My friend Mark is a professional gambler. At this very moment, he’s running a wonderful enterprise. He’s developed a ‘foolproof system’ to make money, by betting on horse races. Here’s the fascinating part: it actually works – Mark is turning a reasonable profit!
Over a pint, Mark explained the system to me in detail.
It’s an elaborate operation, which involves placing multiple bets on particular races. He has to employ algorithms and plenty of statistical legwork to ensure that the correct amount of money is placed on the right horse, at the right time.
I like to think I’m reasonably smart and switched onto business ideas, but I know if I tried to apply Mark’s proven gambling strategy, I wouldn’t succeed – even though he’s taken the time to explain it to me.
I just don’t have the passion for it –or his years of experience. I haven’t read the scores of books on gambling that he has. I haven’t sharpened my mind to figure the odds as quickly as him. I haven’t walked through shady districts with thousands of pounds of winnings stuffed inside my socks. In short, I’m not a high-level plunger.
I am, however, a business creator interested in steady growth.
And that’s exactly why Mark was telling me about his current operation. His profits have reached a ceiling and I was listening to some of his new ideas for expanding the business further. To get an understanding of what he was up against, he needed to reveal the inner workings of his system.
For Good Ideas, You Need Conflict, Argument & Debate!
When two people sit down to discuss an idea, something magical happens.
Amazing doors open in the mind, new perspectives come pouring in, challenges unlock and new information comes out. Mark left our conversation with some fresh perspectives that I was able to provide from my years of experience working as a business owner – a sphere where I have plenty of passion and learning under my belt. Happily, he’s just had his most profitable month on record.
Ideas incubate when they’re discussed. You get clues in the responses of others if your idea has a market. By sounding them out, you discover caveats you hadn’t thought of. Once in a while, new concepts get generated. Whenever I share my ideas with others they get improved upon and made more profitable.
Bottom line: sharing your ideas sharpens your vision, saves you from making lots of expensive mistakes and adds clarity to the next step of your mission.
What Is The Real Likelihood That Your Idea Will Be Stolen?
If you’re a little worried that sharing your idea might backfire, I understand. For that reason, I’d like to show you how unlikely this is, and why you’ll still benefit if that were to happen:
1.) The worth is in the execution.
The value of your idea is not about what it is, but how you make it work. Suppose you invented a smart contraption to replace the paperclip. Great. How do you mass produce them and get them into stores –and show people that they need to buy them? Ideas are ‘ten a penny’ until they’re executed. If your idea isn’t groundbreaking, then you’re probably not the only person who has considered it. However, none of those people have solved the challenge how to execute it yet.
2.) Most people can’t launch.
According to a 2011 report by GEM, about 17% of people in the developed world consider themselves an entrepreneur. Most good entrepreneurs are capable of coming up with one new idea per day. Try this. However, the majority of them neither have the time, resources or drive to steal your work. They’ve already invested a huge amount of emotional energy into their own projects. The chances they would drop everything and suddenly change course to pursue yours, are, to be frank, remote.
3.) All the hard work will get taken care of.
Should your idea get taken to market by someone else then your loss is still potentially tiny. Your new rival will have saved you plenty of effort and resources in opening up a new market. It’s unlikely they’ll be able to serve every part of it and plenty of business will remain on the table. They’ll be less risk to your success because you know the idea is proven and the market is still young. If you’re smart, you’ll improve your rival’s execution and also profit amicably.
Most would-be entrepreneurs will never get past the idea stage. The ones who do tend to rely on raw enthusiasm and then hit problems because they don’t have a detailed plan for success.
Great plans come from great conversations. You’ll find that it’s leaders who aren’t even in the same industry who will give you the best advice. You have considerably more to gain by talking about your dazzling new idea. Just make sure you discuss it with people you trust, and face to face.
(If that’s with me, then, preferably with a beer on the table).