All of us have some things that we are good at and as such have the ability to use our skills to make them our profession. As a student and teacher of marketing and entrepreneurship, I am constantly looking for examples of people who have turned their skills in to a small business. During my quest I come across a number of people. One such person is Aditi Deo, the brain and the pen behind The Doodle factory, a venture which is a manifestation of Aditi’s flair for art and calligraphy.
Here are 7 tips I learnt in the course of my interaction with Aditi…
Recognizing what you’re good at
This essentially is the starting point of excelling at anything in life, recognizing what it is that you rae good at. Aditi established The Doodle Factory but she trained in fashion design, dabbled in photography and graphic design and got bored of everything except doodling. She realized that she wsa good at making little; pretty doodles and she made it her business.
Step one, figure out what you are good at? I seem to be on the right track because I did: art, calligraphy, crochet, design, painting and writing (not in that order). I already use all these skills to make money on various platforms.
Focusing on your strengths
From when we were little we were taught to practice math because we were not good at but hardly anyone (parents or teachers) told us that we should write more because we write good essays. That’s where things started going wrong and well never really got back on track.
Focus on your strengths; hone your skills, practice what you are good at and you will excel at it. By trying to do more of what you’re not good at you will end up focusing on things which are not things you are inherently good at.
Thinking out of the box
Dare to be different, apply your mind and find ways to use your skills to make money. Aditi’s first book for children was born out of her ability to think out of the box. She combined doodles made by her kids and those of friends to create a book for Scholastic to help children learn the alphabet while they learnt the name of a place/country, a food item, an animal and a generic thing all at one go.
Most people would throw doodles by toddlers in to the garbage can but she made it something useful.
Setting high standards
One of the biggest reasons why we fail or see such little success is that we set very low standards for ourselves. When Aditi pitched her book to publishers, she didn’t choose a local one instead she went to one of the biggest publishers for children. That’s how we should do things, start at the top most level so if we get rejected there we can try lower.
Fear and inhibitions get in our way of achieving what we want to. Aditi says she always got work by simply walking in to an office, showing them her work and telling them what she’s good at. No degrees, no certificates or resume, just her work helped her bag assignments all the way.
Having fun while you are working
One of the main reasons why we lose interest in what we do is because we don’t like it to begin with or we get bored because we are not enjoying it. This in fact should be the sign you should look for when you take up a profession. You must make money but you should also have fun while you do it.
Celebrating local flavors and designs
So often in our bid to go global we forget to look around us for inspiration. One of the most important things I learnt from Aditi was to celebrate local flavors, designs, culture…basically, anything that’s local. We owe it to out vicinity and local culture. So if you are setting up a restaurant save space in the menu for a local delicacy, if you are an artist like Aditi create postcards with the state flower, embellish bags with the state animal!
Basically anyone can make a profession out of their skills; the challenge is to find what works for you, celebrates the essence that is you and take it from there. What are you waiting for? Grab a pen and jot down your skills to focus on the best one.