Sharing Ideas

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

– George Bernard Shaw

I’ll be speaking at a few trade shows and educational association meetings in the next few weeks. As I prepare my presentations and remarks, I have been thinking about the value of associations, sharing groups and networking.

The real value – for me – in attending a trade show is not to look for potential customers (if I am a manufacturer or a service provider.) And it is not to look to deals or to pick up a new line of goods (if I am a retailer.) No, no no.

That is exchanging one apple for another apple (as in my opening quote from G.B. Shaw) Goods and services change hands every day. I sell you something in exchange for your payment. That is a transaction. Neither of us was enriched.

Yes, the manufacturer received money in exchange for his goods; so his or her banking balance was temporarily increased. But soon enough, they will be depleting the account to pay for materials to manufacture additional goods to be sold.

Ah – but the exchange of ideas. That is a different story. A story that I am preparing to tell during my speeches and presentations.

If I pick up – and implement – just one idea from the trade show, I have found a wonderful opportunity to enhance my business. To grow my business. To maximize my opportunities. I am enriched.

Sometimes, I get an idea from a business partner; sometimes from a speech or a presentation. But I find that the best ideas usually come from a peer. Something that has worked for them. Something that I can adapt to fit my situation.

And, of course, I feel obligated to return the favor. To share an idea that has worked for me. This is the Law of Reciprocity. Now we are both enriched. I still have my original idea and have picked up at least one more.

The market place is expanded. This is the Law of Abundance. (from Brian Tracy’s Blog.)

Look for ideas – they are every where.

I also have found that the more ideas that I share with others, the more ideas I get back in return!

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