Been feeling a little low this holiday season because I thought I had a clear direction and now am second guessing myself. I call friends in during these times, and today a friend sent me this MINDMAP and said: “Check out this Mindmap drawn by Walt Disney in ’57. All aspects of the biz revolve around content (the center-the main “brand” driver) and all are designed to make money from each other.”
This reminded me that one of my favorite tools to help brainstorm a new idea or flush out a business model, is MIND-MAPPING. I started mind-mapping over 25 years ago with color sharpies and a big pad of paper. I used to love to make each branch a different color and draw a picture instead of putting in words.
I have used mind-mapping to remind me of the highlights in books, help memorize a speech, map out all the things I CRAVE, look at a 6 month schedule, outline my book, plan events from A-Z, and to brainstorm meetings.
Most of all I use it when I get my next crazy idea..to quickly flush it out and see how it feels. Do I want to move forward? Does this seem to hard? What do I need to do next to move it along?
Instead of wallowing around feeling low this holiday season, I am getting out the colored sharpies and taking control!
What new idea are you working on? How are you flushing it out?
I was in the retail gift business for 15 years, working late every Christmas eve helping people get their last minute gifts. Finally I had a “last straw” moment, watching the insane circus of people running around the mall buying things. Soon after I “snapped,” we ended that business, and in my personal life we stopped giving material gifts. We replaced them with experiences and spending time together with loved ones. Gifting with friends can be a Holiday cookie bake. For the last 10 years my Holidays have been free and simple.
Heading into the new year I have a couple ideas for you about giving yourself a life changing experience.
Crave the Life you Crave is a six week program that identifies your lifetime patterns, gets clarity on what you love and crave, creates your personal Manifesto, and brings awareness to your non-negotiables. You can start anytime, and you’ll be working directly with me. Check out details at Crave your Life.
Secondly, if you live in Seattle or Vancouver you don’t want to miss the CO-STORMS coming up this January. We’re on to something with creative power that inspires real problem solving. Check out details, testimonials, and a lot of reasons you really don’t want to miss this at CO-STORM. I guarantee it will be a life changing day!
Gift yourself, a friend, or bring a friend along…it’s a great “return on heartbeat” investment.
Thank you for following along with the CRAVE journey this year and I hope to help create new experiences for you and connect along the way.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
P.S. One of my favorite things I did this year was collaborate on making the CRAVE manifesto. Here it is for your enjoyment:)
“Finally a moment to breathe. This event was very powerful for me. I was inspired by the ladies I met at the event and am very happy to report I even made new friends. I also came away with a list of great ideas and action items to start working on. But really what I received from this event was support and encouragement in a way that i just don’t find in my day to day life. I have found that since the event things are moving at lightening speed and I am excited to sign up for the monthly offering. Thank you Melody Biringer! This truly is your mode of magic.”
– Emily Mitchell
Our Inaugural Co-Storm took place in Seattle This Month and We’re So Pleased With How it Went!
The idea came out of something that I’d been doing on my own for awhile (meeting up with women and trading business advice), but until recently it hadn’t occurred to me to open it up to a wider audience. Once I made the decision to turn it into an event, things started to move very quickly. A group of incredible mentors were assembled. Applications started rolling in. I had no idea what would happen, but for some reason I had a really good feeling about what was about to go down. I trusted, and sure enough synchronicity did its work.
I’m so glad I took this chance, and I can’t wait to hold more.
During the last hour of the STORM participants and mentors shared their thoughts about their experience. We received some pretty incredible feedback. Participants said that the storm gave them:
- Clarity around their purpose and the goals they should be implementing around that purpose.
- Actionable advice they could use in the devlopment of their ‘side hustle.’
- An opportunity to set some very clear and specific personal and lifestyle goals.
We also spoke about return on heartbeat, accountability, deadline strategies, how to find support in your community, and how to monetize your business model.
Here’s some comments we got about the STORM, directly from its participants:
Want to come to the next one?
You can join us for our Seattle storm on January 23rd at Pike Place Market (9-3pm)
In Vancouver on January 30th at Kickstart Catalyst (9-3pm)
Learn more and apply by clicking here.
“We may not all be mavens, but we can all be connectors—crucial links to the world.”
– Lori Christopher
“What’s your secret for making connections?”
This is a question that I’ve been asked a lot. Making connections comes naturally to me, and so I never really thought about it as a ‘secret’. I never actually even gave it much thought.
Recently, a friend of mine challenged me to ponder what I do to make and keep connections. I decided to take her up on that challenge.
Here are my 10 Connection Tips:
- I’m constantly seeking out interesting people and inviting them on coffee dates.
Sometimes I include a walk & talk. Movement changes the dynamic slightly, and seems to make the interaction a little more casual. Where do I take them on the walk? This is the part where it’s fun to be spontaneous and follow our collective impulses.
- I schedule phone or Skype calls if I can’t meet up with them in person.
Our world is built for connection! Not living in the same city is no excuse for not reaching out. There’s opportunities to have engaging conversations with people from all over the world.
- I send private messages on Facebook or LinkedIn asking for a meet-up with people I’m interested in connecting with.
These platforms are a fantastic place to meet new people. Their connection power is there to be harnessed. You can get in touch with almost anyone! Offer a compelling reason for reaching out – maybe a burning question you have about them or their work — and then start building the relationship from there.
- I facilitate mastermind groups.
A mastermind is a collection of people with likeminded goals but different strengths coming together for collaborative growth. Know some people you’d like to get in the same room together? Why not ask if they’d be interested, and get the ball rolling.
- I bring like-minded people together for quarterly social clubs.
Not all connections have to be nurtured weekly. Sometimes it’s nice to check in with a core group of people on as little as a quarterly basis.
- I hook people up with personal and professional contacts after hearing what they need.
I love to do this and I do it often. I get excited when I meet two people, often separately, who I know would work well together. Even if this doesn’t help you directly, it will make you feel great to know you helped someone else.
- I attend a variety of events and ask the host for introductions.
Get out of the house!! Go to events as often as possible. You never know who you could meet.
- I throw potluck dinner parties at my house, and invite people who I want to connect with each other.
What better way is there to connect than over food?
- When in groups, I ask if they want to play my campfire game of questions to get to know each other better.
I have a stack of campfire questions to kickstart a conversation between even two of the most timid people. I’ve found that laughter works pretty well for breaking the ice.
- I keep in touch by Facebook or text.
Follow up!!! Don’t just connect and disappear. Building a relationship takes work. Show them that they’re on your mind, and check in on them once and awhile.
Of course, every connection is going to be a little bit different, but here are some guidelines that I like to follow:
- When connecting always be real and as vulnerable as you comfortably can.
- Be curious and really listen to the other person. Avoid simply waiting for your turn to talk.
- Surround yourself with people who bring out your best. Keep this in mind with every new connection you pursue.
- Connections are made one by one, and going deep is the key to making them. Be patient and stay in your truth.
I would love to know if you do any of these things, and if you are a connector, what can you add to this list? Also do you know any power connectors? I am looking to interview people who connect naturally.
I need a “theme” word for 2016. This year it was discernment: pondering my skitzo — frantic — life.
What can I focus on to move ahead?
Lately I’ve been concepting on the wisdom acquired from being 50-something AND starting 20+ businesses in 30 years. Some of the lessons learned have actually sunk in. Like:
Keep it simple (simplicity is sexy)
If it’s not working, flip it til it does.
Yes, some valuable experience, but I’m still finding often (and lately) flying by the seat of my pants.
Here we are again with yet another business model iteration. Is it something new, or just a different cut and paste of things I’ve already tried? Everything is constantly evolving and moving around to different perspectives.
Am I smarter this time? My mentoring “wisdom” is often only two weeks or months old.
Maybe I just need to lighten up and keep doing what comes naturally.
What comes naturally to me?
Connecting people and bringing communities of women together. My core power is “innovative feminine” (according to the insight of Danielle LaPorte many years ago!). My business model has been to create new things for women and to share them. If I have a magic power, I believe it’s being a connector.
How I do life and business?:
Making and sharing new things
…what’s a word that combines all of that, moves me forward, and tightens things up?
Haven’t got it nailed yet!
Do you pick a focus word? If so I would love some insight how you come up with it.