IdeaRhea (It’s Even Worse Than It Sounds)

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

And I used to have a BIG problem.

(I’d love to cue some theme music here, but you’re just going to have to make something up and hum it in your head.)

Hi, my name is Erika Lyremark, and I used to have IdeaRhea.

You heard me.

IdeaRhea – the condition of suddenly erupting with waaaaaay too many ideas and wanting to act on them all. RIGHT AWAY.

I’m constantly spilling over with new business ideas, one after the other, and every one of them is going to get my face on the cover of Fast Company.

An explosion at least once a week. Sometimes even more.

Kinda gross, right?

You have no idea. (See what I did there? Idea … idea-reah … oh nevermind.)

Here’s how it would go:

I hop on the Internet, buzz around doing ‘research’, then exhaust my friends and Chad (who are all nice enough to act like they are listening – those enablers!) as I blab on and on about my exciting new ideas, such as…

: PersianMixology.com – The new wave in cocktails, combining spices and ingredients popular in Persian food. My debut recipe?

The Saffron Lemon Drop – same as the regular Lemon Drop, but made with saffron sugar instead.

: OpenFacePragueDogCafe.com – the brilliant combination of my two favorite lunch foods from when I travel to Europe. Swedish open face sandwiches and onion-laden hot dogs from Prague.

The Swedish/Prague crossover cafe looks fabulous in my head – all blonde babes and absinthe drinkers chowing down on open face Prague dogs. You can see it too, right?

: OutsourceNag.com – This service would nag my husband for me. God, it takes a lot of work to nag. Stop nagging you say?  

Come see what my house looks like after two weeks of NOT nagging and you’ll see why I need this service.

Of course when Chad heard about this, he said he was going to create his own business called OutSourceListener.com. A service that would listen to Outsource Nag … I think you can see where this one is going …

We’re all creatives here, with a million ideas a minute. And every single one seems audaciously new, or uniquely relevant.

But you know what?

They all may be GREAT ideas that you’re having. (I happen to think that OutsourceNag.com is GENIUS.) But they are a distraction.

99.4% of those ideas bubbling into your head distract you from your real work on the planet.

All those ideas are a creative way of expressing your fear of facing up to your calling.

I’ll be crystal clear – IdeaRhea is a brilliant form of procrastination.

It will stop you from achieving ANYTHING.

That’s its sole purpose.

So how did I finally get my IdeaRhea under control?


I mean it.

Every new idea seems exciting, and sets my head spinning. So I take a deep breath, and ask myself – “How does this new idea serve my purpose on the planet?”

I use that moment to get clear, and reaffirm my goals. I mean, PersianMixology is awesome! But where does it fit in with helping entrepreneurs with their sales, marketing and business development?


This one is courtesy of my friend & business strategist, Betty Jean Bell, who got so frustrated with my Idearhea while we were working on a project, she told me to get an IDEA-BOX or she would FIRE me!

So I did! About every 2 months I clean it out. And 50% of my ideas get tossed into the garbage.

Writing things down takes some of the heat off them. And restores my sanity. And storing those ideas in a box lets me know they’ll still be there later. If I really want them. But usually, I don’t.


My team started imposing a 24-hour wait period on all my brilliant new ideas.

I actually bumped it up to a 72-hour cooling off period, because sometimes it takes me that long to realize I’ve lost my focus.

Because that’s what nearly all those cool ideas are – a way to lose focus.

I’m the first to admit – narrowing your focus can be scary.

It’s like trying to choose a mate, while the inside of your head is racing around wondering if you’re going to miss out on anything down the road.

Your calling is a commitment.

Idearhea lets you flirt and flirt and flirt – and then you find you’ve just wasted a ton of time getting nothing done.

And worse than getting nothing done? Doing NOTHING with your life.


I Come With A Warning Label. Do You?

I have the Best. Idea. Ever.

In fact, it might cause world peace – without having to march, sit-in or demonstrate.

Let’s use Warning Labels to make interacting with people easier, smoother, and more pleasant – instead of only using them to warn people about toxic chemicals and possible explosions.

Why am I so confident that this is a good idea?

Because I use my own Warning Label when I hire employees, vendors, subcontractors, and freelancers.

I want to know that someone can handle a Type-A, BossyPants Powerhouse. 

I’m clear that I’m not for most people – Thank GOD!

But for those that DO get me, I want them to understand where I’m coming from so that they can understand why I do what I do.

I don’t want them to think, “Oh, Erika’s being demanding & crazy again.”

I want them to think, “Damn! Erika’s done it again. She’s not afraid to interrupt her own business and mix it up. Wow! She’s brave.”


: I move fast. Keep up.

: I like to turn everything into a system.

: I’m not cheap. But I spend my money wisely.

: I like frank feedback. I dish it out. And I can take it too.

: I need fast communication turnaround time. Preferably within 4 hours.

: I work on the weekends and evenings. And appreciate if you’re available for questions or if I have an emergency.

: I will give you ideas for your own business. Don’t want my free unsolicited world-class business advice? Too bad.

: I change my mind on a dime. What was the A-plan yesterday may be the shit-plan today. Until I know something works, I keep the strategy flowing.

: I’m collaborative. So you may send me something and then I may send it to other people for feedback and to change it up. If you’re attached to it being your way, we won’t work out.

My Warning Label saves TONS of time & energy – and loads of misunderstandings. No apologies needed, no awkward conversations, no need to clarify. It’s right there, BAM!, in black and white (or whatever the verbal equivalent is), and there’s no need to stumble over it.

How much time, energy and money would you save if you didn’t have to sweat this kind of detail? (I’m going to go ahead and say a LOT.)

Take ten minutes and put together your own Warning Label – and WARN people before they enter your genius zone.

CAUTION! Hot Property Ahead.


Are You Willing To ‘Work’ The Corner?

Many moons ago, my sister-in-law gave me a sample of Yes To Super Rich Body Butter.

I wasn’t familiar with the brand, but once I tried that body butter?

I became OBSESSED.

(It’s amazing. I’ll talk your ear off about it if you let me. And probably even if you don’t.)

Anyway, several months later, I get an invite to attend an event in Minneapolis, and guess who the speaker was? Yes To co-founder Ido Leffler!

He talked about all the struggles he faced on the path to becoming the #2 brand in its category – and let me tell you, there were been PLENTY.

I was utterly, completely, on-the-edge-of-my-seat riveted, as he told his incredible story.

Time after time after time, he ran into situations in which it would have been completely logical for him to pack it all up, go home, pull the sheets over his head, and cry his eyeballs out.

But he didn’t. He tried again. And again. And again. Because he believed in his product.

In fact, he confessed he was so committed to making the best product possible and getting it out to the world, he’d decided early on he would have no issue at all with hustling his products on street corners.

Incredible, right?

The truth is, you don’t know where that finish line is.

It could be around the next corner or around the next fifty corners.

But without that bone-deep, soul-aching level of commitment, you won’t ever get to find out.

So. Is your soul aching? Can you feel that commitment deep in your bones?

Would you be willing to ‘work the corner’ to make your business dreams come true?