So here it is 2020.   What are you going to do with it?  Like many people you probably have a list of resolutions to make this year the best year ever. Also, like many people, you may know what your Top 5 Cliftonstrengths are, but do you know how to optimize your strengths to create the 2020 that you want?

We usually build our list of resolutions on our weaknesses. This year let’s start differently, building on our strengths instead of just focusing on our weaknesses. Being more intentional about learning your Strengths will move you toward creating life and work that you were born to do.

Your Top 5 Strengths are more than just a theory or a nice-to-know. Your strengths help you learn what you naturally do best, where you have the most potential, and what makes you unique. Here are five steps that will help you use the customized results of your Clifton Strengthsfinder assessment to make meaningful choices, address challenges, and create the 2020 that you desire.

  1. Personalize your top 5 signature strengths. You can probably list your top five, but that is not the same as knowing them. Learn what each strength is about. For example, if Learner ® is one of your top five, know that it is in the Strategic Thinking category. Check out the Clifton Strengths page to find out about all your strengths.
  2. Customize ideas for action. Use the dashboard that is customized just for you on the Gallup Access platform. On this dashboard, you will find resources and tools that will help you use your strengths to build the 2020 you want. Your customized CliftonStrengths reports and guides help you discover how to create a life using what you naturally do best.
  3. Vocalize your strengths to describe what you do best. Now you know what each of your strengths is and how they make you unique. Use your strengths vocabulary when talking to others to communicate your needs, wants, goals, projects, preferences, etc.
  4. Deputize undervalued strengths in yourself. Most of us downplay the power of our key Strengths. Give your strengths authority, bring them into the spotlight and do the powerful things you were born to do.
  5. Optimize with a Strengths Strategy plan. Use all the information about your strengths to create an action plan for an optimal 2020. Click here if you would like a complimentary One Page Strengths Strategy Handout to guide you.

When you know and are secure in your value, you can take action to use your strengths and advocate for yourself. By taking action you will be more engaged and have the tools you need to create the 2020 you want.

How are you going to optimize your strengths to build the 2020 that you want?

Please let us know in the comments below or schedule a free Ask Brent Anything to talk with me if you have questions about how to optimize your strengths.


Decision-making is hard for many people. I have a friend who says the worst thing you can say to them is, “where do you want to go eat?’ But then there are those people who love to be part of the decision-making process—no matter what is being decided?

Strategic® is a CliftonStrengths® talent theme that creates alternative ways to proceed. They quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

If you ask a Strategic individual how they came up with a strategy, many times, they can’t tell you. That’s because strategy comes naturally. Strategic people are always asking, “What if this or that happens?” They identify all the what ifs, select a route, and strike fast. 

Strategic thinkers see around the corner and focus on saving time. They aren’t interested in extraneous information; they want to get to the target. Some are pinned as devil’s advocates, but most people with this strength aren’t trying to be defensive or combative. They are only looking for the most efficient way to succeed. 

Coaching and training with Strategic people, I help them create specific goals, articulate their dreams, maximize their relationships, and have those “aha” moments we all long for. 

Strategic individuals can help identify patterns that are otherwise overlooked and, with these patterns, create a plan—whether it’s a marketing plan, a speaking plan, or a business development plan.

How do entrepreneurs with the Strategic talent scale their business and make a living doing what they love? Jeff Bezos is a Strategic example.

Bezo’s monetizes his Strategic talent as an American internet, aerospace entrepreneur, media proprietor, and investor. He is best known as the founder, Chief executive officer, and president of, Inc. The first centi-billionaire on the Forbes wealth index, Bezos was named the “richest man in modern history” after his net worth increased to $150 billion in July 2018. In September 2018, Forbes described him as “far richer than anyone else on the planet” as he added $1.8 billion to his worth when Amazon became the second company in history to have a market cap of $1 trillion.

When he created Amazon Bezo’s decided that he would start with the beachhead strategy, and he has dominated every category Amazon has entered. What is the beachhead strategy you ask? The beachhead strategy comes from the military strategy of winning a small border area that becomes a stronghold, and once you have that stronghold, you can advance to the rest of the territory. The small border area is known as the beachhead. In business, the idea is to focus your resources on a small market area (such as a product category or smaller market segment) to turn it into a stronghold before advancing to the broader market or product categories. The beachhead strategy allowed Amazon to dominate a small area first, and from there, they entered and dominated the rest of the market. 

The beachhead strategy of starting in books (did you remember that Amazon started off as a bookseller?) began Bezo’s attempt to attack from the lines of least resistance. Had Amazon started off in every category from the first day, he’d be fighting off competitors from every side. Instead, Bezo’s choose books, and as Amazon dominated books, he added category after category in the lowest margin business surviving without profits for decades to bleed the competitors dry and increase the number of Prime subscribers. Prime has been a brilliant piece of Amazon strategy. Now that we are in the Christmas season think of all the Prime members who are shopping online. Even when it is not the holiday season, Prime members return to Amazon to spend more money on each new category Amazon enters.

What strategy are you currently using in your business to move it forward? Would the beachhead strategy be a strategy that you could use in your business? Tell me about your strategy below. 

Are you not sure about a strategy for your business? Schedule your ask Brent Anything call, and let’s talk about it.



Have you met someone that seems to always be picking up a new skill, new hobby, or new career?  Do you wonder what makes these people so curious about learning so many things?  These people may have the strength of Learner®.

People with the Learner strength are not interested in learning because it offers a certificate or degree, but simply because they love the process of learning. Learners want to know about the world and what makes it work, and they can’t get enough. Sometimes we call them professional students because they are perpetually taking classes. Learners benefit from understanding their unique learning style. Some people learn by reading or watching, and others learn through experience—a kinesthetic approach. Self-awareness is critical, especially in terms of how a Learner learns best.

Ideally, Learners could track their learning as a means of building self-confidence. Tracking their continuing education units, how many books they’ve read, how many people they’ve interviewed, or all the data that they have discovered helps build the confidence to teach others. Learners love novelty. They can be the folks that help others embrace and enjoy change.

Latham Shinder is one of the highest-paid memoir ghostwriters in the country and also my business mentor buddy. Latham loves learning architecture, business, storytelling, and even technology. He’s studied architecture from Kansas State University, the law in Zimbabwe Africa, and business at California State University.

Latham’s learner strength has helped him become America’s No. 1 Memoir Ghostwriter who loves writing the memoir of doctors, multi-million, and even billionaire entrepreneurs. He says, “it is what I think of as “personal experience, lessons learned” books.”

Using his love of learning and aiming it to writing has made Latham the highest-paid memoir ghostwriter in the world. From his home in Colorado, he works to write these books with a personal narrative that reads like a New York Times Best Seller. A war memoir, a business memoir, and a medical memoir that ebbs and flows like an edgy thriller. People who feed his love of learning. If you check out his website at, you will see from the comments of his clients that Latham delivers maximum quality for a smooth $400,000 per book.


What are some ways that you can leverage your Learner strength to make a living doing what you love? 

Learners should take advantage of continuing education programs at their workplace. If you are a Learner, find out if your employer is willing to pay for your education so you can reach that next level of learning and career success. Learners are also good friends of technology because technology is constantly changing. Remember, as with any strength, it’s important for Learners to focus their abilities in one or two expert areas. Learners should find areas where they will shine, where they can grow stronger, work smarter, live richer.

How will you monetize your learner strength so that like Latham you can be one of the highest paid at whatever your heart desires? 

Tell me your thoughts below.  Are you stuck with how you might monetize your strength in your career?  Schedule your Ask Brent anything call and get that forward motion.