The Top 5 Ways to Identify Your ‘Secret Sauce’

10x How You Show Up In Business


If you’ve been on the gentSac Instagram you’ve no doubt seen it. If you subscribe to the gentSac mailing list, you know what it is. Those who have been into the store have most definitely tasted it. The ‘Shira Sauce’.

What started as a joke behind-the-scenes has become shorthand for one of the gentSac’s key defining factors: the way the intention of the company’s founder, Shira O’Sullivan Linker can be felt through every touchpoint of the gentSac experience.

That ‘intention’ is to focus on service – the desire to delight and transform the day of everyone who comes into the store – and beyond.

As Shira discussed in this week’s Quit Your Day Job podcast interview, gentSac was conceived when her former partner drew attention to the way he was blown away by the grooming kits she would curate for him.

Beyond being merely impressive, it was a mutually satisfying joy that made the act of gifting so rewarding.

In the spirit of inspiring habits of excellence, we want to encourage our community to use this idea to transform they way they show up every day. While business traditionally demands compartmentalising the personal from the professional, we are here to challenge you to identify the ways in which you can connect to your essence through your nine-to-five.

Once you’ve identified your ‘Special Sauce’ the key is to use it as a means to serve those around you, and thus level-up your professional offering.

For example, you may observe that in your spare time you love to play competitive squash (it’s making a comeback).

If there’s something really exciting to you about the frenetic, two-handed nature of that game – the way offers are made and returned in quick succession – then there could be some benefit in recreating that dynamic when ideating or working closely with a business partner, rather than only working solo.

If you come alive when planning a mate’s bucks party down to the last detail, there could be something in the act of hosting an experience for your team, even in a very minor way that can be initialed weekly, that could radicalise how your co-workers interact based on the way you’re able to hold space and ‘host’ them.

Here are the top 5 ways to identify your Secret Sauce…

  1. An essential ingredient.
    What makes your offering unique? What can you do that no one else you know can?
  1. Original recipe.
    Chances are, whatever it is, your Special Sauce has its roots in your childhood. Reflect on what you have always loved doing – before ‘work’ got in the way.
  1. 100% Natural.
    You may not realise what your Secret Sauce is, because to you it comes naturally and requires relatively little effort for a great result.
  1. Keeps ‘em coming back for more.
    Pay attention to the feedback you get from those around you and whose opinions you regard. You’ve probably been receiving positive affirmation and encouragement for some time without taking stock of it.
  1. Unbeatable Value.
    A great place to start investigating in order to identify your ‘special sauce’ is what you would do for free. The thing about tapping your passions is that its positively geared energetically. It actually gives back more than it requires. Talk about a good investment.

The trick is not necessarily directly replicate what you do privately within business, but to drill down on the essence of what it is that give you energy and look for all of the ways you can translate it to the workplace.

Remember: no one can do ‘you’ quite like you can.

Dan’s ‘Desert Island’ Kit from gentSac

As well working behind-the-scenes on gentSac’s social media and on a weekly podcast, this week’s podcast host Dan Brophy is the founder of a digital media agency, and the host of a home renovation how-to series. With a lot on the go, he is a fan of a streamlined grooming routine. We asked him to build his ‘Desert Island Kit’ – the grooming essentials he can’t live without.

The Groomed Man Co. Face Fuel Cleanser

‘Because my skin can feel dry in parts and oily in others (aka ‘combination skin’) I need a cleanser to leave my skin feeling fresh but not stripped of moisture. This does the trick.

Jackson Miles S-3 Bergamot, Mandarin & Cedarwood Body Wash

As well as having great ‘shelf appeal’, I love the ‘citrus and wood’ scent when using Jackson Miles. It leaves a hint of the fragrance on the skin after washing. You’re welcome, world.

Hunter Lab ‘Face Fuel’

I love this product because of the way you apply it, scooping it from a tub, rather than squeezing it from a dispenser. One of the key ingredients is avocado, and you really get a sense of how natural it is when wearing it.

Goldfield and Banks ‘Desert Rosewood

One of my all-time favourite fragrances was ‘M7’ by YSL, which was discontinued ten years ago. Coincidently, Dimitri Weber of Goldfield and Banks used to work under Tom Ford at YSL, so in a way Desert Rosewood is the spiritual successor to M7. I also love the fact that it’s an Australian essence made in the European tradition. An instant classic.

Shop Dan’s toiletry bag…

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