X Factor: an indescribable quality or something; something about a person that you cannot put your finger on; je ne sais quoi
So what’s yours? If you aren’t sure, you best figure it out fast. I mean REALLY fast. It could be the reason why your business is either thriving or seeking life support.
A great example of an X factor in a big business sense is Nordstrom. Anyone who has shopped there knows they are incredible when it comes to customer service. I could take a pair of shoes back that I’ve worn 3 times but have caused me foot pain and they would refund me. Their X factor is how they honor their customers through their gracious return policy. On a smaller scale, one of my clients is a real estate agent. She’s great at her job and people love working with her. Why? Ask anyone, they will say it’s because she cares. I mean she really cares. She cares the way your mother, brother, father would. The kind of caring that keeps her up all night unless YOU get the house of your dreams type of cares. That is a great and appealing X factor if I’ve ever seen one.
So how do you go about uncovering what your own X factor is. Some of you may know what it is right away. For the rest of us it may take a little digging. Here are a few steps you can take to realizing what separates you from the masses.
1. Look for clues.
Our everyday interactions and exchanges can unlock the mystery of our own secret powers. Read through written exchanges from past colleagues, clients or customers. What are the saying about you? What are the common themes? Take notes and fill your paper with commonly used adjectives. Do you see frequent comments about how patient you are? How creative your ideas are? How organized, efficient or productive you are? These are all direct clues calling out what is likely your X factor.
2. Where focus goes energy flows?
This is not a new concept. Assuming you’ve been focusing on building your brand and business, where have you made the most development? After countless hours of training and devotion are you now a master baker, knitter, trainer, leader etc etc? What have you spent your precious hours devoted to? If a tennis instructor decided to spend his/ her days analyzing and studying the tennis strokes of all the greatest players and believes they’ve perfected the way to instruct their students to best model those of the tennis legends could their X factor be “an expert in the perfect racket stroke”? Heck yes! How you spend your days can reveal your own hidden superpower.
3. Decide and commit.
Are you still a work in progress? Are you in the very beginning stages of building your business and brand? This is a great time to really think about who you are and what you want to represent in the marketplace. What type of business do you want to be? Who do you want to work with? What would you want people to say about you and what you when you’re not in the room? Don’t just think it, write it down. Fill a sheet of paper with adjectives and ideas. When you are done circle a few qualities and let that be your north star. You may find that new attributes and skills emerge along the way, qualities you may not even be aware you possess. You can have multiple X factors, you just need to know what they are.
Your X factor is about knowing who you are and what you bring to the marketplace. However, just knowing your X factor is not enough. Your audience and clients must discover it as well. What good would Nordstrom’s X factor be without the public knowing it? Would my real estate friend have any clients if people didn’t know she was an agent with the deep goal of getting you into your dream home?
My own X factor is connection and passion. I love people, their stories and getting to know them. I’ve always used my camera as a tool to connect with the people around me. My X factor is that I connect with my clients in a deep and meaningful way which allows their own authentic selves to shine. I understand and can see what someone else’s X factor is and can think creatively and wisely to help them find unique and effective ways to let their own audience see it as well.
To get your X factor in front of the people takes time, courage and commitment. Regularly communicating with your network and audience is key. Let them see your story and process. Look for opportunities when you can comment, demonstrate and teach what makes you special and unique. Bottom line, as more and more of us become our own business owners we cannot lose site of what makes our own brand fantastic. Discovery it, own it and let everyone know about it.