Playing to Your Strengths as Business "Brilliance"

Lewis Schiff researched the differences in mindset between the middle-class and those who became self-made millionaires. Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons is the result of that.

Although he discusses seven differences between what the middle class thinks is important for success and the wealthy actually do, I'll mainly focus on one difference in this post.

I've written earlier about Marcus Buckingham and how important it is for a job to play to your strengths; apparently the wealthy live by this. Unlike most of us who would prefer to use our strengths but feel we need to improve on our weaknesses, the wealthy delegate what they don't do well and only spend time on what they do well. As per Schiff's survey, very few will even try a new thing at this point and rather just focus their time on their strengths. But then again, the wealthy follow their passions and the money and they are willing to walk away from propositions that are not really win-win for them (two other differences he goes into).

Schiff does acknowledge that since most of the self-made millionaires are business owners, it's easier for them to do this, but he does suggest how a "business brilliant" corporate worker could handle this. 

Imagine outlining your strengths to your boss and how utilizing them is in the company's best interest. Perhaps you go so far as to suggest a workaround for not spending too much time on your weaknesses. Do you think your boss would go for this? Even if he doesn't, you never know until you try. And this is another major difference between the two groups, which I briefly mentioned above: the wealthy are not afraid to negotiate and walk away if the deal is not in their best interest, whereas the middle class feel they have no choice and often are afraid to even ask or negotiate.

Regardless of where in the continuum you see yourself, or whether you're self-employed or not, it's important to be aware of your strengths. And if you can't have the "strengths talk" with your boss and/or it doesn't go well, you can learn to be more "business brilliant" with the rest of your time. By spending more of it on what you do well and what comes naturally to you, you will feel better—stronger and more energized—get more accomplished, and your personal ROI (return on investment) will be on the upswing.

We can all learn to spend our time more wisely. What should you do more of and what less of to increase your personal ROI?

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