In part one of this post I suggested that we need to give ourselves permission to be bad at some of the things we’ll need to do in order to grow a business. Today I want to suggest how to be really, really good at everything you do.
When it comes to excelling at something like running a business, the common advice among experts is to identify your strengths and weaknesses and build on things you’re good at, while finding ways to shore up your weaknesses.
I take a different view. I think society and our past experiences can mask our real strengths and trick us into focusing on the wrong things entirely.
People who have been led to the accounting industry for example, in some cases because they couldn’t decide on anything else in school, are often told that their creativity is a weakness.
Or, artists are made to believe somehow that making a profit or organizing a business that allows them to mass personalize their art are somehow sellouts or worse.
Simply having experience doing a certain kind of work is not necessarily the same as being good at a certain kind of work or having a special talent and knack for a certain kind of work.
I think business owners need to find and tap what I call their superpower and then apply that to every aspect of their work – even if all that means is hiring someone to do a particular something for you.
Here’s what I mean. While some might look at me and suggest my strengths are writing and speaking, they would miss my superpower, which is curiosity.
The reason my business exists is because I want to know how things work and why. I want to know what makes people tick, I want to know how to do everything in a different way.
So, when faced with doing something I don’t know how to do or something I know I need to permit myself to do badly, I don’t try to figure out how everyone else has done it, I engage my curiosity and wonder for how it’s done, and I turn it into something I explore and take apart, and that is what gets me by.
This view allows me to be really, really good at everything I do, no matter what that task at hand. (Or at least it allows me to be fearless in my approach to it.)
I have seven brothers and two sisters and my parents would always joke that when we were little and they would take the ten of us on some adventure (with ten kids any trip was an adventure) they would split us up and dad would watch me and mom would watch the other nine. My superpower found me at an early age.
Do you know your superpower? Everyone has at least one and if you can find a way to bring it to work in every aspect of the day, you’ll develop a powerful super charged business building weapon.
Is it insight, caring, math, vision, listening, hustle, flow, calmness, persistence?
You may have to dig deep to reacquaint yourself with it. You may have masked it because you think it’s not very business oriented. You may have to go back to when you thought anything was possible, back to when you played like a kid.
Finding and using your superpower is like tuning into a potent frequency – a fearless, never fail instinct that can inform every decision you make about your business. If you lose this signal, if fear creeps in, your passion for your business will drain – guard your superpower wisely.
Your superpower is your greatest defender, it shreds resistance and that inner and outer critic that tells you something is hard and that you’re no good at it anyway so why bother.
Your superpower allows you to outsmart the fact that some of this stuff is just plain hard and no fun and not natural.
Your superpower helps you tune out those invested in keeping you right where you are.
Your superpower zaps fear.
If you’ve been doing this for a while, maybe you think it’s no longer any fun, maybe you think you’ve lost your passion, or maybe you can’t control your overabundance of passion.
The only thing that’s real is your superpower – discover and tap into it and you’ll find an interminable source for making your art.
Update: One of my readers pointed out another blogger’s approach to the idea of Discovering Your Superpowers – you might enjoy his take as well.