THE first swivel up tube lipstick was patented in 1923, by James Bruce Mason Jr. in Nashville, Tennessee. It wasn’t long before Elizabeth Arden and Estee Lauder began selling lipstick in their salons.

The first petrol/gas powered car was developed by Karl Benz, in 1885.

Can you imagine walking into a store and only having one brand of lipstick to choose from? What about only being able to buy a car made by one manufacturer?

I could go on. The fact is, there aren’t many truly new businesses around nowadays, so why are so many of us closing down our ideas or stunting our commercial growth, just in case we tread on someone else’s toes?


Before we go further, let me be crystal clear: I am absolutely not encouraging plagiarism. I am in no way advising people to run off and rip off other people’s ideas.


I’m seeing too many small business people squash themselves, just because their business model is similar to something already out there, or because they’re afraid someone will accuse them of being a copy cat. The SME world is too small for that. You will always find people offering similar products and services to you. There’ll always be more than once ‘coach’, more than one utilities broker, more than one personal holiday rep, more than one web developer… want me to continue? Drill down further and there’ll always be more than one ‘coach’ offering online groups, or weekly/monthly/yearly planners with their own spin, or visualisation techniques, just as there’ll always be more than one utility person with a special deal on mobile phones, or a web developer claiming to be the most up to date when it comes to WordPress, or holiday reps offering 24/7 service.

There’s room for that. The planet is big enough. You need to stop stopping yourself.

Do you seriously believe other businesses are putting their ideas on hold, just in case they upset YOUR apple cart?


People, if you’re in business you gotta stop worrying so much about what others might think.

Seriously. This shit is slowing you down! I’m seeing people dulling their own flame, just in case it upsets someone else; I’m seeing people putting brilliant ideas on hold, just in case they tread on someone else’s toes!


There are rarely entirely new ideas these days. Thousands of people are doing similar jobs or running similar businesses. You CANNOT be successful in a bubble of avoidance.

Three simple guidelines to apply:

  • 1) Don’t set out to screw anyone else.
  • 2) Be mindful.
  • 3) Help people.

If you can check those boxes, if your internal compass and integrity are intact, get to it!

Don’t hide away, pigeon hole yourself and back your business into a corner, just because someone else is doing something similar, or because you’re afraid someone might think you copied, or took your inspiration from elsewhere. Keep your integrity clear and your determination even clearer!

People buy people. YOU make your offering different. Get out there and shine!



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