I’ve never met a personal development book I didn’t like.
I’m always reading some kind of personal development book, and after I finish it, I try to convince everyone else to read it. My family pokes fun of me for the number of books I’ve tried to force on them. Mindset by Carol Dweck, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks… you name it.
So when a family member recommended The Miracle Morning to me, I started reading it immediately.
The premise is that the author, Hal Elrod, had a near-death experience, lost everything, and found himself in a deep depression. Then he developed his Miracle Morning technique in which he woke up an hour earlier and used that time to work on himself. Thanks to that technique, he turned his life around and became a millionaire.
I got halfway through the book when I realized something.
His whole philosophy is: wake up an hour earlier.
That’s his whole thing, his entire intellectual property. He’s a millionaire several times over, based on that one phrase.
I laughed at myself. Like most entrepreneurs, here I am, trying desperately to come up with something totally new and ownable. And his intellectual property is: wake up an hour earlier.
That’s when I realized that being able to be successful in your business isn’t about what you do, it’s about your special sauce.
If Hal had simply created a program called Miracle Morning, and told people they needed to wake up an hour earlier, no one would buy it.
But he’s been so successful because his experiences positioned him as an expert to help people work on themselves.
This is his unique special sauce: the unique experiences that provide the insight and knowledge to be able to help people.
Here’s what I mean.
When Hal had a horrific car accident, he was faced with his own mortality, and he realized that most people live their entire lives without being fulfilled or even happy. When he hit rock bottom in his business, he realized that he was focusing all of his energy on work, while ignoring his own emotional, physical, and mental needs.
These experiences, and the personal growth that stemmed from them, make him uniquely positioned to help people who want to be better versions of themselves.
The truth is that, as the saying goes, “there’s nothing new under the sun.” So instead of trying to find something totally new, lean into what already makes you unique. Your special sauce.
Here are a few examples:
One of my clients is a health and wellness coach. Probably like a lot of health and wellness coaches, right? Wrong.
His special sauce is that as a stressed out, overweight, over-medicated lawyer in his 50s, his doctor warned him he’d have a heart attack within six months. He changed everything about his life, and he’s now in the best shape he’s ever been. He’s even gotten off all of the medications he was on. Now he coaches other middle-aged professionals on how to live a healthy life, lose weight, and feel good about themselves again.
But you don’t need a turnaround story or health scare to find your special sauce.
Another one of my clients is a career coach for high performers who want more from their careers. Probably like a lot of career coaches, right? Not so fast.
Her special sauce is that she has degrees from two Ivy League schools, and she was an attorney for the first 15 years of her career. Now as a coach, she has a unique ability to work with highly ambitious people who have excelled for their whole lives, and who now find themselves struggling to find their purpose. Drawing on her education and law background, she’s developed a coaching style that’s uniquely suited to her clients, who are turned off by what they describe as “touchy-feely” coaching.
Instead of focusing on what makes you the same as other people, focus on the special sauce makes you different. Lean into your story. Find the people you can help better than anyone else.
It’s the special sauce that shows your clients that you understand them.
It’s the special sauce that sets you apart from the other seemingly similar providers in your field.
Of all the people that your clients could work with, it’s the special sauce that helps them feel the most connected to YOU.
Consider your special sauce, your story. How are you incorporating that into your work? Think about how you’re sharing your special sauce in messaging, your conversations with clients, and your services.
Ask yourself these questions:
There’s nothing new under the sun. You’ll never be the first health and wellness coach, or career coach, or whatever field your work is in.
But your special sauce will make you the first one like you.
The only one who traveled your same path to get here. The only one who does it your way. The only one of you.
P.S. Contrary to how it sounds, I actually did enjoy The Miracle Morning. If you’re looking for a quick read and a boost of motivation, check it out.
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