Are You An Original?

I’m not always up to date on everything, and I’m betting I’m not the only one. I read and listen to a lot of interviews with people on various subjects, but sometimes it takes me awhile to get to it. A couple of days ago I finally got to a recorded interview Willie Crawford did with a guy named Paul Evans, who runs a website called Nicheology. It helps people learn how to make money through internet marketing, but this guy’s got a real world pedigree of creating and still owning regular businesses as well. He actually had a lot of good things to say during this interview, which took place in November 2008, but I came away with one thing in particular.

Willie asked him what were 3 reasons he believed most people fail at internet marketing. His first answer was the biggie for me: “being a complete copycat.” That’s it, short, sweet and simple. He goes on to say that many people buy a lot of products seeing how someone else did it, or goes to see what someone else did as far as creating their website or marketing their product online and tries to copy it, and then it doesn’t work and they blame whatever it was they read or just find that it’s not working as well for them. He believes that we learn from others by taking things they’ve done and finding new ways of applying them to whatever it is we do or want to do, because even within the same niche nothing is ever the same from person to person or business to business.

I found that an incredible statement and true as well. My wife and I were in the car a few nights ago and she was saying how many of the songs today sound the exact same. I thought back on disco and how, after awhile, you could tell the junk from the good stuff because the junk sounded exactly like something else you’d already heard. And let’s not even get into that European electronic music of the late 80’s and early 80’s; you could have put a monkey in front of the mike and not known who was singing a particular song.

Are you an original? I like to think I am, but at the same time, I acknowledge that I probably could have made things a lot easier if I hadn’t gone into so many things with so much skepticism. I mention Willie because he’s the guy who put together that book I market to the right about 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day, one of the few books that I’ve actually ever gotten something out of, which is why I’ve listened to some of the interviews he’s done and given over the years. True, he’s always marketing, yet there’s something about him that just comes across as original and authentic.

I think that for the most part most of you who visit this blog are extremely original, and I love that. I still feel somewhat cheated when I go to see a blog post and I see the same exact things spouted about how to be successful in internet marketing or blogging that I’ve seen time and time again. I mean, some concepts are what they are; commenting on other blogs will help your blog to grow and there’s no debate about that. But telling people that it’s a new concept is not only a lie, but it’s not original.

Originality is a great thing to strive for; being contrary isn’t. Contrarianism for argument’s sake gets you nothing except a little bit of attention. Taking the opposite side of something you don’t believe in just wastes people’s time. Sometimes it’s way too transparent as well; if I started saying I support efforts of… no, I don’t want to give anything I hate negative attention so I’ll let it go there. lol

Back to the original question; are you original? And are you happy with it? I hope so; that’s when you’re the most interesting.

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25 thoughts on “Are You An Original?”

  1. Hi Mitch

    I hope I am original cos I don’t think most people could cope with more than one of me lol I like to think of it more as just being myself.

    Have never really figured out why people would want to be the copycat of someone else. It is enough for me just to be me.

    And when we are comfortable being ourselves, means that if some people don’t like us, they can go find people they do. That’s ok. There are those I click with more than others. Nothing wrong with that.

    Was very freeing when I realised this as then I can relax, be who I am and enjoy just being me 🙂

    Patricia Perth Australia

    1. Great stuff, Pat. I think most people start out being originals, but then they see someone else doing something that’s working well and they decide to try the same thing. Most of us created websites, other than to promote our business, with an intention of making money from it. Why? Because someone else made money from it, and we decided to take our shot. But copying directly from someone else almost never works; we all have to do our tweaks so that it really becomes ours.

  2. Thats my problem too. I find myself seeing something I like and copying it. I guess I need to try to just find my own thing and stick with it. Oh well I will learn…

    1. Tanya, following something successful isn’t always bad as long as you also find a way to make it more yours. If you keep changing, then you see the lesson in front of you.

  3. Hmm Paul was right. Well, you know you can’t blame those who are copycat entirely because many internet marketers sell their products saying, “this system works and guarantees you will earn your $$$$$$$$ in the next couple of days.” The world is full of desperate people and when they hear something like this they jump right in.
    Anyway, I’ve just got my very own blog and I’m trying my best to come up with something original, or at least something that not everybody is already talking about.

    1. Good luck on your new blog, Anne. And here’s the thing about talking on things everyone else is talking about. There’s no problem with that; just have a point of view that adds something different in some fashion. For instance, I began this post by mentioning something someone else said, then expounding on it. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

      1. That’s a good point, Mitch and thank you for the well-wish about my new blog.
        The idea may not be original but saying your view about it makes it your original thought.
        And oh! The internet is such a huge population. One’s audience may not be yours so we can’t presume that everyone has heard about it.

  4. Hi Mitch,

    I’d like to think that I am original. But I really don’t know how others view me. I started blogging about raw foods and realized that no one was really focusing on the overall health of people. I also realized that not everyone will be vegan or raw vegan, but people definitely like to know more about becoming healthy. So I decided to go out on a limb and be different. Plus I do topics about blogging and I try my best not to be like others. But sometimes it’s hard.

    Thanks for sharing the info about the ebook, I’ll definitely check it out.

    Take care,


    1. Evelyn, you’re definitely an original. The thing is that you write about how it affects you and your beliefs; that’s great stuff. If you were just parroting what someone else said, barely taking the time to make any changes to the information, that would be boring and stiff and trust me, you’d know how people were perceiving you. 😉

  5. Hey, man.
    What you know about disco? LOL
    That gave me a laugh just thinking about it.

    But to the point here, yes, there are so many knock-off products floating about that you tend to have little interest in anything sometimes. Having said that, it’s not at all a bad thing to improve upon something and allowing your particular style and brand show through.

    You do heat the “it doesn’t work” deal quite a bit in forums and other venues. You are so right about what works for one may not necessarily working for someone else, there are too many variables. You have to find some unique angle to apply to the situation.

    Look at blog topics for instance. Is there one that has never been covered in some form or fashion before?

    To your question, yes I am original. I only know how to be me and anything else is just too much work. 🙂

    1. Jimi, man, do I know disco! My collection of 12-inch singles would have blown you away back in the day. I even had 2 disco shirts and two leisure suits; I’m trying to figure out who threw them away, because I know I didn’t. lol

      Actually, I’m betting I’ve talked about a thing or two here and there that no one else has talked about, but overall you’re correct, we make things our own and that makes them original. I mean, just how many ways are there to bake a chocolate cake, yet every day someone’s writing a new recipe of some sort.

      Your stuff is deep; we need to get more people there. 🙂

  6. I don’t know that I am that exceptionally original but I believe I am uniquely me. Since there’s nothing new under the sun I try to do the variations of the old things and make them my things. We absorb so much in our lives that it’s difficult not to be influenced somewhere along the line. And influence is not bad, unless you don’t conform it to who you are and try to be someone else. That is, unless you’re an Elvis impersonator or something like that.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Good stuff, Lee; Elvis impersonator yet. lol That’s a great point about what influences us having a major impact on just how original we might be. I worry that today’s kids have so much stuff coming at them in video games and the like that they’ve lost the art of “pretending”; I hope I’m wrong.

  7. Hi Mitch,

    Wonder if you remember me? well your site templates has changed alot. But the tag cloud is still here. Am follower of your blog sometime ago. My comment was in

    I was offline for 8 months and my blog has gone up to PR3. Well, I’ve forgotten to pay hosting and my site is gone but the url is still searchable with PR3.

    Wonder if I could just let the domain name go, or sell it.

    Best regards..

  8. Generally I’ve stopped reading books and guide of how to make money online about 10 years ago, one of my ex-colleagues showed me a new one last weekend. Same old story, never changed. However, I agree that original idea of course there can’t be many original ideas nowadays works better. I don’t think that there is a simple way, but what I know from my practice and career as internet marketer is that 99.9% of the people fail because loose the passion and are not consistent with what they are doing. About 90% don’t have a plan, about 99.9% choose the wrong niche the same apply for the keywords.

    1. I think it’s hard for those of us who still feel like novices to know whether our plan is great or not, Carl. I think I can honestly say that every online plan I’ve had except one has failed to turn into any kind of money whatsoever. And the one that’s succeeding… I have no real idea why it’s working out, and I’m not questioning it either. In that regard, I assume it’s because in its own way it is an original, and I’ll run with that.

  9. I think everyone is an original. Of course when doing and learning different things there are always some “tried and true” methods. If I resort to one of them, I still try to expand on it and see what I can bring of my own to the idea.

    1. Best way to go, Jessica. One of my friends does say there’s not always a reason to reinvent the wheel.

  10. Hey Mitch,

    I strongly believe in “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else” and I think being original and trying only innovating things brought the small success I am enjoying now.

    I see a lot of people copying me every day, and I also see that sometimes they stop after a few weeks. It just goes to show that being a copycat doesn’t always pay off, but being original might at least teach you something.

    If you repeat what others have did, and thus avoiding the mistakes they did to perfect that method, you will never know why you are doing it, so you will probably fail.

    I like to think that I am original with in most of my activities, and although I am not perfect and I might get inspiration from somebody else too, I usually try to add something that is my own, something that will make it better and different.

    1. Inspiration is fine, Alex. Heck, things such as writing motivational messages to oneself based on something someone else came up with isn’t such a bad thing. Actually, there are some things I wish people would copy from me, as I copied certain things from my parents. But it’s in application in other areas, where one hopes those that are just regurgitating something others have already seen without injecting something of themselves into , where we hope to see originality.

  11. I like to think that I’m original. I make an effort with BSM at least to use as much of my own material as I can, and hope that I can give a little different twist on things.

    Saying that, not all duplication is bad. Sometimes you have to learn a system really well in order to discover what you can add that’s original.

    In marketing, I’ve been following and duplicating your advice…but that is all the stuff in the background. what’s up front in the blog…remains mine.

    I do worry about just repeating what’s been said before…but just saying something a wee bit differently can be the key to opening a door for someone. And I hope that through what I do, I open some doors.

    In the end, my purpose is to inspire others, and I will continue to search for ways to do that differently than someone else.


    1. Nick, there are a lot of people who write about inspiration and motivation, and yet I think most of them come from a unique place because you talk about what affects you. I love the stuff you share; you don’t have to worry about whether you’re an original or not. 🙂

  12. Hey Mitch,

    I try to be original everyday. I agree with you and your wife, most of the songs today sound the exactly same. I guess there are folks who are uncomfortable with being original, but I am more than happy with being original. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Mitch.

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