The Gallup StrengthsFinder definition of Ideation® says, “People especially talented in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.” In their experience, ideas are the heartbeat of life.

Finding new and creative ways to accomplish a goal is what drives people with the Ideation theme. Having the single-mindedness to bring these ideas to life is the key to success.

I would venture to guess that Donald Trump has the strength of Ideation. One of the most successful real estate tycoons in the world, Trump is fascinated with ideas. He loves exploring and explaining concepts. His mind is always looking for new angles, new perspectives, or new views. He perceives possibilities in ways radically different from the common person. And he’s an idea guy when it comes to architecture, as well as golf—one of his company’s spin-off TV programs is called Donald Trump’s Fabulous World of Golf.

Trump loves golf. But even more than that, he loves designing golf courses. And you should see the sparkle in his eye when he talks about his ideas on how to carve out a beautiful, exciting, challenging golf course in the middle of the Earth. He’s on a mission to create and change the world, eighteen holes at a time.

Another multi-millionaire example is Paul Allen, founder of Allen loves ideas. In fact, if you leave him a voice mail he’s probably not going to return it. If you leave him a text message saying, “I’ve got a great idea to discuss with you,” he will respond quickly.

People with Ideation are fascinated by ideas, think outside of the box, and can be creative. They are innovative and often exceptional entrepreneurs. Allen’s first venture was Infobases, which created educational CDs. Then he co-founded in 1997 which raised $90.5 million in venture capital. Start-ups were Allen’s specialty; he created 10x Marketing, FundingUniverse, and, which grew to be the #1 app for families on Facebook, attracting 80 million users.

I met Allen in late 2012 when Gallup hired him to promote StrengthsFinder 2.0. We talked on the phone then he invited me to serve on the Gallup Strengths Coaching Advisory Panel.

An interior designer I know has the Ideation strength. She talks about walking into a house, looking at the furniture, where it’s placed, and immediately envisioning a better design for the room. At night, lying in bed, she thinks about how to design a home and where each piece should go. People with the Ideation strength are easily bored. They need novel ideas and new topics to think about.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has Ideation in his top five talents along with Competition, Achiever, Significance, and Command. You can see how he thinks and works smarter by building the Facebook organization and brand, and in doing so has created a person fortune worth $73.1 billion as of August 2017.

Ekaterina Walter has written a book about Zuckerberg called, Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Facebook’s Improbably Brilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

The 5 P’s described in the book are:

PASSION — Keep your energy and commitment fully charged at all times by pursuing something you believe in.

PURPOSE — Don’t just create a great product, drive a meaningful movement.

PEOPLE — Build powerful teams that can execute your vision.

PRODUCT — Create a product that is innovative, that breaks all the rules, that changes everything.

PARTNERSHIPS — Build powerful partnerships with people who fuel imagination and energize execution.

Zuckerberg hired Sheryl Sandberg as COO, and Sandberg herself is a strong advocate of the strengths management philosophy. In referring to the book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths, she said, “Exposure to the strengths philosophy has been instrumental in how we think about developing talent at Facebook. We try to make jobs fit around people rather than make people fit around jobs. We focus on what people’s natural strengths are and spend our management time trying to find ways for them to use those strengths every day.”

Are you fascinated by idea?  Do you find new creative ways to solve problems that seem impossible to solve?  Does your ideation cause issues when the ideas all come at once?  Let’s have a conversation about where you are in the comments below.

Not sure where you are and need some conversation around that?  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call.  Let’s talk strengths.

If you Google the words email marketing, you will get approximately 4,000,000,000 responses. 4,000,000,000 is a HUGE number but think about it – how many emails do you get in your inbox every day?  There are emails from people that you want to know what they have to say or ones that you had to agree to be on their list to get a giveaway that they have that you want. I was going to count mine, but I quit at 50. Most of them I will never read. The influence of email marketing is more significant now than it has ever been.  With all the new emerging technologies, this is an exciting time for business owners and the technology will only continue to grow.

As the technologies continue to grow and evolve, it is pushing entrepreneurs to grow and evolve with it or be left behind. How do you determine what is the right combination of technology for you and your workplace? Which one is the most important for you? What are others in your field doing, and how is it working?

If people like me are out there who aren’t going to read what you’re going to write, why take the time to write? The reason is apparent: For ten years in a row, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers. For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI [1]. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

This is hard evidence on the importance of having an email list, but where are you going to start? You could read those 4,000,000,000 entries that Google returned, but before you do that, let me give you some ideas. I know in my businesses that my email list is invaluable to keep in touch with my clients.  So let me share some of what I have learned so far.

Are you looking to start or grow your email list, here are four action steps:

  1. Choose the right email marketing service it will have a substantial impact on the success of your marketing campaign. It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends on the email marketing software because they are responsible for making sure that your emails get delivered.
  2. Ask three people in person if you can add them to your email list. At church, at the pool, in the grocery store.
  3. Write and send an email to your list like this:
    subject: A Question for You;
    Hey <Name>,
    I am updating my blog and have a question for you: What are you struggling with the most right now? Just hit reply and let me know. (I promise I’ll read your response).
    Thanks so much!
    <Your Name>
    Make sure to read every response and then reply to them to keep the conversation going. This will help you find your most engaged people.
  4. Opt-in to other blogs and check out their process. Take notes on their process. What did you like? What would you improve? What can you learn to apply to your opt-in sequence?

I hope this serves you!

1 According to VentureBeat, email is the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers.



Do you believe it’s possible to make money from knowing a little about a lot of different topics and sharing the useful information? Are you the person that could build a business around your love of trivia? Ever wonder how someone who collects so many books and magazines might make money from a side hustle? Each of these likely have the CliftonStrengths theme of Input®.

People with the Input strength are like sponges. Their minds soak up, collect, and store information like a sponge soaks up every ounce of liquid in its path. People with this strength like to collect quotes, stories, anecdotes, or material items. They want to ask questions about everything. They take this information they learn from their questioning and have the uncanny ability to retrieve when needed.

Whatever an Input person is fascinated with, they love to collect, and it’s difficult for them to throw things away. They can feel a sense of chaos because they have so many ideas and material things in their home.

A person with the Input strength loves to ask, “What is my question today?” One person I know literally asks himself a question a day, starting a daily quest to gather all the information, data, and ideas related to the question that he can. Not surprisingly, people with Input strength love the Internet, and they are especially huge fans of Google because it gives them access to thousands of rabbit holes for searching out all the latest information.

Thus, people with Input are a great encyclopedia of information and are usually excellent teammates in Trivial Pursuit. People with Input should create systems for storing information, whether it’s mentally or physically because the sheer quantity of ideas and information can be overwhelming. They typically benefit from someone who has organizing skills to help focus their curiosities into one area, becoming experts instead of Renaissance collectors.

Input individuals could consider how they can monetize their strengths, asking themselves, “How do I turn this strength into a moneymaker? How can this help me create a better business? Advance my career? Maximize my family and love life?”

The key is finding ways to use the information instead of allowing it to grow stagnant. Those with the Input strength must find avenues to share their information. They make great librarians, researchers, legal assistants, and virtual assistants.

Mike Wolfe, created and now stars in the History Channel’s hit TV show “American Pickers” by using what looks like his Input strength.

Wolfe has become a household name by taking what he loves – the world of “picking,” where Mike and his friend Frank Fritz go into people’s homes, barns, sheds all across America and turning it into his livelihood. Today, he’s the top picker in America.

Wolfe, has been picking since age four. His deep love of collecting not only material things but the stories that go along with them is often demonstrated on the show. He loves to take these stories and the knowledge that he has acquired through all his years of picking and shares it with people on the show. Many of the people on the show who they go to pick have been left a huge collection by a loved one who has passed on. Mike loves to go into situations where people need knowledge and use what he has learned during his long career to help the people understand what they have and what it is worth.

Picking does not sound like a glamour’s job, and most of the time, it is not. It is dirty and hot and sweaty. But by pursuing his love of picking Mike Wolfe has parlayed his work of picking into a $4 million net worth.

How do you think you could monetize your Input strength? Could you take you Input strength and pair it with something that you love to create a multimillion dollar net worth? Tell me about your ideas in the comments below.

Not sure about how you could move forward? Want to talk about your action plan? Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.