Raw Materials = Your Strengths = 🥔.
End product = Your Skills = 💎 !
In my particular field of work, I meet leaders with all kinds of skills. These skills have been carefully and meticulously honed over a period of years, even decades.
Some of them are exceptionally good at breaking the ice and immediately becoming your next best friend. Some are incredibly detailed and strategic with their work. Some are brilliant masterminds who’re able to lead a team even in dire situations.
Whatever field of work you’re in, you’ll notice the same, even in the same department / unit.
Someone from the marketing team could be just a little delusional and daring enough to work on a large, high-risk marketing project. Someone from your accounting department could be that math whiz and strategy superstar who’s always able to find worthwhile and effective solutions to the company back on track with its finances. Someone from the Public Relations team could be exceptional at retaining strong relationships with key persons in the industry.
We look up to these people. We want to be like them. Some of us fake it till we make it. Others, well, they try to emulate as best as possible.
Tell you what – quit trying to imitate. You’re uniquely you.
These people, they’ve done the hard work of finding out where their raw materials — their strengths — are, put in long hours gathering them, and then spend an even longer time turning these raw materials (their strengths) into a finished product — a skill —one that is unmatched, completely unique and 100% theirs.
You have to look for your strengths, your raw materials, and turn them into a skill that is uniquely yours, too. A skill takes a long time to craft from a strength, and this skill is what people are going to be paying you for. This skill you develop will set you apart.
People are not going to pay for a bunch of unrefined raw materials. A company isn’t going to keep a growth-hacker if he’s just another growth-hacker. A company is going to want to keep holding on to a particular growth-hacker who adds value to the company with his unique skill, on top of his growth-hacking strengths and knowledge.
What’s going to set you apart is not these unrefined rocks you’ve consolidated over the years: marketing knowledge, PR know-hows, content-generation and lead-generation know-hows, software design knowledge, a medical degree, a college degree from a renown university, the list goes on.
What will set you apart from your peers and push you into the next tier of your career is the skill you’re going to pay attention and put effort into developing in 2020 and moving forward.
Here’s how you can get started:
- Imagine yourself 5 years from now:
– Finances: What’s your salary and finances like? What’s your net-worth?
– Career: What’s your career progression like?
– Personal Development: What’s your social circle like? What admirable qualities would you have?
Write them down in present tense,
e.g: “I am currently 30-years-old, and I’m leading a consulting team at XYZ company, with the following skills: A, B, C. I am good at E, F, G, and I am respected for H, I, J. I earn $X, save $Y, and my money values are Z. I’m financially secure now and financially protected for my future.”
- Identify three strengths you currently have.
- Decide the kind of skill you would ideally like to develop from these strengths you’ve listed by the end of this 5-year mark. If it gets too tricky to articulate, write the names of people you look up to who possess these sets of skills. Elaborate on their best work, how they started, and what are particular set of skills they have which inspires you.
Put this note in your planner, and review it first thing every. single. morning.
Pro tip: Some days, it will seem like you’re not hitting your targets. Don’t be disheartened. You have to appreciate the struggle as much as the rewards. Remember this: so many people want to experience the peak, the success, the “I finally got here” moment, but they hate the climb. You can’t expect this success without the hard work. If you want to grow, you’ll need to both accept and desire for growing pains. So if you’re feeling down, know that it’s only because you’re another step closer to your success.