The Biggest Misperception About Zone of Genius

The Biggest Misperception About Zone of Genius

growth mindset loyb podcast Mar 06, 2023

What if your zone of genius isn't really your zone of genius (at least not all the time)?

We all want to spend as much of our time as possible working in our Zone of Genius.

As entrepreneurs, we build out our team, implement systems and automations, and install structure all in the name of being able to spend more time doing our genius work.

Because who doesn't want to spend the time they invest in their business on the things that they do best and the things that they most love to do?

However, there is a tricky belief surrounding your Zone of Genius that can keep business owners stuck...

It's a misunderstanding about how and where Zone of Genius applies.

Because here's the thing...

The thing you do best for others is typically not your zone of genius in your own business.

Tune into this week's episode of the LOYB Podcast where I dive into the biggest misperception I see around zone of genius and what to do about it.

It is a simple shift that will have a big impact on your results!


Listen to Episode 114 of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast to learn more.


When we are working in our zone of genius, clients see us as magical unicorns for being able to do what we do.

And for them, we are.

However, this magical genius, does not often translate into our own businesses. 

We may be the best business strategist in the world for others, and struggle to define the right strategies for our business.

We may be an incredible and transformational coach to others, but struggle to coach ourselves.

I think this often gets mistakenly confused with the adage "the cobbler has no shoes".

Instead of putting pressure on ourselves and thinking, "I should be able to...". 

We need to change our perspective. 

Because the reality is that we often shouldn't be performing our Zone of Genius work for ourselves; instead we should be delegating or hiring.

And here is why: 

We do not have the same perspective or objectiveness when we are inside our own business.

Being on the outside looking in is very different from being on the inside looking out.

The context is different.

Work that feels easy and energizing for a client can feel frustrating and hard for ourselves.



Business owners will spin their wheels thinking that “if I am an incredible strategist or brilliant coach, I should be able to use those skills or apply those skills in my own business.”

However, in my experience, as well as from conversations with others, Zone of Genius just simply doesn't work that way. 

The thing we do so well for others is generally NOT our Zone of Genius in our business.

Therefore, It can be challenging to do things for ourselves in the same way we can produce it for our clients. 

For clients, my Zone of Genius is operations and strategy; and typically I work as their CSOO (Chief Strategy & Operations Officer) on a fractional basis.  

Strategy and operations is what I do better than most.

And, it took me a really long time to realize that I need to hire staff to do those things in my business, because those skills are in my Zone of Genius, not my Zone of Genius for my business. 

There is an important distinction between the two. 

As I’ve been preparing for my next in person retreat, I’ve been reflecting on a testimonial  from one of the attendees.

She kicked off her comments by saying, “I want to tell you why a business strategist spent an entire week away from my clients at a business strategy retreat.”

What really struck me was that she is one of the most brilliant marketing strategists I know, and yet she came to my retreat to work on that for her business. 

She understands the difference between working in her Zone of Genius for her clients and working in her Zone of Genius in her business. 

That's why I think every coach should have a coach. 

And every strategist should have a strategist. 

For business owners to continue to grow, we need to accept the concept that we can't do for ourselves the same things that we do for others.

When we embrace this type of thinking we can focus on the visionary work needed for our business, rather than the tactical work. 



Things to consider when thinking about your Zone of Genius: 

  • What do you consider to be your Zone of Genius? 
  • What is that thing that you just do so incredibly well, for your clients
  • Is it something that you do as well for yourself?
  • Is it something that you even do it all for yourself? 
  • Do you make the space to actually do it for yourself?  


Don't forget to consider these potential blind spots when it comes to applying our Zone of Genius.  

Bring people in to support you with those areas of your business.

Or, make it a priority to carve out time away from your business to focus on those areas. 


Do you need support to simplify and streamline how you scale your business?

  • We are now accepting Visionary CEOs and their right-hand Ops Leads into our signature Simplify to Scale mentorship program. Learn more and join us at
  • Join us for our transformational in-person business retreats and masterminds each Spring and Fall at
  • Have questions? Want to explore partnering together to scale your business? Connect with me on my personal Instagram @cristagrasso or LinkedIn and let’s start a conversation.

by Crista Grasso

Crista Grasso is the go-to strategic planning expert for leading global businesses and online entrepreneurs when they want to scale.  Known as the "Business Optimizer", Crista has the ability to quickly cut through noise and focus on optimizing the core things that will make the biggest impact to scale a business simply and sustainably. She specializes in helping businesses gain clarity on the most important things that will drive maximum value for their clients and maximum profits for their business.  She is the creator of the Lean Out Method, 90 Day Lean Out Planner, and host of the Lean Out Your Business Podcast


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