When It’s Okay to Share Your Business + Protecting Your Ideas.

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woman-with-glasses-overlay business lawyer

Congrats.

You are a stupidly creative mind (not stupid in the negative sense but stupid in the “wow, I can’t believe you’re that incredible” sense).

You came up with a business idea that even your ancestors would be proud of.

You dreamt up a concept that will leave you with a heck of a legacy and allow you to take good care of your kids, and your kid’s kids.

Yep, that generational sh*@ wealth.

Before, you go spilling your generational-wealth-crazy-master-mind idea to everyone you know…

Pause.

Don’t ruin it. Your ideas are valuable. Not all of them, but more than you think. Unfortunately, you may not have an attorney in you back pocket to discuss whether your idea constitutes a trade secret, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do some initial work on your own.

Before you share your good stuff ask yourself these questions.

 

one.

Am I sharing the idea with someone who I want to potentially partner or work with in the business?

two.

Am I sharing the idea with someone whose feedback I would like? Do I want to survey them or involve them in a focus group of sorts?

three.

Am I sharing the idea for moral support? Because I am human and just excited about my business.

 

If you answered yes to questions one or two, then pause. More than likely, you should ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement  (don’t worry, we will cover non-disclosure agreements in this series). If you answered yes to question three, then you need to develop your small circle of Business Best Friends.

What the heck are Business Best Friends?

Business Best Friends are a group of similarly like-minded folks who are in the process of developing their own business. The group should be small – three or four (ideally, different industries).  You each share ideas, and provide moral support and accountability along the way. The key to your BBF is that there is a mutual exchange of information and ideas. It’s never one sided.

If you absolutely must share an idea then do it among your BBFs.

Develop the short list now so that you know who to go to when the time arises.

Outside of that group…what do you do?

You shut the hell up.

This series will cover which ideas can be protected such as trade secrets, when you should give someone a non-disclosure agreement and how you do it.

 

3 thoughts on “When It’s Okay to Share Your Business + Protecting Your Ideas.

  • Keyonda on September 5th, 2013

    SO true! And I love the title. LOL. I think sometimes we get so excited about an idea we throw it out there to see if others will feel the same way we do and not realizing that ideas can be stolen and or even knocked down with negativity. Great tips!

  • Vanessa R. Frazier on September 10th, 2013

    @Keyonda: I agree and have to say I have been guilty of this (being excited and sharing with people I feel I can trust). These tips have been great. I am going to shut the **** up from here forward and I’m going to look for a NDA formatted for my state.

  • mylifestylezen on September 10th, 2013

    @keyonda:disqus I think we all are like that! I get so excited sometimes I can’t sleep…and just WANT to tell someone. Thanks for checking out the post. @vanessarfrazier:disqus Thanks for checking it out. Yes, using one drafted for your state is essential.

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