When I pulled out of my own life insurance brokerage six years ago, a lot of people thought I was making a huge mistake.
But for me, the decision came from a big, big realization. I realized that running an ambitious, rapidly-growing brokerage was totally draining me of the time and energy to focus on the things that I was really good at. I realized that in so many ways my firm’s success was getting in the way of my personal success.
I knew something had to change, but I wasn’t sure how drastic that change needed to be. The answer came to me fast and clear when I discovered my Unique Ability® at Strategic Coach.
To give you a quick understanding on Unique Ability®: It is essentially what you love to do and what you do best. It revolves around your natural talents and abilities, those inherent skills that you often take for granted, but the people around you value immensely. When you start to build your work around your Unique Ability®, you learn to make a difference in the way that you want to.
Defining your Unique Ability® is a journey. I’ll take you through mine, and then leave you with a link to get started on your own journey.
First, I identified what I was good at: So I’m a big picture guy. I’m great at envisioning what’s going to work, what isn’t and how everything comes together in the best possible way.
But put me in front of an Excel sheet to work out the details and I’m bored and unenthused before from the word ‘go’. Product suites, premiums and percentages, what might seem like the heart of a life insurance product – those aren’t really my thing.
My expertise lies in the solution. I understand my client’s need, really connect with them on many different levels, and then go to the drawing board to outline a phenomenal solution for them. I’m results-oriented, so that’s where my eyes are – on the goal.
Then, I had to identify what I’m not good at and find a solution for that gap: I’m terrible at details. I need a personal assistant to manage my calendar because I’ll overcommit and double-book myself simply because I’m so focused on getting the job done.
This gap needed filling, of course. So I’ve hired myself a team of exceptional individuals, all of whom have unique abilities that compliment mine, rather than mirror them. My team is detail-oriented, great with numbers and Excel sheets and can schedule my year down to every hour.
I believe in outsourcing key aspects of my business effort, to people whose Unique Abilities align with those aspects. This gives birth to an unparalleled positive energy at work – everyone’s doing something they love to do and are good at.
A Day in My Life Post-Unique Ability®
With the business, I was often weighed down with those business-owner things that just had to get done. I had little control over my day – it was more like getting into work and then tackling a big, responsibility-laden to-do list.
My days look drastically different now. I spend the majority of my time doing the things that allow me to use my Unique Ability® – taking action, challenging people and instigating positive change in any way that I can. I’m futuristic, results-oriented and I’m an ‘Includer’ – I love building communities of super-achievers that are driven to be their best selves, and in turn, drive me to be my best self. The whole thing is one big happy, fulfilling achievement cycle.
My days are now focused on breakthrough meetings with my clients and my ‘introducers’, powerful connections in my network that refer me to potential clients within their networks.
When I’m not working, I’m either pushing myself at InnerFight, my CrossFit box, where I also often drag my clients along with me for a grueling workout, or running a trail somewhere in Ras Al Khaimah – fine-tuning, pushing limits, challenging myself and helping to build that community of go-getters, or spending quality time with my family – another massive source of strength and inspiration for me.
The realization has changed the way I approach everything – work, life, personal goals, relationships. It’s surprising how much I’ve been able to achieve with these insights.
Here’s a starting point for you, if you think you’re ready to discover your Unique Ability® too. Be warned, though – it’s going to change things. A lot.