Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s perceptions about how capable they are at executing a course of action and handling given situations.

Do Your Intended Customers Have All Three of These Reasons to Believe (and Buy)?

My seven-year-old daughter is away for a week-long sleepaway camp for the first time.

When we presented the idea to her earlier this summer, she immediately started dancing around and singing excitedly about what it would be like to be away from her parents for a week.

I was both inspired by her bravery as well as caught off guard by her eagerness to be rid of us!

Upon further investigation, we realized her courage originated from a show she’d recently watched about kids going away to camp for the summer.

Watching a story about kids her age having a rewarding experience at sleepaway camp had fed her belief that she would be fine being away and would enjoy the experience as well.

Your intended customers often need a similar dose of self-efficacy before they will say yes to working with you.

Self-efficacy is defined as a person’s perceptions about how capable they are at executing a course of action and handling given situations.

Your marketing can do a perfect job of getting someone to believe in you and your product, but if they still don’t believe that they are capable of successfully reaching the outcome, they won’t say yes and invest.

This is especially true if they’ve previously tried other solutions and failed to reach the desired goal.

So how can you help a prospective customer or client to believe in their ability to successfully take advantage of and benefit from your product or service?

Research by psychologist Albert Bandura points to several factors that are proven to boost self-efficacy.

Today, I want to take a look at one in particular that you can use right away in your content and marketing.

In the same way that my watching a show about kids her age at sleepaway camp increased my daughter’s confidence, you can increase your intended customer’s belief in their abilities with storytelling.

Bandura calls this “modeling.” When we see someone else succeed, it boosts our own self-efficacy. This is especially true when we view that person as being similar to us.

Tell stories that model self-efficacy in your content, particularly content that plays a part in earning someone’s trust before they do business with you.

Include details that help them identify with the character in the story so they get that “if they can do it, I can do it, too” feeling.

Until all three levels of belief are in place — belief in you, belief in your solution, and belief in their own ability — you will lose potential clients and customers.

One final note, it’s also important to build self-efficacy boosting factors into your courses and other programs to maintain the motivation of your clients and students.

Now let’s just hope that when my daughter gets home tomorrow she still believes she still needs her mom and dad? Yay for independence! But she’s still my little girl for a while longer. 🙂

How to Stand Out in a Noisy Market

How can you stand out in a marketplace where so many are saying and offering similar expertise as you?

The commonly echoed advice is to have a compelling Unique Selling Proposition. Which tells your audience why they should choose your solution over others valuable to them.

While there is truth to this statement, it takes the focus away from one of the most powerful ways to create a one-of-a-kind thought leadership brand and business.


Ultimately people will follow your message, support your work, and do business with you because of who you are, how you think, and how you make them feel.

This requires infusing your content and brand with your values, stories, opinions, and unique point of view.

The more you share these parts of yourself, the more your audience discovers the things you share in common.

This shifts the relationship with your audience and customers away from being simply transactional. It turns it into a relationship of shared meaning and values.

This is Resonance.

Resonance breeds trust. Our brains are wired to trust people that we perceive as being like us.

Resonance elevates you above the sea of sameness in your market.

You go from being one of many experts in the marketplace to being the best and only choice for those who resonate with you.

To do this, you must infuse your content, brand, and messaging with the things that are most foundational to who you are — your stories, perspective, personality, values, purpose, beliefs, etc.

Even things as simple as your mutual interests — Great British Baking Show anyone? — plant seeds of Resonance with your audience.

While expertise and credibility are important, if you rely on these elements at the expense of shared meaning, it will limit your reach and impact.

When you create content this week, find opportunities to share the resonant side of who you are. Lean into it. It’s one of your greatest assets.

The Aligned Strategy Principle

Download the Aligned Strategy Principle Diagram (PDF)

Download the Vision Worksheet and Questions (PDF)



How to Focus on Your Unique Genius as a Thought Leader

In my last post, I shared three ways to discover your unique genius. Once you have discovered your unique genius, how do you focus in to become as effective and successful as you want to be?

I’d like to share with you something I learned from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach.

Grab a legal pad and list out all the things you do in your business. Add to that list over the next couple weeks as you remember stuff.

Don’t forget to include stuff that comes up monthly, quarterly and yearly.

Now on another sheet of paper draw, two lines so you have four quadrants and categorize everything in one of these four areas. Start with the first category, and work your way down.


This is the stuff that you make a mess of when you try to do it. The classic example for most people here is bookkeeping.


This is the stuff you can do to minimum standards, but which drains you, frustrates you, and which you probably procrastinate at.


This one is tricky, because you’re quite good at this stuff. You even kind of enjoy it because people pat you on the back for it. However, it’s not really unique genius.


This is the stuff that lights you up. It’s the stuff that energizes you, and you do it at far above average. When you focus on this stuff, it feeds you AND it feeds your business. It’s really the “product” you are selling, and the reason why people want to work with YOU over someone else.

You want to spend as much of your time as possible doing this stuff.

For the tasks in the incompetent, competent, and excellence categories, you will want to delegate, systematize, and/or automate it. In fact, you can even just ditch it if nothing bad will happen or it’s just not that important.

Over time, this will allow you to focus on increasing the amount of time you spend on your unique genius.

What’s one unique genius thing you know you do exceptionally well, it that lights you up, and it creates immense value for others? Share in the comments!

EXAMPLE: One thing I have learned is part of my unique genius is my ability to bring clarity to a situation by listening and asking good questions.

3 Ways to Identify Your Unique Genius

What’s your unique genius?

We each have unique inherent talents that, when developed, become strengths. We sometimes refer to this as “unique genius.” Research by the Gallup Organization states that focusing on strengths makes you ten times more likely to feel engaged in your work and three times more likely to experience an excellent quality of life.

Focusing on your strengths in your business, body of work, and daily activities provides your greatest opportunity for happiness and growth. Leveraging your strengths is also your greatest opportunity to create value for others and to contribute to something bigger than yourself.

Finally, when leveraged in the right way your strengths are a competitive advantage and a key element for strong brand positioning as thought leader.

So how does one discover their unique inherent talents? Here are three ways.


There are a number of useful assessments that provide valuable insights about your strengths and how you best show up in and create value for the world. Here are two assessments that I use frequently in my business and with my clients because they are backed by research and immensely helpful for discovering, understanding, and leveraging your unique brilliance and leadership abilities.

Strengths Based Leadership

The Gallup Organization created this assessment based on a 40-year study. You get a code to take the assessment quiz when you buy the book. The assessment requires about 15-20 minutes to complete.

This is the same assessment used in the Strengthsfinder 2.0 book. The difference is in the report that it generates. Strengths Based Leadership gives you a report with  insights about how to best use your strengths when leading others.

How the World Sees You (Fascination Advantage)

Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage assessment identifies how you best gain attention and  influence people with your personality and gifts. When you buy the book, How the World Sees You, you get a code that gives you access to take the assessment. This requires about twenty minutes. Once you’ve taken the assessment you receive information about your primary and secondary advantages as well as your archetype (one of forty nine).

Feedback From Trusted Advisors

We often don’t see or quickly discount our strengths because they seem natural and come to us easily. Because of this, we either assume that they are not valuable – because society has placed in us a belief that something needs to feel like hard work to be valuable – or that everyone must have similar abilities.

For this reason, it’s helpful to get outside input to help us notice our strengths. An effective way to do this is to request feedback from trusted family, friends, colleagues and clients.

It may feel a bit odd, but the input your advisors can offer is invaluable. This is one of those exercises that you might be tempted to skip, but I urge you not to.

Best Self Statements

Here’s the process for creating your list of Best Self Statements.

  1. Pull out the results you gathered from the assessments above and any other strength-finding assessments you’ve found to be valuable to you, as well as feedback you’ve received from trusted advisors about your unique strengths.
  2. Use themes and ideas from your unique genius results to complete the following three statements. Write as many completions as possible for each one (ideally five or more each). Some of them may be similar or repeats.
  • I show up at my best when…
  • I serve others best when…
  • I create the greatest value when…
  1. Combine and narrow down the sentence completions until you have ten statements that feel like they summarize how you show up, serve, and create value at your best. These are your 10 Best Self Statements.
  2. Display this list where you can easily and frequently refer to as a compass, filter, and reminder in your day-to-day pursuits.

Best Self Statement Examples

Here’s an excerpt from my own Best Self Statements.

I create the greatest value when I help others uncover, value, trust, and leverage their unique strengths.

I create the greatest value when I help others choose the best path forward or uncover alternative paths.

I create the greatest value when I facilitate clarity and confidence in others.

What about you? What’s one way you would complete the statement:

I create the best value when I….

Let me know in the comments.