how to gracefully deal with copycats

I wrote this post ages ago and never did publish it but I feel like its very relevant and something that we all have to deal with at one point.

I very rarely post personal and negative stuff on my blog. I hate to do it and I don't really know if I will post this. I like to keep this blog has a happy place, a positive retreat for myself and for you but I wrote this at least to vent my irritation and hopefully to help any of you that has to deal with copycats.

This has happened to me a few times and I'm sure it's happened to you. A while ago, it happened on a pretty big scale. I came up with a really awesome thing that no one else does and someone else totally ripped it off and passed it off as their idea. I was pretty angry- mainly because I feel like this person has been watching my every freakin' move.  I felt defeated.

I wanted to chew them out. I wanted to leave a passive aggressive comment. I wanted to call them out. But I did none of these things.

I did have a nice long rant with two close girlfriends about how this person has no original ideas. And I might have used a few *ahem* unladylike words.

Why I didn't do anything
Screaming at someone or being publicly nasty wouldn't have done anything except make me look like a jerk. It's hard to rise up and be the better person sometimes but you have to- to protect the brand and reputation that you have built for yourself and because being a jerk never gets us anywhere.It makes matters much worse.

We all borrow ideas
Whether or not I want to believe it, we all borrow ideas from each other. I'm sure I've borrowed ideas too. The truth is, there are really no new ideas out there. Even if I was the first person that I am aware of that came up with an idea, someone most likely did it long before I did. If you do borrow an idea from someone, make it known that this person had the idea and that you were so inspired, you decided to follow suit. At least give them a true compliment and be friendly.

I have had plenty of people take my ideas and put their own spin on them. I think it's great when a community tries things together because we all have something unique to add to the cause. I'm never upset by that. I'm flattered and thankful and when they give me credit, I enjoy seeing how others use my ideas to solve their problems.

In the age of the internet, there's so much to see that it can be hard to tell where your ideas end and someone else's begin.

Let them motivate you
When someone steals your newest great idea, let them take it! They have no good ideas of their own so they have to be a copy of someone else.  You came up with that great thing and you'll come up with many more. You are not a one trick pony! You're a fountain of creativity and unique thoughts.  While they will certainly continue to copy you, you will constantly crank out the next big thing and by the time they copy you again, you'll be moved on to something even more awesome.

Be Careful Who Inspires You.
When I was in middle school, I'm proud to say that I was a trend setter. I always did crazy things that no one else did because I love to stand out in a crowd! There was a very sweet girl that I was friends with who one day started doing everything I did. It drove me crazy! I pride myself on being an individual and I want others to enjoy the same freedom.

One day, I had enough and I came to school with a pretty good looking fake nose piercing. I wore it for days and everyone thought I got my nose pierced. She backed off and finally confided in me that she wanted to pierce her nose too but her mom wouldn't let her. I took it out and she saw that it was fake. I told her. "Yeah, my mom wouldn't let me pierce my nose either. And I wouldn't want to anyway." Be careful who you emulate because while some people may look like everyone admires them, they don't always make the best decisions. In fact, some of what looks like their good ideas could be your downfall.

When it really comes down to it, no one can take what really matters.
Your passion
 your insight
 your talent,
your creativity
your long term plans