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!
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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.
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!