I Don’t Care if Your Only Talent is Loading up the Perfect Pencil Holder with Pencils

The title of this post is a quote from my friend, Lisbeth Tanz, of Your Words Your Voice.  She’s a one-of-a-kind amazing lady.  Check her out and be sure to follow Lis on Twitter.

Have you ever heard entrepreneurs saying things like the following?

“I don’t know fancy stuff like FTP.”

“I could never create videos.  That’s too hard.”

“I’m not good at writing.”

“I don’t understand social media. It’s complicated.”

“I’m a small fish in a big pond.  No one will ever notice me.”

“I can’t do anything technical.”

“I know I need to craft an irresistible freebie.  But I don’t have anything special to offer.”

“I can’t compete with the gurus.  They know everything.”

“I’m just a mom.  I don’t have any profitable skills.”

Yikes!!

Allow me to jump right up on my soapbox and set the record straight!

Every one of us knows how to do SOMETHING.

Just start THERE.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a website, a blog, or a business!

Being an entrepreneur means being willing to learn as you go and learn as you grow.

What advice would you give a newbie entrepreneur who thinks he or she is lacking in skills or talents?

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  • You’re so right, Michelle …

    Help, support, training, resources, tips … all just a mouse click away! 🙂

  • My advice: just start where you’re at, with what you’ve got, and move forward from there. With the internet we’ve got so much information and support at our fingertips just waiting for us to jump in and learn as we need it. 🙂

  • Absolutely true, Dani!

    And I’m a firm believer in “baby steps”. We may not be sprinting toward our goals, but we’re going to get there just the same. 🙂

  • This one spoke to me Melanie! Just a few months ago, it was me thinking (not saying) that I was never going to be a blogger. I hadn’t written anything creative since middle school. We can amazing ourselves when we take baby steps!

  • Photoshop, ya say, Paul? Eeeeeek!! I avoid Photoshop like the plague.

    As far as my graphic (and artistic) skills are concerned …

    I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler!

  • Melanie

    Graphics is just a bit too geeky for me….plus it doesn’t help that i’m slightly colour blind and have the visual acuity of a mole!

    So I tend to get advice on graphics – but I can use Photoshop and rustle up covers and edit images for use on posts if need be. It’s the big stuff I struggle with – plus I’d prefer to spend the time elsewhere.

    Paul

  • What a treat to see you here, Paul – thanks for knocking on my door!

    You’ve offered up some doggone good advice and I’m starting to see more and more collaboration — “quid-pro-quo” arrangements amongst online marketers and small business owners.

    To me, this approach to problem-solving (if you will) and showing mutual support and respect for fellow entrepreneurs really speaks to my better logic.

    I’m not good at graphics, either. 🙂

    Melanie

  • Hi Melanie

    Like the post. There are two pieces of advice I would give a newbie who thinks that he or she is lacking in talent at something:

    1) You can learn to do ANYTHING – the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get better. When you dig into the research you’ll find that there’s actually no such thing as talent. Instead there is a specific way to learn married to hard work putting that learning into practice.

    2) If there’s a task that you really don’t want to learn then either outsource it. or better yet, find someone who is really good at it and set up some kind of quid-pro-quo arrangement. For example I’m not very good at graphics – whenever I need something complex doing I have a friend who is a wiz at it. And when she needs help with video stuff, she phones me. Works like a charm.

    Paul

  • Kimi – thanks for stopping by and I’m happy my post has lifted your spirits a bit and provided some inspiration!

  • Sounds like a plan, Patricia — I’ll come knocking on your door when the post is up! 🙂

  • No problem with you doing that Melanie. Please let me know when you publish your post as I would love to be back to visit 🙂

    Patricia Perth Australia

  • Hi Melanie,

    I guess everyone is good at something, this should be realized by everyone..

    And since i live alone in Europe (I am from Asia) so i realize, if we HAVE to do something, we will be able to do it, no matter how.

    I learn this simple thing which is really encouraging me on doing something that i really thought i could not.

    Thanks for this inspiration post!

    Kind regards from Germany

    Kimi.

  • You’re a beacon in the fog, Patricia, and a kindred spirit, as well!

    It’s refreshing to know there are people out there who still believe in the philosophy of “fair exchange”. You have restored my faith.

    I’m going to be writing a post, soon, about collaboration. May I use your comment as a quote? I’d be happy to link to your blog. 🙂

    Thanks for spraying the soothing fragrance of lavender over my blog,
    Melanie

  • Hi again Melanie

    Do I remember bartering?! I want to announce that it is alive and well on my blog. Being a baby boomer technophobe; just the mention of coding, apps and anything remotely techie has me reaching for the panic button lol

    So how do you think I have such a professional looking blog?! You can rest assured my only input was the colour (no-brainer when it’s a lavender blog) and that I wanted it to be upgraded! A dear new friend I met commenting; did it for me. I have written articles for her. Her second language is English and she likes my writing style. No money exchanged hands; just a lot of good will 🙂 Collaboration plus bartering; sure works for me 😉

    Patricia Perth Australia

  • Well, this gal could give your comment a big virtual hug, Patricia — thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving newbies some great advice!

    I think “collaboration” is a second cousin to “bartering”. Do you remember bartering from the good old days? I think we should get back to basics in life (and in business!) and starting trading our services and talents with one another a lot more than we do. It’s an absolute win-win scenario for everyone. 🙂

    Glad you knocked on my door today, Patricia. Your words are golden.

  • Hi Melanie

    Firstly thanks for taking the time to visit my blog, stay to join the conversation and give me more than 2 cents of yourvery own amazing advice. Appreciated.

    Have to admit I have uttered a few of those statements lol Ssome of them being true 😉 However, some things I have learned, others I have had friends do and I have reciprocated with doing tasks for them that I happen to not only find easier but know they are my strengths. Collaboration works for me 😉

    Advice to a newbie…..blogging isn’t a silver bullet to success. Passion, perseverence, patience are what is needed with a big dose of hard work to achieve it all.

    Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We have all been newbies and heaps of us are happy to give back cos we have been given so much by this amazing blogging community ourselves.

    Patricia Perth Australia

  • A ripple, ya say, Keith? You’re right — and I’ve seen those ripples turn into tidal waves! 🙂

    Just read your piece on “Chocolat” — exemplary!

  • That’s right Melanie, I came over from Theresa’s “Big Fish Top Dogs” blog.

    Shows how leaving a small comment can create a big ripple.

  • Keith, what a delight to see you here — and didn’t I just bump into you over at Theresa’s “Big Fish Top Dogs” blog? Thanks for swinging by.

    Yep – you nailed the message! You’ll lead a happier life (for certain) and enjoy the journey of building a business much more if you concentrate (positively) on what you do know rather than what you don’t.

    This post was inspired by three years of banging my head against the wall and my computer monitor — but that’s another story. 🙂

    Write On!

  • Hi Melanie
    “Every one of us knows how to do SOMETHING.
    Just start THERE.”

    What a great way to look at life.

    Guess the advice would be concentrate on what you do know rather than what you don’t.

  • Gibson! Delighted to see you here.

    Yes, “faith” is definitely part of the recipe.

    A little faith mixed with a dash of confidence and a pinch of courage will help entrepreneurs take that first step.

  • “Being an entrepreneur means being willing to learn as you go and learn as you grow”.

    ~As you go: (I’m of course paraphrasing here) The longest journey begins with the very first step. . . a step of faith.

  • Thanks for knocking on my door, Lis!

    Maxwell and I are together here on the left-hand side of the page. Your eyes just didn’t travel in that direction. Max will always be on my blog — he’s my best buddy and my business partner! 🙂

  • Melanie – sage advice from a wise woman. All it takes is that first step….

    Love your new look here – but I will admit to missing the image of you with your dog….. 🙂

  • My day has gone full circle — Martha’s here!

    Thanks so much for your input and your honesty – Very much appreciated and embraced from a person who hasn’t started doing videos yet, either. 🙂 The only excuse I have is that I don’t have the essential equipment yet. But once I do … lookout! I think it’s going to be tons of fun.

  • You are so right Melanie! A little confidence goes a long way and sometimes entrepreneurs just need a little encouragement. I am still holding off on the video thing. I’ve done a couple but just haven’t added it to my marketing because of some kind of excuse I keep coming up with! Thanks for this motivational post! You ROCK!

  • There’s NO doubt in my mind, Sheila … you can market that toilet-scrubbing talent of yours! I’ll be on the lookout for your free report. 🙂

    Kudos and accolades back at you! I’m exceptionally proud to be sitting with you on We Magazine’s list of 101 Women Bloggers to Watch for in 2011! We did it, Sheila! Hooray for us! 🙂

  • Melanie,

    Another great blog title! I am going to have to hire you.

    Shoot, my talent just happens to be scrubbing toilets. I can clean a bathroom faster than anyone I know. It comes from running my property management business. We cleaned homes with bathrooms galore. The largest had 11 bathrooms. Anyhoooo that is another story.
    The point is I could probably sell that knowledge.

    Half the fun of going to others sites is to see just how talented they are. I am never cease to be amazed.

    Congrats on making WE Magazines top 101 bloggers to watch in 2011.

  • Anytime, Stacy — we bloggers BOND. 🙂

  • YOU Rock, Melanie! Thanks for the shot of confidence, as well as the mentorship. 🙂

  • Listen, Stacy, I’m going to divulge a big secret but … shhh … don’t breath a word of this to anyone. It took me two years to get off my duff and craft a freebie offer. I lacked one ingredient — confidence!

    I can tell from reading your blog posts you are one talented lady. No lip service. And you remind me a lot of myself. We all need a little help from our friends once in a while and what I call “strokes” to give us the nudge we need to move forward.

    I like the way you think. A peer group, a mastermind, and even email support and social networking can make all the difference in the world!

    Now get out there and rock your little corner of the web! 🙂

  • Melanie,

    I feel like this all the time! My biggest challenge — still — is to create an opt-in freebie. (sigh) In general, I have noticed that we are usually the last person to recognize our strengths. A good peer group — friends and/or business associates — are usually the people I turn to for help. They see me as others do, rather than how I see myself, and they are the best people to recognize my talents, which may seem “common sense” to me.

    Cheers,
    Stacy

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  • LOL! I’ve always wanted to be a gem, Maureen, and I’m choosing to be a sapphire! 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for your kind words. Appreciate YOU.

  • Melanie…what a gem you are, love what you share- thankyou:)

  • Thanks for the fervent “Amen!”, Krishna — much appreciated. 🙂

    So glad you stopped by.

  • Melanie, this is so cool, this is so cool, this is so cool!!

    That is all I have to say. Thankyou and Amen.

    Krishna