Got a Case of “It’s All Been Done”

Have you ever been visited by this sneaky saboteur? The “it’s all been done” syndrome?

I had a case of it last week as I wracked my brain for a topic to write about. Every time I came up with an idea, I immediately told myself, “yeah, but that’s been done before.” This kept me spinning for days.

After giving up, I was reminded of a moment of profound change I experienced many years ago. I was on a teleclass on professional speaking taught by the indomitable Les Brown. I chose to be on the call because I LOVE public speaking, but I always held myself back because I couldn’t come up with a 100% unique topic to speak on. I was limiting myself with the belief that “it’s all been done.”

Giving voice to my fears, Les acknowledged that there are very few speakers with wholly original ideas. But then he said, “You can’t let that stop you. There are people out there who can only hear your voice.”

And I knew exactly what he meant. I’d hear a concept from five different people, but only fully absorb it from the one person whose “voice” – energy, experience, persona, attitude, philosophy – I truly connected with.

I work with business owners all the time who hide their talents, insights, and services because of this feeling of “it’s been done” or “everyone else is doing the same thing.” I’m here to tell you that that attitude is a saboteur, and it can become a cop out.

Don’t let this sabotage you, and do not use it as an excuse not to pursue your life’s work. There are people out there who are listening for your voice. It’s time to speak up!

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Mary Cravets

Founder Mary Cravets started Simply Get Clients because she saw small business owners complicating growing their businesses. Or falling victim to the "build it and they will come" myth. So she developed the simple structure to cut through all the noise of social media, "experts", online funnels, advertising and more to focus on the central problem of business owners: getting more clients. And you know what? There is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution.

Reader Interactions


  1. Adam Cravets says

    Great Article! I know for me that I have heard the same thing from several people but ultimately only one of them felt like they actually spoke to me and I understood. But when I think back on the dozens of seminars I have been to, with the same or similar information, it amazes me that I had heard that info many times but never UNDERSTOOD it until that 4th or 5th person said it. Sometimes I get it the first time but usually not.

    • Mary Cravets says

      As a coach, sometimes I’m lucky enough to be the person who inspires that beautiful “aha” moment. But I have to be willing to just play the quieter role of being the first person to introduce an idea to someone – the one who doesn’t get credit, because they still need to hear it a few more times before the light bulb goes on!

  2. alyons2424 says

    Thanks for an inspiring article! When it comes to my industry, nail care, it almost always seems like “it’s been done” before. It is sometimes discouraging. I still tell others what they may or may not know because I am always surprised to find people (even other professionals in my industry) who say, “Really? I never knew that!”

  3. Suzie Shreve says

    Really Liked your article! So True!! I will have to always remeber this when I stay to quiet

  4. Hannah says

    Thanks for sharing this article, Mary! It’s so true that even though most things have been done or said before, each one of us puts our own unique spin on it. And someone needs to hear it from us.

    • Mary Cravets says

      YES Hannah! This can be such a big roadblock feeling we have to be SO unique. It feels like such a struggle when the fact is that, without having to change anything, we ARE unique.