Last week we talked about your business superpowers. Check it out here!
Today I want to talk to you about a subject that may not be quite as fun but is just as important! Your strengths will help you attain success in business, but understanding and responding to your weaknesses is what will determine if you can maintain your success.
It’s easy to go through life like an interview. You know, that question the interviewer asks that you are supposed to answer in a way that makes the weakness sound like it is either irrelevant or actually your greatest strength?
Interviewer: What’s your greatest weakness?
Interviewee: I can be too meticulous about my work, I want to be the best that I can be and so I keep checking and double-checking to make sure it’s flawless….
Today let’s set aside our interview self that wants to put the proper spin on a topic and take a real and honest look at ourselves and our businesses. The bad news is that we all have weaknesses. The good news is that if we identify them and understand them we can decide the best course of action to overcome them.
What is Kryptonite in a business setting?
Kryptonite. What is it? Superman was rendered powerless when he came into contact with this radioactive substance from his home planet of Krypton. Your business Kryptonite is anything that can potentially get in the way of your ultimate business goals. A non-exhaustive list to get you started: fear of failure, lack of planning, lack of organization, perfectionism, struggle with follow-through, over commitment, get bogged down in details, too big picture, too outgoing, not outgoing enough…
How do you find out what your Kryptonite is?
Instead of getting caught red-handed…err…green handed as Superman would be when he came into contact with that green radioactive substance, let’s determine your weakness before you’re in a situation where it will cause real damage in your business. If it already has…well you are in good company and probably have all the motivation needed to identify and overcome it!
If you’ve been in business for a while and came across some bumps in the roads you may be well aware of what your business Kryptonite is. Often it is much easier to pinpoint our weaknesses than our strengths! Let’s hone in on 1-3 of your biggest weaknesses or blindspots. Our goal is to identify them and then decide how to respond to them in a practical way. Often I’ve found that most of my struggles really come from a few major issues and once I’ve decided how I am going to deal with them the secondary ones were suddenly not so big and scary anymore.
If you are struggling with identifying your Kryptonite, here are a few questions to get you started.
- What is the part of your business that you most dread or catch yourself avoiding?
- If you could change one thing about yourself in your business, what would it be?
- What is your business superpower? What Kryptonite would that superpower suggest?
- What are some business situations that didn’t go as you wanted? Is there a common theme in these situations?
My top 3 areas of Kryptonite in my business are:
How do you overcome it?
Once you determine what your Kryptonite is, here are 3 ways to respond to it:
- Use your strengths to respond to your weakness
By nature of being a mom and juggling a business where I have to wear many hats, one of my daily challenges is a tight and often complex schedule. One area of Kryptonite is that I can get so focused on my schedule that I forget to leave space and time for me to breath, interact, or rest during my day. Since one of my strengths is planning and processes, I use my strength to respond to my weakness. I plan out my day, put notifications in my calendar, and then set up alerts so that I don’t have to remember anything. When an alert goes off I know that I have a few minutes to rest and reset before the next appointment. I schedule in lunch, play times with our daughter, and block out parts of certain days for fun activities so that I don’t revert to old workaholic tendencies. What are some ways that you can use your strengths to respond to weaknesses?
- Delegate, Outsource, or Partner
Sometimes in your own creative business you may feel like you need to juggle every aspect from marketing to web design, accounting to copy writing. Sometimes it’s because of budget issues, other times it can feel like no one else will care as much about your business as you do. On the outside many successful entrepreneurs look like they do so well because they are just really good at all aspects of what they do. This may be partially true, but if you look closer you’ll see that many of them hire with their weaknesses in mind or delegate to others on their team. Are they a brilliant visionary? They hire people who are detail oriented and practical to make their innovative ideas come to life. I could learn to be an accountant but is that the best use of my time and energy? I outsource it to someone who is highly trained and much more experienced so I can focus on further developing my strengths.
When I’m planning a business venture that involves partnering with other creatives I look for people that compliment my skillset and fill in my weaknesses. Recently I was talking with a creative entrepreneur friend about creating a seminar series together. Some of my strengths are in planning, details, and analysis. Some of hers are in sales, networking, and innovating. Can you guess what some of our weaknesses are? We make a perfect team because we can both focus on our strengths instead of using huge amounts of energy in areas that we are not naturally strong in.
- Overcome it
Sometimes to be successful as a creative entrepreneur we need to learn how to overcome our Kryptonite. My biggest struggle is pushing past perfectionism and putting my ideas into action. I love to plan and research and can easily (and very happily!) get stuck in that cycle without moving on into action until I feel like my plan is perfected. Life does not usually afford me that luxury! To a certain extent I can delegate and outsource, but in the end this is a weakness that I need to learn how to overcome for me to accomplish what I need too. Every week I set specific deadlines for myself when ideas need to be put into action. Is it comfortable? No!!! But it does get easier! For example, this week I’ve had a very busy week and did not have as much time to invest in this blog post that I would have liked too. 6 months ago I would have put off posting until next week. Now that I have realized that my blogging Kryptonite is obsessing over adjectives and outlines I have set a deadline of posting every Wednesday and I will hit ‘post’ on this article this afternoon and not let perfectionism be the enemy of excellence.
Perfectionism is the enemy of excellence.
Go back to your list of 3 areas of business Kryptonite and determine what the best response is at this time. Do you use your strengths to respond? Do you delegate or partner with someone else? Or is it time to overcome it?
What are some of your areas of Kryptonite and what are some ways you can respond this week?All the best,