Focus on Your Weaknesses and Become Mediocre
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 thirty 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 were more competent in all the areas where he was weak. He allowed them to do what they did well while he did the same.
Today he is 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 gifts by struggling valiantly to develop in someone else’s area of ability. It is better to focus on your unique skills and do them with excellence than to end up performing at a mediocre level in several areas. Use this rule of thumb for organizing your work strategy:
- Work where you are the strongest 80 percent of the time.
- Work where you are learning 15 percent of the time.
- Work where you are weak 5 percent of the time.
I frequently tell people that there are twenty to twenty-five components of my business. I probably do a pretty good job at two or three of those. As for the rest, I allow people who are much more competent than I am to perform with excellence in their areas. I am a novice when it comes to Internet details, yet we use cutting-edge technology to drive the success of our e-commerce. I hate the details of accounting and financial management, so I’ve engaged a bookkeeper to handle those areas efficiently and create simple reports I can understand. What are two or three areas in which you excel? How could you change your current circumstances to focus on those areas?