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    7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 28, 2007 11:37 AM by Lighthouse24

    The line between trust and caution?

    Menoz~ Newbie



      *How do I prevent my business plans
      from being taken from me?*


      I have already posted the fact that I
      have just started a company. The questions I received got me to
      thinking about why I chose not to privately place shares or take on
      partners. I am concerned with the chances that an investor or partner
      will use their money to take my idea and use it for themselves.


      I am starting my company with very
      little money. I wish I had more capital but the Idea of bringing
      someone in and having them put me out of my own business is of great
      concern. I thought by not selling equity, borrowing, or even taking
      on a partner, would allow me to protect myself from those who have
      the funds to this without me. (anyone else feel or felt this way)


      However, In my 1st post I
      found that asking for nothing more than a show of hands resulted in
      questions. (who are you, more information about your company, what
      can you do that we can't ). So it looks as if I'm not going to be
      able to make simple contact list without disclosing information that
      has nothing to do with their interests. (you either buy real estate
      or you don't - An Investor knows what to look for and if they don't
      see it, they don't invest. It's either a good deal or it
      isn't regardless of who I am or what my company
      does as long as it's legal.)


      So, In light of that, *How exactly
      can I share more information without giving away my advantage*.
      certainly have not done this much work just to let someone else beat
      me to it just because they have the financial advantage. So, while
      everyone (not just here) is asking me to tell them more about my
      company, I have to ask. *Where exactly do we draw the line between
      trust and caution*. Short of a contract (which rarely prevents
      ideas from being stolen) *How do I protect my business plans from
      those who would take it and leave me empty handed?*


      Sorry If I seem to be on a rant, but I
      have been employed by the same company for 14yrs and have seen my
      ideas shot down 1 minute and then implemented as someone else's the
      next (has this happened to you or someone you know). Forgive me for
      being a tad cynical about trusting people, with money, to make my
      dreams come true when I've seen supervisors stab you in the back just
      to get credit for it at the next company meeting (they didn't even
      get a pay increase or bonus. they did it for a public pat on the


      This is exactly why I've spent 5yrs
      researching real estate "as a whole" not just a market
      segment. to find the one area that is not getting adequate service
      (practically non-existent) and am willing to avoid the quicker path
      of OPM. I would rather build slow an benefit, than risk being taken
      because “I had to have it now”. My company is starting out with
      residential but will eventually reach into the commercial markets.


      Please understand, I have nothing
      against anyone here but we don't know each other. and I
      can only assume that someone here might be better positioned than I.
      So no, I don't want to share the 1 thing I can not afford to lose. I
      know I can't keep a lid on my business plans and strategy for long.
      but hopefully long enough to get a good enough start to gain a solid


      How do I prevent my business plans from being taken from me?
        • Re: The line between trust and caution?
          mainstreetifs Wayfarer
          It is pretty simple, if you want help from others (councelors, Investors, partners, etc) then you will need to give them enough information to make a informed decision. In my personal experience I have seen very few "revolutionary" ideas in the real estate industry. If you are really that concerned about getting your idea stolen, you should find a way to grow your business alone from scratch.

          IMO- Great ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is where money is made.
          • Re: The line between trust and caution?
            slavaret Adventurer

            Just some thoughts:

            1) My experience has been ideas are a dime a dozen. The hardest part is actually to get people to take action. Even harder to find financial backers. Its' easy to steal or take credit when you are salaried. Totally different when you are out there on your own. People are risk averse.

            2) The best ideas are the ones the majority miss or find ludicrous - like FedEx of Kinko's. That's why we only have one Bill Gates (or Donald Trump).

            3) I would analyze how much you can disclose without giving the farm away. The idea must give you an unfair advantage. Take that one critical element out - and it won't work. I'd determine what it is and hold it back while disclosing as much as possible. That's your bait. If someone is really interested - there are NDAs to take it to the next level.
            • Re: The line between trust and caution?
              Lighthouse24 Ranger

              No matter how unique and inspired you think your idea might be, 99 other people got it at the same instant. At least three of them are already working on it. They probably have more time, money, and expertise than you. Your biggest threat isn't that someone here will steal your idea -- it's that one of those other three guys will beat you to the marketplace if you don't find some help and catch up. Ideas are essentially worthless. The value comes from developing, advancing, and refining the idea -- not from the idea itself.

              You joined this community yesterday, so you might not be aware that about every 9 hours, someone posts another "big idea" here that promises to make investors a lot of money. Community members ask questions because it creates an interaction -- a "give and take" exchange -- and that exchange tells us (or me, at least) a great deal about the person and whether the person is someone we/I might want to do business with one day. You have to keep in mind that this is a networking site -- a place to build relationships over time. It is not realistic to expect that you'd join this community, make a couple of posts, and gather a list of eager investors in less than 24 hours.

              Are there people here who are "better positioned" than you? No doubt about it (presumably that's why you'd want their help). If you had taken time to build relationships, you'd know who they are, and you'd know they have plenty of dreams and ideas of their own to work on. They're not asking about your idea to rip it off -- they're asking to find out if getting involved in yours will in any way help them achieve one of theirs. (After all, we didn't wake up yesterday and seek you out. You pitched to us first.)


              I hope that helps address your concerns and puts things into some perspective.
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: The line between trust and caution?
                LUCKIEST Guide
                Menoz~, You received three GREAT answers from Mainstreet, Slavarel and Lighthouse.
                This web site is here to help others and part of that package is trust and building relationships.
                The more involved Members are, the more they learn and share.
                I am a SCORE Counselor and like this web site, SCORE counsels people in business(FREE) by volunteers
                to help them suceed. LUCKIEST
                • Re: The line between trust and caution?
                  DomainDiva Ranger
                  I have learned in the technology field that its the HOW that matters...if you only give a person WHAT then you are safe. Ford is not the only automaker, but Ford now has SYNCH from Microsoft, no one else does. GM & Toyota know WHAT Synch is...they just don't have the HOW (code) that make sit work. Big difference.

                  Write a business plan and then from that write an Executive Summary. Go to and get their Exec Summary pointers list...its the best one I have seen.

                  People here have asked questions because they need information from you in order to give you advice that will help you.
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful