Two meetings stand out for me this past week. What they both had in common was that the individuals I met with were seeking advice for their business start-ups. What they didn’t have in common was what each person took away from our meetings.
One person is starting an information technology business and has already done a lot of homework and is in the development phase. He is very confident that his business and the concept will be successful. When we met he was looking more for affirmation and less for advice. He was meeting with as many people as he could to float his idea by them for their thoughts and opinions. He left our meeting feeling more confident with his idea and with a few more recommendations of other people to speak with.
The other person I met with is interested in turning her hobby into a business. She really didn’t know what to do or how to go about it. We spent an hour brainstorming and batting around ideas and “voila” one of them felt just right and we both went “bingo”! She is going to run with that idea and do further research and due diligence to determine if it is in fact a good business idea. She left the meeting excited and feeling much better that she now had direction.
I’m sharing these stories with you to encourage you to take the time to talk with others about your business – whether you’re just starting one or already operating one. It’s amazing what “magic” can happen when you say it “out loud” to someone else. Someone who can be there to listen, to respond and perhaps offer suggestions, ideas and referrals.
Time and time again great things have happened in my life simply because I told someone my ideas or someone told me theirs. Too often we hold back because we think our idea might be “stupid” or someone might “steal it” or we want to have it all “figured out” before we tell anyone. I find that just by talking about it – by saying it “out loud” it helps me to further define and refine my ideas. Certainly you need to proceed with caution, especially if your idea might be something “patent worthy”. There are ways to protect yourself if that is in fact the case.
Start by asking someone you know and trust to coffee or lunch and talk about what you’re thinking about. If it ends up going nowhere – that’s ok. I’ve found there is usually a good reason some things just don’t work out or I choose not to pursue them. But those ideas and conversations are never a waste of time because they usually lead to the “right” thing - eventually! So, today - contact one person you know and set up a time to meet for coffee or lunch and conversation. You never know – that one hour could change your life!