Do you work with anyone who enjoys asking questions when you present them with any situation?  They love asking “Why?” “How did you get that information?” “Can you verify that data?”   If you know this person, they may have the strength of Analytical®.

People with the Analytical strength love to challenge ideas. They deal largely with facts, not emotions, which can be quite disconcerting for individuals with emotionally sensitive strengths. When trying to communicate with someone who’s Analytical, emotional words and body language will be ineffective. People with a dominant Analytical strength see patterns—in the universe, in their work, in their family. They enjoy asking questions in order to identify patterns and find solutions.

Analytical people love to look through a microscope metaphorically, and often thrive in the medical research or database management fields. One risk with Analytical people is paralysis by analysis—overanalyzing something until they’re stuck. If an Analytical individual partners with someone with the Activator strength, the Activator can help the Analytical person to get going. To empower an Analytical person, show them data that supports what you’re telling them.

Is the Analytical theme one of your top talents? Are you are someone who searches for reasons and causes? Do you look at the big picture that others might miss and think about all of the issues that could affect a situation?

Monetize your Analytical theme by looking for jobs where you are paid to analyze data, find patterns, or organize ideas. For example, you might excel at research, database management, editing, or risk management.

Sandy Evans has been my accountant for over 25 years.  Whenever I ask her about retirement, she says that she will never retire and she doesn’t consider what she does work.  One day I asked her, “What is it about being an accountant that you love so much you don’t consider it work?”  Even without knowing her CliftonStrengths, I suspected Analytical had to be in her top five.

Sandy said she always wanted to do something with numbers and data.  She developed a love of data because “data always tells you the truth.”  The Analytical style thrives on “prove it.” Being the numbers and data person sometimes made her feel a bit alone.  It was not the cool thing to want to be a part of, but it was where her heart was.

After college, she went to work for a small CPA firm, and that was an eye-opening experience for her.  By watching the people that worked there, she discovered that she help them by using her Analytical® talent.  She could use her love of numbers and data to assess, analyze and assist her clients with managing risk in their business.  Her skepticism about what people said was going on in their company made her dig into their data and research what was happening, not just what the business owner thought was going on.  Sandy’s ability to ask questions, to understand how the patterns in the data fit together and affect one another, gave her small business owners the confidence to move forward in their decisions in their business.  With this ability to present the data about their business to the owners, she has become a trusted adviser for them.  Her Analytical® talent no longer makes her feel alone but a valued part of each business.

When the owner of the small CPA firm decided it was time for him to retire, the first person he thought of to purchase, the firm was Sandy.  He saw how the refinement of her Analytical strength allowed her to take her love of data and analysis not just to give the clients the basics of accounting but to build a relationship with each one of them.

Sandy jumped at the chance to be one of the small business owners and is now monetizing on a greater scale for all these years of refining her Analytical® strength.

Like Sandy knowing your strength well will allow you the freedom that Sandy found to move and work in your strength. The crucial use of the strength of Analytical is the quality of problem-solving, the precision of questions, and the excellence of decision-making.

Do you have the CliftonStrengths® theme of Analytical? If you do, what ideas do you have to make money with your Analytical strength and how will you implement them?   Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts’.

Not sure where you are and need some conversation around your unique strengths or building your business?  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

Do you know someone who can just step into a situation and fix it?  Are you someone who can make money fixing problems?  Maybe someone you work with has the “knack” to figure out more efficient ways to accomplish tasks at work.

People with the Restorative® strength love to solve problems. You love to fix things. More accurately, you are energized by trouble, complications, or quandaries on a grand scale. You thrill at finding something old or unused or broken, like a vintage car, and restoring it to its original, pristine condition.

Restorers are highly determined solopreneurs. You have the ability to overcome obstacles and persevere despite failure. According to Inc. Magazine, it’s rare to find a founder in the Inc. 500 who hasn’t experienced a dark night of the soul. And when the solopreneur’s greatest strength is Restorative, you often turn this dark night into something positive.

Bernadette Coleman, founder of Advice Interactive Group, is one such entrepreneur. In 2011, Bernadette got news that her son, Michael, was in a coma following a car crash. At the time, Bernadette’s Internet marketing company, Advice Interactive, was just getting off the ground.

For months, Bernadette and her husband Tom, the company’s CFO, ran the business from Michael’s bedside. When his hospital room became cramped, the two sat in the stairwells and pecked away on laptops. When the staff back at the office demanded leadership, the couple doubled down and worked even harder, but didn’t leave their son’s side. Then when half the staff quit, Bernadette and Tom took turns flying back to their office in Texas to hire new staff. The way they saw it, they were fighting for their son’s life and for the company.

And it worked.

Once Michael recovered, Advice Interactive’s revenue shot up to $5.9 million in 2013, up more than 1,400 percent since the family’s dark night of the soul.

Restorative people possess a grace and love for others. On a personal level, you enjoy helping those who feel broken. You have a deep need to nurture, love, and restore others. You love to fix personal problems, no matter how unlikely the odds of success. You gravitate toward situations where you can rescue a person or relationship, and in doing so bring it back to life. At the same time, it’s important to limit the problems you choose to fix. You shouldn’t try and solve all of your world’s problems just because you can.

As a coach, I worked with a young entrepreneur and Restorative—let’s call him Isiah—who founded a marketing company. Isiah actively sought out business owners with marketing initiatives that no longer worked, and he set out to replace them with new processes that did. He applied the same strength to his relationships by listening, paying attention to body language, and observing small details in order to offer solutions and feedback. His actions were all in an effort to take a dead issue or unresolved dilemma and bring it back to life. That’s what the Restorative strength is all about.

So how do you turn Restorative into income? Say you want to be a full-time speaker. You have a long history in health care, first selling health care insurance policies to businesses and later, as an administrator at a large national health care provider.

First, you must seek speaking gigs from companies and organizations looking to solve a problem. I can’t stress this enough. Your speech can be less inspirational and less motivational, and more about practical ways to identify root causes and suggest solutions. Your talk must solve a big, lingering problem. If your client doesn’t have a gigantic problem, then look for another client who does.

In fact, why not look for a business turnaround situation that others have avoided? Say you’ve identified a slice of the health care industry, such as a doctor whose practice is facing massive competition from nearby hospitals. You then tailor your speech to address specific ways this doctor’s practice can prosper in this competitive environment.

You are attracted to difficult, nearly impossible predicaments, so market your speaking gigs to the toughest, most challenging groups. Then charge higher than normal fees. In fact, charge twice what other speakers charge. These groups and companies care less about your fee and more about digging their way out of a hole. You provide the shovel and the plan, and naturally charge more than other speakers because you offer big results.

As for marketing, let everyone know you enjoy fixing problems. In a way, that’s your unique talent—the more colossal the challenge, the more energized you become. This counter intuitive approach to marketing—I mean, really, how many other speakers seek out clients in a jam—comes naturally to you and makes your marketing even easier, because most speakers shy away from problems. Most speakers offer personal stories that hint at generic solutions, but that’s not you. Your talk is about fixing a specific, tangible problem, the obstacle threatening your client’s existence.

Finally, once you do land a speaking gig, think through ways you can improve your skills and knowledge, and express that improvement to your audience. Do this by conducting pre-interviews with many people within the organization. Your aim is to get to the “real” root of the problem as the people in the trenches see it, and then reciting that problem back to your audience. In some ways, the clarity of this recitation is all that’s needed to get your audience to think differently and come up with solutions right there on the spot.

Want to discover how you can monetize your Restorative strength in your daily life?   Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

 

 

 

Do you love to see things through to completion?  Do others see you as dependable and feel they can count on you?  Are you a person who make commitments that align with and reflect your values?  If these attributes define you, then you probably have the theme of Responsibility®

Janelle is a real estate broker, and one of my coaching clients. She owns her own real estate company and has several agents who work for her. Janelle’s strength is Responsibility. Incidentally, she just had an $8 million-dollar year.

I believe that Janelle’s ability to be so successful in the midst of a struggling economy comes from her strength of Responsibility—the talent of taking psychological ownership not only in her work but in her personal life. Janelle’s inner monologue is, “I need to be the rock. I need to be dependable. I need to get it done.”

Those with Responsibility as a top talent are conscientious of details, whether it’s completing detailed paperwork or paying attention to the body language of a nervous client. You are highly ethical and committed to following the rules.

People with the Responsibility strength are chronic volunteers. Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America, must have intuitively known this from the start. In 1989, Kopp proposed the creation of Teach for America in her undergraduate thesis at Princeton University. She was convinced that many in her generation were searching for a way to assume responsibility and make a real difference in the world.

Kopp grew up in a wealthy community in Dallas, Texas. At the time, she had little understanding that where you’re born plays a big part in your access to education. When she arrived at Princeton, all of that changed. She looked around and wondered why more wasn’t being done to channel people’s energy into teaching. Eventually, she decided to turn an idea into a thesis. She studied the Peace Corps, the federal Teacher Corps, and VISTA, and she ended up proposing the creation of something altogether new: A national teacher corps, what she later called Teach for America.

While Kopp’s thesis adviser liked the idea, he thought it was unrealistic, even a bit crazy. Why would recent Princeton grads, for example, volunteer to teach for two years in some of the toughest cities in America?

Later that year, Kopp came across a front-page article in Fortune magazine describing how corporate America was taking on education reform. Kopp wrote letters to everyone quoted in the article, and she got seven meetings. One was the CEO of Union Carbide, who offered to let her use one of the company’s offices in Manhattan and introduce her around. Then an exec at Mobile loved the idea enough to donate $26,000 to the cause. Today, more than 10,000 Teach for America corps members are in the midst of two-year teaching commitments in 50 urban and rural regions.

Volunteering comes naturally to people with Responsibility. Just be sure to volunteer for activities within your specialty or niche—and in the process, become an expert.

Responsibility can be overdone. Some people run the risk of overloading themselves or feeling burned out if they are not able to balance “yes” and “no” and allow others to take responsibility for their own mistakes.

So how do you, a solopreneur with a top strength of Responsibility, turn this strength into cash?

First, take psychological ownership for the things that matter most to you. Say you are a print journalist and you were recently laid off from one of the large news organizations. You now realize one of the most important things in your work life is having not one, but many streams of income.

The big question is, how do you monetize your knowledge as a journalist? That’s easy. You can write articles, of courses, but add writing books and e-books, public speaking, and podcasting to that. Don’t forget about offering online courses to other journalists whose jobs will soon to be on the chopping block.

Align yourself with others who share your sense of commitment. If your specialty is writing about government waste, for instance, consider new products and services that focus on this small sliver of the writing world. Seek out clients who care passionately about cost control. Contact government offices, foundations that rail about overspending, and non-profit organizations and offer to write newsletters, white papers, and opinion pieces on fiscal responsibility. You can also take your experience with government overspending and pitch the idea to for-profit corporations. Consider ghostwriting books and articles for executives and corporations looking to reduce costs, or those who had success with a business turn-around in which cost control played a significant role.

My point, look for clients and colleagues who take their responsibilities as seriously as you do. Once you do get a new product or service up and running, keep going. Create spin-off ideas; say you write a white paper about counterintuitive ways to prevent government overspending. Why not turn that paper into a seven-step online video training course? Next, turn that training course into a seven-part email campaign with links to your training videos (and an upsell to buy one or more of your e-books). Then for just one step in the training, collect all customer feedback in the form of success stories, and combine both the training materials and customer stories into a short e-book. At the end of each short e-book, offer a three-month consulting or coaching program that addresses this one narrow topic.

Don’t stop now. Why not create short e-books for each of your seven steps, with coaching programs for each? There’s nothing stopping you from then combining all seven short e-books into a full-sized book on the topic.

What if you reshaped your coaching program for all seven parts into a two-day live workshop for corporate clients and charged $10,000 for this two-day event? Put on a half-dozen workshops a year, and now you are earning what the average journalist earns by working a nine-to-five.

I just suggested eighteen separate products or services to sell—white paper, video training course, email campaign, seven short e-books, seven narrowly focused coaching programs, full-size book, and finally a two-day workshop. I could go on. If what’s important to you is multiple streams of income, you can easily turn a single great idea into a franchise with multiple products.

Do you have the StrengthsFinder theme of Responsibility? Which of the eighteen separate products or services to create your multiple streams of income?   How does it help you create a clear destination? Please share your comments below.

Not sure which product or service is right for you, and you need some conversation around your unique strengths or building your business?  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

Focus® is my #1 talent theme. One example of Focus, for me, is that I first cultivated this strength when I started playing tennis at an early age, and I’ve continued to cultivate it for the last thirty-four years. I remember one of the first phrases I was taught as a tennis player: “Keep your eye on the ball.”

Focused individuals do just that. They have a natural ability to concentrate on a target. They ask themselves each day, “What is my goal? Where am I headed? Where am I going? What is my priority?”

They filter out extraneous distractions, and this is one of the things I enjoy most as a life and business coach—helping people set goals, and at the same time deciding what is extraneous, what they can do without, and what thoughts, behaviors, and actions would make their life richer if they stopped.

People with Focus enjoy creating goals. They enjoy writing purpose statements, lists, and affirmations. They enjoy reviewing their goals on a daily, even hourly basis, and they are relentless on completing what they start.

Focused people have other talents: They are adept at summarizing a meeting when ten different people have shared their thoughts, they can assess appropriate timelines and milestones, and they prioritize before they act. And, while they appear to procrastinate, they tend to do what I call incubating—sorting through data and letting it simmer before acting. They are unusually skilled at staying on track. They may naturally emphasize career goals over relationships.

When interacting with a Focused person, keep in mind that they may come across as unsentimental because they are so focused on an immediate goal that they often forget or ignore others’ feelings.

Four of my top five talent themes are in the Executing and Influencing themes.  Those of us with Executing themes want to make sure that things happen and goals are accomplished.  People who have the Influencing theme want to step up, speak up, and take charge.  We are definitely out there working to make things happen.

My Chief Strategic Officer has three of her top five talent themes in Relationship Building and two in Strategic Thinking.  People with the Relationship Building theme are working to build and nurture strong relationships.  Those with the Strategic Thinking theme are looking at situations and analyzing information to help make better decisions and create better outcomes.

She has told me on occasion that I am sometimes like working with a fire hose.  I am continually coming with new ideas that I want to accomplish.  I come at these with high energy and excitement.  Though she shares in my enthusiasm for the new ideas, her Strategic Thinking themes have her slow me down, go through the idea and find the best route.  We talk about teaming up complementing strengths, and this is an example of how it works.

How can you harness your Focus theme to create new ventures or improve your current ones?  Start with your vision – purpose for the business.  Write your top 20 Be-Do-Have list every 3 years. I know how big I want my business to be, what I want us to be known for, and how I want it to influence the world.  These are great places to start that will give you the insight you need to begin to mold your vision.

Second, track where your business stands today and yearly.  You want to answer questions such as:

  • Which of your products and services are successful?
  • How efficiently are you operating?
  • What is your current capacity in terms of staff time, facilities, equipment and information technology?
  • Do you have the resources in place to maintain your current business AND grow?

Next, create the road map to meet your vision.  My habit is to create a one page business plan of how I’am going to reach my business goals for the year. Now that you know where you want to go and understand where you currently stand, create a simple plan that will get you there. Include financials, look at how you can expand within your current clientele (you didn’t build that email list for nothing), Check out your processes to see how they fit in your growth plan or what changes need to be made.

Lastly, make time for growth.  I recommend writing out your ideal weekly calendar. Review it and follow it weekly. It takes time to implement something new or do things you already have in place differently.  Your everyday business can take your focus away from the new goals.  Make sure you keep focused daily on those new goals.  Delegate or outsource tasks, pay attention to your project plan and milestones, make sure you check in on those milestones and your progress toward them, and have an accountability partner.  Having someone to share your plans with and talk them over helps ensure you stay with it.

Do you have the CliftonStrengths theme of Focus? How do you use that Focus on growing your business?  How does it help you create a clear destination? Please share your comments below.

Not sure where you are and need some conversation around your unique strengths or building your business?  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

Discipline®

Why in the world would anyone over fifty start a business? Gallup surveyed entrepreneurs over age fifty who began businesses later in life and found that 32 percent started their own ventures because it allowed them to be independent; 27 percent wanted to pursue their interests and passions; and 24 percent wanted to increase their income.

People over fifty are often seeking purpose. They share common characteristics like flexibility, a desire for lifelong learning, a certain amount of patience and Discipline. Disciplined people crave predictability. You instinctively impose structure on your world. You set up routines. You focus on timelines and deadlines. You break long-term projects into a series of specific short-term plans, and you work the plan.

Almost a quarter of all new entrepreneurs are ages fifty-five to sixty-four. Some form a consulting firm. Others open a restaurant, art gallery, dog-walking service, landscape firm, or tutoring company. Many pursue an idea they’ve had in the back of their minds for years.

Ask Stephen McCauley what it takes to start a business at fifty, and he’ll tell you Discipline. McCauley toyed with the idea of starting his own business for years. Then around fifty, he took the plunge. As a leader in two of the world’s largest and most distinguished public relations firms, he offered diversified experience in consumer marketing, corporate publicity, issues management, food, nutrition and promotions.  After working for 28 years for those two global public relations firms, McCauley knew how to manage global teams and clients, but he had no idea how to run his own business.

The first thing McCauley did was write a business plan. People with the Discipline strength love structure and order. You prefer to have a plan and enjoy executing precise strategies. Disciplined people frequently look to control their environment, events, activities, and relationships. Part of this craving for order is because disciplined people have a great need for productivity and for maximizing results and are often big fans of “To Do” lists at work and home. Disciplined people create systems for organizing work and play.

Days later, McCauley launched the Ginger Network, offering communications advice to commercial food and nutrition clients. Today, he’s making as much money as he did when he was working for large companies, and he’s excited about all his projects.

Individuals with the Discipline strength must be careful not to miss moments of spontaneity. As counterintuitive as it seems, you benefit from learning how to “structure” spontaneity into your life—moments to do nothing but smell the roses and simply enjoy life.

Order comes naturally, which can be a helpful skill in a solopreneur. You feel that, in order to be successful, you have to follow a routine and make a habit of order in every aspect of your life. Because life is so structured, you need advance notice of changes in order to acclimate. A last-minute change, for instance, can be difficult and stressful.

So how do you turn Discipline into income? Let’s say you are an architect and want to pass the exam for LEED certification—a rigorous approach to sustainable building and design. What if you blogged about your studies, your challenges, and specific aspects of the certification process? What if you share your struggles, but also your successes, and in the process show others how to pass the exam as well?

Next, you put all of your blog posts together into a single manuscript, hire a great editor to polish the story, and turn the whole thing into an e-book you sell on Amazon for $50 a pop. Pat Flynn did something similar and earned $7,000 from his e-book in the first month of sales.

The point is to build a structure (your daily blog posts), and keep things organized (in this case, telling your story one day at a time). Next, seek out opportunities where structure exists. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, for example, offers a well-worn publishing platform for digital books. All you have to do is plug your manuscript into the platform and take advantage of the existing structure. Disciplined people love systems, so take advantage of that.

Disciplined people also love to check on things, so don’t hesitate to check as often as necessary to ensure your new book is being displayed and marketed as you like. Better, sign up for Amazon’s Marketing Services and put your marketing efforts on autopilot. Whether you’ve published one title or several, Amazon offers a soup to nuts marketing plan. Once set up, the system will promote your book alongside similar books and authors, feature new releases as soon as they publish, run continuous backlist campaigns to attract new readers, and even target readers by keyword, product, interest, genre, and author. If a reader searches for “LEED study guide,” your book shows up on the screen.

I’d also suggest you learn how to use a time-management system, or any system that gets the result you want. Amazon’s KDP takes less than five minutes to set up and your book appears on Kindle stores worldwide within 24-48 hours. You earn up to 70 percent royalty on sales to customers in the US, Canada, and other countries. You keep control of your rights and set your own book prices. Not to mention that you can make changes to your books at any time.

Finally, create automated routines that help you follow through. One area to focus on is promoting your new book. KDP Select, for instance, allows you to offer the book free for five days (and while a free book won’t generate cash, it will boost your sales numbers) or discount it for up to seven days through a Countdown Deal, a limited-time discount promotion. You can also run promotions manually. But why bother? You love systems, so use them.

If you have the CliftonStrengths theme of Discipline, what does it look like? What are the routines and structures that help you get work done?  Please share your comments below.

Not sure where you are and need some conversation around your unique strengths or building your business?  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

 

 

Are you a fairly serious person?  Do you plan ahead to anticipate what might go wrong?  When it comes to making decisions do you believe making the correct decision is always better than making a quick decision?  Then you may have the CliftonStrengths® theme Deliberative®.

People with the Deliberative strength are practical and do not think in abstracts, but in concrete, practical terms. Famed investor Warren Buffett is the poster child for Deliberative thinking. Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, speaker and philanthropist who serves as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of US $89.9 billion as of May 4, 2019, making him the third-wealthiest person in the world.

By all accounts, Buffet is a patient man, down to earth, his reasoning sound. He’s inclined to trust his own judgement when it comes to investing stock in the face of fake news, organizational cover-ups, undisclosed security and data breaches, and wide-scale deceit like Wells Fargo’s creation of millions of fraudulent savings and checking accounts for customers without their consent.

In the cutthroat world of stock investing, how is it that Buffett, a man known for his honesty and transparency, has succeeded?

The answer might be that Deliberative people are vigilant—your brains pick up on small details that others miss and, based on this data, you avoid the missteps others unknowingly fall victim to. According to Buffet, the difference between the average Joe and himself is he gets up every day and has a chance to do what he loves to do. The road to wealth sounds almost too easy, but Buffett is earnest. He loves what he does. He genuinely believes his success is a result of playing to his strengths.

The question is, why don’t more of us do the same? Why don’t we consciously use our strengths in our daily decisions?

What makes Buffett unique is that he put his strengths to work. First, he became aware that he had special talents. Second, he identified the strongest of those talents, added a dose of education and experience, and built these strengths into a business.

Deliberatives, such as Buffet and you, ponder decisions. Once a decision is made, you don’t second guess yourself, and instead double check that people follow through. Buffet turned his natural patience into a long-term vision of investing. For instance, he invests only in companies whose trajectory he can forecast with some level of confidence for the next twenty years or more. Companies like Dairy Queen, The Coca-Cola Company, and The Washington Post Company—and yes, even Wells Fargo.

Deliberatives do not often give praise. Instead, you focus on potential risks, problems, and dangers in relationships, at work, and in the world. It’s the Deliberatives’ job to find the hidden mines. You thrive at decreasing risks that may harm your business, workplace, or team.

A result of continuously scanning the world for potential pitfalls is that you are often (wrongly) seen as naysayers. When you perceive danger, you try to warn the group and encourage others to make wise decisions. You naturally help others avoid the pitfalls that could sabotage success. When others recognize your talent, you will be sought as a valuable sounding board.

So how do you turn Deliberative into cash? First, you sweat an idea, and then you go fast and far with each idea.

Say you are an executive coach and your objective is to land three new clients willing to commit to personal one-on-one coaching for twelve months or longer at a fee of $8,000 per month or $96,000 for the year. Sign up all three and you add nearly $300,000 to your existing income.

Your idea is to approach mid-level executives looking for a promotion or a position at another company if it means senior-level authority and a pay increase. First, you appraise the idea. You stop, listen, and assess. It’s way too soon for action.

You have good judgment and a tendency to see through people’s behaviors, so look for opportunities to help others think through their decisions before they act too quickly. Mid-level executives are often reluctant to ask for help, especially from others within their firm. In a way, aren’t all mid-level execs fighting for the same promotion, and thus less likely to help one another? Here is your opportunity. This is your pitch: Work with me precisely because I’m not part of your organization, and we will create a strategy for your success.

Next, you see problems as opportunities. There’s no doubt your new coaching client will list dozens, maybe hundreds of reasons a promotion to a top position is unattainable. Each of these reasons—the company is downsizing, my division isn’t as profitable as others, I don’t get along with my current boss, other executives have greater tenure, several attended an Ivy League university, and so on—are in fact an opportunity for you as a coach to work your magic, to turn this argument on its head and mentor your client in alternate ways of thinking.

As a Deliberative, you see the advantage of being conservative in your decision-making. Next, you must convince your client to do the same, to think long-term, to create a plan for success, and methodically work the plan. As an executive coach, your job isn’t to show your client how to weasel their way into a promotion, but to learn to think and act like a senior executive, and to exude these characteristics in their daily operations.

Are you like Warren Buffett putting your unique strengths to work?  What special talents do you possess? Once you identify your strongest of those talents, how can you add education and experience to build your strengths into a business you love?  Please share your comments below.

Not sure where you are and need some conversation around your unique strengths or building your business?  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

 

How important is fairness to you?  Do you try to live your life by the Golden Rule?  Do other people think that you’re predictable in the things that you do?

A person with the strength of Consistency® believes in fairness. You treat others equally. You understand that all people deserve respect, and everyone should play by the same rules. Entrepreneurs steeped in Consistency are strong at leveling the playing field and ensuring no one person is treated better, or worse, than another.

National Football League referee Edward G. Hochuli is a commendable example.   Though now retired, Hochuli was a referee from 1990 to 2018.  In a poll conducted by ESPN in 2008, Hochuli tied fellow referee Mike Carey for “best referee” votes (eight each) among NFL head coaches. After the retirements of Gerald Austin and Larry Nemmers following the 2007 season, Hochuli became the NFL’s longest-tenured referee for the next decade. Before his football officiating career started, Hochuli played college ball at University of Texas at El Paso for four seasons. He has refereed many playoff games and two Super Bowl events, and he was voted best referee by the NFL head coaches. Hochuli’s belief in rules runs deep. Not only was he an NFL referee, but an attorney at Jones, Skelton & Hochuli.

Hochuli specializes in civil litigation in the areas of Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability, Complex Litigation, Insurance Coverage and Fraud, Legal Malpractice and Professional Liability.  There are similarities between the football field and courtroom, “They don’t see themselves as traffic cops or walking rulebooks. They’re keepers of the integrity of the game.” says Jerry Markbreit also a long time NFL referee.

Those with Consistency ensure that everyone on the field follows a clear set of guidelines. In addition to following rules, as a person with Consistency, you are especially adept at recognizing other people’s strengths, celebrating them, and helping build self- esteem and self-confidence. You thrive on integrity, building team spirit and rallying a group or team to move in the same direction.

In a large family, a patriarch like Hochuli may not have a special, unique relationship with each individual because of his group-focused mindset. He may focus instead on making sure all the kids in the nest are fed and clothed the same.

That said, Hochuli’s love of officiating may have rubbed off on his son, who seems to be following his father’s career path. Shawn Hochuli served as the head referee between the Arizona Rattlers and the Jacksonville Sharks at the Arena Bowl XXIV a day after his father refereed a game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots.

So how do you earn money from Consistency? Ed Hochuli’s net worth is estimated around $6 million. If he can do it, you can too. After retiring as an NFL referee, he is now monetizing his Consistency as a consultant in the booth as a rules analyst for CBS.

Here’s how: Take time to think through the rules closest to your heart. These rules might be based upon values you consider “non-negotiable.” The greater your clarity about these rules, the clearer your path to turning Consistency into cash.

Say you are an artist—photographer, videographer, painter, craftsman, and so on, and you want to turn this passion into a successful online business. If one of your rules is to create sales copy that over-sells or over-promises (a typical practice in online marketing), then marketing your art may take on its own unique flavor. Maybe your website is a form of art and expresses your product in a way that uses little or no sales copy at all. How many websites have you seen lately that eliminate sales copy, over-sized “Buy Now” buttons, and gaudy graphics and still manage to get their message across? This counter intuitive approach alone may be enough to garner a critical mass of online attention.

Perhaps your role in the art community works to level the playing field for other artists, and in doing so positions you as “the” expert at your craft. A somewhat contrarian approach to turning Consistency into income is to promote yourself by promoting others. Cultivate a reputation for recognizing those who really deserve credit, and then be a mouthpiece for giving that credit. Ensure that respect is always given to those who truly perform well or have a new take on using old mediums. In a way, you can be the conscience of the group or community you participate in.

Do you have the CliftonStrengths theme of Consistency or know someone who might? What does it look like to you? Please share your comments below.

Not sure how you could monetize Consistency?  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk strengths.

Do you know anyone who is deeply rooted in their beliefs? A person who has given their life to a cause?  Maybe advocating for the homeless, working for a better environment or like one of my non-profit clients, their mission is to stop poverty? In this blog let’s discuss how to monetize the strength of Belief®.    

Financial guru Dave Ramsey teaches what he calls the Baby Steps to getting out of debt and building wealth. If you want to blaze through the Baby Steps, says Ramsey, there’s nothing like an extra job—and the extra cash it brings in—to turbo-charge your gazelle intensity. And while extra income is great for eliminating debt, it’s also super handy for building an emergency fund, paying off the mortgage, or beefing up your college fund or retirement nest egg.

Ramsey’s superpower is Belief and you can hear it in his voice. “For your own good, for the good of your family and your future, grow a backbone. When something is wrong, stand up and say it is wrong, and don’t back down.” ― Dave Ramsey, The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness.

After going through bankruptcy in 1988, Dave has a $125 million plus annual revenue and his Lampo Group, Inc., company oversees six divisions that focus on financial education. He has built a brand from his 6 New York Times bestsellers, The Dave Ramsey Show, and his team of 700 employees.

Dave states, “We learned early on that if we help enough people, the money will come.”

In my coaching experience, people with Belief need careers to be in line with their core values. Put a person with Belief into a work environment that doesn’t correspond with their fundamental ideology, for example, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.

When it comes to earning a little extra cash, Belief can come in handy. Many of Ramsey’s followers have paid down their debt by teaching, selling food, tending pets— really any job that cares for others.

Teaching is a good place to start. You might be surprised to learn how much people will pay you to teach them about something you love doing. All you have to do is get the word out. A follower of Ramsey, Tunde, teaches concealed handgun classes in Houston. Josh offers cello lessons. Rebecca tutors special-needs students at $120 a week. As for working in the food industry, Caitlin makes custom cakes and now earns up to six thousand dollars selling cakes each month. Mattie just started a meal preparation business and landed a 10-meal order that netted $75 for three hours of work.

People with Belief can leverage their talent by writing down a life purpose statement. A purpose statement helps you navigate the world and stay on course. It also helps colleagues and employees understand their leader’s belief system.

It’s important to realize that people with Belief are not typically motivated by money or prestige, but by making a difference in the world. You are moved by the core values that steer your life, whether that core value is helping others get out of debt, speaking about global warming, or working with breast cancer survivors.

When it comes to earning more cash, here’s a little trick I’ve learned: Surround yourself with reminders of your personal mission. Say you are a speaker and want to double your speaking income this year. It’s likely this financial goal all by itself won’t drive you to seek out more speaking gigs. So, what will?

Your personal mission. Often, that personal mission is expressed within your keynote or speech. When the going gets tough, these reminders will help you focus on your reason for being and the valuable contribution you can make.

One of my coaching clients, Lindsey, confessed that selling was not her forte. She had several sales jobs in college and with each position the stress of selling slowly ate away at her. Then she opened a dance studio, a job she loved, and immediately the stress of selling evaporated. She was so passionate about dancing and teaching others to dance that telling people about her business didn’t come off as selling, but something honest and genuine. The difference between selling a service and talking about something you love makes a world of difference.  Lindsey believed in her business and that belief shined through in every conversation. Her belief led to buy-in. Or, more accurately, because she honestly believed in her service, the notion of buy-in never came up.

Here’s another idea for turning Belief into income: Don’t be afraid to give voice to your values. This will help others know who you are and how they can relate to you. In fact, I’d encourage you to actively seek out new clients, projects, and roles that fit your values. Think about marketing your talents exclusively to organizations that define their purpose by the contribution they make to the community.

How can you use your Belief strength to you find your voice?  Once you find that voice how will you use that voice to actively seek out new clients, projects, and roles that fit your values? Please share your comments below.

Not sure where you are and need some conversation around that.  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

Do you love managing all the variables, aligning and realigning the parts until it all comes together?  Is finding the simplest, most efficient way to get things done something you strive for?  Do you keep many things in your head at once? Are you flexible and willing to shelve well-laid plans in favor of some brand-new configuration that has just occurred to you? Can you not imagine behaving in any other way? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are an Arranger®.

In whatever you are doing, you are an example of effective flexibility. Whether you are changing plans last minute because something you think is better popped up or considering the right combination of people and resources to accomplish a new project. From the routine to the intricate, you are always flexible enough to find the perfect configuration.

Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is an Arranger. An Arranger is like the conductor of a symphony; you manage and organize all of the people, resources, and other variables in a project. You are flexible and make great multi-taskers. Steves, for instance, is America’s most respected authority on European travel. He took his first trip to Europe in 1969, and in 1976 he started his business, Rick Steves’ Europe, which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with a staff of 100 full-time, well-traveled employees at his headquarters in Washington State. In 2011, his business was worth nearly $50 million in revenue.

Arrangers can look at a complex situation like travel, a complex problem, or a complex team and arrange it into the perfect configuration. They like to go big. Steves, for instance, has produced more than 50 guidebooks on European travel, as well as America’s most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show, a weekly syndicated column, and a successful European tour program.

For entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers, attorneys, technology specialists, and other solopreneurs, going big could be as simple as setting big financial goals or doubling or tripling previous goals. Why not? If you are an Arranger, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Arrangers need a clear vision, and there’s nothing better than an income goal expressed as a single number. Don’t waffle. Choose a number and get to work.

Arrangers can sometimes struggle with communicating why you have chosen a particular goal, process, or configuration of people. If this is the case, partner with someone who can help communicate ideas and explain decisions.  In addition to clear goals, Arrangers thrive with deadlines and need them to stay on track. Deadlines assure details will not overwhelm you. That said, Arrangers are not fans of routine—you like the excitement of complex projects, so you often overlook or just skip activities that bore you.

Unlike Achievers, who simply outwork the competition, Arranger’s special talent is keeping all of the balls in the air. Arrangers are happiest when part of a team. You offer a natural sense of organization that can keep a group or project moving toward its goal. You love change and often play an integral role when massive change is in the works.

So how do you turn a talent for juggling tasks into income? First, develop a strategy for getting things done. Say you want to attract one new large client this quarter. List a dozen ways to locate, contact, and make your pitch to potential customers, then narrow your strategy to just one or two approaches. Here’s the hard part: Once you have the strategy, stick to the strategy. Rather than changing strategies, challenge yourself to find ways to make even the most successful strategy better. If the strategy doesn’t work, and you get pushback from colleagues or fellow entrepreneurs, encouraging you to try another approach, communicate that your natural flexibility doesn’t mean your priorities and strategy are constantly changing. Your priorities remain the same, but you are simply looking for better ways to implement them.

For some Arrangers, selling is awkward because the process is often not logical. In fact, that first conversation with a new coaching prospect can be downright emotional, and there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to put emotions into a nice straight line and expecting all the fuzzy sensations to stay in place.

What big, clear goal will you set?  How will you develop a strategy to scale your business? What people, systems, and connections will you need to monetize your Arranger?

Let’s have a conversation about how to monetize your Arranger. Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk about strengths.

Do you have a constant need for achievement? Do you feel as if every day starts at zero? At the end of every day, if you don’t achieve something tangible, you likely feel unfulfilled?  And by “every day” you mean every single day — workdays, weekends, vacations.  If you answered yes to these questions, then you are an Achiever®.

Achievers like you are driven by the thrill of achievement. When you wake up in the morning, and typically early risers, you start at zero and try to accrue as many points throughout the day as you can. You have an inherent restlessness that pushes you to complete anything you put your hands on.

Mark Cuban is an American businessman and investor with a net worth in 2019 of 4.1 billion. He is the owner of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s Dallas Mavericks, co-owner of 2929 Entertainment and chairman of AXS TV. He is also one of the main “shark” investors on the ABC reality television series, Shark Tank.  Mark Cuban is a good example of an Achiever. Now before you start telling me you can’t be a Mark Cuban, let’s look at what he has done and how.  Then you can use some of that information to create your action plan to live richer your way.

Nowadays, On Shark Tank, Cuban meets countless aspiring entrepreneurs who think they have the next great idea. Most don’t. So what separates the good entrepreneurs from the bad? According to Cuban, it’s hard work — that and being better than everyone else in your industry.

Cuban puts it another way. “Busting your ass. It’s not about money or connections. It’s the willingness to outwork and out learn everyone when it comes to your business. And if it fails, you learn from what happened and do a better job next time. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. You only have to be right once, and everyone will describe you as an overnight success.”

Cuban’s Achiever strength allows him to outwork his competition, and in many ways, this simple, natural talent is enough to create and sustain one business after another.

Shortly after college, Cuban lived in a three-bedroom apartment with five other guys, slept on the floor, and ate cheap chicken dinners as he worked on launching a hardware and software integration company called MicroSolutions. “It allowed me to stay focused on turning MicroSolutions into a $30 million business,” said Cuban.

If you’re an Achiever, you like to be busy. You like to have projects. Every day is about climbing a mountain and getting to the next great peak. The key then is to use your stamina in ways that produce tangible financial gains.

As for Cuban, what’s the key to success? Applying his Achiever to learning.

“I was relentless in learning new tech as it came out. If it had anything to do with the PC or networking industry, I was on top of it. I bought the manuals. I read every book and magazine. Then I got involved with industry conferences and put myself out there.”

Not surprisingly, Achievers love certifications. You love to know that you have finished something or achieved something, and as soon as you finish one thing, you are on to the next. You love new initiatives, new projects. Achievers want to finish what they start. You are fueled by success.

Creating Your Own Action plan!

o    Find a job that honors your desire to work hard and encourages you to do so.  One where you measure your own productivity.  This is the place that you will feel alive and thrive in your Achiever strength.

o    Take advantage of your self-motivation by setting challenging goals. Every time you finish a project, set a more ambitious goal for the next project.

o    Even if your boss doesn’t focus on metrics, get clear on timelines and goals so that you can measure and celebrate your progress toward success.

o    Since you enjoy completion, break the milestones and activities into smaller steps so that you can relish the feeling of accomplishment more often.

o    Use your energy as efficiently as possible. To do this, partner with someone with strong Discipline or Focus talents.

o    Partner up with other hard workers. Create accountability agreements that feed your desire to push yourself. Share your goals with them so they can help you get more done.

o    Give yourself “credit” in your personal tally system for using your Achiever talent with friends and family. That will keep you from over-indexing on the workaholic scale.

o    When it comes to financial outcomes, limit your commitments to tasks aligned with your highest priorities. For example, focus on one outcome at a time: Profitability, gaining new customers, or disrupting an existing market.

How effectively are you monetizing your Achiever strength?  Are you ready to brainstorm on how you could monetize your Achiever strength?  Are you ready to design your action plan ?  Let’s have a conversation in the comment section below.

Not sure where your money making possibilities are and need some conversation around that.  Remember you can schedule your Ask Brent Anything call. Let’s talk strengths.