Honesty about strengths and weaknesses

My brother and I were close. We used to talk quite often about everything under the sun. He was a very meticulous person, very neat, organized and orderly. It used to puzzle me, with his level of efficiency, that he never had his own business. I used to bug him about it, even offered to help him do it. He never would. One day I couldn’t stand it anymore and I “made” him tell me why. I was very surprised at his answer.

I’m not good at managing my time. Nothing would get done.

I thought my brother lost his mind because he was Mr. Efficient. When he had deadlines at work he always had things done before hand. He always found the most efficient way to get things done. This flowed in everything he did, for example, taking a trip. His plans would be minutely planned so the idea of him not managing things efficiently and effectively as a business owner did not compute. I thought perhaps he had fear of the “unknown”, perhaps did not want to risk something stable for something unstable (a new business).

He explained that he “needed” someone to account to otherwise he would blow off whatever it was he scheduled to do. He enjoyed what he did and the “fun” would disappear if he was the boss. He didn’t like management positions either. He knew himself well enough to know that if he started a business, even if it was something he enjoyed doing, his personality type was not complimentary to it. He wasn’t disciplined enough.

Knowing Yourself

Everyday I encounter people who want to start businesses, a blog, create video, etc. and they have these big plans about their success. Not only do they not have a plan about how they are going to get there often they are not realistic about their personality and if their personality meshes with their goals.

An example, how often do you see sites that boast “daily content” but are not updated daily? Or are updated daily but the content sucks? These people are probably good people but obviously not suited for daily updates. The amount of time it takes to write quality content on a daily basis is considerable. The reality is the person who does this isn’t business minded due to the multitude of the mistakes made.

Reality Isn’t Always Pretty

My brother understood his limitations and focused on his strengths. Instead of starting a business knowing he was lacking traits that were needed, he was the best employee he could be. He enjoyed his work and was often recognized for his performance.

Being a business owner or even a good blogger requires the person to be able to it consistently, over a long period of time, do what is needed for success. For example, I get up early every morning and check on our sites, delete spam, glance at email, etc. Not a couple of times a week, every other day, sometimes at 7 or sometimes at 12…every morning (unless I say otherwise) the sites are checked early. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t like getting up early but I had to because of the kids (I don’t anymore). There are times when I get up, check the sites and lay back down but my job is done. Every day. After about 11am, my schedule goes out the door. I make sure the kids eat around the same general time but as far as work I wing it every day based on what needs to be done and I love that because I don’t really care for routines too much.

Doing Your Own Thing IS Work

I’m not a programmer. I’m not a designer. Yet I have websites that have code and designs. If I want to accomplish something and I don’t know how to do it I will research on how to do it. If I want to understand search engine optimization I will research it. If I need to go to school and gain some knowledge I will do that (and I did – I have a master’s in Business Management). In other words, doing your own thing requires more dedication than most realize – consistently.

If you want to write daily articles on your commercial blog (or update on a set schedule) think about all that is required. The topic. Do you need links? Can you back up and prove your point? Do you need confirmation from a source for the article? Is your data accurate? Consider the time it takes to write and proof the article. If it is a commercial blog what about the time to market, network, and manage the blog? If your blog traffic isn’t increasing why isn’t it and how do you plan to resolve that issue?

Honesty is the Best Policy

My brother was honest with himself about his personality traits and how they applied to his career. When I decided to start my business I did the same thing. Going through blogs as I do everyday (some of them personal, some of them commercial) I wonder if they were honest with themselves when they started their venture.

Your turn.