Have you ever had one of those moments in your life when you feel like you are a fraud? When you find out something about yourself or something you have done and you don’t even remember doing it? Seeing something in writing that is proof? Very recently I had one of those moments and I am terrified that I could have done so.
Those who know me well know that I don’t do what others do. I have based my life on honesty and a mutual respect for others. Being a military gal I rather like living by the acronym LDRSHIP, Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. What I mean is I am not a follower and I never have been.
Do you know I still have friends who ask me when we are going out or to dinner, what are you wearing? I am not like that. I wear what I wear. When it comes to trendy home decor…. I do what I want to do. When it comes to how I do anything I do it my way, so why now would I have made a choice to go against who I am? I honestly don’t know. Are you wondering what am I talking about???? Sometimes I wonder myself… but
What I am talking about is this…. this last Saturday I was listening to a Podcast called Pretty Rich Bosses while hanging Christmas decor. During this episode it has a featured artist in it, (Still don’t know who this gal is really because I never finished the episode nor have I googled her beyond looking at her website). I am one of “Those People” who when I hear a name or a product mentioned by that someone I listen to and/or respect, I check it out while listening.
So I open my browser to check out this featured artists website. First thought Very Chic page, scroll down and see 3 beautiful women on there, still not recognizing the site or the faces that are on this page. I start looking at the pages throughout the website……. my heart sank. As I am reading these pages I am dying inside, my gut is hurting, my head is spinning, my thoughts are racing. WHO AM I??????
Now this is where I am thinking to myself, while looking at this page in front of me…. these aftercare instructions on this page are almost identical to mine. I got my aftercare from where I trained, I incorporated some of the other apprentices suggestions, so on so forth. I open my aftercare instructions…. 96% the same as this page I am looking at. I look at the next set of instructions, same and the next same. I open up their FAQ’s page…. NO WAY! HOW is this possible? I am thinking to myself, I don’t remember ever going to this page ever! I don’t even know the name of this company or these faces on this site. (They are well known in this field, yet I don’t know any of these names or faces, why?)
Even after going through this websites pages, I still do not recognize any of it. It isn’t familiar and neither are the people attached to it. So how is it that 2 years ago when I was gathering all the information for my website, did I find this one? AND How did I think I could copy and paste the information and pass it on to my web developer? I still don’t know. I looked at so many websites back then. My favorite search was permanent makeup near me. Why? Because I wanted to know what others in my area were doing on their website so I could find what would work for me. I wanted to know what their work looked like so I didn’t copy it.
In this process I obviously found a site that is no where near me and copied some their content. I have now taken this content down and am completely revamping it to use my own words, but the feeling I have is utter disgust with myself.
So the question I still have for myself or anyone really is, how could I or you have done this? How could I have copied and pasted someone else’s content and not even remember doing it. I still don’t have the answer to this question. I have lost sleep, been a nervous wreak, feeling like the lowest of the low, I want to crawl in a hole and stay there forever. What I do know is at the time I was under a lot of pressure to get content to my web company, I searched so many sites at the time, but for me to basically plagiarize another site makes me want to vomit.
Why am I posting it here on my blog page that isn’t really a blog page yet? Because if there is someone out there that is having a hard time figuring out what or who you want to be as a business maybe, just maybe, you will stumble upon this article and stop what you are doing. Think long and hard about how you will feel if years later you discover you are a fraud (or at least part of your website is).
How do you avoid this? Well, first of all you need to find you. Don’t look at other peoples work, their websites, their anything. Use what you have, you don’t need a ton of content you need context. You need to be as genuine as you can, do you, your personality, your flare, your wisdom don’t follow someone else’s trend. Their hard work goes into their website and if you don’t have the content you want for your website, you can reach out to those in your field that have more experience than you and ask questions. So often they are completely willing to help you out with great information. Something I really didn’t catch onto in the beginning. I just knew I wanted to be successful and have an amazing website.
Make sure that whatever you post it is your own. Don’t even think about using someone else’s content. You could be like me and 2 years later you don’t remember doing it. Part of the reason I believe I don’t remember doing this is because I don’t look at my website often. I make minor changes to the SEO or wording once and a while on my services page and home page but beyond that, I haven’t read my pages since I gave the content to my web company. That is bad business. You need to be making sure the content within your context are your own.
To this woman and business that I did wrong by, I truly and with a very heavy heart for the actions I am responsible for, apologize.
I wish you all reading this the best of luck and hope that this holiday season brings you joy and happiness!