The single biggest mistake that most people and most businesses make is that they don’t know what makes them special. To be noticed you want to identify why you or your business are not like the others. If you don’t, you may as well be wearing an invisibility cloak.
The first step to getting noticed is to identify your personal value proposition (PVP).
“Wait, Beate,” you say. “What IS a personal value proposition?”
I know you have heard the term unique selling proposition (USP) many times. You already know that your USP is the key to every marketing message and sales pitch that you will ever make or listen to.
Your personal value proposition is a little different. This is how you explain to someone the value you are bringing to the table, the team, or the company. Your PVP is your unique skill set. It is part of building your personal brand.
Many men seem to be at ease making bold statements about their areas of expertise. “I am really good at operations,” said Gary on a recent trip. A few of us were brainstorming about ideas for a ‘Grow Your Business’ course. Gary wasn’t shy about his PVP. Another very bold statement I have never forgotten was said by my mentor, Jeff, after he sold his company for millions. “At the end of the day, I am just a guy who wants to win.”
Imagine a woman making statements like those! We would be called all kinds of things and most of them wouldn’t be very flattering. But women do need to learn to strut their stuff and assert themselves too—in better, wiser, and more charismatic ways.
As a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner, I know how to identify innate strengths. Once you know what your strengths are, you can use them to your advantage.
Here is an example. In Meyers-Briggs terms, I am an ENTP (the same as Steve Jobs…).One of my strengths is that I can step back and look at my work product with objectivity. I know if it is good or bad. I vividly remember being at my first Myers-Briggs training and looking at everything I just wrote down about how I think of myself and relate to others. Looking at my words, two more came to mind and I was so caught by surprise that I said them aloud. “Arrogant a**hole.” That’s what my contributions sounded like and I had it in black and white! Ouch.
I like processes and systems (are you surprised?) and I tend to think that if the processes and systems are good the people should be happy. But, before I had my enlightened moment I sometimes neglected the needs of the people. Now, I always look for team members who compliment my love for systems and who ask, “How will this affect the people? Will they be okay with these systems?”
For today, I want you to really think about this and get started on the idea of creating your personal value proposition. What are you good at? What comes so easily to you that you can’t believe others have a hard time with it? No judgement, just an easy first step. Next week, I will talk about the second step in creating your very own PVP.