I want you to succeed. Therefore, DO NOT FOCUS ON YOUR WEAKNESSES!
Towards the end of last year, I noticed that many people focus way too much on their weaknesses. Some of the things I read from emails and social media messages included:
“I’m a great writer but can’t afford training”.
“I keep sending proposals in Upwork but I’m not getting any jobs”.
“I hear great things about cold-pitching, but it just doesn’t work for me.”
“I’ve really struggled creating my site”.
“I am a poor time manager”.
The list is endless. Everyone is focusing on their weaknesses! STOP!
Yes, you should work on your weakness (not focus on them). But…
…I recommend you start from a position of strength. Please start with what you have.
What is it you really love doing? Think of those things that you do really well, and enjoy doing, such that it doesn’t even feel like work. Things that you’d do all day and still feel energized.
Write them down and focus on those strengths.
(Even if it’s cooking, read about how KFC started! I want you to succeed, even if it’s not just in online work).
How I take advantage of my strengths
I’ll give you some few income-generating things that I don’t really struggle with. I’ve actually enjoyed doing these things from day 1. They’re my strengths. Hopefully this will help you identify your areas of strength that you can focus on.
Strength #1. Teaching and inspiring people
This is fun for me. I love seeing people’s lives change for the better. Writing things such as emails, blog posts, social media posts, forum posts etc. have been so awesome for me! I actually use a couple of paid tools to just get my points across.
I can spend a whole day writing inspirational or educational stuff, without feeling too exhausted.
(I actually write A LOT and just schedule them into blog posts, emails, social media posts, training lessons etc).
How I earn from teaching and inspiring people:
– I train people at a fee
– I’ve written and sold a couple of eBooks
– I get referrals from the networks I create e.g. my mailing list, my Facebook groups etc.
– Actual job offers/arrangements from beginners who eventually grow and succeed in this profession. Some trainees even outdo me in some stuff!
Apart from earning, teaching creates the best thing ever – social impact. In my case, I aim to help alleviate poverty from the society.
Strength #2. Managing work
Note that here I’m not talking about DOING work, but MANAGING it. Here I’m just highlighting my strengths, remember? Not talking about those things that tire me or make me feel like I’m “working”.
I realized this in my first 2-3 months of writing – that I love managing work, meaning I’m great at creating and managing teams. Teamwork does this:
– splits huge chunks of work into bits
– makes things manageable (since it focuses on each person’s STRENGTHS)
– creates opportunities for others (social impact)
– has a higher income potential than working solo (way higher)
With this, I realized that I can easily (and happily) manage huge projects without missing instructions or deadlines.
Since I like learning how human beings work, I learnt how to select the best people to work with (without getting a throbbing headache).
Case study: Read about Jacob McMillen (A world-renowned copywriter. He recently, in a WriteWorldwide webinar, stated that he doesn’t write everything. He creates an outline then hires “drafters” to research and flesh it out. Result: He’s now earning up to $15,000 per month!)
How I earn from managing people’s work:
– I get bulk freelance work from clients and outsource some of it to writers at a fee. For example. if a client pays me $100 for the piece of work, I pay someone in my team $50 and bank the other $50. I’ve hired so many to do this this over the years, especially for clients who are looking for people with teams.
– Creating internet marketing “systems” where I get tools and a team of people to achieve specific goals. I explain more on this below:
In Team FreelancerKenya I have someone I call “my CEO”, an excellent customer support assistant, a transcription trainer and I sometimes hire people as need arises.
In Team PenStars I have a great partner / tech guy (Spike Wyatt from the UK) and some amazing local and international editors.
In Team Bloggaz, I have a fantastic partner (Samedi Amba from TZ).
Other things I do remain unannounced till a later date.
I also use lots of paid tools/services to manage work e.g. AWeber, ZenDesk, SocialPilot, and Upwork etc.
As stated above, these teams and tools help me achieve bigger goals in terms of income-generation and best of all, social impact.
Strength #3. Learning (and implementing)
I love learning new things. I’m always watching webinars, listening to podcasts and reading blog posts. I’m now reading a ton of books. It’s fun!
But yes, just like some of us, I’m totally unable to purchase some courses. For example, I’d have loved to purchase “More Clients Every Month” by Derek Halpern, “10ksubs Elite” by Brian Harris or “SEO That Works” by Brian Dean.
Meeen! These things are so damn expensive. We’re talking about up to $4950 for one of the courses here. Note a joke, right?
I definitely won’t borrow $4,950 to buy any course, and I won’t cry about not being able to afford the course.
However, I’d rather subscribe to Jon Morrow’s membership for just a month (goes for $49 but he gives random discounts down to even $1 sometimes).
From there I’ll get many things that will help me increase my income. I’ll then one day be able to easily afford some of the premium courses above without breaking a sweat.
In short, what’s expensive to you today will not be so expensive once you SCALE UP.
And NO, I don’t have a degree, yet. Here I’m just talking about the kind of learning mentioned above.
How I earn from free/paid courses:
– Neil Patel’s FREE “Advanced Customer Acquisition Webinar” was one of the best free courses I ever did. This helped me create my FREE “Starter Pack” which transformed my life and many people’s lives. It also helped me increase my income at a time when I desperately needed it.
(Those who’ve been here for a while know the tragedies I went through in 2015 that made me NOT work almost the whole year. I came back in 2016 , did lots of learning and started from scratch. The above free course helped me increase the income I get from my freelance writing course)
– The PAID course AffiloBlueprint was the BEST paid course I ever did back in 2012/2013 (I bought it at $77 and I was so broke those days). This helped me super-charge my then struggling blog and get started on profitable affiliate marketing – things that I still earn from to date.
– A FREE blog post in Thrive Themes titled “How Ramit Sethi Collects Leads for His Online Courses” helped me to learn about ABO (always be offering). This shows that you should not just keep posting things, but always offer something up for sale. Wow! This was a real game changer for me!
Takeaway: if you’ve not understood anything from this post, read this!
The thing to take home here is that we should work on becoming GREAT at what we’re already strong at. You can then scale up and HIRE someone to do the things you’re weak at.
If you’re totally new to online work, you can actually first learn different things (through free and paid courses/guides/blog posts/emails/webinars), try them out and you’ll discover what you’re strongest at. Focus on that.
I also once in a while struggle with different things such as cold-pitching, time-management, not being able to afford expensive courses, and even writing some complex articles.
But, trust me, I’ve mostly focused on my strengths such as teaching people, managing bulk work, and learning.
If I can’t afford an expensive course, I’d just go for a cheaper or free alternative then use it as a stepping stone to scale up and afford better things. If an article is too complex, I can hire someone who’s good in the niche to write it for me. If I can’t find clients via cold emailing, I hit them up on social media or send proposals in Upwork.
Being GREAT at my strengths has helped me earn decently and to also hire people to do some of the things that were “too difficult” for me. You can do it too.
Just imagine how great it will be when you actually earn from things that you totally enjoy doing. That way, work doesn’t feel like work (even if other people think you work so hard). You end up just doing the things you love and are really good at, and you earn from them.
I’ve not said it will be easy. It just doesn’t have to be soooo haaaaard.
All the best as you work on focusing on your strengths.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate you for taking your time to read this..
PS: Don’t only work when motivated. Create your vision (what you’d like to be in the next 12 months) and start working towards it. Focus on your strengths. Trust me, if we all did things only when we were motivated, we’d not really get much done!