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Quick, how do you define success? Two questions to kickstart your answer.

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

When you think about the mix of your skills, strengths, and preferences, how do you identify? Do you like to execute or prefer creating the vision? Something in between? Or a mix?

How can you better nurture that identity in your current role and relationships to help you feel successful in your life?

These are questions I’m working through.

I left my corporate role at the end of 2022, took a week to sit at the beach and dream about the new life I’m creating, and then dove headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship in early January.

Leading up to this new path, I had done lots of planning, but there were plenty of other things sprinkled into my daily work, too. Things that fill my cup a little bit more than planning. Ok, a LOT more than planning.

At my core, I’m a doer. I’m a completer/finisher. I like doing the dishes because there is a beginning and an end. I get a deep satisfaction moving from a pile of dirty dishes to washed, dried, and put away–a clean sink and an empty counter as my prize. The clear action item on a to-do list for my plan brings the same sense of accomplishment for me.

On the other hand, I don’t like raking leaves. You can never get every single leaf out of the yard and the project never feels complete–it’s always taunting you a little. This is how I feel about the vision and planning stage of work, too. There’s a nebulous quality about the process that feels like raking leaves, and although a good brainstorming or planning session can be fantastic, unless there is concrete follow through, there’s not a lot of impact for me.

This doer/finisher mindset can be a struggle to navigate when I have a really massive project on my to-do list–like planning a business. There is so much to do that even when things are being accomplished, I still feel like I have barely made a dent on the project as a whole.

Even when I’m making strides and feeling productive, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything if at least a portion of the overall project is completed. If you find yourself nodding along enthusiastically–or thinking about someone in your life who is like me–you might be wondering, how do we move past this in sustainable ways?

One way is sprinkling in smaller tasks that give me wins throughout the journey of my bigger project. Things like scheduling a new client meeting or posting a helpful resource to social media provide meaning and encouragement to my days as little wins.

Some people love to brainstorm–taking the 10,000 foot view and dreaming big. That is their secret sauce! The place where they shine. We need these people.

I know my strengths lie elsewhere and playing to my strengths is what helps me feel successful and accomplished at the end of the day–and ultimately this is what allows me to provide value and support to others!

We need all of these mindsets to be successful, both at work and in our personal lives. One is not better or worse than the other. They are simply different–complementary, even.

We need the planners and the visionaries helping to set goals and creating plans. We also need the doers and completer/finishers helping to execute and carry out those plans. And of course collaboration of the entire group along the way, providing diverse perspectives and evolving ideas along the way.

Let’s get back to where we started this journey…

When you think about the mix of your skills, strengths, and preferences, how do you identify? Do you like to execute or prefer creating the vision? Something in between? Or a mix?

Exploring your strengths, understanding the unique contributions you make, and playing to your strengths leaves you more likely to have higher overall life and job satisfaction. This also provides a benefit most people don’t consider–strengthening your relationships from family and friends to your team at work and organization as a whole.

So reflect. Find your sweet spot. Celebrate your unique skills and strengths. They’re needed. YOU are needed.

Journey well, my friends.


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