Race Into Your Strength Zone For More Clients

Miguel Cervantes once wrote that the man who is prepared has his battle half fought. Individuals who develop a plan are destined to be prepared for what lies ahead. More importantly, when the plan incorporates our strengths, we are preparing for our success. When Lance Armstrong developed a plan that involved using his strengths, he laid the foundation for his destiny as the greatest cyclist the world has ever seen.

In his early years, Lance did not have a precise racing plan. He would win short races with a “go all-out aggressive, in-your-face” attitude. His strength was to use his explosive power for most of the race. However, Lance knew that this style would never get him to the top of the racing world and win the long haul of the Tour de France.

Lance developed a plan that enabled him to use his strengths-to use his explosive power at the correct moments of the race. Every racer is given a Tour Bible, a guide book that shows every stage of the course with profiles of the route. With this guide, Lance created a plan that allowed him to stay close to the leaders, but also permitted him to explode with power when needed. His plan maximized his strengths and led him to victory a record 7 times in a row at the Tour de France.

While Clarence Quillen never raced in the Tour de France, he used the same principle of maximizing his strengths to find his road to success in the home building world. But Clarence was not always in this industry. In fact, he started his career as an engineer at NASA. However, due to downsizing in the 1970′s, he lost his job with that governmental company.

Clarence was never one to wallow in self-pity. So, the next day after his firing, he went to Castaic Lake and sat by the shore. He wrote down three main aspects to guide him on his next vocational journey. He first created a list of his top strengths. Some of those strengths included being creative, having integrity, thinking critically, possessing a love for learning, and working very hard. Then he created a list of his “work wants” such as he wanted to be independent and work for himself as well as create something that he could leave behind. Last, he created a list of his true friends, those he could rely on in times of trouble.

Quillen sat on the shore for two days working on his three key lists. When he felt the lists were complete, he analyzed what they meant for his future. Clarence decided that they led him into the construction business. Emphasizing his key strengths placed him on a path that today is a multimillion dollar home building business in Los Angeles.

Today, many business experts purport the same philosophy about being in our strength zone at work. One expert, Marcus Buckingham, has popularized this notion in his bestselling business book, First, Break all the Rules. Buckingham touts that our productivity and happiness are a function of how well we use our strengths. The following drills demonstrate how to implement your strengths:

Make the invisible-visible
Mark Legatte owned the public relations company, Sincerely Real. One of his primary tasks was to question CEOs and heads of staff at companies and strip down their message to the bare minimum. His tactics made him highly successful because he was always able to fulfill the needs of his clients.

Then Mark got bored at his job and wanted to move on in his life and onto a new career. But Mark did not know where to go or what to do. Mark also did not really know why he was so successful in the past. He enlisted the help of an executive coach, whom Mark said, help to make the invisible visible.

His coach enlightened Mark about his true strengths-From their discussions, Mark discovered that he was very empathetic and knew the right questions to ask at the right time. Based upon his discussions with his coach, Mark realized that he too should become an executive coach. Today, Mark has a thriving coaching business called Essentially Real.

The first step to developing an effective plan for life is to make the invisible-visible-you must first take a hard look inward and ask yourself what signature strengths have contributed to your success.
List your 5 signature strengths:


Be happier
Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at Penn State University, has discovered that individuals who use their signature strengths in their careers will not only be more successful but much happier.
How often do you use your strengths? Do you think you use them more than 20% of the time at work? 50% of the time? 75% of the time?

To discover this percentage, first look at your list from the above exercise. Next, record each time you use that strength during a given day for the week. Do this in 2 hour increments over an 8 hour workday. For instance, if two of your key strengths are creativity and being a good listener, and you use those strengths each once during the day (i.e., any time during a two hour period), then you have a percentage of 50% (2 X 2 hours for an 8 hour period).

If you discover that you are only using strengths less than an average of 20% on any given day during the week, you may need a change to get back on track. Ask yourself these questions:

1)In what areas of work might I use my strengths more often?
2)Can I take on different projects to use more of my strengths?

Develop strategies to implement your strengths and you will be much happier when observing your increase in success.

Strength attraction
Do you want to attract more clients? Then, use your strengths to your advantage.

New age books, such as the Secret, speak to the Law of Attraction. In short, this law is about Karma: What you give, you will receive-What you put out into our world, we will attract. If we give off positive energy, positive events will come our way: If we give off negative thoughts, we will attract unwanted events.

You may or not believe in the Law of attraction. But every sales professional or business needs to continually attract new clients to stay afloat.

One simple method to attract new clients is to use your talents. When you are engaging in your strengths, you will be giving off great confidence, great joy, and great positive energy. Once that happens, people will gravitate toward you. Following the principles of the law of attraction, you will get more clients by giving away great energy.

Are you using your unique strengths to gain new clients?

Perhaps you are a great chef. Have you done any cooking events to attract new clients? People will be interested in you because you are giving off great energy when you are cooking. It is not about the cooking, it is about the positive heat you will give during the event.

Perhaps you are a superb artist or simply love to paint. Are you teaching any art classes in the hopes of gaining new clients? When you are involved in painting, you will be colorful and your energy will be magnetic.

To attract more prospects, look at the list of your 5 signature strengths. Now, ask yourself if you are using these strengths to your advantage. If not, create a plan to incorporate one of these unused strengths each week as a vehicle to gain more business.

Combine your strengths

If you combine your strengths, you double your advantage. It worked for Mark McCormack who started IMG as well as the sport agency business.

Mark McCormack was a great negotiator as well as quite the golf enthusiast. As a young lawyer, he befriended Arnold Palmer and persuaded him into allowing McCormack to manage his everyday activities and finances outside the golf course. That way, Arnold could focus all his energies on golf. With only a handshake, Mark became Arnold’s agent, and the sport agent industry had begun. While Mark would have been a very successful lawyer, when he combined his strengths, he had success beyond measure.

This article is excerpted from the Washington Post Best-Selling book “Full Throttle: 122 Strategies to Supercharge your Energy and Performance at Work” by Dr. Gregg Steinberg

The Strength Building Diet

In cases such as these you might think that the food you eat is not really important. However, to reach your true potential as a strength athlete you have to ensure that you get all the nutrients necessary for both health and strength development and the right healthy eating plan becomes imperative.

The first factor to consider for anyone who doesn’t want to alter their body weight but still desires great strength is what percentage of your present body weight is fat.

If you currently have a high fat percentage your first goal should be to lower it to that of a well conditioned athlete and replace the lost fat with muscle. By doing this, it is possible to stay the same weight but become a far more effective athlete because of the new muscle you possess.

For example, a 170 pound man who has a fat percentage of over 20% could follow a strength building diet and reduce his fat percentage level to under 10% but still remain the same weight because of new muscle gains. The result would be no change in body weight what so ever but he would look and perform far better as increased muscle provides increased strength but excess fat is simply like trying to play sport carrying suitcases.

Therefore, the first thing any serious strength athlete should do is get their fat percentage down to the optimum level for his chosen sport.

The next factor to consider is how important a good diet is for a strength athlete who already possesses a low level fat percentage?

The answer is the right strength building diet is still imperative because by sticking to the correct eating plan you will ensure that you receive the necessary protein for muscle growth, carbohydrates for energy and fat for protein absorption. This will give your body the very best chance to adapt how you want it to i.e. to gain strength. It is also true that following such a diet means you are far less likely to suffer from illness as your diet will contain all the necessary nutrients for good health. The result is less time away from training which means superior strength gains.

The other benefits of following a strength building diet are such foods do not contain the high number of calories that processed foods full of fat and sugar do so you never have to feel hungry and can eat every couple of hours whilst remaining the same weight. Another plus is that the discipline developed from sticking to a certain diet spreads over in to other areas of your life including the training you do. The result is if you have spent the day eating only specific foods to improve your training you are far less likely to miss it or not give 100% to your workout routine.

What is the best strength building diet?

The great thing about eating for strength is that you do not have to feel bloated and lethargic all the time as can be the case when trying to gain weight and neither do you have to be as strict with your diet as someone who wants to get toned does.

Once you have your fat percentage level under control all you have to do is maintain the weight you already are which is a lot easier than trying to change it.

Therefore the diet for strength athletes is a simple case of knowing how many calories you need each day to maintain your present weight and making sure those calories are made up from wholesome foods.

How many calories are needed for weight maintenance?

For a rough guide on the calories needed to maintain your present weight multiply how many pounds you weigh by 15 (for men) and 12 (for women). For example, using this guide a 150 pound man would need 2,250 calories to remain the same weight.

However, please keep in mind this is only a guide and for precise figures there are many variables to take into consideration such as your metabolism, age, and level of activity. Having said that if you use this as a base line, keep a journal of what you eat and weigh yourself regularly you can soon work out your exact calorie requirements.

What foods should strength athletes eat?The foods needed to build strength are wholesome healthy foods, for adequate protein you need to eat lots of fish, lean meats and low fat dairy products. Lots of fruits and vegetables are essential for vitamins and you should also include whole grains such as brown rice. It is also important to consume fats and these should come from natural sources such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, sunflower oil and oily fish such as sardines.

Breaking the diet down.

The exact percentages of protein, carbohydrates and fats for the strength building diet are not cast in stone and can be altered slightly depending on personal choice. For a guide, a diet consisting of 25-30% protein, 50 % carbohydrates and 20 to 25% fats is a good starting point.


The right diet is crucial for maximum strength gains even if you do not want to change your present body weight. To reach your true strength potential the first goal should always be to reduce your fat levels to those of a well conditioned athlete and replace the weight loss with muscle tissue as excess fat serves no useful purpose and only hampers sporting performance.

Once you have achieved the optimum fat level percentage for your chosen sport keep to a healthy eating plan and you will ensure you have all the necessary nutrients for good health and the repair and recovery of muscle tissue as it adapts to the changes you place on it.


If you take the time, trouble and expense to build strength then you owe it to yourself to make sure everything else is in place to get the rewards your sacrifice deserves. Once you do that, you can be confident that you have done all you could to succeed and will therefore be proud of what ever level of success you reach. This is far better than wondering how far you could have gone if you had given all you could to the task.