I was recently talking to a gorgeous wellness entrepreneur who was telling me a story about when some people stole and shared the content that was part of a paid online program she offers.
The worst thing – and the thing that inspired me to dig into this a little more on the blog – was that she admitted she may have adjusted her big vision and goals because of this incident.
And I know she is not alone. Putting so much of our content, expertise and ideas out in the world is scary. I have met many entrepreneurs along the way who worry about their ideas being stolen.
So let’s smash this one on the head, pronto, so you can get on with your beautiful creations. I even brought a lawyer to the table!
Obviously you want to make sure everything YOU create is original, and you have all the disclaimers, website terms, policies etc on your website and in any distributed content.
Online legal mentor, Shalini Nandan-Singh says that if you create original content, you are protected by copyright laws. To make it really clear to any user, put the copyright symbol and your name and the year on all written content (© Name Surname 2016.), watermark visual and auditory content.
Shalini also says be really clear – with yourself and your readers/users – of what the content is intended for and what is okay and not okay to do with it.
Know what YOUR unfair advantage is and ensure you protect that.
The fact is, whatever you’re offering, someone else is offering something similar. Whether it’s a weight loss program, a quit sugar program, if there’s a market and you’re in it, others will be there too.
But there is a reason people choose to buy your product over someone else’s. Something in the DNA of you and your content that can’t be copied – that’s your unfair advantage.
What’s Sarah Wilson’s unfair advantage with her sugar quitting program? Her profile.
An unfair advantage could be some unique access to profile, networks or suppliers, it could be some innovation in your method. Typically for a solopreneur, your unfair advantage is about you – the skills, attributes, behaviours and experiences that you have which make your offering exactly the way it is.
Work to protect and enhance that.
If it’s your ability to connect with people and get to the heart of their issues quickly, don’t build something that removes all opportunity to connect from your products and services.
Focus on the 'sneezers' not the stealers.
The sneezers are the peeps who spread the word about how awesome you are.
Humans are by nature prone to focus on the one negative rather than the 50 positives. But what you focus on expands and becomes real, so forget the haters and focus on those who are spreading your vibe in an honest (paying) (hopefully germ-free) way!
Call them out.
Don’t be afraid to challenge them on the behaviour! Be specific about your terms and the exact thing they’ve done and what you would like them to do to rectify the situation.
They might ignore you. But at least they know that you know that they know. And maybe next time they won’t be so flippant about taking advantage of people’s stuff.
Keep doing what you really want to do, without fear or failure.
There are many reasons to make decisions in business. Fear is not one of them. Protecting yourself from being burned again is not one of them.
Keep showing up, keep being you – the cream rises to the top and the stealers and the haters? Well there’s no universe that will reward them in the end.
Want more of that legal advice? Check out Shalini here
Ask yourself: where is fear holding YOU back in your business? Is it time to let go?