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Expert Feature – Imitation: The Key to Reaching New Levels of Success in 2015

The Embarrassing Moment with the President

In a book called, Mistakes, Michael Johnstone tells an embarrassing story that happened one day to some friends who visited the President.

Not long after he was elected, President Calvin Coolidge invited some friends from his hometown to dinner at the White House.

Because they were so in awe of the experience and didn’t want to do anything stupid or embarrassing, they thought the best thing to do would be just to do what the President did.

So they watched and copied every move he made: what fork and knife he used for each course, drinking from the correct glasses.

Everything seemed to be going well. No one felt embarrassed or out of place.

That is until it was time came for serving coffee.

The President poured his coffee into a saucer. As soon as his friends saw it, they did the same.

The next step for the President was to pour some milk and add a little sugar to the coffee in the saucer. His friends did the same.

They thought for sure that the next step would be for the President to take the saucer with the coffee and begin sipping it.

But the President didn’t.

Instead, he leaned over, placed the saucer on the floor and called the cat.


Three Mistakes We All Make with Imitation


We can’t judge his friends too harshly. We all make three mistakes when it comes to imitation.

1. We imitate the wrong people.

2. We imitate the wrong things.

3. We don’t imitate anyone.

The first two things on this list should be self-explanatory, but let me explain the third one.

Most of us spend way too much time “trying to reinvent the wheel”. 

We keep trying to succeed purely on our own trial-and-error.

Everyone is going to make mistakes, and you’ll learn valuable lessons from them, but why not learn some from others’ mistakes?


Copycat, Dirty Rat?

There’s nothing new under the sun.

Whatever you want to succeed at doing this year, in business or your personal life, has most likely already been done.

In fact, someone has probably written a book on how they did it! 

What you need to do is to find out what methods that they used to succeed and then do the same things.

If you do that, you’ll have a MUCH higher chance of succeeding too.

Without a proven model success will be much harder for you to achieve.

Here are four questions for you:


  1. In what area do you want to succeed this year?
  2. Who has already done this?
  3. How did they do it?
  4. What steps, ideas, or principles can you duplicate in your life or business?

The best thing you can do is choose ONE model and begin implementing it.

Don’t chase after and try multiple models and try “a little of this and that.”

Pick one model and implement it. 


3 Basic Sources for Success Models

There  are three main places you can go to find models you can emulate.

Your Local Community: There are probably people in your own community who have accomplished the things that you want to. Look around and see who you can find. Then see if you can go grab a coffee or meal with them.

Books: How to” books or biographies are especially good places.

Videos: You’re not a reader? No problem. These days you can find the same types of information you could find in books in videos.


Some Places to Find Business-Related Models

There are many places you go to find people to model for success in business, but here are a few places to get you started:

1. Businesses to Model 

This site contains a lot of great stories about well-known companies that have succeeded. Just go to the section above calledOrigins of Top Businessesto dive in and find some.

2. SEO Models 

If you would like some SEO models you can follow, then you can look for articles on here by Thomas Petty or Melanie Yunk. You can also look for more information on their sites: (Tom’s site) or (Melanie’s site). 

3. Marketing 

If you would like some marketing models you can follow, then you can look for articles on here by Sydni Craig-HartYou can also look for more information on her site:

4. Content Marketing

If you would like some content marketing models you can follow, then you can look for articles on here by clicking here. If you would like some powerful examples from history, movies, tv, popular products, and more then check out my new book 51 Content Marketing Hacks

If you find a model to copy in 2015, you’ll have a much greater chance of succeeding in the area you hope to this year. 

Action is the key!


Photo by Celestine Chua

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About Scott Aughtmon (1864 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.

2 Comments on Expert Feature – Imitation: The Key to Reaching New Levels of Success in 2015

  1. Love the article, Scott, and not just because you flatter me and Roaring Pajamas by naming us as a model to follow for SEO. We really appreciate the recognition and are blushing just a little. Thank you again for mention and all your great articles.

    • Scott Aughtmon // January 16, 2015 at 12:26 pm //

      Thanks, Melanie. I am glad you liked it. And you’re welcome. Thanks for being a part of BayBusinessHelp!

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