As I’ve matured (I think it was last week) I’ve come to realize that being copied (short of outright plagiarism) and people using my ideas is a testimony to my value. And if you have a strong enough brand, intelligent people realize that you’re the source and others are simply being derivative. So I long ago (about three months) stopped worrying about people using my stuff. When I began the immensely popular Monday Morning Memo® I soon found Tuesday Tidbit, Wednesday Wonders, Thursday Thinking, and so on popping up. No one has had the brass yet to try “Two Million Dollar Consulting,” though people have ripped off the book.
Every so often a firm comes along to offer to “take down” one of my products or books that is being illegally sold for a few bucks somewhere, or even offered for free. I’ve found that most of the time that same firm is the one offering them for free! Then they want to be paid to stop doing it!
When you create what I call “a body of work” and a strong brand—a repute in the “public square”—then the people who matter know the original source.
(One of my favorite experiences: I was on LinkedIn, where I spend two minutes a day to see if I’m supposed to reply to anything, and I came across three guys discussing Million Dollar Consulting. They had interpreted something incorrectly, so I made a comment to clarify what I had written. They thanked me graciously. The next day I returned to see if they had more questions, and one of them had posted this after I had left the day prior: “Do you feel as if we’re in a pickup basketball game in a schoolyard, and Michael Jordon just dropped by?”)
Unlike a Tesla, that charge gives me a range of about 10,000 miles. Copy that.