Count Your Assets

We’ve all heard the phrase, “count your blessings,” and heaven knows it’s a smart thing to do. Today, however, I’m writing about counting your assets– and I’m not talking about your stock holdings, your super-charged SUV, or your ocean front property. I’m talking about the assets you have that you may not recognize as valuable, and so forget to take pride in and display.

Why am I talking about this now? Because as we head into summer’s social season I often discover people are uncomfortable due to a perception that they are somehow less than their host or their fellow guests because they don’t have a grazillion dollars in the bank, or a degree from an Ivy League school, or a children’s birthday party complete with pony rides and petting zoo. This perception hinders them from presenting their most relaxed, confident, enthusiastic selves. Those are the qualities, however, that actually make a terrific guest.

What are intangible assets? Here, a few examples from my team:

My friend John has an extraordinary ability to recognize—and harder still—articulate why something is beautiful. This asset makes him a delight to have around because his appreciation is so genuine and his compliments so on-target. My friend Sarah is a master storyteller. Her ability to capture a group’s attention and then get everyone involved in the story inevitably breaks the ice between other guests. By the time she’s finished, it’s hard to get a word in edgewise. And my friend Greg is a genius on the dance floor, so skillful that he can make any partner look coordinated and at ease.

So the next time you find yourself dreading a social situation because you think you don’t measure, take a moment to consider some of the intangible assets you will surely be bringing to the party. In addition to any or all of the above you might, for example, have an ability to draw others out one-on-one, or a boundless supply of arcane topics with which to dazzle the guest no one else can chat with, or a gift for finding common ground between guests who’ve just perpetuated an awkwardness (Another important thing to realize? Other people are likely feeling uncomfortable, too…)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said, “Give what you have. To someone it may be better than you dare to think.”Defining your intangible, yet invaluable, assets will help you remember what a wonderful asset you are.

Frances Cole Jones