Have you ever had an idea that you wanted to discuss but you were SO afraid of someone stealing it that you said nothing, and nothing ever came of that idea?
We have ALL had ideas like those. And the bullet to the chest is when you see someone else, totally unrelated to you, execute your idea… better.
Unfortunately, what most people don’t understand is that ideas are a dime a dozen, it’s the execution that counts. I’m actually not afraid of talking about ideas, and here is why:
Not everyone wants to be a business owner…
90% of the time, when I ask someone why they don’t want to talk about their business ideas, it’s because of potential intellectual theft. Yes, we live in a very disloyal community, but that should not stop you from bouncing your ideas off of your potential consumers.
You have to ask yourself, do these people have what it takes to open the exact company, complete with your vision and execute it to become a sustainable competitive company? Are these people ready to make the same sacrifices you’re willing to make in order to take this idea and build it into a company? Probably not.
I’ve heard a common local story, about a man who thought about bottling water and discussed the idea among colleagues because he was looking for funding, but one of the people in his audience decided that they liked the idea too and had access to the capital, so they opened their very own bottled water company. While I get the moral of that particular story, it leaves me asking what became of the entrepreneur looking for funding, and how much detail did he actually spill at that discussion? It’s up to you to be able to ascertain who can and cannot be trusted. (This is where your gut comes in handy!)
Business is about opportunity; has always been like that and will remain so. You will have those who are honest and like to see others succeed, and those who are like thieves, lurking in the shadows.
One way to look at this is while discussing your ideas (leaving out the secret details of course!), someone might just like your passion about the project and decide to invest, which can either make or break a venture.
So here are some pointers:
- Do be careful about who you’re talking to, and what you’re talking about.
- Do not disclose any information about your project which can arm a competitor or create one!
- Do not be afraid of discussing your basic idea, as you will garner valuable feedback
[Side note: if you don’t agree with the above, that’s fine. Most people choose to hold their ideas very close to heart for obvious reasons and nothing is wrong with that. This is just a different perspective of a topic rarely discussed among young local business owners.]