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.
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.
Claire Mitchell is a best-selling author of the Awesome Marketing Planner and founder of The Girls Mean Business, a mum and business owner. She has been featured in Marie-Claire, The Guardian, Closer Magazine, Essentials, The Huffington Post and on the BBC.