How to identify your comparative advantage to generate wealth
Forget about ROI – find out why ROT (return on talent) will be the secret to identifying your competitive advantage, and generating wealth.
In the new financial normal, your ability to create wealth will be determined by how you can get the best return on your talent. Rather than solely focusing on a career path, you’ll need to position yourself to take advantage of growth opportunities by leveraging your superpower.
Once you identify your unique strength, you can use it – in multiple ways – to create value and differentiate yourself in the marketplace. This will require you to find growth opportunities, including roles and industries, where your asset is in demand.
These opportunities will give you a greater return in the form of higher income and valuable relationships. In the best-case scenarios, they will also enhance and expand your competency, preparing you for the next level of your work.
Your ability to negotiate a higher salary or rate for your services, by conveying or selling your unique value to others, will be a major determinant of your financial success.
Find your comparative advantage
Your superpower is your comparative advantage. It’s the skill sets, talents, and body of knowledge that set you apart in your industry or niche. Finding your superpower requires you to identify your strengths and find ways you can use them to create value for others in exchange for income. You will pave your path to financial security by using your gifts and talents to serve others.
Begin by identifying your strengths, which can serve as guideposts to your future wealth. Many women find this difficult to do, for two reasons:
- We’re taught from an early age not to brag, but to remain humble so we don’t make other people feel bad with our accomplishments.
- We’re often too close to our own expertise. When something comes naturally to us, we start to feel like it’s no big deal and everyone should know how to do it. We take our own skills for granted.
To make the most of your superpower, you must first take on a new belief: You are not your job. Your job is a tool. Even if you went to school for years to learn how to do that
job, it does not define you. You’re free to choose to do something different for a living.
Think outside the box
In our new economy, many workers have discovered that their jobs do not define them. During the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people left their jobs, many because they felt underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated. Others had gotten a taste of work life outside of a cubicle, no longer chained to a desk, and they liked it.
Rather than go back to getting dressed up for a day at the office and dealing with the hassle of daily roundtrip commutes, they started their own businesses or took on multiple jobs that had more flexibility and allowed them to work remotely.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, four million people per month quit their job in 2021 alone, “the highest average on record.” This mass exodus came to be known as the Great Resignation.
The pandemic and all that came with it made people reflect on what they wanted in their lives, and some of those people made an essential mindset shift. They realized they had options.
Some who left their jobs during this time made lateral moves, but many created a new wealthy vision for their lives. To make your escape from the middle class, you need the kind of wealthy vision they developed. The key to thriving in this dynamic economic environment is agility.
Once you identify your superpower, you will create a strategy for becoming best in class, by considering questions such as:
- What tools and resources can you leverage?
- Who can be of assistance?
- What can you do to make yourself more valuable?
- What do you need to learn?
- Can you apprentice with someone and trade your time for knowledge?
There’s no room for modesty – real or false – or for downplaying your gifts in this process. The only way to leverage your strengths to create wealth is to own them. However, everything you’re good at isn’t necessarily something you want to commit your time to doing professionally.
You might bake the best German chocolate cake your friends and family have ever eaten, but that doesn’t mean you have to own and operate a bakery or start teaching cooking classes, though you could do those things if they align with your desires. Fortunately, you have multiple strengths and can choose those that intersect with your professional passion to tap into as a new source of income.
Create a list of strengths and highlight those you truly enjoy doing, and draw a line through the others. Once you know where your professional strengths and passions intersect, you’ve identified your superpower.
This is the comparative advantage that will help you succeed in your career or business and increase the investable income you have at your disposal. You will have taken another step on your road to getting wealthy.
This is an extract from Wealth Secrets by Deborah Owens. Deborah has over two decades of experience helping women overcome their fear of investing. As a former vice president at Fidelity Investments, she shares the once exclusive information reserved for high-net-worth clients with women from all income levels.
Deborah is the founder of WealthyU, a renowned financial wellness company that has guided thousands of women in their transformation from cautious savers to confident investors.
Deborah’s new book, Wealth Secrets explores a transformative path to financial independence for women, particularly women of colour, challenging the traditional notions of wealth-building.