How much do you really know about yourself? Do you realize there are traits about you that make you uniquely powerful? When you discover what those are, it will help you maximize your potential. Whether you are a leader looking to empower your people, or just wanting to do a little self-improvement, the future powerhouse you become will thank you for taking this journey.
Are you aware of how you perceive yourself or how others perceive you? Do you ever wonder why you are good at certain things and not so good at others? I was clueless about this for so long, but then I started digging. I took a deep dive into my personality, learning what my strengths and weaknesses are. You might be thinking, why does that even matter in business? Oh, but it does. My personality comes out in my business and yours does too. You and I are direct reflections of our businesses, and therefore need to be acutely aware of how we function and interact with others. The level of self-awareness and emotional IQ business owners and employees possess can make or break a business.
The first impressions a potential customer/client receives will most likely determine if they return and whether or not they make a purchase. Who gives them their first impression…yep, it’s you, and I, and our teams.
I’ve focused on “Knowing Thyself” for many years now, trying to understand the intricacies that make up the inner me. This has helped me significantly in my personal life, and as a bonus, helped me professionally too. So, do you want to know more about how this concept will help you in your business? If so, read on my fellow brave entrepreneurs.
Knowing Your Blind Spots
I lived for many years without knowing I had blind spots. What are blind spots, you ask? They are areas in your life where you are unaware or deceived about how something affects you. This can cause us to react in odd and unexpected ways. So understanding the areas where you need growth is a perfect place to start. How can you grow if you don’t know where you need it? Below I’ll give you a great tool that helped me in discovering where I needed some revelation, a tool that helped me understand me.
In life and business, our blind spots can hurt us. I consider blind spots to be areas of personality weakness and being aware of those is super important. Not understanding our strengths and weaknesses when building or managing a business is something that can lead to a lot of unnecessary headaches and stress. When operating out of your weak areas, you might feel at times like you’re just spinning your wheels or even going backward. I get it! I still feel that way when doing things that are outside of my strength areas.
I’ve found that my limitations and weaknesses will be the limitations and weaknesses of my business. My guess is, most of you find that statement to be true. Some of you may be familiar with this Lao Tzu quote that says,
He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened. ~ Lao Tzu
As humans, we are forever changing, learning, and growing as we experience different life phases. Staying connected to your inner person allows you to have a better relationship with yourself and with those around you. When you truly know and accept yourself (what makes you tick, how you relate to people, what your natural talents are), this frees you to be who you are designed to be and gives you the confidence to let others be the best version of themselves around you. Isn’t this what you want in your employees and what would benefit you the most as a business owner? I certainly think so.
Is personal development important as a business owner?
Honing your skills in the areas of your strengths, in my opinion, is more important than straining and struggling to build up your weaknesses. Yes, it is important to work on areas that you want to improve, but that will steal valuable time that you could be investing in growing your business. We all need some reflection time to refocus and do some self-inquiries. That’s the time when you can dive into improving and developing yourself. Knowing your weaknesses, but operating out of your strengths is the best game plan.
Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself: Are you struggling to do it all as a small business or as a solo entrepreneur? Do you have some skills that need sharpening, or do you simply just need to delegate some tasks? Being the detailed person that I am, delegating is still hard for me at times. Are you finding it difficult to reach your niche market for your product, service, or charity? Maybe you haven’t been able to identify or decide on your specific “who” for the business. My personality leans toward me having to go through all my options before making a decision. I have to be very intentional about filtering and prioritizing when it comes to decision making. Is any of this ringing true for you?
Are you fearful that you’ll make the wrong move and all your efforts will be wasted? This leads to inaction. Feeling overwhelmed makes it difficult to make those the necessary decisions. Sometimes when we have so many things on our plate, it can be hard to focus on what to do first. Are you feeling like you don’t have the skills to close on your leads, that they will slip away and not convert into revenue? Well, it might just be that you need to ask for help. I still hesitate to ask for help on occasion, but thankfully, I’ve made some progress in this area over the years.
Learning To Manage Your Limitations
If we don’t recognize where we are limited, our businesses and relationships suffer. Many entrepreneurs are trying to build a business, but feel so overwhelmed by all the social media and digital marketing it takes to generate leads to get up and running these days. It’s a race to keep up with the rapidly changing and constantly “upgrading” technological trends. Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms are always updating and getting smarter, so they definitely keep you on your toes. I just learned something new yesterday that I didn’t know about Facebook ads. It’s a full-time job just keeping up with all of the technology advances. I have to admit, even working as a digital marketer at times, all the social media activity can be quite exhausting. It’s a good thing I like what I do. When we get to a point where we’re in over our heads, sometimes we just need to ask for some help.
Do I think you should delegate all things in your business or be uninformed about different tasks, absolutely not! As business owners, it is our responsibility to know the processes of our livelihoods. Do you have to micromanage all aspects and know every detail, not really…unless you are the only employee, then you have to know it all. My advice is, give up on controlling everything and get comfortable delegating tasks. Learn from others’ mistakes and be sure you gain insight from your own mistakes. It’s important to be able to trust your employees, and your employees need to feel trusted. So give a little and evaluate the results. You are only as good as the people you have behind you. You might be surprised when you let others bloom.
People Make the Business
People make the business, not necessarily the product or service. When we know ourselves well enough to be comfortable creating those personal relationships (in-person or digitally), we can “become” the business and become what is attractive about it. People remember how people make them feel. Smiling and greeting your customers when they walk in the door (or digital door) will work wonders in ensuring they are a repeat customer. You can smile at them digitally too, in the tone you create through your words and your online appeal and branding.
Constantly greeting customers might be hard for an entrepreneur who is an introvert like me. I was a retail manager at one point, and even though I had great people skills, it was something that drained my energy. Knowing these facts about yourself and your employees will better help you to place people in areas of their strengths.
Knowing yourself and managing your limitations will only improve the workplace environment for everyone. As business owners, we should be encouraging our employees to take time for personal development. If your team is as passionate & educated about themselves and the business as you are, it will be a well-oiled machine.
I like to look at the people behind the business offer because that’s where the gold is. In the small business world, customers love to get to know the business owner and pick their brain about why they started it. Being able to effectively tell your story, “your why” is key. The better you know yourself, the easier it will be to answer that question.
Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur
I am an introvert in business, which will be the topic of my next blog. For me to be a successful entrepreneur, I need to know my limitations so I can take a break and recharge when I get frazzled. Stubbornness is a weakness of mine. I can easily work through lunch, especially when my stubborn tendencies kick in to complete a task or solve a problem. If you’re an entrepreneur, at times you will find yourself burning the candle at both ends. This is not healthy and sustainable long term. Pushing past your healthy capacity can be extremely detrimental in the long run.
I had to learn this the hard way. Your productivity, creativity, and the quality of your work begin to diminish. To maintain a healthy work-life balance, you must be aware of how you are feeling and what you are thinking. I can very quickly think myself into a frenzy. I can even talk myself right out of my dreams, so knowing that my thoughts are powerful drivers, is an invaluable insight. Knowing the tendencies of your thinking can put you miles ahead in the game of business and life. For example, I know my tendency is to compare myself with others. This awareness can save me from a lot of internal turmoil and is applicable in all areas, especially in relationships, whether it’s personal or professional. I think Kilroy J. Oldster hits the nail on the head when he says from his Dead Toad Scrolls,
The greatest challenge in life is to be our own person and accept that being different is a blessing and not a curse. ~ Kilroy J. Oldster
Wow, this took me a long time to grasp. Going against my natural inclinations after discovering that I’m prone to think certain thoughts was a fight. Realizing certain thoughts were not helpful, but in fact harmful to me, was definitely an ah-ha moment. As you’ll see below when I show you my personality strengths, competition is the number one driver in my everyday life.
With that strength comes, in my opinion, a weakness that I have had to work incredibly hard to overcome. Measuring myself against the performance of others and having a strong tendency to compete and compare is on the flip side of the coin of being driven by competition. Even today I find myself fighting against limited mindsets that stem from that weakness. But, I also can recognize and focus on the strength which keeps me fired up and passionate.
I had to accept my weaknesses, realizing that they come with my strengths. Not comparing myself to others, not wishing I was like them or could do what they can do, was a vital part of my learning journey. Knowing these key aspects of my personality has brought about major breakthroughs and has created a pathway for success for me.
Knowing Your Purpose
We all are motivated by the need to have a purpose and passion behind what we do. I have to answer the questions, what problems am I solving for clients and their customers, and what projects/businesses can I stand behind? We must know who we are and what we are willing to stand for or be known for, or rather what we don’t want to be known for. You can’t know your purpose if you don’t know yourself. Without purpose, there is no direction and without direction, there is no forward progress.
I’m going to point you to a valuable resource that you can use to learn what drives you, what dictates how you relate to yourself and others and gives you a glimpse into why you excel in certain areas. This book has been a game-changer for me. It will help you maximize your potential and understand what makes you uniquely powerful. For the longest time, I questioned why I was the way I was, why I was good at certain tasks, and why I had such a difficult time in other areas. This book helped me clarify and understand my strengths and weaknesses. I highly recommend reading Living Your Strengths, which includes the CliftonStrengths assessment. Don’t miss the chance to unlock your true potential.
I must disclose that this is an Amazon Affiliate link, but I have not received anything for free or received any payment from GALLUP, Inc for recommending this resource. I’m sharing because of the value I’ve received from it, knowing it will help you step into the powerhouse you are meant to be.
Your CliftonStrengths themes are your talent DNA. They explain the ways you most naturally think, feel, and behave. ~ Gallup, Inc.
I’m so incredibly thankful for this resource. It has put me on the path to developing into the person I have always aspired to be. I still have a lot more growing to do, but I’m excited to continue discovering more of my untapped potential.
Here are my CliftonStrengths Signature themes:
Here are my final thoughts about knowing thyself in business. There are no certainties in the business world. We can’t control when the market crashes, we can’t foresee natural disasters, and we can’t control what others do. All these things might impact your success in business. One thing that cannot be denied, is that if you have a clear vision of who you are and what you want to accomplish, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, you can build something that will be a legacy you leave behind. Positioning yourself for success by understanding your personality will propel you to another level in life and in business.
I have created a free downloadable image of the Seven Key Steps to Success in Business (click to download), which I feel will help simplify your journey. Hey, they might be a great addition to your vision board! These steps are not easy, but I feel they are absolutely necessary. At the end of the day, when you know you, when you can provide positive experiences for the individuals around you (friends/family) and for your customers, then I believe you will have success. You’ll be confident enough in yourself and confident in the people around you, allowing your business to thrive, not just survive. I bet you will also find that you’ll be living a life of significance because you were brave enough to challenge yourself and bold enough to face your blind spots. You’ll be bringing out the best in yourself and those whom you love and lead. Don’t forget when you get there, and you WILL get there, always remember to give back. That can be your step number eight.
Seven Key Steps to Success in Business
- Accept Thyself
- Challenge Yourself
- Pursue Wisdom
- Develop Confidence
- Define Your Mission
- Build Relationships
- Stay True to Your Values
There are many resources you can use to understand yourself a little better, but the one I’ve mentioned is my favorite. This book has given me the most revelation into who I am and who I can become. I also really like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® instrument. I’m an INFJ if you are curious. The elegant themes article, How Does Your Personality Type Affect Your Work, you might find helpful as well. It talks about the different personality types and gives you some additional assessments to try.
If you complete the Clifton Strengths Assessment, please share in the comments what you thought and what insights you’ve come away with. I’m so excited to hear what you learn and how it reframed your vision of what you can accomplish. Believe in yourself and believe in your strengths!! You’re going to do something great, I just know it!
Photos by 30daysreplay (PR & Marketing) – Social Media Beratung on Unsplash, Ben White on Unsplash, Alex Blăjan on Unsplash, Perry Grone on Unsplash, Austin Distel on Unsplash, Dane Deaner on Unsplash, Thought Catalog on Unsplash
An Air Force veteran, an award-winning business plan writer, and a wellness enthusiast in her spare time earned a double Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Studies & Exercise Science from Grand Canyon University. She helps entrepreneurs and businesses soar to new heights by increasing their exposure, creating a digital presence that stands out, and by developing an audience that connects with their brands. She loves giving wings to their missions and writing inspiring blog posts like this that ignite entrepreneurial fires and personal passions.