How will You Respond When Someone Copies Your Big Business Idea?

by | Dec 11, 2014 | Blog, Business Planning, Client Experience, Sell Better, Start My Business | 5 comments

Are you ready to rock out 2015?

If you got your plan on with us in the 2015 Planathon, I know you are!!

If you’re moving and grooving in your business and really feeling it, you aren’t the only one who sees it.

As you build momentum in your business, your clients WILL notice.


Look at her go! The ears of prospects will perk up at an exponentially greater rate.

blog post 12.4.14-15 where do I buy?

Partnership opportunities will emerge.

Can we team up?

And your competitors and wanna-be competitors will likely start to tune in. It’s a fact, Jackie!

What's she up to over there? They might even start to take inspiration from you.  

Not because they want to BE you.  I’m mean you are pretty frickin’ cool, but don’t go getting a big head on us! 😉

But because the energy and the juju you are sending out into the world and the magic you are making in your business is too hot to resist.

Have you ever felt that way about someone?  

Yeah?  Me too.

Sometimes inspiration can cross a line into (insert dramatic music here – dunh dunh dunh) – copying. In other instances it may just looking like copying, because let’s face it, you and I both have good ideas, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t another beautiful soul in the world who has something similar on their mind.

Whatever the case may be, you need to be  well be prepared for how you’ll respond when it comes up. That way you can deal with it gracefully and not get derailed. A copycat can be a major distraction, and you want to be able to keep on driving to your perfect destination and unbelievable success in the year ahead.

The Dreaded Copycat

As you may know the word “copy” can do interesting things to people and make people feel and act in funny ways.  No judgements here – It’s not good,  it’s not bad, it just is.

First, let’s think about what the other person so often named the “copycat”  might be feeling.

#1. A True Copycat

If this other business is copying you, they likely know it and they may even feel pretty bad about it already.  If they don’t feel bad, they are probably struggling in their business because they are busy copying and not creating and connecting with their own audience.

Whether it’s your mentor who copies you, a to-be competitor, or a future collaborator and business partner, it’s a crappy feeling all around!

#2.  A Mistaken Copycat

I’ve personally experienced and seen instances where my clients FEAR of being a copycat or see a site that has similarities to what they are creating.

For example, I have been brewing a course idea for a couple of years but for one reason (real babies) or another (and business babies), I haven’t brought it to life just yet. I’m doing it in 2015, and best of all, people who get in on Freshly Implemented will get the play-by-play as we develop it, and get access to it as a special bonus.

You may know how this story goes.  

Of course, I saw a program that looked similar to this business baby I’ve been working on for more than two years.   I was at a crossroads.  Come up with something different even though I have been sitting on this sucker for years and I already have all of the content.  Or do my thing, my way, and serve my people in the best of all ways.

FEAR and EGO totally rear their ugly head here – I don’t want to copy.  I want everything to be mine, all mine and I don’t for a second want anyone to think that I took THEIR IDEA.  It’s mine, mine, mine! Stomps foot.

(Uhhh. Tantrum over! Clearly having a toddler is impacting me.)

Guess what I decided?  You guessed it.

I’m going to serve my clients in the best possible of ways.

I suspect there aren’t just two of us in the world with this big idea! So the business that I stumbled across and I are probably in great company!  I’m a smart cookie, but I bet we are the only two smart CEOs in the world who thought this one up! 😉

Whether you have a case of A TRUE COPYCAT or A MISTAKEN COPYCAT, you’ve got  decision to make.  

Do you reach out and speak up or do you keep on driving?  Here are a few things to consider as you weigh your decision:

#1.  Is your brand being damaged as a result of this so called copycat?

That’s not good.  Consult an attorney, do what you need to do. Plus, make sure you check yourself and it’s not your ego driving the show. Stick to the facts.

#2. Is there a trademark infringement?

If so, props to you for getting your trademark buttons buttoned up! Consult your attorney.  Kindly reach out to the person and let them know of the similarities and let them know of the trademark you have in place.  And know that even when you reach out for this reason, there’s no reason to assume you were copied.  (You know what happens when we assume, right?)

Again, stick to the facts. Getting snarky, passive aggressive or hysterical does nothing, for no one.

#3. Is this a case of plagiarism?

It’s not funny if so.  Do your research, send appropriate takedown notices, consult your attorney if you want additional support.

#3. If none of the above are in play, and you are still considering reaching out to the so called copycat, ask yourself, “What do I want to come of this situation?”  

There have been at least four instances in the last year that it  appears my ideas, concepts, and business babies have been overtly used as inspiration for other programs.

In some cases, I’ve been straight up asked, “Can I take this and use it in my program?”

Every time this comes up, before I respond or react, I ask myself, “If I reach out to this person, what is my desired end state?”

Usually I end up back at this: “You want them to be successful.  You also want to grow a successful business yourself. The market will decide.”  

Sometimes this leads to me not saying anything.  Let’s face it, they already know they are copying (if they are in fact copying) and they have enough on their plate as it is.

In other instances, I’ve kindly redirected someone to consider other options.  Like the time my blog posts were straight up copy and pasted (formatting, links back to my site and all) onto someone else’s blog.  At least note me as the author if you are going to do a straight up copy paste, okay?  I’m truly okay with that (as long as your site isn’t inappropriate or spamming people) but really think you need to think about how you’re not building your own brand.

#4.  How will you represent your brand?  

It’s not in my brand (or personal) DNA to give someone a public smackdown.  Even if they are a True Copycat.  

Think about how it will look to your audience if you’re going around bullying people all over the Internet.  At best, you might show the world that you stood your ground.  At worst, you look like the bully on the playground.

I beg of you, don’t be the bully.  It will hurt your brand.

You can have  the best of both worlds.  If it is in your brand DNA to publicly make a stand for yourself, by all means do that.  But do it with heart and kindness and then take it offline to get sorted out.

#5.  What’s it really worth to you?

At the end of the day, how much energy do you want to pour into this situation?


How much will fussing over this particular situation benefit you and your business in the end?  Does starting a public showdown help you grow your business and boost the bottom line?

You have a choice.  You always have a choice!

Are you ready to breath and decide when your inevitable copycat comes knocking in 2015?  

I hope so!  Because you don’t have time to dwell on things like this.  You are growing a business, baby!

Save the drama for your momma!! Just not this momma! 😉

If you’re still trying to get your 2015 Plan on, hop on over to the 2015 Planathon to get that party started already!

If you’re  ready to move from planning into action, it’s time you think about joining us in Freshly Implemented.

Implement & Make Magic

Hit us in the comments below to tell us what part of the journey you are on.

  • Do you have any other Nice ideas for how to deal with a copycat?
  • Is your 2015 plan complete?
  • Are you moving into action?  

See you in the comments!


Hi, I’m amber!

Eternal optimist, lover of dance parties, here to get more of you in the world and help you grow your dream business.

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