If you are doing or saying something worthwhile (and therefore "steal-worthy”) then good for you because you’re creating amazing work. You have officially arrived. Consider yourself a raving success!
But here’s something to consider: chances are, no one stole your idea because it probably wasn’t solely yours (or mine.) I’m reminded of this every time I hear a fellow entrepreneur, designer or thinker say that their idea was stolen, generally regarding a competitor, colleague or acquaintance. I’m not immune to this either. I’ve had the same thought process when someone else’s voice seems eerily overfamiliar about a topic that we causally chatted about. I know that feeling that creeps in and makes you feel slightly sick when you hear (or read) what you think is your own words, but spoken by someone else. (At some brands in the fashion world, this borrowing of “ideas” is referred to as “product development” but we’ll talk more about that in another post.)
The world is full of ideas and there are very few concepts that are brand new. We all have access to the same resources and often times, we are inspired by some thing, place or person and they trigger a thought that inspires an idea. Voila! And a new product or way of thinking is created. There is grace in knowing that the way we share our message with the world has impact. That is exactly why we should continue to share our work and our thoughts. (Sure, there are some people who are blatant about stealing the ideas of others and taking credit but that isn’t the majority and they are not who I’m referring to.)
We have a choice in how we see the world and which lens we choose to look through. Rather than assuming that someone stole our idea (even if they sorta’ did,) for our own sanity, a re-frame might be in order. Right away.
If you have an idea worth stealing, then you are doing something right, KEEP DOING IT. Continue talking about it, living it and breathing it. If your fabulous pink polyester caftan inspires someone else to rush out and look for one just like it, then hooray for being such a style maven. (Side note: someone I know, erghmmm, might’ve purchased a vintage version in Salt Lake City.)
If your idea inspired a shift in someone else’s perspective or business plan, then great...because you’ve impacted change. You have a message or concept that people need and your voice is unlike anyone else’s. There are people who will only want to hear it from you, in your words or buy it from you based on your experience.
- Find security in knowing that there is room enough in this world for all of us to grow, share and benefit from receiving the inspiration of others.
- Everything is reciprocal. To receive; we must also be willing to share.
- Do whatever it is that you do to the very best of your ability. Continue pushing boundaries, trying and making.
- Understand that we all find inspiration from others while figuring out our own path in the creative process.
- If something resonates with you to create positive change, borrow those thoughts or ideas. But innovate them, make them better, different, authentically yours.
If your idea is one that is being copied, stolen, or knocked off, then well done, you. Consider yourself a thought-leader, change-maker or even an influencer. Keep doing amazing work because you’re officially a success, yay!
What are your thoughts on “stealing ideas”? Take a second and share them below, I’d love to hear what you think.