Stay in Your Strengths

I love getting massages. I buy my clothes at T.J.Maxx, I buy furniture off of Craigslist, and I use coupons regularly, but I will spend good money on a massage.

For one, I love massages. It’s the ultimate pampering for me. But I also have a really bad back. I have premature degenerative discs and arthritis, which cause a lot of pain, especially with the toll traveling takes on your body. So my need for massages is at least a tiny bit medical. (At least that’s what I tell myself to help me justify something that costs more than $1 a minute!)

I get massages from my favorite place here in Brentwood about every few months. I have one woman who is my favorite named Joy. She uses these hot stones and makes me almost cry, which is strangely what I love. It really does hurt so good.

But one day about a year ago, my back was killing me. I needed to get in for a massage and didn’t plan ahead as usual. I called to see if Joy was available the next day when I was off, but she wasn’t. That’s okay, I thought, because I’ve always had a great experience there so I was up for whoever was available. The nice receptionist told me that another masseuse—I’ll call her Deborah—was available. Great! I got my appointment and was all set.

The next day, I came in for my massage. Everything was going fine until about 30 minutes in. I was laying on my back and Deborah was massaging my shoulders.

But then the weirdest thing happened. She stopped. Her hands were laying limp on my shoulders.

That’s weird, I thought. Maybe she’s just taking a break because her hands are tired. So I waited. And waited. And waited. No movement.

Was she asleep?

Surely not.

So I waited a few more beats and then decided to just move my legs to try to test the waters and see if anything happened. I crossed my legs, and the moment I moved, she jumped! And then she started massaging my shoulders again.

I thought she had fallen asleep, but that was way too weird so I dismissed it.

Then, about five minutes later, her arms went limp again. No movement whatsoever. I thought, There is no way this is happening! So I waited. I laid there. I cleared my throat. Nothing. Just two lifeless hands resting on my shoulders.

I couldn’t help myself. I craned my head back as far as I could to look behind me and there was Deborah, head hung over, mouth open, completely asleep. I could not believe it!

Sure, I’ve fallen asleep in massages before, but I was the one on the bed!

I didn’t want to just lay there another 30 minutes so I asked her, in a louder voice than normal for that quiet room, “ARE YOU OKAY?”

She almost jumped out of her skin. She cleared her throat and got back to massaging. Then she said, “I’m fine—why?” Like everything was perfectly normal—which it was not!

I said, “Okay, well, it just seemed like you fell asleep.”

And here’s the best part: She said, “I wasn’t asleep. I was just meditating for you.”

Oh y’all. It was so hard not to laugh. She finished the massage, and I got out of there as soon as possible.

Clearly, if you’re borderline narcoleptic, working in dark, candlelit rooms with soft music is not for you.

And as silly as it sounds, whether it’s my sleepy masseuse or those sad people auditioning on American Idol who can’t carry a tune, you see people all of the time who aren’t working in their strengths. And as long as you don’t work in your strengths, you’ll never be successful.

If you can simply focus on and leverage what you’re good at, you can win. Staying in your strengths is the best way to reduce your stress in your business, have the most fun, increase the level of quality and excellence, and be the most successful. Figure out what you’re really, really good at, and go do that.

And if you’re ever in Brentwood looking for a massage, take it from me: Just stick with Joy.