Focus on Your Strengths; Know Your Weaknesses
One of my biggest weaknesses as a person is that I often get distracted by big ideas. This weakness can also be an advantage at times, as it’s what led me to be the first to proclaim that most pick up tactics were merely an emotional overcompensation for men with unresolved childhood traumas and terrible self-esteem. It was also lead me to frame vulnerability in men as a strength rather than a weakness.
But unfortunately, this tendency can lead me on wild goose chases. For instance, in taking what had essentially been an extremely successful blog and magically trying to transform it into a general content site. Like Michael Jordan thinking he could play baseball, it probably made sense at the time, yet in hindsight, what seemed like a simple transition was actually riddled with complications
My strength — or to put it in business terms, my unique selling point — has always been my unique voice, and my ability to connect with my readers. As good as the other writers were, and as great as many of their articles were individually, bringing them on inadvertently undermined the foundation that had defined my business for three years. On top of that, managing half a dozen guys and the content they produced proved to not be a strength of mine — or at least I discovered I didn’t have much of a desire to make it a strength. As a result, the vision of the site got muddied, reader engagement waned, and I spent less and less time doing what I loved about this job to begin with: writing.
But that’s all behind now. As with everything, you live and you learn. It was a worthy experiment, and I learned a lot from it… in fact, I think I have a clearer vision now of what I want this site to be for the next five years than I ever have before, and I don’t think that would be possible without the detour of the last six months.
Four years ago, when I first started reading about how to start a business, one of the first major pieces of advice I stumbled upon was to always focus on your strengths. It’s human nature to try to improve our weaknesses, when really it’s maximizing our strengths that sets us apart and gives an opportunity to do something spectacular. Be aware of your weaknesses, but maximize your strengths. And as these things tend to go, I nodded said, “Yeah, I get it,” and then a proceeded to ignore the advice on-and-off for years before realizing my mistake. It just reinforces the fact that you really never really learn a lesson until you go out and screw it up yourself.
This lesson also reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: the street sweeper quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
This quote has often inspired me. But notice the quote doesn’t say a street sweeper should also learn to hedge and paint fences adequately as well. It says if you’re a street sweeper, do that one thing better than anyone has ever done it before.
What I’m good at, and what I’ve discovered I love, is blogging, writing, sharing my life, and teaching others the lessons I’ve learned from it. So I’m done with distractions. I have a brand I like, a vision I’m passionate about, and so it’s time to blog so well that the hosts of heaven and earth will take pause.
Changes going forward:
- I’ll be going back to writing 90% of the content. Focus will primarily be on developing real confidence and self-awareness and how they benefit various areas of our lives as men. Yes, I’ll still talk about women and dating. But no, this is no longer strictly a pick up site. I will still post guest articles, but they will be sporadic.
- I will experiment with both video blogs and podcasts in the coming months. We’ll see what happens.
- The forum will hopefully be getting a redesign and upgrade this week as well.
- There is going to be a big announcement on Wednesday that I think will blow some minds. And no, I’m not selling you anything. You’ll want to check back, as the announcement will be time-sensitive and will only be made once.
Any further feedback is welcome in the comments. Let’s keep the dialog going. I feel like a lot of the metamorphosis that’s gone on over the past year, despite being awkward and stressful at times, has been a collaborative effort with many of you. Thank you all for bearing with me and giving a damn. Now, let’s get back to the quality of blogging that we had going last summer… if not better.