He looked up from the piece of paper clutched in his hand, a look of bewilderment on his face.
‘But I sound amazing’ he said, incredulously.
Grinning, I nodded. ‘That’s because you are.’
It was 2010, and I’d been hired to write biographies for key staff members. The gentleman in question was in his early 50s, but he had never had a CV before, never had a staff bio. The small business he’d worked for since leaving school had been recently acquired and he found himself, for the first time, needing a public-facing profile.
When I first approached him about writing his bio, he responded with suspicion. Why was I asking all these questions about his career highlights and qualifications? What was I going to do with all this information?
Now, seeing the bio on paper before him, he couldn’t wipe the smile from his face. Seeing 25 years summed up so lyrically… well it was as if he saw for the first time how impressive he was and finally understood the impact of what he had achieved.
As for me?
Seeing him light up when brought face to face with his OWN brilliance meant that I was hooked too.
For years, friends had been asking me for help with CVs, cover letters, biographies, business proposals, grant applications and pitches. I would toil away for an evening and pop something out, always to be met with effusive praise and gratitude. ‘You should do this professionally’ they would unfailingly say.
I just couldn’t see a marketable skill in it.
Sounds crazy right?
All I knew was that I had a knack for putting words together. Yeah I could help people make their bios and CVs sound better, yes I knew how to wrap words around their crazy business idea or capture their unique brand of genius, but I didn’t have a degree in Communications or experience in PR, advertising, or fulltime journalism. Who would hire me? How would I turn that into a business?
I know I know. I want to thump my OWN head. But this brings me to my point:
Where are you overlooking your own easy?
Many of us have been conditioned to believe that work has to be hard. That unless we’re striving, pushing, hustling, it’s not real work. It’s not a contribution of value. We don’t deserve to earn great money for it. That words like fun and ease and play are for weekends, not for the office.
What if it was the other way around?
What if the secret to unlocking your potential in your work was to focus on what comes easily – and do it more often?
This week, I want you to think about those areas which not only feel easy to you, but that you enjoy doing.
Those topics where you are the go-to person, the amateur agony aunt, the fixer, the adviser, the sort-it-out-er. The areas where you can whip up something fabulous tout de suite, sans problème.
It could be a work task you absolutely love. It could be something outside work where you enjoy making a contribution.
Need some examples?
- You know exactly what a room needs (a rug? A lamp? Art?) to feel pulled together.
- You pop into Gmail, set up a few simple rules Inbox overload is a thing of the past
- You know how to prep food so that catering for 20 becomes a breeze.
- You know how to add the right accessories to make an outfit pop
- You know how to have difficult conversations with colleagues, bosses and teenagers
Whatever it is that comes naturally and easily to you, make it a priority this week or this month.
Feel the buzz that comes from contributing from your zone of genius, with ease and pleasure. And while you’re at it, drop your clients a line and let them know you’re open for business in this area too. See how it feels to get paid for doing something that comes so naturally.
If – no when – you try it, let me know how it goes. I would love to hear your story.
And if you need help pulling your idea together, figuring out what this easy thing is that you have to offer to the world or simply jzooshing up your about page – you’ll find my free consult link here.