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.

Idea Man 25.jpg

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.

Light head dude2.jpg

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.

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

February 24, 2021
A BRAND NEW DAY: Be Your Best Podcast with Gil Hanson


Recently, I had the great good fortune of being a guest on Gil Hanson's Be Your Best podcast. Gil, who is a world-class personal branding expert and masterful graphic designer, is extremely knowledgeable in the art of bringing out the best in people -- not just his clients, but his podcast guests, as well. Gil asked me a series of great questions on innovation, creativity, and storytelling that sparked quite an animated conversation.

If you're curious about the roots of Idea Champions, what it takes to create something out of nothing, and how my fledgling start-up scored a huge contract from AT&T by teaching their Director of Learning and Development how to juggle in just five minutes, you've come to the right place. Click here to listen. Episode #22.

Gil's Design Personal Brand website
The Year of Living Creatively
Free the Genie: Online Creative Thinking
Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 09:30 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2021
What Should You Charge for Your Online Course?

Good, sound advice from Thinkific on figuring out what to charge for your online course.

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:41 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2021
A Brilliant Spin on Scamming

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:11 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.
Authorized Reseller Logo – GoLeanSixSigma.com
Workshops & Trainings
Highly engaging learning experiences that increase each participant's ability to become a creative force for positive change
Brainstorm Facilitation
High impact certification training that teaches committed change agents how to lead groundbreaking ideation sessions
Cultivating Innovation
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.
Our Blog Cabin
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.
Team Innovation
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.
Face the Music Blues Band The world's first interactive business blues band. A great way to help your workforce go beyond complaint.

"In tune with corporate America." — CNN