I had the opportunity to attend a stop on the IdeaMensch tour this week in Portland.
IdeaMensch (@ideamensch) is a multiplatform project that is connecting folks with good ideas to entrepreneurs who have already traveled the path. It is an online community, fueled by in-person events, and appears to be lightning in a bottle.
IdeaMensch is the brainchild of Mario Schulzke, a former agency digital strategist based on the West Coast. He is currently on an ambitious lower-48-state guerilla-marketed tour for the project (#IM48).
Mario assembled an eclectic, yet equally inspiring lineup for the Portland event:
- the founder of one of the largest direct-marketing firms in the country;
- a man who teaches how to be fluent in a foreign language online in 3 months;
- the CEO who is revolutionizing the vending machine business with technology;
- the co-founder of a unique, successful music-licensing/creative agency; and
- and the CEO of a niche recruiting firm who is building a six-figure blog empire.
Through my Forrest Gump luck, I found myself in the company of Mario and two of the speakers in the pre-program social hour. When I sat down and was asked by one of them, “What brings you here?” My response was direct and immediate, “You.”
I was speaking with Jenny Foss (@jobjenny, www.jobjenny.com) who is a tech recruiting agency owner turned online entrepreneur. She’s a “BFF” for those trying to find their passions and navigate their path. The engaging former journalist is quickly headed toward a full-time gig of helping others via her blog, books, and consulting services.
She was an inspiring person to meet, delivered a great talk, and is a perfect poster child for the spirit of the project. IdeaMensch (see below) is about taking an idea and putting it into action. People like Jenny have a way of showing you that anything is possible.
In a follow-up Twitter exchange, Jenny said she hoped I had found an idea or two from the night. YES! There is no way 140 characters can express the multitude of idea mojo that she and the others – both speaking and in the crowd – provided this would-be CEO.
It was a seminal moment for me personally, one that has been fueled by so many amazing interactions over the past couple of years in the digital and social media community. I will do my best to “pay it forward,” because good ideas are a terrible thing to waste.
- Ideas by themselves are of little value.
Whether your idea is an app, a nonprofit, a book, a website or an invention – what matters is that and how you bring it to life. Who matter are the people who bring those ideas to life.
IdeaMensch is a community created for people who bring ideas to life.
Our purpose is to help you bring your idea to life.
We are doing that via our daily interviews with successful entrepreneurs and our events. We’re currently on 4-month road trip across America to organize events in all lower 48-states.
IdeaMensch was founded and is run by Mario Schulzke. But this community wouldn’t be possible without our contributors from across the globe and of course the hundreds of entrepreneurs sharing their knowledge and experiences via our interviews. People like Seth Godin, Tony Hsieh, Jessica Jackley, Craig Newmark, Nancy Brinker and Gary Vaynerchuk.