April 16, 2021
How to Identify Your YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY Project

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The Year of Living Creatively is a project-driven course. Each participant, before the course begins, identifies a meaningful goal, opportunity, or vision they want to breathe life into for the two months of the program. We're talking "skin in the game," "stake in the ground," and "chips on the table" -- a project you are committed to -- or, at the very least, a project you want to be committed to.

The project you will be saying YES to for the two months of The Year of Living Creatively program might be one you have recently conjured up or, perhaps, it's one you've been thinking about for many years, but have been, shall we say, "spinning your wheels".

To help you tune further into the project you want address in the course, please be mindful of the following five criteria:

1. PASSION: The project you will be focusing on in The Year of Living Creatively needs to be one you have great enthusiasm for -- a venture you are psyched about -- one you will likely end up dreaming about or, at the very least, be thinking about in the shower. We're talking major intrinsic motivation.

2. STRETCH: The Year of Living Creatively project you take on needs to be one that is a s-t-r-e-t-c-h for you -- not something necessarily easy to accomplish. By "stretch", however, I am not referring to stress, struggle, or drama. I am referring to an inspired goal or vision of yours that will require stepping outside your comfort zone.


3. SHAREABLE: The project you choose to develop in The Year of Living Creatively needs to be one you are willing to explore, from time to time, with other people in the course. You get to decide what specific aspects of your project to share, but you will need to share something. Two heads are not only better than one, it will help you get out of your own head.

4. COMMITMENT: Your Year of Living Creatively project will be more like a marriage than a fling. In other words, it needs to be something you're willing to be in an ongoing, intimate relationship with -- not something you will avoid the first time you experience discomfort, doubt, or difficulty.

5. TIMELINESS: In the best of all worlds, the project you choose to work on in The Year of Living Creatively will be the right project at the right time -- something for you to get your arms around, specifically, at this time in your life -- a project that is calling you. No more procrastinating. No more self-denial. No more chicken-shittedness. And, by the way, The Year of Living Creatively is designed to help you succeed with this project AND enjoy the process. Whoo hoo!

Interested in identifying your Year of Living Creatively project? If so, click the two self-inquiry pages below. All you need to do is reflect on the questions and fill in the blanks.

Follow Your Calling
Discover Your Real Question

Want to enroll? $249. PayPal: products@ideachampions.com

What is the real value of The Year of Living Creatively?

An invitation to dive deeper into your creative process
Who created The Year of Living Creatively?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

April 14, 2021

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There are two kinds of benefits you will receive from participating in The Year of Living Creatively. First, you'll make major progress on a passionate project of yours that needs a benevolent jolt. And second, you'll develop the kind of skills, mindset, and mojo you'll need to succeed with any creative project of yours in the future.

What follows are the ten qualities you will develop during your two-month participation in The Year of Living Creatively.

1. CURIOSITY: Curiosity is the driving force behind all human development. When a person is on fire with a desire to learn, discover, and explore, whole new worlds open up to them -- especially the inner world of creativity. Simply put, The Year of Living Creatively has been designed to fan the flames of curiosity -- providing participants with the kind of wake up call that animates the deep-seated quest for knowledge, know how, and understanding.

2. CLARITY: The creative process is often an unsettling experience. Doubt, ambiguity, and confusion come with the territory and often, in such degrees, that aspiring innovators can easily lose their way. The Year of Living Creatively program not only helps participants see the light at the end of their tunnel, it illuminates the path that leads to the end of the tunnel. Eyes open. Minds open. Hearts open.

3. COURAGE: It's what the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz needed and it's what all aspiring innovators need, as well -- the inner strength to venture, persevere, and go beyond fear. The root of the word courage comes from the Latin "cor", which translates as "heart". Year of Living Creatively participants are encouraged, in many different ways, to not only come from the heart, but also get to "the heart of the matter" -- the essence of who they are and why they want to create in the first place.

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4. CONFIDENCE: One of Big Bad Wolves on the path of creative expression is doubt -- the feeling of uncertainty and lack of conviction that robs a person of their precious life force. Everyone, at some time in their life, feels doubt. Everyone. But doubt increases a thousandfold when we attempt to go beyond the status quo and create something extraordinary. That's when confidence is especially needed -- the recognition that not only do we have the potential to succeed, we have the right. The Year of Living Creatively is designed to radically increase confidence -- not by pep talks, hype, and hustle, but by helping participants access the part of themselves that knows that anything is possible.

5. CREATIVITY: If you google "definitions of creativity" you will get 49,900,000 references. Here are 15 of them in case you're interested. But it really doesn't matter how you define creativity. What matters is that you live it -- that your thoughts, actions, and intentions are infused with it. The Year of Living Creatively is all about what it takes to create. Every process, exercise, conversation, Facebook post, Zoom call, brainstorm, and reading is designed to unleash creativity. We don't teach it. We don't need to. You already have it. We just make it infinitely more accessible to you.

6. COMMITMENT: Michelangelo may have said it best when he uttered these four words: "Genius is infinite painstaking." It took this extraordinary artist four years to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It took J.K Rowling seven years to go from her idea of Harry Potter to the published book. It took Tolkien 16 years to write the Lord of the Rings. What did all these people have in common? Commitment. Major Commitment. And this is one of great gifts of The Year of Living Creatively. It increases commitment.

7. COMMUNITY: The creative process is full of paradoxes, contradictions, and polarities. For example, on one end of the spectrum, creative people need lots of solitude. On the other end, especially during these isolating days of the Coronavirus, they need community -- opportunities to connect with other like-minded souls for encouragement, feedback, comradery, and fresh perspectives. The Year of Living Creatively is designed with this in mind -- establishing a community of practice that is welcoming, authentic, and inspiring.

8. CONNECTION: Here's one of the little-known secrets of creativity. It is often a function of how human beings connect seemingly unrelated elements -- their willingness and ability to synthesize new combinations between this, that, and the other thing. When we are "in the box", constrained by old assumptions and beliefs, we don't always see the inter-relatedness of things. When we are "out of the box", whole new worlds open up. Bottom line, The Year of Living Creatively increases the odds of people making new connections -- not just with each other, but to the many seemingly unrelated elements of their life.

Jobs had Wozniak. Lennon had McCartney. Crick had Watson. And Laurel had Hardy. Yes, it's true that the creative process is sometimes a solitary pursuit, but it is also a collaborative pursuit. Which is precisely why The Year of Living Creatively is designed to spark collaboration -- two or more people joining forces, in a soulful way, to radically increase the odds of magic happening.

10. CONTINUITY: The creative process, like bowling balls, bicycles, and skateboards, is subject to Newton's First Law of Motion -- what most of us have come to know as "An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion." For anyone trying to create something new in their life, maintaining positive momentum is essential. Flow, forward movement, and continuity matter, big time. The Year of Living Creatively is designed with Newton's First Law of Motion in mind -- doing everything it can to poke, jiggle, jolt, jog, prod, tickle, goose, and nudge people beyond inertia into the state of "its' getting better all the time."

An invitation to deep deeper in your creative process
Who created the Year of Living Creatively?
YOLC's previously unknown back story

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:28 PM | Comments (0)

April 01, 2021

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The Year of Living Creatively is a highly engaging, eight-week online course (May 23 - July 18) that helps aspiring innovators transform their bold ideas into new products, new services, new forms of expression, new businesses, and breakthrough ways of living. Previous graduates describe the course in a variety of colorful ways:

-- A GPS for the creative process
-- An incubation chamber for the new
-- A greenhouse for personal greatness
-- A chiropractic adjustment for mojo

If you are on fire with an exciting new possibility and want the kind of support that will help you turn theory into practice, this course is for you. By the way, did you know that out of every 100 people who start writing a book only three complete it? And writers aren't the only ones subject to this three percent phenomenon. Many other aspiring creators are, as well.

The Year of Living Creatively is an antidote for all of that monkey business -- an inspiring way for you to be on top of your game.

HOW IT WORKS: Dominoes delivers pizza. FedEx delivers packages. The Year of Living Creatively delivers provocative catalysts, community, and clarity to keep aspiring innovators as free as possible of the obstacles that sometimes eat them up. The service includes five BASIC elements and six OPTIONAL ones. In effect, The Year of Living Creatively is a bounteous buffet of mind-opening possibilities. You pick and choose what you are hungry for.


1. SELF-INQUIRY PRACTICE: Once a week, you will receive, in your inbox, links to two online self-inquiry pages (like this one) to help you navigate your way through your sometimes challenging creative process. If you're stuck, the page will get you unstuck. If you're already unstuck, the page will spark a quantum leap of insight and action. Each page assumes you are willing to reflect on key aspects of your journey for 15-30 minutes per week.

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2. ZOOM CALLS: Twice a month, you will be invited to participate in a 75-minute ZOOM session -- a virtual campfire around which all Year of Living Creatively participants gather. This is an opportunity to dive deeper into your creative process, share progress, receive valuable tips, tools, and techniques, brainstorm, and enjoy support from other members of the creative community.

3. CREATIVE PROJECT PARTNERSHIPS: Each Year of Living Creatively participant will be paired with two other participants -- an opportunity for the three of you to exchange fresh perspectives, feedback, ideas, resources, and encouragement. Three heads are definitely better than one -- especially during these socially isolated days of the Coronavirus.

4. PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP: All participants will be invited to join the Year of Living Creatively FB group -- an asynchronous way to stay in touch with the creative community, share your progress, ask questions, get inspired, watch innovation-sparking videos, and keep your creative fires burning.

5. CREATIVITY-IN-ACTION STORIES: Part of what makes The Year of Living Creatively so effective is the way in which it keeps participants on top of their game -- helping them in very simple ways to stay conscious, inspired, and committed to their creative process. One engaging way we do this is our 5-minute Creativity-in-Action audio stories delivered every Wednesday, via email -- stories that feature best practices, insights, and breakthroughs that can easily be adapted and applied in daily life.


1. APPLIED CREATIVITY: A PDF download of a 200-page guidebook for aspiring innovators, mavericks, entrepreneurs, closet geniuses, and cultural creatives. A treasure trove of articles, tips, tools, and techniques to help you radically increase your odds of getting out of the box, staying out of the box, and enjoying the process of manifesting your heart's desire.

2. MICRO-LEARNING FOR INNOVATORS: All participants will be granted access to an online library of 52 articles, videos, and stories on creativity from the writings of YOLC Founder, Mitch Ditkoff.

3. BREAKTHROUGH BUDDY: While the creative process requires a healthy dose of solitude, it also requires a healthy dose of support from other people -- but not just any others -- people you trust, have chemistry with, and know how to fan the flames of your creative mojo. Which is why The Year of Living Creatively will be enrolling (with your permission) the person of your choice (living within ten miles of your home) to serve as your very own Breakthrough Buddy -- someone who will do their best to support you, in fun ways, throughout the duration of the course. HOW we get this person up-to-speed to play their catalytic role is our little secret. Suffice it to say, we will provide them with everything they need to help you on your way.

4. AWAKE AT THE WHEEL: A Kindle version of Mitch''s award-winning business fable about the mythical invention of the wheel and the creative process that Og, the genius cavemen, went through in order to get the idea out of his head and into the world.

5. COACHING: Private coaching sessions are available with Year of Living Creatively Founder, Mitch Ditkoff. $150/hr.

6. FREE THE GENIE: One-one-one or small group brainstorming sessions with Val Vadeboncoeur -- a long-time friend and collaborator of YOLC Founder, Mitch Ditkoff. $75/hr.

7. FREE SUBSCRIPTION to FREE THE GENIE: An engaging online creative thinking tool to help you generate, develop, and implement bold new ideas.

Total number of participants: 25

COST: $249 (the cost of a cappuccino per day)

PAY VIA PAYPAL: products@ideachampions

QUESTIONS? Email Mitch (mitch@ideachampions.com)

More about the creator of the Year of Living Creatively

100 Awesome Quotes on What It Really Takes to Innovate
What is the real value of The Year of Living Creatively?

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:08 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2021
THE YEAR OF LIVING CREATIVELY: The Previously Unknown Back Story


Every story has a back story. And every back story has a back story -- the mysterious plot without which the story about to be told would not be a story. And so, in the spirit of full disclosure, here's the back story of The Year of Living Creatively -- a bold, new online service of mine with the potential to make a profound difference in your life.

In 1987, along with my best friend, Steven McHugh, I started Idea Champions, a training and consulting company whose mission it was to spark creativity and innovation in organizations around the world.

In the beginning of our start-up efforts, we had no money. Zippo. Nada. Zilch. But we had something way more valuable. An idea. An inspired idea. A big idea. An idea SO big and so inspiring that we could not stop thinking about it. It kept us up at night. We thought about it in the shower. While we slept. And though it would be fair to say we had a monumental idea, the real truth was that the monumental idea had us.

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Our first client made $600,000 with a single idea they generated in the first brainstorming session we ran for them. Our third client, AT&T, licensed our Get Out of the Box creative thinking training -- the first creative training AT&T had ever purchased. Then came GE, Merck, General Mills, Pfizer, MTV, Lucent, Allianz, Goodyear, and 100 other companies in 11 different countries -- all wanting to unlock and unleash the creative brainpower of their workforce.

For two counter-culture guys in their late 30's, this was quite an adventure, especially since we had always considered corporations to be "the bad guys."

Not everything we did worked. Like most entrepreneurs, we had plenty of false starts, flops, and failures. But no matter what happened -- or didn't happen -- we kept on adapting, inventing, and learning. What, specifically, were we learning? How to catalyze creativity and innovation in others. How to help all kinds of people navigate their way through the long and often winding road of their own creative process.

Fast forward to 2020.

When Covid-19 hit the fan, I was in Australia, working with an Islamic school. Overnight, I had to transform everything I did into an online experience. Oof! Ouch! Ugh! The resistance lasted for a week. Then I started noodling on a very provocative question: "How can I distill down everything I've learned in the past 33 years and make it available -- online -- to as many people as possible around the world?"

Badaboom! Badabing! That's when the idea for The Year of Living Creatively hit me upside the head -- a simple, inexpensive, user-friendly way for people to get the support they need to increase their odds of manifesting their most inspired ideas, dreams, and ventures.

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You want the elevator speech? The Year of Living Creatively is a chiropractic adjustment for your creative process -- an engaging way to unlock and unleash your brilliance -- an intentional, time-efficient approach to help you go over, under, around, and through whatever obstacles are preventing you from manifesting your heart's desire. Bottom line, it's a cool way to neutralize the Big Bad Wolf on your way to grandma's house.

And while it's not a magic pill, it CAN work magic.

It's not a class. It's not a workshop. And it's not a training. It's an ongoing, catalytic process to awaken your innate creativity, insight, wisdom, and commitment.

HOW IT WORKS: There are five, interconnected elements to The Year of Living Creatively.

1. SELF-ASSESSMENT: To make sure YOLC is a good fit for you, all you need to do is click this link and respond to the "Are You Ready for The Year of Living Creatively" self-inquiry page. In ten minutes, you'll know if this program is worth your time.

2. SELF-INQUIRY: Once a week, you'll receive a link to an online self-inquiry page (like this one) that will help you reflect on a specific aspect of your creative process. If you're stuck, the page will help you get unstuck. If you're already unstuck, the page will spark a quantum leap of thought, insight, and action. Each page will require 15-30 minutes of your time.

3. CREATIVE COMMUNITY: Once a month, you'll be invited to participate in a 90-minute ZOOM session -- a virtual campfire around which all Year of Living Creatively subscribers will gather. This will be an opportunity to pause, dive deeper into your creative process, and get the support you need from other members of the community. PS: Even though the creative process requires lots of solitude, it also requires connection, community, and collaboration.

4. CREATIVE PROCESS PARTNERSHIP: Each member of the Year of Living Creatively community will be paired up with another member -- someone to connect with, periodically, for support, feedback, fresh perspectives, and accountability. Two heads are better than one.

5. PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP: All subscribers will be invited to join the Year of Living Creatively FB group -- an asynchronous way to stay in touch with each other, share progress, ask questions, share resources, get inspired, and otherwise keep your creative fires burning.

YOU HAVE CHOICES! Choose from four different subscription options: 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, or 12 months. The cost? Less than a cappuccino per week (but the buzz will last a lot longer.) The launch date? Sometime in April. Want to be on our mailing list? Let us hear from you: office@ideachampions.com


Free the Genie
Microlearning for Innovators
Wisdom Circles
Client testimonials

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Who Are We?

Idea Champions is a consulting and training company dedicated to awakening and nurturing the spirit of innovation. We help individuals, teams and entire organizations tap into their innate ability to create, develop and implement ideas that make a difference.

Click here for the simplest, most direct way, to learn more about Idea Champions' semi-fearless leader, Mitch Ditkoff. Info on his keynotes, workshops, conferences, and more.
Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
Top 5 Speaker
Mitch Ditkoff, the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions, has recently been voted a top 5 speaker in the field of innovation and creativity by Speakers Platform, a leading speaker's bureau.
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Workshops & Trainings
Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
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High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
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Your "best and brightest" are the future leaders of your company, but unless they know how to foster a culture of innovation, their impact will be limited. A one-day workshop with us is all they need to begin this journey.
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Our Heart of Innovation blog is a daily destination for movers and shakers everywhere — gleefully produced by our President, Mitch Ditkoff, voted "best innovation blogger in the world" two years running.
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Innovation is a team sport. Brilliant ideas go nowhere unless your people are aligned, collaborative, and team-oriented. That doesn't happen automatically, however. It takes intention, clarity, selflessness, and a new way of operating.
Awake at the Wheel, Book about big ideas If you're looking for a powerful way to jump start innovation and get your creative juices flowing, Awake at the Wheel is for you. Written by Mitch Ditkoff, Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions.
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