I recently shared my thoughts on what it means to be an advocate for a business, and how true advocacy calls for unvarnished assessments and tough love even at the risk of giving offense. This is just as true for your own business as it is for those of your fellow entrepreneurs. I’m not suggesting you ignore your accomplishments or always focus on the negative. But I am suggesting that you be honest with yourself, and don’t give yourself a pass on your own deficiencies. Acknowledging a weakness and dealing with it takes strength. If you can get tough with clients when need be, recognize that you have to be just as tough—if not tougher—on yourself! Both you and your business will be better for it.
Identify Your Weaknesses
It’s everyone’s least favorite job interview question: What is your greatest weakness? Interviewers use your answer to assess you, and you should use it to assess yourself. None of us likes to acknowledge flaws in our ourselves, but as we all know, our success as entrepreneurs begins and ends with us. If you can’t identify problem areas and devise strategies to deal with them, you won’t grow as a person or as an entrepreneur. And neither will your business.
Rank Your Business’s Challenges
We all have weaknesses to contend with, but it’s worth noting that our business’s also have weaknesses. Every field has its own challenges. And whether your business is particularly susceptible to market fluctuations, location-related issues or any of a million other factors, you have to be able to recognize and prioritize your difficulties. Don’t hide from them, no matter how tempting it may be! Refusing to face your greatest challenges is just setting your business up to fail.
Examine Your Process
You’ve fixed yourself, and you’ve fixed your business. So now what? The final piece of the puzzle is your process. Are you running your business and managing your work in the most efficient way? Again: Be honest. Do you cut corners because you’re overwhelmed? Slack on tasks because you dislike the activity? Double down on outmoded processes because change is difficult? Only if you’re truthful with yourself can you find ways to be better. Acknowledging a weakness is hard at first, but the reward is well worth it.
image credit: Bigstock/VadimGuzhva