You’re an entrepreneur. You’re the big idea person. The boots-on-the-ground person, and the accelerate your business growth person. The everything-in-between person. And, at least for a while, you relegate yourself to be the wearer-of-all-hats and juggler-of-all-balls, too, because, well, who else can?
And that approach works. But long term, you know deep down it isn’t sustainable – not if you want to accelerate your business’ growth, anyway. Because while your business may be bursting at the seams ready to grow, you can’t possibly do more than you already do, try as you might to convince yourself otherwise.
You’re a root-bound plant who knows it’s time for a pot upgrade so you can experience limitless growth. But how can you unfurl your potential?
It’s time to enter the zone. The zone … of genius.
The Zone of Genius
As much as we’d like to take credit for that amazing nomenclature, the Zone of Genius is the brainchild of author Gay Hendricks. In his book, The Big Leap, he outlines four critical aspects of function. Summarized, they are…
1. The Zone of Incompetence: You engage in things you inherently do not understand or are not skilled at.
2. The Zone of Competence: You do what you are efficient at but your skills don’t distinguish you in any significant way.
3. The Zone of Excellence: You do things you are tremendously skilled at by cultivating, practicing, and establishing those skills over time.
4. The Zone of Genius: You capitalize on your innate natural abilities rather than those learned. Here, you find your flow, ceaseless inspiration, and produce things that are distinguished and unique in a way that excels beyond what anyone else is doing.
And not to butter you up or anything, but we feel pretty confident in assuming – especially if you’re reading this – that you’ve likely cruised past the first two zones and now reside comfortably in the Zone of Excellence. You can’t exactly do all the things, solve all the problems, and build a business primed for accelerated growth subsisting in the first two, right?
And if working in your ‘Zone of Genius’ means you’re capitalizing on your natural abilities, and capitalizing on your natural abilities means you’re engaged, then by virtue of the transitive property, engaged entrepreneurs that work in their Zone of Genius will be happier and more productive.
Sounds like a Cycle of Awesome to us.
But how, exactly, do you get promoted to the Zone of Genius?*
*cue alluringly foretelling music*
The Science of Engagement, Happiness & Growth
Listen. We’re not just throwing out fancy mathematical terms like ‘transitive property’ just to impress you – though admittedly we hope it did. There are statistics and science to back us up.
Did you know …
- A study found that engagement predicts well-being above anything else, with employees often ranking well-being over material benefits.
- A study found that happiness led to a 12% increase in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. The research team said, ‘We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.’
- A study found that happiness was found to raise sales by 37%.
- Organizations with a high level of engagement report 22% higher productivity.
The Self-Perpetuating Promotion
Since we’re not the kind to say ‘We told you so,’ we’ll simply point out that it just so happens that three of the biggest contributing factors to getting in – and staying in – your Zone of Genius are things that we’ve advocated for since, well, forever.
Especially things you don’t like, find tedious, or think are boring. Hiring someone to whom you can delegate can multiply your efforts. For example, if you have the vision for websites but hate coding and web development, hire someone you trust. Give them the work you don’t have time for – or the work you don’t know how to do.
Take the time to look into automating things like invoices, emails, scheduled social media posts, and more. A quick search will yield countless tools and websites that can do tasks for you. Sounds simple, but we often get so used to our way of doing things that we miss opportunities for growth.
3. Just Say No
Once you’ve determined what tasks, initiatives, and projects benefit most from your natural abilities, it should be much more clear which things shouldn’t receive your time or talents. Sure, you could handle that one task, but why take on anything that will demote you from the Zone of Genius? Our advice: Just say no.
There exists virtually unlimited potential and power in capitalizing on what makes you inherently you and when compounded by working in your Zone of Genius, your business stands to reap a windfall of accelerated growth.