Hello SOTGC Community,
We’ve all seen the article headlines: 10 Things you Need to Know to be a Marketing Rock Star or 7 Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Does Every Day or 8 Secrets of Women Who Never Seem to be Tired
These articles can be helpful. They can give you new or interesting changes to help boost your productivity, business, energy levels or health. Like drinking warm lemon water in the mornings. That is helpful. But it isn’t a game-changing breakthrough.
I’d like to propose that there is only one thing you really need to know to make game changing breakthroughs in your life. Just one.
If you don’t know and understand your own mind, personality, body, likes and dislikes, energy boosts and energy drags, nothing else you do will ever be more than an incremental inch forward.
Are you more productive in the morning, afternoon, or evening?
How long can you focus – actually focus?
Do networking events excite you or bore you?
Does brainstorming fire you up or drag you down?
If you don’t understand these kinds of things about yourself, you will never be able to manage your life and business in a way that makes you productive, happy, successful, and fulfilled. Things will always feel a bit off because you aren’t playing to your own inner strengths.
The same is true of all the “skills” you need to learn to run a business. There is something you are amazing at. It flows naturally and when you do it, it doesn’t even feel difficult or like work. It feels fun. And others around you don’t understand it all because they don’t have the talent, or genius, that you have.
You can learn every marketing tip, every sales strategy, all the latest tactics to “grow a seven-figure business!” but if those things aren’t your genius, you will struggle. And you won’t feel good about it.
There are many aspects to running a business that you have to do as an entrepreneur whether or not you are great at it, there is no getting around that. But there are ways you can manage your energy, time, and skills to make it easier on yourself. Ideally, at some point you can delegate some of the things that are at the bottom of your skills or energy list to an assistant – physical or virtual.
I struggled for months with how to explain what I do. Branding, copy, and marketing were areas where I just did not excel, and the words never came out right. If I talked with you for five to ten minutes, you’d be nodding your head and totally on board with my philosophy and how I help entrepreneurs and big thinkers, but I couldn’t convey it in 90 seconds or on my website.
Finally, I made the decision to get help if I really wanted my business to take off. I was able to pay for that branding and marketing help, which I understand not everyone can do, but making that change freed me up to focus on my work while someone else told my story in a way that others could understand.
I’ve also focused on understanding my strengths and personality over the past year and am now able to understand how I should schedule my days, which makes a significant difference in my energy levels. Mornings aren’t good for me, so that is the time I do more base business work like sending emails, scheduling meetings, scheduling social media post, etc.– things that don’t require significant amounts of brain power and energy.
Early afternoons are a great time for me to have one-on-one or small meetings. I’m more energized and I love talking business or brainstorming with a small group. From there, I can put my head down and focus for a few hours and produce content, do research for clients, and focus on bringing in revenue because I’m energized from my small group meetings.
I know that if I have a meeting that will be emotional or not incredibly creative, I shouldn’t plan to do any kind of networking afterwards, because I will be mentally tired.
These are all things I would not know if I hadn’t taken the time.
There are free and paid personality tests online that can help you get started. They all measure different things in different ways. Not every single one you find will be helpful, and the most important thing to remember is that no one personality type is set in stone. These are general guides to how you think and how you operate.
Here are some of that I recommend:
Myers Briggs is the most well known and you should definitely know your type, but don’t stop there. For me, the introvert/extrovert piece of this and learning more about what that means for me was the most important revelation from learning my MBTI.
Find out your Big Five. See how you stack up on 5 major dimensions of personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Extraversion, and Neuroticism.
Learn your strengths with the Gallup Strengthsfinder. It costs $15 to take the online test or you can get the book, which comes with a code to take the test. I recommend the book, so you can dig in even more.
Intentional Creation Test – Find out how your thoughts support you in creating your goals and dreams or if they attempt to sabotage your efforts. The base test is free, but there is a cost for the “full report”
Get your Fascination Advantage and learn how others see you. The express test is $20, and the “full report” is $47.
Learn your Love Language for free. This one will help even in business, because you learn what types of incentives and recognition is most meaningful.
Remember to take all of these tests with a grain of salt. You are not defined or bound by the results. Often, doing more research is where your key takeaways will come from. For example, find out more about what being an introvert or extrovert means, or where a certain strength can be really beneficial.
Once you’ve learned more about yourself, begin to pay attention to where different aspects of your personality come into play in real life. How do you feel after certain types of events or meeting? Does it line up with what you learned in the tests?
Truly knowing yourself is a lifelong process. One or two (or one hundred) tests won’t give you all the answers, and your results will likely change over time. But you do have to start somewhere. And until you have a baseline, most of the incremental changes you make after reading “10 steps to…” articles won’t really apply to you anyway.
Take one of the tests listed above and let us know the results. What was surprising to learn about yourself?