Transcript: Your Zone Of Genius Misses You: How To Find Your Way Back

June 27, 2023

AMY PORTERFIELD: “You got to kind of ask yourself, ‘When do I feel the most energized? When do I feel like I'm doing my very best work?’ And if there are a lot of things you're doing that make you feel zapped of energy or you feel really inadequate when you're doing it or there's, like, this super-low vibe, maybe that's where you start to look for some support.”  

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started. 

AMY: Oh, I'm so excited to tell you about this podcast that I think you should listen to. But to be quite honest, I think many of you are already listening. It's the Goal Digger Podcast by my girl Jenna Kutcher, and it's brought to you by the HubSpot Podcast Network, the audio destination for business professionals. So the Goal Digger Podcast helps you discover your dream career, with productivity tips, social strategies, business hacks, inspirational stories, and so much more. I love all of Jenna's episodes because they are the perfect mix of actionable-meets-candid conversations. She'll cover things like how to improve your website and your email copy to how to say “Screw it” to your morning routine. You’re going to love it. So listen to Goal Digger wherever you get your podcasts. 

Well, hey, there. Welcome back to Online Marketing Made Easy. 

I hope you are having a wonderful day. And listen, I know you have a lot of podcasts to choose from. And the fact that you're tuning in to this one today means the world to me. I don't take that lightly. So I'm so glad you're here.  

And today we are talking about an important topic. But this is a Shorty episode, so we'll get through it really quick because I know you're busy. So if you have your own business, then you probably know what being in the weeds feels like. No matter how many things you check off your list, you feel like you just can't keep up. And this is such a common feeling to have, especially as a new business owner, when you probably haven't hired anyone to help you, and you've got millions of things to do, and you find yourself in a constant juggling act. But hey, I've been around for a long time, and I still find myself from time to time in this place where I just can't keep up. Like, I look at my Asana tasks, and I'm thinking, “What am I doing wrong here? Like, I can't get it all done.” 

 And I recently had this experience coming off of my book launch because I kind of pushed everything to be, like, after the book launch, after the book launch. And then the book launch happened, and I looked at my list, and I thought, “What have I done?” So I had to recalibrate everything because there was no way it was getting all done in a timely manner. I needed to take some things off the list. I needed to delegate. I needed to just say, “No, I'm not doing that.” But that's a story for another day.  

Just in general, being overwhelmed, it's okay from time to time, but you definitely don't want it to be the norm. It's no way to live, and it's a surefire recipe for some serious burnout. And we created our businesses, or we're creating our businesses, for those of you just getting started, so that we can have more freedom. We can work when we want, how we want, where we want. And so if you're constantly living in, “I can't get it done. I can't get it done,” then you're probably thinking, “Why even leave my nine-to-five job? This is not what I wanted.” So we need to make sure that we're very aware of when those moments come up and what we can do to get you out of that.  

So if you can relate to any of these feelings, my biggest suggestion is that you start making a conscious effort to work more in your zone of genius. You've probably heard me talk about this before because it's that important. And I'll tell you, when I started working more in my zone of genius, it changed the game for my business. And the number one thing it did is I enjoyed the work more. And I want you to enjoy your work more, but it has many, many benefits beyond that, but I think that's the most important one. It just, like, hit me instantly. Like, “I enjoy doing this because I'm spending time where I am my best.”  

And so here's what it means to work in your zone of genius. When you're operating in this mode, you're doing the things that you're most proficient in, and the work that you're doing is fulfilling to you because it makes you feel good. So for instance, I know I'm working in my zone of genius when I finish something, and I might have been really tired leading up to it; it might have been a little bit stressful, like, “Oh my gosh, I need to get this done,” or “I've never done this, but I know this is where I should be spending my time,” and so there might be some anxiety; there might be some stress; I might even be a little bit tired. But despite all of that, when I finished it or when I work on it for a good chunk of time, I feel energized and I'm excited about it.  

So one example of this is me being on stage. So, I'm typically in my zone of genius right now in my business when I am front stage, recording my podcast, getting on stage, doing live Q&As, doing live trainings, things that at this point in my business no one else is doing. That might change down the road, but right now it's me. And so when I agree to speak on stage, it's not something that I feel really confident about. I still get very nervous. And so I remember when Chloe used to work with me, right before I'd get on stage—I remember at a Rachel Hollis RISE event, there were, like, eight thousand people in the audience, the biggest audience I ever spoke to. And right before, I looked at her, and I'm like, “Why do you let me say yes to this? I don't like doing this. Why am I here?” And she always just kind of laughs and pushes me out onto the stage. And then, when I come off the stage, I'm like, “That felt so good. That was so good.” And I'm, like, on cloud nine. So even though I’m nervous, maybe just a little bit scared or whatever, at the end, I feel energized and grounded. I knew that I was just in my zone of genius. 

So if you know what that feels like, then you 100 percent know that you can find more opportunities like that. But you got to kind of ask yourself, “When do I feel the most energized? When do I feel like I'm doing my very best work?” And if there are a lot of things you're doing that make you feel zapped of energy or you feel really inadequate when you're doing it or there's, like, this super-low vibe, maybe that's where you start to look for some support.  

Also, if you're doing something that's taking way longer than you want it to and you know that you could ask somebody else to help you or do it for you or hire someone else who could do it literally in half the time, you should not be spending your time there. Because believe me, I know how hard it can be to hire someone, because you feel like you're giving up control, you often feel like you're the only one that could do it at that caliber, and I can tell you, that couldn't be further from the truth. As you continue on in your entrepreneurial journey, it's so important that you focus on doing the things that are the highest and best use of your time. Your time is so important. So if you're constantly being dragged down by feeling like you need to do it all, and because of that, important things are getting missed in your business, it's time to let it go.  

So let me give you an example in my own business. For years and years and years—ooh, I hate to admit this—I edited all of my videos. So for my digital courses, so if you were in Courses That Convert, if you were in Webinars That Convert, if you are an O.G. and you were in the Profit Lab, I edited all of those course videos. And there were hundreds of them. I would record my slides and audio in ScreenFlow, and I would edit every single video. Were they great edits? Uh, no. They did the job, but they weren't great.  

But because I knew my content so well, I knew how to edit things really quickly. And I thought, “If I have to communicate to somebody, like, ‘I want to see an edit here or an edit there’ or ‘Take this out,’ or ‘When I do this, I don't like that, so can you fix that?’ I just felt like, “That's going to take forever. It’s going to take me forever to communicate that, and then it's going to take someone longer to edit.” Plus, I was cheap. I didn't want to spend my money on it, because I knew I could do it. So I just did it.  

But editing videos is absolutely not in my zone of genius, and I told myself it was because I was quick. But really, I was just scared of letting somebody else do it, and I was making lots of excuses.  

I was also telling myself the story that it would just take too long to communicate to someone else what I wanted. This is also a lie, because let me tell you, once you get good at communicating what you want and you get a good system going, things happen even faster than when you are doing it on your own.  

I am proud to say I haven't edited a video in a very long time, but it did take me about ten years before I gave that up. Can you believe that? True story. 

So I'll be honest, I would give anything to get that time back. Like, there were nights that I was up until midnight editing videos. I am in my forties now and I can't stay up past, like, ten o’clock, so that's never going to fly now. So maybe I've gotten older and wiser, but I don't know. I just. I made a mistake, and I would love to get that time back. 

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So here's how to prioritize working in your zone of genius. It all comes down to getting clear on what the most-important areas of your business are. For me, it's the launching of my digital courses and my membership and my podcast. And so I, obviously, contribute to my podcast—hi, it's me—and I come up with the content for my videos, and then, my team perfects it; and I record all my videos for my content. So, like, if you see a digital course with me, if you buy a digital course with me, you're going to see me on video. And then, I launch my courses on webinars, and I do all the webinars. Right now. Like, I’m not against figuring out if there's a superstar in my business who starts to do a little bit of that in conjunction with me. And I hope I figure that out because then I want to teach you how to transition someone on your team so that you're not always the face of the business, because that's very limiting.  

You know, I did a podcast where I talked about my mother-in-law dying, and I had to literally take an unexpected week off of my business. What if it was something even more that I needed to take an unexpected month off? God forbid. If I had somebody on my team that could show up in different ways, that's huge.  

So even though I do have a large support team, I still show up a lot in my content. So that's where, right now, my zone of genius is. I'm going to deliver my content. I love to do my webinars, I love to create my training videos. And so I tell myself, “Creating the content for my webinars is in my zone of genius because I deliver them better when I create the content.” So I create the webinar content and I deliver it. And if somebody else was creating it, I'm not so great at delivering it. So those two go hand in hand. That feels like, right now, that's my zone of genius. But the great thing is your zone of genius, over time, as your business scales, as you grow as an entrepreneur, can absolutely change. So I think checking in maybe once a year, like, when you're planning for the new year—so, you know, in October and November, I plan for the new year—I think sitting down and journaling, “Where is my zone of genius today? Where is my best use of time?”  

You know I just hired a CEO. I'm doing a podcast episode where I’ll introduce her and her new role and why I decided that. My zone of genius will likely change now that I have a CEO, and it kind of frees me up to think differently and do different things. So with every season, kind of check in with yourself, “Where is my zone of genius now?”  

And I gave you a few examples: my training videos, my webinars, my podcast. These are just a few areas where I've decided where I'm going to work and where I'm not. And believe me, it's taken me a bit of time to really let go of a lot of these things. Like, to go back to the webinar, I used to create all my slide decks. I don't do that anymore. So I create the outline; I give it to my designer, Missy—shout out to Missy. She's amazing—she now is really good at putting all that content into slide decks. I kind of give her some direction, and then I get it back. I kind of tweak it a little bit. And so now I'm not playing around with design, images, keynote. That is not my zone of genius. I have years and years, I've done that, and that is another area where it's sucked the life out of me, trying to figure out how to get a freaking transition slide to work or whatever. I don't monkey with that anymore, because I'm just not good at it, and it just takes too much time.  

So again, you got to evaluate how much of this project is your zone of genius, and what should you give to somebody else? So again, it's taken me a bit of time to really let go of many things. It's what I call in my book “superwoman syndrome,” and it's where you feel like you need to do all of it because you don't want to slow down, you don’t want to take the time to teach, you feel like you're the best at it, and you're not investing time in communicating with your team.  

So it's a big mistake. We all make it. So remember, in business, you don't need to be the superwoman or the superman. A really good leader refuses to feel depleted or spend time on things that aren't in their zone of genius. Did you hear that? A really good leader refuses to feel depleted by their tasks or spend time on things that aren't in their zone of genius. A good leader knows how to find the right people to support them and then takes the time to onboard that person and teach them so that in time they can become more efficient, more productive than you. That's what I think good leadership looks like. And as you know, that is essential if you want to grow your business in a big way.  

So, my friend, I want you to take out a journal and jot down some areas in your business where you're operating inside of your zone of genius and where you're operating outside of your zone of genius. And sometimes it's a little tricky to see, so kind of have a little grace and be open minded here. Are there things that you could outsource to, let's say, a virtual assistant or a contractor? And then also ask yourself, “If I'm doing this, what is this costing me? What could I be doing with my time instead that could actually be moving the business forward?” And just start with doing a little brainstorming. And then if you want, DM me—I'm just @amyporterfield on Instagram—and share with me, what is, like, one thing you're going to stop doing because you know it's out of your zone of genius? Like, tell me, how are you going to stop doing it? Like, I'll be your accountability partner. I want to hear from you.  

Okay. So this was a Shorty episode. I hope you found it valuable. And if you'd be so kind, will you leave me a review for this podcast if you haven't done so already? I read every single one of them, and I'm always forever grateful.  

All right, my sweet friends. I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness, same time, same place. Can't wait. 

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