If you are a small business owner, you probably spend a lot of time figuring out how to be exceptional. My hunch is that you’ve overlooked one thing: Showcasing your gifts. This Year Put Your Gifts on Centre Stage Are you a born teacher that doesn’t teach? A leader who is playing the role of a follower? A compassionate intuitive who is crunching numbers? Your gifts have to be the lead actor in the play of your life. If your gifts aren’t on centre stage, then you aren’t doing what you were born to do. Period. Do You Know What Your Gifts Are? Everybody has them. You are born with them. It’s hard to notice your gifts however, because you view the world through the lens of your gifts. You assume that what is natural for you is natural for everyone else. That’s not true. To find your gifts, answer this question: “What is it that you can’t NOT do?” For my clients, this one question highlights their most natural innate gifts and talents. How Can You Tell that Something Is a Gift? By how it feels. Your body knows when you are using your gifts, not your mind. Your mind will analyze your skills, your background and your experience, but these might not be your gifts. Your gifts silently scream to be expressed. If you don’t use them you’ll feel tension and tightness in your body. You’ll experience unrest, dissatisfaction and boredom. When you are using your gifts, it feels delicious. You feel lightness and energy flowing through your body. It feels like freedom. You are “in the zone.” Time flies by and you are fully present in the moment – not thinking about the past or planning the future. If your body could talk, it would be cheering with an enthusiastic and resounding “Yes!” When you feel that way, whatever you are doing is a gift. This Year Claim Your Gifts and Build Your Life and Work around Them Here’s how: Decide to put your gifts on centre stage. Observe yourself like a scientist during the day – without changing anything. Every hour check in with your body and notice your physical sensations. Notice whether you are feeling tension/tightness or freedom/lightness. Note down what you are doing and what sensations you feel. Delegate, diminish or dump those things that feel like tension and tightness. Do more of what feels like freedom and lightness. I promise you that if you make this your resolution, your business and your life will totally shift this year. You’ll be well on your way to exceptional.