In this past week I’ve encountered two different aspects of misconceived generosity. Which made me think that maybe we need to talk more about being generous with our information, not solely for the sake of helping others, but because it’s good for business too.
If you know me, the word transparency won’t surprise you. It’s probably one of the things I advocate the most when it comes to starting, running and growing an authentic business.
Transparency is also one of the things that scares us the most – especially us in the creative-getting-innovative-ideas-field. We tend to guard our ideas with our life, keeping them secret to the point where some never see the light of day, because they are either not finish to our own perfect standard or we’re scared someone will steal them from us. Usually it’s a combination of both.
My 2 encounters this week serve as prime examples of how being generous and transparency could actually make your business thrive. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Not saying your ideas out loud because you think other will steal them.
Let’s get one thing straight here: if your ideas are good, they will be stolen and copied. Period. There’s not a whole lot you can do about it, but stop worrying about it. Because it will happen. Take it as a compliment.
What you should be worrying about is how to make the good idea yours. So that the copy of your good idea makes people think about you. One way to do that is by saying it out loud any chance you get. Even if your idea is work in progress, be transparent. Give people sneak peeks as to how far you are with the project, what’s happening, release beta versions, models, first editions, get feedback.
Be generous. Share.
This will evoke interest, and keep people engaged. Plus if they contribute to the development of your project, they will feel like it’s part of them and be more likely to support you, than your competitor.
Being generous with your work is owning it! (Click here to Tweet it)
2. Failing to ask for help or information, because you think others won’t share it with you.
We don’t know everything about anything. Everything we know, we’ve learned, experienced or been told. Thinking that we need to figure everything out ourselves could be blocking us big time in our pursuit for bigger things – like doing the things you do best for your business and it’s purpose.
Finding a certain systems or processes for keeping a database, how to price, doing your books, or a technique or tool that can get you from A to B, could be very time-consuming. First you need to do some research, then you need to test a system or three in order to get one that works for you. But why spend all that time on something that’s taking you away from what you do best or how your business makes money, when you could just ask someone who already knows?
‘Yeah right, but why would anyone share that information with me?’ you might ask. Well you don’t know if they will, but all you can get is a no, that will leave you in the same spot – not worse off, or they might actually want to help you, and you’ve just saved yourself a lot of time.
Now let’s try reversing the situation. Have you ever been asked for info on a process or system and said no?
Would you say no, if you’d gotten an amazing system that rocks for your business? Wouldn’t you want that for someone else too? Why wouldn’t you want to save someone else the time you spend looking for it? Have you ever just wished someone had told you about an easier way when you started?
There’s no shame in asking and offering to return the favour with something you know or do that can help them.
I hope you get my drift here – these two examples can be applied to almost everything you do, even your everyday life. Is there any greater joy than helping a fellow human? Even if that person is your ‘competitor’?
The more open and transparent you are with both your ideas and the way you do things, the better it is for your business and your success. Through sharing your experience, your process and your ideas, you’ll not set yourself up for easy target copying, but for owning the work that is yours.
So, let’s start the generosity today! You in?
This post is a part of the Summit Blog Tour, which leads up to the Soul*Full Summit hosted by Catherine Just. I’m thrilled to be a part of an event that empowers entrepreneurs, artists and creatives to take action toward their dreams while helping create more opportunities for people with Down syndrome. You can join the movement by signing up for the Summit HERE.