Image thanks to Diz Play on Unsplash
You don't have to be good at everything
Posted on 23/11/2017 by Karen
A few hundred years ago, we would have been a master of one thing. You would have been a blacksmith or a seamstress or a cook or a nurse. In the process of creating our much faster, much busier and more complex modern world, we have somehow bought into the story that we have to be good at everything.
Turn your weaknesses into strengths
Nobody is good at everything – Einstein clearly didn’t know how to brush his hair. Let’s stop pretending we are good at everything, embrace the things we are good at and let the other stuff go. I tell my clients my weaknesses, right up front and I make no apology for them…
1. I am NOT a project manager
But I’m a brilliant team player. I’m fast and versatile — throw me into any team and I will fit in perfectly, hit the ground running, and do what you need me to do. I will work well with your web developer or graphic designer and you.
2. I am not techie
I say ‘I’m not smart enough for a SmartPhone’ and I don’t want one. I don’t know how to build a website despite doing a WordPress course, a basic html workshop and working on websites for 20+ years. I am the words person. Everything else, including web building, SEO (search engine optimization) and other techie stuff I leave to the experts. I collaborate with a number of graphic designers and web designers and web developers and SEO experts who are fantastic at what they do and are very happy that I take care of the writing side of things, because they can’t do that. And because I am not techie, my non-techie clients feel comfortable talking to me about stuff knowing that I won’t make them feel stupid. I just bring out my old Nokia phone, we all laugh and then we move on.
3. I am not a marathoner
I’m a sprinter. I’m a freelancer for a reason. I’m a great addition to a team, for the short term, as and when you need me — to add that spark, those fresh ideas and the perspective of someone who isn’t working inside your company. I can see it from the outside, just like your target audience can. And, unlike an employee, I’m not afraid to tell you what you need to hear.
4. I suffer from information overload
Most website landing pages have so much going on, I go cross-eyed. I can’t use Facebook. I can’t even read a newspaper — I don’t know where to look first or what to read first. What this ‘failing’ does is make me really good at simplifying things. My first rule is the ‘KISS’ principle. Keep It Simple (Stupid). Helping my clients work out what bits of information go where and what information to throw out is a big part of what I do. Because you just can’t see the important stuff if it’s surrounded by waffle! Having to focus on one thing at a time makes me very, very good at being ‘present’. So when I’m focusing on you and your business, you get all of my attention.
5. I don’t know anything about your business and probably don’t know much about your industry
Which means I ask a lot of questions. I believe my clients have the answers, they just haven’t asked themselves the right questions. My job is to play devil’s advocate and ask the hard questions, to question the status quo, to push the boundaries and make my clients think outside the square, so we can find a way to help their business really stand out from their competition.
So, I say — embrace what you are good at, let go of the rest and relax. There will be someone else out there who will be very glad to do it for you.