There are a LOT of great things about being an entrepreneur...
Building something from nothing. Pushing toward your own goals. Controlling the direction of your life.
But let's be real. There's a lot that sucks about being an entrepreneur, too: The failed attempts. The spotlight on your shortcomings. The never-ending To Do lists.
Like all things in life, you have to take the good with the bad. Or rather, you have to take the good with the suck. It’s not all sunshine and dollar signs. There are a lot of obstacles, from nagging pebbles in our shoes to seemingly unmovable boulders.
But all the suck can be worth it in the end…
If you learn how to embrace the suck!
Owning THE Suck vs Owning YOUR Suck
“The Suck” presents itself in two forms for entrepreneurs. The first form is found in ourselves; it’s what we suck at. The second form is found in daily operations; it’s what sucks about our particular jobs.
Things you naturally suck at doing
Things you have to do but hate doing
I’m sure you’re thinking, I think I know what he’s trying to say but… hang with me. It will all make sense soon.
How to Embrace YOUR Suck
As entrepreneurs, we are go-getters and make-it-happeners.
We think that with enough determination and elbow grease, we can accomplish anything. And we’re right! But that doesn’t mean we’re good at everything.
Nor does it mean we NEED to be good at everything.
Take it from me. I’m a good motivator, organizer, networker, and even a dope dancer. But I suck at art.
I suck at anything to do with visual design, from logos to social media images to designing a simple business card. I can spend hours (days even!) trying to design a simple logo and come up with something barely acceptable; whereas, others could pull out a stellar design in just a few hours.
Now, I could dwell on my suckiness and force myself to endure the sucky hours of my sucky attempts. OR, I can embrace my suck.
In other words, I can embrace my weaknesses, as well as my strengths.
We are go-getters and make-it-happeners...
but that doesn't mean we're good at everything.
Nor do we NEED to be.
Embrace Your Strengths AND Weaknesses
As entrepreneurs, we often start with very limited budgets, and time is our main currency. We’re used to putting in long hours to get whatever needs doing done. While that is one of our strengths, it can also be one of our weaknesses.
We’ve all heard that we need to work smarter, not harder. Well, working smarter means identifying your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
You have to learn how to overcome or work around your weaknesses. Whether that means taking classes, practicing, or outsourcing, embrace that you suck at it and come up with a practical solution.
Embracing your suck may be the very thing you need to get to the next level. Letting your suck hold you back or slow you down might be what’s keeping you from success.
So, embrace your suck! Overcome or work around your weaknesses.
How to Embrace THE Suck
Now, THE suck is a bit different. THE suck is something you HAVE to do yourself to reach your goal, but that you hate doing. It’s something you can’t outsource (at least not yet, anyway).
Think of it like this. To have a strong, healthy body, you have to eat healthy food and exercise. No one can eat salads for you! No one can do your pushups for you! You have to put that work in yourself to reap the benefits.
The same is true for any business. To enjoy success, you have to put in work that only you can do, no matter how menial or exhausting it is.
But wait, Devon! Didn’t you just say I shouldn’t waste my time on tasks others can do? Nope! What I said is don’t waste time on your weaknesses. There’s a big difference between weaknesses and dislikes.
Dislikes vs. Weaknesses
The basic goal of every entrepreneur is to work hard to do what you want in life. It’s a constant and often slow progression from doing almost everything on your own to doing as little as possible as your team grows. The idea is, the more successful you become, the more you become a manager, not a worker.
Essentially, it means you eventually get to hand off all the things you hate doing to other people.
Did you catch the keyword in that last sentence? Yep, “eventually.”
Since you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’re still in the early to mid-stages of entrepreneurship. You’re trying to figure out how to get over that hump that seems to keep growing. You’re trying to figure out how to balance all the things you need to do and want to do for your business.
Well, here’s some advice: Embrace THE suck!
Instead of thinking about all the sucky things you have to do, just do them! Don’t let yourself huff or growl or whine.
Change your perspective and realize that the sooner you get those “sucky” things done, the sooner you can focus on your big ideas. Remind yourself that those sucky things are still stepping stones to your success!
Make it happen. Get it done. Celebrate the small accomplishment.
Embrace the Suck with Me!
Set a time aside this week to list out things you’re struggling with, big and small.
Then, divide that list by weaknesses and dislikes. Identify which weaknesses and dislikes are holding you back, and come up with solutions.
A solution may just be to suck it up and get it done (dislikes) or to learn, practice, or outsource (weakness). These lists will help get you over the hump!
I’d also love to hear about YOUR suck (I know that doesn’t sound right, but run with it)!
And oh yeah, I almost forgot...
If one of the "sucks" you're looking to own has anything to public speaking, then join my private Facebook group and let me help you embrace the suck, suck it up, and step into what you're truly capable of when it comes to being awesome on stage.