I was sitting alone in my doctor’s cold office watching her read my test results. I already knew that something was wrong. I’d had inflammatory bowel disease for three years and this felt like a flare up. It turns out it was worse than normal.
“I’m quite concerned about you Shahab,” she said. “This might develop into cancer.”
My heart dropped, and my head went dizzy. When I heard the word cancer, my first thought was my wife and child. My second thought was about the things I might never do. I had dance classes I wanted to take. (pause and smile) Okay, thoughts in times of stress can be a little strange.
My doctor told me I was actually doing too much - particularly when it came to work. I was pushing myself beyond the bounds of good health.
One year before, my wife and I had immigrated to Canada in the hope of creating a better future. Back home, I was a noted language instructor, but in Canada I was planning for a change. Immigration was the perfect opportunity for me to shift gears and follow my new passion - coaching people to become more successful in their lives.
I wanted to succeed as quickly as I could so I poured a lot of time, energy, and money into building a successful coaching practice. For me that meant 12 hour workdays - seven days a week. You can imagine how much fun I was back then. I told myself I’d slow down when I started making good money in my business. But the good money didn’t come. People loved my web content AND my events, but my finances didn’t show it. Like many coaches I realized I could be popular but still broke.
All the tension and pressure began to take its toll. I started to get anxiety attacks, almost fell into depression, and started seeing blood in my stool.
I needed to become truthful with myself and find out why things weren’t working out. I did a lot of soul searching, studied a lot of books, and took an honest look back at my past experiences. Through all that, I realized something extremely important. The idea of being able to help anyone become more successful in their lives had sounded like a good strategy at first, but it was spreading me too thin. I needed to discover my own genius. A genius that could help solve a specific problem for a specific type of person.
But let’s face it. finding our genius can be a tricky thing. I knew that first hand.
You see, years before, I had trained as a doctor, but after all those gruelling years at medical school I realized I wasn’t passionate about it. Medicine was potentially lucrative, but it wasn’t my genius.
Also later on, I tried my hand at becoming a professional singer. I loved music and I had even released a few singles, but I didn’t have the chops to become a real hit maker. Simply said, music was not my genius either.
And while the thought of becoming a singing doctor on daytime television amused me, I knew it just wouldn’t work.
But with coaching, I had ability and passion. I just needed to narrow my focus and figure out what specifically were my greatest strengths.
That’s when I made some bold decisions:
I stopped trying to help everyone and I started finding the right people who I could serve.
I stopped doing a million things and I started to focus on ONE thing that made the most sense.
I stopped racing against time and I started trusting the process.
Those three decisions helped me recognize that my true genius was
in helping professionals grow their business through Personal Branding. And once I had this knowledge, it gave me the confidence and clarity to share myself and my skills with the world.
And the world responded. Not only did my business grow like crazy over the next year, but my health improved. I also started paying more attention to other aspects of my life - things like fun, relationships … and yes dancing! To say this process changed my life for the better is an understatement.
But discovering my genius has given me much more. It’s meant an opportunity to touch other people’s lives and allow them to share THEIR genius with the world as well.
The spectre of Cancer is gone for now but it proved to be a valuable lesson. We need to realize that finding our genius is way too important a task to put off. Our happiness and our health often depend on it. We shouldn’t wait until we’re eye to eye with our own mortality before we start down that road. We need to uncover our genius now so we can make the impact we have always wanted to make. Thank you.
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