No idea is original

There are times when you see something and you know deep down inside that what that person did was your idea. You know it with every inch of your being and you immediately become upset. But how upset should you really be?

This was the scenario that I encountered earlier this week and yes, I was annoyed. But I wasn’t 100% sure if I really should have been because maybe I was wrong… maybe it wasn’t fully my idea. Or was it?

So, let’s go back a few weeks and I’ll fill you in on the story. I applied for a job as a community manager and I made it to the 2nd round where they asked all of the applicants to respond back by the end of the week to one of three homework assignments that they had sent along. So, I diligently went to work reviewing my options and deciding which one I was going to work on. I spent almost 2 hours coming up with multiple ideas for a blog series, I researched the niche that they were in, reviewed other blogs that were similar, and finally had everything written out and detailed. I felt like I had nailed it and hit the send button.

With fingers crossed and hopes high I waited to hear back. I finally did and learned that I wasn’t selected… no big deal. I’ll just keep trying.

Fast forward a week or so. I’m scrolling through Instagram and was stunned when I saw a picture that was exactly one of my ideas. I was floored… my idea that I used for my interview was implemented. I didn’t know what to do. So, like any other good blogger I took it to my friends and posed the question to them, how annoyed should I be?


We talked it through and finally I emailed the company. I was polite and very nice. I thanked them for considering me and I mentioned that I saw that they implemented one of my ideas and so on. The response that I received back said that they had over 100 applicants and said they’d keep my info for the future. Never once did they mention the use of my idea. Not at all.

I felt betrayed in a sense.

Did they actually hire someone? Or did they just use all of the applicants as a way to get free social media consultant work done? Do they now have a stock pile of incredible ideas to use?

My ideas weren’t perfect but they were pretty damn good.

Again, I went back to my friends and this time they agreed with me. They too felt that I had been wronged.

What I learned is that there are no original ideas…. maybe there is a twist to an old idea or something that we have already done. Maybe they had already planned and the timing of it’s implementation was coincidental.

As bloggers we have ideas all the time and we share them with one another from time to time. We run a blog series, a linky for a specific prompt, or something along those lines. We join in on the fun but we don’t steal the ideas from one another and run it as our own because we are a community…. a family if you will… we support one another as best we can. Also, we’re professionals and we want to be taken seriously and stealing ideas from one another won’t get us anywhere.

For many blogging is a business and we all know that it’s bad business to steal ideas. We know that it’s unprofessional and what happens in the end. Karma often has her way….

How can a blogger or a company be taken seriously by their followers, brands, PR reps, other bloggers, and community managers if they take ideas from others and implement them as their own? How can they build trust and a worthwhile brand on that? They can’t. And even if they try and it works for a while it’s just like a poorly constructed house and eventually it will come tumbling down around them.

The best lesson that I learned from all of it was this, use an NDA. When you share an idea send it in a dated, branded PDF document with the following NDA: “The information contained in this document is intended for internal use by {COMPANY/INDIVIDUAL} for decision making and is not intended to be shared, distributed or broadcast to any unintended or third-parties. Any strategic or creative property presented in this document may not be used without the express consent of {YOU OR YOUR COMPANY}.” Thank you Jessi. You’re awesome.

Cover your ass.

Lessons Learned – Camping Edition

Yesterday was my first day back after more than a week away. A long week…

There are a few things that I learned (in no particular order) and I’ll let you decide if they’re good, bad, or neither.

lessons learned - camping edition

1. No matter how much food you pack and what you plan someone will complain that there is nothing to eat and want to go to the store.

2. You tell everyone to pack for 9 days. Do laundry while you’re camping and they still run out of clothes.

3. Toddlers never leave their shoes on. Never. No matter what you say.

4. When toddlers take their shoes off they lose them. Yes, lose them…. meaning my son doesn’t have tennis shoes and I have to go replace them.

5. As soon as I replace the lost tennis shoes they’ll turn up.

6. Even when you’re camping on grass, no sand/dirt in sight, and a paved road kids still look like they rolled in dirt by dinner time.

7. Campers hold a very small amount of hot water and kids need a bath almost every single night.


8. Your parents will let your kids get away with just about everything they didn’t let you do. This isn’t new though, right?

9. Even the biggest camper seems small with 6 people after a few days.

10. Best part about camping… spending the day at the beach.

day at the beach

11. Worst part about camping… being in a location where there is no internet access, no 4G, and barely enough edge service to send a text message. Thanks AT&T.

Overall it was a pretty good week because I was able to spend some quality time with my parents and my sister came home with her boys. And yes, it wasn’t all that bad disconnecting like that because I was able to spend a little time with my kids, my parents, and read two books.

So, now I play the catch up game. What’d I miss?

Lessons Learned ~ Toddlerhood

After becoming a parent again, this time to a boy, I’ve had to relearn a lot of things. As time has passed I think I’ve done pretty good… I mean he’s still alive and laughing so I’m doing something right. Right?

So we’ve made it to the toddler stage and more importantly the terrible two’s. This stage is appropriately named too, because I’d rather deal with my teen and almost teen any day instead of my toddler. I should also mention that little boys are very different than little girls. There is no comparison at all… night & day, oil & water, yin & yang… whatever you want to call it. Boys are a challenge put nicely.

the many faces of Andrew

The Toddler

Alright, so here are a few things that I’ve learned recently.

1. When you get upset and just don’t have the words to describe how you feel. Spit. Yes, spit. Get right in your sisters face and spit on her. You feel better and she just walks away from you.

2. Screaming is also good to get your point across. It’s even better if you wait until someone is really close and get close to their ear when you scream.

3. Clothes are always optional. Especially pants.

4. Socks are for your hands not your feet. Duh.

5. Food tastes a lot better when it’s dumped off of the plate and placed directly on the high chair tray.

6. Coffee tables are meant to be stood on and jumped off of.

7. Nail polish looks good all over your hand and arm. And don’t think that tightening the lid will help… any toddler can get it off. They’re ingenious creatures.

8. Peeing on the floor and then looking at your mom while you point at it and say “Mess!” is always fun.

9. Using all the baby wipes to clean everything in the house while running around saying “Mess!” is fun. Guess mom didn’t clean well enough… thanks for helping.

10. All electronic equipment belongs to the toddler. I know this because he holds the remote(s), phones, etc and says “Mine”.

There may be a few more but I don’t want to scare anyone who hasn’t hit this incredible stage especially if they have boys. Mine could just be special and I’m getting paid back for something terrible I did as a child….. Although I doubt that’s the case because I know that I was a great kid!

I think that maybe this is karma for laughing at the antics my sister’s boys have pulled. For the past couple of years it’s been really entertaining to hear her war stories of life with two little boys and now I’ve been cursed blessed with my own boy. I know that I’ll make it through because she is still sane and doesn’t drink excessively… yet (she thinks she deserves sainthood).

Alright, now share with me a few things I have to look forward to that I may have forgotten (or repressed those memories) in the next year or two.


Write on Edge: RemembeRED

Today we’re trying a little something different. Are you ready? Your word is below. Take the next ten minutes to write about the first single memory that word calls up. Focus on the emotions and the experience, spend ten minutes really exploring that memory. Then wrap it up, publish, and come back to link up.

Write on Edge - Crash

Winter…. January 31st to be exact. Just after 6pm and it was dark outside.

I took a back road for some reason… must have thought that it would have been quicker or something.

It had been snowing like it always does at that time of year in Michigan. Most of the roads were clear except for a few random drifts that happened to fill the roads where the fields were open.

The drifts never worried me much because I drove a four wheel drive Expedition. It plowed through drifts easily… like a knife through butter. Smooth and easy.

I was confident and sure that I was safe from the travesties that others experienced with their little cars.

Excitement was building as I drove on to meet up with some high school girl friends for a night out. I hadn’t seen them in a long time and was really looking forward to it. I never made it.

I came up over the hill and on the downside were drifts. Nothing special… until I drove through it. The drift caught my tire just right and I felt it pull my truck off to the right while I tried to get control of the truck. Fear raced through my body like nothing I had ever felt before. Before I knew it I was in the ditch and the truck tipped.

I was rolling…. I let go of the steering wheel and covered my head, it was an instinct. It wasn’t going to save me though. I kept rolling from side to side. Metal crunching, glass shattering, and my body being banged around the truck even though I had my seat belt on.

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime it stopped. Windows were gone… the windshield was smashed but in tact, the roof was caved in. I did a mental check of myself…. I was fine. I survived.

Adrenaline was running high as I sat there trying to stop shaking. I fumbled around looking for my cell phone to call 911.

Fear still had it’s grip on me as I dialed several times… my hands were shaking so bad that I could barely dial. Finally I got it.  Help was in it’s way.

I missed my night out with friends and had to walk through almost knee deep snow in my brand new purple heels.

I am much more conscious about how I drive, the weather, and road conditions. I worry more than is necessary and I’m driving another truck.

Note: I followed the rules and wrote for 10 minutes and hit publish… this is not edited at all. So please be kind… the grammar and punctuation probably sucks.

Lessons Learned ~ Random Thought Edition

So recently a few things have come to me that fall into the category of lessons learned and of course some are good, some bad, and others are like duh… common sense type things.

Let’s get this list started!

Meetings are pointless

I found that I can attend an hour long meeting with a complete agenda and still walk out and be totally confused and unsure what the to-do’s are. Yea, this happens often to me and I don’t like it but I also don’t know what to do about it either. So, the lesson learned is that meetings are pointless. Oh… and that I shouldn’t go to them unless absolutely necessary.

On a side note I’ve been trying to make any meeting that I schedule worth while and have an outcome. I don’t want people walking away from my meeting thinking that it was a waste of time.

Differing beliefs

This one I knew already and it becomes more and more obvious with each passing day. But it’s difficult to work in an organization where their beliefs differ from your own. It’s difficult to to ignore things and carry on when it’s coming at you from all directions. But I deal with it because it’s a good place to work and they really believe in family and allow me to be home when I need to.

I’m being a bit vague here aren’t I? Well, that’s for a reason… I don’t want the world to know where I work (people judge… don’t kid yourself). Now, I don’t work for the mafia, in the porn industry, and I’m not under the witness protection program or anything like that so stop wondering.

Vacations are awesome Lake Michigan

Like I needed to tell you this, right? But taking a summer vacation is great and I wish that I could take one for a week every month throughout the summer. This year we took a long weekend and went to Crystal Mountain and if you hadn’t heard me say it before then I’ll tell you now that you need to check the place out! Great vacation spot.

Good concrit is awesome too

Again… this is redundant. But I got some incredible concrit from another blogger and it was so helpful and it really boosted my writing and confidence. I owe a huge thank you to Kelly (@DancesWithChaos) for the concrit that she gave me a few weeks ago. She openly offered to help me and sent me a page of notes that gave me confidence and allowed me to write fiction better. I was able to turn around a so-so post and make it a lot better.

Okay so that it’s for now from me. Now it’s your turn…. what lessons have you learned lately?