Jean Croker Petke

Ideas For Sale?

Ideas For Sale?

While a friend and I were exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains last week we passed a country store with a sign that read:

Antiques and Ideas


In hindsight I wish we had stopped so I could take a photo. Even more I wish we’d gone in to see what ideas they had.

Of course, I’ve been pondering since then. Antigues can be anything. But so can ideas. This is the first time I’ve ever seen “Ideas” listed on a commercial business sign.


If the ideas are free, no big deal. Go in, talk to the proprietor, and see what comes forth. Are they worth only what you pay for them? If they’re free, they’re not worth much, if anything at all. The ideas could be

  • personal opinions about the state of the economy, environment, or country
  • like a horoscope, whatever is said is the truth in that moment
  • only in response to my question
  • prompted by my topic suggestions: relationships, home decor, finances, possible purchase of an antique in the store
  • concerning a problem or dilemma I’ve been unable to conquer

The rest of the pondering is regarding what I would be willing to pay for the ideas of a stranger.

In our regular lives we pay people for ideas —

  • doctors
  • Counselors
  • interior designers
  • landscapers
  • coaches for exercise or healthy living
  • veterinarians
  • financial advisers
  • professionals in many fields

It’s all in our perspective. The sign I saw gave me no indication of what was being offered in the realm of ideas. I didn’t really know it they could fill a need I had and that it was worth the price I’d have to pay. Maybe I need another road trip to find this store again and check it out for sure.

Most of my personal ideas are free for the taking. This blog is free to you, though I pay some nominal charges to put it out there and manage it.

If we meet face to face for conversation, we may exchange many ideas — again free for both of us, except for the time we spend in discussion. Perhaps we can help each other think beyond ourselves and beyond our situations enough to consider new, even more creative solutions. How often have we said in conversation with a close friend: “I never saw it like that before,” or ” I never thought of doing that.” And then we may even give a new idea a try. My credentials are limited — cooking, writing, music, children, and personal discipline — but certainly not sufficient to hang my shingle by the road.

I have to say I’m a little skeptical of someone who advertises ideas for sale with a sign on the side of a country road.

I have sufficient resources available to me:

  • professionals
  • friends
  • family

I’ll put my money and/or time with those I have come to trust and those who have earned my trust.

Ideas are personal and should be treated with great care.

Until next Tuesday . . .