“I’ve never ever spent any time focussing on what I’m bad at, or what my weaknesses are. I have always played to my strengths. Played to them and built on them”. Eddie Friel.
This is a major issue for many people, not only in the entrepreneurial space but in music and the arts as well. They can become so blinkered to their end goal that they can’t see where they’re going wrong or what their weaknesses are. I get it. It’s hard to be objective. It’s hard to see the difference between people doubting you-and you wanting to prove them wrong-and you maybe not being as good as you think you are. Sometimes…amazingly…criticism is helpful.
Quite a lot of my time has been spent trying to help young singers getting started in the business. And quite a lot of the time…you come across them in an audition situation. I have on many an occasion had “mad X-factor audition” style moments. Where the person concerned truly believes that they have talent and unfortunately cannot and won’t be told that “ maybe this isn’t for them”.
It’s different when you can see that someone is just obviously nervous, lacking experience and maybe needing that confidence boost. It’s an entirely different thing when someone is convinced they’re the next Christina Aguilera when that’s maybe quite far from the truth.
I was speaking at a business event recently and somebody asked me “Can anybody be taught how to sing?”. And I honestly think no. You can’t . If they are tone-deaf and have absolutely no musicality whatsoever…it doesn’t matter how many warm-ups and scales and ear-training exercises you do…it’s probably not going to get there. But, as I said it’s recognising the difference between someone who just needs that positive push in the right direction and someone who should probably take up…I don’t know…bowling. But, sometimes it’s just the joy of doing it that really makes people come alive. I love getting groups of people together and singing. They don’t have to be the best singers in the world. But, they can sure have a hell of a lot of fun doing it. And nothing brings people together better than singing together.
So this is the key thing in any business…in any area. Find out what you’re good at, hopefully it’s also the thing you’re passionate about and work it. Be the best that you can be at it. What is the point in being average? Realise and accept that you have your own gifts and others have theirs too. You can’t be amazing at everything. Accept that there will always be those who are better than you at certain things and there will always be those who are not as good as you. The sooner you learn that…the happier you will be.
Here’s another thing. That’s more work-related. Don’t get caught up in being insanely busy but unproductive. Audit yourself. Audit your life. Are you just running around in circles or are you actually getting anywhere? You’re trying to find that point where you can be objective. You need to be able to look at what you’re doing and see what small changes would make a big difference. Would your time be better spent reading some business articles rather than doing a Game Of Thrones marathon? Work out what is important to you and prioritise.
Some of my favourite advice was given to me when my family was moving back from New York to Scotland when I was 12 years old. Out next door neighbour Donald said to me
“Greg, no matter what you do…be the best that you can be”.
Simple but perfect.