Don’t Dilute Your Genius
5 Ways You Might Be Shooting Yourself in the Foot
Build upon strengths and weaknesses will gradually take care of themselves.
~Joyce C. Lock
Joyce C. Lock is a poet.
You’ve probably never heard of her.
She’s not at all famous.
She doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page.
But Joyce has a great many people who really love her work.
And I can tell you why: she’s great at writing very accessible spiritual and inspirational messages that appeal to lots and lots of people.
She grew up in the church around missionaries, preachers and evangelists.
Her strengths are her knowledge of spirituality and her ability to write messages that inspire – messages that people remember. And share.
Now don’t think I’m trying to get religious on you. Not at all.
I use this example because I know this sort of poetry doesn’t appeal to everyone.
It’s not supposed to.
That’s the point.
As any good poet should, Joyce speaks to people.
But she doesn’t try to be the most popular poet out there.
She’s just being the best poet she can be for a very specific audience.
And Joyce’s audience thinks she’s a genius.
5 signs you’re diluting your genius
Don’t Dilute Your Genius
What do you think would happen to Ms. Lock’s audience if she were to start writing poems about gardening or basketball or pet food? My guess is her readership would fall off a cliff. If she abandoned what she knows to write about more popular topics, she’d be shooting herself in the foot. She’d be diluting her particular brand of genius.
Are you diluting YOUR genius?
Let’s take a look…
5 Signs You’re Diluting Your Genius
- You focus on your weaknesses. Let’s face it: there’s very little room for you (or anyone else) to actually improve what you’re weakest at. Some experts say the best you can hope for is a 10-20% improvement in those areas. However, opportunity to improve on the things you’re strongest at is virtually limitless. In fact, when you start with your dominant talent and add skills, knowledge and experience, you set yourself up to be wildly successful. Because you’re building upon your true self. Your talents. Your background. Your passion. You’re building on a strong foundation, not a weak one.
Why ‘fixing’ your weaknesses is a fool’s errand
- Your goals are not your own. When you went into coaching, you probably had some specific reasons. Maybe you wanted to help people. Maybe you wanted more freedom in your life. Maybe you wanted to make a lot of money in a fast-growing industry. None of those goals is better or worse than the other. But if you think your goal should be helping people when all you really wanted was to sleep late on weekdays, you’ve lost sight of why you became a coach. You’re letting other people’s goals drive you. Set your goals. Own them. Live them.
- You beat yourself up. When something goes wrong you dwell on it. You can’t let it go. You berate yourself. You toss and turn at night asking yourself why you couldn’t see it. But you know what? In small business, something will always go wrong. Why would you spend your energy twisting in the wind over something you can’t change? Why not look instead at how you can leverage your strengths to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
Are you diluting your particular brand of magic?
- You can’t (or won’t) ask for help. There are things you do better than anyone else. Focus on them. Build on them. Become the best of the best at those things. Leverage your talent and your confidence. There’s no shame in admitting you’re a better coach than a poet. There’s no shame in asking for help with the parts of the coaching business you’re not as good at. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a coach is to get a coach – for yourself.
- You completely ignore your weaknesses. It’s super important to recognize and acknowledge where your weaknesses are so they can’t sneak up on you. Don’t stick your head in the sand. Don’t pretend they don’t exist. Instead, make a list. Face up to it. Avert disaster by knowing better than anyone else where your weaknesses lie and who and what you can put in place to mitigate them. Find people who are really strong at the things you’re not quite as good at. Then hire them.
Always swim ‘downstream’ towards your strengths
You don’t have to be the best at everything.
You just have to be the best at your thing.
You just have to pursue your own goals, stop beating yourself up and learn to ask for help.
Only then can you build on your strengths – on your pure, undiluted genius.
The rest will take care of itself.