It’s not who you know or what you know, it’s who knows what you know.
That’s because nurturing a relationship takes time but when people get it and get you, magic happens.
In 2020 and into 2021 this has proved invaluable. Through a chance meeting in Tokyo, I met Marta over learning how to cook ramen with our partners. I learned she was a professor of law and she knew I used to work in book publishing. That was about it.
Fast forward years, I started understanding more about her zones of genius and she mine, but also the quality of character, the get it done attitude, the kindred spirit of assuredness in self that when you interact with others, they’re getting your best because that’s how you show up in the world.
In December 2020, Marta remembered my zone of genius and requested a meeting about a potential project she was about to start that entailed creating a new Ph.D. program. I thought, “What a boss.”
After explaining the parameters, she invited me to submit a proposal to support a small piece of it. I agreed, mostly excited at the prospect of working with her, but knew it was a long shot as there were other proposals from bigger companies and I’m a small business – a one-woman shop based in Japan.
But those were the exact things that worked in my favor. My overhead was lower and so my pricing and turnaround times proved competitive, and my background with grants and nonprofits was a plus.
In January 2021, we started putting pieces together, having meetings, and the scope of what we were doing was speedily coming into focus. This was bigger and had much more riding on it than I initially thought. 10 universities, 18 partner institutions, 20 professors and researchers at the top of their game, and all backed by the might of Horizon 2020 – the main European funding programme for research and innovation that has distributed more than €79 billion Euro over the last 7 years.
This is what my now colleague brought me in to.
Designing the branding and logo, building the website+writing the content, creating collateral like video teasers…all in 2 months.
Take a peek at the website below!
It’s probably no coincidence that this labor of love launched March 1 gaining attention and momentum as we go deeper into Women’s History Month and also celebrated its one-week birthday on International Women’s Day – a day when women are recognized for their achievements.
The website itself is an achievement, but even more so is that Marta and I showcase what it really means to recognize and help the women around us continue to rise. It’s about seeing others’ value and putting them in positions to showcase their zones of genius; giving them a stage to shine on and help others see their worth.
I would not have known about this opportunity if she had not remembered my skills and asked if I had an interest in applying.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if we were all a little more aware of others’ zone of genius?
I can because it’s exactly what Quill Shift LLC does for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits of all stripes – tap into what makes them great and then build systems around that to help them reach their goals.
So I’ll leave you with three questions:
- Do you know your zone of genius?
- If so, how are you sharing it with the world?
- How aware are you of the people around you’s special skills and dreams?