Forget about improving on your weaknesses. Build on your strengths.

It’s a curious fact of life – at least in America – that there’s often such an emphasis on remediation: looking at where you’re weak, then trying to come up with ways to “fix what’s wrong.”

What an energy sucker.

Many times we under-perform in areas that we don’t enjoy and don’t have interest in.  My hubby is a case in point: He got very so-so grades in school subjects that bored him, but aced those courses where the topic delighted him. As I’ve often told him, he was just an average student, but an exceptional learner; it was simply a matter of the right motivation.

What’s the point in focusing on what’s “wrong”? What kind of return do you really get on trying to shore up your weaknesses? There are studies from as far back as the 1950’s indicating that, if you spend your time building on activities where you’re already a high performer, you’ll get significantly greater results than you would if you put your energies into getting your areas of (relative) weakness up to par.

Think about all the times in your entrepreneurial day when you’re doing things you don’t enjoy, have no interest in, and are generally lousy at. How much time and energy does this take away from other activities? How does it make you feel about yourself when you’re struggling with tasks you have no aptitude for? How can you create a big life if you’re constantly depleted by working outside your skill set?

Now take a moment to fantasize about what it would feel like if your entire day were spent in what Gay Hendricks, in The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level, refers to as your Zone of Genius: that fabulous place where you’re operating at your highest level of skill, satisfaction, and service. What would it be worth to you to spend all your time here? When you take a moment to answer this question, you’ll realize the rewards are not just emotional; they’re also financial.  If you spend eight hours struggling to put together a newsletter, that’s eight hours you’ll never again have available to interact directly with your ideal clients and let them sample all you have to offer them.

All you have to do is be courageous enough to admit what you’re not good at, then find someone who is good at that activity to take it off your shoulders.

Believe me when I say I know exactly how much easier this is said than done. I doubt there’s an entrepreneur anywhere in the world who doesn’t have a large element of control freak in their personality. This make it really hard to hand off activities to someone else, and yet that’s exactly what the smart, gutsy, do-whatever-it-takes entrepreneur will do. Personally, I am very sl-oo-o-o-oow-ly  identifying tasks to hand off to a virtual assistant, even though the idea of doing that freaks me out in a number of ways. (Do I really want to afford this? What if I can’t find a reliable VA? What if s/he doesn’t do work up to my standards? How can I let anyone else get their hands on my business?!)

Still, I get to push through the discomfort and let others help me. I get to let them operate in their Zone of Genius so that I can operate in mine.  Since this is an area I’m still huffing and puffing in, I’d love to hear some success stories about other entrepreneurs who have gotten over themselves and taken on help. What have you let go of so you can more readily Step Into Big? Let me know!

BTW, thanks to HWHarmon for sharing his grandma’s third-grade report card on Flickr. 🙂


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4 Responses to Forget about improving on your weaknesses. Build on your strengths.

  1. Pingback: Success requires planning AND action. | Stepping Into Big

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