Does a true Entrepreneur follow everyone else?

This blog post is in answer to a question that one of our “Growing” members Mai asked me. She has clients who keep asking her to “model” the website, system, etc. of other people and one of her clients asked her to model my site! She told her to sign up for our membership and then copy it. Well, I view this as stealing my ideas, not modeling. It’s one thing if I’m selling the system I created; I’m not. While I have measures in place to prevent those who may try to do this, I don’t appreciate it one bit that someone asked her to steal from me; someone who no doubt considers themselves an entrepreneur. Mai, didn’t take the client and told them she felt it would be dishonest to do that. She also let them know she was already a member of my website. I’m proud of you Mai and I never forget that type of loyalty. I believe Mai has already read my article “What to do when your Ethics are tested” and this will also be a strong article about those who fancy themselves entrepreneurs, but are merely “copying”, “modeling” or I saying “stealing” the ideas of others and passing them off as their own.

I understand that marketers have to sell, so of course they will tell you that you must have “systems” in place, because they want you to buy their “systems”. I do agree that you need to have processes and procedures in place to run a successful business; but what happened to creating your own?! Shouldn’t an entrepreneur be innovative enough to do what works for them? Of course there will be people who tell you “Why re-invent the wheel?” to mask their own lack of creativity. I say because there may be something better than the wheel. I mean were search engines always around? No, but there’s now a better way to research than dusting off encyclopedias.

While you may have the same services, etc., if you’re in the same industry as someone else, you needn’t follow what everyone else says is a must! For instance, one marketer does videos and then the “followers” all say being in your own “VIDEO is where it’s at!”  I mean really….do what makes you comfortable and you’ll no doubt be much better at it. I have been interviewing experts the way I want to interview them on our YouTube channel for YEARS, now I notice that some of the biggest names in marketing are interviewing people, whereas before, they were only featuring themselves in their videos. There’s another woman in Canada that I think was also interviewing others when I started, but there weren’t many. Like I said in a previous post, popular marketers copy off of successful people who may not be as popular and think no one notices. Nothing could be further from the truth. When all you do is copy others and don’t give them credit or follow every trend you hear about, you aren’t really an entrepreneur.

Here are a few definitions I found of an entrepreneur:

  • Entrepreneur is an owner or manager of a business enterprise who makes money through risk and initiative.
  • Entrepreneur in English, is a term applied to a person who is willing to help launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome.

Some key words above are: NEW, RISK, VENTURE, RESPONSIBILITY, OWNER. So invent NEW ideas and systems; take RISKS, even if others don’t understand them; VENTURE into the unknown, if you feel it’s right for your business; take responsibility for your successes and if things don’t pan out; OWN your company and stand out from the rest. BE AN ENTREPRENEUR!

This is Shilonda Downing, signing off for Virtual Work Team LLC!

13 thoughts on “Does a true Entrepreneur follow everyone else?

  1. First I would like to say, Good for you Mia! People like your client are always looking for the easy way to earn a buck. They aren’t honest entrepreneurs.

    I know that for myself, I knew what worked for my business and my family. It helped when I reopened my business, but I am also still learning a lot. When I re-opened the first thing I did was join every blog, newsletter and forum I could. I wondered if others made the same errors I made and how they got around it. Well when information constantly repeats itself, I found that I was spending more time reading the actually working. Long story short I cut back to the few that not only gave me information of their trials, but also information that helped me in my field. I still ask questions, but for the most part I enjoy the trial and error.

    Thank you Shilonda and Mia for sharing your experience!

    1. Hi Teri:

      As always your insights are very helpful to the community. I think I deleted Mai’s comment by mistake, but will ask her to repost, but of course she agrees with us, that those who steal and copy and have no creative ideas of their own aren’t truly entrepreneurs. I think people miss the honesty factor as well when it comes to Entrepreneurship or doing any type of business. You ALWAYS reap what you sow, no matter how long it takes and it’s just good business and the best way to live to deal honestly with others and stealing others ideas, doesn’t fall in that category. You are also so right Teri about having to scale back from a million groups, Newsletter etc. as reading can be a major time suck if you’re trying to get started or rev your business back up, so Kudos to you and I’m truly honored that the Virtual Work Team blog and Newsletter list are ones you continue to subscribe to, learn from and enjoy. All the best my friend!

      Shilonda Downing
      Virtual Work Team LLC

  2. Mai:

    I got your comment early this morning and did something wrong, when I thought I was approving it. If you want to re-post that would be AWESOME! I’m glad you liked the blog and I truly appreciate your high morals, ethics and honesty. It’s the only way to be successful long term in life and of course business!

    Shilonda Downing
    Virtual Work Team LLC

  3. Shilonda I am trying to comment again, I think you are right about the plug-in because now it’s fine, but I just wnat to thank you for the article post here. It was right on time and I don’t steal or believe in that and I don’t know why that lady would ask me to do that. You are right, I did read your other article about what do you do when your ethics are tested. I believe in God like you do and I know that I did the right thing and thank you so much for recognizing an dappreciating me. 🙂

    1. Hi Mai!

      It was definitely that plug-in called “SPAM_FREE WORDPRESS” I won’t be using that anymore! It must have been a recent update to the plug-in because I don’t recall having the issue in the past where people were getting spam messages when they tried to comment, but you’re the 3rd person who has told me that so thank you.

      It was my pleasure to answer this question and to express my appreciation for your loyalty and honesty. You’re AWESOME and will always thrive when you do the right thing. Thank you Mai, others really appreciated this article too, so kudos to you for bringing this to my attention. I know that there are people like this out there and have measures in place just for that, but it’s always nice to know that someone like you refuses to enable thieves and I appreciate you very much! We truly are a family here and people just can’t break that up! 🙂 Much love to ya, Sis!

      Shilonda Downing
      Virtual Work Team LLC

  4. Shilonda, again you’ve got your finger on the pulse of the issue of the day! As I understand it, and entrepreneur is someone who identifies a need and finds an innovative way to fill that need. How can a person be innovative if they are copying someone else’s idea wholesale? Of course they could rationalize their action away by saying that they are just ‘implementing an existing, successful model’ but then where does the innovation come in? I believe that finding innovative solutions, though more time-consuming in the beginning, is better for everyone in the long run. As a consumer I always prefer to have as many options as possible so that I can make the best choice for me – cookie cutter options are such a turn off! And I have translated my consumer personality into my business. Yes it may take a little longer than just replicating a model, but at the end of it all, my clients are usually blown out the water – and that is a good thing!

    Keep the wonderful blogs coming!

    1. Gillian thanks so much!

      I LOVE the copying someone else WHOLESALE LOL! Girlfriend I feel ya’ totally! I couldn’t agree more with the fact that while it may take longer to get your innovation out there, in the long run, you’ll have the personal fulfillment in knowning that you alone can take the credit for it. Thanks so much for lending your insights, I truly value them!

      Shilonda Downing
      Virtual Work Team LLC

    1. Hi Krizia!

      I was responding to your LinkedIN invite to one of your events and what a coincidence as you’re the one I was referring to in the article. The Canadian woman who’s been interviewing experts for as long as I have. I’m so glad you stopped by to chime in and thanks for the compliment on the article. Super glad we re-connected!

      Shilonda Downing
      Virtual Work Team LLC

    1. You’re spot on, by giving credit to those who inspired you! I’m totally cool with someone saying: “I got this idea from Shilonda Downing, of Virtual Work Team LLC and then put my own spin on it.” No problem. However, if you’re a low-down thief who thinks that if you modify someones idea, just because you may have a bit more popularity than they do, and that no one will notice or pick up on it, you’re sadly mistaken. You’re just an idea-less wannabee and a loser in my eyes. I also totally agree with you on cool factor. It’s just not Cool!

      Shilonda Downing
      Virtual Work Team LLC

  5. Shilonda,

    Super topic! “Imitation is the finest form of flattery”, doesn’t really mean what it is intended to when it comes to copying.

    I know of an instance where someone copied another site. They even purchasing a very similar domain name.

    It’s happened to me. On some occasions I am able to do something about it. Sometimes I just have to let it go. The internet is a double-edged sword in this situation.

    I don’t mean to be so laissez-faire, however if you are the original, you need to continue with your plan.

    People who copy will never be leaders, they will never be ahead of the pack.

    They are not innovators who are truly interested in helping people.

    On the flip side, if you are inspired by others and incorporate your own personality, that is not copying.

    Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal.”

    There are very few original ideas out there. “Stealing” a great idea and and making it better in your eyes for your market is innovation…entrepreneurship.

    Thank you for the great article – Theresa 🙂

    1. Hi my friend!

      I’m so happy you chimed in, so that we get different views. You know I must disagree, respectfully. I think stealing is stealing no matter what type of fancy perfume you try to put on it. If you give the person you “STOLE” from credit, then most people would be ok with it. However, if you don’t give credit where it’s due, (fancied up with perfume or not) it’s stealing and you lose credibility all around. Those who do this aren’t entrepreneurs to me and most others I’ve talked to, they are unimaginative copy cats. However, I love that we can agree to disagree and still be cool! Thanks again for chiming in Theresa!

      Shilonda Downing
      Virtual Work Team LLC

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