[video_player type=”embed” width=”560″ height=”315″ align=”center” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″]PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC9HTUNvZ1VUU0hqWSIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj0iIj48L2lmcmFtZT4K[/video_player]Remember playing Follow the Leader in school? What about Simon Says? Both were fun games but clearly did not help in creating leaders. Even in Follow the Leader, there was only one leader who was sometimes a reluctant one.

As we get older, we begin to realize there are benefits to being different (hopefully that happens). For those of us who are entrepreneurs, aspire to be, in other leadership roles, or just understand how the marketplace works, we understand that fitting in can signal failure. We’re typically trying our best to set ourselves, our brands apart.

We have to first embrace what I call our “SWAG Factor” – that special something each of us has that is a big part of the unique value we bring to the world. It’s the foundation of our personal brand. Fully embracing it, even if it’s quirky, not expected, or dare I say different, is the key to maximizing it and making a great big impact on…well…the world.

First, you want to get really clear about your game changing potential. What is it about? What is it rooted in? Why does it matter? Does it make you uncomfortable? As long as it doesn’t make others uncomfortable (at least not for long), your own discomfort may be the very sign that you’re on the right track. Success, brilliance, awesome, and game changing tends to live on Uncomfortable Street.

I encourage you to do some inner work on this – if you have not already. Answer the questions referenced in the paragraph above. Give some serious thought to what comes very easy for you but is hard for others. Identify what you say and do that gets a powerful reaction from those around you. My video below will help.

This can go a long way in you not being just another entrepreneur, executive, accountant, attorney, financial adviser, speaker, author, thought leader, etc. All those roles are respected, but they are not all memorable. The ones that are memorable within each group are those that change the game for their clients and communities.

If you have convinced yourself you don’t need to be great, that you’re perfectly fine with staying in the middle and “like everybody else” it’s time to be honest. I’m thinking you may have been like me: when you were a kid playing Simon Says, you really wanted to be Simon. And if you were Simon, you thought it was pretty freaking cool. Now, you can change the game altogether. Anyone want to play Simon Does (or Stephanie) Quantum Leaps?