How are you unique?


What is it about you that people remember and causes them to want to hire you or do business with you?  It is an important question.  If you just blend in with all the other people they know, they may not remember you when they need your services.

Being controversial makes you unique.  It is especially helpful when others talk about you.  One example of this recently was  Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook ,who was making the rounds of potential investors wearing his hoodie, not the usual attire for company leaders.  Like Steve Jobs he is known for a particular mode of dress which is not appropriate for all situations.  The second example was Time Magazine which had a particularly edgy cover of a mother nursing her 3 year old child.  It created a lot of talk on Twitter and on the news.

How did either or both of those examples strike you?  I’m certainly not advocating your being unique in these ways but it is a possibility.  In fact to be unique you want to be different in your own way-not following anyone else.

As I see it being unique is not necessarily being controversial.  Zuckerberg can wear his hoody because his market is the hip young computer savvy types.  I may not be part of that market but I’d like to be!  Hence I put up with the uniqueness and call him quirky.

Time is looking for the 30 to 50 year old market and picked a controversial topic that interests their target market.  They don’t really care if I am offended.  I will remember the cover though.

I wrestle with being controversial myself.  My personal inclination is to find commonality with my readers and clients.  I think that is what draws them to me.  On the other hand I do want them to remember me in a good way standing out in my profession.  So how am I unique?

One way I differentiate myself from others is to work with attorneys.  After I was in business 5 years as a business coach I decided I liked working with my attorney clients because they were so eager for and appreciative of my help.   An attorney client once said to me, “I don’t know why you like attorneys.  Everyone else hates us.”   Not all attorneys are in my target market but the ones I work with I like and respect.

Another way I am unique is that I am passionate about helping people find meaningful and enjoyable work.  I believe that everyone should find satisfaction in the work that they do.  I build both parts of my practice (career and practice advising) on helping my clients to find and do meaningful work.

A client recently said to me, “Work adds value to life.”  I agree.  That sums up the kind of work I help people find.  You might find that value in the work you are already doing or it might be in a new job.

Finally my Value Program is unique to me.  I developed it and use it exclusively with my clients. The program makes it easy to find the work that adds value to your life – meaningful work.  I’ve discussed vision and values, assessments, leverage and now uniqueness in my newsletter articles this year.  Next month we’ll cover the final piece, execute and evaluate.  The program focuses on you.  When you bring all that you are to the work that you do, the possibilities are amazing!

Take action:

  1. What makes you unique?  Make a list.
  2. Do your clients, colleagues, managers see this?  How can you find out?
  3. Create a plan to move yourself forward either by discovering your uniqueness or by seeing if your clients, colleagues or managers can describe that uniqueness.

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