The time you invest to better yourself is always a good investment. In this series we have loosely been walking through a personal SWOT analysis. You can find more about the process from the series. The question to answer today is: Are you ready for the best thing ever?
SWOT Not Just For Projects Anymore
Traditionally you start a SWOT analysis by drawing a four panel window pane. In each pane you itemize the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities or Threats associated with your goal. The process is useful because it forces us to look objectively at the goal. If you can not think of something to fill in each pane, it is because you are not being as transparent as you can be.
We are pretty good at identifying our strengths. The things you do best are your strengths. Friends and family are also pretty good at helping us find and grow hidden strengths. Strengths in a personal SWOT analysis should include your personal support systems (relationships), learned skills and natural abilities.
We are also pretty adept at identifying, and often magnifying, our weaknesses. You can think of weaknesses as those things that don’t come naturally. For example, you may have to work a little harder to be on time if punctuality is your weakness. The key, again, is to be open and transparent in your assessment.
In our personal SWOT analysis, opportunities are a general list of possibilities available to you. We have heard the quote, “Success is where preparation meets opportunity.” made popular by Bobby Unser. This is your time to look at your education, experience and training and think about what you are now prepared to do.
Threats are simply current, not permanent, limitations to our opportunities. It is critical that we know what they are and that we develop plans to eliminate or minimize them. Your education, experience and training may afford you the opportunity to work in your current field. However, if your current field is in a sector that is declining you need to minimize that threat.
Opportunity or Threat?
It may not be readily apparent whether a situation is an opportunity or a threat. All analyses, but SWOT in particular, afford us the opportunity to reframe a situation. The nature of the process forces us to consider both possibilities and the possibility of failures. We are rarely good at doing both instinctively. Whether you see the glass as half full or way too close to being empty you have to put something in each pane during the analysis.
Additionally, it is extremely helpful to pull ourselves out of autopilot and be intentional about who we are and where we are going. The narratives of our self-talk can become so comfortable that we begin to believe it is the only perspective. Let’s dare to learn something new about ourselves.
Are You Prepared
The greatest threat to opportunities is being unprepared. Lack of preparation includes waiting on perfection or “think long think wrong” and “paralysis of analysis”. I understand how important it is to put your best efforts forward, however, we have to act while we prepare.
I am always surprised by the awesome ideas that people have for businesses that they never act on. On the other hand, I have worked with clients who are in business and don’t know it. They are creating, selling and marketing but since they do not have a plan to scale, the business never grows.
In order for you to sufficiently respond to threats, you have to be flexible. Be careful to attach your passion to your goal and not your path to the goal. Undoubtedly your path to your goal will be winding, interesting and uniquely your own. It is to your advantage too.
Are You Ready For The Best Thing Ever?
A personal SWOT analysis is the perfect tool to prepare yourself for both opportunities and threats. Whether you are considering a job change or working on a new project at work, now is the time to assess yourself. The YRM team is your source for walking through this process so you can get to your purpose. You can reach out to us here to schedule a free introductory call. Let us develop a plan specifically for you or your team.