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It’s not enough to do what you love. You must identify your confluence.
Too many people with platforms promote the idea of finding your purpose, your passion, and doing what you love. While this will definitely lead to short-term fulfillment, it’s not enough.
If you want a successful and fulfilling career, you’ll need to find and own your confluence. The first time I came across a concept like this was in The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau.
After dedicating myself to identifying this, I’ve found there are three key pieces. The intersection of these pieces will solidify your confluence. And living in that space will lead to long-term happiness and career fulfillment.
The Three Pieces of Confluence:
- Your Passion
- Your Unique Genius
- What the World Wants/Needs
Yes, passion is important. But it’s not the be-all and end-all. Passion is the beginning — it is the foundation of your confluence.
Why is passion important? Because to achieve mastery in your niche you must love (and almost obsess over) your work. This is a long-term game plan to fulfillment.
Many people (maybe you) like to say/believe that they don’t know what their passions are. I almost let that happen to me, so I won’t go too hard on you.
Maybe start by opening your eyes and reconnecting with the kid inside you. Things can get pretty confusing after years of adulthood and zombie-like living. After that, go through this brief exercise:
Exercise: Power List
- Make a list…handwritten is best but whatever works for you.
- What are some things you: like, enjoy, are interested in, fascinated by, enthusiastic about, find beautiful, brilliant, euphoric, or exciting?
- These could be: places, people, desires, artists, movies, cultures, books, teachers, scenarios, careers, sex, spirituality, politics, fashion, food, paradigms, ideas, money, love, etc.
- Finished? Pull out the central themes.
You’ll find that there are some commonalities between the items on your list. For example, my list has themes of: writing and speaking, success and work as play, philosophy and new ideas, nonconformity, travel/cultures, and spirituality.
It is critical that the themes you identify become the central themes of your life.
Your Unique Genius
Not all solopreneurs are the traditional “Steve Jobs creative, idea-generating type” — and that is completely okay. I am not this type of solopreneur at all (related: types of solopreneurs).
What’s important for you to understand (deeply), is that you are a genius. You have a specific unique genius you must share with the world. Only when you identify this will you be able to master the art of creating value for others — and in turn — achieve and experience all you want in life.
You can begin by understanding what type of genius and leader you are.
The Genius Test
A genius entrepreneur named Roger James Hamilton, has created a variety of free resources for leaders and entrepreneurs. One of these is the Genius Test, which you can take right here.
The Genius Test is a simple four question test. You’ll learn what type of genius you are, and be given access to a wealth of resources. I recommend his materials, they’ve been pivotal in helping me uncover where I should and shouldn’t be spending my time.
Note: Roger has a book on the topic called The Millionaire Master Plan — highly recommended.
What the World Needs
To know what the world needs, you must understand that all human motivation comes from wanting to fulfill a desire or avoid a pain. Usually, you’ll find that people are even more likely to take action when avoiding a pain.
There are a few key large markets: career/money, health/wellness, love/dating, and personal development/education.
Being in one of these markets will ensure enough demand. If the market is crowded, that’s a good thing. But you should still be as niche as possible.
Don’t try and recreate the wheel, and don’t try and be too original. I say that with caution, because when I created my first course on inbox zero and email management it was one of the first in its niche.
The world needs solutions. Learn to under-promise and over-deliver — and always provide massive value to your audience, prospects, and customers.
The best way to find out what the world needs is through a relationship with your audience/prospects, and asking for direct feedback. If the relationship is strong enough, they will tell you exactly what they need.
Where your passion, unique genius, and what the world needs all meet = Your Confluence. This is where you should live and operate.
Confluence is a key lesson to long-term fulfillment. Avoiding it will put you right back at square one asking yourself, “is this all there is?”
What type of genius did you turn out as on the Genius Test? I’m a “Blaze”.
Photo credit: Confluence — CC license