Who hasn’t seen the iconic film Tommy Boy?
If you have, you’ll remember Tommy’s line, “Let me tell you why I suck,” as he explains his inadequate sales approach to a waitress while attempting to order some chicken wings.
While I’m not one to jump on the negative bus and complain about why I’m not getting what I think I deserve, I think there is something extremely valuable about the exercise of understanding specifically what we are not. I believe it is a life saver!!
I’m a HUGE Gary Vaynerchuk fan. Gary says in his book: Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion we must understand how to cash in on our passions. In one of Gary’s hundreds of YouTube videos he also preaches we learn to know what we ARE NOT. He claims (and I believe him)to only be good at a few things and leaves the rest to the talents of others.
LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I’M NOT:
- Interviewer: I’ve learned I’m not a great interviewer. It’s not that I can’t ask questions, or I can’t listen to people. My challenge is I end up selling them on how great an opportunity I believe is in front of them and challenging them to take it. I rarely interview a new candidate on a 1st interview. I’ve yet to meet the person who is a great interviewer, or talent fox, but I’m not losing sleep over this one anymore.
- Dictator Leadership: I’m not a manager in a way of dictating activity or action. I have zero interest in hovering over someone like a child to ensure they do something 50 times in a day. Some managers get things done this way. I will never be this guy. If you are this guy, don’t fight it. Embrace your style, just be fair doing it.
- The Details: BORING! I don’t have a lot of interest in specifically how work gets done on the extremely minute detail to detail level. I need to understand the project and see what I’m going to get in the end. I’m a big thinker. The more time I spend “in the weeds” of the conversation the less happy I am.
- Great at All Things: The competitive, Type A, side of me wants to get better at my weaknesses and work on them. But, in reality the time invested in my weaknesses when measured against my absolute strengths leaves a tremendous amount of opportunity cost on the table. If you like math think about it this way. If I spend 5 hours on a task where I’m only 50% as good as a talented individual I’m only getting a 2.5 hr return on my investment. NOT GOOD. If however, I invested 5 hours of my time on a task or project where I’m 3x (300%) better than others, I’ve now conquered 15 hours of achievement. PS – I’m likely 10x happier in the second scenario as well.
Understanding what you are not, may feel hurtful and negative at the time. It’s not. Be honest and it will open your eyes. I encourage you to take a step back from yourself and your ego (most of us have a one) and “let it go” like Elsa says. To me personally, it was a tremendously eye opening experience and amazingly uplifting. It’s also allowed me to say NO to many more things and focus my time and efforts.
Time is the only resource we all have the same amount of. Why then are some ridiculously successful while others struggle solving someone else’s problems?
ACTION ITEM: Please take a step back and find out what you are not and stop involving yourself in these activities IMMEDIATELY. You will be less “busy” and more focused on the activities where you can make a massive impact