A Comfortable Path to an Extraordinary Business, Part 2

an extraordinary business
(In Part 1 we focused on the question, “What personal strengths and natural abilities do you have?”)

Now think about the other side of the coin.

What are some of your natural weaknesses?

What are you less strong and sure about?

What do you struggle with?

What do you dislike doing?

Many people put a lot of effort into overcoming their weaknesses.

However, I believe it’s much more productive to focus on your strengths instead of your weaknesses.

I love this quote from David Crandall:

I no longer try to be well rounded. I specialize. I focus on my strengths. What weakness are you focusing on at the expense of becoming amazing at a strength?

So for the parts of your business that require your “weaknesses” – why not find work-arounds for them, or outsource those things to people who do have those abilities?

Or re-consider whether those things are actually necessary for your business – perhaps you could substitute a different approach that uses one of your strengths instead.

What are some of your natural weaknesses?

Some of mine are:

Numbers are not my thing, I can’t bear to do repetitive tasks, I’m sensitive to negativity, I get bored fast with things that don’t have a creative element.

I’m interested in hearing about some of yours, if you’d like to share.

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  1. Hi, Rena! – First I’d like to thank you for this newsletter. What great tips and insights! My biggest weakness has been SEO and social marketing. I started my online business in January 2012 and did not know what I did not know. I had never heard of SEO and don’t really like Facebook either. It has frustrated me so much because I can usually very easily teach myself from books but this has not been the case with SEO. I became so bogged down by it I stopped creating. Sort of an “if you don’t eat your vegetables, you can’t have dessert” kind of thinking. I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere with anything and was all kinds of stressed out over it. So I sat myself down and had a talk. I decided that I would let the SEO stuff go and start making things again and then see where I was after a while when I was in a better mental/emotional/creative state. Doing this, at least I would have something to show for my time. That was about 6 weeks ago and I am so glad I put the focus back on creating things. I’ve completed several pieces that I am very happy with, have more on the board and in the notebook. I am feeling very happy and positive – not just about my jewelry – but about my whole life. Now that I’ve stopped feeding the situation with negativity, I am confident that a solution will present itself. Either I will find someone to do the SEO or I will concentrate on doing shows or perhaps an as yet un-thought of idea will come through. Wishful thinking? Well, I’ve had other positive experiences with this process and know that it works when I just let it go and let it be. And my sales have picked up. Not via the website but through word of mouth – the best advertising there is.

  2. HI Rena–
    I find my weakness to be a lack of structure, staying positive and balancing my time to grow my jewelry business into a full-time endeavor. I also am used to a secure paycheck, since I have worked full-time jobs most of my life. However, I’ve always been on the fence, wanting both financial security and creative freedom at the same time–that is difficult! Now that I am unemployed, I am trying to expand my jewelry business to become full-time. I feverishly make my jewelry and have a huge inventory of pieces, handmade beads and materials, but need to focus on marketing and sales.

    Another concern is being able to survive on income from a business that will take time to grow. Going from receiving a regular paycheck to becoming an entrepreneur is a new thought process. I love being independent and creative, but my savings is limited. I want to make sure I can still pay my mortgage! Thanks

  3. A couple of my weaknesses are not being technologically/mechanically inclined (for a long time I resisted even using e-mail), and not being great at marketing. And like you, Rena, I get bored or frustrated very easily with repetitive or non-creative tasks. But you know, a lot of these things we’re talking about I don’t think are really weaknesses, they’re merely facts. And like you said, nicer to work around a lot of times rather than try to change.

  4. Ah. My weakness is I don’t do things the simple way, and I like to keep perfecting something til it’s done.

    I loathe blogging, especially on a regular schedule! I tried blogging 1-2x a week for about 2 months and that’s really what drove me into hiatus mode – I tried to do full-out, pictures, story, long blog posts 1-2x a week. I would rather post briefly on Facebook, and I’m on the fence about email. I know emailing is wonderful for keeping in touch with customers, but I get caught up in the details – how many things to convey, html or plain text, pictures, custom graphics, fonts, offers, etc!

    I also feel like I can’t create unless everything is just-so: perfect workspace, perfect tools, perfect lighting, perfect amount of time, etc. I am working on relaxing a little so it’s not so limiting :)

    Knowing these things about how I like to work is helping me coax myself out of hiatus :) Insightful post!

  5. I have two biggies…

    First is my lack of confidence. I always think that my jewellery is never “as good as” someone else’s. Even though I know the time and effort that goes into each piece. I’m trying not to compare myself and my jewellery to anyone else’s and to simply focus on doing what I love and enjoy the creative process. Guess I’m a work in progress :)

    The second, and maybe the hardest to overcome, is that I’m very shy. It’s hard for me to promote myself. And, I’ve actually steered away from doing home parties even though I have been asked. I know this makes it more difficult for me to get my jewellery out there and to get myself known. On the bright side, I have signed up for 5 homeshows this Fall…baby steps :)

  6. My first weakness is Starbucks coffee. :)

    Regarding my jewelry business, I have to admit that pricing my items is a weakness- I usually price my jewelry too low (according to my friends anyway). I’m sure it is due to self-confidence more than anything.

    I am also not very strong in the social media department although I am trying- I have a facebook page, a domain webpage and a twitter account but I honestly haven’t figured out the whole twitter thing yet. I send stuff out, but I feel like I’m just sending it out into space never to be seen by anyone! I have started a blog as well, but working on finding my voice and followers! :) I need to have the patience to let my business grow without expecting it to just ‘take off’ and be super successful right away.

  7. I so dislike having to measure things or dealing with math in any way preferring to “eye ball” everything I make. In fact, I dislike lengthy, detailed instructions altogether and usually deviate from them finding my own way. This makes it difficult to repeat a design, which I rarely do anyway.
    I also get bored easily and seem to forget about a design once I’ve “mastered” it and move on to something else. It seems like I’m always looking for another challenge when I really should be perfecting what I think I already know.
    I could go on with weaknesses, they are so easy to find. Strengths, on the other hand, are harder to see.

  8. Hi
    My name is Marta I am jewelry designer from Europe which came to United States to explore. I launched my jewelry website as well as fb twitter blog etc. And it seems like I am posting staff trying to get thru all this wall but with no echo …

    I made few sell but not as much as I wish to. I attended few jewelry shows but prices of booths are so high that I basickly made little bit more than booth and gas. Now I am planning to do jewelry making parties for kids since I am comming from teachers family and i love kids and crafts. But i guess my main problem is because im new in the country i do not have friends and i am having problem built my network.

    I hope you can guys help with any advices or tips.

    Thank you
    And this is very helpful website :)
    enjoy your day
    Marta

  9. Rena, thanks for this 2-part series. It has really got me thinking. I know my strength is color and matching up colors, patterns, shapes, and textures. I get comments along these lines every time I show my jewelry. Sometimes people just stare at everything, commenting that it is beautiful. It is hard to even say this, though, since I’m a more modest person, but after awhile you have to believe what people say. :)

    Weaknesses…bookkeeping and social media. I’m finding ways to manage the bookkeeping end, but I finally let go of social media. I’m on Facebook, reluctantly, because I think I have to. But my biggest strength/weakness (because I believe that everyone’s strength can also be their weakness if not managed right) is my tendency to immerse myself in research and education. Sounds illogical, right? I have spent the last 5 years learning every skill that sparks my interest, and I like nearly everything. This includes formal classes, free tutorials, lots of paid tutorials, books, and magazines. For example, I initially subscribed to every magazine I found. Now I’m having to wean myself off those that I don’t get as much out of. I spend a lot of time browsing around the web for techniques, pictures of beautiful handmade jewelry, and looking at others’ work. I save images of everything I like in Word documents labeled “Inspiration”. I constantly find techniques that I love, and there just isn’t enough time to pursue it all. It becomes overwhelming, leading to being immobilized because I can’t see what to do first.

    I am actively findings ways I can become more focused. Anyone else’s experience or hints would be very interesting to me.

  10. coraNation says:

    UhBoy! I could easily put my name on every one of these posts, except Marta’s. I’ve got a work space full of odds and ends, UFO’s, pretty fabric remnants, dozens of poly and air dry clay purchases…I have so many designs and concepts in my head that its hard to focus and complete tasks. Though I love writing, I loathe social media because it takes time away from the things I love and it’s not my personality. Seems to fit more inline with outgoing personality types. Writers and creative people in general often are more introverted. It’s not easy to sell when you’re trapped in your shell.

  11. Sue McCallum says:

    My natural weakness is fear. I’m afraid of taking a chance of building a business selling my jewelry. But at the end of this month (7-31-14) I will be offically retired!! Yippee. Now no excuses. Now I get to re-invent myself and I want it to be a bead maker, jewelry maker and sun & beach worshiper. Now to get a handle on the fear factor.

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