I always laugh my ass off when I ask someone during a job interview, “What is your weaknesses?” And they say “None” (you’d be surprise how often that happens). That’s an instant disqualification. It either means:
- Their ego is out of control
- They’re liars
- They’re completely unaware of who and what they are
Being aware of your weaknesses and owning them is a strength. It allows you to create solutions to overcome them.
Dr. David Hawkins once said, “Don’t ask ‘Who Am I?’, ask ‘What Am I?’.”
When you ask “What Am I?”, you end up with a list of character assets and character defects.
This list empowers you because you start working on overcoming them. Knowing your weaknesses is a strength.
CHARACTER DEFECTS IN BUSINESS
In business, there’s no room for weakness. Consumers have zero tolerance for problems. No one buys something from a company and says “It was 3 weeks late, because the owner is a disorganized person. But it’s ok because I think he’s a good guy.”
No one hires a company for a service and says “Wow… their performance really sucked, but they had good intentions. Let’s hire them again!”
There’s no room for character defects on a company level. The great news is: you don’t have overcome all your weaknesses in business — you only need to become aware of them and hire the right people to patch them up.
For me, I really dislike micro managing people. It’s completely against my nature. I suck at follow-up (as revealed in D.I.S.C. assessment). This is why I avoid operations. Operations requires good follow up skills, plus other attributes that I just don’t have. I shine with strategic planning and marketing — that’s what I spend 90% of my time on. That’s my Money Moves ™.
To Thy Own Self Be True
“To Thine Own Self Be True” — Shakespeare
I carry a coin with me that says “To Thy Own Self Be True”. Being authentic and honest with myself is one of my deepest core values.
As entrepreneurs and human beings, it’s extremely powerful to know our weaknesses, understand the way our brain works and become aware of our personality traits and character defects.
Weaknesses become major liabilities when we’re in denial about them and ignore them.
Once we know our natural tendencies and once we know our limitations, we can begin creating solutions to overcome them such as: creating powerful structures, hiring the right people, working on our weaknesses and embracing our strengths.
This step is what separates a lot of “good entrepreneurs” from “great entrepreneurs”. Great entrepreneurs know who they are and they know how to create winning teams around their strengths and weaknesses.
How To Discover Your Weaknesses (and strengths)
Here are some personality tests that will help you discover yourself (do them all if you can):
- D.I.S.C. reveals how you ACT (what you do) alone as well as in teams.
- Myers-Briggs: reveals how you THINK and is based on Carl Jung’s work and what he called Psychological Types
- Kolbe: Is based on finding the natural ways you prefer to work and solve problems.
- Visionary Or Integrator: You can read or scan the book Rocket Fuel and you’ll quickly know which one you are.
- Caliper: One of the deepest employee test you can do.
- Right-brain vs. Left-brain: Are you right brained or left brained? I think the BEST entrepreneurs are WHOLE brained (left and right). If you know you’re left brained, then work on becoming creative. If you’re overly right brained, work on creating structure and organization in your life. I will be writing articles about becoming more whole brained in the future. You can google “left right brain test” and there are plenty of simple tests you can do to see where you are.
- What’s your primary learning modality? Are you visual? Audio? Kinesthetic? Analytical? Verbal? Social?
- IQ: Knowing your IQ is useful. However, you don’t need to be a genius to be successful. It is useful to know that there is a correlation between IQ and income.
NO BLINDSPOTS AS A BUSINESS LEADER
Your company is only as strong as it’s weakest link. As the business leader, it’s your responsibility to create a team and a structure that supports your strengths. It’s equally important to create teams that take care of all the things you suck at… don’t like doing… and aren’t valuable.
There’s over 100 skills in business. It’s impossible that anyone is going to be strong at all of them. That being said, you should avoid being a ZERO in the important ones.
A perfect example is accounting. Some people naturally dislike numbers, but it’s suicide not to understand and embrace numbers in business. You’re lost like a blindfolded muskrat in a windtunnel if you don’t get into the numbers of your business.
Marketing and sales is another example. Marketing and sales is the oxygen of your business. Even though you might hire great marketers to handle those things, you should have a solid understanding of how it works and you should be working with your marketing team.
It’s a good goal to have BASIC understanding of all aspects of your business.
Remember this: you can’t manage what you don’t understand. You should do EVERYTHING in your business at least once. Private contractors you hire will screw you if you don’t understand what their doing.
Yes, you should all of these at least ONCE:
– Do your accounting.
– Design a logo
– Write a sales page
– Build a webpage
In 1908, Walter Chrysler went into debt to buy a Locomobile touring car. He tore the car apart and put it together several times. By doing this, he understood all aspects of the car.
16 years later, he used that knowledge to build the first Chrysler automobile. It earned over 50 million dollars the first year. He bought up his competition’s car plants including Dodge. Within 5 years, he grew into the second largest car producer in the world.
Be like Walter. Rip your proverbial car apart and put it back together a few times. Your biggest edge in business comes from knowing more than your competition. This is the ticket.
Invest time, money and energy into doing the tests that I listed above. I also suggest that you test your key people.
Figure out exactly what TYPE of person you need around you to support and enhance your strengths. Hire the perfect team to take care of your weaknesses and watch your business go to the next level!