What is your “Unique Genius”?

December 23rd, 2008

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pebblestorm-unique-genius-sketch-smallOne of PebbleStorm’s core ideas is “Unique Genius”.  I believe that everyone, and each company, has one, whether or not they know what it is or can harness it (yet).

[Update: visit for a series of free Unique Genius videos]

Your life purpose is to help others by sharing your inner self – but what does that mean?  How does that take shape in the world?  Here’s another way to think about it…

Your Unique Genius inspires you. It is a mashup of your talents and enjoyments, done in a way that adds meaning to your life by making a difference for others.  For example, all the things I’m great at and enjoy doing (coaching, writing, sales, etc.) combine into “helping people make money through enjoyment”, which inspires me!

What are your favorite ways to put your strengths to work in ways that help people with their problems or make a difference?  Once you have at least some direction on this, you can begin to build a business around it.  Yes, it will take time, likely longer than you want, but how will you get there if you don’t start in the first place?

By the way, I find the most common roadblock to people tapping into this incredibly powerful source of inspiration is the phrase “but I could never make money at that…”.   Don’t worry about the making money part quite yet.

Why it’s so important

pstorm-sunYour Unique Genius inspires you, intrigues others, and gives your Dream Business (or Dream Work) resonance and direction.  If your Dream Business was a car, your Unique Genius would be the limitless fuel that powers it.  So unlocking your Unique Genius is a key part of manifesting your Dream Business.

The resonance of your message should attract other people to you, either as customers or champions.  Keeping it simple is important, because you’ll use it to introduce your work to people.  When you share your Unique Genius with someone who’s relevant to what you’re doing, they should be intrigued by it, even if they don’t understand what it is yet.  You don’t need to explain what you do first – just get them interested enough to want to know more.

Finally, a clear Unique Genius is something that keeps you on track, like a compass, even when things are hectic or you’re feeling lost.  I know that if I’m stressed with work, I can’t be making money through enjoyment, so something is wrong and I’m not following my own advice!

Unique Genius and life purpose

A Unique Genius is similar or the same as a life purpose, but I specifically like “Unique Genius” because it emphasizes that 1) everyone is unique in their own way, and brings their own “voice” to life and work, and 2) people do have a form of genius, even the ones that don’t recognize it yet.

The more clear you can get on your Unique Genius the easier your path will be to creating your Dream Business.  Things will flow more easier – ideas, projects, customers, audiences, income…

I really like this article on finding your life purpose: “How The Matrix Can Help You Discover Your Life Purpose

Why it pays to be unique

Rather than thinking about how broad your talents and passions are, instead, ask what is a specific purpose in life to which you can apply them, meaningfully?  A purpose brings focus and meaning to your enjoyments and talents.  It’s not an easy question, but when you start asking this question, answers will come.

When describing your business and genius, try it in terms of “the result you create for others” rather than “what you do.”  People care more about what you can do for them than what you do. Here’s a personal example: “I do sales consulting” versus “I help sales organizations create predictable revenue” (

How you know when you’re in the zone

There is no “right” answer to what a unique genius is or how it’s described.  However, here are some guidelines:

  • It authentically inspires you
  • It offers direction as a guiding principle or compass
  • It intrigues others
  • It is simple

These are also roughly in order.  For example, first figure out what inspires you before trying to simplify it or to inspire others.

Note that “it is clever” is not on the list – it doesn’t have to be tricky or clever.  Start simple and meaningful, such as “help people express themselves through sculpture”, “motivate children to learn” or “bring happiness to seniors with pets”.  Expect it to evolve over time.

Real examples

Sample questions to help you crystallize it

I’d suggest taking a blank page, picking a single question, and starting to brainstorming without trying to think about it too much.  There’s also a link at the bottom of the post to a worksheet with more questions.  Because your Dream Business is the manifestation of your Unique Genius (which in turn inspires and powers your Dream Business), the same questions are useful to reflect on them both.

  • If you could do anything for work, what would it be?  (Including the “I could never make money at that…” things)
  • Assume you have plenty of money and don’t have to work, but wanted to do something meaningful with your life…what would that be?
  • What are your favorite things to do?
  • How would you like to mash them up?
  • If you could help any kind of person, who would you help?
  • What did you want to do when you were 8 years old, and why?
  • What is your superpower(s)?
  • What do people come to you for real advice on?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • If you could make a difference in the life of someone you don’t know by writing a note or book, how would they be different after reading it?

Here’s a sampling of “my enjoyments” that I listed out, as a way to kick the process off.  Of course I didn’t do the sketch until much later 🙂


Don’t worry about other people

The future of work is about collaboration rather than competition.  Even if two people seem to have similar Unique Geniuses now, over time they both will evolve in different directions, and are more likely to end up helping each other than competing.

Also, your Unique Genius isn’t just what you do for people – it’s also how you do it.  Let’s say two people both describe what they do as “motivate children to learn”.  One might do it through videos with puppets, another through creating fun learning games.  There are infinite ways to be unique in what and how you do!

More: Unique Genius worksheet

View and download worksheet

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8 Responses to “What is your “Unique Genius”?”

  1. Babita Dubay Says:

    Aaron from the way you write, your profile pic and your scribblings it would seem to me that you definitely have a lot of fun doing what you do best! It’s a pleasure to meet up with you on this site!

    Over the last six months I less and less think that things are coincidences and just this morning when I was driving out my garage I thought to myself that I really just have to do what I came here to do and not think about what my peers are doing…it was a much needed reminder to myself after just coming off facebook where I had accepted a friend request from an old uni (college) classmate and for a brief while compared myself…then I realised that however my life is currently is cause I was meant to be this way to exactly fulfill the role I came here to carry out…I was just the expression… my body and as I watched my face in the mirror (before when I was getting dressed)…I more focussed on the face…but my face I thought is just like the fruit on a tree and I thought of the universe as this big flowing growing schrub at the end of each limb a face would bud…and to me the face is what looks in at the world and it is the divine’s connection to the material world…so I saw it as just …me part of a bigger universal spirit looking in with my face on the earth today…then I saw it too that I was fluid so I’d easily dissolved back into the tree got mixed up with it and bud again one day as another face…another expression at the end of a bud…so right now I was just on my brief expression as this face…made exactly right now along with the rest of my body to carry out just exactly what I was meant to…!

    So I kept thinking bout that and that visualization in my head and to be honest I thought about you and your scribblings…and wished I was a good enough artist to draw exactly what I was seeing…and then…I put on the radio and the segment that is on…I’ve heard before…but it is a part from Deepak Chopra’s audio series where he is talking about the seven laws I think and he is on the law of Dharam (ma) and again he is talking about how we are just a soul having momentary human experiences…and about how he always told his kids to do whatever they wanted and he’d take care of them if they didnt make money…not everyone gets told that or have that luxury but…the main thing that stuck out for me was the soul having a momentary human experience…yes I’ve heard it said before but I reflected on it to realise…hmmm…it is easier said than done…I think most of us including me more see it the other way around where we have moments of soul realizations but mostly view ourselves as human beings…the whole society is set up that way…in fact the majority of society perhaps never even connects to the soul experience seriously for very long…let alone all the time!

    And even the people who say it I think are caught up in the doing differently cause really society is just not set up for souls having expriences here some of which are momentarily human but really the other way around or in fact entirely about the human being as a body that is born young, develops, procreates other young bodies, take care of them and then grow old and die. And society sets up structures around that not the spiritual really?!

    I think I will write this whole musing up as a blog post itself on my Meady’s Musings blog…

  2. Posts about Mashups and Memes as of December 23, 2008 | The Lessnau Lounge Says:

    […] […]

  3. Fun with “word clouds” « PebbleStorm Says:

    […] beautiful word cloud.  Here’s one it created from PebbleStorm.  It’s no accident that “Unique” & “Genius” are the biggest […]

  4. dwhs Says:

    I just found your blog today and I wanted to say it’s great. We all need to talk more about unique business qualities and how business is evolving within peoples talents. Great stuff, thanks Charles On a side note the blog does have small letting and is a little narrow but easy to read none the less.

  5. aaronross383 Says:

    Welcome to the area, Charles! Thanks for the comment. Yeah, this blog template isn’t optimal…sometime this year, once more of the puzzle pieces to PebbleStorm (say that three times fast!) come together, I’ll put a real site together.

  6. Thought provoking questions | Pebblestorm Says:

    […] adds meaning to your life? Related to life purpose, your calling, your superpowers… Also see What Is Your Unique Genius? for suggestions on figuring it […]

  7. A good tool to discover your passions Says:

    […] by Pebblestorm founder Aaron Ross.  The Unique Genius concept is described in this post,  here and at the end is a link to opt in to his list and download the worksheet as well as some great […]

  8. Stay stuck in your job (for now) Says:

    […] and feel better (my sis Jae, the best in the business) – Some free time to help you develop your Unique Genius (and what you want to actually do once you leave the law) – Some free time to think critically […]

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