Find Your Marketable Genius – 3 Surprising Places to Look for Your Unique Genius

Do you know how to identify, and where to look, for your unique marketable genius? 

The truth is, most people are looking in the wrong places for their unique genius.  They are looking only at their work life – instead of their whole life – to find their genius.  That’s why they can’t seem to identify it.  

There are many places to look for your unique genius.  Here are three very surprising places you need to look:

#1 – Your genius is in what you totally suck at

Look at what you’re crappy at.  It points to your genius, if you look at it the right way. 

Let’s look at what I personally suck at.

I worked in the corporate environment for over 12 years and never once did I get good at  playing office politics.  And it wasn’t because I had this idea that I was "above it" – I just didn’t get what was going on if people didn’t say exactly what they meant, or meant exactly what they said.  

I also completely suck at poker.  I am terrible at bluffing or understanding when someone else  is, so I lose all my money in the first 5 minutes.  I love the idea of playing poker.   But the reality is I’m terrible at it.

Let’s look deeper.  The reason I suck at office politics and poker, and any other thing that requires you to say something other than you truly mean, is that I Have No Filter.  My genius – my Pillar of Genius™ is "I Have No Filter".  

In order to excel at my work, I need to understand just the raw, unfiltered truth, I ask ten thousand million questions to clients, to get past all their surface generic stuff and get to the unfiltered truth.  Because that’s where clients’ marketable nuggets of gold are – in the unfiltered truth.  My Pillar of Genius "I Have No Filter" is one of my most powerful assets in my work.  Just ask any of my clients who have experienced it, and nailed their genius because of it.

“Take inventory of what you suck at. Look closer. Your genius is hiding there.”

#2 – Your genius is in what drives you completely nuts 

Often what drives you nuts points straight to your non-negotiables – those values or behaviours that everyone knows you will follow – because you just don’t know how to be any other way.  

For example, let’s say bad customer service drives you totally nuts.  You have a bad customer service situation, and your family and friends hear about it for days.  You post it on Facebook.  You wake up in the middle of the night thinking of how that company "should have handled the situation", and write it down on the notepad beside your bed.  

But, let’s say you’re a Massage Therapist.  You might think to yourself "I’m not a "customer service consultant, so this thing has nothing to do with giving a customer a great massage (i.e.: my "real job".)".  

Not so fast, genius.  It likely has *everything* to do with your marketable genius.  

If bad customer service drives you batty, is it possible that every single policy and process in your massage practice is tight as a bow? You run a tight ship.  If a customer service mistake is made, a hand-written apology from you is sent along with an appropriate gift or compensation.  Your receptionist is fully empowered to do whatever it takes to deliver perfect customer service, etc, etc.

Is it possible that if you want to, you could build a training practice of teaching other massage therapists (or chiropractors or naturopaths) how to run a zero-tolerance practice for customer service mess-ups?  You betcha.  Is it possible that your clients choose you – partly for a great massage – and partly because they know they will be treated like GOLD?  Does that differentiate your practice? Of course it does. 

“Look closer. Your genius is hiding in what drives you completely nuts.”

#3 – Your genius is in your "quirks" and So-called flaws

What do your best friends, spouse and family rib you about (hint: it’s usually accompanied by eye-rolling, and statements like "You’re so (fill in the blank: chatty/analytical/perfectionist)?

Listen closer – their ribbings are helping you identify your unique marketable genius.

It could be that you’re the one who creates 20 spreadsheets for a family camping trip.  Or, you have to have the entire home organized and labelled.  Or, like me, you ask overly personal questions to complete strangers, whether it’s a taxi driver or someone in the elevator.

If you’re a Real Estate Agent, and you (for fun) create 20 spreadsheets to go on a family camping trip, you might just see that as "quirky" and having nothing to do with your business.

“Look closer. Your quirks are pointing straight to your marketable genius.”

Is it possible that your approach to finding homes is more powerful because you somehow analyze and organize the data differently that other realtors?  Do you create spreadsheet tools for your clients that organizes everything they need to do?  You might think "well that’s no big deal".  Quirks never seem like a big deal to you.  But they are most likely the exact reason why your Perfect Match Clients™ love working with you.  They love those spreadsheets that come from the same source that your family ribs you about.  

“Work those quirks. They are pointing straight to your unique, marketable genius.”

So what would happen if you looked in these surprising places to find your genius? Simple.  You’d set yourself up to find and market your unique genius.

And what could happen if you find and market your unique genius?  You’d be truly serving your ideal clients with exactly everything you bring to the table – all of you.

Brought to you by Cristi Cooke, creator of the Pillars of Genius™ Method


  1. Nathalie Ng says:

    Hi Cristie,
    I am the one who makes 20 spreadsheets!! Then I can see clearer & make a decision… 🙂
    Great post… I love it! Thank you for bring genius out of us!

  2. Okay, totally love this post. I’m building my business on the belief that I can and will bring all of myself to it, and that all I have to do is figure out how to present all of me so that my perfect clients recognize me and go “yes, that’s MY coach!” I’m so excited about doing this! This post helps me start to think about my genius in different ways – the things that drive some people crazy are the things that other people are looking for. And they’re 100% ME! Thank you!


  1. […] Sometimes it’s hard to see. That’s why I’m constantly teaching (through the Pillars of Genius™ Method), and writing about it in articles like this and this. […]

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