If you want to avoid being ripped off, there’s a great solution: keep creating.
An Audiobook Epiphany
I was driving home from dropping off my son the other day. On the way I was listening to an audiobook, and I heard something that completely resonated with me; the author talks about his work being stolen and how he dealt with it.
As an entrepreneur it spoke to me. So many people that take a chance and do what I do worry about someone coming along behind them and stealing their ideas. A recent conversation with my advisory group brought up that very issue.
So how do you protect something valuable you’ve created? The audiobook had the answer.
As I listened, the author was sharing that people would steal his jokes when he first started in comedy. Although the initial inclination of most would be a fear of losing their income followed by a threat to the person who took the joke, his approach was much different.
Instead, he saw it as a positive. He believed that it shows the joke is funny. It gets the joke out there. As to losing his source of income, he had a solution for that too: keep creating new jokes.
Take Tesla’s Patents
In June of 2014, Tesla made all of its patents “open source”. In other words, anyone can use their patents. Why? For the same reason that the comedian is okay with his jokes being stolen.
People don’t listen to comedians to hear the same jokes day after day. They don’t buy a Tesla because it’s the same car their grandfather had (grandfathers with good taste in electric vehicles not withstanding). They listen to comedians and buy Teslas because they want something innovative. They want something fresh. They do it because the comedians and Tesla keep creating new things and innovating.
If you want people to pay attention to you, keep creating. Don’t rest on your laurels. Don’t be satisfied with good enough. Always be improving. Your competition may be constantly wanting to steal your ideas, but it’s very hard to hit a moving target.
If you want to be successful in your career, in your business, and in your life, keep creating. People can’t copy what they don’t see coming.