Are you the real deal or just a cheap imitation? Are you modelling or stealing your way to success?

By , June 13, 2012 8:05 pm

I had an interesting discussion with a client this week about the difference between these two concepts. My client is an entrepreneur who has recently been the victim of Shiny Bright Object marketing in the UK. She realized afterwards that she’d been seduced by a workshop that was a cheap imitation of someone else’s expertise.  She felt disappointed by the basic level of knowledge given by the coach, who professed to being an ‘expert’.

Unfortunately, this stuff happens too often!

It reminded me about the explosion of what some people are calling ‘cookie cutter’ coaches that are coming off the production line, offering revolutionary ways to build your six-figure business in twelve months!

Sign up TODAY!!

This claim is a Bright Shiny Object for many entrepreneurs who are struggling to find clients. They line up to hand over cash to get their hands on that secret formula for success! Only to find that it is re-purposed or poor quality material.

If you dig behind the ‘sales page’ and slick marketing techniques of some of these coaches and their claims, you’ll realize that they are NOT the real deal. They are just a pale imitation of someone else’s original cool idea and expertise.

They too have probably attended a workshop or course and are copying the tools of their coaches in hope that can build their six figure businesses in the next twelve months! These people haven’t made six figures yet either! They’re just waiting for folks like you to sign up so that they can!

It feels very false and sticky… when someone is claiming success rates that aren’t true!

There’s a lot of ‘copying and pasting’ going on in the business world!


As a leader of learning, I advocate copying as part of the learning process. We’ve all done it!

As an apprentice (or newbie), copying is a helpful tool that provides a framework for you to build your confidence and help you to find your own voice. I remember doing this in art class at school, following the techniques of a famous painter and then applying my own interpretation of their style to my empty canvas. This is an important part of the learning process.

There is a difference between:

Copying (cutting and pasting!)


Modelling (taking the concept, creating your own adaptation and adding your own voice.)

Finding YOUR OWN VOICE is an ESSENTIAL element of business success.

Stealing words, models and concepts to build a business does not create a recipe for business success.

Here’s why:

1. You remain passive and stuck in yesterday’s trends, because you’re waiting for others to create the ‘next best thing’ so you can copy it. I’ve heard people use the term ‘cutting edge’ in their marketing, when really they were cutting and pasting other people’s ideas and models, but claiming them as their own.

2. You’re searching for the ‘next best thing’ instead of creating it first for your clients. You might be searching the Internet daily for new things to copy. Looking for that ‘next best thing.’ Find your own voice – create your content from within and be uniquely YOU.

3. Your understanding remains at a surface level – There’s no deeper understanding to your offering because you’re just re-purposing things that other people have developed. Your understanding is only skin-deep. The original deeper understanding is diluted, as you create a copy of it. The real understanding stays with the person who created it.

 4. It’s not authentic and other people will see through you when they start to dig deeper. You have not experienced what your clients are hoping to learn from you. You have the theory but not the practice and you become an inferior version of someone else. You’re stuck in the thick of thin things!

5. You’re incongruent with the real you. You’re trying to be someone else. You are just imitating the person you are copying rather than stepping into your own power and being YOU and doing it YOUR way. You may struggle to talk about your work passionately because you’re not really clear on your own WHY (and it’s not really your work!)

Here’s how to know if you are stealing or modeling…

Ask yourself the following question:

Who’s done most of the work here?

If it’s someone else, then you know you’re stealing and copying!

Finding your OWN VOICE isn’t easy. It takes time, experimentation and persistence. It can be scary because your head is filled with doubt and uncertainty. But it’s worth the journey because YOU become AUTHENTIC and REAL.

Here are a few tips to help you become authentic and real:

1. Make YOU part of your service. Other people might steal your ideas and concepts but know that they can’t steal your ENERGY or your UNIQUE approach to what you do. Adding YOU is the vital ingredient!

2. YOU become part of your own brand. Inject YOU into everything that you do to create marketability and leverage through the power of you.

3. Know your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What do YOU bring to the party that is different? How is it different? Offer something that no one else offers. Approach it in a different way.

4. Be authentic. Being YOU and doing what you do IS ENOUGH. Stop playing dress up and pretending to be somebody else. Be a bigger, brighter and unique version of yourself.

5. Be a risk taker. Reach through your fear and doubt to find the courage to try out your ideas and new ways of doing things. Stop waiting for someone else to go there first.

YOU are unique… Let it shine through and model the way!

9 Responses to “Are you the real deal or just a cheap imitation? Are you modelling or stealing your way to success?”

  1. Wendy Aridela says:

    I resonated so strongly with this! I have put in more than 25 years learning my therapeutic skills and nearly 40 years on self-development it galls me when people are proclaiming themselves as deep-level experts while saying in their bio things like “2 years ago I was a total mess. Then I discovered this key to Enlightenment which I’m now willing to share with you for only this large sum of money.” The more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know!

  2. elaine says:

    Thanks for sharing Wendy. I’m glad it resonated with you. This is a topic I’m very passionate about.

  3. Kelly says:

    This was really helpful Elaine! I have worried about this concept for a while, even after being encouraged to use other people’s stuff. But I’ve found that given some time without reading everyone else’s stuff and really connecting with what I want to do with my clients I can better assimilate the information I’ve been reading for years and translate it for my peeps! Also the old standby – I learned this from my mentor and I’d like to see if an adaptation will work for you – recognizing that there’s no one formula and giving credit where it’s due has helped me feel good about modeling.

  4. Mary says:

    I must have been picking this stuff up through the “Universal” mind for quite a bit now….I have come to the place where I have to “GO” with my inner voice. Very frightening as I am alone and know nothing of the skills of the outer world (PC and communications) My wish (and always has been!) for me to be making available pillow inserts connected to “Universal” Blessings (Reiki and other formats I have aquired over the 10 years or more of self healing)The present “Business format” is not working for me at all, though I have little wonder at this as I really have no heart in it myself. But this is the way of the world…so this is what I have done…untill now…NOW I am jumping into a/the void. I want to offer out to “Energy work” people who also have the passion and skills of sewing or any other of the miryad of skills that may apply to pillow covers……My wish is to supply the “connected” inserts which will be serviced “till I am no longer capable” (when I fall off my pearch…I am only 54years old..and getting younger everyday!) so that to me is gonna give a good investment to a lot of people..wheather they come on board with actually joining our passions to help “the World ” or those who recive a continus link from the Divine via the actual pillows. I have only rally sold “Inspitational” Reiki Pillows through people actually connecting with me….but the feed back has been what has kept me going “I believe in them”, also many buyers have come back for even more pillows for their loved ones…a concept that many said would never happen …as I would be a “One trick pony” as someone once sugested…..there are NO TRICKS with either me or my “Inspirational” Reiki PIllows…what you see / feel is what you get…and the Universe has a lot to give. I would love to hear your responce , thank you x Regards , Mary

  5. elaine says:

    Mary – Thank you for sharing a little of your journey with us here. Trust your intuition and inner voice – listen deeper to what it is telling you.

    I’m a little unsure what you are asking here – You can write me some more at and I would love to respond in more detail.

    Here’s my first thoughts prompted by your words – I’m not sure if I’m resonating with what you are asking here…

    Connection with people is important for your business – I would ask you where do the “Energy work” people hang out? Maybe conferences, events, meetings? Sewing workshops? Look for opportunities to reach out and physically connect with these people. Take along your work and talk about how you create them. How can you network with them and share examples of your work?

    Talk to the ‘energy work people’ about what you create and why you are creating it? What is the experience for them for owning one of your beautiful pillows? Why would they want one? REALLY connect with your audience.

    Online marketing is just one way to connect with people – Your pillows are tactile and looking at them I want to feel the fabric and touch them. Build your connections off-line and face-to-face. Tell your story of your pillows.

    Here are a few other posts that might help you:

    Here’s to staying on your perch for many many years to come!
    (Your work is beautiful btw)
    Love and light

  6. Elaine says:

    Kelly -thanks for your comment. It’s so important to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for mentioning this.

    Happy Modelling!

  7. ElaineBailey says:

    Kelly -Happy modelling to you too 🙂

  8. Thank you so much for writing this Elaine! It validates what I already know to be true but sometimes forget or freak out about 😉 I have to constantly remind myself that there really are no new ideas, but my interpretation of them and how I communicate them is what make them new again .

  9. elaine says:

    Absolutely Karen – and we all need those reminders from time to time! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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