I love creating things and turning ideas into reality. My entire life has revolved around that creative premise. In saying that, I was also really scared that if I shared my ideas, people were going to steal them as their own.
I’ve since learned that by not sharing my ideas, I was building barriers to my own success as well as the success of others.
I’ve also come to the realisation that my ideas aren’t worth anything without validation and execution. There is no way that I’ll ever have the chance to get to validate even half of my ideas.
If someone is able to validate one of my ideas and successfully execute it, there’s a good chance that they’ve achieved something that I probably wouldn’t have been able to achieve anyway. Why? Because I’m already flat out validating and executing other ideas that I feel have more promising market opportunities.
There’s a quote I like that’s often attributed to George Bernard Shaw:
If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.
I now believe that the open sharing of ideas is a beautiful thing that leads to the development of strong communities. It’s an opportunity to validate the product you were thinking about creating and opens the door to feedback.
Now that I’ve gotten that out. I still struggle to share my ideas, not because of a fear of idea theft, but because I don’t feel like I haven’t validated an idea enough to share.
During a recent hallway introduction with Tim Ainge, Founder of BasementLabs. He offered an open invite to talk about some of my ideas. I responded with “I’ll get back to you when I have a plan”. He came back quickly with “Don’t worry about the plan, let’s talk it out, we might discover something more interesting while we talk about whatever is floating around in your head.”
I wasn’t sure about this but I thought, what the heck. It’ll take me three weeks to get a plan together and I wanted to know what this guy I had just met was thinking. I scheduled a meeting with Tim the next week and we talked through the timeline for World Photo Day.
His first question was simple: What is World Photo Day about? I started telling him, quite animatedly too (Because I’m super passionate about this idea). Then I told him some more… and yes, even more… He sat and listened. At the end of a 3-minute story, he replied. So what I heard was “Connecting people, telling stories and creating positive change.”
At the end of that 45-minute chat, I had come out with one of the most valuable things I needed to continue developing my idea, a solid direction on what World Photo Day was doing.
“World Photo Day is connecting people, telling their stories and inspiring positive change in the world through visual storytelling”
Without this conversation, I would have been sitting at my desk for days trying to define that direction. Getting that outside perspective was fundamental to developing my project further and to get there, I needed to share the key ideas that made up my end goals.
A week in review
So this week has been crazy with 4 full days attending my NEIS business course. This week, I’ve been learning about marketing and financial management. The financial management being the more important skill I needed to develop.
In between, I’ve been emailing businesses all around the world to share about World Photo Day and to develop potential partnerships. It’s been a hard slog and I’ve faced a whole pile of rejections with a variety of reasons. Nobody likes rejection and with each one, I’ve had to be critical of my value proposition, continually evaluating it. What a mission! I also got invited to write on the Stir Blog!
$15/day update: This week, I was given a bag of spinach by a new friend which I was able to mix into my daily bowl of plain rice, I’ve also been given a lift to my business classes which saved me $15 over the whole week! (I just need to skate 5km to her house from the office). I was also blessed with enough money to attend a dentist appointment over the weekend that I completely forgot about. I hadn’t mentioned this to anybody except a few prayers to old mate Jesus a few weeks ago.
It’s 10:45pm, it’s just me and one other crazy entrepreneur (Tai from Neucode) left in the Entry29 office. By the time I get home and to sleep it’ll be 11:30pm. I’ll be up again at 6:30am tomorrow to start another day of developing crazy ideas.
Interested in supporting me?
If you’re interested in supporting me in building a business that values community, puts people over profit and turns ideas into reality, you can buy some of my greeting cards or buy one of my photographs on Redbubble. Alternatively, if you’re feeling really generous and want to shout me a coffee or nice meal, you can do so through PayPal. I’ll take a photo and share it on my next blog post.