Just Because You Did It *FIRST* Doesn't Mean You Own The Idea
There is a lot going on right now that is affecting us as business owners ... for instance, Instagram is jacking everything up with all their "changes" that are supposed to be "helping" us see what we "want to see" in our feeds << SUPER ANNOYING ... and overall I am noticing a lot of business owners being 'less supportive' of each other which makes me super sad. I feel like the IG fear of losing business is affecting people mentally to where they feel that:
COMPETITION HAS BECOME LETHAL INSTEAD OF HELPFUL
... and I disagree completely. Competition is healthy and it's what keeps us moving and staying away from the bad bad act of:
PUTTING YOUR BUSINESS IN COMFY-COZY SWEATS AND SERVING IT A COCKTAIL
If we look at the other business owners who are doing the same thing as us and we hate them and become bitter, then you are only hurting yourself. Which brings me to my point:
JUST BECAUSE YOU WERE THE FIRST ONE TO DO THE 'IDEA' DOESN'T MEAN YOU OWN THE RIGHTS TO BE THE ONLY ONE TO DO IT
Unless you have patented your idea, it's fair game out there in this world! If you put an idea out on the internet or on your Instagram feed or your design work gets featured and people SEE it or HEAR about it or are ASKED to do it ... then they get to. GASP(!!!!!!!!!) ... I know! Crazy, right? The worst thing you can do as a business owner or professional is attack another company for doing something you have already done.
What you should do is say:
Whoa, I raised the bar! I've changed something in this industry I love and I'm a leader. Now other companies are seeing that THIS is the new standard and they are going to start offering it. So, I better raise the bar again and be the BEST at it!!!!
Your ideas will always get stolen if they are amazing. If you create something that is a show-stopper or a 'never been done before' idea and people stop and take notice: then you're gonna get copied. Sorry, it's just life. Take it as a compliment and also, be humble about it! This is how businesses grow and it's also how businesses crash to the ground and burn. How you handle a little competition - or even a lot of it - will show your true character.
And consider this: if you're the one getting "ripped off" and having your ideas stolen, it's because you're the sh*t and companies are freaking out! So, embrace it, ignore it publicly (please ignore it) ... and keep on moving forward.
And if you don't want people messin' with your ideas and copying them??? Get to patenting every single f*cking one ...