How To Use Our Natural Abilities As An Edge In Business
Kene Iloenyosi is the founder of Talent Revolution, a company that develops resources which help young adults discover, develop and apply their unique talents in a fulfilling career. He’s also authored two books, Finding Your Sweet Spot, & DNA of Talent (Affiliate Amazon Links).
Put Your Talents to Work
I once heard a talk by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates on why they do what they do. Mr. Buffett made a statement that still resonates with me today; “Find something you love doing and are good at, and you will love your career. I was fortunate to discover what I’m good at early in life, and I’ve stuck to that ever since.”
When I heard this, I was still running a graphic and web design firm, and was not very happy. I had started asking the question “what am I really good at, and how can I use that to serve others?” for a few years before this. With introspection and taking multiple personality and abilities assessments, the things that kept rising to the top were communication and futurist thinking. I was a Toastmaster at this time and I enjoyed speaking. I never knew this was a talent. Knowing this changed my life. I knew that the best way to give my best to the world was as a communicator, and I have been a full-time professional speaker and coach since 2012.
I have coached many people into and out of freelancing (yes, they were more suited for paid employment.) And I ask my clients the same thing; what are your talents? Most look at me like I have three heads. Why? No one has ever asked them this. Most people start a business for one reason; the need to make money. This is a survival mindset. If your sole purpose of running a business is to make money, you will stop enjoying what you do at some point, and you will not give your best to your clients.
I start with discovering the talents of the person with whom I am working because in your talent zone:
You have the capacity to do more in less time.
You are more intuitive and creative.
You learn faster in the domain of your talent.
These three things give you an edge over others. When you work in your talent zone, your work out of who you naturally are; from the inside out. When your work is dependent on your skills, you work based on what you have learned; from the outside in. And when you work in your skill zone, at some point you will burn out.
So, how do you discover your talents? Glad you asked ☺. Think back to your childhood; what things came naturally to you? How did you play as a child? What things were you drawn to? What quirks did you have? These answers are critical to understanding how you are wired. Talents are neural connections that were formed in you while you were in your mother’s womb; you were born pre-wired a certain way with certain abilities. As a child, those abilities manifest in how a child plays and interacts with others. Some kids under the age of 10 were always the ones who emerged as the leader of the group. Some liked to build stuff. Some liked to tell imaginary stories. Some liked the food on their plate not to touch each other. All these and more are sparks of your talent.
Take time to think through this first, and then go take an assessment. There are different types of assessments. Some are focused on your personality, some are focused on your natural abilities, some are focused on your interests. None is sufficient on its own, because we are a composition of so many things, and are able to express the same talents in different career paths. Discovering the talents is a first step. Understanding your personality and interests gives you a more holistic picture of how you like to work, who you like to work with and the true value you bring to them.
You are how you are for why you are. First figure out how you are wired, and then you can figure out how to best serve your clients. To discover your natural abilities, I highly recommend the Highlands Abilities Battery assessment. The feedback was so spot on for me that I now use their assessment in my coaching practice.
You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give. You only give your best in your talent zone. Don’t go into business purely for making money, focus on how you are best equipped to serve others.