Planning a new business (or reinventing an old business) with the seed system means reaching your financial goal while doing something that you enjoy.
If you don’t enjoy your work then you won’t reach the fourth of the five goals, peace of mind. For example, on the real estate team we formed we had a lot of previous experience with construction and managing properties. We had been buyers and sellers ourselves many times. We had made money on our own real estate investments so we had experience and talent to share with our clients. We enjoy working with people, we like exceptional properties that make people feel good, we enjoy helping others meet their goals, and so real estate sales is a good fit for us. While you may have a totally different vision for your business, the seed system will work for you in all your endeavors.
Now it is time to do some “inner shopping”; the two exercises below are designed to help you look inward to identify your talents and interests. Ultimately, for a fulfilling and meaningful career, you want your business plan to align closely with your talents and interests. We all have natural talents, things we tried when we were young and it turned out that it was easier for us to do then it was for others, maybe we didn’t have to work that hard to play piano for example. But just because you had natural talent at piano doesn’t mean you want to spend your life as a concert pianist.
Other talents have been developed later in life through hard work and repetition.
Exercise 3 Finding my Natural Talents
Make a list of everything you are good at such as computer skills (specific programs or areas), people skills, marketing, design, social media, creating community, cooking pancakes, whatever. Don’t leave anything out! I have a friend who says her superpower is that her hair stays clean for up to two weeks without washing.
Now make a list of what you enjoy or are interested in even if you don’t have any experience yet in that area. Put a check mark next to the things you are good at that you are also interested in, that you enjoy doing. Take note of things you are interested in and want to develop more. Keep adding to these two lists as you read this book, remembering things you love to do.
Knowing what you are good at and what you are interested in is so important, don’t skip the exercises, do what you love! If you spend all your time doing things that you don’t like to do then you are really wasting your precious life. A good business owner does need to know how to do at least a little of everything involved in their business but that doesn’t mean you have to spend all your time doing things you aren’t good at and don’t like to do. You might not even want to own a business. Maybe being an employee who profit shares is a better fit for you. Keep in mind that you are being generous when you pay someone to do something; I love paying my accountant for example!
You will shine and your business will prosper if you focus on your talents and passions. Create a team to do the other things. In our case, Tiare is a great people person. She is really good at being social. She loves organized systems, and Tiare will help a client above and beyond the job description. She once helped out a client by bringing them a pregnancy test! On the other hand, I am focused more on the facts. I like it when the math adds up. I like to get things done efficiently, without wasted effort, and the big payoff for me is to see happy clients get the results they want. Our talents complemented each other and that equaled more success for our business.
Now that you have thought about your talents and interests, let’s think about uncovering what you’ve probably never thought about: your many hidden assets, the forgotten aspects of who you are. The ancient Asian tradition says we all have a hidden talent, like a thick vein of precious silver, deep in the bedrock of the earth, that is waiting to be mined. You may not even be aware of your hidden talent. Maybe it is a musical talent. Maybe you love to help people by balancing their financial accounts. You may be able to uncover your hidden talent by recalling your childhood dreams.
Exercise 4 Finding my Hidden Assets
Write down 5 things you wanted to do when you “grew up”. Write down five more things that you loved to do when you were younger. It’s fine if you have less or more than five, keep adding to the list as memories and dreams bubble up.
Take a look at your list. Try to remember why you wanted to do those things. How do we use childhood dreams to discover our hidden talents? Ask yourself, what was it about those dreams that grabbed me?
Here is how it worked for me. When I was a young child I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I wanted to be an Olympic equestrian, jumping horses over huge fences with grace and ease. I gave up on being a veterinarian at seventeen because I could not imagine being in school for 8 more years. I did follow my passion for riding and became a professional horsewoman for several years after dropping out of an excellent college much to my parents disappointment. It was difficult to make money in the horse industry, I didn’t have the money that other competors appeared to have to finance their sport so I began riding young race horses. I ran into some trouble with a sexist trainer who put me on the most difficult horses to try to get me to quit. After breaking my ankle in an accident when a horse fell on me and having another serious fall I did give up, deciding that there must be an easier and safer way to make a living.
Looking back on those events now that I am past middle age, I see that I had a deep desire to help the helpless that fueled the idea of being a vet. As for my dream of riding in the Olympics, I still have horses forty years later. It is the partnership, the balance, the dance of give and take that has kept me passionate about horsemanship all these years. Plus, the horses require my loving care to be safe and healthy which goes back to my passion for helping those who need help.
Do you have a passion? Is there anything in your work that when you are doing it you lose track of time? Something that you would stay late to finish, not even realizing it was past time to go home? Something you would stay up late into the night to do, because you became so absorbed in your work? Don’t worry if you don’t know what your passion is yet, the seed planting system can help you uncover your passion and your hidden talent.
In my mid-forties I paused for a midlife “evaluation” (you could say “crisis of purpose”) and asked myself what I was passionate about. What did I want to do with the life I had left? What was my purpose? I thought of the things I had done in my life that I loved; downhill skiing: ceramics on the wheel, yoga, meditation, riding. I saw that there was a common thread, I love and have a talent for balancing stability and ease. All those activities require a certain quality of effort that is sensitive to not overdoing, if you push at the wrong time you ruin the pot, crash on the slope or hurt yourself or your horse. So there it was, hiding in plain sight, my hidden talent, the art of “not too tight/not too loose.” It had been with me all along but I hadn’t realized it. There is no college degree in balanced graceful effort that I am aware of but I have been enjoying looking for it in all areas of my life ever since I recognized my hidden talent and its connection to passion. Even in business there is a beauty in balancing the needs of the different parties to negotiate a successful contract.
Why did I discover my hidden talent when I did? According to the seed system we first have to give away what we want and I had done just that, supporting my boyfriend’s talent and passion for being a musician. Just as my business partnership has given me the perfect situation to create financial freedom, my personal partnership with a creative person gave me the opportunity to plant my own talent, passion and purpose.
When I recognized my hidden talent, I was on the verge of meeting the founder of Diamond Cutter Institute, Michael Roach, a “chance” meeting which would give me the tools to use my talents and passion for a purpose that inspired me. Teaching people to ski is fun but it didn’t feel like my life’s work. I set about using the seed system to achieve my own success in the five goals, to prove it to myself, so that I could share it with others so they could also reach the five goals.
You deserve to have a life that is meaningful to you, work that you are passionate about, excitement about getting up in the morning!