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July 15, 2010

How to leverage your talents and do the things you enjoy

Stop whatever else you're thinking of doing and let me ask you a very important question: If you do the next thing you have planned, will you be doing something that you enjoy and something that benefits the business?

In other words, will you be working in your core competency?

Or, is the next thing you have planned something that you have to do because no one else will do it?

Tough questions, I know. But these are the type of questions we should be asking ourselves all day, every day. And there's no one that gets tugged and pulled in so many different directions than the leaders of the business. You're expected to have all the answers whether it's questions about accounting, payroll, staffing, marketing, operations, advertising and even the name and phone number of the guy who fixes the fax machine!

It's no wonder we can feel schizophrenic at times.

At the most basic level, we're always striving to achieve two goals. The first is a personal goal: to spend more time doing those things that we enjoy. The second goal is a business goal: to develop freedom systems and freedom teams so we can continue to do what we love and remain in our core competency.

How one man's dream was thwarted

Too often those goals are out of sync. I have a friend who had a very successful administrative position in the city government but had grown frustrated with the bureaucracy and management issues he dealt with each day. For years, he dreamed of someday running his own landscaping business. His yard was always the most beautiful on the block and he enjoyed building stone walls and patios for himself and the neighbors. If you had a question about a flower or tree you were thinking of planting, he was the person to talk with first.

So it came as no surprise one day when he resigned his administrative position and started his own landscaping business. As the business grew, however, he found himself stuck doing all the administrative work for the business. He wasn't working on patios and decks or designing yards with beautiful trees and flowers anymore. He was dealing with the same administrative issues he was trying to get away from!

He wasn't working in his core competency. I see it quite a bit among my clients. They begin businesses that leverage their passion but over time, they gradually take on other roles because no one else can or is willing to do them.

Are you 'rich'?

Remember, people who do what they love are rich. I don't necessarily mean financially rich because that's not the sole essence of rich. Instead, I mean people who do what they love are happy with their portion.

The secret to be happy with your portion is to live in your core competency. Your core competency is your special gift. It's your innate talent. It's that thing you are 'genetically encoded' to do. You'll know it's your core competency because it's something you do with near perfect performance, on a consistent basis and will seem nearly effortless to you. It's something that gives you energy and attracts other people to you.

Your core competency is what makes you happy. It's what you feel most passionate about. You find rejuvenation when you're in your competency. Most likely, it's what you do best, because it comes from the 'core' of your being. It's natural.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President