As a speaker, author or coach with lots of strings to your bow, you need to find a natural way to link and share your experience with ease.
If you find it hard to introduce yourself at networking events or you don’t know how to effectively market succinctly yourself online, the chances are you’ve not yet totally identified what unites all your experiences and weaved them into a cohesive story.
Your life is a tapestry, and there is always a stand out theme that runs through it. You need to step back and look at it as a whole to see the golden thread of that theme. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make sense why you care so much about a certain thing, or why a particular skill or trait is what you always use.
Using your past and looking at it as a canvas can help you identify:
- Your purpose
- Your passions
- Your gift
- Your cause
- Your business model
Your Story has a golden thread that runs all the way through it. Here are some ways to find your USP through pulling on that thread:
- the experiences that you always have (intuitively bumping into the right people)
- the thing you always talk about — the fire in your belly (saving the oceans)
- the way that others describe you (your personality & style)
- the skills you have (what you’ve studied for, your natural talents)
- the avatar that you support (what are your hopes & dreams for them)
Your golden thread is the thing that ties all of what you do together.
As examples, for us the golden thread becomes obvious when we dig a little — and you usually don’t have to go far.
For Helena, what she naturally falls into in any situation is training — apparently when she was little, around the age of 4, she was teaching all the kids in kindergarten how to build sandcastles — always the teaching you see. It’s the thing that runs through all the jobs she’s ever done, all the books she reads, most of the conversations she has. She cannot NOT teach. THAT begins to become something you can use as your USP (your unique selling point) or something you can use it to build your business around (if it’s a skill).
For Kelly it’s structure & assimilating ideas into a plan of action… when she was a child she had bar graphs of her exam results so she could review how she was progressing & what areas she needed to work on… this has now lead to working with amazing creative changemakers who love to think big — to put the detail behind their dreams to bring them to life.
The trick is to start linking together all the experiences you’ve had, the jobs you’ve done, and indeed the childhood interests. All of these will hint at what your ‘golden thread’ is. Once you find what unites all your experiences, you can start to talk more cohesively about all that you’ve done. There will be a skill, talent or interest that starts to emerge.
The first clue is discover your why or purpose and what you want to be KNOWN for. Then see if your roles feed into a golden thread that allows you to market them and tell the story of you. Don’t try to make them fit… instead gather up the experiences you’ve had and see what themes unite the various jobs, roles, travel, and interactions you’ve had. We suggest you think about the timeline of your life and see what you were doing at various points. When you lay them all out, you’ll start to see those patterns.
This will give you a richer look at what you do, and most likely you’ll start to see how that fits with why you do what you do, or if you realise that something keeps coming up, ask yourself why that happens, what you get from doing that. This is most likely your unifying golden thread.
You can use the golden thread in different ways depending on what stage of business you are in:
- If you are already in business — make sure you use your ‘origin’ story — e.g. “the why I do what I do story” for example ‘because I’ve always cared about the environment’. If that’s the theme of your life, you can start to pull out the examples of when the environment has been at the centre of your activity e.g. it’s always what you’ve raised money for etc. Link your passion to your work and show up sharing your why — it will help people connect more deeply with you.
- If you are shifting into a new iteration of work — look at your ‘tapestry’ and see how your golden thread is becoming more present in all you do, or how you can make it more present in all you do…sometimes we get more and more brave in the next step that we make. This may give you clues to just how you set up or market your new business or venture.
- If you are just starting out: look at all that you have come back to over and over. There must be a reason why you keep coming back to it. What is the contribution that the experiences, learning and jobs have been to what you want it to be now. Maybe it’s that you just love asking questions and you are going to use that as a basis for a career — that’s likely how most of the coaches got to be here. The speakers and authors most likely spent time on stages or in libraries — that’s a classic assumption!
However for a lot of you it might be about what you care about that you want to highlight — we love structure and are good at it, which is why we built a business around providing that to others who are not good at it.
What if you could work at this for the rest of your life? How could you build a business around the thing that really does show up over and over? It’s going to make it fun to do, but also make it SO much easier to explain.
What to do next…
- Gather up all your stories in one place
- List the stories that people tell about you (especially the ones where you are young)
- Map the commonalities and see what that points to….
- Tell us what your golden thread is!
You can connect with us here: www.facebook.com/groups/theconnectionhub
And if you really are not sure about what your golden thread is or how to identify, articulate or monetise it, check out our Power Up Your Purpose course to help you understand yours and create a business you love centred around the thing that is at the heart of your life. You can access the course here:
We support speakers, authors & coaches to monetise their message, market their purpose and create & manage their portfolio business, ON THEIR TERMS.