Friday, June 10, 2011

on being too open

One thing I'm still working on as a business person is to keep my cards a little closer to my chest. I find it difficult as a very passionate person to keep my self from telling everyone about all the things I'm excited about. Now of course in everyday life, though people might get tired of this, there's no risk involved. In business of course, there's always a risk that you're revealing too much.

A few specific thoughts:

- Sometimes it's hard to know what to keep to yourself. Are my specific insights into the education world & market actually so genius that they're worth keeping quiet? Should I be silent about things that related companies / competitors do that are less obvious to others, but that I'd like to emulate?

- How can you keep an engaging, passionate discussion without offering some of the insight you've had that you value the most? One thing I'm getting better at is saying 'Sorry, can't quite tell you about that - it's something we're keeping more private for now', but I still feel like that cools off what could be a productive conversation.

- My feeling is that generally when I give to the world, it gives back to me 10-fold. Often, I find the same is true with ideas - I have a kernel of a thought, and share it with someone whose insight makes it grow - then rinse and repeat. When do you keep those kernels to yourself?

For now, I've begun straying far towards the side of less disclosure - literally making a list of the things / ideas I'll make a conscious effort not to discuss with others. We'll see how it pans out!