Financial Success

Shhhh… Don’t Tell Anyone… (How to Nurture an Idea)

Written by: Nick Ortner

Perhaps it’s just because of my “story”…

About how I had this crazy idea to make a documentary film about EFT Tapping, with no filmmaking experience, limited funds (my personal credit cards!) and no initial team…

And yet somehow managed to get the film out into the world, create the Tapping World Summits, and write a NY Times best-selling book… people ask… “HOW???”

“How did you do it?”

Obviously, there were a lot of elements to this journey that just can’t be covered in one blog post (though I do share more of that journey in my book), but I’d like to share one that I found – and continue to find – VITALLY important.

It’s a place where a lot of people struggle, and where, frankly, some amazing ideas find their way into the idea graveyard or garbage can, never seeing the light of day.

It’s a crucial point in time, in the process of creating a grand vision…

It’s… right… in… the… beginning…

The… birth… of… this… fresh… young… tender… idea…

The Birth of an Idea

You know the feeling: Ahh… inspiration! You’re relaxed, you’re taking a bath or a shower, you’re walking in the woods… and it hits you! What if I create this? What if I start this? What if I change this? What if I do this?

It’s an exciting time! Yes! This is it! This is going to be great! This is going to change the world. This is going to change my life. I’m going to do it!

Now… hit “Pause” on that scene, because this is a crucial time in the life of an idea.

You have two choices here:

A. Tell others about it, tell the world about it, and take action

B. Stay silent and take action

What choice would you make here? What choice have you made in the past?

What do you think I’m going to recommend?  Well, the title of this blog post might have given that answer away, “Shhh… don’t tell anyone…” 🙂

How to Nurture an Idea

At this point in the lifecycle of an idea, I highly recommend you stay silent, OR at the very most share it with one or two people who you REALLY, REALLY trust to give you positive feedback (though that can be really hard to find, so the preference is to stay silent!).

Why? Because this little (eventually big!) idea is just a little seedling. Like the young tender plants that my wife Brenna and I plant and nurture indoors for spring planting, we must first get them strong and ready to be in the ground.

They need just the right amount of water, just the right amount of light, just the right amount of air, etc.

So does your IDEA.

Let’s play out the opposite scenario, where you share your idea with someone, especially when it’s young, not fully formed, and tender.

You say, “Hey John! I just had this great idea to do X!” And John says, “Really? Wow, I don’t know about that, sounds like it would be really hard…”

Or even something a little bit more positive like, “That’s a really cool idea, but you have to be aware of this…” Or whatever John says that isn’t 100% positive, nurturing, and uplifting.

THIS is the place where ideas die. THIS is the place where that initial enthusiasm gets squashed and you start questioning yourself. “Maybe John is right…”

What’s crazy about this moment in the life cycle of the idea is that someone could be positive, but even give you a “look” that deflates your enthusiasm, and the idea could still wither.

We are, for better or worse, really influenced by our peers, our parents, our society (and again, you can tap on working to clear that influence!).

When to Share Your Idea

Now, let’s be honest here, the strength of your idea WILL be tested at some point. It’s a given.

I’m not saying, “Never tell anyone about it!” because that’s obviously impossible. When I had the idea to make the film, I had to get buy-in from other people to support the vision. I had to share the idea.

The key is to either:

A. Wait until you’ve thought about it more, started on the project (it’s harder for people to squash something you’ve already started), and moved further down the line.

B. When the idea does get tested, wherever it is in its life cycle, use Tapping to clear out any fear, limiting beliefs, etc. as per above.

When young plantlings are ready for the garden, they will thrive and grow because of the care we’ve taken with them in the beginning.

Treat your ideas with that same tender care, and they will flourish, come to life, and manifest in this world!

It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.” – Aristotle

(My addition to the quote: “So it’s not about having the idea, it’s about nurturing it to grow and spread in the world!)

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!


Have you had a great idea that perhaps you shared a little too soon, and weren’t happy with the reaction of others? Comment below!

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136 Comments on this post

  1. Susan van den Bergh says:

    Thank you Nick, just what I need now, as one of many ideas popped up in my mind yesterday. It is to do with writing and communicating, both of which have my passion and come to me naturally, spontaneously. I enjoyed reading the comments of others, so supportive to realize I’m not alone in my quest to manifest an idea that feels GOOD and I believe has WORTH ! You (and Jessica) are excellent EXAMPLES of how to manifest, etc. So, on my way to nurture the little seedling with LTC, faith, joy and tapping ! Bless you, x Susan

  2. Jennifer says:

    Is there a tapping script for this?

  3. Olga says:

    Yes I struggle to bring my idea through as a migrant and a woman. Particularly it is hard for me to specify the idea in just a couple of words because its scalability could not be explained like that.

  4. Donna says:

    This is very timely as I am nurturing an idea now. I’m struggling to stay psyched up about it and I definitely need to do some tapping.

  5. Judi says:

    Wow I can sooo relate to these comparisons…I did a healing course years ago, came back full of gusto…and ego !!!,can you hear the ballon deflating ??? So now…I have been putting my toe in the water for some time…squishing it around too scared to dive in !!!!! With this article it has made it sooo obvious to me what I need to tap on Yay !!! And that it is soooo OK to nurture the seed that seed which was placed there soo long ago ….Watch this space !!! Many thanks Nick !!!!

  6. Suman says:

    I completely agree! this is very true and I have been practicing the choice B – remain silent and take action. This has helped me to nurture the seed and let it grow and when it is strong enough to withstand the external environment, is when i actually tell my closest friends or relatives about it.

  7. Sharna says:

    ‘Good job, Nick… this is what Earnest Holmes was telling us back in the 1920’s

  8. Suzanne says:

    Hi- Good food for thoughts. I new it is better to keep silence but did not respect that. And you are right, it acts as a defleting balloon. thinking of tapping on this never occurred to me . Have a nice day

  9. doreen says:

    This is very new to me I would probably keep it to myself until I am sure of the outcome

  10. Dalana says:

    This was very confirming to my having this idea niggle at me in the past. I would have the flash: and have it negated in some way by talking about it: and it was negated in various ways that we have all heard: plainly outspoken or subtle: and I allowed that.
    However: There was one big time thing where I decided to design and build my own house. (I didn’t tell anyone in the beginning, for a long time. I got the property, drew the design and nurtured the idea: finally of course I had to tell someone in order to have the plan drafted and I continued to the end. I was in my 30’s, a single unattached woman, with a negative parent, but I did it!

    It was and still is beautiful. This was in the early 70’s. The house is at Whistler BC, and it is still lovely today. Someone else owns it, but it is as beautiful, strong and ‘healthy’ house.

  11. Dianna says:

    This has happen to me over and over again. so glad to finally have some one say this I had always thought that it was say it out loud and it will come to pass. No wonder nothing as succeeded. Will try it your way and let you know.. Enjoying ur tapping audio book.

  12. Klara Fuhren says:

    oh yes, I know how that feels when people try to talk you out, or think that you are a lunatic.
    Or they don’t say a word, which is also an answer, you can read their thinking at that moment.
    This helps to select for the next time.
    For me it took years until I dared to share my dreams and visions.
    Thank you Nick, you give that good example, that things do happen if you stay with it.
    I made the experience, that the thought has to mature first, keeping it for yourself, then it eventually begins to grow and takes form. At this point one can talk to close friends and normally it begins to

  13. Sherry says:

    That really hit home and I think it is wonderful advice now that I reflect on it. It reminds me of why in the courtroom we always told jurors that they couldn’t talk about the evidence to anyone – not anyone – until they were in the jury deliberation room with the only other people who had heard and seen exactly what they had also heard and seen. The reason is that when you share – the person with whom you share almost always feels compelled to comment and sometimes that comment – by someone who has no personal knowledge of what you have seen and heard – will change your mind, or cause you to think differently, or will put a doubt where you had none.
    Soooooo – the next time I have an inspiration I am going to keep it quiet and take action because I can think of several ideas I have talked myself out of after disclosing my idea to “friends” or “family”. They are well intentioned but can do great damage to those seedling ideas. THANK YOU!!

  14. anne mccrone says:

    Yes i agree with your premise, I learned that many years ago from Louise Hay and working with a blueprint. I like the mataphor of the seedlings . Keep up the good work.

  15. Kathryn Cook says:

    Keep your plans secret for now… was in my fortune cookie… it is true because people will too easily become critical. I think that loving your idea in seed form as one would lovingly water a plant will allow it to come to fruition. Naysayers are everywhere. It is not their fault but nevertheless… just make it happen!

  16. Teresa says:

    I completely agree!
    I am keeping it to myself until I am ready to share it with the whole World!
    Thanks for your words…

  17. Sukey says:

    I so love this post. thanks so much for bringing this to light. As a writer I learnt this early on. Never to tell the stories I’m working on to anyone. People rarely see the idea as you envisage it, bringing along their own baggage and interpretation. At the beginning I think we’re vulnerable like that tiny seed of an idea and you’re so so right, that a little word, a look or shrug, even a word of encouragement sometime is enough to make us shrink back and the idea evaporate. Sometimes their encouragement makes me even doubt myself!! and stops the idea – which is another matter altogether. Also with stories it’s best not to tell your ideas, because once you’ve got your idea out there you often lose interest in writing it.

  18. JUDITH PRIMUS says:

    I’ve had a couple of ideas and dreams that I have shared and each time was talked out of or negatively influenced about pursuing these ideas. but I still fully intend to pursue these goals. I just have to get myself financially in position. I have been facing several road blocks and must admit haven’t made any real movement in the direction of these ventures. But look forward to keeping my mouth shut and moving forward even if I’m taking baby steps. I indeed did like the article

  19. patrice says:

    Yes, I agree completely. It’s nice to hear someone else say it though. The opposite advice seems to be the side I most often hear.

  20. Claire says:

    I had the idea of studying reiki, acupressure & eft then 2 start up my own buisness. With all the negative comments ive received ive lost interest in studying. But ive bought the tapping solution n im trying to get back on track. I have my reiki 2nd degree this sunday so fingers crossed x

  21. Jean says:

    Hi Nick, I love the tapping process, I first introduced to it by a friend in Busselton WA. I was suffering from acute anxity boarding depression. Yvonne showed me some tapping and I found myself getting better. I didnt even do it too seriously but i still got relief. When I first saw your tapping on the emails through Mindvally I was so excited, and purched a tapping DVD, which I watched a few times. I have fantastic health just because I do. I lent the dvd to a friend with a bad back Negitive!!! response, then I lent it to my Son who lives 3000 miles away from me and I dont see a lot of him, although he is on the same page as me his wife isnt so I think that is also a NEGITIVE response. I thought Tapping only worked for health issues, but I understand that from what you are saying I can use tapping for everything that you want to be succefull in your life. I have detected that I do have some fears I need to address to be the complete successful person I wish to be. Will tapping work ???? love from Jean in WA

  22. Beverly says:

    I usually shared any ideas I had in the past and I totally agree that often they were put aside because of the comments of others and my insecurity to think I could do it. It is when I did something on my own that I was more willing to go for the idea and try it. That way if I failed no one had to know. I like what you have suggested as a better way. Thank you.

  23. angel says:

    Yes, in the past, always I made the wrong desition,always talking, becouse I always feel next to people, but doing that at the same moment I was doing, people strted to be
    distant from me, and never I could know the answer for my problem,
    But now, I could lern about this important example given in the article, so
    it seems it is easy to do, as planting a nice plant in the pot to care them of it,
    with water an air,
    So, from then now, I Will Do That!!
    Hopefully, YES!!

    Thank you very much

  24. Anna says:

    I generally do that, but I did that intuitively.
    Now with this explanation, I’ll ALWAYS do that.

  25. Sandra Simões says:

    Two weeks ago I tapped on this way… I can see the results now, that’s the pure reality!!! Congratulations Nick, for helping us to open ours eyes and hearts!!!

  26. Eve Fryer says:

    Yes, I totally agree and I don’t ever tell anyone about my visions as they are often too far ahead of what other people could accept as possible. Thank you for your post! Love Eve 🙂

  27. Bette says:

    I have done both. I have shared the idea and gotten all their negative comments on why it will not work but I’ve also kept it a secret and without support of any kind the idea has died within.

  28. Linda says:

    Hi, where in your book is this specific problem dealt with? Thanks!

  29. Cheta Balizer says:

    This has happened to me so many times! I’ve thought, Oh, I want to have a healing retreat center. Then talmed to my Dad, well you’ll have to get your massage therapy license, work for someone else in the busiiness for yeats, save money for years.. Then I stopped. I told a friend, I want to be a minister! Got a wierd look, and I stopped. I told a Psychic, I want to go back to school and get my Master’s in Counseling, then she said, You’re 45, you don’t want to go through that much schooling and work at this poont in your life.. Suddenly I questioned myself, and didn’t take action. I appreciate your thinking and article very much. I always had the feeling it would be good to keep quiet, but that’s not easy when you feel that motivation and excitement about an idea. I’m definately keeping a secret next time inspiration hits until I get in action! Thank you!

  30. Catherine says:

    This major effect (idea shrivelling) was recognised in the 1950s by a group of guys working in the field of product innovation and creativity – too many great potentials were being lost through ideas not being given a proper chance. So they evolved a powerful process called ‘Synectics’ and trained thousands of companies and individuals in it ensuring that any communications, especially in meetings adhered to ‘rules’ which protected and nurtured ideas.
    Since then there have been many spin-offs, called other things and also appearing in education for schools.
    When an idea is proposed the listeners offer 3 things they like about it. Any concerns are voiced as a ‘How To’, and the group/pair then set about following the problem solving Synectics process until all concerns have been addressed and the idea emerges as feasible, whereupon next steps are agreed on and actioned.
    It works well in personal relationships too – avoiding ‘but’ for example is powerful in itself. Following the 3 positives followed by ‘How To’ if there is a concern prevents triggering a ‘Revenge Cycle’.
    There is a great deal more to Synectics than I have offered here, and there are still plenty of Synectics practitioners around if you’re interested to know more. By the way Synectics was born in America although there are people practising it all over the globe.
    Wish Big (as they say in Synectics)

  31. Mila says:

    I agree with the author: gievn out to the world too early, your idea loses its birth energy and is spread among the people who can be very skeptical about it to say the least. Keep to to yourself and let it grow and mature!

  32. joanna says:

    Hello,, I agree about keeping quiet… not only to nurture the seedling of idea. I think it needs a cocooning period much like the period the worm needs to transform into a butterfly. Input is also very good and can get one to consider other angles to a problem or situation. I have taken some lessons on tapping and find it can be used as a tool to reprogram the brain .. IT all starts with a thought afterall.

    ANyhow, the other side of keeping quiet on a great idea unfortunately is because some people might be apt to steal it and act on it before you do.


  33. Gladys Dufua says:

    Thank you Nick,am so greatfull to follow up with you,have learned a lot from you,the tapping solution,opened my mind to so many things,my ideas that have be begotten for a long time, how people kill my dreams and since then i refuse to tell people about what i do,reading from you alway made me,revisit my dreams things i wanted to do long time,am now putten them in order,thanks

  34. Hamid Hafith says:

    It’s time to some of my Dream come true.

  35. Laleh says:

    Dear Nick,

    I loved the article and I think you are exactly right.

  36. Sastro Ndilat Mejo says:

    Ya EFT is worldwide very easy and simple, a combination of NLP, hypnosis, LOA was severe extraordinary … mantap Bro

  37. Harold says:

    It is said that SILENCE is GOLDEN…. Nick you are so right on with this information.

    Thank you for being you.

    Your timing is perfect for this message to be sent to me.



  38. Les says:

    Wow I do this instinctively, even at work, as there are many who always have the negative effect on your ideas but then later use them for themselves and then claim the kudos
    But seeking out someone for some postitive assistance is a great idea that you should always use

  39. DebJ says:

    It’s extremely challenging to birth an idea when your spouse is your main naysayer. My husband actively discourages any talk of me starting a business. Can’t keep anything from my partner for life (19 yrs & counting.)

  40. Gracie says:

    (Use this one please – the earlier one had a typing error):
    I’ve had the experience of others stealing the idea and using it in something so similar it defies belief that they don’t think they’re stealing someone else’s idea.
    I’ve had the experience also of telling a friend my marketing idea and of it being eroded out of me as they continually pressure me that I should be pursuing it in a particular way and discredit me and the idea if I pursue in my own way in my own timing.
    I’ve had the experience of sharing my plans and then having those plans gossiped throughout an organisation in a twisted way to create suspicion and mockery of me.
    I’ve shared a brand concept with my superiors and had it poo-hoo’d when clients have told me they’d love it and it’s exactly what they need.
    And finally I’ve shared another brand idea and been told I should be blogging about it and getting it out there (despite its underdevelopment), and that confused me.

  41. Kandi says:

    I have just completed your book Nick. Right to the very last word. I want to train to be a teacher of tapping and I take your advice to remain silent until I have got underway. I can so easily be directed off my chosen path by my family and their agenda. I love the book and am about to read it all again and I am working on passed issues that need clearing before I can get REALLY moving.
    Thank you for being you, I am so glad you found me.

  42. Patti says:

    I am an LPN and work for a non profit
    organization in Brewster NY. I have
    been making paper jewelry
    for about three years now in my free time.
    I have also been tapping for about 6 months.
    The organization was having their yearly
    Gala in May which is a big fund raiser. I was so
    excited and the people I worked with
    seemed to be happy for me too.
    They have a silent auction. I
    entered a paper bead necklace that
    was made from 3 different calendars
    that is entirely made up of our farm
    animals. It came out gorgeous.

    I was so proud of it. The people that
    I worked with were amazed that it was
    made of paper. It was being held at the
    New York Botanical Gardens.
    The energy that I felt was so positive
    and strong. I was tapping and smiling
    every chance I got. The founder of
    our organization was thankful for the
    donation… and he was also amazed.
    I was tapping every chance I got.There
    a strong feeling that someone would
    see my necklace who was influential
    and then I would change careers….
    (been doing nursing for 37 years)
    making paper jewelry and continuing
    to learn new techniques. I would become
    rich and get involved with Best Friends
    Sanctuary in Utah. I love what they
    do for animals. When I sell a piece
    of jewelry I donate a $1.00 to them.
    Anyway… It sold for only $65.00 and
    was bought by one of our employees.
    I am a bit disappointed. Maybe I should
    have only told a few people like you
    suggested or maybe my expectations
    we’re too high. I am still tapping for
    everything and anything. Still making
    jewelry. I believe in what you and
    Jessica do. Maybe next time in a
    different place and time. I am
    always trying to pick up new info
    from you guys. Thank you for taking
    the time to listen to my story.
    Patti 🙂

  43. Kym Kennedy says:

    I too agree ” shhhhh” in the past I would allow alot of my new enthusiams dissapate by sharing my idea and thrying to explain and justify an idea that maybe wasnt quite fully formed.
    I have come to know it is far more effective to keep to myself.
    I have 2 such projects currently, the great blessing now is I have added Tapping to my resources.
    I am greateful for you sharing this and affirming the reasons to Shhhh.

  44. Anne says:

    Yes, I have found that keeping idea’s to myself until both myself and the idea are stronger to face the world works for me.

  45. Abby says:


    It is quite frequent that through the many e-mails I sort through, it is always yours that leave me w/ another full sense of inspiration. Your sister & you both have helped me so much through my difficult journey in my recovery. I was in a near fatal car accident just 3 & 1/2 years ago. My Dr.s often mention that I should seriously think of writing a book. It’s through the different phases I’ve experienced while tapping that it often pops back up, but I always just leave it. It’s like stuck stagnant energy that doesn’t know where to move. My recovery has been miraculous yet, I still struggle w/ the issues of moving on & pushing through. I don’t feel confident in writing anyway & I’m only 28. So, what’s your advice as to, when does one know where to start? How do you know really when the pendulum has stopped? How can you tap to push it one way or the other, or do you tap until it’s just cleared and be okay w/ doing nothing? Everyone has a story, why & when would I know that mines so great…what to do?. It would surprise me if you really ever read this, yet, I guess life is full of surprises? Anyway, EFT has been AMAZING! Thank you anyway for everything & those frequent doses of inspiration!!! Abby 🙂

  46. Joyce says:

    I wish I had gotten your advice sooner. Hearing people’s comments regarding my project makes the process harder that it needs to be. Any suggestions on how to get out of this dilemma? THANKS for all you do!!!

  47. Barrie says:

    When I was thinking of moving to New York City…two camps those with you’re crazzy and those with go for it. The crazzy ones I learned to classify in the negative camp and looking back that’s how they viewed life.

  48. Shirley Trostle says:

    I think the energy in the idea dissipates or loses strength when it hits air, even if the listener is supportive. Delay also is weakening. The major strength is in the moment it bursts into your consciousness. Acting on it is key, especially in the Arts.

  49. Shirley Trostle says:

    I think the energy in the idea dissipates or loses strength when it hits sir, even if the listener is supportive. Delay also is weakening. The major strength is in the moment it bursts into your consciousness. Acting on it is key, especially in the Arts.

  50. Kenton says:

    This is sooooo true!
    Ironically, (well not really if you read enough HAYHOUSE!) I’ve discovered that it is often best friends and family who do this to you as well. Now, this seems overwhelmingly sad and discouraging, however, I’ve discovered a positive way to spin that idea.
    We are ALL filled with greatness and great ideas, but some of us are more ‘in tune’ with it than others. And others know this.
    When we come up with that great idea, the people around us, often the ones who love us the most, get very worried. It brings up their own insecurities. They think,’Why can’t I have the courage or creative instincts.” They become jealous and jealousy manifests itself in sabotoshing someone’s potential success.
    Another reason? Their fear of losing you. They have this strange idea that if you become a famous actor, or musician, or start a successful business and make a lot of money, etc., you will forget about them, leave them or not love them anymore.
    For myself, just ‘acknowledging’ that these are the real reasons, rather than thinking, “Why does this always happen to me? Why are people so mean to me? ” allows me to rise above the criticism.
    Also, having compassion for them and the situation and letting go of the resentment keeps me free and creative! You can even include them by saying things like, “I’m so excited! I can’t wait! WE are going to have so much fun! I can’t wait to SHARE all this success, money and happiness with YOU! After all, the absolute best thing about money and success is sharing it with the ones you love!

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