Matching Your Strengths To Your Work

Dec 27, 2016, Written by Sue Miley

strengths

I have tried countless times to use graphics programs. It isn’t intuitive. I love art and I felt getting creative with graphics would be an outlet that would also help my work. I just can’t do it. It isn’t a natural strength.

Then I really dove into the online world of marketing. Social media was a puzzle to figure out. It took years of trying new platforms and connecting with people online. I figured it out. Then advances started coming that required more technical expertise. I conquered Constant Contact. I jumped into shopping carts and online products.

Tools keep evolving, and now to use our email marketing platform, it feels like we need a programmer. Or at least someone who gets it. I have tried and tried to do campaigns in InfusionSoft. Rather than conquer it, I fell into the group of users who affectionately, or not so affectionately, call it ConfusionSoft.

Then my daughter’s boyfriend expressed an interest. In a matter of days, he was clicking and dragging icons to create campaigns. We have been using InfusionSoft for 3 years and will just now finally be able to use more than 20% of it’s features. Why? Because it is his strength. He just gets it.

What Are Your Strengths?

Have you ever thought about it?

As a small business owner wearing every hat, you probably feel that everything is a weakness. That you have to do bookkeeping, but never even thought to take an accounting class. And many of us consider marketing as a black hole that sucks all of our time and money away. Then there is dealing with people…we like talking to customers but don’t understand why we can’t communicate effectively with employees. Who said we have to be a leader just because we own the business?

Even though it feels like we do more things that we are not strong in, we all have strengths. We may just have to dig them out.

Take a few minutes and think about it. Write them down.

  • I can write. It only takes me 20-30 minutes to write a blog post, whereas it takes about an hour and a half to create images and set it all up on the website.
  • I am good at business strategy.
  • Coaching, working with others, is a strength.

Now take another few minutes and figure out how you can apply your strengths to your business.

  • I am the best at selling our services because I am so passionate about what we do.
  • I really like working with owners on how to grow their business. I can help if strategy isn’t their strength.
  • We need writing in our marketing and for our clients.

How To Focus On Your Strengths

You may be thinking this is all great, but all of the stuff that I am not good at still has to get done. This is true. Here are a few options to consider in trying to focus yourself and your team on strengths:

1. Figure out what everyone’s strengths are by having each person on the team list them or perhaps take a Strength’s Finder test (although this may not be as tacticle as having mad InfusionSoft skills as one of the choices).
2. Move things around to see that everyone is in the right spot. Are they at least in the position that can use their strengths?
3. Consider outsourcing technical weaknesses in the team. This costs less than hiring someone full time with the same level of expertise.
4. Plan for future hires to have some of the needed skills when you are able to hire new people. Believe it or not, we tend to hire people like ourselves. This doesn’t help conquer any areas of weakness.

And don’t laugh at this last one, because it is the one action step that can save us through it all:

5. Pray for God to work through our weaknesses. Sometimes we have to keep the various hats on, strength or not. God knows and cares about our business. He can and will work through us when we need Him. And, as a bonus, it reminds us just how much we do need Him!

We don’t always have the luxury of only working in our strengths, but the more we can align our strengths, and the strengths of our team to our roles, the more magic we find.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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