We live in a world right now that values innovation. Especially in entrepreneurial circles, being unique can be your bread and butter.

It can be scary to think our ideas might be copied or feeling like we might be copying someone else.

Let’s take some pressure off. Let’s imagine for a moment that what we are doing is not unique. What if everyone got to be special and met on equal playing fields?

Here’s the thing, no one owns culture or cultural trends. That song you hear on the radio that sounds like the other songs. It probably wasn’t copied. It was simply in line with what people like to hear. They work together.

Copying does exist, and we must chose not to do it! I’m not giving you permission, in the name of culture, to go out and swipe someone’s photograph, web copy, writing, program details, recipes, etc. and call them your own.

You know when you are copying. You know when you are taking those exact words, turns of phrase, and yes, even ideas from someone. Don’t do that!

If you see someone has done that to you tell them to stop it. Right now! Get legal counsel.

Why You Aren't Unique

But also check-in with yourself and know the difference between holding your ideas too tight and when there has been a clear violation. Be honest with yourself, and think about where you came up with your unique idea in the first place. I’m willing to bet you had teachers and influences too.

We are all lineage holders and transmitters.

Here’s a nice alternative to consider: What if you wake up this morning and find out that you are part of a chorus of like-minded people wanting the world to be a better place?

Let’s celebrate those shared cultural trends we get to be a part of at this unique, yes unique, time in history!

Let’s join together in a spirit of co-operation and co-creation. Not competition. Let’s collectively create culture in new and beautiful ways. Because one of the great things about culture is that it constantly changes, and we get to be part of that change!

P.S. I made the above images using a free-to-use photo from Unsplash taken by Alexander Trukhin (the tea filter) and one that I did take (the moon) with two apps I didn’t create (Diana and Picmonkey). Still, I had a lot of fun making them and I think they are pretty awesome…and unique-ish!

Oh, and this post idea came out of several conversations, and thoughts I’ve been thinking for years, but was prompted this morning by something a dear friend said. Perhaps someone else wrote a similar thing today (or yesterday or tomorrow). I hope so!