But it’s so easy as an entrepreneur to get distracted by everyone else’s strengths.
“That business owner is good at public speaking. Maybe I should be too.”
“That CEO writes amazing emails. Maybe I should learn to write too.”
“That entrepreneur is a super fun and playful leader. Maybe I need to be more fun too.”
While it’s always good to push yourself and learn new skills — if you’re choosing to only focus on fixing your weaknesses instead of playing to your STRENGTHS, growth will be a MUCH harder and longer path.
This is why I’ll show you how to play to your strengths and downplay your weaknesses in this episode!
We dig into…
- The strengths I’ve used to grow my business and the weaknesses I’ve learned to ignore
- Why most cookie-cutter coaching programs and templates don’t work
- How to use your strengths to attract new clients and pick marketing strategies
- How knowing your strengths will make you a better and more confident leader
- Personal stories from my CEO journey and why this exercise is essential for any entrepreneur!
After you listen, I challenge you to list ALL of your strengths. Broad to specific. Business-related and not. From your childhood until now. Then, ask yourself, “if I had to go get new customers tomorrow, what would feel the most natural and exciting?”
This question (or any question) is sooo much easier to answer when you choose to play to your strengths!
Then I’d love to hear what you discovered! Please share anything you learned from this exercise by DMing me @EmilyHirsh!
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
You are listening to the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, episode number 386.
Hello, my friends. Happy. All things April. April is the birthday month in the Hirsh house. Two of my three kids have birthdays two days apart. In April they’re turning five and seven, which is insane. And last year they were like, we want separate birthday parties. We’re not going to share. So we have the craziest week because Easter’s usually right around there and then it’s their birthdays. And then we have back to back weekend parties and it’s crazy, but so much fun. And my husband’s birthday is also in April. So it is a very busy month. It’s like a Christmas month. It feels like sometimes for us, because of all the things and all the coordinating and growing up, my mom always made my birthday really special. So I like to do that for my kids.
She always did something, whether it was balloons all over the ground, when you woke up or a surprise or redid my bedroom one year just, it was always really special. And she did that for us as kids. So I’ve obviously carried that into my own kids and I like to go all out on their birthdays and just make him feel really special.
All right. So today’s episode, I think you guys are going to like this one, this is inspired by something that I’ve been thinking about the last week and I think it needs to be talked about, and it needs to be said, and I think it’s going to resonate with a lot of you guys, and that is the idea of, are you right now, currently playing to your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses? And so what do I mean by that?
I was reflecting on how so often, because of social media and because of the way the world is today, we constantly are seeing other people who are really good at something. Right? So we see a successful business owner and we see what they’re doing. And we’re like, oh, I should be able to do more of that. Or I suck at that and I need to get good at that. And we see all these people who, whether they’re really good on video, or they’re really good with team building, or they’re really good with networking, whatever it is that you see somebody doing a really, really good job when we’ve all been there where we compare ourselves. And we’re like, I’m not as good at that. And I was reflecting on the fact that maybe those people are so successful because they’re playing to their strength, to their natural strength.
And I was reflecting on the thought and the idea of, you know, we can’t really change our strengths and our weaknesses. We can improve our weaknesses. We can work on something that we’re not good at naturally and improve it, but we can’t really change it. For me, I can tell you, I’m terrible at it, I’m never going to be good at it. I don’t enjoy it. I don’t want to get on calls that don’t have a purpose behind them. Like just to talk to somebody. I don’t like going to events just to mingle. I go in, I speak, I leave. That’s what I’m known for. I just don’t like it. And I have a friend who’s amazing at it. And she has been able to build her business and do great things as a result of her networking. So one of my weaknesses is networking, but I have a lot of strengths too.
Some of my strengths are the ability to move really fast, to get things done, to be really focused and intentional with my time. And I was thinking, I could either go the route of being like, okay, I need to be better at networking. I’m going to do all these things. I’m going to be better at networking. Or what if, just, what if we focused on our strengths and we played to our strengths and we stopped trying to change it so that we were better at things that we aren’t naturally good at, because we’re not going to be able to change that. I’m never going to be able to change that about myself, that I’m not good at networking because I don’t like it. It doesn’t come naturally to me, I’m not going to be good at it, but I can, I will always be good at moving really fast and being really focused and really intentional with my time.
And so if I stop trying to maybe improve my weaknesses or feel like I need to do that to be better at business or whatever I’m trying to achieve, this is relevant actually beyond business. And I played to my strengths. I think that would be more powerful. And so I started thinking like you, I follow people. And especially, as I’m building my software, I see people who have built really successful software companies. And I have those thoughts. I mean, we all do where I’m like, man, they’re just really good at this thing. And I have to do it that way. When you see somebody marketing a certain way or running their business a certain way or structuring something a certain way, and it worked really well for them, what you have to understand is normally the reason why it worked really well for them is because it played to their strength.
It played to their natural strength. And so, I don’t know, this was such a moment for me because I’m like, oh my gosh, this is why you know, you can get a coach and they’re like, Hey, do this. And then it doesn’t work for you. Or you get a coach. Who’s like, Hey, structure your business just like this. Or you need to do this X, Y, Z thing. And then it doesn’t work for you, or it doesn’t work for somebody that they’re teaching. And it’s because what they’re teaching plays to their individual strength, but not necessarily the person that they’re teaching. And that’s why templates follow this exact blueprint or copy this structure. Doesn’t usually work. And the magic comes in where you take really core foundational principles, whether that’s in market or business and you make them your own and you do what feels right for you and you play to your own strengths.
And so an exercise that I’m going to challenge you guys to do is to just sit down, spend a little bit of time reflecting and think about, what are your strengths? And you could make this specific, or you could go broad. You could be, you know, what are my strengths in growing my business? When I need to go and find new customers, what do I naturally do a good job at? Is it networking in groups? Is it networking with people? Is it getting on video? Is it showing up on social media and creating a connection? Is it doing webinars? What would you feel like if I told you tomorrow, you have to go find new customers, you have no choice and you have to find new customers. What would be the first thing that you would do that would feel the most natural to you and start to think through those things.
And then you could go broad with a business, growing a business and thinking through things like solving a certain problem, or what are your strengths in business? For me, my strengths are holding people accountable, being, you know, I’m more of a very direct and tough leader. To be honest, I don’t really have a lot of fun. And that’s because that’s how I show up in my life. I don’t go on my team calls and like to joke around. Sometimes when I’ve seen someone else, and I’m like, wow. They’re way more fun than me. I should have more fun. And it’s like, no, I should play to my strengths because that’s what’s going to help my business grow. And I’ll talk about how you can pair people who have your weaknesses as strength to improve your business in a second.
But think about either a specific problem. It could be marketing, it could be your business. It could be you in general. I like to go a little bit more specific because you could use us to solve a problem and decide what action you should take and list out. What are your strengths? What are you naturally good at? And then what are your weaknesses and think through, what are things that you feel like you have to seriously force yourself to do? And you still suck at it. And it’s, you know, I talk a lot about the importance of being uncomfortable and doing things we’re not good at, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still play to your strengths and minimize your weaknesses and realizing that you can’t, you can’t be amazing at everything, you can’t, whether it’s specific to marketing or your business as a whole, you can’t be amazing at everything.
And people that you’re seeing who are succeeding really well, doing a specific thing, they have weaknesses, but you’re not seeing them obviously talk about that and play to that. And so figure out, what are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? And then the final part of this exercise is how could you play to your strengths more? So if we went the route of marketing, for me, I love podcasting. It comes natural to me. I’m really great at creating that content. I don’t like doing live video. I really don’t. I don’t want to have to show up on camera. I can, I can do it, but I’m not as good at it. I love webinars. Those are great. I don’t like networking. So just cut that out. I’m not going to do that. I don’t have to do that to grow my business.
You know, and looking at, okay, if these are my strengths, if these are my weaknesses, how do I play to my strengths and put more activities that play there and less that play to my weaknesses to actually grow. And then if you’re aware of what your weaknesses are, you can actually go find support whether that is an agency or a team member who has your weaknesses as their strengths. So it’s talking about how I don’t have as much fun. It sounds so bad, saying this, but seriously, I am just a serious person. I like to go and have fun and go on adventures and do things and have fun in my life. But I also like to work really hard and be really disciplined. And I don’t enjoy my day if I’m not productive. Honestly I start flailing and whatever.
That’s just who I am. So dissect that however you want. But even as a kid side story, for those of you guys who have followed me for a long time, you’ll probably appreciate this. But even as a kid, I would be like 12 years old, 13 years old. And my friends would say, let’s go to the mall and walk around. And I’m like, that is the dumbest thing. Why are we going to just walk around the mall? I want to go work or I want to go exercise. And, I’m just, I’m born that way. That’s my natural ability. And I have had times where I’ve tried to change that. And I’ve been like, well, people are telling me that I shouldn’t be like this, or, you know, I need to suppress that. And so in my business, I have friends who are really fun and funny, and they have all these jokes on their team and that’s just how they naturally show up in their life.
It’s never going to be me. And so instead, I do hire team members who can bring some of that energy into the team, but also one of our strengths is speed is queen, you know, how fast we move, how much we get done, how productive we are. And so I, you know, especially in recent years, have these are my strengths and this is how I naturally show up. And instead of trying to fight that and go against that, I’m going to play to that. And I think more and more, this is coming up. When you look at social media, we see somebody doing something and we’re like, wow, they’re doing a really good job at that. I need to do that better. But the thing is, if you’re never going to naturally be able to do that, why not figure out the thing that you naturally are really good at and play to that?
And it doesn’t mean you could still, you know, flex the muscles of your weakness. Sometimes, like when I go to an event, I end up having to do some networking. And there were times recently around my software where I had to get on some calls that I needed advice. And I got on calls with random people that I didn’t really know if it was going to be helpful or not, so I do flex the muscle, but I don’t build off of that. And when you see somebody who’s really successful and then you just go try to replicate exactly what they’re doing, unless you’re just like them. And you have really similar personalities and, you’re built the same way, which is pretty much impossible. I mean, some people have similar personalities and so they might have similar strengths, but unless that’s in alignment and that’s true, which you really don’t know copying what they’re doing or trying to convince yourself, you need to do what they are doing to be more like them, because that’s what achieved success isn’t going to work.
And that is why templates again, and taking someone’s structure and exact thing and putting it into your business just doesn’t work. And I think this is very important if you are a newer business owner that you hear this, because I definitely went through times where I was in brand new territory. So like growing a team, building a software right now, I’m in brand new territory with that growing a team. When I started growing my team, doing things in my business that I’ve never done before. So it’s like unchartered territory. Right. And I would have a lot of people who would be like, you have to do it like this, and you have to do it like this, and you need to do this. And this is what I did. And giving advice in a well-meaning way. And sometimes I paid for it, sometimes it was unsolicited, whatever it’s advice.
So coming at me from people who had achieved more than I had, and I remember and have felt many times feeling like, oh, I need to do what they’re saying, but then, you know, when you just start thinking about that, or you start moving towards that action. And just how something doesn’t feel right. Lean into that because there were times where people told me how to grow my team, specific things of like, you should never have slack or, you know, just advice that people were like, don’t use this software, don’t structure it like that. Or, this is a terrible idea. And they could have been right. But also the reason that they’re saying that is because that was what worked for them and that played to their strengths. And a lot of times when people achieve success, it’s they didn’t even mean to, they were just doing something they’re really good at.
And they were riding that momentum and then they achieved success. And then they try to dissect it and say, Hey, do everything I just did. And it’s like, but you’re not them. And so you have to take some of the baby pieces of the good advice within there and, and, and take out and, you know, pull out what could be relevant for you in you have to play to your strengths because also when you achieve success, at the point when I went to go start building my team in my business, I had already built my business to $15,000 months. I had contractors, I had no teams, I didn’t know what I was doing, but I built this success and I built it by doing what I was really good at naturally doing. And so if I would’ve stopped completely doing that and started following somebody else’s model, it wouldn’t have worked because it would’ve removed the things that I was naturally good at and then made me, you know, not me.
And so there is a balance. There’s a balance in the sense that we need to do things that are new, that make us uncomfortable, that push our comfort zone. But we also should within our business strategy and our marketing strategy and how we show up, what we actually actively do, we should be playing to our, and then getting support where we have weaknesses with somebody who has a strength in that area. This shows up a lot with entrepreneurs and operations. It’s like if they, if you’re spending all of your time trying to do operations and you do not have those skills, it’s going to suck what you build. Right. But you might see another entrepreneur like myself. I’m one of those who’s really good at operations. I can do operations. I can build processes. I can build SOPs. I can do all those things.
And if I couldn’t have done that, I would’ve needed to find that in building my business, but you could see me and be like, oh, I need to be really good at operations because Emily is and how she built her business, but that’s not going to ever work. If you just naturally don’t think that way. And so forcing yourself to be excellent and a player at something is never going to work. Get outside your comfort zone, try new things. Absolutely. A hundred percent, but also try to constantly play to your strengths and avoid that Paris loop, where you see somebody in a certain way, they’re doing something, building their business or marketing their business. And you don’t take it into consideration. Maybe they’re doing that effortlessly because it feels effortless for them. And what feels effortless for you? What gets you in that flow state where it doesn’t feel like work and it is so natural, because if you can play to that, it’s extremely powerful. All right. You guys, let me know what you thought about today’s episode. Just some thoughts I’ve been pondering, that I thought you guys would get value from. So thanks so much for listening and I will talk to you guys on Thursday.
Thanks for listening to the Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing head over to helpmystrategy.com to see how Hirsh marketing can help take your marketing to the next level, no matter where you are today, we help our clients scale faster than ever find hidden leaks in their funnel experiment with new creative marketing strategies and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with team Hirsh.