Ways to distinguish yourself #157 – Pay for ideas

One of your close friends comes up with an idea that has the possibility of making a big impact on your future – may be in terms of money, career or any other kind of success. You may take that idea and do something about it or you may decide to pass on it. Whatever you do with the idea, one thing is clear, you have to do something to take care of your friend who brought that idea – the gift.

One way to look at it is to think that as a friend it was your friend’s “duty” to come up with ideas to help you. The other way to look at this is to genuinely thank your friend for the gift and reciprocate in some way. How about stretching this a little bit? Assume for a minute that you will “pay” (don’t get worried yet) for all good ideas that come your way. Why should ideas be free? Someone spent the time to think about you and crafted a scenario that might benefit you. If they spent any time, there is a cost associated with it. Why not bear a part of the cost?

A few years ago, one of my teachers taught me to “pay” for ideas. The world has never been the same once I started putting that into practice. What you “pay” for an idea really depends on two things – how good the idea is and what you can afford to pay at that time. If the idea was very valuable but you can’t afford to pay that value right now, how about recording an imaginary “I Owe You” for the difference and make it a point to settle it somewhere in the future?

Once you establish this appraoch in your life, there are a number of side-benefits. These side-benefits alone can cover the investments you will make by paying for ideas. Here are some of those side-benefits

a) You will start respecting people with ideas – meaning you will attract more people with good ideas into your life

b) You will give more attention to ideas – otherwise how can you really evaluate which ideas are good?

c) You will stop expecting free rides

d) You will make your friends feel more valuable

and many more..

By the way, the reciprocation need not be in terms of money. In fact, you might offend some friends if you try to pay them literally. Do whatever is appropriate for that particular case. There is no right or wrong practice – only some practices are powerful and some are not. You make the choice!


Note 1: Here is a Squidoo lens that links to most of the previous articles in this series:
Squidoo: Distinguish Yourself

Note 2: The first 25 entries in the series have been packaged in a ChangeThis manifesto that was published on September 07, 2005. You can download that manifesto here:
ChangeThis Manifesto: 25 Ways to Distinguish Yourself (PDF, Free)

Note 3: My latest manifesto on ChangeThis was published on August 6, 2008. This is a photographic manifesto featuring 15 of my mini sagas (stories in exactly 50 words). Here is the link:
ChangeThis Manifesto: Mini Sagas – Bite Sized Lessons for Life and Business (PDF, Free)