If you have a project and you’re struggling to get started, spend some time looking at other people’s work. You will find unexpected inspiration from this exercise.

Here’s My Aha Moment

When I was redesigning my website, I felt overwhelmed because website design is not my area of expertise. After brainstorming for a couple of hours and getting nowhere, I decided to look at the websites of other coaches to see how they were organized. It was life changing.

First of all, I noticed that no matter what their subject matter most of the websites had some of the same things. There was a common structure that people were using. For example, everyone had a welcome banner with their picture. Everyone talked directly to their audience about how they could help them. Some people had icons to explain their different services.

Suddenly my website made sense to me. I took everything that I had seen and liked and made it my own. The site came together very quickly after that and was up in a few days. A job that I did not feel qualified for became something I was proud of. What a relief! Ever since, I have used this technique when I feel stuck.

Let’s break it down.

The steps for taking inspiration from others’ work are:

  1. Notice what works.
  2. Ask why it works.
  3. Notice the structure.
  4. Ask how can I apply what works to my task/industry/writing.
  5. Use what you have learned and put your own spin on it.

Other Places You Can Steal From the Best

  1. Your bio
  2. Your Linked In profile
  3. Your book cover
  4. Your book blurb
  5. Great writing

Stealing From Great Writing

Break it down. What makes it great? How and why does it grab you?

A personal logline or brand moto that hooks you. Why is it memorable?

An article that teaches you, spurring you to action. How did it motivate you?

A scene in a book or movie that moves you. Are you sad, terrified, awestruck? How did the scene make you feel these emotions?

Always be on the Lookout for Inspiration

The other day I had a flat tire. While I was waiting for my new tire to be installed, I noticed the clever way National Tire & Battery list their services with icons and catchy headlines. I immediately thought how can I use this example to level up my descriptions of who I am and what I do? I liked the service list so much I snapped a picture to keep for reference.

National Tire & Battery’s service list

There is good work everywhere and you can find inspiration in the oddest places. Adopt the practice of noticing, analyzing, dissecting, and copying, to improve your own creative work.

Do you have a favorite technique of stealing from the best? Comment below and let me know.

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