go way more in depth here that we talked about, like an early adopter strategy, but the main thing is, is once you have this list of viable ideas, and you’ll see which ones are viable. Because if you did this populate, connect and sort for like 10, things that are in your head 10 separate ideas, you’ll start to see Alright, this one was easier to kind of ideate and build upon and throw out there, let’s say, Should I write a book? Should I start a podcast? Should I do this? Or, you know, should I do none of it? Well, you have to go through this process for each of those. And we had to think about that. Alright, should it be an online course? Should it be a live? Of course? Should we build an art of coaching compound? What are we going to go with most? You can’t just look at the obvious things like, Okay, well, what’s your finances? What time do you have? Like, that’s a really easy way to just constrain and choke off ideas. I know, my wife and I were thinking about getting into real estate a little bit, before, everything just popped out the way that it did. And now interest rates are like 5%, at the time of this recording. And I remember when we’re looking at properties, I would say, hey, if money wasn’t an issue, what would you want? Because we all know that money is always going to be an issue that constrains ideas. Whereas if we just think, what is the life we want to have, or what’s the thing we want to put out into the world, don’t choke it off too early, the world already does that for you, the world will blank out your ideas. So don’t give it firepower. Think openly. And then once you’ve mapped them out, like I said, you’ll be like, Alright, this one made a little bit more sense. 


So when we pressure tested and going back to the apprenticeship example, I’m like, Alright, I reached out and spoke to some my friends. And I was like, Hey, I’m gonna run this workshop, we’ve had a lot of people that have basically just said, I need something that helps me get out of my own head. Learn how to deal with difficult people learn how to build, buy in with my team, learn how to be a little bit just more self aware. So I can be more effective in my relationship, whatever, there was a clear problem. People didn’t have somewhere where they could go get feedback, and trial and grow as a leader. So I said, you know, would you be interested in hosting, and we gave them kind of founders pricing that just says, you know, like, almost like Jerry Seinfeld, Leno, any other famous comedian, they always go to a comedy club, and they try out new material before they do their Netflix special or whatever else. So we went prepared. But we had a deck that, again, is a wireframe. We had all this stuff laid out very professional. And we ran it. And we use Google Forms to say, Hey, what did you think? Did you know what was good? What was bad? And obviously, those questions are much more in depth. But the point was, is we wanted to run it and see what people thought of it. And when people had feedback, they would give us you know, it’s and I said it flat out, I said, Hey, everyone, this is our first time running this workshop. Inherently, there’s going to be some mistakes and flubs, all I ask is that you give us some honest feedback and help us make it better. So we did this and we collected more than 100. I think right now, just in the third, final feedback and application form, we have 125 responses, and that’s limiting these events that like 10 to 30 people max. And in a previous iteration, we have like 87 responses. So we got a lot of data. 


And so we kept running them, and we’d run them off a little bit. They were very consistent, but little things were different. One had more group case study breakdowns, another one had more film reviews. Another one had more improv, like Ali said, another one had more serious role playing almost very, very intense role playing. And, you know, we had to look at this feedback. And eventually now we’re two and a half, almost three years, and if not three already, and we ran how many workshops that we ran up this Ali, even during COVID? 


Ali Kershner  28:30  

Like 15. 


Brett Bartholomew  28:31  

Yeah, we’ve got to be 15 to 18. And we’re like, oh, okay, now we’re finally out of version that we feel really good scaling. And what’s interesting guys, is you have to be very okay with rejection, and primarily your own. What I mean by that is, there were three events that I thought we bombed, I thought we bombed. And yet we had really tremendous responses from people. And so you’re going to have to deal with your own insecurities, which is not an easy thing. You’re not going to be happy with your own work. But you just need to remember, it’s the upgrade model. Did that one in love with it? What should I keep? What should I subtract? did another one, what did I like about it? What should I keep? What should I subtract? It’s this ongoing process of improvement. And that is why you’ve got to adhere to that three step thing. 


So before I turn it back to Ali, remember, populate, set the timer for 15 minutes and just dump ideas connected and sort, look at common themes, organize, create, like create little groups for related ideas, and think what is the common thread here? What’s the story? What’s the problem that they’re trying to solve? And then pressure tests, once you have viable ideas? Ask some folks. Hey, would you mind if I tried this out? Would you take a look at this version of the journal that I’m creating? Would you mind coming to this workshop, you can even come for free if you agree to give me feedback, but just get it out into the world. And I know that sometimes these ideas take a bit to catch on as well. Ali, back to you.


Ali Kershner  29:54  

Yeah, so when you talk about the idea of pressure testing, I thought you hit on two really key things One. First of all, the idea of pressure testing is really something that is very popular in the entrepreneurial world called an MVP, right? So have you ever heard of this stands for a minimally viable product, it is essentially the idea that you put something out into the world before, it’s totally ready before, it’s totally done. Knowing that you will have to update it 100,000 times. But you do that on purpose, because it prevents you from succumbing to the sunk cost fallacy, which is that you build something and you spend all this time on it, you get it out there. And then you get this negative feedback, which you should welcome. But when you get that feedback, you’re like, it took me so long to create this, I don’t want to go back and start over. So you end up killing the entire idea. Or you continue running it and forcing that idea down people’s throats when obviously they don’t want it in the version that it is. So the earlier you can test something, the better off you are in the long run, because then you’d make small, iterative tweaks along the way. And the only way you fail at this is you don’t get feedback, which is why I loved what you said about how you had this system in place to survey people as soon as they finish the apprenticeship. It’s a pretty long, extensive feedback form. And the purpose of that is to iterate or get feedback in a way that we can make continual improvement because every single time we come home for an event, we pour over those answers. And we look at okay, we ran it this way. We liked it this way. We ran it this way. We didn’t like it this way. These people agreed these people didn’t didn’t agree, we’re allowed to have way better Richard deeper conversations because of that feedback, and make it to the version that it is today. But had you stuck with the original model? Right? Can you imagine if you had stuck with that original model or the model in your head that would have been this perfect model? It doesn’t look anything like the one that we run today. 


Right? So I just think, go back to this idea that’s adopted in every other profession really have, you know, you’re gonna have to kill some darlings to get it out there, get feedback. And that’s the it’s really the winning combination at the end of the day.


Brett Bartholomew  32:00  

Yeah, 100%. And what you mentioned was, what was really on point is when you said that perfect model inside your head, when you ran it, you found out it wasn’t perfect. When I thought we had a perfect model, it was one of the worst, it ended up being one of the like, I thought we went into our Seattle event pretty locked in I mean, guys give you frame of reference at the apprenticeship. We’re really big on doing video breakdowns, and in an ideal world, we’d have our own headquarters right where people would come out to us, we video the role playing, you’re able to see it and write on it. If you guys follow my Instagram, you saw me do a very low level version of this with a John Wooden video. But to put in your mind’s eye, let’s say you the listener is coming to an event and you say hey Ali, I want to work on a negotiation with my boss, I want to work on telling my wife or partner that I want to quit my job. So we roleplay this out. And it’s not it’s not a joke, right? We have very kind of clear guidelines, we give instructions for it. We video it,  good Lord, we video it, you evaluate yourself, we have a tried and true system, something that’s research that we can draw on that video, you can literally see oh my god, like I thought I was coming across like this, really, I was doing that. It’s a very intricate process. 


But Ali and I were literally going on the road videoing people and as many as 30 people with our phones and our iPads, and then air dropping them to computers to go on to screens to break it down. So we have this system all cut out, guys, one time, we were there, I think in Seattle till 8:30. At night, it was supposed to in two and a half hours earlier, we felt awful. Now granted, anybody that stayed was totally into it. But I remember at one point in time, I’m like, Alright, I’m gonna break off with my iPad, Ali, you stay here on the main screen. So we went over to another place in the facility. And of course, there was like a smoothie station. So we’re sitting there and it’s like, so I’m sitting, I’m like, Alright, I need to put my phone in a cup so that it echoes and so people can get feedback. And then the irony was that worked pretty well, because somebody was like, You know what, even though I can’t hear it, it makes me more focused on the body language in this I’m like, Alright, 


so I remember I went home exhausted. And we felt like That was a perfect one. And they were like, we can’t video everybody. But then Alright, well, can we video everybody, but we just make it an upsell, no different than if I want to, you know, go get a large soda at the movie. You know, I got to pay a little bit more what like everybody perceives value different ways. And we found that that’s what people wanted all along. Not everybody wanted the video feedback. Some of them just wanted to practice in front of people get real time. But then the people that wanted video feedback, they were cool paying for it. Were really that all went back to my initial insecurity of man, I think this is something people should pay for. But I’m scared to ask them to pay for it because I devalue my own ideas. And so I mean, if I just would have not listened to my own securities and beta tested it earlier, we would have gotten to the model we’re at now which is clean, very refined day one. It’s very much theory foundational underpinning day to almost all intensive roleplay switching partners getting techniques and we’ve been either ahead of time or on time, every single moment, and never had one of those. And so that’s just put what looks good on paper. Oftentimes, it’s crap until you run it. Do you want to add on anything there before we move on?


Ali Kershner  35:13  

No, I think the idea is though, that people just need to put more skin in the game, because I think that, so let’s imagine that, okay, I’m stuck in my head stuck in my head stuck in my head, I finally get those ideas out, right. And now they’re on paper. Great, you took the first step. But still, you are at ground zero, because ideas look so awesome. When they’re written out on piece of paper, and they’re organized cleanly, and you feel like you’re rolling. And then you suddenly you put them up in the world, you put them up on Instagram, you put them up on on blog, you start getting feedback. And it’s a really, really kind of crappy feeling sometimes, but that those ideas don’t get any better until you do that. Yeah. And if there’s one thing that I think every single person in this world could get better at, it’s putting some damn skin in the game.


Brett Bartholomew  36:02  

Yeah, well, some of that comes with like a cultural norm as well, right? I think, living out when I live down in LA going to these comedy clubs. And I remember looking at the interaction are the reactions from people in the room when Arsenio Hall was like, first of all, we paid $25, to go to this comedy club and Arsenio Hall, and like five other guys were there. And they said, we’re working on new material, I hope you don’t mind the note cards, some of its gonna bomb, some of its going to hit just, you know, let me know. And be you, and I looked around and the crowd was pumped, they love that idea. They’re seeing something new. And so I think a lot of this fear and inability for people to put skin in the game, myself included at certain points is not having a certain culture in certain industries that is used to that, you know, I think coming up in the performance industry, you were very much used to seeing people get on stage and utilizing coach speak, it made it seem like they were doing all these things at their program, or in their pro sport job or whatever. And you really knew if you had actually coached a good period of time that that’s BS, that’s not gonna work, that wouldn’t happen. And so you saw people put together this really intricate form of impression management to seem like the expert. And so culturally, I don’t even know if it would have been accepted. 


And I think that that’s again, where you just got to meta communicate or set expectations, people don’t mind it, if they come out. Like I noticed, sometimes speakers would say, Hey, this is an honor. It’s also my first time, so it worked with me. And if they say it, right, it’s very charming. It’s like, Alright, let’s go, you got this, right. And I think that that’s how I feel now with anybody that comes around me. If somebody’s like, hey, this thing is not great. But I want to put it out there. And I’d love your feedback. So hit me with and I’m ready to roll. I mean, shoot, that’s what we did our whole life, no athlete I ever worked with. And I’d love to know your example of like, no athlete I ever worked with knocked it out of the park the first time we taught an agility drill, a plyo drill and movement drill. So why do we expect a leaders of any profession the first time they start to shape and sharpen his skill and an idea for it to be clean? Do you have any thoughts on that?


Ali Kershner  38:04  

No, I think you’re so right. And I think that that’s actually a really interesting point that I hadn’t really thought of, which is that, you know, in in the entrepreneurial world, and in comedy and other places, like you’re around peers that are equally as nervous, and, you know, trying to get their own ideas out there. And I think, if you’re around those other kinds of people, then you’re in a safe space to fail. But we haven’t necessarily done a great job of encouraging a safe space to fail for really anything, including putting new ideas out there. And so that can be tremendously well, it’s a hard obstacle to overcome in general. And so I think, I like what you said about medic communicating, if you just say, like, Hey, guys, I don’t know how this is gonna hit. But I have an idea. Like, give me some feedback, right. And then it becomes a different conversation, which we can have later about knowing what feedback to take and what to ignore. But I think we can all do a better job of encouraging that culture of iteration and entrepreneurial spirit by being accepting of mistakes when they happen,


Brett Bartholomew  39:04  

which will be good because I know I’ve challenged you with the guest newsletter, there’s been a couple of times where I’m like, yo, you need to put that as a guest post in the newsletter and I know in your mind, right on one part of you is very hungry to fail and learn and grow. The other part is very self critical. And so it’s not easy to do even when we accepted this, let’s call it comedy, culture, and even music for that example, as a lover of music, you know, people get into that booth. A bunch, right and then but we just get to hear the refined cut edited portion of it, but man, there’s a lot of literally people will do what we do in the apprenticeship, we call it drop zone, but there’s times on a song where somebody’s like, I need that vocal a little louder. So they’ll drop a minute, three minutes and 19 seconds in the song and be like, you know, and that’s that, 


well, you know, drop zone in art context, which is what gave me that idea as well as working with members of the military is, let’s find the most intense part of that interaction that maybe somebody practice at our apprenticeship like I’m leaving my job, I’m moving out, I’m sorry, you know, somebody gave a great example. And occupational therapists, and I hate the part where I have to tell parents that their son or daughter that’s dealing with this level of autism, this is what they might be able to expect. They like, it sucks, there’s no clean way to say that. So we drop into that instead of doing, you know, three to 10 minute role playing scenarios, and we isolate that moment. And then we run it like four or five different times, so that they can get refined. And so that’s, again, that comedy that music culture of, iteration, 


so let’s move on to another piece. When you’re brainstorming, here are some other rules and Ally and I are going to alternate, there’s gonna be seven total. The first one is defer judgment, you never know where a good idea is going to come from. So make everybody feel like they can say the idea on their mind and allow others to build on it. Now that comes from you communicating that. So even in an email, I sent our staff prior to this, I said, Hey, guys, this is informal email, this whole topic will be discussed in a more formal medium in in a future meeting. Right now I just want to get an idea out. Here’s the general idea. Don’t worry about the wording so much as the idea itself. Let me know conceptually how you feel about it, where you would build on it. So if you don’t frame that up, you make it hard for people not to judge you. Because they may feel like you need more critical feedback. They don’t know what you’re asking of them. Ali. Does that make sense? And then if it does go on to the next one, if not helped me make that more clear?


Ali Kershner  41:31  

No, I think that was perfect. And this one goes along with that one. But number two is to encourage wild ideas. And that can only happen if you do allow somebody to have judgment deferred, right. But you know, when you are allowed to think that there’s really no limit to what this could look like. Now, I’m going to give an example in a second, you know, you allow yourself to think, five steps beyond what you normally would, because you’re not limited by money, by time, by things you have in front of you. And that’s why like the example that I wanted to give is when you challenge our staff to basically ideate what the ideal work environment looks like to you. Like, if we could build this amazing art of coaching headquarters, like walk us through it? What would that look like if money wasn’t an issue? If we found the perfect place, we can build literally anything we want? What does that look like? And describe it so clearly, that it’s almost as if we’re in a movie trailer. And we’re going through this right? And I think when you do those kind of thought experiments, initially, it’s like, whoa, like, what’s the point of this? But coming out of that idea, you can one tell a lot about that person and what they value. But also you can your mind goes wild, right? Like, you have so many more things to pull from when you take away some of those constraints. And so I think that encouraging wild ideas, albeit within a certain theme or topic, allows for kind of quantum leaps in creativity.


Brett Bartholomew  42:55  

I like that good phrasing. With that in particular. Is there any other examples you want to give of that one? Are you ready to move on to the next? Y


Ali Kershner  43:02  

eah, I think we move on. 


Brett Bartholomew  43:03  

Okay. So building on the ideas of others. And this is something that is just part and parcel with rules of improv, which we know organizations like Google Intel, I mean, the military use, and we lean on heavily as well. It’s that concept of Yes. And instead of, you know, just but we can’t, whatever I mean, that doesn’t go anywhere. So imagine Ali and I are messing around, and we’re completely messing around here. And then I’ll make this. So imagine I say, hey, Ali, we should start a doggy daycare.


Ali Kershner  43:34  

Yes. And when we started doggy daycare, we should make sure that our poop bags are scented with lavender.


Brett Bartholomew  43:39  

Yes. And because the poop bags will be scented with lavender, then people will actually be more inclined to pick those things up, which makes it a cleaner atmosphere and gives us a differentiation from any other business.


Ali Kershner  43:52  

Yeah, and when we have differentiation, because we’re well known in this area for being the best doggy daycare, we can actually add more things and make this like a little community. So we have a coffee shop, and maybe even a bookstore next to us.


Brett Bartholomew  44:05  

Yes. And when we have a coffee shop at a bookstore next to us, it allows foot traffic to increase. So we definitely got to make sure choose the right location. So you see what Ali and I did there the concept of Yes, and is I don’t know what she’s going to do. But I have to lead off her last idea or last mention. So she’s like, Yeah, and we’ll open one up on the moon. I’m not worried about whether we’re going to open one up on the moon. I’m worried about could I take something that seems to be irrelevant, but maybe an interesting idea and parse it out. I mean, guys, penicillin was found by accident. The majority of things we find that are great are found by accident, people just having fun. On the other hand, if I go hey, we should start a doggy daycare. And I was like nah. Alright, well, I mean, might be smarter. 


Ali Kershner  44:44  

I don’t have a dog. 


Brett Bartholomew  44:45  

I don’t have a dog. But I think I’m an example of that where I said, Man, we should start a facilitator course, because there are a lot of people that want to be a part of art of coaching, yet we can’t hire everybody and some of these people have jobs. But what if we did start a facilitator course? Other people could come. And through both formal evaluation and subjective evaluation, they could have opportunities to teach around the world, well, then it’s like, no. All right, well, then how do you scale it? But if they say, Yeah, we could do that, and we could blank. Now we have an idea. And a lot of this led to what we have now, you can apply just email, to be a facilitator and teach anywhere around the world under the art of coaching umbrella. Now, we also had to play Yes. And in terms of constraints, so we’re like, well, we also can’t open it up to everybody, not because we don’t want to be inclusive. But people shouldn’t teach things they haven’t experience. So yes, and we will have to make it so that people are familiar with our work and have an idea of what they’d actually be teaching. So they have skin in the game, without led to this stipulation of you’ve got to come to an apprenticeship and pass that before you can facilitate common sense, right? I mean, I would never say, Hey, let me go teach for this doctor or this person, if I’ve never been a part of that thing myself. 


And it’s funny, guys, you will see some people that don’t always think critically about that. They’ll be like, ah, is there any other way? No, there’s no other way that you can come teach for us, if you don’t want to engage in our stuff, because that’s the nature of what you’re going to be teaching. Right? Or you saw? Well, I don’t know, I didn’t have the money to come do an apprenticeship or the time? Well, it’s like, well, yeah, but this, the facilitator course is going to take money, and time. And so then we can, yes, and that and build that out of how do you do it with people with different constraints. So just build ideas, be positive, off the ideas of others, even if you take it to your significant other, and you’re like, hey, I have this concept, I want to start an app, you know, just take their feedback and think, Alright, where might it be valid? What might I be missing? And even if they have an objection, they’re like, Well, I don’t really use apps. Actually, I do this now. Great, then see if you can build your idea from the app off of that. Think broadly. Alright, Ali next to you.


Ali Kershner  47:00  

Yeah, I think think broadly. But again, stay focused on the topic, which is the next rule of brainstorming, right? Because if you work completely without constraints, that also is not helpful, because it allows you to get a wild hair and start following that than a wild goose chase. And that’s, you know, ultimately not going to be helpful. It’s like, as annoying as having a conversation with somebody, and you’re like, we need to pick what we’re going to have for dinner tonight. And then suddenly, they start bringing up the fact that it’s tax day today. And it literally is on the day that we’re recording this and that they’re worried about the taxes, and could you help them with that? And you’re like, Wait, can we just stay focused on this one idea and try to generate some options before we move on to the next thing. So help yourself out, help a partner out if you’re helping them brainstorm by staying generally on theme, and allowing yourself to go, you know, deeper as opposed to broader


Brett Bartholomew  47:50  

Yep, spot on and, to give more clarity around that, like going back to the speaker school, right? So I think broadly about this idea of what could we create, and I take a lot of feedback by about this. But that feedback and these ideas, and what I build off of, to Ali’s point still has to be centered around some kind of facilitated output, that helps people learn how to find their voice, share their story, get more about things that they’re passionate about love talking about, and are skilled at out into the world. Right. So we could have thought about a variety of other things. But it was a live event and a course that I was thinking of. So if somebody says, Well, you could make this an app, well, okay, but that app would still need to be about helping people feel more confident as presenters and getting in front of crowds. And I’m not closing the app idea down, it’s just the reality that that’s not going to have the same effect, somebody interfacing with this virtual medium, as them, you know, actually being in the moment. So we want to and plus we wanted the networking piece of that, too. So that spot on, 


the next piece is one conversation at a time. So you think about the conversation being on target, and that coincides with being focused on the topic. So if I’m doing this a little bit poorly here, I’m trying to give you an example of where we did this with Speaker school, the apprenticeship or facilitator program. But what is that conversation ultimately about all ideas that took root of how to expand opportunities for us to change the way the world communicates, and interact, and also for us to get more people involved that like leadership topics, who understand that everything in the world is about people and how we relate and interact with them. And people that go to bed at night feel like God, I know, I have something in me. I’m just intimidated to do it alone. And I’m intimidated to do about guidance. So we build off ideas, but we stay focused on the topic and the conversation of how do we help people with that? So Ali, hit us with the next one about kind of visual and how this reinforces something else, because this is really a summary of a lot of what we’ve talked about so far.


Ali Kershner  49:53  

Yeah, the B visual one we’ve already kind of touched on but it’s I think there’s something physiologically that happens when you’re forced to write or when you’re forced to put something physically in front of you, that exists outside of your own head. So whether that’s posted notes, like we’ve mentioned, journaling, a whiteboard, a glass whiteboard, that’s frosted, you know, with nice pens, there’s something about that process of getting visual that allows you to see oh, okay, this is actually how this fits in order in accordance with the other ideas that I’ve come up with. So I mean, nothing new to add there other than even if you don’t consider yourself a visual person, challenge yourself to do that. Because even in the process of putting those ideas out, you might come up something that’s in terms of like the process of how they fit together, maybe not just in terms of the ideas that helps you generate.


Brett Bartholomew  50:42  

Yeah, and I think one another silly example of that is one time, I got an idea when I was just hanging out with my son, and I didn’t want to run inside and work. Because I was, I had already been gone the previous weekend. And I really wanted to just say in that moment with him. So all of a sudden, I took his sidewalk chalk, and I just started writing the ideas down next to the shapes that I was drawing with him. But I just, I’ll use whatever. I mean, Eminem is well known for writing on napkins, like he has a shoe box. And so it is that tactile feel that Ali mentioned that you have there. And remember, this is like a nice, easy summary of kind of the things that we’re talking about. And so the final one is just go for quantity. So if we look at this all in all, whether it’s defer judgment, encourage wild ideas, build on the ideas of others still say focus on a topic and one conversation, be visual and go for quantity. This is all centered around alright, this thing is very messy in my head. Well, guys, it’s supposed to be, it’s supposed to be it’s an unfinished thing. If you if Ali and I want to build a park bench or a table, that garage is gonna look really messy. We have our tools and the wood and the stain and the blanket like the craft, like the process of crafting anything that later has value is going to look like a mess. And that’s why I mean, I’ve been looking at my neighbor, he’s got everything, he’s creating something every day and the amount of saw dust that just flies and sparks that fly from it. It’s supposed to be a mess at first. But you’ve got to make something of it. 


Ali, is there something that whether it’s the newsletter, the podcast, or even any upcoming workshops that you felt like was a mess at first, and then you feel like, wow, once I kind of laid these topics out, or once I kind of saw what it is, it makes perfect sense, especially because you came into a new organization that had a lot of things going on at once at the beginning.


Ali Kershner  52:31  

Yeah, no everything. And this process has really served us with everything from the podcasts that you’re watching right now, or listening to right now, which we created by two people ideating on their own coming up with some, you know, topics or some points that they want to talk about. And then, you know, couple minutes before we go on, we share the ideas that we came up with, and we roll with it. But the biggest example I found was when we ran Brand Builder, because, you know, for months and months and months, we were stockpiling ideas, I know that you had like a one note, sort of shoe box, if you will, a digital shoe box of just like video clips and YouTube videos, and those are the same thing and quotes and, you know, infographics that you had liked. And then when it was time to come create together, we could literally just jump on a zoom, we would go through the shoe box, and we would start you know, putting them in shapes in different patterns and figuring out which ones went together and which ones you know, the hardest part was honestly figuring out which ones not to use. Because, you know, there’s just so much good stuff. And it all could have fit, but you only have a certain amount of time. So that’s where, you know, killing your darlings is definitely something that I think we struggle with the most is like, so good. How do I not use this, but I’m with you. I mean, the more mess the better. And I a firm believer in that. And that’s why when I cook is a complete warzone. But I mean, it tastes good. So at the end of the day, it was really the fault.


Brett Bartholomew  53:58  

Yep, great way to put it. And remember, this is just the way the world gets it done. Things get done now. And so refinement and reception of your idea. And creation is not the only hurdle you have to assess the marketplace, you have to see if it’s a fit. And this is why even when we do our coalition, which is kind of our think tank for other leaders that want to build things, it’s this, let’s say somebody doesn’t want to put up a website or let’s say somebody is intimidated by doing whatever, guys, you’ll never get a chance to test it, then what you’ll do is you’ll constantly just know, you deal with imposter phenomenon in your own head, then you doubt your ideas, then you forget your ideas, then you never test your ideas. And then it just leads to this never ending cycle of you just being frustrated. And you know, there are people that just walk around in life mad because they have all this stuff that’s just dying inside them that they’re not testing because it makes them nervous, then admittedly that still is me. I mean there’s times where because of my doctorate and my book not being done, I don’t always get to create all the things I want to create right now in my business. And that can drive me nuts because I want my staff to feel really inspired. And I want to do this. And I want them to see how quickly there’s things that I can get done when I’m not constrained by these other higher, like higher order projects right now. But the fact is, is that I just got to be like, Alright, what’s the thing that needs to get done right now? What’s the idea? The good ones will pour out of me, let’s beta test it and see what else we have going on there. Ali I’m trying to think of what else we miss. If there’s another way.


Ali Kershner  55:26  

I would just have a quick question for you. Because, you know, I think we talked a lot about what happens when you have a lot of ideas. But what do you personally do when you don’t have ideas? Like, what do you go to? What’s your inspiration? Or How do you even get that process started? If you’re like, I need to have ideas I need to be doing this project. But I just can’t get over that block?


Brett Bartholomew  55:45  

It’s great question. I’ll give two answers to it. So let’s say early on, and this is not what I do right now. But early on, I had heard something along the lines and does have value, the best creators of content are the best consumers of content. So I usually found that when I would get stuck, it was I wasn’t either reading enough, or I wasn’t listening to as many different podcasts as I usually do. I wasn’t taking things in I mean, man, even if it wasn’t me watching a movie, and that’s because sometimes you’d get, you know, I might hear an episode I remember I listened to one management bass podcast, and I got really excited about a topic. And it kind of really let me down. And so then I’m like, Man, why haven’t I done a topic like this? And not that I felt like, Oh, I’m better than this person. But immediately, I was flooded by ideas. So that’s what I mean by the best consumers of content or the best creators of content, you have to get ideas from the world around you. 


Another thing I do now, and it’s something that I think I’ve even tried to do in my management and have you as you’ve come on, as Director of creative strategy is, let’s say we’re coming up with podcast stuff, and we’re a little stuck and things are moving quickly. I go back into what our audience has asked in the past, I go back into either feedback forms from the apprenticeship feedback forms from Brand Builder, when our podcast or our early community, that Facebook community, what are people asking, What are they wondering? And you can also go into places like Reddit Quora, what are people struggling with, its what’s called social listening. So and I think that really led to us obviously creating that link, which you guys can all use submit questions and suggestions for topics at any time. But social listening is the best way to do it. So and then go to your damn bookshelf, you know, go to your bookshelf, or look at magazines, like even if you’re at Kroger, go and look at a magazine and see what people are writing on and wondering, you just got to pay attention because you’ll overanalyze it. So I try to steal ideas from everywhere and then put our own unique research back spin on them and make them highly tactical.


Ali Kershner  57:44  

Yeah, no, it’s a great way to do it. Something that I’ve started doing, and I don’t remember where I stole it from, but it’s like, basically, like homework every day or story every day or something. And it sounds kind of funny. But basically, at the end of the day, in one sentence, I basically write down the most story worthy or interesting or creative thing that I that happened to me that day, whether it’s something I read podcasts, I listened to an idea, a wild thought, whatever it was. And then if I ever like, you know, if I’m like looking for ideas for somebody to post on social media, or, you know, something to share in the staff meeting it just like, it’s hard for me to remember quickly on the spot, like all these interesting things that happened to me, but I know, although I know that they do. So you can just go back into that file and look them up. And there they are. And, you know, more often than not, I have too much data that’s stored in my mind. And so it’s that age old, you know, idea of going on a walk, it really helps me like, if I just have no pressure of just like, hey, we don’t need to sit down and actually do anything. You’re just going on a walk, suddenly, the ideas just start coming. And I’m like, literally like you should see my dog I like put the leash between my legs because I need to pull out my phone to start typing and I’m like, people walking by are probably laughing because I really look ridiculous, but it’s true. I mean, ideas strike from whenever and wherever you just have to be ready to capture them. 


Brett Bartholomew  59:05  

Yeah, I think more people can relate to that than not, It’s one reason why. And I’m not I gotta be careful. I phrase this we had two rescues that we lost. But when I walked without them the first time, and it was or not the first time the first time was heartbreaking. The next 10 times is heartbreaking, whatever. But I remember one time I pulled out a note, because I used to wear my air pods and do that as well. I’d say Hey, Siri, make a note. And then it would do that. And I’m like, Oh my God. Now I don’t have to because I was wrestling with them too. Especially lola. That was like 85 pounds. And I know mav is big, too. But that’s the thing, right is sometimes just do a voice note. Just do a voice note, send it to yourself. And then I put the title of whatever that was. Now it doesn’t mean I don’t forget, but I’ll tell you what wasn’t effective. I’m looking to the left of me right now. And there’s a whole whiteboard filled with stuff that I’ve had up there forever. And, I’ve just found that as much as I love whiteboards. I’m sometimes scared to erase them and write my new ideas there. So Then I started taking pictures of that whiteboard and creating a Google Photo album called whiteboards. But then I don’t go in there enough. And so I just feel like the best route is to kind of do what we laid out, and then put it to use as quickly as possible. Because there’s so many people that love the idea of stockpiling ideas. That’s not the thing. Don’t just stockpile them. Remember, we said you have to group them. And then eventually, you got to deliver them. And I think that’s the one thing that we’ve had, that has put us in the lead of where we’re at in the industry is we actually, we do them, and we realize that it’s not going to be perfect, but it doesn’t live on a whiteboard. And so yeah, I mean, anything you want to touch on there.


Ali Kershner  1:00:36  

No, I know that we kind of ended with the beginning, right? It’s like, you know, we came up with a process of how to sort your ideas, but I think it’s also worth touching on how to create ideas. And, you know, this is an ever evolving process, but one that literally every single human being will go through. And so I can’t see a single person that wouldn’t find this tool helpful. I know that it’s been immensely life changing, even in my life, just like what to do with the voice inside my head.


Brett Bartholomew  1:01:02  

Yeah, well, I appreciate that. I think guys, remember I was once gifted a book. And the book was, admittedly, I only skimmed part of it, because I kind of got the gist of it. And I tried listening to it. But the book was all about how to generate ideas, but in the entire book, it never really talked about, like doing them. And I’m telling you guys that that’s still going to be the linchpin do it, go out there and do it, like put it out there. And so anyway, I can say that again. And again, I just I want to see your ideas, I want to see you guys succeed. So we’ll end it with this, you know, if this is something that you’re interested in, make sure that you take part in our programs, we have the coalition, which is like a think tank for other coaches that want to do this, you could think of having your own internal board of directors, everybody signs, nondisclosure agreements, it’s very much protected. You can go to That is a six month program where we meet twice a month, with with coaches and leaders from around the world that are trying to kind of do different things grow in different ways. It’s pretty cool. It all started because I didn’t have a group when I started out that I really related to it was all become a billionaire and do this and shoot guns and whatever. And I just wanted some that was low key, where I could test my ideas, if that’s not for you, and maybe some of the things we talked about earlier whether it’s the apprenticeship, but the other thing is just speaker school, whether you want to present pitch persuasively interview lead, just be able to talk about your ideas. This is a very inclusive environment. We’re not trying to teach you how to be robots, you can go to At the end of the day, anything that we do here is about hoping like really trying to help you lead, laugh and live at a higher level. And that means that you’ve got to get out of your own head. So for Brett Bartholomew and Ali Kershner. That’s it for this episode.

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