Have you ever wondered how to make money off of your strengths and passions?
It’s a worthwhile endeavor. But the truth is, your strengths and passions are not enough.
In this week's blog post, I’m going to give you the missing link that keeps most people from creating something of value in the world (and making a living from it).
I’m also going to explain a key mindset shift that you need to make if you’re going to be successful as an entrepreneur of any type.
Let's dive in...
Here's What People Perceive As Valuable
If you want to make money off of your natural strengths and passions, you need to provide something of value to other people. That’s the only thing people will ever trade their money for. So, what do people value?
Well, it depends on the person. But here’s a rule of thumb: the most valuable thing you can ever offer someone is the specific, tangible result that they want.
Notice the three main parts of that description:
- Specific and tangible
- They want
When we’re trying to figure out what we want to do with our lives, it’s easy to think only about ourselves. And introspection is really important. But here’s the thing: money comes from other people.
And most people only pay for things that solve a problem.
For example: if I’m 20 pounds overweight, and I view that as an urgent problem, then the thing of most value to me is whatever helps me lose 20 pounds quickly and easily.
You might say, “Aren’t people really after the feeling that result will give them, like confidence or contentment?”
Well, yes and no. Feelings are what satisfy us in the end. But they aren’t what we perceive as most valuable when we are confronted with a problem. What we want then is an immediate, tangible result.
Another example: say you’ve been single for years and want to find a partner. If I offer you the feeling of partnership while still being single, you’ll say “that’s nice, but what I really want right now is to not be single anymore.”
And here’s the key: if the person you’re serving doesn’t perceive something as a problem (even if it is), they also won’t perceive the things that you are offering as valuable.
Here's Why You Already Have Something To Offer
So, how do you figure out which problems to solve?
Look backwards. What urgent problems have you already solved for yourself? What burning desires have you actualized in the past?
In marketing, people talk a lot about identifying your “avatar”: the person who is most motivated to invest in your solution. You’re supposed to create an imaginary persona and then craft your marketing message around them.
I see it a bit differently. I say be your own avatar. The best businesses are built out of the previous suffering of their founder.
You know the pains you’ve experienced trying to solve certain problems in your life. And you have the expertise to help other people who are struggling with the same things.
This means that you don’t have to pick a niche when you start out. Your own story is your niche.
So which parts of your story do you focus on?
In general, people are looking for a specific result in one of three main areas: their health, their livelihood, and their relationships. What result would you love to help people achieve in one of these areas?
You can ultimately expand to more than one area, but I recommend focusing on one at a time.
Here's How To Turn Your Strengths And Passions Into Money
Once you’ve identified a result that you want to help people achieve, you can start to apply your strengths and passions to it. Here’s how:
What are you solving? Identify the specific, urgent problems that people are willing and able to pay you to solve.
How are you solving it? Identify the passions, skills, and modalities you have that will be most effective at getting results.
Why are you the person to solve it? Identify the unique blend of strengths that will help you stand out from others who are solving the same problem.
When you find the intersection of your strengths, your passions, and other people’s problems, that’s your True North. That's where you will be the most fulfilled and profitable.
Bottom line: you need to find work that allows you to align with your True North.
There are three ways you can do this:
- Find a job that allows you to work at the intersection
- Start a business at the intersection
- Restructure an existing business to operate at the intersection.
Number one can be difficult, because you can’t guarantee autonomy when you work for someone else. It’s possible (but unlikely) that you’ll be able to choose only the projects that are in line with your True North. That's the reason most people decide to start their business in the first place.
Here’s Your Next Step
If you want to get paid to be who you are, the easiest way is usually to create your own business.
But what if you’re a “generalist” with lots of different strengths and passions? That’s totally fine. In fact, it’s more than fine, because it means you will be able to use a unique blend of talents to help other people.
The way you choose to combine these three components (strengths, passions, problems) will likely evolve throughout your life. There’s no one perfect way. Right now we’re just looking for a combination that gets results for the people you want to serve.
Ultimately, figuring out how to get paid for your strengths and passions requires you to look simultaneously outward at what other people want and inward at how you can provide it.
I actually have a toolkit designed to help you do just that. Up until recently, you had to opt-in with your email address to get it. But not anymore...