About Sheree

Change Catalyst, Idea Explorer, Dot-Connector, Square Peg

Learn From The Past, Don’t Replicate It

Quote by Peter Thiel from Zero To One: "Rivalry causes us to overemphasize old opportunities and slavishly copy what has worked in the past." Created by Sheree Martin for Ignite Alabama, a Shinecast® Show

I've been reading Zero to One by Peter Thiel as I move into the next phase of my Shinecast® business and thought this quote would be a good reminder to share as I began to promote the Ignite Alabama podcast and resource website to Spark Innovation in Alabama. More later. … [Read more...]

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

July 4, 1776 "We hold these truths to be self evident....Life Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" Happy Independence Day from The Ben Franklin Follies

The words of the Declaration of Independence are part of the core of my personal philosophy and helped to steer me in the direction of law, as an intellectual pursuit and a profession. The values that inspired the Declaration of Independence provide a big chunk of the foundation of the Shinecast® mission and this site, as well. I previously wrote about what I celebrate on Independence Day in … [Read more...]

Make New Holiday Memories

Ideas for making spring holidays special St. Patrick's Day The Ben Franklin Follies Idea Machine Project

Does your family yearn for something new to do when a holiday rolls around? Are you tired of buying into the "buying" mentality that seems to accompany holidays in the U.S.? Today's Idea Machine focus is on ways to create new family memories on days when you want to spend time doing something fun without, as Claudia Altucher puts it, "following the herd." I decided to emphasize St. Patrick's … [Read more...]

10 Ideas to Help the Elderly

10 ideas to help the elderly The Idea Machine Project the Ben Franklin Follies

The topic for Day 43 of the Idea Machine Project is to come up with 10 business ideas to help the elderly. I decided to ignore issues of profitability and just focus on ideas that would accomplish one or more of three goals: Improve the health of elderly. Improve the quality of life of the elderly. Be accessible to the elderly who do not have access to top-notch retirement … [Read more...]

10 Tips for Writing Better Sales Copy

The prompt for Day 42 is to give 10 tips to help a friend write sales copy to sell her used car. This is a fun practice. I'm framing the examples for my tips using the used car as the product, but the tips can be applied to any product or service. If you stumbled upon this by accident, I'm blogging my way through Claudia Altucher's book, Become an Idea Machine, [Amazon affiliate link] which … [Read more...]

Personal Posts & The Idea Machine Project

The Idea Machine Project: Personal Ideas

I'm finding that many of the idea prompts are about topics that are more personal in nature, rather than generally-applicable. It's possible this will change at some point, as I seem to recall Claudia Altucher mentioning in a podcast that the first 90 days are personal ideas and the second 90 days are ideas for others. In any event, I've decided to publish some of the more personal daily … [Read more...]

10 Nice Ways to Surprise Your Loved Ones

10 Nice Surprises for Your Loved Ones Idea Machine Project Day 39 The Ben Franklin Follies

It's Day 39 of the Idea Machine Project and today is all about nice, inexpensive ways to surprise your friends and family. It feels good to do nice things for other people.  Research clearly shows that being kind to others makes us feel good and makes us happier. Doing something nice for others boosts your own endorphins, so there's a positive effect on your brain chemistry and it tends to … [Read more...]

Why Adults Don’t Laugh

Why do we stop laughing? Idea Machine Project Day 37 by Sheree Martin for The Ben Franklin Follies

For Day 36 of the Idea Machine, Claudia Altucher asks us to consider why adults stop laughing. The obvious answer is that we get busy and beaten down my life's challenges. But I think the real reason goes deeper into cultural norms and socialization that date back into the medieval age. 1. From The Court Jester and Other "Fools" to Stephen Colbert The professionalization of humor began with … [Read more...]

10 Funny Questions: Idea Machine, Day 36

10 funny questions at 3rd grade level for Day 36 of the Idea Machine Project

Day 36 of the Idea Machine Project was challenging for me. I had to go out of town for the day to visit family and had little time to work on the topic: Coming up with 10 funny questions and answers at the third grade level. Alas, I managed only three originals to start with, but I'm still working on this prompt and will update later with my other funny questions. Here goes: Q. What's the … [Read more...]

10 Places I’d Like To Visit: Idea Machine, Day 35

10 Places I'd Like to Visit The Idea Machine Project Day 35 Sheree Martin

The topic for Day 35 in Become an Idea Machine is to simply list 10 "cities" I'd like to visit and why. I've modified this slightly. Although I've mostly listed cities, I'm really more interested in visiting the small towns, villages and rural areas in the countries I've listed. Why the change? Claudia and James Altucher are clearly more into urban environments, whereas I'm more sustained by … [Read more...]