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Why Copying Others Won't Get You To The Next Level



I know what you're thinking: Myron is absolutely off his rocker. But hear me out. For a long time, both in my nonprofit and for-profit work, I operated under one key assumption:


To achieve the impossible with our goals, dreams, and ventures, we must first imitate those around us. Think about it. We learned to talk by watching others. We learned to walk by peeking out of the crib at our siblings enjoying the luxury of being fully mobile.



I applied that principle to my leadership and entrepreneurial journey. Now, don't get me wrong—I learned a ton by writing like others, speaking like others, and leading like others. That brought me growth. But at some point, if all we do is copy others, we'll rob ourselves of the hidden potential inside us.


"...If all we do is copy others, we'll rob ourselves of the hidden potential inside us."

I'm not saying we should throw the baby out with the bathwater. In many instances, we need to learn from those around us and even mimic them. There's value in that type of growth, where we absorb knowledge by what we see. The problem arises when we let that principle operate beyond its intended purpose.


Take Mario Brothers, for example. The game came out on Nintendo in the '80s. I used to visit my friend's house just to play because we couldn't afford it. I still remember level one. Mario starts small. But a few steps in, he hits a gold block, and out comes a mushroom and a flower. Those upgrades were what Mario needed for that level.


As Mario progressed, the levels got harder, and he needed more advanced upgrades. By levels 4, 5, and 6, he needed a cape. In later versions of the game, he needed a tail. The point is, yes, we need to copy others—but with the end in mind. We're not trying to become exact replicas of people who have their own unique purpose. We're on a journey to evolve into better versions of ourselves to become useful to others.


We're not trying to become exact replicas of people who have their own unique purpose. We're on a journey to evolve into better versions of ourselves to become useful to others.

Being useful means leading with empathy and being aware of the needs around us. This is crucial. I rarely hear podcasts or read books about empathy, yet it's essential in this different path I want to introduce—or reintroduce—to you. Instead of just imitating, what if we started imagining? What if the key to unlocking your potential or discovering the next level of growth in your business isn't about copying your competitors, but about "contemplating" and using your imagination to find the solutions you need for yourself and those you serve?


Everything that exists started in the imagination of a human being. I remember having this eureka moment while serving a 16 to 33-year sentence in prison. I looked at the prison walls and thought, "This prison wouldn't be here if someone hadn't first imagined it." My great-grandfather used to tell me, "Myron, you wouldn't be here if your mind didn't bring you." Think about that.


The imagination is powerful in solving our problems and those of our customers. Take a moment to imagine what your life will look like in the next 24 hours. What do you want it to look like? Write it down vividly. What do you want to wear tomorrow? What emotions do you want to feel? What time will you wake up? What experiences do you want to have? How many opportunities do you want to encounter? How many people do you want to help? How much money do you want to make?


The imagination is powerful in solving our problems and those of our customers.

These questions are prompts to let our imagination run wild. As you start to shift your thinking, your old thoughts, which have been squatting in your mind like unwanted tenants, won't want to leave. Tenants can be stubborn—haha. Think of it like this: Landlord and tenant relations need help. Someone could make a killing starting a consulting company for landlords and tenants to resolve issues before going to court. All this to say, manage your old thoughts and imagine new, impossible ones.


After all, everything we see today first started in the mind of an IMAGINER. What are your thoughts? What do you agree or disagree with me on about this? What questions do you have?



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This post has helped me with resistance I felt at your instruction to talk to EVERYBODY about my vision - my competitors, my "audience," similar groups in other places, etc. I told myself that no one is doing exactly what I am, so they aren't really comparable, so why bother? Question answered! I WILL "bother" because there is likely useful info in their journey, even as my journey is unique to me. It is not to copy what they've done, but to see which wheels don't have to be recreated, and what pitfalls can be avoided. Thanks, Myron!

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Definitely got to think outside the box or who's ever I did you think is great try to improvise on it and make it your own!

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