Whether it’s work-related, personal or both, everyone has weaknesses and “blind spots.” In order to grow, it’s crucial to pinpoint these weaknesses and work on improving them, either by yourself or with the assistance of others.
Acknowledging you have weaknesses and working through them not only makes you a better entrepreneur, but it can also make you a better person in all facets of your life. To help you determine your game plan, eight members of Young Entrepreneur Council each detailed one way you can actively work on your weaknesses, and how doing this will help you evolve as an entrepreneur.
1. Accept It, Seek Help and Practice
Start by understanding two things: 1) Everyone has weaknesses and there is nothing unique or unsolvable about your weakness. 2) Your weakness does not define you as an entrepreneur. The first step is to not downplay your weakness—accept it for what it is. Second, like with anything you want to get better at, seek someone out who is strong in that area and learn from them. Third, practice! Find circumstances to intentionally put yourself in that will test those weaknesses and give you opportunities to become better. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
2. Partner With The Right People
I’ve always been aware that I’m talented in some areas, but lack specific skills in others. The best way I actively work on these areas is by surrounding myself with the right people. I’ll partner with individuals who make up for my lack of knowledge and learn from them. I ask questions, take notes and put what I learned into practice. I understand that I’m bound to make mistakes, which is why I accept and appreciate constructive feedback from others. This offers me an opportunity to grow and strengthen my relationship with my team while working on my weaknesses. My best piece of advice when it comes to working on your biggest weakness is to accept that you can learn wonders from those around you. Partner with the right people and watch yourself grow in areas you once lacked. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.
3. Track Progress Daily
One way I actively work on my biggest weakness is by tracking my progress on a daily basis. Starting off each day by reflecting on how the previous day went is part of this process. Another aspect of progress tracking is comparing current results with the previous year. To truly know whether or not I’m overcoming my biggest weakness, it’s essential to accurately track everything that contributes to success. Meditation, quality sleep and diet are leading factors for this success. – Richard Fong, Bliss Drive
4. Approach It With Honesty
I work on my weakness by approaching it with total honesty and recognition. It can be easy to pretend that we don’t have any weaknesses, especially in business. It’s like we are primed to be emotionless, productive robots that only ever deliver perfect results and never make mistakes. That just isn’t reality, and holding yourself to that impossible standard will lead to burnout quicker than anything else. Recognizing my own flaws helps me to mitigate them and address them before they spiral into something worse. A successful entrepreneur isn’t a perfect one (there is no such thing), it’s just one who is capable of moving with their weaknesses as opposed to against them. Accept what you can’t change about yourself and keep moving; it’s the only way forward. – Nick Venditti, StitchGolf
5. Develop Self-Awareness
The first step is getting to know yourself better through introspection and reflection. You can spot patterns, and from there you can ask for help from others. For example, I have an entrepreneurial quick-start, which means I love to get an idea and act on it immediately. On the flip side, my co-founder is very grounded and has a way of stepping back to look at the long-term implications of every step we take. By working together, I’m able to push us further faster, but he balances me out so that we don’t fall off the ledge because we went too fast. If we weren’t both fully aware of our strengths and weaknesses, we would constantly be clashing instead of balancing each other out. – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly
6. Reflect Through Meditation
Meditate to get to know your fears and attachments. Do you notice that you get physical responses to certain tasks or before big phone calls? Maybe you chalk it up to imposter syndrome or nerves, but your body is telling you something, and the best way to use what your body is telling you is through silence and meditation. Start listening to your body during professional and personal scenarios, and keep track of what triggers these moments of discomfort. Then, explore them in meditation. Learning to understand what these feelings mean and what they are triggered by is part of greater self-awareness that, once harnessed, can be your greatest asset, not your greatest weakness. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
7. Reframe Your Weakness As A Positive
Not only do we all have weaknesses, but we also all dread that question in interviews. Early on, I learned how to answer that question during an interview, and it has since become a strategy for working on my weaknesses: Positively reframe your weakness. Avoid describing your weakness as one of your failures. Instead, focus on positive aspects. Think of ways you’ve transformed your weakness into a positive. Recognize where improvements are still needed. Then begin to tackle those areas. Like all things in life, recognizing your weaknesses is the first step to change. Once you’ve identified where you can improve, begin to work on it one baby step at a time. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
8. Define Your Core Values
Having emotional blocks is one of my greatest weaknesses. To deal with this, I simply get clear on my core values. Many entrepreneurs are not clear on what they really want to be as they rise from one level to the next. I often hear people say they don’t have any core values. That’s just part of the problem. A core value is something you can’t change, like your belief in God or your hatred of crime. What you can change is what’s inside you, your outlook, your perception of the world around you. What you think and how you reason is determined by your core values. This strategy has helped me become a better entrepreneur as it has enabled me to try out new market ideas and take business risks. – Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day