Here’s Where You are Great, So Shut Up.

The world has an interesting way of revealing your strengths.  This has become apparent to me in the last few weeks as I have started writing.  Allow me to provide some context before I go any further.

Recently I quit my full time job to pursue entrepreneurship and my dream of building my own company.  Prior to this I was living a double life, straddling the fence as they say.  This sucked.  I hated the fact that I did not (or could not) just let go and dive into pursing my dreams.  It sounds silly actually…. you would think living in America we should do whatever we want?   I wasn’t.  Until now.

During this double life I was part of a small team building a startup, a website which would help local businesses further connect with their loyal customers.  Although we didn’t really have titles or positions, I lead the charge and you could say I held the general position of what would be considered the CEO.  We worked on this for quite some time, all the while holding full time jobs.  We met EVERY Tuesday or Wednesday for like 2 years or more.  Eventually we released a Version 1.0 and I felt we were making some progress.  Ultimately, after about 6 months in the test market we decided to revert (what they now call pivot ) back to closed doors and figure out a better vision.  This is where I sit today.

Shut Up and Listen!

My point here is this: I wasn’t in my strength zone.  I wasn’t actually doing things that I was Great at.  I keep my head to the grindstone for years trying to make things happen – to no avail.  Without resources, connections, money or exposure… and most important the wisdom from previous experience, we fell flat.  And I thought I was a loser and a failure.

Shut Up and Listen!

Until I started listening.  When I quit my job I decided I would start writing.  Being an avid reader of books, blogs and any articles I can get my hands on, this seemed like a natural evolution for me.  Little did I know people actually like what I write.  They think I am good.  They even think I am Great, so Great they think I could support myself doing this.  I had no idea.  I just type what I feel inside… that is all I do.  And things just flow together.

Shut Up and Listen!

Amazingly, the world has started reaching out to me.  People from all over have followed, commented, subscribed, and emailed.  I really appreciate this.  Finally, something is taking off.  This type of reaction never happened with Loyaltize.  On a small level in our test market people would say things like “ya know, this is a really good idea.  Very Cool.”  That was nice of them to say, but nothing ever came together and we finally realized we were doing something wrong.

Shut Up and Listen!

If you listen close enough, the world will tell you where you are Great.  You may be like me – hard headed, focused and dead set on making things happen.  Although these are traits successful people employ to move forward, they can also be an incredibly powerful force holding you back.  Are you a programmer who can’t seem to build anything people actually use?  Are you a teacher who comes home from school each day so tired you just want to go to bed?  As a CEO, are things just not lining up for you?  Are there areas in your life where things just happen to come way easier for you?  You might want to take a closer look at those areas.


My advice would be to shut up and listen to the world.  What is it telling you?  Where is it saying “anything you do here will not work.”  Then look the other way to where it tells you “Keep doing this, you are great.”

I know it’s pretty simple stuff.  But trust me, your Greatness might not be where you thought it would be.  Maybe it’s where it always was you just haven’t looked yet.

I am not sure where this writing stuff will take me, I know I will eventually lead a great business.  But all I can say is it already has taken me further in 2 weeks than 5 years working with my ears and eyes closed ever did.