I’ll start off by saying that I love my wife.
She’s an incredibly talented individual in many ways and we complement each other amazingly well. With that said, she sucks at ironing. Try as she may, she couldn’t iron a washcloth flat. I’m not using this as an opportunity to point out her weakness; in fact, I should be trying harder to cover my ass here. I’m sure I’m failing miserably.
The point that I’m risking a couple days of marital bliss for is a strong one: know your weaknesses. Prolific writer Jack Handy put it best when he said, “If you think a weakness can be turned into a strength, I hate to tell you this, but that’s another weakness.” The entrepreneurial stereotype is focused on – and expectedly so – on being a rock star at handling whatever’s thrown your way. The truth is that a wise business owner doesn’t focus on trying to become mediocre at a weakness if they can simply bring on an expert to manage it.
A couple examples:
- A couple weeks ago, I painted a wall in my living room with this new-fangled, sparkly paint that my wife just fell in love with. This was no ordinary paint – two full gallons of the most stubborn substance known to man (I’m serious, the stuff works like Flubber), two days and six headaches later – the wall was done. It was and still is not an expert job, and I still kick myself when I consider that, if I spent only two hours on billable time during that weekend, it probably would’ve paid for a professional to do it…twice.
- When my company was just little ol’ me, the responsibility of repairing, installing and maintaining computers was up to me. Fortunately, I got my A+ certification a few years back (don’t know what it is? Don’t worry, neither does anyone else), so I had sufficient knowledge to keep my computer humming along. Now that ImagineDesign has many more computers and needs a grown-up network with tons of forgettable acronyms and boxes with blinking lights, I have someone else manage it and I stay away from it.
A goal of building a business is, to some degree, getting it to run perfectly without your daily involvement. Some of that relies on systems, but most of it depends on putting the right people in place that do everything you can’t, just as much as it depends on having people do what you can.
On that note, I have some ironing to do…