Hello again. I’m going to assume you did the homework from last week. (If not, then read this first.)

So! Let’s pick up where we left off.

Last week you looked at your strengths – professional strengths, complimentary strengths, personal strengths and business strengths. Hopefully you came up with an exhaustive list for each of them.

These four lists summarize the assets you bring to your business.

In the simplest sense, assets can be defined as “something of value.”

However, “value” is a funny word. Its meaning is dependent on the context.

A list has zero value if you’re not mailing to it. But if you are, its value can become very high.

An extensive network has zero value if you’re not using it. But if you are, its value can become very high.

Your professional expertise has zero value if customers are not aware of it. But if you are, its value can become very high.

Your copy of Microsoft Word has zero value if you are not using it. But if you are, its value can become very high.

I trust you’re sensing the theme here.

You alone are responsible for determining the value you get out of your business assets.

At this point you have four lists of strengths. They are your assets.

Each of them has a current ACTUAL value to your business of between zero dollars and [a satisfyingly large number of dollars].

Each of them is like a little employee saying “Hi there! I can make you money if you put me to work. Can you hear me?”

I would like you to begin hearing them and putting them to work. But let’s just look at the “hearing” part for the moment.

Your homework for today.

Take a look at your four lists and circle the items that look like they might have the highest value to your business.

For the first two categories (professional and complimentary strengths), circle the items that your CUSTOMERS would find most valuable if you drew their attention to them.

For the second two categories (personal and business strengths), circle the items that your BUSINESS would find most valuable if you made better use of them.

That’s it for now.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more.

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.

Homework for you.

I’d like to give you some homework for the weekend.

It’s not hard. Maybe 10 minutes’ worth, maybe more if you find you’re enjoying it. I imagine you will.

Here’s your homework:

I’d like you to make a list of the strengths that you bring to your business. As long a list as you can manage. I’ll give you some guidance.

Part 1 – List your professional strengths. Here we’re talking about what you are good at on a professional level, not a personal one.

Imagine you’re making a resume of sorts. Create a list of the abilities and experience you have that make you good at the thing you do. These should be related to the thing you do and not go outside the scope of your job.

In other words, if you’re a bricklayer, don’t list that you’re really good at doing your own accounting and graphic design, too. Stick to masonry-related skills here.

Part 2 – List your complimentary strengths. Given that you do [your thing], there are some abilities and characteristics that compliment the type of work you do but have nothing to do with the work itself.

If you run a moving company, being tall and brawny is a complimentary strength. If you’re a coach, being empathetic is a complimentary strength.

Basically, what strengths particularly suit you for the work that you’re doing? Create a list of those.

Part 3 – List your personal strengths. These are characteristics and behaviours that enhance your business which you are personally proud of.

Maybe you’re extremely punctual. Maybe you can focus for hours. Maybe you have ADHD, but you have magic whirlpools of genius that let you do things others can’t.

Maybe you can keep your cool under pressure, or tolerate more risk, or learn new skills extremely fast. Create a list of those strengths, too.

Part 4 – List your business strengths. These are abilities, skills and personal resources that you bring to the business table.

Maybe you’re good at sales, or accounting, or graphic design. Maybe you have a large and extended network of real people, not just bots. Maybe you’re a shrewd negotiator, or you are very good at picking talent, or you’re an excellent manager.

Create a list of the strengths that are assets to you as a solo business owner.

That’s it. Part two comes Monday.

Take some time over the weekend to work on your list. You could spend as little as 10 minutes on it, but I’d encourage you to put more into it. In fact, if you come back to it a few times over the weekend, your list will be better for it.

You’d also do well to quiz your friends and loved ones on what they think your strengths are in these four categories. You might be surprised and pleased at what they add.

Anyway, that’s it.

See you Monday.

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.

Imagine for a moment that you would like to make significantly more money with your business over the next 12 months than you did the previous 12. (That shouldn’t be too much of an effort to visualize.)

Now, let’s think about how to do that.

You could do something new. Hop on some new and popular platform. Go to a seminar and learn what tactics are hot like toast these days. Join a mastermind group. Whatever sounds novel and exciting to you.

Or, you could do something old.

Specifically, something that you have considered before, deemed a good idea for your business, and promptly moved to its permanent home on the back burner.

There’s probably at least one or two of those things hanging out back there.

There is a thing you know you should be doing that you are currently not doing.

At one time in your business planning past you realized that there were a few activities or projects that would really make a difference in the rate you were growing.

Maybe it had to do with publishing more content. Or finally getting active in networking. Or making some products, or vamping up your website so that you’d keep people on your site longer.

Whatever those ideas were, they were good ones. Either because you know that they are inherently good ideas, or because you dipped your toes in the water and saw some results.

But then they got moved to the back burner. And stayed there. For ostensibly good and valid reasons.

But they’re still there, on the back burner. And when you think about why you’re not doing them, the reasons remain the same.

Your business has a broken record, and you know exactly what it sounds like.

It sounds like “I know I should be doing [the thing], but [reasons].”

I don’t know what your reasons are, and frankly, I don’t care. Keep them or not.

But know if you keep them – if you never challenge them, if you never ask yourself what you are going to DO about those reasons, they will continue to dominate the trajectory your business.

Your reasons held water when they first arrived. You didn’t make them up for the fun of it. But the longer you repeat them to yourself, the more you reinforce them, until they become gospel truth to you.

Here’s a little exercise for you to do today.

Think of someone you highly respect (professionally). Someone you admire, whom you would want to impress or look good in front of, because you want them to respect you, too. Someone whose good opinion of you would mean a lot.

Got that person in mind? Good.

Now think of one thing you should be doing that you KNOW would make your business grow. (And here we mean “know”. Not “Everyone tells me I should be doing it”.)

Now think of the reason(s) you’re not doing it.

Now say it out loud, in this format: “I know I should be doing [the thing], but [reasons].”

Now imagine saying that out loud to that person.

Yikes.

You don’t have to do the thing, but you do have to make the call.

You are free to decide you will never do [the thing]. But you should probably make that decision now, so you never have to think about it again.

Then you can say “I could do [the thing], but I’ve made a business decision not to. I’m doing something else.”

But if you keep saying “I know I should be doing [the thing], but [reasons]”, and those reasons haven’t changed … maybe it’s time to do something about it.

About the author: Naomi Dunford started IttyBiz in 2006. In her free time, she likes to… ha! Free time. You’re adorable. Learn more about her here and catch up with her on Twitter or Facebook.