I wrote a review of the Strengths Finder 2.0 book because I recommend the book/test, and this way you can get a better understanding of how it will help you with business ideas. There are a lot of other options for finding your strengths. However, I have found this solution to be the most actionable and accurate test. Having accurate data is important if you are using it for business ideas. Keep reading to find out why.
Please note, this is not an ad. I’m not making any money by writing about this book. I’m just really impressed with the concept and want to share my results.
About the book
Right from the beginning of the book, Tom Rath (the author) presents several examples with credible data for support. These examples told great stories of how people become successful in business and life when they stopped focusing on their weaknesses and focused on their strengths.
For people who like visual representations, Tom does a great job at creating equations and mental images to better present his case for strengths. The remainder of the book discusses in detail the strengths that they have defined, how they relate to your life, what aspects you should focus on, and actionable steps.
The Gallup team who creates this test has surveyed over 10 million people! From this massive sample of interviews, they generated 177 questions that provide a deep and accurate understanding of the strengths you possess.
With Strengths Finder 2.0, they took this to the next step and made further adjustments from the improvements they saw they could make from the original test.
Why I bought this book?
Back when I was in high school I attended the Washington Business Week, and heard this incredible story about Tiger Woods when he was in his golfing prime. He was known for his long drives that would land in perfect spots on the fairway. From there, he could confidently get on the green and the rest was history.
However, one of Tiger’s greatest weaknesses was the sand bunkers. If he hit a shot into a bunker, he was known for his below industry average ability for making a decent shot out. As his career progressed, he never concentrated on improving his weakness though.
Tiger continued to work on his long drives, one of his key strengths. He knew that if he mastered that he would never have to worry about getting out of the sand. An interesting concept about a world-famous athlete who only concentrated on his strengths.
This story gave me the inspiration to follow my strengths, and stop wasting my time attempting to get better at the stuff that I will struggle to excel in. So I decided to buy this book when I was thinking of business ideas I could potentially start.
From what I have learned about entrepreneurship and business ideas over the years, catering to your strengths and learning how to fill in the gaps with resources is an essential skill to have. This knowledge becomes extremely crucial when starting a business because it can identify areas of where you can differentiate, but also where you will need to hire or bring others on board to fill your weaknesses.
What I liked about the book
First off, I really enjoyed how the beginning of the book presents research and scientific data to support their claims about focusing on your strengths. There is a lot of support for working on your weaknesses out there, so it is important to set the tone for how you need to take action if you want this book to work for you.
Secondly, the results of the test come with a thorough list of 10 unique points for how you can take action, in both your personal and professional life. The author makes it easy to relate to regarding what you are good at, and lists tasks that will help you succeed. This approach is really helpful because without it you are left knowing what your strengths are but never applying them because you don’t have actionable steps.
The official report that the test produces is quite impressive. It breaks down each strength into segments so you can see how you can apply each strength in and outside of work, which most strength tests don’t do.
The achievement section of the report is extremely valuable too. It dives into how you can achieve better results with your strengths using case studies from people who have used this book and reached success. The great part of this section is that it can help guide you down the road when you are taking action. If you are feeling like your actions are not reaching any results, you can simply refer to these studies and see if there is room for improvement. Sometimes it takes patience too.
This book is not only great for discovering your strengths but when you take a step back you are able to see the gaps in your strengths. This is very important to know when you go to develop a business idea and take into account your resources available.
Your strengths are a tool in your entrepreneurial resources.
For example, if you were thinking of a business idea in a sector that involved a knowledge and strength for being analytical, say a financial technology business idea, you would want to make sure you have strong analytical skills. If not, this would be an excellent sign that you may need a co-founder if you would want to move forward with that idea.
The book and test even come with a smartphone app! It can be great having all this information about being aware, applying and achieving success with your strengths, but who wants to carry a report in the back of their pocket? Not me. You can find the time when you are on the bus or on your lunch break to review how you could take one step closer to aligning yourself with your strengths.
Lastly, I love how credible and accurate the studies were that the team conducted to create this product. Although I touched on this in the About the Book section, I was absolutely blown away by the vigorous surveys and tests they conducted.
My personal results from the book
After taking this test, which took about 40 minutes of my time, these were my results:
As someone with this strength, I tend to love learning. It is not always the outcome of learning such as gaining new knowledge, but it is the process that is fulfilling. However, this does not mean I want to become a subject matter expert in everything. It simply means I enjoy learning in whatever I do. To further capitalize on this strength, the book recommends to seek roles in my life where things are constantly changing, so I must adapt and learn to keep up.
The strength of drive and ambition. As an achiever, I strive to get the most out of every day. If I feel like I didn’t accomplish something related to my goals, I may feel like I didn’t have a good day. An action I can take to increase this strength is to make sure I take time to recognize and count my successes in life. This will give me satisfaction and motivation to move to my next goal.
As a relator, I like to socialize and be around people that I feel are similar to me. The book says that once I have a connection with someone, I should strive to deepen that relationship. One thing I can do to better this strength is to take time for meeting new people and exploring new relationships, where I can relate to people’s circumstances.
The name for this one is not as straightforward as the others. This strength means that I collect things. Whether that is information, stuff, or valuables, I like to collect it because it interests me. Usually, I will do this because it will be useful now, or I’ll want to utilize later on. This strength ties directly into the learning strength as I want to know a lot of things. The research recommends that I schedule the time to read books and articles with stuff I am interested in.
This strength is associated with the liking of data and preciseness. The ability to “see patterns, structure, and formats before they exist” is a characteristic that analytical people possess. The book recommends that I take action on my analysis results, which will make sure I don’t end up over-analyzing everything and take no action.
What I didn’t like about the book
Although the book does a great job introducing their thought process, I would have liked more explanations in the test methodology. As someone who is analytical (identified from this strengths test) I would love to read about how they conducted their studies. It is one thing to do deep interviews with 10 million people, and it is another thing to ask 10 million people two questions each.
There was not much I could find that I didn’t like about this test. Which is the exact reason why myself and so many others promote this over the alternatives.
Compared to Other Strengths Tests for Purchase: Kolbe A Index
I have also taken the Kolbe A Index test in the past. Shorter than Strengths Finder, this test takes about 25 minutes. This test was also quite valuable for finding your strengths and what you are naturally good at, however, I found it complicated to follow along and more scientific than the Strengths Finders Test.
Kolbe seems to add a lot of jargon and complicated explanations to the process, so I found it hard to feel inspired to take action. Strengths Finder 2.0 does a great job at breaking down the explanations of everything in easy to read and understand sentences. There is no scientific jargon thrown in or complicated graphs to explain what your strengths are.
The Kolbe test also does not give as clear instructions about the actions and steps you can take to improve upon your natural talents. Instead, they outline certain personal ways of living and careers you should consider. Although somewhat helpful, I find this approach to be a bit misleading. For someone like myself who is analytical, a career suited for an analytical person could be an investment banker, meteorologist, or aerospace engineer. However, there are a lot more aspects to these jobs that are not analytical that could clash with my other strengths.
The Strengths Finder test deals with this by suggesting ways of doing certain tasks or choosing to do certain tasks a different way. This means you don’t have to change careers to utilize your strengths. Instead, you can change how you perform tasks to find fulfillment in your strengths.
Compared to the free stuff
You know how the saying goes, you get what you pay for, and if it is free, well don’t expect anything too elaborate. The free tests don’t do the greatest job.
For example, I took the “Multiple Intelligences” strengths test, a free test online, and was quite disappointed with the results after spending 15 minutes answering 50 questions. The results were broken into three pieces, language, musical, and logic/math. A weird way to rank strengths.
Overall, I do not recommend this free test.
By diving into what this book is about, how it has helped me, and its comparisons to the other tests out there, I hope this review gives you some more insight on this product. If you are debating choosing this test over the other ones you can purchase, this review should help clarify some of the questions you have.
I always recommend this book to any close friend or family member because I know it can help them develop happiness and success in their life like I have for myself by focusing on my strengths.
*Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link so I will gain a small commission if you choose to purchase this product through this link.