8 Surprising Things I have Stolen

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Several years ago I was accused of stealing…everyone knew about it, my friends and the entire community…the only person oblivious to this was of course me!  I heard about my crime for the first time through a friend who had heard it from another friend who had heard it from yet another friend. I had been accused of stealing the name Ofilispeaks… not the full name but the “speaks” aspect, which I had added when I discovered the domain name ofili.com had been taken by some long distance family member. I was livid with anger about the accusation…I had created the ofili+speaks fusion all in my head and on my own! But soon my anger subsided as I realized that although I had not stolen this particular idea…I was indeed guilty of stealing many other things from many other people which, I had utilized to make my business successful. And for the first time ever I make an open confession about the “8 Surprising Things I Have Stolen,” the article is so compelling you might be convinced to start stealing from other people…

Victim #1 James Malinchak: The Money Stack Pose

I actually stole this arm pose from my mentor James Malinchak. I got this idea from the cover of one of his audio CDs, in which he placed his arm on a large stash of money, but since I could not afford all that money, I simply put the words on something else…thin air. The truth is that I had no idea how I was going to use this shot at that time, turns out that I was able to utilize on the cover of my first book…as I leaned on the words “How Stupidity Saved My Life.”

#2 Oprah Winfrey: Her Logo

If stealing from top motivational speaker James Malinchak was bold, stealing from Oprah Winfrey (one of the most powerful people in world) was down right dangerous! But I did it anyway and hopefully I don’t get arrested for this crime as I was blown away by the exquisite and simple nature of her logo. And since our name structure OFILI and OPRAH were similar…I utilized the basis of her design to create my logo below.

#3 Hugh MacLeod: His simple but effective sketches

If there is a crime that I have committed multiple times it would be stealing from Hugh MacLeod, back when I came up with the crazy idea to draw sketches I found myself getting stuck a lot. The problem was that I was trying to draw cartoons in the traditional way…with emphasis on the sketch versus the message. What I learnt from studying Hugh’s sketches is that I did not need to focus on the details of the sketch but rather the details of the message. From that moment on I began drawing more and more sketches but with greater simplicity and strong messages. And to this day I continually study his website http://gapingvoid.com to get sketch ideas.

#4 Kevin Garnett: The ROAR!

The famous Roar I do all the time actually originated from NBA player Kevin Garnett.

For the record I am not a huge Kevin Garnett fan, but when I saw him yell for the first time my skin stood up…I could feel his passion and desire for the game of basketball..it was pulsating. I began roaring at soccer games and at the mirror, it was energizing and liberating and I used it to psyche myself up every morning. When I sat down with my photographer to plan out my photo-shoot I told him about the roar pose I intended to do and he looked at me crazy. When we finally executed THE ROAR at the photo-shoot he finally understood where I was coming from. That one picture has become my signature picture on everything I do, from business cards, to brochures to my website…all because of an idea I stole from Kevin Garnett who probably stole his roar from an angry lion! (I am just saying)

#5 Jonathan Sprinkles: The Placard

The ever talented Jonthan Sprinkles as he calls himself the “sexiest blackman alive.” I had a pleasure to attend Jonathan’s Bootcamp 2 years ago and after the bootcamp I received a card (similar to the one below) from Jonathan. On that card was a picture of him holding a placard with the words THANK YOU…and my very first thought was that I had to steal that idea. And steal it I did! But it was not easy, I had to visit several stores before I could find the right texture and size of placard and once I found it the rest was history. My placard should probably read…I STOLE THIS IDEA!

#6Micheal Gates: The Book Title

If Michael Gates sues me he would probably get 4500 books, which is the amount of books I have sold primarily due to the phrase “saved my life,” which I got from his bestselling book “How STARBUCKS Saved My Life.” I got to know about the book while I was waiting for someone at a bookstore when I saw the book on a shelf, the title so intrigued me that I immediately picked up the book and started reading. I was never able put the book down again and eventually bought it on the spot. I was curious as to why my mind was drawn to the title but I did not think anything about the book for months. Until it was time to give my printers a book title for my first book. I had always been flirting with a title that contained the word STUPID but could not quite get something that worked. One day while starring at my bookshelf I spotted my long forgotten book and for some reason the word STUPIDITY replaced STARBUCKS and the rest as we know it is history as the title “How Stupidity Saved My Life” was created! BTW: You can get the book online.

 #7 Ali Brown: The Newsletter Banner

I started stealing from Ali Brown very recently and I wish I had begun earlier. I was drawn by her powerful use of color (by far the best I know) and I subscribed to her newsletter (ezine as she calls). The first ever email I received had a banner with Ali’s face and the title SPOTLIGHT on Entrepreneurial Success. I was captivated by the banner and immediately I realized I had to steal that concept. Which of course I did, creating my own banner with  the title “O’s Success Tips” with a picture of guess who…ME. Thanks Ali!

#8 Ali Brown: Her Home Study Course

Ali Brown is so amazing I had to steal from her twice. I loved how she packaged her programs and study at home courses. I actually heard about her through my Graphic Designer who recommended that I study her products to garner ideas on how to create mine as I was struggling with design and title ideas. I even got another additional tip that allowed me create an audio CD in the first place, through her blog post on hosting live events where she informed people doing bootcamps to ensure that they record the audio from their events to enable product creation. Thankfully I listened and by stealing from her website I was able to create my first study at home course (coming soon).


What do all 7 people above have in common? They are all extremely successful people. There is something they have done in the past and currently continue to do that has made them successful so I spend my time studying them. From their websites to their emails to their personal characters I am continually analyzing. And whenI see a great idea that could grow my business I copy it and add my own unique spin to it. Some people would call that stealing, but from my experience as an entrepreneur, “Don’t reinvent the wheel, just redesign it.” The greatest idea will always contains segments of already existing ideas so don’t waste your time searching for extreme originality. If you want your business to grow and fast study other successful businesses and entrepreneurs and pull from what they do successfully. Thus you can avoid making the same mistakes they made and become successful and in the future other up and coming entrepreneurs can study and steal your own ideas. Keep stealing…

Don’t reinvent the wheel, just redesign it. ~ Okechukwu Ofili

WARNING: Utilizing ideas and tweaking them is very different from outright duplication or copyright infringement. Strive to implement ideas in a unique way!

is an award winning motivational speaker, author, success coach and entrepreneur who blogs about life, success and entrepreneurial excellence. Follow him on BB pin:32A137F8, twitter ,facebook or subscribe to his blog for more success TIPS!” His latest book is titled HOW STUPIDITY SAVED MY LIFE, to find out how it saved his life click ofilispeaks.com/read-book

 Wishing You Extreme Success,

Have a question for Ofili? CLICK HERE or leave a comment below. Ofili strives to answer every question he is asked.


Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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Read his crazy titled books on konga or okadabooks
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40 comments on “8 Surprising Things I have Stolen

  1. What is “original thought” anyway?
    The good news is that you’re learning, evolving and growing…

    The bad news is you’re probably wrong…You didn’t steal these ideas from these people…
    Since they probably got these ideas from someone else as well…

    Excellent post!

  2. Aamassey on said:

    I have the privilege of saying “I have seen his stealing prowess in action” lol. On a serious note, you are a genius! Your ability to adapt and multiply and deliver a better product than the “original” is an art. You should blog about that 🙂

  3. “Utilizing ideas and tweaking them is very different from outright
    duplication or copyright infringement. Strive to implement ideas in a
    unique way!” I am very happy you took the time to point that out, most people do not understand the difference between “inspiration” and “thieving”.  I need to buy your book 🙂

  4. Pingback: Ofilispeaks: 7 Things You Must Do Before Writing Your Book | Bella Naija

  5. Datsomvip on said:

    Good stealing, but it’s not stealing at the other hand its just forms of developing a potential. i need to buy your book. though can i steal some of your idea too ?

  6. I believe that “stealing” if done correctly is a great way to launch your own creativity and innovation. I have been reading your stuff for a while and greatly enjoy it I hope to use these ideas to create my own brand when it is time !!!

  7. Femi Aguda on said:

    my fiance gave me your book as a birthday gift and i must say it is changing my life as i am in the process of stealing some of your idea and i look forward to speaking along side with you very soon

  8. phaytea on said:

    I find this relieving…..Fun way to deal with serious business….@ least i got to laugh as i read through…..Nice!!

  9. If stealing in this manner is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!
    (Culled from Millie Jackson’s “If loving you is wrong, I don’t wanna be right” and tweaked by L’il Me 🙂 )
    Great stuff Ofili

  10. Genin on said:

    Where have u been hiding? I cant imagine that u’ve been there and i never knew about you. I stumbled into your website and I have been stuck here for the past 3 hours. i just cant leave bcos there are so much to read. Men i must confess, you are doing a good and wonderful Job. Much kudos to u. Today i just updated my list of mentors. the article on stealing was great and i think i want to steal ……….You (lol).

    I just bookmarked ur website and i will keep in tune wit ur updates.

    Meanwhile, i’m interested in your books but they are priced in $. Please we the local champions in naija needs to know how much we can get them for in Naira.

  11. Edeeth Ajunwa on said:

    You are really hilarious!! Where have u been all my life? I’m going to look for ur books…keep it up!!

  12. Blossom on said:

    Before i started reading this article, i found myself wondering wat u actually stole. After reading it, i was surprised. U were open. From wat i have read and seen, those 8 stolen things have really helped u. Kudos. Am impressed. Have struggled with a lot of things, and u ve inspired me. At least Stealing nd not getting Caught!!!

  13. Samuel Adu on said:

    Hmmm, Mr. O. Ofili. Wot an unsual person u are! I think u are 1 of those few thought revolutionalist dat I know around. Fortunately I dine wt u…u were my mentor @d recently concluded 100% Leader’s 5th year anniversary launch @ GRA, Ikeja, organised by Idee Universal Project. We were told to suck our mentors as it is rare opportunity meeting them one on one. Though I tried my best to bombard u wt questions, but I think right now I didnt really do well. Sir, u’ll continue 2b my mentor till ‘thy kingdom come’ becoz I just realised that I hv alot to steal from u intentionally…
    Truth Sir, u are doing a great job. More things to steal!
    Your Mentee, Samuel Adu.

  14. Hello my friend! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and include approximately all vital infos. I would like to peer extra posts like this .

  15. Lady S on said:

    Wow! I like this. And i dare say that it takes a brilliant mind to be able to learn and implement ideas the way you have. This is really what it means to be mentored or to have teachers, not just carrying their books about or name-dropping. I’m going to implement this in my life and carefully see what I can draw out from the lives of my mentors. Thanks Ofili!

  16. neker17@yahoo.com on said:

    Okechukwu Ofili, is crazy. A good kind of crazy. Now this has activated the inner “thief” in me. Hehehe! Two thumbs up.

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