I am sure most of us have watched British Got Talent. Isn’t it great when you see an unassuming person come on stage, watch people smirk and then everyone stands in awe as they perform their act? In the same way, others come on stage and go on about how good they are, but once they start their act, you wonder what on earth they had to drink before the show. They probably spent the better part of their lives believing they were the next best thing until the BGT judges brought them down to earth.
My Damascene Conversion
Many moons ago, I used to look at many people with envy wishing I had their talents. The better part of my life a few years back was a wish list. I wish I could run; wish I could sing, wish I was a little bit taller and wish I was good at this or that. After I was made redundant from my last job a few years ago, I finally got my ‘Damascene conversion’. I was forced to stop and take notice of MY TALENTS!!! I was pleasantly surprised to discover I had a collection of skills I had disregarded over the years. These were skills that were needed in the market place, skills that could make a difference, skills that could start a business. Well, all that is now water under the bridge as my talents have now become Business First Steps.Tada!!!
Your Personal SWOT Analysis
I come across many people in my job who fail to recognise or act on their peculiar and God-given talents. Some of the categories of people I find are listed below:
- Some are aware of their talents but don’t do anything about it
- Some just think what they do is nothing special
- Some know what they are good at and want to do something with it.
- Some know how to maximise and magnify whatever they have.
Well I know the things I struggle with (gardening and entertaining guests for starters) and when I see someone else do these tasks with it ease; I can’t help but stand in awe.
A good way to take stock of your talent is to do a personal SWOT analysis on yourself. You may have heard of SWOT analysis used mainly for business plans. The good news is you can also use it to self-diagnose your own strengths and weaknesses, so as to find and fan those innate abilities within you.
Strengths – These are the positive things you can control within yourself such as education, organisation skills, attention to detail, business experience, communication skills, fortitude, ability to see project through, ability to transfer skills to others, ability to teach, listening skills, self-confidence, ability to cook, gardening, parenting skills, good inter-personal skills etc.
Weaknesses – those internal negative things you can control, which can be personal or business traits such as nonchalance, disorganisation, low self esteem, inability to focus, lack of experience in specific field, impatience, inability to finish project etc.
Opportunities – situation within your control that you can take advantage of and maximise. These are opportunities you can identify internally and externally to enable you to develop the skills you need to start a business, fill a career gap in the market, find a novel way of doing things, remodel a system, add to an existing role, product or service etc.
Threats – External conditions that are beyond your control but which you can lessen the impact; these can include shortcomings or limitation in your chosen field. Other threats could be the negative perception of your skills, industry, business, career, product or service, government legislations affecting your ideas etc.
Ask a few family and friends to give their honest opinions of what they consider to be your strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared for some hard truths as some might have more to say about your weaknesses than you bargained for. Before I started out in business, I did this exercise too and my family had the opportunity to express themselves (ouch…truth hurts!). I also sought the opinion of a business consultant who was able to help me streamline my ideas and focus on the right ones.
These two exercises should help you identify some of your peculiar talents and what you do next will determine how far you can go with them. Opportunities present themselves around us every day. Being prepared helps you spot those that fit in with your repertoire. Stop letting these opportunities pass you by whether to start your own business, develop an idea, a social enterprise or advance your career.
If you need help with your SWOT analysis or to identify your passion and turn it into purpose with profit/value, I can help. Business First Steps provides the tools and services to help you bring your ideas to life.
I wish you good success
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