• Imitation is the Greatest Form of Flattery… Not.

    Posted Jul 29, 2017 in Articles

    I know exactly how you feel when your value-proposition is copied by a competitor. I boil in oil every time it happens to me. Nearly two decades of my work, my words, my strategies, and my models; twisted this way or that and hardly disguised, being mimicked and presented by competing organizations and their people as the product of their original thought. We are told to be flattered, however, I, like you, find it difficult to be anything other than a little upset.

    Well friends, fear not, your competitive advantage remains intact even when you feel otherwise. Though it might appear that the marketplace is confused by the claims of the pretenders, your work speaks much louder than their words. While they can copy what you say, they cannot do what you do as well as you do it. As the author of your own model, only you can deliver it with the passion and insight that comes from the heart and mind of the originator. It is your creation and only you can apply it with the integrity and depth of knowledge that makes it work the way it should and serves your clients’ best interest best.

    You see, what “they” are mimicking is what you look like, not who you are. It’s akin to trying to copy a building from the outside looking in without ever seeing the blueprints. Ultimately, the clients figure out the charade and those that are with you stay with you and those that wish to be with you seek you out. Sooner or later, the pretenders move on to another copycat scheme and you remain whole.

    The lessons that I’ve learned from years of being mimicked are these:

    • Tell your story and keep telling it… but guard those blueprints with your life.
    • Don’t worry one iota about your competitors… let them worry about you.
    • Keep evolving – your best ideas are yet to come and the more creative you get, the more difficult you are to mimic.
    • Be cool and curse them in private – do not honor the scoundrels by pointing them out in public or by giving them an ounce of energy.

    Most of all, stay true to yourself, your message, your model, and your clients. Naive as it may sound; we still live in a world where doing the right thing in the right way for the right reason creates the right result.

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