Nov. 30, 2021

#4: Identify Your Strong Talents With Just Three Questions

In this episode, I focus on why people you might be overestimating the strength of your talents and how it could be limiting your ability to thrive. I then provide you with three questions you can ask yourself that will help you determine if certain tigers of yours are genuinely big ones or not.


One of the reasons you might not be achieving the success you want to achieve is that you are depending on tigers that aren’t your strongest ones. 

In this episode, I focus on why people you might be overestimating the strength of your talents and how it could be limiting your ability to thrive. I then provide you with three questions you can ask yourself that will help you determine if certain tigers of yours are genuinely big ones or not.

Knowing whether tigers are genuinely big ones or not will help you make better decisions about whether to change career directions, to double down on a direction you are pursuing, to get support in areas where you might need it, and so on.

To demonstrate this concept, I tell a true story of a client of mine who dropped out of college to pursue a dream based on an average size tiger and misled himself. After an honest appraisal of his talents, he discovered another tiger would lead him to the success and happiness he enjoys today.

FREE BONUS

To help you determine the strength of your tigers, I’m pleased to share with you a tool: The  7-Way Test. This is a free PDF that includes the three questions from this episode, as well as an additional four questions that you can ask yourself in order to help you be certain that a talent you are exploring is indeed a strong one.

Enjoy the episode (and don’t forget to feed your tigers!).

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Transcript

Have you ever wondered why you're not achieving the kind of success you want to achieve? That things aren't panning out the way you wanted or expected? There could be so many reasons for this, it could be because you're not working hard enough. But somehow, I don't believe that's the reason, at least in most cases, and probably not yours.

In my experience, I found that most people fail to achieve what they aspire towards, simply because they're basing their work on talents, tigers, that are just not their strongest ones. In today's episode, I'm going to give you a method to help you spot your biggest tigers. And it consists of asking just three questions. Once you do this, you'll always be able to determine if a talent is a big one. And whether you should be leading with it, especially in your professional activities. Knowing this will positively bring you closer to the success you want to see in the shortest amount of time.

I'm Steven Rudolph, and this is the Feed Your Tigers podcast where I aim to help you align your talents with what you do. So you thrive.

Have you ever looked at someone you consider to be successful? You know, they're happy in their work. They're good at it, they seem to enjoy it. They're earning well from it. Maybe they have a lot of respect from friends, colleagues, the community, the Twitterverse. And you take a look at them and you start to feel this little twinge of jealousy. Do you know what I'm talking about? You've been there? I've been there. And you ask yourself these questions like, how do they do it? I mean, is this person just like lucky? You look back at yourself, and you're like, what's wrong with me? I've got talents too. I've got capabilities, why can I get it together? And then you start looking for reasons, you know, maybe it's bad luck, or some bad advice you took. Maybe you trace it back to your parents who were overly controlling and pushed you in the wrong direction, or maybe not giving you enough freedom? Or maybe you look for some deeper reason beyond that. The universe is conspiring against me. And then after that, you might start to slip into some self doubt, like, you know what, maybe there's something wrong with me. Maybe I'm, I'm not that talented. And from there, you go into this downward spiral of doom and gloom. And, look, I'm here to remind you that you do have talents, and you can achieve the type of things that you want to achieve. But doing so absolutely requires one thing, you need to align your Tigers with what you do, making sure that the strongest ones are in the right places.

Now I'd like to illustrate this point with an example from basketball. So you might know in basketball, there's a player, that's called the center. And the center's are typically the tallest players on each team. And usually, they play near the basket, and they try to score close shots, getting right near the hoop, catching rebounds, taking passes, and getting the ball in the net. And on defense, typically, they're the ones who try to block opponents shots and catch rebounds from their misses. Because of their height.

There's another type of player called a point guard. And the point guards are those players that orchestrate the offense, pass the balls to the inside players, maybe to the center, and take outside shots. They're also expected to have exceptional ball handling skills to be able to dribble around their back through their legs, etc. Now, a team wouldn't succeed if you put a short player as the center, because they'd be dominated by the other players around them. And the same holds true for point guards, putting someone in the position of a point guard who's not good at ball handling would result in disaster. And the same is true in other areas of life.

So much of success depends upon your getting the right tigers in the right place. For example, maybe you have a small entrepreneurial Tiger. That's an ability to be able to see value extract value and put resources together. But you have this dream to start your own company or to be a freelancer. The dream is big. The Tiger isn't. And there's the problem right there. Another example would be you've got a small administrative Tiger. That would be organizing things, getting things done, work with task lists, to-do lists, being able to delegate responsibilities quickly, easily, naturally. And you decide that you want to go in for a managerial position where you have to organize people and keep track of them. So you've got this small administrative of Tiger, yet you're in this position of management. It's just like a short player trying to make it as a center. It's just not going to happen. You can try working hard. You can take courses, you can read books, you can get all the coaches and mentors that you want. But it's not going to change the fact that you're trying to build a castle on a foundation that's too small to support it And why does this happen? People believing tigers are bigger than they are. Well, the first is, from what I've seen, people tend to overrate themselves, they think they're a lot stronger and abilities that that are not necessarily there, they might be strong in one area. And because they've had success there, they feel like okay, because I'm strong here, I can be strong over there. It has to do a lot with wishful thinking, dreaming, having fantasies, people can trick themselves into thinking certain tigers are just bigger than they are.

There's also something which is called the Dunning Kruger effect. It says that people with less knowledge, skill, talent in a particular area, are often bad at knowing where their abilities really stand. You might have seen this before with some people, if you are good in music naturally, and you're with someone, they claim to be really good in music, they think that they're wonderful at it, and then they start to sing, and you just hear them off key the entire time and they can't hear it. And so sometimes it has to do with your own inability to be able to assess your talents, to assess your tigers. It has nothing to do with being smart. I mean, I see otherwise, brilliant people make this mistake all the time. And I want to help you prevent yourself from falling into this trap. And that's why I'm going to share the simple method with you these three questions that help you determine is this tiger really a big one or not? Because knowing that is going to help you determine whether you should double down and go into a particular direction. Or maybe whether you should make a pivot, or find a partner or somebody else to support you in an area of your work. Or maybe you should focus on other bigger tigers. So here are the three questions and get ready. If you have a pen and paper, you can write it down. Or if you've got a computer open or some place you can type you you can do that. But even if not, don't worry, the questions will be there for you in the show notes of this episode. So just check them out. And I'll tell you more about that at the end of the episode.

And as we go through these three questions, you might want to keep a particular tiger in mind or an area that you've had doubts about whether that's really a strong point for you. Whether that might be entrepreneurial or administrative or your people skills, you can keep that in mind or just keep an open mind. So here we go. Here are the three questions.

The first question is, am I self motivated to do the activities related to this tiger? So for example, when you get up in the morning, are you thinking about that activity? Are you just you wake up, you open your eyes and you say to yourself, I can't wait to get to that it's the first thing that jumps into your mind. It's not the coffee, it's not problems that you're facing with somebody. But something just comes into your mind related to this type of activity that gets you jazzed that gets you going and gets you up and out of bed.

Another is when you have free time on weekend or holiday. Do you do that activity in your free time? Or is it just something that you do when you have to do it? You're self motivated here again, the question, Am I self motivated to do activities related to this tiger, so that no one has to push you to do it or ask you or nag you to do it. I'm still waiting for that spreadsheet. And you don't need a bribe to do it. Either. It's not like you don't have to have some coffee, to get yourself started to be able to do it or eat some chocolate or some other type of incentive that you could make yourself in the mood to be able to do it is its own reward. And when opportunities come do you seek it out? If somebody says to you, Hey, would you like to do something related to that? And you're like, Oh, yeah. So you don't avoid it. You're self motivated to do so that's the first question. Am I self motivated to do activities related to this tiger?

The second question, do I get highly energized when I do activities that use this ability? So while doing it, does it give you energy? Does it stimulate you, even if you're tired, and you start to do this activity, it wakes you up? It feels like when you do an activity related to this talent or this ability. It feels like a double espresso shot just from doing that. And for you that might be something related to working with nature or working with animals or maybe doing something visual or creative. Or perhaps it's Working with people or supporting people or helping them? What is that activity that you do that energizes you while you're doing it.

And this is sort of like the Prius car, you know, the Prius car is one of these hybrid cars, which charges itself while it's driving. And it's the same thing with tigers that are big, while you're doing those activities, they actually charge you. And you could do it for a long time without taking a break. You feel on, you feel a buzz. So this is question number two, do I get highly energized when I do activities that use this ability?

Question number three, do I get absorbed in activities that use this tiger? In other words, does it feel pleasurable while I'm doing it, so much so that I get into a deeply and I lose track of time, I forget about my hunger, or maybe my thirst, even sometimes get a type of tunnel vision. So I forget about other issues or problems that might be there in my life. And you might know about something which is called a flow state where time sort of standstill and you're just completely in the zone while you're doing activity related to this particular Tiger. Do I get absorbed in activities that use this tiger?

So those are the three questions: Am I self motivated to do activities related to this tiger? Do I get highly energized when I do activities related to this one? And do I get absorbed in such activities that use this tiger? So how did you do? Were you able to shed any light on one or more of your tigers? Did any standout? Were you able to bust any beliefs? Like your own kind of Tiger Mythbusters? This kind of questioning is a great start. It can also reconfirm to you that hey, you know what I thought this one was a strong one. And after answering these questions, I find that yeah, this particular Tiger stands up to that, to this test, or to these questions. And that's also important. Either way, whether you bust or whether you reconfirm what's important is to know the truth, to know the reality. Because then you can take decisions that truly work for you in the real world. And I asked you to be brutal with yourself, don't take it easy on yourself. And the reason is that you have nothing to lose, you've got talents, it's not like you're going to wind up empty handed, what you want to do is get to the ones that are really your strengths and lead with them.

I want to share a story with you that illustrates this point really nicely. And it deals with a client of mine who made some decisions based on a false understanding of his Tigers, of his talents. And this was a young man who had aspirations to become an entrepreneur, he really felt that his entrepreneurial Tiger was a huge one. And he was motivated by many of the great entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs, who dropped out of college in their first year. So he followed suit. And he dropped out and said, Okay, I'm going to dive in and do my entrepreneurial thing. The truth of the matter is that his entrepreneurial nature was not that big. I'd say it was like a medium to medium high, his natural ability to be able to identify opportunities to bring resources together to create a sustainable project or venture it, it was about above average, let's just say, but he did not have the the type of tigers that Steve Jobs had, or even something just south of that. And over the years, he tried a number of startups, he went from one to the next but none of them succeeded. He even went from country to country trying out, you know, he thought that maybe it's not working because I'm in the wrong geography. Or maybe I'm with the wrong people, or maybe I don't don't have the right mentors. And he kept moving and shifting. Years went by, he even went back to school for an MBA, he thought it was that he didn't have enough knowledge and he needed some contacts, and he needed additional, you know, training and, and knowledge. And so he went for his MBA, nothing. And at a certain point, he started to really become frustrated, and started to wonder, maybe something's wrong here. And so that was when he started the process of analyzing his Tigers. And what he identified was, even though his entrepreneurial Tiger wasn't that strong, his educative Tiger, this quality or ability to explain and to teach others and to help them understand things, was enormous. And he looked back over the years while he was doing many of these startups, and he realized that the thing he loved most about each of those situations, was when he was in circumstances where he was teaching people, whether it was explaining things to new clients or sharing things with new colleagues or onboarding new recruits into the company, or making pitches and presentations. And so when he figured that out, he put the educative Tiger up front, and began looking for more opportunities on how he could lead with his educative nature. And doing this, after a very short period of time, he landed a job at a leading tech firm one of the top as a trainer. And since then hasn't looked back, he's totally rocking it now, doing training programs for customers, for internally, for the company members that he's been working with. And he's been flying internally in the company, going up and up since he started that. And if he had never put these tigers to the test, and never really scrutinized himself and have been brutally honest with himself, he just might have kept going. And it could have gotten to the point where, you know, he would have reached midlife or even worse, and I've seen this before, people who wind up at a point of retirement feeling as though they've wasted their entire lives, and it never happened, you know, they never really succeeded. And what a dismal thing that would be so many years go by, and you feel when you look back that your life wasn't valuable, that you didn't achieve the things that you want to

So the approach that I'm providing here is a huge time saver, to be able to quickly and accurately identify which of your abilities which of your tigers are the strong ones. So you can make those decisions about what you're going to lead with. It'll bring you to your goals faster, and it'll help you avoid going down dead ends, just by asking these three questions. Am I self motivated when I do activities related to this talent? Am I energized by doing them? And am I absorbed when I do them? You can figure out which of your Tigers is actually your biggest or which are the bigger ones. If you found these three questions, this three question method helpful for identifying your strong talents, I have a free bonus for you that you'll love. It consists of an additional four questions you can use to determine if your if your tigers are big ones. And I call it the seven-way test. Not surprisingly, three plus four. You don't have to have a huge logical tiger to figure that one out. So sometimes having a few more checkpoints is a great way to ensure that you're really seeing things clearly and that you're not dreaming. If you'd like to get a hold of the seven way test, you'll find a link to it in the show notes of this episode on your podcast station, as well as on the Feed Your Tigers website at www.feedyourtigers.com.

So let's sum it up. You have talents, and no doubt you can succeed in your goals the things you set your heart on. But the challenge is, just as with team players, getting the right ones in the right spots, especially the big ones. So you need to know their sizes. And people often make mistakes that they believe certain tigers to be bigger than they are and they put them into leading positions. But you're not going to do that. Because you can use the three question check to see if any Tiger is really huge or not. And that is am I self motivated? Am I energized? And am I absorbed when I do activities related to this tiger. Doing this as a surefire way to know clearly which tigers are the big ones. And so you'll know which towns to lead with. And so you reach your goals more quickly and easily.

That brings us to the end of our episode. If you haven't done so yet, I encourage you to subscribe to the Feed Your Tigers podcast so you don't miss any of the future episodes. You can do so by visiting www.feedyourtigers.com or through your favorite podcast stations such as Spotify, Apple podcast, Google podcasts or others. That's it for today. This is Steven Rudolph and until next episode, I'd like to remind you to Feed Your Tigers before they eat you.