Megan Martin 0:00
This is talking small business with Kat Schmoyer. And Meghan Martin, a podcast for creatives who like to keep it real about what it actually takes to grow an online business.
Kat Schmoyer 0:09
We’re competitors turned to biz besties, who chat daily, and now we’re bringing you into the conversation
Hey, y’all cat here we are back with another episode of talking small business today, Meghan and I wanted to get into finding your zone of genius. I feel like I wish we were in person. And I could be like, raise your hand if you’ve ever heard the term zone of genius, because I feel like we people talk about it a lot in our industry. And maybe that’s just in like the bubble I’m in. Maybe you’re listening. And you’re like, what’s so genius. But I’m going to assume that all of us have heard of the term zone of genius before and something that Meghan and I were talking through as well, how do you know what your zone of genius is? Like? How do you kind of uncover? What is your zone of genius, I’ve heard zone of genius referred to specifically when you’re looking to outsource or higher of wanting to make sure that you’re staying in your zone of genius, or you’re getting rid of tasks or things off of your plate that aren’t necessarily in your zone of genius. I’ve also heard of it when it comes to new offers and new things that you can create in your business. Like, what’s your zone of genius? Like? What are you so good at doing? And how can you help other people do the same thing. So we thought we would break it down a little BTS style, I guess I’ll share some of our personal stories of how we’ve uncovered our own quote unquote zone of geniuses, and hopes that it shed some light on how you can do the same thing. So Megan, I’ll kick it over to you first.
Megan Martin 1:43
Yeah, so I feel like my zone of genius has been like 11 years in the making. I just want to start out to say like, it took me a very long time to find my zone of genius. Like, I know that there are some, like really awesome, successful business owners that just like knew what they were great at. And they started their business. And like, by year one, they’re like killing it making six figures, I was not that person. Like, it took me a very long time to figure out what inspires me, what motivates me what I’m actually really good at, and how all of my experience, and talents can stack together in a way that I can turn it into a profitable suite of offers. Literally, I would say it took me about eight to nine years to get to the point where I am like truly sitting in my zone of genius. So I hope that that is like not scary, but also encouraging that if you’re here and you’re like, Man, I just I’m not quite sure that I’m there or I’m ever going to get there. It’s possible for you. And I would just encourage you to like, keep trying, keep testing, keep experimenting, keep trying new things until you can figure this out. And that’s literally what I did. I’ve I’ve done, we’ve talked in the past about all the different businesses that I’ve ran into. But I just kept trying new things. And it was like one idea, or one service or one offer would spur an idea for a new type of thing for me to try out. And I kept doing this process of like, you know, uncovering a new passion or a new thing that sparked my creativity and trying that out for a while and then it would spark another idea. And then I would try that out for a while and it would spark another idea. And it got to the point where i i finally found like what I what I’m good at, you know, which is I love helping people learn how to create and sell digital products. And even in that there’s like certain specific things that are my zone of genius. I don’t know everything about creating and selling digital products. I’m not a genius when it comes to every single nuance in this niche. There are certain things that I have found that I really excel at, even in my niche, we were just talking about how like for a very specific example, I’m really good at naming things like, I don’t even know how this happened. Like I didn’t mean to be really good at naming things. But I found by continuing to like drill into my sweet spot, I started realizing that this was a like a unique skill that I have, that leads to helping people create profitable digital products because naming something actually can affect your sales potential. And so I think, for me, it’s been like all about exploration and giving myself the freedom to explore and the freedom to say like just because I put something out into the world as a business owner does not mean that that has to be my forever decision. Like I can change whenever I want to change. And that’s like the number one thing that I’m confident about in my business which has gotten me to the point of being able to find my zone of genius
Kat Schmoyer 5:00
I love that so much. And I do think it’s such a great permission slip, because mine is similar. Like, I was not the person that had, I didn’t find my zone of genius in year one, like it’s taken a long time, like five or six years to really be able to say like, Okay, this feels like what all of this back end where like all of the last couple years, were kind of leading to me discovering this. And it really was a journey to get there. And I don’t know if that’s true for all people that can let that would like consider themselves to be multi passionate. So if you’re listening, and you’re also also multi passionate, and that’s you let us know that Megan and I are like, okay, we’re not alone. I feel like it would have to be because we again, we like so many things. So it’s figuring out like, but what’s, what’s kind of the thing that’s like, truly the icing on the cake, you know, what’s the thing that like really is a little bit different and unique to what we’re doing. For me, again, it came out of like, an accumulation of the past couple of years of I started as a wedding planner, just like Megan did. There’s a bit of project planning and organization required in wedding planning. But I wasn’t thinking about when I started as a wedding planner, it was just, I wanted to own my own business, I planned my own wedding, I thought it would be fun to try to plan other people’s. And so I did the very cliche thing of starting my own wedding planning company that led me to start the conference, which again, there’s project planning, and there, there’s organization, there’s like those back end logistics. But for me, it was just Well, I like to plan and I see a need in our industry. So let’s create an in person event because I love in person community. Let’s do that. And then over the last few years to trying out several different things led me to what I’m doing now, which is truly like the integration, agency coaching and mastermind all focused on project planning, goal setting like making things happen in your business, because I am such a A to Z brain like I see something and I immediately go like how do we make this happen? Like literally like what are the steps, every single step that we need to make this one goal a reality. And realizing that not everybody’s brain works in that capacity. And with my experience as a wedding planner, my experience with conference planning. Now being an integrator, building up the agency, it’s been so much fun. Because I’m getting to use that past experience. I’m also getting to learn new things and work in other people’s businesses doing what I wish I could do over and over and over again in mind, I’m just getting to do in other people’s, which is so much fun. So again, I think that like finding your zone of genius can take time as you are navigating the world of entrepreneurship and seeing what you’re good at and what you like about business.
Megan Martin 7:50
Yeah, I think for me, one thing that was really interesting about finding my zone of genius was from like an emotional perspective. I don’t know about you, but I struggled so much for so long with imposter syndrome. And specifically when I stepped into the world of education, like I just constantly felt like should I be doing this? Like, who was like Who me like I you know what I mean? Like, I just had all of these feelings of imposter syndrome. And I think that that’s natural no matter what you do, whether you’re your zone of genius or not. But I found that when I really like nestled into my zone of genius, my sweet spot, like those feelings of impostor syndrome quickly dissipated like I don’t have, I don’t experience the same type of imposter syndrome as I do, as I did when I was putting things out into the world that were not my true zone of genius. Like I have a it was like a confident shift happened, where I don’t struggle with that anymore. And from like an emotional perspective, I would say like, that’s one of the biggest things that I would check yourself on. Like, if you’re really like struggling with imposter syndrome, and you’re not sure, like, why you’re feeling that way. It could be that you’re not in your zone of genius and you’re trying to fill somebody else’s shoes that you truly like that you just haven’t like, fully stepped into, like what your unique thing is, I definitely felt a huge confidence shift when I when I like settled into my zone of genius.
Kat Schmoyer 9:27
That’s so interesting. When you were talking I was thinking about like comparison because I feel like comparison has been more my my bigger struggle, I guess is like the best way to put that than imposter syndrome. And I feel like in the last year and a half like comparison has like gone down you know, like it’s just you’re in a healthier mindset because you’re like genuinely doing something that you love to do and that you’re just inwardly confident in what you’re doing. So the need to compare or the you You know, the desire not desire to compare, but you know, like just that coming up. It doesn’t happen as much not saying that it’s like disappeared forever. And never well just like impostor syndrome never well, but I think that’s super interesting to think about. Is there was there a time, Megan, when you like, did you feel the shift of like, okay, yes, I’m like, found my zone of genius. Was it like a conversation or a specific like product launch or like something like that where you were like, Okay, this is like, I think this is this direction. And I really need to lean in here.
Megan Martin 10:35
For me, I think there was validation and a product launch. So I, a few years ago, it was like 2018, I think I put out this often it was around the concept of digital products, I had been selling website templates, I’ve been selling like Canva, templates, all of that. So I was doing, I was doing the work of selling digital products in my business, I put out this opt in, and it got a ridiculous amount of subscribers to this opt in. And I was like, okay, that’s validation. Maybe this is something that I should explore sharing more, you know, and at the time, I was not teaching people how to create digital products. And then it will, you know, when COVID hit in the world shut down, and I like got the idea for my membership and was like, I remember I boxed you like, Hey, I have this random idea. And you’re like, okay, and then six days later, I launched the idea
Kat Schmoyer 11:28
was like, literally, that’s exactly what happened.
Megan Martin 11:32
was like, Okay, I’m launching it right now. So I just did it, you know, and that’s just totally my personality, like, Alright, I have an idea. I’m gonna do it right now. And so the validation of like, there was literally 250 People had joined in the first few days. And that was like, big validation that, yes, the timing worked really well, because everybody was shifting to online at that point. But again, it was still the validation that like, this is a real need. And it wasn’t just validation, and that I put the right offer out, it was validation, because I put the offer out in a way that like, I wasn’t trying to fill somebody else’s shoes, like I wasn’t coming out of the gate with like, let me teach you how to scale to the moon and make millions and blah, blah, blah, because that’s not my story. Right? So I was like, super authentic, super vulnerable, like, and you can even see on my website, there’s a page where I’m like, I share the middle. I’m not I have not crossed the millionaire stage with what I do. But I just showed up as who I am and what my real story and what were real results that I produce for myself, and I can show you how to produce as well. It was like this validation that, okay, I can I can show up in this specific niche where I’m not necessarily the expert, or the best, I can do it in my way. And the validation to see so many people pouring in and like saying yes to that. It, it changed everything for me, like I don’t have to put on a front of anything, I can tell you the truth about my life about the kind of money that I’m in my purse, and my specific business I numbers are a part of it. We’re talking about making money here, right? So like, I can be truthful about that. And you make the decision whether or not you want to learn from somebody like me, or I can point you in the direction of somebody else to learn for, from if you have different goals in mind, right. And so I think for me that number one did get rid of imposter syndrome, because I’m showing up as truly myself. But again, it’s like, even from the comparison perspective to like, I don’t compare myself to the other educators who are sharing the same type of information I am because they’re sharing it based on their results and what they can teach you. And I’m sharing what I’ve done and what I can teach you from my own experience. And so I think that was the true like, shift for me.
Kat Schmoyer 13:58
Absolutely, I can see that. I think mine was slightly different because I feel like mine was like, something that I’ve just been good at my whole life not to diss again, it’s just a different, like you became good at it by seeing all of these results and then said like, I can help other people like replicate this. And for me, it was like, I’m just naturally like, I’m a project manager. Like literally I’m just now like that is like so in tune with every like even the way our family life is structured. Like just everything about my life is that and even thinking back to like high school and like my extracurricular activities and like, who like what roles I played in high school and in college and things like that, like just seeing it, but never really realizing like, Oh, this is how like these dots connect like I remember Shay Cochran talking about this at one of the conferences, how she realized that like even being good with plants and like liking to work with her hands in the garden, like that. That added to the fact that she went had to work with her hands and style, and like, do that. And I was like, wow, like, that’s fascinating. I want something like that for me, you know, but I didn’t know what it was like at that time. For me, it’s it came down to like other people seeing in me and other people asking me and I remember, like the first encounter I got where someone was like, Can we jump on a call? And like, you helped me with my, like, quarterly goals? Like, is this a joke? Like, someone just wants to, like, get on Zoom? Like, we’re just gonna, like, go plan for 90 minutes, like, what is this? But it was something that I began to see like, Oh, I do think about this differently than other people. And maybe that’s a good thing. Like maybe then the fact that I am thinking about this differently means that that could set me apart. And I could teach on this in a way that is unique. So it was a little bit of a slower process, I think versus a like one thing, but still been really fascinating to see. So for you guys listening, like don’t discredit what people see in you. And like the questions that people ask you, whether it be like in your DMS or in your inbox, or the things that people want from you. They’re noticing what sets you apart, even if you’re not quite ready to realize that yet.
Megan Martin 16:14
What what did you do to like, step into your zone of genius, as you were stepping out of other things that you’ve done in your past? Like, I know, you’d still do wedding planning, but for example, like you, I feel like you’ve made such a big shift into this, like, for your, in your example, like the quarterly the quarterly planning like goal setting all of that, like, what, what did you do to like, really step into that?
Kat Schmoyer 16:40
I think 2020 was just like the huge pivot year. And a lot of that was out of necessity, like it was like, Okay, we need to do something, and we need to do something quickly. So let me see if this is really going to stick. Like let’s just put some content out there. Start doing some services that are like centered around this and see and thankfully, it did stick well. And so that really created a transition of we’re pivoting fully into this reworking messaging on the website, you know, like, all in with this is the new brand, so to speak.
Megan Martin 17:18
did for you? Do you feel like that took you having to like, stop doing other things, say no to things, stop booking clients, like all of that. I feel like one of the biggest, you know, hurdles that I hear people talk about when it comes to like shifting anything is like they’re too busy, though. It has to wait, but like, at what point do you just make that decision that you need to make a shift? So you’re sitting into your zone of genius?
Kat Schmoyer 17:42
Yeah, I think not to be all spiritual for people that aren’t but I think it was 100% the Lord and being like, we’re gonna read like this right now. Because you’re moving in a direction that like, this isn’t actually what I’ve where I’ve called you to, like continue to move in and you’re not listening to the signs. So I’m gonna like Moses burning bush moment. Like, here is the big sign. Red light pause. Now what you’re going to do kind of thing. My My God is sassy. He like it sassy with me because he needs to be for sure. But at work, like it really did, like it was in that pit, honestly, like the pit of despair of okay, everything’s on the floor, like, what do I need to do? Like, what am I good at? What can I do that allowed me to, again, look inwardly at like, Okay, well, maybe this and this, and this, like this could add up and be this. You know, let’s see, maybe somebody wants this from me. And thankfully, that works and having that insight works. But I do think that there was hitting rock bottom to start to see that.
Megan Martin 18:50
What were some of those signs that like, if you’re looking back that you said you weren’t seeing, like when you look back? Do you see some of the signs that were pointing to okay, maybe I’m not in my zone of genius. Yeah,
Kat Schmoyer 19:00
lack of passion and being burnout with what I was doing. And that is really hard for, for me being an Enneagram three when it’s like no, but I’m like, This is my path. Like we got to keep achieving, we’ve got to keep like hitting these milestones. I’m the breadwinner for our family, like this is what we’ve got to do. Even though along the way, I didn’t love it as much anymore. I loved being able to work from home, but I didn’t necessarily love every little thing that I was doing in the business.
Megan Martin 19:28
I think for me, when I look back one of my biggest signs that I needed to like move on or, you know, keep exploring was procrastination. Like I would find myself like just really procrastinating on anything and everything that had to do with those tasks or those offers that I was in that I really didn’t like. I’ve also seen people one of the big signs I see in my students is lack of belief. When you don’t believe in something and like you’re doubting Get. I feel like that is like you can fight it as much as you want. But if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, like it just it, it shows up in sales. I don’t know why, but it really does. Like you can have amazing messaging and amazing sales page. But if you don’t believe in it, like, I don’t know, I’ve just seen so many times where that is like, sales don’t come in anymore. Like and that is such a red flag that maybe you are not in your zone of genius anymore.
Kat Schmoyer 20:31
Yeah, I completely agree. So really, I feel like what we’ve both said in here are like a some overlap. And what we’ve both said, is for those of you guys listening, that are thinking about your zone of genius, or you’re trying to think through like what that could be like a lot of it really is like introspective, and really sitting down and saying like, are you happy with what you’re doing right now? Are you feeling impostor syndrome? Are you feeling comparison? Do you believe in what you’re doing? Are you passionate about what you’re doing? Like just really looking at like the heart of your business? And and that can help you uncover if you’re sitting in the spot and providing the offerings that are your zone of genius offerings,
Megan Martin 21:13
yeah, and then the opposite is true. If you are so confident, like things are flowing, your energy is like onpoint like that. I it just is it’s like you found your thing, you know, like and then when people like Kat said, like when people start coming to you, and they’re like asking you for like very specific things over and over again, like, you may have found your zone of genius, like the amount of people who come to me asking me to name their webinars or their products or all the time. Like that I’ve found my zone of genius. And that’s like, the only thing that I do and that I teach, but it just that like that external validation, and then the internal feeling validation. Like I feel like you’ve when those two things meet. I think that’s where you find your zone of genius.
Kat Schmoyer 22:01
I agree. I agree.
Megan Martin 22:04
All right, friends, well, we want to know what your zone of genius is. So DM us on Instagram, we’ll link it in this episode or below this episode. We want to hear like what is your zone of genius? What are people telling you that you are so good at? What do you feel like you’re so good at and is that lining up with what you do in your business right now? But until then we will catch you in the next conversation.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai