zipline

[Photo Credit: kenjipunzalan via Flickr]

I was always a big fan of things that seemed dangerous. At first, it wasn’t because I actually wanted to do anything dangerous, I just enjoyed the adrenaline rush of thinking through and planning things that probably shouldn’t ever be conceived.

However, one day, all that changed. I actually attempted one of my crazy danger schemes. Here’s the scene: I was at @rodsies’ house. He and I built a zipline from his second story bedroom window running down to his backyard fence. The only problem was, his backyard was quite small. In other words, the drop from the window to the fence was quite steep. And when I say quite, it was probably about a 60 degree angle (picture the really steep slide you used to slide down during recess).

Anyway, I decided I should be the first to try this contraption out. Not because I was brave or because I actually wanted to try it out, but because I was afraid. And I wanted to face that fear.
So I went for it. Yep, I zip lined. But, I promise you, it was more like a free falling Disney Tower of Terror than a zip line. And, down I went. And, smack.

I hit the fence.

 

All that to say, today, I stumbled across John Jantsch’s latest posts over at his Duct Tape Marketing Blog. In part 1 of his post, John talks about “Giving Yourself Permission To Suck,” which I found a great concept. How many times have you not done something because you weren’t going to be good at it? Or you were afraid? Afraid of failure. Afraid of what people might say. Afraid of trying?

The point is, if you want to achieve any level of success in your business one of the things you must do is give yourself permission to be bad at the things you don’t know how to do.

I’d always thought of my weaknesses as bad, negative, and can get me nowhere. Until I saw a scene from The Office recently. Here Michael Scott is being interviewed for a new position. Check it out:

If you can’t see the video (click here), basically Michael Scott is in the interview and is asked “What are your greatest strengths?” Michael answers by describing his greatest weaknesses, “I work too hard. I care too much. And sometimes I can be too invested in my job…well, my weaknesses are actually, strengths.”

Well, at least I thought it was humorous. But the more I’ve thought about this, the more this idea grows on me. Have you thought about this before? What are you absolutely terrible at that you could spin into a strength? Are you terrible on the phone? Maybe doing things in person actually develops relationships deeper for you.

Do you have a hard time focusing on one task for an extended period of time? Maybe taking bite sized chunks of various and completely different projects enables you to develop a deeper breadth of industry know-how over time.

Because I think of crazy ideas and run toward “danger,” I put myself in situations that make me uncomfortable from time to time. I don’t do marketing like everyone else does. I can’t. I get bored too fast. But at the crux of that issue, lies my creativity and curiosity (or intrigue). It makes me ask the silly questions. It makes me consider things most wouldn’t consider.

What about you? Do you have weaknesses that you associate as negative? Can you spin those negatives into positives?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Leave your comments below.