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Episode 96: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following with Dorie Clark


How do you get your ideas noticed among all the noise in the world today?

This week’s guest is Dorie Clark and she has the formula for making your ideas stand out from the rest. In today’s crowded market, coming up with great ideas is not enough to be successful. You must also have a strategy for getting your ideas heard while building a loyal community.

“Most breakthrough ideas don’t come in an instant, they come as a result of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.”

stand out bookWe’ll be talking about Dorie’s new book; Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. Dorie will also share her proven strategies for coming up with breakthrough ideas, having those ideas stand out, and how to build a following around them.

Whether you’re looking for that new breakthrough idea or you’re trying to build a following around an existing one, Dorie will ensure that you are focused on the right strategy and mindset to get your ideas heard.



Here are some of Dorie’s favorite things:

Most Influential Book

Business Super Power

  • Determination

Most Effective Strategy for Growing Your Business

  • Content creation – blogging consistently over time for high profile publications.

Favorite Business Tool or Resource

Most Recent Exciting Adventure

  • Dorie recently went to Brazil where she was teaching for Smith College Executive Education in partnership with Fundacao Dom Cabral (Brazil’s best business school). She was excited to see Rio for the first time but before making it to Brazil, there was some miscommunication and Dorie didn’t realize she needed a visa. Luckily, she was able to get one at the last minute!

 Show Highlights

  • The two things you must do to become a recognized expert at anything.
  • Five common strategies for coming up with breakthrough ideas – 1) mixing disciplines, 2) creating a niche strategy, 3) doing original research, 4) tackling a worthy project and 5) creating a framework.
  • Dorie says that most breakthrough ideas don’t come in an instant, they come as a result of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.
  • Spreading your ideas is a 3-step process: building your network, building your audience, and building your community.
  • Dorie describes her number one strategy for building and expanding her network.
  • When building your audience, think about where your interests and natural strengths overlap with where your target audience likes to hang out.
  • Dorie describes how she grew her community by doubling the size of her email list in the past few months.
  • It doesn’t take time to have a great idea, it takes space – if your mind is cluttered with thoughts, there is no room for a great idea to come to you.

Links for Dorie:

Mentioned in this episode:

Question: What's your greatest challenge with standing out and getting your ideas heard? 

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  • Rikky D. T. Maas

    Hi Michael, thank you sooo much for this episode! This was exactly what I needed right now. I;m going to work on honing my idea or “worthy project” right away. I absolutely looooved that part about just diving in, it’s so true! Sometimes I feel like waiting for this brilliant idea or perfect next move, while those will come if I just get to working. Awesome. Dorie’s advice was super helpful, and I always love your inviting way of interviewing :).

    • Rikky, I’m really happy that you enjoyed this episode. Do you have an idea about what your “worthy project” might be at this point? I’m always curious about what others are up to. 🙂 It sounds like Dorie’s advice about rolling up your sleeves and diving in, really resonated with you. It’s such a common thing for us to try and think our way into the perfect idea when in reality, the best ideas usually unfold over time as a result of taking small steps and making improvements along the way. Thanks for listening and all the best with getting that project going.

    • Dorie Clark

      Rikky, thanks, and you’re right – Michael is an awesome interviewer!!!

  • Christine Blubaugh

    It’s so awesome that you interviewed Dori Clark! I’ve was introduced to her work pretty recently, and I love her perspective on authentically building a brand and getting our ideas out to the world. I really appreciate her advice that we need to build on our teachings and have depth to our ideas. Also, I love your podcast in general. It’s really engaging, and I like your interview style. Thanks for sharing! <3

    • Hi Christine. Thanks for listening! It’s great that you’ve already experienced some of Dorie’s brilliance. Hopefully you got a bit of a new perspective in this episode. Dorie’s work is so good. Everyone building a brand or expressing their ideas needs to know about her. Thanks for sharing your perspective about Dorie and this episode. I really appreciate it. 🙂

    • Dorie Clark

      Christine, thanks – I really appreciate it!

  • Tessa

    This was great!! Love that she talks about getting to work and the breakthrough will come. I am one to put things off until it’s all perfect and all steps are planned (which never happens).

    • Great insight, Tessa. You’re not alone. Most people try to get it perfect first. The first step to changing any approach is awareness, so congratulations! What is the one step, that if you knew you took it, would move your project/idea forward in the biggest way?

      • Dorie Clark

        Thanks for weighing in, Michael – you’re spot on. Perfectionism will kill us all – we just need to get started!