If you are lucky, someone is copying you right this minute. It’s lucky because it means what you are doing is different, at least for the moment. It also means you have an urgency to get your offering to market first, to brand excellently, to have integrity, and to keep your focus as you bring it to launch.
If you pause for a moment to reflect, you’ll probably find that most of your best ideas have been copied at some point. The truth is, you probably have copied someone too, but don’t worry about that. It’s what we are taught to do from birth onwards. Surely, you were not the first to call a parent ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad.’
Imitating is part of how we learn, so it’s fine. Copying a product or service, however, is what happens when people have more ambition than integrity, and more wherewithal than originality.
In business, copying is a two-sided equation, for when you are copied, it’s up to you to determine how much of your focus will be lost to your anger. The more you concentrate on being distracted by your anger, or simply by the presence of competition, the more your adversary wins. Conversely, if you keep your focus on what truly matters, chances are you will win.
If you enjoy stoking fires:
If you’re friendly with your competition who is copying you, send them a cheap copy machine, gift wrapped, to alert them that you know what they are doing. Then retrain your focus exclusively on your own efforts, and do not worry one iota about their imitation. Feel flattered if you are so inclined.
Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.
Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.