Monday, 18 January 2016

When Someone Steals Your Big Idea

when someone steals your big idea
Treachery, deceit, theft,
sneakiness, poker face
Imagine the scenario: you share a fabulous business idea with a peer, ask for feedback and advice only to discover a few weeks later that this person has copied your idea and is already profiting from it.

Something similar can happen in the corporate world, where you do all the hard work, and someone else (usually your superior) takes all the credit.

While it is difficult to control this kind of thing, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid idea theft:

1. Be careful, who you trust. There are many wolves in sheep clothing out there. Even people you call friends can turn against you, especially if they work in the same field as you.

2. Send yourself a letter. In order to protect your copyright and intellectual property right, you can put all details of your idea in writing, add some sketches, photos, perhaps even a sample, and put all these items into an envelope or parcel. Then send it to yourself by recorded delivery. When you receive your mail, keep it sealed and protect the date stamp on the postage label. This will act as proof that you came up with the idea first, in case there is a lawsuit.

3. Before you share your idea with anybody, you can make the person sign a confidentiality agreement. Don't feel awkward about it, especially when you think your idea has the potential to make you serious money.

If you have been a victim of idea theft: 

First, have a quiet discussion with the perpetrator about the situation and establish all the facts. This includes providing the evidence that you are the originator of the idea they have taken on.

If this doesn't work, don't hesitate to make it public if you have proof. Nobody should get away with theft, but do avoid mud-slinging. State the facts on your blog without getting too emotionally involved. Let your readers decide for themselves.

Next time, keep quiet about your ideas. See advice number 1 above.

Don't be discouraged to go back to the drawing board and create something bigger and better. And please, keep your mouth shut about it until it's launched :)

And if you steal other people's ideas:

Before you do, consider collaboration. You could add a complimentary product or service that will benefit you both.

If you are still tempted, really try to stop right here. Let the originator of the idea get the credit, before you fall from grace.

You will be found out eventually, and your reputation will be tainted.

You will be taking a risk to get sued, especially if your victim has followed my advice above.

Stealing someone else's idea is bad karma and in the long-term won't make you feel good or win you more friends.

Your peers will know, but you don't know who of them knows. Does that make you feel uncomfortable? I hope so ;)

Why don't you just buckle down and generate your own effing ideas?

Idea theft is something that happens so often nowadays in the work place and amongst creative freelancers.

In a world, where it becomes more and more difficult to create something that truly hasn't been done before, for some people stealing seems to be the easy option to produce something. However, it rarely pays in the long-term.

Warmest wishes,


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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The Lovers at Work - Choices and Commitment

the lovers at work choices and commitment
"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." Henry Ford

In Tarot, the Lovers are mostly associated with love and relationships.

In a reading about work/career issues, this card could indicate a love interest connected to work, or a choice you need to make that affects both your work and relationship.

But the Lovers is no automatic indication that you are about to fall in love with someone at the workplace :)

This card may well ask you to pay attention to professional relationships in your working life rather than the amorous ones.

  • Collaboration rather than competition - healthy competition is good for you, especially when you use it as inspiration to improve your skills and find your own niche. Network and build relationships with professionals you admire; likewise if a less experienced person approaches you for advice, then offer all the help you can give. In the long-term this will pay off as you will gain a reputation of being approachable, supportive and generous rather than selfish, ruthless and arrogant. Who can you collaborate with for mutual benefit? 
  • Teamwork - working in an office environment can be stressful at times mainly due to different personalities all trying to work towards the same goal and getting rewarded for it individually along the way. Effective teamwork is based on mutual support, respect and trust, individual accountability and constructive communication. What issues do you need to address to work more effectively in a team? 
  • Communication - working with others requires clear, concise, honest, respectful and regular communication. This includes talking, listening and the written word. Avoid gossiping, back-stabbing and getting involved in dramas. Be careful what you write in your emails, letters, reports or articles that will be read by others. Stick to facts and evidence rather than assumptions, accusations and hear-say. Reduce the amount of emails; also try to limit their contents to up to five short sentences.  How can you improve your communication skills to interact more efficiently with others?
  • Logic and Reason - keeping a cool head at times of stress and tension in the workplace can be hard, but it is important to avoid emotional involvement or reactions. How can you detach yourself emotionally from challenging situations at work? 
  • Choices - you may have to make some important choices regarding your working life. Changing jobs, changing your entire career, moving to a different department, starting your own will need to weigh up these choices carefully; they are likely to affect the rest of your life. What would you like to improve about your work? What changes are necessary for you to achieve your goals? What do you want to keep, and what do you need to let go of? 
  • Love your job - Let's not ignore love totally, when the Lovers come up in your reading. If you are not enjoying your work, then this may be a good time for you to take the plunge and start afresh. If this is too radical for you, then the least you can do is explore what action you can take to feel more enthusiastic about your work. Sometimes it can be just your mindset that needs to change. What can you do to make your working life more fulfilling? 
  • Balance - here in the UK, the highly demanding work culture is putting pressure on people to work long hours leaving them stressed and exhausted at the end of the day. If you are one of those people, then consider paying more attention to your private life. Spend more time with family, friends, pursue activities you enjoy and relax more. Effective work/life balance will make you happier and healthier. How can you help yourself to have the best of both worlds? How can your workplace contribute to implement healthier work/life balance? 
The Lovers in a reading can act as a reminder of how important it is to build and sustain professional networks and business partnerships based on co-operation and mutual benefit.

Re-evaluate your priorities including working less and living more.

Perhaps you will need to brush up on your communication skills to work more efficiently.

Heck, you may even get yourself into a fling or affair at work, and you will need to carefully consider its consequences.

Most of all, when you apply the energies of the Lovers well, it can lead to the essence of this card: you will love the work you do.

Warmest wishes,


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