"What would you say differentiates you from other coaches?"
I was asked that this morning.
As an entrepreneurial leadership coach, my purpose is to help individuals unlock their true potential, get out of their own way and achieve their goals. I firmly believe that authenticity and vulnerability are essential elements of effective leadership. However, when asked the question, "What differentiates you from other coaches?", I experienced a quick but powerful whirlwind of emotions that challenged my self-assurance and purpose. Why does this make me cringe? I know about sales, what it means, having a ready-at-the-hip "elevator pitch" for networking events! This doesn't surprise me, or phase me at all. But, it was much easier talking about a product, especially desserts, which I have done for over 2 decades... but myself? That's a whole other story.
There was a knot at the pit of my stomach. I had to get over the mindset of 'cringy' sales and really hone in on my indisputable value, and revel in all its glory: the good, bad and ugly. It sparked a curiosity in me, so in this article, I address the underlying triggers and explore how vulnerability can coexist with self-confidence while highlighting the unique value of what differentiates you from others in the world of selling yourself.
Navigating the Sales Angle and Judgment
The "sales" angle in the question about differentiation can often trigger anxiety, fear, and self-doubt for many professionals, particularly women and marginalized individuals. We live in a world where comparisons and judgments are rampant, and it's natural to wonder if we measure up to our peers. As a coach, I coax myself to lean into my vulnerability and believe that acknowledging these emotions is crucial for growth and self-discovery.
Bringing My Whole Self into Coaching
Being vulnerable does not mean diminishing my worth or accomplishments. Instead, it means sharing the journey that has led me to become the coach I am today, including my triumphs, failures, and the lessons I've learned along the way. I am a proud engineer turned pastry chef & small business owner, and my diverse background has shaped my unique perspective on leadership and entrepreneurship.
The Rewarding Power of Authenticity
This can be scary, but empowering and liberating. By allowing myself to be seen, flaws and all, I create a safe and authentic space for my clients to explore their own vulnerabilities. Through my coaching process, which is built on partnership, insight, perspective, and clarity, I enable my clients to unlock their true potential and pursue their ambitions with self-empowerment, deeper meaning and courage, while staying true to themselves and the values they stand for.
What Sets Me Apart: Direct and Clear Impact
While that question makes me cringe, I have come to realize that my unique journey holds the transformative power to differentiate me from other coaches and bring a rare blend of technical expertise, cultural sensitivity, creativity, and business insight to empower my clients in unprecedented ways.
Authenticity and vulnerability are not weaknesses; they are strengths that enable me to connect with my clients on a deeper level. The question of differentiation provides an opportunity to reflect on the powerful impact and comprehensive approach I can have as a coach. By embracing vulnerability, I create an environment where my clients can grow, thrive, and pursue their ambitions with authenticity and courage. My diverse background, expertise, and passion for helping others differentiate me as an entrepreneurial leadership coach.
Turn the Voice of Underestimation Way Down
It is easy to underestimate ourselves and downplay the value of our unique journeys. We may question whether our experiences are significant enough or compare ourselves to others who seem to have more impressive accomplishments. However, it is crucial to remember that our worth as coaches does not solely reside in grandiose achievements or traditional markers of success. The power of our coaching lies in our ability to bring our whole selves into the coaching relationship, to be present, empathetic, and genuine. Our journeys, no matter how unconventional or seemingly ordinary, have shaped us into individuals with a distinct perspective and a profound capacity to make a difference in the lives of others.
My purpose is the driving force behind the commitment I have to this work. It's my time to serve those who serve. Women entrepreneurs - I see you, I hear you, I support you.
Am I Unique Enough to Differentiate Myself from Others?
Yes, yes I am. So are YOU.