I feel that one of the greatest obstacles for seizing growth opportunity is the absence of skills needed to get there. Missing skills often make growth feel too hard, too unpredictable, and too scary. This is when conscious self-awareness, attitude, and approach must be brought into play. Are you finished maximizing impact? If you don’t have the skills, remember that you have options. You are not stuck. You can grow them. It is certainly okay to learn as you go, and you can hire the skills or outsource them and learn what you need to know at a high level. Exercise your options. This is all part of the strategy, leadership, and planning involved in growing your business.

My own story of developing human resource (HR) skills is a testimony to cultivating the skills needed to grow. This is an area in which I did not have translatable skills. This area of expertise fell logically onto my plate, but the problem was that I had no expertise. My initial attitude was it was a time drain, a diversion from productive activities, and an impediment to growth. We were dedicated to cultivating careers and investing in the professional growth of each employee, and I assumed this sizeable investment would translate naturally into an environment of equal give and take.

It turns out I was wrong. I chased my tail a lot. Many a day I found myself with my head in my hands, eyes closed in disbelief over yet another unpredictable HR situation. Each HR policy was put into place reactively following small disasters that required attention to keep a cancer from growing. It’s comical now, but I was learning the hard way. An employee demanded more vacation, because spending his days off with extended family was duty, not vacation. A strong-performing employee cried upon being given a double-digit raise and requested more, because she was fearful she couldn’t make her boat payment. A long-time employee asked for a promotion that included less responsibility and fewer hours. Note that all of these employees were highly educated, experienced people.

I needed a new attitude and a new approach. I now believed in the benefits of quality HR policies. We built a standard set of policies that clearly communicated expectations, boundaries, and our definition of the right blend of give and take that builds partnership between a company and its employees. As we grew, I grew these skills across members of the management team. Finally, we reached a size that justified a true HR expert. Thank goodness.

As entrepreneurs, we strive to build the perfect blend of financial, human, and social capital, and our experiences, strengths, and weaknesses create unique variations on these interconnected themes. Shattering Stereotypes, a study on women in entrepreneurship conducted by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and Barclays, found that 92% of executive and entrepreneurial women surveyed considered themselves good at mitigating risks. 80% feel that they see opportunity where others see risk. 87% see themselves as financial risk-takers, and 91% indicated that they are perceived as fearless in the face of failure.

This is where my weaknesses live. As I overcome, my confidence grows, preparing me for the next challenge and reducing the impact of my inner critic. Use my stories to identify your obstacles and to successfully overcome them. Remember, you’re already successful. I hope to bring strength and confidence to your journey by helping you know that you are not alone and that there isn’t an insurmountable obstacle.

Always All In,


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