Where Did You Come From? The Simple Question You Have to Answer First

Where did you come from? This is the simple, yet crucial, question you have to answer first in order to build a successful personality driven business.

When building a position for yourself in your business, it sounds really basic, but the very first thing you have to look at is where you came from.

We all too often overlook things in our past that are highlights, recurring trends or even little glimpses of our destiny because we’re so busy running a thousand miles an hour towards our current goals.  We get caught up in operations or the next, "shiny object" and don’t see the forest for the trees.

But the most revealing thing we do when we bring clients in for consulting days is ask them to tell us who they are, where they came from and what their path was that brought them to the table with us.  Now, often there are many things that aren’t crucial to the process, but by listening to stories from our clients’ past, we are able to determine a very distinct set of core values and skills that our clients thought were mundane, but usually hold at least some of the keys to their future.

Think of it this way: we bet there are times when you’ve said to yourself, "what makes me special? I’ve pretty much had the same experience as everyone else.  I don’t live the life of a rockstar, an astronaut or a Nobel Prize Winner, so I’m really not that different."

Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Sure, we all have some similar scenarios in our lives, but the beauty of our past experiences is in the details.  Show one person a painting, ask them to point out what they find striking and she will tell you what she, "sees"., Show the same painting to another person and he will frequently see something very different.  We often see the painting of our lives through distorted glasses.  We just don’t realize that what we are seeing is not the same thing everyone else is seeing!  Ask around and you will find out.

Nick has been known to conduct a $10,000.00 challenge when he speaks.  It goes something like this:

Take out a pen and paper and write down the answer to these 5 questions:

1.    What city were you born in?
2.    What is your mother’s maiden name?
3.    What is the name of your sibling closest in age to you? (If you don’t have any siblings, write down the name of your first "Best Friend".)
4.    Who was your first roommate when you moved out of your parents’ house for the first time?
5.    What was the first and last name of the person who gave you your first kiss?

If anyone in the room has answers that are identical, Nick will give those 2 people $10,000.00 to share.  The example is a bit extreme and he could offer a million dollars, but we hope you get the point.  The story of your life is very different than anyone else’s, even those who grew up in the bedroom next to you (although that person will never pay you what you’re worth! Trust us on this one!)—if for no other reason than the fact that people focus on different things.  Tell 3 people the same story, with lots of details and they’ll all tell it back to you differently, because they focused on the things that stuck out to them.

So, the moral of the story is, take the time to write down the key elements in your life and then tell your "origin story" (where you started and how you got to where you are today) to a few friends, and see what sticks out to them.  Look for the reoccurring themes.  Things that give you the greatest joy to even if you don’t necessarily make money at them. These key elements will be the beginning of your Positioning Power Points that you will use to take the next step in creating your Brand Position to increase your value in the business world.  Examined in this light, your Brand will be your very own and by creating your position this way, you eliminate all your competition because "no one is you" and if your customer wants you, ultimately he will only have one choice.

Where did you come from?  Tell us below in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: JW Dicks (@jwdicks) & Nick Nanton (@nicknanton), lawyers by trade but entrepreneurs by choice, are best-selling authors that consult for small and medium sized businesses internationally on how to build their business through Personality Driven Marketing, Personal Brand Positioning, Guaranteed Media and Mining Hidden Business Assets. They offer free articles, blogs white papers and case studies to guests who visit their web site at http://www.DicksNantonAgency.com. Jack and Nick have been featured on NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX affiliates around the country, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Newsweek, FastCompany.com, and many more media outlets. If you're ready to take your business to the next level, get more FREE info now at http://www.DicksNantonAgency.com

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2 Comments

  • Nick Nanton & JW Dicks

    Awesome comments Alice! Thanks for the feedback as well. Yes, we often say, people need to know you before they will listen to you! Be on the lookout for the next post!

  • Alice Korngold

    What a fantastic post! When I meet people, either socially or in business, this is one of the first things I want to learn...where did they come from...essentially their origins. Their story, and their telling of it (and where their eyes light up), tells me so much about the person, and allows the possibility of connecting. And professionally, for me, to help introduce the person to a nonprofit board that might be a match to their interests and qualifications, which is what I do. Thanks so much for this post!