The most impactful step you can take to uplevel your business - Dr. Marianne van den Broek

The most impactful step you can take to uplevel your business

In my work with ambitious female entrepreneurs, I found that a number of changes will help their business grow, no matter what level their business is at. 

The most impactful change you can make to uplevel your business?


Work in your zone of genius more.


The phrase zone of genius was first used by Gay Hendricks in his book: ‘The Big Leap’. 

​In this book, he describes four different zones:

  • Your zone of incompetence – the things you CAN’T do
  • Your zone of competence – the things you CAN do, but other people are clearly better at it
  • Your zone of excellence – the things you’re highly skilled at, and better at than most people
  • You zone of genius – the ONE thing you do better than anyone else you know, that energizes you and you create massive value doing it

Work in your zone of genius as much as possible

As to be expected, Hendricks advises us to work in our zone of genius as much as possible. He sets the bar pretty high, by recommending that we aim for spending 70% in our zone of genius!

Working in your zone of genius more and more has some benefits I’m sure you’ll love:

  • You’re giving your very best to your clients – which increases the odds they have amazing transformations as a result of working with you – which might just make them lifelong super fans who will rave about what you do and send more potential clients your way!
  • When you create content from your zone of genius, it will work as a magnet for the people who are meant to work with you. Say hello to requests for discovery calls just magically landing in your inbox!
  • Working in your zone of genius doesn’t even feel like work. In fact, it GIVES you energy to do this kind of work, so you can actually have a life after your workday finishes, instead of vegging out on the couch watching Netflix.

I know what you’re thinking: That’s impossible! 

I have a business to run, no way I can spend 70% of my time doing this one thing!

And perhaps also: “Omg…if I had to do the same thing for 70% of the time, I would rather die…”

Black and white picture of woman behind laptop

Common misconceptions about the zone of genius

1. Your zone of genius is a broad activity, like being a really good listener. 

I hear this one a lot. But actually, your zone of genius is much narrower. It’s a tiny thing you do within that broader activity: that’s where the magic happens.
For example: you are a very good listener (strength) – your zone of genius could be:

  • listening in a way that the other feels heard, seen and understood
  • hearing the thing that ISN’T actually said, but that’s what the problem is really about
  • being very objective and being able to give back which are the facts, and which components of the story are colored by the experience of the person telling the story and could be rephrased in order for them to feel more power over their situation.

2. If you work more and more in your zone of genius, you will eventually get bored. 

This is a big one for entrepreneurs! We love the flexibility and freedom that comes with having our own business, and we hate the idea of tying ourselves down, even if it’s in our zone of genius that’s supposedly a really good place to be… But as I explained above: your zone of genius is a small component of your activities. And therefore, you can change business ideas, or even start a new business, as often as you like and continue to work in your zone of genius.

For example: our good listener from example 1a could use this gift as a virtual assistant, as a coach, as a teacher, as a researcher…

3.  Working in your zone of genius should feel easy. 

Sorry to disappoint you, but: no. Working in your zone of genius in the moment itself can definitely feel easy. But it also takes courage to make the decision to work more and more in your zone of genius. The zone that feels most comfortable is your zone of excellence. Remember? The zone where you work with the things you are highly skilled at, and that other people expect you to provide? This is an important pitfall: many women I work with keep feeling the seduction of returning to their zone of excellence. It’s more predictable, it feels safer. But the zone of genius is where the true magic lies. 


So be brave and choose your genius!


Not sure what your zone of genius is?

You're in luck! I just did a masterclass on it in my free Facebook group Thriving Entrepreneur Sisterhood.

Or, if you prefer the shortcut:

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