Strap in because this story will flip your thinking on copying and wholesale rip-offs.
But first, context:
A few days ago, I was sitting on the loo having some alone time when I got a DM notification from Instagram.
As the notification emerged from the top of my phone, all I read from the recipient was:
“WTF… Have you seen this?”
That’s one way to get my attention, I guess. Given the state of incapacitation I found myself in, I obliged and opened the message.
Inside, was a forwarded post from a gym owner I know, who I quite frankly, really like. He’s a wonderful guy and I’ve seen him grow massively in the last 2+ years. And to his credit, he’s regularly commented how the conversations I had with him when he was in need of help were pivotal in his uplift in recent years.
So in short, a wonderful guy.
The post I was forwarded was an announcement of his ACL Mentorship, an 8-week, systems-based approach that looked… let’s say, quite familiar.
Once upon a time, I would have become red hot with anger, despite the great relationship we have.
I would have scoured the page and picked up on everything that they wholesale copied, and muttered all sorts of expletives in the process.
But this time… it didn’t phase me.
Instead, I replied, which I think took this guy by surprise:
“Yeah look, I hadn’t seen this… but honestly… I’m numb to it… this isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last.”
“You aren’t pissed?”
“Nar, not at all.”
Then a few hours later, I got another ping.
Similar sentiment but this time, asking if he was a mentee of mine.
“I said nar, but it’s OK. We’re all good and I want this to be a success for him.”
If you think that’s a strange way of responding to the situation, then you’ll benefit from hearing this because it’s the cold hard truth and you’ll never look at ideas in the same way again.
There is a very big difference between stealing an idea and stealing a piece of gym equipment.
If everyone came and stole a piece of AA’s equipment, it wouldn’t be long before we’re bust, which wouldn’t be great on many levels — it’d suck for me, my staff, the industry, and for our athletes.
But if everyone comes and steals an idea from us, we’re more known, trusted, and effective than we used to be, which is a win for me, my staff, the industry, and our athletes.
See the difference?
Once you wrap your head around this, your whole outlook on life will change.
The internet is a remarkable tool because it’s the best copying machine in the world. It allows for the duplication, replication, and adaptation of ideas at a rate faster than we’ve ever had in history. And these days, ideas morph and change faster than you can say “copycat” so there is really no point having hang-ups about it.
So while I’d always suggest avoiding wholesaling ripping off an idea (to avoid the type of back-door circulation of gossip that goes on in social media and to make sure you truly understand what you’re building), holding onto an idea too tightly in fear of the inevitable replication is a much greater problem in our industry.
And if I’m honest… that’s the real problem that keeps our industry on its knees.
While it’s awesome to be original — like our ACL Mentorship was when it launched two years ago — there is still utility in an alternative product being in the market… and it has nothing to do with whether the idea is new or not.
It’s like that old saying: “What happens when a second pizza shop opens up on the same street?”
More people eat pizza.
So freely adapt ideas, but just be sure to honor the maxim:
“Feel free to copy, just make sure you make it better”.
That’s what will truly move the industry forward.
And on the topic of copying…
If you want to ethically copy the exact system we used to go from having no name in the rehab world to becoming industry pioneers (to the point of copying, emulation, and replication)…
Then jump on the opportunity to join our ACL Mentorship in May… it’s the only one for the year and only a couple of spots remain.
It’s like the ultimate speed boost toward getting a profitable, purposeful rehab program off the ground…
And it’s just as useful as a tool to optimize and build on your existing practice if you want to radically boost your bottom line and get off the merry-go-round of high churn, high-volume, in-and-out sessional physiotherapy.
There are a tonne of reviews on the site from previous clinicians and coaches who LOVED IT, so check it out for yourself.
Details are below:
– Karl Goodman