Copycats, competition, and...community?
In a community where there are so many thousands of individuals showcasing their work, expressing their ideas, and exploring their creativity, there is bound to be some overlap. No, you might not be the first one to have a certain idea. No, you might not be the first person who has ever said that, or done that, or taken that photo. Totally ok, but we need to understand that we must allow ourselves and others the room to explore their own creativity and share it comfortably. We shouldn't have to be worried about someone stealing our work, our words, and our designs, and claiming it as their own. We should be free to express ourselves and share without hesitation.
Have you ever had your ideas stolen? Have you ever had someone take your physical work and claim it as their own?
I have seen so much of this going on lately within the creative community, and I have to say, it is quite discouraging. We are supposed to be a community that is helping to build each other up and support each other, but we aren't being very supportive by stealing someone else's hard work and ideas. I understand it is difficult to come up with fresh and new ideas, and we love what others come up with. Just think though, how long does it take you to come up with some of your best ideas and your most creative work? Often times it can take quite a while, even though we occasionally have those moments where things just come to us. Either way, it is no excuse to take someone's work and claim it as your own, or attempt to make a profit off of it.
👍🏻 Yasss: One positive way to support each other is to repost someone else's work and give praise and credit to that individual(s). This is perfectly fine. In fact, it is super sweet and amazing to be appreciated in that way and to show appreciation for someone else in that way.
What not to do is to repost someone's photo without the proper credit, list someone else's calligraphy print on your shop, or claim to have made a super cool product that is not yours, and attempt to profit off of any of this or receive praise from it. Do not try to sell another artists print, do not steal a photographers photo, and do not take the hard work of another person and use it to your advantage. It may not seem like a big deal to repost a photo, but if you do not give credit to the original source, than nobody will be able to see the rest of their work, and your audience will wrongfully be led believe that it is something that you created. You wouldn't like it if someone did that to you, would you? 🤔
Cut throat creatives? Sometimes. 🙊
Whether we like it or not, often the creative community that we are apart of can get a bit competitive. When you have people fighting for the same customers, clients, and glory, things can get intense. I understand. There are so many bloggers, photographers, wedding planners, gift box curators, knitters, mug makers, candle makers...the list goes on and on. It has been said before that there is room enough for all of us, but it is understandable that sometimes you can get anxious and feel like you are being left behind. I get it. I've been there. I feel ya. It can be discouraging when you don't have as many followers as someone else, or you don't seem to be making as many sales. Now we all should also know by now that you should not believe everything you read or see on the Internet. You never actually know how well or not well someone is doing in business, and you should not judge your progress based on these little squares we obsess over everyday. So difficult I know! It is hard not to compare, not to wonder how everyone else is more successful than you, or not be concerned about whether you are relevant or not.
Listen up. We are human. We all have basic needs that need to be fulfilled. We all have egos, and emotions, and strong desires to fulfill certain needs that we feel may define our worth. Not all of us think this way, but many of us do, whether we like to admit it or not. Who wouldn't want 10K or 100K followers? 100K people that care what you say and what you do and what you make. Sounds amazing right? Honestly, it might not be all its cracked up to be.
Who really needs Insta-fame?
Let me ask you this. Without your hundred thousand followers, without your Insta-fame, and without your million dollar a year income (ok a bit exaggerated on the income 😆) , are you happy? Do you love what you do? Do you wake up most days ( I say most days because we are allowed to have not so good days) and feel inspired and motivated to explore your creativity and create new things that you can share with the community you have inspired? Yes, you. You have inspired people already! With 200 followers, with 2,000 followers, and heck with no followers at all! We have to remember that we also belong to the real world. We have to remember that we have those that support us that are not a tiny virtual face on a screen. Remember all of those people?
Think of your family, your friends, complete strangers you interact with, and your clients that don't have social media. There is so much more to life and to business than what is on Facebook or Instagram, trust me. Some may tell you that you need to be profitable, and you need to milk social media for all that you can get, but at what expense? You must also maintain your sanity, spend time with your family, and remember to trim your fingernails every once in a while. LOL If this is your full-time job, great, you will still need to maintain a positive outlook on life and on business, or you will surely fail. Being stressed out all the time does not bode well for you, your loved ones, or your current and future clients. If this is not your full-time gig, also great. You too need to take some time out for yourself to refocus and adjust for the growth that you will see in the future. Great things take time. Don't get me wrong, we all want to make money. I want to make money too. 💵 We all want to get paid for our creativity, our ideas, and designs. That will come. Don't rush it.
Moral of the story?
Do you. Be you. Trust yourself. Don't steal the work and ideas of others to get ahead, or to make yourself feel better, or to be competitive. It's not cool, it's not inspiring, and if I am to be real, it is just plain wrong. Don't let the pressure you put on yourself, or the pressure that others put on you drag you down. Don't let it break you, don't let it change you, and don't let it take away your why. What is your why you ask? Your why is why you started. Many of us took something that we were passionate about, and something we already loved, and decided to take it a few steps further. Keep that love and passion, and don't let any amount of money, or any number of followers take that away from you, and you will find success and happiness for the long haul! ❤️❤️