1. Learning your strengths boosts your confidence
When you begin to learn that you do, in fact, have unique, differentiating strengths and ways of approaching challenges, you feel a lot better about yourself. You start to say, in effect, “Hey, my strengths are a thing. There’s a way I do things that I’ve been doing since I was a kid, and now I can finally talk about it in a compelling way.”
And that makes you feel more confident, and more excited about your emerging brand, and even more likely to overcome the #1 reason people give for why they’re not doing the networking that so often leads to the best opportunities: “I don’t know what I’d say.” Well, after you learn your strengths and we develop the stories that illustrate them, you’ll have something to say that you can be proud of.
2. Strengths are the building blocks of your brand
The first step in developing both your path to your personal brand (what used to be called your reputation) is to learn what your differentiating strengths are – what separates you from other people. In marketing, we talk about “product differentiation” and “competitive advantage” – and that’s exactly what your branding is going to be about.
The inexpensive StrengthsFinder 2.0 ($14-20), from Gallup, offers powerful insights into what you simply do best and most effortlessly. We also encourage clients to take the free VIA Strengths (Values in Action) assessment. Created at the University of Pennsylvania by the team of Dr. Martin Seligman, one of the founding fathers of Positive Psychology, the VIA defines strengths in broader, less work-focused terms than the StrengthsFinder.
3. Strengths-based branding is self-understanding
Your strengths will form the basis of your personal story, or brand, everywhere it appears:
- your LinkedIn profile
- a resume without cliches
- your differentiating cover letter
- your web bio
- your elevator pitch
- your job search strategy
- your networking and interviewing strategy
- your marketing of your startup or closely-held business
It’s not enough just to know the names of your strengths. You want an intimate understanding of them – of how you’ve always had them, always approached challenges in similar ways, even when you were a child. How to talk about your strengths and how you work will forever be on the tip of your tongue, ready to be drawn upon when the unexpected strikes.
4. Strengths lead to Flow - where you want to spend your life!
Trying to figure out where to go, what to do? Look to your strengths. They’re the doorway to the state of fulfillment and mastery called Flow. Stacks of research tell us we get into this most amazing of states when we:
1 – use our true strengths
2 – in the course of work that's meaningful to us
3 – at just the right level of challenge – not too easy, and not overwhelming, either
Flow is: where you want to be. The psychological state of Flow is what we mean when we say we are “in the zone”. We become totally absorbed in what we are doing. We lose track of time, or we say time flew. We experience what we are doing as fulfilling and rewarding in and of itself. And it’s in FLOW that we do our best work, are most likely to get noticed, promoted, attract the attention of potential business partners, and more.
That means that you can be happiest in life and work by finding ways to use your strengths as often as possible. You will then be working with passion. You do your best, most creative work here. You feel good, competent -- you even feel a sense of mastery.
You feel clarity, confidence, and serenity. Because you love what you are doing, you get better at it. Others take notice. Promotions, bonuses, increased income, business success, and recognition may all follow.
You don’t have to wear a squirrel suit at work to get into Flow.
Get our free ebook on why Flow is what the happiest and most productive people are optimizing their lives around - and how you can join them!