GOLLUM Syndrome: My Idea, My Treasure

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Gollum syndrome in entrepreneurs

Gollum syndrome refers to an obsessive and possessive behaviour about your business, similar to the character Gollum from Lord of the Rings, who was obsessed with his ring. In the world of entrepreneurship, Gollum syndrome can lead entrepreneurs to devote all their time and energy to their business, neglecting other aspects of their life and interpersonal relationships. Entrepreneurs suffering from Gollum syndrome often isolate themselves, become distrustful and jealous of their team and partners, and can become extremely competitive. They may also find it difficult to delegate tasks and rely on others to handle certain areas of their business.

To avoid the Gollum syndrome, it is important that entrepreneurs take the time to nurture their emotional well-being, set healthy boundaries and foster meaningful interpersonal relationships. Also it is important to learn to delegate tasks and trust your team, to avoid burnout and unnecessary stress. In short, Gollum syndrome can be detrimental to the mental health and long-term success of entrepreneurs, and it is important to take steps to prevent it.

In general, theGollum syndrome is a term used to describe obsessive and possessive behaviour in relation to material objects, similar to J.R.R. Tolkien's fictional character Gollum, who was obsessed with his ring. People suffering from Gollum syndrome may develop a strong emotional and possessive connection to an object, and may feel anxiety or distress if it is taken away. Gollum syndrome is not an officially recognised medical disorder, but may be related to obsessive-compulsive disorders or other mental health problems.

Some entrepreneurs they have a business idea and don't explain it to anyone for fear of being stolen. Whether consciously or unconsciously, this attitude has serious consequences for the development of the entrepreneur's business idea.

And who is Gollum?

Well, one of the most popular (and disgusting) characters in the saga of "The Lord of the Rings". This little character was obsessed with getting hold of the ring, which he called 'my treasure'. We live dominated by ideas. We are desperately looking for that great idea that will allow us to finally launch our own business. We tirelessly evaluate hundreds of ideas, but none of them is good enough, none of them produces that "Eureka! gradually we despair and discard the idea of setting up our own business. Or maybe we got lucky, and came up with that great idea that will change the world. We treasure it, guarding it like a precious jewel. We whisper it in the ears of people we absolutely trust after making them swear not to reveal it on pain of high treason, hoping for their admiration. And if any upstart dares to point out the slightest flaw, we dismiss their comments with a wave of the hand (another of the syndromes typical of those in love with their idea). After all, it is the fruit of our prodigious imagination. "My tessssoro...." as Gollum would say.

But unfortunately, ideas per se are worthless. They are only the fruit of a happy coincidence, of the union of creativity and ingenuity. Nothing less. And nothing more. The problem is that nobody is going to buy your ideas. People buy finished products, not great ideas. And the investors and others funders never put their money in ideas, let alone on a napkin. They put it in ongoing projects. That means you're going to have to bring your idea out into the open. To confront it with the unpleasant reality... something that terrifies us. What if the world is unable to appreciate its genius and all the intricate nuances it entails? Well, I have some bad news. Chances are that the way you have devised it, he will not value it.

Because Few ideas survive contact with the real world, and none become tangible without undergoing profound transformations. This wonderful idea of yours was conceived using your own value scheme as a reference. Your own needs and problems. And unfortunately not everyone is like you. In fact, most probably very few people are... which means that you will have to adapt your idea to THEIR needs (adapting their needs to YOUR idea doesn't work).

Don't believe me?

Imagine 2 coffee shops. One next to the other. They serve the same coffee... and yet one is empty and the other is full. The same idea executed in 2 different ways. The key is therefore not to have ideas. Everyone can have them. The important thing is to implement them, to bring them into the real world, and if possible as soon as possible. Because the sooner you turn your idea into reality and put it in front of customers, the sooner you will find out if you are on the right track or what others really value about it.


Oh, and nobody is going to steal your idea. And if they do, don't worry. The same idea executed in different ways yields different results. It's not your idea that will make you rich. It's how you're going to execute your idea. And you've been thinking about his future for a long time - probably too long, in fact. So forget that absurd zeal for your ideas. Share them. Tell as many people as you can. Listen with interest and healthy scepticism to their views. Their experiences. Hybridise them with the ideas of others. Talk to your potential customers about your idea. And evolve it. But above all, take it to market. And soon. Because an idea that is not executed is an exercise in futility. And there is nothing sadder than wasting your time on something that will teach you nothing.


Generally, Gollum syndrome is common among "inexperienced" entrepreneurs, with one of their first projects (or the first) and it is a mistake that usually ends badly. These are entrepreneurs who do not want to reveal any information about their business idea... "It's mine, my precious! The consequences for the development of their project can be fatal:


If you suffer from Gollum syndrome, the main problem you will encounter is that, if you don't share your idea, you will never know where you might be failing or where you can improve, and... What better way than to share your idea with experts in the field? Besides, the customer is the boss in any business, so if your idea is not in communication with the market, it is difficult to find the right key. And, obviously, your idea will have shortcomings or important details to improve, that's for sure.


Entrepreneur Gollum is in love with his idea, it is his treasure and he doesn't care about anything else. Therefore, the second problem you may encounter is that, once you take the plunge and explain your idea to people who can help youYou don't really like the fact that they are proposing changes to you now that you have practically set up your own beach bar. Normally, some entrepreneurs with this syndrome do not like change. Nevertheless, it is important to listen to experts (or not so expert) that can bring improvements to your business idea.

The more you share your idea, the more likely you are to succeed.

Ideas can be copied but the entrepreneurial attitude to execute them cannot be copied.



Now that you have learned about Gollum Syndrome, you should be able to answer this question:

  • Who would you tell about your business idea? Make a list starting with those who can bring you the most value.




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