Awesome You Be


   

Ulrike Weissenbacher and friend

Why You Need a Unique Awesome Proposition

By Jeffrey Baumgartner

If you do not have a Unique Awesome Proposition (UAP), your future is meaningless, your potential will never be recognised and you might as well join a convent or monastery today. In this day and age, in which so many people are shouting for attention on-line (the hyperbolic title of this article is a perfect example of this), loads of people apply for every job advertised, gazillions of freelancers desperately seek work, the only way you can stand out above the confirming hoards is by being awesome in your own, unique way. Otherwise, you are just another indistinct body lost in the hoard. And we both know you deserve much better that this. You are, after all, awesome.

UAP is similar to a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) because the concept is a blatant copy of the USP, which is defined by Entrepreneur magazine as "The factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different from and better than that of the competition."

Likewise, in the competition for jobs, promotion, freelance gigs, blog hits, social media connections, on-line dating dates and attention of every kind, you need to stand out as different from and better than the others who are after the same jobs, dates, etc.

Consider the employer who interviews a dozen people for a particular job − not to mention all of her other work. Among a group of similarly qualified job applicants, how would you stand out? Why should she even remember you? You could, of course, do you hair in a fluorescent green Mohawk cut. That would pretty much guarantee she remembers you. But unless the job requires someone with an eccentric hair style, that uniqueness may not work in your favour.

Instead, you need to define how you are awesome in your own unique way. You need a UAP and you need to ensure that others are aware of your UAP.

Finding and Defining Your UAP

If you don't know what your UAP is, you need to find it, define it and refine it into something special that describes your specialness. Start with a bit of research by asking yourself lots of questions:

  1. Ask yourself what kind of person you are. What are your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Ask yourself what kind of person you want to be.
  3. Ask friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues and others what they feel your strengths and weaknesses are. As you do this, thank them for their input. Do not defend yourself. Do take notes. If you become defensive, people will be reluctant to be honest with you and will only tell you what you want to hear. That won't help you.
  4. Ask relatively new friends and colleagues what they first noticed about you.
  5. Make a list of your accomplishments in life, work and elsewhere.
  6. Make a list of the things you hope to accomplish.

Now, you have a lot of information. Play with it. Absorb it. Categorise it. You should see some trends. What are they. How do they fit you? From this information, identify your strengths that are most important to you. What are they?

Be Unique

Cartoon: What's your unique awesome proposition?Once you are clear on your strengths, you need to use them to define yourself in a unique way. If you've been a teacher for 15 years, being a great teacher is not unique. Many equally experienced teachers are also great teachers. You need to stand out and above them! On the other hand, if you have been a sales manager for 15 years, being a great teacher is something that stands out.

In particular, identify your eccentricities when you compare yourself to others with similar backgrounds. Perhaps you have lived in other countries while most other people in your profession have lived locally. Your intercultural experience stands out and it can be a strength.

That is important. Not only do you need to identify your eccentricities, but you need to be able to present those eccentricities as strengths.

Once you start to have ideas about your UAP, do a little research. Think about it. How do you feel about it? Google it. Who else is using similar words to define themselves? Is you UAP too commonplace? If so, you may need to refine it further.

Incorporate your UAP when you introduce yourself to others or participate in networking events. How do people respond. Are they intrigued? If so, great! Do they run away in horror? If so, you need to rethink your UAP.

Focus

You may be tempted to assign yourself a broad business-based UAP,− after all, if you claim broad special skills, you will get more opportunities, right? Wrong! If your UAP is too broad, you will be lost in the crowd of others with similar UAPs that are not really that U.

For example, if you claim to be great at social media marketing, you would be one in 13 gazillion people claiming this useful but commonplace skillset. If, on the other hand, you claim to be great at marketing jazz bands on social media, you make yourself more unique and more special. When a jazz band is looking for help on social media, they are more likely to find you, to hire you and to recommend you. And there are a lot of jazz bands in the world.

Communicate

Once you have found and defined your UAP, you need to communicate it. Incorporate it in your CV. Use it in your introduction. Put it in your social medial profiles. Blog it. Tweet it.

Where relevant, adopt your style to fit your UAP − or adopt your UAP to fit your style. Remember the florescent green Mohawk hair style I wrote about above? If woman with such a hair styl is to be applying for a job as a designer for a clothing brand and her UAP is about applying Native America motifs to modern fashions, her haircut could work in her favour. But, if she is applying to be an accountant in a socially conservative company, it would work against her.

Not Permanent, Not Exclusive

Your UAP does not need to last forever. With time, you change and the world around you changes. It only makes sense that your UAP changes as well.

Likewise, you are not limited to one UAP at a time. You might have one UAP related to work and another related to your hobby and another related to your role in the local community. Likely, those UAPs are related, but they can still be distinct.

So, what's your UAP?



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