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A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Focus on Your Strengths
Many of us have ambitions to do lots of crazy things with our lives. We dream of being singers on the American Idol stage, strutting our stuff on Broadway, being a star basketball player like Michael Jordan, or climbing Mount Everest.
For most of us, however, these types of dreams are far reaches from reality. For example, many who dream of being singers, can’t really sing at all (hence the American Idol tryout flops). And when it comes to a career, pursuing the dreams that surround our weaknesses are not the ones that will make us successful.
I’m not by any means saying that you shouldn’t pursue a singing, acting or basketball career. In fact, if you are talented at those things, I would applaud you for pursuing them. What I am saying is that the dreams that center around a weakness are not the avenue to go.
To explain it further, lets focus on one of my own far-fetched dreams. I dream of being a professional tennis player. No joke. I love the sport. Love to watch it and love to play it. But, the truth is, I’m no good at it. On a scale from one to ten, I’m probably a two, maybe a three (if I’m lucky). I still have a blast playing it recreationally, but I recognize the fact, even if I took lessons and practiced everyday (which is completely impractical for me), I probably wouldn’t get much past a six. So a career as a professional tennis player is not in the cards for me.
But I know I can write. I wouldn’t be working on this blog if I couldn’t. I wouldn’t have pursued a BA in English Literature if I didn’t think I had a nack for it. And anyone who has seen the progression of my posts since I started in October will see that I have only improved with time. I’m in no way trying to toot my own horn. I’m just trying to convey the fact that it’s your strengths that make the best career choices, whether you use them as an entrepreneur or not.
If you’re a two or three at something, and try with all your might, you will still probably end up average. People don’t pay to see average tennis players. The want to see Roger Federer, the winner of five U.S. Open Championships in a row, not a no-name like me. You have to pursue the talents that are your strengths. Even if it’s something that you’re a six at now, if you work hard at it, you can become an eight or even a nine.
That’s the kind of stuff people pay for.
• Leadership Wired e-newsletter: A Dream Is Not Enough
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