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If you want to grow your business, copying what other successful business owners are doing seems like a solid plan. But tread carefully…

You might feel like you’re “standing on the shoulders of giants”, but there’s a hidden danger in blindly mimicking even the most successful entrepreneurs. 

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32 Replies to “The Hidden Danger in Copying Successful People”

  1. Bill Bowman


    Jeff, that’s great advice. I have a frustrating client who insists on his own version of, “Take the best and leave the rest,” mentality. Meaning, he will copy what he thinks are the best practices of his competition and he basically ignores pretty much everything else. But, in addition to your point, he continually fails to recognize his own business’ strengths and its unique value proposition.

    BTW — that must be an epic trail you’re about to ski. I wished I were there with you for the run!


    • Brilliant, Jeff. I recently suggested something similar to a peer. He was so fixed on what he thought he was seeing from other “experts”. He was giving them a free pass–so to speak. I’ve also done this in the past. That’s why I can see it much clearer now. But to hear it spoken directly from one of the experts is so wonderful for anyone who hasn’t had to figure it out the hard way! Thank you!

  2. Great wisdom.
    Something that has tripped me up.
    And given me low self esteem, and lack of trust in my own I instincts.

  3. Silke Kristin Juelich


    Haha, this is really a wonderful video! Sitting in a cable car. I love what you say, Jeff. it is all about your own personality – copying makes no sense.
    Good work!

  4. Gary V Carter


    So … like was the ski lift thing a test or should I move to the mountains? Tee hee.

  5. Hi Jeff, I have learned yesterday from Tony that Success leaves Clues. That to go from where you are to where you want, it is better to look at the WHO rather than the HOW. “Who” means looking at the ones who get the blueprint, the ones you can show us the way. Everyone is unique, you must learn from the leaders in the market which does not mean copying them. If we are clear with our WHY then we will serve our market with our own identity and trademark. Knowing our market and key players is crucial anyway.
    Only the greatests get copied, that’s what I always say my sister when she is pissed of because her art style has been copied (she is a pregnant and new-born photographer).
    PS : nice to seeing you eventually skiing!

  6. Great advice & location Jeff.

    I’ll be on the slopes in a few days. I might copy your location setting for a video post… different content though.

  7. Jeff, I’ve personally seen the danger of copying successful people. Our neighbor was a successful farmer so several of us copied him. But we almost went broke doing that. Like what you said, he would test out things and often they would work out. But just as often they would stop working and he would drop them and try something else. Only problem coping and being a few steps behind was we wouldn’t realize it wasn’t working and lose a lot of money until we finally caught on. Now most of us have found and carved out what works for us–found our own unique niche.

  8. valerie waters


    Thanks for putting this out there. I hadn’t thought about this. I am a newbie to business and this is a valuable insight.

  9. Carol "CJ" Roberts dba Grandma Whimsy


    Jeff, I totally agree with your philosophy of copying. It is each of our unique assets that make the difference that brings success. I’m 82, almost 83 and just starting a new career. Challenges and Changes just keep Coming and it fits my lifestyle. Yes you do do a good job. I love to travel, and pray that I can get back to that before its too long. I have my brand and a business that is taking shape. I do plan to attend as much as I can. Would like to be involved. I wish you well with that new venture. Was so jealous to watch you heading up the mtn. Used to be a skier. Carol “CJ & Grandma Whimsy

  10. Rob Piekarski


    Timing must have been everything in shooting this clip on the ski lift. Great info and visually awesome as well.

  11. Rennie Gabriel


    Hi Jeff. What a great video. It shows how you can even contribute value in just a few minutes while on the ski lift.

  12. Love the video :)…This gave me such a chuckle, I have somebody trying to copy me at the moment…fortunately they only have half of the story and thanks to PLF they are now also watching the wrong thing ;-)…Since finding PLF my tact has completely changed, thankfully before I gave too much away! Thank you Jeff and all the coaches…and this amazing community, much love to everyone 🙂

  13. Love the video on the slopes! My peeps keep asking me when they’ll see a video of me on my horse, Zydeco. Stay tuned!
    Great message, too. I sometimes get sidetracked looking at what others are doing in my industry that I lose sight of my goals. Thanks, Jeff!

  14. Linda Illsley



    First of all for the great reminder that I can do a video while I am “living life” and for the awesome view of the mountains covered in snow…reminder to take a little time to go and enjoy them before the snow melts

    The timing of this video is perfect. I have been looking at others and thinking about what I could “borrow” from the way they are doing. I will now be able to do it with a different perspective

    Have a great week Jeff…

    thank you always


  15. What awesome advice!
    Thanks so much, Jeff!

    I’m bookmarking this video to listen to that again and again! 🙂

  16. I’ve been seeing the same problem in the Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) arena. Newbies are trying to copy the process of “gurus”, not realizing that the way they organize their knowledge may be completely different. And then they wonder why taking notes is a chore and why their not getting the same benefit. Even after the gurus tell them to personalize their process.

    I think it’s a combination of fear and laziness. Fear of making a mistake, and also wanting a solution handed to them. Guaranteed solutions only happen in math (and basic math at that).

  17. Thank you Jeff! Wonderful insight and a reminder for us to stay awake at our own helm of life and be asking high caliber questions coming from our own soul and expressions that we desire to contribute to the world 🌎!

    I love snow skiing ⛷!! What a great venue to work & play!

  18. Standing on the shoulders of giants can be a slippery slope. Thanks for that, Jeff.

    PS. You would be a tough act to follow anyway, Batman. Maybe best to keep the ski goggles down over the mask even on the ski lift? Your secret is safe with me.

  19. Ricardo Cortes


    Hi Jeff! Awe-inspiring views behind you, and solid advice. Thanks very much! My family and friends question my recent decision to invest in Launch Club, claiming there are many free resources online. I tell them that we must go through the process, guided by professionals, if we wish to learn and not just imitate. Your words are reassuring.

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