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Call it hyperfocus, flow or zone, we have all experienced a state where everything comes naturally. We lose track of time, tasks are easily accomplished, and we turn our passion into success.
As entrepreneurs, wouldn’t it be nice if we could use this genius zone to help us in our business? How do we set our goals—whether we want to make more money, get healthier, or nurture our relationships—so that we can be in a state of flow as we pursue them?
Many of us assume it’s just a coincidence. You can think of the flow state as this stroke of lucky lightning in a bottle that randomly blesses you. But through self-discovery and clarification of your life path, you can discover the qualities of your unique zone of genius.
From there, you can replicate those conditions by spending more time in that hyper-productive and fulfilling space.
Related: Be Firm in Your Genius Zone
Why find the genius zone?
Finding my genius zone has been a developmental journey of countless lessons learned from failures and successes along the way. I can’t promise that finding yours will be easy, but the rewards are worth it when you get there.
I recently spoke with James Peters, a prominent mindset coach, about why identifying your genius zone is such a crucial but often overlooked step on the entrepreneurial journey.
For Peters, getting into flow isn’t chasing broad goals like chasing money, but rather following specific passions with the goal of mastering them. This philosophy is based on the idea that when you focus on becoming great at something, the money will naturally follow.
Spending time in a flow state fills your tank, while working out of it leads to burnout. Obviously, we can’t do what we love all the time — especially for startup entrepreneurs — but when we can pinpoint our genius zone, we can optimize our workflow to spend the most time doing it.
This is where the real leverage comes in that has transformed my own business and the way I think about greatness. By learning where you can create the most value in your company, you can now begin to find talent that can help you complete tasks outside of your genius zone.
You are working now on your job while doing what you love, instead in it.
Related: 6 Reasons Why Specific Goals Are Key to Entrepreneurial Success
How to discover the genius zone
The key to discovering who you are starts with asking the right questions. From working with Peters and through my own experience, there are some insightful questions you can ask yourself.
Be careful not to romanticize a version of yourself that you wish were true. Searching for a genius that isn’t yours will only take you further from the flow state. Be brutally honest with yourself, tap into your inner authenticity and write down the answers to these questions:
What work can I do without feeling like work? What can I do for long periods of time without getting tired or bored?
What gives me the greatest pleasure in my job? (ie helping others, inspiring others, collaboration, problem solving, concept strategy, etc.)
When I’m at my best, what exactly am I doing?
When do I do what gives me the greatest pleasure?
As you write down your answers, it may not be immediately obvious how they can be turned into business. That’s OK! Write first, then think.
Related: 5 Tips to Turn Your Passion into a Successful Business
Applying the genius zone in your business
Once you’ve gone through the questions, it’s time to think about how your genius zone can apply to your business. For example, if you like talking to people and helping others, you could thrive in a community leader role rather than managing an administration. However, if you enjoy being behind the scenes and working on concepts and exploring creative ideas, then you could thrive in a freelance role. Even if you’re a business owner, you have the ability to make these adjustments to support your ingenuity.
Whether you currently have a job or want to be an entrepreneur, make a list of what you are doing now and what you need to change to align with your genius zone. Many business owners will eventually go through this process, realizing that what they were doing before is no longer working.
Once they step into an authentic role and rent out the tasks that hinder them from achieving peak efficiency, the company experiences a significant increase in productivity. We all have the capacity to unlock our genius zone and step into a life that fills our glass, instead of draining it.
These lessons have helped me optimize where I have the most leverage to grow my business, and I hope they help you do the same.