There are many things that can give entrepreneurs an advantage over their competition. Unique life experiences. Strong leadership capabilities. Or even being able to assemble a high-performing, driven team.
But like so many other aspects of life, you are your most valuable asset. This is especially true when you bring unique skills to the table--abilities most people don't have.
The challenge, of course, is recognizing where your gifts lie and then finding ways to capitalize on them. Though this certainly isn't easy, here are three signs to look for to start the process.
1. You fly through current tasks with ease.
Does your current workload seem almost too easy? While being able to quickly get through tasks may help you feel more productive, easy work rarely leads to long-term job satisfaction.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Jordan Bolch, producer, recording artist and co-founder of luxury streetwear brand Six Feathers and private recording company Auricle Studios. Bolch has made a name for himself by fusing a wide range of musical genres as a recording artist, while also using his master's degree in business to build a successful career as a publisher, investor, and serial entrepreneur.
Bolch noted how being a successful artist requires never allowing yourself to become complacent. People who are gifted may find their current set of responsibilities too easy or simplistic. Those who go on to make a difference are never content with the status quo. They look for new challenges and new skills they can master to create even more value.
As one way to capitalize on this, author Amy Morin recommends setting 30-day challenges for yourself to better reach meaningful goals. Consider using this template as you find new ways to apply your talents and challenge yourself.
2. People are constantly coming to you for advice.
A key sign that you're uncommonly gifted is when you are the one that people rely on for help. You could be receiving these requests from coworkers, neighbors or even family members. Sometimes, it may be for something related to your industry or business. Other times, it could be related to a hobby or other talent that comes naturally to you.
Pay attention to what people come to you for, and consider leveraging your skills in that area for a side hustle. With the right business acumen, these side hustles can eventually grow into a full-fledged brand.
As Jeff Haden has noted, studies show your chances for success increase, the more you focus on your core strengths and natural talents. Identifying the areas that people regularly come to you for help is an easy way to identify where you have natural abilities that can be used in an entrepreneurial way.
If you are constantly using your skills to help others, it could be well worth considering how you might turn this into a viable business opportunity.
3. You frequently find better ways to get things done.
Talented people aren't content with the status quo. They look for ways to innovate within their niche. Success largely stems from looking for new ways to solve problems and being willing to try things that haven't been done before.
If you are unusually skilled in a particular area, chances are you're constantly thinking of ways you could make improvements. Whether that involves streamlining your tasks at work or coming up with a new programming solution to solve your company's current inefficiencies, you want to try new things that make a difference.
One way to achieve this is through developing a beginner's mind--or a willingness to let go of old constraints that lead to conventional answers. Skilled individuals are looking for new innovations, which can give you the spark needed to start your own business or the leverage to advance your career at your current company.
When you get these ideas, what's most important is that you are willing to fail. Even the most talented people experience failures and setbacks, but they use these experiences to fuel even greater growth. Skill, hard work, and grit, are the attributes that will ultimately deliver the best way of doing things.
I believe that all of us have certain areas where we are more skilled than others. Whether these abilities seem to come naturally or are the result of persistent hard work, you shouldn't let your talents go to waste.
Whether you use your unique skills to launch a business or move up within your company, capitalizing on your abilities will allow you to build the future you want for yourself.