Being an entrepreneur takes resilience. It takes a steady stream of energy and passion to keep going after your goals, day in and day out. It takes utmost confidence: you have to be your own biggest fan.
I used to think the concept of being your own biggest fan was a bit disheartening. Doesn’t success mean I should have a chorus of supporters cheering me on? I shouldn’t be the one giving pep talks to myself, should I?
But recently, I came across this video by Gary Vaynerchuk that changed my thinking. Give it a watch. I'll wait.
Gary explains it so well. Even when you’re massively successful—the best you could possibly be, like a pro athlete—the rest of the world is going to talk about your shortcomings. You’ll have supporters, sure, but people are going to focus on your flaws just as sports commentators still analyze LeBron James’ weaknesses.
As entrepreneurs, we can’t afford a second of wasted energy focusing on our flaws. We have to forge ahead with ultimate confidence in our strengths, acting as our own number one cheerleader.
Here’s what being your own biggest fan means to me.
You Capitalize On Your Strengths
Chances are you built your business around one of two things:
- Something you’re passionate about, or
- Something you’re good at
We’re naturally inclined to do things we love and things we’re good at. There’s a reason for this! It’s because those are the areas where we’re most likely to excel.
Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to spend even more time on those things?
The world tells us to do the opposite. We should be more well-rounded, they say, or we should work on professional development in areas where we struggle. Or heck, we should feel guilty for doing more of the things we love!
I say all of that’s crazy. Instead of taking our strengths for granted because we’re already good at them, we should go all in on those things, becoming the best at them. That’s where there’s opportunity for massive success as an entrepreneur.
You’re Honest About Your Weaknesses
Do you know your weaknesses?
Of course, you say. I’m stubborn and I’m a terrible singer.
But think about it a little deeper. Do you truly know your weaknesses, from a business standpoint?
Society expects us to gloss over our weaknesses. It’s even customary to use fake reverse-psychology answers like “I work too hard!” when asked about our weaknesses in job interviews. But when it comes to building a profitable business, that gets you nowhere.
If you really want to excel, you have to absolutely know the things you’re not an all-star at and be totally honest about them. You don’t have to go advertising your weaknesses from the rooftops for all your competitors to hear. You just have to get honest about them with yourself.
Many times, you won’t have to go too far to find your weaknesses. Once you start actively working to identify them, they’re often staring you right in the face. You can also talk with a trusted friend or mentor who knows you well to help gain clarity on areas where you naturally shine and ones where you’re not as naturally inclined.
You Shift Your Thinking About Weaknesses
It’s one thing to know your weaknesses. What you do with them is another matter entirely. Being your own biggest fan means changing the way you view weaknesses.
We tend to look at weaknesses at something inherently negative, like it’s a character flaw to be bad at math or to suck at networking. We sometimes view weaknesses (incorrectly) as a measure of our worth.
Instead, it’s much more productive to look at weaknesses as an objective trait—a part of who we are, much like being left- or right-handed. Neither one is good or bad, and they don’t say anything about our character. They just are.
When you think about weaknesses this way, it’s much easier to identify and accept them. It’s also a lot easier to dismiss them as something we no longer have to waste time focusing on.
So you’re bad at the financial side of running your business? No sweat—it’s not your strength. Hire someone who is strong in that area (like an outsourced accountant—holler!).
That’s another pro tip: look at your weaknesses as a road map for who to hire. More on that in this post.
You Use Your Energy Wisely
This one’s the most important component, and something Gary Vee preaches heavily. You can’t waste time worrying about your weaknesses. You have to focus your energy 110% on your strengths.
There are only so many hours in the day and only so many brain cells in your head—as an entrepreneur you already know this all too well! Time and energy are finite resources you must expend wisely.
Don’t waste them trying to make small gains in areas of weakness. Instead, invest your time and energy compounding on your strengths.
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