Last Thursday night I was out at the new Artcaffe for dinner with a friend at The Oval. Yes, I am one of those people who miss Westgate like it was a person and after having to travel to Village Market or Junction for Artcaffe, I am glad there is one in Westlands.
So anyway, I got there a little late and found my friend seated at the bar with a mutual friend and his colleagues – one lawyer and an investment banker.
We talked about everything A– dating, heartbreak, how we arrived at our various careers and then we started talking about money and business.
Investment bankers are not the easiest people to get to open up about money in a social setting. Perhaps they feel other people don’t understand what they do or they just like to leave numbers at the office, I don’t know but they are generally reticent.
Anyway there is a business idea I am researching and I have absolutely no money to put it together and once the finance guy started chatting about work, I saw an opportunity to pick his brain.
I gave him a sketch of what the idea is and within a few minutes we were all brainstorming on how to put a deal like that together and who would have the kind of money I am looking for.
The investment guy then told me about a course he is creating and I gave him some ideas on how to go about it and told him he was charging too little. All in all I felt it was a fun and mutually beneficial conversation.
When they left and my friend and I were left alone, she told me that she is concerned that I discuss my business ideas freely and that someone can steal them.
I then explained that I believe that if I keep ideas to myself they are only as big as me, my experience and what I have read but when I get other people involved, they grow to include a little bit of them.
I said that I had walked into that restaurant with my idea and a basic figure of what it would take to put it together but I was now walking out with somewhat of a game plan and a few names of people that can get me the money and what they will want from me. People pay money for this kind of consultation but I got it over drinks and food.
In life I find that people are self-involved. We think about ourselves and we think that our ideas are the best thing ever. The truth is ideas are a dime a dozen and what really counts is their execution. I think you can and should guard your method of execution jealously but the idea?
That you can share. Because then it grows and matures into something concrete and you get to avoid common pitfalls that your experience alone will not and cannot prepare you for. Also, quite frankly, nobody cares about your idea like you do.