Let Your Personal Values Be Your USP Generator

You’re starting a business. Perhaps you’ve got stuck in an existing one. Do you feel fearful? You should. The entrepreneur failure statistics don’t make good reading:

  • 20% of small businesses fail in their first year
  • 30% of small businesses fail in their second year
  • 50% of small businesses fail after five years
  • 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business

It’s a sobering thought, isn’t it? But, then again, those who get it right can do extremely well. Think of entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and our own Ken Andrukow and Eric Malzone, and you paint an entirely different picture.

So, what is it that the most successful entrepreneurs have in common?

Most are great listeners. They embrace failure, fail fast, and learn faster from their mistakes. They’re curious, innovative self-starters. They know what they don’t know, and they create a work/life balance that gives them the most satisfaction.

Most of all, they follow their passions – the drive that is inherent in their values and beliefs, enhanced by skills and ability, and sustained by their purpose. It defines their business’s unique selling proposition (USP).

Let’s generate your USP.

Your values and purpose give your life its meaning

You want to be successful. But what is success? What does it look and feel like?

Simply put, success is feeling happy. And you don’t have to be rich to be happy. There are plenty of people who we might consider as living in poverty who have a non-stop smile. There are plenty of rich entrepreneurs who are unhappy and feel unfulfilled.

It’s time to redefine wealth and consider it as a combination of the Five Entrepreneurial Freedoms™. Define what make you happiest working with your unique ability, and spend most of your time there. That’s what you should be striving for. And that’s what a values-driven business will give you.

The success metrics that matter for entrepreneurs are happiness and freedom. That’s it, says Ken. If you stay focused on your unique abilities, you will likely find your way to those freedoms.

Focus on what is important

Too often, we meet entrepreneurs who are so focused on financials that they have lost their mojo. A preconceived notion of how much money they need to make is often wrong, and, ultimately, this holds them back. As Ken Andrukow explains in our podcast discussing defining the entrepreneur:

I think they should stop worrying about how much money they’re making. It’s not about money. It’s about doing what you love to do, what you are uniquely qualified to do, which will differentiate you from anyone else in the world and make sure that you are headed toward the things that you love to do. So, having the freedom of time, money, health, relationship, and purpose. The amount of money is not a part of any of those things.

When you create a business that is defined by your values, you create something that is sustainable, a business that you believe in, and services and products that your customers believe in. In the long run, it’s this belief – and the advocacy that comes from it – that will drive profitability.

Big events change outlooks

It’s apt that we mention how big events change your outlook. As we’re writing this, the world is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has certainly served to alter how people view the world, their relationships, and what makes them happy.

What has happened over the last few months is likely to define how we live and work for years to come. The world is unlikely to ever be the same as it was at the beginning of 2020.

However, it is not only massive world events that alter your perceptions. The loss of a best friend. A life-threatening accident. The breakdown of a once solid relationship. Being laid off. A whole host of other personal events are huge to you, and will alter your way of thinking.

Be prepared to have your outlook on life and business change. You’ll be better equipped to pivot by knowing yourself better.

Aligning with values and purpose to build a growth network

A powerful networker is more likely to develop a reputation as a knowledgeable, reliable entrepreneur to whom people wish to connect. Your network will generate more referrals and leads because of this. Your business opportunities will grow because you’ve established yourself as trustworthy, and your network reinforces this.

Of all your assets, only your network has the power to deliver all the benefits outlined above – but only if your network is authentic. Traditional networking methods don’t deliver the genuine network that can grow and sustain your business – because traditional networking is selling yourself. Genuine networks are built when people buy into you.

Create a USP, not a replicable commodity

Understand that your values and purpose give your life its meaning, which is why you must learn about yourself and what you value most highly, and deliver on the purpose that drives you and your business.

By doing what you most want to do and focusing on what is important to you, you’ll create many more meaningful moments that deliver fulfilment in your life. You’ll be better equipped to develop a network that helps grow yourself and your business, improving your profits and delivering sustainability.

Of course, big life events will change outlooks. They will create problems that offer entrepreneurial opportunities. Right now, we’re witnessing this on a scale not seen since World War II as COVID-19 changes the way that people think and act. Aligning your business with your personal values and purpose will ensure that you are unique and not simply a replicable commodity.

Have you created your USP yet? Let us know what that is. We love hearing from entrepreneurs who really get who they are.

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