Have you ever had one of your ideas ‘stolen’ and used by someone else soon after you shared them in a public setting? If yes, you’ll know the frustration and anger that accompanies such a case. It could have been when you were in school and someone else stood up and took the credit for your work, or in a professional setting where a colleague took your idea and ran with it (and thus took the credit).
It’s always about ‘the credit’, isn’t it?
Experience tells us to keep our best ideas to ourselves – why give away the store when you can profit from it in the future, right?
The only problem with this approach – the hoarding approach – is that we don’t always have the time to work on all of our ideas. And that means that for every project that we work on, 20+ others go undone, because of a lack of time. So at this point, we’re at a cross-roads – you don’t want to share freely because those are your ideas but you also don’t have the time to work on them.
I don’t believe in giving it all away for free – sure, to some it may sound noble but in terms of value you know that your ideas are worth something, and in most cases, worth more than the goodwill that will be generated from giving them away for free.
An acceptable alternative may be to develop your ideas and then distribute them, for a price. For example, think of Private Label Rights (PLR) products. In theory, PLR products are components of a ready-made business that you can take, personalise and get started with almost immediately (a good example of this would be the PLR articles provided by PLRPro).
Depending on the time available to you, you could develop your ideas to the point of a short 10-page report ($7 value or even free), into a 50-100 page ebook ($19-$49 or again free), into full-fledged running blog (which you can then sell to make a nice profit) or anywhere in between.
Let’s say that I want to get into the self-help niche but don’t have time for it. So what do I do?
Ideally, I would take a weekend off, write a 20-40 page report on how to run the business, plus collect and provide research material that can help with providing content (it helps if you collected ebooks in college). The report will be specific to the self-help niche and therefore share ideas on how to promote in that niche, the different sources of revenue available, etc etc. I would also refer users, through that report, to my reports / books on blogging and SEO and even PPC – this information is easy to package once and then refer clients to on a regular basis.
If I had the time I could even setup a membership site for this, but the easy route would be to spend a couple of days creating the basics for a life-long business in the self-help niche, providing all resources needed to succeed and then putting it up for sale as a PLR package and advertising it (through mailing lists or PPC).
You’ll realise that for this to be ‘effective’, having ‘generic’ resources on topics like blogging, SEO, making money online, PPC and social media marketing can be very helpful. Write them once, and you can use them over and over again.
The bottom line is – in most cases, ideas are not unique to us. Someone else, somewhere in the world, will have the same idea as yours sooner or later and there’s a good chance that they or someone they know will work on it and get ahead while you keep waiting for the ‘right time’.
For most ideas, if you don’t have time today you won’t have time tomorrow either. Few things make you stand up and say that Yes, this is what I want to do more than anything else. If a project doesn’t appeal to you in that way and you’re ready to shelve it, take a couple of days out and work on it, maybe you’ll be able profit from it AND help others benefit from your ideas as well.