Do you know your unique difference?

ShawnDriscollThis is a guest post from Shawn Driscoll.

In an overcrowded marketplace, everyone is looking for a way to get noticed.  I think one of the great paradoxes we’re all living with (and through) is that the more connected we become the more difficult it is to be heard.

You could try and get noticed by putting on a show.  And some take that route.  You could give yourself a catchy ‘persona’—and there are plenty of self-anointed Diva’s, Gurus, Czars and Queens out there to be sure!  And, to a degree, these tactics work. If done right, they can be fun and effective.  But, if done wrong, you risk becoming an inside joke.  Not the best way to get noticed and make a serious impact on the world.

Here’s what I think.  I think the best way to stand out is to be yourself—to discover your own unique approach or way of working (and being) and claim that as your “signature”.  Signature is about fully being yourself and amplifying the elements that make you memorable to those who experience you and your work.   Signature isn’t about putting on pretense.  It’s about dropping it.

Signature is….

… claiming your brilliance and being willing to show it off a bit

…being more of yourself

…being grounded in values that guide you no matter what is going on in the market

…expressing your point of view, your creativity, your unique take on life and business

…standing confidently and clearly in your message

…having a style or approach all your own

…being different because you ARE different

…creating an experience for your clients, customers, prospects and those who experience your work

…taking the lead more often than you follow

…stepping out of convention and challenging assumptions (especially your own)

…making an impact with your gifts, talents and strengths

…taking a stand for something of meaning to you and to others

…trusting your own wisdom as much as you trust the insight of your mentors and advisors

…finally being ok with who you are…and who you aren’t

It may seem like a tall order.  At first, it may even feel scarier than playing a part, right? I don’t intend it to be.  In fact, when you finally grasp that all you really have to do is be yourself, you may breathe a sigh of relief!  When you let yourself off the hook about having to ‘get it right’ or do things exactly like others are doing them, you begin to recognize your distinct difference.  That’s when things get exciting!

Finding your signature difference is about finding the place where what you do and who you are is strong, clear and confident.  I’m often asked how to figure this out.  So here are 5 really straightforward ways to uncover your unique difference.

  1. What is the experience you want your customers, colleagues and others to have when they interact with you and your company?  What words do you want them to use when talking about you and your business?  These can become the “signature” elements you put in place to stand out.
  2. Think about the 5 proudest moments in your business life.  What words, phrases, feelings and images come to mind?  Consider how these might showcase the best and brightest about you and your business…and how that might just be your “signature” difference.
  3. What compliments do you hear over and over again?  If you don’t do it already, I highly recommend keeping a file dedicated to all the random and not so random feedback, compliments,’ thank you’s’ and appreciations you receive.  These are clues to your signature approach and to what people value most in working with and around you.
  4. Make a list of 5 favorite clients, customers or projects you’ve ever worked with.  What was it about those experiences that made them so memorable for you?  What were the results?  What was unique about these 5?  What was similar?  This is like a little treasure hunt leading you to your signature ‘thing’!
  5. Fast forward 3 years.  You’ve achieved more than you could have hoped in the last 3 years.  Your local newspaper is coming to interview you to share your success story.  What have you accomplished? What are you known for?  What are you proudest of?  What stands out about you to get you noticed and acknowledged?

Take a look at the connection points and common themes.  They point the way to what makes you unique…and where it’s time to amplify your message.

If you’re ready to claim your distinct difference and grow your business based on YOUR unique edge, please join Shawn for her free training on “How to Get Known for Something Uniquely Your Own”.  Learn more here….

About the author:

Shawn Driscoll, known as the “Trailblazer’s Coach”, believes the fastest way to build a respected and profitable business is to dare to be distinctive.  With a keen eye for strategy and a sixth sense for seeing ‘hidden’ systems within businesses, she has fast become a sought-after coach to many trailblazing entrepreneurs and leading experts internationally.  Connect with her at