What would you say if I told you, there is every chance your greatest strength is actually your biggest weakness?
After helping thousands of small business owners to grow their businesses, I’ve discovered a consistent stumbling block that impacts the speed at which a business can grow.
One would assume that the obvious reason for a stall point in growth would be a weakness in the business owner themselves, like they are not very tech savvy, or they find copywriting difficult.
But the fact is this isn’t really an issue at all.
No, the big problem isn’t the weakness of the business owner, more often it’s their strength.
You see when someone identifies a weakness, they usually engage someone else to do the work for them, but when you see something as a strength you seldom recognise it as the very thing holding you back.
Just as science dictates every action has an opposite and equal reaction, so too, every strength has a potential weakness.
One of my greatest strengths has been the philosophy that I’ve applied to almost everything I do in life – Ready, Fire, Aim.
This one principle has helped propel my business and pushed me to move faster than most others dare. But it has also caused me to make mistakes, lots of them.
I believe in Ready, Fire, Aim, but to make sure I was able to leverage its power and avoid its negative consequences I need to add an important question to ask myself first.
This question acts as a filter that I pass over all my important initiatives.
It’s also become a question I ask all my clients – ALL THE TIME.
Here it is.
FOR WHAT PURPOSE?
This one question has helped me avoid FIRING prematurely, and make sure I’m clear about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
But your perceived strength (potential weakness) might be very different to mine.
Here are three common Strength/Weaknesses I encounter with my clients, that perhaps you may relate to.
- Too much knowledge.
I know it sounds crazy, how can having a lot of knowledge be a weakness. The fact is knowing a lot about your field or having a wide range of skills is awesome. It’s likely one of the reasons that prompted you to start a business in the first place, so you rightfully labelled it as a strength.
But, the issue is when business owners have a broad range of knowledge they often find it difficult to pick a lane, to narrow the focus or concisely communicate to others what they do.
This hurts their business growth.
To successfully run your business, means being able to position your EXPERTISE in a tight niche. This is far more powerful (and easier to market) than someone who is generally good at a lot of stuff but finds it difficult to label what they do.
Your breadth of knowledge will be extremely helpful in providing superior outcomes for clients, but initially you need to PICK A LANE of expertise.
- I want it to be perfect
Perfectionism is one of the most common of all Strengths that quickly can become a weakness in business. Don’t get me wrong – QUALITY in everything you do is important, the problem is when perfection prevents action.
The trap here is that when you look at a perfectionist’s materials, like a website, brochure etc. they usually look awesome. The problem is production of marketing materials just takes too long.
It’s critical that you strike a balance between getting it perfect and getting it done, especially when it comes to marketing your business.
Because marketing is a test and measure space that requires you to produce content faster and improve it as you go, once you know it’s working.
- A great work ethic
I know, you’re think HOW could having a great work ethic ever be a weakness?
You’d be surprised.
Of course, to build a business takes work, lots of it.
You have to be willing to put in the blood sweat and tears. No question.
But, the problem for some people is this forms a habit that keeps them trapped at one phase of their business development.
In the early phases of your business, often you are it, if somethings going to get done, you are the one who has to do it.
So, you work long and hard IN the business.
Eventually however, if you want to grow the business to another level you need to STOP simply doing all the work IN the business and start do the work ON the business.
Being will to roll up your sleeves and do the work is a big STRENGTH, but it can turn into a weakness down the track when you have formed the habit of being the DOER in the business.
The fact is DOER’s don’t run good business. They run hard work businesses.
To grow to the next level requires VISION and stepping back from the day to day operations to SEE the opportunities ahead.
It means fighting the instinct to stay on the coalface and allowing yourself to step back and do some work ON your business.
My hope with this post is to encourage you to stop and examine whether what you’ve long considered one of your strengths could actually be holding you back in some way.
Remember the first step to accelerated success is AWARENESS.
You can’t address what you are blind too.
If you have identified and that one of your strengths could be holding you back, then that’s awesome, now you can make a plan to do something about it!
I would love for you to come and join in with my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group and tell me what you think your strengths (and weaknesses!). I would love to discuss what changes you might be making in your business as a result of this post.
If you need some help in the direction of your business planning or marketing, or an audit of your strengths and weakness when it comes to running your busines. Book a discovery call here!
And if you haven’t already, please do go and join my Like Minded Business Owners Facebook group! The sharing of experiences and expertise with other small business owners makes it such a supportive community. So come on and join in with a group of people who totally GET what it’s like running a small business.
Or you can DM me on Instagram or send me an email email@example.com
I wish to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Yorta Yorta People, on which I conduct my business today and pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples reading this blog post today.
About the Author:
Jenn Donovan of Social Media & Marketing Australia. Jenn’s a coach and mentor from rural NSW and is all about empowering business owners to earn what they’re worth so they can make a bigger difference in the world. The Founder of Buy From a Bush Business, Co-Founder of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business Marketplace and host of the very popular podcast Small Business Made Simple, Jenn is all about community and humans interacting with humans! H2H Marketing – human to human marketing. Jenn talks the talk but importantly walks the walk! Jenn’s online community is over 320,000 with her famous Facebook Group currently at almost 351,000 members and still growing every day. She’s the major of her own little online city!
Get in touch – www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au
On Instagram – @jenndonovan_
On Facebook – Jenn Donovan
Or on LinkedIn as Jenn Donovan