The Fine Line Between Inspiration and Imitation

Posted In:

Several months ago, I saw an ezine which looked very similar to mine – same format, same dots, etc.  I sent a note to the publisher and she said “I loved the design of your ezine so I gave it to my graphic designer and asked her to recreate it for me.” 

A couple of months ago, I was speaking with a client who said to me “Sandy, I love your passion about what you do and the way you teach it makes everything so easy, it’s infectious. . .I’m going to rebrand and become a marketing strategist too.” 

And a few weeks ago, I started getting emails from clients telling me that an alumni of my Create Your Best Year Ever program has taken my proprietary spreadsheets and templates, reformatted them and is now offering a program “designed to help you have your best year ever in 2011” and is claiming that she’s “never seen anyone tie marketing activities and revenue generation together” before her program. 


There’s a fine line between being inspired by someone’s work and imitating it.  The above examples are pure imitation and not only do an injustice to me (or to whomever they're imitating), but to the business owners who are imitating. 

You see, everyone has unique strengths – created from our innate abilities and talents, the unique experiences of our lives and our education and learning. 

Rather than try to become someone else, the key to your business – and personal – success is to tap into your own well of uniqueness, from there, you’re naturally successful and everything is much easier for you.

How to know if you’ve crossed the line. . .

It’s fabulous to be inspired and motivated by someone – take that positive energy, embrace it and use it to fuel your own creativity. . .you're goals will start to manifest themselves almost effortlessly.

Imitation has a completely different energy about it – and your intuition knows when you’ve crossed the line.  Check in with yourself by asking these questions: 

  • Am I flipping back to her program, info page, templates, etc. in designing my program?
  • Am I giving my designer one source to imitate or am I noticing “this and that” from different places and asking for something which reflects my uniqueness?
  • Has anyone said “that reminds me of…”, or have I said that to myself?

The best inventions, successes and biggest leaps in human history come from those who are inspired.  What will you create today?

If inspired, please let me know your thoughts below. . .  🙂