How to 'Fix' Your Weaknesses

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Scenario: "Dude, we must fix our weaknesses. Cuz we suck, and we want to be better Yay! High-five!"

Bam! You're running a small candy store.

You're: (1) great at customer service, but (2) seriously suck at marketing.

  • Your customer service skills rock: You're caring, considerate, and have the potential to be a 'legend' at servicing your customers.
  • Your marketing skills super suck: You have no design experience, you have no interest in color psychology, and you think branding is some sort of fraternity ritual.

You have absolutely no interest in marketing, but think: "I need to learn marketing to improve my business!"

Like most people confronting their weaknesses, what do you start doing?

Ignoring your customer service skills -- since "I'm already good at that! yay-yay!" -- you start trying to learn as much about marketing as possible:

  • You read marketing books.
  • You join marketing clubs.
  • You sign-up for marketing newsletters.
  • You network with marketing professionals.

What happens? Though you become a little more proficient at marketing, you still (1) suck at it -- because (2) you dread it -- and (3) know you will never Wow! people with it.

The bigger crime?

Throughout that time, you've ignored your customer service skills; like a muscle that's ignored, your customer service skills:

  1. loses its potential to kick some more @ss
  2. gradually weakens

Instead of being that 'legend' at servicing your customers, you end up with:

  • Mediocre customer service skills.
  • Still sucky marketing skills.

When you start trying to fix your weaknesses, you gradually throw your strength out the window. Net result: You become 'just like any other company out there.'

How to Deal With Your Weaknesses

It starts with asking: "How can I minimize my weaknesses?" When you minimize your weaknesses, you leave room to empower your strength. The two-step approach:

  • List where you're weak.
  • Seek ways to circumvent those weaknesses.

Example: "Small Ball" with The Golden State Warriors

Keeping up with the NBA Playoffs? Here's how the Warriors ("the worst team in the playoffs") beat the Dallas Mavericks ("the best team in the playoffs") on Sunday: Reality check: The Golden State Warriors basketball team have no inside presence -- that is, they have no big players ("Biggies") to dominate near the basket. Solution: To resolve that weakness, they leverage their smaller players' strength:

  • They use more fast-breaks. ('Biggies can't run with us.')
  • They shoot more 3-pointers. ('Biggies won't block our shots.')
  • They quicken up the game. ('Biggies will lose stamina.')
  • They double- and triple-team the Biggies. ('We'll distract the Biggies from their game.')
  • They play less inside-defense to leave players open on the wings for those fast-breaks. ('We'll force the tired Biggies to muscle their way inside. We'll leave players on the wing for quick scores. That will tire the Biggies even more, leaving many more opportunities for us.')

They had all season (82-games/328-quarters/3936-minutes), to work on their inside game, but chose to strengthen their strength. Good thing: instead of being mediocre all-around, they became phenomenal at where they could !@^^%^ rock -- then leveraged that all-world strength to kick major ass.

Where Does Your Business Suck?

You won't know what to strengthen until you know where your business sucks. Seek that weakness list, then notice where you could rock. Remember, your business could fall into one of these camps:

  • a) Jack-of-all-trades: You're to be the best at everything (or a lot of things) -- but sacrificing your real strength. You become like most companies out there.
  • b) Master of one: You're minimizing where you suck, focusing on where you rock -- then continually strengthening it. You're in the company of Starbucks, Google, McKinsey, Goldman, Wachtell, and Berkshire. Your potential to !@^^-!@^^%^ rock: insane.

To leverage your sexy strengths, seek ways to:

Minimize your weaknesses.


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Posted on April 24

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