Dorie Clark, author of Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, is also a strategic marketing consultant and can be found at She joined us on the GetApp podcast to talk about her book and what we can do to discover our breakthrough ideas.

“For a lot of professionals today it’s very common that people have a lot of different jobs a lot of different careers and we need to know how to adapt in the marketplace.”

[00:04:45] Dorie explains how she faced a rough patch when she was repeatedly turned down from doctoral programs and after pivoting into journalism, got laid off a year later when the economy started to hit the publishing industry.

Those moments where inspiration to write her first book: Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future.

“Often times the reason there was a failure was because of larger forces I really couldn’t see at the time.”

[00:07:00] When asked about how to get out of a personal rut, Dorie suggests to “reframe the situation and ask yourself if there is another way you can get to your goal”. Instead of staying focused on what you initially wanted, see if there are opportunities in other areas “that touch and overlap with your interests.”

“It’s not realistic to assume that every time you set a plan you’re going to achieve it.”

[00:12:39] Dorie suggests that “as the entrepreneur of your own life you have to try a lot of different things, take a lot of small bets, throw things against the wall and see what sticks.”

“For any idea to really stick, for something to go viral… there’s a three-step process.”

[00:17:48] When you happen to land on that idea worth fighting for, Dorie has a three-step process to follow in order for your idea to take off.

  • One-to-One idea transmission: vet your idea with a small trusted group of people.
  • One-to-Many idea transmission: sharing ideas in more traditional ways like blogging, promotional campaigns.
  • Many-to-Many idea transmission: you have crossed over and you are no longer the only one talking about your idea.
[00:20:28] Dorie talks about who would find her book Stand Out the most useful and she said, “Stand Out is for anyone who has some kind of an idea, company or cause that they are passionate about and need help to break through the noise.”

Dorie goes on to say: “this book helps you become a recognized expert in your field and will help you show people why they should choose you.”

“Having a strong email list matters a lot more than any social media presence you could have.”

[00:22:55] Dorie warns that having a huge following on Twitter and Facebook isn’t everything. You want to control your contacts, following and to do that you need a strong email list.

[00:25:32] When asked to go a bit further into how we can find our own breakthrough idea Dorie says: “attack a big problem because that’s something worth talking about.” In other words: think big.

One of the most interesting suggestions from Dorie to find that big idea is to combine disciplines and ideas to create something new that people haven’t seen before.

[00:30:50] She also gives some cautionary advice to keep you from running wild with the first idea to pop into your head. “To make sure you have the right idea you’ll want to run it by some people you trust.”

In the case that you don’t really have anyone in your close circle that can critique your plans then Dorie suggests “you grow your network strategically.” She offers the example of John Corcoran, host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast. He uses interviews to expand his professional network and in the process creates content that acts as “the beacon that allows you to be found”.

[00:34:37] So what apps does Dorie Clark love? She reveals her love of the online scheduling software, ScheduleOnce; sings the praises of Contactually for online contact management, and explains that she just purchased Camtasia.

[00:37:07] Contactually was specially mentioned as one of her favorite apps and she has John Corcoran to thank for putting her on to it. Dorie says that she had been looking for a solution to manage her growing number of contacts and to prioritize the importance of a contact for future follow ups.

[00:40:12] Besides those apps Dorie explains that she’s also a big user of TripIt ProTurboScan, and LastPass.

[00:43:18] You can enter Dorie’s giveaway right now, a 42-page workbook based on 139 questions from Stand Out. All you have to do is go to and sign up to her mailing list.

This workbook will help you in the process of discovering your breakthrough idea by asking you the precise question to get you there.