Identify Your Zone of Genius [Revisit]

Episode #43

Today we are revisiting one of our most popular Powerful Man episodes!

Helping men all over the world step into their zone.

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


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

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Episode Transcript

Doug Holt  0:00  

All you hear is the ground out struggle put in the 20 hours a day type mentality.

Tim Matthews 0:08

It’s easy to be busy, isn’t it? And it’s less easy to be effective for this type of leadership. I think there’s so much value in it. The great thing about this, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to wait to start. 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? Doing very well. I’m excited to get this first show on the road.

Doug Holt  0:41  

Absolutely. So, where are you in the world right now? I know you’re a globe 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  0:54  

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

Tim Matthews  1:41  

Yeah, great question. That is an interesting point, which we kind of get those questions too because they’re so driven to achieve in their professional life, at the same time, they feel quite drained and decided to get a lot of resentment towards the business for what it costs them in their personal life. So the first thing that I would say to them is around acceptance, to be honest. I was having this discussion with a successful businessman yesterday, and he is so used to just taking the bull by the horns and getting shit done. Plowing through things that sometimes he simply forgets to delegate, or quite different is, it’s just how he sees himself how he sees his himself in a role that he plays as an entrepreneur., sometimes these guys have gone through quite a quick transition have 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. Like you said, Doug, they are pretty burnt out. It’s coming at the cost of many things in a lot of other areas of their life. Quite predominantly, it’s the family, to be honest. So the first thing that we start to dive into is, okay, well, what is a drain on you. So everything that you engage in, 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 evil is way, in my opinion, you get to consider yourself like a battery that charges you up and what drags you down. At the same time, as looking at this, we ask that we write a list of everything they are currently doing in their company, every task they’re doing. Then we get them to categorize these tasks into a zone of incompetence, the zone of competence, the zone of excellence, and the zone of genius. We start to analyze, okay, what is going on? How are you showing up in your company? And what percentage are you 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., that’s fine, you don’t know what you don’t know. We start to go with a guideline of okay, what fills you up the most, what activities do you just get? All posted. Once you start to identify what their zone is, and more importantly, Doug what the company requires them to do, for the company, while not only the company to succeed, for the clients to succeed, and the world to succeed a win-win-win situation. So it’s no longer about them it’s quite a shift in how they see themselves as an entrepreneur, and how they see the world to be honest. Instead of making it about them, it starts to become about the company and about the mission, and how they’re then fit into that. Once you start to take this will do this analysis effectively, it  starts to put them in an informed position on what gets to change where they get to effectively delegate and maybe when it gets to introduce some new roles into the company, because, maybe some of the tasks they’ve been doing, don’t need to be done anymore., it’s a case of eliminating, automating, or delegated. So it’s an exciting point in the conversation when we get to this because it can start to see the light. That whole aspect of feeling drained from just hustling, essentially, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Doug Holt  5:29  

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

Tim Matthews  5:54  

Yeah, for sure. What the whole aspect of letting go of control recently? We had another successful businessman on one of the initial calls with us in The Activation Method. This guy he’s got a thriving restaurant chain he’s got restaurants all over the west coast of us, he’s got the hotel, he’s got some of the other businesses. In our Doug, he said that he just broke down and started crying at one point in the conversation and started crying is a very humbling moment. I know that we have many men that tend to go through that kind of process with us. But this humbled me for various reasons. Anyway said what, time; I create so much work for myself that I’m afraid to be alone. It doesn’t mean that, in a sense, of is afraid to be on his own but is afraid that, okay, fuck, I’ve created this space in my life. Now, what? At that point is then left with himself and his thoughts. His own emotions are no longer masked in business. Sometimes the whole control issue comes out of, in my opinion, it comes out of the desire to avoid what’s there for you. Sometimes it comes out of the fact that you don’t know what zone is. 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 then be in their zone. 

Then finally, they’re just not used to doing what they love to do. You, you, you, and I have been able to operate in our zones of genius, which by no means are we perfect, but we operate in, we operate in there a huge proportion of the time, and we constantly sharpen the sort of being that plays out with. Part of that has been prioritizing your needs. But you speak about which for those of you that are listening, Doug has a family, and I don’t have children yet, I’m not married yet. But, Doug is somebody that I massively aspire to be like, when I have a family because of the lifestyle and freedom he’s created in his lifestyle to be there with his family. Now, 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, incorrect me if I’m wrong, but that’s you putting your needs first and for a lot of time for a lot of the men that we’ve worked with who’ve got so used to sacrificing their needs, and putting their needs last and just put everything into work, because that’s the safe place. That’s a place where they get the significance of proving they get the acknowledgment. Everything is a safe space, and it’s a comfortable place for everything else around that their needs have been sacrificed—especially having fun. We asked her questions to guys when they come into The Activation Method., when was the last time you laughed so hard you cried? Many of them don’t know, and it’s a really big wake-up call for them at that point. So 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., it’s either control or nothing., they used to be busy. So what they’re going to do.

Doug Holt  9:50  

Well, yeah, I agree with you. I think for many of these men, I know I could speak for myself and my own experience when I started one of my first companies in my early 20s, and my 40s now were hustles. What got me there? Right, I would. I’ve made used hustle and energy and digging in partially for a mask to cover up. But what I didn’t know, I didn’t know the answers to build a business, and I didn’t know what I was doing. Hustle allowed me to make up for a lot of my mistakes. As I matured, in my maturity level and age and 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. What was it started went from serving me too quickly not serving me. 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. As you pointed out, until you make that shift, as you pointed out, is making that shift to being in your zone of genius and doing what you want to do with your business. What allows you to move the needle not only for your business and yourself but also gives back most to the world right gives the most benefit and value. You’re holding yourself and everybody else around you back, and it took me 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 and go for walks and do those things. Because I’m able to release all those things that aren’t in my zone of genius, trust that I put the right people in place that they can take that run with it. That allows them a growth potential as well. Hey, guys, I want to interrupt this episode because I wanted to talk to you about how almost 300 men are already taking control of their lives. Their four axing their business revenues, and they’re having more connected intimate sex using The Activation Method, all without sacrificing the 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 So that’s You get that case study right now. It’s short, and it’s right to the point; it’s going to give you actionable points that you can take right today. All right, let’s get back to the episode.

Tim Matthews  12:37  

The thing that can make the image that came to my mind, as you’re speaking, was a sports team. In a sports team, whether it’s soccer, American football, rugby, whatever, you’ve got positions, haven’t you? In those positions, everybody has a very particular skill set. Everybody has a particular body shape and role., you don’t find I’ll use soccer cleats most common to me. You don’t find the left-back going and spending all the game upfront with the striker. Yeah, because he’s got a different skill set mindset, body time, everything.

Tim Matthews  12:32 

But if he tries to be everything and play every position, his energies spread so thin, the left-back position, it isn’t, it doesn’t fulfill any position. While it happens is the team will suffer, and I’ll get brought off the pitch but substituted. Now, the whole analogy, the whole point, have you been able to operate in your zone of genius and me and the listeners is it’s not a selfish thing. It’s not; it’s not a how-to describes this. It’s not an esoteric thing. It’s 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 operate out of my zone, I would be doing tasks in The Powerful Man and my previous business 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. Excellent. But they would drain me, and I would just feel I’d feel frustrated. Then at the end of my working day, I’d leave the office, and I’d go home to be with Amelia. I’d feel dread. I will be too exhausted to hold a conversation, let alone think about having sex with her. She’ll be there excited, wanting to tell me about her day. I, I just couldn’t be present with her. Then she’d be saying, okay, you don’t even listen to me. It’s pointless. Then I 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, and I am, and then we get an argument and then what happened is we’d go to bed, and it’d be a little bit frosty, and we’d wake up in the morning, I’d leave before she woke up. It didn’t affect my productivity for the following day. Sure, I still got things done the next day; we still made progress the next day. But, we speak a lot about being one destination and two journeys; you can arrive at a destination, beaten, battered, and bruised, or you can arrive there with a smile on your face. Either way, you still going to get there for me, because I was then showing up the following day, every day, it was then more of a struggle, and it was harder, but it was starting to cost me a lot for operating out of my zone of genius. So it becomes important that you’re able to kind of I’ve been selfish in the most ethical way because by you saying no, and operating in your zone of genius, and doing what only you can do for the company, and doing what lights you up the most. Everybody will benefit everybody, not only the company and the customers in the world but everybody in your personal life as well. It is so so key. In my opinion, in my experience, we’ve worked with hundreds of members point haven’t we, and it is so key for you to be consistent in your personal life. In, in your needs there, and sticking to your needs there. Because that then fuels what you then do in your professional life, it’s very difficult for you to be in your zone of genius. Knowing what your needs are and sticking to them professionally. If behind closed doors, you’re going home. I’m going to tell another quick story. I’ve told you a lot about this episode already.

Doug Holt  16:13 

Gold, gold, keep going.

Tim Matthews  16:15  

I know this story is, for example, amelia and I. 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. I feel like, ah, I don’t have a passion for cooking, and I don’t enjoy cooking. But, she, I was my

Doug Holt  16:34

She’s your girlfriend for those that don’t know her, by the way,

Tim Matthews  16:38  

Yeah, yeah. Somehow became my task to do the evening cooking anywhere. 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 one of the men is after we cooked and we’d had dinner, it then affected the quality of time I could spend with her. So what did I do? Then if you think about automate, eliminate or delegate, now we then found a company that could prepare our meals for us, they could do ten meals for like 40 pounds, like four pounds a meal, good ingredients, healthy, everything was amazing. Now the ROI on that 40 pounds financially, the ROI. Suppose I’m able to have a better time with amelia on an evening. In that case, they’re more connected, more relaxed, have sex, sleep, well, I’m going to go into business the next day feeling more energized, more refreshed, and excited about the day. The emotional ROI is that obviously, we are more connected with amelia; we have a great relationship. We’re laughing, and we’re having fun; we’re connected. The spiritual ROI is that I’m more in my zone. So life feels easier. But I think, I’m not going to go into a totally another point here because it could do but 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 ease when you operate in your zone. That’s when life becomes easy. It kind of feels like you cheated by queue working two days a week and you’ve got multiple companies, and you have an amazing lifestyle. So I imagine it correct me if I’m wrong. I’ll ask you the question when you first made that shift, or did you struggle with that? Did you start to feel like you were lazy, or were they cheating?

Doug Holt  18:40

Oh, completely. I had been in the space of coaching for so long. I had to work around my issues; you and I have had conversations about this in-depth because you’re so used to that routine. I had so much pride, Tim, and I would always tell people I can pull myself up by my bootstraps that kind of mentality of digging in, and I’m tough I’m strong., if I have to work 15 hours a day every day, no problem, I can do it. Then all of a sudden, when you start taking time off, you feel that that guilt. Miss that conversation in the back of the head that saying I should be doing this should be doing that. It took me a while to get over those aspects and look at the results, and you start going, it’s you, and I do, and we talk about this offline a lot is outcomes are what matter, not just production you’re not a cog in an assembly line, you’re looking at these outcomes that you want to achieve. Your outcomes are different than my outcomes. Mine is going to be different than the person listening to this. We all have different journeys that we’re on. I think what’s interesting to dovetail in to continue with what you said, which is you said a lot that I want to bring up. 

Thank you for calling it soccer, by the way, for us in the states. It’s, I appreciate that. But one of the key aspects, I think of something that you said is, there’s not a lot of people talking about it being easy. All you hear is the ground out struggle, put in the 20 hours a day, type mentality. I think that that message is, is being broadcast so often today for two reasons. One is it’s very marketable and sellable. Because anybody can just work, that’s just easy. It’s just a time thing. It’s very hard for somebody to go deep and do interpersonal work as you teach. It’s just you have to be; you have to step up to do that. The second reason is, I think 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. You always have that one guy who’s like, come on, and he buys you drinks, he’s trying to pressure you into drinking with him. He does that because he wants to feel better about his actions and what he’s doing. I think that you teach ease and flow when 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 with a smile on your face? That’s very rarely talked about. You only see that talked about when you look at interviews from somebody like a Warren Buffett or somebody who’s truly been successful but doesn’t teach the path itself? Like you do.

Tim Matthews  22:32  

Yeah, thank you for that. I appreciate that. I receive it, compared to the warren buffet last time. But yeah, I agree., it is easier to be busy, isn’t it? It’s easy to busy. It’s less easy to be effective. As a leader, first and foremost. But this type of leadership, I think there’s so much value in it is being able to, first of all, 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 inspires the people within your organization. Then thirdly, translate that throughout your personal life as well. Because, the great thing about this, in my opinion, is that you don’t have to wait to start. Now, 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  22:34

Oh, absolutely. I want to go back real quick to frame the opportunity cost, right. I think many people may not know exactly what 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 is the cost of what, of what you’re not doing? Right? So, if I’m here, we’re doing this, this podcast, and our goal here is to give back to men around the world. I look at this through a lens of spending this time even though the podcast might be shorter, shorter, there’s production, etc., that’s an hour, I could be hanging out with my child or an hour, I could be getting paid for consulting and so 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 should be doing. That opportunity cost is so important. So in closing, I want to get your remarks, Tim, on how to kind of summarize this. Still, I also want to emphasize to all the men listening, and women too, but, men in particular that are listening to this, if you think about opportunity costs and in what you’re doing in life, if you just take what what what’s been brought up here in this conversation and you look across it monetarily. 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’re taking advantage of that. My guess based on the men that we’ve worked with and talk to is right there. There are 10s of 1000s of dollars. 

Just value based on an opportunity cost. That’s a lot of money. You’re going to be saving, just simply doing this exercise. Now, if you’re motivated by other things like spending time with your family, relationships, your 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, kind of that. Cat stevens cat’s in the cradle, that song where he talks about the dad never has time for his son. When you’re sitting back in your rocking chair, looking back at your life, what is the most important thing to you? So, Tim, I want you to wrap it up. I just want to make sure the men listening to this understand the value that you gave with that exercise and that you just breeze past it because you do this so often and helping people. I want to make sure that they go back, rewind this, listen to it again, and do the work and do the exercise that 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., what should I look at?

Tim Matthews  25:36  

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? Why did you start your business? I’m sure it wasn’t so that you could work all day every day. It wasn’t so that you could go home and be drained and have those that you’ve mastered the most to you get the least of you. Third of all, I’d say go back and do what I’ve just invited you to do and start there. Just start there. Just the first step is always becoming aware of what’s going on. The second step is always accepted it, and then the third is allowing something new and different. So it’s what you get to do with my opinion.

Doug Holt  26:17

Awesome. Alright, Tim, I think that’s a wrap for this episode. Guys. Thank you so much for being with us. We’ll see you again.


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