This is the first part of the 3-series article about reasons to reveal your business idea. Go directly to Part 2.
When we were working on our first business – Walkamole – my friends and I understood something amazing:
KEEPING YOUR IDEA IN SECRECY IS A TREMENDOUS MISTAKE!
Why do most of the entrepreneurs think that they have to keep their ideas in secrecy?
Is it that someone might steal the idea? Might be.
But even so, is it likely to happen? Absolutely not.
You may wonder why am I so confident that people won’t steal your idea. Here’s why:
It’s all about the execution! It doesn’t matter how brilliant your idea is because to create a fruitful and outstanding business, you will still need to go through an insane shot of hard work, there’s no shortcut.
So, can someone steal your idea? Yes.
But how far will he go until he gives up?
Just imagine that you are this person who has skills, determination, and a know-how. You’ve built this unstoppable mindset over the years that will let no one and nothing stop you. It all started a long time ago when you understood that it was time to create your own path and decided to think differently.
So you studied and learned, you met lots of people that inspired you to keep going, you aspired and dreamed for years, and then you had this good idea that requires an insane amount of work and discipline to see the daylight.
If someone who didn’t have these years of preparation decides to steal your idea, how far do you think he or she will go? Do you really believe that anyone can pick a plan and execute it like it’s not a big deal? Like he doesn’t even need to have the mindset and know-how that you’ve been accumulating for all those years?
Not at all, the idea doesn’t even let you in the 1% of the project completion. The project only starts when the execution begins.
Yes, the trick is and will always be in getting things done in the right way.
Someone who believes that having a good idea is enough to create a successful business, is presenting a symptom that there are some critical, thoughtful pieces lacking in the line of thinking.
This type of thinking assumes that it is possible to get anything meaningful done through shortcuts. But that’s not how things work.
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
– Mario Andretti
I’ll now show you why you should always openly share your thoughts and startup idea and how it had helped me a lot when we were creating our first business.
FOUR REASONS TO SHARE YOUR IDEA
1. IT ALLOWS YOU TO TUNE YOUR CONCEPT
The first reason why you should definitely share your idea is related to how it can help you make the solution perfect.
You not only want to be open to sharing your plan, you actually should be seeking to maximize the number of people that gives you feedback before you launch an offer.
Now, as I’m sure you know, when I mean you should be intentionally transparent about your business concept, I don’t want to suggest that you must ask everyone for feedback.
In fact, in spite everyone has the right to have their opinion, there are people that you can gently ignore. Otherwise, their views might end up bringing you down, and that we cannot accept.
So let us look at the type of people you should smilingly ignore.
You want to stay far away from these guys. Skeptics will find reasons to fail in each and every opportunity. If you ask for their opinion about the business you’re assembling, they might end up just revealing non-core facts around the concept that may distract you.
Stuff like “But how will you live?”, “Does that even give money?” or “Hm.., I doubt it, it sounds too good to be true.”
The problem with pessimistic people is that even the strongest mindset will eventually get affected by them.
You see, I’m not a shrink, but many authors have been saying over the years that you should surround yourself with great people, namely optimistic people because they’ve understood that the ones around you profoundly influence the way you feel.
If you are always dealing with pessimists, they might end up sucking all your optimism and courage to overcome any obstacle.
So my advice is: if it’s up to you, do not ask them what they think about this business you’re creating.
And a second gentle warning: if they come and proactively tell you all their pessimistic stuff, do not get defensive. This is critical. Do not get emotionally involved in a discussion, or their ideas will sneak into your mind.
Just listen, smile (and wave) and thank for their words. Let them know that you will have them into consideration and walk away as soon as possible. Mentally place their words in the back of your mind and move on.
Check this out: if you’re creating a business it’s because you have a certain degree of ambition, right?
You are striving for a better life, and you embrace the notion that there’s more for you out there than what you currently have.
Now, what I’ve learned in this short video of Ramit Sethi is that even the slightest level of ambition will origin an envious reaction on other people.
Mostly because they aren’t used to see a purpose, and when they do, it reflects on them that they are not as ambitious as you.
As you can imagine, this feeling is unpleasant for most of the people.
So what they do? They unintentionally want to see you fail. It is hideous. This is the reason why human beings sometimes cannot help their own mediocrity.
But I’m not saying that everyone is like this, naturally.
It is true that some guys will be delighted to see you heading toward a successful path and will encourage and support you to overcome any obstacle.
And this is the type of people you want to ask for feedback.
Don’t get me wrong; we’re not trying to find positive and biased comments, we just want to avoid the irregularities that a suspicious person can present to you, such as letting you know that they love your idea when they actually think it will never work because of A or B.
You want to look for genuine and honest guys that will be bold enough to tell in your face that your product stinks, and you really must improve in a couple of aspects.
OUT OF SCOPE
I let the most obvious one to the end intentionally, so I could highlight the importance of stepping away from pessimistic and envious people.
Finally, it is important to address only people relevant to your target market. I mean, who do you think will be the typical buyers of your product or the influencers? You should be able to define their characteristics accurately and look out for them in the world.
You shouldn’t ask any random guys for their opinion, just because there’s a high chance they will be completely out of context and will even lead you in the wrong direction.
There’s nothing worse than being worried about the opinion someone gave us when this person doesn’t even understand what we’re going to sell.
You know, the vast majority of people enjoy sharing their views. It massages their ego, makes them feel important. And because their opinion isn’t asked every single day, when one opportunity appears, they will openly share their thoughts, in spite, they have no clue of what they’re talking about.
The problem? They might lead you in the wrong direction.
Let me finish by sharing the following example: some time ago I was looking for feedback from people who had a standard corporate job and were actively seeking to create a side business.
So I’ve searched out in LinkedIn and Facebook for this kind of people, and actually wrote down a public post looking for individuals with these traits.
The first replies I got were all from people that didn’t even have a job.
They wanted to create a business, and that’s OK, but they didn’t have a job.
Now, what does this tell us? Is their opinion as valuable as someone who has a standard corporate job like I was searching?
Most surely not. Because if they don’t have a job, I’m guessing they didn’t have the opportunity to develop the way of thinking I’m looking for.
I am looking for someone who knows what it is to give everything you have for a company, to work 12+ hours a day and notice, after all those years, that he feels empty with his life.
I hope the example was helpful. I gladly received the feedback from these guys, but naturally, I couldn’t give it the same relevance as the comments I got from the target audience.
WHY SHARING THE IDEA WITH THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PEOPLE
At the end of the day, our goal is to find as many individuals as we can from the defined target market and ask them for their frontal feedback.
This is absolutely paramount for any business.
As we had the chance to mention a couple of times before in BYDC, the initial concept tends to suffer many changes along the way, until it finally gets launched.
Being able to gather feedback and fine tune the product is what separates, in a first stage, the projects that will be successful from those that won’t.
And for this to happen, two things must be in line:
- You have to find the right people and ask them for feedback, even if you’re afraid they might tell someone about your idea.
- You have to handle the feedback and be honest with yourself, no matter what. If your product sucks, you must face it and twist it to become great or pivot the idea. Always embrace the brutal facts.
If you manage to have these two points in your project, you’ll be on the right track.
You already know the first reason to share your idea. If you want to know three more, check the second part of the article series. In the meantime, I would love to read your opinions in the comment section below.