Identify Your Zone of Genius

Episode #1

Helping men all over the world step into their zone. In the very first episode of The Powerful Man Show, Tim and Doug introduce themselves and the concept of The Powerful Man.

Are you a driven individual who wants to succeed in life and business?
Do you often feel drained?
Do you struggle to balance your work and personal life?

All of these are very common problems that can be overcome with some simple shifts in mindset and habits.

In this episode, Tim and Doug will share invaluable tips, real-life examples, and proven techniques on how to get the very best out of yourself and step into your zone of genius. All of this starts with identifying and concentrating on your zone so you are doing the things that you are best at and enjoy most and handing over the other things which will give you more freedom and productivity.

What you will learn from this episode:

  • What your zone is
  • Operate – Eliminate – Delegate technique
  • How to identify what is draining you
  • The importance of trust and letting go of control
  • How to delegate effectively
  • How to overcome fear
  • Balancing your work and personal life


Hungry for more?

Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

Listen on


Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

All you hear is the grind it out, grind it out struggle, put in the 20-hours-a-day type mentality. 

Tim Matthews  0:07

It’s easy to be busy, isn’t it? And it’s less comfortable to be capable of this type of leadership; I think there’s so much value. The great thing about this, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to wait to stop. It’s just a matter of choice, isn’t it? 

Doug Holt  0:25  

Everyone, welcome to The Powerful Man Show. I am your co-host, Doug Holt, and with me is the founder of The Powerful Man, Tim Matthews. Tim, how are you doing? 

Tim Matthews  0:36

I’m doing well, Doug. I am doing very well. I’m excited to get this first show on the road. 

Doug Holt  0:40 

Absolutely. So, where are you in the world right now? I know you’re a global traveler. Where are you? 

Tim Matthews  0:45

Right now, I am in Leeds. Born and bred in Leeds, hometown. Gorgeous little office out in the countryside. 

Doug Holt  0:53  

Awesome. Well, so today and the reason we started this show, and since this is our first pilot episode, getting it out, there is The Powerful Man. It’s been around for several years, helping men all over the world. So we wanted to bring this show together to answer some of the most common questions and so Tim, one of the biggest problems that we get, when it comes around, men stepping into their power, is talking about the idea of working in your zone of genius, right? Or that idea that you know working and doing those things that not only fill you up but also provide the most value. You know, what do you say to a man who talks about just being drained and not wanting to, you know, do the tasks at hand and their business? What do you want to say to them?

Tim Matthews  1:41 

Hmm, yeah, great question. It’s a fascinating point of which we kind of get those questions too because they’re so driven to achieve in a professional life yet at the same time, they feel entirely drained, and the sense to get a lot of resemblant towards the business for it costs them in the personal life. So the first thing that I would say to them is, is really around acceptance, to be honest, and I was having this discussion with a successful businessman yesterday. And he’s so used to just taking the bull by the horns and getting shit done, and you know, plowing through things that sometimes he simply forgets to delegate or it’s quite different if it’s just how he sees himself and how he sees himself in the role that he plays as an entrepreneur. 

You know, sometimes these guys have gone through quite a quick transition. They’ve achieved success professionally through sheer brute force, to be honest, and that’s no disrespect to them. But when we kind of gets this question, we start talking about this topic. As you said, Doug, they are pretty burnt out, and it’s coming at the cost of a lot of things in a lot of other areas of life quite predominantly, the family, to be honest. So the first thing that starts to dive into is, okay, well, what is a drain on you. Everything that you engage in your life, let’s say, people, places, and projects, they’re going to fall into two categories: either charge you up or drain you down. So this is where in my opinion, you get to consider yourself like a battery, you know, what charges you up, and what drives you down. And at the same time, as we’re looking at this, we ask that we get them to write a list of everything that they are currently doing in their company, every task that they’re doing.

We then get them to categorize these tasks into the zone of incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius. And we start to analyze, okay, what is going on, you know, how are you showing up in your company? And what percentage are you actually in your zone of genius now at this point, they usually start to become aware of what their zone of genius is, sometimes they don’t know, And you know, that’s fine, you don’t know what you don’t know. And we start to, you know, go with a guideline of Okay, what fills you up the most, what activities you just get? All lost. And once they start to identify what their zone is, and more importantly, Doug, you know, what the company requires them to do for the company? Not only can the company succeed, the clients to succeed, and the world to achieve, creating a win-win situation. 

So it’s no longer about them, you know, it’s quite a shift in how they see themselves as entrepreneurs and how they see the world to be honest. Instead of making it about them, it starts to become about the company, its mission, and how they’re then fit into that. And once you begin to take this, we’ll do this analysis effectively. It starts to put them in an informed position on what gets to change where they get to delegate effectively and maybe when it gets introduced some new roles into the company because you know, perhaps some of the tasks they’ve been doing. Don’t need to be done anymore. You see, it’s a case of eliminating, automating or delegating. So it’s a fascinating point in the conversation when we get to this because it can start to see the light. And that whole aspect of feeling drained from just hustling, necessarily, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Doug Holt  5:29  

Absolutely. Well said. I think for a lot of the men, a lot of this can come down to you know, especially with men that are playing at a high level. And you said it very well with eliminating, automating, delegate, or vice versa. Right, is having that control issue of letting go and letting it go to their team and trusting that they can get things done and delegating effectively. 

Tim Matthews  5:54

Yeah, for sure thing, you know what the whole aspect of letting control recently? We have another successful businessman on one of the initial calls with the same Activation Method. You know, this guy’s got a thriving restaurant chain, you know, he’s got restaurants all over the West Coast of the US. He’s got a hotel; he’s got some of the other businesses. And you know Doug, he said, at one point in the conversation just broke down and started crying. This was a very humbling moment, and I know that we have a lot of men who tend to go through that kind of process. But this humbled me for various reasons, anyway, he said “You know what, Tim? The reason why I create so much work for myself is that I’m afraid to be alone.” And it doesn’t mean that in the sense of worrying to be on his own. But he’s worried that okay, fuck I’ve created this space in my life. 

Now what? On that point, he’s then left with himself and his thoughts, his own emotions, that he’s no longer masked in business, the whole control issue, sometimes it comes out of the, in my opinion, it comes out of the desire to avoid, you know, avoid what’s there for you. Sometimes it comes out of the fact that you don’t know what zone is, and they’re just so used to hustling and grabbing the bull by the horns and running and going with it. That the pace of life that they are living with doesn’t facilitate them to reflect and review and adjust to being in the zone then actually, and then finally, they’re just not used to doing what they love to do. You know, you and I have been able to operate in our zones of genius, which you know, by no means are we perfect, but we work in, we operate in a, you know, a vast proportion of the time and we always sharpen the saw to be in a place aren’t we? And, you know, part of that has been prioritizing your needs. But one thing you speak about is that you know, Doug has a family for those who are listening. I don’t have children yet. I’m not married yet. 

But you know, Doug is somebody that I massively aspire to be like when I do have a family because of the lifestyle and the freedom that he’s created in his lifestyle to be there with his family. Now, one thing that you speak about a lot is the opportunity cost of you doing something that then takes you away from your family. Now that you’re taking that approach, and you know, correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s you putting your needs first, you know. For a lot of the time for the men we’ve worked with, we’ve got so used to sacrificing their needs, putting it last, and putting everything into work because that’s a safe place. That’s the place where they get the significance. They can prove they understand the acknowledgment, and everything is a safe space; it’s a comfortable place. Everything else around them that their needs have been really sacrificed. You were especially having fun. Like, we ask a question to guys when they come into The Activation Method, you know, when was the last time you laughed so hard, you cried? Hmm. You know, and for a lot of them that they don’t know, you know, and it’s a huge wake-up call for them. So, you know, it’s just, again, the whole factor of just putting their needs last then means by default, that they want to be in control because they don’t have any other choice. You know, see the power is nothing, you know, and they used to be busy. So, what are they going to do? 

Doug Holt  9:50 

Well, yeah, I agree with you. And I think for a lot of these men, and I know I could speak for myself in my own experience when I started One of my first companies in my early 20s and I’m in my 40s now was hustling what got me there. Right? I’ve made use of hustle and energy and to dig in there partially for a mask to cover up. But what I didn’t know, right? I didn’t think I had the answers to build a business but didn’t know what I was doing and hustle allowed me to make up for a lot of my mistakes. And as I matured in both my maturity level and age, but also my maturity level on my journey, I started to still rely on that crutch of the hustle and trying to push forward and get things done. 

And what it was, it started from serving me too quickly, not serving me, and using it as something almost like an addiction. I think most business owners can relate to this is you’re busy being busy, rather than busy doing what you want to do. And until you make that shift, as you pointed out, is making that shift to being in your zone of genius. But doing what you want to do with your business and what allows you to move the needle not only for your business but also for yourself and gives back most to the world right gives the most benefit and value. You’re holding yourself and everybody else around you again and took me, you know, a lot longer than probably most people to realize that. Then step into an area where I am only working, roughly two days a week, and spend that time with my family. Go for walks and do those things because I’m able to release all those things that aren’t in my zone of genius, and trust that I put the right people in place that they can take that run with it, and that allows them a growth potential as well. 

Doug Holt  11:49 

Hey guys, I want to interrupt this episode because I want to talk to you about how almost 300 men are already taking control of their lives. Their four axes their business revenues, and they have more money. Connected intimate sex using The Activation Method all without sacrificing their relationships or their health. Now, this is only an 11-minute case study we put together just based on all the feedback we’ve gotten from you, listeners. To get the case study, all you have to do is go over to the So that’s, you understand that case study right now. It’s short; it’s right to the point that it’s going to give you actionable points that you can take today. All right, let’s get back to the episode.

Tim Matthews  12:32 

The thing that came, the image that came to my mind as you’re speaking was a sports team. You know, in a sports team, whether it’s soccer, American football, rugby, whatever, you’ve got positions, haven’t you? And in those positions, everybody has a very particular skill set. And everybody has a specific body shape and roll, and you know you don’t find, I’ll use soccer cleats most common on me. You don’t see the left-back going and spending all the game upfront with a striker. 

Doug Holt  13:06


Tim Matthews  13:07  

Because he’s got a whole different skill set mindset body tight, everything. But if he tries to be everything I’m playing every position, his energy is spread so thin that the position of left-back doesn’t fulfill any position, and while it happens, the team will suffer. I’ll get brought off the pitch but substituted. Now, the whole analogy is the whole, you know, point of you being able to operate in your zone of genius and myself and you know the listeners are not a selfish thing. It’s not how to describe this. It’s not a tricky thing, and it’s an actual fundamental, in my opinion, because the energetic cost of you operates out of your zone. So I’m going to use myself as an example when I used to work out of my zone, I would be doing tasks in The Powerful Man and in my previous business, that were in my zone of competence and my zone of excellence, not my zone of genius. So yeah, sure I could do those tasks. And I could do them well, or I could do them excellently. 

But they would drain me, and I would just feel Haha, I’d feel frustrated. Then, at the end of my working day, I’d leave the office, go home to be with Amelia, and feel dread. And I’d be too exhausted to hold a conversation, let alone think about having sex with her. And she’ll be there really excited wanting to tell me about her day. And I just, I couldn’t be present with her. And then she’d be saying, okay, you know, you don’t even listen to me. It’s pointless. And then I’d feel guilty, and then I’d get annoyed at myself because I knew she was right. But I didn’t want to admit that to us. Then I’d go on the attack and be like, No, no, no. I am, I am, and then we get an argument. Then what happened is, you know, we’d go to bed, it’d be a bit frosty, and we’d wake up in the morning. I’d leave before she woke up, and it then affects my productivity for the following day. Sure, I still got things done the next day; we always made progress the next day. But you know, we speak a lot about the bin, one destination, and two journeys, you know, you can arrive at that destination, beaten, battered and bruised, or can reach there with a smile on your face. 

Either way, you are still going to get there. But for me, because, you know, I was then showing up the following day, every day was then more of a struggle, and it was harder. There was time to cost me a lot for operating out of my zone of genius. So it becomes crucial that you’re able to, it’s kind of been selfish in the most ethical way. Because by you saying no and operating in your zone of genius and doing it. What only you can do for the company and during what life shocks the most everybody’s going to benefit everybody not only in the company or the customers in the world but everybody in your personal life as well. And it is so, so crucial in my opinion and my experience, you know, we’ve worked with hundreds of members point away and it is so key further to be consistent in your personal life. And you know your needs there and stick to your needs there. Because that then fuels what you then do in your professional life. It’s challenging for you to be in your zone of genius, and knowing what your needs are and sticking to them professionally. If behind closed doors, you are going home, and I’m going to tell another quick story. I’ve said a lot this episode already, but

Doug Holt  13:43 

It’s gold though, it’s gold keeps going.

Tim Matthews  16:57 

Another story is, for example, a meal or not, so I’d get home in the evening, and I’d want to have time with her. One thing I found her always asking me is, what’s for dinner? and be like, ah, I don’t have a passion for cooking, I don’t enjoy cooking, but you know, she, you know, I was my

Doug Holt  17:16

And this is his girlfriend to those that don’t know her, by the way

Tim Matthews  17:18 

Yeah. It somehow became my task to do the evening cooking anyway, because it wasn’t in my zone of genius. It was probably in my zone of incompetence. I do it anyway, but it just felt like a dread. So what I meant is that after I cooked, we’d had dinner, which affected the quality of time I could spend with her. So what did I do? And then if you think about automating, eliminating, or delegating, now we found a company that could prepare our meals for us. They could do ten meals for like 40 pounds, like £4  per meal, the right ingredients, healthy, everything was terrific. Now the ROI on that 40 pounds financially, the ROI. If I’m able to have some better time with Amelie on an evening, more connected, relaxed, and have sex sleep well, I’m going to go into business the next day feeling more energized, more refreshed, and excited about a day. The emotional ROI is; obviously, I’m more connected with Amelia; we have a great relationship. We’re laughing, we’re having fun, we’re connected. 

And the spiritual ROI is that I’m more in my zone. So life feels more relaxed, but I think you know, and I’m not going to go into a whole other point here because it could do but no for me anyway. Growing up, I believe that being hard was a positive thing. The harder it wasn’t a market tolerate, the more it made me a man. I struggled for a long time to embrace nature, and when you operate in your zone, that’s when life becomes easy, and it kind of feels like you cheated. Like you, work in two days a week, and you’ve got multiple companies, and you have a fantastic lifestyle. So I imagine, correct me if I’m wrong. I’ll ask you the question when you first made that shift, did you struggle with that? Did you start to feel like you were lazy, or they were cheating? 

Doug Holt  19:21 

Oh, completely. I had, you know, being in the space of coaching for so long. I had to work around my issues. As you know, you and I have had conversations about this in-depth, is you’re so used to that routine, and I had so much pride, Tim, and I would always tell people, I can pull myself up by my bootstraps, you know, that kind of mentality of digging in and I’m tough, I’m healthy. You know, if I have to work 15 hours a day, every day, no problem, I can do it. Suddenly, when you, you know, you start taking time off, you feel that guilt, right? It’s that conversation in the back of the head that says I should be doing this. I should be doing that. It took me a while to get over those aspects and look at the results and start going, it’s you, and I do. We talk about this offline a lot. The outcomes are what matter, not just production, you know, you’re not a cog in an assembly line, you’re looking at these outcomes that you want to achieve. And your results are different from my issues. And mine is going to be different from the person listening to this, we all have different journeys that we’re on. And I think what’s interesting is to dovetail and continue with what you said, you know, you said a lot that I want to bring up, and thank you for calling it soccer, by the way, for us in the States.

I appreciate that. But one of the critical aspects I think of something that you said is, there’s not a lot of people talking about it being easy, right, all you hear is the grind it out, struggle. Put in the 20 hours a day type mentality. And I think that that message is, you know, broadcast so often today for two reasons. One, is it very marketable and saleable, right? Because anybody can just work. That’s just easy, right? It’s just a time thing. It’s tough for somebody to go deep and do personal work as you teach. It’s just, you know, you have to be, you have to step up to do that. And the second reason is that people talk about this because it gives them validation for what they’re doing. Right? It’s kind of like that idea of, if you decide, hey, look, I’m not drinking, I’m going to go out with my buddies. 

And you always have that one guy who’s like, come on, he buys you drinks, and he’s trying to pressure you into drinking with them. And the reason he does that is that he wants to feel better about his actions and what he’s doing. And I think that concept that you ease and flow, and as you said, there are two paths to the same destination. Do you want to get there beat up, or do you want to get there, you know, with a smile on the very rarely talked-about interface? And you only see that talked about when you look at interviews from somebody like Warren Buffett or somebody who’s genuinely been successful but doesn’t teach the path itself as you do. 

Tim Matthews  22:14

Yeah, thank you for that. I appreciate that. I receive it, and can be compared to Warren Buffett, that’s the first time. Yeah, agreed, you know, it is easier to be busy, isn’t it? It’s easy to be working, and it’s less comfortable to be useful as a leader first and foremost. But this type of leadership, I think there’s so much value in it being able to identify what your zone is. Second of all, delegate effectively and lead well with a clear vision and communicate that in a way that you know, inspires the people within your organization. And then thirdly, translate that throughout your personal life as well because You know, the great thing about this, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to wait to start. This can be started at any level within a company within the company’s journey and growth. It’s just a matter of choice, isn’t it? 

Doug Holt  23:16

Oh. And, and I want just to go back real quick to frame what the opportunity cost is? Right. And I think a lot of people may not know exactly, you know, well, you and I are talking about when we say that, and there are a couple of different ways to look at it. But even from a business standpoint, it’s what you know, what is the cost of what you know, and what you’re not doing. Right? So, if I’m here, you know, we’re doing this, this podcast and our goal here is really to give back to men around the world. And I look at this through a lens of, you know, spending this time you know, even though the podcast might be shorter, shorter, there’s production, etc. You know, that’s an hour I could be hanging out with my child or an hour, I could be getting paid for consulting, you know? 

What is that price tag, and then once you start looking at life through that lens, I think it helps you be clear on your duties and what you really should be doing? And that opportunity cost is so important. And so in closing, I want to get your remarks, Tim, on how to kind of summarize this. Still, I also want to emphasize to the men listening and women too, but you know, men, in particular, are listening to this. If you think about opportunity costs and what you’re doing in life, if you just take what you know, what’s been brought up here in this conversation, and you look across it monetarily, right? If you’re in the hustle zone, and you’re not in your zone of genius, Tim gave you some exercises directly that you could do today to identify what that is, you know, taking advantage of that. My guess based on the men that we’ve worked with and talked to is right there. There are 10s of thousands of dollars. And just value based on opportunity cost. And that’s a lot of money you’re going to be saving just merely doing this exercise. If you’re motivated by other things like spending time with your family, relationships, and health, then it’s even more right. It doesn’t have to be monetary but just to bring it down to brass tacks. I think a lot of men miss that and miss you know, kind of that. 

You know, Cat Stevens cat’s in the cradle that song where he talks about, you know, the dad never has time for his son. When you’re sitting back in your rocking chair looking back at your life, you know, what is the most important thing to you? And so, Tim, I want you to wrap it up. I just want to make sure the men listening to this, really understand the value you gave with that exercise, and that we know you, you use breezed past, past it because you do this so often and help people. I want to make sure that they go back, rewind this, listen to it again, do the work, and do the exercise you gave them because it is so powerful. So why don’t you summarize? Real quickly before we end here, summarize, what would you say right now, if you had kind of just a couple minutes to talk to a man who’s sitting there and saying, hey, look, I just feel drained. I’m not in my zone. You know, what should I look at? 

Tim Matthews  26:17 

What should I lookup? First of all, remember, you’ve always got a choice. Second of all, remember why you got into this in the first place? You know, why did you start your business? I’m sure it wasn’t that you could work all day, every day. It wasn’t that you could go home and be drained and have those you’d mattered the most to get the least of you. And third of all, I’d say, go back and do what I’ve just invited you to do and start there. You know, just start there. Only the first step is always becoming aware of what’s going on. The second step is still, you know, accepted it. And then the third is allowing something new and different. So what you get to do in my opinion. 

Doug Holt  26:59

Awesome. Alright, Tim, I think that’s a wrap for this episode. Guys, thank you so much for being with us, and we will see you again.


Get this FREE Reignite Cheatsheet from The Powerful Man! Put the spark back into your life, your marriage, and your happiness NOW.