Some people believe you’re born with all your unique quirks and personality. Other people believe that you develop your individuality as you grow over time. And of course there’s the people that are on the fence and say it’s a mix of both. Regardless of which side you’re on, we all have some kind of individuality inside of us. And these small things that make us who we are often define other parts of us as well. For example, our strengths and weaknesses.
Our strengths are things that we’re really good at whether learned or a natural skill. Think of music prodigies composing music or solving advanced calculus equations as kids. Of course a strength can be something much simpler like speed reading books. And there’s also our weaknesses as individuals. There will be things that we just suck at in life. It’s not to say we can’t get better but we’re far behind the average. Think of people with no rhythm to save their lives. But the most adept individuals are aware of both their good and bad. So what is your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?
Here’s a short story on my greatest strength and weakness in life.
It was back in 2013 when I was working on one of my first businesses. My friends and I had come up with a cool idea for a t-shirt line. Fresh out of highschool, I had no idea how to really start a business. I’d never looked it up or even heard of kids my age doing things in business. But that didn’t stop us from dreaming. The idea was a catchy t-shirt line called “Tease”. It was made for men to attract women and was all backed by science. Yes, there was real sciene about what women found attractive on shirts.
So Dwayne and Enkose went to town creating and designing all kinds of cool concepts for the shirts. It was epic. The quality was great and the visuals had a lot of appeal for guys to want them. But at some point we hit a huge dead end. We had a logo. We had a catchy name. We had ten plus shirt designs. And we even had a slogan. But we were just three broke friends with a bunch of designs and no idea of what to do next. And that’s where my greatest strength comes in.
My greatest strength is thinking through things in depth with logic and practical reasoning. This can be helpful in subjects like math or science. But it’s even more useful when it comes to business. I excel at taking big grand visions and reverse engineering them into actionable steps to bring it to reality. And that’s exactly what I did. After some days thinking I concluded that our next moves needed to be defining our unique value prop, mapping out a marketing strategy, and producing some prototype shirts to test for quality.
And all of those things would require a good amount of money. But we were broke. So I stepped in to save the day with another great plan of getting the funds we needed. It was a simple idea really. We were three young males that were choosing to spend our summer working on a business idea rather than drugs and partying. We were beloved in our families, schools, and churches. And we all had a great reputation for being respectable guys that could be trusted. After doing the math I noticed that we could reasonably ask friends and family to invest the one grand needed.
So I gathered up everyone’s email from immediate family members to distant coworkers and parents of friends. I drafted up a thorough email explaining what we needed, why we needed it, and what our grand vision was. And that’s exactly where my greatest weakness comes in. I’m horrible at all things emotions and dealing with people. Because I’m always seeing things rationally, I suffer when it comes to emotional intelligence. The email that I thought was perfect and reasonable was actually harsh and polarizing.
From the moment I sent it out, it blew up in my face. I titled the email, “A humble request” but in the first few sentences say, “I don’t need you… I’ll be successful with or without your help.” I received a flurry of emails in response saying they were disgusted and disappointed in me. I ended up having to send everyone and their mom a long (and peer reviewed) apology letter. And let’s just say we never closed that round of seed funding. But that’s life. You live and you learn. Now I stick to the strategy and the leave the people to everyone else.
Sorry again to everyone reading this that still has that email sitting in their inbox.