The unoriginal, uninspired, and lacking of confidence in the phenomenon of a person who steals your ideas, words, and work is an eye roll to every business owner.
On a daily basis, we see it in the Facebook groups...someone posting some version of "this person took my idea, my name, my copy, my look, and is calling it their own. What to do?"
This is frustrating at best.
What to do?
Having been the recipient of this character building experience I will tell you there are a few angles to this approach.
1. Know that your worth, value, and brilliance is not determined by someone else taking or stealing your ideas and concepts. They will run out of ideas, and you, lovely, have way more in the well of where the first idea came from. Own the fact that your well of creativity will never dry out. Theirs may, but keep the focus off their inability to be creative, and bring the focus back to your genius well.
2. Protect yourself. Trademark, license, and copyright your intellectual property. Especially the one that has longevity to your business & existence. Here's an attorney that comes highly recommended: Rachel Rodgers (http://rodgerscollective.com/)
3. The relationship: some people argue that this type of person needs to be cut off from your life & business, but I question this stance. Would it be possible to collaborate? Would it be possible to leverage each other, and compassionately communicate the truth of the offense, and come to a resolution? There is not straight answer, and I would invite all of us to look at possibilities beyond a knee jerk reaction.
4. Belief in Abundance: We see so many people go into panic mode when their ideas are "taken," and by all means, the anger and disappointment are very natural and valid, and there is also an opportunity to take a look at our belief system about scarcity and abundance. If we live in scarcity we think that they will steal our clients and there will be nothing left for us. If we live in abundance, we anchor in trust and confidence that there is enough business to go around, and that we command the influx of business, not someone who is struggling to be authentic.
5. The dance of Boundaries: It is important for each of us to stick up for what we know is truth, and to not be silent to injustice. Speaking our truth via a cease and desist or a phone conversation with a collaborate problem solving intention are ways in which we can accomplish this. I would urge that we not focus so much of our energy on the abuse at hand, but treat it as one of the components to address. We get to have our feelings about this offense, but if we over fixate it creates suffering, and that is counter to the great service we bring to the planet.
6. Love them. Yes, love them. They are hurting at some place within, otherwise they would not be taking the ideas and calling them theirs. Have compassion but let's not enable. Tricky balance, but with great mindfulness, we can do this.
Sometimes these scenarios arise so that we create a sense of balanced urgency to move our work forward, sometimes it is to speak up, and sometimes it is to protect the intellectual property of concepts we know nobody else could deliver in the way we do.
May you enter into this dance of protection, honoring, compassion, and abundance with great thought, discernment, and confidence.
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