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Big Hair, Big Results

Posted on January 14, 2015 under Career & Work, Leadership


New Year’s Resolutions aren’t about erasing what you think other people can’t personally “handle” about you.

Sunday night I had a casual coffee date with a boyfriend candidate. He’s an all-around quality guy – a California IT nerd, handsome red head, and talented musical performer, writer and singer. I was looking forward to getting to know him better.

Within three minutes of meeting me he said, “Is that your REAL hair?” After a lifetime of dealing with curious questions about and requests to touch my big curly locks, I calmly said yes, all of it actually belongs to me and will remain in my possession until the end of my days. And then I promptly asked him if he dyed his hair. He was taken a bit off guard, but he recovered nicely. 😉

The reality is that I love my hair. It belongs to me and it makes me unique. Is it in vogue – heck no! It would be really easy for me to whip out my hot iron and succumb to the conventional advice that says employers think curly hair is unprofessional, clients think curly hair is crazy, and men think curly hair is unsexy.

Does one hour and $50 later at a “blow out” bar make me a different woman? Yes, it does. It actually makes me a fake and insecure version of me. Just like it would make you a fake version of you if you gave up on what made you unique. And no one likes fake.

What makes you unique? Do you know how to create big results from that quality?

Here’s how to use your uniqueness to your advantage in business and in life.

1. Own It

Are you ready to “own” what makes you unique – for better or for supposed worse? What is your stand out personal quality that you bring to the table? One of my qualities (besides big hair) is that I’m known for my sense of humor and timing. I’ve defused countless difficult situations with the use of gentle humor in the exact moment of impact. What is your secret weapon and do you know how to use it?

2. Practice Discernment

Your unique quality is a way to proactively screen out who and what doesn’t work for you. If you’re a loud and talkative person, your career choice of being a librarian will likely be extremely short-lived. Perhaps being a radio DJ, stand-up comedian, or sales representative is better suited.

3. Love Who Loves You

Mean people suck. Avoid them like the plague. Trust that the right people will be attracted to the genuine you. Trying too hard and putting on a show in a job interview, client sales conversation, or romantic date only leads to disappointment in the very near future. You just need to focus on being the best version of you possible – that’s enough to nurture.

Lastly, it’s our responsibility to not be too quick to judge. Most people are honestly intrigued by someone who is different. We can be their teachers and expect the best. Just ask my Ginger Man. He told me “I LOVE your hair!!” the other day.

Don’t ever give up on what makes you different.

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