Beware of the blueprintIt’s completely natural for us to be inspired by someone who’s achieved the level of success we aspire to. If THEY can do it, we reason, surely WE can too – especially if we have insider access to the secrets of their success.

And everywhere you look these days, it seems someone’s offering to share their ‘secrets’ in the form of a success blueprint. You know the type of thing:

“Follow my proven 7-Step Blueprint and you too can build a 6 figure business like me!”

Now, if you think you detect a hint of cynicism creeping in here – you’d be right! If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being in business for myself for a decade and more, it’s that there is NO magic formula…. NO one-size-fits-all approach…. and NO proven blueprint.

But back in the day, when I was looking around for guidance at the very start of my business journey, I was seduced into buying one such ‘proven’ blueprint. I naively thought that I all I had to do was follow the blueprint, duplicate exactly what the blueprint owner did and success would surely be mine, all mine……right?

Well, let’s just say the story didn’t end well, so if you like a happy ending turn away now! Because along the way, I discovered something which made my failure inevitable…… and you don’t need to be a genius to guess what it was:


Even though I tried hard to ‘adopt’ her strategies (after all, this was a proven blueprint!) it soon became obvious that there was a fundamental element missing – me!

I know hindsight is a wonderful thing but if I had thought it through properly at the start I would have realised that the blueprint owner and I were worlds apart in SO many ways and it became increasingly apparent that….

  • I didn’t even want a business like hers
  • I didn’t want to work the unsustainable number of hours she was working to achieve success
  • Her strategies simply weren’t congruent with who I was or how I wanted do business
  • Replicating her blueprint meant having to turn myself into something I’m not


So, you get the picture.

Replicating another person's blueprint The thing was, as much as I admired this woman, we were very different people with different values, style, personality, resources and expertise.

I felt like I was walking in someone else’s shoes and before I’d gone very far, the pinch-points began to blister and hurt and I had no option but to reluctantly limp away.

So it’ll probably come as no surprise when I tell you that it was certainly NOT an experience I wanted to repeat!

Don’t get me wrong, I still continue to regularly invest in both my personal and professional development but I consciously choose to work only with those who support me in growing my business MY way and NOT those who are only interested in offering me THEIR success blueprint.

You’re a unique individual not a clone!

So has this resonated with you? Maybe you’ve also tried someone else’s strategies only to be left wondering why you can’t make them work?

If blueprints aren’t the answer – what is?

Having some sort of a structure or framework to guide you through the maze of opportunities that exist for you and your business can make SUCH a difference and working with mentors and coaches can be HUGELY beneficial… you simply need to choose carefully!

Find a good fit

I know how important it is to be a good match for my clients in my own business. I know I’m a very good coach, but I am not the best business coach for everyone. I wouldn’t expect anyone to commit to us working together without having had a conversation first so that TOGETHER we can decide if my programme would be the best support for you.

And in case you’re wondering, I HAVE turned down potential clients who were looking for something outside the scope of what I do well. We can only become an effective collaboration IF we are a good fit – like any relationship, there has to be chemistry.

It’s YOUR business, not theirs

Look for someone who can guide you rather than tell you exactly what to do. Someone who can lead you through the maze of opportunities and help you find the right path to take you where YOU want to be. Someone who will encourage you to embrace your uniqueness, NOT a watered-down version of who THEY are.

So if nothing else, my ‘blueprint experience’ taught me a valuable lesson I’ve never forgotten and one that I’ve integrated into absolutely everything I do in my business today:

Don’t try to be something you’re not and instead, embrace your true authenticity.

The more I reflect upon it, the more I’ve come to realise that EVERY business benefits from being an authentic expression of the person who creates it. Get this right and things will flow and feel effortless. AND, not only is it easier, it’s also HUGELY more rewarding and enjoyable!

Now, over to you…

Do you have a ‘Blueprint’ experience to share? Maybe it worked well for you – in which case why do you think that was? What do you look for in a mentor or coach? What makes someone a ‘good fit’ for you?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below – I look forward to reading them!


If you have dreams and ideas you want to bring out into the world but are frustrated and overwhelmed because you’re just not sure what you need to DO in order to make those dreams a reality, I’d love to help. I offer FOUR complimentary Clarity Calls each month which are totally without obligation for those of you who are ready to focus on growing your precious business YOUR way!  Request a complimentary session with me here


Beware of the Blueprint — 8 Comments

  1. Oh how very well said, Karen!

    This is a frequent rant of mine but you express it so much more eloquently.

    It started with my own experiences a decade or so back. And I still encounter it when speaking with potential clients who come to me, asking me to get their systems set up the way their ‘guru’ has told them to do it.

    It seems cookie cutters aren’t really my style these days! Thank goodness.

    • Blueprints are obviously a very attractive sounding option, as we can both testify, Mary! Having actually been through the experience personally makes you understand EXACTLY what it’s like to be on the receiving end and as a result, we have both rejected this as a way of working with our own clients. No experience is ever wasted – it’s all part of the learning curve!

  2. great blog Karen,
    When we start a business were vulnerable and it can be tempting to be seduced into the ‘blueprint’ trap, I, however was lucky as I found you early in my business journey. And as you say, you ARE a good coach evidenced by the fact that you continue to support and guide me four years later.
    What do I look for in a mentor/coach? Empathy, understanding of me and confidence in what I want to achieve, evidence of having done it already. So they’ll have relevant technical skills, nothing annoys me more than coaches who don’t walk their talk or try to eg make you a bestselling author despite not having written a book themselves. I remember our initial conversation and knowing immediately that you ticked all those boxes.

    • Thank you for your endorsement Lesley! I too remember that initial conversation and knowing immediately that we would make a great partnership – seems like we were both right!

  3. Fantastic post, Karen, and I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Our business is just one way of expressing who we are in the world, and whilst having a plan is essential, we ourselves are the most important ingredient in the mix. And the plan needs to be in our natural flow – otherwise it just won’t (flow, I mean).

    Finding a business coach who appreciates this is real bonus – I hope your Clarity Calls are all snapped up this month!
    Linda Anderson recently posted…[Video] It’s easy for THEM to be successfulMy Profile

  4. I could not agree with this more if I tried – thank you for expressing it so eloquently. I agree with it so much in fact, that I’ve quite deliberately taken a few months off in my own business to redesign it with all these things in mind, because I got so fed up with all the virtual ‘shouting’ to do this, be this, try this – it all made me inwardly shudder! I call it my peaceful rebellion 😉
    I’ve redesigned my business around my core and what I want from life and it feels great. I did it with help and support from wonderful mentors (like Linda Anderson!) and friends (like Lesley Pyne!) who have provided space, listened, reflected my own truth back at me, and given me courage to reclaim my inherent power and wisdom.
    Any mentors that focus on helping with this first – before strategy – get my vote 🙂 It’s the only way forwards if you want a sustainable business that serves others whilst also nourishing you.

    • Now that you’ve given it a name (love it!) I realise I’ve been doing a bit of peaceful rebelling too Helen! I ignored my intuition for far too long, handing over my power to people who repeatedly told me they knew best, when of course, they didn’t!

      Here’s to making a difference in the world by being connected to & aligned with our true selves.

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