Happy Monday! I love that I now look forward to Mondays instead of feeling dread. All weekend long I was thinking about all the work I was looking forward to getting done this week. What a totally different feeling that is!
Since launching my own business, I’ve been watching a ton of Shark Tank. The show is so entertaining, but also inspiring and educational. It breathes fire into my passion of entrepreneurship!
One thing I’ve taken away from the show is that Mark Cuban repeatedly asks the entrepreneurs “What is your core competency?”
I didn’t give much thought to the question at first, but the more I heard him ask, I started to wonder what my core competency was.
I think it’s important to understand what you are really good at, and also understand what things you may struggle with in all facets of life. It helps David and I in our marriage and as parents. It helps you pick a major when you decide to attend college. It helps you in job interviews and in countless other areas of your life.
I think a common misconception is that life is about being great at all things. And of course this is something to strive for, but ultimately, we each have something inside of us that we are just really, naturally great at.
After giving this some thought over the past few weeks, I’ve determined that my core competency is telling stories in a way that attracts people to listen. I’ve been able to develop this skill in my career over the past few years and I’ve realized I’m really good at it.
You might be thinking, storytelling, really? Well, yes. I tend to think there is beauty in a journey. I like to think the bad times make the good times better. I take a topic like “core competencies” and turn them into think pieces. My goal is to tap into your inner workings and relate to something inside of you. I can do that with a story about a patient who has overcome an illness, I can do that while talking about my breastfeeding journey, and I can do that by asking really silly questions that make you think. I’m good at telling stories and getting people to react! That’s my core competency.
So, now, if I’ve done my job correctly, I’ve got you thinking about what your biggest strength is? Is it math and numbers? Is it caring for others? Is it your inter-personal skills? Are you great at thinking of big ideas? Are you a writer and pay attention to the details of the grammar and punctuation that is used? (This is something I need to hone in on!)
No matter who you are, you have a skill that stands above the rest. And the best part is, you probably already know what it is and maybe even use it to your advantage.
My older sister, for instance, has a knack for giving practical advice. She’s always been the most mature person in the room and her vibe gives off a very mothering nature. She is still the person I call for parenting advice, to read over my resume or other important documents. She has a way about her that makes me trust what she has to say and nine times out of ten, I implement her advice. She has taken this strength of hers and used it to her advantage in her career path. She is about to graduate with her doctorate and is going to be a professor. She has taught countless students over the past few years. She’s just a natural at it.
My younger sister is the life of the party. This used to mean that she was the funny one or the most outgoing, but as she’s aged, this skill has become something I depend on in my life. She always knows how to break the ice. She can make uncomfortable situations worthwhile. She has become dependable and trustworthy because of this skill. She has a knack for people and she has used this skill in her career by becoming an executive assistant at one of the biggest companies in the US. Her boss has sang her praises countless times and I’m so proud of her for turning her skill of being “the life of the party” into something constructive and positive!
Another example, my husband. David is a perfectionist, and as much as that term gets a negative connotation, David has flipped that stereotype on its head. When he puts his mind to it, there isn’t a thing he hasn’t been able to perfect in our almost nine years together. He became a blue bet in Jiu Jitsu in under two years. He has caught some of the biggest fish I’ve ever seen. He started tying flies for fly fishing and within months started selling them for real money. He has moved up at jobs he has no business working at, because on paper, he doesn’t have the skill. David’s core competency is perfecting the skill he needs to succeed. It’s an impressive quality to watch from the outside. When the rest of us are busy second-guessing ourselves, David decides he is going to be great at something and then proves himself right.
The point I’m trying to make is that your core competency isn’t necessarily something practical. It doesn’t have to be something tangible or simple like “I’m great at cooking” or “I’m really good at making the bed.” It can be something tangential or theoretical. We all have something inside of us, what’s yours?