Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared To Share Ideas

8 05 2008

 

A key trait of millennials is that we love to be entrepreneurial, we love to take on new tasks, but most of all, we need to know that our ideas are appreciated or at least given the time of day. Being a millennial, these traits are some of the main reasons why I started this blog.Jumping into the workforce where all of my co-workers and bosses are Gen-X and Boomers has been challenging. On one hand it really hasn’t been difficult to impress them, but on the other hand there is no free-flow of ideas. All the people around me seem to think that good ideas can’t come from the bottom of the corporation, and that they always come from the top. Needless to say, it has been a frustrating environment for a millennial to work in.

A couple weeks ago I had a Jerry McGuire moment at work and wrote somewhat of a manifesto for the company, and I must say that it felt great. And it felt even better when I shared it with my boss and I wasn’t fired, in fact he agreed with me! He then proceeded to fall into my generalization that good ideas only come from the top.

Never forget that the free-flow of ideas is something that millennials thrive on. We can build on each other, we can help each other, and maybe some people will start to listen!

All of this takes me back to a phrase that my entrepreneurship professor taught me (one that is impossible to forget):

If you’re scared you’re going to get screwed, you’re never going to get laid.

Vulgar, yes, but it’s also memorable and true. Say you have a business idea, but you’re too scared to share it with people. Then nothing will ever happen (unless you know every aspect…marketing, development, financing…). But say you start sharing it with people, maybe a rich old guy at Starbucks wants to invest, maybe your friend knows a few people who can help you out, or maybe someone helps you build on the idea. Either way, you’re ahead!

But what if someone steals my good idea? Why do you care if someone steals your idea? If it’s your idea I hope that you will have more passion for it than someone else. Sure, greed is a motivator for some, but businesses that are looking to cash in from the start rarely do well. Remember, you can’t fake passion. Entrepreneurs with a passion and a vision are the one’s that surpass expectations. What do Google, Yahoo, Craigslist, Dell, and Starbucks have in common? They all started out with passion and visions, and all are still run by the people that put them on the map. Did other people try to steal their ideas? Yes, absolutely they did, but the people who conceptualized from the beginning have done better. Also, remember that imitation is just another form of flattery. Note: Howard Schultz was not the founder of Starbucks, but it was his vision that grew it from a few stores to what it is today.

 

 

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Positive Peer Pressure

16 04 2008

Note: I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts over the last week.  It has been a very hectic week for Mary, Myself, and My family.

For the first time in my adult life I experienced positive peer pressure, and it made me glad to have the friends I have.  The other night I called one of my former roommates, who is a very good friend of mine and I caught him in the middle of a beer pong game with a fraternity brother of ours.  We all graduated at the same time, all with double degrees, all with finance as one of them.  We spoke about how things are going in life and our conversation came around to finances. 

My former roommate told me that he decided to splurge his tax refund on a new set of golf clubs to celebrate his year in the workforce and a recent promotion.  The conversation went something like this, I will use R for the roomate and G for my other friend (They have me I’m on speakerphone… mid beer pong game):

Me – Nice!  Congratulations…that’s a pretty big purchase!

R – I know, but I’ve already funded my 401(k) and started funding a Roth IRA for the year and I wanted to splurge on something nice as a reward.  Are you and Mary funding your 401(k)’s?

Me- Unfortunately we don’t get 401(k)’s until we have been at the company for a year because of high turnover in our industry.

R & G- THAT SUCKS!

Me- I know, BUT we have both fully funded our Roth IRA’s for 2007.

G- Very good.  So you’ve each got your 4 grand sacked away… that’s impressive.

Me- Thanks.  Have you been funding yours?

G- Absolutely, and I’m saving all the rest of my money for an engagement Ring…

Towards the end of our conversation we all agreed to peer pressure another friend into making sure he is saving and on a good track.

Maybe it’s just my circle of friends, but I’m starting to think that we might be getting it!  We have seen family members want to retire but not be able to, we have seen friends and family get in way over their heads in debt, and we don’t want it to happen to us!  The credit crunch/recession/whatever you want to call it may end up being a good thing for our generation because we are seeing first hand what can happen when your priorities are not in line, and we are learning from it!  We are learning from other people’s mistakes and enriching our own lives because of it. 

I am very proud of my friends for having their priorities in line by not getting caught up with excess, splurging when everthing else is taken care of, and still making time for fun by enjoying a good game of beer pong on a weeknight.  Way to go guys!

On second thought I may have gotten ahead of myself, I need to call them back and make sure they have emergency funds as well… I will update.

Update:  I checked back with R.  And I am pleased to say that he has quite a few separate funds set up.  He says that he has an Oh Shit fund (read: emergency fund), 401(k), Roth IRA, and a mid-life crisis fund (which apparently could double as a house down payment fund as well).  Wow…good job R!