The Pain Of Getting Copied

by | Mar 4, 2014 | Blogs, Mindset | 16 comments

One day a little while ago, something happened that I think will resonate with you.

I nearly let something distract me and take my eye off the ball.

Which would have been a real shame because I’m usually so focused and clear on what I want to achieve.

But it’s understandable because it felt very close to home and it really got my hackles up.

Just for a little while, until I remembered that it’s not a problem.

So I wanted to share my experience with you.

My experience of being copied.

I truly believe that if someone else is copying your work, your words, your products, you shouldn’t let it get to you.

You work is infused with YOU. It has YOUR passion, your enthusiasm, YOUR love for it all the way through it, like a stick of rock.

With my Girls Mean Business brand, Awesome Marketing Planner, Brilliant Business Academy and my lovely programmes that I’ve written, they are 100% created by me.

If you cut them in half, they would have Claire Mitchell stamped through the middle.

They have my personality all over them. My sense of humour, my experiences, my way of teaching, my passion for my subject.

Even if someone else took the exact same topic, their products and programmes wouldn’t be the same because they don’t have the secret ingredient – ME.

But then this week I got a bit of shock.

I realised that someone in my network is copying what I do.

  • They are using the words I use.
  • The type of images I use.
  • The exact same format and set up in their business that I’ve developed.
  • They are taking my ideas and changing them just enough to get away with it.

Now with my clients and mentees, I encourage them to take what I teach them, make it their own and pass on the baton. What I teach isn’t new, but the way I teach it is unique to me. I have made it mine. But this was different. This was grubby.

And not just that, they are taking Facebook posts and quotes, ideas and concepts from other ladies within my community and copying them too.

It has a bad taste about it.

So I really had to practise what I preach. It made me put myself into the shoes of every woman who has ever had her work copied and who has come into the community, or onto the Facebook page distraught because someone has stolen their hard work.

And it hurt.

But then I took my own medicine.

I remembered that no matter how much of my work someone takes and passes off as their own, it will never have my stamp. It will never have my enthusiasm behind it, my passion or my energy. It will never have my stories and anecdotes, it will never have my experience behind it.

And without all of that. Without that passion and love, that experience, those stories, that odd Yorkshire/Durham accent, without my daft giggles when I tell a funny story and without Claire Mitchell stamped all the way through the middle….

  • it’s just words
  • it’s just pictures
  • it’s just a dry imitation of my stuff

And do you know what? It will not work for this lady in the same way it’s worked for me.

It can’t. It doesn’t have the secret ingredient.

Until she changes it and makes it hers. Until she puts some effort and originality into it, some personality, some skin in the game – until she does that it’s just empty words and pictures and it won’t resonate with a single soul.

And it got me thinking about you.

About when someone copies your work and how YOU might deal with it.

And my advice is to get over the hurt and the shock as soon as you can, because it’s distracting.

My advice is to take a step back and realise that the person who is copying your hard work is missing a crucial secret ingredient – YOU.

And without YOU, their stuff is just an empty copy, devoid of soul.

It won’t bring them the joy it brought you; it won’t bring them success because it’s coming from the wrong place, energetically.

So rest easy – let it go. Let them try. Send a warning shot across their bows if you like. Get your stuff trademarked if it makes you feel better.

But DON’T let it distract you for long. Draw a line.

Because all the time you are worrying and fretting and upsetting yourself about them, you are not putting your amazing energy into your amazing business.

And that’s when they win – when you take your eye off the ball and let your business slide into submission.

Instead focus on YOUR business. Be MORE awesome. Create MORE wonderful work. Immerse yourself in the work you love and don’t get distracted.

And forgive the person who is copying you because they have taken the hard path without realising it – let them go.

Facebook Comments

16 Comments

  1. Christine

    I once rang a lady who appeared to have copied a friend’s website, word-for-word and picture by picture. She apologised, took it down immediately and it’s never reappeared again! I guess we were flattered, but I just wanted to let her know that it hadn’t gone un-noticed!

    Reply
  2. Joanna Pritchard

    What a strong message.

    I can’t believe some people but Judy is right, be flattered but move on and be YOU!

    Only YOU sell what YOU sell and that makes you unique, just like me… and all of us ladies too!

    Reply
  3. Jo Cruise

    Hi Claire,
    something in this post really resonates with me-not that I know of anything of mine being copied. But because I really love & live to write. Words to me are like musical notes, stories, articles, website or newsletter content all a melody of my heart & soul.
    I could imagine my heart would be hurt if someone else was playing my melody! We only began our business venture a year ago-we painstakingly & on our own (myself & daughter) got our business successfully trademarked. This is important for our brand Holistic Angels, because we truly are passionate about our business.
    Writing is a soulful, sometimes soul searching, gut wrenching process. Sometimes I feel the words are divinely inspired, but each creation has our unique essence. Our life force embedded in our story. Let’s encourage others to also search their soul’s to find their unique voice, as we all have gifts to share.
    Angelic blessings Jo ♥ http://www.loveholisticangels.co.uk

    Reply
  4. Judith

    This is such a well made and poignant point. I have just launched something quite unique (I think), certainly not copied or seen elsewhere and I am a bit worried about someone copying it before I have it fully formed and as big as I’d like. Thank you Claire for this reasoned approach – you are totally unique and the way to success for all of us is to be completely real and authentic, not a copy! Keep it coming, Judith

    Reply
  5. Steph Savill

    This rang a bell with me too. You know you shouldn’t pay copycats the compliment of being at all bothered. But they can rock your uniqueness in the eyes of others and that’s where it matters most. I depend on and encourage good businesses to spread the message that there’s a female friendly choice in the UK motor industry but when the wrong businesses decide to self appoint themselves as such (and they aren’t up to muster) it’s time to take a stand. Horses for courses I know (each to their own etc) but in my opinion there are times when you need to assert your position… in the nicest possible fashion. That’s part of my uniqueness – not always my best side but push me too far and the gloves come off!

    Reply
  6. Angela Andrew

    “And forgive the person who is copying you because they have taken the hard path without realising it – let them go.”

    So true. Thank you very much for reminding me of that fact.

    Angela

    Reply
  7. Jacqueline

    This resonates with me too Claire I feel your pain I wrote a post for my Facebook page and a ‘colleague’ copied it word for word and posted it on LinkedIn and added her website address, I was so annoyed I confronted her and maybe was too strong said it was plagiarism which it is! She tried to defend herself by saying that we all share things as we are in network marketing and we use the information shared by the top distributors! To which I replied yes but they give permission and we pay for it!

    She did back down though and I think she was embarrassed,it is upsetting though when you’ve put all your hard work in to something which is your passion and someone comes along and takes it. Your business is special Claire and I love it by the way.

    Reply
  8. Eva

    A very dear friend of mine and mentee forwarded me this article as I have been battling a copycat demon for almost two years now. You have, in just the two minutes it took to read this, given me a new freedom of mind and lighter shoulders with the happiness to let it go. What you’ve said is so unbelievably profound. I wish I could thank you in person with a huge hug! Thank you for articulating things so well and allowing me to see “the light” in a situation that has been distracting me for too long xoxo

    Reply
    • Claire Mitchell

      Hi Eva, I’m glad it helped, I’ll accept a remote hug 🙂 As soon as you let this go and start focusing all your energy on your business rather than being distracted by theirs, magic will start to happen. A little tip – just cut all ties, unlike their FB page, stop sneaking a peek to see what they’re up to – it will just wind you up. You have to forget they even exist and just focus on being brilliantly YOU. Love, Claire xx

      Reply
  9. Lynsey

    Hi Claire, I’ve just discovered your website and have been browsing your posts. All of them have resonated with me but this one so much I just had to comment. This week someone in my network posted a link to their new article as a guest blogger on one of the big blogs. A really big blog. We all congratulated her then I went off to read it and was stunned to discover it sounded familiar. Remarkably like the free eBook on my website which I know she downloaded a couple of weeks ago. An eBook which is completely my own creation. I was miffed to say the least but I’ve sat on it for a few days and realised that firstly my number one value is integrity. Its obviously not hers which is her problem not mine. Secondly we do take as lot of info into our subconscious so maybe she doesn’t know what she’s done. Thirdly I worked in academia for a while so plagurism was drilled into us – other people may just not realise it’s a no-no. Fourthly I was actually annoyed at myself for not seeing an opportunity to write an article for one of the big blogs and finally I’m taking my business in a new direction in the coming weeks and won’t be taking her with me! Phew. Sorry I’ve gone on a bit. Its the early hrs and I’m half asleep, up with my poorly 6 year old ;-). Great post. Looking forward to reading more.

    Reply
    • Theresa

      Plagurism is one of my biggest bug bears! It can sometimes puts me off sharing information. I admire the way you have processed this situation Lynsey and wish you every success in taking your business in a new direction.

      Reply
  10. Aedan

    It very true, someone can copy you but they will never be able to replicate what make you unique and individual

    Reply
  11. Maralyn

    Claire, you just cannot be copied without your followers knowing, as on reading your words of wisdom, it is your voice we hear in our heads. At first I thought this did not apply to me, as sell vintage products, but actually it does. Have come up with some unique sales ideas, which have been copied, but your words have made me realise that they can copy and undercut,but people still come back for the genuine quality and variety we can supply. And btw, it was one of your talks that gave me the courage to hold fast with our prices. Thank you so much I also agree it is much healthier not to check on others, facebook pages!except yours of course. Loving the revamped website.

    Reply
  12. Megan

    Love this article. From the moment we started our business we have been copied. Everything, from our actual products, to our style, branding, product names, marketing ideas and even my ‘voice’. At first it bugged the hell out of me. However, it didn’t take me long to realise that it was always going to happen, and the longer I concentrated on the copiers the more power I handed to them.

    So, now I don’t look at them. I don’t care if they copy, that’s there issue, not mine. Now I spend all that energy thinking of new products, developing our business, looking after customers and nurturing the relationships I have with other wedding suppliers. You know what? It works, and I’m a lot happier for it.

    Find those who encourage and see the best in you and Ket the rest go.

    Mx

    Reply
  13. Shelly

    Claire, as we’ve talked about before, I’ve had this and it’s frustrating, you spend months and months working on something, finally launch it only for someone to rip it off in some way and publish it as their own idea.
    The sad thing is these people have no idea that doing this means they’ll never amount to much, you’ll have always have ridden the biggest wave of this idea, you’ll be the one people want to deal with and they’ll just be getting that trickle that’s left behind, usually from people that only go to them because as well as copying, they feel the need to significantly undercut everyone else in the industry. They’re not running a business, all we can do is to keep working hard, putting things out there and hoping people appreciate the hard work we put in.
    Giving you a virtual hug as I know just how frustrating and hard this can be to shake off. xx

    Reply
  14. Laurie

    I had a former employee take what she learned from me to start a competing business. Not a big deal until I found that she started it 6 months before she quit working for me. What bothered me most was that she hid it from me. I spent 2 days furious, watching her website and Facebook page and Instagram and then I just let it go. I don’t allow myself to go to her pages. I know it just makes me mad, and that takes my time away from growing my business. She will never be me, never do all the aspects of my business that I do, she just competes with a small part of it. You are so right, Claire. We just have to let it go.

    Reply

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