One day you woke up and decided to become a business owner or a solo practitioner. It may have been when you were five years old or after an unfulfilling career in corporate America. It may have come from a need, or passion, or both. Either way, one of the reasons you made this decision is to do what you are best at; whatever that is.
But are you doing the things you are really good at? Are you fulfilling a strong desire or passion through your business, or are you sitting behind your computer wondering why things aren't working? We all have natural talents and strengths; what are yours?
This week I received a call from a solopreneur who couldn't understand why he was feeling unmotivated and deflated about the state of his business. When I asked him what he does each day he recited a litany of boring tasks – I know they are boring to him because his voice was flat and lifeless. When I asked him how he'd prefer spending his working hours he said that he loves the challenge of thinking of the next great idea, proposing it, closing the deal and building relationships. His voice became bright and hopeful as he focused on his passion.
The bottom line is that this man is a socializer and creator. His follow through is poor and his relationships - and his bank account - suffer because of it. It's no wonder; trying to force a socializer/creator type into the doer position is like fitting a square peg into a round hole! It will never work for long term and if you try to force it, your life and business will suffer.
For the most immediate relief to his pain, my distraught caller has two choices; he can outsource or bring someone aboard to execute the plan or he can go to work for a company who needs an outstanding relationship builder. What's most important is that, since our conversation, he is aware that there is nothing wrong with him; he simply isn't focusing on his strengths. Once he removes himself from what he sees as the drudgery of execution, this soloist will thrive.
What are your strengths? How much of your day is spent doing what you most enjoy? Knowing your strengths and focusing on your needs will bring you joy and help your business grow. You may think you know yourself well, but doing an assessment may bring the answers to a long-standing mystery. What do you need to change to take your business to the next level?
There are many wonderful assessment tools available to us today. I highly recommend that you find one that's right for you to gain a greater understanding of yourself and to position your business for growth. For a simple, yet powerful assessment pick up a copy of Tom Rath's StrengthFinder 2.0. Work smart on your business, do what you are best at, and enjoy the results in 2011!
MARLA TABAKA is a small-business adviser who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness. @MarlaTabaka