I was eight months pregnant.
I told my photographer to wait in the car and I walked into a main street beauty salon and asked to use the restroom. I told the owner who I was, and she graciously offered to have me sit for a minute while I caught my breath and warmed up.
I used my time to listen and ask questions. Twenty minutes later, I left with the names and addresses I needed to complete the story.
I knew what my advantage was – people trusted me.
Granted, being pregnant on a snowy day made the people in the shop sympathetic, but that is not why they eagerly shared their details.
The moral to my story; always know your advantages, in life and in business. If you do not know, no one else will either.
I had not thought about this little story until recently.
My friend is an executive leadership coach and my touchstone during professional slumps.
As a solopreneur, you work alone without a lot of feedback. Imposter syndrome and doubt can settle in.
I was feeling overwhelmed and looking for a positive push in the right direction. Even if the work is flowing, we all need to slow down, take a beat, and reflect on who we are and what is important to us.
She suggested I do a professional self-assessment.
I remember how performance reviews always sapped office morale and made managers and employees uncomfortable.
She convinced me that self-assessment can help sort out your natural strengths and weaknesses.
Sally Hogshead’s Fascination Advantage Test, took 15 minutes and provided 28 targeted questions to figure out which one of the 49 personality archetypes I matched.
The idea is there are 7 different “triggers of fascination” combined in different ways. These determine someone’s most authentic style of communication.
It piqued my interest.
You can be rewarded in business and in life for what comes naturally and improving upon it.
I wanted to know what makes me tick professionally, as a parent, and as a friend.
In an office setting, employees benefit from the assessment by gaining a better perspective on how their unique abilities contribute to the team.
Even though I no longer work in an office, my friend told me learning about myself could be the linchpin to further success in business and in my personal life.
The results came back the next day, identifying my archetype and key descriptors of my personal and professional style. It turns out that I am a mediator. I would not have used that word to describe myself before, but now I see it clearly. Here is a summary of my report.
My personality archetype: Mediator
My primary personality advantage: Alert.
“You are a diligent and proactive thinker who can sense problems before others. An eye for detail and problem-solving.”: Steadfast • Composed • Vigilant • Effectual”
My secondary personality advantage: Trust.
“Calmly guiding others to stay the course. People often turn to you as the “hub” of a group”: Loyal • Consistent • Approachable
My dormant personality trait: Power.
“You are unlikely to fascinate others through command and control. You might be missing opportunities to distinguish yourself, especially at work. Your messages can earn greater respect and a bigger audience, thereby increasing your influence.”
Wow, that did not feel good, but it was spot on.
As solopreneurs, we need to leverage our strengths for a professional edge. I am an experienced professional, and so are many others. I understand now that I have been successful in my business because I can quickly assess a situation, craft a compelling storyline, and create emotion and connection for the audience.
The assessment process helped me understand the innate skills I can offer my clients beyond my work experience.
As solopreneurs, our personal brand is all we have. We need to sell our own niche personal skills rather than what is on our resume or LinkedIn profile. In a distracted world, it is easy to forget who you are and what you authentically offer.
Thank you to my good friend and coach who helped me see who I am, not just what I can do. In addition to Fascination Advantage, she recommends these other assessments, that you can take on your own, to get started at no cost.
-Via Character Strengths
-Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment
Try it, you will be fascinated.
Robin De Wind is a former Rochester broadcast journalist who now runs Robin De Wind Media Group, a video content marketing business. Learn more at rdwmediagroup.com.