When I was little I used to imagine that I had superpowers. I’d daydream that I could fly. As I sat at a window seat on my airplane ride and watched my city grow smaller and smaller I was fascinated by how the streets were laid out and how simple everything looked when you could see the entire image at once. While I’m not as excited about flying now as an adult, I still love the window seat on take-off to see what seems so big become so small. I find it interesting that this perspective parallels my career – seeing the big picture and then breaking down the strategy into a creative, workable plan to help businesses and entrepreneurs get to their final destination. Recently I was watching a preview for a superhero show on TV and I started thinking: what would it be like if we could have a superhero power in our businesses?
What makes a Superhero?
From Spiderman to Batman, Superwomen to Elastigirl; what 2 things do superheroes have in common?
- A skill or skillset that makes them extra-ordinary.
- A cause they champion.
That skill is something special that sets them apart from their peers, solves a problem, and helps them fight the villains. Think of it as a competitive advantage! Once they discover they have a superpower, they need to have a reason to use it; a cause that they can champion.
- Superman had a long list of superhuman powers from strength and sight, to speed and agility. His goal was to use his power to defend mankind against any threat while championing truth, justice, and the American way.
- Spiderman’s superpower was spider-like powers and his cause was to protect the innocent from harm.
As a creative entrepreneur your challenge is to identify what makes you extraordinary and the cause that you can champion in your client’s lives.
Let’s look at a photographer for example. If you are a photographer, what is your superhero skill that sets you apart from others in your field? Is it your ability to draw out a natural pose and make them comfortable while capturing your client’s inner beauty? Is it your unique technical skill under challenging circumstances? Is it the way that you tell a story through your images? Is it how you use lighting to let your camera see from a different perspective? What cause are you championing? Is it the value of the memory of a client’s wedding day? The ever changing story of a family’s growth? Is it the value of art and the use of color and perspective? Is it the value of an image that conveys a brand?
What’s your superpower in business and what is the cause that you champion in your client’s lives?
The world needs your superpower. Your clients need your expert skillset that rescues them from the grip of real challenges – the villains in their story. So set aside any fear of appearing like you are bragging or coming across as narcissistic, and embrace what makes you, YOU.
- Brainstorm your superpower and championed cause
If you have followed this blog for any length of time you have probably realized that I recommend brainstorming as the initial step anytime you are problem-solving or trying to get to the bottom of what you really want or need. Begin with brainstorming a list of some of your unique skills. Remember that no one else can see this so don’t filter yourself to be socially correct by downplaying who you are. It may help to think of your skillset as a caricature of yourself. Just as a caricature artist will highlight an aspect of your face and make it larger than life, think of your unique skillsets and describe them larger than life.
Here are some questions to get you started:
- What sets you and your business apart to you clients?
- What makes you different and unique from other creative entrepreneurs in your field?
- What is the unique problem-solving skill or perspective that you bring to your clients that no one else does quite the same way?
- What cause do you champion in your client’s lives?
- Get feedback from those close to you
Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult for us creatives to step back and evaluate our skills or competitive advantage with an unbiased eye. If you are struggling to articulate your business superpower find someone that knows you well, a close friend, spouse, or even a client, and ask them for feedback on what your unique strengths are.
- Embrace who you are
Once you have defined your superhero power and the cause that you champion, embrace it. Find a niche in your field and increase your business effectiveness by answering the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of your business. When business opportunities come up or if you’re trying to decide if a particular project is a good fit for you, knowing your superhero power and your cause can help you decide which opportunities to jump into with both feet, and which ones to avoid.
When I think of superheroes I think of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Thor, Wonder Woman, Captain America, Ironman, and Plasticman among many others…. They all completed their purpose by embracing their true identity and championing their cause. Let’s do the same in our businesses!
Come back next week as we talk about Part 2: What is your Kryptonite?
- So… what is your superpower? What is one thing you can do today to embrace that identity and apply it to you purpose in business?
- What is the cause that you champion in your client’s lives?
- If you could have a real superpower what would it be?