Discover more from Terri Lonier’s Working Solo
What water are you swimming in?
As solopreneurs, we are often unaware of our greatest talents. We're the goldfish swimming in invisible water.
Last week, I coached a recent college grad on his job search possibilities. He wants to apply his artistic talents and engineering smarts to the video game industry.
I pointed out that he’s lucky, as someone who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, to be in one of the best spots on the planet for this industry.
“Really?” he said. “Why’s that?”
”Because most of the tech industry still revolves around Silicon Valley. Established players in the gaming industry are there, and it’s where dozens of startups are pushing the boundaries,” I replied. “It’s all in your backyard.”
What the heck is water?
My young friend had been unaware of the advantages of his environment because it’s been a part of his life since, well, forever for him.
It’s like the David Foster Wallace story of the two goldfish, which goes something like this:
Two young goldfish are swimming along, and they meet an older fish swimming the other way. The older fish nods at them and says, "Morning, boys. How’s the water?" The two young goldfish swim on for a bit, and then one looks over at the other and asks, “What the heck is water?”
Oblivious to opportunities
My conversation with the first-time job seeker made me realize that many solopreneurs also swim in invisible water. We each have many natural talents that we overlook since they come so effortlessly to us. We remain unaware of our greatest advantages.
That’s the thing about starting and growing a one-person business. Many times, the value we bring to the world is invisible to us.
Be the flashlight
Often it takes someone else to point out strengths that we overlook or take for granted.
Be the person who shines a light and points out these strengths to others.
A compliment or observation such as, “You’re really good at that,” can be both encouraging and influential in a solopreneur’s development.
In turn, if you’re the recipient of these comments, take them to heart. Others often recognize our talents before we do.
As we navigate our solopreneur journey, let’s remain open to recognizing and amplifying not only our hidden strengths but also those of others around us.
Thanks for being a reader. See you next week.
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