Sometimes simple doesn’t always mean obvious.
Life and business is simple if you know one key thing: your strength.
After being at Ryan Moran’s Freedom Fast Lane Live event in Austin, Texas last winter, it was very clear what millionaires and billionaires had in common: Knowing your strength and what you’re good at is the foundation of every business.
It’s so cliche to say that we often overlook this concept. Think of it as knowing the skills you are good at, as well as the skills you’re not so good at. Would you be more likely to start a business revolved around a skill you know like the back of your hand, or a skill you’ve never tried before. Starting a business based on a skill or industry you don’t know is for serial entrepreneurs who are just trying to make a buck. For example, if I heard that yacht maintenance is a huge moneymaker but I have no idea how to repair boats, it would probably be a bad idea to go into that business.
Knowing your strengths, even if it’s more of an innate talent, will be the largest contribution you can make to your business in the long run. It also means that you shouldn’t be doing the tasks that you are bad at. When you’re just starting your business, of course you’re going to play both visionary, accountant and janitor, but this always leads to burnout over time. But even worse than burnout and overwhelm, the reason why you need to know your strength is so that you can work more on it.
Working more on your strength or “zone of genius” is what will move the needle forward in your business. Not only will your work impact the business at a higher level (thus equating higher ROI), but it’ll also make you happy. And happiness is the true key to success for any business: the happier you are, the more successful you become (proven by the amount of ultra wealthy who rarely sleep because they love their work so much).
Here’s how to determine your strength or core ability:
-Write down the activities that truly make you happy (even if they are hobbies): Only think about the activities you would do if you weren’t paid to do them. This separates the “get rich quick” side of our brain from our “real passions” side.
-If you are so stuck on what makes you happy, ask 10 people you know and they’ll tell you what you are always talking about.
-Sometimes an outside perspective sees more about ourselves than our own eyes.
-Narrow down your list to top 10, then top 3, then the #1.
Now that you’ve determined your #1 strength that makes you happy and that you didn’t need to be paid to do, you’ve already accomplished more than most entrepreneurs! You can now take this strength to morph it into a business that serves others in an authentic way, not just for money.
This was the epiphany I had when 2 separate events occurred simultaneously (even before going to Ryan Moran’s event). I was talking to my best friend about what I wanted to do next, and she had suggested thinking about content creation, since I had 10 years of experience in professional editorial and blogging for major brands. A day later, I was on a webinar by millionaire Mike Dillard who had casually said to do what you’re good at, which I always felt was simplifying and teaching information.
It hit me like a ton of bricks that teaching content and entrepreneurship was my strength. Even when other bloggers or brands came to me asking for help with content creation, it still never occurred to me that I could actually teach it or do it for a living.
Your strength might be more straightforward, such as you have a natural talent for cooking, painting, hair cutting or math. Or you can be like multi-millionaire Gary Vaynerchuck, whose strength is more convoluted as he has said his strength is seeing into the future (being able to predict trends in the marketplace and the companies that will be the “next big thing”).
For those who really have many strengths and interests, the new hot term is “Multi-Passionate” entrepreneurs, where you actually have more than just 1 strength or interest, and you want to pursue more than 1. I’m like this too (beauty and content), but the biggest challenge when starting from scratch is that you should choose just 1 to focus on first, then the second will follow. For example, I chose the beauty passion first (building my beauty products business), and then moved to content and editorial after that. It’s ok to be multi-passionate and to integrate many passions into your work. Just remember that the key to doing everything you’re passionate about is to actually develop them one at a time (instead of simultaneously).
It doesn’t matter what your strength is, you will always be able to make a living doing what you love, even if it’s something like predicting the future.
Photo Credit: @warbyparker