What would you do if you didn’t spend so much time in your business? Would…
Is Your Business in Your Zone of Genius or Your Zone of Excellence?
Are you feeling dissatisfied with your business?
Maybe it’s not quite fulfilling you the way you dreamed it would. Perhaps it feels hard more often than it feels easy and fun. I’m not saying running your own business is always effortless. There will be challenges, but overall, you want to feel like working in and on your business is something you look forward to, not dread.
In this article, I’m going to share with you my thoughts on finding and owning your zone of genius and what it might mean for your business.
What is a ‘zone of genius’?
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman.
One question I frequently get asked in my workshops is “I’ve got two zones of genius; how do I choose?” But the reality is, when we probe, often people are confusing zones of excellence (things you’re pretty great at) with zones of genius (things you are brilliant at, that light you up, that are almost effortless).
If you’re not sure whether something is a zone of excellence or a zone of genius, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you passionate about it? Could you spend all day long immersed in it with a giant smile on your face?
- Does it generate ideas, activities, challenges that you leap out of bed for and happily keep you up at night?
- Does it come so easily to you that you can’t believe someone would actually pay you to do it?
If yes, you’ve found your zone of genius. If no, it might be a zone of excellence instead.
What does that look like?
For me, my zone of genius is taking complex ideas and making them simple. My brain is like a giant sorting machine that takes information and begins arranging it into simple pictures. I’ve always had a knack for taking the complex and making it simple.
In primary school, I was paired up with a girl in my class who had down syndrome to help her. And I excelled at taking what seemed complex and making it even more understandable for her. And that was my first sign.
It comes easily to me. So much so, I can’t believe that other people don’t visually chunk and arrange information the same way I do. Plus, I’m energised and excited by this work.
Living in zones of excellence.
In the business world, it’s very easy to get pulled into zones of excellence, especially when there is demand for it. You’re good at it, and people want to pay for it. Supply and demand. So, why wouldn’t you keep doing things in your zone of excellence?
So, I’d like to share with you my journey of being pulled into zones of excellence and how both I and my business failed to fully thrive:
For years I was heavily absorbed in course creation because I thought it was what the market wanted and what I was good at. And I was good at it. I even wrote a best-selling book on my proven 7 stage process. But every time we’d do Stages 1, 2, and 3, I’d feel meh about it. But once we got to stage 4, where we create the intellectual property assets, I’d instantly light up.
I’d say, “This is the best bit!” I’d spend the entire program looking forward to Stage 4 – IP assets. This should have been a massive clue. But despite that, I persisted with course creation. With all 7 Stages. And then I had clients asking for more general business solutions; so I created a mastermind. And while all the things we covered were things I was good at, they were definitely not my zone of genius. And I didn’t feel inspired. It felt like hard work, and I knew something wasn’t right.
Then, I went back to the drawing board and actually followed my own advice. What could I literally do all day with a smile on my face? What energises me rather than drains me? And the answer was obvious … Creating visual models as IP assets. It was Stage 4; the thing I’d always look forward to doing, the thing that lit me up.
Now that I’ve really focused down on my zone of genius, I’m really invigorated and excited about my business. Now, I focus on ‘my zone of genius’ in my business, and I outsource the other stuff. Sure, there are a few minor tasks that I do to support my role, like replying to emails, but I have more energy for those things because they are directly related to my zone of genius.
Plus, I’ve enlisted the help of others who are in their zones of genius; whether it’s content, administration, getting bums on seats. Embracing other people in their zones of genius has helped my business to thrive even more.
Is your business based on your zone of genius? I’d love to hear your story.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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