What if Someone Steals Your Idea....
Well first, let me start by saying, as an optimist, I truly believe that most of us are out there doing the best we can with what we have so I don't think most people are out to steal your ideas intentionally. It will definitely feel like that when you see your designs, product or business look alike, but I ensure you that you simply inspired them somewhere along the way which led them to an almost clone of your beautiful idea. Now, I didn't just wake up with the wisdom or optimism about this. I had to go through my own mindset tweak after dealing with my own copy cat situation.
Here are 3 ways that I overcame the copy cat:
1. Believe in Yourself
I know it sounds cheesy, but as long as you know your unique story and believe that no one else has your DNA then no one can truly steal your voice.
2. Practice Healthy Confrontation
I hyperventilate when I think of confronting others especially with this topic. My fears kick in with annoying head talk like "they will think you are crazy", "how do you know they stole your idea", or "I just want to keep the peace". After I put my fears aside I realize that if I avoid the confrontation I will never stand up for my ideas and how will I possibly bring them to life if I sit back and let the rest of the world run with them. It's also super awkward if you share a community with someone and you act "fake nice". Just clear the air! You never know what the truth is. Don't forget that most people are truly doing the best they can. Some may not realize they have a clone of your idea that's confusing to others.
3. Move on
If you've voiced your concern, believe in yourself and know your unique story then move on. Keep doing you and keep developing your idea. Don't quit! You may feel like there's not enough room for two of the same idea, but that is silly. The reason someone else has your idea is because there is a demand for it. People will want your idea because of your unique story and brand culture you create.
3 Tips for Differentiating Your Idea
1. Get to know your community
It's so easy for us to get caught up in what we're doing that we forget to ask about other people's goals and projects. Make sure you are aware of your community members and what they're working hard on. It also doesn't take much to read their website and social media to discover how they are making a name for themselves. This will help you make sure you can differentiate your voice from theirs or find that you can refer people to them for a service/product you see a need for. Which leads me to my second tip...
2. Delegate and Refer
If you truly want to uplift your community and help others succeed you will prioritize them for a service or product that they have worked hard to develop instead of trying to "do it all". Just because you see a need or demand for a service or product doesn't mean that you are the right person to offer it. Ask yourself this "am I truly passionate about offering this?", "do I have the skill or talent to offer this with confidence" and "does anyone else in my community know how to do this better?". If you answer no to 2 or 3 of these questions you may want to see how you can partner or collaborate with someone who is a better fit for the job. This will help another person continue to do what they love while you strengthen your leadership integrity.
3. Know Your Story
Knowing what makes you "you" will help you set yourself a part from the rest. No one else has your unique story and combination of skills. How do you go deeper into your skills as opposed to trying to do everything. We can all have several passions and interests but what is it that you can contribute to the world that many can not? How can you lead with your purpose to impact the world in your own unique way? I recommend making a list of your skills, highlight the skills that you LOVE doing, delete the skills you dread doing, and write down your story of how you were inspired to pursue your passions. Remember that you won't have it all figured out, ever, but this will help you BELIEVE in your own unique journey while helping others succeed too.
I hope this helps you feel more resilient and safe sharing ideas within your communities. Please comment below if you would like to share your story or tips for community etiquette.