You may have heard of the term, Unique Selling Proposition, or USP.
The marketers and salespeople of the world constantly strive to identify and hone their USP. They work on the notion that they have to somehow stand out from the crowd to make consistent sales, to be successful.
They believe they have to be unique in some way or another or another business will attract the attention of the customer, hence their efforts to establish their USP.
The really successful people have also identified their USP, but it’s the opposite of what the marketers and salespeople would be used to: they have a Unique Service Proposition.
They think other people. They think service.
The most successful shopkeeper is not the one who is grumpy and unsmiling when you walk into their shop. He is the one with USP and serves his customers with delight and courtesy.
The most successful waitress is not the one who is disdainful of her patrons. She is the one with USP and serves each person with a cheer and a smile.
The most successful bus driver is not the one who is impatient and angry with the traffic on the roads. He is the one with USP and serves his passengers with patience and calmness.
The most successful doctor is not the one who is disdainful and is patronising to her patients. She is the one with USP and serves her patients with care and consideration.
The most successful people in the community share this one commonality: they are devoted to serving others. In whatever field of work or endeavour they’re involved with, the service of others is their Number 1 priority.
They are makers, not takers. They make every moment and every situation bigger by serving and adding value to others. They don’t take from each moment or try to suck it dry, squeezing everything they can out of the situation or the person they’re dealing with.
They are donors, not leeches. They know that Life richly rewards those who invest as much of themselves as they possibly can into the moment.
And this ‘investment of self’ is primarily achieved through the act of service.
Think service. Be of service. Continue to serve.
That’s Other People Thinking. That’s USP. That’s success.
Finding Your USP
To serve others is ultimately an act of self-service. This is because it is inclusive, not exclusive.
When you help others to grow, to build, to expand, you find that, quite remarkably, you too grow, build, and expand.
So when you help and serve others, you are also helping and serving yourself. Investment in others is an investment in yourself.
Recall what Einstein said, that our purpose in life is to serve others. Those who are fortunate to live more than a few decades on this planet get to fulfill many roles: child, sibling, student, partner, parent, leader, worker, boss, manager, healer, carer, friend, colleague, team member, and many, many other roles.
Each role offers the opportunity for Other People Thinking and to be of service. So the question everyone should ask themselves is,
“What’s my role in this life? What’s my purpose for being here?”
It will help to consider the 7 Life Segments, which I discuss in detail in my book, It’s Up To You! Why Most People Fail to Live the Life they Want and How to Change It.
Essentially, there are 7 common and typical segments of life that we all experience and play a role:
- Family & Relationships
- Career & Work
- Money & Finances
- Health & Wellbeing
- Learning & Education
- Fun & Adventure
- Spirituality & Ethics (or Religion & Morals)
You have at least 1 role in each of the 7 Life Segments, often many. For instance, in Family & Relationships, you may have the role of mother, wife, friend, grandmother, sister, and others.
In Learning & Education, you may have the role of student in an educational institution, or you’re embarking on a training course for personal pleasure. You may even take on the role of a teacher and educator, mentor, coach, trainer, or facilitator in professional or personal settings.
In Money & Finances, you may be the breadwinner in your family, or you look after the bookkeeping and bank accounts, stocks and shares or other investments, and even take on the responsibilities of being the landlord of your rental property.
Some roles last longer than others. Some are brief and last only for a day, a week, or a month at a time, like a coach or tutor, while other roles can last for years and even a lifetime, like a sister or brother.
So now that you can identify the many roles you play during your lifetime, you can start to focus on your areas of service.
Identifying Your Areas of Service
Here’s a task you can do to help with this. Take a piece of paper and a pen and consider these questions:
- What is my main or most important area of service in each of the 7 Life Segments?
- What are the areas of service that I’m already good at? What’s my USP?
- What are the areas of service that most need my attention?
- How can I improve those 7 most important areas of service?
- What is the 1 thing I can do today and for the rest of the week that will have the most impact on my ability to serve others?
Here is an example of how to do this exercise:
Money & Finance:
- My main areas of service are: earning income for the family; organising the weekly and monthly household budget; paying the bills; grocery shopping; saving for holidays; investing for retirement.
- The area of service I am already good at: organising the weekly and monthly household budget.
- The areas of service that most need my attention are: investing for retirement.
- I can improve this area of service by: booking an appointment with a financial advisor and developing a financial retirement plan.
- The one thing I can do today and for the rest of the week that will have most impact on my ability to serve is: stop procrastinating and book the appointment with the financial advisor.
Once you identify your roles and area of service in your 7 Life Segments, make a written plan to achieve your goals, and then take action on that plan.
You’ll find not only that your enjoyment of service will lift, but with it your relationships with others will improve and become less of a chore.