I’ve been to a lot of coaching seminars and trainings in my day. Team building, coaching, continuining education, you name it. Suffice to say, I’m pretty familiar with the vernacular. So this week, not being familiar with a new term caught me a bit off guard. The term in question: multiplier.
The dictionary defines ‘multiplier’ as “an instrument or device for multiplying or intensifying some effect.”
I am fresh off of finishing two days of prep training for presenting at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As part of the training all of the presenters were asked to write down their ‘multiplier.’ As presenters, some of the qualities listed were: strong captivating presence, enthusiasm, and energy. Our trainer suggested that each one of us has our own multiplier. Mine is my genuine nature and earnestness. Not perhaps as cool as superhuman strength, but I’ll take it.
Indeed, everyone has a multiplier. That difference maker also can vary depending on the context - as presenter, as an athlete, as a friend, and so on. Some people even have two multipliers, an “A” and a “B.” Finding our multiplier is fairly easy for some, while difficult for others. For many of us it’s not clear-cut in establishing our stand apart strengths. “What makes me special?” is a question that sometimes seems a bit superficial. However, it’s in defining our X-factor that we start to hone in on the pathway to true success. The reality in this day and age is that differentiation is critical to success. We are all bombarded with different choices and impressions thousands of times a day. What is going to be the deciding factor in how we make decisions? Yup, the multiplier.
In business, we are told to establish our elevator pitch. That is, a thirty-second pitch to define what makes us unique and special. In essence, our business multiplier. Certainly the application in the business world is obvious, but what about applying the multiplier to our individual lives, our health, and our wellness.
Establishing our multiplier helps us with creating the right strategy as an athlete and it also helps with setting a foundation in fitness and wellness. For instance, say I have a client and we establish that their multiplier is flexibility. In expanding on the concept I realize that flexibility must be the foundation of their program. Flexibility is their go-to strength, so we enhance it to use it like a superpower. We create a lifestyle based in and around activities where flexibility is king.
I then look for other ways in which the client might improve upon their ‘flexibilty.’ After all, if the body can be flexible, so must follow the mind. I might encourage this individual to discover the ways they may be more flexible in their daily life. Perhaps there is an aversion to something or a block nutritionally. Perhaps there is a resistance to something never attempted where flexibility can be a tremendous asset. An example I see a lot is someone who has a hesitation to boxing and the martial arts because of the negative associations with such endeavors. However, one with a high degree of flexibility has a tremendous advantage as a martial artist. It’s a great multiplier.
In economics there is a ‘multiplier effect.’ That is, an aggregate effect on output from an initial investment in spending. For instance, investing in building a factory can mean increased, jobs, productivity, and wage earners who spend money on goods. We must think of ourselves as individual factories. In other words, we must make our initial ‘investment’ in enhancing and refining the ‘output’ we produce that comes about through our best qualities.
Often times, we as humans focus on our shortcomings and beat ourselves up on what we don’t do well. Could it be that our lack of success in the area(s) lacking comes from not developing our strengths well enough? I would contend that when playing with a strong hand we are more likely to stay in the game, not to mention enjoy it as well. We must develop that hand by shuffling the deck in our favor.
In fitness and wellness, everyone has a multiplier or something we are naturally inclined and built to do. I honestly feel that everyone likes and is even good at something physically - from hiking, to ballroom dancing, to tennis, to yoga. Start there. You are going to enjoy what you are good at and you are going to be good at what you enjoy. With this in mind I have even told clients in the past to quit the gym or an exercise program. Not to give up, mind you, but perhaps their efforts and energies are best spent doing activates outside the gym. You hate running and lifting weights? Fine, what is your multiplier physically speaking? Build from that.
My brother never loved the gym in the way I took to it. However, as an expert skier he realized that being stronger and having more endurance would help him be an even better skier. He started with his multiplier in fitness and sport – his talent and enthusiasm for downhill skiing. He then built from there, and while he is not quite a gym rat, he stays committed to the process because he laid the foundation from his multiplier. You don’t necessarily need a gym, a diet, or an exercise plan to be in great shape and have success in fitness and wellness, you need a multiplier.