I’d like to talk about a mistake I made early in my career that many other entrepreneurs also seem to fall into. This mistake can be a problem both on a professional and a personal level, and can even decrease your financial success.
We are taught from an early age that if we are bad at something, we should practice it, seek to improve it, battle it and keep on struggling until we have defeated it. That’s the traditional storyline, but I’m here to say that it’s a pitfall that often causes a lot of pain. It’s damaging, and in the end, it’s total nonsense.
If you try to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything.
So where do we start, on this road to self-development?
The first stage is taking your self-awareness to a higher level.
Learning those strengths and weaknesses
Put into its simplest form, a healthy mindset for both an entrepreneur and a human being is accepting what currently is, recognising what would be beneficial and possible to alter, and working towards improving those things. This is not always an easy state of self-development to achieve, and few people find the balance between their strengths and weaknesses or even take the time to identify them. However, if you wish to learn how to be truly financially successful, it is essential.
The first stage of what I am about to suggest is that you begin by defining your strengths and weaknesses. Take a sheet of paper or a spreadsheet, split it down the middle, and write your professional strengths on one side and your weaknesses on the other.
This is surprisingly liberating, as long as you are completely honest with yourself, but most people will struggle with one side of the sheet. Spend some time on this until you have a fairly thorough breakdown of what you believe that you can and can’t do. Here is your foundation for growth.
Embracing your weaknesses
If there was shame in not being good at everything, then the entire human race would be blushing. No one is good at everything they try – no one – and the fact that some of us were taught that we can be in school is ridiculous. The fact is, once you know what you do best, then you know the skills that you should be looking to to find in your employees, and as an entrepreneur that knowledge is invaluable. Through self-awareness and self-development, you can essentially turn your weaknesses into strengths.
I have found that many entrepreneurs, including myself when I was just starting out, tend to hire people who they can relate to and who they might even see mirroring their own traits. This might seem logical – if you know that you are a great worker, why wouldn’t you want similar people? – but it is a flawed approach.
Imagine a company – hmm, let’s call it Go-pressive Property – where one of the founders only hired people who worked in a similar manner to him. He employed the entrepreneurs, the go-getters, and the people he saw reflections of himself in – essentially, the “mini-hims”. For the first year or two, those mini-hims busted a gut, worked themselves crazy and were inspired by the whole energy of the company. But then, because they were entrepreneurs themselves – and why would an entrepreneur be content as an employee when they could have their own company? – they took the idea of Go-pressive Property, left the company and set up Go-pressing Property, in direct competition!
When this happened to me … I mean, “him” … he realised that he needed to embrace the concept of leverage more liberally, work on some self-development, and only hire those who can perform specific tasks that he was less able to do himself. He began looking for employees whose strengths and weaknesses were the opposite to his own, and who had no aspirations to run their own company and simply wanted to do their job to the highest level and go home at the end of the day.
Outsourcing for financial success
Outsourcing and embracing the fact that you aren’t capable to doing everything is a revelation. You can strengthen your weaknesses, but focusing on what you are best at is essential, as is outsourcing all other weaknesses that aren’t necessary for you to be good at your job.
Once you embrace the philosophy of leveraging whenever it suits you, you will find that your company runs more smoothly, the work being done is completed more efficiently and to a higher standard, and that you can spend more time concentrating on the tasks that bring you in the most money.
You may even find that – shock! Horror! – you have more spare time to do the things you enjoy.
The lie … and the truth
Don’t let anyone convince you of the lie that most of us are told, which is that you need to work on improving the things you hate to do. Do more of the tasks you love and the tasks that are most lucrative to you, and then outsource the rest.
Society doesn’t teach us to be millionaires or philanthropists or disruptive entrepreneurs – it teaches us to do a job. That’s okay, because we need jobs done, but if you are reading this then you are different.
You are not just another worker struggling to get by.
You are someone seeking true financial success.
Because you are a disruptive entrepreneur.
If you would like to learn more about doing less but getting more done, as well as how to outsource everything you do not want to do, you can find my bestselling book Life Leverage here
If you would like to read more about self-development accepting yourself, you may be interested in this blog