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Don’t fear being unique to be valued by others

Don’t be afraid of standing out and getting your hands dirty.

That’s a key success theme Mike Skrypnek learned from his National Downhill Mountain Biking Champion daughter (pictured). She has succeeded in unique areas where others don’t want to do the work. Mike teaches this to entrepreneurs and business owners who attend his semi-annual Sea 2 Sky Summit.

“There’s nothing like doing the things that other people won’t do. And if it’s something you love, then you should really dig in,” says Skrypnek, who provides business coaching for entrepreneurial and personal growth through his Squamish-based Grow Get Give Coaching.

“Passionate people doing their unique thing has always interested me,” he says. “It is clear they stand out from their peers, but often don’t understand how to differentiate themselves through their business.”

When done properly, the reward is the ability to elevate and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

“And the result is top of market positioning, which allows people to attach a premium to what they do.”

Counter to the “race to the bottom” mentality of many, Skrypnek says he knows there is more value for your wisdom when you are positioned as a specialist.

“Imagine the headaches you have to go through in order to be everything to everyone,” he explains. “And that’s never more true than when you are in the marketplace.”

That all changes when you become the “niche” provider who does the things very few or no others do.

“You will attract people who identify with what you are doing and appreciate your passion. They share your values,” he says.

It’s that last part - finding common ground with a client - that really harnesses the power to stand out.

“Think of the connection you have with a person who values your expertise, rather than one who just wants something at a lower cost, easier and cheaper,” Skrypnek says. “Specialists have deeper connections with their customers and better relationships in their business.”

Putting your personal stamp on things, doing the “dirty” work your peers won’t do can be scary and some entrepreneurs will hesitate to unabashedly be themselves.

Placing your values at the top with your expertise risks losing some customers who preferred you as a commodity. They will, in fact, likely leave you, Skrypnek says.

“But those you attract to your unique offering, who see value in what you do, always make the shift worth it.

“There’s always some push back from those who don’t want to rock the boat and be different,” he adds.

For those who dare, they may see some customers drop off. But the ones they gain will be that much better connected to you and more beneficial in the long run.

“The fear of that can be stifling,” Skrypnek says, “but when you get comfortable with the phrase, ‘It’s not right for everyone,’ you attract people who invest more in you and have a deeper connection.”

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