“What are your strengths?”

This was a surprisingly difficult question to answer for both me and Valerie Saindon, the 44th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers.

Val quickly thought of a first strength – being good with people. That’s true: Val is fun and vivacious.

However, it took Val longer to think of a second strength – feeling passion for whatever goal she’s pursuing.

Val couldn’t think of a third strength, which is probably why she then turned the question on me.

I quickly thought of a first strength – writing. But I had to scratch my head before I thought of a second – being a good communicator. 

At that point, I was all out of strengths.

We both thought it strange that while we can quickly observe other people’s strengths, we often find it hard to identify our own.

Why this discussion about strengths? It came as we discussed the challenges we face in our newish businesses. Val has a yoga business, Victory Yoga, while I have a marketing agency.

I know Val will succeed, because she has plenty of other strengths, including intelligence, curiosity and compassion. Yes, all those strengths were readily apparent.