Be bold! Humility is dangerous to your business’ health.

Monday Morning Marketer

Being unique is quite easy. Expressing how unique you or your business are is a whole other matter. Why is it so hard?

If we think of ourselves, not our businesses for a minute, we know at various levels of understanding that we are great at some things, maybe many things. We know we are a snowflake, a cornucopia, a petrie dish of uniqueness created by millions of emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, relational, environmental and other factors. We KNOW we are unique. We know we are special. And we know we have something to offer to the world.

But do we? If we try, do we do it well? Do we stand up and tell the world clearly, boldly, proudly our very best traits & why they matter?! No. Of course we don’t. Whether it’s our humility that prevents us from acknowledging out loud that we have greatness to give, or our upbringing that taught us to not put ourselves first, or whatever other mental roadblock we may have… most of us simply cannot jump the hurdle of knowing our uniqueness to creating a personal brand and sharing it with the world in a way that makes people ‘buy in’.

For individuals, it is not critical to claim our uniqueness out loud all the time. But for a business, especially for solo entrepreneurs, this is a critical skill and willingness to have. The link between the personal brand and the business brand for small business owners is almost so tightly interwined that the business brand grows from embracing personal uniqueness.

Here’s an example. An interesting discovery has been found on Twitter by @elizabethpw (a prolific social media enthusiast & authentic human being) in the past week. I happen to be in the very rare 1% population that claims the INFJ (introverted, sensing, feeling, judging) personality descriptor through Myers-Briggs. And so are some of the women who I enjoy tweeting with. While we may make up only 1% of the global population, I suspect our volume of tweeting occupies more than 1% of the webspace. Learn more about INFJ in Elizabeth’s blog “Ode to INFJ.”

What does this mean for uniqueness, when I could perceive myself to be unique yet somehow I’ve attracted those ‘just like me’? Even though I have surrounded myself with INFJs? Well, even though we clearly have some unusually similar (oxymoron?) traits, we can still distinguish ourselves by perceptions of our own life experiences, the gifts we have to share with our IRL (in real life) world, our geography, our habits, our preferences, our marital and parental status, our career choices, and much more.

The goal in expressing our uniqueness is to understand a set of characteristics beyond a label, a title, a category into something so intrinsicly authentic that it is impossible to reproduce. The the more unique you truly are and the clearer you can communicate it means the easier it is for you to share with the world why you matter! And the easier it is, the cheaper it is… you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars trying to market a message that is hard to understand when you already have a message that is clear, simple and deeply meaningful to those who matter, waiting within you.

Think about that statement: “those who matter.” In business, a great mistake is to think that everyone is your customer. That everyone wants what you’re selling. Get over it! Everyone doesn’t. But get this… some people really, really do. If you focus your energy in defining who and what you truly are in a meaningful way, those who really, really do want what you have will have an easier time coming on board with you!

**Women entrepreneurs: Free ‘social media’ sessions will be running Feb 16-18 in Calgary & Okotoks. And a 10-month event program is about to launch! Details available Tuesday, February 8. Register here to be added to the list for both or email Kim.

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