One thing I’ve been trying to do with this site is stress that life is not all about your freelance path. It is also about relationships, and keeping them healthy. It is about the happiness factor.
Today I want to discuss how you can keep in touch regularly with your bestest, in such a way that your business and hers will benefit from your time spent together.
Whether you each have business or not, brainstorming with someone else is a good way to get new ideas. If your bestest works for an employer, perhaps she would like a chance to brainstorm ways to further her existing career, start her own business, fix up her home, or plan a sustainable garden. Or maybe she is planning to write a book. The possibilities are endless, really.
Why brainstorming sessions with the bestest work
- You can be honest with other. If something sounds good, great. If something sounds lame, you can let the other know.
- You are comfortable talking with each other.
- Your bestest may have some great ideas for your business.
- You might have great ideas for whatever your bestest is working on.
- You can celebrate successes together!
Setting up regular brainstorming sessions
Make this a regular thing, scheduling a meeting as often as you need it. Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly. Whatever works for both of you. Talk with your bestest and write these dates on your calendar.
Be sure to schedule enough time to brainstorm for both of you. Maybe lunch, with no afternoon responsibilities, so you can talk for hours if the need be.
Decide in advance of each meeting where you’ll meet up. Perhaps you’ll have a picnic in the park, or meet for tea outside your favorite cafe. Maybe a lunch at your favorite restaurant will be better, or a dinner at your place or hers. If you want to stay active, you could even go for a long walk, each of you bringing a hand-held recorder for keeping track of ideas.
No need for a rain-check if weather is not cooperating, just change where you meet up.
How brainstorming sessions with the bestest work
First, you get the day-to-day chit-chat out-of-the-way. Talk about the weather, how the kids or significant others are doing, what’s coming up for important dates within your families, and what community things are going on. Discuss feelings about situations, and how stressful last Thursday was. Get it all out of the way, so you can get to work.
Next you’ll each want to each talk about previous ideas you’ve implemented since the last meeting, and give updates on other things you’ve discussed as far as business goes. What has worked? What hasn’t? What haven’t you gotten to and why? Are you still planning on trying those leftover ideas out? Or will you be scrapping?
Then move on to new ideas. Talk about what you each have come up with for ideas for your businesses or projects, giving the other a chance to offer up more ideas. Talk about each new idea, at least briefly, to be sure it sounds plausible for your situation.
During this time, talk about things such as marketing, new project ideas or manuscript topics, promotional ideas, and whatever else you can think of. Perhaps you know you’re going to need a new laptop, and want to brainstorm the features you’ll need, or maybe you want to talk about your plan to turn and extra room into an office.
Going the extra mile for brainstorming sessions
Why not buy gifts for you and the bestest for that first meeting. You can put hers in a gift bag if you’d like. A hardcover journal or notebook for each of you to write ideas in, a nice pen, a set of highlighters, colorful post-its, and a selection of your favorite teas and fancy chocolate bars.
When your bestest finishes a particularly big project, put together a gift basket for her. Themes could be:
- Fancy office supplies, or things to match her office decor.
- Her favorite coffees and a mug with a saying that fits her perfectly.
- Items to add to a collection she has going on.
- Kitchen items and gourmet foods for the foodie friend.
- A DVD of a movie she wants, popcorn, drinks, and a box or two of her favorite movie theater candy.
- Things from her favorite cafe: The coffee or tea she likes – for her to make at home, a reusable cup with their logo, and a gift card.
If your bestest is feeling blocked or stuck, give her a basket of items for pampering herself, such as a facial treatment, her favorite shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, a wash cloth and hand towel, and a few new colors of nail polish. Maybe she needs to relax and take care of herself, to feel rejuvinated.
Have you had a brainstorming session with your bestest? How did it go? Can you schedule another?
Shannon L. Buck
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