I’m Bad At Most Things
I got a message from somebody recently and I guess they been following what I been doing for a while and they heard me on some podcasts, they read my book when it came out a couple years ago and I was humbled that they listen to every episode of this podcast. As flattering as it was, the self-depreciating tone and the way that they describe themselves was hard to hear. They went on to say how they can’t do anything right. And this person has some skills in different areas that are really exceptional, but there comparing themselves to so many other people and their getting down on themselves. They’re comparing themselves to me and to other people up there watching and to some friends who’ve been in business for a while. She seemed defeated and almost accepted that she’s not going to be able to do what she wants to do. She said something to the effect that some people seem to have it all figured out and do everything right and there so many things that I don’t do right.
I started to realize that people of public personas that are not true. I thought about myself and this person that is reading my book. A book that’s been edited and crafted for over a year. A podcast which I do a lot of research and thinking about what would be the best topic and then it’s edited. I’m really careful about the way the message comes out and to make sure it’s a great story and a great lesson and a great take away from it.
If you like what I’m saying here. I don’t talk this way all day long. If I ramble longer, I repeat myself over and over again, I can delete this and start over again. I can publish it when I want to publish it. I started thinking about all the things that I do wrong or poorly. I just wish people would realize we are all screwed up and that’s totally fine.
I can’t swim if my life depended on it. I keep wanting to take lessons and get better at it but I almost drowned when I was seven years old and I was frightened of swimming through my entire youth and I’ve never gotten to where I become a good swimmer. My three kids are better swimmers than I am and they would have to save me. Does that sound like somebody who’s got all figured out? Let me give you another one. I love the work that I do and I have an awesome wife and three boys that I love more than anything but I find myself often distracted when I’m with them. I find myself on a hike thinking about another business idea with the companies that were gonna run all the time. I am not balanced in that way. I’m extremely flawed. It was fortunate that we homeschool our kids and I can get away with messing around like that at times and still getting quality time with them, but I still do that all the time. I’ll give an example to that. My kids know when I’m not paying attention and they know when I’m daydreaming or I’m thinking about something. So, we’ll be in the yard, we’ll be doing something and they’ll ask me a question. I’ll give the typical aloof dad type answer of “aha” or whatever I would say. And they figured out to ask me a question like asking by the time we went to place that we have never been to before and I’ll be do my thing about “aha, yeah” and then they will look at me like “see you not paying any attention. We never even went there” and they start laughing because they know I’m just being aloof. I feel like a terrible dad when I’m doing it but at the same time like that’s life and that is a struggle that constantly have to deal with because my mind is always going on the next idea or thinking about one of my clients in terms how we can help them. I hate to say but sometimes just playing in the sand pit, it just doesn’t stimulate me as much as I would like. And my eight-year-old, on his own, doing his own thing and I’m kind of daydreaming a little bit. I used to feel terrible about it.
So I constantly try to get better but man, we’re all messed up and don’t even get me started on aspects of the business that could be better that I don’t do well enough. That is set up a giveaway and people opt into an email and I don’t keep up with them nearly as consistently as I should. We are missing opportunities left and right. There are ways to monetize and to grow and use social media, ways that were not even sure of what we’re even doing. I was just being totally honest. We did an external audit of how our businesses run. They would say “how are you even in business right now? How do you even do this?” And I’ll tell you how we do it, we don’t focus on being the best at everything. We ignore or we are bad at so many parts of business that other people would say is essential. But the flipside is this, what we do well, we do really well at. What we do well, we constantly do over and over again and we become better than most anybody else at those things. And by doing a few things well and ignoring everything else, has allowed us to build multiple successful businesses. More importantly, it allows to build these businesses so we can live the life that we want with our family. Because the point of us doing this is not to be as wealthy as possible. The point is to live the life that we desire while helping to the best of the ability, the people who trusted us to work with us. And that’s it.
So if we do that really well, you build raving fans that talk about you. If you create raving fans that talk about you and refer you for other work, so many other things that every says we have to do, we really don’t have to do. For instance, people try to tag me on Twitter, it’s not even my account. I can’t remember the last time that I went to twitter. So some poor guy with my name on Twitter keeps getting probably tag and stuff and he has no idea what’s going on. That’s fine. Instagram is another one. I could be optimizing that so much more than I do. I hardly ever post there but every says you’ve got to be on Instagram, it’s important, it’s vital to be on Instagram. Now could we be doing better? Sure. Is it vital? No, because were doing fine.
So the point of all this is to realize you don’t need to be great at everything, you don’t need to be great at most things. If you can find those one or two things that not only do you love doing but you become great at, that serves your people wonderfully, that’s all you need. If you want more things that I’m awful at or I screw up constantly, I’d be happy doing more episodes about them because I can fill the airwaves with them. Because I want you to understand that me or nobody else has it all figured out and if it seems like they do, they’re lying. And just because somebody could throw a football farther than everybody else or if they can write the best email that gets converted over and over again or they have a huge number of Instagram followers or they could speak publicly better than you ever could, doesn’t mean that there’s not a thousand things that they don’t do well.
So just remember that were all bad at most things. The successful ones just find a way to be great at a few and turn that into a life of success and you can do the same.
I will talk to you tomorrow!