Unique Capabilities: Your Key to a Redefined Retirement Plan
Uncover your unique talents and redefine your retirement before someone else does it for you
If you’re not planning your retirement, someone else probably is.
Check this out;
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently 40 million Americans age 50 and older who are working. Our analysis of the HRS data suggests that as many as 22 million of these people have or will suffer a layoff, forced retirement or other involuntary job separation.
So, for us Gen Xers’ and our younger Baby Boomer family and friends, there’s no time to waste.
Let’s continue where we left off last week and get ahead of this.
In this post, I’ll be showing you how to discover your unique capabilities.
This is a follow-up from last week’s how to find your Ikigai post.
“But Corey, what in the Sam hell do my unique capabilities have to do with retirement?”
Glad you asked…
It’s All About The Spark
Remember, the first step with any alt-retirement plan is making sure that whatever you do, you’ll be in alignment with the work you love doing. Because when you love what you do, you’ll have no problem doing it until the day that you, in the words sung by Ozzy and Lita, close your eyes forever.
A big part of that alignment is finding the spark that drives you.
Watch this video from Simon Sinek to see what I mean:
And “the spark” isn’t the only benefit.
When you have a clear understanding of what your unique capabilities are, you’ll also be…
More fulfilled by the work you’re doing.
More intrinsically motivated (the best form of motivation).
More likely to spot more opportunities that match your unique skill set.
More likely to find and work with people you actually like working with (no more office politics and backstabbing. Hell yeah!).
More likely to focus on the skills that give you the most leverage so you can reach bigger goals faster (think 80/20).
More future-proof because you’ll be able to provide the most value to other people in your own unique way.
Your Unique Ability is the way in which you provide the most value for other people, which no one else could ever replicate even if they wanted to.
Now that you know why, let’s get into the how.
Find Your Unique Capabilities
This is an exercise to help you find your unique capabilities.
I did it while going through a Perry Marshall course a few years back, and it was very revealing.
Here’s what you do:
Reach Out: Email at least seven individuals from various aspects of your life, ensuring that they have known you for a minimum of three years. This could include people from work, family, friends, volunteer groups, networking groups, neighbors, etc. The wider the scope of perspectives, the better - shoot for fifteen if possible.
Identify Key Strengths: Look for patterns among the feedback you receive. Isolate 5-8 characteristics frequently mentioned and resonate with you personally as areas of strength.
Formulate Sentences: Construct a sentence for each strength that encapsulates how you utilize it. For instance, "I excel at complex problem-solving by breaking down intricate systems into understandable components."
Narrow It Down: Refine your list to only include the 5-7 most accurate sentences that reflect your unique abilities. Make sure they are concise and clear.
Condense Further: Convert each sentence into a succinct word or phrase that still effectively communicates your skill.
Just for illustration, here are some of the answers I received from my peeps:
Those replies all boiled down into a list of my "magic powers" (Perry’s words not mine):
You’re actually seeing this in action right now. I'm using at least four out of my six powers while composing this post.
I even took it a step further and dumped all that info into ChatGPT and got this handy little why statement:
Pretty cool huh?
You Got This!
And there you have it.
Time to roll up those sleeves and start the exercise above.
With your unique capabilities in your back pocket, you're primed to redefine retirement.
Better still, if they get to you before you leave, a layoff won't wipe off that smirk from your face. You’ll be ready.
Today’s tune comes from the band Incubus.
The message in this song is excellent advice for all of us who are looking to better deal with fear and take control of our future.
The key line in this song:
“When I drive myself, my light is found”
Press play and listen now:
That will do it.
Make sure you send out those emails. You will be glad you did.
Thank you for reading!
See you next time,
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