Posted on Posted in Productivity, The Prolific Author



Consider this idea.

You already hold within you the superpower which is going to provide the fuel for your success.

Your superpower is the strengths and abilities you already possess that make you feel most alive and excited.

 “Society’s relentless focus on people’s shortcomings has turned into a global obsession. What’s more, we have discovered that people have several times more potential for growth when they invest energy in developing their strengths instead of correcting their deficiencies.” Tom Rath

Let’s focus on that last sentence.

What would happen if you focused on what you did best in life, instead of constantly adding to the list of skills and techniques you felt you had to learn before you could become a success in your niche?


Focusing on your natural authentic talents, means your work will be aligned to your true potential and you will achieve much greater returns for your hard work and practice. You will be building on your strengths which in turn will become your most powerful assets.


Begin by answering these ten questions:

Question 1. If you won the lottery tomorrow and had the freedom to spend your time and money doing something you would love to do more of, what would that be?

Would you go back to university for example, or spend more time travelling to research a topic you feel passionately about? Would you take yourself off on a writing retreat in a fabulous location for a month? Go wild! You can go anywhere and do whatsoever you want.

Give yourself permission to retune your energy and emotional power back to those things which truly delight you.

Question 2. What do people tell you that you are good at? What do you receive compliments about?

This could be soft skills such as empathy, listening and caring, as well as technical and business skills such as computer coding, proofreading, copyediting and interior design. If you enjoy volunteering in the community, what aspects are you drawn to?

Give yourself permission to ask those friends or family members who know you best what they feel are your special gifts.

Question 3. What hobbies or interests do you spend time doing now, or have done in the past, that you enjoy so much that you lose all track of time?

If you have a spare hour to spend on your own each day, how would you spend that free time in total self-indulgence? These are the tasks you would instinctively do because they energise and engage you and you love to spend time in that zone.

Give yourself permission to allocate time in your diary to develop those hobbies or interests so that you can master them

Question 4. What skill or talent comes so naturally to you that you don’t even have to think about it, but other people struggle with?

What topic could you talk about for hours off the cuff, without looking at a single script?

For example, not everyone can run marathons, bake bread, sew their own clothes, write short stories, research military tactics and create spreadsheets and slide decks.

Give yourself permission to take pride in your talent and skill.

Question 5. If someone asked you what you were good at, how would you answer?

Your reply might include something you are proud of achieving in your life, from climbing Mount Everest to being a single parent to teenagers, or a skill you have developed over the years, such as oil painting, making silver jewellery or website coding.

When you carry out those tasks you feel comfortable and know that you are in control of the work.

Give yourself permission to step up and reply with a list of skills and strengths that make you happy, which might have nothing to do with your academic qualifications.

Question 6. Do you feel you work better on your own, or do you love the buzz that comes with being part of a much larger team?

Give yourself permission to accept your strengths lie in a particular way of working.

Question 7. Do you feel that you have any skills and abilities you have pushed to one side because of your other life choices? Think back to when you were 9 years old, then 15. Can you remember what you were obsessively interested in? What did you love to do?

Give yourself permission to look back and recall a time in your life when you instinctively knew that you were good at something and enjoyed it and wanted to learn more.


Now take a moment to read through your answers and spot any common themes that might emerge.

Where and when do you feel most engaged and enthusiastic and energised about what you are doing?

Are you best working on your own or do you really enjoy teamwork and the fast paced feedback from people around you?

What kind of projects would make best use of your innate skills and talents so that they seem effortless and yet totally rewarding? Then think about your projects.

Do you prefer longer research-based projects such as extensive craft projects or writing non-fiction books, courses and educational materials, where you can learn intricate detail about your topic, or short projects you can complete in the fastest time possible?

Working on projects where you can make the best use of your skills and talents will be the fastest way forwards for a rewarding and fulfilling career.

How to Deal with your Weaker Areas as a Creative Entrepreneur

Now that you have recognised and honed in on your natural potential and passions there are bound to be areas of your ideal business project where you are not going to have the talent or skill set to excel.

This is part of the acceptance process.

It is all too easy to use this as an excuse to feed your negative self-talk and self-doubt.

Instead, the strategic approach is to stay positive and recognise and accept that you are the best at every aspect of your project and you will have to take action to correct that deficit.

There are three options.

Option One.

You don’t do anything and instead, spend all of your energy on your strengths.

I know several fiction authors who want to focus on their superpowers, creating compelling fiction, and would rather eat their own feet than learn how to market and promote their work. They don’t have any social media or another kind of platform and refuse to do so. Their work is sold and distributed by their publisher without any involvement from the author.

These authors recognise and accept that marketing their author branding is not an area they want to spend time on and have made the informed decision not to do so.

Option Two.

You use the Pareto 80/20 Principle and learn just enough about the gap in your knowledge to achieve an effective level of results which gets the job done.

This can be the best way to maximise your time so you can focus on your talent. The trade-off is that this aspect may not be perfect but it works.

For example, as a fiction author, I recognise that my strengths and talents include characterisation and story structure. I am not naturally gifted at website design, but I know I want to build an author platform which includes an author website. That’s why I decided to go for a simple self-hosted WordPress website using a free theme that they provided. I can update pages and blog posts in minutes. No fuss. No time wasting.

I am not an expert but I can follow the video tutorials and instructions to achieve a website which works well and is easy to maintain.

Other authors have learnt how to do Facebook advertising and how to self-publish their work on the online publishing platforms using free online tutorials.

Option Three.

You delegate those skills and pay someone who is an expert to do the work for you.

Which parts of your project you select to outsource to freelancers or experts will depend on the type of project you are working on, but the objective should always be to recoup your investment as quickly as possible.

For example. Many authors who self-publish their work, including myself, pay for editors to review their manuscript and professional cover design for their book. These investments not only cut out months of the learning cycle but the quality of the final result will be better.

Not everyone has artistic talent.

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These are legitimate business expenses for services which will help your work to stand out from the crowd, and deliver a great experience for the reader.

“One thing to keep in mind… is that the most successful people don’t take on everything themselves. They focus on their strengths and delegate their weaknesses to specialists. Some authors try to do too much themselves and end up shooting themselves in the foot because they end up with a weak link.” Derek Doepker

Productivity, put simply, is the name that we give our attempts to figure out the best uses of our energy, intellect, and time as we try to seize most meaningful rewards with the least wasted effort.

It is a process of learning how to succeed with less stress and struggle. It’s about getting things done without sacrificing everything we care about along the way.

Productivity isn’t about working more or sweating harder. It’s not simply a product of spending longer hours at your desk or making bigger sacrifices.

Rather, productivity is about making certain choices in certain ways. The way we choose to see ourselves and frame daily decisions; the stories we tell ourselves, and the easy goals we ignore.

“The superheroes you have in mind (idols, icons, titans, billionaire, etc.) are nearly all walking flaws who’ve maximised one or two strengths. Humans are imperfect creatures. You don’t succeed because you have no weaknesses; you succeed because you find your unique strengths and focus on developing habits around them.” Tim Ferriss.


become a fearless writer


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