Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bossy: Being Authentic

Happy Tuesday!

If you are not familiar, last week I introduced a new series to my blog that will follow my journey as a newbie entrepreneur. Read more here. My plan is to write at least 1 post a month about things I have learned or am experiencing while I am in the journey and my hope is to inspire you, to challenge you, and give you my perspective through the process. 

One of the first things I struggled with internally when starting to turn commissioned work as an artist into a business was authenticity. Believe it or not, we live in a society that promotes entrepreneurship. The loyalty to brands is few and far between, and once you have one thing - many people copy, imitate, or clone to try to get on that wave of success. This is something that is very hard and scary for a newbie to face.

The thought of someone stealing my work, or my ideas and writing them off as theirs is sheer terror. 

I began to think, how can I truly create everything I want to create with the knowledge that someone may steal my work or try to imitate what I do. How do I plan for that? I began to keep my thoughts and ideas locked up and not willing to share with others with the fear of them not being trustworthy and spinning it for their own personal gain.

I sat down with God and asked, what am I supposed to do!? I don't want people stealing my stuff, I don't want to be so secretive about everything, and I surely don't want to limit myself because of it. Over the course of a few days I began to get answers to the questions I was longing for.

Be Authentic. Be Original. Don't Copy. 
I kept hearing these phrases ringing within me. Often times we look at places like Pinterest, social media, and other people for inspiration. While those things may spark awesome ideas, they are also ways that we become prone to copying. Often times when I am trying to come up with an idea for a post on the blog, I may like an idea I've seen but I try to think how can I spin it? How can I change it and make it something new? How can I create the next best version of it?

I was basically being taught to apply that to my art. To be authentic in my work and what I produced. Focusing on always being true to myself and being original will keep me ahead of those that copy. If you are copying something, you need the original in order for you to do your work.

As a copycat - If the original isn't creating anything new, you aren't either.

I had to look at the copycats as always being a few steps behind me. Which means that I would always be ahead of them. I am working on this day by day. I am starting to focus more on being original and coming up with new and different ideas, all thanks to Jesus as He is truly my idea generator. Focusing on the future of where my brand is going and looking into creative new ideas to propel my business and my work is an important key to it's success.

Putting more effort into the unknown ideas and unmarked territory in your industry is more vital to your business than thinking about who will copy you. 

We see this daily with our cell phone and technology companies, like Apple. They live in an innovative industry. With people adopting and adapting quite quickly all the time, their ideas are bound to be used and copied. But instead of focusing on the copycats, they are searching on how to make their businesses better.

Many of the things we will want to use haven't even been thought of yet. That's the market we go after. 

That is the idea I must apply to my business. I have ideas of things that I have never seen before, I am excited to work on them and pour my heart into them. But I have to know that someone will use it, someone will copy it word for word, someone will try to pass it off as their own. But as long as I am staying authentic and being original - they will always be two steps behind me.

On top of that - Common copyright laws always protect the artist in cases like an original piece of work, so thank God I have that to back me up. The work I offer is for personal use and all rights are always held by me, unless there is an agreement saying otherwise. If someone takes my item and tries to say its theirs I could totally go after them. If a client bought a custom illustration and started to produce an item commercially with my work without my approval, I could go after them. I have rights, and so do you - so research and know your rights. Its a principle of God's kingdom that we are aware of our rights, and its no different here on earth. It is important to protect yourself the best you can, but understand that your focus can't be there.

Your focus has be on where you are taking your business. 

I know that if I give Jesus the reigns in this business, He will continue to help me focus on the important things and take this business to the next level. He will guide my footsteps and make me go in the right direction. Without Him, I was worried, scared, and fearful. With Him I am confident, inspired, and original.

Be Original. Be Authentic. Don't Copy.

Have a blessed day!

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Further Reading:
Romans 12:2
Romans 12:6-7
Jeremiah 29:11


  1. I love this post! :)
    This happened in my fashion uni class, copying, unoriginality etc.
    I'm happy to say that my collection was totally my own work and ideas!

  2. I never really understood where the satisfaction is in copying someone else's idea - I couldn't do that and make something I was proud of because I'd always know it wasn't really my own work. Lovely tips for not letting it get to you though - it must be frustrating!!

    Jess xo

  3. Nice read http://www.sparklingsmakeup.com/

  4. Being authentic and true to yourself is probably the most important thing in starting a new business! You're doing a great job so far!

  5. I think the thing I always struggled with was, am I good enough? Is mine different enough to the others to make mine stand out. I make crochet blankets and other bits and bobs but I don't think they are different enough to stand out - also I can see the bits where they aren't quite 100% right or where they could be better.

  6. I agree. It's so important to be yourself.

  7. Congrats to you as a new entrepreneur! Great stuff here. My focus on being authentic has been a central theme for a few years now--well worth it! T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

  8. This is a great series! I don't know why people steal ideas from others! I would feel so bad if I would do something like that.

    Pink Frenzy

  9. Some really good pointers here lovely x

  10. Alice In The Looking GlassOctober 29, 2014 at 6:33 AM

    Congratulations on your business! It's awful that you have to worry about people stealing your ideas but it's good that there's routes you could go down if that ever were to happen. Good luck with your venture! Alice xx

  11. I don't know whether or not I am bossy, I probably am.

  12. thats the good series you started and i hate people who copies others' ideas

  13. i think many artists will go through this. i've had a few situations where i would share a series of photos of a family online and a few days later, i had another person take family photos for a different family of the same poses as me. it was so awkward! i mean, i understand i'll get that, the same poses, but not like ALL!

    with everything being on social media, it's important to always stay true to yourself. great to have people that inspire you, but also to create your own authentic work. :)

  14. That's sucks that people do this, but that's awesome that you made sure to keep your original ideas! :)

  15. That's how I feel, Jess. I just couldn't find the satisfaction in something that I didn't really create.

  16. Thanks, Beth! It really is a fundamental of being a new business owner!

  17. Yeah, its funny because we always second guess ourselves and it really sucks when we believe our second guesses and don't just go for it. I have often just put it out there and reacted to the response when I start to overthink and analyze it actually hurts me more most times. I generally get a good response when I just go for it!

  18. It really is worth it Tina. Thanks for stopping by!

  19. I mean same here, some people just don't want to do the work, I guess.. I have no clue either. Thanks for stopping by, Laura!

  20. Thanks so much Alice. I appreciate it!

  21. Ha! If you don't know, you probably are. haha+

  22. Exactly, Jean. Its can be frustrating! But if you are staying true to your style and focusing on the unmarked potential, you are bound to do great. Thanks for stopping by!

  23. It is well beyond me why people copy others! I've run two instances where I came up with an idea that was really similar to someone else's (and theirs had been done before mine, but I had never seen it) and I felt awful! I didn't even intend to copy someone, but the fact that it was so close made me feel like I had. Because that bothered me so much, I can't even begin to believe I'd ever feel okay truly intentionally copying someone.

  24. Really love this post!! It's hard to be authentic sometimes, but its so so important!


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