Everyone is a Genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life thinking it is stupid ~ Albert Einstein
It’s a famous quote and I am sure you have heard it used in a variety of settings but have you thought about it in terms of your professional self? The fact is that we can’t be great at everything.
Western society has developed a culture where we are always looking at our faults and how we can improve them. We spend a great percentage of our time thinking about how we can be better, smarter, stronger, have more or just be more.
But is this necessarily the best strategy for us in terms of our success both personally and professionally?
When I first trained as a strengths development coach, a phrase really stuck in my mind.
High performers are NOT well rounded.
As an entrepreneur/business owner I think this is especially true.
You can’t be an expert in every aspect of your business. If you try and do ALL the things you will be building for a very long time and may not see the results you desire. You will probably suffer burnout quite quickly and wonder why you can’t achieve everything you have set out to do. You will be that fish trying to climb a tree and feeling despondent because you can’t get off the ground.
In my first biz I fell into this trap and tried to do everything alone. Although it did well I soon hit a limit on what I could do because –
- I didn’t have the specialist knowledge I needed to get things done quickly (think tech, strategies, systems etc). I wound up tired and frustrated and felt like I was running around in circles never making any progress
- I didn’t have the time to do it all, which meant less time working with clients and we all know what that means – my income producing time was getting eaten up with all these tasks that I didn’t have the knowledge to complete quickly and easily.
I learnt my lesson during that first business and I started to understand that sometimes the best time management strategy is assessing what you can do and what you need to reconsider.
What to do instead –
- Focus on your strengths – those things that give you energy? Focus on them. The things that you could do all day long and not get bored. The things that give you the highest return for your time and make the big differences to you and your business
- Don’t ignore weaknesses but exercise damage limitation. Do what you need to do to limit any potential mistakes or damage to your business. But don’t spend time on the things that leave you feeling flat rather than fizzing.
- Delegate – does tech stuff make you feel like you are wading through treacle? Get someone else to do it! I now have a network of go-to experts that handle this all for me, as well as a wonderful VA who updates my website. Most of the time you will find that not only does it lessen your stress but an expert is able to complete the task faster and to a better standard.
- Seek support – I wouldn’t have achieved the results I have so quickly if it wasn’t for investing in mentors who have done it all before. If you don’t have the knowledge, invest in someone who can help cut through the noise and get you there in half the time.
So if you are a fish you don’t need to climb that tree. Swim free in the waters and leave the climbing to the koalas.
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