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.

Print Friendly
Tagged with →  

26 Responses to Focus on Your Strengths; Know Your Weaknesses

  1. Guyintheback says:

    Hey Mark,

    just want to wish you good luck with your site.
    I can honestly say that I come here almost daily to check on updates, and really enjoy reading your posts. Also, the quality of your writing in terms of style (content also) has really improved over the last two years.
    And, while I still have a lot to learn, some of your posts really struck a chord with me and helped me improve. So thanks for that!

  2. Koanic says:

    Good job Mark.

    My way of putting it:

    Play to your strengths, pay to your weaknesses.

    (That is, invest in fixing them.)

    In other words, never try to base your main game on your weaknesses as a method of fixing them.

    • Mark says:

      I *LOVE* the Rawness article. I think it’s brilliant and wish I had written it.

      The Krauser one… I find he’s being a bit of a reductionist in his analysis, and of course he frames it where he’s one of the most developed. I don’t know the guy and don’t read him, but from what I know of him, he’s shown some of the most narcissistic behavior out of anyone in the past, so I find it ironic that he’s on this so hard.

      Other than that, I started writing about this stuff a year ago in my book, although in less detail. So I’m glad to see it gaining traction.

      • Zac says:

        Did you guys watch the Strauss video where he chokes with the woman? I think he was just kind of put in an awkward spot. It’s kind of super try hard to just do that on camera in that situation. I wish he could have just explained it like that.

      • krauser says:

        The Rawness article is the best thing I’ve read all year. Just a quick note regarding my “framing”. My blog is a hyper-documented journey. So whatever I write is meant to reflect either what I’m thinking (including stuff I’m currently undecided about) or where I intend to go. So for example when I write about becoming a Type 1 man I do not therefore claim I already am such a man. It’s got a large element of aspirational thinking. It’s a very different frame from yours (and most others) which are more like “I’m already the expert and now I’m advising you”.

        People constantly misunderstand this and say things like “12 months ago you said X, but now you say Y which is contradictory”. That’s the point of a journey – you learn and change. But people wouldn’t really get that unless they read the whole blog and it’s quite understandable that most simply won’t be interested in doing so.

    • Alvar says:

      The Rawness was an amazing read, thanks for posting.

      (Mark, I don’t think the up/down-voting of comments is working…)

    • brett says:

      holy crap. that rawness article was awesome. I felt like it described myself, to an extent, and, my guess, a lot of people in the PUA industry/market.

  3. Edmond Dantès says:

    Please make the announcement not before 6 o clock. Still have to rush home after work :)

  4. Jack says:

    Heres to learning from your mistakes!

    ps love the MLK quote

  5. Tim says:

    Huge fan of the new site design; especially the ‘products’ page. Still think it’ll need to get better in time, but this is a big step up from what came before. I’m excited for the announcement!

  6. Tiger4C says:

    Mark, I don’t have time to post on blogs, but I liked a lot of your guest posts. Can you please put them back up? Especially the ones on fashion and fitness. My schedule is so busy I usually only have one day a week when I can really buckle down and read through stuff, and I had a bunch of articles on your site flagged for reading.

  7. Alec says:

    Man I love that quote

  8. Traindom says:

    It’s great to hear you’re set on writing 90% of the content. I don’t know about the others, but you’ve definitely inspired me to follow my passions. It wasn’t long ago I was set on investing like you once were if anything for the “job security” and upon reading your interview, I crept back. I like engineering but I’m not sure how happy I would be as an engineer. I do appreciate that you’ve made question these sort of things before I went down a road of regrets, wondering about what I could have been.

    Thanks for never giving up on your passions. I hope someday I can be so in touch with whatever I do as you are now and will be.

  9. Jorges says:

    Hey, just want to say: the first 3 bullet points about the plans for your site are exactly what I’d have wished. So keep it up that way! :) Just one thing: the previous design really did look better, kind of more serious.

    But generally, having discovered the site some 3-4 months ago, I’m amazed by the quality of literally every posted article (Think about wrapping them into a nice PDF/Epub for download). Besides, reading about your insights about self-awareness and confidence really felt like being taken out from Flatland into the third dimension. So thank you for writing. :)

  10. Pellaeon says:

    Im glad that you will be the main author again. Your posts on vulnerability, break down of the PUA industry, and ‘making a move’ being solely based on overcoming fear and taking action have had the biggest positive impact on my dating life than anything else. A year ago, I had trouble approaching even two or three women in a night out with my friends, and could never approach alone. Now I tend to average at least 5-8 approaches (assuming none of them hook, number is lower when i stay longer obviously), and am consistently approaching by myself everyday on the metro during my morning commute.

    I’ve been amazed that Ive been able to walk up to a woman (or most recently group of women), and just start talking without any forethought or organization and actually maintain their interest. I generally feel more confident than ever before, and have untapped the people person that’s been hiding under my introverted nature for so long. In fact, yesterday I started talking to a random guy while in line at IKEA and ended up trading business cards when I found out he was a developer like me – so it’s extending to my general social life and business life as well.

  11. Chris says:

    I couldn’t tell if I was drifting away or the site was drifting away from me. It was probably a combination of both. Transition in my life coinciding almost exactly with the site transition.

    I’m happy with the new direction. You are an excellent writer and I look forward to enjoying and learning from your work.

    What kept me a fan for so long was always Mark. The other writers were interesting, and nothing against them. But it’s the personality and style that I always came back for.

    It’s analogous to the Daily Show. Yeah he has pundits on who are generally great, but it’s 90% Jon and that’s how it should be. 30% Jon might be a “good show” but it wouldn’t be the show we fans LOVE. And in the end, it’s the love that keeps us coming back.

    And I’ll definitely be coming back. It’s really is an honor and a privilege to read your work. I think that whether or not you are financially successful from the site (although I’m sure you will be), you can feel pride at the honesty and integrity you’ve put into it.

    Love you man, I mean it.

  12. Thanks to everyone who liked my article.

    Mark, I think you’re on the right track here. I read you in the past on your former blogs and enjoyed them, but when I tried postmasculine there was something missing. No offense to your guest writers, who were quite talented in their own right, but it was your voice and personal experiences and insights that interested me the most. You going back to providing 90% of the content is definitely a step in the right direction in my opinion.

  13. Oscar Serna says:

    If you do video blogs or podcasts,
    please for Deaf people to write out a transcript of these!

    I read your book last week. It was an awesome and inspiring book. Thank you for your insights in that book!

    Looking forward to ever more of your insights!

  14. Jake says:

    Mark,

    Awesome to hear that you will be posting 90% of the content from now on again. I am a huge supporter of your ‘old-style’ and was one of those who “waned” over these past few months. Now that I know that you will be frequently posting again I will be sure to check the site consistently like the past. Right now you & Roosh are the only guys in game im checking up on as I’ve moved from anything resembling pua to more a well-rounded lifestyle mindset.

  15. [...] money, more readers and more opportunity. As most of you know, the site’s been going through some growing pains in the past six months. But now that the branding and the vision for the site are set, it’s [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>