Did someone copy your idea? Congratulations!

Have you ever walked into a store and noticed that the point-of-purchase display for a particular product or unique packaging looked strangely familiar? Hey, wait a minute – no wonder it looks familiar; those were my ideas! I’ve done this a few times. At first, I become very angry that someone “stole” my idea. But if I give myself pause just for a minute or two, all of a sudden, anger turns to pride. Wow, I think, someone actually liked my idea enough and believed it would be successful. It is true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. OK, so before I get too carried away here, I’m not suggesting that you steal ideas from your competitors, but you can learn from others. As professionals, we should be constantly looking for ways to better ourselves and our businesses. Just when I think I have the next great idea, I am humbled to find out someone else has either tried it and failed, or they’ve written a book about it because the idea was that good. To that end, I’ve created a “Michelle’s Pick List” of recommended business books (kind of like Oprah’s list only you wouldn’t probably read these on a beach but I would!). Ironically, when I started building this list on Amazon, it was evident pretty quickly that I constantly rely on marketing guru and blogger, Seth Godin, for ideas and vision as to where the rules of marketing will take us next. There are some other great visionaries on this list too, like David Meerman Scott, who looks at the new world and new rules of PR. Of course, there are some books on the fundamentals of marketing as well. I hope you use this list as a resource for yourself. And if you have a favorite that’s not on the list, let me know. I’m always looking for a great read!

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