It hasn’t happened in quite a while, but at the Pitch Practice meetup, it used to be a fairly regular occurrence: someone would attend, but say nothing until the final call of “ok, who else would like to practice their pitch?” They’d invariably speak up with something like the following:
“I really want to do my pitch, but we haven’t signed any sort of NDA and you (speaking to me, the meetup leader) haven’t said anything about confidentiality or non-competition.”
That’s when it would get kind of awkward until I learned how to handle this exact situation. It’s not difficult, meaning the words I use are simple and straightforward; however, the person who brought up this objection to sharing their pitch has sincere trepidations about sharing their idea. That needs to be taken seriously because most of the time they have an experiential reason for not sharing more openly.
What I mean by that is that they’ve been burned before. I think we all know how that feels. I know I do. You share something that you’re really excited about with someone you trust, and then a few weeks, months, or years later, you learn that person you trusted has taken your idea and run with it. They stole your idea.
That’s a real thing. It happens. All the time. So, we need to be respectful of that person’s experience and fear of being burned again.
But that does not change the truth of the matter. And that is this: Anyone can steal your idea. Nobody can steal your execution. Say that again: anyone can steal your idea. Nobody can steal your execution.
What that means is that when you have an idea, you carry the vision for that idea and how it will look and work itself out over the next 1, 2, 5, 10 years. That’s YOUR vision, and nobody else can see it or execute on it. That’s your advantage. Sometimes, that might be your only advantage. Therefore, share your idea. Someone has (more than likely) already stolen it! They just call it something different and you don’t know about it yet. That’s what we call “competition”, and competition is good. Competition makes us work harder to be better to set ourselves apart and move toward that vision.
All we’re about at Pitch Practice is practicing so you can get better. If you cannot articulate what you’re doing, it’s going to be very difficult to get co-founders, partners, investors, or customers. If you have to get an NDA from everyone you talk to, how will you ever get any feedback on whether or not your idea is good or bad?
These are the kinds of lessons that come up every week at Pitch Practice. We’re launching a podcast in June to share these lessons with the rest of the world, as we learn and experience them. We’re recruiting our Podcast Launch Team to launch the Pitch Practice Podcast to #1 on iTunes “New & Noteworthy”. Will you join us? Click here to be part of the launch.