Yesterday I was having lunch with a fellow business person. We were talking about our businesses and the troubles we were having with boards and particular shareholders.
It was a free and frank conversation – one of those great “get things off your chest lunches”.
But I found myself starting to get uncomfortable.
We’d started talking about the finances of her businesses. Ol Taskmaster was trying to keep things vague, but suddenly she started getting very specific, firstly in terms of revenue (10% growth in this area to $X million) and then in terms of profit (a 6% profit margin and $X million).
I suddenly realised that I had a lot of information about her business that could be potentially be used against her with a customer, a supplier or some other stakeholder.
This article first appeared on July 29th, 2011.
I am always happy to talk about the generalities of a business and offer advice on this basis, but I do get a little nervous when talking about specific financial details – even my closest friends.
In some cases I am prepared to get into the nitty gritty, in others I will be more guarded.
Entrepreneurs need to think about their limits. What will you tell and what won’t you share?
Remember, mentors are great but watching information leak out of your business – even by mistake – can be an issue.
Get it done – today!