Money first or idea first? | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

For years, there has been the ongoing discussion on whether to have money first or to get an idea first. When some aspiring entrepreneurs are asked questions about what they will do with money, they may respond by saying ‘let the money come first.’ While this looks like something very simple, it is an indicator for something more serious.

Many young people or aspiring entrepreneurs will say they want to meet some big business owners or very successful business men. Ask them what they will say in front of those business tycoons when they meet, they will not know what to say.

To succeed in business, you should never forget the fact that great men discuss ideas. When you want to get the attention of a rich or great man, discuss ideas. When you do, you will become friends. When you discuss money, you will be one of the many beggars coming around to ask for money – and you may never get to see that business tycoon again.

When you are asking the money to come first, you are simply saying you don’t have plans for the money but when the money comes, everyone, including a toddler, knows what to do with money. That will also reveal that your mindset about money is the spending mentality. You are one of those believing that money is to be spent.

If anyone will grow and build a successful business, the ideas always come first. They crystalize the idea, put it in writing, review it and be sure that they can discuss it any time when they meet people who may be willing to help. Serious aspiring entrepreneurs will also do some research regarding the business they are about to get into to be sure they know what they are going into.

Armed with the right information, they will be able to speak convincingly about their ideas and an investor can see that this person is ready for business. Anyone who talks about putting the idea first certainly knows what he or she is doing.

On the other hand, when you see people who say let the money come first then I’ll know what to do are people who clearly have no plans. It is also not likely that they will make any plan when the money comes. If they ever try to make any plan when the money comes, the plans will be made hurriedly and the money blown hurriedly. A few people will be close to spending all the money before they remember they can even do something meaningful with the money.

Truth be told, if you have no plan it is not likely you will get any money. Nobody pays just because you look good and can speak fluently or wear nice dresses. You must have something brewing in your mind before anyone can talk about giving money to you. You get money in exchange for something. It can be an idea, a product or a service already rendered.

It is important to bear in mind the fact that when you are able to present ideas and even start working on them before asking for money, it shows the investors that you have the capacity to multiply money. People don’t want their money to go down the drain. Even when they can easily do away with the amount you are requesting, they have worked hard for it and need to be sure you will value what you have gotten. 

Ironically, those who discuss ideas get the money first and those who discuss money may never get it. Always bear this in mind and change your strategy if you have always discussed money ahead of ideas.

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