For #FBF, originally posted October 6, 2011

What Is Your Unique Factor?

Virtual Hired Hand - What Is Your Unique Factor

When you think of the word unique, what comes to mind?

  • Different
  • Unusual
  • Weird
  • Uncommon
  • Only one of its kind

This list could go on and on. Are you aware of what sets you apart from everyone else who does what you do?

What do your clients, friends, or family say makes you stand out from the rest?

If you and I were selling a widget on opposite street corners and had been given the same sales training we would still sell the widget differently.


Because we both bring a unique factor to the product.

Your unique factor is….YOU!

One of my favorite quotes is “No one can beat you at being you.”

So why are so many people copy-cating the way someone speaks, writes, or does whatever it is that they do?

I’m perplexed at why we’re not okay with our unique factor.

Remember when being different was cool. But we still weren’t quite sure what it meant so we looked to others to show us the way.

In the 80’s it was banana clips, one lace glove thanks to Madonna, and mismatched earrings. And for Halloween you may have dressed up like Tina Turner with wild hair and a big sweatshirt dress. Oh how different we were!

Were you a fan of the Cosby Show? The sweaters, the “Gordon Gartrelle” shirt Denise made for Theo, the funky hairstyles were our guide to being different, unique.

The 90’s brought big hoop earrings with a key hanging from it thanks to Janet Jackson. Did you have a pair of parachute pants aka MC Hammer pants?

The guys wore high top fades. One guy in high school used to wear bowling shoes instead of the typical oxfords and I’m sure he was copying someone else. Salt ‘N’ Pepa had us wearing our hair asymmetrically, one side was long and the other short. It took forever for the short side to catch up when you got tired of the haircut. My poor cabbage patch doll also was a victim to this hairstyle. And I cannot forget the mile high stacked bangs. Either way, we all had our own “unique” style.

Welcome to the 21st Century! We’re all grown up and have replaced our favorite singers and TV show characters with our favorite peeps online. We’re copying how they talk, wear their hair, and how they write.

We’ve some how missed the fact that we’ve been uniquely and wonderfully made by God. Unique – different – only one – limited edition – none can match it, yet unfortunately we’re too afraid to be just that.

In school we were told how to write and in what voice to write. We were even told which pencil to use and how to shade in the circle just right so your answer would get counted on the test.

As much as we want to break free we struggle, afraid we’ll be judged or won’t get hired or selected. We want to be social on social media, yet aren’t sure if we should separate and hide our real friends from our online friends.

God forbid someone find out I enjoy loud music dancing and singing and that’s just at church.

If you knew I was a Jesus freak would you still love me? Would you still ask to work with me? Would you still like me, follow me, and retweet me?

Ever felt like you were behind and the more you try to catch up the farther behind you got. It’s because you’ve gotten out of your lane and are trying to run someone else’s race. Of course it doesn’t have to be that way when you’re being yourself in all it’s uniqueness. Including the tattoo you got sophomore year in college because your roommate and her friend were going to get one so you tagged along.

Too often I’m seeing carbon copies of things I’ve read or heard. It’s real easy to do with information being available so freely online.

My desire is for you to stand strong, stand up, and be the person you’ve been created to be. It’s tempting to follow the crowd and copy someone else and on the surface appears to be so much easier. In reality, it’s not. It’s hard waiting to see what the Joneses are going to do next so you’ll know your next move.

Get your voice, your style, and your own abilities. If I were to act like you and you were to act like me, the world would be a mess because we’d bump into each other. No one would ever start after the ‘mark, get set, GO!’ We’d all be stalling waiting to see what the first person was going to do so we’d know what to do.

It seems crazy to think that being ourselves could some how turn people away. And if it does, what? If someone doesn’t think you’re for them you shouldn’t change, instead seek those made just for you and build a fun and happy community.

Can you believe some business owners are hiding behind their logos and stock photos because they’re concerned people will find out what they look like? And people are sitting in seminars and paying money and fed this crap. It makes me upset because in some way shape or form we’ve all been affected by it.

Let’s run the race we’ve been given and run it swiftly gracefully and seek guidance when we need it. And then go right back and continue the flow again and again and again.

I challenge you today, take a look at your website, your product, your social media profiles. Is it a reflection of who you really are, what someone told you would work, or what you thought looked good on someone else’s so you put it on yours? If it’s not you, it’s time to make it yours.

Lots of people are counting on you to show up. Not the person you’re copying or presenting as you, but the real you. The world is waiting in earnest expectation for the uniqueness of you.

This post was written prior to hearing about the passing of Steve Jobs. If there’s one thing we can all learn from him, it’s to: Embrace YOU, crazy and all!

Now it’s your turn. Please share what it means to be yourself in your business and in life.