Although I'm a fan of personality tests as a way to learn more about oneself, when a recent business book suggested figuring out your one "superpower" so you can flaunt it and be successful, I was stumped. There are two or three things I'm fairly good at, so which of them is my one superpower?
That's why when I picked up Evan Carmichael's book Your One Word: The Powerful Secret to Creating a Business and Life That Matter, I was doubtful I could narrow my core values into one word.
Evan breaks his book into three parts: the first to help you figure out your one word, the second to teach you how to build a campaign and movement with it, and the third how to apply it to your business.
It took me nearly all of part one to actually figure out my one word, and a few days of just thinking about it. I considered quite a few others until I settled on the one that resonated most.
My one word is #Build.
Evan differentiates between the lowercase, hashtag-less version of your word and the uppercase with hashtag so I am doing the same. And the difference is that your word—capitalized and with hashtag—means more to you than the one obvious meaning. Evan's word (#Believe) has three meanings for him, as does mine.
To me, #Build encompasses the three things that I value most and consider my strengths: I #Build solutions, connections, and opportunity.
Figuring this out was surprisingly liberating and as Evan explains, makes decisions easier since all should be made from the perspective of your one word. This is my compass. If an opportunity or job does not allow me to build—either solutions, connections, or opportunity—it is not right for me and I should walk away. And if a person I am considering working with or befriending is destructive—the opposite of #Build, what I believe in—that person is not one I will be happy associating with long term.
Regardless of where you are in life or in your career, knowing your one word and having its guiding compass is invaluable, so I highly recommend this book and the exercises Evan offers to get to your one word.
And learning more about oneself never gets old. Enjoy the journey.