It is our destiny to be fulfilled by our work and feel like we’re having an impact. When we know what’s inside our zone of genius it helps us understand how and why we feel fulfilled. Our zone of genius includes activities we are uniquely suited to do, which is a combination of our unique gifts and strengths. It is where our superpowers live. In this episode you’ll learn the exercise to discover your zone of genius, and what actions to take after this critical discovery. So, get out of your head, into your heart and let’s discover your zone of genius.
Hey, it’s Julie and welcome to the Corporate Yogi podcast. Do you ever nd yourself feeling stuck or bored at work?
There might be plenty of work to be done, and projects to start, But you just don’t feel like doing any of it.
There could be many reasons why you feel this way, but a common reason for it is, you’re likely not working within your
zone of genius. And this is one of the top reasons people come to me for coaching. They have a job – a really good one
They work for a great company. They’re paid good money
They feel secure, their job is safe, they have good bene ts.
For anyone looking at them from the outside, they should feel happy, thrilled even, for such a great job.
And yet, deep down, they’re dying inside, it feels like there’s a slow leak on their soul, and every day they sit down to work,
they’re actually losing a part of themselves, more and more, each day.
And your saboteurs are likely chirping all kinds of messages, like:
You have a great job – you should grateful
Look at all these people over here who don’t even have a job
You make good money, you have job security and bene ts, people would kill for this type of opportunity.
So what, so maybe you’re a little bored everyone once in a while, cry me a river. You have a family now and they’re counting
on you, you can’t a ord to be picky, No one loves their job all the time
Do you ever hear any of these messages from your Saboteurs?
They’re relentless, aren’t they?
I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to live like this.
You should never feel like you’re dying on the inside
You’re not being ungrateful if you feel like this.
There ARE people who love their job ALL the time. There are!
you’re likely just not operating inside your Zone of Genius.
Welcome to this episode, where I’ll help you trouble shoot and show you how to change it.
So here’s a look at what you’re going to learn today:
1) First, I’m going to explain why you need to know what it is
2) In the 2nd segment I’ll explain how to gure it out
3) In the 3rd segment I’ll share some tips and the Now what
So get out of your head and into your heart and let’s dive right in shall we.
I rst learned about the zone of genius from the book, the big leap, by Gay Hendricks. It is a fantastic book and I would list
it in my top 10 all time most important books to read. I think I’ve read it a total of 5 times, and it’s a great reminder of some
The main premise of the book is that we go through something called, “upper limiting” when we’re on the cusp of growth,
which means we stand in our own way to block our success, or we do something to prevent ourselves from getting to the
Near the end of the book, there’s another great lesson on time, and how we perceive our relationship with time.
There’s so many gems and lessons in the book, but the one part that we are zooming in on today is your zone of genius.
In the next segment I will walk you through an exercise to determine exactly what yours is, but right now I want you to
know why it is so important.
Here’s 4 reasons why it’s important to know your zog
1) We are meant to feel ful lled by the work. We should do what we love and know that we’re making a di erence. Knowing
our zone of genius helps us understand what type of work we do love to do and what type of work we don’t love to do,
and what we’re not good at. Knowing both is so important, bc so many people beat themselves up, because they are
procrastinating or nding it hard to get work done. But in many cases it is because they’re faced with work that is not in
their zone of genius, it’s not ful lling and that’s why they’re struggling
So, you are meant to feel ful lled by the work you do.
2) It helps us to de ne our career path, and not get distracted by what we think we should do. You know, every day I hear
stories from people who woke up one day and realized they’re in a career they don’t love. And that is heartbreaking for me
to hear. And sometimes they legitimately went into a career bc they thought that’s what they wanted. But more often, they
went into a eld because of an external pressure, either from family, friends, or society in general.
Even I’ve experienced this myself. Luckily I realized it in University and shifted gears before I graduated, but it happened to
me too. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but in high school I thought my destiny was to become an Accountant. One of the
business courses I took was an intro to accounting, and I loved it, got an amazing grade in it and it felt really natural to me. I
even did a high-school coop in Accounting in St. catherines at a rm called macgillvary partners. I was convinced this was
my calling in life… until I entered my rst year of University, and had the rude awakening of Managerial Accounting and
economincs…. Nope, not for me. I think I was stubborn enough to even try it a second year, you know with more discipline,
and it still went badly. Thankfully for all of us, I eventually found myself in marketing and communications, so this
story has a happy ending. I was able to course correct before I went out into this world trying to make it as an accountant.
But not everyone is that lucky. Now being an accountant is a fantastic and very highly respected career, but the reason this
is embarrassing for me is that now that I know myself really well, Accounting is something I identify as my biggest weakness.
I’ve told this story before, but the very rst thing I outsourced in my business was my accounting. I hired an accountant
before I even had my rst paying client. So I think it’s fair to say, we don’t always know WHO we are in high school and
picking a career, and I also was caught up in the external validation of telling people my plans, and they would raise their
eyebrows and be really impressed.
I think it’s fair to say I had literally no idea who I was in high school. Looking back on old personality pro les, I actually used
to register as a very strong Extravert, and now I’d put myself on the opposite side of the spectrum. There’s a few reasons for
this – our personality changes over time, but our level of self awareness develops over time.
So, knowing our zog helps us de ne our career path.
3) OK, the 3rd reason to know your zog,
It helps us be more e cient and focus on what we’re good at. As an entrepreneur, I have the option of outsourcing certain
tasks that aren’t in my zog. It’s e cient and it helps me to do more of what I do love. If you have a full time job at a company,
this may not seem like an option for you. But let’s not write it o totally. I do know some people who have Virtual
Assistants in their full time job, you just want to make sure you have the approval to do this, if it’s someone outside of your
company, due to security and access to in con dential information. Other great options are bringing in a coop student,
hiring an admin, or sharing a headcount with another person or team. Be resourceful and be creative and where there’s a
will there’s always a way. Remember that when you’re pitching this, it’s about focusing on the bene ts to your boss or to
the organization. You don’t want to lead the conversation with, “you know, paperwork isn’t really in my zone of competence
and Julie said I shouldn’t be doing it” You’ll get better results by saying, I’d like to focus more time and attention
following up on my leads quicker to bring in more revenue, more quickly. That’s what will get their attention.
So knowing your zog helps us be more e cient
4) OK, the 4th reason to know your zog,
When we’re doing work we love, we are going to do our best work. When we’re engaged and challenged, this is the optimal
environment for us to thrive. If you are a people manager, you likely know this, you always want to make sure you’re
giving your team stretch goals, where they are learning and doing things that really challenge them. Not only bc they will
thrive while doing them, but when you are the person that faciliatates their growth and expansion, you will develop a
natural bond with them and they will be forever loyal to you, AND you’ll establish major social capital with them.
OK those are 4 reasons to know your zog:
1 – We are meant to feel ful lled by our work.
2 – It helps us get on the right career path
3 – It helps us be more e cient
4 – And When we’re doing work we love, we are going to do our best work
So I’d like to walk you through the exercise to determine what your zog is.
I want you to draw out a 2 x 2 matrix. Or draw a big square and separate it into 4 equal parts.
And we’ll start on the bottom boxes, then work our way up to the top, so your zog is the top right box, ok?
We use the process of elimination to determine what is in your zog. This is a comprehensive way to do this.
It’s like when people tell me they don’t know what their dream job is. I tell them the best approach is to start by listing
what they don’t like to do, and paradoxically that will help them gure out what they DO want to do.
So we’re going to start with the bottom right box. Label this your zone of incompetence.
In this box you list things that you don’t do well, an d other people can do much better than you can. And remember, this
is di erent for everyone, what’s in any of my 4 boxes, may not likely be in your boxes, and there’s no judgment here at all
For me, my accounting and bookkeeping is in my zone of incompetence, as I said earlier. Also certain types of research on
facts and stats, or technology. Not all research is boring to me, like researching di erent resort centres when I used to run
retreats – that was very exciting.
Because I work with so many clients, from all di t backgrounds, industries and roles, I get to hear all kinds of answers to the
zone of incompetence, and I have to do a lot of self-managing when I hear them (meaning I bite my tongue a lot), when
someone says marketing or events, writing, creating content or building a program is in their zone of incompetence, I’m
screaming on the inside I am saying – wait, but that’s so easy. But for them it is not. And this is a great reminder if you do
this exercise with someone else, we all have di erent tasks in di erent boxes, which is what makes us all so unique and
(2):: The second box is your zone of competence. This includes tasks that you can do easily, but so can many other people
too. When you do these tasks, you’re not really adding any special value to them at all.
From an entrepreneur perspective, these are typically the tasks that we can outsource easily to others. It may include
highly administrative tasks, booking meetings, calendar management and scheduling social media posts,
For me there’s lots of things in my zone of competence, and I am more than happy to hand them o and let someone else
take care of them. I don’t know about you, but I nd it incredibly boring and frustrating to do any admin type work or
repetitive tasks, or troubleshooting when things go wrong on my website. I recently went to update my calendar booking
tool, and with a couple simple clicks I messed the whole thing up, and took tonnes of troubleshooting. Things are all
de nitely things I am happy to pass o .
(3):: the third box is your zone of excellence. These are things you can do really well, and you can make a good living for
yourself here. This is where others want you to stay. It’s easy and comfortable, but if you stay here for the rest of your life it
will suck your soul and you will be miserable. You will always feel like there is something missing for you.
For me there are lots of things in my zone of excellence, since starting my biz I realized that teaching yoga was in my zone
of excellence, which is why I gave it up after a couple of years. I loved it, and was good at it and had the best students in
the world. And it feels so good to be loved by students, BUT this was de nitely something I couldn’t do for the rest of my
career. And quite frankly that was never the plan. I didn’t start the Corporate yogi to be a yoga teacher, I just did the teaching
while I was getting myself set up as a coach. It was a great way to network, and make friends too.
I would also say that corporate marketing is in my zone of excellence. I did it for 15 years, and I loved it, I had amazing jobs
over the years, worked with amazing people and was really good at what I did. However, I know I could not have continued
doing that as my main career for the rest of my life. I am happy to do my own marketing for my business, but de nitely
don’t want to do it as a full time career. When I nished at 15 years, I just knew that I didn’t want to do that anymore.
What’s in your zone of excellence, I’m dying to know? Are you living in your zoe right now? Or have you already transcended
to the next and nal destination………
(4):: the zone of genius.
Now these are activities you are uniquely suited to do. They call upon a special combination of your unique gifts and
strengths. This is where your superpowers are. These are the things where you will reach a state of ow, you get really into
the work you’re doing, then suddenly you look up at the clock and 3 hours have just passed by.
Because the things here come to you so naturally and easily, you might assume that everyone else can do them easily as
well, but this isn’t the case. They’re easy for YOU because of Who you are, and NO – others can’t do them as well as you can.
For me, Listening is my superpower, I have a unique ability to listen to what a client is/isn’t saying and know exactly what
type of goals they need to set, and what tools to use to get them there. I can’t explain it, it’s not something you can train or
teach others, sure they can learn co aching skills, but how everyone pulls it all together, well that is what makes me unique.
I’d say listening and coaching are in my zog
Also, I would include creating transformative experiences and events, I have a really strong reputation for that, and also I’d
include developing content, frameworks, tools and worksheets. If you’ve ever worked with me, you know that I love my
tools and worksheets. It’s a powerful way to get clients to re ect and learn about themselves.
So your zog is where your strengths meet your passion, it’s your destiny
It is where you are meant to work for your whole life
And this is the premise of the book, that we need to make the Big Leap into our zog, so we can live an amazing life.
BUT, this can be hard bc there are so many limiting beliefs, and fears that we have been conditioned with
The last part of this exercise is to ask yourself the honest question. Right now, how much time am I spending in my zog,
compared to the other quadrants. And that should help explain your current satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your job
OK that completes the exercise. I hope you really take time to do this, either on your own or with your growth junkie
partner. And if you’re feeling brave, I would LOVE you to send me your 4 quadrants and lmk what your percentages are.
So that is a summary of the 4 di erent quadrants
Zone of incompetence
Zone of competence
Zone of excellence
And of course your zone of genius
So the Tough Love of this episode is, a gentle reminder that you are meant to do work you LOVE doing. You are, you really
are, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Remember in episode 205 when we talked about belief mapping?
There are so many beliefs about work in our collective consciousness that don’t really serve us.
If you don’t know what your beliefs about work are, de nitely go back to episode 205 and do the exercise to determine
what your beliefs are
Work is a grind
You can’t do what you love AND make good money
Or, nobody loves their job all the time
Here are 4 inquiry questions from the book that might help you determine your zog:
1 – what do I most love to do where I don’t get tired, or don’t get bored
2 – what work can I do all day that doesn’t feel like work
3 – in your work, what produces the highest satisfaction compared to the amount of time spent?
4 – What is my unique ability?
And 2 bonus tips here to gure out your zog:
1 – ask people who know you really well, or who have worked with you in the past. They should be able to help you realize
what you’re good at
2 and secondly, there’s the goofy grin test, when you talk about your zog of genius tasks, we usually get really dreamy,
starry eyed, maybe use our hands to help us describe them, and we have this goofy grin on our face as we recall how
amazing we feel as we do these tasks.
So now that you know what your ZOG is, what do you do with this information?
Some of you might be working in your zog right now, congrats. Give yourself a pat on the back. For you, it’s time to send
the elevator back down for someone else, meaning, help someone else you know gure out what theirs is.
If you’re not in your zog, Here’s 4 options:
1) Shift your current job.
See if you can brainstorm a way to shift some of the responsivities to someone else, or focus more on what you love doing.
This might take some time and some courageous conversations, but I have seen people work wonders here. Remember,
the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
2) Look into changing your job
And if you take this approach, pls be sure to nd the right opportunity, that will really make a di erence. You don’t want to
go from bad to worse, you want to make sure things will really be di erent there.
3) supplement your job with a side hustle, business or hobby that will help you ful ll your ZOG. This is an easier x from the
other two, and it may even cause miracles with your day job, because it can so powerfully shift your attitude and energy.
4) invest in personal growth
If we’re feeling unful lled on the inside, spending time to understand WHO you are at a deep level and cultivate your
relationship with yourself will elevate all areas of your life. I repeat, it will elevate all areas of your life. This is something you
can undertake as a self-guided expedition, or you can engage a therapist or a coach, to help you e ciently navigate this
OK it’s time to start wrapping up this episode on your zog
Please take 10 minutes to go through this exercise, it is really powerful.
It make be something you start, and then keep coming back to throughout the week as other thoughts come up for you.
And be sure to share this episode with another personal growth junkie like us, and do the exercise with them. Maybe you
do it with your team at work, if that feels right. It might help you all understand each other better.
And if you’re in the market for a new book, I highly recommend you read The Big Leap, it’s one of my top 10 reads of all
time. I love this book, there’s so much in there for you to learn.
And if you’d like to chat with me about your zog or if you really resonate with my description in the intro about
having a great job
Working for a great company
Getting paid good money and bene ts
Feeling secure and safe, but feeling dead on the inside, like your soul is slowly leaking from your body, then please reach
out and book a consult with me, you are NOT meant to live like this, and I promise there is another way.
You can book a consult with me on my website, thecorporateyogi.com
Thanks for tuning in, and continuing to support this podcast.
I really do appreciate you.
Good luck enjoy discovering all your zones, especially discovering your zog!