The Power of Collaboration and the 80/20 Rule

Have you ever noticed how some things are just so challenging or uninteresting to do that they never get finished?  Somehow they pushed aside, moved down on the “To Do” list, or simply drive us crazy because we simply don’t want to do them or we’re just plain bad at the task?

If this is happening to you, listen up!  The last thing you want to do is to try and get better at something that is not your unique ability or something that you find totally challenging.  I know when you were growing up, you heard your parents and teachers tell you, “Practice makes perfect.”  But this simply is not true.

I learned at a very young age, that I was fabulous at sales and fund raising.  I could entertain and cook Thanksgiving dinner for 20 family members when I was just 15, and that I was fearless when it came to standing my ground.

I also learned that I could not bake (I always wanted to improvise and that doesn’t work in baking), I was simply terrible with details and I could not stand to be told what to do.

Think of your childhood.  What were you great at and what were you terrible at?  Is it still true today?  These are important clues.  What was fun and what was total drudgery?

How many young people have gone into a career as an attorney or a physician only to please their parents and then end up totally unhappy and unfulfilled?  I meet these women every day.  Women who are reinventing, trying to find their passion in midlife, hoping to create income doing what they love to supplement their retirement or hopefully to create a new career at midlife.

My very first job was as a clerk typist at a very large company with 40,000 employees.  It was a great opportunity.  I had health insurance, 401(k), pension, tuition reimbursement…but I was miserable and I was lousy at it.  I could have continued to work at this job trying to improve my skills and waiting for my 2 weeks of vacation each year.

Instead, I left after just a year to go into sales and I found out I was a natural at it.  Later I transitioned to financial planning and got certified and used my sales and people skills to create a wonderful business where I helped hundreds of people create wealth, protect their families and create legacies.

What if I had stayed in that job as a clerk typist and tried to survive in corporate?  All I know is I followed my passion and faced my fear.  Back then it was all based purely on intuition.  Today, I understand the secret to creating a joyful and financially rewarding life, and here are my top 3 secrets here:

  1. Identify what you love doing and are passionate.  Do this in your personal and business life.  If you have forgotten your unique abilities and passions – ask others what you were great at when you were young.  How do they remember you?  Write these things down.
  2. Now identify all the things you are terrible at, things that drain your energy, that destroy your confidence.  Is it public speaking, sports, baking, paperwork, working with machinery or your hands?  There are great assessments for this like that will help you get more clarity here.
  3. Now focus 80% of your time doing those things that you are great at and delegate, outsource and partner with others that are great at the things that you aren’t.  This is such a simple solution and the 80/20 rule works every time.

I have always delegated everything that wasn’t my unique ability or found someone to partner with.  Take a look at your business and identify all the things that you can outsource or even look for someone to partner with who complements you perfectly.  I did this first with my partner, John, when I was a financial planner, and that’s how we created a million-dollar business.  I did this again last year with my client, Michelle, and now she is launching her own business.

We both got what we needed out of the year-long relationship. It was a total win/win.  I would love to hear from you on this topic with how you have done this yourself or any questions or challenges you may be facing.  Post your comments and questions below.  We’d love to hear from you!

Want to talk personally about your unique situation?  Schedule your complimentary 30-minute Discovery Coaching Session now:  Coaching Application

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