If you've been following me on most social media platforms (if you aren't...what're you waiting for?!) then you would be aware that I've been consuming all things Gary Vaynerchuk. If there's one trait he believes is the reason for his success, it would be emotional intelligence (EQ) and being self aware. I'm aware (HA! You see what I did there?) that's two words but they're layered in very closely together.
On what's the most important trait for an entrepreneur to have:
"Not hustle, not smart, but being self aware" - Gary Vaynerchuk
He preaches going all in on your strengths. This requires a person to be self aware and being honest with themselves or you'll need to ask your closest friends to tell you. The latter being a bit difficult and I'll discuss how to do so at the end. Self awareness is the conscious knowledge of ones own character, feelings, motives and desires. The lack of this has been seen for over a decade during the try outs of American Idol, a lack of self awareness that they're not very good singers.
A lack of self awareness happens for a multitude of reasons. The main one is having this romantic version of the person they think they should be. Audit yourself and stop bullshitting. Know what you're good at and stop trying to do things that don't come to you naturally. What may work for one person may not work for you. I used to think all successful businessmen knew the numbers inside and out. (They do to an extent)
Here's my own personal struggles with math. I was never a good student when it came to math once I moved past algebra. I wasn't a bad student, usually getting A-B grades in everything BUT math. Once I became self employed, I would work diligently to get better at crunching numbers. Anyone who's self employed should have a grasp on being able to read a P&L (profit & loss) form or project your own yearly earnings, is it completely necessary to have the knowledge of say an accountant? Nope.
Enter Gary Vaynerchuk and the commitment to self awareness. If I need more "math" I'll hire someone. Why try to be an expert at something you
- Don't have a passion to excel in.
- You aren't natural inclined to be great at.
Go find someone who does and you'll not only save yourself a headache but likely money since you realize you aren't rain man with numbers, remember?!
The idea of EQ was coined by psychologist Michael Beldoch in the early 60's but more recently via journalist Daniel Goleman's 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, who made it a point to compare EQ to IQ. In the study he has a chapter titled "When Smart is Dumb" where he shows that many high IQ scoring students end up failing miserably in their practical lives. Where as in contrast the "average" individuals went on to have phenomenal success. IQ not to be completely dismissed if about 20% to EQ's 80% role in an individual's potential success.
This is obviously important in an industry like fitness where having the ability to recognize and differentiate others' feelings and responding to them appropriately means the difference between getting a sign up and losing a client. It's definitely a massive predictor of future success in the business world.
In an ideal world one would have both, IQ and EQ to deal with clients. The problem with only having IQ, I would equate that to being the trainer who only has textbook knowledge and little to no experience to back up those research journals. On the other end of the spectrum there's the trainer with only EQ who only has under the bar experience, possibly no qualifications but looks the part and trains all his clients the same way. One without the other sounds pretty limited. Which one are you? (Hint: we're never 50/50 each)
I'm Self Aware
- Are you really? haha I have to ask.
- Yes? what are your strengths and how is that helping you move forward?
- What are you weaknesses? What are you doing to cover those bases?
- Push your chips all in on your strengths, and don't look back!
I'm Not Self Aware
- If you can be honest with yourself, I would take a moment alone to really think about this critically.
- If you're the type that can't or don't know what you suck at, I would gather some intel from family and close friends who know you the best.
- I would start with something along the lines of "I want you to know that I won't be upset but I want to better myself and need you to be honest with me so that I can start the process. In your opinion what is it that I do well? And where do I come up short?" The goal is to create an environment of honesty.
- Once you have that information, because it's comes from those who know you best, there should be a pattern. What comes up frequently under strengths and how about weaknesses? Decide are those strengths good enough to pursue whatever it is you want to do? If not, how can you refine those traits or are you not suited for the task at hand?
Everybody wants to be self employed, but maybe you don't have the skill to do it. Being your own boss is a skill just like playing in the NBA is. I didn't wake up one morning and said, you know what I want to be in the NBA now. I'm going to practice every day, will I make the NBA? Probably not since I don't naturally have the skills of being explosive, a thicker body frame and oh yeah I'm 5'7". I can be the best player I can be,which is probably dominating a rec league, but I'll never play a second in the NBA.
Accept your short comings and focus on your strengths. What awaits is change for the better, I promise.