Finding Your Zone of Genius

UPDATED: May 22, 2024
PUBLISHED: August 2, 2019

Get the clarity on where you find things the most easy, because there are a ton of people out there who that’s not easy for.

The zone of genius starts with being unconsciously incompetent. Realizing that you’re really bad at something, but have no idea whatsoever until someone says, “you’re bad at this.” Then you become consciously incompetent.

Now you know that you’re not very good at something and the next stage is learning. This is the murky stage where we have to show complete vulnerability. As we show that vulnerability and we lean into it, we begin to learn, and that helps us become consciously competent.

Consciously competent is knowing, “I’m really good at this. I’m really, really good at this, and everyone around me knows this,” but that’s not the last stage. The last stage is unconsciously competent and that’s your zone of genius.

Unconsciously competent consists of things that are so easy for you to do that you have no idea why anyone around you is looking around and going, “I can’t do this.” You think it should be so easy for everyone that you discount it. You say, “I don’t have to work at this, so there’s not enough value in it.” You discount your zone of genius and for many of us who want to work for a living, we suddenly say, “well, I’ve gotta make money working hard, so I’m going to go to where I’m consciously incompetent because it’s difficult meaning that people will pay more for it.”

But the truth is, your zone of genius is where you are unconsciously competent. Get the clarity on where you find things the most easy, because there are a ton of people out there who that’s not easy for. Your zone of genius is where you can make the most impact and also where you can make the most money.

Richard Janes is an EmmyⓇ winning Personal Brand expert and the founder of Hollywood based digital agency Fanology. His unique approach to personal branding has launched, revived, and catapulted the careers of many actors, athletes, musicians, television hosts, business executives, and entrepreneurs. He takes a holistic view of personal branding, believing that a personal brand can only be successful if implemented through every aspect of a person’s life and that the key to a successful personal brand is its growth from an individual's unique life purpose.

In 2010, Richard became one of Hollywood’s go-to social media pioneers, working to develop online brands for hundreds of celebrities ranging from Larry King to young Disney stars, such as Ashley Tisdale. Through his strategy and insight, his clients have amassed considerable influence in their chosen fields using their unique gifts and abilities to increase personal wealth and live a more authentic life.

After a serious illness, forced was Richard to take stock of his own life. It was then he created a process called the Minimum Viable Person™, a system inspired by Silicon Valley’s minimum viable product. In adopting the MVP lifestyle, a person is able to define their life purpose, set a mission, take a series of low-risk, high-reward steps to implementing their purpose, and then quickly validate the results their new actions are having across all aspects of their life.

When Richard is not coaching his personal brand clients or speaking on stage, Richard is leading Fanology, a full-service digital agency he founded in 2010. With offices in Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco and Oklahoma City his award-winning team works with industry-leading brands such as Toyota, Lexus, Microsoft, LiveNation, P&G, and The Special Olympics, to identify their Superfans and help tell their stories, build brand loyalty, and attract more customers to cross over and become the enormously valuable Superfan.

In 2018 Richard and his wife relocated their family from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to experience the calmer life of Oklahoma living where they spend their time fishing, riding horses, and enjoying the weather. When not commuting between Fanology’s offices, traveling for speaking engagements, or visiting his personal brand clients, Richard sits on a number of boards and continues to flex his love of storytelling through various writing, directing, and acting projects.