Identify your key strengths and opportunities. Find out what challenges are holding you back from your success.
Identifying your key strengths and opportunities is a crucial step towards achieving your goals. One of the most effective tools you can use to achieve this is, what I call, a “SPWOT” chart.
SPWOT stands for Strengths, Passions, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
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How To Fill Out Your SPWOT Table
Your Strengths, Passions and Weaknesses will each be internal. That is, they will be personal to you. And you have to be honest with yourself, with these – especially your Weaknesses.
Your Strengths will include your natural talents, skills, qualifications, and experience – both professional and personal.
Your Passions include all the things that you are especially passionate about, the things that “float your boat,” and ignite your dreams and visions. All the things you love doing will also be included.
I believe that is important to list your Strengths and Your Passions because not every Strength will necessarily be something you particularly love or enjoy.
For example, when I first started out in business, I had 15 years’ experience of office admin. I’d done the lot; basic clerical work, filing, and general business support; plus office management, P.A. work, secretarial, event management and more. I was very good at it and so it could, justifiably go in my Strengths column.
However, I did not particularly enjoy it. As a consequence, I found it a real chore and struggled to sell myself and my services.
So, it’s essential that you play to you strengths and pander to your passions, if you want to build a personal brand that truly speaks you. To do that, you need to identify both your strengths and your passions.
Your Weaknesses are the things that personally challenge you, your faults and failings, shortcomings and the like, that could potentially hinder your brand’s growth. So, for instance, if you are an habitual procrastinator, that would go in the Weaknesses column.
Your Weaknesses would also include the gaps in your knowledge and experience and areas where you need to brush up on or gain additional learning, training and/or mentoring.
Opportunities and Threats will each pertain to external influences that either present an opportunity for you to capitalise on or a threat, challenge or hurdle that you need to overcome or find a way to work around.
An example of an opportunity or threat might be some kind of local or national legislation that has a potential effect on your business or industry.
If, for instance, a local by-law was passed that required all business owners to record their profits and losses in a particular fashion, for tax purposes, and you were an accountant, then that would present you with a golden opportunity to offer a service to help other business owners to be compliant with this new law, by the required date.
By the same count, that same piece of legislation might mean extra expense for you, as a business owner, regardless of your business type. Therefore, it could be listed as a threat, where you might need to consider your pricing structures, for instance, in order to counter that extra expense.