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Getting a Nasty Letter as a Time Management Coach

You are a smart time management coach or consultant who has read a number of books and uses bits and pieces from your favorites in your consulting practice. Your practice grows as you work very hard on your overall approach, and your skills.

You begin to get some national attention in the press and happily announce to your fans online that you are appearing on the Today Show in a month's time. Shortly before your appearance you receive a letter in the mail from a law firm.

One of the companies that you admire has just sent you a cease and desist letter. Apparently, they believe that you have been using their stuff, violating their copyrights and making money using their content.

You can't argue with the letter - you have indeed used their specific, copyrighted language in your business. You just didn't know that you couldn't and you never imagined that they'd have a problem with it.

Or, perhaps, you gave up on using that company's ideas in your business from the very beginning. You decided not to enter the time management business at all, or stopped it from growing to the point where anyone would notice.

Or, even rarer, you took your own time and money and developed your own methods, and now you find yourself wanting to protect them however you can.  If they ever get used by some unwitting soul, you stand ready to send your own cease and desist letters.

One of my intentions here at MyTimeDesign is to be as transparent as possible around the rights that I grant consultants, coaches, trainers and professional organizers, who interact with my materials. My intention is to give as much access as possible, and craft a situation that allows more content to be created. In other words, I want to keep alive the goose that lays the golden eggs.

Ideas Come and Go Freely

From the very beginning, I have tried to keep the flow of ideas as smooth as possible. I don't know there they come from, I don't own them, and I find that when I give them away here at MyTimeDesign or 2Time Labs, more come. In any case, it's not possible to copyright ideas, so my commitment to keeping the flow of ideas going, is just a logical outcome of the way copyright laws are set up.

Renaming Sources

The one place I do have a problem is using language from this site or 2Time Labs and saying that you wrote it. This is an issue of honesty for me, and it's also a violation of copyright law.

The same applies to specific infographics that I use, and also the language on forms. Anyone can use the underlying ideas behind to create their own forms that do the same thing, but not the actual form itself.

What if you don't have the time to put together your own forms and infographics? You attended one of my programs for time clutter consultants and are wondering if you can use what you want.

Well, you can. When you take a program of mine you are given the opportunity to acquire the rights to use the materials in a few different ways. It's easy to understand and I explain it more in the actual program.

As a reader of this website, however, understand that you can use freely any of the ideas that you want in your work.

For a summary of some of these ideas, see my video:  Time Management Consultants: What Content Should I Use?