Should You Work On Your Strengths or Your Weaknesses?
A goose can walk, sing, fly and swim – but doesn’t do any of those things very well. Being good at one thing will make you more notable than being ok at a lot of things.
Episode #859 December 02, 2022
Hi this is Dan Miller – and yes you’re listening to the 48 Days Radio show – where each week we take 48 minutes to dive into real-life questions about finding your passion, deciding what kind of life you want to live – and then finding or creating work that allows you to show up every day, excited to be able to do something that is meaningful, fulfilling – and profitable. This is where normal, indecision and ambiguity come to die. Welcome to the 48 Days Radio Show.
Thank you for being a listener of this podcast. I love hearing from you and being allowed to think through the questions we all have about finding or creating work that matters, for people who care.
I was able to leave my 9-5 job this year because I’ve written several dog mystery books!
That is so great to hear, A lot of times when we have a passion and look at it directly, it’s like looking into the sun. You go blind. You don’t see anything. Turn away a little bit and you’ll see opportunities around that.
I can’t seem to find a fulfilling career that I can grow in. I think I need a career counselor.
I recommend you find a career counselor.
Most churches have career transition programs. Every city has resources available to help you.
Often owning your own business can give you room to grow both financially and in your own personal development.
I’m employed as an airline pilot and love the work. However, with 3 young kids at home, I find myself wanting to spend more time with them. Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
I feel very confident that you have a lot of skills that could transition into entrepreneurship. You should have a lot of clues already as to what those are.
I recommend you check out Chapter 11 in 48 Days To the Work and Life You Love, where you’ll find 18 questions to ask yourself to determine if you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur.
Don’t think that you necessarily have to reduce your income in order to move to have your own business.
I have always been taught to work on my weaknesses because they are skills that can be learned.
A listener says, “I’m an artist. I’ve always been taught to work on my weaknesses because they’re the skills that can be learned. I want to become a better artist. I don’t know who to listen to, who has the best counsel for my situation.
I’ll answer with a passage from No More Dreaded Mondays, page 194.
If you focus on your weaknesses, you tend to get strong weaknesses. In the sixth grade, a teacher told my friend Phil, that the secret to life is to focus on your weaknesses. So for the next 30 years, he worked on those areas where he was weakest, he struggled with accounting, with organization, and with ordering and inventory control.
He ultimately developed some pretty strong weaknesses. Then he discovered the power of focusing on your strengths. He surrounded himself with people who are more competent in all the areas where he was weak. He allowed them to do what they did well while he worked in his strong areas.
Today, he’s a multimillionaire. He has no office because he has competent people handling all his business functions from their own offices. He excels at creating the vision while encouraging these people to carry out the daily tasks.
How sad that we often diminish our best gift by struggling valiantly to develop in someone else’s area of ability. It’s better to focus on your unique skills and do them with excellence than end up performing at a mediocre level in several areas.
Use this rule of thumb for organizing your work strategy:
- Work where you are strongest 80% of the time
- Work where you are learning 15% of the time
- Work in your weaknesses 5% percent of the time.
Now as an artist, yes, work on those areas of weakness in art. But don’t try to be good at accounting for your business, or even sales and marketing for your business. Just be really, really good in your art.
Here’s an example of how I work on my strengths rather than my weaknesses:
I’ve been podcasting since December 2006. Now, that’s exactly 16 years. I’ve never missed a week. I’ve never done a replay. As you know I love doing this. I love getting your questions every week.
We’re told now there are over 4 million podcasts and that this podcast is in the top one-half percent of all podcasts in the world.
So am I taking it easy now? Or do I still think there’s room for improvement?
If I’m going to be in podcasting, I’m gonna continue looking for ways to get better. Here’s some of the things I’ve done this year.
I’m going through Roger Love’s program on the perfect voice.
I attended Podfest in Orlando and Podcast Movement in Dallas.
Those are all things that I did to become better at podcasting. And even though I’m ranked very, very high in the podcast world, I love doing it. And I’ve been doing it for 16 years. So I’m still working on it. And I would encourage you to do that in art, but just focus on that become really, really good in that.
Check out “Don’t Be a Goose” in my book No More Dreaded Mondays.
That goose sounds like some people I know. They try to be good at marketing, computers, financial planning, supervising, administration, and selling rather than focusing on one or two areas of excellence.
Find the area where you run like the wind with few competitors, then you’ll rise from mediocrity and experience uncommon success.
Quotation:“The pain pushes you, until the vision pulls you.” — Michael BeckwithClick To Tweet
I’ve talked about seeing people who are depressed, bitter, angry, discouraged, frustrated, guilty, resentful, or blaming. They are being pushed by some kind of pain. As soon as they get clear on what they want their life to look like next year – with clear goals and a plan of action – those negative emotions diminish and disappear. Don’t be pushed by pain – Allow your vision to pull you.
Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur – 48days.com/entrepreneur