Unless you live in a cave* you have been influenced – by the books you’ve read, the people you’ve spoken to, the education you received, the people you had a drink with in the bar, the events, TEDs, podcasts, infinite scroll, jokes, colleagues, competitors, family, friends, frenemies…

If you haven’t been influenced then the writer, author, speaker, communicator did a crap job** or you live in a cave (see above!)

All these ‘influencers’ turned you into who you are and guided, advised, cajoled you to do the things you do (or poked you, poking works too).

But you knew all of that (maybe except the cave bit).

The problem isn’t being influenced and influencing (we can’t avoid it), so why are these my two most heard questions (apart from Debs, did you really live in a cave?):

1. What if I create something and get it out there and people copy me?


2. What if I create something, get it out there and I’ve accidentally copied someone else?

Maybe you’ve thought of these two questions yourself?

Where’s the line between being influenced and being a great big copy cat?

How to be a great copier:
1. Note your sources as you’re learning (Tiago Forte’s Second Brain book has a great process, I’ve been copying following him for years).
2. Be generous with others and yourself, shine the spotlight, share their ideas.
3. Copy from multiple, varied sources – then mix it up, create your own intellectual perspective, test it in the real world.

How to be copied:
1. Get stuff out of your head and into the world.
2. Make it so good – INCREDIBLY VALUABLE – it gets copied.
3. Create phrases, statements, tools, kits, images, frameworks that are easily used and copied! This is your valuable lexicon.

You want to be copied – that means you’ve influenced.

You also want to be quoted as the source – so make sure you said it first.

Stuff stuck in your head can’t be copied!
It also can’t influence!
And it can’t help you grow your business!
(Was that enough exclamation points?)

Ciao for now,


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