Trying to become a brand name? Learn from Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby!

I was fascinated at David Crosby's recent admission on CBS Sunday Morning show that he copied everything from George Harrison and the Beatles.

Crosby said that he admired The Beatles so much that he bought the same guitar as George used, held it like George did and stood in the mirror and tried to be exactly like George Harrison.

He described in detail how he watched Harrison and imitated everything he did from the way he held the guitar to his stance on stage.

Crosby first found fame in 1964 with The Byrds. Their hits Mr. Tambourine Man and Turn, Turn, Turn still get airplay fifty years later. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the Byrds at #45 on their Top 100 all time greatest artists.

Through The Byrds, Crosby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
Six years later Crosby was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame again, this time with his group, Crosby, Stills and Nash.

So, should the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame kick David Crosby out after his recent confession that he copied everything George Harrison did?


Here's why: When Crosby launched his professional career he didn't imitate George Harrison or The Beatles, he emulated them.

At first glance the definition of the two words may seem similar, but the difference is huge.

Webster defines "Imitate" as to copy someone.

They define "Emulate" as trying to be "like" someone.

If you grew up, as I did, listening to The Byrds and CSN, then you know that neither of those groups sound anything like The Beatles in general or George Harrison specifically.

Where would David Crosby be if he had continued imitating Harrison? You and I would never even have heard of him. If he stayed in the music business he'd probably be playing small bars and restaurants today.

At some point Crosby stopped imitating his idol and started emulating him.

Instead of imitating - doing the same thing the same way, and copying George Harrison’s sound, Crosby started emulating him. He strove to be equal to or excel.

He developed his own voice and his own style. Because he did, he is and will remain installed in the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; and he continues to draw huge crowds of fans who have enjoyed his voice and music for 50 years.

It is natural for us to have idols and people we highly respect in business, and it is understandable that we want to be like them. But in order to succeed in building our own brand; we must develop our own voice, our own style and build our own following.

Here is a simple strategy to help you develop your own brand, voice and platform:

Look at a businessman you highly respect and make a list of what you like about him.

For example, I recently discovered bestselling author and trainer Brendon Burchard. I was immediately impressed with what he does and how he does it. BUT, I don't want to be Brendon Burchard, nor do I want to imitate him. What I would like to do is emulate him.

Here are four specific things I like about Brendon:

1. He does a great job of presenting on camera.

2. He gives TONS of valuable content for free.

3. He seeks to serve not sell.

4. He over delivers.

By identifying those specific things, instead of imitating Brendon, I can look at my own gifts, abilities and style and consider how to emulate the four characteristics I just listed.

1. How can I do a great job presenting my information?

2. Which of my content will help the most people?

3. How can I focus on serving people instead of just trying to sell them my products and services?

4. What can I do to over deliver?

I'm glad David Crosby didn't continue imitating George Harrison; because if he had, the world would have missed what David had to offer.

If you imitate someone else, regardless of how great they may be, the world will miss out on what YOU have to offer.

As you work to become a brand name, don't imitate-- emulate.
Identify the characteristics that you admire in others.

Now implement them into your unique offerings, so you can become the best YOU possible.

Author's Bio: 

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Bruce is a bestselling author, speaker and trainer and founder of Perpetual Publicity, a step-by-step training system that teaches Authors, Business Owners and other Entrepreneurs how to grow their business through free publicity.

Bruce has been featured, quoted, profiled or has appeared in thousands of newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and TV shows in over twenty countries, including:The Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN, MSNBC, USA Today, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun Times, I Heart Radio, and NPR.