Lett's Set A Spell

Ideas for using time and talents wisely
Sep. 15, 2013 @ 06:00 PM

While reading “The Laws of Lifetime Growth, Always Make Your Future Bigger Than Your Past,” written by business coach and professional speaker Dan Sullivan, I am learning more about how people can utilize their time and talents more effectively. 

Sullivan says that everyone spends their time in four different areas: Incompetent, Competent, Excellence and Unique Ability, and the most important is Unique Ability.

Sullivan says these four areas are important because they make up every person’s life. Here is how he describes them: 

1) Incompetent

Each person has an area in life where he/she is incompetent. It may not be obvious to everyone, but for an individual this area is where one feels frustrated because he lacks expertise and interest. Sullivan felt overwhelmed with finances and failed miserably with economics so he figured out that he must hire someone to take care of this part of his business. 

2) Competent

This area is where a person competes with others, but sometimes no matter how hard he tries he cannot climb to stardom. Looking back, when I owned a public relations company in Raleigh, I realized I was really good with my duties, contacts and clients, but I could never rise to the top in my field. Why? Because I just couldn’t put my heart into the business. 

People would literally offer to pay me just to have lunch and pick my brain, but I never felt like an expert because I didn’t believe in myself or honor my contributions. I needed greater self-expression and eventually found it through writing.

3) Excellence 

The third area is excellence where an individual has developed talents and perfected skills, but lacks passion in his/her field of expertise. Many people operate on this level and may feel happy but unfulfilled. When I left behind my public relations company and retreated to the country to write books, I realized it was not enough to do what I loved and expect the money to follow. I had to bring my craft to a level of excellence and eventually published four nostalgia books to create ongoing income. This adventure was rewarding for several years, but ultimately I longed for something more.

Now I am writing articles about creating prosperity professionally and personally and also teaching workshops on how to succeed in business and to thrive in life. As I create excellence in this arena, my next book “Risking It All” will be ready for publication. 

4) Unique Ability

Sullivan calls the fourth area our unique ability because it is an effortless talent — we love to do it and it comes naturally. Even as a child, I penned poetry and prose because words flowed through me. I believe that my unique ability is writing, and while my topics vary, I am always excited when I am creating at the computer. 

While always involved in interesting projects I have spoken to hundreds of audiences through the years on a wide range of topics. Recently I figured out that I am most comfortable just sharing stories and ideas that inspire and motivate others. I am discovering how my unique ability flows through me when I trust the Holy Spirit to speak through me.

Sullivan believes that each person has an incredible force inside comprised of our talents, skills and passions. Through coaching sessions, workshops, articles, books and exercises, Sullivan helps other people identify their unique abilities, focus on their core competencies and prosper personally as well as professionally. 

Like Sullivan, I believe the only way we can become totally fulfilled is to find our passion as a person, to discover joy in whatever our chosen career, whether it is a mother or father, receptionist or company president.

Success is not about being in the limelight and/or making lots of money, but about living in harmony with our heart’s desire and expressing our talents and sharing our special abilities with others. 


AlexSandra Lett is a professional speaker and the author of “Natural Living, From Stress to Rest;” “A Timeless Place, Lett’s Set a Spell at the Country Store;” “Timeless Moons, Seasons of the Fields and Matters of the Heart;” “Timeless Recipes and Remedies, Country Cooking, Customs, and Cures;” and “Coming Home to my Country Heart, Timeless Reflections about Work, Family, Health, and Spirit.” Lett can be reached at (919) 258-9299 or LettsSetaSpell@aol.com.