[PODCAST] Business Surgery – Removing Weakness to Save Your Strengths

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And here’s your host, Matt Hardy.

Today I want to talk about sticking to your strengths.

The more engaging title is: “Business Surgery: Removing Weakness to Save Your Strengths.”

Popular business wisdom tells us that we need to work on our weaknesses.

Whether it’s parents, spouses, teachers, business partners, employees, kids, friends, enemies, customers, clients, or the ramblings of the latest self-help guru we are constantly reminded to work on our inabilities.

And to a degree, I agree.

But I’ve got a different take on it.

THE MOST important thing you can do is major on your strengths, and focus on those areas rather than trying to improve your weaknesses.

In fact, in some cases it’s better to avoid your weaknesses all together.

Let’s be honest, you got to where you are today because of the strengths that you have.

And if you haven’t arrived yet, the only chance you have of getting to where you wanna be is on your strengths.

Being a well-rounded generalist won’t work.

In this day and age with all the competition out there – you need to stand out from the crowd.

Anything that keeps you from “doing what you do best” short-circuits your business’ long term potential for growth.

Your main focus needs to be on fully developing your own core strengths.

And those pesky weaknesses?

Well, if you know what they are, that’s a great first step.

Once identified, you need to be able to figure out a way to either avoid them, or develop a system for dealing with and overcoming them.

If you aren’t particularly awesome at bookkeeping – hire someone who is.

If you don’t know where to start with online marketing, you can see the product on our website.

Don’t have time to answer the phone? Hire a receptionist or a 1800 service.

Too many little details popping up in your day that keep you from steering the ship? Hire a virtual assistant.
Sound complicated or difficult?

Then it’s probably a good time for an example.

When my first dentist retired, it meant I had to go shopping for a new one.

And I landed one a mere five minutes from where I live.

Aside from the general inconvenience of having to go, I really don’t mind going to the dentist.

And the dental experience at the new dentist is about as good as I’ve run into.

The front-end staff in this new place is incredible.

They all smile with real smiles – not those plastic “I’m smiling because I was told I have to” smiles.

They seem genuinely friendly.

Even the hygienists are fantastic.

But, I’ve got to be honest the dentist himself isn’t that great.

He’s short, gruff and looks about as serious as I’d imagine a Russian mortician in Siberia to look like just before he begins working on the deceased.

I swear he called me “comrade” one time.

And the way he goes about his business gives you the impression that you are just another number….just “one of many” in the herd of cattle he calls customers.

But even the dentist has learned that when he finally emerges from his cave in the to see patients, he has to at least ask how you’re doing.

Ya, they say the words, but you can tell by his body language and tone that he doesn’t REALLY care.

“How am I doing?

Well, you’ve been looking into my mouth for the past 45 minutes, you have my complete dental history for the past 35 years, you’ve just used your xray gun to orbit around my head and shoot my jaw with photographic particles, and you’ve have spent the past 40 years of your life either in school or practicing as a dentist.

So between the two of us – and given where we find ourselves at the moment – who do you feel is more qualified to answer that question?

And no, I don’t want your upsell of a basic psychological assessment just because you took a couple psych courses back in college.

Let’s just cut through the formalities and just get through this as quick as possible.”

But the thing is – even if he asks how I’m doing – he’s done in a few moments and then it’s back to dealing with the friendly, smiling face of the hygienist.

It goes down so quickly you almost wonder if it even happened (and I’m fairly sure it’s not the nitrous oxide speaking).

He’s gone in a flash – on to the next patient – making money all the way.

The dentist knows his strengths lie in his technical knowledge, so what does he do?

He surrounds himself with wonderful people in such a way as to over-compensate for his complete lack of social grace.

This leaves him free to focus on what he does best, and because he did such a good job in hiring the front-end smiling faces, it turns his weakness into a strength.

It works because, at the end of the experience, you’re left with the lasting impression of the overwhelming friendliness of the staff.

And he gets away with his abrupt nature even more so as, who really wants to be at the dentist any longer than they have to?

As a business, they seem to have learned that the trick is to limit dentist interaction to just what is absolutely necessary for the patient.

Beyond that, they allow the fantasticness of their front-end staff to be the face of the business and the lasting impression that stays with you.

And you can run into these kinds of situations in just about any business.

Oftentimes, you have certain employees in the business that are extremely skilled in what they do – maybe they’re even vital to the success of the business – but they have glaring weaknesses.

What to do?

You have to be able to assess the situation and either fire them or cover for their weaknesses if their contribution to the business is worth it.

Sure, you can try to train them – but trying to get a square peg to fit a round hole doesn’t always work.
And it can be costly.

You might be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but changing their personality is going to be nearly impossible.

So rather than spending time working on their weaknesses, if you can engineer a way to avoid putting them in situations where their weaknesses are on display, solid chance your business will reap the rewards.

Besides, your employees will be much happier if they don’t have to spend all day doing things they hate because they aren’t good at them.

By doing this, you’ll get the added bonus of improved morale.

You might find that a former weakness is turned into a new strength with a solution like this.

Here’s to being able to ignore your weaknesses and focus on your strengths.

Want more customers, more sales, and more business? If you need to grow and develop your business, we have the answer. Visit BizDevShots.com now and click on the Biz Growth Solutions tab at the top of the page to find your solution.

I hope you got something out of this podcast.

An idea you can use.

A different thought or viewpoint.

Or maybe you found it mildly amusing.

At any rate, can you refer this podcast to one other person you think might find it entertaining or useful?

Because I want to help as many people as I can, in as short a time as possible.

Here’s something to listen to while you think about it…

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