Obviously, this is geared towards how you can capitalize on your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your business, but the more I think about it, the more I realize this can be used in your personal life, too, which is why I left out “in Your Business” in the title.
Impostor Syndrome is a rough thing we all go through. If you’re unfamiliar, Impostor Syndrome essentially means the feeling you get when you feel unqualified to do what it is you do. It can be feelings that there are others who are better equipped, have more experience, and so on and so on. It’s a feeling we all go through, and I think it becomes especially prevalent when it’s time to assess what you’re good at, and what you feel like is holding you back.
How to Use Your Strengths and Weaknesses to Your Advantage
We all have weaknesses and blind spots in our lives and businesses. I could turn this entire post into my list, but I fear the length would turn this blog post into a book (and that book is known as “the notes from my therapist”) so let me just sum it up by saying: I’m perpetually working on a LOT of things that I would like to be better at.
However, one thing I’ve learned is that there are times when we should all embrace what is it we’re good at and accept that there are other things that end up falling by the wayside. To me, it’s a part of being a successful entrepreneur, and it’s a skill I want to help you cultivate today.
So first, let’s dive into understanding what it is you’re good at and how to recognize things you’re not so great at doing:
1. List out quickly the things you enjoy doing
This is a quick exercise and it’s just a freeform thing: take 30 seconds and write out a list of the things you love to do in your business. For me? I love to write, to do tutorials, to create products, and to talk to my marketing coaching clients.
2. List out your weekly tasks
From there, expand to all of the things that you feel have to get done each week. I keep a weekly list going on the side of my bullet journal that helps me keep track and is more of a brain dump than an actionable guide.
3. Look at the ones that make you feel exhausted
When I look at the list, I make a cognizant effort to see the emotions each thing gives me. As an example, social media content gives me a ping in my stomach because I hate how tedious it feels to me and I don’t enjoy doing it.
4. Take a little time to understand why
Why do I get so exhausted with social media? It’s because I feel like I’m always catching up and I have trouble breaking things down into small, manageable steps. So based on this, I know I need to either find ways to replace these feelings and turn it into something I can enjoy (by looking at the good it does me to have engaged social media accounts) or I can embrace it as a weakness in my business and find ways to move past it by doing the exercises below.
Whew, that felt like a lot, didn’t it? It can be hard, but incredibly fulfilling to get the full picture of yourself as an entrepreneur, “flaws” and all. Now that you’ve listed out the blind spots of your business life, how can you pivot to use them to your advantage?
1. Acknowledge that you are not bad at this
I used to allow myself to say “I’m just bad at sales” which was completely untrue but felt good to let myself believe. It wasn’t that I was bad at sales, it was that I didn’t LIKE selling. I was too emotionally invested in the sale, so instead of letting it become a self-fulfilling prophecy, I stopped letting myself say that I was “bad.”
2. Decide how to solve these in a more permanent way
Instead, I embraced the fact that there were others out there who weren’t emotionally tied to the sale like I was, and so I let them handle selling instead. Take what you avoid or don’t love and find ways to move it out of your way. You can automate it, delegate it to someone else, or just eliminate and embrace that it doesn’t fit your business. (Example: hate making videos but love creating graphics? Don’t force yourself to become a videographer, but instead be known for amazing static imagery that tells its own story.)
3. Begin to focus more effort on your winnable tasks
Once you’ve established a method to remove the things that make you feel “bad” from your routine, take that time and spend it on what you love and are good at doing. That time you spent posting on Facebook even though it makes you frustrated? Use it to create that new product you’ve been thinking about. Been avoiding advertising on Instagram or Reddit because you’re afraid of the comments? Take that money and put it towards hiring a community manager who cultivates your following and creates better engagement so you won’t HAVE to advertise.
4. And finally, acknowledge that you are NOT bad at this
I know I’m repeating myself, but I can feel the “yeah but” happening in your mind as you read this. You are allowed to be fallible and human and having a weak point does NOT mean you are a bad entrepreneur. It means you’re like the rest of us who are all doing our best to get by.