"Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it's not a good business plan"
I think this topic of conversation has a been long time coming. It's something most of us small business owners have dealt with first hand, probably more than once or twice.
It's annoying AF when you log on social media and someone who has followed and commented on your photos for the past year changes their name on Instagram to @salvagesoul (mine is @salvagedsoul) and starts hash tagging #momthebuilder. But it is what it is. You vent to your friends about it and move on because first of all you have no idea who this person even is and second of all they are going NOWHERE fast. It's just the name of the game, you cannot gain the same success without doing same the work to get there.
betrayal is that
it never comes
Now, it's a whole new ball game of betrayal when that "friend" you once vented to goes and does the same thing, in a different way but same shit. I've contemplated for months and months about opening up on this subject but when I saw the quote at the top of this post I knew it was my time. I'm trying my hardest to not make this some immature venting sesh so please, don't judge. I know this happens to more than just me and I want you guys to know that you're not alone.
When you're my "friend" and ask me to quote a table and decide you want to make your own. I get that and I FULLY support it. I love to see my friends doing DIY projects, it makes me proud. I know first hand how hard it is. Now, when you take DIY-ing your own dining table and turn it into a business. Then start mocking my whole brand. Ummm not cool.
Or how about when I help you start a business from the ground up, like even come up with the name of your business, get you a logo, show you how to build wood frames, and put you in contact with EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON and CLIENT I know that would be interested in your work because I want so badly for my friends to feel that same feeling of self fulfillment and pride in something you created with your own two hands. But then you decide you want to grow bigger and start contacting MY clients who I introduced you to behind my back and offer them the same work I do for them from you but for FREE. Not cool b*tch. Not cool.
Oh, and then there's that friend who's an interior design, one whom you have referred to many clients and even connected her with one of yours for the opportunity to gain her business national exposure on a hit reality show. Her client requests a barn door from me, with a photo of MY DOOR, but she decides that she'd rather start building and selling barn doors from her own company. WEIRD AF. Right?
Crazy thing is I always end up the "bad guy" and it's bulshit because what did I do? Really! It's funny because the outcome of all these situations are the same. That person who I thought was my "friend" falls off the face of the earth and somehow I become the topic of their conversation with everyone around them but they can never find the time to reach out or talk to me about it. Guilty conscious much?
I can honestly say, I am not mad at these women. Did they hurt me? Yes. But I am thankful for the lessons learned. Ultimately someone I thought was a friend for years was not. Life goes on.
The moral of this post was not to rant about my experiences but to share with you guys what I have learned through them.
Business and money take over people in a really sad way. Success from one person will bring out the worst in another. Women need to stop comparing themselves to others. Stop competing with others. Worry about YOU. I have an ongoing competition with myself. I am constantly striving to be a better person today than I was yesterday. A better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better business owner.
At the end of the day, success breeds copycats. People see a good thing happening and they want a piece of it. It won't last for them and most likely won't be successful at all because I will tell you one thing that builds a solid foundation, originality.
"Success comes from originality not imitation"
Keep your chin upend try to not let these things get to you because chances are they are going to happen again and again. Let it motivate it. Push you to the edge and inspire bigger and better business endeavors.