For my blog today I'm going to continue to focus on the elements of my disability that make me into a better businessperson and entrepreneur. My venture is all about helping others identify the asset in disability and this series of blogs is meant as a supplement to the presentations and programs that I offer. Last week I discussed my limited hand function. This week, it is my ability to stick in other people's heads.
In a previous blog post I discussed the fact that my disability makes me memorable in my community. It is time to expand on that with a bit of a business twist. How does being memorable make me, or indeed any of us, more successful? The answer is quite simple. People relate to things they remember. If someone has an utterly forgettable experience they are unlikely to connect or relate to it. Like it or not my disability gives me a memorable quality and that in turn leads to more connections. I am different and that difference keeps me in people's heads.
Many times in my career as a speaker, I have had people approach me months afterwards and tell me that they remember what I said or that my message really inspired them. I am confident that this would not happen as often is my disability did not exist. There are many amazing speakers in this world but there are far fewer amazing speakers who bare my physical characteristics. I am confident that my unique look, and accompanying mobility device and service dog, keeps me in the hands of my audience for longer. This is a huge business advantage in a crowded market for motivational speakers.
The same holds true with regards to entrepreneurship. In a space where everyone is trying to find that one thing that sets them and their business apart, I was born with a mechanism that does that for me. This means that business contacts are easier to build and maintain. It means that my message lingers in people’s minds and that they associate my message with something or somebody memorable. I read a book recently by sociologist Malcolm Gladwell where he talks about the stickiness of an idea; defined as the ability for an idea to ingrain itself in people's consciousness. I truly believe that my ideas are stickier because of my disability and that is a huge advantage for me.
To make this a more universal lesson, the take away of this blog is as follows. For many of us born with a difference, we are often told that we need to overcome challenges or fit in. However, I am confident that my difference makes me memorable and that is never a bad thing in business. Highlighting difference, therefore, will lead to more success.
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