Today’s Fab You BIZ post is a topic many have experience with in both their business and personal lives. The issue is how to deal with copycats. And if you’ve ever been faced with one, you already know it’s difficult. So I thought we could tackle the subject here together. And what better way to do so than by answering an email sent in by a reader in just such a situation.
I run a budding interior design company that I’ve worked extremely hard to build.
The business is just starting to come into its own and my name is becoming
more familiar to people within the industry as well as to potential clients. This of
course is very exciting.
Unfortunately I recently discovered a former classmate has copied my
brand and design aesthetic from my website to the style in which I create my
interiors. If I were further along in my career and more recognizable, I wouldn’t
be so upset. But since I’m not that well known yet, I’m afraid this person is going to
steal my thunder, so to speak. Or worse, maybe others will think I’ve copied her.
I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and since the blogging
world seems to be quite crowded, I thought I’d ask how you deal with copycats?
Thanks for your help.
Dilemma in Design”
Image by Mrs Eliot Books
Dear Dilemma in Design,
In many creative professions the person who strives to be different, no matter how big or small, will eventually fall victim to thieves of creativity. This is an unfortunate fact. And when it happens, it is a dagger in the heart of your quest for uniqueness. Believe me, I know.
In a world where so many things are similar, those who strive to be different often become the leaders of the “me too” crowd behind them. But here’s the thing, people can copy you knowingly or subconsciously all they want. But no one – I repeat – no one will ever be you. Your commodity as a creative, whatever creative thing you are doing, is you. And no one else can be that, no matter how hard they try.
The look of your website or your brand or even the way you create your interiors is not the reason for your success. It’s a small part. But a bigger part lies in the fact that you – your warmth, your personality, your attention to detail, your creativity, etc. – all of that shines through in everything you do. And no one can emulate that…ever.
So while I know it’s difficult to stand by and watch others try to copy you, you know deep down that can never be done. All you can do for yourself is try to take it as a compliment. And in the words of my very wise husband, “Just keep doing “YOU” best. No one can do it better.”
I know there’s nothing that can completely alleviate the hurt this has caused. But I hope in some small way this advice helps.
Thanks for stopping by!