Last week we spoke about the key to finding your intrinsic motivation and using it to energize your passion at work which is to focus on your strengths. If you’re honest with yourself, you probably don’t know exactly what you’re passionate about. You’ve been so busy serving as a good employee that you may have lost touch with what you’re passionate about. Most of you want to feel like you make a difference at the end of the day, that you helped the world to become a better place by helping others or creating something beautiful to inspire others. You may not be a doctor, a teacher, or an artist, but you can create that same sense of “meaning” in your job. In fact, it’s there already—you’ve just been stepping over it.
Too often people “search” for their passion. They run from job to job, relationship to relationship, place to place searching for passion – only to repeat the same burnout and dissatisfaction. They don’t know how to set the stage for passion. Passion doesn’t have to be searched for. You simply have to be still, quiet the noise and set the stage and your passion will become clear. Certain environment, activities, people and self-thoughts will kill any possibility of passion in your life.
Passion + Unique Ability
Your Passion is what ultimately fulfills you – makes you feel like you made a difference for what is important to you. Your Unique Ability is the activities you not only are terrific at, but that actually give you energy and “charge your batteries”.
Passion is the driving “force” – your energy. Unique Ability is the “activities” you do – your strengths.
Your Unique Ability is a combination of your talent, the passion you have for using it, and the value it creates. The goal is to work 70% of your time within your Unique Ability. Don’t waste time improving your weaknesses. Spend time in your Unique Ability and dump the rest that does not serve you.
Our Mentor, Steve Riley, introduced to us to an exercise created by his mentor, Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach® (www.strategiccoach.com ), The Unique Ability Exercise. We added our own twist to The Unique Ability exercise and it has worked very well for us personally.
Step 1: Answer the following questions.
What things are you NOT so good at?
What things do you NOT enjoy?
What things are you ok at, not great, but ok?
What things are you really good at?
What things are you really great at AND you find fulfillment in doing them? They recharge your spirit and your energy.
What kinds of actions or projects do people most often compliment you on?
Do you see a pattern concerning these expressions of appreciation, gratitude, and acknowledgment?”
Do people keep acknowledging you for similar qualities or skills?
Step 2: Ask 10 people (personal and professional) the following questions.
“What words would you use to describe me?
“What activities do I do well?
“Where do I have endless commitment and passion in my life?
In considering the answers your friends, family and colleagues have given you, review your Unique Ability answers and if necessary, revise. Be sure anything you are adding isn’t just something you are great at, but that it fulfills and energizes you. Don’t waste time and energy to correct “weaknesses”, let it go and don’t get sucked into “well I’ll do it but I don’t really enjoy it”. Some weaknesses can be corrected, like physical weakness, smoking or obesity. But most weak points are inherent in you. The correct response to them is not to try to eliminate them but to put yourself in situations where they are irrelevant or insignificant. It is imperative to know your Unique Ability so you can create the job and life you want and that enables you to get on an eternal growth track.
Once you discover your passion and unique ability, you’ll have to learn how to honor it. As an intrepreneur, it will be a balancing act that you’ll have to continually monitor. There will always be certain tasks that you’ll be required to perform that you’re not good at, or that you dislike. As the responsible team player that you are, you’ll be tempted to force yourself to just do it. You’ll just suck it up and take one for the team. That’s all well and good, and something to be done on occasion; but do it with awareness. Monitor your feelings and moods as you do these non-unique ability tasks, so that you don’t lose your passion, energy, good humor, momentum, and productivity. Know your own limits. If you keep saying “yes!” to every one of these tasks because you’re a “do-gooder” and team player, you’ll end up spending 80, 90, or 100% of your workday engaged in non-unique ability work, and you’ll grow to hate the job you once loved, and wonder why you’re going home from work exhausted.
If you still stuck and wondering “what the heck is my passion?” We recommend you hang out with the right people; they will help unleash it for you. There’s an old saying, “Show me your friend, I’ll show you who you really are.” Hang with the right people, those who call you to be your best, believe in you and encourage you. They don’t “YES” you and let you get away with playing a small game in life (or your BS) and they don’t expect perfection, but expect you to share your greatness over the long-term for a lifetime.
These are the ones who not only call you to be the best that you can be, but who refuse to let you be any less. The right people don’t let you sell yourself short. They believe in you, and encourage you to believe in yourself. They may be in a position as mentors or serve as role models.
No flame of passion can ignite or continue to burn in a vacuum. A world of negative, passionless, going-through-the-motion, goal-free people is a vacuum and an emotional vampire. It will suck out any passion that you have or worse yet, never allow you the space to discover yours.
Stay tuned for 4 more keys to finding your passion. Until then, remember, “When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.”
Websters Definition of Passion: a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept
Our Definition of Passion: knowing exactly what your next day will look like, the Top 3 things you are going to knock out of the ball park and knowing you are X amount of money away from making your monthly revenue goal (i.e., money in your pocket). And you even look forward to getting up the next morning.
What motivates people to do…well…anything?
That’s the gazillion dollar question that business owners, business consultants, and “employees” have been asking since the day that the guy who invented the wheel started hiring people to design, make, and sell wheels.
Motivational speakers get large amounts of money from business owners at conference centers all over the world to motivate the troops, even though research has shown that you can’t really motivate another person, at least not for any length of time. You can dangle carrots and wield sticks that will have short-term effects that appeal to an individual’s susceptibility to greed or fear but, over time, even these motivators will work less and less effectively.
You may not be able to motivate someone else, but you can discover what motivates you, and use that awareness to unlock all the latent creative talents and passion within yourself. Intrinsic motivation that comes from the inside out is the only lasting passion that will be there day after day, and won’t take a constant stream of reminders, nudges encouragement, threats, and bribes to maintain. As an “intraprenuer” (employee), you must find your passion; but part of your role is also to guide your team to finding their talents for themselves.
But how do you find this hidden motivational switch? What inspires one person to do her job with passion, while another equally gifted person may perform the same task begrudgingly or compliantly, doing only the minimum required “to get by”? Why is one person inspired to do one particular task, but laissez-faire about another? How many of us feel happy that it’s Monday and we know exactly what our week is going to look like? You spend at least 8-9 hours a day at the job; almost 25-30% of your week. If you are a ‘clock watchin’ kind of gal you are missing something really important in your work life – passion.
Sadly, many people don’t enjoy their work. What’s worse is that they have no expectation that they should. Show up for Work, look busy and collect your paycheck so you can pay your bills. And hopefully be able to get home at some point.
Being passionate about your job is more than the old cliché “Do what you love”. It’s looking forward to going to work. It’s looking at the clock at 2PM and realizing you never took your a.m. bagel out of the toaster. It’s working past ‘quitting’ time, not because you’re swamped with work, but because you were so intent you didn’t notice time. Not exactly the reality occurring in your world?
There’s a good chance that you’ve taken a variety of assessment tools to determine your psychological type, cognitive intelligence, social style, or emotional intelligence. Usually, you’re presented with a “holistic” picture of your strengths and weaknesses. Then, you’re given a prescription to help you shore up your weaknesses and learn how to flex your less-dominant modes of perception, social style, or communication preferences.
It’s definitely good to know your weaknesses; but it’s not good to spend all your time, attention, and energy compulsively shoring them up, as if you’re a malfunctioning robot that needs to be fixed.
The key to finding your intrinsic motivation and using it to energize your passion at work is to focus on your strengths.
Stay tuned for Part II where we’ll be showing you how to discovering your strengths by unleashing Your Unique Ability.
To your passion,
Molly & Laney
Leaders often fall into a leadership role wherever they go. However, it’s a slippery slope to be an individual whom provides leadership and direction and one who takes on motivating other people and enrolling them into a greater life day in and day out. It’s the key difference between managing versus leading.
You might be in a management role, which means you have specific job duties and results to achieve. However, you don’t ever want to find yourself “managing” employees if you are an entrepreneur or working for an entrepreneur. People need to manage themselves. You can hold them accountable to the results they are supposed to achieve, but team needs to come “batteries included”.
It is one thing to train a team member, help them solve a problem, or give them advice. It’s a totally separate and not advisable; to convince them they want to be on your team. Trying to motivate, encourage learning and finding ways to grow while trying to make a grumpy team member happy; or a negative team member see the positive will simply waste your time and emotional energy. (Trust us, we ARE team members (“staff”), so we know how we operate!)
Running around managing and motivating your team allows you to become their emotional crutch. They will lean on you for inspiration, and when you can’t provide it, they will quit and leave. And when they leave, they leave you with a team of others who you may have neglected who now see they get more attention and allowances with negative and non-productive energy. You reinforce a bad example.
If you are providing a positive work environment with opportunity for team to learn and grow, you won’t have to motivate and convince them to work with you, at least not if they come “batteries included”. The work environment and the opportunity in front of them is self fulfilling and self motivating. It’s your job to provide leadership (what direction should they be working towards – a common goal). It is NOT your job to jump start your team’s battery every day. Leaders empower their team to work towards a goal. Managers have to micro-manage their staff’s daily tasks because they don’t know, or don’t believe it, where the business is going.
Key Question: If you are unsure if you are managing or leading, ask yourself this.
Do people come to you to complain so you can provide the pep talk, pat them on the back and send them back to work?
Do people come to you with a problem and a proposed solution?
Pep talks only work for so long. Presenting a problem with a proposed solution rids you, and your team, of its negative impact and the reoccurrence of hand holding. And creates, nourishes and grows leaders.
Remembering when evaluating an employee; you only have so much time, money and emotional capital to spend on team members. Use it wisely; use it for “great”, not “good enough”. As long as you are employing (tolerating) that “good enough” employee, you might be missing the chance to hire that “great” one!
To learn how to transform your employee into a dream team in 90 days or less, take our FREE Analysis, “Are You Running Your Business or is Your Business Running You”? today and receive a free copy of The Ultimate Entrepreneur Support System Workbook™.
Are you stuck in a rut in your career? Do you feel somewhere deep inside that your work should be more fulfilling; that this can’t be all you were meant to do?
Sometimes you may love what you do, but feel out of control of your work environment. You might be frustrated by your company’s chaos and lack of efficiency and leave work so frustrated that you couldn’t get everything you need to get done completed.
Or maybe you are in a new job and hoping this will be “the one”. If so, you are probably nervous about how to show your new boss your full potential.
Or maybe you love your work and those you work with, and feel ready to take on more responsibility and continue your career.
Are you unsure where to go to get what you need to take the next step to fulfilling your future? Are you considering going back to school, getting more training or certifications or searching for a new, more fulfilling job?
Whether you are feeling out of control or uninspired by your current job or excited about a new one, this blog is for you. It’s a no degree required, no night classes needed way to take control of your professional life and learn to run your office, and stop letting it run you. This blog will help you realize your passion and help you find it in your professional life. That’s right; we just said passion and professional in the same sentence! It is possible! Just like it’s possible to achieve at work, while still keeping boundaries between your work time and your personal time.
In this blog we will break through many sugar-coated clichés like “leave your personal life at the door” and “the boss is always right”. Let’s be for real…. You can’t leave it at the door and the boss isn’t always right. But how do you deal with that? In this blog we’ll teach you not just how to deal with it, but how to turn it to your advantage and excel.
This blog is written for you, by people just like you. Molly and Laney walk the walk and talk the talk of a time-stressed, overachieving, worked their way up professional, just like you. We go by many names. They call us “assistant”, “secretary”, “administration support”, “support staff”, “the right hand” and at some point you have or will have been called “the assistant who really does all the work” (Tongue in cheek by some other professional trying to compliment you, of course…) None of those titles sum up that in real life, let’s face it, you are the one juggling your tasks while reminding your boss of theirs, balancing your urgent needs with theirs and doing it all while grabbing the phones for your receptionist that is late, straightening a picture on the wall no one else notices is crooked, preparing important documents for a presentation your entrepreneur is making and returning 5 phone calls they didn’t have a chance to – and that’s all during the lunch break you never take!
You will find this blog radically different than other “professional growth” blogs. First and foremost because it’s written by two people just like you. We have no fancy degrees and no psychology background; just tried and true methods learned and perfected in the field of battle – the office!
Even more than learning how to survive life with an entrepreneur, after reading this blog you will know how to find your dreams, and have the meaningful, fulfilling life you always wanted. And guess what, that doesn’t mean you have to jump up and quit your job to wander aimlessly and “find yourself”! We’ve never understood why finding yourself has to mean being unemployed and without a plan. In this blog we’ll teach you how to find your dreams, without losing the progress you’ve already made in your life. And you may find them closer to home, well closer to the office, than you think. And if you don’t, you’ll at least have the tools to recognize them the next time you are job hunting.
If you are reading this blog, you are that type of person that has that intangible quality of “getting it done”. You are probably the person people have always called when they have a problem, the one whose opinion is asked, the one who people always look to when they need someone to trust to get the job done. While that might be a great compliment, that intangible quality is hard to express in a resume. It doesn’t show up as a skill or certification. There is no degree in “trust me to get it done”. Often that inability to articulate and measure this quality results in you being underpaid, under-promoted and let’s face it, under appreciated. This blog will teach you how to harness that skill you already have, develop it and be able to clarify it to those you work for, which will result in more money, more respect and more personal satisfaction.
Welcome to The Ultimate Smart Solution™!