You’ve probably heard it a million times in business: Leverage your strengths. Gary Vaynerchuk talks often about betting on your strengths. Tim Ferriss said, “You don’t succeed because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.”
But what does it really mean to leverage your strengths, why does it seem difficult to do, and how can you leverage yours?
To leverage your strengths is more than simply using your strengths. It means you intentionally seek out ways to make the best use of your natural talents in order to develop them into strengths.
Leveraging your strengths is sometimes difficult to do because we live with our strengths every day. Gallup® explains it as, “Like the New Yorker who no longer hears the sirens and horns, we are so close to our strengths that we don’t see them anymore.”
Here are three ways to start leveraging your strengths today:
- Identify how and where this specific strength helps you in your business: By identifying when you’re using a particular strength (i.e. in what activities you’re using it) and how often you’re using it, you can start to identify more opportunities to use that particular strength and be more purposeful in putting yourself into situations where you can apply that strength.
- Exercise: Play the Peaks and Pits game to help you identify potential areas of strength by looking at the strong and weak moments of your day.
A peak is an activity where you feel energized, confident, passionate, authentic, powerful, or when you’re thinking, “I can’t wait to start this,” “I could do this forever,” “This is fun,” etc. A pit is an activity when you feel frustrated, drained, bored, disjointed, distracted, and when you’re thinking, “I hate doing this,” “Will this ever end?”, and “Thank goodness this is nearly over.”
Draw a line down the center of a sheet of paper and track your peaks on one half and your pits on the other half. Or download a free Peaks + Pits printable planner page from The Strong Business Planner™ here. Do this exercise every day for one week and then look for patterns. Are you spending too much time in your pits? Are you frustrated more times than you are energized and excited?
2. Identify how and where this specific strength helps your clients: Your strengths will not only support you, but will also support your clients in areas they are weak. Think about how your particular strengths can impact the life or business of your clients. Where do they need you the most right now? What strengths do you have that can help them accomplish their goals? What strengths do you have that can impact, influence, empower, encourage, and support your client?
- Exercise: Think about a current client (or your ideal client). Write one of your strengths at the top of a piece of paper. Now, take five minutes to journal on how that particular strength can impact, influence, empower, encourage, and support that client. Are there areas of strength you’re not tapping into like you could (or should) be? How can your client benefit from your areas of strength?
3. Discover your strong moments: A strong moment is a time when you feel awesome, confident, connected, courageous, empowered, energized, inspired, lit up, positive, powerful, refreshed, and whole. The goal is to find a moment when you can say, “I feel strong when…”. To clarify your strong moments, think about why you feel that particular feeling. Get to the root of that strong moment.
For example, let’s say you’re a Brand Strategist and help your clients rebrand as their business evolves. This lights you up inside and you really look forward to these rebranding projects. Why do you love these projects? It may not even be the rebranding tasks themselves. You may find that you love helping your client transform their brand; you enjoy the smile you see on your client’s face when they see their new branding. THAT is your strong moment.
Now, look to intentionally recreate those types of moments in your business.
- Exercise: Answer the following questions:
- How can you create more moments in your business that make you feel that way?
- Confirm your moment by creating a strength statement. Complete the sentence: “I feel strong when…”.
- Clarify by getting to the root of that feeling/moment. Why do you enjoy that particular activity or task?
- What is your strong moment?
How will you leverage your strengths today?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joy Martinez is a Personal Strengths Empowerment Coach, Owner of StrengthsDNA and The Strong Business Planner™, and Podcast Host at The Strengths Empowered Entrepreneur. She empowers entrepreneurs and coaches to discover, appreciate, leverage, and support their unique talents and strengths so that they can show up unapologetically as their authentic self, lead with purpose, and create more success, joy, and impact in their business and in the lives around them.
You can connect with Joy on social media under @StrengthsDNA or in her Facebook community, The Strengths Empowered Entrepreneur, where she provides guidance, tips, and coaching on topics such as personal strengths development, self-mastery, positive psychology, personal brand, leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, and business success.