September 26, 2016 • Curriculum
You know what makes Levain Bakery so special? Its cookies. There are only four kinds. And each is six magical ounces of goodness. Levain’s unique value proposition, for me anyway, is an obscenely large indulgence of chocolate chips and walnuts. No one else makes six ounce cookies with the same gooey deliciousness in the middle.
So how do creative entrepreneurs replicate that gooey deliciousness?
We’ve already talked about starring roles within a creative portfolio career. Starring roles are the fun ones. Your starring role is your thing. It’s the thing you’d do with unlimited time and unlimited resources. It’s what your brain thinks about as it rests, and it’s what you constantly try to improve. It’s what brings you deep, professional satisfaction when done well. It’s your true calling. It might even be your vocation. It might be how you choose to identify yourself professionally.
But there are lots of other people who have the same starring role as you. That doesn’t mean you aren’t unique and special. You are. But you are unique and special along with lots of other people who might be similarly unique and special. Thank goodness. Everyone with the same starring role is part of your community, and it is within a creative community – even one that is a bit competitive – that we all improve.
So what truly makes you special? What is the core of your starring role?
In entrepreneurial terms, we’d call this core your “unique value proposition.” How do you add value to the world in a way that is unique to your skill set, your experiences, your education, and your person?
The best way to articulate your own unique value proposition is to revisit the words you used to describe your starring role and the words you used to describe your strengths. Mix and match them to form a sentence that more or less follows this structure:
I ______________ [preposition] ______________.
[action verb] [object]
Once you can distill your starring role into a sentence that starts with “I” (or “we”), followed by an action verb, followed by a preposition (for, by, through, during, etc.), followed by an object, then you’ll be getting close.
Play around with the words and the structure until you find a combination that feels right. The result may surprise you.
Then treat yourself to a cookie. Or two.
Want to learn more? (After you enjoy your cookie.) Check out Goal Setting for Portfolio Careers, a 3-hour self-study course to put these theories into creative action.
You probably have a goal: To keep doing exactly what you want to be doing without going broke. But what if you could do more? In this course, you’ll learn why the traits that enhance your creativity are also fantastic for building tools to make your creative career work for you.
This course is completely self-paced, meaning you can read the materials and do the activities on your own time. But don’t worry. You won’t be alone.
At Minerva Financial Arts, we care about artists and the community… A lot. All our courses are distinguished from others by Elaine’s hands-on, supportive approach to coaching you through the material. Enjoy!