We had just finished a project in San Diego.
Everyone was happy with the end result, but we were beat. So we all took a week off–which is customary in the events industry–to regroup and remember our names.
I told my client that I’d circle back around to him next week. After our wrap-up meeting over breakfast, I called an Uber.
“Take me to a beach bar somewhere,” I told the driver. “One with lots of beer.”
Thirty minutes later, he dropped me off at a busy beach bar overlooking the sand. I through my stuff down, grabbed a seat with a great view, and enjoyed my drinks.
I was happy. My client was happy.
Life was beautiful.
“May I give you some tough feedback, Jay?”
My client and I hopped on a phone call a week after the beach.
“Jay,” he started, “You’re really good at A, and incredibly good at Z. But you’re just not that great at B through Y.”
That feedback first hit me like a ton of bricks. Honestly, it knocked the wind out of me. I didn’t like hearing that I wasn’t good at B through Y. That’s the majority of the alphabet!
We had done a fantastic job on the project, and his feedback caught me off guard. I’ve gotten tough feedback before. Things like that don’t typically phase me. This time was different. I formed a pit in my stomach. I was surprised.
I was pissed off.
But I thought more about what he said.
What he had told me led to a massive change in how I approach my work. I began to embrace the A and Z as my thing. I open, and I close. And instead of worrying about B through Y, I would search for people and tools that could bridge that divide.
That’s when things began to really change for me.
His feedback changed my entire approach to work.
I’m a believer in doing as much as you can by yourself when you’re starting a business.
With that said, I’m a bigger believer in understanding what you’re good at and what you’re not. Self-awareness is crucial. So while there’s still plenty of things that aren’t in my sweet spot of talent, I look to bridge the divide by finding others who are better at those things than me.
I’ve begun to focus much more on building teams.
That’s led to its own challenges, but they’re welcomed challenges. Teams have allowed me to focus a bit more on what I’m best at. It’s also given me the privilege of having multiple irons in the fire, which is something that best fits my style.
Maybe you’re similar to me. Heck, maybe you’re completely different.
Regardless, take some time to think about what you do best and find ways to do those things more often.
You’ll be proud of what you can accomplish.
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Photo: Flickr/Eduardo Merille