Groups more powerful that individuals - Image courtesy of By Sean MacEntee used under Creative Commons License

Loneliness and working on your own can be a huge killer of ideas -and potentially dreams.

Within us there can be a natural tendency to keep thing to ourselves with our rationale being anything like the following: ‘My ideas are not good enough’, ‘someone might steal my idea’, ‘it’s not original. Anyone could have it’, ‘it’s too big. It will never happen’. Or ‘other people achieve ideas, but it doesn’t happen to people like me’. Insert your version of ‘people like me’ here.

I once spoke to someone at a networking event and they were telling me rather cautiously about their idea. Then they just asked me straight; What did I think about sharing your ideas? My instant response was an emphatic ‘do it’! It’s so important to share your ideas for several reasons.

1) Sharing makes it real

Everyone has ideas. Maybe not fully fledged or even just an inkling; a seed of an idea. For example have you ever been in a shop, looked at a particular product and thought, ‘That doesn’t feel quite right. I’m sure it could be done better’. You might not know exactly how it could be done better, but niggling away at you, you know it could.

So everyone has ideas, BUT, and its a big but, the vast majority of us do nothing with them. I’m not suggesting you need to act upon every idea. Of course not. You’d never get anything else done in life. But some of those ideas could be life-changing not just for yourself but for other people too.

Sharing the idea makes it real. Someone once said -and I simply can’t remember who, “how do I know what I think, until I hear what I say?”. I’m not sure I totally take that literally, but the point is vocalising something can help to back it up as an authentic idea. Even more so, speaking to someone else means they can ask questions to help you think it through further. Which leads on to the next point.

2) Sharing leads to questioning

I love questions. It’s probably why I like interviewing people for our Insight podcast. Maybe I’m just nosey. I like stories and finding out what makes people do what they do. So questions are good.

For your ideas, this means that providing answers to those questions takes your idea further.
In our mini-hubs we always have the opportunity to share our ideas and receive feedback. One member is currently developing a new product. Its something she hasn’t done before and she put it out there for us to ask questions and provide feedback. From her original idea it has now changed completely, being improved upon by applying the feedback.

If you don’t share your ideas you never allow them the opportunity to be refined, developed and you may be missing out on people that can help.

3) Sharing can provide the skills you need

Back to that person at the networking event who was cautious about sharing her ideas, I remember telling her -and have told many people since, if you don’t share your idea you are taking a huge risk by limiting who can help you. How do you know that the person you meet at a networking event that you don’t tell your idea to, is not meant to be the partner who helps you make it happen? They could have the exact expertise you need.

This has happened to me on several occasions where by sharing my ideas I have ended up working with that person. The best example relating to Creatives Hub is Claire Meredith whom I met at a networking meeting and who is now involved in it. I could have easily been very closed and not willing to share my thoughts and ideas. Thankfully I wasn’t as she has proven to be just the catalyst I needed to get things off the ground.

In saying all that, you do need to be discerning. It’s not everyone that needs to hear your ideas. It only takes a few seconds for us to make a judgment about someone. Use that intuition to decide whether or not to share. You can start to share a little bit and if you don’t get a positive response then move on or change subject. But don’t keep your ideas to yourself as you may be missing out on exactly who you need to make it happen.

4) Regularity keeps you accountable.

Its all well and good sharing your idea as a one off, but if you are not regularly sharing you can keep ending up in the same position of having to re-explain the whole concept to the new ‘sharee’ (I think I made up that word…) each time.

Thats the benefit of being in a mini-hub or other small accountability group. One that meets regularly and where you can build up trust, explore new ideas and avenues in a safe, positive, encouraging environment. And, if you are a freelancer or someone who naturally spends too much time on your own, at least you have a key point each month where you know you will meet up with other people in similar situations.

Lets stick together

I’ve blogged before about the perils of working on your own and the fact that we as human beings need others around us if we are to grow and develop further. But suffice to say, the advantages to your ideas of sharing are too great to miss out on.

In summary, vocalising your idea can make it real. Get it out of your head and into the real world. Sharing it can lead to questions which helps you refine your idea. And if you don’t share it with other people you may miss out on the very help you need. Keep things going regularly. Have an accountability group or friends that will keep asking you how things are going.

Over to you

What ideas have you been procrastinating about but really want to get started? Let me know in the comments.

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Richard Lalchan

Richard Lalchan is founder of Creatives Hub whose mission is to help as many creatives as possible get rid of the shackles of procrastination, break out of fear, grow in confidence and get stuff done. He also works with individuals and businesses to build their web presence, runs a podcast network and is currently writing his first sci-fi novella.

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