No one in this world is exactly like you. No one has traveled the same road, taken the same life journey. You are unique from your siblings, your other family members, and from everyone else on this planet—even if they share the same name as yours. Did you ever realize that you are also unique when it comes to your business? That one-of-a-kind life road that you’ve traveled means that although there may be thousands of people in the same business, none of them is exactly like you.
In business, differentiation is the heart of branding. When individuals and companies create a brand, they are defining what makes them unique, creating something that makes them different. Usually, the difference is there from the beginning; a clever marketer just helps the company or individual see what’s been in front of them all the time and recognize its value. It’s like figuring out the “secret ingredient” to take a so-so meal and make it fantastic.
How does your personal story make you different from everyone else in your industry? How can you find your “secret ingredient”? Here are some ideas:
#1 Because you’ve had the problem, you empathize with the pain. Have you ever heard a company owner talk about how a bad experience they had created their life mission? Many people in the health and wellness industries chose their vocation or profession because they or a loved one struggled with a disease. Has your life journey created empathy or an ability to connect with clients that makes you unique?
#2 Because you came out of a situation, you know what it takes to overcome. If you’ve struggled with a problem, and beat it, you’re uniquely qualified to help others find their way to freedom. So if you dug yourself out of credit card debt and learned how to become financially independent, you’ve got credibility because you’ve been there and you beat it.
#3 Because of your special gifts, you are uniquely qualified. For example, I know an athlete who found her way into a new profession as a chiropractor because of her unique insights into movement and injury and her desire to help others.
#4 Because of your personal heritage, you have a perspective unlike anyone else. Did you grow up as the child of a foreign ambassador or in a military family? These are just a few examples of relatively uncommon personal heritages that would provide unique perspective. An ambassador’s child might be uniquely suited to international business, which requires both an understanding of other cultures and a knack for diplomacy. A military “brat” might have the perfect background to help corporate employees deal with overseas transfers or reacclimate once they return home.
#5 Because of your personal journey, you look at things differently. Perhaps you have changed industries, learned things the hard way, or even just applied something you practiced as a hobby. No one else has taken your journey, so the perspectives it yields are yours alone.
Too many times, people are so anxious to fit in that they ignore or minimize the very things that make them unique. Yet it is those unique traits that are priceless when it comes to standing apart from your competition. Don’t be afraid to claim your “secret ingredients” to create your future.