“Work on yourself!”
“Learn something new every day!”
“You can do anything you put your mind to!”
Do any of these sound familiar? When you’re trying to make it as an entrepreneur, everyone has advice on what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
One of the most important things I have learned, but I only wish I had learnt it sooner when I was just starting out twenty years ago, is that you should ALWAYS be pushing yourself to learn new skills.
There’s always areas that you can improve on, and the most successful business people are those who never let themselves get too comfortable, and realise it is a game of constant learning and evolution.
I’ve learnt a lot through my interviews with successful entrepreneurs like Pimlico Plumbers’ Charlie.
Do you honestly think you’re the best you can be at everything?! It’s all very well having an idea for a business, but unless you can quickly get a handle on sales, marketing, logistics, finance, accounting, forecasting and managing your cashflow, you’re going to come unstuck pretty fast! Running a business is going to take all of these skills. And more!
So what are your weaknesses?
You’re never going to get better at something unless you admit to yourself what you struggle with. The trick is to figure this out sooner rather than later so you can do something about it.
You have to put your ego aside, and be honest and realistic. Even if you really, really want to be that guy who can close every sale, take a long hard look at your track record and ask yourself whether it’s ever likely to be a reality. If you’re working for someone else and think you could do better setting up on your own, you might be setting yourself up to fall flat on your face if you’re always the lowest performer in your team!
It’s not just about the obvious ‘business skills’ either – your personality traits can be a strength or a weakness, and either help or hold you back from making a success of things.
Playing to my strengths – networking!
You don’t have to constantly slog away trying to get better at something that you’re just blatantly shit at though. The smartest entrepreneurs are those who play to their strengths.
For me, I’ve learned over a long time that actually, the detail is just not my thing. I’ve tried (and sometimes failed!) to get better at it, but have come to the conclusion that I’m much more suited to getting things started and dealing at a higher level.
You have to know when to stop trying to improve something from ‘really shit’ to just ‘quite shit’! If you’re not adding any real value, then stop wasting your time trying!
Running a business is as much about knowing when to quit as anything. So concentrate on things you actually WILL see improvement and value from.
For example, if you’re shit at maths, and know that your bookkeeping is taking up way too much of your time – outsource it! The same applies with sales – you might know your product inside out, but if you’re naturally just not very good at dealing with people, no amount of coaching is going to turn you into some sales superstar. So get someone on board who is, and concentrate on improving something else!
The best thing you can do for yourself and your prospects for success is to be honest with yourself. Better yet, get a mentor who can help you work out where your strengths and weaknesses really are!
If you want to find out more about mentors, and why it could be what you need to take your sales through the roof, check out my YouTube Channel, where I talk more about why and how I do it.