Every one of us has a level of expertise in whatever we do to earn a living, whether you work for yourself or you’re an employee. If you’ve read Michael Gerber’s The EMyth Revisited you’ll know about the downside of taking your employed expertise into self-employment. Running a business requires a whole raft of skills – that are not necessarily what you were good at before.
I’ve had a bee in my bonnet for years about companies that promote people from the area of their expertise into management and then fail to train them in the skills of management. They end up losing their best performers and getting mediocre (or worse) managers. So what is your expertise? How much time have you given to thinking about it?
Most people are good at what they love to do, simply because they are prepared to invest time and effort into developing that skill. The other side of the coin is that you tend to skim over the things that you dislike doing, so you never get any better. If you’ve never considered what really rocks your boat get a piece of paper and start your ‘things I love doing’ list. It doesn’t have to be finished in one sitting, you’ll find yourself adding to it over the next few days – maybe longer.
The next step is to think about how you can end up doing more of the things you like and less of the things you don’t. Everyone is different and we all like different things – there are people out there who love doing some of the things you would rather not do. If you’ve ever worked in a team of people who all have complementary skills you’ll know how good it feels to be able to do what you’re good at and know that other people are dealing with all the other stuff – and enjoying it too. That really is a win-win situation.
I’m not suggesting that you don’t do the things that you don’t like, but consider doing more of what you do like and find ways to get the other things done. You know other experts – in some of the things you would rather not do – how about collaborating and swapping skills or even paying for someone to do the things that drag you down? Now there’s an idea – use outsourcing or contractors to get work done that would take you longer and kill your motivation. Does it make sense? Of course it does, that’s why I have an accountant, an administrator and an IT support company who deal with all that stuff that frustrates me. I do what I love – isn’t that the best way to be?