You Can't Be Good At Everything

Even writing this makes me smile because, as an entrepreneur, I would rebut this statement if someone else said it to me. After all, an integral part of the entrepreneur DNA is being confident and determined, so it’s quite natural to us to believe that we can put our minds to anything.

However, take it from me, a seasoned entrepreneur of 17 years – and a business coach who’s worked with hundreds of start-ups and growing businesses, right up to multi-million pound organisations – you can’t be good at everything. You can be good at a few things, usually the skills you set your business up to sell in the first place; you can be ok’ish at some things, but you will also be not good – or even downright bad – at others.

And this is OK!

It’s OK to not be good at everything. It’s OK to have gaps in your general business knowledge, or to be unconfident with areas of your business that other people seem to take in their stride. It’s OK to have to seek out help and support from outside your business.

It’s not OK to pretend that you are good at everything, that nothing is a problem, and that the challenges bubbling away beneath the surface, the calls from irate customers or suppliers, or the alarming dips in your income, don’t exist.  

As a business owner, I know what my strengths are and I know what my weaknesses are. I know that if it’s anything related to sales, marketing, people or the general delivery of my service, I’m all over it and 100% confident. I know if it’s anything related to admin, systems and processes, finance or tech, I’m going to need to sit down and take my time. Or, I’m going to need to find someone to do some – or all – of the tasks for me.

And that’s the key; accepting what you can and can’t do – and then embracing it. There’s no shame in not being able to do everything. There’s no reason why you should be able to do everything and, in reality, even if you could do everything (which is highly unlikely) you wouldn’t have the time to do it in any case. Just taking care of day to day business, the skill or service you set up to sell in the first place, is enough for most people. Start adding in the integral business tasks, and the legal/accounting requirements, and you’ll find you’ll be running out of time fast.

So doing everything? Being able to do everything? Unrealistic.

What’s realistic is sitting down and choosing to play to your strengths, and then identifying what tasks fall within those strengths. Looking at your working week and setting aside time to carry out those tasks. And then finding someone who can oversee everything else.

It’s not a sign of weakness. It’s not a sign of overwork. It’s not a sign of failure.

It’s a sign of professionalism; a sign of a good entrepreneur. Of someone who wants to grow their business, and wants that business to have a solid structure full of proper processes, strategies, and potential.

You can be extraordinary at some things. More extraordinary than you could ever have imagined, perhaps. But you just can’t be good at everything. And that’s a fact.