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Why you shouldn’t share your brilliant ideas with your family and friends

Aug 31, 2020

When I was a kid my dad had a saying that he used to share with me whenever I complained about someone saying something that I didn’t like. He’d say: “Bubbles (my nickname), opinions are like arseholes…everyone has one“.

And how true that is. EVERYONE has an opinion and they are just that, opinions. They are not always going to be the same as yours and they are not always going to be encouraging of your seemingly brilliant ideas.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had clients come to me with new ideas that they are excited to get off the ground only to come back to me feeling deflated because they’ve shared their idea with all of their family and friends and some of those people have been less than encouraging.


Your mum or your aunt may not be as encouraging as you hoped about your new business idea. Why? Because they are probably not your target audience and most likely your idea does not fit into the narrow window of their own belief system.

In Psychology there is a term known as the “False consensus effect” or “Consensus Bias”. This theory basically infers that people see their own behavioural and social choices as the “right and common choice” based on their own set of circumstances and therefore assume that their believe system is widespread.

I’ll give you an example of this. Last year my partner (who travels a lot through Asia for work) came up with an idea around face masks and making them novel. He wanted to create really cool face masks based on characters out of movies (think Tom Hardy in Batman). He’s a busy guy and obviously didn’t invest the time to do this, but if he had I reckon he’d be doing alright just about now in the middle of a pandemic. I dismissed his idea because I didn’t understand how people would buy something so silly and I could not see myself buying one therefore I assumed no one would buy one. Only just the other day I saw someone walking out of the supermarket wearing a Darth Vader mask…..

So this is a reminder:

Do share your ideas but find like-minded people to share them with.

Don’t take rejection from friends and family as meaning that your idea is shit, they are just not your target audience.

Do follow your ideas because your they are what make you stand out from the rest and that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. Exploring new ideas.

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