Many entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs are reluctant to tell people about their grand scheme. I have been this way and I have since become a lot more open about plans. So let me go through some common reasons why people don’t share their business ideas with other people.
- They Might Steal Your Idea
- You’re Afraid of Their Criticism
- You Don’t Want Them Asking About Progress(Or Lack Thereof)
This is perhaps the most paranoid logic an entrepreneur can have. It shows a lack of research and progress. It shows delusions of grandeur. It shows a contemptuous amount of pride. If someone becomes a threat to your business idea just by hearing what it is, then you have honestly not made any progress on your business. The more research you do and the more steps that you take, the less that the threat of idea theft could remotely be valid. Also to hide your idea for this reason greatly underestimates the undertaking an entrepreneurial venture is. Very little of an entrepreneurial venture is spent coming up with a great idea. Great ideas don’t get you far. You come up with an idea, do a lot of research, and fine tune your idea some more. Then repeat and repeat and repeat. All this before you really set your idea in motion. Not everyone is passionate about what you’re passionate about. What’s worth your time may not be worth someone else’s. Normal people aren’t going to hear a good idea and immediately act on it, and that is to assume your idea is good in the first place. It’s simply not worth it to them because they lack the same passions and vision as you. And if you think that other people’s ears are worthy of a business idea that comes out of your mouth you might want to check yourself.
I understand not feeling confident telling other people. But the only way to get more confident is to say your pitch in front of others. That sounds stupid but here’s how it works. You tell them your idea. They tell you what they think. People, especially in a community of entrepreneurs will actually help you better your idea. Even if someone tells you what they don’t like, it may just be pointing out problem you really need to address if you want to have any success. A successful conversation about your business idea results in you having something to ponder afterwards. Sharing your idea only with those who would say “Yeah! That’s a great idea!” does your venture no favors. The more successful conversations you have, the better your idea will become, and so the better your pitch will be. Trust me when I say you will grow numb to telling people and even enjoy it.
“A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,” Proverbs 1:5 NASB
Personally speaking, this is the one I struggle with the most. The more I tell people, the more they are inclined to ask about it in the future. I don’t know about you, but accountability makes me nervous. It gives me anxiety over my idea and progress as an entrepreneur. But that’s all the more reason we should share our ideas if we truly are serious about them. Motivational speakers often say this but people who write their goals down and people who share their goals are more likely to complete them. It’s the same principle of accountability. The more people you tell, the higher your aim is, or perhaps the more intimate people you tell, the higher your aim is. I often find it easier to tell coworkers for a job I don’t plan to stay very long than my own family. It’s a start. But I know I need to improve. Not wanting people to ask about your progress is the best of the three common reasons I list above. It’s a result of anxiety and the love of privacy. It is not the result of pride like reason one. I understand that a lot of people really like their privacy, but if you are serious about your idea one day you will want them to know your business exists. Start now. Call it marketing. Accountability is good for an entrepreneur. Coming up with an idea is the easy part. Executing requires commitment and commitment requires accountability.
I’m not trying to offend or be hypocritical. I know it’s hard. I struggle with not telling people as well, but if I am to be an entrepreneur, it’s necessary. I hope you find this post encouraging. I wouldn’t want it meant any other way. But if you tell others about your idea, you’ll likely get better as this entrepreneur thing.