|Picture by Anne-Marie Sanderson|
I am feeling so annoyed having read one of my friend's posts on Facebook where she tells us that whole chunks of her website copy and ideas have been stolen and placed on someone else's website and business literature.
It's made me think about all the times that Gunter and I have suffered from this same copycat syndrome. It doesn't stop there, they will go after your client base too. We even had a business that tried to steal our name and our logo, let alone the ideas!
The gratifying factor is that they copy the things they see but they will never know the true secret to your success that they try to emulate, that's not to say that copying doesn't undermine your business and take the bread out of your mouths but it does mean their days are numbered, their longevity is questionable and their ethical sensibilities are none, even if they insist their business is ethical.
When someone copies you, the usual response from well-meaning friends is that you can choose to see it as flattering, however if someone steals your car, no one says that is flattering. I prefer to look at it this way, the threat to your business is a challenge for you, a challenge for you to focus on the positive and not the negative. Choose to concentrate on your business and all the good things you do and choose to ignore the other business, do not support it, or help to promote it. The one thing that I have noticed is that people that copy are intrinsically negative thinkers and struggle to realise their own brilliance, when they realise their own brilliance, they won't have to rely on yours and in that lies their weakness, if they take on you and try to compete against you, with your own ideas, not their ideas, then how will they ever win that battle? They can't! Their days are numbered because once you cut them from your circle and you are not so generous with your time and your ideas, they will have to stop copying you.
It is a long, slow and painful lesson for them to learn but copying just does NOT WORK. It is a simple equation a business that copies = FAILURE. That business will not last long because copying someone else means that faced with their own challenges in business, they will not have the resources, the though processes, or the experience of how to deal with challenges, they only know how to copy.
So, to anyone, especially my friend, who feels copied in business and stolen from, please take comfort in this, as long as you focus on your business and your positives, you will succeed no matter what, unfortunately I cannot say the same for business owners that copy. They say jealousy is the sincerest form of flattery, that's what they say about copying too......but copying only cheats everyone involved, the business owners and the public.
The one that copies will almost always be a friend, a friend who asks your advice and then takes your secrets for themselves, they'll treat you kindly and then take from you, rather like a conman....'He always seemed so nice', people say after their life savings have been taken, think about it, he wouldn't have been able to take your life savings if he seemed nasty, would he! Yes, it will feel painful cutting them out at first because you're a human with a conscience.
Having been in this situation many times over the past 7 years in Enfield and in Shepton Mallet. I know the way forward for you is to know your positives and concentrate on them.
It is hard to focus on the positive but keep going and blank that business out from your radar. Focus on your goals and your aims and what you are doing.