Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Success Principles ~ Principle 39

Jack Canfield's 39th Success Principle is stay focused on your core genius. He defines core genius as "some one thing that you love to do and do so well that you hardly feel like charging people for it. It's effortless for you and a whole lot of fun. And if you could make money doing it, you'd make it your lifetime's work."

Once you've found your core genius, Canfield suggests you stick to it, delegating other tasks, particularly grunt work. He acknowledges most people find this difficult for a variety of reasons - they worry they will be judged, they don't want to give up control or spend the money or they simply are in the habit of doing everything themselves. He points out that if you earn $75 an hour, instead of mowing your own lawn, it's far more efficient to hire a kid to do it for $10 and hour.

He also points out the more you do what you love to do, the better you will get at it. So if you get paid for writing, you are consistently being paid to hone your craft. My problem is that he frames this idea by suggesting we "become a con artist doing what you love to do." This concept rankles me so deeply that I could almost miss the valuable point in here.

You see, like most of my clients and friends, it has actually been hard to step up and be paid for the work that I'm best at precisely because it does make you feel like a con artist. How can I be being paid for something I find this easy and fun? Isn't work supposed to be hard? And so we slog at something that feels miserable and therefore respectable instead of thriving sharing what we actually excel at. So, for me, labelling doing your best work as becoming a "con artist" is powerfully detrimental and feeds the gremlin's fire.

So, instead let's think of it as being paid to share our gifts. And in honour of the gifts we've been given, we will continue to develop them. In fact, instead of goods and services traded for payment, why not consider such a transaction an exchange of gifts? I am sharing what I do best and my clients, in turn, are sharing a symbol of their work, hopefully work that represents what they do best.
My interpretation of this principle is to focus on my gifts by developing them and sharing them as the core of my work and my life.
How would you apply this principle?


Leah said...

i can definitely relate to the challenges of asking for money for things that come naturally. and i agree about the con artist bit. it makes it seem dirty somehow in a way that doesn't vibe well with me at all.

i like the idea of an exchange of gifts. i also like to think of it as being open to people valuing my gifts and valuing myself.

Marilyn said...

"Isn't work supposed to be hard?" If only we each had a million dollars for each time we've said that... It's a hard one to shake.

Scarlett said...

oh thanks so much for this post. this is something i definitely need to talk about because as a photographer, someone who is almost obsessed with documenting and capturing the essence of a person or place....i love to do this, i must do this, and i want to do it soley, totally, 100% of the time...but i can't live or pay any of my bills without charging! i definitely don't charge very much for the amount of time i spend on it...but...hhhmm. VERY good point, i love what you said: an exchange of gifts! very powerful way to perceive such!

Melba said...

There is a great book that really shifted my thoughts about money called "your money or your life"
In it the authors talk about "the exchange of life energy" I think about that all the time. What I am exchanging my life energy for.

I am finally embracing the phrase "do what you love and the money will follow"
I believe this is so true.
I am in the process of figuring out exactly what it is I love so I can do it all day!


here is a link to that book's website. It is really amazing way to look at money and life.