Who Are You Really?
Your personal foundation is built by a combination of your DNA, your environment and your personal efforts. Your natural habits show through at a very young age and can change by your environment and personal efforts, but rarely do they go away completely.
My friend recently told me the story of her daughter when she was a baby. One day, when my friend changed her daughter’s outfit, her baby began to cry uncontrollably. She could not stop her from crying and at first, could not figure out what made her baby cry in the first place. She began to point at a pile of baby clothes and soon, piece by piece, her baby picked out a whole new outfit by communicating with her cry. As a baby, this little girl began letting the world know that she was someone who knows what she wants. Today, that baby is now ten years old and still lets everyone know exactly what she is thinking. From an infant to now, her natural habits are part of her foundation.
I have always been someone who constantly thinks about something new and creative to do. I have the ability to think out of the box and love to create new ideas and better solutions. However, I’ve learned that although I’m great at creating new concepts, I lack in following through and delivering. It has taken most of my life to understand that I have a gift that could only be successful by partnering with people who can execute, which is an entirely different skillset. My strengths have been with me since birth and make up my foundation. But for too long, I neglected understanding my basic habits until much later in life.
I have been fortunate enough to have had success in life. However, my success could have been much greater if I had a better understanding of who I am, knew what my strengths and weaknesses are, and leveraged this understanding for greater success.
For a good portion of my life, my goal was to have a career in politics and eventually become President of the United States. As a young adult, I worked very hard to achieve this dream, but eventually, I had to move on. Frankly, I never understood why I gave up on my goal. I had created a plan for myself that could have taken me to fairly high in the political world but over time, I lost my way.
Many years later, I learned why. At Starboard, I give all of our staff and potential agents a personality profile test. Typically, I’ll ask them to start with 16personalities.com. I took that test myself and was shocked to learn exactly why I didn’t stick to a political career. The test results called me a “campaigner.” It spelled out exactly why I did not enter into a political career and it tied so well to my built-in foundation. I loved to make speeches, loved to shake hands, loved the instant gratification of campaigns, yet I had no interest in doing any of the actual work that would have been required.
Sales was ultimately my passion and I love to serve people, entertain them, and guide them—but for a short window of time. As a commercial real estate agent, my services are provided within a short window. Once I perform, I am done until a client wants to purchase another building or sign a new lease. I fell into a career that fits my foundation perfectly.
We should all question ourselves, “What is my foundation?” Don’t make my mistake of putting off an honest review of who you are and what makes you tick.
Take a personality test to help guide you and see what makes you successful and areas that you need improvement. Start questioning what worked, what didn’t work, and why? Looking back at your past has an interesting way of shaping your future.
—Hans Hansson, Starboard Commercial/TCN Worldwide