In case you didn't, here it is: they're all left-handed.
Throughout time, left-handedness has had a mostly negative connotation, from evil superstitions to clumsiness. We may have come a long way since then, but there's no denying that our world was designed for right-handers. As a southpaw, I've lost count of the number of times I struggled to use a pair of scissors or jostled elbows with people sitting beside me.
But being left-handed isn't so bad. As part of the 10 percent of the population that is left-handed, being in such a group has taught me to navigate through obstacles and has given me some valuable lessons on life and business.
1. Adapt to tricky situations.
As a leftie, there is going to be extra fiddling whenever I use a new device that caters to right-handers. Since this situation happens often, it's become second nature to manage my way around things.
Finding an obstacle doesn't mean it's time to give up. It means you need to develop strategies to overcome the inevitable hurdles that show up whenever you work towards a goal. If you can get through them, you will grow and learn from the experience.
2. Balance action with caution.
Studies have shown that left-handers have a more cautious cognitive approach to problem-solving than right-handers. While right-handers tend to be more impulsive, left-handed people take longer to start a task and are more careful.
Both impulsiveness and caution have their benefits and drawbacks. When you put various people on a team that exhibit both qualities, they balance each other out so that a company can move forward, but not without thinking things through first.
3. Find a loyal niche that needs what you have to offer.
There's a very good chance that I'm always going to be left-handed. Like everyone else though, I like to surround myself with things that make my life easier to navigate.
So when I found a pair of left-handed scissors from a store that sells left-handed items, I was ecstatic. I also realized that when it comes to focusing on a target market, catering to a small, loyal group of enthusiastic fans beats trying to cater to everyone's needs, which can end up targeting no one at all.
4. Be empathetic to others.
Left-handers, who are right-brain dominant, are better at reading people's expressions and non-verbal cues. Right-handers, on the other hand, tend to focus more on the words being spoken.
A lot, if not most, of our communication is non-verbal and said through our expressions and body language. Understanding other people and knowing how to respond are important skills for succeeding in our personal and work lives.
5. Find creative ways to solve problems.
Studies have found that left-handers are more likely to have divergent thinking, which means they tend to generate many possible solutions to solve problems. Divergent thinking is even more prevalent in left-handed males.
Generating numerous alternatives can lead to new discoveries and innovations, while increasing the efficiency of your everyday work processes. Regardless of whether you're left or right-handed, you can encourage divergent thinking by reading books on a variety of topics and ideas.
6. Visualize the possibilities.
Left-handers tend to have better spatial awareness and visualize scenarios better than their right-handed counterparts, since these skills are found in the right side of the brain. This skill comes in handy when driving a car and solving puzzles.
As an entrepreneur, visualizing scenarios is a valuable way to imagine what to do next. When you envision what's possible, you can work on goals that move you forward in leaps and bounds.
7. Stay committed to your goals.
A study in Edinburgh compared the reactions of left- and right-handers during and after watching a scary film. They found that left-handers were more scared and experienced greater anxiety overall, which fits in with other studies that have found left-handers suffer from anxiousness more.
Worrying isn't all bad, though. Anxiousness is also linked with higher concentration levels and ability to carry through with a task. To become good at any skill, you're in it for the long haul. If you want to succeed in your work, stay focused and don't get veered away by shiny distractions.
Thinking differently and approaching life in an unconventional way can present numerous advantages in work and business. Whatever your secret superpower is (and yes, being left-handed is a superpower), use it wisely and you'll find new opportunities opening themselves to you.