The Personal Qualities Paradox

Februar 11, 2014 5 mins to read

We all have personal qualities, but only very few of us are aware of theirs. With personal qualities I’m referring our talents, our skills, our expertise and our social character – our capabilities to bring value to our environment.

At the time I’m writing this I’m on a vacation, taking a step back from daily business and aligning my plans for the future. This is where I became aware of a paradox that I like to call the Personal Qualities Paradox.

As I’m thinking through what I’ve accomplished so far and what projects I’m going to tackle in the next months, my thoughts drifted towards implementing my personal qualities in my everyday routines. I want to focus on what I’m good at and let others help me with topics that aren’t my strengths.

Since this requires knowing my personal qualities, I’m writing this post. It took me months to uncover my natural talents, my personal qualities that can be marketed to people in order to make a living.

When I started my first business in April 2012, I had no idea about my personal qualities – and today I get numerous emails from people in a similar situation.

I really appreciate that you’re following my journey in online business and asking me for advice. That’s why I decided not only to respond to every email I get, but to share the answers publicly.

And I think that personal qualities paradox is a great topic to start with.

Embrace Your Personal Qualities

Your personal qualities are your foundation for confidence and self esteem. It’s your skills, your abilities, your expertise, your experiences and your opinion that allow you to interact with others on a day-to-day basis.

Those factors control whether people respect and pay attention to you, because you’re sharing information of value for others – or whether people ignore you, because all you can add to the discussion is nonsense.

In order to have a high self esteem, society tells us to work on our „weaknesses“ instead of embracing our personal qualities. We’re told to learn about things we’re below average, just to acquire mediocre skills that everyone else has too.

What if we instead empower those personal qualities we already have?

In the fields were we can use our natural talents and personal qualities, we’ll see much bigger results than others.

In those areas we’ll stand out of the masses, which isn’t often seen positively.

“The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.” – Japanese saying

We want to achieve goals that are way above the average of our society. We want to earn more money, drive bigger cars, have more free time, travel around the world, and lots of other goals that most people in our society won’t ever achieve.

And still we’re scared to stand out of the masses by using our natural talents.

This is a paradox situation.

We want to have a lifestyle that’s better than the mediocre lifestyle of our society, but we’re scared to take more action than people living the mediocre lifestyle.

But what is it that makes us scared?

Using our natural talents and personal qualities allows us to take actions that others won’t ever take. Thus those people tend to pull us down because we’re showing them what they are missing. Instead they should be happy for us when we’re achieving a goal because we’ve taken a risk.

There are several wrong believes in our society that prevent us from embracing our personal qualities – yet we should.

„You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are.“ – Tom Rath

It’s time for us to uncover our personal qualities and to use them!

It’s time to start focusing on our strengths and to integrate them in our daily lives!

It’s time to build our dreams instead of working for someone else and building his dream!

You can see in my income reports how I change my life by using my personal qualities to make an income online. Those reports are 100% transparent because I want you to achieve the same freedom I’m experiencing right now.

I’m not any better or smarter than you and I also started not knowing what I was doing. The trick is to get started and to learn on the way.

When you’re leveraging your personal qualities you can achieve goals faster than people lacking those qualities. It’s just about finding your personal qualities and leveraging those in the best possible way!

I hope this post opened your eyes and explained why you shouldn’t let the personal qualities paradox take control about embracing your personal qualities! You are good enough with who you already are to achieve the goals you’re aiming at!

photo credit: will ockenden via photopin cc

8 Comments on “The Personal Qualities Paradox”

  1. I’ve recently talked to someone who said he has a bigger pride and that he wants to do everything on his own. I havent told him but I thought that’s the worst approach possible.

    I mean, Jan, you cannot do everything by yourself. It’s un-natural and very stressing. It’s overloading and isolating.

    I want to emphasize on focusing on what you are good at and letting others handle what you are not good at. Even if you pay them for that.

    Think about it: they will pay you for what you are good at and you will pay them for what they are good at. This helps you achieve financial independence (through time) and it creates a balance within the market, as well as a surplus of value.

    I’d like to hear more on the Personal Qualities Paradox Jan. It’s a very interesting topic that could help a lot of people.

    1. Jan Koch
      Februar 15, 2014

      Thanks for pointing those important things out Chris!

      You are so right, especially when starting out, entrepreneurs get caught up in doing everything themselves. I got caught up in this dilemma myself. It’s natural to hesitate to let others work on your business, often the lack of money comes into play as well. This is a normal process and I don’t think that it can be avoided.

      The key is to only do everything yourself as soon as you can hire the specialists necessary. Thanks to outsourcing platforms you can get skilled people for small (but fair) money.

      However before you are in that situation, you need to start empowering your personal qualities. Only once you make the first step and actually start working on your dreams you’ll experience situations where you can leverage other people.

      The personal qualities paradox will definitely become the topic of my next posts as well, I know you’ll stay tuned 😉


  2. Hey Jan,

    Great post as always! I really enjoy how you explain the personal qualities paradox, and looking forward to more posts around this topic in the future from you.

    I like to use and reference the Personal Hedgehog Concept (from the awesome book Good To Great by Jim Collins) when I’m working with clients and let them do this exercise. It may seem simple, but it’s very powerful and most people don’t do this and therefore never achieve greatness in business and life which we all strive for.

    It all comes down to answering 3 questions and finally finding the intersection which is your „Personal Hedgehog Concept“. 1) What can you be the best in the world at (or at least one of the best – your skills!)? 2) What are you passionate about? 3) Is there a way to make money (profit) from it?

    I think what you are talking about here are a little bit around the same thing. You cannot be the best at everything, but when you find what works for you, then just keep getting better at it and become the expert in your field and only then move on to another area you may find interesting to explore further. But own your niche or field, it’s very important. That’s why I focus all my efforts on being seen as the go-to- expert on Personal Branding for entrepreneurs now and helping them launch, grow and monetize their personal brand in a way that’s honest and authentic to their vision.

    Keep up the awesome work, you’re doing great things! I can’t wait till you launch your course 🙂


    1. Jan Koch
      Februar 15, 2014

      Hey Navid,
      thanks for stopping by!

      The Personal Hedgehog Concept clearly is related to the Personal Qualities Paradox, so thanks for sharing! The questions point directly to what holds most people back from taking action:
      a) They are not sure about their personal strengths and qualities or b) they don’t want to stand out of the masses by actually using their natural talents.

      I can see your focus paying off, and I know you’re leveraging other people’s strengths in order to grow your business. That’s exactly how to do it.

      You’re in the lucky situation that you found a topic that you’re passionate about and that comes easier to you than other topics. You overcame the fears of getting started, you’re using your personal qualities and now you’re seeing the results 🙂

      Can’t wait to see what’s coming!

  3. It’s a powerful thing when we figure out who we want to serve, how we want to truly spend our time, what people will pay us for, how we can both generate the value and capture the value, and how we can spend more time in our strengths, and less time in our weaknesses, while growing our greatness.

    When the Venn diagram of our supply meets the demand of our target market, we really can accelerate and amplify our results like nobody’s business.

    1. Jan Koch
      Februar 16, 2014

      Hey J.D.,
      I appreciate your comment, thanks for stopping by.

      You’re right, knowing your personal qualities and using them to serve the need of a market is very powerful. When your skills intersect with the needs of a group of people, profitable businesses grow and lives change. That’s why I’m hoping to open people’s eyes so that they can overcome the personal qualities paradox and discover their own skills.

      All the best,

      P.S. Your thoughts on Tony Robbin’s video really resonate with me. It’s about being the best we can be to experience contentment, happiness and „success“.

  4. Jan,

    Yes, I’m not sure what it is about society, (or some of the programs that are on TV), but so many of them try to get us to focus on our weaknesses, instead of our strengths. I guess they think everyone would be more „well rounded“.

    But the difficult challenge is that we tend to be more like what we focus upon.

    It’s my first time finding your blog, Jan. I really like your reports, and I started watching one of your YouTube videos. I live in Maui, Hawaii. I’ll definitely stop by again.



    1. Jan Koch
      Februar 20, 2014

      Hey Robb,
      thank you for stopping by and also thank you for following me on Twitter!

      Focus is a core competency that allows us to grow and to be the best we can be. When we’re focusing on our strengths, we know what we can do and that we can achieve our goals when we implement our strengths!

      Concentrating on our weaknesses instead brings us into a state of paralysis and frustration, that doesn’t get us anywhere. Live is too short to focus on our weaknesses, we can only live it to the fullest when we embrace our personal qualities 🙂

      I’m looking forward to hear more from you!


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