This article was originally published on Entrepreneur.
A recent experience coaching my daughter’s soccer team reminded me of my strengths as a business owner.
I was recently asked to coach my daughter’s soccer team, and since she’s 11 now, which equals more eye-rolling and less talking to me, and I love soccer, I said yes.
Three weeks ago, we all arrived at the first practice, and everyone was so excited because this was the first time they had been able to play since the pandemic started so long ago. The girls were all chatting, and I kept trying to get them to take a lap to warm up but nobody was listening to me. Like, none of them. Another mom offered to help coach since she had coached before, and we got started.
Well, this woman is a lot more aggressive than I am. And I truly don’t mean this in a bad way; I want and need to be a bit more aggressive. The girls immediately started taking their lap and following the instructions from the other, now, volunteer coach (who is amazing, by the way).
I could feel myself slinking back. I helped here and there, but not like I had imagined before practice started that night.
You see, I have played soccer since I was five years old (I am now 40). I played select, high school and ODP (Olympic Development Program) all through my high school years, even missing my senior homecoming so I could play at a scouted tournament in Washington D.C. I went on to play Division I Women’s Soccer at an SEC school (Geaux Tigers!). I still play in our local co-ed league. Long story short, I know how to play the game.
Why wasn’t I stepping up to be a better coach?
When doubt creeps in
Then, I started to question my coaching style in my business. I should note that right before the pandemic hit, I started coaching a few businesses while also running my marketing agency. Once the pandemic hit, many business owners couldn’t afford to hire anyone to do it for them, so they hired me to teach them so they could do it themselves. It’s amazing, and I love it.
“Maybe I’m not a good marketing coach, either,” I started to think.
“I’m not aggressive enough or have enough backbone to tell people what they need to hear.”
“Why don’t I speak up louder?”
“This proves that I’m not a good marketing coach — I can’t even coach 11-year-old girls.”
These thoughts swirled in my head.
Evaluate your strengths
A few days later, it hit me.
People come to me for help because of my coaching style. I am not the loudest coach. I am not aggressive. I ask a lot of questions. I listen. I use analogies (like ketchup and hamburgers) so business owners can easily understand what they need to know to effectively market their business.
Being able to explain digital-marketing strategies to business owners in a simple way is my superpower.
Then, I got to thinking, how else does this show up in my business? What are my other superpowers?
I write articles like one because I am a better communicator when I write. It’s easier for me to express myself than to go live and talk. I host a podcast without video because I am more comfortable with audio. It makes my interviews better when I am concentrating on my guest and not how much I twirl my hair.
If you can’t tell by now, I hate doing videos.
But, on the flip side, as a marketer, I know how crucial video is — the stats don’t lie. We are consuming more and more video content each year.
I do make it a point to record short videos sometimes so that I am rotating that content, but I know my strengths are writing and interviewing on my podcast, so I double down on those despite what everyone is saying about investing more time in video content.
Some people might hate writing and love the camera. Others may love being on a stage and talking in front of a crowd of people while that thought makes others want to faint (like me).
We’re all different.
What are your superpowers?
So, what are your superpowers? How can you use your strengths in your business?
Are you a financial planner who is able to take the stress and worry away by understanding and listening to your customers? Are you able to help them create a financial plan that will ensure their family, kids and grandkids are taken care of? They will tell everyone they know about you.
Are you a boutique owner who is good at making women feel confident and sexy no matter what size they are? Do you always have those pieces that fit them just right? That’s why they always come back to you.
As entrepreneurs, we are the heart of our business, and you started your business because you have unique talents, abilities and strengths. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the numbers, the day-to-day and, frankly, doubt, that we forget why we started and what makes us so special.
It’s time to remember.
The best practice
Last Tuesday, my co-coach couldn’t make practice so I was in charge …
The girls were kind of rowdy and didn’t listen at first, which made me doubtful for a second.
But I decided to lean into my strengths.
I got their attention and asked them what drills they wanted to do. After those drills, I had them do a game that they do every single practice, but this time, I let the winning squad pick something for the other team to do if they lost. They were so excited about this twist because it hadn’t been done before, and they chose ten burpees. And you know what happened? The winning team did the burpees with them! They were so supportive and cheered each other on; it was great to watch!
As we were wrapping up practice and parents started to show up, one player commented that it was the best practice so far. Another said she wished we could keep practicing! My daughter even asked if I could run a practice again.
It brought the biggest smile to my face. I went with what I knew, and the results were incredible.
So, how can you use your strengths for incredible results in your business and life?