Do You Know Your Zone of Genius?

genius kid
Billion Photos/

I strongly believe we all have a genius inside of us. It’s a thing unique to you, that you do so well it seems effortless. In most cases, your genius is related to your passions and life purpose; however, it can be difficult to identify your genius when you are passionate about a whole lot of things. I, for one, am passionate about drawing, teaching, writing, and personal development.

Before turning my passion for illustrated portraits into a full-time business, I was jumping from one business idea to another. The first time I became an entrepreneur was in 2016 when I started my own clothing business. Not long after that, I tried to break into freelance writing. I also tried writing a food blog. These business ventures failed because I didn’t have a long-term vision and I was trying to follow other people’s steps for success. And even though I was passionate about these projects, I wasn’t completely sold on them.

There was also a time in my life when I was an English teacher. I was great at teaching, but I didn’t have the proficiency of a native English speaker. It wasn’t until last year that I finally had a career breakthrough. I stopped pursuing everything to focus on one thing: making illustrated portraits. Because of this, my illustration business took off and I achieved momentum on sales/cash flow, something I didn’t experience with my previous businesses.

This time, I’m focusing on my zone of genius, which is where my full potential lies. Drawing comes naturally to me, and it’s something I have excelled at ever since I was little. What’s more, when I’m making portraits I go into a state of flow, and I’m able to combine media to create unique pieces of artwork.

Zones of Function

I first became interested in the zone of genius concept when I listened to this inspiring interview with Gay Hendricks hosted by Tripp Lanier. According to Hendricks, there are four different zones of function.

1. The zone of incompetence: things you do that you may not be very skilled at and somebody else could do better.

2. The zone of competence: those things that you’re good at but somebody else could do them just as well.

3. The zone of excellence: you do things you’re great at and that people love, but you’re not on top of your game yet.

4. The zone of genius: This is where your unique abilities lie. When you do this, you enter the state of “flow.”

Take the example of my friend Stacy. She was a relationship expert and dating consultant for a while. She achieved success in this area, which was her zone of excellence, but it wasn’t her highest potential. When she quit her job as a dating consultant to dedicate full time to her true passion and unique ability, which is in the field of theatre, her business, income, and happiness levels all increased.

When you focus on your unique abilities and are great at what you do, it’s impossible to not get noticed. And the more visibility on your craft, the more opportunity to succeed.

Hendrick states that most people don’t trust that they can reinvent themselves in their zone of genius, so they stay in their zone of competence or excellence. Just imagine if (insert your favorite artist/writer here) had given up on their potential and stayed in those two zones.

There are countless articles on the web about how to turn your passion into a business. But I think focusing on your passion is overrated. If anything, it’s your genius that you should focus on.

Focusing on your passion is overrated. If anything, it's your genius that you should focus on. Share on X

Finding Your Zone of Genius

In Hendricks’ interview, he suggests you ask yourself the following questions if you want to find your zone of genius:

– What do I most love to do?
– What was it that I could do all day long and never got tired doing when I was four years old?
– What are my unique abilities?
– What is it that I can do that I’m better at than most people in my environment?
– What is it that people come to me for?
– What work do I do that doesn’t seem like work when I’m doing it?
– What produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction per time spent?

**This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase through one of my links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. And as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Learn more about the zone of genius by reading the book, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.

View on Amazon

Lastly, I want to remark that skill alone won’t create success. It takes commitment, consistency, and determination, among other things, to build a successful business or career.

In the end, it’s all about deciding to live an intentional life by prioritizing the thing that matters to you. And if that thing happens to be something you are naturally gifted at, then you will strike gold.

Are you living in your zone of genius? If so, let me know in the comments how this has impacted your life.




Share this post with your friends!

Author: Jessica Araus

Jessica Araus is a mixed media artist and illustrator living in the Netherlands.

6 Replies to “Do You Know Your Zone of Genius?

  1. “When you focus on your unique abilities and are great at what you do, it’s impossible to not get noticed. And the more visibility on your craft, the more opportunity to succeed.”

    Jessica, you’re so right! Thank you for this nugget of inspiration. Please keep the blog rolling!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *