How to Prevent Your Ideas from Getting Used or Stolen
For an entrepreneur, every single day is a learning experience. From trivial things to people who matter, we learn so much from our surroundings every day and very recently, we had experienced one such situation that quite shed light on aspects we were never aware of. It was at that time that we felt this had to be put on words and shared with everyone like us. It’s on ideas or what the world calls legally an intellectual property.
By definition, intellectual property refers to an intangible element like that of an idea, a plan, a strategy or anything that could elevate a business or a product to higher grounds. Intellectual property is crucial for entrepreneurs like us because it is the only thing that binds us with our ideas and when people play with that, that’s where things start becoming awkward.
So far, we have been going on the virtue of trust that people we meet and interact with would appreciate our ideas, find value in them and collaborate with us for execution. Little did we have an idea that people could actually use our ideas hours after they have been discussed and keep using our insights in the pretext of giving projects or understanding our thought processes to initiate an engagement.
When you are having a good day and you feel your ideas were appreciated and well received, one message on your idea having taken shape and the fact that you were in no way related to its execution can either turn you off or shatter your dreams.
As a person with only an idea in mind, this situation could define your future and deprive you of all the entitlements your idea could have fetched you. Imagine going for a meeting to pitch your ideas to a few people, impressing them, getting criticisms from them, returning home with a dilemma on their judgments and realizing a few days later that your ideas have been implemented elsewhere and without your knowledge!
Would that send ripples of anxiety across your body and mind? How would you react?
Giving away ideas – the only element we have with us – could be fatal for your entrepreneurial plans and visions and we learnt this in a way that wasn’t too hard but impactful enough to wake up to the importance of intellectual property. As businessmen, we share ideas and strategies in a good gesture that a deal would be made as it is the only way to prove your efficiency. And when you are taken for a ride with the very idea that is yours in the first place, it gets critical.
How to Prevent Your Ideas from Getting Used?
Though you need that funding very badly or that client desperately, do not show it to them. Always maintain a face that is neutral and positive. Do not give in to their criticisms but take them down. These are some of the ways you would be taunted with to bring down your self esteem from within. The moment it goes down, people opposite to you gain an upper hand. This thought comes with maturity and nobody would teach you this on a sit-down basis.
Most importantly, get an NDA (Non-disclosure Agreement) with you every single time you meet someone to discuss your ideas and sign it before the start of meetings. This not just shows how committed you are to your dream but your professionalism as well. All the complimentary benefits aside, this agreement would help you claim rights to your ideas or strategies and retain your vision. Add relevant clauses depending on your business and make your agreement as air tight as possible.
Besides, if you suspect or feel from your ongoing conversations with your potential clients or vendors that your ideas could get used without your permission or acknowledgement, decide to work on a project after getting advance payment without second thoughts.
In the end, we are all dealing with businessmen and it makes complete sense to behave like one too! We experienced an instance of our ideas being implemented by someone we had a discussion with and the words of our mentor seems priceless at this point. His text read this “On the positive side, they acknowledged your idea. Push them towards sustaining such approach through an engagement. Surely your offerings are far more and client engaging in a sustained manner.” Waking up to such a positive and motivating text is what any Entrepreneur wishes for and we thank him for being there for us.
To sum it up, do not let your ideas be used without your permission, do not be taken for granted and do not be belittled under any circumstance. It’s only your idea that will stick with you until last and you have to ensure you stick with it as well. Get in touch if you need more information on intellectual property and other related concerns!