Friday, June 5, 2015

Marketing your Weaknesses (and why it works)



 Gone is the day of bowing to the Almighty Professional. We've come out of the age of "Schooling = Salary", and entered into the day of the Self-made Man. We've burned out the Baby Boomer's 9-to-5, and are a-blaze with the "4-hour work week." Entrepreneurs are everywhere, and unless someone is dying or being sued, they often look for the been-there-done-that, rather than the PhD. Technique trumps Tough, and White Collar has to recons with "e-collar."

 In fact, the lower you've been, the weirder you are, and the greater odds you're up against, the more fame, success, and wealth you stand to gain.

Why?

  1. You Stand Out - who grabs your attention, the guy jogging on the sidewalk, or the guy jogging with only one leg? There are thousands of athletes, thousands of businessman, politicians, massage therapies, coaches, dog groomers, you name it. What makes you one in a thousand?
  2. People love the Underdog - Who do you cheer for, the athlete who runs a 3.5 minute mile, or the one-legged athlete who runs? The greater the pit you've climbed out of, the great the crowd that gathers to marvel at your victory.
  3. Trust in "the authorities" is seriously waning - People have doubted lawyers and politicians since the beginning. Now they're doubting professors and doctors. Next it'll be scientists and commercial farmers. The more "official" you are, the more skepticism you gather.
  4. People readily Relate to you - having a story, scar, or Achilles heel will act as a magnet to those with the same story, scar, or Achilles heel. Have a "dent?" Congrats, you're human like the rest of us.
  5. It's New and Exciting - you'd be shocked at how many people are rich and bored. Drop a couple hundred on the newest device? Sure, it looks cool. Drop a grand or two on an e-course? Yeah, it had a neat title. Drop several thousand on a vacation? Why not, never been there before.

I'd be willing to bet that employers pay more attention to how you answer to your "greatest weaknesses" than how you answer to your "greatest strengths."

Why?

Because your Weaknesses ARE your Strengths...

...if you leverage them correctly.

The ability to hone your "weaknesses" to work for you instead of against you is essential.

 Being unorganized and unfocused could be a "side-effect" of a creative mind. Instead of ignoring these less-than-desirable counterparts of your strength, use them to enhance your strength: people who are "unorganized and unfocused" are usually so focused on one thing that other things fall by the wayside; so busy puting ducks in a row in their head that their personal environment is scattered around them.
 The good news is that one can broaden their scope to include the rest of their life within the scope of their strengths... or should I say weaknesses. They're really just different sides of the same coin.

 It can be done, but it takes some innovation and creativity, and most of all, bravery. Because it's so much easier to put up a facade and hide behind everything in life that brings us face value.

Epic Examples:

Those who struggle themselves help others win
  • Gina Devee, a multi-millionaire coach and founder of Divine Living, helps other coaches get off the ground. Why? She shares her story of coaching failure: massive credit card debt, not enough in her bank account to order Dominos, and unable to find a single client in Los Angeles, even after offering her services free. All this after acquiring a master's degree in psychology, and after working in the white house. She had something to offer, but nobody took a bite. And through her story of defeat and victory, she has made a fortune helping people who were in the same exact spot she was. Her weakness? Poor business and marketing. How's that working for her now?
  • Rebel Wilson, a successful and well-known Australian Hollywood Actress, is overweight. I judge not in saying so, because she says it herself. She sings off key, too. And that's why she's brilliant. She markets her size and voice, even though socially unacceptable, and wins big because of it (pun intended). I'm not condoning an unhealthy lifestyle, nor flaunting one's body, but it just goes to show that even a perceived weakness can become a great asset.
  • Joni Eareckson Tada is a talented and well-traveled artist, Founder and CEO, author of 50+ books, radio host, and has been awarded multiple awards. She's also been interviewed on Larry King Live and ABC News Tonight. This would be a boast-worthy bio for anyone, but even more amazing for Joni because she's accomplished these things after her diving accident in 1967, when only 17 years old. This left her a quadriplegic, meaning she was confined to a wheelchair without use of her arms or legs. Unable to swim and ride horseback like she used to, and totally dependent, she even contemplated suicide. But through her literal weaknesses, she learned new skills. Placing a paint brush in between her teeth, she started to paint. And paint she did! In 1982 she married the love of her life and is still alive today!
Joni Eareckson Tada painting

My weakness {just one of them}

I get discouraged when I don't see results immediately. That is indeed a weakness, as it breeds impatience, discontent, and a quitter's attitude. Striving to find resolve, I've become a fast worker, learning efficiency and organization.

Because of this, I'm building a blog on productivity and overcoming perfectionism. Hopefully I'll integrate that into my Wellness Coaching Business (wait for the big reveal this fall)!


 So what is your "road block" to success? What is your marketing/business conundrum? Better yet, what is your "worst weakness?" How do you plan to leverage them to benefit you?

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