Whether it is work related, personal or both, everyone has their weaknesses and “blind spots”. In order to grow, it is important to point out these weaknesses and work on improving them, either on your own or with the help of others.
Recognizing that you have weaknesses and working through them not only makes you a better entrepreneur, but it can also make you a better person in all aspects of your life. To help you set your game plan, eight members of the Young Entrepreneur Council outline one way to actively work on your weaknesses, and how it will help you grow as an entrepreneur.
Young Entrepreneur Council members share tips for working on your weaknesses.
Photo courtesy of individual members.
1. Accept It, Get Help and Practice
Start by understanding two things: 1) Everyone has weaknesses and there is nothing unique or unresolved about your weakness. 2) Your weakness does not define you as an entrepreneur. The first step is not to underestimate your weakness – accept it as it is. Second, like the one you want to get better at, find someone who is strong in that area and learn from them. Third, practice! Deliberately position yourself to find situations that will test those weaknesses and give you opportunities to become better. – Leela Lewis, Be Inspired PR
2. Partner with the Right People
I have always known that I am talented in some areas, but lack specific skills in others. The best way to actively work in these areas is to surround myself with the right people. I will partner with people who make up for my lack of knowledge and learn from them. I ask questions, take notes and apply what I have learned. I understand that I am bound to make mistakes, so I accept and appreciate constructive feedback from others. It gives me the opportunity to develop and strengthen my relationships with my team while working on my weaknesses. My best advice when it comes to working on your greatest weakness is to accept that you can learn miracles from the people around you. Partner with the right people and see yourself grow in areas you once lacked. – Emily Stallings, Kesley, Inc.
3. Track Daily Progress
One way to actively work on my biggest weakness is to track my progress on a daily basis. Part of this process is to start each day by reflecting on how the past day went. Another aspect of tracking progress is comparing current results with the previous year. To really know whether or not I’m overcoming my greatest weakness, it’s essential to accurately track everything that contributes to success. Meditation, good sleep and diet are the key factors for this success. – Richard Fong, Bliss Drive
4. Take It Honestly
I work on my weakness by approaching it with utmost sincerity and recognition. It can be easy to pretend that we have no weaknesses, especially in business. It’s as if we are set to be emotionless, productive robots that only deliver the right results and never make mistakes. It’s not reality, and holding yourself to that impossible standard will lead to burnout quicker than anything. Recognizing my own flaws helps me reduce them and address them before they turn into something worse. A successful entrepreneur is not perfect (there is no such thing), it is only one who is able to move forward with his weaknesses, not against them. Accept what you cannot change about yourself and keep moving forward; This is the only way forward. – Nick Venditti, Stitchgolf
5. Develop Self-Awareness
The first step is to get to know yourself better through introspection and reflection. You can see the patterns, and from there you can ask others for help. For example, I have an entrepreneurial quick start, which means I love to get an idea and act on it right away. On the other hand, my co-founders are very grounded and we have a way of looking back to see the long-term implications of every move. By working together, I’m able to get us going faster, but he balances me out so we don’t fall forward because we go too fast. If both of us were not fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we would continue to struggle instead of balancing each other. – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly
6. Contemplate Through Meditation
Meditate to know your fears and attachments. Have you noticed that you get a physical reaction to certain tasks or before a big phone call? Maybe you attribute this to deceitful syndrome or nerves, but your body is telling you something, and the best way to use what your body is telling you is through silence and meditation. Start listening to your body during professional and personal scenarios, and keep track of what triggers these moments of discomfort. Then, find them carefully. Learning to understand what these feelings mean and what they trigger is part of greater self-awareness, which, once harnessed, can be your greatest asset, not your greatest weakness. – Matthew Capala, Alphamatic
7. Revisit Your Weakness as a Positive
Not only do we all have weaknesses, but we all dread that question in the interview. Initially, I learned to answer that question during an interview, and since then it has become a strategy to work on my weaknesses: improve my weakness positively. Avoid describing your weakness as one of your failures. Instead, focus on the positive aspects. Think about ways in which you have turned your weakness into a positive. Recognize that improvement is still needed. Then start tackling those areas. Like all things in life, recognizing your weaknesses is the first step to change. Once you identify where you can improve, start working on it one baby step at a time. –Jared Weitz, United Capital Sources Inc.
8. Define Your Core Values
Having an emotional block is one of my biggest weaknesses. To deal with this, I just get clear on my core values. Many entrepreneurs are unclear about what exactly they want to be as they move from one level to another. I have often heard people say that they have no core value. This is only part of the problem. A core value is something you cannot change, such as your belief in God or your hatred of guilt. What you can change is inside you, your perspective, your perception of the world around you. What you think and how you reason is determined by your core values. This strategy has helped me become a better entrepreneur as it has enabled me to try new market ideas and take business risks. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day