A few months ago, I was talking to a friend of mine about an idea for a book I had. The concept for this book had been swirling around in my head for over a month, gaining clarity every day. I felt good about it, and I felt like I had explored it pretty deeply.

When I told him about it, he told me he had written about a similar idea before and wanted to share some insights that might help me out.

He went on to send me 6 articles and blog posts that he had written, all exploring the very idea I had considered my own.

The first reaction was discouragement, because the idea that I had taken ownership of seemed to have already been explored by someone else. It lost its value because it wasn’t unique to me. Questions popped up in my mind that I hadn’t thought of before.

Is it worth sharing this if someone else has already understood and shared this topic? Will my work be irrelevant since it’s already been done? Is there a point in sharing it?

These questions lead me to an important realization:

People don’t own ideas.

Any idea you’ve thought of has probably been thought of by another human at some point in time. We’re all humans. We share a lot of the same struggles, so naturally we share a lot of the same thoughts.

Ideas float around. They are available to everyone with a brain. It’s easy to think of a good idea. It doesn’t cost anything to think of a good idea. So why are some people better than others, if all the same ideas are available to everyone? What separates people?

Action. People own execution.

50 people can have the same brilliant business idea, but the one who executes it is the one who owns it. Nobody can execute an idea in the same way you can. Each human, even with the same idea, will bring the idea into reality in their own unique way.

People don’t own ideas. People own execution.