The basic SWOT Analysis –
We all know that SWOT is a short form that stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. We may have heard or done it for our business/ employees/ products etc. It is a very basic but useful model to understand our business and work accordingly in future.
Have you ever done your own SWOT for self awareness and truth?
Who should learn to do SWOT?
Every human who wants to grow in life personally or financially should do a SWOT for oneself for better analysis.
This cannot be done by 1 strategy but a set of different techniques to know our self.
This article will be discussing 1 basic , simple technique of SWOT. We will also be connecting the same with our real self rather than perceived self. This will really give us a picture of our true being.
Why is it very important in today’s time to do our own SWOT?
Lets understand this as a chain of reactions happening in our body and mind in steps –
Step 1 – We experience a Stimuli or a situation occurs.
2 – We feel the situation through our sense organs (our eyes see, our skin feel the touch, our nose smells, Our ears listen, Tongue taste)
3 – After experiencing it we convert that feeling into emotions in a particular way.
4 – Those feelings and emotions make us think about the situation in a particular way.
At step 1 and 2 we are unaware.
At step 3 and 4 we convert the signals in our environment into meaningful messages. This process is known as our perception I.e. the way in which we understand something. Every person has a different Perception for the same situation.
Self SWOT is necessary for us so that we become aware of our perception. Knowing our true self helps us to –
- Change our perception.
- Understand and see things the way they are.
- We become less judgemental and more factual.
- We are able to control our emotions in a better way.
- The more we understand our internal self , the more we are able to understand the world around us.
Difference between perception and reality
1) Finding your real strength.
For Example we have seen many a times that a singer comes on some country idol singing program. He PERCEIVES his singing to be very good. He has got a lot of appreciation and motivation from his family. But when he sings on the stage he becomes the medium of laughter.
Features of strength –
- Acceptance – In a sense we can say that your strength is something that other people also accept unless its so new that you do it for the very first time and people don’t know about it.
- Competitive Advantage – Strength can be a particular talent, speed , quality which can be ranked at the top in competition.
- Comparison – We say a person has a particular Strength; when we COMPARE, which is how the society works. We say a person has a strength in a trait when he is better than others in that trait.
- Internal & External – As per the SWOT model; strength is INTERNAL I.e. it comes from within us. But we can also create strength by practicing it daily. Therefore we should not limit our self to only those qualities which we are aware of. We should try doing different things in life. By exposing our mind to the mystical things of the universe; we can explore our different strength.
- Keep Searching your strengths – You know in the world there are people who start their business in 50 years of age and get fame late. Searching your strengths within yourself is a continuous process.
In the above example the strength of the singer is not accepted by the society , it is not having any competitive advantage. In comparison as well the strength falls down as it is only the perceived strength of that singer.
So we need to make a clear difference between our perception and reality.
Cutting down and making your strength simple – Finding your niche
Once we know the concept of strength, it is really important that we break it down to the maximum detail. Guys as the competition is increasing , it’s the need of the hour to accept the phrase that “God is in the details“. Now a days population has increased, competition is increasing, and many people have the same talent. We need to find our micro niche strength to have an advantage of being unique.
Example – If you say communication is your strength then many people have it. It is a very broad topic. Having communication as your strength does not leave any impact on others . What in communication is your strength? Is it that you can speak in 10 different accents, or you can communicate with the most difficult introverts or rude people and get to persuade them.
If you say that selling is your best skill then again it is not a strength anymore. Even if you go for an interview in the company , no one will buy what you are saying. So we need to break it down to what exactly are you good at selling. Are you good at selling a niche product? Are you good at selling high technological product to village customers who don’t know technology at all? Or you are best at selling to a market where the customers are dormant and have very less purchasing power capacity.
“As people get smart, smart get mediocre.”
2) Finding your real weakness.
Our weakness is an illusion if we have weak will power (read twice).
If our emotional quotient is low. Or simply said if we get emotional on small things, our heart starts beating faster, we panic easily; it means we are not controlling our thoughts. Our thoughts are the major source of the way we feel.
Example Person A who is content developer at our company feels that his content writing is very good but his perceived weakness is that he cannot write long content for more than 10 pages. So I did a small experiment. He was given content to be made on the topic of a belief which he truly opposes. Result was ; he wrote more than required.
Our subconscious mind always try to pull us back by telling what worse can happen; even before the actual occurrence of the same. Many a times we believe that our subconscious is true and we make it a rule. This is our perceived weakness.
- Nick Vujicic – A man with no arms, legs became a famous motivation speaker and enjoys every activity in his life.
- Arunima Sinha lost her leg but Two years later, she became the first woman amputee to climb Mount Everest.
- Stephen Hawking suffering from ALS is a famous physicist, professor who has won many medals and awards.
- Sudha Chandra got her right leg amputated after an accident yet she became a very famous classical dancer.
There are many in our world who prove the below statement correct.
“Weakness is a state of mind rather than a real problem.”
So first we need to accept that (Features of Weakness) –
- There is no such weakness in the world that we cannot work on and improve.
- Weakness change with time as we land in different phases of life.
- It stays temporarily with us till the time we work on it.
- We can convert our weakness into strength when we accept it, face it and don’t get disturbed by it.
3) How to know whether a situation is really an opportunity for us? How to find opportunity?
Opportunities come from the Universe as they are external. Its those lucky days, situation or chances that we keep on getting in our life. If we use that chance as per our advantage then we can really benefit from its result.
“Our strength is of no use if we do not convert it into achievement through use of an opportunity.”
To convert our strength into an opportunity just follow simple steps –
- Make 4 columns. In the 1st column just write your strength or what are you good at.
- In 2nd column write the real time market situations where you can use those strengths.
- 3rd write how you can turn that strength into an opportunity by using market situation. You can also combine 2 different strength to make use of 1 opportunity.
- In 4th column you make a plan to use that opportunity and turn it into achievement or result.
Lets do a simple 2 min exercise , please do not scroll further to the idea. Just give it a thought for 10 seconds.
Person A strengths are – Writing story, Making continental dishes, Rhyming
How to utilize strength?
If A clubs strength 1 and 3 he can make a rap song.
What Market situation can be linked?
In movies nowadays we are adding mashups and rap to tell a story rather than a song with dancers .
How to get results or use opportunity?
Sell your raps to a rapper who can give it music and voice.
4) Threat is danger or a hindrance for us which does not let us convert an opportunity into achievement.
Threats are generally like –
- Downfall in the market
- Change in the taste and preferences of the customer
- Change in the government policy
- Fluctuations in the rules of export and import
- A hard competition – Duplicate product selling at lower cost, watsapp came as the biggest threat to all messengers
- A particular technology getting obsolete
- Threat is also related to the uncertain behaviour of future tc
We need to inculcate a fixed percentage of threat in our planning, which can cause failure.
For example – In covid 19 epidemic lockdown; many daily worker’s job were lost, work was shut down fir factories causing damage to machines. Social distancing also caused the loss to many delivery executives, cab drivers, restaurants. It really hampered the world economy badly.
Threat is something that we may not be able to control therefore we need to be flexible and going in life.
To control or minimise the effect of any kind of threat we need –
- Aware and Alert – To be aware and alert of the current situation
- Prediction – Above Awareness help us to predict the future problems
- Action – Prediction helps us to take necessary action in advance to cause minimum damage
In the above example :
31st December 2019 – Covid-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China as an unknown cause of disease.
30 January 2020 – The outbreak was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by WHO.
23 January 2020 – Lockdown begun in Wuhan and other nearby cities
This was the biggest threat to the entire world where the disease in China should have been studied and analysed very thoroughly and immediate steps should have been taken.
Many countries started taking the steps but the common people were not aware of the dangerous effects and spread mechanism of covid – 19 till Jan End.
There were predictions done by many visionary but no proactive steps were taken as such. Travelling was still happening across the world in the initial months. Many countries faced shortage of beds in hospitals. Scams of sanitiser, mask , medicines started happening. And unfortunately we lost several life’s and lakhs of people got ill.
Predicting this threat and taking possible actions could have lowered the cases, deaths and spread of the deadly corona virus.
Being alert and proactive helps in predicting the future threats which further can help to reduce the damages which are related to it.
To sum up a good self SWOT can give us a good indication of how to take our future decisions for benefit.