By Arthia Nixon
That brilliant idea you had is now being marketed to the masses. The press release you planned to submit to scores of media houses is now being read. And all you can do is sit back and wonder, how on earth did your ideas get out there but you are not the one who executed them? Or worse, why is someone else seemingly copying you?
In this tough media business, I’ve learned that it’s not about being the first or about who you can reach. It’s about being the best at it.
I can’t tell you the amount of time I’ve wasted pouting when former teammates, clients and colleagues took my ideas and used them. I had a few meltdowns that I would say were no more than elementary like tantrums but as the mother of an elementary aged child, saying that would be an insult to them. I have whined, cried, wanted to give up and felt as if I were used. Most recently, a competitor attended a launch I couldn’t attend because I had three other events in two different cities that weekend. I was livid. I knew his game and method of attack. He would go in, stalk out my clients and then try to get one over on me. Loyalty is one thing. Proof is another. At the end of the day, the company came back to me and asked me to disseminate the information after drafting press release with my name on it. I could have taken the opportunity to a low level. Instead, I politely said certainly, and within two days, they received stellar results. Two weeks later, the company head and I happened to meet each other at a dinner and he thanked me on behalf of his team.
In another incident, someone I know said she felt as if she were being ‘copied’. She kept insisting they were stealing her ideas but couldn’t do much about it other than sit back. Her catering and event planning company was going to face a serious problem. Out of the blue one day the phone rang. It was the same people she had lost to the ‘new company’ calling her for bookings. As it turns out, the new kid on the block simply couldn’t provide the standard she had set. Never mind their glossy brochures. At the end of the day, they failed where she had always succeeded.
To succeed in most games, you must accept the fact that you will be met with competition and copiers but you have got to handle it correctly. These five basic lessons have helped me personally.
- FOCUS – Do not lose your focus! You have got to keep your head in the game, your eyes on the prize and your foot in the door. You will always have competition. You just have to be able to put your foot down and keep on going to the best of your ability.
- FAITH – You were selected to do the job because your client has faith in you. But how can you do it if you do not have faith in yourself? Keep your head on and make certain that whatever it is you are planning to do will only get done if you have the faith that you can do it.
- COMPETITON – Consider it a reason to always bring it and deliver it with a bang. Do not settle or allow yourself to get comfortable in thinking that this is what is always going to work for you. You can’t worry about what they are doing in their camp because you’ve got to be the Gideon in your own camp coming up with strategies to stay on top. You also have to sometimes compete against yourself. Always enter it as if you can lose it at anytime because the truth is, you can lose it at anytime to a competitor.
- COPYING – No one would copy you unless you set a standard. Those who copy you are complimenting you by wanting to be you. Yes, someone may steal your entire campaign and idea and make it their own but they can only copy what you already did and not what you are thinking of doing. So once it’s out there, someone who admires you will attempt to follow your game. Take it as a compliment and smile knowing you were the one who did it first. Don’t settle and plan the next phase. Switch it up and keep the copiers on their toes.
- DON’T BE BITTER, BE BETTER – Does that need an explanation? In case it does, plain and simple don’t take it personal when your competition and copiers show up. Instead of being bitter and bratty about it, wasting time crying over it, focus on ways to stay on top and be better about the industry you are in so they can have a reason to watch. Focus on your game and you will have competition. The higher you climb, expect more copiers because people will aspire to what you have accomplished.
That being said, get out there and #Rise!