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How to Deal with Copycats

copycats

Hola gorgeous hearts!

Got a great question today from Academy member Prerna to answer… one that I think affects a lot of creatives and business women.

How does one deal with copycats? People who don’t just steal your ideas but stalk you a lot and do exactly what you do online?

I’ve had a lot of experience in this, so totally happy to share my thoughts.

First of all, I know it doesn’t feel good. When you see someone overtly copying your work, it can bring up lots of feelings: anger, sadness, fear, a big sinking feeling in the belly. I want to really acknowledge that these feelings do happen.

I remember the first time 9 years ago when someone started copying a very specific painting series I’d developed. It threw me into a tailspin for days, to be honest. I really had to work through those feelings to get to the other side.

Since then I’ve seen every kind of copying of my work under the sun – from copying names of my programs, how I title myself, my handwriting, the way I write, to one person actually using my name and attempting to impersonate me on Facebook. I’ve also seen less direct but still obvious ways of copying me including people trying to replicate my Academy and yearly workbook.

Here’s my thoughts on copying:

You will never, ever get to the same level of success by copying someone

I know when someone is trying to imitate me, they are doing it because they see it works for me and they want that kind of success too. So they think

“If I just do something like that, I’ll be successful too!”

What they don’t understand is that it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to make that success happen. It’s taken me years of work, hard won experience and study to create my programs. They are popular for a reason – because they work.

It’s not just that – I’ve spent a lot of time finding and growing my tribe. I turn up every single day on social media and every week on my blog to create free, useful articles that resonate with people. My tribe can trust in me because they know what I’m talking about.

You can’t copy that.

Plus, it takes stamina and determination to create a successful business and thriving movement.

Copycats just don’t have that – they’re looking for the easy way out.

There isn’t an easy way out to success. Creating a knock off isn’t going to get you there.

So my mindset is this: I ignore copycats. I don’t enjoy looking at their work. By copying me, they also are blocking any chance that I’ll connect with them and share about their work. I feel sorry for them because I know that what they are doing isn’t the right thing and isn’t going to get them anywhere.

And I stay 100% focussed on my work and what I’m creating and what I need to do to move forward.

Note: of course, if they are infringing on your copyright, trademarks or intellectual property, send a cease and desist letter from your lawyer. In the case of someone impersonating me, my team also worked with Facebook to remove the profile.

You need to find your own message

It’s really easy to get too caught up in what other people are doing and what business is supposed to look like and how you are supposed to write.

Honestly, you have to get totally away from that mindset, and stay completely on your own yoga mat.

You’ve got to keep connecting with yourself and YOUR gifts and what YOU want to bring into the world. You need to stay connected to your source and your spirit and your voice. That’s the thing that will make you stand out. That’s what will make your right tribe resonate with you.

And what’s more, that’s the thing that will fulfill you and make every cell in your body light up. Because that’s when you’re fulfilling your soul’s purpose.

It’s not something that can be copied. It’s something to be nurtured and called for and dedicated to.

And it’s worth it.

Because that feeling of being totally on resonance, totally in spirit with yourself, of doing each day what you were born to do is worth all the gold in the world.

Recommended resource for discovering your own message: Creative Goddess program.

Ignore & stay centered

Stay centered on your truth, your light, your message, your voice.

Stay true to your vision, of what you want to create.

Of course learn from others. But keep your eyes on your own mat.

Keep doing the thing you were born to do. Keep moving forward. Keep being a monk to your dreams.

Stay the course of determination, spirit, integrity, commitment and drive.

That’s where true success lies.

“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”

– Judy Garland

All my love,

Building Support + Team Into My Business

The One Thing That Changed My Business

Hola gorgeous hearts!

One of the things that really inspired me (+ still does) when I’m down in the salt mines of my business, trying to work out the next step, is listening to the stories of other business women who’ve been where I am + have had an insight that’s helped them along.

With that in mind, I’ve asked a number of gorgeous, inspired, soulful business women to share their sacred AHA! moment – of the thing that changed their business.

Today’s insight is for everyone who might be struggling a bit with taking action today.

Lots of love,

Leonie

Building Support + Team Into My Business

Two and a half years ago I was in a very different place.

I was lying on the couch, or in bed, most days for about 18 hours a day. Exhausted.

With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a highly sensitive gut, and a fledgling business.

I was searching for business help, encouragement, and a road map to a better life.

And then, I came across this bubbling light that is Leonie Dawson. I’ve followed her ever since and her work’s been a beacon of light, shining the way down a path to creating a business that supports me. In every sense of the word, support.

Specifically, her new course ‘How to Build a Shining 6 Figure Team’ was exactly what I needed and encouraged me to re-hire my old virtual assistant. Leonie shares her experience with having ‘something-fall-out-of-her-vagina’ and telling her assistant she was ok flying solo and doing everything herself again. I could relate! Not because I’d had a baby, but because I’d let my assistant go last year thinking it seemed easier just to do it all myself.

I had so much trouble getting my head around making a system for someone else to follow that actually worked.

I’m a very process-driven person, and the idea of having to pre-plan how to train someone to do what I do intuitively felt like a massive hurdle. I just couldn’t wrap my head around how to do it. And so I went back to bed, pulled up the covers, and listened to Leonie talk about her experience making an Operations Manual full of step-by-step systems that anyone could follow.

  • Yes, they are a pain in the arse to create, she said.
  • Yes, they do make your head spin.
  • Documenting everything the first time is a nightmare.

But it’s so worth it, she cooed. So worth it so you can have your life back. So worth it, so you can reach more people and share your message with the world. So worth it so you don’t burn out.

Do it, Sweety. Do it.

Her words bounced around in my head for days.

“Well heck, if Leonie can do it, so can I” I thought.

And I did. I made a screencast video and talked through how I like things done when uploading my blog, scheduling my newsletter and formatting my Daily Seeds of Sunshine. Then I sent that video to my assistant and asked her to make dot points of everything she saw me do on screen.

I can’t explain the feeling of relief, seeing those dot points arrive back in my inbox, with a smiley face at the bottom of the signature from my assistant.

We revised the process slightly, and now, I don’t have to worry about it!

It’s done, every time, just the way I like it.

I was reminded how some people are excellent at fine details. They actually take delight in supporting others achieve their big vision. It’s not a chore for them, it comes naturally.

Just like having big dreams and a big vision comes naturally to us business owners. But we really DO need the support, and the expertise, and the team behind us to be more effective in the world and bring those ideas to life. If we want to do it in a sustainable way without burning out. Without resenting our work. And without feeling alone.

Finding and investing in support in all areas of your life is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from Leonie in the years I’ve followed her and been part of the Academy.

The example she’s set has changed my life.

  • It’s changed the way I prioritise self care.
  • It’s changed the way I spend my money.
  • It’s changed the way I view investing in areas where my friends don’t.
  • It’s helped me value the work I do as the unique strength that it is.

I now enjoy practical, hands on support with regular massages. A cleaning lady. A mower man. A handy man. A virtual assistant. A book keeper. A kinesiologist. A mora therapist. And lots of online training courses.

My health has transformed. My business has grown exponentially. My relationships with my family have been blessed too.

All because Leonie encouraged me to become clear about what I specifically need in my own life and business. To create a team that truly, deeply supports me. That’s enabled my business to grow to reach well over ten thousand beginner gardeners around the world who want to learn how to grow their own organic food.

I know the work I do is important. Especially with the state of our planet and the food system, and it’s been possible to keep expanding because of the lessons I’ve learnt from Leonie.

Take care of yourself first, fill your own cup, build an awesome team to support your business, and dream big dreams.

Because with the right support, no dream is too big to come true.

Thank you, Leonie.

Thank you.

89Nicola Chatham is an organic gardening teacher and certified Permaculture designer who teaches beginner gardeners how to set up low-maintenance, organic gardens to support their health. Her unique online gardening courses The Abundant Veggie Patch System and Grow Organic Food in Pots make growing healthy, organic food simple, doable and fun. Get your weekly gardening tips, inspiration and FREE chapter from her eBook “Grow Abundant Herbs & Green… in Pots!” at NicolaChatham.com.

 

Leonie’s Energiser Bunny List Of Things To Do In Rest Of Year

TRULYGIFTEDATPHOTOSHOP

My treasures,

Finally finally at last at last, my hyperemesis gravidarum is easing. I’ve been ASTOUNDED at what a difference I’ve felt over the last week. It’s just so so so SO good to be back in life again! I still vomit 1-2 times a day, and still need a good couple of hours of bedrest each day. But I’M ALIVE! I’M ALIVE! I feel almost normal!

Which means I’m feeling hilariously motivated + excitable.

SO MANY THINGS I CAN DO NOW I’M WELL!

I daydream about this stuff while I’m going to sleep. It takes me hours to fall asleep because I’m so excited by life.

I am driving my hunky love absolutely batty with all my awesome ideas… I know he absolutely loves when I convince him that I need to write our Christmas card list! Now! In bed! Before we go to sleep! Because that’s so exciting!

The possibilities now I can actually THINK and GET OUT OF BED and OMG! GO OUT OF THE HOUSE TO PLACES OTHER THAN THE HOSPITAL are completely astounding. I feel like I’ve been born into a whole new world that I’m utterly spellbound by. It’s all SO EXCITING!

I figured it might help me feel a bit less OMG! if I write a good list.

And I thought you might maybe dig it too. Maybe you might like to write your own list for living the shit out of the rest of 2013 too. Or finish your 2013 Create Your Incredible Year to-do list. Or not. Whatever you like, lovebug.

Here’s my caveat on this list:

IT DOES NOT ALL HAVE TO BE DONE.

I still need to honour my body’s increased need for rest and self care.

This is just a list of playful possibilities. I’ll cross them off as they are done!

Leonie Feels Like An Energiser Bunny So Maybe She Could:

  • Get library card
  • Grow a garden
  • Go to dentist

  • Eat own passionfruit

  • See financial advisor
  • Write Christmas cards and letter
  • Get solar hot water system installed
  • Get screen doors installed
  • Create pregnancy journal
  • Write journal letters to Ostara & baby mermaid
  • Go to hardware store, clothes shop, bank, chemist + craft store for all the long list of supplies we need after three months of not being able to get out!
  • Grow a pumpkin or watermelon patch
  • Cultivate a morning routine
  • Start getting baby supplies

  • Get haircut
  • Get eyebrows done
  • Have Ostara’s friend I come over to play
  • Have Ostara’s friend N come over to play
  • Connect with P (a wise woman I’ve been trying to track down)
  • Fix Ostara’s wooden cart
  • Put training wheels on Ostara’s bike
  • Reorganise Ostara’s play area
  • Paint Ostara’s play table
  • Move Ostara’s bedroom + set up beautifully
  • Set up nursery
  • Get massage
  • Basket weaving workshop
  • Connect with local friends again
  • Make 5 3 2 presents (some long overdue, some for Christmas)
  • Make a firepit

  • Get new glasses from oscarwylee.com.au (did a home trial, didn’t like any of their styles)
  • Make a doll
  • Go to a womens circle
  • Get outdoor lounge for back verandah
  • Have some artist’s dates
  • Re-release “73 Lessons Every Goddess Must Know”
  • November: Do Art Every Day Month
  • December: 2013 Instagram album
  • December: Awesome Christmas season
  • December: Make advent calendar again
  • Summer: Try aqua aerobics
  • Name our place
  • Make art + do crafts with Starry.

Okay! That’s all! Off to go pester my hunky love/make stuff/enjoy vertical living!!!

He is SO LUCKY that he married the human equivalent of a labrador who mated with a cheerleader. I’m all: WOO! YEAH! THIS IS ALL SO AMAZING! I’M SO HAPPY! YEAH YEAH YEAH!

High fives, ya’ll.

LIFE IS THE BEST FUN EVAAAAAA!

Sloppy puppy hugs + kisses,

How To Not Freak The Eff Out About Weddings

wedding

So possums,

I was talking to a sweet high school friend of mine today. She’s planning for her wedding along with being lead singer of LittleLam. She wanted advice on how to plan a wedding without losing her shit.

And I figured there might be more of you who are freaking out over your own wedding. Or anything else. This advice works for you too. Not freaking the eff out is a way of life.

So here’s my advice on how to not freak the eff out about weddings:

  • I see way too many peeps (especially women) stress out about their wedding. It really really REALLY doesn’t have to be like that. I don’t think I had one moment of stress about mine… sincerely and truly.
  • Don’t try and make your wedding the most creative, magnificent, perfect extravaganza ever. That’s a sure fire way to go batshit crazy. Repeat this over and over as mantra: The important thing is you get the marry the love of your life. That’s all a wedding is for.
  • Don’t become a Pinterest freak about wedding decor. That shit will drive you crazy.
  • Don’t compare yourself or your wedding or your relationship. Keep your eyes on your own yoga mat.
  • Spend less on the wedding and more on relationship counselling. Seriously, that shit will set you up for a lasting relationship & more happiness than any wedding will.
  • Involve the crap out of your husband. Get him to do stuff with you. If he thinks it’s stupid or a waste of time or too much money, it probably is and you shouldn’t do it. Guys are really good at keeping things simple.
  • Use your creativity to create something else other than a dream wedding. Seriously. Make something else. It will make you way more sane (and won’t cost you a fraction of the amount). I had so many other creative projects happening that I barely even registered our wedding as a project.
  • Here was my plan: hire a cheap venue with pretty outdoor space (it was a caravan park near the ocean). Got cafe caterers to do a buffet lunch for pretty cheap (I think it was about $40 a person and it was really hearty – lots of asian food om nom nom). Invited only about 40-50 people, probably could have done with even less than that. We also said no pressure to people who lived away – we didn’t want them to make the trip if it was not the right thing for them. We also didn’t freak out about who couldn’t be there – we had dear friends who weren’t able to come. That’s okay. We have wonderful times with them at other times. Didn’t do fancy invitations – just sent out an email with a picture and a letter. Sent out printed versions to peeps who were non-emaily. Told guests not to worry about presents.

Wedding Invite

WOAH. LOOK AT MA FANCY INVITES. SERIOUSLY: DO WHATEVER MAKES YOU HAPPY + DELIGHTS YOU!

  • Had a family member make the cake and create a lolly buffet. Had music on an ipod. Had NO speeches or timetable. Had no flowers (except a fresh flower halo) and no bridal party. Had a friend as photographer (she also happened to be our doula). She gave us the digital pictures afterwards, I made a big album and got one large canvas printed. Honestly I wish I’d gone for a smaller, cheaper album so I didn’t feel so precious about looking through it. I’d rather one that’s well thumbed than perfectly preserved. We asked another friend (who was also at Ostara’s birth) to be our celebrant. She wasn’t registered as a celebrant so we had a courthouse wedding a few days beforehand for it to be legal.
  • Here’s the dress I got. Cost me about $100 from memory. Still have it and wear it. Will probably tie dye it blue at some point. The shawl is now my meditation shawl. It’s been used so much it got a hole in it which I ended up sewing a felted patch over. It didn’t look exactly how I thought it would on me. It was fine, but not perfect. My care factor was approximately zip. I also forgot my favourite bra to wear under it. Again: nobody cares.

decorations

OH LOOK! SURVEYOR’S TAPE USED AS STREAMERS! PRETTY! PAPER STREAMER THINGS ME + BABY STARRY DID IN AN AFTERNOON IN THE BACKYARD! FLOWERS NABBED FROM TREES! SO GLAM RIGHT NOW.

  • Everyone decorated the venue a couple of hours before the wedding – we just chucked streamers around and cut some flowers off nearby trees and lay them on the table. I had made a few decorations from paper with Starry as a crafty activity, so we used them. My mother-in-law brought more decorations than I did – she was excited so that’s cool! We ended up finding some surveyor’s tape in someone’s car & used that for streamers too. I didn’t get hair or makeup done. Was decorating and realised I was getting married in 30 minutes, so had a shower, popped on my dress, smudged on some eye makeup, didn’t brush my hair (YAY CURLY HAIR). We didn’t hire cars – everyone walked. So we all walked down the beach (a block away) together laughing.

walkingtobeach

  • Got married in a brick beach shelter because it started raining (it’s like rain on your wedding day… but nobody freaked out coz rain is rad too). Everyone went back to the hall while we took photos on the beach and started eating lunch from the buffet. We got back, ate. Put music on. Had a first dance together that everyone joined in on. Everyone spent the afternoon dancing, talking, drinking, eating from the lolly bar, having naps. And we got to go to bed at 7:30pm. WOO HOO! Perfect. Most people stayed at the caravan park in cabins, so we all swam and napped and jumped on the jumping pillow for the rest of the weekend. Super super laid back.
  • Honestly, all I really, really remember from our wedding day was looking in Chris’ eyes when we said our vows to each other. They were so full of love, and I knew I was making the right decision in marrying him. That’s all it was about. And Starry was really freaking cute during the ceremony, she hung onto me like a koala and talked baby gabble the whole time. And of course it was lovely seeing everyone, and we had lots of time just to talk shit and hang out during it.

somuchlove

  • Also: don’t put expectations on it it being the perfect embodiment of your love. Me and Chris totally had an argument thirty minutes before we made our vows. Our worth as a couple is not made up by how perfect a person we were at our wedding… it’s made up of all the other days of your lives together where you communicate and forgive and change and heal your shit and sometimes get it wrong and sometimes need to apologise and mostly just learn how to be on the same team as each other.
  • Don’t put expectations on anyone else to be normal during your wedding. It might be “your Big Day” but unfortunately people are still living their own lives and are caught up in their own stuff. The people that can be there for you will be there for you. Not everyone is going to be happy/have their shit together. My parents separated a few months before we got married. There were definitely some awkward moments when I had to look away. There was lots of crazy family shit happening… but I honestly just had to stay so centered on my little family and what WE were creating together… me, Chris & Ostara.

mydarlings

  • All up, I think it cost us about $2000. I am so not a proponent of getting into debt for your wedding… it’s just one day, and more money spent doesn’t necessarily equate to it being a more wonderful day or a better marriage. Do NOT damage your financial freedom for your wedding.
  • If you get pressure from outside of you and your love about how your wedding should look, ignore it if you don’t resonate with it. I remember being teased by various family members and strangers about how little I gave a shit about our wedding, but I’d always reply back with “and how stressed do I look about it?” People would be AGHAST that I wasn’t getting my hair done, that our venue was a caravan park, that I didn’t buy a buttload of decorations. My focus was always that it was about a marriage, not a wedding. I also knew that there were family who thought our hippy handfasting sacred ceremony was weird. I wasn’t given away by anyone, I didn’t walk down the aisle. Me and Chris turned up together, he saw me while I was getting dressed, there was no big reveal moment. It was, and always has been, about me and Chris and our commitment to each other. That’s the stuff that will last a lifetime.
  • When all else fails, invoke the sacred mantra: FUCKEM!
  • I feel happy thinking about our wedding. It was nothing but 100% us.
  • I also didn’t ever expect my wedding will be the “happiest day of my life.” That’s too much stress, too much perfection required. The happiest day of my life will be the ones where I am hanging out at home with my lil family, making art + being content. Normal, gentle days are the stuff life is made out of.

lovelovelove

  • Do what lights you up and is good and true for YOU.
  • Confront your shit. Weddings might bring up your desires to be saved by your partner, for them to be a knight in shining armour on a very pretty white horse, for it all to be princess soulmate forever perfection. We need to talk more about the true secrets about love + what real love looks like.
  • Some blogs that I found useful for a good sense of “don’t freak out about this, you can do it anyway you like!”:
    www.apracticalwedding.com
    www.offbeatbride.com
    www.tenthousandonly.blogspot.com
  • Know what’s important to you. Have a vibe in your head of what you want. Three things I wanted: a beach wedding, wedding food that felt like going to a picnic, a hippy dress. Everything else fell by the wayside. Choose the things that are really important to you.
  • I’m not saying you should do it like me. Fuck no. Just do it how YOU want to do it. What feels right to you and your love. Because that’s the only two that matter.
  • You can play this game however you like. You don’t need to do it any one way at all. You can make it shine just like you. Just be happy. Love the shit out of you and your love. The rest is just gravy.
  • Keep Calm + Feel Da Love.

And that goes with everything else in life too.

I’m wishing you love, gentle expectations, special moments, and just the right thing for you,

Giggle-Snort Gal

The One Thing That Changed My Business

Hola gorgeous hearts!

One of the things that really inspired me (+ still does) when I’m down in the salt mines of my business, trying to work out the next step, is listening to the stories of other business women who’ve been where I am + have had an insight that’s helped them along.

With that in mind, I’ve asked a number of gorgeous, inspired, soulful business women to share their sacred AHA! moment – of the thing that changed their business.

Today’s insight is for everyone who might need the nudge of a little permission…

Lots of love,

Leonie

Giggle-Snort Gal

I remember how quiet it was that day. It was early morning; the sky was just beginning to lighten up. I was starting my new habit of rising early to get centered for the day. I had an audio I wanted to listen to. Meditation was new to me, so I was easing into it. The audio was called “You Have Permission” from “Goddess Leonie”.

Breathing, focusing on her beautiful voice:

  • “You have permission…” Soaking in the reasons.
  • “You have permission…” Laughing out loud and glancing around to see if anyone heard this crazy mama sitting in the dark living room in headphones, laughing for no apparent reason!
  • “You have permission…” Breathing, smiling, believing the angel in my headphones
  • “You have permission…” Words not just of wisdom, but that my whole being was aching to hear.
  • “You have permission…”  Breaking down and crying. Giving and giving until there’s nothing left. Always putting Shawna second. Always coming up empty. I will fill my cup first
  • “You have permission…” Releasing those fears that I’m not good enough. I am, I am needed, I am loved. I AM LOVED.
  • “You have permission…” Longing to be who I am, do what I love even when it’s not what everyone says I should do. It is my job to be who I am.
  • “You have permission…” Loving so hard it hurts, but learning that’s OK, that’s who I am- I am emotion, I feel everything they feel, I love even when they may not love me back. And that is all good because it is who I am.

It was a day of release, of the giggle snort, of laughing out loud in the quiet, of tears in the darkness.

It was the day I knew that I was going to be who I am meant to be.

I soaked it in. I dove in the deep end of the Academy. I knew that this was the person who would help me become my best self. She is not perfect, but she is glorious. She is me.

And so I began to create my life. I have learned so many biz lessons from this wonderful soul. Biz lessons that align with my heart; with who I am. I am hungry for more knowledge and breathe in the Academy tools and teachings as if they were my first love. It is so good. It is part of me, part of my day, part of my journey to create the life I love and a business that will change the world; because it has changed me.

me casualShawna Cevraini is a lifelong learner who is passionate about creating a healthier, happier life! She was raised on a farm loves to return to her roots barefoot! She has worked with computers for most of her life and loves to share her ideas on using tech tools to be more productive and organized.

Shawna partners with her best friend Krystal Worth in Simple Life Celebrations teaching people to ditch the clutter and the guilt. The Gals created the first ever Celebrate Life Summit in their hometown to support people in learning about fitness, nutrition, simple living and celebrating life!