Join Up Your Strengths & Career Path - With David Ralph

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This Episode’s Focus on Strengths

This episode will energize and encourage you to take a big leap toward living the life you truly want to live. Lisa speaks with David Ralph, a man who ditched the corporate life, took that leap, and is now living a life that he loves (and it meant he went from working a mandatory 8 hours every day to working for a few hours at tasks he loves). And, he tells us about how he used his strengths to make it all happen.

This is a great episode, especially for those of you who have always been searching for that elusive Passion Pot of Gold. David points out that it’s not something that’s just going to appear; you need to go out there and do something to reach the life you want.

David keeps in mind his Top 5 Talent Themes from the Clifton StrengthsFinder: Futuristic, Maximizer, Belief, Positivity, and Activator. You’ll hear how his Maximizer talent has impacted his life, and how he’s learned to use his Activator talent to get stuff done.

What You’ll Learn

David tells us his story, and how he got to where he is today. Along the way, he gives these sage pieces of advice:

Be where people give you kudos for the good things you do. When he was in the corporate world, David realized that no one told him when he did the good things, they only commented on the tasks that needed improvement, which most likely led to discouragement, and a negative view of his job. When he went out on his own, those same people started telling him how good he was at certain things. That’s empowering! When David was in the corporate world, his Maximizer talent told him that nothing was every good enough – he spent hours perfecting the little details that didn’t truly matter. Now, he believes that he can do a great job, and that the little details don’t matter to others, so he saves a lot of time by not sweating the small things. Prioritize!

You don’t have to work hard every day to succeed and be happy. Somewhere along the way, it’s become the norm that in order to succeed, we have to put in a hard day’s work and that life isn’t easy. That is NOT true! As David moved up the corporate ladder and become more successful and earned more money, he realized he was less and less happier. Working “hard” was not a pleasure.

Look around at what other people are doing. Watch to see what others around you are doing, especially those who’ve found a way to do what they truly love. It will give you ideas for other ways to earn a living, while at the same time enjoying your life. In David’s case, there was another podcaster who he heard, and thought it was something he would love to do.

Have your own goals. If you are working every day in the corporate world, you are fulfilling the goals, and earning money of someone else. David encourages you to have your own goals, using the example of the band Duran Duran. You’ve got to hear their story and how they achieved their own goals, as David tells it.

The status quo doesn’t have to be. Just because people expect you to go to work every day, dressed a certain way, being a high achiever, it doesn’t mean that you are required to be part of the status quo. Once David has this AH HA moment, he was ready to take that LEAP, and go for it. As he says, he “Broke Free”.

Connect the dots. Go back in time, and look at yourself before life got serious (around ages 5-9). What things did you want to do? What did you truly enjoy doing every day? Then, go through your attic and look for things from that time period. In David’s case, he found cassette tapes that included interviews he had done with people around town when he was 9. He had completely forgotten about that. Next, look at the paths of your career. In his case, he had a training background, and then moved into doing presentations. All these dots connected him to what he is doing now – interviewing people and presenting topics to the world. What are your dots?

Find a mentor (or at least a person who will encourage you). Having someone to encourage you to take a leap, can make all the difference. It feels great to know others believe you have what it takes to meet your own goals.

Use your strengths to help you make the leap. For example, David has an Activator talent, which enables him to start projects. He uses this to go out each day, doing what he loves, and actually “living” his life. Can you believe he sometimes goes a whole week without checking his email? That’s because he can.

Wait for the SUPER YESES. Once you are out on your own, if people approach you with deals that would bring in money, but not meet your own criteria for the new business you’ve started, then say no. David found that all the little no’s make room for the SUPER YESES, which are the ones that will really move you on.

Live the 20/80 Rule. Knowing that 20% of the things you do bring 80% of the reward, PRIORITIZE your tasks to focus on the 20%, and limit the amount of time you spend on the other 80% (they can be time suckers).

Remember, knowing your Strengths and understanding them can have a huge impact on your personal and professional lives. So go claim your talents and share them with the world.

Resources of the Episode

To “get more David in your life” check out these links: http://www.joinupdots.com and http://www.podcastersmastery.com. You can also connect with David on Twitter.

During the podcast, David mentions Michael O'Neal, who hosts the Solopreneur Hour Podcast. If you are interested, here's the link: https://solopreneurhour.com/podcasts

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StrengthsFinder Mini-Course For Managers

If you’re a people-manager and you want to sharpen your strengths based support, come join our monthly mini-course. We don’t charge for this because we want to help you keep the StrengthsFinder momentum going. Teams who receive strengths feedback have 8.9% greater profitability. Yowza! Sounds like a great reason to join. Source: Asplund, J., & Blacksmith, N. “Strengthening Your Company’s Performance.” Gallup Business Journal.

Go Live Your Talents

Remember, using your strengths every day at work makes you a stronger performer. Go claim your talents and share them with the world!

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