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Know Yourself

How well do you know yourself?  Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?  Do you know what you really like to do, and what you don’t like to do?  Do you know what things you do well, and what things you don’t do well?  What things do you think you do poorly, that others think are great?  And do you have things that you do really badly, but just plain like to do?

In the last couple of years, while dealing with my parents’ failing health, an MBA, and working full time, I’ve gotten a very clear picture of the things that I’m great at, and things that I’m not so great at.  I’ve also spent a lot of time reflecting on my goals, dreams, and aspirations.  I got some very clear feedback on how others perceive what I do well and what I don’t do well. The insight has proven to be very helpful and useful.

For instance, I learned that things that I do well include recruiting, building networks, and big picture items.  I also do really well with creative things, and problem solving.  I can’t do both at once though.  That explains why I really loved the recruiting side of working with my previous employer.  It also explains why I loved the training aspects, and getting to know people.

On the flip side, I also found out that I really do not like repetitive tasks.  I don’t mind doing something a few times, but please, oh please, do not ask me to do the same thing every day at the same time, or every week at the same time.  It drives me batty.  But I’m great at putting a process into place, and ensuring that it gets followed, and that we get it going well- just don’t ask me to keep doing it over and over again, or I’m going to want to chew my leg off.

That’s why when I went out on my own, I looked for people who are able to repeat the same process over and over again.  I looked to pair up for people who are fantastic, but who are also very good at precisely the things that I don’t do as well, and that don’t particularly excite me.

All this is to say, I think that it is super important to know yourself.  And really, who knows you better than you?  Sit down, and spend some time reflecting on yourself,  what makes you tick.  Focus on what makes you happy, and what really annoys you.  I think that if you can do that, and come to an understanding, it will help with figuring out what to do in life. If you can choose your career choices based on that, even better.  Because if you like doing whatever it is you work at, then you will naturally tend to be more enthusiastic, and work harder.  It will be easier to work harder, and make more of an impact.  Know yourself, so that you can succeed.

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