I believe we all have a “superpower,” no matter how niche or small it may seem. In the game world, we always know precisely what our superpower is and what level it’s at, how we’re being scored and how each action affects that score. Our superpower is explicitly shown to and valued by other players. In the real world, our talents, tastes, and know-how aren’t always evident, yet we spend our lives, often ineffectively, trying to score, balance and demonstrate them.
Great quote by Tim Chang in his TechCrunch article, All The World’s a Game.
I love the concept of the “Game of Life”. The article goes in a different direction than I would have taken it – specifically talking about the intersection of gamification and the social graph. Cool concept. I’m a huge gamification fan.
But what I love about the quote that I plucked out was the idea that we all have things we’re great at. So often people forget to focus on the things they are really great at and instead fall into the expected path, the one laid out in front of them that they think they have to take.
I was in a cab on Monday heading to the Columbus, Ohio, airport and the cab driver was telling me how he wanted to quit his job and start a company. What kind of company did he want to start, I asked. He didn’t know, only that he wanted to be an entrepreneur.
So I asked him what he was good at. He started talking about the things he was good at in his current job (he technically worked for a car service, not a taxi service, so he had actual clientele). He loved the service side of his job, being dependable and getting people from one place to the next on time. He was good with a conversation, always kept his car clean, etc. So I asked him, why not start a car service business? Why try to take those skills and start something new, when he really liked his current job and was good at it?
We probably spent 20 minutes talking about how he could get started without much risk (he had two kids at home). We ended up with the idea of him partnering up with another driver, both keeping their current jobs but scaling back to 3-4 days a week, and splitting the cost and time to lease a car and create their own business. Once they built up enough clients, they’d feel more comfortable stepping out on their own and going for it.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is, whatever your superpower is, make sure you align your career path against that. Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Talk to others about what they think you’re really great at.
If you can align your superpower with your passion, you’re going to do great things.