It’s a habit that started about 20 years ago…

Attending a conference for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), we participants were all sharing best ideas and lessons learned via jobs in alumni and donor relations. One of the presenters said, “Our name is CASE, and we insiders know that stands for “Copy And Steal Everything!”

I loved it and have used the principle frequently ever since…

Like the first time (and many times) when I was worried about new workshop/presentation content being stolen or copied. One of my great mentors, Carole Hyatt,” said, “Oh I gave up that fear long ago, because no one is me, and even if they steal my content they can’t replicate me or the way I deliver it!” So wise and true.

Jen Ramos in her talk at last week’s Love Your Life on doing business as an artist, explained how she takes copycats as compliments, then innovates something new.

Of course this isn’t about disobeying copyright laws, or being casual about wise protection over our own creations. I’m simply of the opinion that being liberal and sharing is better than hyper protecting. God forbid you spend one hour repeating my mistakes or having to cry the tears I’ve cried when you can take my stuff, gain advantages, and soar.

My mantra is “Share liberally. Give away more than keep. Scatter more than gather. Hold loosely vs. hold on tight.”

Afterall, we copy recipes, favorite celebrities’ fashion, others’ tweets that inspire, and steal-of-deals by sharing coupons and insider sales.

Speaking of stealing, I’m stealing Sarah Richardson’s 2009 HGTV Christmas Tree this year, scouring eBay and Etsy for cheaper-by-the-dozen ornaments just like hers. (Hooray for vintage Lillian Vernon glass icicles scored last night on eBay.) You can see Sarah’s tree on this video, which I highly recommend for fun inspiration and unique holiday ideas.

Happy copying, stealing and sharing away…

Here comes Sarah's tree!

Here comes Sarah’s tree!

Love the unusual colors

Love the unusual colors 

Can't wait to try this look

Can’t wait to try this look

eBay glass icicles

eBay glass icicles

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