Podcast Episode 258: Harness Your Strengths to Grow a Million Dollar Pet Business

In this episode, I’m sharing something that I originally learned about in Marie Forleo’s B-School and was recently reminded of while reading the book We Should All Be Millionaires by Rachel Rogers.

I’m going to explain how to identify your natural talents and make a list of all the life-changing valuable things you do in your business. Then I’ll share some of the personality tests you can take to learn about your strengths – and I’ll tell you what my results said! And finally, we’ll look at how you can harness your strengths to dive deeper into your zone of genius.

Your zone of genius is the combination of your best talents, skills, and strengths. I’ll get into that in detail in this episode. Listen below or read through the show notes. 

How to Harness Your Strengths To Grow a Million-Dollar Pet Business

To grow a multi-million dollar business, according to Rachel Rogers, you need to look into what you can provide of value. Serious, life-changing value!

For example, someone’s new puppy is chewing up their shoes and dragging them onto the ground by pulling on the leash on a walk. If you’re a dog trainer, you can provide a ton of value to them by helping them train their puppy. 

You’re not just training their puppy, you’re changing their life! 

And if you’re not a dog trainer, what can you do in your business that changes someone’s life? If you’re a content creator, maybe you share about a pet-friendly adventure you went on and that changes someone’s life when they take your advice and do the same trip. 

If you’re making pet treats or accessories, think about how your products can be part of a life-changing experience for those pet parents. Are they easier to use than other products, do they get their picky eater to finally enjoy treats?!

There are so many ways that you can make an impact. 

The best way to make this kind of impact with your business is to harness your natural talents.

I know some things come so naturally to you! While your customers or audience might struggle with the same things. Maybe it’s how you communicate with animals, how you sew something, the unique way that you explain something, or the confidence you have speaking in front of a group. 

These are natural gifts that you have – as Marie Forloe would say, “if you don’t share your gift with the world, you’re stealing from them!” 

What are your natural gifts? Can you think of 3? Think about them right now, open your notes app, or grab a pen and write them down. 

For me… I would say that my 3 natural gifts are:

  • I’m very creative and I like to make things.
  • I’m very positive and I love to cheer people on.
  • I’m good at explaining how to do something to people who have never done it before… My first job was as a snowboard instructor! 

Once you have this list of your natural gifts – things that you’re good at that just come naturally… audit your business accomplishments and see what’s already in alignment with those natural gifts. 

If you do the year in review or K9 in 90 with me each year, then you probably already have a list of these business accomplishments somewhere. 

If you don’t, write down everything small or large that you’ve done that’s delivered great value to your customers. 

I like to screenshot messages I get from people who tell me that I impacted them in some way. I’ve even printed out emails and taped them on the wall to remind myself of the value I bring to the world! 


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Identify your Zone of Genius

The zone of genius comes from a book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap. 

In the book, Hendricks explains the 4 zones: the zone of incompetence, the zone of competence, the zone of excellence, and the zone of genius. The zone of genius is the one that combines all your strengths, talents, and skills. 

When you tap into your zone of genius and zero in on that you’re taking your natural gifts and maximizing them!

For example, this could mean taking something you’re already good at and getting even better at it! If you’re a dog trainer, that might mean taking additional certifications or learning how to be a better public speaker to help you communicate in group classes or seminars. 

If you’re a content creator and your natural gift is photography, tapping into your zone of genius would be getting even better at photography. Learning new editing skills, renting better equipment or taking a class. 

It’s all about enhancing what you’re already good at and what’s already working. 

I see so many people doing a business audit and identifying the thing that isn’t working and saying, “Oh I really need to work on that more, I need to spend more time marketing that, or I need to redesign it so it’s better.”

That’s not going to grow your business. It’s going to distract you from your zone of genius. 

Instead… in the business audit, look at what’s going well and make it even better. And maybe quit the stuff that isn’t working. 

I’m doing that in my business this year. I’m harnessing my natural talent at explaining, teaching, and cheering you on by expanding on my educational resources. That’s my zone of genius! My zone of incompetence (remember, things that I’m not good at and don’t come easily) is my online store. Frankly, I’m not good at sharing my products, and I’m not great at shipping -I’ve had so many screw-ups! So I’m cutting that out this year. 

The great part is… we all have different strengths. I know some of you have a zone of genius around e-commerce and shipping! So I don’t have to do it, I can direct people to you… so thank you for that!! 

Online Tests to Find Your Natural Strengths

Some great online tests can help you discover more about yourself, your strengths, and your zone of genius. 

I did the CliftonStrengths Test at Marie Forleo’s suggestion when I went through B-School a couple of years ago. 

Here’s what my results were in the CliftonStrengths test. My top 5 natural strengths and their descriptions, then a summary of key concepts. 

Top 5 Strengths from Test:

  1. Empathy – sense other people’s feelings by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations.
  2. Strategic – create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
  3. Positivity – contagious enthusiasm. They are upbeat and can get others excited about what they are going to do.
  4. Ideation –  fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
  5. Relator – enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.

My Key Concepts according to my test results:

“Driven by your talents, you affirm others for who they are. You celebrate their unique gifts. Your encouraging words inspire and embolden people to be their real and true selves.”

I think that’s pretty spot on! But can you see how I need to lean into that and drop elements of my business that have nothing to do with this – like my online shop! It’s clear from these test results that running an online product business isn’t harnessing my zone of genius or my natural abilities. 

How Are Your Natual Strengths aligned with your pet business?

Alternatives to the CliftonStrengths test: Kolbe and DiSC. The Kolbe test says it is designed to help you understand your natural instincts. The DiSC test ranks you on 4 personality types, which are: dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness. That sounds interesting!

The CliftonStrengths test is paid, but I also found a version called the High5 which is free. 

The tests can take between 15 minutes to an hour depending on which one you do. So make sure you have a quiet place to work on it to get the best results. You can take all of the tests or pick the one that you like the best! I can’t wait to hear about your results. 

And as I said, this was something I originally did as part of Marie Forleo’s B-School. In her lesson, she had different exercises to work on to help us brainstorm how to implement our natural strengths into our businesses. 

I’m proud to share that since completing that lesson and looking back at my notes now, I did implement a lot of the ideas I had. B-School has been a great inspiration and motivator to me! 

To wrap it up and recap this conversation:

  • What are your natural gifts? Brainstorm 3 right now!
  • Audit your business and make a list of all the things you’ve done that delivered great value to your customers! How do those things align with your natural gifts?
  • Learn more about your natural strengths by taking an online test like the CliftonStrengths test
  • Harness your strengths to dive deeper into your zone of genius (and drop the elements of your business that are in your zone of incompetence)


What did you think of this episode? Join the discussion in the Wear Wag Repeat Labs Facebook group or leave a review on your favorite podcast app. 


You can subscribe and listen to the Wear Wag Repeat Podcast through Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play and many other podcast players.

If you love what you hear and want to support my efforts to shine a light on more women making it work in their pet business, please leave a review for my show on iTunes. More reviews help more people discover the show and hear our stories! Reviewing Tip: If you’re on a computer, open the link then click “Listen on Apple Podcasts” and scroll to the bottom to write a review.

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