Focus on Your Strengths to Grow Your Business

Focus on Your Strengths to Grow Your Business

Research into positive psychology suggests that concentrating on our strengths can contribute to a happier life.  It’s our strengths that allow us to perform to our highest level, that provide us our greatest successes, and that move us toward our higher selves.  In short, working in our strong suits is not like work at all. It’s a joy.

TRAINING IS NOT EVERYTHING

When we sit down with a pen and paper and honestly assess our strengths, often we find that some of the things we are good at simply do not jazz us.  Sometimes we even loathe them.  For example, I am trained as a bookkeeper and understand financial statements better than most small business owners. My mother was a bookkeeper, my two sisters are bookkeepers and two of my brothers are Chartered Accountants. But sitting down and entering all my accounts sucks the energy out of me.  It’s enough for me to just make sure that I get all my receipts into one place so that my bookkeeper can find what’s needed to keep my books in order. My strength then, becomes more the insight into what needs to be done to use financials as a management tool, rather than the skill of actually doing the bookkeeping.

NATURAL TALENT STILL REQUIRES DISCIPLINE

Many of my clients have told me that I write well.  And because I am in the business of communicating ideas, writing is an important part of my business.  I can think up all kinds of good material to use for our weekly newsletter. But getting it done on time is difficult for me. I’d rather be out networking or doing presentations than sitting in front of a blank piece of paper.   However, I do love to edit and I am quick at that, so it’s more productive and profitable for me to verbalize my ideas, delegate some of the writing, and then edit it before “going to press”. It also becomes a value-added service to my clients to help them make small tweaks to their own writing for greater effect.

WHAT ABOUT THE BOTTOM LINE?

On the other hand, some of the things we are good at do not contribute to our bottom line.  For example, I like playing with numbers and could spend the better part of a day playing with an Excel spreadsheet, but if I want to build my business, I need to make sales.

I believe the correct formula to a productive and prosperous business is to focus on our strengths, but those strengths that we both love and that contribute to the profitability of the business.  To do this, I suggest the following:

  1. Make a list of your strengths;
  2. Put a checkmark beside those that you both love and that help your business to be profitable. I recommend choosing only three;
  3. Focus completely on becoming even better at these strengths; and
  4. Delegate the rest.

Then watch your cash flow improve and your bottom line grow. It may be just as simple as that.

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