I was recently listening to a woman lament about her limited career options and attempts to re-enter the workforce after an absence for nearly a decade serving as a family caretaker.   It was apparent that she wasn’t clear about what she wanted to do, but always had secret aspirations to start a business as a personal stylist. She already had been providing the personal styling service to countless acquaintances and friends over the years, and was constantly sought-after for her advice on style trends and known as the “go-to” expert on style by all.

When I asked her if she thought of finally starting and formalizing her own stylist business, her answer was to ask me the following question:

“Why would anyone want to hire me instead of someone else?”

As someone who has worked with thousands of people for over two decades helping people maximize their personal impact, I couldn’t help being struck by the all too common self-defeating nature of her question. It made me think not only about self-confidence, but also about the need to be able to articulate a clear value proposition to others about yourself and what you have to offer.

Afraid of being seen as boastful or arrogant?

Hate the idea of self-promotion?

It is clear to me from my work over the years that you are not alone.

It is also clear that if you cannot explain to others what value your skills, strengths, and experiences bring to them or how they fill a need they have—they will not instinctively know by osmosis or psychic ability. Unless you are able to articulate your value proposition to someone, they will not know what it is!

Here are some questions for you to get started creating yours:

  • What are your strengths? Can you list them succinctly and clearly and give examples of why they are strengths?
  • What words do others routinely use to describe your contributions? Do you know what those words are? Have you asked people what they are?
  • What can you not “help yourself “from doing? In other words, what are you so passionate about or good at that you do naturally?
  • If life were one big potluck party—what signature dish would you bring to it? Said differently, what attribute, strength, or skill would you contribute?

Think about taking some time to really think about the answers to these questions. Then write out a personal value proposition statement or statements you would provide if someone asked YOU the question my friend asked me.

“Why would anyone want to hire you or work with you, instead of someone else?”

Being able to provide the answer to that question is not boastful or self-promoting. It is an essential part of bringing forward your full contribution and to maximizing your impact in the world.


As always– send me your thoughts and comments.  I love hearing them…