Be honest with yourselfWhile I’ve developed a fantastic career from inspiring others and teaching them about the finer points of online marketing, I can honestly admit that I’m a lousy pastry cook.  I’m also dreadful on ice skates, frustrated by politics and virtually useless when it comes to pop culture trivia.

I bring up these points not to make light of my shortcomings in life, but to show that we cannot ever really experience true growth without realizing what we’re bad at.

Just the other day, for example, I met with a friend who was furious that he was overlooked for a promotion at work.  And when he started rambling off the strengths of his resume compared to the person that was hired, it did sound like he was an excellent candidate.  Once we took a closer look at the job vacancy though, it clearly stated that the company was looking for someone with experience in email marketing…and my friend had none at all.

Here’s the thing though; my friend had been waiting for this position to become available for over a year now, and he knew each and every qualification that the company would look for.  Since he had such a stellar resume for some aspects of the position, he completely overlooked the one criterion that he wasn’t good at- and it was ultimately what cost him the position.  To make things even worse, I’m fantastic at email marketing and we hang out several times per week.  I could have easily made this a strength on his resume if he mentioned it a year ago.

So I want you to hear one thing loud and clear today- it is okay to struggle with some things in life.  Heck, I think it’s a core requirement for being human.

Instead of ignoring these shortcomings, however, you need to embrace them, seek out knowledge that will help you overcome these obstacles and become a better professional because of it.  By the way, I’m not talking about cooking or ice skating here either.

I’m talking about the traits that really matter in your life.  Listening.  Teamwork.  Generosity.  Honesty.  Empathy.  Dedication.  Loyalty.  Plus the hundreds of other skills, traits and abilities that you use within your profession on a daily basis.  And surprisingly, these are often the hardest things for us to see within ourselves…even though we can spot them a mile away within our friends and co-workers.

So what’s holding you or your company back in the world of online marketing?