Before you can sell others on you… get sold on yourself says Glynis E. Devine
In one moment (maybe two), I’d done what had taken me ten years to do… poof! Like magic. Now I was ready to ‘sell myself’ to get the job I wanted.
I was smiling widely – I love when that happens! I’d just finished connecting two connections; that is, I’d introduced two people, from two different tribes I have – one in my speaker world tribe with another in my tech world tribe – who shared a common interest…music. They have similar interests – though they work in different industries – and I know they’re going to get along just great! I love when that happens… and when I make it happen.
But being a connector doesn’t make me ‘unique’.
What I learned in that moment though is that it’s the sum of our gifts and strengths that makes us unique.
You’ve probably been asked in every one of your job interviews, ‘Why you?’; ‘Why are you the one we should hire for this position?’
You may also be one of a growing number of full-time professionals who also have a small part-time side business (side hustle). If you are, you’ve undoubtedly done an exercise to determine your brand positioning statement – perhaps with a marketing expert – and you’ve been asked the same thing. ‘Why should people buy from you?’; ‘What makes you unique?’
For ten years, I shrugged my shoulders. There is no one identifier that makes me unique. That’s probably because in my industry there are a lot of talented people; when I compared myself to them (I should have realized that was my first mistake! – never compare yourself to others in any field – it doesn’t make one feel empowered…) I came up short.
I’ve known for a long time that I’m gifted at ‘connecting’. I get a kick out of introducing someone I know that I like and respect to someone else I know and like and respect so they can help one another along the road.
I think it’s because one of my core values is ‘helping’. If I can’t directly help someone, I look for others in my tribe to help them.
Another of my core values is ‘win-win’. So, I connect people who have an exchange of offerings they can make. That is, that one person can reciprocate help by offering something of value to the one offering the immediate help.
Since I’ve come home from the Your Soul Journey retreat in Greece, where my co-lead and I helped others do this self-discovery, I’ve felt a little like an imposter… I hadn’t done the exercises I guided others to do in a long time.
So, in that moment, riding high of connecting my two connections, I took inventory. I did the deep dive into, ‘What makes me unique?’; ‘Why should people buy me, my ideas, my opinions?’ I called my list, ‘What is true for me’.
My list started:
- I have different tribes for different interests
- I have a lot of different interests
- I love connecting like-minded people I know
- I believe in win-win
What’s true for you? What behaviours happen so often that they are clearly a pattern and speak to who you are intrinsically?
Next, I dug a little deeper to ask ‘why’ the above statements were true. 1 and 2 are true because I’m extremely curious and I love to learn. So, I added that to my list.
- I’m very curious
- I love to learn
Plus, when I’m interested in something, I’m good at researching and finding information – so I added…
- I’m a good researcher.
What drives your behaviours? What can you add to your list?
Now I understand why the Your Soul Journey participants love this exercise so much! This felt great to get such clarity.
I shared my list with a trusted member of one of my tribes. I’m in a Mastermind with her. We meet once a month for three hours and short of unearthing the key to world peace, we work on personal and professional transformation.
Her response when I shared my list with her was underwhelming.
“What’s interesting to me is that what you identified about yourself; it’s really not news to me! That tells me that we don’t really see ourselves how others do all the time”
I teach Emotional Intelligence. I’m a Core Motive expert. I help leaders become more self-aware. How come I wasn’t aware of who I was?!
I don’t know.
I don’t think I’ve prepared for my own success anywhere near as much as I’ve helped hundreds of women prepare for their success!
Then, my trusted tribe-ster added a few more to my list,
- “Charisma… the heartbeat of the room goes up when you enter it”
- “Optimistic… you actually seek out the positive in everything”
This was better than any 360 assessment I’d done! I loved this exercise – it felt good to hear the attributes she saw in me!
I hung up with her and that’s when the ‘other’ voice kicked in… you know the one… the one that reminds you of all your shortcomings. Ugh! The list the voice had of my shortcomings was quickly a longer list than my strengths. Don’t you hate that voice?! I’m not even going to give the voice energy by sharing its list with you. Suffice to say, I had to ‘shut ‘er down’!
You see, based on the research I’m doing for a book on how women in senior leadership positions do strategic things to move into those positions, I have learned first-hand what many studies point to: women (broad brushstroke) don’t ‘sell’ themselves – in interviews or to get promotions – very well at all!
Women generally sell themselves (their opinions, their values, their perspectives, their insight) short!
So, before you prepare for your next job interview or performance appraisal where you intend to ask for more responsibility or a raise… Start – by selling yourself – on you!
What behaviour, attitudes, perspectives do you have that make up your strengths? These are your drivers.
Then dig in to why those behaviours are your go-to.
Start a list of things that are true to you.
Some of the questions you can start with can include;
- What are your core values?
- What will you tolerate and what won’t you?
- What are proud to do?
- What do you get a ‘kick’ out of doing?
That way, when you go into a job interview or are faced with an opportunity to ‘sell yourself’ for a desired project or position – you’re ready!
When you know your value – and can articulate it assertively – you are far better equipped to land the job of your dreams that is the ideal ‘fit’ for your personality and skill set.
Don’t leave your future to chance. PLAN for success. Before you sell others on you… get sold on yourself!