Monday, December 18, 2006

Share Your Ideas

In today's society we are taught to protect our "stuff." Ideas that have any potential what-so-ever should be kept secret and not shared with anyone for fear that they may be stolen. Keep them to yourself and it stands to reason that the ideas, if they develop into anything, shall pay off for you and you alone. Share them and you will certainly be ripped off!

This way of thinking is broken.

Much of this way of thinking is a by-product of our culture. We are immersed in negativity in the almost every sense of the word. Turn on the news and nothing but bad news. Pick up and paper and more of the same. Read most business publications and you can see stories of who screwed who. Even the Internet with the advent of Bloggers to some degree, suck us in and help us realize that people are genuinely out to get us if we aren't careful.

So it makes sense why we would want to protect our turf right? WRONG!

Now I don't suggest you run right out and start sharing your ideas with complete strangers...though I could easily be accused of doing just that. I do however recommend that nothing happens in a vacuum. You need other people to take a look at what you are creating (or want to create) and give feedback, different perspectives and outright opinions. You want to hear the good and the bad. You want to have people that you know looking out for opportunities or applications for your idea because if you think about it that's when your idea becomes more than just an idea. It becomes something real.

As most of you know I have created something amazingly illogical with The 8 Minute Ripple (click here to listen to a PODCAST). This unique connection activity is opening thousands of peoples' eyes to a new way to build their personal and professional community of resources. Notice I don't say "networks" anymore? That came from feedback I received from someone I shared the idea with, I asked them to experience a Ripple event and then asked for their very direct and honest feedback. It was always community to me in my mind but I was afraid people would not get that or confuse the function with something else. It took my sharing the idea and my concern to get the feedback that community is exactly what I want and why people like this particular person valued the function of Rippling so much.

A breakthrough!

I recently shared with a few entrepreneurs how I was positioning The 8 Minute Ripple to be more than just a nice alternative to networking events. For example....

I am bringing the power of the Ripple to the corporate arena as well. By helping companies realize the value of helping their internal staff connect, really connect there is a tremendous number of very direct and trackable benefits that a company can realize. From increased productivity and new channels of creativity to decreased absenteeism and improved employee loyalty.

I shared this concept and openly admitted that I still had some obstacles to overcome before the concept was full baked. One such obstacle was needing some other outside resources that supported some of the research I wanted to include for prospective clients. Within in a few days I had one particular gentleman bringing me a book that additionally supported my concept (just with different language and concepts) and through the same small group a direct connection to the author. Now I would submit to you my faithful reader, accelerating this idea would haven't been possible without first sharing it. Sharing it and, here's the kicker.....asking for help!

My biggest fear is to be that 70 year old guy who looks back on his career and say..."If only I had..." I want to leave with no regrets! True that involves a certain amount of risk but I, like most people, believe that people are generally good. When I focus on sharing my ideas with those who support me, want to help me and appreciate the level of trust I invest in could I go wrong?

Ripple On My Friends!


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