My Value-Add

If you’ve subscribed to my blog(s), followed me on Twitter, met me in person, or all three, you’re probably…well, a very gracious and patient person! So who is this Steve Woodruff dude, anyway?

Being somewhat analytical, and having undergone decades of compulsive self-examination over the decades (including trying to understand my unique professional strengths), I’ve decided to try to narrow down my core strengths – my value-adds – to some key terms, as an adjunct to a post I’ve written for MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

So, for what it’s worth, here goes:

1. I am an aggregator. I am very curious, like to pull together lots of information, map out the big picture in my mind, and then put it together in some kind of sensible way. This can have strange manifestations – for instance, when I go to a shopping mall, I almost always walk through the entire thing. That is a weird thing, I know. But it can be useful too – see this Marketing Bloggers portal.

2. I am an opportunist. I always look for what is not there, and try to figure out how to make things better. I am wired not to be content, but always to look for improvement – a good trait for an entrepreneur, an occasionally problematic one for a husband and father!

3. I am a planner, a strategic thinker, a designer/builder. I don’t do random.

4. I like to help people, in my own way, which usually has more to do with figuring stuff out (consulting, counseling, branding, finding resources) than feeling-level stuff. I do wish I could take an empathy pill sometimes.

5. I’m a connector, which is somewhat bizarre considering my native introversion. Whatever – nothing makes me happier than helping people by connecting them with the right people/resources.

6. I’m a communicator. Best at writing and public speaking; still overcoming my awkwardness in large crowds and unstructured environments. My strongest gift in communications is clarity. However, I envy great storytellers and hope that that little muscle will grow with time.

7. I’m a curious learner and thinker. This blog (StickyFigure) explores branding, marketing, business, social media, and related themes. My Impactiviti blog covers pharmaceutical training, communications, and marketing (that’s my paying business). My personal blog (Steve’s Leaves) has various rants and ruminations about parenting, philosophy, politics, personal stuff, wine, and whatever else. And if there was time, there are lots of other areas I’d like to explore and share!

8. I’m loyal. Persistent. Stubborn. Principled. Call it what you will. I don’t believe leadership is shown by giving up or giving in.

To sum up – give me a fallow field, and say “It’s yours – create what you will and maximize it.” I don’t need a lot of help or guidelines. Just a chance to make something.

And, taking all those things together, I’ve created my own business – as a consultant/connector, helping pharmaceutical clients and vendor-partners find each other. I make money by creating win-win business connections – and I grow my business and brand by networking and by writing (blogging, newsletter, etc.) Seeing a market opportunity, I created the business model, and, by the grace and blessing of God, persisted to make it a success. After 20 years of working for others, it was time to build a business around me – my own personal/professional brand. And 2 1/2 years later, I couldn’t be happier.

What about you – what is your value-add? What are the key terms that define your personal and professional value to the world? Where can you maximize your success – within someone else’s business, or by creating your own?

(P.S. See how my friend and colleague Jane Chin identifies herself here with key terms)

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