Are You Resisting what Makes You Unique in Business?

uniquenessThere is something you do that is so unique, so authentic, and so incredibly valuable yet you probably don’t even recognize it.  It’s your Signature Advantage™.

Your Signature Advantage™ is what makes you incredibly effective at what you do. It’s not about your subject matter expertise.  It’s deeper than that.  It’s what your clients, colleagues and friends come to you for, even though you may not always recognize what “it” is.  Your Signature Advantage gives you an edge over everyone else who ‘does what you do’ because it’s based on your distinctive experiences, style, gifts and approach.

When you tap into your unique Signature Advantage™ amazing things happen for you, your business and your clients.

  • Your Ideal Clients come rolling in
  • You become more confident, and effective in your business and work
  • Clients start getting even BETTER results
  • Unexpected opportunities and invitations show up.
  • Marketing and selling get easier and easier
  • Your level of impact increases
  • You become an influencer—people see you as someone with specialized expertise and seek you out
  • You get to do more of the work you love to do
  • You make more money

And yet we tend to resist our Signature Advantage™.

Take me for example. Years ago I had a coach suggest to me that part of my ‘secret sauce’ was an ability to spot the uniqueness in someone, see exactly how turn it into something sellable, and guide them through the fear and resistance that naturally surfaces when moving in a new direction.  The idea was intriguing.  But I dismissed it.  I resisted it.  It didn’t seem “unique” enough.  So, I let it sit in the back of my mind for nearly two years while I struggled trying to figure out what made me unique.  It didn’t work well and it was hard.

When I finally woke up one morning clearly knowing that it was time to focus on my unique ability, life got a whole lot easier!  I wondered…why did I resist this for so long?

Yet, I see the same pattern with my clients when we first unlock their Signature Advantage™.  The VERY thing that makes them unique, that causes clients to come to them time and time again, is quite often the VERY thing they resist, reject and step over.

And here’s why:

1.  “I don’t want to be boxed in.”

Finding your sweet spot and focusing on it can feel scary to a free spirited, creative person.  The fear is that you’ll be limited by the focus rather than liberated by it.  Yet the reality is when you put ‘freedom’ before ‘focus’ you get neither.  You lose the freedom to create the life you want or do the work you love because it’s simply too hard to sell.  You end up working harder than you have to.  Focus can be liberating.  It can open up the flow in your business and life and give you a creative muse to freely follow.

2.  It’s too easy.

Sometimes when I share what I see with a client they say “that can’t be my unique ‘thing’.  That’s too easy for me.”  There seems to be the unspoken belief that business should be hard.  So when something comes easily, when we don’t really have to work for it, we reject it.  We assume everyone else also finds it incredibly easy to do and place no value on it.  But the exact opposite is the truth.  Others who DO find it hard will gladly pay you to do what comes naturally.

3.  But there’s so much I’m good at and enjoy, I don’t want to give anything up.

Often entrepreneurs enjoy variety and have built up a wide array of skills because they are voracious learners.  But by staying a ‘generalist’ you limit other people’s ability to understand what it is you do.  People need to be able to connect with what you do—like google, they need a ‘keyword’.  So while you may want full freedom to play in multiple sandboxes, your clients and potential clients want to know which sandbox they’ll find you in.  Leading with your Signature Advantage isn’t always about letting go (though sometimes you have to) as much as it is about having one focal point so it’s easier for others to find you, seek you out and do business with you.

4.  Someone else is already doing that.

Another common misunderstanding is that your unique ‘thing’ should be totally original, never been done before.  That’s a nearly impossible task and a setup for failure.  In reality, there is very little that hasn’t been done somewhere else by someone else.  Your job is to play up the distinct advantage you offer.  It’s what helps customers choose between you and your ‘competitor’s and creates fierce loyalty.  Like Coke versus Pepsi, or McDonald’s special sauce versus Burger King’s ‘flame broiled’, you can be in the same space as lots of other competitors but have your own original voice, method and style that’s just right for your ideal audience and makes you stand out.

5.  I can’t promise THAT.

There is a fear of promising something you may not always be able to deliver.  Sometimes we want to avoid making what we do too tangible, too results oriented because we’re concerned that not EVERYONE we work with gets the exact same result.  We want to be ethical and honest. But by going black and white/all or nothing, we step over the very thing that makes us great.  You can let people know what it is you do without appearing hype-y, inauthentic or overpromising.

Your Signature Advantage is like a hidden treasure just waiting for you to discover it.  So follow the signs pointing you toward what it is that’s unique, authentic and sellable! And challenge those underlying assumptions, fears and beliefs that may be stopping you from finding it.


If you are a highly creative, idea filled entrepreneur looking for additional strategies to unlock your uniqueness and turn it into something authentic and sellable, I invite you to join me for a free call I’m holding on May 28th on  How to Get Known for Something Uniquely Your Own.  Register at

2 Responses to Are You Resisting what Makes You Unique in Business?

  1. Gina DeLapa says:

    Great post, Shawn. Very reaffirming.

    My life got a lot easier and better when I stopped “thinking big” and instead just followed what was in my heart — namely, to pick up a brand new journal and start recording some words of wisdom for my teenage nephew as he headed into high school and out into the rest of his life.

    Much to my surprise and delight, the journal became a manuscript, the manuscript became a book (Stuff You Already Know … And Everybody Should) and the book is on its way to becoming a series. The bookstore where I bought the journal now carries my book! It’s in the self-improvement section. 🙂

    None of this is effortless. At the same time, this is by far the easiest, most rewarding work I have ever done. Even marketing, which I used to resist, is fun and easy. I can talk about my book(s) anywhere! It’s been so rewarding to see the first book so well received by such a wide audience, from preteens to folks in their 80s. As I never grow tired of saying, “It makes a great gift!”

    For too long, I bought into the unspoken belief that “Business should be hard.” I venture to say I am well past that now. Kudos to you for helping clients detect (not invent) their Signature Advantage(TM)!

    • Shawn Driscoll says:

      Congratulations on the book and even more, the ease of spreading your great work! So glad you were able to hand up the “Business is Hard” belief. It is a sticky little one!

      Thanks for stopping by! Always lovely to see your name show up.

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