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 BRAINSTORM One of the best things of the NBBQA conference is getting together and talking to people who are thinking about the same things you are, namely BBQ. A lot of companies have formal brainstorming sessions when leadership or company in昀uencers get together to come up with ideas for the coming year or to develop the company vision. BBQ and grilling folk may not be as formal, but it still happens when you’re having a drink at a networking event or going to eat a local eatery. You can continue this through the year by calling your mentors or other NBBQA family members when you’re stumped needing direction to move forward. However, it may not be a bad idea for you to have a brainstorming event. STEP AWAY The worst thing to happen to a writer (besides not being published) is running out of ideas, this is where writer’s block comes into play. One of the way’s I 昀x this is I simply step away from the project and while I’m distracted the cloud just lifts. Albert Einstein had some of his most notable breakthroughs while working at the patent o昀ice (the basis of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory going to work at the Cheesecake Factory). When working on a recipe or rub and it’s just not coming together like you think it should, try stepping away from it for a bit. Then watch the creativity wash back into your kitchen. EXPERIMENT Do you remember as a kid the fearlessness you had? There wasn’t a tree too tall to climb and swing could never go high enough, then we grew up. Looking at those with whom we admire, their creativity is connected to their willingness to experiment with their ideas. They aren’t content with allowing the idea to sit there only to fade away, they do something with it. They turn it into a restaurant, a distribution center or simply design a label for their rub. One thing I have noticed with these who have a willingness to experiment is, they’re never at a loss for creative ideas and if they 昀nd themselves stumped, it isn’t long before they are 昀owing again. Experimentation is not only the culmination of ideas but also the jumping o昀 point for others. These 昀ve areas of creativity will go a long way in making you a success in the BBQ world not to mention, open doors for you to share with your fellow NBBQA family members.  NBBQA MEMBER VOICES     Chris Cavender, Urban Q “Don’t wait years before you put the product out there try it on outsiders and friends, enter contests. If you get positive results, go for it. Take it out and sell to boutique shops, meat market and smaller independent grocery stores. Then get a regular batch made and go to town. Oh, also enter every contest you can. If you end up consistently in the top 20 you’re on to something.” Junior Urias, Up in Smoke BBQ “NBBQA has helped me build, grow and expand my business beyond my capabilities. NBBQA has helped me build friendship, mentorship and leadership over the last 8 years.” Kris Schoenberger, BBQ’d Productions “NBBQA is awesome, as it allows you to meet other pitmasters from around the world, and gain new bad ass friends.” Allen Smith, Boars Night Out “The NBBQA gives us opportunities to reach out to people that enjoy BBQ as we do.” - 38 SEPTEMBER 2019 

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