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Zone of genius

 

 

 

 

Operating in your zone of genius without getting distracted by other tasks can be difficult for women who are constantly told they should be doing it all.

Today, I’m talking with Tasha Booth about how to identify your zone of genius, how to know what to outsource and when you should start outsourcing, and why owning your zone of genius helps grow your business.

Ready? Let’s get started.

In this episode:

  • How to identify your zone of genius
  • The difference between zone of genius and zone of competence
  • Why you should stay in your zone of genius in both your business and personal life

Listen to the podcast here:

Zone Of Genius with Tasha Booth

Welcome! I love the topic of ‘zone of genius’ and I’m very excited to be talking to you about this. It is difficult for women to choose their zone of genius, because women are always told that they should be doing it all and whatever other stupid shit people say to women about this. 

Before we jump into all of that, tell us who you are and what you do on the internet.

My name is Tasha Booth and I’m the CEO and founder of The Launch Guild. We do full service launch support for established coaches and course creators. I have a team of over 20 people and we are still growing. I also coach and mentor VAs, OBMs, and project managers.

That’s how I found you. I thought, this lady knows what she’s talking about! For the longest time, I just followed you and thought, she’s so amazing and I want to be her friend!

I was the one that reached out to you.

Yeah! It was so funny! I went to two of my best friends who are not in the online world. One owns a bookstore and one works in corporate. And I told them that you wanted to be my friend and I didn’t know what to do. And they said I was being ridiculous and to just accept your friend request already. 

I know that you believe we all have a zone of genius. How do you define that? 

I definitely believe that we all have an inner genius. I define it as that one thing that you could do and talk about for forever. It feels so in flow and you are so excited about it. It’s that thing that when you find out that other people aren’t great at it, you are surprised by that.

I have to remind myself all the time when talking with clients that not everyone is naturally good at knowing how a system works.

I know, I know. I worked with this client one-on-one for almost a year. She was a rockstar at calendar management and was charging around $100 a month when we first started because she thought it was just so easy. That anybody can do it. 

I had to help her realize not everybody can do it. There are so many people that are terrible at managing their calendars, which is why they’re coming to you. 

So your zone of genius doesn’t have to be a big, life altering thing that you are going to send people to the moon for. It’s just something that can change life for both you and for the people that you’re supporting.

Yeah, absolutely. It doesn’t have to be this groundbreaking thing. I’m pretty good at calendar management but I’m absolutely terrible at time management. I’ve certainly paid people to teach me how to be better in time management, because I’m just not that great at it for myself. We all have our things. 

For me, I have so many things that aren’t necessarily in my zone of genius, but that I’m really good at. For the longest time, it was really difficult for me to zone in on what the one thing was. When you start an online business, you’re used to wearing so many hats. You’re the accountant and the social media manager and the CEO and the content creator. You’re doing everything all at once. 

It’s almost like I’m good at everything. How do I really figure out what my zone of genius is? Do you have any advice for people like that? 

So much advice! What you’re describing is your zone of competence. We have our zone of genius and then we have our zone of competence. Your zone of competence is the things that you’re not a rockstar at but you can do those things well. 

We have our zone of genius and then we have our zone of competence. Your zone of competence is the things that you’re not a rockstar at but you can do those things well. Click To Tweet

This is where it gets kind of hairy because as we’re building our businesses, we need to be taking the things in our zone of competence off of our plate. Anything that takes us out of our genius work, out of the thing we are destined to do, is time wasted and money wasted. And one of the things that I’m really good at is delegating. I delegate so much stuff because it’s not in my zone of genius and I don’t want to do it.

Things that I could do, like checking my inbox, isn’t necessarily what I should be doing at the point where I’m trying to grow my business. In order to grow and in order to create visibility and sustainability, I need to really be spending my time and saving my energy for the genius work thing.

I think that’s really easy to get stuck doing the things in your zone of competence because usually they’re easier. They’re the less scary things to do. Even if there’s somebody out there who could do them better. I’ll spend two hours working on a Canva graphic that I know my VA could do better in less time, but it’s the easy thing to do. If I’m not doing that, then I have to go do something scarier, like record a video or IG stories. 

Totally, totally. Figuring out what the difference is between your zone of genius and your zone of competence starts with doing a time inventory of where you spend your time. Each and every day. Then figure out what are the things on this list that only I can do. You’re the only person that can record your podcast. You can’t outsource that and ask somebody else to record your podcast or else it would not be the same at all. Same thing with Facebook Lives or any of those things.

Then determine what are the things on that list that you can outsource, like a Canva graphic. You can give them a template and tell them how you want your graphics done. 

When we’re thinking about our genius work, it is the thing that only we can do in our business. Our competence work is the stuff that we can do but so can Susie Q over here.

Figuring out what the difference is between your zone of genius and your zone of competence starts with doing a time inventory of where you spend your time. Click To Tweet

I’ve seen some advice and I’m curious about your opinion on this. I saw some advice that said it was okay to not outsource those things that aren’t necessarily your genius if you really enjoy doing them. I think I saw this specifically in relation to one coach who said, she really, really enjoyed doing Pinterest. She liked to play around on Pinterest and figure out how things worked. But it wasn’t necessarily her zone of genius.

Ah, I really have an opinion on this because I did this for the longest time in my business. I love tech. I love figuring out how things work and what new tech does. The specific tech that I absolutely adore is Acuity. It is the most random thing to geek out on but I love it so much. 

For the longest time, anytime we needed to do a system setup, I volunteered to do the Acuity part. I have a team of 25 and I was setting up Acuity. It’s how I relax.

But we finally got to the point where it made absolutely no damn sense. Why am I doing this? To finally put that down, I think it came down to realizing what are the things that aren’t happening because I’m setting up other people’s Acuity. 

The things that weren’t happening was I wasn’t connecting with people. I wasn’t networking, I wasn’t doing all of the visibility strategies. I know when I show up in my communities, I get more clients and more students. I really love tech and every once in a while, I will still go in and do my own tech for my own launches. But at the same time, I know that eventually, you just need to get rid of the thing that feels excellent. That feels fun sometimes.

That’s pretty much my opinion on it, too. I call this productive procrastinating. You feel like you’re being productive, right? You’re getting shit done and look at everything you did over here. But it’s usually because you’re avoiding something else.

I have a client who cannot stay out of her inbox.

Totally. I will raise my hand and say I am also that client.

She’ll reply to shit and then not tell anybody that she replied to shit. Does she want to reply to all the emails that are in there about the same topic? She’ll get replies when she sends out a newsletter and then I have the team coming to me afterwards because the client responded to half on Sunday and they don’t know if they are supposed to reply to the other half. 

That’s productive procrastination. There’s something else that she doesn’t want to do, which is usually writing content. So she’ll answer the emails in the inbox even though she doesn’t need to and her time is better spent doing something else.

Like you were saying, it’s the easier thing to do. With the visibility piece of the business, there’s often extra work. You have to set up tech or put on makeup or do your hair. Whereas, I can just be on my phone and answer these people’s emails. It’s definitely a procrastination technique. 

But at the end of the day, there’s so much time and energy and money wasted on doing that instead of doing the thing that you were born to do.

There is a rare instance, I will say, where sometimes you’re so obsessed with doing that one thing. It should be the thing that you’re focusing on and you’re telling yourself you shouldn’t be.

I knew this one person who was brilliant with Instagram. She liked to play around with Instagram but she had convinced herself that she was supposed to be a life coach. She had paid some money to become a life coach and she learned so many things about becoming a life coach. And I was like, who the fuck cares if you’re going to be a life coach and that you paid money to become a life coach if what you really want to be is an Instagram queen.

Guess what she does now? She’s an Instagram queen and she enjoys it so much more. She gets so much more out of it and doesn’t waste her time doing anything else. 

So I feel like it can be either productive procrastination or it’s pointing you towards what you’re actually meant to be doing. 

I used to have a therapist who called it ‘should-ing’ on yourself. Oh, I should become a life coach because I spent this money. Or I should go down this road. How many doctors went to medical school for eight years and thought they should be a doctor but didn’t actually want to be a doctor? Too many. 

I think it’s way better to shift course than walking down a path that you’re not going to enjoy and you’re not going to be happy with. I’m really glad that you brought that up. 

Sometimes it is an indication. If you are procrastinating on the thing that’s supposed to be your zone of genius, that could be an indication that it’s not actually your genius work. Maybe you need to still find your genius work. 

If you are procrastinating on the thing that's supposed to be your zone of genius, that could be an indication that it's not actually your genius work. Click To Tweet

This message is for anybody who’s procrastinating doing something really random in their business. Ask yourself, am I doing it to avoid the thing that I know I should be doing? Or am I avoiding not doing it because it’s what I should be doing? That was a little confusing there, but you get the point.

No, I totally get what you meant.

You have to find out the real reason. Most of us start out in business doing everything for ourselves. Then we get to a point where we realize we can’t do everything. So we offload a little bit. And then we get to the next stage and we offload a little bit more. You could be a multi-millionaire or some shit, and there’s still something you can be avoiding doing yourself.

Then we have to contrast that with the message that women receive that they should be doing it all in order to have it all. I think that a lot of women tend to feel fine about outsourcing things in their business but less fine about outsourcing things in their personal life. 

I know you’re a huge advocate of outsourcing things in your personal life.

Oh, yes.

Do you find that you have to encourage your clients or people in your community to outsource things in their personal life?

Definitely. Everything that you just said. We as women are taught you should be able to handle the kids and the laundry and the yard and the house cleaning and cooking and whatever else there is to do. You’re a perfect parent. And if you can’t, there is something wrong with you. So getting rid of that message is the first step to actually being able to enjoy your life. 

One of the things that I’ve seen a lot recently is people explaining that the construct of women being able to have a business or a nine-to-five job, and be able to work out, and cook, and clean, and do all the things was constructed when it was a two person household. One of them worked and one of them stayed home. That is not the case anymore. 

We’re using something from the 1950s and saying it should still apply to today. Well, first of all, the 1950s were not a walk in the park like Leave It To Beaver

My whole goal in building my business was that I wanted to have a life that I enjoyed and could say yes to the opportunities that meant something to me. And the opportunities that mean something to me do not include cleaning my house. I have always been a proponent of the Marie Kondo style. If it doesn’t spark joy, I’m going to find a way to not have to do that thing. So we’ve had weekly house cleaners for the last five years and it’s been a game changer. We eat out way too often and we’re actually to the point where I’m researching if a chef would be cheaper. And the answer is, yes. So now a personal chef is legitimately on my shopping list. 

Figure out what support you need to make your life enjoyable. I just pointed this out to my Facebook group the other day. We can see the ROI of hiring somebody in our business but you probably won’t see the ROI right away for hiring somebody to clean our house or do the laundry. You’re spending money, so how is this ever going to make you money? 

It’s not making you money, it’s making you time. And that’s the resource that you cannot get back. It’s not a renewable resource. And so thinking about what I can do with that time. Can I actually sit down and read a book or go out with my husband or play with my kids? Whatever is important to you and then thinking in terms of the time ROI, it is going to be huge.

Absolutely. This is a conversation I have to have with my mother periodically. When I mentioned that I have a cleaning lady, she didn’t understand why because I live alone. I don’t have kids. And I have a cat. Why would I need a cleaning lady? I had to explain to her that cleaning is not in my zone of genius. Do I know how to clean? Yes, mom, you’ve raised a functioning human being. Do I enjoy cleaning? No. So I would rather pay someone else a couple hundred dollars a month to clean my house so that I don’t have to do it.

It’s perfect. You know, it’s a stair step. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. What I was saying to my group the other day was that you can start with somebody coming in quarterly to clean your house. Or you can start with somebody doing your yard once a month and pulling all the weeds for you if that’s something that’s overwhelming to you or that you don’t want to do anymore. 

Don’t think about it in terms of when you’re making half a million dollars a year then you can do XYZ. You can start that process now. And just know that your life and enjoyment right here in this moment is important enough to start calling the things in your life that are important and that will light you up and spark joy.

Exactly. I think a lot of people think they can’t have this thing. Like, I can’t have a weekly cleaner until I’m making X number of dollars a year. So they’re building their business and they’re cleaning their house once a week and picking up all the kids toys and whatever. Just hire somebody to come in quarterly to dust the baseboards or whatever shit you don’t want to do.

You don’t have to spend $500 a month right off the bat hiring a weekly cleaning service. If all you can afford is a quarterly cleaning and that makes your life easier in some way, then do it. You don’t have to pay $500 a week for a personal chef but you can get a meal delivery service so you don’t have to figure out what you’re eating for three or four meals that week. 

Start where you’re at and bring joy into your life today. Don’t put it off for when XYZ happens. Bring it into your life today.

Yeah. I think the same can be said for outsourcing in your business, too. I see a ton of people who are ready to outsource. So they think they need an OBM. They’re thinking they’ve been doing all of these things for so long in their business and they’re making $5,000 a month, so now they need an OBM to do all of the things they don’t want to do anymore. 

But they need to pump the brakes. You gotta hire for where you are. You know with your team of 25….you don’t start off hiring 25 people. You hire one person to do these things that most urgently needs to come off your plate. And then once you free up that time and make more money, then you can hire the next person. You don’t hire an OBM if you’re only making $5,000 a month.

And make sure you have a VA first because the OBM is not just a free for all to throw everything at.

We’re going to do a quick PSA for this. Please make sure that you have some sort of existing team before you hire an Online Business Manager. If you don’t, what is the OBM managing? You? 

As a final parting question, what advice do you have for people who are afraid to own their zone of genius because they’re afraid of limiting themselves or pigeonholing themselves and then not being able to pivot out of that?

When you go to a steakhouse, you know that you're going to pay a couple of hundred dollars at that place. When you go to a buffet, I'm upset if I pay more than $9.99 and I want to try one of everything. Click To Tweet

When I moved our company into what our genius work is, which is launches, everything opened up. People started seeing us as the experts and the thought leaders in that one thing, instead of when you’re doing all of the things, which feels like a laundry list. 

I described it as going to a buffet versus going to a steakhouse. When you go to a steakhouse, you know that you’re going to pay a couple of hundred dollars at that place. When you go to a buffet, I’m upset if I pay more than $9.99 and I want to try one of everything.

So I think when you are looking at your zone of genius, you’re looking at what lights you up? What’s the thing that you love, love, love to do? What are you great at? What are people coming to you for? What are they hiring you for? The center of that is normally your zone of genius and your genius work. 

Don’t be afraid of that. Don’t think that you’re limiting yourself because you’re actually shining a light on what you’re amazing at and more people will gravitate toward you. 

Which is why asking yourself the question we were talking about earlier is so important. Is this the thing that’s meant for me or am I productively procrastinating? That question gets you to zone in on your genius, so that you’re not focusing on life coaching when you should be an Instagram queen. 

To your point earlier about the buffet, for some reason, it seems like the more things you say you’re good at, the less people expect to pay you. I’m gonna be doing an episode soon about how you should not be hiring unicorns for your business.

Oh, gosh, yeah.

It’s funny because that’s the name of my LLC. You don’t want to hire a unicorn. While they are lovely, they don’t exist. And if they do exist, they’re just going to become so stressed out that they don’t know what to do with themselves. 

Thank you so much for being here today. I’m so excited to finally get you on the show. I’ve been wanting to interview you since episode number one and this was such a great chat.

You’re welcome.

Bye, y’all!

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About Tasha Booth

She is the Founder & CEO of The Launch Guild – a Course Launch Support & Digital Marketing Implementation Agency supporting established coaches and course creators with Course & Podcast Launches, Operations & Systems Management, and Content Management & Repurposing. Her team is over 20 members strong and works together to support their clients in being able to focus back onto their zones of genius.

Additionally, she mentors Virtual Support Pros (VAs, OBMs, & PMs) who are passionate and ready to grow their businesses while living life on their own term and is the host of the How She Did That Podcast — a podcast for Virtual Assistants, Online Business Managers, and Project Managers to learn business and tech tips.

Tasha is an Air Force wife to her husband Scott, stepmom to Grace & Meredith, and work from home dog mom to Stanly and Boomer.  In her spare time, she watches true crime tv, sings karaoke, and tends to her organic vegetable garden.

 

 

 

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