Braniacs Need Not Apply
My ex husband used to complain that there was not a topic in existence that I did not have a comment or some knowledge on (but then again he never tried talking to me about sports). The one thing he could never understand was that as a bibliophile, it is absolutely necessary for me to read something new every day.
I was raised in a household where my mom was a school-teacher that opted out of the workforce to be a SAHM, and my dad was an electrical engineer and a military man. Both took great pleasure in tormenting my sister and me with word games. “Mommy, what’s for dinner?” Her answer would be “food.” Anytime there was another meaning to a phrase that my sister and I would ask Mom and Dad would take the opposite meaning than what we had asked. Jill and I would rack our brains to find different phrasing on questions and statements in order to get our point across, a quest that inevitably had us turning to the encyclopedia or a dictionary.
The point in the exercise was to help us to expand our communication skills, (or maybe it was to get us out of their hair). Ultimately we were not expected to know every existing word in the English language, but we were expected to know where to go to find the answers. To this day, I still cringe when I see someone playing the word definition search in Reader’s Digest.
I work with new Entrepreneurs and Business owners all the time. One of the biggest obstacles in working with this enterprising group; is convincing them that they do not have to know everything, nor do they need someone on staff that knows everything. What is important is that as a professional, you know WHERE to find the answers.
Inevitably I will be working with a client and get a question about the layout of their website, or how to correct a subscription issue. My answer every-time… “This is a Will question” or whoever the expert is for that particular team. I do not need to know how to work everything about every aspect of my business.
Just like it is not necessary for you to understand the intricacies of how the electrical current keeps your computer, modem and the rest of your network running. You do need to know that you need electricity, and that in order for technology to work, you have to have access to it, and how to use it safely. The same with your business, your “power source” is not just the knowledge you have, but your ability to find the correct answers to the questions that are going to be asked.
One way to insure you have answers available is to make sure you have strong pillars. What is your network; who are your pillars for success? Take a piece of paper, and divide it in half lengthwise then in half again. On the top left hand corner make a list of your strengths, (be honest folks, if you can’t do it now, then it goes on the don’t list it). On the opposite side make a list of your weaknesses. Under your strengths list the people/services you know who could use these services, under your weaknesses list people/services you know are good in these areas.
Do you see anything that is trainable? Do you see strengths you can teach to others, or weaknesses you can learn from others? This is your opportunity chart; use it to help you develop your team and networks. Remember it is not necessary for you to know all the answer, only where to find them.