One of the things that I have learned over the years is that you can't be great at everything. It's okay to WANT to be great at a lot of things, but you just need to make sure that you find the right people to help you learn. I always say that the world is your classroom and everybody's a teacher. The important thing is finding the best teachers for you to learn from.
Here’s another gem from my friend Harvey Mackay:
A woman received a phone call at work that her daughter was very sick with a fever. She left the office and stopped by the pharmacy to get some medication, but when she got back to her car, she discovered that she’d locked her keys inside.
Desperate, she started to pray: “Dear God, please help me get back in my car so I can help my daughter.”
Just then a man pulled up on a motorcycle. He had a long beard and his arms were covered with tattoos. He asked what the matter was, and the tearful mother told him.
“Don’t worry,” the biker said. “I can get inside the car.” He went into the drugstore and came out with a coat hanger. In minutes, he had the door open.
“Oh, thank you!” the woman cried. “I prayed for someone to help me, and God sent me the kindest man in the world!”
Embarrassed, the man took a step backward. “I’m not actually a good person, ma’am. In fact, I just got out of prison last week for stealing cars.”
The woman looked up toward heaven. “Thank you, God, for sending me a professional!”
Whenever I need to get something done, and I realize I don’t have the skills for the job,
I hire a professional. Maybe you need help designing a marketing piece or a website. Or you are writing a book and need a professional editor. How about public speaking or planning a special event? You will save yourself many headaches and mistakes if you hire a true professional. After all, you want the best results possible.
And most of the time, the payoff far exceeds the expense.
Professionals are knowledgeable, experienced, focused and most importantly, they are cool under pressure and used to dealing with the unexpected. They are not infallible and still make mistakes, but they are better equipped with dealing with them.
We all have specific skills, but we can’t know everything. There is no glory in trying to fix a problem if your efforts only make matters worse. You think you will save time and money? It’s far less expensive to swallow your pride than to choke on arrogance.
If I want to learn a new skill, I hire a professional coach to teach it to me. I want to practice the right concepts, so I won’t get it wrong. Practice makes perfect … not true. You have to add one word … Perfect practice makes perfect.
Legendary Dallas Cowboys Coach Tom Landry explains, “A coach is someone who tells you what you don't want to hear, who has you see what you don't want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”
Over my lifetime, I’ve had numerous professional coaches to help me develop whatever natural talent I may have. I understand that I will never be as good as the coaches I’ve hired, but I can surely improve on my limited abilities. So I go to the people who know what they are doing.
I’ve hired professional coaches for public speaking, writing, ideas/creativity, foreign languages, running marathons, golf, tennis, water and down-hill skiing, swimming, dancing, bowling, boxing, scuba diving, ice skating, basketball and many others.
I’m not spending a single penny; I’m making an investment in myself. And, believe me, it comes back ten-fold.
Many times over the years when I’ve purchased a new electronic gadget, I’ve hired the person who sold me the device and paid them to come to my office to teach me how to use it. Technology can be difficult for me, so I hire a pro to teach me and take copious notes. Does that seem frivolous? Not to me. The sooner I can be up and running, the more efficiently I can work.
The old saying, “time is money,” is so true. Why waste your time and money when so much help is available to enable you to save both time and money in the long run?
I’ve been on the other side of the equation too. I’ve been honored to be asked to be a mentor, usually not paid, to help aspiring salespeople and entrepreneurs hone their skills. It’s so rewarding to pass along professional knowledge and experiences. If I can steer someone away from making a monumental mistake, I’m satisfied. I want to demonstrate the highest level of professionalism so that they understand the importance of seeking the best advice.
Mackay’s Moral: Admitting your own weaknesses is a sign of strength.