I didn’t get it ….
You see, I’ve always been an overachiever. I did all the AP classes in high school, every extracurricular in the book, and even won enough scholarships to go to university for free.
And, that pattern simply carried through from high school to when I got accepted into one of Canada’s most competitive business schools.
I thought I had to work hard, be well-rounded, and excel at everything.
Instead of focusing on my strengths, I focused on my weaknesses.
I got better at accounting and finance instead of just honing my public speaking skills.
I bought into the “no pain no gain” mentality and that “nothing worth having comes easily.”
I always raised my hand for the hardest projects that would challenge me most (but also made me highly stressed since it wasn’t my forte).
This never worked out well because I worked tirelessly at stuff I hated only to have a good resume that employers would admire.
Then, after graduating from business school with an honors degree tucked under my arm and a bucketload of burnout, I carried out the same pattern which left me with three failed tech startups.
There I was again, building projects that were hard, challenging, and not aligned with my greatest strengths. Yet, I was in Silicon Valley now where the pressure is extra high and the cost of rent matches it.
I had meetings with investors, pitched my ideas in attempts to get millions of dollars in funding, and even got into a prestigious pre-accelerator (on a full scholarship of course) program taught by a billionaire venture capitalist.
I did an insane amount of research and tried to learn how to code because I couldn’t find a technical co-founder.
I networked, slapped on name tags at events, and went to meetups every night to mingle with some of the brightest minds in the Bay Area. I was averaging 2 -3 events per day.
I even picked up some research work with XPRIZE to help win a $100M dollar grant (yes, million) and did some freelance work on the side for an angel investor — as if running a start-up full-time wasn’t enough.
…and yet all 3 start-ups failed.
When it came time to toss in the towel on start-up number three and give up my tech dreams for good, I was taking the week off. I was away at a log cabin up in the Canadian woods in the middle of now-where. You know, where the wifi is bad enough for you to actually sit still and think.
Then, I had my BIG revelation: “what if I just did what I was good at?”
You see, my whole life I did NOT just “do what I was good at.”
I strived and struggled and pushed fervently.
I stayed up way too late, only to get up way too early.
I aimed for all the gold stars and pats on the back.
And I burnt out trying to be the best at everything in order to feel “good enough” deep down inside.
After my three tech startups failed, I moved back home to Canada and in with my parents to figure out my life and get it together. I had two options: start a fourth business OR call up the employers that offered me jobs after business school and see if they still needed an extra set of hands.
For the first time in my life, I courageously chose to lean into what I was already excellent at and solely focus on it.
I decided to give entrepreneurship one more shot. (You know, my soul had a vision for my life that I just couldn’t shake. If you have a similar burning dream in your heart, then you know what I mean). So, I gave myself some rules and promised to do the exact opposite of what I had been doing my whole life.
With my fourth business, I vowed it would be different this time:
- I would do what was easy for me.
- I would pursue what came naturally.
- I would cash in on my greatest strengths.
- And, I had to build something I could create with my own two hands. (AKA the opposite of coding a platform for millions of Americans).
Little did I know that I was starting to identify and tap into my zone of genius.
My digital business started writing a blog, which turned into ebooks and coaching clients.
I made my first sale.
(Which was great because my startups all earned me a big grand total of $0.00).
Then, it shifted into a top-rated podcast and online courses.
I loved it, it was fun, things were easy, and making money felt like fun versus a grind.
Income flowed easier, clients rolled into my life, and things started to click. Whereas in the past, I hustled for everything and worked my tush off to get straight A’s and good internships.
For the first time, I really understood what “flow” meant and the magic of staying in your true genius versus being mediocre at several skills.
The biggest eye-opener was that I could see real-world success from simply being my true authentic self, teaching what I knew to be truly transformational, and sharing my gifts.
When I made my first $2,000 in my business it felt like “holy cow, I can’t believe I got paid for this!”
Then, it turned into earning consistent $5k and $10k months. Then it grew into $25k months and beyond.
Little by little, I was building a 6-figure business simply by finding my zone of genius and monetizing it.
So, what does this mean for you?
All the magic lies in doing what comes most naturally to you.
If you’re building the biggest, baddest, hardest thing only to “prove” yourself like I was, then I encourage you to lean into ease.
If you’re stuck and don’t know what to create, turn to your zone of genius and see what you can sell based on it.
If you’ve been conditioned to believe that the struggle and hustle (that leaves you exhausted at the end of the day) is what you gotta do in order to feel worthy, then I invite you to let that go.
Fate is a funny one.
Ironically after all that searching, striving, and screwing up entrepreneurship, I ended up mastering it and becoming a business coach.
And, this whole “focus on what you’re good at” stuff carried with me.
I coined something called “The Genius Framework” and now, I help visionaries find their zone of genius and monetize it with a digital business so that they can cash in on their greatest gifts, do the work they were born to do, and make a full-time income in a way that fills their spirit.
Here are 3 ways to find your zone of genius and monetize it:
- Find your genius. Think about what you know intuitively, what you’ve been great at your whole life, and what you know so well (that perhaps no one ever taught you to do).
- Build an offer around your genius. Now, with that in mind, what can you sell based on that? A digital service? An online course? A group coaching program? A workshop you host for corporations?
- Figure out which mindset blocks are holding you back from doing this. Is it the “I have to work really hard to make money” block? Or, the “if I comes so naturally to me, I can’t charge for it” mentality? Get clear on the stories that are stuck in your noggin and unlearn them.
So, my dear friend, I hope this supported you and these words found you on a day when you exactly needed to hear it.
All my best,
P.S. Want to build a digital business based on your genius? Take my free quiz called: “What’s Your Zone of Genius?”
In turn, I’ll send you a free 5-paged report that outlines what your zone of genius is, how you can monetize it with a digital business, and break down how you could be making $10k months based on your unique genius.