Welcome To The True North Toolkit
Let me start by saying this: I don't believe that each of us has a singular life purpose just waiting to be crafted into one particular business niche. I think that's BS.
What I do believe is that each of us has to navigate our entrepreneurial lives using an internal compass. This compass is something that we develop over time, but there are a series of tools that I've found helpful if you're just getting started.
Enter the True North Toolkit.
Your True North is the intersection of your strengths, your passions, and the problems that you can solve for other people. That's where you have the greatest opportunity to make your mark in the world (and to get paid for it).
So here's what it looks like:
Strengths + Passions + Problems You Can Solve = Your True North
If you go through each step of this toolkit, I promise you'll get more clarity about what business you should create that will be in your zone of genius.
Let's dive in...
Step 1: Determine Your Strengths (The Base)
Stop worrying about your weaknesses. It's time to build a solid foundation of strength. Take the test below to find out what your "unfair advantage" is.
Tool - The VIA Strengths Test [LINK]
(Note: You'll need to create a free profile first by clicking "Register")
Action Step - Notice where in your work you are already applying your strengths, and ask yourself where you could lean into them even more.
Step 2: Cultivate Your Passions (The Needle)
I usually try to stay away from words like "passion" and "purpose" because they can seem pretty overwhelming. The truth is, your passion probably isn't as illusive as you think. The key is to identify things that you already get excited about, and turn them into passions over time.
Tool - 20 Questions to Pinpoint Your Passion [PDF]
Action Step - Engage in one of your potential passions and take notice of how it feels. Does it drain you or energize you? How might you apply that passion to a business?
Step 3: Focus on Solving Problems (The Magnet)
Strengths and passions are important. But they're not the end of the story. If you want to be successful, you'll need to provide value. Here's a checklist to help you narrow down what the world needs from you, and a short e-book to help you provide it.
Tool - Your Gift to the World Checklist [PDF]
Action Step - Verify that there is a need for what you want to offer by gathering proof: tell five people about your idea (ideally people who would understand and benefit from it) and see if your idea resonates with them.
Put It All Together (The Compass)
You've done the inner work. Now it's time to find some common threads. Look for ways to combine your strengths, passions, and problems into a unique specialty.
The easiest type of business to start is a service-based business (like coaching). You don't want to spend years creating a product, building an audience, or getting funding just to find out that no one wants what you're offering.
Instead you can use your skills, wisdom, or experience to start serving people right away. Even if you eventually want to create a product, it helps to start by testing the idea out as a service. You want to get results for real people before you try to scale.
The key is to try and get your first two or three paid clients. As soon as someone gives you money to help them solve a problem or reach a specific goal, your business becomes real and your whole perspective will change. Until that happens, you're not an entrepreneur.
Action Step - Write down your top 3 strengths, your top 3 passions, and 3 potential problems you could solve. Ask yourself: how could I combine these in a way that will create real value for someone right now? Then go find someone who needs what you have and offer to give it to them.
Sounds simple right? It is. But that doesn't mean it's always easy.
Remember: This is an ongoing journey, and your direction can always change. In fact, 99% of businesses end up totally different by year two than they were in year one. For now, we're just looking for a path to start down. Clarity comes from taking action and committing to something long enough to gather more information.
In other words, it's time to get out there and start using your gifts.
Bonus: My True North Playlist
I've always found music to be a really effective way to get perspective. Feel free to use this playlist while you work your way through the toolkit. These are the exact songs I listened to when I was starting off on my business journey.
One More Thing!
I always love seeing how people apply these tools to the business they want to start. So if you've gotten clarity from the True North Toolkit, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!