Focus on Your Strengths…

2

but not to the point where you completely ignore your weaknesses.

Have you ever wondered why you plateau when you seem to be doing really well? Things are rising quickly, all of your projects are coming along nicely, money is flowing in with regular increase, and all of a sudden everything seems to stall. It is the strangest feeling. Suddenly it’s as if the world has decided this is as far as you go on the path to success.

Life is trying to tell you something: what got you to this level will not take you to the next level. New skills are needed to go further.

We often don’t want to hear this message. We get used to growing at a rapid rate. Things have gotten rather easy for us. When we started, there were a lot of challenges and things we needed to learn, but now we’ve kinda gotten the hang of everything. We can run on something close to auto-pilot.

When this happens, we are on the way down and don’t realize it yet. When things become easy and you let your guard down, you are opening up the way for a lack of discipline and to be blindsided because you were not paying enough attention.

Before I left for Afghanistan, one of the officers training my unit said something very wise that most of us forgot after a few months. He told us that every single death caused by the enemy to our troops was the fault of our own troops. Some of you will feel a little angry at that remark, but bear with me and I will explain what he meant. He continued through the shocked expressions by saying that we have superior numbers, more resources, better technology, and a much larger support from the local population. We literally had every tactical advantage in Afghanistan. The only thing they had that our troops lacked was focus. After months of staying alert constantly with nothing happening, U.S. soldiers would usually begin to grow lax in their discipline. When walking perimeters the soldiers would carry their weapon casually. Standing guard at the entrance of buildings, soldiers would chat with each other and not pay attention to their environment. Soldiers would walk around without looking at where they were stepping. This lack of focus and constant vigilance had allowed a smaller, less equipped force to harm a superior military. The one advantage our enemy had was focus.

I will admit, after six months I lost some of my focus and discipline. I didn’t clean my rifle very often. I stopped watching where I stepped in “safe” zones. I would get lost in thought while standing guard at night. I did all of this until a Humvee ran over an IED(Improvised Explosive Device) less than 50 feet from the front gate of our base. One soldier was killed and two more were critically injured. The driver had been trained over and over to avoid anything on the road because it could be a marker to locals that there was a bomb there. Even so, he ran over a Coke can and lost his life.

In our lives, losing focus is rarely such a matter of instant life or death. We can start to let our minds wander down paths of imagination and lose sight of what got us to where we are. We can rest on the skills we have already developed and not learn any more and for a while maintain our success. Still, the law of the harvest is always working, and we will reap what we sow. That plateau in your life is God’s warning shot that you need to develop more.

At this point, we have two choices: we can continue to work on our field of expertise or we can develop a complimentary skill to grow ourselves. Usually, the better answer is to grow ourselves.

I’m dealing with this right now. I’ve learned a lot of things in my life. I have mastered dozens of sales styles and have excelled in that arena. Writing comes very easy to me and I’m often told that my style is enjoyable to read. I can build rapport and develop an easy friendship with almost anyone I meet. These are all skills I have developed over the years and they have brought me to this point in my life.

On their own, they can bring me no further. I need to add skills to myself in order to advance. I am not an online marketer. I have never really understood marketing and often times chose to ignore marketers, considering my sales skills to be the “real” reason my clients bought. That was an arrogant viewpoint that cost me more than I will ever know. Now, I am working to develop the skills of a marketer. It is not easy. I often find myself confused and frustrated. Yet, when I have developed this skill, I will be able to rise to new heights of success.

One final note on developing skills; acquire a strong knowledge and ability about one skill before moving on to the next. The “jack of all trades, master of none” is not who you want to be. Master one skill as far as you can, then move on to the next. When you reach a level of proficiency in a skill that is needed to progress, then you can move on to the next one. As you use the newly acquired skill, you will naturally develop your ability in that area over time.

Work on yourself in a new and unfamiliar area. You will find that old spark you felt when you began working on your current skills, all those months and years ago. When we begin to learn and grow again, passion is flooded back into our lives.

So, what are the skills you have been resting on? What has gotten you where you are today? And finally, what is the next skill you need to develop to advance? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Trent

Hey -- my name is Trent Hand. I help people just like you turn their talent into amazing careers. Do you know in your heart you deserve a better job than your current one? If yes -- you and I need to connect! Click on the website link to subscribe! Let’s get you on the road to success starting today... Trent P.S. You can also find me on FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  1. Britney Santiago Reply

    Hi Trent,
    I absolutely LOVE your blog. You write about topics that speak to me in so many ways. What a wonderful site for self reflection as well as humor. I am in the midst of making a career change and wanting to do something with my life that is fulfilling for me and at the same time is helping others to feel optimistic and successful…I will be visiting your blog often. Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to read more. Brit

    • trent Reply

      Thank you so much Britney! I try to be funny, and my fiancee tells me I’m sometimes successful ;) .

      You mentioned you are in the midst of a career change; what are you leaving and where are you going?

      Have you read my latest book “10 Days to Your Magic Life?” If not, there will be free Kindle Promotion on 2/1 and 2/2 for our mailing list. If you’re on the list, you should get an email tomorrow. If not, please sign up and you’ll get one then :) .

      God Bless,
      Trent

  2. Craig Reply

    Good post Trent
    I checked your website out the other day. I like the topic of strengths and the hard truth re taking personal responsibility.
    I get your comments re online marketing – its a minefield and full of dead ends and promises that waste your time in many cases. Sounds like you have the foundation of ‘getting’ how to connect with people – the marketing is another beast as you would know.

    • trent Reply

      Thanks so much Craig!

      It’s hard for people to accept they are the cause of their own lives. It’s much easier to blame others or circumstances. Still, when we take that route, we give up all of our ability to change our circumstances.

      Yeah, marketing isn’t my strong point, but I’m learning more about it, as I feel it’s incredibly important to learn. My coach always tells me “Markets are conversations” and that helps me gear my efforts toward real people. It’s working well.

      What are you working on right now?

  3. J.C. Reply

    Trent, This article is fantastic. The best I’ve read. It is the truth and it is practical. Can be applied to better situations!! Terrific!!!! Also, you are absolutely becoming a more skilled. Yesterday I did not know you or your work. Today, I read this fantastic article and will use you as a resource. Because of twitter! thank you!

    • trent Reply

      Thanks J.C. I help people do this for a living, and I found it’s the best way to achieve success. Too many people try to be good at everything instead of learning how to be great at anything, which is a huge mistake.

      Thank you for reading. Please, let me know of any way I can help you.

      Trent

  4. Lisa Sawyer Reply

    Trent,

    Thanks for following me on Twitter today, so I could be made aware of you and your blog! As I am building my virtual assistant business, I am faced with this topic regularly – what are my strengths vs. what are potential clients looking for? What’s the type of client I want to assist? Why was I feeling so high and motivated yesterday and today I’m not? What do I want to learn more about that interests me and can be of value to others? Some days, there is lots of internal “stuff” going on. Ultimately, I want to be happy achieving my success while assisting others in achieving theirs. Like you, I know I need to develop new skills. :-)

    I appreciate the great posts(s) and the connection.

    Lisa

    • trent Reply

      Lisa,

      I’m so glad we can connect and that my thoughts are helping you achieve your dreams.

      I went through many of the questions you mentioned above when I began my business.

      If you like, email me at trent@magiclifenetwork.com, or if you are subscribed to the newsletter, just REPLY to anything I send you and it will go to my personal inbox. I might be able to help you with some of your hurdles.

      God Bless,
      Trent

  5. UNAVERSAL TRIUMPH Reply

    ME BEING A MUSIC ARTIST OVER THE YEARS ITS REALLY VALUABLE I STAY FOCUS TO GET NEXT LEVEL TO NEXT LEVEL AND YOUR SHORT ARTICLE GAVE ME MORE “FOCUS”
    #Salute

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