Starting In Business: How To Monetize Yourself With The Golden Intersection
“Oh honey, there’s no money in that!
Keep your head down, obey the rules, and it will all work out just fine.”
We’ve all heard those famous words from people we love, trust, and respect. The people that have shaped our lives since we were born. The people that, time after time, we believe without question.
The part they DON’T tell you is that, while their advice has no ill-intent, it really comes from a place of their own insecurities, their own failures, a headful of what-ifs, and just a twinge of jealousy that you still have the drive and the fire to follow a purpose – any purpose – while they’ve already given up.
But don’t worry, you’ll give up sooner or later…if you let them keep telling you that BS.
Look, I speak from experience. I took the hook. I bought the lie. I did 37 years as the good soldier. Yes sir. Yes ma’am. And I was successful according to most. Twenty years as an engineer and manager, I climbed the ladder and had the multi-six figure safe/secure job, stock options, parking space, etc.
But at the end of the day, I wasn’t happy as I wanted to be, I wasn’t wealthy as I needed to be, and sure as shit wasn’t Free. Now, my favorite F-word is Freedom (used to be a different one in my corporate days.)
The Golden Intersection
I want to share a different concept I created called the Golden Intersection.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Golden Circle from Simon Sinek. The brilliant concept (that is a obvious now as it has been for thousands of years) that everything begin with WHY. Without the WHY, the what and the how don’t matter. This is true in life, business, branding, marketing, and sales.
The Golden Intersection goes deeper into the WHY. It looks into the core of our value and stands on a very simple, but firm, belief: Everything is monetizable. Everything. Without exception.
Monetization is just a fancy way of describing transfer of value. If you provide value to the world, the world will, at some future point, provide value back to you (usually in the form of money.) This is natural and okay, no matter what “they” have told you.
So while they won’t teach you this concept in school, it might just be the one that changes the trajectory of your life forever.
The Big 3
What’s this all about? It’s about starting with YOU. How YOU will provide value to the world and get paid in return.
There are 3 very special (and profitable) things about you. If you can “play” and monetize any one of these things, you’re already doing better than the majority of the population. If you can monetize the intersection of any two of them, you’re in the top 1%. And if you get all three, well, you’re forever free.
These three things are:
It’s what you do better than anyone else. It’s what you can do if I wake you up at 5am from a deep sleep. It’s that thing that when you tell others, you have to humble yourself so that you don’t feel like you’re bragging. To find it though, we must take off our humble hat. This is the one time to NOT be humble.
These are the skills you weren’t born with, but instead, you’ve busted your ass to acquire them from years of blood, sweat, and tears. Those things you’ve spent thousands of hours getting good at. These often bring you the most pride because they took the most work.
This is simply what you love to do; really love to do. Passion is different from genius and expertise in that you don’t have to be good at it. You just have to have a desire to spend your life doing it. One simple clue is that it is often what you do as a distraction instead of what you “should” be doing.
Where The Big 3 Intersect
Here’s where it gets fun…and even more profitable.
Intersection of Genius and Passion
This is Flow. You not only love it, but you’re naturally good at it. This is where a Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or Oprah Winfrey play. It’s what many people would call the zone. It’s where you can’t miss a shot, even if you tried.
Passion and expertise
This is pure Joy. You love this intersection also, but the expertise didn’t come easy. This is full appreciation for all the hard work you put in and the gratitude for being able to do it in a way that excites you.
Genius and expertise
This is Peace. It’s not a high emotion state, but it’s where you are the natural best and the most skillful. It’s that calm confidence in knowing what you are capable of. And you can rest easy knowing you will always have business.
What if you hit all three?
Quite simply, there is no name for that. We wouldn’t dare try to apply the constraints of language to describe that, as it cannot be described, only experienced.
However, if we had to try to encompass the feeling of that, it might be likened to the Maslow’s concept of self-actualization. That is, the fullest expression of what it means to be you, to be human, and to live with clarity of purpose.
Starting The Journey
For some, the journey to find one’s intersection is a lifelong pursuit. For others, it can happen in a flash of brilliance during a serendipitous event. The only shame is that so many talented people never even take the first steps or give themselves a chance to profitably play in their true value.
If you’re determined to NOT be one of these lost souls, here are 3 quick steps to start to find your Golden Intersection:
1. Ask friends and family that you like and respect two important questions. Get their input on the three things you do really well, and what they have noticed that lights you up when you speak. Find the commonalities in the responses. Any patterns? Any surprises? Don’t spend too much time here. This is just a reference point and framework, not gospel.
2. Write your ideal eulogy. On the surface, this can sound a bit morbid. Look at this as an opportunity to write the perfect script. What was your life about? What did it all mean? What piece of you (or your contribution) will outlive the physical you? Be very specific here. Who is paying respects and why? Who’s reading your eulogy and why? This ultimate goal setting will help clarify more than you think.
3. Sit down in a quiet place and breathe. Allow each breath to fill you with visions of a future that feels right. Be careful to listen to you, and not the crap you acquired from others that still echoes in your head. Sit still until all that dust settles and what’s in your heart and soul become clear. What is your purpose for getting out of bed each morning? What mission do you feel compelled to go on? What do you stand for or stand against? What do you really want to say to the world (unfiltered!)?
There’s so much deeper we can dig here, but I hope this will open up some new options for you. It’s time to bring your humanity back to you business, profits back to your life.
Getting paid for simply being yourself should not be a strange concept.
Remember. The answer isn’t out there. It’s inside you.
Meet you at the top.
Link to the YouTube Video on this topic here.
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