When new entrepreneurs often start on a new venture they don’t want to tell people their idea. What happens if someone steals it? Or the person they are speaking to is not “important” enough to pitch to or is not likely to “get it”.
A philosophy I learned early in my entrepreneurial career was ABP: Always Be Pitching. This means that the barber that’s cutting your hair: tell him what your big idea is. That aunt you speak to once a year – tell her what you are working on. The people you meet at the gym – they should know about your idea too.
If you truly love what you do, you won’t mind discussing it. And if you are confident in yourself, you will know that even if they “steal” your idea – you will make it happen better and faster. 99 % of the world does not have an interest in what you are doing and most of the world knows great ideas but they never take any action to make them happen. It’s not the idea that counts, its the making it happen is where most people fail. So do not worry about your idea being stolen.
Most of the world wants you to succeed. And if you let them know what you are working on, many people will go out of their way to introduce you to customers/suppliers or figure out other ways to help you out. The security guard for my last apartment has passed me leads. So has the tea-boy at the last office I worked at. I love pitching to cab drivers about my ideas – not only does it make the journey more fun, but often I end up looking at things from an angle I never thought about.
Even most of my “competitors” know my ideas and strategy. When discussing with them the idea I would often get great feedback and things I had not thought about or a get connected to a better supplier. Often when you share a lot, people are only happy to share back information with you. Which in return means you have even more information to make your ideas even better.
Do not wait to do your first pitch the time you run into the big time investor in an elevator. Do it all the time. This way not only does your pitch improve for the real world, but you also figure out all the “frequently asked questions” that people have and can answer them on your website. You get better at figuring out what it is you are actually offering. And the constant feedback refines a raw idea to a working model.
Start pitching as soon as you have the idea. I was desperate to work for myself. So I invested in tons of ideas – not knowing which one would get me out of the rat race faster. The only way I figured out which idea was likely to work quicker was by constantly pitching. If you have someone ready to take out their credit card than you know that idea is the one that you should focus on.
In the world of sales – it’s ABC (Always Be Closing). In the new economy that is so easy to innovate in, ABP your ideas to success.