30 Day Brainstorm Challenge!

Brainstorm Challenge1
It’s been a beautiful summer in Illinois, and I don’t know about you – but I’ve been trying to take advantage of it.

In Illinois, winter can be 6 months, so when it’s sunny we try to take full advantage. However, they say being a freelancer is the only job where you left a 40-hour workweek, only to work 80 hours a week. Although, I’m sure you’ve found that it doesn’t matter if you own your business, lead a department, or manage projects or manage yourself; hours can take over the day and you’ve missed an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine.

This has been me. In the last month, I’ve been in writing mode. I won’t bore you with the details but it’s been an exciting month. Although, here’s the down side – I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing this blog. The thing I really love to do.

Here’s the deal. The more we turn our head away from what’s important, the harder it is to turn back. Ultimately we become rusty, our thoughts become slower. Time flies! I couldn’t believe when I went to the stats on this blog page and realized a MONTH had blown past me since my last post. Seriously. A MONTH. I’ve written before on creativity and inspiration but now I want to get back into the flow and I’m giving myself a challenge.  Therefore, I’m going to post something starting Monday, July 11 and then again, over the next thirty days and I invite you to join me.


Here’s the thing about a challenge like this – it’s about getting something on paper (or video), it’s about pulling back the curtain and exposing sunlight to the thoughts that are sleeping in the back of your brain. It doesn’t matter what the thoughts are…from training to cute puppies. Now’s the time to wake up your blog, LinkedIn feed, YouTube channel, or Facebook page. This challenge is for everyone. Not just people who are hanging out working in their PJ’s, but everyone.

Why is this important to you?

Your online presence depends on you getting out there on a regular basis. There really is no avoiding this fact. Not to mention that getting your message “out there” is as easy as its ever been. Anyone can post a blog on LinkedIn – you don’t even need a special website. Like the idea of video, go to YouTube or Vimeo and set up your channel – vlogging (video blogging) is quite popular right now, and super easy (a post for another day). Perhaps you have a tumblr account but never really used it – now’s the time.  There are so many different ways to share…decide on one, go forth, and create.


Take a look at Tom Spiglanin’s Video Vlog – he challenged himself to vlog daily, here are the results.

Your Challenge (1)

What does a “30 Day Brainstorm Challenge” have to do with Learning Rebels? Everything.

You are a Rebel and we have this Rebel village. And, as a Rebel, you are always looking for ways to bring new ideas to your workforce. What better way to generate thoughts and ideas than to challenge yourself to a 30 day brainstorming session? I will also post this challenge, and each update on the Learning Rebels Facebook page. Hopefully, you all join me and post your challenge activities there too. We all can learn and grow together. Just because “Work Out Loud Week” has passed doesn’t mean we stop sharing.

Now, I know – you’re going to tell me that your day sucks up all your time. If you have written 10 emails today, I can guarantee you have written 500 words and that’s all you really need to do. Think short-form post aka Seth Godin. The idea is that this is a challenge, and if it were easy – it would be the “Easy Peasy 30 Day Brainstorm”. Right? When writing this post, I had a thought about if inspiration should be easy. Maybe I was missing a boat somewhere. So, I went looking and ran across this post on how we may be mistaken in using the term inspire.  It was perfect for what we are trying to accomplish. Inspiration isn’t easy and challenges wait for no one. Know this, if there isn’t time now, there never will be time. You can do this. We can do this.

Remember, your writing (or video) doesn’t have to be training related.

You never know where good ideas are going to come from – and remember the first part about brainstorming is just getting the ideas out there. Then you can go back and draw inspiration.  This means your post about how to stake tomatoes may lead someone to think about how to best hold up learning to those who need help. How about that quickie video on how you got your stubborn dog to use the doggie door? This may lead another person to think about “different strokes for different folks” in the training world. You just never know, and I’m looking forward to outcome of all of thinking together.

This is key: Don’t worry if you don’t start right away, or you found this message late, or maybe you had one too many Margarita’s on Saturday night and paid the price on Sunday, therefore missing a post. That’s okay. Do what you can. What’s important is that you set a goal to write about or talk about something that made you go a-ha, then share it

How can you share your thoughts each day?

  1. You can post a link to your 30 Day Brainstorm challenge posts in the comment section below.
  2. You can write your post directly on the Learning Rebels Facebook page.
  3. Share your video links via twitter and copy @learningrebels or @stipton

I’ll leave you with…

[ctt title=”‘Creativity is intelligence having fun.’ – Albert Einstein” tweet=”‘Creativity is intelligence having fun.’ – Albert Einstein via @stipton #30DayBrainstorm” coverup=”0nO5F”]

Sharing is caring, and I look forward to seeing what has inspired you. Go to the comment section now and share your plans for the the challenge.




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Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton

As Owner of Learning Rebels, Shannon Tipton is a skilled learning strategist, content developer and International speaker. Shannon has over 20 years of leadership experience developing successful learning strategies and infrastructures for training departments within organizations in North America, Europe and Korea.

Shannon works with people and organizations to develop learning solutions that brings actual business results. Recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field, Shannon integrates technologies and social learning tools to strengthen workplace alignment, enhance collaboration and increase learning connectivity.

As author of “Disruptive Learning” Shannon frequently speaking at conferences across North America and Europe and ranks as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter (@stipton).

17 thoughts on “30 Day Brainstorm Challenge!”

  1. Okay….I’m in! I too have been neglecting my blog and Twitter and have been thinking….geez….I just have to jump back in 🙂 Count me in 🙂

    • Welcome aboard Chris! I have a heavy travel schedule coming up in the next thirty days – but as I said, it ain’t the “easy peasy” challenge! #LetsDoThis together!

  2. I agree and disagree that video sharing is super easy. It is easy enough to get started, but if you want to get good at it and consistently create something that’s actually interesting enough to watch beginning to end, that takes time and experience. The key is to just do it, share it, ask for feedback and listen to feedback – and work to improve, try new things.

    That said, you can’t get there without just doing it. Nice article, and thanks for the mention!

    • Hi Tom – My point was just that…you have to start somewhere. However, I will slightly disagree with you – there are plenty of examples of people on YouTube who are just using their cell phones to capture a thought in the moment and they look perfectly fine.

      One young real estate lady with a huge following only uses her phone as a dash cam, no post production, no fancy editing (I cannot find her information right now – dang it!). Although here is a link from a young lady who only uses her iphone 5 to record her vlogs and this is how she does it. She takes the viewer through how to do some basic editing such as cropping etc.

      It is about sharing what you know, and you do a wonderful job! Now, that’s not to say that one shouldn’t perfect a craft. If you want to try your hand at post production editing, even that can be easier than one would think with the right tools. I hope that people will give vlogging or video creation a try. We know that video is not the future, it’s the now – so I encourage everyone to give it shot (no pun intended). But for this challenge, do what makes you comfortable. No one is looking for perfection. Least of all me! Share your thoughts. Share your passions, let all learn together.

      • I guess my point was unclear, which is my fault in writing as I did. If you want to share on a regular basis, JUST DO IT. But make it your own, develop your own style that works for you. But even the most “advanced” video producer needs to learn with each new effort and be open to feedback. My last video was met with a, “Meh” from my own spouse. That won’t deter me, I asked why and she basically said it was because she was there for all the video and I had better things to do – like the work I owe her! So rock on, peace, and let’s all accept this challenge!

      • Violeta from Creative Rebels introduced the 30 days of sucking at challenge exactly for that. A permission to practice again and again something we are not yet good at and share it. Placing ourselves in a context were failing to deliver was a given allowed some people to get started in podcasts and videos. It was horrible but we all learned: practice makes perfect, be open to feedback although it’s not going to be pleasant, watch with an open mindset and share feedbacks without complacency but keeping in mind the person did its best.

  3. I rethinking my reading and note taking practice. How to keep my notes as short as possible, fast to write. Then take again the habit of reading and sharing notes.

    Any ideas?

    In the process, I came across this site where Derek Sivers is sharing all his notes from reading. It’s sometimes what I aim but also sometimes it goes into personal reflections on what he reads. This for “Show Your Work” from Austin Kleon https://sivers.org/book/ShowYourWork

    Anybody else doing that?

    Side hustle: I’m rebuilding my library and unpacking my books. 2 10 meters long wall covered with shelves. I need to reinstantiate a reading area.

    • Hi Bruno! Great question. If I were going to go along the lines of Derek Silvers, I would open up a tumblr page to capture my notes on individual books. I like the idea of capturing notes in a common place. Now, if you read a book via kindle – you can make notes and they will captured and you have the option to share them. I’m curious as to the thoughts of others.

      Regarding your side hustle – that’s quite the project. My library is out of control too, as you know, this is especially true for my cookbook library it is serious need of a reorganization. Let me know how your project goes!

      • I don’t use Kindle. I like to own books and keep them forever without anyone between me and the book. I’m still a big partisan of reading offline in standard formats (epub or html) or well-known ones like pdf.

        Same to publish them a simple website is enough. People tend to forget posting a page don’t require a tumblr or a WordPress 🙂 Silvers use markdown, a simplified note taking format, simpler than HTML.

        In fact, my first takeaways is that simply annotating and scrapping sentences from a book will rarely give something worth keeping. We tend to do so a bit emotionally. We highlight what stimulated us but it could very well be due to an accumulation of information and not this very exact sentence.

        Keeping resonated reasoned notes prevents to keep this first level of annotations.

        So the style of writing is important. It must rather simple, a bit repetitive so that each line can be read quickly, possibly interpreted by a program for better search.

    • 30 Days of sucking! I love it! Going in knowing or even expecting to learn through failure is a tremendous idea. A great lesson in the more you do, the more we learn. Excellent.

  4. In May I did a 7 day photo challenge to post a picture a day to my Facebook account. I got so many positive responses asking me to continue that I’ve tried to post pictures at least once a week. This gives me a reason to take my camera outside and look for things to photograph and to make time for my photography.

  5. Well, when you said writing challenge you didn’t mention for 30 days 🙂

    Interestingly, I’ve been figuring out lately how to curate life into a somewhat cohesive format that might help others… So, I took this challenge to stop figuring things and moved on to the next phase of grief: doing things.


    My 30 day challenge will contain various thought-droplets on events that led to the where I am today. All of them are centered around a particular question (or questions). A question that led to a decision (for better or worse), and ultimately, consequences. We’re going back all the way to the first free democratic elections behind the Iron Curtain, baby!

    Welcome to the thought-droplets of non-existent book title, “Is the Middle Finger Really Bad?”


    • Zsolt – Well, I had to leave something up for surprise, right? I read your post, and what a great idea! Brain Droppings! Provacative first title too, and I think you’re on target with the message. Can’t wait to read more. 🙂

    • Bruno – Interesting thoughts. In my opinion, as far as note taking is concerned, one must work on the method that most works for them. The notes have to be accessible and contextual. Meaning, I have to be able to find them and THEN understand what they mean in context. Which is why I prefer reading business books on my iPad Kindle app, I can organize the notes in a way that works best for me. I can annotate Ina variety of ways nd write notes as I go along, plus they are searchable.

      I do go old school when it comes to fiction books. Probably because I’m reading those in the sun, with a frosty adult beverage. The other type of book I actually purchase are cookbooks – an addiction, I must admit. I prefer to write my notes and results directly on the pages. To each their own.

      I’m glad you decided not to wait for the muse! I look forward to hearing more Bruno thoughts. 🙂


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