Someone, somewhere, is going to steal your business idea, so don’t sit on it.

A reader asked via #askDane on Twitter:

Hi Dane. I sell [some stuff]. I’ve been thinking about writing an ebook describing exactly what I’m doing and selling it to people who might want to start a similar business (just like you’re doing with your fodder book). What do you think, will I make more money (my current profits + book sales) or less (my current profits – some number) if I give away all my secrets?

This might sound counter-intuitive, but it is realistic to think that you can sell an ebook describing exactly what you do and not worry about competing with any of your readers.

The internet is a big place. The world is even bigger. The chance that you’re going to run into one of your readers, and compete with them directly for sales is pretty low.

Here’s another way of looking at it: Imagine, if you will, that I sell cupcakes liners. I’m a successful cupcake liner salesman, but there’s only so many people who buy cupcake liners. Then I figure out that there are people in the world that will pay me to know how to sell cupcake liners. I’d be crazy not to write an book and sell it to them. I could charge them a fortune, compared to what I’m charging for cupcake liners and offer them consulting and other services on the side, and I wouldn’t worry about the competition. Why not? Because ideas are practically worthless by themselves.

Someone, somewhere, is going to steal your business idea. It might be Google, it might a company across the street, or it might be your business partner. But, what they can’t steal is you, and you’re what makes your business special. Not some worthless-by-itself idea.