A QUICK COPYCAT POEM TO OPEN THINGS
A rant this time about having a business copycat that is driving me crazy. But first, looking at my first hardcore copycat – my lil sister Rosie.
My Sister Laura
My sister Laura’s bigger than me
And lifts me up quite easily.
I can’t lift her, I’ve tried and tried;
She must have something heavy inside.
(AKA My fave poem aged 3)
BIG SISTER LAURA
I’ve always loved being a big sister. From the very first time I met my baby sister in the hospital, the role just felt natural to me.
I was ready.
Listening to my baby sister swirling about in Mammy’s tummy, I had prepared for her arrival. I knew what toys she would like, I told her when she would walk for the first time, speak her first word (a very solemn “door” btw). It was such proud feeling to be in complete control of MY tiny human. “Bring it on!” I thought.
Things were “swell” most of the time in my new promotion up to big sis. I loved protecting her in school from bullies. We had so many great times playing together. She was my real-life doll to dress up.
But hang on a cotton pickin’ minute…..
Why must she copy me so?! ALL THE TIME!
Every single bust-up we had as sisters centred around my quest to be original and my little sister emulating me, stealing my clothes, my make-up, my style. Don’t ever be fooled about sisters fighting with just their words or the precocious flick of the hair. We would sometimes end up in an all-out brawl.
SISTER WARS TO BFF’S
As adults, I am pleased to say that the days of wrestling with TV remotes are long gone (that’s right kids, remote controls were the size of weapons back in the olden days). I now consider my lil sis to be one of my BFF’s. Of course, I still try to tell her how to live her life! It’s my birthright. Inspired by the older generation in our family who STILL have sibling related quarrels, we recently agreed on a code word to stop a squabble. We now say “OVERFLOW” in a WhatsApp message to each other when we want to nip any building tension in the bud. It’s basically a new digital version of one of our many secret childhood handshakes.
So why am I telling you all about my sisterly relationship on this blog? Well, it’s to give you a little bit of background on one of the big triggers in my life.
Nothing drives me crazier in such a quick amount of time than someone stealing my thunder. Emulating my style. I go straight back to my childhood and remember many sisterly battles, or, that time I was the first person in my year to wear Blossom cut-offs paired with tights to a school non-uniform day. The following Christmas party, ALL the girls in my year had ‘em. I was furious. How dare they?! Why couldn’t they just find their own style icon?
Just this week one of my oldest friends casually dropped in conversation that she’d been painting her living room teal. She “loved the energy it would bring to space and it felt like a real cosy colour”. I am still CONVINCED that I said this first! I told her I wanted MY new living room to be painted teal. Sheesh!
In my many meltdowns on originality, I usually end up having a professional huff in the company of Mammy P. My whole life she must have said the words “It’s all part of being a trendsetter pet. Take it all as a beautiful compliment,” a billion times. As lovely as this sentiment is, I still hate the conscious or unconscious laziness that the copycat brings.
YOUR ORIGINALITY & THE COPYCAT
So what about when it comes to originality in your business?
That’s right. I have learned from numerous sources this last couple of months that I have my very own copycat. Cue my Laura-huff theatrics……
How dare they! It makes me mad for the following reasons:
1. I’M THE BLOOD, SWEAT n TEARY PIONEER!
I love taking the less trodden road. The adventure of finding my feet as I go helps me hone my skills as a photographer and business owner. Hell! As a modern woman! How dare they just take the Laura Express lane, use my little mountain clips, breeze-on through without any cuts or scrapes. It’s just so damn lazy!
2. THE ORIGINALITY TIMELINE.
It’s all well and good KNOWING in your heart that you did something first. Making sure to tell all and sundry that you are THE OG, it was you i.e. not them who came up with the idea. But really who cares? Likely you and the copycat are both pointlessly trying to cover the tracks of the other. Thus resulting in getting nowhere fast. As you battle on like this in a mad tornado what’s to say another chancer won’t go up to 5th gear in the Laura Express Way and dupe the pair of you?
3. THE INSINUATION OF INSPIRATION.
Let’s get this straight. All artists use various inspirations or even a muse for the betterment of their work. The very basis for being a creative person is to form new ideas. We all know that by now there are no real new ideas. Everything is everything.
The real artist is able to quote her sources and distinguish between the many mixed references she has selected to take her inspiration from, with her own original take upon them. The piss artist drinks down another’s ideas, sits on it all letting the single idea build up inside their bladder and then urinates this exact same diluted version of the thing upon the world. Declaring to the world that it is their own as they zip up their fly nonchalantly.
Following the usual Mammy P rant time, I then set about understanding this new entrepreneurial experience by way of my business pals. It transpires that many of my peers have shared their own professional experiences with the entrepreneurial copycat. Everyone felt equally frustrated, I heard some tales that would make your accountant weep. I came away from this fact-finding mission with the following advice.
COPYCATS COME IN THREE DIFFERENT OUTFITS
MEET THE SEX-KITTEN COPYCAT
The first, clad in a lacey boudoir number is designed to enchant you with love, admiration and heart-filled eyes.
“Purrrrllleeeaaase… I love you …… so much. You are my inspiration, my entire being for life as a business owner. Meeeooouwwser Beautiful” <slow blink>
It’s quite hard to feel as angry at this gyrating kitty as its impossible to ever really tell if they are so blinded by the love they don’t realise their expression for love towards you is in fact plagiarism. They are so hopped up on candy hearts they will likely never be able to tell you the truth either.
SEX KITTEN COPYCAT INDICATOR
The purring is incessant!
BEHOLD! THE STINK NINJA COPYCAT
You never actually see the stink ninja in the harsh light of day. They know that what they are doing is 100% wrong, they feel their wrongdoing on a soul level. You are in the presence of a stink ninja when you simply smell the sweaty odour that coats their tight black squeaking shiny catsuit. The whiff emanates from them as they quietly move awkwardly in the shadows at the dead of night. You never see this cat, just their paw prints after they’ve skulked off. Be aware of territorial urine pools all over your parade.
STINK NINJA COPYCAT INDICATOR
They will never learn to use the litter tray. You have to make your peace with it and hope they skulk off into another’s shadows over time.
LOOK OUT! IT’S A SPIKE TOOTH COPYCAT!
The final copycat has a dual role in life. They have been so consumed by their dark existence that they no longer see themselves in the mirror any more. Consumed with self-hatred they feel compelled to spread their dark cloud by infecting the world with their bile. In many occasions, you never even notice you are in the presence of a Spike Tooth. Your first signs of having one attached to your neck drinking down your ideas and inspirations are your innate feeling of being drained, worn out, unlike your normal self. Like any parasite, when you confront a spike tooth they often act out. When you bravely show them the mirror, they scream with open bloody mouths and then swiftly fly off to find another fresh host.
SPIKE TOOTH COPYCAT INDICATOR
You can’t ever train them. You can’t ever change them. Take this kitty to the pound or taxidermist. Then use the carcass to hold your loo roll to place them firmly where they belong in their sorry little afterlife.
WHAT CAN I LEARN FROM MY COPYCAT?
In an attempt to distract my childhood triggers with a new education I also spread my research to scouring existing resources on this subject. The business-heavy male-centric advisors tell me that a gal in my position ought to fire off a Cease and Desist letter. Shut them up with legal fuel! Ammo up and prepare for a legal fight. Charge!
Then on the other side of the advisory spectrum, I am advised to celebrate. Think about my entrepreneurial copycat experience as a right of passage. Learning of your very own copycat is a marvellous way to reward yourself for doing something right in your business. So much so that someone else is following it as their blueprint. My female-centric Wiccans advise to send any copycat a lot of love and release them from my presence across all plains. This can be boiled down to simply confronting the cat with an open communication or heading out on the full moon to perform a binding spell.
ONE PART FIERCE TWO PARTS BIG SISTER
Letting my emotions simmer down on my initial originality-rage I have decided upon taking my own path on this. One part fierce, two parts big sister.
PONDER WITH ME PUSSYCAT COPYCAT
Whether you have just realised you have a spike tooth around your neck or you may be stinking up the joint with that hideous rubber suit of yours, I invite you to join me on my future pondering. You can have me deliver these straight into your inbox by filling out your details here.
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And if you paint your living room teal. Just know that I said it first biatch!