Even Richard Branson’s not brilliant at everything – and you don’t need to be either..
I was thinking about all the skills you need to run a successful business and I quickly came to the conclusion that there are few (if any) people in the world who have them all.
After all, hand on heart, can you say you are a brilliant leader, an inspired business planner, a laser-focused marketer, top of the class at schmoozing clients, a clever recruiter, a lateral-thinking tax specialist and second-to-none when it comes to spotting – and exploiting – a gap in the market?
It struck me that you’d have to be some sort of latter-day Renaissance Man (or Woman) to have all those skills at your fingertips. Someone like Leonardo da Vinci, John D. Rockefeller, Steve Jobs and Madonna, all rolled into one
Take Richard Branson, for example. No one could deny he’s done pretty well for himself. Among his achievements are setting up the Virgin record label, mobile phone company, airline and more, along with various attempts to fly across the globe in a balloon.
Impressive as his CV is, though, there’s one thing he can’t do – and that’s write poetry.
You don’t believe me? Then take a look at this. Someone challenged Branson to write 16 lines about entrepreneurs, and they are utterly dreadful. Try this:
If you think with your head and listen to your heart,
I promise you’ll get off to a flying start.
Even William McGonagall might have been embarrassed by that couplet. And he wrote more than his fair share of embarrassing poetry.
But to give Branson his due, when you stop giggling at his verses you realise he’s got a point. Like when he says:
Do what you love and love what you do,
This advice is nothing new.
The fact is, unless you’re interested in and good at something, it’s probably a mistake to spend hundreds of hours doing it – even if it’s for the sake of your business.
Instead, concentrate on the things you are good at, whether it’s drumming up business, being an inspiring leader or a clever inventor, spotting business opportunities or something completely different.
And if you’re not good at something, but you know your business needs it, hire someone else to do it. You’ll get a better result in the long term, and it’ll free you up to concentrate on what you are really, really good at.
It’s something we see daily as we take the weight of business owners’ shoulders by helping them with their accountancy, tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, audits and much more. It’s because these are the things we are good at (and a few others too) – you just won’t catch us writing poems about them!