What I Do When I Have a Brain Fart

Yep, I’ve had them.  I’m sure you have too.

Like trying to solve a problem. Creating a client follow-up system.  Working on a sales meeting topic.

Of course, you can always swipe and adapt what others have done, but you also want to be creative and unique.

Here’s the thing…some managers think that creativity is a waste of time or doesn’t immediately pay off in a direct way.

However, creativity is the only way to brand yourself, so when people hear the word “mortgage”, they think of you.

Here’s a couple of things that I do when I get stuck and I need a creative solution.

  1. No Filters.

Write down the problem, situation, or task that is facing you. Then start writing down words (the dictionary is your friend here) or sentences that are both associated and not associated with the task. For example, “You Need to Hire a Part-Time Assistant” as a situation to help you with your busy schedule.

    1. Make a list of outside jobs that are customer-service oriented. My first assistant was a shoe saleswoman at Macy’s.
    2. Write out everything—in descriptive detail—that that person COULD do for you, no filters—because you can always delete the tasks. My first assistant lived near the dry cleaners, so she would deliver and pick up my laundry.  Yep, personal tasks were on my list.
    3. Take a personality test and figure out the type of personality (that is opposite yours) you think will work best with you. How they will be expected to dress.
    4. Write a description of type of person you DO NOT WANT TO HIRE.


  1. Mind Mapping.

This technique was used extensively by Leonardo DaVinci. Rather than explain it, here’s an example of one of his mind maps.   Here’s a link to the book I read entitled,How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci by Michael J Gleb.


  1. Read Random Magazines.

I pick up magazines that I don’t normally read…at the bookstore, at the doctor’s office.   Ask friends to give me magazines they are planning to discard.  I also subscribe to “Wired”, “Vanity Fair”, “Money Magazine” and “Car & Driver”.  It helps me keep a pulse on what’s happening in other industries—and how I can swipe and adapt them to my business.


  1. Keep a folder of stuff.

Stuff that you like. Stuff that interests you.  More importantly, stuff that has no relationship to the mortgage business.    Interesting photos. Clothing/shoes that pique your interest. Tech gadgets. Decorating ideas. Articles.  Books you want to read.  See #1 – No Filters (it could be a regular file folder or a folder on your computer).


  1. Dictionary/Thesaurus.

Both the printed and online versions! When I am stuck writing a creative title or a name of a seminar, I simply pick up the dictionary, open a random page and see if there are any words that would fit.  If I can’t find one, I’ll open another page.  (You simply can’t do this online.)  Then if I find a word that may fit, I will check the thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms that may work.  This is also great if you would like to create a unique title for a loan program.


  1. Keep an Idea Journal.

In your purse. On your phone. Your laptop.  Write down random thoughts and how you could use them in the future.  Oh, and write or post it immediately or you’ll forget about doing it.  This is an awesome way to get those creative juices flowing.


One last  thing.  Buy creative stuff.  I have a box of crayons. Colored pencils and pens.  Glitter. Stickers. Confetti. Colored envelopes. A collection of greeting cards.  And different colored file folders…green for money-making ideas.  Blue for ideas (see #4). Red for expenses.