Don’t let them kid you: Knowledge is NOT power!


Okay, so you’ve taken purposeful steps to identify what you and others see as your key strengths. So what?

Will you choose to use your power well?Remember: Knowledge is not power. Applied knowledge is power. That means your next step is to figure out a compelling way to describe how using those strengths on behalf of your ideal clients enables you to make life better for them.

As you know, “What’s in it for me?” is one of the first questions a prospect will be asking herself, even if she never says the words out loud. To answer the implicit “So what? Why does that matter to me?” which is likely to follow any mention of your strengths, prepare a powerful answer ahead of time.

Since this is one of the many easier-said-than-done tasks faced by entrepreneurs, I often have my clients start out by looking at their products and services and asking, for each one of them, “So what? What pain does this alleviate? How does it make my client feel more confident, more in control, less stressed? Why should they care?” By keeping in mind all your strengths as you answer these questions, you’ll develop very powerful answers.

Another method that works well is to identify your strengths, using one or more of the above methods, then apply the “So what?” criterion. The answers you get will be terrific building blocks for your irresistible marketing message.

To show you how slick this whole “Here are my strengths and here’s why they matter to you” process is, here are some examples from my work with clients that address my own assessment results.


Strategically apply your strengths to create success for yourself and others.


Note that effective communication, both talking AND listening (per 360-Degree Reach/360R and StrengthsFinder/SF) is a strength that comes into play with all my client interactions. This strength makes it easy for prospects to understand that I understand their challenges and what their needs are, so they start to know, like, and trust me. It also enables me to clearly and compellingly explain the “So what?” behind each of my recommendations, so the client is confident about buying in to them.


Linda is a talented marketer who left her corporate position and started her own consulting firm. She struggled to do for herself what she had been able to do practically in her sleep when she was an employee. As a result, she was feeling out of control, stuck, and fearful.

During our conversations, it became clear that Linda:

To address these issues, I showed Linda how to:

As a result, Linda is now:

She’s enjoying these results because of her own commitment and because I brought to the table:


Marcia had been going back and forth and back and forth and back, trying to figure out where to focus her marketing efforts. She’d been working with two distinct markets and was hopelessly stuck in her attempts to figure out which, if either, to let go. She was getting really tired of feeling stressed and frustrated.

After listening to the background on the problem and getting her to articulate what she hoped to accomplish and why, several things became clear:

To address these issues, I:

As a result, Marcia is now:

Why did we get results she had previously struggled for? Because her openness to new ideas and willingness to change dovetailed beautifully with the strengths I brought to the situation, namely:


Denise had hit a plateau in her business. She knew some of the ways she was sabotaging her own success, but didn’t know how to change those self-sabotaging habits. She was doing a lot of huffing and puffing and struggling to figure out how to get back into growth mode.

After a lot of honest exploration of her goals and challenges, several issues stood out:

Taking into account the obstacles and opportunities facing Denise, I:

As a result, Denise is now:

Denise’s own focus and determination were complemented by my:


These clients and I did (or are doing) great work together because of their commitment to do whatever it takes to create their desired outcomes, combined with my strengths. But the reason we have the chance to do this great work is that I was able to clearly demonstrate the value of my strengths, as applied to the client’s particular situation, so that we were both confident we’d made a brilliant decision to work together.

Does all this talk of strengths and power give you a nice little tingle and get you thinking about everything you have to offer your ideal clients?

Or are you in a temporary but deep slump that has you questioning your value?

If the latter, maybe it would be worth your time and mine to explore the possibility that what I have to offer would address your current roadblocks. There’s an easy way to find out: set up a get-acquainted call. After just 30 or 40 minutes of asking each other questions, we’ll know what kind of fit we are for each other: not-so-hot or terrific.

If that sounds like a good, no-risk investment of time, just call me at 319-270-1214 to set up our call, or email me with “I wanna feel stronger!” in the subject line. Whether our decision is “go” or “no go”, we’ll both feel confident it’s the right one.

(BTW, thanks to Frédéric BISSON for posting his power switch image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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