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3 types of creator – which one are you?

Sometimes, as you get more successful and become known in your field, you’ll experience other people passing your work off as their own.  

It can hurt. 

The first time it happened to me, I discovered that a golf coach in Florida had taken the entire text of my website and made it his own. He even copied the testimonials of my clients – word for word. 

A couple of years later, I discovered that a coach in my own community was using most of the text of my website as his own. 

It has taken me years to craft the wording on my website. Thousands of hours of learning and writing and editing. Thousands of hours of coaching, from which my insights arose.  

I was so hurt, I grabbed my phone and called him. 

He picked up and I could tell he was mortified to hear me speaking to him directly. He promised to change the entire text of his site. To his credit, he took the whole site down that day. 

I once came across a coach in India who regularly took every word of every article I wrote and passed them off as his own. He even used my own photos. 

This time I had my attorney get in touch… 

I’ve slowly become used to people taking text from my site and my articles. I’ve even seen people use my email signature as their own. 

I do my best to take it as a compliment. 

And I’m human. Sometimes it still hurts.

But it’s worth remembering that anyone who steals your stuff and regularly passes it off as their own is never going to be competition!

The key is to focus on the ABC of success: Always Be Creating.

Adam J. Kurtz, is a super creative writer and artist. He explained the difference between copying and stealing as follows:  

“Stealing is imitation, copying is inspiration. The difference is intent. Imitation is laziness or refusal to accept your influences. Inspiration is recognizing that influence and turning it into something new.”

Three Types of Creators

Scott Myers is a screenwriter. His son, Will, while studying a doctoral program in music composition, developed a theory that there are three types of creators: Perfecters, Innovators and Synthesizers:

  1. Perfecter

A perfector is an artist who takes a current style and maximizes its potential, elevating it to the best it can be (e.g. Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Spielberg, James Cameron, Stephen King, Pixar.)

A friend of mine is a coach who studied with Carlos Casteneda. His mission is to share the beauty of his teachings to the highest level with his clients and students.

  1. Synthesizer

A synthesizer is an artist who draws from disparate sources, makes unexpected connections, and creates something both familiar and new (e.g. Ligeti, Stravinsky, David Lynch, Tarantino, Murakami.)

I’m a synthesizer. I am constantly learning and reading and studying and looking for connections in areas where most coaches don’t look. 

I used to judge myself because this way of teaching never felt original. I’ve learned that my originality comes from the unique and unorthodox connections that I draw. A great book on this way of thinking is The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson.  

  1. Innovator

An innovator is an artist who breaks the mold, consistently trying new things or pioneering a new style (e.g. Beethoven, Schoenberg, Kubrick, Picasso, Joyce, Dalí.)

Fernando Flores, Brené Brown, Esther Perel, Ava DuVernay, Viktor Frankl and Frans Johansson are transformational thought leaders and innovators, known for breaking the mold, with new ways of thinking. 

Scott proposes that creators can evolve over their lifetime. For example, you might start out as a perfecter, sharing and honing other people’s ideas. You might stretch as a synthesizer, bringing together unusual ideas from different fields. And you might eventually become an innovator, blazing a new trail as a thought leader.

  1. What type of creator are you?
  2. What type of creator would you like to be? 

Love. Rich


PS. More transparency here: almost 20 years into my coaching career, I still get nervous every time I launch a new program. When the first person signs up, it always feels like a fluke! And it’s only after the second person is in that I believe it’s real.

Well, the first two people have already signed up for The $100K Club, so strap in, we are ready to fly!!

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