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I wasn’t sure whether to share this post or not, it might get copied, tee hee! OK, so I’ll be serious. One of the things that pushes my buttons is when people copy me in my business. I work super hard to come up with new and creative ideas to make my offerings more fun and relevant to service-based business owners, and copying isn’t what I’m about.

I don’t like taking credit for anything that isn’t mine, and go over the top not to copy. It smacks my authenticity value FULL.ON.18

Did you know I pulled a complete programme because I realised someone was doing something very similar, despite me not having read a single word about theirs before I’d created it? True story. It just wouldn’t have been right for me. We think in a very similar way, so I had to completely come away from her circles so that I now know, hand on heart, that I am not copying anything that she has on offer.

So copying… Now, I work with my clients on mindset and you don’t need me to tell you that logically it can be taken as a compliment, it shows that you’re being successful and others are inspired by you and want to emulate what you’re doing. Yada, yada, yada, but that doesn’t stop the feelings of meh, does it? Yes, we know the logical side of all of the reframing, but what if that just isn’t enough?

I get copied quite a lot now in my business, as do some of my business friends. Now I think a big part of the problem is that we are constantly bombarded with information in this information age and as such any ideas we come up with might not even come from us, they are often a great big puddle of stuff that then comes out from blog posts, books we read, conversations we have, social media and more. We might think we’re having a eureka moment when actually it wasn’t even our breakthrough, it was someone else’s.

I think there are people out there that blatantly copy you, maybe they are being inspired to use an element of what you do (I’m ok with that) and then there are some that just do full on copying, repurposing what you do as their own. That’s just plain mean and uncreative.1 (1)

There are people that love what you do and want to create the same or similar in their own businesses, especially if they consider you successful, but there might be those out there that don’t even realise they are doing it. They might be going about their own business and think that ideas have been generated from them when actually it’s a combo of ideas from everywhere.

Marianne Cantwell, who wrote Free Range Human, says that when someone copies you it will only be a 2d version of your stuff anyway. Good point. People do buy from people they know, like and trust so they might be using your material / ideas but they just aren’t you, no matter how hard they try.

Just because someone puts something out there that’s similar to you doesn’t mean that they will steal all of your clients. That’s the bigger thing here really, isn’t it? The fear – that we will lose our own clients to someone else. Well if that’s the case they aren’t our ideal clients, are they? I take the view that there is no competition in this world, everyone has the right ideal client for them, and they will attract them at the right time. It removes all of that fear. Maybe they will go over to that other person because that other person is the right fit for them and that’s OK.

But what if this copying scenario stops you from being visible in your business? You’re worried that if you put something out there you will be copied. It could potentially cost you new business.

I know for me, when it happens, it can bring up lots of emotion at the time such as annoyance (like ‘Really, they’re copying me again’) to not wanting to share at all, but that’s just my little child throwing a tantrum. Once I’ve taken a moment to get over my nonsense I spend time reflecting on it, with curiosity as to why it triggers me – what’s really going on? I sleep on it (and check in with a friend). It saves me hitting the equivalent of a Ben and Jerry’s tub of ice-cream (in my case Deliciously Ella’s quinoa chocolate crispies)

Whatever the reason for copying you is, it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t serve you to hold onto it. Here’s a few strategies I’ve tested, and still test, that work for me.

  1. Unfollow everything they do. If you are being triggered by them, why keep reading their stuff? You choose to stay on their mailing list, you choose to follow them on social media platforms, you choose to read their latest posts, their website, etc. You can also choose to unfollow all of that. If you don’t see it, then it won’t trigger you in the same way.
  1. If you’re brave enough, and I have done this a couple of times in the past, call the person out on it. You don’t have to do it in an unkind way. Often the person is as shocked as you were when you first read about something they’d copied of yours (it goes back to that big puddle of information they are absorbing again.)
  1. Work on your own mindset. Question what’s really going on. If it keeps showing up then you’ve got something to work on honey. That’s how this whole thing goes. So what are you doing to do about it?
  1. Don’t hide away, go bigger and better with your stuff, keep coming up with lots more fabulous ideas. Use it as a trigger for you to raise your game and be more visible. Remember, there’s only one of you. Go out there and share your fabulousness with the world.

 Your call to action this week: Notice where you might be triggered by someone, and work out what it really means for you. What can you put into place to take the sting out of it?

 I’d love to hear about your strategies for when someone copies your work. What do you do?



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