I like quotes; quotations… like to quote quotes if that’s even possible and I like to infuse them in my writing where applicable…
Today I want to get something off my chest re: Ideas and I came across this quote from someone named Howard Aiken, who was a computer engineer and mathematician, 1900-1973.
Mr. Aiken said of ideas…
“Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”
I’m not sure when Mr. Aiken said this and in what context but I can assure you from my personal experience, the idea, pun intended, that people will not steal your ideas is ludicrous. I have had more than my share of ideas stolen, plundered, pillaged and absconded…
I fancy myself as a bit of an idea guy myself and I genuinely like and enjoy and take great pleasure in helping people. Be it through writing something for someone or merely brainstorming ideas over a given topic, problem, concern, etc…
I can’t hammer a nail straight but if I can use what I have learned over the years to help someone, I instinctively try and do that.
Now my wife, God love her, tells me all the time, “you’re too nice.” And you know what? She’s right… of course. People have taken advantage of my “niceties” if you will and the time has come for someone to put their foot down… and that foot is me.
I need to start taking the same approach as say a doctor or a mechanic or some other tangible profession… and therein lies the problem. People perceive creativity and all its machinations to be something intangible.
No brick. No mortar. So why should I have to pay for it?
Look, I dont want to come across as a jerk and this is not to say I will not help my friends and family. Of course I will. And I will more than likely help a stranger too, as long as it’s within reason. And I will determine if something is in reason or not.
Would you ever ask a doctor for free operation or a mechanic for a free tune up? Of course not… Well maybe some of you would but you get my point.
Justin Kownacki, whom I have never met but surely would love to, has a link on his website labeled “The $200 Lunch.”
It is phenomenal… I freaking love it.
Here’s how it goes (verbatim):
In response to the question I’m most asked, I now have one simple answer:
“Yes. Over a $200 lunch.”
Here’s How It Works
- You want to pick my brain.
- We meet for a 90-minute lunch* (your treat) and you pay me $200.
- We discuss your business and see where I might be able to help you.
- Lunch ends and we each return to work.
If we agree that there’s an opportunity for us to work together, we’re then free do so.
Or, if we determine that my expertise isn’t particularly beneficial to your situation, we enjoy a pleasant lunch and return to our regularly-scheduled lives, minus 90 minutes and what I’m sure will be some entertaining anecdotes. (I have many.)
Interested? Email me and we can arrange a lunchtime chat.
Plus, I’m a mostly-vegetarian, so your opportunity cost is even lower than it seems…
* NOTE: This offer presumes our lunch is occurring in Baltimore, where I live. While I’m certainly happy to join you for lunch in the city of your choice, travel expenses for such adventures will have to be included. (Also, I can’t swim, so no lunchtime boating, please.)