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Why You Shouldn't Work on Your Marketing Weaknesses

By Arik Johnstone on Fri, Apr 4, 2014

marketing-weaknessesFrom this moment on, stop working on your marketing weaknesses.

“What?! What do you mean stop working on my marketing weaknesses?”

Well, I mean, stop working on your marketing weaknesses.

“What? Why?”

Well, because you are weak at your weaknesses. You need to quit doing inessential things you’re not great at, and never will be great at. Conventional thought has instilled within us this deep-seated belief that we should work on our weaknesses, turn them into strengths and become well-rounded individuals. This is a flawed way of thinking.

It’s said that to become world-class in a field you need to commit to 10,000 hours of practice. Here lies the problem; I don’t have a spare 10,000 to commit to improving every weakness I have. Do you?

Some Of Us Have This Fantasy of Being ‘The Whole Package’

While there are some people who have numerous strengths, these people are a rare find. People often claim to be exceptionally multi-talented, but the reality of it is that few are.

I have accepted that there are some things that I will just never be great at and that’s fine. No one is good at everything, so we should accept our limitations and look to collaborate with people who are strong in areas which we are weak. If you are great at blogging and social media but awful at design, then you should hire a designer and vice versa. If you have the resources, you don’t have to, and shouldn't waste time learning a trade which someone else has already mastered. You just don't have those 10,000 hours available.

I am giving you permission to work on the things you’re passionate about. The areas you excel. We are all inherently good at something, though it sometimes takes a while to identify, nurture and channel our talent appropriately. Just imagine if Einstein had spent half his time trying to learn more about history and geography (his weaknesses) instead of maths and science. Successful marketers recognise that you need to know your strengths ‘as a carpenter knows his tools’.

I could spend a week learning a tiny part of the art of eBook design, then another week creating one or I could hire a designer to do a better job in a quarter of the time.

It’s Science

American consultancy firm Gallup has reinforced this argument concluding after more than 20,000 in-depth interviews with leaders and followers alike that effective leaders are always investing in their strengths. Just think of Steve Jobs, he was a fantastic marketer and designer but he was not a developer. He let other experts like Steve Wozniak develop the products he was promoting.

We all have weaknesses. It's natural. Great marketers accept this. They don’t obsess and dedicate hours to developing a weakness that is not core to their role. They hire people who have dedicated themselves to becoming experts. Most of us will be lucky to master a few things in our lifetimes, so don't try and spread yourself too thin. You'll truly become a master of nothing, and that's not good for anyone.

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