Hidden in Plain Site

skillsWhy is it that we can never see what’s plainly obvious to others? Whether it’s the person we should be with (she’s just a friend, not my soul mate) or our calling, sometimes it’s hard to see what is right in front of us.

When it comes to finding an ideal work-from-home business, people tend to bounce around the obvious choice – the one that is a perfect blend of their passions, talents, and gifts.

Take for example a guy I’ll call Ralph (not his real name). He’s a natural people person, and loves to teach. His way of presenting information is so intuitive, it’s almost like you can’t help but learn from him. He went into sales instead of teaching because of the money. Now, after his new baby was born, he’d love to be home more. After discussing his love of teaching and training, and his natural gifts for presenting ideas in a clear and interesting way, he narrowed down his choices of the perfect work-from-home business. Now did he choose:

A. A training and consulting business geared towards presenting corporate training in a way that engages the clients. Or,
B. A multi level marketing “business” his friend Bill said he would be great at because of his natural sales ability?

It was obvious to everyone but Ralph that option “A” would not only make him happy, but be very lucrative in the long run. But the promise of “millions just from recruiting your friends” sounded easier than starting a training business. When I asked Ralph why, he said he didn’t think anyone would really be willing to pay him to teach and train because it was so easy. That anyone could do it. Why pay him, an outside consultant, to do what they could easily do on their own?

The answer, again obvious to everyone but him, was that is wasn’t easy. It was just easy for him. Often when we are considering our own unique gifts, we just assume that everyone can do it as easily as us – because it comes so natural. Whether it’s art, writing, teaching, building things, singing – any special innate talent – to the one lucky enough to have it, it just seems normal. But to everyone else, it’s anything but. It’s a special talent and an ideal way for you to create a successful venture.

So how do we identify these gifts? Here are a few options:

  1. Start to recognize your talents and passions for what they are. Gifts special to you and something unique that you bring to the world.
  2. Ask friends and family what they would say are your special talents. Ask people you trust, and who know you well, but don’t have any specific “mold” of how they think you should be.
  3. Look at what you do that comes so naturally you tend to not even notice it. What creates that magical state of flow when you’re doing it, and seems to make time fly by.
  4. What do people consistently ask you for help doing, because you’re the guy or gal with the skills? Are you always helping people with their car, A/V equipment, their craft projects? Are people always asking for fashion tips, interior design options, or health and fitness questions?

By being aware of what you do naturally, those skills that you enjoy using, and how you can provide value to others, you can find the foundation on which to build a successful home-based business. A business that is a unique contribution, because it offers those special gifts that only you can bring to the marketplace.