Years ago when I was in the apex of my career in marketing I had this idea for a book on how a specific type of marketing could be applied to the professional service industry.

It was something I was already putting into practice successfully for several years so I had a wealth of first hand experience and data on the topic. I even started writing the introduction and made a few outlines of what information the book could include.

Then I let it sit there. Every few months I would dust it off and say I was going to move forward with it – but I never did.

About a year or two later an industry white paper came out on that very same topic – only it wasn’t written by me! Someone stole my idea and now they will get all the credit for it!

I’m very certain you’ve either heard a similar story or maybe even felt it yourself. The reality is that nothing was stolen from me.

I had an idea that I did not take action on – and ideas are worth nothing without action. Awards are given to those who took the steps to make the idea happen.

This is also why I have declined ever signing a NDA that a prospective client wants me to. Your idea. regardless of how good you may think it is, is meaningless unless you’re doing something with it.

You’ll see the same reaction often times from people or companies that are struggling. Those that are successful at what they do simply do not have the time nor bandwidth to worry about others who are trying to do something great.

More importantly, successful people do not feel threatened by the success of others. The reverse are those who become obsessed with what others are doing. They’ll chamber a list of excuses to throw out to defend themselves and why they are not doing as well as they want to, such as:

  • I’d be successful if only…
  • I’d be doing better but…
  • If it were not for…

Then comes the deflection, the finger pointing and the blaming of every external factor without once looking at the internal inadequacies.

Don’t allow yourself to fall into this position.

If, however, you find yourself on the other side of the table and people are sending you their upset messages on how you are preventing their success because of your success, then good.

I encourage you to not only keep it up, but to push harder. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing.

As marketing guru Seth Godin put it, if you are not upsetting anyone, then you’re not changing anything.

And if you are not changing anything, then what you are doing is not worth noticing.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto