I am horrible at more things than I can count. When I was about 10 years old, my parents sent me to play little league baseball at the Con Ed field in downtown Manhattan where I grew up. To this date, I am confident to say I am the worst player that ever donned little man cleats.
Have you ever see those movies when the kid gets up to go into the game and all the other kids start screaming at the coach and begging not to put him in? I was that kid.
The highlight of my career was actually making contact with the ball once. ONCE. It was a foul ball but the feeling sure beat the hell out of probably 74 consecutive at bats without even touching the ball to the bat (or bat to ball… still not sure how it is done). What happened after I hit the foul? I struck out. Hindsight being 20-20… I’m glad I did.
That was my first experience of learning what I sucked at. I HATED it. Now, however, I love it. Why? Well, as far as my business goes, if I don’t have the skill level or time to learn or get good something, I now know to delegate it and move on to something else. So here are 7 things I suck out that make me great:
1) I Suck At Baseball
OK, by now, both you and I know that I suck at baseball. So why is the great? Because I gave up baseball and proceeded to get pretty damn good at basketball. In fact, until I had to have my hip replaced a few years ago I played almost every day of my life.
Basketball helped me tremendously in more ways than what one would expect. It was an incredible way of taking out my aggression. It became very social. I went out on many dates as a result of women watching me play … I became friendly with a lot of people that became clients and colleagues in my businesses, I met my literary agent (may he rest in peace) indirectly through basketball, and the list goes on. So that’s the great that came out of the suck as far as baseball is concerned.
2) I Suck At Working For People
I suck working for people. I did it for about 24 months in total over the last 23 years. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE learning from people that are better or know more than me. In fact, I LOVE IT (although I’ll admit I didn’t always but I do now.) What I hate, hate, hate is when a superior doesn’t take a suggestion simply out of spite because his (or her) title says he knows more than me. To read more on this, read why I never put my title on my business card.
So, what did I do? I started my own business and started working for myself. The great of the suck is that if I didn’t experience sucking at working for people, I never would have had the pull necessary to work for myself.
3) I Suck At Designing
This one is truly funny. When Gary and I started our first business in college, we decided that I would be the designer and he would run the operations side of the business. The result? I sucked at designing. So what happened? I walked into his office one day and asked him if we could switch. When I left his office, he was officially the designer and I took over the operations side of the business.
The result? Gary has not only been the design director (as well as my partner) in all the companies we have had together, but also he has been the design director for some of the largest and most recognized brands on the planet… That was the great of the suck as far as design was concerned.
4) I Suck At Reading Books
I am a tremendously slow reader. I love reading but I suck at it from the perspective that it takes me forever to read something. I think it’s because I scrutinize the text in such a fashion that I must understand every word. If I don’t know a word, I look it up, if I don’t understand the context I re-read it to think it through, I am a certified nut.
So what did I do? I started writing instead. First it was scripts and screenplays, then it became business plans…then it was articles… then PDF Reports and white papers…then blog posts…then books. Thus far, I have probably written thousands of pages of literature and I am not stopping any time soon. If you are a frequent reader of Hustle Branding, you know I wrote a book called How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying. The book highlights some of the most prevalent mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business for the first time. I used myself and my stories as the lab rat. I am happy to say that I have actually helped people by learning through my failures.
I have also found a way now to go through tons of books a year… through listening. Since I have been turned on to Audible, I go through a book a week. So, because I suck a reading (eyes to paper), I have become great at listening to books.
5) I Suck At Complacency
I am never satisfied. I suck at satisfaction. I am never satiated in my thirst for MORE. The good of the suck? … Well, I keep it moving like the energizer bunny. I never quit. I never ever ever think I have learned it all, thus I love people who know more than me (like I mentioned above). My thirst for reaching a goal that keeps setting new markers in the distance will enable me to learn forever.
Speaking of thirst for knowledge…I have a friend. His name is Skip Prichard. Insanely good person and one of the sharpest people I have ever come across. He has accomplished a tremendous amount in life because of his thirst for knowledge. He reads a book a day. THAT IS INSANE. I suggest you check out his blog on leadership. It is awesome.
6) I Suck At Dependence
I suck at most forms of dependence. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working with others. I just suck at having the patience to work with people who don’t love working with others.
There are very few people who will want to get my agenda accomplished as much as I do. Gary is on the list, my future wife (who I don’t think I’ve met) is probably another (or at least she will be I hope.) Because of this, the great of the suck is that if there is a way to do it myself, as opposed to waiting for a person who doesn’t have the same vested interest in accomplishing the particular task at hand, I will do it myself.
7) I Suck At Jumping
Although there is plenty more I suck at, here is the last one in this post. I suck at jumping… well, at least I do now Why? Because I replaced my hip and can’t jump like I used to. What is great about the suck? Well, I am training right now to hopefully be back on the basketball court again soon…only I won’t be jumping. I will work on my shot and play the perimeter. For all you ballers out there, you know what I am talking about. For those who don’t, either Google playing the perimeter or take my word for it that there is a great in the suck.
OK. Now your turn. What do you suck at that makes you great?
Have a great day!