Are you on track to meet your goals for the year? Perhaps you are one of the lucky ones that have already met them. Maybe you’re a long way off.
Don’t adjust the goals, adjust your strategy.
Find Your Strategic Advantage in just 3 Simple Steps
Over the past couple of weeks, I have run across several people who find claiming their talents or abilities to be outside of their comfort zone.
As my focus for so long has been about positioning yourself for success, encountering several business people who feel they are bragging when they talk about what they do really well, and thus are miles from owning their strategic advantage.
I offer, therefore, 3 simple steps to help people find their strategic advantage and claim it without feeling vain or boastful.
1. Define How You Can Be of Service
Write down 7 ways you are of service to others. “Service” includes any help you provide, any act of helpful activity. 7 is a magical number, it makes you stretch beyond the 3 or 4 typical things you think about. If you can find more, that’s great, but it is important to write down at least 7.
Some examples of what your list might include are the services you offer and the benefits you provide. You may also include things like the special ways in which you do what you do.
By taking the focus off yourself, and on to the service you provide, it become easier for you to articulate your gifts. For example, as a trainer might say
- I help business owners work more efficiently.
- As a Microsoft partner, my knowledge and training helps them make the most of their software.
- Through what I teach them, they get things done faster and with less hassle.
- My training cuts their learning time in half.
- Because of what they learn from me, they save hours of otherwise wasted time trying to figure things out for themselves.
- I am patient, so they feel comfortable and learn quickly.
- I know how frustrating working with new technology can be, so I have developed some techniques to help people feeling comfortable and in control.
2. Understand Why You Do what You do
There are many ways to make a living, to pay the bills. How did you come to be doing what you do for a living? Describe the back story to your current situation.
Any good story has 3 important parts – a beginning, a middle and an end. Your story should have at least one paragraph for each part – and the end should follow logically from what came before (it’s what that makes the plot come alive). When you do this well, it establishes your credibility.
Even if your current work serves only to pay your bills, you can make a story about why and how that works for you. If you are just starting out, make your story about what led you to where you are. If you simply drifted into it as a result of many different things, you can make your story about the choices you made along the way to get where you are.
Writing the story focuses your attention on the decisions you made and helps you get in touch with your “WHY.” When someone speaks from that kind of understanding, people do not see it as bragging or boastful.
3. Find out what others say about you.
If you have client testimonials, get them out and go through them. What are people saying about you? What is your “style”, what do they remember about their encounters with you.
At first, set aside the vague ones that simply say things like: “You did a great job. Thank you” or “You provided great service.” Look for ones that hold clues to your personality or character and focus on them first. “Great service” is only special when combined with some qualifying aspect or adjective, as in: “Thoughtful service” or “Expert service”.
If you don’t have testimonials, contact 5 people (phone or email) and tell them you are working on some personal development or brand development and ask them to provide you with feedback. You will find people are surprisingly generous with their time for this kind of thing.
Look through the results of the 3 steps, how you are of service, why you do what you do, and the effect you have on other people. Summarize and synthesize the information. It holds Your Strategic Advantage.
If it doesn’t immediately jump out at you, share it with a friend or your partner. Sometimes they can spot the essence that you have trouble seeing.
Most important of all, though, is that you take the results to heart. Only then can they truly become your advantage.
If you need help discerning Your Strategic Advantage, contact me here – at no cost!
Author: Sue Hines