Entrepreneurship is no big secret. Literally. As an engineer, I have run into countless numbers of people who hoard their ideas in fear that someone may come and steal it right out from under them. I have news for these people. Even if you share your ideas, the likelihood that that person has the wherewithal and the capability to do something about it is extremely small. In addition, you are assuming the worst in people rather than accepting feedback and help in making your idea come to life.
I know these people because I used to be one of them until I entered the MBA program where I was forced to share ideas in an entrepreneurship class. I would argue that this was probably one of the most influential activities I have done while in the MBA program. It taught me the value of other people’s input. I used to make lists of ideas I had and would stay relatively closed lipped about it until I thought I really had something. Even then, I would only tell some close friends and family who didn’t give me honest feedback.
The premise here is that if you’re an entrepreneur, you need to share your ideas with others and receive feedback on the viability of the idea and its potential market value. Find people in the industry who’s purpose is to help others grow. You may be surprised at the possible resources you have at your fingertips. You may save yourself huge amounts of time by simply asking for other peoples input. For instance, in the Reno area, we have organizations such as Entrepreneur Assembly where you can go, for free, and get help with your entrepreneurial venture. You’ll be able to evaluate it, discuss it among peers, and decide if its worth pursuing or not. Believe me, you’ll face rejection with some ideas and some you won’t. But its ultimately up to you to decide what you want to do.
I realize I’m stating this rather simply and that just sharing ideas isn’t that easy. One thing most people struggle with is the fear of rejection. Not only do they have to share an idea they think they’ve come up with all alone, they have to face rejection if other people don’t relate with or accept the idea. The simple truth is you need to accept this rejection from a few people because even when you find a successful venture, you are always going to encounter people who don’t agree with your approach or solution and will criticize you publicly for it.
Look at this interesting blog by @menwithpens. They talk about how hoarding ideas like this is actually a form of us not being honest with ourselves. We need to be brutally honest with ourselves and literally realize we aren’t going to act on that idea, even though it seems like a good one. Saving for later is a ridiculous idea which I’m sure many of you have already done. Don’t. Pick a few good ideas and try to make something happen. If you have ideas you don’t want to let go of, start to vet them and determine if they’re worth holding onto.
The key point here is to focus on what you can do with the ideas you have and to be as open and transparent with them as possible. If you’re driven and passionate about the idea, you’ll find a way to get the necessary feedback, evaluate the market viability, and begin starting your company!
Please leave a comment! Are you an idea hoarder that needs to clean out that old stash of “great” ideas? Maybe post some here for some feedback from people who are looking to do the same thing you are!