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nyt20year20in20ideasDo you ever wish you had a secret decoding device that would help you determine what it is that you’re meant to do? All you would have to do is input a few details and BLAM! Out would come the perfect business idea suited specifically to your skills, strengths and interests.

This flawless device would  present you with the work you are meant to be doing and would ensure that you are recognized (and paid) for your expertise.

First ,the bad news. I have no such device.

Now for the good news. I’m going to show you how to become your own decoding device!

The catch?

Well, first off you have to answer the questions (do the work) and second, you will need to trust your answers and be bold enough to take sustained action towards creating a business that solves a real problem or meets a deep need.

The truth is, in order to be recognized for your brilliance, most of us have to dig a little deeper to understand our true value and how we can offer this to the world in a meaningful way. Big things can happen when you gain clarity around what you have to offer. 

Here is a simple exercise that you can do to gain immediate clarity about what you have to offer the world. Answer the following three questions about your skills, strengths and interests. DO NOT write anything down unless it meets these three criteria:

  • It completely energizes you
  • It makes you feel Alive
  • It has deep meaning for you

Think of this exercise as creating a master list of only the very best skills, strengths and interests that you have to offer.

SKILLS: These are the skills that you’re really good at and they energize you because they give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. These are typically things that you have acquired through repetition and practice. These could be hobbies or things that you learned in a work environment. Skills are typically more practical and tangible in nature. Examples might include: building spreadsheets, organizing closets, remodeling homes, finding the best online travel deals, cake decorating, window washing, designing web sites.

My deepest core skills are: ________________________________________________

STRENGTHS: These are things that you absolutely love! They come very natural to you. You might ask, What am I naturally good at? These are the things that come easiest to you. You have probably received many compliments for these. Some examples might include: teaching, instructing, promoting, telling jokes, photography, problem solving, singing, writing, cooking, swimming, gardening, drawing, dancing. You just have a knack for these things. They are part of who you are.

My deepest core strengths are: _____________________________________________

INTERESTS: What do you deeply care about? What deeply fulfills and excites you? What are the things you simply cannot live without? You would pursue these whether you were paid for them or not. These are typically deep seeded desires within you. You long for these experiences in your life. They are pure joy for you. Make no mistake – these are probably obsessions for you. Examples might include: adventure travel, non-profit work, canning vegetables, training dogs, teaching, playing guitar, yoga, brewing beer, running marathons.

My deepest core interests are: ______________________________________________

Now go back and take note of any similar themes or repeating patterns. Circle anything you wrote down more than once. These are your sparks. These sparks will be used to ignite the path to doing work you love.

The final step – decoding your core genius

I believe that we all have a natural core genius inside of us. It’s that unique combination of skills, strengths and interests that you love to do and you do it so well that you might not even recognize it. People often take their core genius for granted and assume that because it’s so easy and natural for them, that it must be easy for everyone else too. And nothing could be further from the truth.

In many cases, your core genius is such an integrated part of who you are that you might not recognize it as anything special. But the truth is, this is where the gold is. This is something that you could be making money from and you could easily make it your life’s work. If only you knew what it was!

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”

– R. Buckminster Fuller

For me, my core genius is teaching, creating, coaching, adventure, connecting people and ideas, simplifying, and organizing. My purpose is to inspire authenticity – freeing talent, ideas, voice, opinions, consciousness. I inspire people to be the best version of themselves by doing work that matters. To turn their existing skills, strengths and interests into a predictable income doing work that they love.

Now it’s your turn. Take the repeating patterns and words that you identified above and see if you’ve gained more clarity about what you have to offer to the world.

My Core Genius is: ________________________________________________________________

And please share your insights. The more we share, the more we all learn from one another.

In gratitude,



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