Knowing your strengths and weaknesses

The Reason We Keep Spinning Our Wheels

Something interesting happened to me yesterday.

I'm a fan of DNA testing, like Ancestry DNA, 23andMe, etc. This is due in large part to my love of history and anthropology. I love knowing about my genealogy and what kind of DNA heritage I share with the rest of the world.

By the way, if you're curious, my DNA is mostly French (48%), Irish (19%), and Portuguese (14%). The rest is a mix of Italian, German, Ashkenazi Jew (from the Baltics), and North African (either Morrocan or Algerian).

Now, some people fear that DNA testing might be an invasion of privacy. Others who also believe corporations will profit from your results fear genetic discrimination. I agree that some of these fears are justifiable.

But I also believe the benefits outweigh the risks, which go beyond simply knowing about your genetic heritage. For example, on top of being insatiably curious, I also became increasingly fascinated with knowing more about any medical predispositions.

Here's why:

  • My mother had fought several forms of cancer before passing away.
  • My father was an alcoholic, had Korsakov's disease as a result, and died from alcoholic cardiomyopathy.
  • My only sister battled a multitude of congenital issues before she died.

All three died just a few years apart.

Along with my recent ADHD diagnosis, DNA tests can reveal genetic conditions and risk factors for disease. This allows me to take steps to avoid triggering problematic genes, and to improve my lifestyle and make better choices.

Now, here's what happened yesterday.

In many of these DNA sites, you can choose to voluntarily share your DNA results, either anonymously or not. The system then finds genetic relationships with other members who have done the same.

The result is that you can discover hundreds of new relatives. Sure, many of them are distant. For example, I can share less than 1% of my DNA with someone, who ends up being a third or fourth cousin.

Sometimes, although rarely, you can find closer relatives, find a potential donor (such as for bone marrow transplants), or even help catch a serial killer.

But this can also be a sensitive area. For example, imagine discovering you were adopted or your father is not your real father — or that he had other children you didn't know about.

This is kind of what happened to me — or rather, to someone related to me.

Yesterday, through one of these sites, I was approached by a second cousin. Apparently, he recently found out he was adopted. He learned about his birth name, which is the same as my grandmother's maiden name.

Long story short, his mother was killed in a car accident, which is why he was given up for adoption. He reached out to find out about that side of our family so he can pass on any health information to his daughter.

Now, our great-grandparents were siblings, but that's all I knew. I couldn't help him any more than that, but it gave him enough ammunition to start digging.

So what has this got to do with marketing?

It simply reminded me of Perry Marshall's Marketing DNA Test.

The point is that everyone markets differently. Everyone has a different set of strengths and weaknesses. And everyone has a certain natural ability to do marketing — that ability could be persuasion, innovation, analysis, strategy, etc.

The result of Perry's DNA test falls somewhere on a continuum, between what he calls “Producer” and “Alchemist.”

One key difference between both, out of many, is that the producer is more logical and methodical, where the alchemist is more innovative and impulsive.

Ultimately, the goal is to know your strengths and weaknesses so you know what to work on. In fact, studies have shown that you grow faster when focusing on your strengths as opposed to trying to improve your weaknesses.

If you hate marketing or feel you're not good at it, and it's impeding your growth, it might be because you're focusing on your weaknesses — or on the part of marketing you hate.

Rather than spinning your wheels, focus on your strengths instead, and hire someone whose strengths can better fill the gaps in your business.

Or as Perry Marshall so eloquently said:

This index shows you what strength areas you should pursue and develop, and what areas frankly aren’t worth bothering with. Build on your strengths. Organize a team of people whose strengths match your weaknesses. Life is too short to fight our nature – we’ve got more important battles to win.

Exactly.

To save space, go read his full explanation here.

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