If you asked me who's the most interesting person I know, I'd say my own name.

I am the most interesting person to myself. I'm interested in myself. There's actually no one else I'd rather get to know more than me.

Self-centered? Completely. Ashamed of being self-centered? Never.

Last week, I talked about finding a skill that you can offer as a service in exchange of money. You don't have to have a product to start your own brand.

Offering a skill as a service means you have to know what you're skilled at. This is where a lot of people aren't self-centered enough.


Standard skills vs. Non-standard skills

Here's the thing.

There are TWO categories of skills (FYI, this is my own categorisation).

A. Standard skills

B. Non-standard skills

Standard skills are skills like writing, cooking, baking, acting, singing, et cetera. Pretty much things that people usually list as hobbies.

On the other hand, non-standard skills are things that can't be summed up with just one word.

  • The skill of sweet-talking people into not being mad at you.
  • The skill of being an efficient and get-it-together Mom.
  • The skill of training yourself to be moderately fluent in Japanese just by watching anime.

Are you good at something...unusual?

The reason why I call these "non-standard" skills is because these aren't things that people consider as actual, LEGIT skills. They don't really fit into the normal definition of a "skill".

For the record, I'm not saying that the standard skills (like cooking, writing, etc) are boring or anything like that.

If you're good at something standard, then that's wonderful. Use that to build your own brand.

BUT. There are so many people walking around, thinking that they're not special, that they can't build a brand that focuses on themselves.

Just because they're not good at things that are commonly accepted by society.

I NEED you to accept that non-standard skills are still skills. They can help you build your own brand and make money. Even if other people won't consider them legit skills, I need YOU to acknowledge what you're good at as a skill.

Even if it's too specific. Even if it's too unconventional. Even if it sounds lame.

And if you're not even sure what you're good at yet, just accept the fact that you're good at SOMETHING.

That's the most important first step that you have to take. If not, the doubts will always be overwhelming.


How self-centeredness can help you find your skill

Let me tell you something that I probably should be embarrassed about, but I'm really kinda not.

When I rebranded myself at the beginning of this year, I wrote down the compliments that I've gotten from friends and acquaintances.

Just normal compliments like, "Oh, I liked reading your ....." and, "Aina, you're good at ....!"

NOT stuff like "Aina, you rock the world like Godzilla on a rampage." Just normal compliments.

I literally listed down what they said about me, as many as I could remember.

And even now, I always make a mental (or actual) note whenever somebody pays me a compliment. Why?

What are the compliments that you always get?

I wanted to know what other people are seeing on me that I haven't noticed. Because the thing is, when you're good at something, it becomes effortless to you. When it's effortless, you don't notice it!

Whenever people pay you a compliment, take note and use the compliment to point you in the right direction. (My number 1 tip!)

  • Do you always get these types of compliments?
  • Are people always saying the same things?
  • Is it something that YOU consider easy but other people find difficult?

Always reflect on these questions. Even if you've already identified a skill, do this anyway. Maybe there's something that you haven't seen. Maybe it's something that will make your brand more YOU.

Don't compare yourself to other people and don't compete. This is all about you. Don't bring other people into your very own unique brand.

Of course, finding your special skill isn't the happy ending. You have to know how to PACKAGE your skill into a service that people will actually pay for. This is what we're gonna look at next week.

So, same day, same place?


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