Originality of Material

Hi Brooke,

I’m a life coach. I haven’t formally coached anyone yet, and I’m in the first two weeks of getting a website together and creating content. But I am a life coach.

I’m having a conundrum related to originality of content. I came across your material about 3 weeks ago, and have been thrilled by it. I’d say that 80% of it is not new ‘information’ to me; I’ve been exposed to the concepts in my study of buddhism, reading of people like Ekhart Tolle, etc. However your distillation and presentation of it, in a fantastically useful and accessible way, is just tremendous. I’m getting great value from it, whether or not it’s new.

On the one hand, your material is a perfect example of why ‘originality’ is not so important. The point is to spread this information to help people, and different presentations affect people differently. So there’s no shame in copying concepts.

But when I consider some of your material, like the model, it’s not apparent to me how I could repackage that concept in a way that is any better than what you have done. I could call it ‘The Framework’, and could come up with different words than those represented by CTFAR. But that seems dishonest and foul. What are your thoughts on ‘stealing’ other peoples information and concepts and ways of presentation to use in my coaching materials? When using something of yours fairly explicitly for example, is liberal and generous attribution adequate?

I intend to sprinkle your name throughout my blog content when appropriate, and to refer to you as ‘my coach’ (there was a posting in Ask Brook where a Scholar talked about the realization that you were ‘her coach’ and I like it. I’m considering a ‘Resources’ page where mention some books and resource that have been important to me, and you would figure prominently on that page. I see this as part and parcel of ‘giving away my best stuff’. Referring interested folks to you definitely would qualify as some of my best stuff right now.

What do you think about all this?