How to discover your personal strengths and apply them to your brand and business

Since I started Creativindie I’ve been running it as a personal blog. Sure I try to get some traffic, and want people to sign up on my list, and maybe eventually hire me or buy something… but it’s been sloppy and haphazard. However, since I’ve decided I want to be writing fiction full-time, that means I need to stop working for clients, which means I need more traffic, better conversion, more sales and income. I need more results with less effort.

In other words, I need to get my shit together.

Recently I signed up for Screw U, a private mastermind group that helps entrepreneurs develop their business. It’s actually been on my radar for several years, since I got to hang out with founders Jill & Josh Stanton at a resort in the Philippines for a week.

I didn’t think I needed the help, because I actually do pretty well.

After signing up, I learned about the four stages of online business (the grind, the hustle, the engine, the traffic) and was placed in “the Engine” because of the traffic I get and the fact that I usually make over 7K a month.

The Grind and the Hustle are mostly about building content, developing a brand, and building trust and visibility. The Engine is about fixing your funnels, conversions, setting up automation, and basically making everything work well so you actually earn money – which is exactly what I needed. The next stage is the traffic, but getting more traffic won’t matter unless my platform works and earns money, which makes me feel better about not doing a lot of outreach or guest posting.

So I’m prepared to dive in this year and fix my platforms, add more courses and products, and generate a baseline income that gives me a lot more freedom and flexibility.

Personality and business

Although I haven’t gone through the materials yet, one of the fun things Jill has been sharing in the group are online tests that measure your personal strengths and how they apply to business.

While I didn’t learn anything particularly new about myself, these exercises did really help me understand what I’m not and why that’s OK. The quizzes and results are from Sally Hogshead’s “How to Fascinate.”

I think the majority of other members in the group got things like “Power and Passion” – they are bold, confident leaders, full of enthusiasm and energy. Mine is more subtle, and fits my reserved, Capricorn charm.

Some of these fit pretty well: I’m competitive but now showy; I work at one task at a time and execute quickly; I’m good at reading people and focus on helping authors by deflecting attention. In other words, while many other online entrepreneurs need to build a following by spotlighting themselves, I prefer to build things that help people and let my work produce the results I want.


archetype  royalguard royalguard2

Which is kind of cool, except that makes me really bad at actually selling.

Because to sell, I need to convince people that I’m the best, that my product is worth it, that it will solve all your problems, that I can help you. And I hate that. I hate explaining or convincing others that they should hire me, because honestly I don’t care. I know there are lots of other options out there. I think mine are pretty good, and I know others aren’t that great. I know other people are much better at charging more and providing less.

But I’m not going to resort to false enthusiasm or hyperbole. I have what I have, I try to present it as well as I can, and I tell people about it. I’m more of an introvert that refuses to fight for attention (seriously, if I’m in line and someone cuts in front of me or the clerk ignores me, I just leave. I’m not going to raise my voice or protest or anything, I just remove myself).

But that doesn’t mean I can’t sell, just that I need to find ways that are comfortable for me. For example, I should be focusing MUCH more on testimonials. I should ask for reviews and video testimonials and let those do a lot of the work. Secondly, I should be setting up sales funnels that convert on autopilot so I don’t actually need to send out launch sequences or email series. People should sign up and be taken through a powerful education experience that established my expertise, builds trust, creates intrigue and desire, and finally showcases the offer.

Rather than power or passion, my brand profile is innovation.

Which is all kinds of awesome, given that it fits my platform (creativindie) so well.

The key for me, is to innovate to get results – to find new marketing hacks to bring lots of exposure and visibility to my brand and books, to do things nobody else has done before, to take bigger risks. These are all things I’m already doing, and it’s how I’ve been able to build several profitable businesses quickly and get tons of new readers without marketing or advertising my books.

Now that I’ve built new processes and resources and figure out how things work, I can put all of that together into products or courses to share my discoveries with other authors or online entrepreneurs who want more results.



The point is:

You don’t have to do everything, and you don’t have to do everything everybody else is doing.

I was feeling self-conscious because I don’t have the same kind of outgoing, flashy personality that commands respect and trust. My soft-spoken, reserved personality seems like a liability in the online world where people are fighting to stand out.

But because I’m introverted and love to build things and test things out, while others are being charming and sociable, I’m solving problems and making discoveries and taking big risks.

Screw U is definitely going to help me organize my funnels and automation, but not change who I am or what I’m comfortable doing.

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me

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