What makes me different?
In health as in life, we are all unique. So when part of a global community of like-minded people, how we self brand is as important as how we business brand. As a solo-preneur, how I view each client is equally important. So what I bring to the table needs to be uniquely me. Thus, the question. What makes me stand out? Why do clients seek me out?
Being Part of a Group is not the same as Following the Crowd
As far back as high school, I never felt part of the many cliques. I always felt like I was on the fringes. It amazed me when someone whom I barely new said she saw me as “one of the popular crowd.” Isn’t it funny how others always see you differently than you feel?
I long for that sense of being a part of something bigger than myself. Something bigger than me. Don’t you? Don’t you just always really want that sense of belonging? It’s the human condition and we seek it out for the good or the bad. It’s what draws kids into gangs if they can’t find a healthier solution. It’s what makes so many good kids feel like they are the black sheep in their little worlds. I know – I was the black sheep in my family.
Not fitting in doesn’t make you a stranger
Each of us has a duality – a uniqueness combined with a desire to be a part. Until we can embrace that essence of duality, we will either dare to compromise ourselves to the point we get lost, or we dare to be so uniquely different that we are far on the fringes of the groups.
I refuse to buy into the idea that there is but one perfect solution for anything. Life is a bunch of twists, bends, and wavers – like a rocket that constantly adjusts towards a single target. The human condition is that way too. Knowing this, daring to be different, daring to be me, I live on the outskirts of the norm. It’s worked only because I was smart enough to leverage skills when I had to.
Who are YOU?
I started writing this as a branding question: What makes me stand out? Why do clients want to work with me? Whether it’s our business services, photography, or consulting, what is it that draws them in and keeps them on board? And those are the same questions that apply to who you are.
For us, the answer lies in a simple quest. We, as a business stand out for our services, our depth of skills, and our ability to listen. It’s our compassion combined with skillful delivery, strategic planning, and creative solutions. It’s the same for all of our endeavors.
As a health coach, I love the concept of bio-individuality. No one body is the same. This concept reaches out to every part of our lives. It’s not just what we eat or how we exercise. it’s about life. It’s about primary and secondary foods. At my health coaching school, they refer to this concept repeatedly. Bio-Individuality. Everyone is different. No diet works for everyone.
So WHAT MAKES ME STAND OUT?
The answer became a philosophical question.
What makes me stand out? I dare to be me. It took a long time to figure it out. My nature is soft and gentle, but I learned (or maybe it was simply necessary) to develop a tough thick skin. I had to be tougher and not care so much about what others thought. This works today because I can be the real me – which is a complex blending of soft, gentle, strong, smart and bulldog. Being tough doesn’t take away the woman in me. Being feminine doesn’t make me roll over and play dead. I am me. You are YOU.
As beautiful Beings, we have a road we follow.
It takes a lifetime to really get this living figured out. That’s why today, it is a joyous thing to mentor younger adults. It’s equally joyous to consult with older people who are breaking through these age-old ideas. No one walks this path without stumbling on a few boulders. Being guided through this by an understanding, compassionate being makes a big difference – especially when that person has traversed her own boulder filled quagmire of stumbling blocks.
As a young adult, I sought to be strong, independent and wise. I failed to embrace my soft, feminine nature. Reviewing my career, I see a clear pattern. I was constantly in male-dominated companies. It became ingrained to not show my emotional side. Women at work were chastised and frowned upon if they showed emotion. They probably still are. Once I embraced the whole me, I became softer and empowered enough to let it be. Then I lost job opportunities. The feedback? The managers said I was too soft. Hah!
What’s it mean to be Like a Girl
It means be soft, strong, amazing, powerful, peaceful, talented, smart, witty….It means be anything you strive to be. Based on the viral video What it Means To Run Like a Girl, , perceptions haven’t changed much. This advertisement by Always tells us a lot about our ageless programs. I often hear my beloved saying: Cry like a Girl. It makes me cringe. I hate hearing that. This one advertisement, in 2014, is getting massive media attention. The video is important. The media storm about it is important.
How does this translate to our services today? Every ONE of us, male or female, straight or gay, must embrace their true nature in order to really stand out, make a difference, and make the world a better place. It’s why we are here.
The brainstorm behind the video, #Lauren Greenfield, was interviewed by various media outlets including ABC News. “‘Like a Girl’ should never be used as an insult,” Greenfield said. “It means being strong, talented and downright amazing.”
The video is in direct conflict with what I was taught as a young career girl. And it is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen done to promote true whole living
Building Skills or Disrespecting Myself?
I was building skills that I thought would earn me entry into one specific, male-dominated, company. Not knowing the truth behind their imposed brick wall to entree, I thought I just needed to prove myself. I worked hard to build the right set of business skills respected by the owners. It was never enough. To do it, I found myself most often been in male-dominated jobs, companies, and industries. I knew nothing different. I was so focused on becoming a part of that one company that I failed to look deeply into my essence. And there was no one to tell me that I could succeed AND be true to my feminine essence.
My role models whom I admired most were in business. So I strove to “be tough”, “be strong”, “do what a man would do” — which is what my Dad preached from the beginning. He didn’t want me to be a guy — he wanted me to succeed. In his mind that was the solution. And because we both recognized my skills in business, we never thought about softer careers such as nursing or teaching. And why would we? I was good in accounting, organization, writing, and pretty good with people. There was no reason to think I would go any other direction.
Gratefully, times have changed and women are no longer taught such demeaning and confusing nonsense.
Becoming Uniquely You
And Loving Every Part
It took a lot of work. Embracing the real me – Embracing the Real YOU is an adventure. It’s a journey into your true essence. It’s not what you think, it’s how you tap into your core and listen to the wisdom within you. Some use psychotherapy. Others turn to 12 step recovery rooms. And many use Yoga or Qi Gong or other healing arts.
The Question is always the same. Who Am I? Who Am I?
What makes me different? I refuse to buy into the idea that there is but one perfect solution for anything. Life is a bunch of twists, bends, and wavers – like a rocket that constantly adjusts towards a single target. The human condition is that way too. Knowing this, daring to be different, daring to be me, I give from my heart knowing it’s real. Knowing that when I deliver services, when I deliver coaching programs, I am giving to you from where I stand and helping you become more of you.
That’s the answer. Now how to get that down to a one sentence tagline. HAH.
That’s the trick. We know who we are. How do we tell the world in a quick, catchy, little phrase that is memorable, meaningful, and masterful?