Spinning wheels is no fun. Marketing to your peers is even less appealing. No one wants to stand on the proverbial street corner, dancing for pennies to be noticed.
What's worse is feeling like you have to compete on price, or throw everything and the kitchen sink at something to scrape by and pay the bills.
There are many people out there in a sea of online commerce, it has to be easier, right?
This comes from not knowing how you stand out and what you can do that no one else is capable of doing.
Okay, let's be honest, a doppelgänger exists out there that can do exactly what you can do... but when you factor in that there are 7.53 billion people world wide, and the average American makes $45,552 annually... you realize there is more than enough to abundantly go around.
Did you also know that by 2020, it is predicted that 27 million Americans
will leave traditional jobs to work for themselves?
This is the perfect time to stand firm in your own skin, present your gifts and talents,
and take place in the online commerce movement.
In 2010, I was stuck, overwhelmed, and couldn't figure out how to differentiate in my then boutique business. Everyone was getting Yoga Famous on the internet and I was attempting to figure out just how I could do something innovative.
My very first business coach asked me to do strength assessments.
I finally understood why I was inclined towards certain things...not just flying my freak flag in the deep like some lost misfit soldier. I was not meant to do it like everyone else - I was meant to do it like ME.
In mid 2014 I took my show on the road and finally broke
out of the brick 'n mortar business, and have not looked back.
Here in the online jungle, it is time for you to show your stripes and maximize your skills to be the leader you were meant to be.
Below you will find the assessments I prescribe to clients and individuals I mentor to help them increase the value they offer. Knowing your strengths and personality traits allows you to take the things you are kind-of-talented at off of your plate and delegate them to a collaboration...
... like a team contractor, another independent freelancer, a referral partner, or someone you hire in your actual business.
Why wouldn't you do everything?
If it is your weakness, let me rephrase this: if you were a fish, why would you try to climb a tree?
No... this is not some Darwinistic math problem in some dystopian world where Dr. Seuss paradigms have come to life.
Everyone is not on Ayahuasca from a psychedelic trip in a tent at Coachella.
Fish do not climb trees. That is a suicide mission.
To cut through a red ocean, you have to swim to the deep blue seas.
This requires knowing a unique sales proposition.
To identify this... knowing yourself and your traits is key.
And by strengths to be clear?
I am not talking about being proficient at Microsoft Office, that is so 1997.
Funnels. Social Media. They are skills. Not strengths.
When you do what you are great at, what is natural, and in your wheelhouse of strength?
We all want to be winners.
And winners attract winners.
This is my guide to how I found winners to work with in each professional evolution of my career.
But it starts with understanding yourself, inside and out FIRST.
Below, you will see links to assessments.
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Personality is just one of many factors that guide our behavior, however. Our actions are also influenced by our environment, our experiences, and our individual goals.
Types vs. Traits
Regardless of its structure, any type-based theory will struggle to describe or characterize people whose scores lie near the dividing line. A different way to look at personalities is through the lens of a trait-based rather than a type-based model.
What do we mean by that? Instead of creating an arbitrary number of categories and attempting to fit people within them, a trait-based model simply studies the degree to which people exhibit certain traits.
You may have heard the term Ambivert, which is a perfect example in this case. Ambiversion means that someone falls in the middle of the Introversion-Extraversion scale, being neither too outgoing nor too withdrawn.
Trait-based theories would simply say that an Ambivert is moderately Extraverted or moderately Introverted and leave it at that, without assigning a personality type.
A trait-based approach makes it easier to reliably measure correlations between personality traits and other characteristics – for example, political attitudes.
This is why trait-based approaches dominate psychometric research, but that’s more or less the only area where these approaches are dominant.
Because they don’t offer types or categorizations, trait-based theories don’t translate as well as type-based theories into specific recommendations and takeaways.
Assigned categories such as Extravert or Introvert may be limiting, but they allow us to conceptualize human personality and create theories about why we do what we do – something that a more scientifically reliable but colorless statement, such as you are 37% Extraverted, simply cannot do.
Personality Color = Personality Type
After you take this Hartman-style color quiz, you’ll receive one of four colors as your score. The colors are red, blue, white, and yellow. Each color is associated with a set of your true personality traits.
9 Types are contained within this assessment. Know how they get out of balance, and how to avoid the 'arrows' by interpreting your type on the official Enneagram Institute:
Everyone emerges from childhood with one of the nine types dominating their personality, with inborn temperament and other pre-natal factors being the main determinants of our type.
This is one area where most all of the major Enneagram authors agree—we are born with a dominant type.
Subsequently, this inborn orientation largely determines the ways in which we learn to adapt to our early childhood environment. It also seems to lead to certain unconscious orientations toward our parental figures, but why this is so, we still do not know.
In any case, by the time children are four or five years old, their consciousness has developed sufficiently to have a separate sense of self.
Although their identity is still very fluid, at this age children begin to establish themselves and find ways of fitting into the world on their own
How do clients and coworkers see you at your best?
The Fascinate® Personality Test is the first way to measure your personal brand's most impressive qualities.
- How you are most likely to make a brilliant first impression.
- How your personality adds value to teams.
- Potential "watch-outs" for your communication.
Personal endorsement: this assessment helped me to position myself in a crowded Yoga-space. The book has been revised with a new edition, numerous interviews, and a podcast.
Sally is a student of the infamous Dan Kennedy... needless to say I discovered the branding words that helped me to stand out as a coach/consultant without a massive PR budget, a landing page, and a nano-presence on social media in 2015.
Knowing other types has helped clients to do the same. I highly encourage you to read the book if you work with other people and help them lead their brand in any way (online, in person, or with their team). -Ashley
Human Design offers a map of your unique genetic design, with detailed information on both conscious and unconscious aspects of yourself.
Using simple tools, it guides you in discovering your own truth. If you suffer from a lack of self-love or clarity about your purpose and the direction of your life, this system can help.
When you come to Human Design as an adult, it has the potential to awaken your innate wisdom and power.
Your process of awakening to your true self requires two things: Education and Experimentation.
For an adult, the road back to living life as yourself can be challenging: overcoming lifelong habits and the power of conditioning takes commitment, courage, and determination.
Personal endorsement: ever heard of chakras? Laws of Attraction and manifestation?
The really cool thing about this chart is that it will tell you what areas of your body are illuminated and pre-dispositioned to energetic road blocks.
It has been instrumental in understanding why I act certain ways in many situations and hope it gives you insight into your own orientation.
What You’ll Get
Strengths Insight Report. Get in-depth analysis of your top 5 CliftonStrengths. Unique to your specific combination of CliftonStrengths, this report describes who you are in astonishing detail and gives you details about your strongest CliftonStrengths and what makes you stand out.
Your Signature Themes Report. This report lists your top 5 CliftonStrengths so you can identify your dominant talents and start leading a strengths-based life.
More tools and resources. Dive deeper into strengths-based development with introductory videos and other supporting materials.
Personal endorsement: this was the first true assessment I ever took from the recommendation of my coach...it was a game changer in my first business with my staff.
Having everyone's strengths profiled meant no-one stepped on anyone's toes and everyone was in their own right STRONG.
Instead of seeing turn-over, I saw team-work. After putting this to the test we saw some really profitable months as everyone knew exactly what they brought to the table, more importantly, what to do with it.
Rocket Fuel is what gets added to your business when you identify your unique strength and team up with your complementary opposite.
This revolutionary process has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs first realize, then hire the missing person in their business that will literally help them blast-off.
Personal endorsement: new to my toolbox, this has been mind blowing. I felt a sense of relief that my skillsets had purpose and whom I needed to get support from without feeling guilty for being "a thinker" as a visionary.
I have a fair amount of integration in my percentage which also helps me mentor and coach newbie Start-Up owners to implement ideas and make decisions to help them launch their new businesses and be profitable.
Emotional agility is a process that enables us to navigate life’s twists and turns with self-acceptance, clear-sightedness, and an open mind.
The process isn’t about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts. It’s about holding those emotions and thoughts loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to ignite change in your life.
Showing Up: Instead of ignoring difficult thoughts and emotions or overemphasizing ‘positive thinking’, facing into your thoughts, emotions and behaviors willingly, with curiosity and kindness.
Stepping Out: Detaching from, and observing your thoughts and emotions to see them for what they are—just thoughts, just emotions. Essentially, learning to see yourself as the chessboard, filled with possibilities, rather than as any one piece on the board, confined to certain preordained moves.
Walking Your Why: Your core values provide the compass that keeps you moving in the right direction. Rather than being abstract ideas, these values are the true path to willpower, resilience and effectiveness.
Moving On: Small deliberate tweaks to your mindset, motivation, and habits – in ways that are infused with your values, can make a powerful difference in your life. The idea is to find the balance between challenge and competence, so that you’re neither complacent nor overwhelmed. You’re excited, enthusiastic, invigorated.
Let's flash back to 2010...it was the end of November and I was *palm to face* overwhelmed with my then business.
Up to this point, there was an endless sea of new clients that flooded my budding baby business.
Enter the holidays and the academic breaks with unpredictable winter weather.
I needed clients, like yesterday.
Where would they come from?
I studied the Laws of Attraction on the daily. The Secret changed my life in 2007.
Although at this time, it felt like there was some malfunction occurring and I wasn't getting anyone new into my business.
Coaxing pre-existing clients to come do a Yoga class wasn't happening during the holidays.
With the winter weather, I also faced clients asking to pause their memberships.
This was my nightmare.
On top of this, there was a studio across my small pond who was aggressively marketing
on the tail ends of all of my advertising.
Even though there is this Yogier than now stigma that we were all in some collective Yoga Tribe,
this felt like Yoga fight club.
They'd knocked off everything down to my photography.
This is when I discovered Strength Finder 2.0 with a few of the other assessments.
There are countless assessments that spell out leadership, emotional intelligence (vital for leading),
and other ways your ego is either limiting you or helping you.
Once I knew my information... I could compile all of this into a document
and sit with what I, and only I could potentially "do" with someone else.
The thing is... we all need each other. You have strengths that I do not possess.
Right now...if we put our heads together for a collaboration, there is
a good likely hood two can create 'fire' in terms of creative capital.
And maybe, you are a rugged individual that doesn't fancy working with others.
You need your space. You want things your way, and on your terms.
But the thing I learned in 2010... I was trying to mold myself to be
like everyone else down to my pricing structure is a recipe for failure.
I had been offering more value in terms of the mentorship than any other studio in a 137 mile radius.
*Light bulb moment*
I knew from the stand point of looking and interviewing
extensive peers in the market, my programs were chief.
When I figured out how I was specifically adding value... my pricing structure changed, as did my clientele.
Now...fast forward to right now.
In preparation of launching a few things, I organize and do market research before I step into anything.
In the process I discovered I needed to re-evaluate my niche, and niche down to a sub-niche.
I have evolved my audience numerous times and for numerous programs or offerings within my business journey since discovering these profiles.
This time around I picked up two new assessments which are changing how I lead with my clients.
YOU KNOW YOU ARE READY TO LEVEL UP YOUR NICHE WHEN:
-- Frustration sets in from what you do or whom you work with: from a space of doing things that feel like going up-stream, are out of your contract, or force you to work 10x harder than is necessary for what you feel is your pay grade.
-- You want to increase your prices, but do not know how: often there are things you are really good at that you can do faster than anyone else. Efficient equates to more money in less time. So how do you package this?
-- You want to stand out in what feels like a crowded market and attract people to you: instead of hunting people down, you want to be like a mythical tiger that people seek out to work with. When you know what is special in terms of your strengths, positioning may be utilized to attract people to you instead of you chasing people down, needed and neglected.
--You want to do aligned work over taking what you can get: it feels uncomfortable to be out of integrity. Desperation (the need to pay the bills) can make anyone take a client or a job that they regret. There is a sneaky feeling that often hits some people in the gut, others it may be the third eye. Wherever you end up feeling it, the last place is you want it to happen in is the work you do. To prevent this, the next step that will be revealed will help you identify Core Desired Feelings and your Unique Sales Proposition (that only you can do).
-- You want to work an ideal day instead of someone else's imposed nightmare: you did not begin working for yourself to be forced to show up at an office or attend meetings. Knowing yourself and how you thrive will help you to align with better professional partnerships that honor your autonomy and how you like to show up.
-- You say and do the same thing, day in and day out, like groundhog day: it is frightening, but deja vu is all too familiar to you. The reality of this is that you can package your strengths and skills in a way that helps you have more free time to focus on high-value transactions. There are countless ways to do this.