In business, we often strive to make all of our customers happy by being good at every feature or service we offer them. The problem is that being good at a lot of things makes it difficult to be great at any one thing. Why do we do this? We think we can excel in any one area when the reality is we are just good or average in all areas. Have you ever thought about trying to be bad at something you do so that you can grow your business and increase your market share?
On my entrepreneurial path, I have realized many things come down to a few key decisions. Sometimes they are very tough decisions that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. This is what being an entrepreneur and leader of a company is all about. It is about making the big decisions that will either lead you to your success or demise. The demise part comes by not acting and putting off these tough decisions that need to be made.
These decisions can come in the form of people that should or shouldn’t be with your company, products or services that you should or shouldn’t have, or in the strategic direction of your company.
What are you good at? What flows so naturally for you that when you do it, it’s like riding a bike down a big hill…you just hang on and enjoy the breeze? When you play to your God given talents, you do things effortlessly that others around you find hard or unexciting. When you can put yourself in a situation to focus on those things, you excel and can take yourself to great places.
Here is a little history on how I started understanding my strengths:
For as long as I can remember, I was focused on making money and achievement. It started out small…odd jobs and mini business endeavors such as lemonade stands, buying and selloing comic books, pumping gas, cleaning out barns, washing dishes, and painting houses. I even made clown shoes! (get the scoop on this in a future blog)
“Are you listening?” my teacher said. “Pay attention!” “Why don’t you like to read?” they would question. Seems like I heard this over and over when I was growing up. Looking at words and not grasping what they meant. Spending hours standing up in front of my mother and brother, just to repeat over and over the 20 words I had to spell on the test the next day. This part of me felt so lacking and behind the other kids at school. Kids were expected to be proficient enough by the third grade to read something more than Dr. Seuss. Not me. No, not me. I was the exception. By the third grade my reading was terrible, my spelling was worse, and my vocabulary suffered to say the least. Needless to say, I was placed in summer reading classes.
It’s seems a little funny now but it definitely was not then. It was like teetering on a rock between ignorance and intelligence, only I was unable to find a balance. My reading troubles made me feel stupid, while in other areas I excelled without trying. I didn’t know the cause; I just knew this “problem” was causing me a great deal of stress in school.
I was born an entrepreneurial spirit, an inherent desire to create opportunities and realize them. My journey has led me around the world, given me the opportunity to learn from some remarkable people, and experience leadership on a whole new level.
In my life I have gone from pumping gas, delivering newspapers, and making clown shoes to creating a mutual fund from scratch that helped carry my firm to $1Billion in assets. I then created the first mutual fund in the world run solely by its shareholders. I have seen my ideas and investments flounder, and I have also seen them thrive. I have felt stupid and genius at the same time, and discovered the world of Dyslexia. I have identified the difference between my strengths and my weaknesses, and learned to use them to my advantage. I have found a world of people who share my entrepreneurial spirit within the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), and with them I have been everywhere from the Pentagon to the Playboy Mansion.
Today I run a custom software development company called Efficience, with offices in both the United States and India (Effindi). My team and I have realized success and failure, and from that have developed an effective form of execution that we call FlockGPS.
I know that I did not get here alone, and I feel that my path to success is ongoing. My point is this: I got here from what I learned from other people, and it’s only fair that I pass along my awareness and experiences. Our economy suffers right now. We are the only ones who can fix it. I want to succeed, and I want to see Entrepreneurs around the world succeed, as well. We are the ones providing the innovation and job growth in our economies.
I was told a long time ago that if you really want to know something, you teach it. So if sharing this blog exposes you to ideas that will help you grow your business and inspire the entrepreneur inside of you, then I think they refer to that as a win-win.